Fans of the light novel series That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime and its anime and manga adaptations will likely enjoy this sequel series that incorporates some familiar characters but focuses on a new protagonist. New readers, though, will feel a little lost among the inhabitants of the magical kingdom of Tempest. Framea is the daughter of the Chief of Rabbitfolk, and unlike most beasts, she was given a name. One day, while perusing a takoyaki stall in her village, she impresses the salesman with her keen sense for obscure ingredients. She is invited by the demon lord Rimuru, the founder and ruler of Tempest, to craft a travel guide to the food, shops, and other attractions Tempest has to offer.
Tempest is a diverse nation, full of humans, hobgoblins, demons, and beasts like Framea, all of whom commingle without the levels of social stratification to which Framea is accustomed. Her catch phrase is “three stars!!” which she exclaims whenever she meets an experience she greatly enjoys—and she enjoys basically every experience she has in Tempest. In the final two chapters of this volume, Framea is joined by three adventurers on a mission to investigate Tempest’s monster-infested dungeon. These chapters read like screenshots from a Legend of Zelda game; though I would rather have been playing the dungeon crawl video game myself, I still found this part fun. The cliffhanger ending ensures readers will want to pick up volume 2.
The illustrations are consistent with the original That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime manga and anime. Beasts are depicted as almost identical to humans, with only slight differences: a rabbit tail and ears in Framea’s case, or horns in many other cases. Most characters are depicted in manga style, with lanky bodies and big eyes. Sound effects and other exclamations remain in their original Japanese characters, with transliteration into English letters as well as translation written in small text nearby. This is a fun way to learn Japanese onomatopoeic expressions, like kachi for click or pishi for pssh.
Though the perky character of Framea and the dungeon scenes are likeliest to appeal to middle grades and tweens, I agree with the publisher’s target age range of teen. The opening scene with Framea’s recently-showered body covered in water and a towel barely covering her ample bosom is fairly sexualized. Additionally, Framea is seen getting drunk on ale and wine (which, of course, she gives “three stars!!”). I found Framea annoying, and I have two lingering questions. If Framea enjoys everything so greatly that she gives everything in Tempest three stars, how is she an effective travel guide writer? Visitors to Tempest will want to know the best things to do, and they will probably find it frustrating if everything in the travel guide has the same rating. Also, why would a travel guide writer be assigned to sweeping a dungeon of monsters? Is the opportunity to slay monsters in Tempest’s dungeon one of its tourist attractions? I recommend this series for teen collections where the original That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime was popular, or for libraries with extensive manga collections. For smaller collections, I would pass on this title.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, vol. 1: The Ways of the Monster Nation
By Sho Okagiri
Art by Mitz Vah
Yen Press, 2020
Series ISBNS and Order
Title Details and Representation
NFNT Age Recommendation: Teen (13-16)
Character Traits: Japanese
Creator Highlights: Japanese