KonoSuba – God's blessing on this wonderful world!!
Episodes 1-2

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 1 of
KonoSuba – God’s blessing on this wonderful world!! ?

How would you rate episode 2 of
KonoSuba – God’s blessing on this wonderful world!! ?

In my Preview Guide write-up for the first episode, I expressed that the series showed at least some hope for expanding the “trapped in the game world” concept. After seeing episode 2, though, I am fully convinced that making such an effort is unnecessary. In fact, KONOSUBA is brilliant at doing exactly what it's doing right now: poking fun at both its base concept and all of eccentricities that commonly get associated with it. As a result, its second episode is possibly the funniest episode of anime that I have seen since Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun aired.

Like any great comedy series, KONOSUBA does not limit itself to mining just a single comedy vein. Picking on Aqua is, of course, always going to be a staple source of humor, whether it be the way her behavior is so starkly in contrast to that of an elegant goddess worthy of worship or the way that she consistently overestimates what she can actually do and keeps getting herself in trouble because of that; the running joke in episode 2 about her repeatedly getting eaten by giant toads when her spectacular-looking attack miserably fails is going to take a while to get old. KONOSUBA truly shines in also going the extra mile with that joke; ironically, Aqua getting eaten is exactly what slows the toads down enough so that Kazuma can take them out. It then follows up with assorted smaller jokes about the further irony of her eating with gusto something which, not that long ago, tried to eat her or how her walking around stinking from toad slime makes her even less pleasant to be around than what Kazuma already finds her to be. (And somewhat surprisingly, the sliming is not played up for potential fan service value.)

A new batch of fun comes into the picture with the arrival of Megumin, an arch wizard who responds to a “party members wanted” poster which Aqua puts up. Her behavior and naming conventions are unquestionably intended to be a spoof on grandiose chunibyo antics (and yes, it is possible to spoof something that is itself a spoof), even down to her wearing an eyepatch just because it looks cool. (That leads to a very funny sequence where she complains about Kazuma pulling back her eye patch and quickly reverses herself when she realizes that he letting it go right away will cause it to painfully snap back into place.) One of her inherent jokes is that she actually is as powerful as she claims to be, but there's a catch: her explosion magic is so powerful that it's an all-or-nothing shot usable once per day (and wipes her out when she does us it, to the point of her also getting eaten by a toad), and she has zero interest learning something less powerful but more practical. The other is the chunibyo-like spiels she goes into when introducing herself and using her magic, which become funny for how overblown they are. The fourth member of the group featured in the opener, the female knight Darkness, also arrives at the very end. While we do not see enough of her to know what, exactly, her deal is, she also clearly has a screw loose. Given what we have seen so far, I eagerly look forward to seeing what her eccentricity turns out to be.

Even the funny situations and visual humor would not be fully effective without expert use of the musical score. Its silly ditties and mock-drama numbers unerringly hit the mark. The artistic effort is still far less ambitious – the show still struggles with consistency in character animation – but it has a few tricks up its sleeve, like the array of hilarious reaction faces these characters make. The closer is also a treat worth checking out because of strong efforts on both fronts.

In an anime environment where fantasy RPG-like settings are quite common, KONOSUBA is firmly staking out its own little niche. It should be quite entertaining to see how consistently it can keep delivering at this level.

Rating: A-

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

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