「この魔剣にお値段を！」 (Kono Maken ni o Nedan o!)
“A Price For This Cursed Sword”
Kazuma meets the real Chosen Hero.
Of Aqua and Cages
The first half of the episode could have easily been too much. The comedic sociopathy (trope!) was strong in that one, and it was hard to decide if Kazuma was being unnecessarily cruel or not. You wanna know what saves it? Aqua being implicated in her own misery, and a strong dose of her stupidity too. She was the one who wanted to stay in the cage to purify the river, after all, which was funny enough to keep me laughing through most of it. Then, at the end, when she was utterly traumatized by the experience, and I was once again thinking they went too far … and then Kazuma realizes that she forgot she was a goddess. Hah! I know I shouldn’t analyze comedy too much, it ruins the effect, but I thought they toed a delicate line relatively well. But it pales in comparison to the second half.
Satou Kazuma vs the Chosen Hero
Putting Kazuma up against a classic chosen hero-type Earth transplant is probably the obvious move, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad one. No, I think it’s nearly necessary, because it showed off that actually, Kazuma is approaching this world correctly. Instead of playing by the tropes, he’s scraping up from the bottom; his decision to choose Aqua also gave him a first-class ticket to the school of hard knocks, and it turns out that education is useful. That’s why it was such a treat when Mitsurugi Kyouya (Eguchi Takuya) did all the usual crap, and Kazuma kicked his ass. It turns out that luck on the level Kazuma has is nearly a superpower.
I just loved it, watching Kazuma put Mitsurugi through the ringer! For as questionable as his actions sometimes are (that excessive hand animation!), it’s nice seeing the smart, savvy character rewarded for once, rather than the brave stupid one. And Aqua, Darkness, and Megumin sticking with Kazuma was beautiful. They might all be useless in their own hilariously dysfunctional way, but at least they’re loyal, as Kazuma is to them—er, more or less. He sticks with them, at least. Saying that the girls are better people than Kazuma shouldn’t be a surprise at this point, but at least he’s only mean and/or sadistic to them up to the level of their madness. That has to count for something.
I’m not going to delve into the “true gender equality” line too much, because wow, bag of snakes. It’s probably safe to say that, if you’re a lad and you meet a lass on the opposite side of a battlefield, you should fight her as you would anyone else. Past that, I’m not interested in providing a forum for the discussion, so take it to your Facebook walls. I will say that I’m not sure tacitly threatening to steal your opponent’s panties (or worse?) is gender equality, so much as it is sexual harassment. I just don’t much care in this case, because what I found hilarious was how Kazuma basically turned his Steal ability into an Intimidate check, and he made his rolls flawlessly. Kazuma isn’t the good guy in this tale, not by a long shot, but damn if he isn’t fun to watch!
Looking Ahead – Dullahan’s Return
I was surprised when Dullahan just walked away after the confrontation last episode, so I wasn’t surprised when he showed back up, all annoyed that no one had attacked his castle. I did get a hearty laugh out of it, though. If there’s anything this episode has tought us, it’s that Kazuma is a master at screwing with people’s minds, even when he doesn’t mean to. And his teammates aren’t bad at it themselves. Dullahan doesn’t stand a chance.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Kazuma meets a REAL Chosen Hero, and it doesn’t go well for one of them. No points for guessing which #konosuba 05
- No worries, Kazuma. You could still have love with a party member. I just, er, would be careful with that … careful to pick Megumin!
- None of the girls claim to go to the toilet. They all must be idols. Wait—do I smell crossover potential? Just imagine: Love Live – The Kazuma Party Project. Doujin artists, get on it!
- When fate’s tempted, fate responds. That’s a trope used well.
- Question answered, I think.
- I feel like Mitsurugi’s teammates don’t have a lot to steal. His whole party really is full of clichés. Delicious, nutritious clichés.
- Remember when Kazuma stole his teammates’ panties? Megumin remembers. Also, Pepperidge Farm remembers. It was watching from the bushes. Pepperidge Farm is a creepy old bastard.
- Kazuma might not be the good guy even if he is a protagonist, but neither are his teammates. Gotta love a goddess who takes the opportunity to extort an extra 100,000 eris out of her defeated foe. You and Kazuma are perfect together, damegami.
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.