KonoSuba is the story of a teen settling in a new fantasy life… with an incompetent goddess, a reckless mage and a masochistic knight.
|Genre||Fantasy, comedy, slice-of-life|
|Original run||2016 – 2017|
|Number of episodes||20 + 2 OVA|
Sometime ago, I reviewed another fantasy series called Re:Zero, a story of an adolescent shut-in boy who got whisked away to a fantasy world. But because he tangled with all sorts of dangerous characters and situations without any fighting abilities of his own, he learned that living in such a world was much harder than living in the real world. The show’s drama was brilliant, it had many likable characters and it was a good representation of earning/losing progress in a game.
KonoSuba has a similar premise of a shut-in who ended up in a fantasy world, except without the drama. In fact, it went the opposite direction.
Imagine dying and you wake up to flying cabbages with eyes. I don’t think we’re high enough, people. Let’s take another hit!
A Quest Gone Wrong
Our story follows one Kazuma Satou, a shut-in teen who enjoys video games—one might call him a NEET. Boy, doesn’t that sound familiar. Along the way to play a recently purchased game, he got involved into a bizarre accident that claimed his life.
In the afterlife, Kazuma meets a goddess named Aqua. And…
HOLY MOTHER OF ASS!
Is that what they call a Goddass? If that’s what I’m going to see in the afterlife, then I should think about when I should end my life…
Kidding aside, the water goddess Aqua offers Kazuma to be reborn in a fantasy world with a weapon or power of his choosing. But because Aqua acted like a pompous jerk toward Kazuma, he decided to give her some comeuppance by forcing her to go with him. And by the laws of Heaven and whatnot, Aqua has no choice but to comply until Kazuma manages to slay the Devil King in the fantasy world.
She does not take it very well.
But to see things through to the end, the two form a party and join a guild at the beginner’s town of Axel. Due to Kazuma’s average stats with above average intelligence and absurdly high luck, he takes the basic Adventurer job. And due to Aqua’s absurdly high stats in everything (minus abysmal intelligence and low luck), she takes the advanced Arch Priest class.
Because Aqua is a goddess, her stats have already been maxed out, meaning her stats don’t actually increase when she levels up. As Kazuma finds out the hard way, Aqua literally can’t get any smarter no matter how much she tries. The only benefit she receives from leveling up is gaining skill points. But because she’s a hapless idiot, she spends her skill points on useless party tricks that have absolutely no benefit in battle.
Combined with her low intelligence and low luck, her holy aura also attracts undead monsters who easily outnumber her. So without Kazuma, she would’ve been monster chowder.
Eventually, they recruit a fiercely determined (but childlike) Arch Wizard named Megumin and a masochistic, perverted Crusader named Darkness, who were both desperate for a job. AND TOGETHER… they make the most petty dysfunctional group to grace the fantasy world.
And I mean it. Despite our boy Kazuma having high luck, his own lack of talent puts him at odds with the utter ineptitude of his teammates. Despite being the most powerful member in the group, Aqua is a bumbling doofus who tends to make situations worse rather than fix them. Megumin is a one-trick pony who is obsessed with explosion magic to the point of practicing only explosion magic… and it takes so much energy out of her that it causes her to collapse from one use. And though Darkness is a tough lady who will happily go through endless amounts of torture to satisfy her sexual cravings, she can’t hit anything with her sword. Unless she’s maybe wrestling her opponents to the ground, she can’t hit the broad side of a barn.
A Motley Crew of LOL
So Kazuma becomes the de facto leader of this dysfunctional group, serving as the party’s voice of reason and tactician… much to his dismay. Because his new friends embarrass the hell out of everyone and they’re absolutely hopeless on their own.
…But he can also be a manipulative bastard and a shameless pervert, which usually bites him back in the ass. Not to mention he tends to get a swollen head from completing missions and he can get real lazy when he wants to.
Unfortunately for him, he’s surrounded by beautiful women and he can’t have any of them. There’s a harem practically next to him and he can’t have one.
But then again, he DOES raise some good points against the hypocrisy of modern-day feminism.
Kazuma Satou, the former NEET who takes shit from no one, not even pretty women. ESPECIALLY pretty women who regularly throw him under the bus for shits and giggles. He is the antithesis of the typical male protagonist of harem anime—unlike them, he doesn’t take abuse from anyone and he’s not just some wimp for a bunch of girls to pine over. Even though he’s a pervert, he’s a more solid character than some spineless wimp who lets women walk all over him simply because “he can’t hit girls” or “women have to be treated specially.”
