This high-spirited anime feels like having the contents of a Dungeons & Dragons manual screamed at you by your 12-year-old nephew after a Haribo binge – but it’s kind of fun trying to keep up. It hits the ground running with a top-knotted ogre mercenary (voiced by Yuma Uchida) being cut to ribbons in the woods, rescued by Queen Towa (Riko Fukumoto), healed using her life force and given a ritualistic name: he is now known under her service as Hiiro.
Hiiro soon learns that Towa’s waterfall-bordered kingdom Raja is in a tight spot: it’s dependent on gold mining that releases toxins into its lakes, which the queen must neutralise using a magic tiara that in turn poisons her. He heads off to the forest where he finds that – bulging anime eye! – his former ogre comrades have shacked up with the orcs who destroyed his village. Once he cools off, he gets local demon lord Rimuru (Miho Okasaki) to broker a truce with the dragon Veldora to let Raja farm in the forest. Rimuru offers to help with the poison, too. (You may also be experiencing a lethal buildup of lore in your bloodstream by now.)
The way this film crash-lands in medias res is not especially helpful, with no hint of the frame-story from the original manga and TV series: that Rimuru is a murdered salaryman from our world reborn as a talking pool of slime in this one. Compensating for there being nothing in the way of any Narnia or Harry Potter-style flitting between realities, this film has crunchily animated brawls every five minutes and a playful embrace of sword’n’sorcery hokum that gives it a little lift. It has a po-faced mope of a lead in Hiiro, but what’s not to love about a familiar too busy lounging around reading manga to transform into dragon form?
• That Time I Got Reincarnated As a Slime the Movie: Scarlet Bond is released in cinemas on 18 January.