Book Review: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level (Volume One)

Title: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level (Volume One)
Author: Kisetsu Morita, Benio (illustrator)
Released: April 24, 2018 (Paperback)
Series: I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level!
Rating: ★★★★☆

Description: After living a painful life as an office worker, Azusa ended her short life by dying from overworking. So when she found herself reincarnated as an undying, unaging witch in a new world, she vows to spend her days stress-free and as pleasantly as possible. She ekes out a living by hunting down the easiest targets – the slimes! But after centuries of doing this simple job, she’s ended up with insane powers… how will she maintain her low-key life now?!

Please keep in mind that this review contains spoilers for the entire book. Read with caution. If you click the “Read More”, it is under the assumption you either don’t care about spoilers or you’ve already read the book.

To be honest with you, this book and its synopsis had me a bit worried and apprehensive about reading it.

I only say this because the book gets right into it with what happened to poor Azusa. Overworking is no joke – it happens to Japanese people, and it happens to others all around the world, especially with how current politics are, especially if you’re in the United States. I won’t get into it because that’s another tangent for another day.

I guess what worried me was that this is more in line with a traditional (translated) light novel, something that takes a severe thing like overworking and make it into a weak framing device or a “reason” to label this series as an isekai series. Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder why some of these light novels are isekai when they don’t need to be. Meaning, they don’t have a real rhyme or reason; it couldn’t be a native fantasy (which just means a regular fantasy story). So, when I did read it, I was pleasantly surprised.

The first half of the book is a pretty decent pace – we get used to Azusa’s everyday life, and the unfortunate discovery of her maxed out level. She tries her best to hide it, but one can’t stop the rumor mill from going so it wouldn’t take too long for others to try to come over and challenge her. Eventually, we enter the second half of the volume, where we start meeting the characters in this lovely slice of life.

First, we meet Laika, the overconfident dragon; then we meet the two “daughters,” Falfa and Shalsha; finally, by the end of the first volume, we will meet Halkara the elf and Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies. From there, things pick up quickly as Azusa’s once quiet life becomes a bit wacky and noisy. We learn a little bit about the town of Flatta and the excellent work Azusa has done throughout her time as the Witch of the Highlands.

One thing I will say is that I really liked the pacing initially. Once Laika joins in the fray, meeting the rest of the cast comes pretty quickly, and I, the reader, don’t get a chance to bond with the other characters I just met. It got to the point, but I also felt I was missing something as a reader. I did get a chance to bond with Laika a bit but then twins came and then Halkara… Oh, Halkara… 

Generally speaking, I liked the platonic relationships Azusa had between Laika and the twin spirits, but once Halkara was included in the cast, that’s when it started to lose me. Not only is she clumsy, but she has big boobs that Azusa just can’t help but comment on it. I don’t know what it is that individual writers can’t help themselves with, but as soon as Halkara was introduced, I felt the quality went down a little bit.

On her own, Halkara isn’t bad per se, but she is a reminder to me that certain women will always be characterized as sexual just because she has a full figure. She calls herself “heteroflexible,” which isn’t a problem to me, really, but it’s also the way she acts around the cast. She’s considered air-headed and clumsy, but with how horny she is, it gets a bit annoying because the idea is that Azusa sees her apprentices and daughters as a family. I’m not comfortable with her always trying to hit on Azusa or bring up sex around the “underaged” girls. And this is just another trope that I dislike – the 300-year-old witch in a seventeen-year-old’s body (both she and Azusa) and it’s okay because they’re x hundred years old, it’s okay to be this creepy! And even better yet, it’s funny! I like Halkara, and I want to like her more, but the fact that all of these flaws (not quirks) are more focused on, it bothered me a lot more than I’d like to admit.

The pacing would’ve been better off if the volume itself had more pages. I appreciated the side stories and “epilogue” at the end because it does introduce other concepts and possible locations for Azusa and the others to go to frequently.

If anything, this light novel is fine as a slice of life, and I did enjoy it. I wish certain aspects were toned down a bit before I could give this a five-star rating. Would I continue to read this series? Sure, it’s a fine slice of life, and it gives me a chance to transport to the house of the Witch in the Highlands and her lovely little family.

About Lily

A fujoshi who won't shut up about anime, manga, video games, BJDs, nendoroids, and anime conventions. She apparently can't stop writing either.

Posted on August 17, 2020, in ★★★★☆ – 4 Stars, Book Reviews, I've Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level!, Light Novels and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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