Okay! First things first, I need to catch up to where the simulcasts on Crunchyroll are currently, so I’ll be going through the first two or three episodes of each show I’ll be reviewing within the week. But, I’ve promised myself I won’t get too stressed about it, so here we go, How Not to Summon a Demon Lord episode 1 review!
…where do I start? This episode, while an introductory episode, simply didn’t grasp my attention like I thought it would. It’s generic: MMORPG loner guy get’s placed into the MMORPG he’s playing–in this case, Cross Reverie. Sound familiar? We’ve seen this before, it’s SAO, or .hack, or Log Horizon, or whatever else is out there. My point is, it’s been done before, there’s nothing new here–all this show is doing is beating a dead horse (unless it can add some flair!) Ugh…
The main character: Diablo, Demon Lord
WAIT! WAIT! How strong is the main character, though? If he’s been sucked into his MMORPG character how strong is he? Well, uh, he’s the strongest non-boss monster boss-thing (according to Diablo himself). No magic can harm him, he can blow things away like they’re flies, yadda yadda… *groan*
Okay, well Diablo is “summoned” into the world of Cross Reverie by two people, an elf and a cat-girl (yes, she has a species name, but I’m going with cat-girl). The elf: Shera L. Greenwood. The cat-girl: Rem. Oh hey, they’re adorable and cute!
Typical. Harem. Anime. Cliche. Supposedly Rem and Shera summoned Diablo to make him their slave, but that didn’t work since Diablo is so absolutely freaking powerful and has such amazing gear the spell backfired. So now, the enslavement spell is stuck on Rem and Shera. Queue beginning of Diablo’s harem!!!
While the cliches of the show have been pointed out, they don’t stop at just the harem thing. Uh…Shera has massive boobs. So, of course, there needs to be a scene where the jiggle, right? Right. More ugh.
Does episode one get any better from here, though?
Well, not really, no. No…it doesn’t. It’s stereotypical, it’s cliche, it’s got all of what one might expect from a harem anime, but it doesn’t give us any new flair to work with–it doesn’t break the harem, MMORPG, badass-strongest-guy thing it has going. Which is really all it has going for it right now.
There’s a bit of internal monologue, which proves to us that yes, the main character really has turned into his character, but he tries so hard to act like his character that it’s bothersome.
And a bed scene…to get at a secret. Because what would a fantasy MMORPG, I’m-now-in-the-game, harem anime be without some special secret? *cough* Kayaba Akihiko *cough* Well, this bed scene is cliche again…sex sells, right? Let’s go after the cute cat girl and figure it out! Oh!! We figure out the secret and it’s super big and important?!
MORE GROANING FROM ME!
And then we end with a fight…where Diablo is over-powered and whatever is thrown at him doesn’t have any effect. Because he’s level 150! Ohh!!! So strong! So….boring.
While the animation of the show seemed fairly standard for today’s anime, there wasn’t anything special about the show. It wasn’t lacking in animation, but it wasn’t spectacular, either. There were some odd moments, the internal monologues Diablo went through showed he was still his own person even though he was now in the game, but the cliche moments and stereotypical harem anime tropes that we’ve seen so many times stood out over everything…
Hopefully episode two gets better? Hopefully…