Series Review – Konosuba: Season 2

Written by Bananaowns

Images courtesy of Studio Deen

Last winter, Studio Deen managed to surprise the anime community with an excellent comedy that seemed to come out of nowhere.  Soon enough, our favorite explosion seeking sorcerer became a mainstay of the anime community as the wait continued for the second season of Konosuba.  Well, the wait was not too long and the second season of Konosuba managed to maintain the same quality that the first season expertly presented.  For those interested in my thoughts on the first season, feel free to check out my review of the first season, but this piece is going to be solely on the second season.  I am Bananaowns and this is an Otaku Youth anime review.

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Story and Characters

If you were not a fan of the first season, the second season does not drastically change up the formula of the first.  The series still focuses on the ragtag group consisting of Kazuma, Aqua, Darkness and Megumin as they seek to bring down the Devil King.  So in a way, this second season adds very little to what was established in the first season, which is not a bad thing.  It merely continues what made the first season so great.

Once again, the series excels with its comedy.  The first episode alone provides a fine example of the hilarity this show presents.  The end of the last season saw Kazuma getting arrested for his actions.  The second season opens up with a trial that had me dying of laughter.  Witnesses are called up to testify on all the running jokes that were prominent during the first season.  Fans of comedy will not be disappointed here.  The season even ends just as well as the first with a look into a hot springs town filled with residents trying to scam the main party.  The situations are ridiculous, but manage to perfectly play up the comedy.  There isn’t a single weak episode here.

I do have two issues with the story this time though.  These are negligible, but can be an issue for some.  First of all, the season is only ten episodes long.  This is no different from the first season, but it leaves the viewer hungry for more adventures because of the short run time.  Secondly, there is a significant focus on Darkness in this season, which means a lot of scenes showcasing her perverted sadism.  In a statement that is sacrilegious to many fans, Darkness is my favorite girl of the series, but I do think this masochistic aspect was played up too much during the middle section of this season.  I mean, I loved every second of it, but for those that are not big fans of the character; this could be a potential turn off.  However, there really is not anything more to say.  The series is still an excellent comedy that is just as good as the first season.

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Animation and Sound

There is not much more to say about the second season that wasn’t already in my last review.  The animation quality is not going to impress with the exception of the explosion scenes.  However, the goofy quality of the scenes actually manages to enhance the comedy.  Between the character expressions and overall goofy movement, the entire animation just exudes comedy.  Of course, I do have some criticism of the animation though.  The first couple episodes played up this goofy animation quality to an extreme level which was distracting at times and almost bordering a bad categorization.  Thankfully, the series returned to its normal animation quality relatively quickly.

As for the sound design, there really is not difference between this and the first season.  The voice acting is superb in every way.  The performances showcase a mastery of comedic timing with their perfect delivery.  Kazuma is sarcastic, Aqua is a brat, Megumin is basically an explosion pyro and Darkness is a masochist.  The voice actors continue to display the characters with the same care and love of the first season.  Again, the music of the series fits perfectly, my personal favorite track being the catchy new opening.  Overall, the sound design and animation matches the quality of the first season.

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Final Thoughts

The second season of Konosuba was every bit as good as the first season.  There are some problems, but they are relatively minor compared to just how good of a comedy that this show manages to be.  I am absolutely craving for more Konosuba.  At the time of this review, a third season has not been announced, but hopefully we will be graced with some more episodes.  I give the second season of Konosuba my Bananaowns’ Stamp of Approval.  It is one of the best comedic anime that I have had the pleasure to watch.  I’ll be back next week for another review and thanks for checking this one out.

Bananaowns stamp of approval

Series Review – Konosuba

Written by Bananaowns

Images courtesy of Studio Deen

Comedy is difficult due to how hit or miss it can be.  Comedic anime is no exception to this rule.  So when you have a show that creates comedy out of the tired virtual-MMO trope, there is almost an expectation that it will suck.  Luckily, the show that I am reviewing today managed to be an example of a comedy that worked perfectly.  Konosuba had a relatively short run of ten episodes, but was quickly picked up for a second season.  I’m Bananaowns and this is an Otaku Youth anime review.

