Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu
Let's start by the basic premise before I get into how this anime surprised me so much, because on the outside, this is nothing more than a socially isolated guy who is maximum level in his favorite MMORPG being summoned into another world.
The first hint to how “real” this world is besides some ecchi in every episode is how it isn't quite the same as in the game, as he finds out while the plot progresses. At some point, he even considers it as the final version, all updates and expansions included.
So, he was summoned by two girls in an attempt to summon a powerful creature they could enslave. Unluckily for them, his ring has a magic reflection effect which turns them into his slave instead. He sets out to help them undo their own accidental mischief.
After a few encounters, the main protagonist who calls himself Diablo (because that's his character's name, body and equipment, except fused with his own mind), discovers the world's inhabitants are much lower level than he is, which also makes him that much more powerful compared to the average person.
Friendship, bonds and trauma
Even though Diablo is completely overpowered compared to pretty much everyone, there are a few high-class individuals can hurt him. Unexpectedly, these are almost always people of high political positions instead of evil monsters or other adventurers.
Having gained the girls' trust, the one called Rem confesses being the host of that world's real Demon Lord, which has put her in grave danger and social distancing ever since she was born. She wants to be free of her troubles and asks Diablo for help, since she knows she's too weak to overcome it by herself.
Noone would accept being Rem's friend due to her terrible fate. This was a bit similar to what Diablo experienced before being summoned. He was misled by fellow kids who acted as if they were his friends only to get his equipment, who even trash-talked him behind his back.
Diablo managed to protect her through all of the plot, but only because he was unnaturally strong. Rem admitted she needed him. There was just not much she could do by herself, specially because the Demon Lord inside her would be released if she got killed.
The friendship grown among them — which accidentally ends up as an awkward male harem — is achieved after overcoming personal trauma. Never individually. A friend always has the other's back. Even when one (or two) of them literally betrays the others, their hearts make amends.
The sheer strength held by Diablo was needed many times during all of the events: he prevented a war between the elf and human factions, held his own against political decisions and changed how the higher-ups would do things, and of course, shielded his friends even from their wealthy, powerful, deceiving relatives.
Small hints of slavery and animal (monster) cruelty acts only occur by the hands of the self-entitled, like the paladin who thinks of himself as a literal god just because he was born uncommonly wealthy, handsome and smart. Everyone who does anything in this show is powerful even if we take away their combat abilities.
It is a great reminder of how most of us are completely powerless in face of great adversities in life, unless we are born with a silver spoon or learn to properly stick together.
Ecchi, comedy, slice of life, fantasy!?
It's amazing how the people behind “How to NOT summon a demon lord” managed to fit so much into only 12 episodes while portraying it all so well.
Some high-fantasy monsters of great gaming-ish design along with a few decent mmo-like battles, very funny scenes once or twice every episode, extremely charismatic characters with great character development and, of course, equally impressive sexy scenes.
Specially because I haven't talked about major events, good plot twists and most of the story in general, I can only say: thoroughly recommended! Go watch it now before season 2 is released. You are missing out!