Episodes: 2 seasons of 10 episodes (English-subbed version)
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Ecchi, Isekai
I first came across this series after watching a video compilation of funny clips from various ecchi series. A clip from KonoSuba perked my interest and I began to do a bit of research on the series. This led to me watching my first Gigguk video, in which he discusses KonoSuba in great detail. It was enough that I felt a strong desire to see this blasphemy against all thing Adventure Fantasy. And with that, I watched my first episode. I loved it and thought that my husband would find it funny as well. Alas, it would take me close to a year to convince him. It was enough to get him to start watching anime again. Here’s hoping that I don’t reveal too many spoilers.
Kasuma Sato is a teenaged shut-in, spending most of his time reading manga, watching anime and playing computer games. During a rare excursion to collect a newly released game from a nearby town, he dies trying to save a girl from being hit by what he thinks is a truck. He awakes in front of Aqua, a goddess that repeatedly mocks him for his embarrassing death from shock at being hit by a tractor. He is also given two choices: go to heaven (which is quite boring) or go to her world to fight the Devil King with a special item. He picks the latter and decides to choose Aqua as his item as retaliation.
Aqua is replaced by her underling Eris and the duo are sent to a world very different from modern Japan. With Aqua losing much of her power, Kasuma uses his knowledge of gaming to navigate a fantasy world with computer game elements. They soon meet two female party members: the explosion-loving magician Megumin and Virginal Masochist Knight Darkness. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
A good series has the ability to not only make sense from a plot standpoint but also do interesting things with character. In KonoSuba, we see the mockery of archetypes and in our resident “heroes” constantly having to clean up messes that they started, all the while trying to stay out of debt. The initial hurdle of joining an adventurer guild was small compared to the perils that they have to face on account of each other. Getting the four to work as a team will be an ongoing job. However, the story really works and the four develop a reluctant bond.
- Kasuma: NEET that is constantly fighting an uphill battle with his own party members. He just wants to be the hero and eventually have a girlfriend. If only…
- Aqua: An egotistical water goddess that is lazy and a bit of a chicken. She likes to point out that Eris uses pads to make her breasts look bigger. If only she could get her clergy to acknowledge who she is…
- Megumin: Explosion-obsessed Loli-like magician that becomes paralyzed after using a single spell… her only spell. She’s not interested in learning anything else.
- Darkness: Large-breasted female knight with a fetish for pain and humiliation. She has issues hitting people but seems to be able to hit inanimate objects without a problem.
I also liked the world-building aspects of KonoSuba. Whilst we see the European fantasy aesthetic, there is more to the world than that. It is a living, breathing world with computer game elements such as character sheets. The nobility is snooty, often throwing their weight around over petty things. There is also a secret sex club in the starter town where Succubi sell dreams in exchange for a small amount of lifeforce to survive.
The adventurer guild evaluates each new member, rating their ability in order to help match the adventurer to appropriate work. Their card also allows the members to see if they have skill points to spend. Trainers charge for skills, which resulted in Kasuma learning how to steal. Of course, the first time he uses the power, he manages to steal panties. About that…
As mentioned in the genre overview, this is an ecchi series. Much of this is on account of having a masochist in the group. Darkness is a freak, pure and simple. Her taste in men… leaves something to be desired. But all of the main characters have very unique flaws. These flaws play out in interesting ways.
You will also notice that “harem” and “romance” wasn’t on the list. That is because KonoSuba is not that sort of story. It is a story about idiots and freaks, not a “kissing book”. Whilst Darkness likes being chastised by Kasuma, none of the females in his party are girlfriend material. As it is, he really likes Eris as she was kind to him on numerous occasions that he died during an adventure. Kasuma also acknowledges that he has no chance of having a girlfriend like her. Being called Trashuma hurts one’s chances of meeting other girls as well.
In conclusion, I really love this series. It is a franchise that deserves a lot more love because it doesn’t take itself too easily nor does it makes excuses. It is fun, playful, and downright enjoyable. KonoSuba was a pure joy to watch and I really look forward to getting stuck into the manga and light novels as it appears that a third season isn’t going to happen. There is apparently an upcoming movie, as well as a crossover with several other isekai series. I am not overly sure about the latter, but will still probably watch it.