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Story 

The story places a focus on Kazuma, a recently dead otaku.  Kazuma died in a rather hilarious accident and was sent to the afterlife where he met the goddess, Aqua.  Aqua gives him another chance at life by offering to send him to another world where he can go on adventures and battle monsters.  He is also allowed one gift from the goddess before he is reincarnated.  Being a gamer, Kazuma readily accepts this deal, but chooses for Aqua to accompany him in a spite of rage.

In terms of gigantic story, there really is not an overarching plot that receives a lot of attention.  The closest thing would be dealing with the Devil King and his servants, but this does not get that much development.  Instead, the show features a series of episodes where Kazuma attempts to complete quests with his rather dysfunctional team.  Every episode sets up some sort of quest that leads to a variety of comedic moments.  This is rather dynamic because it is a mixture of comedic styles.  One moment might feature more physical comedy while another creates it with the interaction between the characters.  The point being the plot serves as a means of delivery for the comedy.  The comedic moments arise out of the ridiculous situations that the characters are placed in and this works to great effect.

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Characters

The main characters of this series are the reason why this show is so great.  Their interactions and quirks create the best comedic moments of the show.  I’ll give a brief rundown of the four main characters. Kazuma is the straight man of the show.  Unfortunately, he has to deal with the utter incompetence of his party.  He is probably the most competent out of his entire group.  He is a very sarcastic character and his interactions with the party are some of the best.  My favorite running joke is his tendency to reply with “I’m Kazuma” whenever another character says his name.  It’s a relatively minor way to showcase his sarcastic nature, but it’s a perfect example.

At first, Aqua appears to be a very proper goddess, but that perception is gone by the end of the first episode.  She is a brat and an air-head as well as selfish.  Her known negative qualities are shown by her wasting her experience points on party tricks instead of another spell that could help with quests.  At lot of the comedy from her comes from placing her into situations where she’s not treated that well.  Her reactions during one episode where she has to stay in a cage, is one of her finest moments in the series.

Megumin is the resident mage of the group with the one caveat that she can only perform a single type of magic.  Unleashing this magic leaves her exhausted so much that she collapses and can’t move.  This problem is aggravated at her tendency to prematurely cast her magic.  She is absolutely useless after using her magic given that she can only use it once a day as well.  Her comedy derives from her intense love of explosions as well, so much so that the rest of the town considers her to be insane.  She would rather die than give up her magic.

The final character, Darkness, is my favorite of the bunch.  She’s a crusader that literally cannot hit anything with her sword, but despite this, she continues to put herself in harm’s way.  Darkness acts this way because she is a rampant masochist.  She gets off on getting hit by monsters or even just the thought of getting harmed.  She even details an entire fantasy to a villain, to which the villain is absolutely embarrassed.  Overall, the cast of main characters are astounding and make this show.

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Animation & Sound

The animation quality for this show is not a highlight, but works with what the series is trying to accomplish.  The goofiness of the animation actually fits with the comedic overtones quite well.  Now there are a few moments of astounding quality.  The effects on the spells are a rare jump of quality for the series.  These scenes look so well done that is quite surprising.  The animation is not its strongest point, but it works.

The sound quality of this series is shown through the great voice acting.  Kazuma’s voice actor perfectly captures his sarcastic nature.  The rest of the cast is of a similar quality.  Aqua’s voice actress brilliantly exhibits her bratty nature.  Darkness’s voice actress is a standout to me because of how much she commits to her masochistic nature.  As for the soundtrack, it’s simply decent.  There is not a bumping soundtrack here, but it gets the job done.  Overall, besides the voice acting, there really is not anything that manages to standout about the presentation.

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Final Verdict

Konosuba remains one of the finest examples of a comedic anime.  I cannot wait until the next season airs.  The story provides the situations that lead to the many comedic character moments.  The main cast of characters is perfectly dysfunctional.  I realize that doesn’t make too much sense, but it fits.  The comedy is the result of the absolutely insane interactions between this main cast of characters.  The animation is decent, but nothing special.  However, the voice acting is phenomenal.  I give Konosuba my Bananaowns’ stamp of approval.  It’s a short watch, but well worth it.  I’ll be back for another feature next week, so thanks for checking this one out.

Bananaowns stamp of approval