I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, Vol. 3

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

For all that the premise of this book is about a girl who likes to take things easy and relax, they sure do a hell of a lot. But that’s where the humor comes into play, of course. The only thing relaxed about Azusa’s life is her general attitude and desire to simply live in her cottage. What actually happens? Well, OK, the cookie baking battle seems to fit in nicely. But then one of her daughters is stuck as a slime, leading to a big adventure to try to fix things, which includes a martial arts tournament. Then a fake witch is abusing the name of the Witch of the Highlands, forcing Azusa to track her down and find out why it’s happening. Even a barbeque party, which you’d think would be as peaceful as the cookie baking, involves killing off masses of dangerous boar animals – and teaching dragon girls that nudity is not OK. There’s a lot going on here.

There is more of what I enjoy about the series in this volume (some great humor, “found family” affection) and less of what I don’t like (Halkara’s clumsiness and jokes about her chest – well, OK, there’s some of those). There’s also still a large amount of yuri subtext, though it’s not going anywhere as Azusa really isn’t interested. It’s heavily implied most everyone who lives in the house – and even some who don’t – love her romantically, but she seems to be a) straight, and b) mostly indifferent anyway. Actually, that may be by design – when we meet another long-lived witch, and discuss the loneliness that happens when you outlive everyone around you, Azusa strongly implies that she’s deliberately suppressing all her emotions in order to not be affected by this. It helps that she’s made several long-lived girls part of her family (or ghosts, as the case may be), but I do wonder if it will come up again in the future.

Frankly, though, I’m happy with Azusa being relatively subdued and snarky – except in her head, when the tsukkomi comes across much louder. We get a lot more memories of her previous life on Earth, both from her wageslave days and her school life (she brags about her ping ping club skill… which proves to be a mistake against two dragons she describes as being “classic high school jocks”. There’s a bit more development of the others, particularly the dragons and Beelzebub the Demon Lord, who isn’t living with Azusa but might as well be for how often she pops up. There’s also some examination of modern Japanese foibles, as we get a fantasy undead who’s also a NEET, and the “fake witch” trying to get people to praise her by a method so oblique that it feels a little ridiculous.

If “my pace” heroines drive you nuts, steer clear. But however much Azusa may not want it to, things are happening in this series. Just… very slowly and leisurely.

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