Reincarnated as a Slime creator Fuse discusses his inspiration for Rimuru, and why he thinks the character has won over so many fans.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime’s Rimuru is based on creator Fuse’s impression of what the ideal boss would be like.
The creator of the popular isekai novel and anime series revealed his inspiration for the character in a the author’s first ever English-language interview with anime tourism service Mipon. “Rimuru is basically my image of an ideal boss,” Fuse said. The character was partly inspired by Fuse’s previous career, where he worked in construction. “As much as I don’t like to admit it, during my time as a construction foreman, I would lose my temper when my workers wouldn’t listen to my instructions. I know that isn’t right… However, it is very difficult to lead people and accomplish a task together, and I couldn’t help but become emotional at times. Drawing on that experience, I imagined what things might have been like if I had a boss like Rimuru, and included that in TenSura’s [note: “TenSura” is a common abbreviation of Reincarnated as a Slime’s Japanese title] story.”
When asked why he thinks Rimuru has managed to become such a popular character despite his often meek attitude, Fuse said he believes the character’s ability to communicate and empathize with others is part of the character’s success, both within the universe and in terms of building up his real-world popularity. “I believe that communication is very important. Most problems can be solved if you listen closely to other people and do the best you can to clear up any misunderstandings,” Fuse said. “Rimuru makes an effort to understand the other side’s viewpoint before deciding whether to work with them,” the author explained, adding, “I think his approach and how he tries not to force his opinions on others is what resonates with readers.”
The author also admitted that he doesn’t actually watch all that much anime. “The truth is, I don’t watch as much anime as people might think, although I do enjoy some of the more popular series,” he said. While Fuse is most famous for creating a high-fantasy series, he is apparently a fan of several popular sci-fi series. “I really liked anime such as A Certain Scientific Railgun or Steins; Gate. I’m also a fan of the Gundam and Macross franchises,” he said.
The Reincarnated as a Slime franchise began in 2014 with a light novel series written by Fuse and illustrated by artist Mitz Vah. The novels were an immediate hit, moving over 4.5 million copies in circulation, and were quickly followed up with a manga adaptation in 2015. The series was also adapted into a hit anime series, which premiered in 2018. The anime’s second season aired in 2021, following multiple delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A feature-length animated movie is also in production, and is scheduled to be released sometime during the fall of 2022.
The full interview with Fuse can be read on Mipon, where he also discusses his workflow, his advice for new writers and his involvement with the various adaptations of his work.
Both seasons of the That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime anime are available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll. The original light novel series is localized and distributed in English by Yen Press, while the manga is available in both print and digital formats from Kodansha.