Isekai can get pretty wild with some of its characters, Like, over the years we have seen some truly strange protagonists being the stars of their very own anime. You have Overlord, the story of one mediocre office worker from a dystopian future becoming a Lich King in his favorite MMORPG. And then there is The Devil is A Part Timer, where Satan is forced to become a minimum wage worker. But nothing tops TenSura, and how its protagonist happens to be a sentient ball of slime Rimuru Tempest.
And yes, Rimuru Tempest, the aforementioned slime? He happens to be an immortal being of supreme power. Because the Isekai gods had to have something going for him if he’s going to be stuck being Jell-O the entire time. No, but for real, Rimuru went from being a mediocre, middle-aged salaryman to an all-powerful Demon Lord who created his kingdom in the world he got transported in. And you don’t get to that if you don’t have a few abilities up your sleeves. Or well, in this case, your jelly folds?
We’ve all seen how the OP (Over Powered) protagonist trope manifests in anime in general, but it has taken a really weird turn in the newer Isekai shows. I think it’s because the trope has been done to death, even ironically. So, to stand out from the crowd, animation companies are trying to adapt stories with the weirdest characters they can find. And hey, when your character is already on top of the food chain, how else do you make an anime interesting? Giving it an absolute zany premise with the oddest characters always works.
And that is exactly what TenSura, or That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, does. It takes a mediocre character with an immature personality and gives it a space where it can be as dumb as it wants while not suffering any of the consequences. So, in today’s segment of Character Analysis, let’s discuss how Rimuru Tempest gets to live his best life as a slime, without worrying about something as inevitable as death!
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Rimuru Tempest: Immortal And All-Powerful, But At What Cost?
Look, I’m not saying that Rimuru isn’t living it up as basically the King of his domain after being murdered in an alleyway in a previous life. Like, yeah, that is substantially better than whatever the heck he had going on as Satoru Mikami, a perfectly average dude with no meaningful connections.
Thanks to his Predator nature, Rimuru isn’t incapacitated despite his diminutive form. Because if he’s lacking power or anything, he can just absorb it through consuming the person currently embodying said power. Like, imagine being able to take the ability of anyone around you and make it yours. Especially in a world filled with sorcery and magic, demons and Gods.
Like, he now can create multiverses through the Void God Azathoth, so if he feels unsatisfied with something, he can change it how he pleases. Of course, that is one of the biggest powers he has but there is so much more. Like the fact that he doesn’t need sustenance or sleep to survive because he’s immortal. He is basically omnipotent, at this rate. It’s beyond just being OP, at that point.
Isekai Protagonists Are Starting To Go Haywire (And It’s Fun):
I know complain about Isekai a lot, but the truth is, I happen to enjoy quite a few of them. It’s just that most of them happen to be satirical takes on the genre. Think Reverse-Isekai or anime that starts in a very formulaic manner, only to go sideways in the next scene.
Keeping things interesting is important for any medium to grow. It’s why you have so many advancements in anime in general. And the same goes for specific genres such as Isekai, where plots can start becoming so similar, that they all blend into a single, boring pile.
This is where having interesting characters matters, even if they aren’t traditionally what you would expect. Introducing new elements is how you have fans stay invested enough in an anime. And honestly, Isekai can now use all the help it can get.