Part one of the Big Four Isekai(異世界) series!
KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World
KonoSuba is that dumb friend we all have that despite their flaws, vices, and aura of failure we still love. It’s forthright humour and laidback pace makes us feel comfortable and reassured. It became a fast favourite of anime fans all over the world and here is why.
KonoSuba by Natsume Akatsuki is a light novel series and anime published by Kadokawa.
Kadokawa is a giant publishing company in Japan, In fact it probably owns 80% of all novels and light novels ever turned into anime. Hits like Re:Zero, Overlord, and Youjou Senki are all directly produced by them.
But, they also published Harui and Luck Star. And, in general just so much content that shows like Honda san make fun of the sheer quantity they release.
So KonoSuba has a good start and great publicity in Japan from a powerful marketing team.
But they lucked out a little too. With a short light novel and a contained story arc each 10 episode anime series could be made with relatively good quality and attention to detail.
The animation is wonderful and really captures the feeling of the light novels and the personalities of the characters.
And, it gets better in the second season and almost perfect in the movie as Kadokawa realized that they had a profitable series on their hands.
But, more than all that are these three qualities that make KOno Suba Great:
With most Isekai we are presented with hyper-efficient or even perfect characters.
This feeds power fantasy narratives but ultimately becomes boring in short order.
With KonoSuba our protagonists are so incompetent that you honestly can’t see how they could ever complete their quest of defeating the Demon Lord.
This allows us to let go of the idea that progress in the plot is an essential part of the story and instead we can appreciate their antics.
I am far more interested in Aqua’s natural ability as a builder then anything she ever does as a goddess.
Darkness’s flaws drive her into a variety of bad but interesting situations and Megumin is only understandable if you know she is actually crazy.
As for Kazuma his greed is his downfall and his saving grace.
Kazuma as the only moderately sane member of his team decides on what quest they go for, most of the time.
And, he treats it as a business. He want to do the least work for the most profit and does not really care about reputation honour and justice.
He’s not bad. Well most of the time he is not bad. People who have read the princess arc in the LNs will question that statement.
Well not evil at least. He cares for his friends. Even Aqua and is willing to fight for them. Although preferably from a safe distance under the cover of night.
But, his pursuit of greed allows him to help his friends. And, Ultimately does allows him to achieve his goals.
It also allows him to bankrupt several casinos.
Because, out characters are so flawed it is easy to understand what motivates them.
With some heroes they are so selfless that they stop being human. On the other hand Aqua the goddess is so human she stops being treated like a goddess.
She loves to eat and get drunk. She loves being around people and performing tricks to makes them smile. She is scared of everything except things that she is stronger than.
And she bullies those few people she is sure she can defeat.
She’s just such a joy of character. Foolhardy and cowardly. Energetic but lazy to work. Really aeasy to love but also infuriating all the time.
KonoSuba is a world that I would happily live in. Sure it seems hard and dangerous. But, it also seems fun.
It’s one of those world that you can really believe in and see clearly in your mind. The tone and setting are so comforting and relatable that you feel like if Kazuma can live there anybody could.
It’s such a nice place that if I knew Truck-kun was waiting to take me their I might just take a walk down a bust highway.