Once again KonoSuba comes to an end all too soon. The Devil King is still out there, waiting, for our favorite band of misfit heroes to finally take him on.
“God’s Blessing on This Wonderful Party”
Ten episodes is not nearly enough of this wonderful party. But it looks like they blew the entire saved-up budget on some of the most fantastic scenes so far in this series here, so we can probably let a missing couple extra episodes slide. As far as finales go for shows that don’t end, this is an incredibly satisfying entry. The build up of comedy over the duration of the hot springs trip lead to some hilarious execution of now-inside jokes and some actual high-stakes action. Aqua knew best after all (that hurt to type) and the town actually was being poisoned all along! This climax deserves some OP music, and you should probably put it on repeat as you read this review.
KonoSuba never plays it straight, right to the end. The set-up for this final battle is an amazingly mundane reunion of past Devil King army colleagues and the supposed bad guy tries to just shrug it off. This works quite well for the actual reveal of the season’s big enemy a few scenes later, as he finally transforms in to a rather formidable looking foe – and a slime at that. Slimes are never usually cause for concern. What is with this world’s balance anyway? Anyway, this results in by far the best action scenes this series has to offer and highlights each character’s strength with incredible detail. Kazuma gets to lead the misfits in to battle by sacrificing himself Re;Zero style. Megumin gets to EXPLOSION in the most epic visual display yet. Darkness puts her body on the line to protect others and is probably pretty happy about it. Even Wiz, the ad hoc party member, gets in quite the display of power. But all of those pale in comparison to Aqua’s amazing god-blow overdrive to cap it all off. Having the townsfolk help her out by chanting their ridiculous credo adds some perfect KonoSuba style levity to the giant action scene, plus it makes Aqua’s usually pitiful attack power a little more believable.
It’s too bad the townsfolk don’t really appreciate the help they received. Hot water is still pretty good in its own right! And the minerals will seep back in to the water supply over time – your actual goddess just saved your town from a giant poison slime demon! It is a little cold-hearted of them but it also makes the return home just that much more special. Despite all of their misadventures, the party is welcomed back from their trip by a friendly populace. It’s a small touch, but it also gives a great sense of development for this party and the impact they have on the world. In so many series the world around the main characters might as well be a still painting, while this one lives as a character in its own right. Hopefully we will be returning to it, with our misfit adventurers, sooner than we know.
Summary: With some of the fanciest effects in this series’ history, the whole group steps up to put an end to another of the Devil King’s army leaders.
– You have a lizard face.
– Never know who you might run in to.
– Let’s do this, Chunchunmaru.
– Wiz is pretty scary.
– Even slimes have preferences.
– “Sometimes running away is winning.”
– The Axis cult credo is amazingly Aqua.
– Red mohawk guy is definitely the Devil King.
KonoSuba is a special entry in this season’s line-up and the parody comedy genre as a whole. If you don’t enjoy it, there is probably nothing I can say to sway you, and I wouldn’t even want to try because you suck. The first season aired during Clouded Anime’s first season of reviews but was not picked up because of a rather busy schedule – that and the show just wasn’t very popular. Boy did that change! Word of mouth and amazing reviews lead to a lot of binge-watching of the oddly short 10 episode season and the love for the series exploded before the final episode aired. I think I recall watching 8 episodes in a row to catch up. After another amazing season, it doesn’t look like the train is slowing down. Bring on more explosions, drain touches, and purification!
Parody has become a pretty popular genre of anime as of late. But most entries in the genre tend to be rather stinging dissections of very specific tropes or even popular series. KonoSuba has evolved to a completely different level of parody. Sure, there are the occasional surface-level nods to other trapped-in-a-fantasy-world giants like Re;Zero and Sword Art Online, but it really takes a look beyond the surface to see the real deconstruction of entire concepts going on. Everything from character expectations and trope subversion to how fan-service is presented gets a proper ribbing, and yes, Kazuma is a great avenue for most of this. He goes a step beyond the average smart-ass protagonist in to a realm of honesty so barely tread upon.
Characters are an important aspect of any series and the backbone of many. If one thing is for certain, this series thrives on its amazing cast of characters. Each is a parody of an anime archetype in their own right, and the interactions between the entire crew, main or side characters, are just a wonder to behold. The greatest example might be the episode in which Kazuma has built himself a kotatsu in an effort to capitalize on his otherworldly knowledge. It perfectly encapsulates his attitude and motivations, and the others’ reactions to it define their characters so well. Darkness is drain-touched to her pleasurable dismay while Megumin takes the level-headed to all-out in two seconds approach of suggesting he be tossed out the window, kotatsu and all. Meanwhile, Aqua is lazing around like the useless goddess she is, yet is oddly motivated to act when something in her self-interest comes up – in this case the hot springs trip. It’s an all-around fun snapshot of what these characters get up to consistently through the series.
Concerns of lower animation quality after the first season were largely unfounded in this second entry of the series. The character art is purposely quite ridiculous, but when it gets to the action you can expect to see something special. Consider the OP as well, and it is by far one of the best OPs in recent memory, for how much motion and interesting animation there is and how it conveys the character of the series and each character within it so well.
Summary: The plot is still nowhere near completion, but it feels like we’ve made progress in this wonderful world. Another great entry in the KonoSuba series, with hopefully more to come in the future.
(Rounded to 9 for MAL)