What’s the show? Hot NOT To Summon A Demon Lord, Episode 1.
And what’s it about? Takuma is a shut-in who is obsessed with the MMORPG ‘Cross Reverie’ so obsessed in fact that he’s the most powerful character in the game, bequeathed the title of Demon Lord Diablo and something of a ‘final boss’ for other players who dare take up arms against him! But one day he wakes up in the fantasy world he loves so much, except he’s not himself in this world but rather has all the physical and power-based attributes of his online avatar, Diablo!
Right… And how did he get into this fantasy world? Ordinarily when it comes to these Isekai shows I’d say something like “don’t be ridiculous they don’t explain the how of these things, it just ‘happens’!” But here it seems he was ‘summoned’ here by busty elf Shera L Greenwood and pantherian (cat girl) Rem Galleu. What the were expecting to summon was an obedient slave, but because of one of Takuma’s—or rather Diablo’s—magical items all spells are countered and returned to the caster, meaning these two girls are his slaves!
Oh boy… Now now, I know what you’re thinking and this show could have immediately made the mistake of creating a lecherous scenario by having Takuma take advantage of his situation, but right from the get-go not only is Takuma so inexperienced with social interactions that he has to revert to ‘RP’ing’ as Diablo in all his conversations but he is as keen to break the spell as the girls are!
Why do I have a feeling you’re having an imaginary argument with people who don’t like this show? Because I know they’re out there and I know they’ll take this one element of the show and just run it into the ground. If Takuma/Diablo had been in any way a jerk to these girls or mistreated them I’d have been against him from the get-go, but not only is he understanding of these girls he goes as far as to pledge his allegiance to Rem in order to help her out of her difficult situation?
And what situation is that? She’s got the soul of an ancient and powerful demon lord called Krebskulm inside her that will be released unto the world when she dies.
Oh, so a minor thing then. Why does he help her out? Because he’s a nice guy? Okay, maybe it’s just because he’s treating this like a game and wants to get to the final boss ASAP, but regardless of his true intentions, he ishelping and accepting of Rem in a way that no one has ever been before, he treats her like a person and isn’t afraid of what’s inside her…
Uh-huh, and what’s this about your so-called “nice-guy” protagonist ‘torturing’ her to get the information out of her?! This is why I shouldn’t let you read my notes… *sigh* okay, fine—he does ~kinda~ cross the line by forcing Rem onto the bed and proceeding to stroke then rub and then suck the cat girl’s fuzzy ear in order to get the information out of her. But I’ve seen worse in more positively received series, and even if we’re not comparing, not only is it integral to moving the plot forward but by the end of it nobody is harmed by these ‘shenanigans’… I know, I know it sounds like I’m condoning non-consensual touching here and this is a slippery slope to go down and the last thing I’d want is for people to misconstrue my words as condoning this behaviour in the real world but it’s all about context here!
And what context is that exactly? Aside from what’s explicitly shown on the screen?Let’s not pretend this show isn’t something it’s not, it’s pretty heavy on the fan-service and it’s a comedy driven harem anime—you can judge this against reality as much as you want but the simple fact of the matter is this a fantasy series in more ways than one…
So it gets a pass because of its genre? I don’t understand what you mean by ‘gets a pass’ it’s in a similar vein to Konosuba, Is It Wrong To Try & Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon and especially No Game No Life—and while those shows have “problematic” elements too it’s never serious enough to derail the show.
But shouldn’t every show, even those shows of very similar genres and types, strive to be better than what’s come before? Maybe this is a horribly reductive thing to say—especially in a day and age where the media we consume can be held up a microscope to us as a society but the only obligation this kind of show has to my mind is to be entertaining.
And what about the ways in which its similar to those other ‘isekai’ show, isn’t that a detractor from its overall quality? In some ways it has a lot of derivative elements from those aforementioned series’ but I prefer to think that this show is picking ~just~ enough common elements to create that warm sense of familiarity, while still having its own story to tell and characters to inhabit it. At the end of the day it’s just a whole lot of fun, and while it’s too early to say whether the ‘yet to be introduced’ characters will have as much charm, I’m already won over by this world, it’s inhabitants and the socially inept overpowered protagonist that’s stuck there!
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