I am become death, destroyer of worlds.
What They Say:
Episode #9:“Putting Everything on the Line”
In order to come to terms with his own negligence and revive Shion, Gobta, and his other fallen comrades, Rimuru reveals that he used to be a human. But his allies think nothing of it and accept him regardless, as if it’s the natural thing to do. Filled with gratitude for the warm, accepting environment he’s in, Rimuru turns his focus to the army from Falmuth. He entrusts Benimaru and the others to destroy the devices that are generating the enemy’s Prison Field while Rimuru himself sets out to attack the advancing army and use them as nourishment to become a Demon Lord.
Episode #10: “Megiddo”
The battle for revenge has begun. Benimaru and his trusted companions carry out their respective missions, while Hakurou and his party face Shogo and Kyoya once again. And Rimuru’s fury rains down upon the army from Falmuth.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I rolled episode 9’s review into 10 because as far as episodes go, 9 is stalling for time. The first half of the episode serves as a recap as Rimuru explains to his people his true identity as a reincarnated human. His nation of monsters doesn’t really care, and why would they? Our slime explains to everyone what he intends to do and the other reassure him that no matter what Rimuru decides, he’s their leader and they love and respect him.
It’s a very sweet moment but the entire time I felt that they were just stretching for time. The majority of that episode is spent in the war room as plans are made. Episode 10 is where the action is.
Rimuru’s words to his warriors to take the four points maintaining the shield are not explicit. He doesn’t need to order his forces to show no quarter. He doesn’t need to, their thirst for revenge and duty to their master is absolute. Thus the very one-sided counterattack is executed, starting as an abstract burst of flame and growing more and more gruesome as each combative force is taken out.
It is a beautiful dance of death. Benimaru’s attack is simple, effective, almost too clean. Gabil’s forces and Soei’s are barely a blip, and both groups seem almost disappointed that more resistance wasn’t shown. The humans never stood a chance against these monsters.
The showrunners go to great lengths to make the audience dislike these human invaders. The few soldiers we overhear delight in the prospect of raping and pillaging the monster nation. The commanders are power-hungry who have no problem seizing that power from their own at an opportune moment. While the human invaders gloat and salivate our monsters calmly take them down with ruthless efficiency. Although they were eager for the fight, there is no joy in their battle, only the desire to prove they are stronger and to provide justice.
By the time we join Hakuro, Gobta, and Geld things start to quickly escalate in the violence and gore. Hakuro’s showdown against Kyoya begins slowly as Kyoya’s cocky attitude causes him to drop the polite act and start spewing insults. Hakuro gets to show everyone why he is a master. The finishing blow is surprisingly detailed and far more visceral than any we’ve seen before in the series. The use of shading and washed-out colors evokes the animation techniques of a few other shows that happen to do action quite well when they chose to.
Geld’s attack against Shogo dispatches with the quick, clean approach and Geld pummels Shogo as the latter is consumed by Geld’s rot attack. It’s a slow, painful attack that only stops because Shogo turns tale and runs. (Not before horrifically killing a companion, made even more vicious as they cry out for their mother. Oof.)
I went back and reread these battles in the light novel and was struck by just how faithful the anime has been to these fights. The flow of the battles, the attacks used, the characterizations, it’s all on point. The anime is pulling no punches, and not even censoring any of the end results of these attacks. The only thing the anime isn’t doing is going into the nitty-gritty on exactly how each and every single attack is being done. We really don’t need to know the names of everyone’s special abilities. We can see the end results and the anime only illustrates the moments when it deems them truly necessary.
With the barrier down and Shuna and Mjurran’s new barrier in place that leaves only Rimuru. Our slime hovers like a grim specter of death above the troops and begins to gather himself for what’s to come. He uses a technique he calls Megiddo (Armageddon), and begins his slaughter. As soldiers fall dead under a rain of tiny, precise solar furnaces beams that Rimuru creates from liquid orb lens, the Great Sage keeps a running tally of the number of dead Rimuru is racking up. This continues over the end credits, the episode concluding on a steady, rising number of dead. The triumphant rise in music with the increasing number is a chilling moment for what otherwise should be a victory.
Victory at what cost? Rimuru has a decision to make, but he doesn’t want to make it alone. After reassurance from his people that his goal is just and noble, Rimuru sets his bloodthirsty underlings to their task. The whole “humans are the real monsters” trope is well played out, but Slime doesn’t frame its war in such black and white terms. The monster nation just wants to live their lives, but they do enjoy their might makes right ways. Rimuru was too naive about the rest of the human nations. He didn’t see the larger picture till it came back and bit him in the ass. It’s nearly impossible to play all sides. Yet just because the war is unwanted doesn’t mean the action is dour. It is gory, detailed, smart, and exciting. Yes, we humans truly are monsters.
Episode 9 Grade: C +
Episode 10 Grade: A +
Streamed by: Crunchyroll & Funimation