Random Curiosity

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku Wo! – 03 »« Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku Wo! – 01

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku Wo! – 02

「この中二病に爆焔を!」 (Kono Chuunibyou ni Bakuen o!)
“An Explosion For This Chuunibyou”

The Arch Wizard cometh, and she’s bringing the EXPLOSION!

RPG Logic, Satirized

What I’m enjoying about this show so much is how it’s rubbing off the thin veneer of heroism from the typical adventuring life and exposing it for what it would probably be like … only with all the Grimgar-style grimness replaced with ego destroying hilarity. As a one-two punch, the grimdark seriousness of Grimgar and the goofy satire of KonoSuba is an unexpected treat, because it shows two different ways to skewer the same target.

Ego, Meet Fall

One of my favorite recurring gags is how, every time someone’s ego gets a little too big for their britches, they immediately get smacked back down. Kazuma learned his lesson last episode, but every time Aqua got a big nose, she paid for it. Those frogs man, those frogs! I don’t know why they were griping about not being able to take out the frogs. They developed a fine strategy with the first two, near-death experiences aside. Aqua is already a master of healer tanking. Or face tanking. Or full-body-getting-eaten tanking. She makes up her own rules.

You Want Explosions? We Got Explosions

As I expected, the pint-sized powerhouse Megumin (Takahashi Rie) immediately became my favorite character. I have a soft spot in my heart of irredeemable nukers, and a useless Arch Wizard who can’t do anything but cast Explosion is right down my alley. Which, by the way, that animation for the explosions? I know where all their budget went.

What I didn’t expect was just how much I enjoyed her personality. Her intense chuunibyou is just great, which is only magnified by the reactions it elicits in Kazuma. But best of all was the emotional/social blackmail at the end. Her desperation was great, she had such a weak bargaining position and she knew it, but then the crowd turned it around. Poor Kazuma! (Not)

Looking Ahead – Beautiful Crusader

The goofy (and unexpected, and pleasant) thing about this series is that, even though Kazuma is partied with two cute girls, they’re so stupid there’s no hints of romance. It’s Darkness (Kayano Ai) who gets the first blush out of our beleaguered hero—I guess he has a thing for sexy onee-sans. I already know this won’t end well for him, though, and I think he knows too. Keep on playing the straight man, Kazuma. I appreciate it, even if it’s all pain for you.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Explosion girl joins the team, and she’s borderline useless. Par for the course #konosuba 02

Random thoughts:

  • Our heroes sleeping in a barn sure makes ya appreciate those fair labor standards, where we’re lucky enough for them to exist. At least they cleaned out the horse shit.
  • With Megumin’s eye patch, I was trying to figure out how her secret (we all knew it wasn’t real) would get discovered. I didn’t think she’d admit that it was a lie so quickly. Hah! Good comic timing.
  • I agree with Kazuma. I don’t want to hear that the inside of a giant frog is nice and warm.
  • He should have let Megumin join when she was offering to work for food/sundries and carry their bags. That’s a good deal even without her being able to occasionally incinerate all their foes.
  • I like the ED a lot. It’s very peaceful and idyllic.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The Introduction, What Star Wars: The Force Awakens did right, What Star Wars: The Force Awakens did wrong, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The Conclusion.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「ちいさな冒険者」 (Chiisana Boukensha) by Amamiya Sora, Takahashi Rie,
& Kayano Ai

Preview

January 20, 2016 at 10:38 pm
68 comments »
  • January 20, 2016 at 10:58 pmWanderer

    I have a soft spot in my heart of irredeemable nukers, and a useless Arch Priest who can’t do anything but cast Explosion is right down my alley.

    Psst. Arch Wizard. Aqua is the useless Arch Priest, who is constantly trying to do damage rather than support, and keeps pulling aggro.

    I gotta admit I love a good nuker myself. Pretty much any mage I make in an RPG will become one, although I don’t go quite to the extreme of Megumin who has devoted herself to it to the point that it has turned around and bit her, rendering her effectively useless for most situations. Still, I admit that in my DnD campaigns I have, more than once, seriously considered how to set up a large scale dust explosion, just so I could say that I did it.

