KonoSuba – God's blessing on this wonderful world!!
Episode 3

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 3 of
KonoSuba – God’s blessing on this wonderful world!! ?

It's now official: the female crusader with the odd name Darkness (despite being blond-haired, light of complexion, and possessing a cheery disposition) is a certifiable masochist. And not just any masochist, either, but one into situational as well as physical pain. This is a woman with her screw turned so loose that she gets aroused by things like rejection, the prospect of being used as a sacrificial pawn, the prospect of being erotically abused by a Devil King, or everyone seeing her exposed flesh when her clothes and armor get torn up in battle; even getting peripherally caught in Megumin's Explosion excites her. On top of that, she's incompetent at hitting things and only actually good at defense. In other words, she's just as pathetic as everyone else in Kazuma's group (and she would probably get off on that, too, if told as much), which of course makes her a perfect fit.

Kazuma's naturally pathetic since was not strong enough to even qualify for a base class, but he is apparently going the thief route and the twist that his learning the new skill Steal takes keeps him right in league with his fellows. Using this skill in this setting does not mean you physically pilfer something from the target, but instead you invoke the skill like an incantation and, if it's successful, randomly gain one of the target's possessions. Kazuma tries it twice and gets the target's panties both times, much to the dismay of the targets (and the delight of Darkness, who wants to join the group even more after seeing it play out). The way this series is going so far, that will actually turn out to be useful at some point, just like the parlor trick that Aqua learns, which is useless in battle but turns out to be quite useful outside of it.

The “my life is pathetic” routine continues in the action piece (of sorts) in the second half, where all adventurers are assembled to face a rampaging horde of. . . cabbages. Yes, cabbages in this world fly across the land in a massive horde when they are ripe, so adventurers much catch them before they inadvertently beat silly anything in their path. Here Megumin's Explosion power actually proves useful, as does Darkness's penchant for being a human wall, while Aqua and Kazuma's talents prove helpful afterwards.

While the episode does still have a fair amount of humor, it is nowhere near the laugh-fest that episode 2 was. Some of this could be a greatly reduced amount of slapstick, but the panty thing is just too tired to be fully effective, and to an extent the same could probably be said about Darkness's twisted disposition. Irony based on otaku expectations is still a cornerstone of the humor, and that does lead to one of the funnier moments: when Kazuma can't deny in the slightest the perverse way that his panty-theft actions are described by Darkness to Aqua and Megumin. (The more common scene here would, of course, be that Darkness exaggerates his actions with her own interpretation.) It looks like “accidental competence” is going to be a staple of the humor, too. Also watch for the occasional joke which flies by with little focus, such as the revelation that the town, despite being modeled on Medieval European style, has a PA system. Even that everything is defined as suspiciously similar to game mechanics could be interpreted as a joke, too.

I have commented previously about how the series seems to be teasing on fan service rather than executing, and with this episode figured in I am even surer about it. Darkness does get her armor and clothes torn up in the cabbage onslaught, but actually shows very little skin. Panties are stolen while the girls are otherwise fully-clothed; they're never actually seen on anyone. Darkness's sexiness in general is pretty much allowed to be obvious but not played up. There's a game being played here and I am increasingly curious to see what all the series does with it.

And yeah, the artwork hasn't improved at all, but I think it's now clear that this series is fated to be one of the season's bottomfeeders in that regard. Fortunately it's still fun enough in other respects that it doesn't matter much.

Rating: B

KonoSuba – God's blessing on this wonderful world!! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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