What’s the show? That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime, Episode 5.
So how’s this episode? I think I really love this show.
Okay, why? Maybe I’ll explain what happens in the episode first. So while Rimuru and his new dwarven drinking buddies are living it up in the ‘sexy elf bar’, a minister named Vesta (the political kind) stops by to antagonise one of the blacksmiths Kaijin who he has a long and troubled history, he also acts like a dick to Rimruru. Kaijin doesn’t take kindly for the way his new friend is being treated and and clocks Vesta unconscious. They all end up in prison as a result, and then have a trial before the hero king Gazel Dwargo. The king takes into consideration his own history with Kaijin (he used to be one of his elite guards) and exiles the lot of them from the kingdom. But the most interesting thing is the amount of time the show spends after the exile on the strained to breaking point relationship between the king and the minister Vesta.
What’s so interesting about it? They could have easily spent ten seconds on a scene saying “Vesta you’re exiled for being a lying dick”. But instead they actually humanise Vesta’s actions—incredibly selfish and dickish as they may have been—and have him breaking down in front of the king. Here’s a character who was only introduced like 10 minutes previously and he’s afforded such character development—and not only that it’s well written and compelling stuff. I think that’s something that’s incredibly unique about this show is that it takes its time to make ~everyone~ in this world more substantial than they first appear. Probably a result of this being an incredibly faithful light novel adaptation, but it’s still something to behold nonetheless. Like, who knows if we’ll ever even see Vesta again but his brief appearance was compelling.
But why spend so much time on fleshing out a character that has little to no impact on the current narrative situation? So what, he should have just been a cardboard cut-out bad guy? Yes, its arguable time could be spent on moving the plot forward—after all it’s episode 5 and we’ve met precisely two of the dozens of characters that feature in the opening credits but I respect this show’s restraint in storytelling. Maybe it won’t pay off—maybe this show will be unsuccessful in sales in Japan and we’ll have a 24-episode season that spent way too long with insignificant details and lengthy world building. Or maybe it’ll run for many seasons to come and we’ll look back on these little details and marvel at how they’re connected to things 2 or 3 seasons from now. The failure in episodic reviewing is not envisioning the bigger picture and seeking instant gratification. I haven’t read the light novels (nor will I ever) but this series feels like so much set-up that’s inevitably going to lead to great things and I’m happy to be patient and wait for it to come, whether it’s in the next cour or in seasons yet decided.
You can’t blame people for wanting more on an episode-by-episode basis though, you can’t expect people to be patient for something they don’t even know exists. To me, it’s like sitting through the first 90 minutes of the first’ Lord of the Rings’ film (which is ~3 hours if you didn’t know) and complaining that they haven’t gotten very far yet!
That’s not the first time you’ve brought up the ‘Lord of the Rings’—this isn’t the Lord of the Rings… I’m just saying I think people have unrealistic expectations of a show that’s obviously more content to take its time than others. You want another comparison that’s not ‘Lord of the Rings’? Okay, it’s like watching a 20+ episode arc of a shonen series and wondering why they haven’t gotten to the top of the tower to defeat the bad guy after only 5 episodes. Things build at different paces, things takes different routes, fiction isn’t a straight line where the protagonist runs from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ with no detours.
I think you need to stop arguing against other people’s criticisms of a show and just review the show that exists. If you’re going to do this every damn review it’s going to get tiresome. I’m sorry; I guess I was just in the mood to rant.
Fine. Anything else you want to add? Also, I kind of get the sense this series knows people’s attention ~might~ be waning because not only does it hint at future things to come with an ambiguous fortune telling scene that teases new characters, but the ED visuals are different in that rather the simple ‘repeating scenes from the episode we just watched’ shtick that the previous four episodes did. We get new visuals which tease more action and characters! Either way, regardless of this new tease this episode is great, just like all the others and I can’t wait ‘til next week!
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Categories: Fall 2018 Anime