How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 12: The Power of Harems?

A Demon Lord in one direction, a fallen army in the other, what will our heroes do? Apparently we’ll rely on the power of friendship and follow that up with a healthy dose of harem power.

By the way: Spoilers

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 12

This is probably one of those cases where I kind of understand why the story has ended this way. Being isekai and harem it really does make sense that our overpowered protagonist will deliver an amazing feat of magic but somehow the day will still be saved by some lip-service from the haremetts before Klem reverts back into her loli form and willingly accepts being enslaved by Diablo. We even get a moment to redeem Alicia and let’s throw the fallen Edelgard into the mix right at the end so that we can have the full range of fan-service this show has on offer all in one scene.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 12

And it works. There’s no denying that the fight was kind of fun, the character relationships make sense, and Diablo not killing Alicia for putting everyone through all of that is more or less expected at this point. However, it kind of makes it hard to say that this anime ultimately distinguished itself from so many others in the genre. It had a real chance for a far more serious ending and one with far more dramatic consequences and yet has chosen the softer and more expected end.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 12

Still, for those who enjoyed the plot, it is wrapped up nicely though plenty of room for sequels should they ever exist. For those who loved the fan-service the final sequence is definitely ensuring you don’t forget this show is full of it. So there’s enough going on here to make most viewers feel this show was worth the time.

Was this the most thrilling end ever? Probably not, but at the same time it did its job and overall I’m feeling pretty happy with watching this.

Now I have to get my thoughts together for a full review.

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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 11: No More Games

When Alicia decides its time to drop the charade, she doesn’t go half-way about it. There’s very little subtlety to be found in any of the events in this episode of How Not To Summon a Demon Lord but with one episode to go I can’t say that is necessarily a bad thing.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 11 - Alicia

This episode has Saddler’s return, Alicia’s betrayal, a Fallen army marching on the city, a torture sequence and the real resurrection of the demon lord… That is kind of a lot to pack into an episode and yet all of these story elements have been building up nicely over the course of the season so none of them felt suddenly thrown in or unnecessary. The Biscuit Song potentially could have been cut down a few seconds of screen time, but everything else in this episode felt fairly purposeful, if a little blunt.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 11 - Klem

And that is probably the only criticism I have this week. Due to how much the episode was trying to cover everything was just kind of thrown at the audience and explicitly stated by the characters. Even Diablo’s momentary panic attack about how he could act like a Demon Lord and ask for help wasn’t as nuanced or interesting as previous scenes that have dealt with his internal personality freaking out. Though I did like the reaction of the guild.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 11 - Guild

But overall, this series has managed to maintain a fairly cohesive plot that’s had relatively good pacing and so as we draw closer to the conclusion, while I personally may have liked a little less fan service along the way, I can’t help but feel that this story has been a pretty enjoyable ride and as long as it doesn’t hurl itself off a cliff in the final episode, I’m going to remain pretty happy I watched this.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 11 - Saddler

Though, I kind of would have liked Saddler’s end to have taken significantly longer. That guy was a sadist and totally deserved a more painful ending. Still, at least we don’t have to listen to him declaring himself god anymore.

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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 10: How Many Enemies Does Diablo Want?

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 10

This is an episode that gives us both some incredibly uncomfortable fan-service moments and some truly adorable but equally fan-service moments. That and a reasonably decent but cut short fight sequence. So what is going on with episode 10?

Just a warning that one of the images this week is quite fan-service oriented.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 10

So we’ve met Galford, the local Lord, who pushed Diablo in a fight. We’ve also met Saddler who had a lot of build up to be taken out fairly unspectacularly but was always going to come back and the end of this episode guarantees it. We also now have the strongest fallen that Diablo is going to let just leave for reasons. Really, for such a great game player Diablo is forgetting something really fundamental. Every time you don’t completely defeat an enemy, you are just letting them come back stronger (seriously, play Final Fantasy X for awhile and realise how obnoxious Seymour is by the third time you have to fight him).

