Welcome back to season 2 of the Imouri Anime Review, where people vote for an anime that the Imouri team will review. The anime will be reviewed using these four criteria; Story, Animation, Character Development, and World-Building. Each category will be given of score (1-10), and then an overall score will be determined.
November focused on hilarious isekai anime shows. The users from the Secret Anime Club voted for their favorite anime to be reviewed and after voting ended, the anime that got the most votes was KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! for the November 2021 review.
KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! follows our protagonist Satou Kazuma, a boy who lived in Japan who skipped school to play video games and be lazy. He was reincarnated after he died in an accident and was sent to a fantasy world. He was sent to this fantasy world alongside the Goddess of Water Aqua to defeat the Demon King. The Demon King's goal is to oppress the people of the fantasy world.
He is later joined by Megumin, an Arch Wizard with extremely powerful magic and a Crusader with insane defense capabilities. They, along with Aqua and Kazuma, decide to form a party together and so begins their adventure to take down the Demon King....or so you would seem.
This is not the story of a heroic tale of good versus evil. This is not an adventure for all time, where the heroes march forward to save the world. This story is about 4 completely useless people who have one or two merits and the struggle to live even an ordinary life in a fantasy world. The problem is that even though Megumin, Darkness, and Aqua are all-powerful, their individual issues cause major setbacks. This story is nearly perfect. The whole thing is a parody.
The story or lack thereof, a meaningful story is all about poking fun at both video games, specifically MMORPGs and the Isekai genre as a whole. Nothing is ever right with the party. They are supposed to defeat the Demon King but get sidetracked entirely and every which way and at most times even forget they have to kill the Demon King. Heck, there are other reincarnated people in the series with powerful stats or weapons. They are either beaten by team Kazuma or forget that a Demon King exists. Yes, that's the story, but it doesn't even play out in that manner. The best part, the series is purposefully written that way. The whole point is to make fun of all these video games and isekai genres. KonoSuba does not follow any of the stereotypical setups while still using the generic isekai town and formula to make it seem like a big deal. Still, alas, the efforts of team Kazuma utterly destroy that notion. Kazuma seems like he is the only one who can see this, but even his issues get in the way of the grander story. I will talk more about the four main characters later.
Eventually, the story does move along, but basically at a snail's pace. KonoSuba has great gags and comedy and knows how to deliver a fantastic punch line. Most of the time, it's at Aqua's expense. But it is usually Aqua who helps push the story forward, so she does come in handy sometimes, despite her uselessness.
Interestingly, KonoSuba does not have the typical 12 to 13 episode run per season; instead, each season has 10 episodes and an OVA per season. KonoSuba also has a movie called Legend of Crimson, which occurs after both seasons and focuses on the village where Megumin comes from.
Overall, the story is excellent. It purposefully does not often progress, relying more on hilarious gags and tropes. The only gripe I have is that I wish it was longer, and I hope it focused more on Aqua and Kazuma's backstory. There is so much to flesh out and only having 10 episodes per season is a letdown.
Story Score: 9/10
Right out of the gate, KonoSuba has some amazing animation. First, let us talk about the opening for Season 1, Fantastic Dreamer by Machico. The opening is beautifully animated, showing the overview of the generic isekai city, but then delivers great character animation as you are introduced to the main cast. During the animation, you see some supporting characters, followed by some action scenes. At this moment, you get a scale of how powerful the main characters are, except for Kazuma. The song is also very catchy and has an uplifting vibe.
The opening for Season 2, Tomorrow by Machico, has the same feel. It pretty much repeats the same formula as the first opening but still has that upbeat vibe that gets you in the mood to watch the series. Again, the character animation and background set pieces are masterfully done to bring the world together. Check out both openings below.
