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Light Novel / Demon Lord, Retry!

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"Nothing is impossible for the Great Empire!"
Going for the top with all I've got...
Maybe I can do that, like, twice in my life.
Why twice?
So I have another chance to clock the bastard in the face.
...Akira Ono, Memorial

Oono Akira is a Ridiculously Average Guy and game developer that created a successful MMORPG called Infinity Game. One day, he gets transported into a world similar to Infinity Game in the avatar of his character, Demon Lord Hakuto Kunai. With his presence upsetting the balance of power in this new world, he begins to unravel the mystery of who summoned him and why, and whether returning to his own world is possible. Along the way, he meets several companions such as the Aku, Holy Maiden Luna and several others, including characters that he himself designed.

Demon Lord, Retry! (Maou-sama, Retry!) started out as a Web Serial Novel by Kurone Kanzaki on the website Shousetsuka ni Narou in 2016 and began publication as a series of Light Novels with illustrations by Kouji Ogata in 2017. A manga adaptation began serialized in October 2017, and an anime adaptation was released for the Summer 2019 Anime block, streaming on Funimation and Hulu. Both the light novels and the manga are licensed in English by J-Novel Club.


Tropes found in this series:

  • Arc Number: 2000. Oono Akira destroyed his original game "Far East City of Chaos" exactly at the Turn of the Millennium on January 1st, 2000. Later, when Kunai asks what the date is in the new world, he is told that the year is 2000. He notes that it can't be a coincidence.
  • Bathtub Scene: Several, as bathing is a recurring theme within the story. Aku grew up never having a real bath in her life, only being given dirty water and no soap to clean herself with. In addition, one of Kunai's earliest goals is to open a hot springs bathhouse, which he eventually manages to do.
  • Black Comedy: In his original world, one of his friends made a game were a monster constantly eats and gets bigger. When it eats a human it is very bloody and more realistic compared to everything else. His friend replied he did that because he found it funny.
  • Blood Knight:
    • Two of the Holy Maidens (Luna and Queen) are extremely violent and arrogant Blood Knights that love to fight and destroy their opponents, developing an Evil Grin while slaughtering the Satanists that attacked them.
    • Kunai has his moments where he begrudgingly admits that he's enjoying being violent—such as when smacking Luna's butt
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: Organ comments on one absurd example dealing with Interspecies Romance, whereas the romances themselves are highly celebrated, but the product of such a union being a target for persecution.
  • Char Clone: Otamega is called the White Comet and is with a trio based off the Black Tri Stars.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Despite the light-hearted tone of the series, the world the characters inhabits has some serious problems.
    • Right off the bat, we're introduced to a village that neglected and abused one of their own and forced her to handle their garbage and human waste; said village also sent her off to be eaten by a powerful demon as a sacrifice.
    • Traveling between villages is dangerous because dangerous packs of demons, as well as murderous gangs, roam the wilderness, some of which are even strong or numerous enough to give seasoned adventurers trouble.
    • The Holy Kingdom itself is safer, but also struggles with major sociological problems because Humans Are Bastards. If you're a half-breed or any kind of beast race, humans look down upon you and if you're lucky will exile you out of the city to live in barren villages where there's not enough food and tons of dangers. If you're unlucky, they'll just kill you. Even if you are human, you will still need to deal with a wide wealth gap that leaves the rich leading a life that exploits the poor. We're told point blank at one point that humans have made so many selfish or evil wishes that the corruption has turned the wish-granting Idol into a grotesque monstrosity.
    • The de-facto rulers and protectors of the kingdom (the Holy Maidens) are often ineffectual at their jobs, leaving most matters to local lords, soldiers, and adventurers to handle. They turn a blind eye to many of the corrupt and immoral actions of the local nobility, and two of said Maidens are themselves extremely selfish, violent, and completely self-absorbed. They are also not powerful enough to defeat high-level demons on their own, although it's luckily extremely rare to see one of those summoned.
    • Slavery, rape, religious tyranny, and discrimination, among other things, are very common. This is highlighted in Volumes 3 and 4 of the light novel. It might seem like a lighthearted story, but it doesn't take much digging to hit the truly dark bits either.