However, that’s kind of background stuff as this episode primarily involves the resurrection of the demon lord from inside of Rem, the anti-climatic conclusion of that resurrection and the addition of a new loli style character into the harem, and then a fight before yet another fan-service style sequence involving Shera and the new Demon Lord dubbed Klem rubbing themselves against Diablo. Given this story has been developing for some time, this episode does it justice by not rushing through this and giving it a whole episode. That and Klem’s sudden love of biscuits and no desire for killing mortals was pretty hilarious.

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That said, this episode tread on some dangerously uncomfortable ground with the resurrection sequence. It isn’t as though the audience doesn’t know that they are watching this kind of show, but episode 10 pushes things further than ever before with a sequence involving Rem and Diablo that certainly had me debating whether or not this was where I bid the show farewell. It has skirted along the edge of my tolerance for these sorts of scenes for most the season and this was definitely a step too far. Ultimately I decided to keep watching the show, but if I ever did rewatch it, I’d most definitely skip that sequence because that was just not comfortable to watch at all for me.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord

So as always, this show does a lot of things right even as it does have some fairly full on fan service and episode 10 is going to push that to a whole new level. For the most part though, if you’ve gotten to episode 10 and you make it through that sequence, then this is a fairly enjoyable episode.

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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 9: The Good, The Bad, and The Protagonist

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 9 - Group hug

I kind of mentioned this in my post about anime angels and demons, but there are a lot of demon characters out there in anime that are portrayed as the lesser of two poor choices (if not actually the good guy). How Not To Summon a Demon Lord does one better with the paladins seeming like psychos, the actual demon lord an unknown boogeyman type character, and Diablo, the self-proclaimed demon lord, the character we’re supposed to rally behind.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 9 - Saddler

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord continues to introduce new characters even at episode 9 and I’m not entirely sure we needed that. There’s already a fairly rich cast and a clear set up for a final so Saddler coming in at this stage as the overly righteous Paladin didn’t really seem necessary. Whatever role he might be intended to play as an antagonist could easily have been fulfilled by Galford, but given how Saddler ends up this episode I’m not even sure if we’re supposed to count him as a reoccurring character or whether he was a villain of the week.

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There’s another sequence early in this episode where Diablo reaffirms that not everything is just like the game when Rem is teaching Shera how to summon. They are using a stone Diablo has never seen before and he certainly seems to be wondering just how the game and this world are related given the number of similarities but these ongoing discrepancies keep stacking up. Outside of that though, the whole summoning sequence just felt like down time and I’m not sure we gained all that much from the sequence.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 9 - Shera

Of course this show needed its dose of fan-service and this week we get that in the form of Shera and Rem taking a bath in a stream. There’s a particularly uncomfortable moment where Rem is doing something to Shera’s boobs that defies physics and common sense, however the sequence is fortunately brief before what’s-her-name the fallen shows up. Here Diablo is presented with a choice. He can trust the fallen and learn the spell to unseal the demon lord inside of Rem or he can decline her offer. Admittedly, he wants the demon lord out of Rem, but his confidence that he can definitely beat the demon lord seems a little mis-placed after he has realised not everything is just like the game.

How Not to Summon A Demon Lord Episode 9 Shera
The magic of anime hair, and sparkles.

Still, for what this show is, it remains remarkably fun to watch. I’m looking forward to what will happen next week with Rem and the spell and I have so far pretty much enjoyed most of what this show has on offer. The bits that miss their mark for me aren’t enough to detract from some of the strengths this anime has on display with its characters and ongoing plot.

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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 8: Is It Not A Game?

Diablo is given reason to question whether or not he really is in the game world yet again as several events this episode make him reconsider how safe he is and how things actually work. It’s a wonderful reminder that despite being overpowered Diablo is still incredibly vulnerable and it leads to a fantastic fight this week.

