Picture this: You’re playing your favorite online MMORPG with your absurdly overpowered character, but next thing you know, in the blink of an eye, you look around to see a world unlike your own, yet it looks familiar. You look at yourself in a nearby river and see a reflection of not you, but your character in the game. In an amazing twist of fate, you are now your character in the MMO’s world! Wow!
Now if only we hadn’t heard this several times before.
For starters, Demon Lord, Retry is a 12-episode series adapted from a light novel by fairly new studio EKACHI EPILKA. It follows Akira Oono, the developer of a popular MMORPG titled Infinity Game. After 15 years of activity, he finally decides to shut the game down at midnight. Fate seemed to have a different plan for Akira because when midnight finally came around, he finds himself inhabiting Infinity Game’s demon lord and final boss, Hakuto Kunai. Oono, now Kunai, is immediately caught in the sights of a powerful demon who had been chasing a young girl. In typical isekai power trip fashion, he takes the demon down with utmost ease and saves the girl. Hakuto then comes to the realization that this girl, named Aku, and the demon were not of his creation and never existed in his game. Concerned that he might not actually be in Infinity Game, but rather another reality altogether, he decides to play the part of demon lord and fronts a somewhat abrasive personality, pretending to only look out for his own interests. That being said, he takes Aku under his wing and cares for her like a daughter without hesitation. And so begins their journey of trying to find out why Akira had been summoned to that world as Hakuto and getting into various situations along the way. In essence, it’s your fairly standard run-of-the-mill comedic isekai plot. Don’t go into this expecting anything new or revolutionary.
As far as the characters go, they’re all… well… okay, I guess? None really stick out as far as their traits or personalities go. Each are set to fill a role and nothing else.
Hakuto is the overpowered main character pretending to be more menacing than he is à la Diablo from How Not to Summon a Demon Lord. With a tall stature and long black hair, the middle-aged Hakuto has no real defining traits about him. His outfit is that of a mob boss, with a black suit and a long trench coat, but really nothing that sticks out or gives it any sort of flair, much like his personality.
Aku is the cute innocent girl who faced bitter hardships and cruelty that the main character gets to spoil with luxury. She looks, just as stated: cute and innocent with her white and blue outfit and blonde head that you just can’t help but want to pat (with a haircut to bait Rem and Ram fans, to boot!). With a crippled leg, she limps when she walks, really driving home the call for pity (and the only problem is it works. She’s too damn pure and cute!)
Luna Elegant, one of the “Three Saints” who accompanies Hakuto and Aku on their journey, is the bratty girl who eventually warms up to the main character. Her outfit goes with the idea of a holy maiden (personality be damned) while suiting her primarily pink appearance. Luna has the least going for her character-wise, as she really brings nothing but her stuck-up personality. While fluent in magic, that doesn’t exactly do anything when she’s going around with a man capable of taking down any and all opponents with ease.
None of the characters really have any actual depth to them. They all have their one shtick and that’s it. I will say, however, that one character does stick out a bit.
Yukikaze, while filling the role of “comedic relief trap”, does better than just average with his trope. His main drive is to be with Hakuto and out of this infatuation, a good few humorous interactions are born. Some of his lines, such as “I wish he’d just fill the holes in my heart and my butt!”, actually got a decent chuckle out of me. But overall, the characters are nothing to be praised.
In all honesty, Demon Lord, Retry! doesn’t have an original bone in its body. You can find just about every aspect of it in several other shows, whether it be the misunderstanding of the main character being a powerful villain from How Not to Summon A Demon Lord to the show’s starting point being nearly copied from Overlord. Every part can be traced back to one anime/manga or another. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it terrible. The show relies heavily on tropes, but it does them all well enough to be watchable. The characters, setting, and plot are all recycled from more popular anime, but it uses them in a way that keeps you at least mildly entertained.
All things considered, I give it a 6/10. It does nothing to any sort of praiseworthy degree, but it also doesn’t drive you away. It is something you can watch when you’re low on options or if you just want to take a break and watch something for a cheap laugh. At the end of the day, I can’t say I hated my time with Demon Lord, Retry!. It’s just a more bland counterpart to what’s out there. Like white bread compared to 9-gain. It isn’t as good, but it gets the job done nonetheless. If you want an anime that does a good job of taking these isekai tropes and turning them on their head, I’d recommend watching KonoSuba (on the right) if you haven’t already. One that might pique your interest if you’re looking for the wholesome father/daughter bond that we see form between Hakuto and Aku while still maintaining the fantasy setting is If It’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord (on the left). To put it simply, there are plenty of better choices when it comes to what Demon Lord, Retry! offers, but don’t rule it out completely if you’re just looking for something to binge while waiting for the next season.