I will be very honest before I start this anime review, at first I wasn't going to pick this series up, or lets say I putted this series on a low Top 15 Anticipated of the Winter Season 2016 because of the studio behind it being DEEN. And as you guys do know, DEEN is a studio that tends to have... let's say "horrible" animation quality or handles. Besides that, the studio was stained due to the apparent adaptation of Fate/stay Night 2006. This brings to me a lot of questions since it's a nitpick for me to pick this series up. However, looking through a bit more, I decided to give this anime a shot. And what did my reaction was regarding on this anime? Let's find out.
Note to the viewer that's reading this review of KonoSuba, firstly everyone has their subjective opinion regarding on the comedy aspect, so a note to the reader, this is not objectively speaking.
The story is set in a fantasy world where basically, the story starts off our little NEET character Kazuma, continuing his little life of otaku, when suddenly when walking around back to the house, he suddenly sees a person almost getting killed by a truck, so in a desperate attempt to save the character, Kazuma pushed her out of the way, thus causing to die in the act.
He then meet this goddess also known as Aqua, where she then gave him a request or a chance to live in the other world, but he can also take something with him. His quest is to defeat the evil Demon King, after him taking the object that he wants to take, Aqua and Kazuma ended up in this fantasy world, where basically they have to do quests, missions, etc.
Now this is basically your stereotypical "stuck in a fantasy world" aspect (just like Log Horizon and Sword Art Online), which many people or some people do not really like the idea. However, KonoSuba takes this type of aspect of the show and makes it its own, by making fun of the fantasy-tropes or aspect, making it seem very refreshing for me. Not only that it helps to stand out, but subjectively its very funny with its comedic fashion direction.
KonoSuba takes the direction of also self-awareness, thus the show does know what its trying to do and knows what its doing, which helps a lot with the parody of itself. It's a good way for the series to have different segments of events, from the beginning of "Kazuma dying because of said reasons (not spoiling here)" towards the hilarious quirks such as the cabbage scene, the entire curse effect, etc.
KonoSuba personally does its job to keep me entertained for the long run time, as its very comedic and relaxing to watch, this is a series that I personally love, and watch it first from the Wednesdays time-run. Its a show that keeps me interested at least along with the character section.
The only complaint that I have for the series its the amount of episodes this series got, due to the time-run being 10 episodes, it makes me want to crave me for it. Of course its pretty obvious for me to get craved for it, but that's personal.
On the other hand at the end of the final episode, when everyone thought DEEN wouldn't make a second season (of course since as far as I'm concerned DEEN doesn't make that many sequels with the exception of maybe a few) they quickly announced right off the bat a second season coming. Which is good because not only that the show did well with what it had, but it deserved it as well.
In the end, the series is fun and entertaining to watch at the end of the day. I would warn that if you're expecting something deep or well written story telling with meanings, I wouldn't suggest this one, this one is only relaxing and a pass the time series for the audience and for the fans of comedy.
So basically we have a so called "Stereotypical MC with 3 girls around him." Right? In a way yes, but at the very least these characters can stand out on their own thanks to their characterization and their little quirks that makes them enjoyable.
Kazuma, our main male protagonist, is one of the most interesting main male characters I've seen in a while, and probably one of the funniest guys I've seen around as well in a while. Because for some reason, his commentaries on certain events or situations makes me enjoy the show a lot, and people could say he's pretty much overpowered. Or very strong. You could complain and pick as a flaw, but in all honesty, in spite of that Kazuma's quirks are just very well done, and thought enough to make him likeable for the long-running. Not only that but his prior knowledge around gaming fantasy are pretty nice per say. I will say he's one of the most likeable characters around this season personally, based personality wise.
Second, we got Aqua which she's the goddess of the world where she resided. The girl can be considered debatable, because at one hand people say she's funny as fuck and likeable, the other hand people would say that she's pretty much retarded in many ways. Personally, I can agree Aqua is pretty idiotic, but in a rather funny way that makes her special and likeable. It's really funny how she gets into these type of issues and problems in which I cannot stop laughing and neither stop feeling bad for the girl. Not only that but her face is too cute when she makes the sad expressions.
Thirdly we have Megumin, our little "EXPLOSIONS" character. She's pretty much considered a Chuunin if you think about Rika Takanashi from Chuunibyou. She's very energetic at times, loves to play with explosions and ONLY that, she goes over exaggerated with her sentences/dialogue which makes er pretty enjoyable. Not only that but she's pretty cute, and pretty laughable when she uses the explosions magic, which she has an apparent limit of using it once per day and she falls down in a rather comedic fashion. She's one of the best girls of the series.
