I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, Vol. 8

By Kisetsu Morita and Benio. Released in Japan as “Slime Taoshite 300 Nen, Shiranai Uchi ni Level MAX ni Nattemashita” by GA Novels. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Jasmine Bernhardt.

There are many times during my reading of the Killing Slimes for 300 Years series that I realize that not only are the characters treating this world as an excuse to relax and do inconsequential things, but so is the author. The author has many, many light novel series under their belt, some of them running simultaneously via different publishers, and you get the sense that this series is the one where the author can just kick back and not have to worry too hard about plot or characterization. It’s essentially a short story collection. The biggest thing that happens in this book is that Beelzebub has finally gotten the side stories that appeared in Books 5-7 farmed out to her own official spinoff (which has already been licensed over here for the spring) and so the last sixth of the book or so is devoted to Halkara, who gets a spinoff, seemingly set before the main series, where she… reviews restaurants. Don’t expect this to get spinoff novels anytime soon.

A breakdown of this book: Sandra goes through a Flowers for Algernon-style transformation after some super fertilizer turns her into a teenager with a high IQ (that said, there’s zero angst here); Pondeli invites the cast to the new Demon Arcade that she’s opening, whose games are hit-or-miss; the hippie pine spirit who does weddings finds that the flaky God who brought Azusa over is muscling in on her territory; that same God tries to reason with a fellow, more traditional God in order not to lose followers (and Azusa ends up leveling up EVEN MORE); they return to the ghost nation’s temple and tell ghost stories, most of which have a familiar bent; Azusa gets stranded on a desert island and meets what she thinks is a native tribe; a strange butterfly woman insists of staying with Azusa a week for no reason whatsoever and not because The Crane repays A Debt or anything; and Pecora starts a Youtube stream service from the demon world.

That last one may drive home the point that, aside from having elves, dragons, and slimes, this series is absolutely uninterested in building its own world, but would much rather leech off of Japan’s own past and present. The ghost stories Azusa tries to tell, common ones from Japan, are also very well known here. the cuisine Halkara samples is essentially variations on what you can get in any mid-sized town, complete with a conveyor belt sushi place. It’s… very low bar, to be honest, but it’s also relaxing for the reader, who might get a bit annoyed at streamers being a thing in this land of Gods and demons, but will likely quickly get over it. The stories are all basically about the same – cute – though I might have critiqued the desert island one more had it not ended how it did. (At least the natives did not go “unga bunga bunga’ a la Bugs Bunny.)

It’s cute, it’s fuzzy, and you will forget about it the moment that you finish it. And sorry, yuri fans, Azusa still insists that her house is home to family, and not, and I quote, “a special, gay dimension”.

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