  • Crapsack World: The world of Infinity Game is set up like this. The world is dominated by a brutal Empire that hosts the eponymous Infinite Game to alleviate the citizen's boredom, with the participants being selected from across all walks of life. The winner gets to join the ranks of "God's People". The rest end up dead.
  • Deadly Game: Essentially the premise of Akira Ono's Infinity Game. The Empire hosts a Sadistic Game Show where "God's People" (citizens of the Empire) bet on who will survive and who will die. The sole survivor gets to join the ranks of the Empire's citizenry while the rest are killed off. In-game, Kunai is the guy running the entire operation.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • Luna Elegant almost immediately begins to develop feelings for Kunai after he spanks her butt and steals her money, putting her haughty attitude on notice.
    • Killer Queen falls for Zero after he saves her life, saying she can't act like herself when he's around.
    • Yu Kirino melts after Kunai commends her for fixing Aku's leg, and she says that she's eager to learn more about these feelings and why Kunai is acting so differently lately.
  • Devil, but No God: Kunai finds it suspicious that the angels who created the Kingdom of Holy Light are all gone, or at least inactive, while all of the demons said angels opposed are alive and well. This mystery is one of the highest in his list of priorities in understanding this new world.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Kunai points out how he should have realized the TV wasn't going to work in his spa, given there's no broadcasts to pick up in this fantasy world.
  • Formula with a Twist: The series asks "What if the Otaku who created the game is summoned into it as a Demon Lord".
  • Foreshadowing: Kunai mentions on several occasions about how he keeps coming across a lot of different cliches as well as noticing the creation of the world he is in feels like a lazy "copy and paste" of Japan and current culture (such as the City's names being websites and using the same Roman Calendar).
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: Infinity Game and its characters were based on a slightly-futuristic setting and technological level. The new world, however, is standard High Fantasy. Thus, many of the abilities and facilities Kunai and his aides provide are advancements to the surrounding society.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Whoever created the world Kunai is now in. He has noticed that a good chunk of it was just copied and paste from Japan along with the Cities being named after popular Websites and many main characters named after puns and Line-of-Sight Name.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: Organ comments on the absurdity of an Interspecies Romance (such as that between a human and dragon) being applauded in society, but the offspring of that relationship (a dragonkin) being hated and persecuted.
  • High Fantasy: The world that Kunai is summoned to is very standard fantasy, with a holy kingdom ruled by angels and a church, and opposed by demons straight from hell.
  • Holy City: The holy capital, which is run by the dominant church, ruled by the Seraph, and protected by three Holy Maidens.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Humans persecute and discriminate against both beast-races as well as half-breeds. In the capital, the wealthy live in luxury and greedily exploit the poor for their own ends. To top it off, a wish-granting Idol received so many selfish and evil wishes from humans that it corrupted and petrified her.
  • Idle Rich: Even while the city is under siege, the upper class of the holy capital do absolutely nothing and actually find it appropriate that a clown is brought in to distract them from the commotion outside.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Everything Kunai does around Angel White when she visits Rabby Village turns her face bright red.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
  • Magic from Technology: This is apparently how skills and abilities worked in Infinity Game, as Kunai says that the game had no "magic", but characters like himself and Kirisame Zero are able to do seemingly supernatural things. The world of IG itself seemed close to the modern day, albeit slightly more technologically advanced.
  • Maou the Demon King:
    • Hakuto Kunai was the Demon Lord of Infinity Game, with several minions at his beck and call as well as extremely potent skills and abilities. When Akira is summoned into his avatar, several people start calling him a Demon Lord (much to his dismay) and this causes most people to suspect his character and intentions. Akira himself decides to roleplay a bit of Kunai's true personality while remaining true to his own personal goals and morals.
