What They Say:
Champion of monsters Rimuru Tempest ends the orc war and earns the esteemed title as Slime Chancellor. As his blobbiness presides over a newfound nation, he’s got more work to do than give names and kick butt. The Moderate Harlequin Alliance is causing trouble, and the balance of power between Demon Lords is slippery at best. Protecting everyone will take a miracle, and some magicules, too.
The audio presentation for this release brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo with a new English language dub done in 5.1, both of which are encoded using the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec. The series is one that works a decent blend of action and dialogue throughout it so that the various channels get well utilized for the most part. The stereo mix works the forward soundstage well for both dialogue and action effects with how everything moves back and forth at times while there are some good bits of placement and depth as well during the action. The 5.1 mix bumps everything up a bit and it feels like it has a touch more impact overall but also just a bit more clarity in the mix from the English side of it. Both tracks represent the show well and everything comes across clean and problem free.
Originally airing in 2018, the transfer for this TV series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The twelve episodes are spread across two discs in a nine/three format with all the extras on the second disc. Animated by Eight Bit, the series is one that has a lot of really good looking designs to it – especially considering your lead is a slime – and some well detailed backgrounds. The lighter focus on the lead for a lot of it helps and that comes across in the character models and with color design that it has going for it. The fluidity and fun of the slime elements are handled well, too, which definitely helps make the show a lot of fun to watch. The encoding brings it to life well in both the quieter scenes and the high motion pieces with the more fluid animation and the end result is a show that looks great and captures the original material well. It’s colorful, richly so in some areas considering the palette used, and the details hold up well throughout.
This release comes in a regular edition which we’ll cover the packaging for below as well as the limited edition – which houses the regular edition for the first half. The limited edition release is a heavy chipboard box with a great blue polka-dot background that has a lot of color and life to it that plugs the logo dead center and has the cast floating around it. It’s cute seeing them and their various expressions in this form and you can glean a good bit about each from how they look and act here. The back of the box under the onsert has a really great image with Rimuru along the bottom and three of the leading ladies behind them where it’s mostly full-length-ish style shots that definitely look good and really set a great tone. The box is bright, colorful, and busy in all the right ways.
Within the box, we get an absolutely gorgeous 100-page square bound art book for the first season that has some interviews at the start, lots of cast artwork, some gorgeous shots of the interiors and landscapes and more. It finishes off with some great little bits of one-panel full-color comedy pieces as well that make you grin. The set also has a spacer box that you can swap out for the first half regular edition and within it we get a keychain from the show of Rimuru in slime mode that’s adorable and a sticker of the same. We also get a really nice set of art cards that aren’t always what you think at first in how they present themselves.
The standard sized Blu-ray case that holds the four discs from the two formats and is housed in an o-card as well. The main cover, which is used for the o-card as well, is a bright and colorful piece that puts our group together with a serious look to them as they’re in a bit of action and it’s nice to get a largely human cast here to change things up a bit. It’s not a bad piece of artwork but it’s not one that does much to sell the show to me in general outside of some light fantasy elements. The back cover goes for a little character artwork along the right while the bulk of the cover is given over to a scroll that highlights the extras running time and a brief summary of the premise. The extras themselves are broken out further down in a clear fashion and we get the standard digital strip and then technical great that shows how both formats are put together on-disc. Within the case we don’t get any show-related inserts but the reversible cover is nice as the main side features the larger group that I think should have been the main cover while the left panel does an episode and extras breakdown.
The menu design for this release is pretty standard fare as we get the clip montage playing out over the bulk of the screen. With a decent-sized logo along the center-top section, the rest of it shows off lots of action from the season with all the quality that you’d expect, so with the music playing along it’s definitely an easy sell to get the right atmosphere going into it. The navigation along the bottom is done with a the white and gold design that works well for this kind of property and standard font for the text itself which makes it easy to navigate on both larger and smaller sets and as both the main menu and the pop-up menu during regular playback. It’s the standard Funimation design but it functions smoothly and without problems.
