OP: 「DeCIDE」 by SUMMONARS 2+ (Serizawa Yuu, Waki Azuki, Hara Yumi, Ookubo Rumi, Katou Emiri
「魔王演技」 (Maou Engi)
“The Demon Lord Act”
Or, the one with the Gary Stu you’ll actually like!
This season’s major magical-fantasy-action-harem-ecchi anime is here, and it’s got that isekai flavor added in, mm mm yum! This show is fascinating to me, because both in the source material and this first episode, it does several difficult things well, even if it’s in service to a story that probably won’t aspire to much beyond “have fanservice can lulz.” Chief of all: its main character is a Gary Stu who doesn’t suck.
In the preview, I referred to Death March in discussing why Sakamoto “Diablo” Takuma (Mizunaka Masaaki) works as a main character. Because he’s a total self-insert Gary Stu-type character, totally overpowered and with the ability to solve nearly any of his problems from the get-go, not to mention possessed of two beautiful girls who very literally cannot leave him alone. So why doesn’t he suck? Because his intense social anxiety means he can’t take advantage of his position nearly as much as a more functional person could.
Now, real social anxieties are no laughing manner! I’ve got friends with them, I’ve seen them get panic attacks, it’s no fun. But I’m going to chock Diablo’s issues up to an extreme lack of practice, because that both seems to be the case and because it makes it easier to have fun with it. Which is aided by how the show isn’t ridiculing him for his lack of social skills, it’s merely using it as a way to keep him as a likeable character, rather than a School Days-level womanizer and bloody tyrant who is thoroughly capable of slaughtering his way to the top. That would be wish fulfillment of another type, but not what we’re into here. Here the goal is to have fun following a guy who can solve all his problems save one: himself. Also, there are a lot of cute girls and ecchi stuff, which is always fun too.
This first episode was fairly streamlined, and did a good job of adapting the source material to the changed medium. there was little fat (one area excepted), and it jumped straight into delving into the characters of both Rem Galeu (Waki Azumi) and Shera L. Greenwood (Serizawa Yuu). Most notably the former, and boy was Diablo’s “torture” a lot of fun! I like how this show is determined to stimulate the mind’s eye as much as giving the cheesecake away, it makes for a more balanced ecchi meal. Also, Shera eating instead of saving Rem is just great character work. We’ve got a good sense of these three main characters, and we know at least some of what they’ll be doing. That’s a good first episode’s work.
I don’t know if I’ll be blogging this, but it is an easy show to talk about, so I’ll probably give it a couple more episodes at least. Not because I’m the ecchi blogger, though! Because I’m not. It’s just because it’s easy to write about, and because it’s fantasy. I’m the fantasy blogger. Get it right, jeez. B-bakas.
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Full-length images: 27.
ED: 「Saiaku na hi demo Anata ga Suki」 by Serizawa Yuu