    • January 20, 2016 at 11:16 pmStilts

      Too many useless Arch things, gah! (Fixed)

      • January 20, 2016 at 11:25 pmWanderer

        I wonder if this world uses that convention for all its high-level classes. Arch Fighter, Arch Thief… Arch Bard…

      • January 21, 2016 at 12:18 amStilts

        Actually, I suspect it’s only for those, or only for magic classes. They mention Crusader, Sword Master, and other stuff like that as advanced melee classes.

  • January 20, 2016 at 11:24 pmOne Pinch Man

  • January 20, 2016 at 11:28 pmPancakes

    Oh yeah this episode made up for all the concerns with the first, I probably laughed for a solid 15 minutes. Damn near everything fell into place here, helped in part by our new lovably stupid amazing mage and Aqua. That party advertisement though with the black bars only over her Aqua’s eyes especially ended me.

    If there was any doubt about Shukufuku’s structure though this episode should put that to rest–this show will be satire through and through. The eye patch quibble with Kazuma’s flinging of Megumin’s eye patch for one took down not only the running eye patch trope, but Chuunibyou at the same time. Then there’s Megumin’s magic, which not only completely drains her, but also fails to hit the target (not so subtly tearing into the black mage stereotype). Cannot forget the idol goddess Aqua either, who with her Arch Priest title has the force of an exhausted chipmunk. It is quite funny how Kazuma, the most “useless” of any of them, is the only who actually completes the tasks. Oh yes, this is going to be one fun series.

    • January 20, 2016 at 11:35 pmWanderer

      She did actually hit the target. If you’ll note the numbers, we know Kazuma only killed four frogs, but five were defeated. She got the one she targeted. It’s just that she only got one: it didn’t do more than shake up the one eating Aqua, and it disturbed another one nearby who came up from underground and started eating Megumin.

      So, her spell isn’t completely useless… just so close to it under most circumstances that she’d be much more trouble than she’s worth.

    • January 21, 2016 at 12:28 amStilts

      Agreed, Pancakes-chan. I suspected this would get better when more of the cast was introduced, and I was right. It also just got into the groove of things and focused on skewering the subject material, instead of having to set it all up.

      Though yeah, Wanderer is right. She killed one, but Kazuma got the other four. I love how he’s actually the only one with any success too. His lunges at the end of each fight to kill the frogs were great!

      • January 21, 2016 at 4:47 amJeffers

        ANN graded this anime low… but knowing you stilts, you have a keen eye for sleeper anime… if you say this one would be a sleeper, 80% of the time you were right. good example? sore ga seiyuu of the last season. and me? i have seen episode 2 and i could say you are more likely right again this time.

      • January 21, 2016 at 10:32 amStilts

        Nyahaha, thank ya! Not that I’m always right, I miss things every season, but after nearly four years reading over every season preview multiple times (for editing) and then seeing how my expectations bear out, I’ve gotten better at picking up the signs. Though props go to takkun, too—he’s the one who previewed this one, and also picked out Rakudai as better than expected last season. It’s a team effort.

    • January 21, 2016 at 12:46 amPancakes

      Hmm must have been focusing on the Aqua-chewing frog too much, all I remember is seeing a smoking crater and that frog. Oh well, still funny nonetheless :P

      I will laugh hard if Shukufuku carries on the “Kazuma the saviour” bit into later episodes too where he has to save the party from certain disaster every time. Especially if Darkness proves to be just as hopeless as Aqua and Megumin. Double points if Darkness is secretly sadistic on top of that. Now that would round out the cast nicely XD

      • January 21, 2016 at 3:36 pmWingFreedom

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Stilts edit: Whoa, no reason to spoil stuff about Darkness! Mark and tag your spoilers, yo.

      • January 22, 2016 at 2:11 amKaleRylan

        The Kazuma the savior idea is a pretty great joke if they keep on it. He’s on a party with an Arch Priest, an Arch Wizard, and now a Crusader, but it’s the low-statted ‘adventurer’ that actually kills 4 of the 5 giant toads and gets 4 levels up. That’s both hilarious, and in a way kind of cool. So many of these sorts of stories the main guy is a worthless loser. The funny turnabout here is on the surface it looks like that, but really all the gorgeous haremettes are idiots and he’s the only one who does anything.