The extras for this release are decent as we get mostly the basics but some welcome pieces overall. The original extra produced for it is an English dub commentary track and a video commentary from the team for a couple of episodes where they get to talk about the fun of it all and riff off each other. In addition to that, we get a small selection of the original promos and the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences. The set also includes the episode 24.5 release which recaps the season but has some fun with Ifrit for it.
The first half of the first season of That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime was a pretty fun show as it didn’t quite do things to expectations. I appreciated that it spent as much time as it did with Rimuru just discovering that he’s a slime in this world and what it meant to be that while also gaining some skills and abilities while in the cave. But as they headed out into the world and made friends, it didn’t take long until he became worshipped as well and everything just expanded in some really enjoyable ways for a fantasy series. It maintained a great look throughout it while providing for some big action sequences and a good run of humor that felt very natural for the show – not something that can always be achieved.
Rimuru’s reputation only grows as this half of the first season moves further along, such as the beginning where they end up helping out Gabiru from the orcs and show off what they’re capable of. This has Gelmund showing up in order to try and take down Rimuru since the Orc Lord he had created wasn’t able to do the job but it’s well-done in how Gelmund ends up being dispatched since it comes down to Geld getting involved. That just leads to further battle, however, as the stakes rise and Geld becoming the Demon Lord Orc Disaster just heightens the whole thing with how the fight goes as it’s even more intense and leans into the physicality well too. It’s a good moment for Rimuru all around, however, as their continued ascent and growth as well as skill acquisition makes them seemingly ready to take on anything and anyone.
While the fights are fun it’s the aftermath that I like. Rimuru is playing the long game here overall and creating the Jura Forest Alliance for those that are within in order to bind them together as under one name helps a lot. I even like how he doesn’t dispatch with the name of Geld after what happened and instead transfers it and elevates a new Orc King so that they’re able to establish themselves better rather than being at a disadvantage to others in the new alliance, such as the goblins or lizardmen. It’’s really nice politicking in its own way but shows how Rimuru looks at the bigger picture overall. It’ll likely serve him well later on as well which probably isn’t far from his mind. But Rimuru continues to come across as someone that’s looking to do the right thing because it’s the right thing, not just because it secures his own position for the long-term.
The show works a lot of worldbuilding into its middle run of episodes, though it knows how to slide in some action as well, as we also get a minor three-month time jump and the further growth of alliance and nation. As we get closer to the end of this season it goes a bit bigger with other forces aligning against Rimuru more and more as he’s forming a real seat of power and true alliances and believers. When the other forces begin to congeal more and more with their intent, they look to go big as an army of thirteen Megalodon are summoned to rampage across Jura. It’s an impressive site and sets for a really big action episode with the Pegasus Knights assisting. It’s filled with a lot of really fun bits of magic and the animation maintains its strong look throughout, providing for a lot of good payoff for the fans who aren’t as into the worldbuilding and kingdom-building that we’ve gotten this season. I enjoy both of them but I’ll always lean a bit more into the dangers of kingdom administration over the field of battle itself.
The series goes even bigger into its final couple of episodes of the season and definitely managed to set things in a way that really brings fans behind the show. What works, and is hard to go into unless we were doing a thesis on the show, is just how many different elements and connections Rimuru made that latch onto other characters and their connections end up influencing things. It’s a sprawling series in its realistic aspects like that in that alliances and bonds made spread and seep in elsewhere, making it so that as the bigger problems arise and the reality of what’s happening surfaces, they’re able to fight better as a group, alliance, and nation because of it. But it also keeps coming back to the core cast and we’ve got a lot of good stuff there. Rimuru really is a delight in how they’re presented and the shifting nature of human to slime just makes me grin as does the dialogue for both languages. Funimation went all-in on this back half with a great limited edition and a full-package with the first half that will definitely please fans. It took me a bit to get to this show but it was definitely worth it.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Episode 07 Video Commentary, Episode 08 Commentary, Episode 11 Commentary, Promo Videos, Commercials, Textless Songs
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: Funimation
Release Date: February 4th, 2020
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.