Kazuma serves as the straight man of the group, desiring to live a grand and adventurous life in a fantasy world similar to a video game. But because this world is goofy as hell and his teammates would be completely lost without his common sense… he wished he picked a different second life. Because Aqua overspends their earnings and tends to break everything she touches, both she and Kazuma are often stuck in debt. Kazuma just can’t take the easy way out, even with his outstanding luck stat. Because his partner is quite pathetic.
Then we got the goddess herself. Aqua is vain, selfish, cruel, air-headed, petty, childish, demanding, gullible, slobby, cowardly, greedy, and incompetent to the point of liability. Pretty much whatever trait that normally wouldn’t befit a goddess worshiped by many people—especially if said worshipers are fanatic cultists who are self-indulgent and are aggressively trying to convert other people into believers.
But Aqua can also be selfless at times, putting her supreme healing abilities to use for her friends. She’s absolutely lethal towards undead foes (against other foes is questionable, though). She’s very honest about whatever she does or says, to the point where she can’t lie to save her life—which is more likely to put her in trouble with Kazuma.
She’s also a cocktease. No seriously, this show is OBSESSED with upskirt shots of Aqua, specifically involving two round cheeks or those thick trunks called thighs. Don’t believe me?
So much ASS in this anime. Enjoy, you pervy NEETs. Just remember to whom it belongs to.
And the hell of it? We can never tell if Aqua is butt naked or if she’s wearing a thong. I guess we’re expected to assume she’s wearing panties… somewhere. So, Schrödinger’s panties?
If one looks at Aqua at a different light, she’s like a misbehaving child who just wants attention… probably because she never got the opportunity to mature. Maybe she even suffers from an inferiority complex, which could explain why she tends to brag about herself a lot and why she feels threatened when Kazuma brings up about learning healing magic. But in reality, she’s incompetent at her job and her own followers are insane to the point where they don’t even recognize their goddess. Even her subordinate goddess, Eris, was held in higher regard in the fantasy world, which does make Aqua quite jealous.
Love her or hate her, it’s always fun to see things backfiring for her in the most spectacular fashion. After all, she IS the water goddess of this wonderful world!
…Because she cries. A lot.
Her misery is deliciously hilarious. Maybe even annoying, if you don’t find pathetic, delirious wailing too funny.
Next up is our crazy demon girl Megumin, a young teen who is so obsessed with Explosion magic that it’s the only thing she practices. She’s very much a glass cannon (or a glass nuke, in this case) when it comes to battles, so she’s mainly useful for large fields against powerful enemies. Also, a Squishy Wizard.
Despite her habit of giving unusual names to objects of affection and her trigger-happy behavior when it comes to explosion magic, Megumin is the most normal member of the group next to Kazuma. She’s quite wily for her age but is also self-conscious about her underdeveloped body. She’s so self-conscious that she becomes despondent from being called “little girl” or “loli.”
And of course, Dustiness Ford Lalatina AKA Darkness. The crazed lady knight who gets turned on by intense pain and humiliation. She is one scary pervert, the type who would approach a man and ask him to beat her into submission with a lusty expression. And even though Kazuma is attracted to her body, he is not at all attracted to her weird fetishes.
And she does her job as a meat shield spectacularly… mainly because she enjoys it TOO MUCH. Oh, dear.
These are all likable characters that play off each other’s flaws, which is very much the blood of what makes Konosuba so entertaining to watch. They can be real jerkasses towards each other, resulting in another character getting payback later on. While the main plot is about Kazuma training to defeat the Devil King, it takes a back seat when you realize there isn’t that much of a story.
Konosuba is very much a slice-of-life series where events just happen in each episode. Even season one foreshadowed a large mobile fortress called the Destroyer and have it appear in the last two episodes… only to somewhat downplay the importance of this event. It’s just yet another obstacle coming to terrorize the town of Axel, but it has no affiliation with the Devil King and it was barely mentioned before we actually see it in action.
This is not to say this is a bad thing. The story takes a lax approach on what happens next. Usually when Kazuma wants to settle down and live a normal life in this fantasy world, the plot rears its head in the form of a Demon General. Whether it’s his luck or not, Kazuma seems to have a habit of running into one of them by accident.
And despite the buildup that the Devil King and his generals are immensely powerful figures, the actual battles tend to play out as over-the-top situations where Kazuma and his party struggle to defeat the General using unconventional methods.
And your reaction is…
In other words, Konosuba is pure comedy gold. It’s a stark contrast to a show like Re:Zero, where the story can switch between lighthearted and intensely dark in the same episode. Konosuba has very few serious moments, though they are actually handled well. But of course, you’d be watching it for the zany characters who overreact to most situations. They even managed to make a court case more insane than an Ace Attorney trial.
Give Konosuba a watch if you feel like laughing your ass off. You won’t regret it.
P.S. Eris pads her chest!