How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Omega ‒ Episode 3

1 month ago 29

Look, just because I said How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Omega's mysteries and plot-turns could be interesting didn't mean they were always necessarily super-clever or shocking. This week's episode wastes pretty much no time making apparent that, in the established dispute between the Church and the city's Lordship, the Church definitely weren't the Good Guys. They even have fun with the unsurprising simplicity of it all, Batutta mocking the very concept of being motivated by the excuse of some tragic backstory to confirm to Lumachina that he really is just an evil, greedy bastard. Now where this leaves Laminitus as a component of the conflict, I'm still not sure, but all we know about her is that she was ignoring her poor citizens' needs and inflicting heavy taxes on them, and compared to Batutta kidnapping Rem and Lumachina and preparing to sacrifice them in a satanic orgy basement, I'm comfortable calling which one is meant to be seen as the greater of two evils at this point. Maybe Lumachina's better off becoming more of an agnostic healer after all this is over, the religious organizations of Demon Lord's world really do seem to be unilaterally that bad.

It's to our benefit in the moment, anyway, as after a solid previous episode of sleuthing setup, we can jump headlong into watching Diablo resolve this conflict in a more straightforward way. It's especially amusing to have it turn out that he was always prepared to do that, recognizing as he did that the Death Knell Disease was in fact a curse from the game version of this world he was previously so familiar with. The first season of Demon Lord actually played a bit coy with the exact nature of the world Diablo had been summoned to, leaving ambiguous whether it was an exact iteration of the game's setting or rather a unique fantasy world that just happened to be similar in a lot of ways. This was done mostly to leave questions as to how well Diablo's various abilities and game-built advantages would work. By comparison, Omega seems to be settling into the conclusion that this is in fact the world of Cross Reverie, complete with the same events and even an instance of the dungeon Diablo built in-game before getting sucked in. It's kind of benign as far as revelations go, but helps us get a handle on how things are going to function as this season goes on (Diablo's dungeon having been a consistent goal that they'll apparently already be reaching by next week's episode).

Of course it's still not a complete one-to-one recreation, as Diablo's flustered reaction to the aforementioned orgy pit makes clear. And that whiff of uncertainty means the fight in the fallout isn't a total foregone conclusion either. Demon Lord as a show has thrived before on understanding limitations placed on Diablo's overpowered-MC status. The closed-in confines of the cave this combat takes place in forms the crux of how he has to deal with Batutta in this case, turning the affair into more of a technically-minded back-and-forth rather than a showcase of raw magical ability. On the one hand, this means maybe more time than necessary is spent with the two main combatants just standing apart from each other, discussing the various circumstances of the battle which they either know or are pretending not to know. But conversely, when it does get going, it creates the kind of fight scene that works effectively with the visual limitations that have already made themselves apparent in the production of Demon Lord Omega. It's easier to be impressed with some effectively-boarded mind-games from Diablo than from any messily-rendered magical spectacle, even as they still also seem to be trying to paper over the issues by keeping everything really dark and murky for most of this episode.

I don't know what that means for how Demon Lord Omega will hold together in the long term, but in the moment, means we get a solidly fun fight that plays to the show's strengths. They even actually remember that Diablo's allies exist, Shera scoring a sweet shot on Batutta's servant Shiliu before everyone freaks out at witnessing the truly demonic abilities of that bow Klem gifted her with. So even as events are a bit more focused and serious for this episode, bits of humor like that keep it feeling like the show we know and love, including the ever-present contrast of Diablo's outward bluster with his interior struggles with the incredible pain his various bluffs result in, to say nothing of him having to simply make stuff up in the wake of covering for his video game knowledge. Is it a bit dissonant amongst the dark sin orgy, or with poor Lumachina once again being targeted by a more non-consensual bent of fanservice? Maybe, but it still works and keeps everything feeling like it's moving quickly even as there's actually a lot of people just standing on ledges talking in this one.

All that focus in resolving the Batutta plot doesn't even mean this one is resting on its laurels with regards to the other side of this story. We still don't get any further clarification of what Laminitus's deal really is, but she does get involved with another new antagonist, Varakness. He's supposedly an appointed general in the army of the Demon Lord, at a point in this show when I have to ask, which Demon Lord? Seems like these guys have been coming out of the woodwork since Diablo wound up in the world, and I have to presume not all of them are as cute and easily wrangled as Klem. This little incident is pure setup at this point, something that it seems Diablo and the crew will have to come back for later, but it keeps the show's ever-effective world-building in motion. Yes, Diablo's harem still has their own urgent matter to attend to with Lumachina falling victim to the curse (she's the focal new character added to the show and she's in the opening, she's gonna be okay, folks), but there are other happenings occurring involving people they really have nothing to do with at the moment. That, along with this episode's brisk resolution to the Batutta side of the plot, makes this episode feel like the most Demon Lord Omega has gotten moving yet.

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How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Omega is currently streaming on Crunchyroll (sub) and Funimation (dub).

Chris is a freelance writer who appreciates anime, action figures, and additional ancillary artistry. He can be found staying up way too late posting screencaps on his Twitter.

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