I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level

The market for Isekai anime has come to be pretty crowded; some might argue that the anime sphere as a whole has become completely oversaturated with generic Isekai shows, and to an extent I’m inclined to agree. Still, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the genre in-and-of itself. “Isekai” is a broad label that can be applied to pretty much anything regardless of genre or tone, but most people associate it with fantasy because that’s what the majority of Isekai anime tends to be. That’s not necessarily a bad thing either—great Isekai fantasy shows include Re:Zero, Cautious Hero, Rising of the Shield Hero and Overlord among their number—but it does mean that there’s often a surprising lack of uniqueness or creativity in a lot of the Isekai anime we see. At the end of the day, the truth of it is that no matter how many uninspired projects try to emulate the success of their betters, shows like Re:Zero and Overlord succeeded because they were damn good, not because they were chasing after trends. You can see a similar phenomenon with television shows trying to copy Game of Thrones, blindly assuming that dark fantasy (or just a grimdark tone in general) will make them bucketloads of money without actually understanding the media they’re trying to emulate *cough*the Halo TV show*cough*. You can probably guess how this line of discussion relates to “I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level”, with the Japanese title of “Slime Taoshite 300-nen, Shiranai Uchi ni Level Max ni Nattemashita”—yet another Isekai fantasy with a long-winded and gimmicky sounding synopsis for a name. Honestly though, I ended up enjoying it more than I initially thought I would! Slime 300 is essentially a comedic fantasy Slice-of-Life, its status as an Isekai anime notwithstanding—at its core, Slime 300 is built upon the classic foundation of “cute girls doing cute things”, which I think perfectly illustrates the fact that Isekai is a subgenre which can be easily adapted to almost anything, regardless of tone or setting. Oftentimes the gimmick or unique premise of an Isekai is a big part of what draws people to it, and while I think that same element of curiosity is still present here it’s definitely less substantial than something like, say, Kumo Desu ga. Despite this though, I think they do a pretty decent job of incorporating that premise into the show in ways that are funny and enjoyable, even if it’s ultimately not that important. By stark contrast to Kumo Desu ga—which goes out of its way to create an extremely convoluted and incredibly detailed set of rules for its leveling, ability and magic systems to abide by, taking heavy inspiration from Rising of the Shield Hero—Slime 300 doesn’t give a single shit about any of that and doesn’t bother to explain anything to you (though there is some clear inspiration from Konosuba). We are told almost nothing about the universe where this show takes place; and despite the main character’s whole gimmick being their incredible power, the nature of the abilities and magic spells they actually use throughout the show is incredibly basic. In the end, they manage to get away with this because the focus of the show lies not with its lore or grand storytelling, but with its simple ability to tell enjoyable episodic stories set against the backdrop of lighthearted epic fantasy. “Episodic” is probably the best way to describe the whole show—each episode is its own individual conflict or character arc, all of which are written competently enough and have characters likeable enough to be funny and enjoyable. The whole thing plays out like the epilogue of a D&D campaign starring an epic level god-killer who’s done their job, settles down in some remote location and tries to live a peaceful life, but constantly has their retirement interrupted by random wacky shit (which honestly sounds like it would be a really fun D&D game to run). There are little mini-messages and life lessons sprinkled throughout on occasion—most of which loop back to the 300 years the main character spent living a laid back lifestyle following their original untimely death—and for the most part I enjoyed them. I would certainly categorically deny the false idea that this show lacks a purpose for existing in the same way Nekopara did, something which I’ve seen other people try to claim—despite the show being largely episodic in nature, the culmination of all those events is what ultimately makes it impactful. There’s kind-of a “monster of the week” element to the various different character introductions throughout the show, and the more characters are introduced into the main protagonist Azusa’s impromptu family over time, the more the broader message behind the narrative becomes clear. Let’s be real though—this is not the kind-of show that you think about too deeply while you’re watching it. It’s got fun characters, good comedy, decent enough animation and artwork to get the job done and a soundtrack that’s serviceable but ultimately forgettable. It’s a “feel-good” anime inviting you to sit down and just enjoy the experience of watching it without having to think too hard about any of what happens in it, set against a really intentionally generic and basic Isekai fantasy backdrop (letting it avoid the issue Nekopara suffered from where the viewer is constantly questioning aspects of the setting they are meant to ignore). I don’t really have much else to say about the show—it’s solidly good and I enjoyed my time with it, but it’s not amazing or terrible. There’s nothing that I would go out of my way to praise here, but also nothing bad enough to jump out at me. Sure, I could nitpick the hell out of it, but that’s never been my way and I certainly don’t plan to start now—I think it’s easy as a critic to fall into the trap of overanalyzing everything far beyond what is actually reasonable, something I see a lot of when glancing at MyAnimeList reviews these days (not to mention shitting on something just to stand out from the crowd, all the while trying to flex your so-called “anime knowledge” on people as if that somehow commands respect). If you’re in the market for a solid comedic, feel-good “cute girls doing cute things” Slice-of-Life anime that just so happens to be disguising itself as an Isekai fantasy show, I’d say this one is probably worth your time.

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