[Anime News Network] “Rimuru Tempest and Robinson Crusoe: How to Build a Civilization”

Non-management: We’ve been flooded with a lot of anime isekai recently, much of it generic, some of it harmless fun, and several examples being… arguably harmful for impressionable anime fans. Many anime fans are young after all, and many haven’t made their minds up yet about a lot of stuff. As for me, I’ve never hated isekai, and I probably have a higher opinion of it now than other anime critics. That dot made, I admittedly don’t try every new isekai-themed anime that comes out every season (it’s not my job), and yet I’ve been getting worn down by them as well. I’ve been yearning for that one isekai that that’s able to take advantage of its setting to talk about something relevant and meaningful. Log Horizon has managed to do that on a big-macro-idea-level, but it’s been years since its production-troubled 2nd season ended. So it is a relief that, years later, That Time I Reincarnated as a Slime (aka Slime Isekai) carries on with that tradition of political philosophizing and society building, with great animation, no less. One other tradition Slime Isekai is carrying forward is the Robinsonade genre. It’s just a shame that Slime Isekai isn’t as… thoughtfully put together as it could be.

I’d like to give a big thanks to ANN’s Zac Bertschy for commissioning my article, and Jacob Chapman for editing it. Below is a summary short of the article. If you’re interested in reading further, click the link embedded in the title or at the end of the article sample:

I remember reading The Swiss Family Robinson over and over when I was little. Washed ashore in a strange land, marooned away from everything comfortable and familiar, a family must learn to thrive in their new unfamiliar home. Unlike the post-disaster tales saturating our contemporary mediascape, where people must do drastic things to survive savage environs, The Swiss Family Robinson is a story where the land is not altogether hostile, and the characters are optimistic about their future, acting more cooperative than territorial and more curious than fearful. The book begins in fair weather with enough food to get by, so our protagonists begin exploring. In this world, they are allowed to marvel, and in That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, readers are invited to do the same.

So The Swiss Family Robinson isn’t too different from That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (henceforth Slime Isekai because the official title is a mouthful) at heart. Deadly disaster strikes a modern-day Japanese salaryman, reincarnating him into a strange land as a powerful slime. Finding himself relatively well off in his new body, the slime monster later named Rimuru Tempest decides to sate his curiosity and explore. He finds other monsters with sentience like himself, living in fear and tatters. Like his last name suggests, the changes he brings about for them are as paradigm-shifting as the eponymous Shakespearean storm. He builds a nation of monsters by introducing his ideas about civilization in this anime Robinsonade… READ MORE HERE