KonoSuba’s second season is here and it’s a fantastic follow up to last year’s fantasy/comedy series which deservedly became a massive hit among the anime community.
One of the strongest points of this series is the characters and their interactions, Kazuma is one of the weird cases where I find the protagonist to be the best character of a comedy anime, he’s just such a lovable troll that has to deal with the weirdos around him, the first of them being Aqua, a cute but useless crybaby that has a godlike talent for performing party tricks. However, outside of that she lacks any other abilities
despite being an actual goddess. Most of the time she’s a hindrance to the group but damn she’s great. There is also Megumin, a chuunibyou that wants to see the world explode (and she will be the one doing it, one explosion at a time). Last but not least there’s Darkness, a holy crusader that does her best in the front line, blocking the attacks of the enemies in order to defend her allies… well, that and to enjoy the pleasure of being hit, just masochist things.
While the main cast are great, the side characters are certainly capable of stealing the spotlight. For example, there's Wiz, who is supposedly on the bad side but is probably the nicest person around, and Yunyun, another crimson mage like Megumin that really needs some love and headpats, poor girl.
The characters are very enjoyable to watch and their wacky, random adventures are always hilarious. Their gags stay fresh and funny due to all the different situations the characters are thrown into.
The RPG-like world adds a lot of variety to the comedy via fantasy elements and characters/monsters. Most series that use this type of setting tell a more serious story but KonoSuba uses it for comedic purposes. It’s a great, well-executed parody of the genre. Even the supposed ‘enemies’ are hilarious characters that add a lot of fun moments to this anime.
Excluding the first episode, that for some motive had a derpier look, the art of this sequel was like in the first season, shining in showing the multiple reactions of the characters with comedic faces that add a lot to the humour of this anime. The music is similar to the first season, with a special mention for the new opening "TOMORROW". It does a great job of showing what the anime is about, a bunch of weird people having lots of random, fun adventures. It's so easy to get in the mood for an episode once that opening starts playing.
As someone who really enjoyed KonoSuba, this sequel offers the same great comedy while putting the characters into new different hilarious scenarios. I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoyed the first season.
Konosuba is pure, unbridled stupidity. Kazuma and crew are so unbelievably lacking in their mental faculties that it is a wonder how they are even capable of putting their own clothes on every day. That they even know how to breathe is surprising in its own right.
Where most other anime in the fantasy genre-- Danmachi, Re:Zero and others of its ilk-- attempt to be absolutely and relentlessly serious at all times, Konosuba does away with the very notion of seriousness. It exists solely to be laughed at. And sometimes it does a pretty OK job at creating said laughs. It never aims to be
a 'good' anime (least not in the traditional sense), and criticising it for not being such is kind of missing the point.
It just becomes a bit difficult to keep laughing when they repeat the same jokes for the fifth or fiftieth time.
Darkness is a thundering masochist who mentally orgasms and gets foamy-mouthed whenever she is treated poorly. The first season already made this joke several dozen times, so I get it. Kazuma will threaten her by promising to do unspeakable (!) things to her body, and, the deviant that she is, squirms in delight! No, look, I get it already-- I really, truly do. Her mind is so perverted that she will twist a friendly conversation into a suggestion of her being sexually assaulted by monsters and--- PLEASE, KONOSUBA. I GET IT. I get it, OK?
For as much of a joke as Konosuba's characters are, there is only so much comedy they can create by repeating the same punch-line until the ends of time. There are other, more interesting things that can be done with Darkness' character, surely. If this were pornography then maybe, perhaps, her characterisation would get a pass, but comedy requires considerably more effort than "oh gee golly I am like so horny right now."
Aqua, as tantalising as her mini-skirt is (and I have spent many a moment admiring her womanly curves), falls into much of the same issues, with her two defining traits being that she is a narcissist with an ego the size of Darkness' breasts, and a crybaby who falls on her knees and wails at the top of her lungs when she doesn't get her way. Her gags, almost invariably, follow a pattern of these two traits: she uses her status as a goddess to demand favours and respect, and then breaks her character and cries immediately after. A little bit more involved than Darkness' 'gag', sure, but it is still repeated to the point of nausea.
Kazuma is likely the more interesting of the lot, since he at least exists as more than a vehicle for a single joke. He is not developed by any means-- lord, no, he is a complete dunce from beginning to end-- but his frequent switching from idiot to straight-man does at least provide some variety to the gags. Kazuma is a jerky little twat, incapable of respect and prone to molesting the opposite sex, and his assertive nature does well to set him apart from all the other spineless protagonists of the genre. His over-reactions to all the ridiculous nonsense around him (often the direct result of Aqua's or Darkness' actions) are often still amusing, too, even if 'dude yells at stuff' may not exactly be the most artful style of humour. You almost feel bad for the little bugger - I would probably want to off myself in his situation, too.
There's not a whole lot to say about Megumin, considering she is pretty well non-existent for 90% of what happens in the second season. She's unquestionably the most sane of the four (though that isn't saying a whole lot...), and the one least susceptible to repeated gags. While the first season pushed it a bit by making her defective explosion magic and chuunibyou nature a recurring theme, the second season has next to none of it. And that's a good thing. I just wonder if, cute as she is, she might be a bit too normal the second time around.
