Hey Irina, welcome to week 6 of How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω and now I think we’re going to call this How Not To Animate A Battle Sequence because this one was really bad. I was kind of reminded of some of the worst animation moments in Records of Grancrest War while watching this episode and I didn’t think Demon Lord would ever look quite that bad. But I kind of skipped ahead. How was your week?
Better than that battle! Kind of rough this week. Went through the ringer a couple of times and I didn’t have time for much of anything aside from work. But I made it through and I am hoping the next few weeks will be better.
I actually had an okayish week and got some stuff done. Admittedly, a lot of last weekend got consumed with this whole rating anime OP project and that ended up taking a lot more time than I’d anticipated. It was fun and I’m going to write about it at some point but I feel like I’m a little behind with some post writing.
It took me forever. After about 4 hours or so everything just started sounding the same. I should have spread it out but I didn’t have any other free time in the week. I have to plan better if I ever do something like that again.
So, back to Demon Lord and this week Diablo is all upset because some guy is claiming to be the army of the demon lord and basically slaughtering all the soldiers we saw at the end of the last episode on their little sand-ships. I’d care a bit more if they’d put any effort into this but basically we only really ever see the main ship and any of the actual action of the slaughter is more or less a still with some shaky-cam work happening so and some over-the-top screams or groans. It really didn’t do much for me or make me particularly care about the nameless soldiers in the generic silver hats. What about you?
I didn’t care much about what was happening and I wasn’t sad but was I supposed to dislike Diablo? Like was that what they were going for? I guess it is black humour that he saw some guy being more popular with the ladies and that’s what set him off and not the carnage. So he just killed all the ladies… I dunno the joke didn’t land for me and it sort of sucked a lot of the charm out of the character.
Diablo was always a loveable harmless pervert. Actually not even much of a pervert, just getting thrown into pervy situations as one does. But this week they made him out to be this bitter blame the world type and I’m not sure why. Seems like a bit of a downgrade. And if I don’t want to see Diablo succeed then there’s not much point in watching. At least for me.
I was wondering how Diablo got to the battle site given it apparently took three days to get to the dungeon but we pull out a magical plot device (sorry, feather) which lets the group instantly teleport back to a place they had been and fortunately the battle took place on one of their approaches or departures from the city rather than a totally different direction they’d never travelled. We then get to see our heroes kill the mob monsters in a series of barely animated shots where each of the girls gets to do one specific thing and make a witty comment before we turn the slaughter over to Diablo.
It definitely made me wonder if Rem and Shera would ever be relevant again. Diablo could have easily just fought this battle on his own without their tiny contributions and ultimately they don’t really matter here. There was a brief moment where I wondered if the fallen guy would go after one of them after Diablo had attacked his harem but nothing came of it.
I think not Ram contributed more than Rem. And I have to say, I’m not into Rem’s new costume at all. The construction of it just doesn’t suit her. Or maybe it’s the materials? In any case, I think they were going for sexy and just added more skin. There’s more of an art to it than that. You have to make your assets look their best and hide your faults. It’s a delicate balance. Ok, I’m going off on something that doesn’t matter. I don’t have much to say about the episode.
It really doesn’t feel like anything here matters or has weight. Which would have been fine last season where How Not To Summon a Demon Lord was either consistently funny or charming when it wasn’t being a bit more serious and giving us moments that made us feel the other characters might be in peril. Season 2 hasn’t presented any serious threat but it also isn’t anywhere near as charming and the end result is something that is pretty flat viewing. Am I being harsh?
I keep wondering what exactly changed. Because I genuinely enjoyed the first season a lot. And I’m having a hard time. Certainly the tone and gaze got more aggressive but it’s not just that. The characters sound more or less like themselves but a shallow version. The action is strewn together in a careless way and for me, it seems to have lost a lot of its sense of fun. The season feels much more business-like and goal oriented. It has to make sure it gets the genre across or hits the right tropes. Something like that.
On absolute speculation, to me it feels like either a studio or if it’s the same issue in the novels an editor/publisher saw the profit potential and pushed for a product packed with marketability instead or just goofy antics. And I’m a goofy antics sort of girl!
I don’t really have much more to add other than I found this episode to be pretty meh. A villain that had potential to be more than a one-note character didn’t amount to much, gun-girl got one good line and shot before she was reduced to girl in need of Diablo’s rescue, and the battle was pretty dull. Even the victory meal after didn’t lay on any charm. We’re at the half-way mark and so far How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω has yet to really impress.
Sadly, I have to agree.
Images from: How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Season 2. Dir. S. Kuwahara. Tezuka Productions and Okuruto Noboru. 2021.
Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi
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