KonoSuba – God's blessing on this wonderful world!!
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 8 of
KonoSuba – God’s blessing on this wonderful world!! ?
The debt from previous events has left the group in a desperate financial bind as winter approaches, with even keeping a fire going being a struggle. (This is compounded by mention that Aqua has pawned her coat and what turns out to be a recurring joke about burning Kazuma's track suit, which is his last link to Japan.) Kazuma feels that his group's poor balance is partly to blame, so he seeks out Wiz, a lich, to learn a new combat-oriented skill. Instead of being the bony undead spellcaster fantasy RPG gamers are used to, though, Wiz is its complete antithesis: a fully fleshy – and fully buxom – seemingly-living woman with a pleasant disposition, though she still has powers like Drain Touch that one would expect from a lich and typical undead vulnerabilities. A flashback shows that Kazuma's group has encountered Wiz before in a graveyard, but they also learn here that she's one of the Devil King's eight Generals. However, she's the most passive one, charged only with protecting the Devil King's castle, and is allowed to maintain her own little shop while maintaining the spell which forces adventurers to go through all of the Generals before they can get to the Devil King. (This seems immensely improbable, but like with everything in this series, it's best just to roll with the logic.) Aqua's hot to destroy her, and for reasons much beyond her just being technically undead, but Kazuma does calm Aqua enough to at least learn the Drain Touch skill from her and they do get a line on a good new job from her: exorcising a haunted mansion, and they even get to stay there for the winter if they succeed. That it turns out that Aqua is indirectly heavily responsible for the mansion's haunting, due to her own laziness and lack of thinking through the consequences of her actions, should surprise no one.
The episode is fun up to the point of the mansion, with one of the most sputter-worthy moments being the revelation of why Wiz wasn't heartbroken by the destruction of Verdia, one of her compatriots. (Let's just say that a detached head has its advantages for peeking up skirts, which is, of course, an utterly absurd thing to imagine an undead general being fixated on doing. Apparently his character flaws ran deeper than what earlier episodes showed.) It's still quite fun after that point, with the horror elements of the ambulatory dolls being mollified somewhat by just how silly everything is as it unfolds; Aqua is on a Turn Undead rampage after discovering that some spirit has absconded with her precious liquor (a subtle joke here is that it's expensive, which means that she pawned her coat before giving up her liquor), while both Kazuma and Megumin are stuck badly having to go to the bathroom despite the circumstances. Really, the amount of mileage that the series gets out of all of this, without it ever feeling crass or retread, is truly amazing, and there are a lot of little treats interwoven into the events for viewers, too, such as Aqua going well more than a little overboard on “reading” the spirits in the house.
Kazuma doesn't get to use his new skill this episode, which means that the creative staff must be saving it for a stunt in a future episode. That's totally fine; at this point I fully trust them to come up with something creative and funny to do it. While this may have started as a parody of “transported to a fantasy world” stories, it's also becoming a good parody of fantasy gaming in general.
KonoSuba – God’s blessing on this wonderful world!! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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