The problem with shows like How Not to Summon a Demon Lord is that they’re only good for the doujins that they’ll inevitably inspire. The real deal is sadly and dreadfully boring. Once the novelty of giant elf boobs and the flat-chested catgirl wore off, the show has nothing else to offer.
So in this super popular MMO — aren’t they always super popular? — a shut-in who goes by the in-game name of Diablo has grinded his way to the very top. Everyone tries to challenge him, but they always, always fail. That tells me that the MMO is poorly balanced, but shhh, we’ll just pretend that it’s a great game with no flaws. Oh, and like all stereotypical shut-ins, our hero hates “normies” with a passion:
Obviously, a guy like this should instantly be rewarded with a harem of fantasy anime babes. So when the clock strikes midnight, he suddenly finds himself summoned into his favorite MMO:
Of course, he gets to look all cool and shit like his in-game avatar. We’ll leave the ugly bastard stuff to the doujins, won’t we?
Meet Shera and Rem, the big-chested elf girl and flat-chested catgirl respectively. My first problem with the show is that Diablo is truly pathetic at his very core:
He may look like an awesome demon lord on the surface (not really), but on the inside, he’s still a shut-in. As a result, he can’t even talk to fake girls without creaming his figurative pants. Luckily, his avatar comes pre-loaded with a generic demon lord personality, so as they often say, just fake it ’til you make it. Oh well, at least Diablo isn’t a slave-owner like the bargain bin Kirito from that other isekai anime earlier in the yea–…
…aw fuck. The girls had wanted to summon a familiar to do their bidding, but unfortunately, their enslavement spell is immediately reflected back on them. Y’see, Diablo has a ring that reflects all magic. As a result, the girls are now his slaves. I have no idea why the initial summoning spell wasn’t reflected, but shhhhhh, let’s not worry about that. Anyways, even though the girls must now obey Diablo’s every beck and call, nothing interesting comes of it. If you’re going to go all out, then go all out. Go balls to the wall. Unfortunately, How Not to Summon a Demon Lord has its balls firmly tucked in its underpants, which brings me to my next problem with the show. I don’t even care that it’s trying to be ecchi. Hey, look, sometimes we just want our cheap, trashy fun. I get it. But this shit can’t even get me excited:
C’mon, you can draw better boobs than that.
Likewise, the whole enslavement thing is weak. All Diablo does is command the two girls to stop bickering and make up. In a hypothetical doujin, Shera and Rem would probably be naked and making out by now. Unfortunately, we’re in flaccid anime town, so we’re busy… uh, world-building:
The dutch angle here represents Diablo’s erection. Trust me on this. Film theory 101.
Afterwards, the formulaic harem setup continues to play itself out. For instance, the girl who runs the inn is also a catgirl, but she’s pulling double-duty as a french maid.
Hey, look, our trio has to share a bed, because they’re poor to rent out additional rooms. Diablo might have retained all his levels and abilities, but unfortunately, the girls didn’t manage to summon his wallet. What a shame.
Before anyone can settle in and christen the bed, however, some big, important lady shows up to pay Rem a visit. Celes used to be a badass soldier in the army. Now she’s just a dinky mage with weird anime lips.
It’s time for dinner, which means cheap ecchi gags like Shera choking down a huge sausage.
Harem Rule #83: any dude who isn’t the main character or the main character’s goofy best friend is automatically an asshole. So right on cue, this jerkoff starts picking a fight with Diablo for no reason. We’ll soon find out that the reason is contrived racism (y-y-you’re just a demihuman!!!).
You then have this juxtaposition of the confident demon lord on the outside and the pathetic shut-in on the inside. This initial setup for Diablo’s character is somewhat similar to Ainz in Overlord, I guess, but Ainz was never this pathetic on the inside. So instead, I often just find myself rolling my eyes at Diablo.
My next big problem with this show is that the momentum has already died off even though the episode isn’t over yet. The beginning of an isekai should at least be exciting and thrilling. Instead, we’re sitting around a dinner table, discussing Rem’s troubles. Celes wants to assign the catgirl a bodyguard, but the latter refuses for reasons that we’ll soon discover.
Diablo takes it upon himself to pump Rem for her big secret. She’s reluctant to tell him, because apparently, everyone abandons her when they discover the truth about her. Nevertheless, our hero promises that he won’t ever leave her while “torturing” her at the same time.
This looks bad, right? But again, he’s a wimpy nerd who can’t talk to girls.
So in the end, all he does is play with the catgirl’s ears. Nevertheless, this sends Rem into absolute ecstasy, because we want to have it both ways.
Our hero is totally not a creep, but his actions still end up being sexual anyways. Ho ho ho…
Diablo just forced Rem to orgasm, but she’s still happy. Why? Again, we want to have it both ways. Plus, I guess when you’re a poorly-written character, you take what you can get. Basically, a demon lord’s soul — another demon lord — is housed within the little girl’s body.
If Rem dies, then the demon lord will emerge and wreak havoc. As a result, no one ever wants to be close to her. Generic backstory is generic. Like I said, How Not to Summon a Demon Lord is actually kinda boring. Its ecchi factor is about on par with a show like Shokugeki no Soma but without the silliness of food making people’s clothes fly off. Instead, we have yet another wannabe demon lord who can magically make girls cream themselves with his mere touch.
I’m rolling my eyes so hard at this guy.
Afterwards, Rem has gone to sleep, so Diablo goes outside to get some fresh air and think about his current predicament. Unfortunately, it isn’t long before the evil dick-havers (don’t forget Harem Rule #83!) decide to try and bully a demon lord:
To make a long story short, the ringleader summons a shitty salamander to sic on our hero, but the poor creature is immediately vaporized. Yawn. We then get to watch an ED full of topless heroines being censored by chains, cookies, etc.:
All in all, we have yet another uninspiring isekai anime on our hands. Yo, what’s next in my queue for tonight? Another show about an MMO? For fuck’s sake…
. . . Surly your hit points more important then your magic points.
sp: 330 ????
How the hell is this guy spending his level ups?
I mean, his hotkeys are ABCDE… so….
Isn’t animation supposed to be a super competitive market? Every mangaka would probably love to see their work animated. How long did it take for Vinland Saga to get an anime adaptation approved?
Yet this is a show that will be taking up a spot on the schedule this season.
Say whatever you want about things like Queen’s Blade or Ikki Tousen, but at least they have a story driving them, and in the better seasons, are happy to viciously murder some or all of their casts… even if it finds ways to haul their corpses back from the dead later. Hell, even things like Nagasarete at least invented some conflict every single week. Here, the story is “I’m in a fantasy world with god mode and a slave harem.” That’s the whole she-bang. That’s it. There’s no quest. There’s no grand challenge facing our rapist ‘hero.’ If anything, it goes out of its way to assure us that he is able to effortlessly overcome everything that could be thrown at him. And with no humor too, or at least the writers not realizing how idiotic every aspect is, that just leaves tits and random screams trying to pass as moans.