Fantastic Dreamer Opening 1
Tomorrow Opening 2
I mentioned earlier the character animation and how well it is done. KonoSuba does a fantastic job of showcasing the suffering and happiness of the main characters. Aqua and Kazuma both have very hilarious suffering faces. At the same time, most of the time, Darkness can be seen with a wildly exaggerated masochistic look. Each character is modeled brilliantly with an extreme level of detail.
Another aspect of animation I want to point out, and quite honestly, the most significant point I want to make is the action scenes. The fight scenes are well-choreographed, and the level of detail in the animation is breathtaking. When Megumin does her explosion, it is a sight to behold. Just look for yourself.
Overall, the animation is terrific. Much love was put into the anime, from the character expressions to the action scenes. Also, I will point out that the various transition scenes throughout the series just make so much sense for some reason.
Animation Score: 10/10
This is the part where I say all of the characters develop very well. They each become powerful in their own way and become moral, upbeat heroes, learning from their mistakes. But that is not the case here. Again, KonoSuba is a parody, gag anime. Nothing is normal about this anime. Do the characters get stronger? Yes, but I will explain that in the World-Building section. Sometimes, and I mean sometimes, the four main characters will have some slight development. But most of the time, it gets tossed by the wayside.
Aqua stills is a drunkard who cares only for money and booze. She rarely learns her lesson and holds her God status over everyone's head. She can be nice and support Kazuma and the party once in a while, but she is mostly selfish. In one instance, Aqua burned Kazuma's clothes to make a fire. She is powerful but totally selfish.
Darkness is a masochist. She gets off by anything that attacks her. She looks powerful, but she can't use a sword to save her life. Her defense is really high, but her attacks suck. She is just a walking tank. However, throughout her journey, she does try to act more ladylike with her family status. She also tries to learn better swordsmanship.
Megumin has chuunibyou tendencies and can be loud and eccentric. She can be sentimental and caring at times. Her biggest downfall is her explosion magic, only able to cast it once a day. After casting, she is completely paralyzed. She refuses to learn any other spell and only focuses on explosions. However, she does grow stronger through the support of her party.
Kazuma is the weakling of the group. However, he can be intelligent and often comes up with good plans. But he has a tendency to be a pervert and tries to manipulate others into following his plans. He also tries too hard to rely on his world's knowledge of video games, only for it to backfire most of the time. He learns to care for his party and help them out when they need him most.
Overall, the character development is there, but it's not very significant. Each of the main characters doesn't learn from their mistakes often and still finds themselves in trouble most of the time.
Character Development Score: 7/10
KonoSuba has a beautiful setup for world-building. There are many different monsters and races. There is a God hierarchy, and there are endless possibilities to this fantasy world. Religious factions exist to worship each of the Gods, including Aqua. Aqua's power is derived from her followers and believers. There is even resurrection magic and various classes and abilities. This leads me into what I think is the most extraordinary concept of the serious, the adventure card.
Kazuma and Aqua get assessed by a guild to determine the class, stats, and abilities. Kazuma is a low-key adventure with insanely high or potentially maxed out Luck Stat, and Aqua is a Healing Goddes. What makes the cards unique is how they are tied to your physical being. As Kazuma earns points, he can level up and cash the points in for new stats on his card to learn new abilities such as Steal. The card is directly tied to you and can ultimately define you. Megumin and Darkness also possess these cards. This is why Megumin only focuses on explosion magic and Darkness on defense.
Overall, the world-building is fantastic. So much thought went into the world-building aspect, and I am only scratching the surface because I don't want to spoil everything.
World-Building Score: 10/10
I hope you enjoyed the review. If you haven't yet, check out the secret anime club. It is a great way to interact with Team Imouri and learn about upcoming products and reviews. You also have the power to decide which reviews we do with our monthly polls. See you there!
*Images are from the My Anime List website and the KonoSuba Wiki Fandom. Videos are from YouTube that the channel owners listed such as Crunchyroll Collection, Makoto Amakawa, and Mugi cool. We do not own any of these images. Credit to all artists of the images and credit goes to the creators of the anime series.