Bingo Review 22: I Wish
Sometimes, even pre-now world times, there are moments of kind of daydream wishing that I might be able to be a part of a fictional world I have been reading, and it’s almost always a fantasy (pun not totally intended). That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime is on the one hand, generic fantasy based on common gaming tropes, but on the other also interesting enough for some of the political and social elements of the world that have been building up. The premise is that a guy in his mid-late thirties (my age) is murdered in the real world, and wakes up reincarnated in the fantasy world as the least powerful lowest creatures there is, the slime. He manages to figure enough out and gather enough abilities and experiences to eventually become a leader of the non-humans (aka mosnters). Given that one of the abilities he seems to have naturally been reborn with makes Rimuru (the name our hero slime now uses) almost unbeatable in most confrontations, he always wins when his people are threatened. This is the kind of bland world of magic and safe mayhem that I would very much like to see.
The interesting thing about volume 13 though is that the world is being built up to be more complex than it first seemed, and there are a couple of revelations and events that are setting up some really interesting growth for the story. Some bad humans from a neighboring country are committing acts of sneaky treachery unfairly against the Jura tempest Federation (Rimuru’s domain is basically now the size of a country) for ugly but realistic reasons (let’s start a war for economic reasons! and at the same time we can indulge in prejudice against monsters!), and it’s actually presenting a challenge to Rimuru and his friends and allies (which do include a few humans, but mostly are monsters of various sorts including goblins, wolves, elves, etc.).
Things do actually get dark here; some named characters actually die, but there’s hope. There’s also some interesting information revealed about how and why Rimuru may have been reincarnated as he was, and especially the reason for his initial ability that seems to make him almost unbeatable (?) suggests some intriguing possibilities for his future as a character. The growing complexity of the world as well as its generic but comforting foundations would be a lot of fun to visit; there’s actually a side-series that’s presented as a travel journal to verify this sentiment. I don’t think I’d want to stay though, since things are getting tad more dangerous and realistic. It would be interesting though to see what kind of ability I’d get though. Speculating on that would be a little spoilery though. But seriously, think of a world where the good guy has the potential for always winning, magic and friendship are real but also pretty human, and maybe the whole thing is just realistic enough on the political social stuff that it makes things interesting and somewhat a light critique on some pretty heavy issues but not so much that the tone of the narrative is overturned. Sounds like a good escapist visit to me!