by Maximillian Ringgenberg | March 23, 2017 8:00 am
This is a spoiler free review.
Konosuba genuinely surprised me when the first season aired. “A protagonist trapped in an RPG style world? Again? Isn’t this trope a little…overdone?” That was my original thought. I did take note that it was supposed to be a comedy however. “Maybe it will be a good spoof and get some cheap laughs?” Not even 15 min later, I am rolling on my couch trying to contain my laughter. Make no mistake, Konosuba is great. Probably one of the best comedy anime in a LONG time.
As stated before, it’s what the industry refers to as an Isekei (or other world) but, instead of being too serious and telling a story about heroes doing heroic things….We get a group who are the best at one thing, and nearly dysfunctional in everything else. Satou Kazuma: the leader of our misfits of a party is snarky, trollish, plodding and a down right pervert. But he is also cunning, clever and when the time calls for it, comes through at the end. He is accompanied by Aqua: a goddess who would rather learn party tricks than be an arch-priest, Megumin: a mage with a severe case of chunibiyo who can ONLY cast the most powerful fire spell once in a fight. And Darkness: a tanky crusader who cannot hit anything with her sword but will take the hits because she is a masochist in the worst sense of the word. The group works together as adventurers for hire to make money and earn a living.
The first season was only 10 episodes. Its entire purpose was to establish the world and our rather…uh…”talented” cast. It also established the difficulty of an adventurer’s day to day life which can get off the charts hard. Now on paper this sounds like it could be quite boring. I assure you it is not. The recurring gags, plus new developments and the crazy RPG monsters and NPCs all make this worth watching. The show was short originally because it was just made to promote the light novel. But fans picked this up quickly and the overwhelming reaction gave us a second season.
In the 2nd season, the story remains fairly light overall. Though, the series had a more comedic focus makes up for light story. Most of the episodes in Konosuba season 2 startup the same. The team gets a request from the Guild, they go to complete the task at hand, and because of one incompetence or another, things go awry, fast. What gets them out of those situations is a tossup between Kazuma’s quick thinking and using what each party member is genuinely good at. Or sometimes, it is sheer dumb luck and circumstance. The payoff is not always positive per se, but it’s never not funny. Konosuba’s 2nd season carries over everything established from the previous season and takes more of a business as usual approach instead. While the plot DOES move enough to keep everything going, no arc lasts more than 2 episodes. Keeps everything nice and tight, and the laughs keep rolling. The opening “Tomorrow” by Machico is a fantastic song with a great sampling of what makes the show so damn good. The ending, is a nicer slower paced song “Ouchi ni Kaeritai” which is an original song sung by our three lead girls. It’s a nice palate cleanser that’s very easy on the ears.
The production side of the show is fair. At times, the animation is deliberately held back. The style may throw some people off with a “low budget kind of feeling”. This is done deliberately however, the animation itself is quite fluid and easy to follow. They reserve it for the use of crazy facial expressions and is saved for the moments that really deserve true panache. The use of sound effects is not especially impressive however. With the FX as its weakest point, the voice work and soundtrack are phenomenal. The whimsical change in music is dynamic and hard hitting that the delivery of the punchline for each gag is amplified several times over. My personal favorite is the sudden switch to dramatic music right before Megumin casts her only spell: EXPLOSION. I crack up every time. The voice delivery for each character is so believable, that you can’t really doubt their flaws, impressive in it’s own right.
I do have a couple words of caution however for those who are not already initiated with the series. Firstly, the type of humor utilized can be crude. The early mention of Kazuma’s perversion and Darkness’ masochism are two of the primary culprits. Also, the show is not to abashed to make use of panty jokes, unrealistic breast physics, and partial nudity. Also, I felt that Aqua is obnoxious to a large degree. She is always shown as being panty less, and her near constant bragging and scared screams are quite irksome. If none of these particular things bother you, then you will be in for a great treat. I recommend the show that highly. If you haven’t seen the first season it is readily available on Crunchyroll and the second season just wrapped.
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