Seasons One/Two

Ah, Konosuba. Ever since I first watched the anime some years ago, it’s been one of my absolute favorite comedies, and rewatching it has only cemented that for me. For those amongst you who haven’t seen it, Konosuba is an Isekai anime that asks and tries its best to answer a very simple question; what would actually happen if a shut-in otaku was suddenly transported into a fantasy world? Satou Kazuma, a NEET who spends all of his time playing video games and watching anime, is killed when he sacrifices himself to save a girl who would’ve been run over by a truck; classic Isekai stuff. After his death, he meets a goddess by the name of Aqua who offers to transport him to a fantasy world and grant him a special power in order to be a hero who can defeat the Devil King. That very same goddess, though, happens to get on Kazuma’s nerves, so he comes upon an idea; faced with nigh infinite choices for the special power he’ll be granted, he decides to bring the goddess herself with him and force her to aid him in his quest to defeat the Devil King. Now, there’s a whole lot more that happens, but for the time being what you need to understand is conveyed pretty well through the basic plot details I’ve given; the show’s tone. It constantly pokes fun at other shows in its genre (or subgenre in this case), and showcases a fantasy world where the hero is beaten down and his expectations subverted at every turn, whether his properties are seized in order to pay off his massive debt, or his nights are spent sleeping in stables because he can barely afford his basic costs of living. Despite that, though, the tone is very light and funny; the show never takes itself too seriously and is able to tell a good story despite how silly it is, primarily because that same story rides off of the unpredictable nature of the show’s status as a parody. The comedy itself—the primary draw of the show—is absolutely fucking masterful. Throughout much of the second season especially, I was laughing my ass off the entire time. A huge part of what makes the comedy so great is the characters; Satou Kazuma in particular is easily one of the greatest male anime protagonists of all time, easily worth watching the show for alone, and he drives much of the comedy. But he’s not the only reason the show is funny; not only does he have great chemistry with the rest of the main cast, but the writing itself is so clever and funny that it easily manages to provoke reactions from the viewer. Never does the show feel like it slows down, misses a beat, or runs out of ideas; and despite how unavoidably incompetent Kazuma and his party seem, the show never strays too far from their ultimate goal of defeating the Devil King, always driving the plot forward in the most unexpected but welcome ways. While the OST isn’t anything super amazing, it is memorable and fun to listen to, and utilized well throughout the show’s runtime, helping to cement a lot of its most funny moments. Animation and action sequences are not a huge focus and aren’t anything super special, but are still done well with some scenes that are surprisingly fun to look at, and in general the art style is appealing and rather unique looking. Much in the same vein as Cautious Hero, facial expression and animation is a very important tool the show uses in order to support its excellent comedy and even endear you to its diverse and interesting cast of characters. Actually, Konosuba and Cautious Hero have a lot of similarities, particularly in regards to the way their stories are structured; though Cautious Hero undoubtedly has a moreso well-written plot. I’m sure you’ve probably heard it before, but Konosuba is an absolute classic, easily one of my favorite comedies and animes out there. Though I could probably go into a bit more detail about the show, it—much like a lot of other good comedy shows—isn’t the kind that invites super in-depth analysis, at least not the kind I’d be any good at; I tend to have difficulty explaining what makes good comedy shows funny, and I think a big part of that has to do with the very subjective nature of humor. Also, despite all of my praise for the show, there is still one bit of it I haven’t yet seen, and my reason for rewatching it; the movie. Once I watch that I’ll report back with my thoughts, but for now I heartily recommend anybody and everybody to go and give Konosuba a watch.

Kurenai Densetsu

So, it’s 7:00 in the morning, I just finished watching the movie, and god DAMN was that shit fantastic. Everything I’ve already said about what makes the show so good already applies to it, and it’s taken to the next level here; I was laughing so consistently hard throughout the movie that I had to pause a few times just to give myself a break. Not only is it damn funny and does the main series it was born from proud, but it even manages to tell its story well enough that the ending actually made me tear up a bit. Despite being such an all-around ridiculous movie with ridiculous characters, the show’s sense of narrative cohesion and the way it slowly but surely endears you to its main and supporting cast all culminates in a legitimately emotional and incredibly well-done ending that had me happily smiling like a kid. And hoo boy, it is animated fantastically with action sequences that far outpace anything in the main series, sporting incredibly flashy and awesome action that spits on pretty much any action show I’ve seen bar One Punch Man; of all the shows I’d be comparing to One Punch Man, I never thought Konosuba would be one of them! Kurenai Densetsu is an absolute gem of a movie and if you have not seen it you are doing yourself dirty, go watch this right now.

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