    • There is also a Demon King, who interrupted the botched summoning that brought Kunai into this world. He was the first enemy killed by Kunai. The Satanists are still working at a different method of summoning a new Demon King, in order to destabilize or destroy the Holy Kingdom.
  • Naming Conventions: Some cities in the Holy Kingdom are named after real-world websites, such as "Yahoo" and "Gagule". Kunai thinks that these names are terrible.
  • Playing Up the Stereotype: The bunnygirls Momo and Kyun live in an impoverished village where racist humans rarely interact with their kind. When the protagonist Kunai (a human from the modern world) goes to the village, both girls end their words with either "-pyon" (Japanese onomatopoeia for "hop") or "-usa" (a shortened form of "usagi" — Japanese for "rabbit"). When an annoyed Kunai asks why they keep doing it, they say it's because humans expect it and get disappointed if bunnygirls don't speak that way. He only becomes further annoyed when they don't say it when excited or when they believe no humans are around.
  • Rescue Romance:
    • Aku's feelings for Kunai develop after he saves her from a demon, lets her bathe herself in clean water, gives her luxurious clothes and beds to sleep in, and fixes her damaged leg.
    • Killer Queen falls head-over-heels for Zero after he saves her from a gang of Satanists.
    • Yukikaze declares his desire to pay Kunai back "with [his] body" after Kunai saves him and Mikan from dozens of ravenous wolves.
    • Tron's ability to see "colors" lets her know that Kunai and Zero are the same person, and she swears to do anything he asks after he saves her life and gives her a reason to live.
  • Retraux: In episode 2, the music resembles an 8-bit videogame soundtrack from the 1980s.
  • RPG Mechanics 'Verse: The world Kunai is brought to has great similarities to his work, Infinity Game, but all of the people, places and details are original. Also, some mechanics work differently; for example, in Infinity Game, there was a 10-item storage limit. Kunai is able to exploit the infinite storage capacity of this world to his advantage.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When annoyed by Aku's accusations that he wishes to Take Over the World, he puts her in a headlock and smacks her head with his fist, shouting "Yoga! Yoga!", practically identical to Dhalsim from Street Fighter II.
    • When Kunai meets someone he believes to be his old manager, Senmu, the name gets misheard as Shenmue.
    • Killer Queen's second-in-command, Mount Fuji, looks almost exactly like Zangief from Street Fighter, and uses a few of the same wrestling moves.
  • Skinship Grope: When Luna first spends the night with Aku and Kunai, the two girls bathe together, and Luna becomes very "handsy" with the shy Aku.
  • Smoking Is Cool: The undeniably badass Kunai is a chain-smoker, and often showing lighting one up when doing something cool. In one episode, he even rewards their carriage-driver with a cigarette to make him feel better after an attack, and the man gushes about how good it is.
  • Story Within a Story: The tale of Fido, a mischievous dog who journeyed into a dungeon, defeated both the monsters and adventurers there, rescued and romanced a female dog, and returned to his village with wealth, jewels and other spoils from said adventure. Fido himself even gets a character sheet during episode 8.
  • Stupid Evil: Aku's Jerkass village, when she returns with Kunai. Once (A) they see him use his powers to defend her, (B) he tells them she's only there for her belongings so she can leave, and (C) they believe her when she calls him the Demon Lord; you'd think they'd just let her finish, and never have to see either one again, right? Nope; they still harass and insult her, and demand that the two leave immediately. So she and he comply... after he thanks them for their "hospitality," by throwing a Sodom's Fire in the middle of their very-flammable village.
  • The Thing That Goes "Doink": Naturally, the hot spring resort Kunai builds has one.
  • Unwanted Harem: In a unique twist, Kunai actually develops more than one under different alter egos. As Kunai himself, he develops a harem of Aku, Luna, Yu Kirino, Yukikaze and Angel White. As Zero, he gains the affections of Killer Queen, Mikan and Tron. None of them except Tron know they're the same person.
  • Urban Fantasy: Infinity Game had a distinctly modern setting in an urban environment, but had characters like a "Demon Lord" and a bare-fisted monk with dragon heritage.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: The series will constantly remind the viewers the names of the characters Once an Episode.
  • World of Action Girls: With the exception of Aku, every major female character is some type of Action Girl in one capacity or another. One of the main reasons Kunai summoned Tahara was because he noticed how many women there were around him already.