Content Warning: Fanservice
What’s it about? Leonis Death Magnus is one of the six demon lords that almost eliminated humanity until six heroes appeared to stop their tyranny. As the sole survivor, Leonis decided to seal himself away and vows to return in a thousand years in order to conquer the world. Years later, a young girl named Riselia Ray Crystalia accidentally breaks Leonis’ seal, and he’s surprised to find out that he reincarnated as a 10 year old human child. Now under the care of his savior, he must navigate his new life at Excalibur Academy and figure out what happened to the world during his long slumber.
If there’s anything that Dead Mount Death Play taught me it’s that in the hands of a great writer, reincarnation and power fantasy stories can absolutely be tons of fun. I hope Narita Ryougo (also known for Baccano! and Durarara!!) teaches a course on character writing someday, because I seriously need to know what inspired him to create such unique and unhinged characters. Dead Mount Death Play wasn’t perfect, but at least all of the characters including the women characters were interesting and complex. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same is true for this premiere, since everyone feels like they fall under certain character tropes commonly found in male-focused reincarnation stories. Leonis is an arrogant demon lord who’s frustrated that his body doesn’t match his regal appearance, and he’s accompanied by two beautiful 15 year old girls.
Even though Riselia and Regina have their own distinct personalities, it’s hard to pay attention to them because the camera loves doing multiple close ups of their butts and thighs. Regina’s definitely a powerhouse since she uses magical weapons against creatures called the “voids” with relative ease, but it’s uncomfortable watching her make suggestive remarks and flash her thigh to someone in a prepubescent body.
Riselia’s interactions with Leonis are more tame, but because he looks like a child, she feels comfortable enough around him to be physically affectionate. Riselia’s simple act of giving Leonis hugs shouldn’t be noteworthy, but the series felt it was important to highlight Leonis face sinking into her breasts. Thankfully, Leonis naturally feels awkward being around teenage girls and tries to focus on making sense of his new reality. I know that’s a low bar, but I’ll take it considering how much worse it could’ve been.
Despite the treatment of the women characters, the story itself is surprisingly compelling; honestly, the first three minutes were probably the best part of the premiere. There’s so much lore implied by the battle sequence alone, since the imagery used for the heroes’ fighting tactics is so beautiful. For example, one of the heroes created a magical forest that not only resurrected dead soldiers, but gradually encroached on Leonis’ territory and eventually engulfed his castle. If that wasn’t enough, the music used during the mages’ attack on Leonis made me feel like I was listening to the soundtrack of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
It’s clear that Leonis backstory is well thought-out, but my instincts tell me that the show is going to be bogged down by generic tropes commonly seen in power fantasy stories. Still, I think it has enough potential to at least be a mindlessly fun popcorn show. That said, this is just a standard fantasy show with nothing special going for it. If you really want to watch a demon lord reincarnation story this season then I suggest, if you haven’t already, check out Dead Mount Death Play and have a good time.
As for me, I don’t have enough tolerance to stick around and watch Leonis gradually obtain his own harem of women. I’ll have to pass on this one, folks.