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This week we see the resolution of the fight with Shera’s brother but it turns out that he isn’t going to be hanging around all that long. After a fight between Diablo and the summoned hydra the Prince runs for it and Diablo doesn’t kill him because Shera begs him not to. That doesn’t play at all into the plans of the Lord who sent Diablo after the prince in the first place and so the real ‘villain’ of the week will raise his sword in a fairly spectacular fight as we finally get someone who can more or less keep up in a fight against our overpowered demon lord.

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I wasn’t overly surprised that Galford showed up here as I pointed out in episode 5 that his introduction made no sense unless it was set up for something:

Maybe they just want this guy known so that later when he does something important it doesn’t feel like a last minute add in?

Still, I wasn’t expecting this interesting a fight during this episode and I wasn’t expecting a single opponent to be this challenging for Diablo. However, given he just took out an elf army, rescued a Princess, and defeated a hydra, we can probably forgive him for being a little under the weather when it comes time to fight the local lord.

DemonLord8d

What was less spectacular was that Rem and Shera were more or less shunted off to the side to clutch their hands and be all hopeful that Diablo would win. While it is clear that they aren’t in Diablo’s league, they really deserve better as characters than to be spectators coming in after the fact to mourn in Shera’s case or heal the remaining elves in Rem’s.

Now, after a wonderfully plot driven episode they did need to dive into what can only be described as a fan-service fuelled scene as Sylvie first gives him alcohol and then gets mistaken for a body pillow. While the scene isn’t as graphic as earlier scenes with Shera have been, there’s really no other reason for it other than a fan-service finish.

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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 7: Overwriting = Bad but Command = Good?

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 7 Diablo

The Prince returns and Shera follows him leaving one depressed Demon Lord. However, Rem and Alicia get Diablo back on his feet and then it is time for a showdown between the Prince’s ability to overwrite Shera’s will with Diablo’s ability to command her to tell the truth as his slave. Wait? Who was supposed to  be the good guy here?

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 7

After the fan service heavy episode 6, I was hoping for a more plot driven episode and to be honest, this episode delivered (while still actually delivering on fan service at the same time). It was unexpected how well the episode managed to balance both aspects that so far had been separated. Where most events fell into either the fan service or the plot/character camps, this episode succeeded at delivering the two simultaneously without seemingly giving up on the quality of either. A rare feat but one I had to applaud by the end.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 7

Shera is the star of this episode even if she isn’t the hero. From the early focus on her as she watches Diablo make potions (as he watches her breasts jiggling) to the first round of brain washing where she returns to her brother, this episode is Shera’s. Diablo may have started the episode with a flash back to his childhood when he was still in the real world and facing rejection (a theme that will carry through the episode) but it is nowhere near as compelling as Shera’s story here.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 7

By the time the stupid prince Keera delivers cloth eating slime to Shera (and do I dare ask why it immediately attacks Shera’s clothes when there’s the prince, a rug, a tent and a lot of other cloth it could eat), despite the obvious cliche moment of the girl writhing under the slimes, the audience is genuinely feeling for Shera’s character and waiting for the rescue that we know is on the way.

Even after the rescue, it isn’t as though Shera simply becomes baggage. As Diablo and Keera fight it out for control over Shera’s mind, ultimately it is what Shera wants that dictates the outcome of the battle and then Shera’s not ready to cry and play the damsel in distress. She’s standing right there next to Rem as Keera unleashes his dangerous summon and I’m hoping that Shera continues to grow as a character and an adventurer.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 7

This was a genuinely satisfying episode and while bouncing boobs and dissolving clothes may not be to everyone’s liking, here it felt like they actually did belong in the story rather than feeling like an added extra for the sake of it after the fact.

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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 6: A Flimsy Excuse For Flimsy Outfits

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 6

I’m not surprised that this episode went the direction it did, but nor did I particularly enjoy parts of the episode. When a character is moaning and crying out (after being magically inspected) so loudly I feel the need to turn the sound down and I finish the episode wondering if there was even ten minutes of content, there’s probably something lacking (although it would have been hard to squeeze some story in amongst the outfit changes and bed sequences I guess).

