I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, Vol. 5

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 Jasmine Bernhardt.

I tend to enjoy this series, and so I will try to be charitable about some of its… quirks. A lot of the series involves revisiting plots and characters that we’ve seen before, and this gets turned up to eleven in this book, which starts with a dungeon crawl that turns out to be a tourist trap… much like the tourist trap we saw in the previous book. There’s also another festival, which gives our heroes the opportunity to run another cafe, only this time they have more people on their side, which is good as the cafe has a LOT more visitors. The festival itself is a cavalcade of “oh, that’s where they got to” reunions. It might be annoying if it weren’t for the matter-of-fact, blase tone of our heroine, whose tendency towards lack of surprise helps ground the reader as well. Even when she does react, it sounds more like tsukkomi than anything else. This series “chugs along”, in the best and worst sense of the term.

There’s a new character introduced here, who ticks off a few more boxes. She’s an intelligent mandragora, one that’s been around for a century or two but still tends to act exactly like a child who’s intellectually mature but emotionally stunted. Sandra quickly moves in with the others and becomes the tsundere they never knew they needed, as well as giving Azusa a child who is not essentially perfect. In fact, her other two slime children may be a bit TOO perfect, as we find when they attempt to go to a local elementary school and blow away the competition… and the teacher. Speaking of imperfections, Sandra, being a walking plant, is quick to point out what a horrible garden Azusa has, and this may be why no one likes to eat their veggies in this hourse. With the addition of some really good soil, we briefly get a nice foodie manga scene.

The highlight of the book, though, is the spinoff at the end, giving an origin story for Beelzebub, who (no surprises here) turns out to have been a LOT like Azusa, to the point of being a low-level officer worker for 1500 years as she didn’t really want more responsibility or trouble. Unfortunately, the new Demon Lord takes notice of her and immediately appoints her Minister, thereby upending her entire life. There’s lots of fantastic scenes in these two chapter, including Beelzebub trying to perfect her new over the top haughty personality, and dealing for the first time with the Leviathan Sisters and their complete opposite personalities. It also makes you realize why she’s always dropping in on Azusa, and why she keeps asking the slime kids to come live with her: after 1500 years on her own, she’s discovered what friendship is, and wants more.

If you’re looking for surprises or emotional depth, these books must be like Kryptonite for you. If, on the other hand, you want a relaxing book that goes at its own pace and does what it likes (even if it’s the same things it’s done before), this is another good volume.

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