The Spring 2021 Preview Guide
How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Omega
by The Anime News Network Editorial Team,
How would you rate episode 1 of
How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Omega ?
What is this?
Having successfully defeated - and saved - the Demon Lord Krebskulm, Diablo's adventures in the world of Cross Reverie continue. While testing a new spell on the outskirts of town, he stumbles upon Head Priest Lumachina fleeing from deadly assassins from her own church. After saving her, Diablo and his party find themselves ensnared in a conspiracy by the church's ruling Cardinal, and will now have to face off against one of the greatest powers in the kingdom if they want to keep their new companion safe.
How Was the First Episode?
Content warning: the episode being discussed does contain an attempted sexual assault scene.
You know, I like How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord. I like it a lot. I've read the first few light novels as well as the manga. But somehow I always seem to forget how much fanservice there is until I watch the anime.
The reason for this is simple: the adventure here is good enough on its own. If it didn't have any fanservice whatsoever, it'd still be a fun anime. Diablo's personality, and the fact that he's so socially inept that he can only act as if he were his character, is a setup for endless comedy. More than that, the show's writing understands how to make an overpowered protagonist compelling to follow—that while he may not be in danger personally, the things and people he cares about often are. Diablo's biggest weakness is the fact that he can only be in one place at any given time.
So really, I feel like how much you enjoy this series—assuming you like isekai fantasy in the first place—depends pretty heavily on how you feel about fanservice. If you like it or simply don't care one way or the other about it, you're probably going to enjoy this show. But if you hate fanservice, well, there are other shows out there for you.
The episode itself easily handles the heavy lifting of setting up a new arc. A change of location to a place filled with unknown dangers is a great way to breathe new life into an adventure story. The only bad part about this episode is having to say goodbye to Klem and Edelgard. I mean, sure, it makes space for new characters to enter the fray, but who would want to leave behind a creature supposedly made of pure evil who has decided not to destroy humanity because, well, if there are no humans, there would be no cookies? My depression knows no bounds.
I have an odd relationship to Demon Lord. It's not at all the kind of show I typically enjoy: I'm very much not down for most modern isekai, especially ones with a god damn slavery gimmick. While I don't necessarily dislike fanservice, it's almost never what draws me to any given anime. And by god am I tired of RPG-based fantasy worlds, isekai or otherwise. Yet somehow this horny mess of slave collars and stat sheets managed to keep me engaged through its entire first season, and come out mostly positive on the experience to boot.
A big part of that was, and still is, Diablo. There's just something inherently funny about seeing this nebbish nerd try to navigate the world as a 6'8” Adonis of muscle and magic, constantly bluff checking his way through his newfound role as party leader/service dom. Every time he drops his voice half an octave to pretend he's the proud, stoic Demon Lord of legend, it's hilarious, and that's on full display here as he stumbles upon a new party member and has to, for the first time in ages, navigate stormy weather amidst his polycule of fantasy girlfriends/live-in d/s partners. It's ridiculous, blatant wish-fulfillment lacquered with your stock fantasy tropes, but the sheer enthusiasm from the cast makes it work. It reminds me of the better parts of High School DxD, another blatant excuse for jiggling anime boobs in your face, but made it work by mostly keeping the cheesecake consensual.
"Mostly" being the operative word here. This episode does open on some very suggestive tentacles making some very, explicitly threatening moves on new girl Lumachina, and it's definitely the show putting its worst foot forward. Like yes, I know this is a supremely common fetish, but part of what kept season 1's fanservice from feeling totally alienating is that Rem and Shera are kinda into the whole slave collar thing and just roll their kink lifestyle into their adventuring party's dynamic. Granted, the first season also kicked off with an awkward non-con sequence, so maybe this is just to hook in the real big perverts up front again. Either way, I'd prefer if Demon Lord could keep things (relatively) classy, all things considered.
Otherwise this premiere feels like it picked up right where last season left off, and initiated viewers probably don't need me to tell them they'll enjoy this one. There's a slight step down in production so far, but season 1's most memorable direction choice was to frame a shot from inside Rem's anus, so it's not like the show looking like ass will be anything new to viewers. So go and enjoy this plentiful trash you horny, horny raccoons.
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