KonoSuba – God's blessing on this wonderful world!!
Episodes 4-5

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 4 of
KonoSuba – God’s blessing on this wonderful world!! ?

How would you rate episode 5 of
KonoSuba – God’s blessing on this wonderful world!! ?

When KonoSuba is at the top of its game – as it was in episode 2 and is again in episode 5 – it is easily the funniest series of the season. That makes it even more of a crying shame that its artistry sucks so badly.

Seriously; I think this series might even be getting worse as the season progresses, and it didn't look that good to begin with. The problem is not so much the artistry staying consistent (although it does have its problems there, too, especially with Aqua) as it is the designs not being very good to begin with. That is particularly evident with the arrival of Kyoya Mitsurugi, his Cursed Sword Gram, and his party/groupies on the scene in the middle of episode 5. Nothing about him looks sharp or even all that appealing; the designs have a clunkiness to them reminiscent of amateur-designed computer RPG characters. The Dragon which Kyoya is facing when he first appears is also absolutely pathetic in impact compared to the Fire Dragon seen in GATE.

But, of course, unlike GATE, this series isn't trying to take itself seriously any more than it absolutely has to for setting up a joke, and that's what allows it to be highly entertaining even as the artwork continues to flounder. In episode 4, a General of the Devil King moving into the area drives out the low-level monsters, and hence the low-level quests, so while Aqua struggles to support herself with a part-time job, Kazuma (who made a killing on the cabbage affair in episode 3) wiles his time away helping Megumin practice with her Explosion spells. They choose as a target a castle which seems to be abandoned, and the Rule of Funny dictates that it's actually not and that the pissed-off occupant is going to pop up sooner or later. It turns out to be a Dullahan who is, in fact, the aforementioned General, who voices his displeasure to the city's assembled adventurers about how the repeated bombing of the castle is being a major distraction – only, for all his imperious power, he comes off like he's whining about a neighbor whose stereo is too loud. For most series that would be the climax of the joke, but once again KonoSuba takes it the extra mile by having everyone look at another female wizard as the culprit rather than Megumin, who should be indisputably to blame after the cabbage affair. We also discover from that scene that Darkness's twisted masochism has no limit; she can get off even on being put under a death curse, which turns out to be a simpler problem to solve than one would expect.

While episode 4 did manage some good comedy, episode 5 is the real gem. In the first half Aqua pushes to go on a quest for money after getting tired of her part-time job (can it be a coincidence that she is the second goddess in the past year to have a job at a food vender which sells croquettes, or is this a nod to a certain series from last year?) and winds up in a prisoner cage intended to protect her from alligators (think a shark cage) while she purifies a lake. And my, do the alligators come! Like with the giant frogs in episode 2, she ends up traumatized and in this case won't even leave the cage, which makes everyone else look bad. That's when Kazuma's counterpart shows up: a young man named Kyoya who struck the same kind of deal that Kazuma did with Aqua but apparently opted for one of the broken fantasy weapons instead. The result is the big, bold classic fantasy hero, albeit one who can come across as a narcissist. He doesn't handle it well when he finds Aqua caged and living in a barn, but he also discovers to his dismay that he has nothing on Kazuma's wiles and Steal ability when he tries to duel Kazuma over Aqua. Things generally go ingloriously for him from there, although Kazuma also discovers in the process that he is the subject of some amusingly malicious rumors. And then the Dullahan shows up again at the end and complains about how no one actually ended up coming after him.

In other words, this is all a rousing round or two of fun, provided that you can tolerate what the artistry isn't doing. The well runs deep for aspects of fantasy RPGs which can be righteously skewered, so this series shouldn't be running out of material any time soon. It even engages in some cleavage-flashing and further suggestion that Aqua normally goes commando. Enjoy this one while it lasts because anime comedies this funny don't come along often.

Rating: B+

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

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