I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level, Vol. 12

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 has been some discussion over the last few years about “yuri tease” or “yuribait” series, i.e. series which promise yuri content but fail to deliver. (This is entirely separate from LGBT content, by the way.) Frankly, any series that was popular with yuri fans in 2004-2005 would likely be piled on by modern fans for this very reason. Gains in media have made people spoiled, especially when you hear things like “it’s a yuribait series because men exist in it” (heard that one recently about Birdie Wing). But sometimes I do have to admit that I feel like I’m being led on. I’m not even sure I *want* Killing Slimes to be yuri. I think it works much better as found family. But if I could pay the author to drop Azusa reminding us that she’s straight every single volume, I would. Especially when the side story is MariMite with dragons. In any case, this volume is pretty much the same as the previous ones.

(Cover art, you are REALLY not helping the author’s case.)

In this volume: Azusa finally decides to get some rice and make some Japanese dishes, but reckons without Laika and Flatorte’s appetites; a Tiger Festival in a nearby down proves to be an excuse for baseball jokes; the treasure dredged from the lake a book or two ago is appraised by “experts”; Azusa and the ghost characters investigate a haunted hotel; Kuku and Pondeli have invented the compact disc, but that also comes with the marketing for same; Falfa and Shalsha see what might (or might not) be a UFO and have a debate about it; and finally, Azusa, Beelzebub and a few others try to help the smart slime, one of the great sages of the world, meet up with another sage who lives on an inaccessible island. In the Laika side stories, Laika continues to mature and become a better fighter almost despite herself.

Again, there’s almost no depth to any of this. The closest we come is when Azusa, on board a ship with only Smarsly for company, actually tells them that she’s a reincarnation from Japan, and opens up about her regrets. Unfortunately, we only get her summarizing this, and it’s mostly done to make Azusa realize that she’s come to terms with and is happy with her new life, but it’s better than nothing. We’re introduced to a bunch of sages from an isolated island, who turn out to be dryads… who talk like Valley Girls. Fortunately, as we discover towards the end of the main story, they really are brilliant, and are happily discussing philosophy with Smarsly, so that’s good. It honestly astonishes me that these books tend to run 250-300 pages, as they feel light as air. Still, at the same time, aside from the walking back on the yuri tease, there’s nothing really wrong with them.

Another popcorn book down. It should please fans, provided they don’t ship Azusa with anyone.

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