Konosuba just never capitalises on what made absurd comedy series like Osomatsu-san and Gintama so clever. There is wonderful opportunity here for it, as one of the only non-serious fantasy anime, to take the piss out of other titles in the genre and properly satirise them. Part of the joke is that the Gang of Stupid are woefully incapable of combat, unable to progress as one typically would in an MMO or fantasy world, and are able only to defeat monsters and enemies through luck and by surprising them with their colossal stupidity, provided they don't just scream and run away altogether. That's an amusing reversal of the genre's tropes. But that's all there is. There's no actual "satire", no parody to be found in Konosuba - it is standard manzai comedy, living, and dying, by its own strengths and weaknesses.
That isn't to say that Konosuba is without merit, or that watching it can't still be a fun time. If you enjoyed the first season or just want a short, easygoing anime that doesn't require much thought or focus, then, hey, it does its job just fine, even if it may at times feel more like a greatest hits compilation. Konosuba is a big, dumb show and it knows it. I just don't think that being dumb is an excuse for laziness.
In the end of Season 1, I thought the story was actually going to go somewhere. But as soon as I was halfway through season 2, I realized nothing really happened to further the story. I thought season 1 to have some potential so I came into season 2 with some expectations. I was pretty disappointed to be honest.
There was little to no story. This anime felt more like a slice of life than an adventure type anime.
The art was a big let down compared to the previous season. It seems they just rushed this out to get some profit
quickly. People say it fits the anime, but an anime can have good art while having their characters making retarded faces. I feel like detailed retarded faces would be funnier. I honestly think even fan animations on youtube have better quality.
Nothing really caught my ears during the anime, but I never skipped the opening and ending songs at least.
I don't think I like any characters and that's in a bad way. In It's always in Sunny in Philadelphia, they are all assholes to each other, but I like them as characters. But in this anime, they are all assholes and I don't like their characters. Darkness in any situation is a pervert and is never serious. This really gets annoying and it was never funny in the first place. Aqua reminds me of an annoying version of Shinpachi from Gintama. All she does is scream and complain. She has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Megumin is an alright character though. Besides from the refusal to learn another trick than explosion to help the group, she's probably the least annoying. Tbh I kinda like Kazuma as a character. He's interesting and steers away from the usual cliches. He doesn't take shit from other characters even if they're a girl and voices his opinions on things. Like equality and such. Most of the characters are presented as is and they don't seem to have another side to them that we can learn about.
Although this anime overall was disappointing story wise and comedy wise, It still got a few chuckles out of me, just barely. Nothing major really happened. I don't mind anime with no story or being episodic, but at least be really really funny like Saiki, Gintama, The Daily Lives of Highschool Boys, Nichijou, etc.
I'm not being a hater towards this anime, I just wanted it to go in a different direction. This had the potential to be one of my favorite comedies, but all the jokes were just sex jokes and they explored nothing more than that.
Consistency is hard to find in comedy. Many shows can be funny some of the time, but few can build off their initial success to keep an audience engaged for the long haul. Konosuba avoids the common pitfalls found in its genre by building off the success of season 1, getting even crazier in its lampooning of trapped in another world tropes and continuing to satirize its characters who find creative ways to fail at life.
Having already established the character cast and running gags, season 2 is able to hit the ground running immediately throwing viewers into the thick of a prosecution against Kazuma who
yet again can't catch a break from misfortune. It takes a mere 30 seconds to remember why we were so fond of Konosuba to begin with, and the comedy never loses it's momentum from there.
If you thought the characters were lazy idiots before, it's taken to another level where they're given the stage of an entire season to show just how ridiculous they can be together. Kazuma becomes the one true king of trash, Aqua an even bigger mess of tears and unwarranted self confidence, Megumin commits one adorable act of embarrassment after another and Darkness discovers creative new ways to flick her masochism switch. There's even a new character introduced in YunYun who's just as weird as the rest.
As with any popular anime sequel there's a lot of criticism being levied towards Konosuba that I'll address here. The arguments aren't necessarily incorrect - the art style is worse and the party doesn't make substantial progress, but these complaints show a lack of understanding of the point of the anime. This is a parody. They are supposed to suck. The joke is seeing just how many ways they can manage to make their situation even worse than before. The fact that they even managed to exit the town this season is cause for celebration, and of COURSE within minutes of leaving they run into another issue.
Being beautifully animated wouldn't make Konosuba's humor any more effective. Some of the funniest moments are when the characters devolve into a frantic mess of panic like when Aqua cries herself into a moving blob. The opening theme, easiest place for animators to make beautiful, has a scene with all the characters dancing out of model and only a few seconds later is a gorgeously animated Megumin explosion. The final episode has some of the best animation of the Winter season interspersed with some of the worst. It's all intentional and works well for this show.
After two strong additions to the comedy genre, Konosuba has inserted itself among the funniest anime in recent memory. A must watch series for those who can enjoy parodical slapstick humor, I pray that a third season is on the horizon for even more adventures from the worst group of travelers in virtual world gaming history.