I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, Vol. 2

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 afterword for this second volume has the author telling us that GA Bunko’s editors told them that the first volume was the biggest seller in the history of the publishing label. Which, given this is the same publisher as Is It Wrong to try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, is quite impressive. But I can see it. Unlike DanMachi, the average reader does not have to deal with any of those pesky male heroes, and the girls are all cute/sexy/maternal (delete where applicable). [EDIT: It turns out that DanMachi is on a different imprint at the same company, so the two may not be comparable after all.] The series is still trying, for the most part, to keep a “my pace” sort of drama, with plotlines taking the form of things like “we’re opening a maid cafe” and “we have to design a dress for a ghost”. And, of course, the heroine is still an amazingly powerful person but absolutely does not seek to show it off or take advantage of it unless absolutely necessary. Which it is one or two times here. This is such a peaceful series.

The cast remains the same as the first book, with one or two additions. Halkara, the busty elf who was the weakest part of the first book, is better here – there’s still a lot of focus on her bust, but doubling down on the clumsiness and bad luck makes her a more entertaining comedic figure. It can also lead to drama, as with the longest story of the volume, where Azusa and company go to the Demon Lord territory to accept an award (for achieving peace in Vol. 1 by stopping the dragon war) and Halkara accidentally headbutts the demon lord to the brink of death, something punishable by execution. Fortunately, Azusa is clever, and even more fortunately, Azusa is a Level 99 powerhouse, showing off her amazing fighting skills and taking out all the demons trying to arrest them. It all ends up good anyway, as the demon lord (who is also female, to go with the rest of the main cast) proves to be more of a troll – in the internet sense – than actually evil.

New cast members include the ghost I mentioned before, who (like everyone that falls into Azusa’s orbit) proves to be friendly and eager to please, and can even help with the cooking. And there’s also Flatorte, the blue dragon who was the antagonist of the first book. She’s now back and tricked by the demon lord into being Azusa’s slave, though Azusa nips that in the bud immediately, to her credit. If nothing else, she will offer a different kind of personality – the main flaw of the book is arguably that everyone is far too nice and sweet. Now, that is the POINT of the book, which is why I said ‘arguably’, but it can all feel very pat. There’s one story where Halkura gets herself in trouble (again) and our heroes have to take out a corrupt governor. They do this in the space of about 5 pages, in what must be the fastest takedown of this sort of character ever. It’s almost embarrassing.

If you like exciting adventures, run, don’t walk away from this series. If, on the other hand, you want the light novel equivalent of a nice hot cup of tea, this is a great buy.

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