That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: How Monsters Walk, vol.1
Also known as: Tensei Shitara Suraimu Datta Ken: Mamono no Kuni no Arukikata, vol.1
Medium: comic
Year: 2017
Writer: Fuse
Artist: Sho Okagiri
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Keywords: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, manga, fantasy
Format: 1 tankobon volume, 7 chapters, 165 pages
Website category: Manga
Review date: 29 August 2018
Reincarnated as Slime
I bought the wrong manga! This isn't That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, you see. Instead it's a spin-off manga series set in the same universe, with a completely different protagonist (Furamea) and no real plot. This puzzled me a good deal as I read it. The volume's sort of okay and I won't be binning it, but I'm not sure if I'd read vol.2 even if I received it for free.
The parent series (light novel series, ongoing manga by Taiki Kawakami and fairly soon an anime) is another isekai fantasy. ("Isekai" means "other world".) Someone from the real world gets sucked into a fantasy role-playing game universe and becomes something he'd never imagined! Awesome! Only 10000000 other anime have the same premise! What's different about this one, though, is that our hero Rimuru becomes a blob of slime. Sounds rubbish? Well, it is. Slimes are famously the weakest monster in JRPGs. That premise sounds funny and I'm looking forward to the anime.
This spin-off manga, on the other hand, is set in a city where Rimuru's already the ruler and doesn't need to do anything. He shows up occasionally to talk to our heroine, who's a rabbit girl called Furamea. He wants a publicist and she's his chosen rabbit! Fortunately, as it happens, Furamea is a modest, conscientious girl who takes her job seriously and sounds like an advertising brochure, or possibly a restaurant reviewer. Her catchphrase is "three stars!" The joke is that she's basically writing a tourist guide to RPG dungeon-bashing. (I wouldn't call it a particularly funny joke, but at least it's a mildly new angle on what's otherwise pretty familiar content.)
Furamea gets scouted and accepts Rimuru's job offer! Furamea goes clothes shopping! Furamea goes weapons training (with mixed success) and escorts some guests to the city! Furamea goes down a dungeon with three adventurers! (She wasn't keen, though.) Furamea also gets out of the shower at the start of chapter 1, although that's just otaku bait in what's otherwise not a fanservice-oriented manga. That's the only nudity and it's PG-rated anyway.
Is there anything meaningful here? Well, there's a slightly darker undertone in the tension between humans and non-humans. Furamea's the latter and she's not entirely comfortable in a mixed-species environment. She'll get conflicted and distressed when someone buys her a hat, although fortunately her benefactor has been thoughtful enough to give it tailored rabbit-ear slits. I could imagine that being explored interestingly... but basically this is light throwaway nothing. It's insubstantial. Furamea is impeccably polite to nice people who are equally polite to her, except for two arrogant blokes at the start of chapter 1. Almost everyone gets on pleasantly and it's a relaxing read. It didn't do much for me, but maybe I should reread it when I've eventually seen the full anime and I'm better acquainted with the characters. Maybe I'll like it better then?