Shizuka IshigamiKaori NazukaKonoSubaFairouz Ai
KonoSuba: An Explosion on This Wonderful World!
Also known as: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Bakuen wo!
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2023
Director: Yujiro Abe
Writer: Makoto Uezu
Original creator: Natsume Akatsuki
Actor: Aki Toyosaki, Fairouz Ai, Hitomi Nabatame, Itaru Yamamoto, Kaori Nazuka, Maria Naganawa, Mitsuhiro Sakamaki, Miyu Tomita, Rie Takahashi, Sachiko Kojima, Sayumi Suzushiro, Shizuka Ishigami, Yasunori Masutani, Yoshiki Nakajima
Keywords: KonoSuba, anime, fantasy, rubbish
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Website category: Anime 2023
Review date: 15 February 2024
kono suba megumin
I love KonoSuba, a parody fantasy where everyone's useless, a scumbag and/or an idiot. Megumin was the show's surprise breakout hit character, becoming insanely popular in the anime community and spawning a gazillion memes. This is a Megumin-centric spin-off, going from her early days at magic school to her adventuring days before she joined up with Kazuma, Aqua and Darkness.
I hated this spin-off show. I ditched it after four episodes, although I did jump forward to see if it was worth sticking around for the cameos of Kazuma, Aqua and Darkness in episodes 10-12. (It wasn't.)
I should explain.
Megumin's a knob end, but the character works in KonoSuba because she's no worse than her teammates and she fits well into the show's general tone. (Kazuma's appalling, Aqua's a loud, half-witted deadweight and Darkness is a comedy masochist and a frontline fighter who wants to be defeated. At least Megumin does one thing well.) That's the basis of Natsume Akatsuki's humour. I also love his other shows like Kemono Michi and Combatants Will Be Dispatched!, although those skate close to the line.
This show, though, is more understated and serious. (I actually checked to see if Akatsuki really wrote it. He did. Well, whatever he had in mind, it doesn't work.) When Megumin's being unpleasant in this show, she just looks like a bully. She makes a classmate cry. The main supporting character is Yunyun, a timid but thoroughly nice loser who will also get dumped on royally in the parent series. Yunyun's a bit of an idiot, yes, but she doesn't deserve Megumin's tsundere abuse.
In fairness, there are reasons to cut Megumin slack. Her family's dirt poor and she loves her sister. She talks in polite keigo. She's capable of showing some level of caring for Yunyun, even if she generally buries it under chuunibyou bullshit and/or does something unpleasant or selfish immediately afterwards. (And then will have completely forgotten about her when they meet again in KonoSuba.)
The show doesn't work. It's found the opposite of a sweet spot (a sour spot?). I find myself bemoaning the lack of offensive comedy loons, yet I also disliked the show's attempts at KonoSuba-like comedy with that stalker. Or is it perhaps just not for me? I've never understood why the internet went nuts about Megumin, to be honest, but this show made me actively dislike her. (Give me Darkness. She's nice. A depraved pervert, yes, but one of the nicest people in KonoSuba and yes, I absolutely would.) I'm a trash-hound and I've watched lots of garbage in my time, but this I couldn't stomach. I bailed. It's possible that I missed a hypothetical redemption in episodes 5-12, but sod it. Avoid this anime.