I wanted to use a normal image for this post, but I couldn’t pass this one up. It’s just too perfect for what the entire series is.
When it comes to anime, there’s been a recent surge of “life in a video game world” kind of stories as of late, shows like Sword Art Online, Log Horizon, No Game No Life, Overlord. They all have something to offer, but it’s starting to dawn on me that this kind of story is getting a little overdone and is starting to get a tad bit boring. However, Konosuba proves that while that story is a bit overdone, there are still ways to make that concept enjoyable.
Konosuba instead of being a serious show about either trying to live in a game world, surviving in a game world, dominating a game world or anything else, goes full-blown comedy with it, giving zero fucks about being serious in any way whatsoever and concentrating solely on being as ridiculous, hilarious and in some cases downright annoying each episode.
The main force behind this is the cast of characters, in particular the four we spend the majority of our time with. You have Kazuma, the default boring piece of shit male MC who is your typical NEET who dies and is reborn into a video game-like world. Not only that but his death is as pathetic as you could possibly expect. He’s a downright worthless individual with little to no redeeming qualities and spends the majority of his time in the show just being greedy as fuck, perverted and lazy. But the true comedic nature of the anime shows when they manage to have a character that is even more annoying and worthless than he is.
Enter Aqua, the so-called Goddess of the show. When Kazuma dies she is the one who offers him his choices for the afterlife. However once detailing him on his death, she turns into an absolute nuisance of a human being, to the point that when she tells Kazuma one option is to go into this game world and take any one thing with him, he chooses her in spite. Part of it is also having an attractive girl who may have some very strong powers as well, but let’s be honest, this was payback. And thus begins the downright painfully annoying nature of this worthless Goddess who apparently decided she’d never wear underwear at any point in her life. While she has the ability and the power to do great things, she’s lazy as fuck, to the point it takes living in a horse stable for an extended period of time before she finally decides to at least do something just so she can get out of there. There’s several times in the show she just out of nowhere solves the problem the group has, while there are other times she’s the most insignificant thing in the world, though you can’t ignore her with her endless whining, crying, screaming and begging.
So thank the Goddess (not Aqua) that a character like Megumin. I already did a Character Spotlight on her so check that out, but she’s easily the shining star of the show. As I’ve stated before, she’s like what Rikka Takanashi from Chuunibyou wishes she could be, just minus the crazy weapons that she dreams she has. So many things about Megumin are very much like Rikka. She’s got a similar small body frame, the awkward nature of her speaking, but most of all her need to chant an endless amount of words before finally casting a spell. Megumin is a wizard who knows a single spell, but it’s the most powerful spell there is, an Explosion spell. The problem is that she can only cast it once before her power’s depleted and she straight up passes out wherever she stands, often slowly sliding downhill to add extra comedic effect to it. She’s super adorable, albeit a bit fussy whenever she gets asked to learn something other than Explosion magic, cause she has the capacity to do so, but refuses. She’s also got a slight perverted side to her as well, though it’s severely outmatched by our last character…
Enter Lalatina Dustiness Ford aka Darkness. She’s a crusader capable of taking an endless amount of damage, like the best tank in an MMORPG. She’s also a phenomenally beautiful woman, but there is a rather big catch to her, well two. Pertaining to her fighting ability, she can take a ton of damage, but she can’t dish any out, she literally cannot hit a single thing with her sword. She’d miss the entire Earth if it attacked her. And then there’s her personal problem. She’s a complete, total masochist, to the point she goes out of her way to take extra hits to satisfy her lust. She also loves being utterly humiliated as many scenes, in particular her “bath” scene shows off. She’s a case where there’s nothing she can do to improve, she plays the same way the entire series, while Megumin and Kazuma to an extent grow a little bit. Aqua of course remains a useless Goddess.
Combining the characters together gets you a pretty interesting collection of personalities, but the main sell of the show is really with how pathetically useless the four of them are and how they somehow manage to succeed at things. There’s things to like about Megumin and maybe Darkness, but Aqua unless you like losing your hearing, she’s got nothing to like and Kazuma as well, but you just pity him for being in the situation he’s in. There’s other characters though that offer some balance to the show such as Chris a thief who teaches Kazuma skills early on, including a Steal skill that works better in stealing panties than anything useful.
Again, the defining parts of the show lie in its comedic timing and jokes. The show takes your typical video game world concept and flips it upside down. For example, there’s a massive event that turns out to be a vegetable harvest rather than a massive battle, no matter how much the show tries to make it look like it otherwise. While there’s a ton of time spent with Aqua being as pathetic as she is, she gets her comeuppance plenty of times and they’re all hilarious, in particular her being stuck in a cage and being constantly attacked by monsters while she’s purifying a lake. And as the show progresses they add a villain that really brings the comedy forth and for me made the show a lot better than I would’ve given it in the early going.
So if you’re curious about the show, I highly recommend it, despite having two largely unlikable MCs. There’s a ton of comedy there, it’s pretty well drawn and enough good recalls and shots to MMORPGs to make it interesting.
And there’s also moments like this: