Anime Review: KonoSuba Season OneMarch 15, 2018
Every now and then, I see a show advertised, and get it in my head that it looks like it would be good fun. Usually, it then takes a while until I get around to watching it. That kinda happened with today’s review show, KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! You see, I saw an advert for the show on Crunchyroll, but jut never got around to it. Until recently. But, did it live up to my hopes, or did it disappoint? Let’s find out.
Background: The comedy fantasy series began life in December 2012 as a series of light novels. In 2016, an anime adaption was put together by Studio Deen. If you don’t know the name, you will likely have heard of their work, as they’ve produced a variety of series since the 1980’s including Patlabor, Ranma ½, Gravitation, Fate/Stay Night, and Hetalia.
Story wise, we’re spending our time with Kazuma Sato. He’s a NEET who, after suffering an embarrassing death, is given the chance to be reborn in a fantasy world, complete with one super powered thing of his choosing. Filled with visions of being a great hero, he agrees and, after the Goddess making the offer, Aqua, provokes him, he chooses the Goddess herself to accompany him. Kazuma and Aqua soon forma a dysfunctional party with an explosions obsessed magician and a masochistic crusader. And so, hilarity is set to ensue.
The Good: Let’s get this out of the way to start with: the series is supposed to be a comedy. But is it funny? In a word, yes. Frankly, it can get a bit barmy, and it’s all the better for it. Even the slightly more adult gags that usually fall flat for me manage to raise a smile.
A lot of this is helped by the characters though. In a way, Kazuma is nothing special. He’s an atypical NEET, but you can kinda feel for him in his situation. If anything, the fact that he’s so out of place makes his ordinary nature all the more humourous. The other leads are suitably caricature-ish too. Aqua is bratty, lazy and self-important. Megumin has a touch chuunibyou to her and her explosion magic. And Darkness’ love of pain is … well … what it sounds like. It’s strange because everything borders on being entirely one-dimensional, yet it somehow avoids this. In a way, I think that it actually succeeds by taking overused character types and simply doing them well.
The story itself is good fun. Kazuma’s death is genuinely funny, and the team’s misadventures are suitably madcap, and full of unfortunate events. Even when things come up good for them, you’re left waiting for the inevitable punchline of how they’ve screwed it up this time. Despite having a vaguely harem potential to it, I have to say as well, that I do really like the idea of Kazuma and Aqua pairing off. They work well with each other, and their bickering is almost sweet in a way. Oh, and Verdi, the dullahan? I do feel bad for the poor guy, even if he is a bad guy.
The animation is decent too. Need proof? Check out this slightly spoilerific AMV. This isn’t going to blow you away like so many recent anime films, but it’s not going to put you off either. Throw in that both the opening and closing themes are also real earwigs, and you have a great little aesthetic combo there. That it only runs to ten episodes is really good too as it doesn’t allow for the series’ humour to grow old.
The Bad: If fan service is a deal breaker 100% of the time, you’re going to have problems. Even putting Darkness and her love of pain aside, the opening video alone makes it clear that the show loves busty women and has no problem flashing Aqua’s posterior. Honestly, if the rest of the show wasn’t so enjoyable, it would have proven a little too much for me. At times though, such as the succubus episode, it’s just so over the top that you can’t help but view it all as parody rather than a genuine attempt at being stimulating.
Subbed or Dubbed: I’ve only seen the subbed version. In fact, I’m not sure if there even is a dub. Either way, the cast does a good job though. I felt that Aqua and Kazuma were at their best when interacting, but otherwise, everything is fine, if not exactly Oscar worthy.
Final View: Over the top and enjoyable enough to rise above what should be a generic story with a dull cast, KonoSuba is hands down one of the most enjoyable comedies I’ve seen a long time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that series two is more of the same.
Final Score: 5 / 5