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 6 - Diablo and Shera

Episodes like this one are kind of expected when you watch something as clearly fan-service focused as this anime has been. Delaying their journey to deal with the elf situation in order to visit a slave market to investigate the removal of the collars is a fine excuse to stall the plot while we instead get some magical shenanigans that of course involve Shera once again wearing an incredibly revealing outfit and then writhing and moaning on a bed while Diablo investigates magical flows (and they still don’t get the collar off because that would kind of puncture the whole set up of the show I guess).

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 6 - Rem and Alicia

However, in case you think Rem is being ignored, there is actually some minor plot points being developed outside the tent where Alicia teachers Rem a ‘charm’ in a scene that suggests a number of possibilities but keeps fairly quiet as to which way they’ll ultimately take things. This was perhaps one of my favourite moments of the episode because it actually added to the characters and the plot and ultimately it felt meaningful. Also, if you actually want to see Rem writhing about on a bed, just wait until the end of the episode where Shera decides that she can treat Rem to the experience.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 6 - Diablo

The other thing of note that happens this episode is Shera’s brother, Keera, shows up at the inn and plays the sweet brother who has been misunderstood. It was clearly a fairly lame act in the first place and about the only character buying it is Diablo (which plays nicely into his lack of social skills). Right before the credits we get a scene of the brother playing his flute while standing on the apex of a tree (because that’s normal) and he lets his crazy out. The scene kind of lacks impact because even without it we more or less knew that this was the case, and really they could have had the same dialogue shown while he was walking away from the room. It didn’t really need its own scene.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 6 - Shera

Basically if you are watching this show for the fan-service, this episode is a treat. If you are watching for the plot, there are a few pieces here and there that you will need for later so this episode isn’t skippable, but it won’t be the most enjoyable either.

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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 5: Princesses, Demon Lords and Imperial Knights

Diablo is perhaps the best thing about this anime with his internal and external personalities constantly at war. While the plot continues to be surprisingly interesting there’s no denying the ongoing prolific fanservice.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord - Episode 5 - Diablo
Inner self, freaking out.

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord continues to be quite a bit of fun to watch. The fantasy setting is generic and so far the events (invading army, bounty on a party member, prevent a war) are all pretty standard, but that doesn’t stop it from being enjoyable. While Diablo as a character may suffer from some of the usual hang-ups of these kinds of characters (as well as having an almost magnetic connection with Shera’s chest) he actually remains a fairly interesting character and one who I’m enjoying watching find a balance between his in-game persona and his inner self.

DemonLord5b
Outer self, taking control.

This week we are introduced to the local Lord who is apparently some big-shot Hero, though his overall presence in this episode felt more like a set-up or an introduction given Diablo had already been given the quest and they were given no real extra information. Maybe they just want this guy known so that later when he does something important it doesn’t feel like a last minute add in? The one useful thing that did come out of this meeting was Diablo added yet another girl to his harem in the form of an Imperial Knight (who are apparently usually male but of course the one sent here is female).

DemonLord5g

Alicia might be a fun character but we’ll see how she goes next week. That said, the final part of this episode where Shera is kidnapped and we get a short chase sequence was kind of fun. It is also good to know that Emile made a full recovery after his confrontation with the Fallen last week. As much as I thought Emile was a jerk, his defence of Rem despite knowing he was outclassed was pretty admirable.

DemonLord5c
Just not sure who this shot is for.

I will just say that while the occasional panty shot, the ongoing revealing outfits, and other aspects of fan-service don’t really bother me that much, scenes like this one, where Diablo is nearly smothered in Shera’s boobs, really does break me out of the story. Mostly because I can’t imagine what purpose such a scene serves given it doesn’t look like a desirable situation for anyone and visually it isn’t exactly alluring. Maybe I’m just not the target audience, but I think even people who like fan-service would have to look at that scene and be a little put off.

