An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride, Episode 1 recap

An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride, Episode 1 premiered this week to a very promising start.

Especially for those of us who love a quirky rom-com anime headed by a typical tsundere character who is exactly the opposite of how he first appears.

And now for the episode’s recap.

An Archdemon’s Dilemma, Episode 1 recap

In Episode 1: “First Love Is Like a Nasty Disease That Everyone Catches Once,” we are introduced to the world of magic and the enigmatic sorcerer Zagan.

The episode opens with a flash forward to elven slave Nephy prostrating herself before Zagan and asking just one question “How exactly am I going to be killed?”, followed by Zagan screaming in his own head “Why are you assuming I’m going to kill you?”, then admitting to himself “And just how do you talk to the girl you like?”

It is then we realize, when it comes to women, Zagan is clueless.

After the intro kicks in and ends, the episode begins properly with a female holy knight about to be murdered by an evil sorcerer.

Until, of course, Zagan steps in as the screaming is going on in his castle’s front yard and, before the sorcerer can flay the girl alive, he promptly kills him by squashing his head.

Zagan realizes he went too far

As the girl faints and Zagan realizes he might have gone a bit too far in his murder of the evil sorcerer, he magically cleans up the blood so she might wake up thinking it was all a dream, and then tries to use translocation sorcery to transport her unconscious body somewhere where someone else will find her.

That goal, however, gets mucked up when his sorcerer friend Barbatos shows up, and it is then Zagan learns Archdemon Marchosias has died. An event that has sent ripples of shock throughout the magical world.

Soon Zagan and Barbatos are on their way to the Archdemon’s estate to attend an auction of the late Archdemon’s belongings, and it is there where Zagan’s life change forever as he first catches sight of the auction’s final item — a silver-haired elven woman called Nephelia.

An elf that the purchaser can do anything he wants with. Including making her his love slave.

The instant Zagan falls in love with Nephy

One look at Nephy, and seconds later Zagan has bid his entire fortune before he even knows it.

But, as Zagan jumps down to the center of the arena to claim his prize, he realizes having no experience with love whatsoever means not only has he no idea how to talk to women, but that everything he says comes out wrong starting with “I can’t wait to hear the sweet sounds she makes”, as a lascivious grin spreads across his face.

Terrifying the auctioneer with his words, we then hear the narrator say “This is what happens when someone who thought women were too much trouble just moments ago falls in love for the first time”.

RELATED: An Archdemon’s Dilemma creditless opening animation cutely shows Zagan’s awkwardness with Nephy

Back at the castle, and we now see a repeat of the first scene as Nephy sits before Zagan, who is perched on his castle throne wondering what to do with the beautiful elf now he owns her.

Looking around he also realizes the castle is full of cobwebs, filthy and with various pieces of torture equipment dotted around the throne room.

“Why didn’t I clean up before I brought her home?” he bemoans to himself.

“Exactly how will you kill me?”

And it is then Nephy asks — “Exactly how am I going to be killed”, adding “If I know beforehand, I believe I’ll better be able to prepare myself”.

At this, Zagan explodes and tells her he has no intention of killing her, which only leads Nephy to believe a fate worse than death awaits her.

Well you would wouldn’t you, if all you’re looking at is a surly-faced sorcerer and a room full of torture equipment — which, by the way, belonged to the castle’s previous owner.

It is then left up to Nephy to introduce herself, as a simple thing like asking for her name is far beyond Zagan’s limited conversation skills.

But if things are awkward for Zagan now, just give him a couple of minutes as Nephy describes herself as “a cursed child”, followed by her lifting up her skirt to show her underwear with the words “You don’t need to worry. I’m a virgin’.

If you thought you had seen Zagan’s face turn red when he first tried to talk to Nephy, a flash of her underwear and he soon looks like his head is on fire.

But when she asks why he bought her if he wasn’t going to “experiment on her”, Zagan doesn’t even know what to reply, as if he says “I fell in love with you at first sight”, he’s worried she’ll think he is some kind of pervert. (Yep, the guy has zero experience with women).

RELATED: The English dub cast for An Archdemon’s Dilemma… has just been announced

An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride, Episode 1 ends with a flashback to Zagan’s own childhood as an orphan living on the streets and stealing food to survive, and realizing that’s why he understands how Nephy feels, followed by taking Nephy to the top of the tower to see if she would like that room as her own.

After he has destroyed the guillotine standing there before Nephy thinks he’s about to behead her, and sullied half the room as well, it is then Nephy walks to the balcony, looks up at the silvery moon and decides, yes, she would like this room as her own.

We leave the pair staring up at the moon, as Nephy says “Thankyou”, Zagan replies “I don’t think anyone has thanked me for a long time”, and Nephy replies “I don’t think I’ve thanked anyone in a long time either”.

Yep, the pair may be absolutely awkward and shy around each other but, it looks very much like it won’t be long before both of these incredibly lonely souls have someone they can love and trust.

An Archdemon’s Dilemma: How to Love Your Elf Bride, Episode 1 is now streaming on Crunchyroll, with Episode 2 on its way on April 11th.

About Michelle Topham

I'm a Brit-American journalist who spent a decade covering the anime and manga industries while living in Asia. Now based in Vienna, Austria and currently obsessed with Katsugeki Touken Ranbu, KONOSUBA, The Archdemon's Dilemma, Kaiju No. 8, and the Boys' Love danmei Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation.