Random Curiosity

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku Wo! 2 – 08 »« Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku Wo! 2 – 06

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku Wo! 2 – 07

「このふてぶてしい鈍らに招待を!」 (Kono Futebuteshii Namara ni Shoutai o!)
“An Invitation for this Knucklehead”

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry!” -Kazuma.

Comedy comes from expectations, namely the audience’s expectations being subverted or in some way defied. Misdirection is key, and while comedy can certainly work when you know what to expect, it’s all the better when you don’t. That’s why this episode was so great, because while it used beats we’re familiar with—Kazuma and Aqua being horrible, Darkness being a pervert, Megumin and Wiz being cute—it did it in ways I didn’t expect. Repeatedly!

I thought it’d be an onsen episode, but we never got there. I never expected Kazuma and Aqua’s nouveau riche act, and is it just me, or are they maybe actually perfect for each other after all? Given enough money, because they’re both high-maintenance (and terrible) individuals. Vanir frying and then foisting Wiz off on Kazuma was another wrinkle I didn’t expect, whereas the whole rock-paper-scissors bit I totally did expect once it came up, and luxuriated in the glorious comeuppance Aqua recieved. Then, in an episode that I thought featured all Aqua as the star of the show, Darkness came through and stole it in the end, as did Kazuma, with his constant apologizing.

This is one of those posts where I just point things out, because I don’t have much to add. Little touches improved the package, like how they panned to Aqua’s pain or Megumin & Wiz being cute while spouting exposition, or the continually purified tea, or Kazuma’s side commentary—that’s always a winner. But mostly, it was just damn great writing, phenomonal voice acting, and a willingness to take enough time to bask in the small, silly jokes that make KonoSuba so much fun. THIS, my friends, is why KonoSuba is so good, and why I’m so glad it got a second season. For once, a great show that deserved more episodes actually got ‘em, and it’s still amazing. There is some justice in the world, even if it’s nowhere to be seen when Aqua needs it. Hah!

Random thoughts:

  • Kazuma was going a little too Cartman there at the beginning. “Mm, your tears are so yummy and sweet! Oh, the tears of unfathomable sadness! My-yummy!” I can’t quiiiite see him doing that to Megumin, but Aqua? Wuh oh.
  • Poor Yunyun. Poor Yunyun forever. I just want to give her a big hug, and she’ll never get it. FOREVER ALONE.
  • The lip touch is Kazuma’s favorite move, isn’t it? It takes a certain kind of asshol—I mean, ladykiller to pull it off.
  • I also loved when Darkness got all serious, saying her muscles aren’t that hard. She wanted Kazuma to know that she’s still soft, ufufu~

My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for exclusive content. At stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: The Carcer Principle; Fire, further; Fire; and Starting a story with a bang—and when not to.

 

Preview

February 23, 2017 at 5:43 pm
34 comments »
  • February 23, 2017 at 6:14 pmIncognito

    • February 23, 2017 at 8:01 pmAex

      That cat just knows what’s up! I love how Wiz is all chill about it with this gorgeous, motherly smile.

      And is it just me, or should we be calling the new cuteness “Chekhov’s baby dragon”?

  • February 23, 2017 at 7:55 pmsouma

  • February 23, 2017 at 8:20 pmDuzz

    I love this show, and the Darkness expression of ecstasy was amazing! This episode prove that the director was hustling some money away though, the difference was like night and day in quality. Megumin looks kind of weird, not as cute as the other episode. Aqua is also amazing, even with blessing her luck cannot stack up to his heh.

  • February 23, 2017 at 9:27 pmGuile

    >I also loved when Darkness got all serious, saying her muscles aren’t that hard. She wanted Kazuma to know that she’s still soft, ufufu~

    Or that bit early in the episode where she’s all ‘I really want to see what kind of scumbag Kazuma is going to be in the future’ with a happy smile?

    Kayano Ai (Darkness’s VA) has really been nailing it lately. That moment where she goes all serious (about her muscles not being hard, she’s a girl after all, it’s just the armor) – it really feels like the character’s signature joke, like Kazuma’s ‘Kazuma desu’ and I hope they keep using it.

    • February 23, 2017 at 11:35 pmStilts

      Kayanon is always amazing, but this was an especially fine example of an especially fine role.

