“In which The Great Sage has really bad luck with the gatcha.”
I think this episode is supposed to be an extra helping of catharsis along with a side of joy at our fallen friends coming back to life. And while it's certainly a happy ending to have Shion and the others all restored, this episode made me flat out hate Rimuru—which I don't think is the intent.
In this episode, Rimuru goes full villain. While there was some argument to be made up until this point that his actions were justified given that he was fighting an invading army, all that goes out the window when he starts killing people who are actively trying to surrender. Doing this gains him the skill “merciless”, which allows him to instantly kill “those who plead for their lives or seek aid.” He then uses this skill to kill all the remaining survivors in Falmuth's army of 20,000.
But honestly, what made my blood boil was not who Rimuru killed but rather who he didn't—i.e., The King of Falmuth and his Bishop advisor. These are the people most responsible for the attack on his country and the slaughter of his friends. If anyone deserves to die, it's these two men. The idea that these were the only people he chose to spare—not any of the surrendering soldiers who were only there because they thought that they were marching to protect their country from evil monsters—honestly turned my stomach.
Before this episode, I found what was happening understandable on an empathetic level. After all, if Rimuru were thinking of nothing beyond revenge and trying to bring his people back to life, killing all the invaders would be the easiest way to achieve both of these goals. Things like how he kills them and whether they are trying to surrender or not would mean nothing to him in the moment. However, keeping the King and the Bishop alive implies that Rimuru has full control of his emotions, and that he isn't blinded by rage and grief. When he kills the 20,000 men, he's not having a bout of temporary insanity, nor is he so focused on the present as to be unable to consider the ramifications of his actions; he knows exactly what he's doing, is aware of the moral implications of it, and has chosen to go through with it anyway. That's pretty much the definition of evil right there.
Yet, I feel the episode, with its music and direction, wants me to believe that Rimuru is justified in his actions—that because they ultimately lead to the resurrection of Shion and Gobzo (i.e., characters we care about), it was worth it. I don't. I feel that with this one act Rimuru has betrayed everything he used to believe in. The peaceful co-existence between humans and monsters that he worked so hard for is now farther away than ever.
However, even with my newfound dislike of Rimuru as a person, I actually find That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime more engaging than ever before. The looming fallout from these events is just rife with storytelling opportunities. Perhaps these events will leave Rimuru as a despot, conquering all those who threaten his people. Or perhaps, in having his friends back, he will try to reverse course and rebuild trust in a fearful world. Maybe he will come to regret his actions—be haunted by them and search for some way to atone.
At this point, I feel the only bad way the story could go is if the world at large just decided that Rimuru was right in his actions and there were no repercussions at all.
• The conversation between the Voice of the World and the Great Sage was super confusing. Both their text font and voices are incredibly similar, so it's hard to tell who is talking at any given moment. Worse still, since we get no inner monologue from the Great Sage, it's hard to tell what it's even trying to do and why.
• The fight between the summoned demon and Razen also bugged me. It just felt like it was doing nothing but eating up time that could be better spent elsewhere. Honestly, if we had skipped that fight entirely and the demon had just suddenly showed up with Razen, he would have been even more mysterious and intimidating.
• Rimuru seems to be using more than a bit of magic inside of that anti-magic field...
• I assume that keeping the King and Bishop alive is needed for what comes next—namely instilling Youm as the legitimate leader of Falmuth—but part of me hopes that Rimuru captured them just so that his formerly murdered friends can tear them limb from limb in the town square.
• Man, at the end of the episode, narrator Rimuru is really taking credit for a lot of things he had very little to do with. From how I see it, Rimuru just took a nap while the Great Sage did all the heavy lifting.
• So, if I'm interpreting this right, Great Sage interfered a bit in Rimuru's evolution. It got itself evolved to “Wise One” and tried to evolve again but kept failing. Then it sacrificed Rimuru's Degenerate skill and was able to evolve to “Raphael.” Raphael then sacrificed Merciless to evolve the Gluttony skill to “Beelzebub.” After that Raphael took over Rimuru's body, used Beelzebub to capture and rebuild the scattered souls, and then planned to use itself to fill in any gaps. However, two of the demons sacrificed themselves so Raphael didn't need to. Finally, Raphael healed the bodies of the fallen and put their souls back in.
• ...so at what point is Great Sage/Raphael a person and not a skill? Cuz it did a ton of things of its own free will this episode.
• Are Shion and the others part demon now?
• When Rimuru's "gifts" are handed out, only Grucius and Myulan are left standing—which makes sense as neither is loyal to Rimuru. Grucius is, of course, loyal to Demon Lord Carrion while Myulan is loyal only to Youm.
• Speaking of Youm, he and his companions have either collapsed along with the monsters and are receiving the gift, or disappeared off-screen with the king and bishop in the middle of all this. If it's the former, this brings up an interesting question: can humans evolve and, if so, does that mean humans are just another type of monster?
• “Great Rimuru... once you become a Demon Lord, please don't become a different person and lose all control.” TOO LATE BENIMARU! TOO. DAMNED. LATE.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Season 2 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.