Reigning It In – ‘How Not To Summon A Demon Lord’ Episode 5 Review

What’s the show? How NOT To Summon A Demon Lord, Episode 5.

So what happens in this episode? Well it takes place immediately after where last week ended with everyone’s favourite loli guildmaster Sylvie explaining the situation they are in—namely the Elven kingdom wants Shera back and are willing to go to war to get here and not only that but Shera’s brother has put a bounty out on his little sister!

Man, can’t stop looking at how crooked her eyeline is… very distracting!

Serious business. Indeed, and what’s more this is a situation that Diablo feels completely out of his depth of. He may have overpowered combat abilities but his communication skills are very lacking—the idea of having to play diplomat sends him into a panic! And it’s good to see this side of Diablo, not that we haven’t seen this before but after how resolutely he decimated his opponents in the last episode it’s still great to see.

~Anxiety~

So how are Diablo’s communication abilities specifically tested in this episode? Well he and the girls meet with Lieutenant General Chester Ray Galford the lord of Faltra City, recognised “hero” and all around Timothy Dalton look-alike (anyone else think that or is it just me?). And I think what’s most interesting about the scene—and by extension the whole episode—is how hard they hammer home the fact female autonomy, independence freedom and the importance of being able to choose your own destiny. Obviously this isn’t a bad thing at all—I love it in fact, but it almost feels like they’re trying ~extra~ hard to make up for the fact that two of the female cast wear slave collars. And I totally get it, it wants to have your cake and eat it too but all the same it does feel a bit heavy-handed.

Timothy Dalton, I tells you!

Wait… so you’re criticising the show for being ‘progressive’? No, uh… it’s hard to put into words. I’m just saying the show is trying very hard to not be one-note—which again, is great, if it is indeed sincere about it and is not just paying lip service.

…Right. Let’s move on, shall we? So what else happens in the episode? Well, after their meeting with Chester Ray Galford goes more or less without a hitch, they’re introduced to Alicia Crystella—an Imperial Knight, and a rare one at that as very few of them are female! She’s almost like the opposite of Diablo, at the very least opposite in terms of her excellent interpersonal and communication skills. And she’s kinda adorable and I love her already, but whatever that’s par for the course for me… She joins their crew to help protect Shera—and immediately fails when a bunch of enterprising townsfolk interrupt their leisurely stroll through the city and kidnap Shera.

Yup.

Oh dear. I do like that Diablo’s decided to take a “non-lethal” approach to this whole “quest”, rather than just kill everyone that stands in his way (and he very easily could) he’s almost imposed limits on himself to make the ‘game’ harder. But in a way it’s also Diablo coming to terms with the sobering reality he learned last episode, that this isn’t a game—it’s real life and indiscriminate killing might be all well and good in a video game but that doesn’t sit right with him now. And after a fun little chase sequence and another ingratiating appearance by Emile Bichel Berger, Shera is rescued and they can continue on to the next episode!

“Non-lethal” indeed.

Kinda doesn’t sound like much happens in this episode? It’s definitely a set-up episode and despite the minor action-scene towards the end feels miles more low-key than the previous episode. But that’s okay, we need the breather, we need the re-iterating of fundamental character ideals and we need a bit of levity—which this episode provides substantially. Getting to know these characters over the previous episodes helps a lot in making an otherwise ordinary kind of episode feel more alive, there’s a lot of great small moments, like with Rem jostling for relevance against Shera’s advances and Shera herself being especially cute throughout. It’s not my favourite episode but definitely a part of what is quickly becoming one of my favourite shows of the season!

Shera is too precious for words!

Previous How NOT To Summon A Demon Lord Reviews:

Is It Wrong To Suck A Cat Girl’s Ear In Another World? – Episode 1 Review
The Grope Debate – Episode 2 Review
Listening Is A Heroic Trait Too – Episode 3 Review
Unlimited Power/Limited Stamina – Episode 4 Review


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8 comments

  1. Dude, this show is quickly becoming one of the biggest surprises and most enjoyable ones, this season. I get what you mean about the autonomy thing. Didn’t really faze me (maybe I’m just used to it? I dunno), but it’s a valid point. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This episode was definitely set up, but it was the kind of set up I enjoyed because it did flesh out the world a little and the characters, plus brought in new characters for the next bit of the story, so I didn’t feel like it was time wasted. I quite enjoyed the episode though it wasn’t quite as exciting as episodes 3 and 4, but the breather is nice as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I really love the tone that this show is achieving, able to mix the completely OP main character into a world that is underpowered compared to what he is used to. I don’t particularly like the slave angle, but I think it’s actually good that it seems to try hard to make up for that with discussions of autonomy and self-determination. And I love that the show doesn’t paper over inconvenient truths, like Diablo’s ability to murder people, the fact that dead is dead. It still gets in its bounciness and groping, but even that, as the show progresses, is feeling more like “consenting beings” and less like “lucky pervert”.

    I also hadn’t realized that the outfit that Shera was wearing at the end of last ep / beginning of this ep that Sylvie had recommended to “perk up” Diablo was pretty much the same outfit that Sylvie wears all the time. That was kind of amusing.

    Liked by 2 people

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