A Story of Fan-service, Parodies, and Star Children, Oh My

Conception Anime Episode Review Title Image

Conception Episode 8 Review

This anime has never hidden what it is and I don’t really think it needed to. Right from the beginning the dubious nature of Itsuki’s quest to woo the Star Maidens over in order to make Star Children through a love ritual is as in your face as it can be and despite it not actually involving sex it is about as borderline as it can be. Throw in Mana’s character who is a non-stop parade of lewd sex jokes and references and essentially this anime was very up-front about what its focus was going to be.

Conception Episode 8 Itsuki and Sue

Still, in earlier episodes I felt there were some elements that were curious enough or interesting enough to warrant sticking around and further investigation. The overall presentation wasn’t great, some characters annoyed, and Mana was simply toxic, but the basic idea of being summoned to another world to rid it of impurities through a ritual and then fighting through different levels in a labyrinth had potential. To put it simply the balance of things that made me curious vs those things that made me roll my eyes was good enough that I stuck around. In a show like How Not To Summon a Demon Lord that ultimately paid off. Master of Ragnarok on the other hand was a failure.

So where does Conception fit in?

Well, it is hard to say given it isn’t finished yet and potentially, it could still do something with the ideas it laid out early on but has yet to really capitalise on. In fact, maybe episode 8 is just the low point before the thunderous final and I’ll look back at this post and realise that this was a by-product of weekly watching and personal prejudices against reality TV shows and that a thin parody over the top of the format didn’t make this episode any more watchable. 

Conception Episode 8 The Bachelor

Note: Just playing out the tropes of something isn’t necessarily parody. Small exaggeration of those tropes doesn’t make it necessarily parody either. It kind of just makes it an emulation of the original and if you aren’t fond of the original, unless the parody is actually highlighting a specific issue or idea, basically you are stuck with something else you don’t like.

But basically, this episode brings the worst of Conception to the forefront, while ignoring most of what makes it occasionally interesting and curious. Itsuki particularly has what is left of his character butchered through the attempt to fit him into the mould of the protagonist of an episode of The Bachelor and I was one finger snap away from terminating the viewing then and there.

As it was, I did skip forward at multiple points in the episode, which is something I almost never do on something I haven’t watched through once. Second watches sometimes have sections where I will skip forward if there is a particular scene or moment I’d rather not endure a second time. But first watches are usually safe from this kind of treatment with the understanding that if I dislike something enough to want to skip forward it is probably time to let it go.

Conception Episode 8 Itsuki and Sue

And then, just as I was more or less determined to end the viewing on this and maybe pick one of the shows I put on hold back up, they get back to the idea of the labyrinth and give just the tiniest faint hope they might address it. Not to mention, I’ve watched 8 episodes of this and I kind of want to get to the end and do a season final review. There definitely comes a point in the season where dropping something feels like a defeat and that the time will be completely wasted if you don’t get to the end.

That said, I can’t say I’m particularly looking forward to the next episode. I just kind of want this one to be done.

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Karandi James
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Tuesday’s Top 5: Moments from How Not To Summon A Demon Lord

Tuesday's Top 5

If you’ve followed my seasonal coverage you will already know that I’ve been kind of surprised by just how much I’ve enjoyed How Not To Summon a Demon Lord. On paper it doesn’t look like something I’d find all that compelling (definitely watchable, but not something to be looking forward to) and with the amount of fan service it threw around I was very surprised by just how well they still managed to deal with characters and plot. As such, having come to the end of the season and before I finalised my review of it, I decided to look at my favourite moments from the series in a top 5 list.

If you watched the show, I’d love to know your top 5 favourite moments from it.

Please note, there will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: Pretty much most conversations between Rem and Shera are really great fun as the two have a great chemistry as the supporting characters, and I’d probably throw in Alicia befriending Rem except that we all know how that ended.

Number 5: Diablo takes out an army of the fallen (Episode 4).

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 4

While it had been clear that Diablo was overpowered from his encounters with humans, it wasn’t until episode 4 where we really saw just how much power Diablo could throw at something. With an army of Fallen advancing on the city and Shera hiding in the gate tower behind him, Diablo unleashed a massive spell literally blowing the army, the bridge, and a lot of the river away in a single attack. That was a pretty impressive display of power, moreso when you realise he went on to fight straight after this sequence by teleporting to the city.

Number 4: Klem declare her purpose is to devour all the biscuits in this world (Episode 10).

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 10 - Klem

Okay, not what you expect from a resurrected Demon Lord but still a fairly fiendish plan to eat all the biscuits. Basically on being reborn Klem is told that she shouldn’t destroy the mortal races and when she complains she’s hungry she’s given a biscuit and look at that, problem solved. Turns out biscuits can solve everything. It was a fairly adorable moment even if it did kind of kill the tension of the whole demon lord resurrection thing.

Number 3: Diablo getting genuinely angry at Shera’s brother (Episode 5).

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord - Episode 5 - Diablo

I’ll admit this sequence did lead us to Shera’s kidnap and the whole tied up while slimes melted her clothes off moment, but Diablo’s genuine anger at the idea of a brother placing a bounty on his sister was a great moment. Up until then it was hard to know whether Diablo genuinely felt anything toward Rem and Shera or whether he felt they were handy to have around and helped him keep up appearances, but his actual anger at how Shera is treated put those concerns to rest. Actually this whole arc with Shera going with her brother, Diablo’s depression, and ultimately his rescue of Shera was all really great to watch.

Number 2: Klem’s anger (Episode 11).

How Not To Summon A Demon Lord Episode 11 - Klem

Having sat and watched Saddler torture Rem in front of her because Rem told her not to fight, Klem finally snaps after Rem is more or less killed in front of her. I say more or less because we know they aren’t actually going to kill off a main character in this kind of show, but realistically, she should be dead. Klem loses it in a truly spectacular manner and even if the fight in the next episode wasn’t as solid as I would have liked, I still really enjoyed this build up.

Number 1: Diablo fights Galford (Episode 8).

DemonLord8d

This wasn’t the flashiest of fights or the most purposeful however it was the very first time it really seemed like our Demon Lord Diablo might very well not be the most untouchable and invincible character on the planet. Galford really pushed Diablo and there were definitely moments during this fight where you could easily believe that if Diablo had reacted just a fraction slower he might very well have been seriously injured if not killed. It added an extra level of tension to every conflict after this one even if none of them ever quite delivered on the same amount of excitement. A really enjoyable moment.

There we have it, my Top 5 Moments from How Not To Summon a Demon Lord. I’d love to know yours or even just what your favourite moment has been this Summer in anime.


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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