Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Knosuba: Full Series Review

Konosuba (shortened version of the title Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku O! translated as Gifting the Wonderful World with Blessings! or alternatively Give Blessings on This Wonderful World!). Was a 2016 Winter Anime release that while being another "trapped in a fantasy world" based on a Light Novel Anime. It was different due to the differences in the characterization and the world along with tone of the story the novel opens up with our protagonist Kazuma Satou dying after attempting to save a girl from what he thought was a truck but turned out to be a slow moving tractor that posed no actual threat to the girl and he subsequently dies from the shock and is laughed at by not only the surgical staff charged with saving his life but also his Parents. This all revealed to Kazuma by Aqua the goddess responsible for ferrying the recently deceased to Heaven or allowing them to reincarnate into a seemingly boilerplate fantasy world complete with an evil Deamon King to be defeated. Kazuma deciding his life was not much to speak of makes the choice to reincarnate into the fantasy realm and being annoyed at Aqua's condescending attitude "equips" her as an item. Much to her consternation and despair. Now stuck with each other Kazuma and Aqua start out simply trying to survive as laborers until Aqua and Kazuma make enough money to cover class registration fees. With Kazuma becoming and Adventurer and aqua due to her overpowered stats a Arch Priest. Until they gather together a party consisting of Arch Wizard Megumin and Crusader Darkness who has great strength and defensive abilities. Alas these two while on paper seem like great additions are broken characters Megumin being proficient in only one kind of magic that is only able to be used once a day then incapacitates her. While Darkness can't hit the broadside of a barn and has "special" interests. So begins the journey of the hopelessly broken party of adventurers while Kazuma bemoans being stuck in a world that is not like what he imagined it to be. Konosuba is in a word mean the series delights in ridiculing everyone from Kazuma being belittled or misapprehended as a brutish pervert to Aqua being a selfish spoiled brat to the party losing in fights with their suffering being the punchline. It's funny but very much in a way that is laughing at others pain or perception versus reality. Kazuma for his part is not a hero in any sense of the word he simply wants to live a carefree life but is saddled with a team of lazy or outright insane teammates. While the series is perfectly happy to subvert and pillory tropes played straight in series like Log Horizon or Sword Art Online. Such as the main character gaining a harem or being an overpowered genius. One could say the series could be perceived as Sexist, honestly considering how much Kazuma is made the punchline or the entire world is held up as broken or that everyone in Kazuma's party is perceivable as "the worst". It's more that everyone is broken and less holding women, in particular, for scorn or for the sake of a joke as it would still be funny irrespective of gender. While Kazuma himself is so often humiliated that he is not held up as something to aspire towards but yet another example of the series holding up the characters for ruthless mockery. While the more traditional elements of RPGs and Fantasy such acquiring skills going on quests are also subverted. Making for a series that is more rewarding for those familiar with the tropes and concepts found in the media it is ridiculing. Yet it still works on its own with odd ideas like a self-powered engine of destruction or a Hostess Club run by Succubus or haveing to fight a horde of flying cabbage so Konosuba avoids simply becoming a pile of solipsistic in-jokes. The animation is honestly crude and looks kind runny with episode nine looking especially off-modal and sharply angular when it's not focusing on jiggling succubus. while the ten episode run makes everything feel truncated especially the finale. In conclusion as a parody of a large amount of tropes found in certain Light Novels, Knosuba succeeds quite well with a cynical take on tired cliches makeing for an enjoyable comedy and an sometimes painful deconsturction.

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