Most anime seasons I end up getting obsessed with at least one or two shows. And for this particular season that is definitely Slime Diaries, or Tensura Nikki.
For those unfamiliar with Tensura let me give a quick explanation. Our main character, Rimiru, died while protecting a coworker from an attacker with a knife. He was then reborn as a slime into this new world. He spends some time getting stronger before he ends up establishing his own village. Several nearby monster races, including orcs, lizardmen, goblins and dire wolves end up joining him and he establishes his town of Tempest. There are nearby countries who are not all equally fond of them which causes an array of problems. If you haven’t seen the first two seasons of Tensura yet, I highly recommend you do so. But that is not what we’re talking about today. Tensura Nikki is the slice of life spin-off which follows Rimuru and friends in their downtime. And wow, did I get blown away by how good this spin-off is.
Since all these episodes have their own contained story I want to look at the episode I just watched specifically, because I think it perfectly encapsulated what I love about this anime.
I really wanted to go in depth on episode 5 of this show. I will do a full review on it when the season ends, but this episode stood out. We start out with Rimuru talking to the rest of the village and getting everyone excited for the festival. Everyone starts working on the preparations immediately and there’s an air of excitement in the air. I’m immediately reminded that if I ever stop being a broke as all hell student I should get some Shuna and Rimuru figurines. They both have fantastic character designs. Everyone in this series does, it’s a very fun and diverse cast. We get a nice shot with the sun getting low where all the goblins are hard at work in town, with Shion and Rimuru watching over them. This brings us right into the opening theme song. I’m still waiting for Milim to show up, by the way.
And then it’s here, the return of the summer festival. Of course the mask stall only sells Rimuru masks. If they weren’t so adorable, these people would most certainly be a scary cult. Rimuru is their one true leader after all. Also, is it me or does Gobta look like squirtle?
We move over to the women and Rimuru wearing Kimono. Kimono? Yukata? I did some quick googling and I couldn’t get a great answer. I did find an article saying a Yukata is a very casual kimono often worn in the summer. So seeing as this is a summer festival they’re probably yukata then. I’ve always thought they look amazing, it’s one of the things I’d love to wear one day. The article I read said that it’s becoming more normal for men to wear them, so maybe there’s a chance. Either way, I digress. Shuna scarilty proclaims that big chests get in the way of dressing. I think she’s saying it three times in an attempt to curse Shion, but I’m not sure.
The food stalls seem to be a success, just look at this delicious Takoyaki. What did you say? That’s not octopus in those balls? Then what is it?
What do you mean you won’t tell me. What’s going on. It tastes just like Takoyaki right? You’re scaring me.
We then moved on to the shaved ice stall. And Benimaru has decided to join us for this. This part of the episode was where I realized how much younger they made the characters look in this spin-off. Ignoring the fact that Rimuru definitely looked different later in the most recent season, even Benimaru looks a lot less scary here. On the note of scary, I wonder if that ice is really safe to eat, like Benimaru is asking about.
Of course Rimuru has a recommended flavor that everyone immediately dubs as Great Rimuru flavor. I’m not saying they’re part of a cult, I’m just saying that cults would look at them and probably worry about them.
Hakuro on the other hand set up a fish scooping stall with the help of Gobza. Hakuro also looks a lot kinder in this verison of the anime. I always love scenes with Gobta in them, he’s such a fun character. Also, is it just me or do the monstrous goldfish in this scene remind me of Hozuki no Reitetsu? If you’re unfamiliar with that show, it’s a show about a demon working in hell’s middle management. It’s a very funny anime that I’d highly recommend. It also has strange large goldfish.
The next scene coming up is great too. Souei throws a kunai at a Gabiru statue and immediately gets reprimanded. Who brings a knife to a toy gun fight. He gives it to Souka who happily proclaims about the gift to her father. Her father remarks that it’s a statue of her brother with a knife stuck in it. I always forget that the two are related. They’re so very different in their personalities.
Treyni is selling fortunes and Rimuru goes to try by ripping one of the vines. It turns out that the vines got tangled and the vines connected to Treyni herself are part of the ones hanging down. She definitely didn’t do this on purpose. She definitely doesn’t seem to be deriving pleasure from this. What a scary woman.
Next up is my favorite scene of the episode, and the reason why I decided to write this review in the first place. Geld, the former orc lord, has been an absolute joy to watch throughout this series. He was a total badass in the main series last season, and in this spin-off he is absolutely perfect as the silent kind man. We get a scene of the little goblin girl throwing a ball at him to “slay the beast.” She doesn’t quite make it though and gets sad. Geld, being the overly kind orc that he is, hands her the ball for another attempt. It’s the epitome of adorable. There are very few situations where I’ve wanted to protect a smile so much. The goblin children in this show are absolutely adorable and steal the show in every scene they’re a part of. Even the platelets from Cells at Work never reached this level of adorable.
Gabiru spent a few scenes earlier in the episode sweating over some sort of notes, and I was wondering what that was about. It turns out he was preparing for the bon dance. As much of a comic relief character he is most of the time, he nails this performance. Well done Gabiru. Of course he immediately asks for Rimuru’s opinion on the dance who was completely oblivious to it all. Poor Gabiru.
Ranga does a great job capping off the feelings I have about this episode. He does a quick brooding moment looking down on a city enjoying themselves before being fed piping hot takoyaki. I’ve said it many times during this review already in many different ways, but I adore everything about this show. Before we end there’s still the float being carried around, with everyone cheering for Rimuru. He’s still not quite used to being revered as much. I know that feeling Rimuru, I think many people have at least a mild case of imposter syndrome.
Except Shion. Shion doesn’t have that problem whatsoever.
Please stop her Rimuru, I don’t think that’s something we need. Maybe in the main storyline, but not in a slice of life spin-off. This show has it all and I can’t really contain my excitement. A show like this doesn’t come by often. The feeling of nostalgia I get when watching the fireworks scene is great. I’m reminded of going to the beach in Scheveningen with a friend and watching the large fireworks show. I’m reminded of barbecues we used to have with the people from our neighbourhood. Lately, and especially during covid, the world has been cold. I’ve been dealing with many issues, both mental health and lately fysical health as well and it’s made me bitter. This show is reminding me about the important things in life. Family, friends, community and enjoying the moments we can. It’s a beautiful love letter to life and it’s making me so excited to experience things myself. It’s reawakening a joy in me that I thought I’d lost ages ago. Life and community can be whatever you want it to be. If Rimuru can build his dream kingdom with friendly monsters and dogs who are adorably scared of fireworks, then what’s stopping me from chasing my dreams? As you might have noticed I’m once again getting off track. I promise I’m not doing it on purpose.
If there’s one note I want to this post on, it’s that having fun together is very important. Wether that is you and your monster friends in another world replicating a Japanese summer festival, or us back in the real world meeting up again when we’re all properly vaccinated. This anime brings me so much joy that I manage to forget about the real world for a moment. Please let me know if you enjoyed this anime as much as I did. Also, I apologize for being a day late, but as you can see, I overdid it when it comes to the length. It was worth it though. You’re not the boss of me anyway!