WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 37 of That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, now streaming on Crunchyroll.
Rimuru Tempest has his hands full running an entire nation of monsters, but he also finds time for the small things where his friends are concerned. He had a great time with Shion, Shuna, Benimaru and the others during the summer festival and other parties, but not even that festive mood could make Shion's cooking taste better. However, Episode 37 reveals something has changed.
The Tempest nation is home to plenty of great chefs and culinary experts, as Rimuru saw for himself during the Slime Diaries episodes. Now, the least likely chef in Reincarnated as a Slime has been reborn as a cooking expert -- but not by taking a class. She has a new skill, and it's all thanks to Rimuru's revival ability.
Shion's Master Chef Skill & Odd Cooking Style Emerge
Shion is eager to cook wonderful meals for her beloved boss Rimuru, and she'll happily share with Benimaru too. The problem is, she's simply a terrible cook. Her food has nearly killed poor Gobta more than once, though he has since developed a poison immunity. Just the scent and appearance of Shion's food is enough to make anyone queasy, let alone the flavor, but it's time to party now that everyone is revived. Being her usual festive self, Shion prepares a new stew for Rimuru and Benimaru -- a tragic example of how her enthusiasm creates more problems than it solves. Or at least, that's what the others are expecting.
Rimuru questions Shuna's technique, learning that she only uses her massive Hercules sword as a kitchen knife, never wielding any other blade for any reason. Hence, the too-large chunks in her stew. Still, Rimuru can't bear to refuse Shion's food -- especially after he went through the trouble of reviving her -- so he and Benimaru take a bite.
Shockingly, it's incredible. Shion's food may look disgusting but it actually tastes great, and she reveals that she obtained the Master Chef skill when she came back to life via Rimuru's spell. Her food will now always taste the way she intends it to, even if the fragrance and texture are offensive to the senses.
Shion's Master Chef Skill Is So Meta
It's unclear whether Shion's acquisition of Master Chef is a timely coincidence or was based on Shion's terrible cooking skills, but either way, it's a remarkably meta way to address a classic anime running gag. Shion is far from the only anime character to be a comically terrible chef, and for a time, that's all it was -- a typical gag for tomboyish characters like her. But Reincarnated as a Slime was ready to take it to the next level.
The anime became self-aware by granting Shion the Master Chef skill to finally fix her outrageously bad cooking. Not only is this a relief for Shion's typical customers, but it proves Reincarnated as a Slime has a robust sense of meta-humor in the anime world. It also showcases that skills in this fantasy realm are incredibly diverse and can enhance more than just combat abilities.
Episode 37 called out Shion on her long-running awful cooking gag, and other anime series could stand to follow its example by becoming refreshingly self-aware of years-old or even decades-old jokes. Simply acknowledging a gag like this can make it feel fresh all over again, and that's where Reincarnated as a Slime succeeds.