KonoSuba is complete trash, but I say that in the most flattering, complimentary way possible. It’s ripe with fanservice and sexual humor, but all the while understanding how ridiculous that type of content can be.
The whole “Trapped in an RPG-esque World” trope seems to have really taken off over the last five years or so. Various fan contingents storm the forums in support of everything from the mediocre *cough* Sword Art Online *cough* Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody *cough* to the more rightfully praised series like Log Horizon, and Overlord. One gem that seems criminally underrepresented in this discussion, though, is KonoSuba.
KonoSuba isn’t necessarily out to change the game, but it’s fully aware that it’s part of it. Such self-awareness makes for a show that has the look and feel of a legitimate Isekai series, yet also functions as a parody of the many harem-centric shounen/seinen stories that exist within the subgenre.
Director Takaomi Kanasaki—who was heavily involved in one of my personal favorites, School Rumble— works well with series composer Makoto Uezu to adapt the light novel source material to the television Screen. Uezu also serves as the primary writer. He splendidly scripts together scenarios in which our main cast of characters are simultaneously both the best and worst party of protagonists one could imagine attempting to save the world.
The animation, courtesy of Studio Deen, seems almost deliberately cheap at times. Perhaps it’s to contrast the more colorful, dramatic animation that reminds viewers they’re watching an actual fantasy adventure series. Couple the mix of comical scripting and imagery with a fun soundtrack, and you’ve got a surprisingly well-rounded final product.
KonoSuba is easily the most unique Isekai interpretation I’ve seen. Regrettably, its very nature as a comedic parody is what holds it back from achieving the status of “Masterpiece”. Our protagonists change very little over the course of 20 episodes, primarily because each has a particular shtick or quirk that offers comedic value. If you wanted to think about it way too hard, you could try to defend it as a statement on how little people tend to actually change over time. That really isn’t the case here, though, and this is fantasy; I’d rather see some actual character development than face the crushing reality of human nature.
The series is widely considered one of the best sleeper hits to come out of 2016. It went so well that pretty much the same crew got together again to produce the second season last spring. Last summer, voice actors Jun Fukushima (Kazuma) and Rie Takahashi (Megumin) announced plans for a new anime project. We still don’t know what that exactly means, though. Some speculate a third season; others hypothesize a movie or OVA of some kind.
Regardless of what the future holds, Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! is every bit as marvelous and endearing as it is dumb and crude. It’s definitely worth a try.
Season 1 — 9/10
Season 2 — 8.5/10
They balance out to 8.75. so I’ll round up to 9.
The Weeabros don’t own the images used in this review, bro.