How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Sakamoto Takuma was so strong in the MMORPG Cross Reverie that his fellow players came to call him the “demon lord.” One day, he gets summoned to another world in his avatar form, and meets two girls who both insist that they’re the one who summoned him. They cast a spell used to enslave summoned beasts on him, but that activates his unique ability, Magic Reflect, and the girls end up being the ones put under the spell! And thus begins the otherworldly adventure of a demon lord (pretend) who blazes his own trail through overwhelming power. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord is the latest trapped in a fantasy world/transported to a video game anime and wastes no time jumping through its set up and right into the thick of things. Demon Lord cuts most of its character building in favor of getting right to the comedy, and for some reason lacks the label “Ecchi” on all the major tracking sites, despite half the series’ comedy coming from frequent shots of bouncing breasts and erotic imaginings of our title character, Demon Lord Diabloe. The other half of the series comedy almost entirely hinges on how Diabloe’s real world persona, that of a closet shut in, clashes with his need to interact with everyone in this fantasy/video game world, creating a phony confident persona with a panicky nerd underneath. Needless to say, it gets old fast and by episode’s end really feels like you’ve seen everything Demon Lord will be offering across its 12 episode run.
Linny: How NOT to summon a Demon Lord should really have been called How TO Build a Fandom of Titillated Teenage Boys if this first episode is a good indication of the amount of fan service the series is going to have. The sexual content is relentless once we get to the female characters and even the opening credits are littered with images of other female characters with gigantic breasts and clothing that accentuates every curve.In one scene, a girl’s reaction to having her cat ear bitten is exemplified by showing her in a naked state (blurry/outlined to avoid censorship) for no real reason other than more fan service. What makes this very obvious attempt to cater to a hormonal male crowd so frustrating though is the utter lack of other, non-sexual, content with a lot of its other avenues of comedy coming off more so as generic or predictable, making for a sex heavy yet utterly bland series.
Tom: Because the show is so plot heavy (and ‘plot’ heavy) there isn’t time to get to know any of our three leads to a truly significant degree. Diabloe’s persona consists entirely of his shut in/anti-social/timid nature hidden behind his fake boisterous confidence. Rem Galleu, the series’ psuedo cat girl, is also largely a quiet/subdued character and Shela, the busty elf, is an aloof, happy going individual lacking in any greater distinction, besides her massive chest. This means Demon Lord has only one real path of appeal, and that’s its comedy, squarely aimed at the horny teenage crowd, giving this series an extremely limited appeal.
Linny: The first episode feels like its checking off a list of tropes for isekai stories. There’s the ‘hero’ who is a shut in and he loathes ‘normies’ aka anyone in a relationship. He also happens to be super good at something, i.e, the best in this MMO game he has made his life and guess what, becomes transferred to a new world where all his fictional powers and items make him all powerful. Also, somehow in this new world he’s been transported to, levels are an actual thing that the general populace is knowledgeable of and inherently understands. A creature is summoned with a level and our hero apparently also retains his numeric level from the video game version of this world. It’s probably to account for the ‘reveal’ that he’s been transported into the game itself that he loves so much but it feels a little silly to have people spouting off levels in what should otherwise be a ‘real’ world. Moving on, we have the two girls introduced this episode whose main purpose seems already clear; to be rescued/aided by him and thus end up indebted and in love with him. I wouldn’t be surprised if with every subsequent girl introduced, the extent of their personalities will be to cover some sort of stereotype/fetish to make sure every male viewer finds his ‘type’ to fantasize over as Diabloe’s harem expands.
Tom: Overall How NOT to Summon A Demon Lord is more so a ‘How NOT to do a Isekai’ series. It lacks enough character and unique personality to stand on its own. Its comedy is too limited and at times feels like a low-rent Ecchi more so than anything else. Its characters are basic, thin, and almost entirely in service of its hefty fan service, pervy, oriented content. I imagine Demon Lord is great if you’re in that hormone raging, puberty swollen demographic, but otherwise, for everyone else, Demon Lord is just another cash in on the Isekai craze.
Linny: How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord has one audience and one audience in mind only; the group of male viewers who haven’t had their fill of fan service and isekai stories, cliche quotient be damned. The comedy in the episode feels tired, the tropes are never ending and there’s absolutely nothing in this first episode to make you feel like this show is offering anything new or unique. That might be well and good for those who have a fond spot for all the ‘staples’ of the isekai genre but for everyone else, How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord can be safely dismissed.