      • January 23, 2016 at 11:20 amAex

        @KaleRylan: I hope they get to the chapter that pretty much personifies this joke. It’s amazing.

  • January 20, 2016 at 11:30 pmMick

    all the budget is EXPLOSIONS !!!
    That mission clear really kill me I can’t stop laughing lol

    • January 21, 2016 at 12:29 amStilts

      Agreed! I love how Kazuma flies through the air, and sort of freezes there while the mission update/clear comes up. Haha!

    • January 21, 2016 at 12:49 amkotarou tennouji

      why i feel the EXPLOSION in the op scene cooler hahaha

    • January 24, 2016 at 8:23 amNamegen

      I just love how the animators have the same mentality as Megumin: Use everything on one explosion XD

  • January 20, 2016 at 11:40 pmxxvan

    With a name like Darkness you’d think she’d be a chuunibyou as well. I’m betting on a socially awkward onee-san. Niceu Catch Kazuma!

  • January 21, 2016 at 12:29 amsonicsenryaku

    i dont know why but whenever kazuma jumped in the air to kill the frogs, he reminded me of the way king arthur from ghouls n’ goblins jumped. i think it added to my enjoyment of those quest cleared scenes every time. Poor kazuma; after last ep’s montage, you really felt kazuma’s relief upon knowing that if he was stuck in this world, then at least he was glad that he had aqua by his side even if the original intent had been spite, but all she proved was to be more trouble than she’s worth this ep.

    • January 21, 2016 at 12:39 amStilts

      To be fair, if shit gets really bad, Aqua can still heal. Megumin, though… *smh*

      • January 21, 2016 at 1:55 amErimaki

        Are we sure about that? I got the impression Aqua used most of her skill points (or whatever those are called in Konosuba) on party tricks… And this far we’ve only seen her use attack skills. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if all her skills were in those categories :D

      • January 21, 2016 at 10:34 amStilts

        She mentioned it when she was getting teleported away with Kazuma, and Kazuma seemed confident enough that she could heal Megumin’s eye, so she probably can. Er, but only probably… *hedges bets*

      • January 22, 2016 at 2:43 amzeroyuki92

        Even if she can heal, she’s an Arch Priest who were using melee punch and taking aggro on the top of being a total idiot. That’s the problem.

      • January 22, 2016 at 3:29 amRaiu

        Watch the OP Stilts, I think Aqua cast a heal on the entire group there.

        Or maybe that is the only time she will be casting Heal… *sweats*

        You sure about your bet?

      • January 22, 2016 at 3:16 pmwicked

        If it gets really really bad, she knows Resurrections as well

  • January 21, 2016 at 12:52 amBlahto

    -This is the sugar to Grimgarls bitterness……
    -With this Kazuma is already in his way for Tsukkomi hall of fame and that lady at the end is a pervert. I mean just look a her!!!
    -Explosion (for a sec. I thought Ddraig was there xD).
    -I have a hunch that the ancestor of Megumin is a reincarnated person and has a huge Chunni personality. Even her family’s name is………….

  • January 21, 2016 at 1:22 amTechim

    Kazuma’s really gotten the best and worst ends of adventuring partners lol.

    On one side, we have Aqua, her being a goddess gives her unrivalled powers of healing in that world.
    The catch being is that she’s rarely serious and mostly an airhead…

    On the other, we have Megumin, an arch wizard whose goal is to top the DPS charts and explosion skill is OP.
    The catch being it relegates her role to being the trump card player only, or the party is screwed….

    As for Darkness, going by the satirical trend, she’ll be the best there is at tanking…
    The catch….you know what, you guys should watch the next episode for this XD

    Its a bit funny how Kazuma is seen by many as a below-average party member you can have,
    but he later Show Spoiler ▼

    http://randomc.net/image/Kono%20Subarashii%20Sekai%20ni%20Shukufuku%20Wo/Kono%20Subarashii%20Sekai%20ni%20Shukufuku%20Wo%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2031.jpg
    ^As for this scene, was Megumin just piggybacking Kazuma a mere moments before?
    What’s the opposite word for piggyback? (eg you’re carrying somebody on your front instead of back)

    • January 21, 2016 at 9:34 amanon-kun

      She has a deadly leg lock.