Lastly we got Darkness, which she's the sadist character among the cast, and she looks like a freaking armor because she likes a lot of pain, and gets arousements from it. She's considered as a masochist in the series which I'm not going to lie, she is pretty damn funny when she gets these arousements of denials and protecting. Like holy shit that I won't lie she's pretty laughable. But not only that she's a knight. I LOVE knights.
As for the supporting characters, they aren't really memorable per say, but at the same time they aren't bland either. I just felt like they could have taken a little role of course, but I guess that's asking too much personally. On the other hand not gonna lie, some of the characters even though they don't appear much seem to have the appeal for me, so that's a bonus.
As I said previously, this series is a product from DEEN, the same studio who brought us shows such as Fate/stay Night 2006, Kore wa Zombie desu ka?, the massive Boy love animes for fangirls to enjoy!(Junjou Romantica and Sekaiichi Hatsukoi), Higurashi na ku koro ni, etc.
While this is more debatable, people would go for either sides. Again, DEEN is pretty much a studio that has a lack for art/animation quality many times in some animes, however for KonoSuba, there's a thing that keeps me to my attention.
At one hand people would go and say that the art/animation is pretty horrible, and doesn't help with the designs nor the series, at the other hand, its pretty good for the series.
This case I will go for the either sides. Let me go to the perspective of the show.
Based upon the character designs, I will agree base on the Light Novel readers (some of them) that the artstyle for the designs aren't the greatest there to live up to the source or the Illustrations (Mishima Kurone), however does it make the character designs bad? Not really personally.
Like I do agree that the character designs could be done better, but because of the series being a comedy, the art and animation helps a lot with the series with the quirks and the events happening, even though the animation derps would look pretty bad, it actually works for the series because the expressions gives emphasis of the comedy factor. It helps a lot to make the series more laughable than what it should be, which I appreciate the studio and its animators to make the series work with it.
The only issue I would have with the animation would be the drop a lot quality for the 9th episode, as it was still laughable, but you can really see the massive derps everywhere in the anime. Which I can't deny it was pretty... I don't want to say it, but pretty eh? Pretty much.
Apart from that the background art does not look bad at all. It actually works with the character designs of the series, it gives a bright color scheme and suitable atmosphere with it, as well with the series surroundings. It helps a lot with the series personally.
Other than that, the entire art/animation quality is quite debatable, but I personally would say that this department is the biggest spotlight around the series because of its usage of animation for the comedic factor of the show.
I would say that the music... isn't quite memorable actually. I mean, it DOES help with some events of the anime and it gives a more humorous tone to it, and a bit of spark as well, however I don't think it's anything memorable factor personally. Now it doesn't mean that the music is bad of course, it's just the weakest factor of the series.
The sound department is quite actually very nice appealing for the series, I won't deny for the sound department it helps as well with the series although I will say I had some issues with some of the tones they used for the series.
The best part about the department is personally the voice acting. The voices of the characters helps to make these characters more vivid and humorous, which for Kazuma, Aqua, Darkness, Megumin, all did their respective roles very well in representation, and I love that, its pretty nice to make these characters have some sort of liveliness.
For the Opening and the Ending song, I will say the Opening is more like the "Happy Jolly" type, its pretty catchy as well with being too cute personally. Not only that but when Aqua appears when introducing the episode name is pretty nice and cuuuuute. Yeah too much saying cute right?
As for the Ending... I'm not really a fan of this... its pretty much your stereotypical ending song, it appeals to the visuals, but as a standalone its not my favorite.
I will honestly say despite the hole left inside of me when the series left (for now), I still enjoyed its ride from the beginning towards the end, regardless of the complaints people made with the animation and the art (exception for the 9th episode), and its a series that has this stereotypical setting but made itself stand out from the others because of the direction this series took. Which I totally love a lot about it. From the characters, towards the comedy, etc.
I would really recommend KonoSuba a lot, personally this is one of those series that has a lot of enjoyment out of it, and its one of the best series around Winter 2016 for me personally. I would recommend the show towards people that likes comedy a lot, and wants a pass the time series to just have fun.
Who shouldn't I recommend?
I guess if people are looking for something rather deep or complex, something different (I mean many people do not like these things) I would suggest:
- Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (another show made by DEEN in the same season, but with having story telling for these type of people)