024: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!
AKA: KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!
Aired: Winter 2016, Winter 2017
Genres: Comedy, Isekai, Fantasy, Adventure, Ecchi, Supernatural
Date watched: Dec 24 2018 – Dec 25 2018
Series watched: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! (11 ep x 23 mins), Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 (10 ep x 23 mins + 1 ep x 28 mins)
Why I started watching: After binging three 50+ episode shows in a row (Nodame, Chihayafuru and Yakitate!!), I simply wanted something light to chew on as I headed into the Christmas break. I was also watching Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken as new episodes aired through Fall and Winter 2018, which led me to wonder what other isekai shows were like, and this one seemed to be one of the more famous ones. I also recognized some of the seiyuu in the credits, although that wasn’t a reason why I picked it up.
KonoSuba starts off pretty typically for an isekai title – a guy dies in the first episode, and while in the afterlife he is sent to be reincarnated in a magical world that needs heroes. Then he is given one wish for an item he can take along with him to the new world, and he picks the hapless goddess judging him. Oops! It only gets more hilarious from there, as they struggle to survive and make ends meet at first, and meet other down-on-their-luck adventurers with.. strange quirks, who join up with their party and level up together with them while trying to complete quests. Character progression is quantified in a very MMORPGish sort of way, as the four of them gain new possessions, lodgings, contacts, and skills over time, all of which get woven back into the story as catalysts for future humorous scenes. The show is also quite self-referential in places, not really breaking the fourth wall but leaning pointedly against it, arms crossed.
While I generally am biased toward female main characters and seiyuu, and floppy-hatted Megumin was still my favourite character here, Kazuma and his VA were fantastic as well, definitely one of my favourite male characters long before I was fully aware of any meme surrounding him and his lines in the show, or how the VA allegedly ad-libbed a bunch of lines for additional effect. The chemistry and humour between Kazuma and the other three girls in his party, and how he had to deal with their hopeless quirks, made for some incredibly funny interactions without pushing the show over into harem territory, despite the occasional ecchi episode that would rear its head. I was afraid the fan-service would turn me off at first, but other than one or two episodes (especially the first OVA), it didn’t bother me at all, as most of the jokes were clean, with the occasional lewd one mixed in, and I’m only against it when I feel it was unwarranted and overused. I guess maybe sitting through New Game! and Kobayashi had desensitized me a little, too.
That being said, there was one weak part of the anime at the end of the second season where the pacing and plot seemed to unravel, when they visited the hot springs town. While I think that arc started and ended well, It felt like they played on a certain gag there a little bit too long, and I lost interest in the middle of the arc before regaining it near the end. It would have been fine if they still had more episodes to recover from it, but as that was at the very end of the last currently available season, it left a bit of a weird taste in my mouth.
Still, it didn’t completely derail my enjoyment of the show, and there’s a movie coming out later this year that I am quite interested in. I also really enjoyed the EDs of both seasons, sung by the seiyuu of the three main female characters – Sora Amamiya, Rie Takahashi, and Ai Kayano. The second one, Ouchi ni Kaeritai, was better than the first one, Chiisana Boukensha by a little bit for me, but both had a nice Wild-Western and yet homely feel to the melodies, very different from the type of music I had run across in anime thus far, yet pleasing to my ears.
Final Score: 10/10