    • January 22, 2016 at 8:28 amjhpace1

      Kazuma had the chance to pick one world-class item for the world/game, and he stated in the 1st episode “these are all broken”. Apparently, others before Kazuma did choose a single item, be it a weapon, or defense, or talent, and this has helped them level faster than the Level 0 town Kazuma and the goddess landed in.

      Or else the magic item(s) were really broken, and everyone before Kazuma died at Level 1 as a result.

      I have to admit the lack of power-leveling in the game is a little bit of a drag; I hope our adventurers aren’t still low-level by the end of the first season. The “grind” can take a while, but even after a month, you’re supposed to be 15%-33% of the way to the ultimate level in a MMORPG.

      • January 22, 2016 at 9:21 amStilts

        Maybe in these new-fangled MMOs. Why, back in my day… *waggles cane*

  • January 21, 2016 at 1:59 amJeffers

    you got an arch priest that prefers attacking instead of doing support, an arch wizard with powerful “explosion” attack and yet can do it only 1 time a day (just wondering how high is this character’s mana… around 1440? the mana recovery is 1 per minute and her only skill consume 1440 mana?) and a tank that is horrible at tanking (no vit stat?). UNBELIEVABLE PARTY.

    they should thank kazuma for his SUPER EXTRAORDINARILY HIGH LUCK… perhaps that is the reason why they are still alive after getting chomped by giant frogs.

  • January 21, 2016 at 3:04 amZhinvu

    Kazuma messing with Megumin’s eyepatch was funny. Megumin learned the hard not to mess with him. And then she got back at Kazuma in the end. I laughed a lot when Kazuma was prying Megumin off his back. The moment that crowd of girls started calling Kazuma a pervert I knew Megumin was going to exploit that. That smirk said it all and when their eyes met Kazuma knew right away what she was planning, and he was scared. And even if I already saw it coming, it was still funny. Can’t wait to see what Darkness’s character quirk is, and you gotta hand it to Kazuma for sensing something’s wrong with her just from that introduction. Being Kazuma is suffering.

  • January 21, 2016 at 3:06 amHao

    All those Monster Hunter Quest clear-like stamps.

  • January 21, 2016 at 3:45 amGYUZ

    “My mother is Yuiyui and my father is Hyoizaburo!”

    Best line in this episode.

  • January 21, 2016 at 4:40 amTechim

    Oh Stilts, I believed you missed one of those fanservice screenshots. XD
    http://i.imgur.com/uTwAc90.png

    I wonder if there’s going to be tentacles in this series though, can’t wait to see what kind of satirical parody about it Konosuba can cook up.

    • January 21, 2016 at 10:41 amStilts

      *slaps hand with a ruler* Bad pervert. No!

      We want good, wholesome fanservice. You know, like in No Game No Life! Seeeeifu~

  • January 21, 2016 at 5:34 amDvalinn

    Haha man, the incompetency at display here makes me feel like I’m watching an anime version of 8-Bit Theater. Aqua really proves she’s a total baka this episode, Megumin is of more use as a pack mule than a mage and Kazuma is fighting frogs in his tracksuit by letting them devour his party members. Truly, the world is saved. Makes me wonder what Darkness is going to be like, the opening at least portrays her as not completely incompetent in a battle, so she’ll probably have some pretty hefty personality flaws.

    And the show proves this episode that, unlike Megumin, it’s not a one-trick pony. The satirizing of an adventurer’s life, the fail party, the idiocy of its characters – it’s a show that consistently makes me laugh, so it’s a definite keeper. And it may not have the highest production values, but it sure nails the comedic timing and facial expressions, which are oh so more important than looking fancy (as Kyoani’s show this season proves, imo).

    And indeed, the ED is nice. I quite like the OP as well, though. It’s an fun, energetic song, there’s a lot of gags in the opening already and I like the little touches, like Aqua announcing the episode’s title in the middle of it. It’s one of the better ones this season, I’d say.

