One thing I have never been able to understand about MMORPGs is why they are predominantly set in medieval times. I assume it has to do with the mano-a-mano style of combat or perhaps we can use magic to cast a far-ranging spell to dish out damage to your enemies. It’s just that when we have an anime set in a caliber of MMORPG (“Sword Art Online”, “Log Horizon”, “The Tower of Druaga” and/or “And You Thought There is Never a Girl Online?”) or if I find myself transported to another place and time, I end up here in this time frame. And no Starbucks.
“Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o!” (“KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!” “Give Blessings on This Wonderful World!”) certainly falls into this grouping. We start off with Kazuma Satō, (that guy) a Japanese teenage NEET. Following an untimely and embarrassing demise, he meets a goddess named Aqua (blue hair up there), who offers to reincarnate him in an alternate dimension with those MMORPG elements, where he can go on adventures and battle monsters.
Despite being offered a godlike item or ability to use in this new world, Kazuma, following some provocation, chooses Aqua herself to accompany him to the town of Axel. He quickly finds her to be of below average intelligence and less than beneficial magic. With Aqua unable to return to the afterlife until the Devil King is defeated, the two form a battle party and recruit two other members; an explosion-obsessed magician named Megumin (witch at the right) and a masochistic crusader named Darkness (blondie at the left). Due to the party’s dysfunctional abilities, Kazuma quickly gives up on the idea of defeating the Devil King and tries to live a luxurious lifestyle, only to find the circumstances of his daily life force him and his party to encounter and battle the Devil King’s generals.
These people are seriously broken. Whenever Megumin uses her Explosion Charm, it draws so much energy from her, she passes out. Darkness wants nothing more than to sacrifice her life in some grand and noble cause, which is almost anything she deems worthy of that ideal. Aqua doesn’t seem to understand how to fully use her powers, so she goes over the top with miniscule results.
Kazuma tries his best to mold these people into a fighting force, but it’s more like a fighting farce. And the villains they meet are more akin to Old Man Jenkins, who yells at all the neighborhood kids to get off his lawn! You never really felt that any of them were in imminent peril or danger and when they do get results, they cause enough collateral damage that any remunerations from their quests are gobbled up in fines and fees.
As to the Big Issue, defeating the Devil King, that is as far away to accomplish as it would take to get to him. These folks could level up for a million years and still be no closer to beating him in battle. Oh, and the ‘conclusion’ of the season means that we will have at least another go-around with these folks and see if they can generate any caliber of improvement, strategy or plan to the Big Issue. It is a rather gonzo show both in attitude and approach. Not as unhinged at “Druaga”, it is still a hilariously good time, as Hazuma never gets a grasp or the upper hand in anything that he does. I feel I could come back in 50 years and still find them all here, just as they are.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Sharp and crisp)
Plot 8 (Reworked quite well)
Pacing 8 (Manic, but in control)
Effectiveness 7 (If they weren’t that goofy)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 4 (A similar show would be “Maburaho”)
Overall 8 (Solid offering)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Stop blowing up my castle!