  • February 23, 2017 at 9:37 pmOne Pinch Man

  • February 23, 2017 at 10:30 pmPancakes

    There’s an interesting Easter Egg in this episode I haven’t seen anyone catch yet. The winding road the wagons traverse is based off the scenic Trollstigen road in Norway often popping up when dangerous driving is discussed. Has nothing on Kootenay Lake road, but then I’m biased :P

    • February 23, 2017 at 11:39 pmStilts

      It reminded me of the road from Duragon, CO to Silverton / Ouray, CO myself. Winding-ass road, no guard rails, not fun to drive in the winter. Trust me. Not fun at ALL.

      Beautiful during the summer. Still not fun to drive though. A lot of roads in the Rockies are like that.

  • February 23, 2017 at 11:24 pmTarage

    I don’t think you understand how incredible this episode is.

    THEY LEFT THE STARTER TOWN.

  • February 23, 2017 at 11:46 pmZen

    The writing for that Vanir/Aqua skit near the beginning was simply amazing. Such stellar subversion of the audiences’ expectations (to use Stilts’ words). When gods and demons clash in fiction, the scenario is usually high-stakes, and there’s usually a clear moral dichotomy, which is the basis for severe, bitter animus/hostility between the parties. Consequently we’ve been conditioned to subconsciously expect to feel tension (induced by high-stakes) and righteous fury (induced by severe, hostile confrontation due to, and in the presence of a clear moral dichotomy), whenever divinity and demonkind come into conflict.

    Here, there’s little at stake beyond Aqua’s wounded pride from having her barrier broken by Vanir. And Aqua’s attempts to redeem said pride, along with Vanir’s attempts to decisively demonstrate his superiority, imbue the animosity between them with a certain petty, petulant quality, more akin to jealousy-induced schoolyard animus between seven year olds, perhaps arising because one child received an extra piece of candy from the teacher- it does not take on the expected bitter, severe properties of pure moral alignment-based hostility.

    Thus, instead of feeling anxious about the outcome of the battle between Vanir (demon) and Aqua (divinity), the pettiness of their dispute leaves us indifferent. And instead of feeling righteous fury we are instead annoyed with and ashamed for both goddess and demon due to their poor behavior– as the animus between them is born of petulant jealousy rather than opposing moral alignments.

    To summarize, the psychological dynamics of this scene are diametrically contrary to all expectations. The skit makes us feel the exact opposite of what we expect to feel, which is the fount of its comedic effectiveness.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that under the hood, Konosuba’s actually a really cleverly-written show; the pantsu jokes and otaku pandering being merely a marketing façade. It never ceases to impress me with how effectively it evokes comedy and develops characters and relationships all at once with short-form skits, while also preserving continuity. And I am very difficult to impress…

    • February 24, 2017 at 12:50 amStilts

      I found it an especially neat trick because, if I were to pick a side in their petty squabble, it would quite likely be Vanir’s—he may feast on negative emotions, but he (claims to) keep his word, rather than instill in followers false hope that is never delivered. Though maybe it is delivered in their world and he’s just being a bastard, but making us doubt the established order of things certainly achieves the desired effect. It’s cleverly written indeed : )

      • February 24, 2017 at 1:00 amGuile

        You know, it’s interesting that Konosuba definitely has priests/archpriests, paladin-like crusaders, and so on… but we have no idea if Aqua and Eris are giving them their powers or not.

        For all we know, priests get their magic from the adventurer card, same as wizards and adventurers.

  • February 24, 2017 at 3:01 amGrahav

    “…or are they maybe actually perfect for each other after all? ”

    I wondered about that, too. They are either soulmates, long lost siblings, or maybe one day Aqua got so drunk that a piece of her brain and her luck fell to Earth and then Kazuma was born.

  • February 24, 2017 at 6:32 amL002

    http://randomc.net/image/Kono%20Subarashii%20Sekai%20ni%20Shukufuku%20Wo/Kono%20Subarashii%20Sekai%20ni%20Shukufuku%20Wo%202%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2002.jpg
    I didn’t exactly get again why they are acting this creepy. IF anything, it’s a miracle that Kazuma managed to calm down from that Excalibur joke.
    I did laugh at Stilts’s comment with the “nouveau riche act, and is it just me, or are they maybe actually perfect for each other after all?” I do feel they are perfect. Notably, because of how much Aqua irritated Kazuma, I am shocked that our main character has yet to spank his goddess; I mean, he kept abusing his STEAL to steal women’s underwear, so I am shocked Aqua has yet to get any ecchi type of torture from Kazuma.

    http://randomc.net/image/Kono%20Subarashii%20Sekai%20ni%20Shukufuku%20Wo/Kono%20Subarashii%20Sekai%20ni%20Shukufuku%20Wo%202%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2014.jpg
    I just noticed that Wiz does have the SAD talent of having useless merchandise. It makes me feel happy that our masked new character is making sure she doesn’t have to deal with shady means to make money.

    http://randomc.net/image/Kono%20Subarashii%20Sekai%20ni%20Shukufuku%20Wo/Kono%20Subarashii%20Sekai%20ni%20Shukufuku%20Wo%202%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2015.jpg
    And please, if anyone can enlighten me and give me spoilers, does the author stop tormenting this girl? Seeing her, like this, makes things look more sad than funny.