    • January 21, 2016 at 10:51 amStilts

      This couldn’t be the anime version of 8-bit Theater. There’s not enough stabbing and super-murder from the evil wizard, and they actually have a healer instead of a min-maxing asshole. Remains to be seen if the tank might be stupid enough. That could still fit.

      I like the OP too. Just didn’t mention it ’cause it aired last ep. Though it’s more in line with what I was expecting, whereas the ED was striking because I wasn’t expecting something to heartfelt. But yeah, I agree—both are nice.

      • January 21, 2016 at 11:04 amDvalinn

        We are talking about a healer that took up random nonsense (party tricks) over good healing spells because she figured that’d be more useful, though. Not to mention she certainly has the hubris down. White Mage she ain’t. Not to mention Megumin is liable to blow up her own party at one point, and the frog slime helped her get the smell part down. They’re getting there! Though we probably won’t see swordchucks though, pity.

      • January 21, 2016 at 1:33 pmStilts

        I would do terrible, unspeakable things for an anime to bring out sword-chucks. Or an 8-bit Theater-style anime. Or just an 8-bit Theater anime. I wish!

  • January 21, 2016 at 6:39 amBukszie

    Idiots !!!. Idiots everywhere. I was just waiting for the catch when megumin was introduced and I laughed hard when it was revealed. When darkness showed up all I can think is what is wrong with this one now

  • January 21, 2016 at 6:45 amFabio

  • January 21, 2016 at 6:47 amMihashi Nishizawa

    This show is so frickin’ stupid! Oh God I love it!

    The amount of tears shed from LOLs! I could fill my Kud cup with it! XD

    Bwahahah, gahhheeeheehaahah!! XD Oh God Aqua you suck! XD Oh I can’t handle it, too much, too much! XD

    And ‘Fair Labor Standards’? ‘Minimum Wage’? Nani sore? Oishii no? GAH, HAHAHAAHAHAH!!!! XD Best. Lines. Ever. KAH! XD

  • January 21, 2016 at 7:38 amzztop

    How long until these 4 idiots kill each other, I wonder…

    • January 21, 2016 at 9:04 amewok40k

      wrong show , dude, watch GRIMgar instead for people dying

  • January 21, 2016 at 8:00 amowq

    Man, these seiyuus are doing such a great job. Especially Megumin’s.

    • January 21, 2016 at 10:58 amStilts

      Agreed!

  • January 21, 2016 at 9:03 amewok40k

    half chunibyou Rikka Takanashi, half Lina Inverse, meet the Megumin the living tactical nuke…
    they spoofed everything from the eyepatch down to the spell incantation which bears STRONG resemblence to the infamous Dragon Slave…

    now can we have our incoming Paladin spoof the embodiement of all that is knightly, Saber? who knows…

    • January 21, 2016 at 10:59 amStilts

      Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the Dragon Slave thing! Glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed it. It went off in other directions later, but at first I was like, “Are they going to straight up copy the Dragon Slave? ‘Cause that’d be GREAT!”

  • January 21, 2016 at 10:14 amRhoman

    Wow, I didn’t think that this anime would be this GOOD, I’m usually strict with my critics but even though this one got some holes on the comedy act (well the whole comedy act is slightly good otherwise), the chain of events that happens during their meeting with new companions and especially during the frog hunting really made me laughed a lot. Seeing how Aqua act so almighty and end up being really useless (Oh but I think that she was usefull though, she managed to aggro the frog so Kazuma could kill it with the most graceful way possible lol), and seeing a low level magician who have a skill of a godlike level that have a side effect of making you K.O. after only 1 use(what a disturbing skill for a mage, especially if it’s the only one you can use lol). Now I wait to see how the knight girl is going to be on the next Ep (I suspect her to be some sort of closet M, I wonder how our honest S Kazuma can handle her)

    ***Well, my expectation from this anime was average at first, but after watching this 2nd Ep, my hunger for more Episode rose quite highly. I always loved comedy anime that makes sense in a way so ridicule that it could make me burst from laugh (and it’s about MMO Game, my best genre of anime). This anime rose from average to top most watched anime this season in my animelist, look forward to the next show.