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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 4: Overpowered Protagonist Balanced Against Real Consequences (With a Healthy Dose of Fan-Service)

How Not To Summon Demon Lord Episode 4

The focus on actual plot continued this week, and not the usual kind of plot one expects from a harem fantasy, with Diablo facing the Fallen army and then dealing with the aftermath. All things considered, this was surprisingly solid.

DemonLord4d.JPG

For a good chunk of this episode, I honestly had the feeling that this show had just tipped all its harem antics into episodes 1 and 2 and had now dived into full on fantasy drama. Then Diablo blew away the army of the Fallen and its leader, in the process blowing the clothes off the leader, as can only happen in anime. In fairness to the show though, it later has Emile more or less stripped of his armour and we later on get a shot of Diablo in bed without a shirt so maybe the show is going for equal opportunity fan-service. The later part of the episode also has some boobs pressed against Diablo and a fairly flat joke where he knocks himself out quite literally on one of the girl’s fairly un-endowed chests.

Despite those moments, or actually even with those moments, this is a fairly solid episode where the only real complaint I have is how fast some of this went by. The characters were placed in real peril and even Diablo ran down his magic reserves by the end of the fight. It leaves the series open to bring our overpowered MC down a few pegs and have him face some real challenges later. Particularly if the individual opponents don’t need to be all that strong but persistent to wear him down.

DemonLord4f

I also loved that there are real consequences of the Fallen arriving. People have died and this is not glossed over. Admittedly, the very short span of time and the cliche rain filled funeral sequence didn’t really give us much time to ponder mortality, but it is another aspect to the show. Previously, I’d felt this was kind of similar to the Devil is a Part Timer and he literally just uses his magic to undo any damage caused by the various battles leaving no lasting consequences or scars. This episode sets this show apart in its tone and in how it is going to deal with conflict

DemonLord4c

All and all, while I’d still like some of the fan-service moments to be either briefer or less in my face, there’s a fairly solid plot and a good bit of world building going on in this series at the moment and I hope that continues. At this stage the fan-service isn’t intrusive enough to really put me off, and everything else is working well enough to keep me interested.

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How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 3: Fight the Fallen

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord - Episode 3 - Diablo

Apparently the writers are aware that a lot of viewers call it at episode 3. Fan-service is low comparatively this week and plot stakes are high ending in a cliff-hanger designed to force viewers to commit to at least one more. Was it successful?

DemonLord3c

While it might have been very easy to dismiss this title as just another fan-service laden isekai story adapted from a light novel there have been definite signs of some thought put into this anime right from episode 1. Whether or not the aspects it gets right are enough to offset some of the other elements is entirely up to the individual viewer, but episode 3 is probably a good indication of what this show might be able to do. With the fan-service dialled back to about a five instead of a nine out of ten (there’s some low angle shots of the girls, an ongoing focus on bouncing breasts, and a sequence where elf-girl squishes herself against Diablo for the length of a conversation), there’s actually time for some plot development and this is actually going fairly well.

DemonLord3b

The story Rem told in episode 1 about housing a demon’s soul is fairly relevant as is the discontented Mage who has been mostly the butt of jokes for the past two episodes. We also get more of a sense of who Diablo is going to be in the world as he steps up to the task of defending others for little gain of his own. The duelling personalities of the main character continue to work well with his in-game persona carrying him on even as his inner self kind of freaks out at the thought of fighting.

DemonLord3d

I’m not about to proclaim this one a master-piece or even particularly great in the grand scheme of things, but realistically, there’s actually a fairly solid story being set up here and these first three episodes have given me reason to believe that the plot is even going to work on being cohesive and tying points together making encounters not feel so pointless or random. It could all still just become a boob and butt fest with the girls, but this episode came with a decent enough attempt at narrative and characterisation.

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