Friday, April 8, 2016

KONOSUBA: God's Blessing On This Wonderful World! Complete Series Review

Yes, I'm Kazuma.

What They Say:
After a traffic accident, Kazuma Sato’s disappointingly brief life was supposed to be over. Instead, he wakes up to see a beautiful girl before him. The girl claims to be the goddess, Aqua, and asks if Kazuma would like to go to another world and bring only one thing with him. Kazuma decides to bring the goddess herself, and the two are transported into a fantasy world filled with adventure, ruled by a demon king. Now Kazuma simply wants to live in peace. But the demon king will only turn a blind eye for so long…

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
The age-old question of, "What happens when you die?" can be answered in a multitude of ways. However, being transported into a world of fantasy and assuming the life of a character in an RPG isn't normally an answer to that question. Directed by Takaomi Kanasaki (Is This A Zombie?) and based on the light novel series by Natsume Akatsuki, KONOSUBA plunges us headfirst into a world in which everyone is just trying to make a new living for themselves. But that is a lot easier said than done.

After being hit by a car and dying in an attempt to be a hero for the first time in his life, Kazuma Sato is killed and is promptly transported to the realm of gods. Upon entering said realm, he is greeted by a rambunxious, blue-haired goddess named Aqua. Aqua, after relentlessly making fun of the way Kazuma died for a good five minutes, states that she is going to transport him into a new world and he can only take one thing with him. In order to get back at the overly spunky goddess, Kazuma elects to take Aqua herself and the two are quickly transported into a new world with nothing but the clothes on their backs. However, instead of separating upon entry, the two wind up sticking together because, you know, teamwork and stuff.

From that point on, the real problem becomes making money and building up their party. The whole money part never really works out. Like ever. BUT, they do meet a couple new faces that they [reluctantly] decide to add on to their party -- Megumin, the destruction mage who can only cast one spell a day, and Darkness, the masochistic crusader tank with an affinity for embarrassment and cabbages. And so begins the journey of these four misfits and how Kazuma is so fed up with everything ever.

The world of KONOSUBA can be compared to the likes of anime series like Sword Art Online, being that everyone must assume the role of a particular class and use their abilities to rise in power. The driving force that propels the characters of KONOSUBA is their desire to kill the demon king who rules over their new world. Well, that's SUPPOSED to be their motivation, but no one really cares about it at all. They just want money for beer and food and stuff. But hey man, PVE isn't for everyone. Some people just want to quest and AFK and whatnot. Anyway, enough of the RPG talk, I'm getting sidetracked.

KONOSUBA isn't about the story. In fact, the story doesn't even matter. There are two reasons to watch this show (Three if you count fanservice): the comedy and the characters. For those of you that watched Kanasaki's "Is This A Zombie?" be prepared for the same style of comedy. With a large bulk of it stemming from how defeated Kazuma is for having to put up with his three female party members, KONOSUBA never stops being hilarious. In fact, it's like an endless onslaught of callbacks to running jokes that gradually become even funnier as the series progresses. In all honesty, the humor in this series is some of the best I have watched in a very, very long time, and that wouldn't be possible if it weren't for the characters.

The three main girls in this series have personalities so strong that watching them becomes a sort of self-satire with each of them being walking punchlines. Aqua is always yelling or crying about how she's a goddess or whatever, Megumin is just the best and that's all there is to it, and Darkness is thirsty. (Very thirsty). The fact of the matter is that, at all times during KONOSUBA, something will always be happening in the foreground-- and, at many times, in the background as well. With a sufficient mix of both in-your-face and subtle humor, it's no wonder why this show is so damn funny. And, I know I've mentioned it before, but Kazuma is literally the physical manifestation of "Done". Instead of fawning over these beautiful girls like any other male anime protagonist would do, he's just like, "Dude these b*tches are crazy," and continues to hate what his life has become. If he was real, I'd totally hang out with him.

The major downfall of KONOSUBA is its length (Which I guess is actually fine now that a second season is announced). Being only ten episodes long, we don't really get sufficient time with our beloved party members. This also creates an environment in which the story must progress at an alarming rate, but for this particular series, it kind of worked out. The fast pacing of the show sort of paralleled the comedy of it, moving at the pace of lightning relatively often. Certain plot points just randomly appear and things get all crazy for a good ten minutes before they are resolved and everything just goes back to normal. It's a lot of "Rinse-repeat" but it literally never becomes boring. I'd say that's pretty damn impressive.

In Summary:
KONOSUBA is extremely accessible to all anime fans. It's short, its fast, it has great characters, and it's hilarious. Being a series focused purely on comedy gave the writers enough resources and enough freedom to do whatever they wanted and it wound up spectacular. It sounds a little cliche, but KONOSUBA has something for everyone. I can't tell you if the adaptation is loyal to its light novel predecessor, but you can bet that I'll be picking that up if it's ever published in English. The second season of this series is already in development and my excitement for it is nearly identical to my excitement for the second "Is This A Zombie" back when that was announced. I can only hope that KONOSUBA 2 works out a little better than that did. If you're looking for a quick, light-hearted binge watch, go check this out right now. Yes, right now.

Grade: A-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

1 comment:

  1. Konosuba is the good version of SAO