KONOSUBA - God's blessing on this wonderful world! 2
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 5 of
KONOSUBA - God's blessing on this wonderful world! 2 ?
One of the protagonist's allies being possessed by an enemy has long been a staple of fantasy and supernatural literature, and it's been around as a plot device in both RPGs and fantasy anime for decades. Hence it was probably inevitable that it would eventually show up in this series too. As you might expect, things don't go anywhere near as planned for the bad guy, as Kazuma and crew's ever-loose screws are just as likely to thwart their enemies as themselves.
The adventurers aren't the only ones with a screw or two loose in this episode, though. The masked archdevil Vanir has a rather perverse and specific type of death wish, which involves setting up a dungeon to draw in adventurers, then leaving a mocking note behind for them (in lieu of treasure) as their “reward” for defeating him. Any long-time RPG gamer would find this disgustingly twisted and evil, so it seems quite appropriate as the work of an archdevil. His ability to possess people via his mask (perhaps an homage to Record of Lodoss War?) is also rather nasty – or would be, if he had used it on anyone other than Darkness.
The setup for this episode is kind of fun, as Aqua inadvertently causes problems yet again with the consequences of her magic, forcing Kazuma and Darkness to go into the dungeon alone together. Things spice up more when Vanir starts calling them both out for their hidden feelings and behaviors; Darkness's reactions in particular are divine, especially when she's contemplating what ridiculous thing Kazuma will demand of her. However, not until Vanir possesses Darkness does the episode really start cooking. I'd label it as a classic struggle between a sadist and a masochist, but really, the battle was over the moment Vanir declared that Darkness would suffer if she tried to resist him. After all, this is a woman who can gleefully declare that she's never been in more pain in her life and expresses regret at having to destroy Vanir since it's been such a fun experience for her. Darkness is fully primed for this kind of encounter and doesn't disappoint, with thoughtless Aqua and more competent but reluctant Megumin providing suitable final touches.
For all of the big moments though, the little touches also help make this series a success. Things like Kazuma nonchalantly scrubbing away the magical circle while Vanir is caught up in trying to get control of Darkness or Aqua's fear of going back in the dungeons are welcome complements. So is the way that the series continues to have past events carry consequences rather than going the purely episodic route; episode 3's events directly build into this one in a number of ways, and snippets of consequences from season one episodes still pop up. This episode also gives a clearer picture of exactly how strong Darkness actually is; she's not just effective as the party's tank and wall because she's a supreme masochist.
The end of the episode, where Kazuma finally levels his demand, is also suitably devious, as what more effective way is there to truly embarrass Darkness without actually doing any harm? The artwork also seems more stable this time around. Overall, the episode may start off a little slow but proves very satisfying by the end.
KONOSUBA - God's blessing on this wonderful world! 2 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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