Aki ToyosakiHitomi NabatameSayuri HaraKonoSuba
KonoSuba: God's Blessing on this Wonderful World! 2
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2017: K
Also known as: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o! 2
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Director: Takaomi Kanasaki
Writer: Makoto Uezu
Original creator: Natsume Akatsuki
Actor: Ai Kayano, Jun Fukushima, Rie Takahashi, Sora Amamiya, Aki Toyosaki, Ayaka Suwa, Hitomi Nabatame, Kenjiro Tsuda, Masakazu Nishida, Sayuri Hara, Takuya Eguchi, Tetsu Inada, Yui Horie, Yuko Kaida
Keywords: KonoSuba, anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Season Two: ten episodes + an 11th OVA
Url: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=18777
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 9 June 2017
kono suba
It's a happy show. It's not nasty or mean and it always put a smile on my face. However it is about a party of incompetents, losers and walking disasters who are failing to be heroes in a fantasy world. Season 1 was great. Season 2 is more of the same and hence also highly recommendable, but with a few mild format changes halfway through. They've been through enough misadventures by now that we know they're capable of taking down significant baddies. They're not sleeping in stables and failing at absolutely everything any more.
To recap, our heroes are:
(a) KAZUMA SATOU (male adventurer, i.e. jack-of-all-trades) - used to be a Japanese game-addicted hikikomori. Is capable of being perverted when the plot requires it, but he generally doesn't take any sexual interest in his fellow adventurers and instead sees them as a combination of "inseparable companion" and "embarrassing menace". He's learned lots of miscellaneous skills, which are actually quite useful, but he's also cynical, pathetic and lazy.
(b) AQUA (female water goddess and priest) - also an idiot and a goofball. She can't even make tea, because her divine powers turn it to water. She'll generally find a way to mess anything up. However her powers include resurrection, which is lucky when you're a hero who's the opposite of heroic (i.e. Kazuma).
(c) MEGUMIN (female magic-user) - who only knows one spell, Explosion. That much you knew from Season 1. What's new is that she's been pouring all her experience points into Explosion, so by now it's not a great idea even to be in Megumin's line of sight. She's a walking nuke. Megumin's a really popular character among fans of this show, apparently, but personally my favourite is...
(d) DARKNESS (female crusader and masochist) - she'll stand in the way of her enemies! She'll do it even if they hit her. In fact, that's what she's hoping for. Being kicked, abused or spat on would also be attractive options. She'd find it even more arousing if they clubbed her senseless, stabbed her with spears or dragged her away to their foul cannibal den for depraved sexual humiliation. (She's liable to go into raptures when contemplating that.) In short, she's appalling. She has no shame about desiring pain, despite also being a modest, kind, well-raised young lady from a noble family. She's the nicest of our four adventurers. She's awesome. I could hardly stop laughing in eps.4-5.
(e) WIZ (female lich) - and unofficial party member, sometimes. She tags along. They're all friends, after all. Wiz might be a life-draining undead general, but she's also a lovely girl whose ambition is to be a shopkeeper. (Kazuma and Aqua are technically here to kill the Demon Lord, but in practice they've mostly forgotten this and instead are quite likely to end up befriending any Demon Lord General they meet, e.g. Wiz. They're not all evil, you know.)
I slightly preferred Season 2's first half. There were some glorious episodes in that run, with dungeons, giant toads and Darkness in eps.4-5. Yunyun's also funny, with her lack of friends. (Even flowers run away from her.) The second half shakes things up a bit, which isn't entirely to the good but is still praiseworthy because you don't want to get stuck in a rut. Life doesn't stand still. Thus our heroes get to be badass. They get rich, which does Kazuma and Aqua's motivation levels no good at all. They meet Aqua's worshippers and discover that religious cults are a pain in the neck. (Those episodes walk a tightrope between "annoying in a funny way" and "no, they really are just annoying".)
This show is Christmas-worthy. I even know who I want to buy it for, but unfortunately I can't find any DVDs on Amazon. Darn. Well, I'll keep my eyes open. The show's got more heart than you'd think, underneath our heroes' laziness, squabbling, self-destruction, cynicism, perversion, spectacular cock-ups and gross personality flaws. Kazuma can be surprisingly principled about not accepting money that they don't deserve, for instance, while there are occasional heartwarming vignettes like the one in ep.3. Plus of course these mismatched adventurers have bonded and will work together and accept each other, despite regular bickering and many other reasons why this is objectively a bad idea.
Maybe I should buy the original light novels after all? Or the manga. There's a manga...