    • February 24, 2017 at 6:35 amL002

      • February 24, 2017 at 11:45 amVile1285

        The first thing that came to my mind was the Specium Ray, the signature technique from the Ultraman series, especially since the subtitles called it a “Murder Ray”. For extra trivia, despite his eyes lighting up, the ray would be emitted from his upright forearm.

    • February 24, 2017 at 5:45 pmGuile

      >And please, if anyone can enlighten me and give me spoilers, does the author stop tormenting this girl? Seeing her, like this, makes things look more sad than funny.

      She’ll get a nice little character arc if season 3 gets greenlit, along with Megumin. Crowning Moment of Badass, no lie.

      … She’s never entirely not shit on, but that’s kind of her thing like Darkness being a pervert, you know?

    • February 24, 2017 at 8:59 pmHanabira.Kage

      Aqua doesn’t have any underwear for Kazuma to steal.

      • February 25, 2017 at 4:23 amL002

        Which is why spanking Aqua should be pleasing to Kazuma

  • February 24, 2017 at 7:14 amYanDaMan

  • February 24, 2017 at 12:03 pmVile1285

    I was surprised to see that Kazuma and Aqua can actually have what we might call romantic chemistry. Seems like when their desire for lazy self-indulgence is mutually beneficial, they get along swimmingly (was that a bad pun?)

    While the aforementioned duo and Darkness find themselves excited by the opportunities they’ll have with steady, sizable income, Megumin is the one most concerned that it could spell the end of their adventuring days, even citing that there is a “proper” way to defeat a Demon Lord. Just her inner chuuni speaking or could there be more to it? You’d think she’d be equally excited over an influx of wealth, especially given that we’ve learned that her family was/is quite poor.

    Also, we learn that you should NOT waste money around Vanir. I think he’s been an excellent addition to the cast. One of the more sensible characters but with a sense of theatrics and love of pushing people’s buttons that makes him a pleasure to watch. Side note, I wonder how many extra lives he has banked. It wouldn’t surprise me if he had to spend a few more before the tale of Konosuba is finished.

    • February 24, 2017 at 2:35 pmWellBattle6

      It’s been established that Megumin is more concerned with food than money (all those flashbacks involving getting free food with her little sis). If she has food, then explosions and the proper red-eye magic clansman values (which are elaborated on in the LN Gifting This Wonderful World with Explosions spinoff) are prioritised. So her goal would be to smite the demon king with an explosion after giving off a grand introduction of herself to the demon king and an audience of adventurers and lower demons, thus becoming the best red-eye magic clansman for all time.

    • February 24, 2017 at 5:47 pmGuile

      Vanir must be super popular, he’s the other character who got a spinoff (the other is, of course, Our Lady Of Explosions, Megumin).

      Funnily enough, it involves him palling around with Yunyun and Dust. Fingers crossed for an OVA later.

    • February 25, 2017 at 12:12 amStilts

      Vanir is a really good addition. I didn’t expect it when he first appeared, but I’m glad he’s here to give more depth to all interactions Wiz. The Murder Ray in particular was great.

  • February 24, 2017 at 1:55 pmordnance11

    BTW, anyone know what the heck Kazuma made for Vanir Ypu jave the lotesus and a peel. What else?

    • February 24, 2017 at 2:49 pmWellBattle6

      You will find your answer in later episodes soonish.

  • February 24, 2017 at 6:18 pmZhinvu

    I didn’t expect Darkness to strangle Kazuma after he leeched off her vitality to heal Wiz. I thought she’d like it. And while everyone did a greay job in today’s episode as usual, I gotta give props to Aqua’s VA especially during her fight with Vanir, and her exchange with Kazuma about cheating on rock paper scissors. For a minute, I actually felt a bit sorry for Aqua when Kazuma said he’d trade her for a special item anytime.

    • February 24, 2017 at 7:58 pmordnance11

      Do you blame hi?. This goddess is high maintenance! Lol

      • February 25, 2017 at 3:27 pmZhinvu

        Lol of course I can’t blame him for saying that. This is Aqua after all.

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