What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Season One! This was another series that I found myself now able to binge through, and was not disappointed one bit with the entertainment it provided. Now I should say that this is one I did tend to have reservations for at first. Normally it is not my thing to prioritize seeing something from the harem genre. Sometimes it’s not a problem, other times it can be too much. What made or killed this one for me was always going to be how they found a middleground.
Off the bat, this was a series which grabbed my attention because I can admit that I am weak towards any series that embraces the realm of fantasy. From the start they established how heavy the elements of fantasy would play into this story, and that made every experience quite unique. What did manage to catch me off guard about this one was how there was no focus on trying to escape this world either. In most cases the main character is trying to get our of their situation, and that was not Diablo here. He got trapped into this world, and the from there they jumped right into integrating him into the world around him. This kind of approach I enjoyed much more because it left much more openness to how the story progress rather than moving in a straight line towards one end goal. So with that said, the plot more so involved things which mattered to this world. Things like getting the Demon Lord of this world out of Rem, helping Shera to forge a path as her own person, removing their slave collars, and in general trying to make it as adventurers. Things like this mattered more, and it was hard to argue with any of that when it in turn made the experienced more immersive.
The cool thing about this series is where they create a challenge for a character like Takuma Sakamoto (Diablo). Normally of course the main character would be overpowered. Not only this, but in most cases able to breeze through every obstacle thrown at them. Where they shake things up here is the fact that even with all that power, this did not prepare Takuma for the things that were different about this world. Some things worked differently in relation to the game. Some solutions required him to be able to think outside of the box or rely on other skills which did not involve being the strongest guy in the room. Aside from that, Diablo was very well written as the main character. For as much as he struggled to escape the personality of his character, you had to love the wisdom he had to share. Never came out the way he wanted it to, but the words themselves mattered more for what he was able to say to people who needed o get out of a certain headspace. At the core he was seeing people who needed to break free of the cages that life put them in, and that made it easy to relate to them on different levels.
Even Rem and Shera were written very well too. On the surface you couldn’t seem much about them that you could have taken seriously, but as the journey progressed with them, there was so much to explore that we weren’t seeing on the surface. The pain of isolation, the suffering from being forced to live a life without choice. These were two consistent themes which they represented excellently, while at the same time in their own way redefining what it means to be a hero. This goes double for Rem in particular who shocks you for the sacrifice she proves capable of in the darkest moment of the season.
Aside from them, other supporting cast did stand out here and there. Nothing too notable in contrast to those three, but it went a long way that there wasn’t many in their orbit who didn’t have a story to tell. They each found different ways to offer some depth to the story to create honest interactions.
When it came to the action, I found myself very satisfied with what came of most battles. Even for as powerful as Diablo was, we got to see many spells from him, and all of them working in different ways to give him some sort of advantage over someone else. In fact, I loved that they went the extra mile to also show what someone like him was capable of when relying on physical skill just to create even battles. This kept a lot of exchanges from being too decisive, which in turn allowed others to offer something visually captivating for what they could do.
Now obviously if there was one thing we could not dodge about this one, it was the explicit nature that was indulged in. Like I said above, it’s not normally my thing to prioritize seeing something from the harem genre. This I do have to say got a bit uncomfortable at times. Many things happening would leave you constantly questioning the age difference between Diablo, Rem, and Shera. Lets not even get to the line they were treading with the reveal of the actual Demon Lord’s true form. Either way, I did appreciate that despite this, they did not allow those moments to overshadow much of what was actually genuine about this series. Everything I said that was so endearing about the series could have easily been smeared by too much that you thought was gross. Fortunately they consistently found a middleground which didn’t make it tasking to overlook what wasn’t necessary.
All in all, How Not to Summon a Demon Lord season one is impressive for the kind of story it is. This could have been just like all the others out there, and yet finds itself memorable for everything compelling that you can only see by giving it a chance. Ending this I should say to anyone who hasn’t gotten the news yet; A second anime season by Tezuka Productions and Okuru to Noboru has been announced and scheduled to premiere in 2021. That should be something to look forward to!