November 27, 2017

A Very Pleasant Surprise Indeed

On the whole, I tend not to talk about manga here at The Pond for no other reason than I've got enough on my plate already.  I can only remember talking about two manga titles in the 12 years The Pond has been going, though there may have been another few that I don't remember.  Which doesn't mean I don't read them... oh, heavens no.  I just don't... talk about it here.

Today though, I need to sing the praises of a series I discovered last week.  I went into it cold, ordering the first two books from amazon sight unseen... hey, I liked the title.  As it turns out, this gamble has paid off big time.  Allow me to introduce you to...

...That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime.  And really, what more do you need to know when you've got a title like that?  It may not be the perfect title, but I'll be darned if it wasn't enough for me.  But, as they say, you can't judge a book by its cover.  How about what's under the title?

Our hero dies in the first few pages, stabbed breaking up some street crime.  It's probably the only memorable thing he'd ever done, honestly.  He's 37, lives alone, has a nondescript job, is neither outstanding or poor at it, doesn't much go out, plays computer games, and realizes that he's nothing special.  As he's dying, he tells his co-worker to make sure his computer hard drive is destroyed.  Heh.  Then everything goes black.  The End.

Not the end.  He wakes up... and discovers he's literally in the dark.  Can't see, can't feel, can't move, can't smell, can't ANYthing.  Gradually, with the help of a computer-like voice only he can hear, he comes to realize that he's... a slime.  The lowest of the low.  The monster that nobody fears, not even civilian npcs.  Except upon reincarnation he gained two skills: [predator] and [great sage].  The first lets him absorb the abilities of anything he... um... absorbs.  The second lets him combine abilities in new and inventive ways, gives him an... "instruction manual"... to the world he now inhabits, and lets him access the memories of his prior life.  So he's an INTELLIGENT slime.  An intelligent slime that very quickly becomes the deadliest slime ever: by absorbing a passing bat, he winds up being able to spit poison, and talk (by modifying the echolocation of the bat).  As time goes on, he gains new and useful talents, but there's a problem.  He's alone.  He's in a huge cave, with no obvious way out, and nothing around him is intelligent.  Until... well...

Of COURSE the cave has a dragon in it.  Not just any dragon, either: the most powerful of the four dragons in this world.  Who was locked away in this cave a very long time ago indeed after being defeated by a Hero.  Magic prevents him from leaving, and his magic aura is so strong that nothing with a magic sense... pretty much everything even vaguely intelligent... will even come close to the cave.  The dragon and the slime become friends... they both finally have someone to talk to!... and eventually Our Hero comes up with a way to get the dragon out of the cave... by absorbing it without dissolving it.  Or something.  It works, but there's an unintended consequence... of course.  Hijinks ensue.

This is not a perfect manga.  Our Hero The Slime quickly becomes so overpowered there's no fear that he's going to get squished.  Removes a bit of drama from things, y'know?  Some may not find the humor all that funny... it isn't laugh-out-loud stuff for me, mostly just a small grin.  It's not at all hard to see where it's going, at least in the macro.  

On the plus side, the art is quite acceptable.  While the story may be predictable in the macro, in the micro there's been a few very nice surprises.  The worldbuilding has been top-notch; while it's a standard fantasy D&D-style land, the way magic works is fun.  Our Hero is a likable fellow, unsurprisingly... we're supposed to identify with him, after all.  Really, it's been a fun little ride thus far.  If you're in the mood for something light, but not too fluffy, That Time I Was Reincarnated As A Slime will go a long way for you.  The first two volumes are available where-ever books are sold, and the third volume comes out in a couple of weeks.   It's a good read.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:15 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 757 words, total size 5 kb.

November 03, 2017

Doki Doki Literature Club

Yeah, I know.  "Wonderduck, another dating sim?"  Yep!  And not only that, it's about as formulaic as they come!  I mean take a look:

Left to right, you've got the tsundere, the shy bookworm, the genki childhood friend, and the school princess who's also the president of this little club.  Of course, you're the only guy in sight.  We've seen this anime, this manga, this visual novel, before, dozens of times really.  These same characters too... oh, the character designs might be different, but really they're the same.

So why did this free game that's available on Steam hook me so darn hard that it got into my dreams?  I want to make this clear: there are spoilers ahead.  Not massive ones, but spoilers nevertheless.  If you're curious about this, but you don't want spoilers, allow me to direct you to friend Ben's post over on the mysteriously named Midnite Tease.  He's got the stuff.

And, if you want to go into it with as little information as possible, I salute you and don't even mind if you're not going to read the rest of this post.  Here's some music for you.
Quite possibly the happiest, most bubbly tune ever... perfect for DDLC!


Posted by: Wonderduck at 11:12 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 464 words, total size 4 kb.

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