Fall 2018 Grab Bag Week 4: Slime, Beelzebub, Merc Storia

I'm finally catching up on the shows in this season, so it's time to talk about more shows. The grab bag lives!

Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken Episode 4

With Rimuru leaving the cave in episode 2, the third and fourth episodes start getting into what I like from the series: building the monster community. I like the concept of looking at the monsters of this show's world and considering what their unique skills contribute to everyday life. It's a cool departure from the typical view of monsters as generic enemies.

Rimuru is so relatable. The comedic timing of Rimuru in the anime feels pretty solid. He plays the straight man in a way that's a lot more noticeable than his behavior in the manga.

This representation of Rimuru's fight against the bullies contributes to the comedy of the scene pretty well. I personally don't really like the way the Menace skill is portrayed in the anime, but this part was great.

Not even isekai escapism can solve the problem of social relationships.

Beelzebub-jou no Okinimisu Mama Episodes 1-3

Uhh...this show is really fluffy. That's about it. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing...

Merc Storia: Mukiryoku Shounen to Bin no Naka no Shoujo Episodes 1-2

Overall, this series seems pretty straightforward. The story takes place in a fantasy world in which "healers" are people who can quell or tame monsters, as opposed to their typical white mage counterparts. The main character, Yuu, is one such healer who travels the world with his companion, a girl in a bottle named Merc. It's a decent fantasy premise with its own twists, but I'm of the opinion that the first two episodes haven't done a great job of introducing the world.

The series has a strange sense of worldbuilding, often using characters to explain the mechanics of the world in ways that don't really make sense to anyone but the audience. It also feels a bit lacking. There's a lot of information that seems to be missing. For starters, the disappearance of Yuu's father is never really addressed. Presumably, he died on his last expedition, but the series never really acknowledges that fact. I think that this style is fine as is, but I have the sneaking suspicion that it's just meant to set up a surprise reveal later that Yuu's father is still alive.

Merc also isn't given too much introduction. She appears, and the series pretty much just flashes forward to a time when she and Yuu are friends.

That being said, I think Yuu and Merc make a good pair. Their interactions are entertaining, and they seem to complement each other well. Merc pushes forward the cowardly Yuu, who is afraid of monsters because...of something. Did they even explain that?

The weirdest part of the series is the healing mechanic. As far as we can see from the first two episodes, Yuu can activate the healing magic fairly consistently, and it has always worked so far. All of this is a bit hard to swallow for someone who doesn't seem to have any training and travels alone. Yuu's father was accompanying a healer who was likely more experienced than Yuu, so how can Yuu travel alone?

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