    PS:[Did I just smell some UFOTABLE participation when the loli magician maked her first introduction to the MC's party? The blur and red light effect made me feel like watching FSN 2014]

    • January 21, 2016 at 11:01 amStilts

      That’s the funny thing about comedies: If they can mostly do the comedy right, they can have holes all over the place and we just forgive them, it’s a comedy, it doesn’t need to be perfect. The only downside is that comedy is far more unforgiving than drama, so getting the comedy right is hard.

  • January 21, 2016 at 11:43 pmGinobi47

  • January 22, 2016 at 12:06 amAllnighter

    It’s my comedy fix for this season. Nothing like watching a priest inflict 1 damage on an enemy, while your mage goes oom with 1 spell before both getting eaten. Haha, then the level 1 newbie comes to the rescue.

    Hopefully, this series could finish in one season. Although it’s pretty funny, I’m not too sure if it is able to secure a 2nd season.

    • January 22, 2016 at 9:33 amStilts

      Do you mean you hope the story concludes in one season? I super doubt it. The source has seven volumes, and as you say, this doesn’t feel like the kind of story that’ll get a second season. The nice thing is that, as a comedy, the plot impetus isn’t as high. We can just enjoy it for how long we have it, and if we never find out if they beat the Maou in anime-form, it’s not a big deal. That was never the point anyway.

      • January 23, 2016 at 12:21 amAllnighter

        You’re right, with seven volumes, it wouldn’t be possible to finish in one season. It’s going to end up like No Game No Life.

  • January 22, 2016 at 2:40 amJeffers

    anyway it should be noted that by changing 2 letters (H to N and E to KKA)in the name Takahashi Rie, megumin’s seiyuu, it would become TAKANASHI RIKKA

    —- chuunibyou indeed.

    • January 22, 2016 at 11:06 pmStilts

      Takahashi Rie can also do a pretty good “Auu~”, judging by her work in Sore ga Seiyuu.

  • January 22, 2016 at 2:51 amzeroyuki92

    For some reason I laughed hard the first time “Mission Notification” showed up, since I thought it’s the episode title.

  • January 22, 2016 at 7:35 amdaikama

    Good second episode. Again, the comedy just works for me and was laughing a lot. Visual quality might not be the best, but I do think the execution is handled well – not just comedic timing, but also character interaction. All feels very natural and flowing. Even the scene cuts were done well and fit with the comedy. We don’t need to see how Kazuma defeats the giant toads (frogs, whatever). Watching that arguably would have been counter-productive. Again, comedy is subjective disclaimer, but from my perspective, I’m impressed how consistent this show is with the comedy. It’s not very hit and miss like a lot of shows are for me. From Megumin’s chuuni parody introduction to the toad/frog fights and Aqua’s hilarious failure to Kazuma trying to extract himself from yet another “problem child”, all good stuff.

    Speaking of Kazuma, I like how the series handles his character. As Stilts and others note, he’s doing a good job as the voice of reason/straight-man without being too bland. With such wacky characters, someone has to hold things together and Kazuma is that proverbial glue.

    I almost didn’t bother with this show, but I’m glad I did. Had zero expectations going in and, now it’s quickly rising to the top of my watch list this season. :D

    • January 22, 2016 at 9:35 amStilts

      When I’m editing the season preview, I always pay attention to the shows Takkun is excited about. He has a good eye for enjoyable shows. Case in point.

  • January 23, 2016 at 4:11 amHanabira.Kage

    Reading the manga, I got the feeling that while Explosion does cost a hell of a lot of MP, Megumin’s probably intentionally dumping all her mana into that one spell. To make it as spectacular and powerful as possible. I’m not sure if this is really true, but that’s just the feeling I got.

    • January 23, 2016 at 8:19 amAnon

      Currently she doesn’t have enough mana, so she is using her life force(HP) to compensate the require mana. Though I believe even if she have enough mana someday, she would still dump all of her mp & most of her hp into that spell just to make it as spectacular and powerful as possible.

  • January 24, 2016 at 9:51 amSolaris

    This show is hilarious and I liked it very much, but unfortunately it’s Deen.
    I don’t trust them anymore after the poor service they did to my beloved Log Horizon.
    And yes, Deen started deen-izing this series already. Go read the manga’s introduction of the beautiful crusader, if you didn’t catch why she was panting that hard yet.