Konosuba – Season 1

Konosuba – Season 1

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After a traffic accident, Kazuma Sato’s disappointingly brief life as a hikikomori was supposed to be over, but he wakes up to see a beautiful girl before him. She claims to be a goddess, Aqua, and asks him if, instead of dying, he would like to go to another world and bring only one thing with him. Kazuma decides to bring the goddess herself as his ‘one thing’, and they are transported to a fantasy world filled with adventure, ruled by a demon king. Now Kazuma only wants to live in peace, but Aqua wants to solve many of this world’s problems, and the demon king will only turn a blind eye to this strange new world’s peace for so long…

Konosuba is basically a shortening of ‘God’s blessing on this wonderful world’. It is an anime that might seem familiar to you on the basis that it has some obvious influences from shows like Sword Art Online, Is It Wrong To Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? and Log Horizon. However, don’t let all the comparisons put you off just yet. This one quickly establishes its own identity within the RPG gaming genre and is an entertaining watch.

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Main protagonist Kazuma is a gamer who never really leaves the house until that fateful day where he went out to collect a special edition of a new game and got involved in an accident. To begin with, I did wonder how many times the ‘no life’ gamer/otaku stereotype was going to be thrown into this type of anime. We saw it in No Game, No Life and even in GATE. I thought that anime was moving away from that particular stereotype, but sometimes it’s feels like they’re thrown in because it’s an easy trope to start with and has the bonus of not having to put any more consideration into the decision than that because of how easily it is accepted by the audience.

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The plot quickly picks up after Kazuma and Aqua enter the new world. With various nods to the classic RPG game format, they learn about the different classes they can choose to be, how to earn money and learn new skills with acquired skill points. They talk to other players and NPCs to gain information and go to the guild to take on quests. Their end objective is to become strong enough to defeat the demon king but first, they have to learn the basics and be able to defeat even the most basic of enemies. Turns out that goddesses don’t have a lot of time to play video games so Aqua ends up being more of a hindrance than a help – with hilarious results. Kazuma’s experience with gaming means that he’s equipped with at least a little bit of knowledge, but actually living in an RPG game proves to be a lot more difficult than he first believed.

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With the introductions of Megumin, an arch-wizard who is only interested in learning powerful explosion spells and Darkness, a masochistic crusader who only invests her points in strength and defence (leaving her hopelessly inaccurate when it comes to executing attacks) means that Kazuma’s band of merry misfits is increasing, but yet he doesn’t feel that he is getting any closer to actually becoming strong enough to defeat this mythical demon king.

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Konosuba‘s animation is above average and the music makes you think of fantasy role-playing games straight away and is a delight to listen to. Megumin’s explosion magic in particular is always great to watch and as the stakes are raised and the battles begin to get more complex I’m looking forward to seeing some more elaborate attacks executed.

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Essentially, what we have here is a fantasy RPG-based anime that has likeable characters and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It takes well-received aspects from other similar shows and combines them to its advantage to create a fun-filled story. Though this means that there’s nothing particularly new that this anime brings to the genre, it’s still makes for great entertainment. Whether the team are just taking a break form levelling-up or fighting against on of the demon king’s minions, Konosuba shows that it’s all about the journey and watching something enjoyable. If there is an epic conclusion to this one, it will just be icing on the cake.