One series I’ve never talked about on the site despite liking it quite a lot really is That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime or Tensura, as it’s generally referred to. I remember watching it back when it first aired back in 2018 and just falling in love with everything about it.
At that point, I was used to Isekais following a certain formula. Young person dies in the real world, they get sent to a new world as some overpowered human, and they save that world or something. Unless it’s Konosuba. But the whole point of that series was to flip everything on its head.
So, you could imagine why I would want to watch a series about some middle-aged man who gets stabbed to death only to be reincarnated as one of the weakest monsters that ever existed.
Of course, Rimuru does get incredibly strong as well, but unlike other Isekais, It’s not just because he was reborn strong. He started not even being able to see what was in front of him. He used his wisdom from his past life, mixed with his newfound powers, to become one of the strongest beings in that world. He learned to use his unique talents to the best of his abilities. His power wasn’t just given to him.
People really liked the series. So, last season in Winter 2021, we got season 2…kind of. We actually got the first cour of season 2. So half. We have to wait until Summer 2021 to get the other half. Considering it was already an almost 3-year wait for season 2, you can imagine why having to wait even longer in the middle of a season might be a bother.
But this is where the brilliance of The Sime Diaries comes in. Tensura has us covered. To help give us plenty of slime goodness to hold us off, this season, we got The Slime Diaries, which is a full season length spin-off of Tensura.
Originally, I thought this was adapting segments that may have been left out of the anime, but it’s actually an adaptation of a 4-panel manga with the same name. As you would expect from a 4-panel manga, it’s very lighthearted. They’re meant to set up a joke quickly and then hit you with one or two good lines to the gut. My sense of humor, really.
You might think The Slime Diaries is a little odd. Why does a long, still running manga need a 4-panel comedy spin-off of all things? Well, to my surprise, it’s not altogether that uncommon. Isekais actually do it quite often. When you stop and consider it, it makes sense.
You’re still working hard on pouring your energy into the main series, but you’d like there to be a little more. Why not make some quick 4-panel manga (which is much faster to produce, obviously), so it won’t detract from the main work? It’s kind of brilliant in a way. And in some cases, it may even be able to add to what the main series is.
This is how I’ve always felt about spin-offs. They need to do two things to be good. They need to provide a fairly different yet similar experience to the original, and they need to add to what they’re a spin-off from in some way. If those two things are done well, I think you’ve created a great spin-off. I’m thrilled to say Slime Diaries is exactly that. It’s pretty great.
Still early on at this point. Just 5 episodes in. But I would say it’s pretty safe to assume the same level of quality will continue throughout. I just don’t see it suddenly dropping off. I have a certain amount of trust, especially since the same studio that made the original anime (8bit) is in charge of the spin-off as well. I’d bet that it will stay just fine.
But am I really bold enough to say after such a short amount of time that Slime Diaries is perfect? No, I’m not. That’s not what I said. I said it’s a perfect “spin-off.” That I believe it is, or at least pretty close. So am I saying that Tensura was just destined to be a 4-panel manga? No, I’m not. Stop assuming things. You’re awfully aggressive today.
Some may disagree with this statement, but I do feel like Tensura is a fairly serious anime. It’s not the darkest thing I’ve ever seen, but certain aspects of the show are handled with an air of maturity. While there’s comedy, the series knows the story it wants to tell and rarely strays from that tone. I mean, it starts with a guy bleeding out in a puddle of blood, and the story is about anti-monster racism, for godsakes.
This is why Slime Diaries is such a welcomed change of pace. It’s so much more lighthearted. Especially coming off of season 2, which was…not. We’ll say that. We get to see Rimuru and the gang relaxing in Tempest during their off time when they aren’t fighting demon lords and jazz. The only thing they battle is the weather as they try to grow crops for their town. It’s a side of Tensura we don’t often see, or at least a side that is often drowned out by other stuff.
That’s kind of the trade-off of the series. Tensura has very little filler. Of the 36 episodes released for the main series thus far, only about one and a half episodes of that are filler, as far as I know. If I’m off, it isn’t by much at all. The anime keeps a very consistent pace throughout. Every episode is one step closer to the eventual end. But this comes with problems.
While I love that Tensura is so dedicated to telling its story, filler episodes come with their own charm. Particularly because they are often about more lighthearted themes and can slow things down to add personality to the characters and the world they live in. Again, Tensura is great at world-building and character development. The two things it perhaps does the best. But the slower pace of filler would provide a nice yet different experience.
Remember what I said earlier? Slime Diaries provides a similar but different experience from the original. That’s half the battle in my mind. Now the only question is whether it can do the other half. Is Slime Diaries a fun time killer, or does it actually add to my opinion of the main series? Why don’t you take a guess?
My favorite part of Tensura isn’t Rimuru. It’s what Rimuru creates. Back when season 1 aired, I slowly watched this story evolve past anything I ever expected it to. I thought it would be a story about some weak slime guy. Not a story about a slime that decides to bring humanity and monsters together to create a world where they can coexist in peace.
I just never expected something so meaningful and so unique when I started. That and, of course, I do love the great character that is Rimuru. Everything that happens in the series is for the people he cares about—every arc. Rimuru doesn’t go around picking fights. He’s just trying to build a peaceful existence with his new family, and sometimes he needs to twist a few arms to keep them safe. Or a few thousand on occasion.
Seeing the monster nation’s capital city grow has been my favorite thing about the series. The anime does a good job showing that growth to us, but I do wish we could see more of the city. Perhaps a slower, more atmospheric version of it. Something where Rimuru isn’t off being a teacher and just decides to relax in Tempest. Where we could actually see what goes on behind the scenes. If only a series like that existed.
Slime Diaries lets us see a whole new side of Rimuru and the town he’s built from the ground up. It’s much more slice of life style than the original series. Which really is the type of thing Tensura needed. We know Tempest and that the people there mean everything to Rimuru, but Slime Diaries gives a chance to see more of why that is.
We get to see him interact with the characters outside of war and away from battle. We get to see his workaholic tendencies when he can’t relax unless he’s doing official duties. We see him enjoying drinks at the bar and chatting with Treyni. We see him getting down and dirty planting crops with his fellow citizens. We get to see the children in town all making pictures of him in school when asked to draw someone they respect, which melted my damn heart like you wouldn’t believe. We see the little moments that would truly make him care for his people so much.
When he gets to interact with them not as allies but as friends and family. Slime Diaries shows us why the monsters practically worship Rimuru. Yes, it’s because he gave them lives full of so much more than they thought possible, but also because of the person he is. That’s why they follow him.
We get the see the side of Rimuru that isn’t some figurehead or some powerful protector of his family. We get the see the Rimuru that truly loves his family. He doesn’t want them to work their lives away. He wants them to find a way to have fun in between work. He wants to bring them on fun vacations. He wants to be right there by their side building Tempest.
Rimuru genuinely wants his citizens to have a happy life. From the bottom of his heart, he wants nothing more than their joy. For them to live a safe, peaceful, joyous life, not below him as their ruler, but alongside him as a member of their family. Slime Diaries reminded me that Rimuru isn’t just a strong monster, king, or any of that, but that he’s a fantastic friend above all else.
And that’s the type of stuff that I would only see in a slower series like Slime Diaries. It offers me a different experience that I love just as much, and in a lot of ways, made me love the world in Tensura that much more. That’s why I believe it’s a perfect spin-off. Ok, nothing’s perfect. It’s kind of fanservicey at times, but I’ll forgive it.
Thank you very much for reading
What are your opinions on Slime Diaries, and what do you think makes a good spin-off? I’m happy that 9 months of this year is filled with Tensura, to be honest.