How Not to Summon a Demon Lord – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

There’s been so much isekai anime in the past few years that my gut instinct towards a new one now is to just groan. It’s by all means an unfair presumption and I don’t like feeling that way on the off chance that I do come across a good isekai anime. I can’t deny things have gotten stale though and I doubt a shakeup to the genre is on the horizon.

The latest addition, How Not to Summon a Demon Lord, clearly isn’t here to change the status quo. Overpowered protagonist? Check. Cliche fantasy setting? Check. A harem of female characters? Double check on that one. There’s some pretty direct cues taken as well. Demon Lord‘s main character, Diablo, is a gamer who finds himself trapped in a real version of his favorite MMO in a way that’s not too unlike that of Overlord‘s Ains. The way the female characters, Shera and Rem, bicker (not to mention Diablo’s tendency to provoke them sexually) reminds me a bit of the antics in Konosuba. Come to think about it, Diablo even uses Explosion magic at one point (I can just see Megumin getting ready to sue). And I’m just saying but listen, Demon Lord, there can only be one Rem in the realm of isekai anime. Such a fighting stance you’re taking by naming one of your characters that.

To be fair, I actually did find Demon Lord to be pretty quite competent at what it’s doing. Give credit where’s it due, this anime actually comes up with a legit explanation for why Diablo is in another world. The fact that he got summoned by residents from the game he was playing is a little clever. It’s like some sort of an inverse on Re:Creators. I’ll also admit that the show can be occasionally funny. For example, having Rem and Shera’s efforts to bind Diablo into a magically contract only to have it backfire and make them the servants in the arrangement is an amusing twist of fate.

If fanservice is your thing, Demon Lord will most likely have you covered. I like Rem and Shera’s character designs just fine but they’re definitely designed with sex appeal in mind (good grief, Rem, put on a shirt!). The eyecandy surrounding Shera is more obvious, what with her boobs unrealistically bouncing everywhere, though Rem sure has her share of comprising shots. Once again, anime makes cat-like body features a symbol of lewdness.

I’m not horribly compelled to keep watching Demon Lord but the premiere wasn’t half bad so it can stay on the watch list for now. If competition gets too stiff, then I’ll most likely drop it. If you happen to be a huge fan of isekai then you might find this one to be a bit entertaining. If you also dig fanservice, well like I said, this might fit the bill.


ED: “Saiaku na hi demo Anata ga Suki” by Yuu Serizawa”


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Watch How Not to Summon a Demon Lord on Crunchyroll and Funimation

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