That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime takes a different spin on the isekai formula, but just because Rimuru is a slime doesn’t mean he’s weak!
Fans of fantasy video games and anime are well acquainted with the seemingly innocent and cute slime. Dragon Quest uses the iconic monster as their mascot, and almost every game starts with your party facing the seemingly innocent and weak monsters as a trainer to larger battles to come. Ragnarok Online features a similar mascot style slime, the Poring, who bounces around willy-nilly without a care in the world, just begging you to slaughter them for some simple EXP. Slimes are usually round, jiggly, and seemingly oblivious, making it easy to underestimate them or see them as weak. But in reality, a slime is a pretty scary opponent, especially if it has the means to know just how scary it’s unique traits can be. So, don't go doing a silly thing like underestimating slimes and their capacity for an unexpected and total destruction!
Many a game of Dragon Quest has ended abruptly at the hand of powerful slimes, and many more MMO players found themselves similarly outclassed by high level slime monters, but some anime have gone even further than simple leveling differences to bring the true power of a slime to life. When you think about it, a slime is a somewhat gelatinous, amorphous blob that seems to have no organs, brain, or limbs. But, that hides the fact that a slime is also pretty resistant to being cut or slashed, with either the attacker’s blade bouncing off or the slime simply reforming its cut halves after being struck. Slimes also don’t need to breathe, and their ability to absorb their prey is pretty terrifying when you think about it! Slimes also seem to be documented with the ability to mimic shapes and forms of other things, meaning that slimes may be better at hiding who they are than you might think! For example, MONSTER MUSUME EVERYDAY LIFE WITH MONSTER GIRLS’ Suu takes the form of various sizes and shapes to fit in better with the girls around her, and in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Rimuru shows off his impressive mimicry skills by taking on the form of monsters he’s defeated!
Absorption of abilities and material is another skill that slimes possess that may not seem as powerful at first glance. After all, most slimes seem small and innocent, rarely larger than a basketball, but what about slimes that have much more mass than they let on, or better yet, slimes that hide their true form in a disguise?! In Overlord, Pleides member Solution Epislon appears to be a stunningly beautiful woman, but her true nature is that of an amorphous slime that can easily fill the entire space of a carriage, devouring all of the inhabitants inside in an instant! Similarly, Rimuru is able to encompass the entire mass of Veldora Tempest and the magic barrier inside of him, and easily spreads his slime body around the monsters he defeats in order to absorb them before returning to his original size. In Dragon Quest, a group of slimes may seem relatively weak at first, but they can easily combine with one another to become a powerful King Slime, capable of using magic or other abilities through their combined size and skill! Suu even displays that, in Monster Musume’s world, the type of things absorbed by a slime can have varying effects upon the slime’s disposition and ability, as shown when she becomes incredibly intelligent upon absorbing hard water!
The ability to mimic other things seems to be a unique trait to fantasy slimes, meaning that what you see isn’t always what you get, but in some cases, such as Rimuru, that mimicry can even extend to learning skills and abilities that would seem far beyond the capability of a slime! Rimuru manages to create water blades from his body, as well as sharpened or sticky threads to trap and defeat opponents, all by using the skills of enemies he has absorbed. Thanks to Rimuru’s Great Sage class abilities, he’s easily able to copy the form and abilities of defeated foes, and even utilize those various abilities and new and interesting ways, making him a dangerous foe to stand up against, despite his seemingly small and docile form!
And while those are all great offensive abilities, it really is a slime’s natural defenses that make them potentially scary to underestimate. While video games may fudge the reality of being able to defeat a slime in physical combat, Overlord and That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime show that slimes have no real physical weaknesses. Cutting something that has no solid body is like trying to cut water, and the amorphous, decentralized body of a slime means that attacking one part of it doesn’t even mean you’ll be attacking a part that really matters; after all, it’s pretty hard to stab an enemy in the heart if they don’t have one! Also, as slimes absorb matter, they grow larger and are readily able to heal and regenerate themselves; Suu grows almost to the size of a building, Rimuru uses his absorbed materials to repair the small damage he suffered while bouncing around the cave, and Epsilon merely laughed in cruel delight as her victims were swept up into her body, their attacks having no effect on her at all! Slimes are also resistant to fire and electricity, having bodies that are essentially flame retardant and non-conductive. Although cold might be a threat, Rimuru at least has a natural, built in defense against that, making him a truly powerful slime!
While we likely all have fond memories of the cute slimes of Dragon Quest, hopefully this helped correct the idea that slimes are weak, easily defeated enemies. It would be terrible to end up facing a slime, only to underestimate it; and if that slime can talk? You better watch out, because it seems that the most dangerous slimes here have one thing in common: intelligence! Combine the amorphous and resistant body of a slime with the ability to absorb matter and a cunning intellect and you might go from the hunter to the hunted! So, next time you run into a slime, you might want to treat it with the respect it deserves!
What are your favorite slime monsters in anime and games? Let us know in the comments!
Nicole is a features and a social video script writer for Crunchyroll. Known to profess her love of otome games over at her blog, Figuratively Speaking. When she has the time, she also streams some games. Follow her on Twitter: @ellyberries