Ok, so Volume 6 is kind of part-two of Volume 5. While that’s not technically how this book was marketed, it’s truer in a narrative sense. Volume 6 starts with the characters right where they were when Volume 5 ended, in addition to some neat little behind-the-scenes moments for us readers. This is basically the culmination point in this series. Every conflict that the characters have had to endure up until now is part of a greater plan. There has been a puppet master behind it all and the time for their endgame is now.
Now there is a lot more to this book than just the plot coming together. Before that starts to happen in earnest, we’re clearly shown how personal the situation has become for the characters. Their home has been attacked. Their friends have been killed. Someone is out there trying to use everything they’ve put their sweat and blood into building as a disposable tool. Rimuru and his friends are new players on the world stage and the old hands view them as pawns to be moved about and sacrificed. Understandably, they do not take kindly to this and have no intention of going down without a fight.
As is the case in many light novels (this series in particular), the first half of this book is the set-up. First, the book deals with the fallout from Volume 5’s events. Some of these are personal issues but others are political now that the characters are running a country. It’s a stretch to say this part is uninteresting, but it feels more like prep work than what comes next: the action.
The 2nd half of the book is where it shines. Again, everything in the series so far has led to this point. This is the end of the first major story arc. Which for any action-anime type series means a really big battle. More than one, in fact. And while I did complain in my review of Volume 5 about the power creep in this series, it thankfully gets toned down a bit here. Rimuru and co. aren’t depowered or anything like that, but we’re given a pretty clear demonstration that there’s always a bigger fish.
It was an extremely satisfying conclusion for the first arc. While How I Was Reincarnated As A Slime feels like it’s directed at a younger audience than most of the other light novels I’ve picked up, I continue to enjoy it just for the sheer quality of the story, characters, and writing. Hats off to the quality of the English translation too. And with the conflicts essentially resolved at this point, I’m excited to see how life shapes up for Rimuru and his friends going forward.