I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, Vol. 1

By Kisetsu Morita and Benio. Released in Japan as “Slime Taoshite 300 Nen, Shiranai Uchi ni Level MAX ni Nattemashita” by Softbank Creative. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Taylor Engel

The premise for the start of this book may seem a tad familiar: a young woman dies and is told by an apologetic angel that she can be reincarnated in another world, and is entitled to 1 (one) cool power. Azusa wasn’t actually killed saving a young boy or murdered by a jealous colleague, though – she just worked herself to death as a corporate wage slave. Since dying for her job proved to be very unsatisfying, she asks to be immortal in her next life, and is reincarnated as a perpetually 17-year-old witch in your standard fantasy land. (If this is made into an anime, she’d better be played by Kikuko Inoue or I’ll be sad.) She meets the local villagers, finds a conveniently abandoned house, and spends her days killing off low-level slimes. Then 300 years pass…

If this sounds like I just spent a paragraph explaining the plot of a book whose plot is actually explained in the title, well, welcome to the world of Japanese light novels, where the longer and more pedantic the title, the more popular it seems to be. Yes, after killing slimes every day for 300 years, Azusa is rather shocked to find she’s now a Level 99 powerhouse. This upsets her, as for 300 years she’s also been doing the opposite of what she did in her former life – taking life easy, slow, and not really doing anything at all. Unfortunately, now that word’s gotten out, she suddenly finds adventure coming for her. A dragon wants to challenge her, two slime girls are here for revenge, a busty elf arrives demanding protection from a demon… you get the idea. Will she be dragged into dangerous yet compelling adventures against her will?

Well, no, she won’t, in fact. The conceit of this series, and its most entertaining aspect, is that everyone who tries to fight Azusa ends up pulled into her “my pace” lifestyle. The dragon, once defeated, transforms to human form and lives as her apprentice. The slime girls are really children who need a family more than anything else. And what’s more, Azusa benefits from this as well, as she realizes that while living alone and relaxing for 300 years was all very well, her new found family is even better, and she’s even willing to protect them in a pinch, despite that not being very relaxing. (I haven’t mentioned the elf girl, who is the weak point of the book, being a busty airhead with lesbian tendencies who is in the book because it’s written by a male author for a male audience that wants to see a busty airhead elf with lesbian tendencies. She’s not as funny as everyone would like us to think.) The general theme of this book is “relax and take it easy, do things at your own pace”, and I quite like that.

The book has several volumes out in Japan, and I’m not sure how well it will succeed going forward, but I’m perfectly happy to find out. Another “don’t read if you hate overpowered characters” warning, but if you can get past that, Killing Slimes for 300 Years will put a nice smile on your face. A good beach read.

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