「この冬を越せない俺達に愛の手を！」 (Kono Fuyu o Kosenai Oretachi ni Ainote o!)
“A Loving Hand for Our Party When We Can’t Make It Through Winter!”
It’s hard being a lich when Aqua’s around. It’s hard being everyone when Aqua’s around.
The King Lich
This episode we met Wiz (Horie Yui), a lich known as the “No-Life King” who’s also one of the eight leaders of the maou’s army. And as with everybody else in KonoSuba, she isn’t how we expect a lich to be; less Kel’Thuzad, more teasable Horie Yui moe character. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not Horie Yui’s biggest fan—that would be Divine—because she only has the one voice, but damn if she doesn’t do teasably moe well. If you want a character to seem kind and likable, get Horie Yui to voice her. So it’s been for nearly twenty years now, so it is here.
I, for one, approve of our new moe lich overlord. Seeing Aqua tackle her, threaten her, and attempt to purify her just brought out all the best in Wiz. I want to tease her! I want to torment her! *sadist side rising* Someone get Darkness in here, quick! She’ll probably be disappointed that Wiz was tormented instead of her, which I’m sure Darkness will love. Neglect play get-o.
We’ve All Been There, Kazuma & Megumin
After it became clear that the episode would feature an extended gag based on peeing, I immediately thought of the first episode of Saikin, Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okashiinda ga. Fortunately, whereas that show was a trainwreck I dropped after the first episode, KonoSuba continues to delight. So what did it do different?
The biggest difference is that, whereas Saikin‘s … I was going to call it a gag, but let’s just call it a scene—whereas Saikin’s peeing scene focused (and even fetishized) urination, because that’s definitely a smart thing to lead with (probably among a certain audience, it’s just not one that includes me), KonoSuba instead focuses on a minor drama that is damn near universal, at least in the developed world. That’s right, who here among us hasn’t had to pee at some point when the option was not readily available? Sure, for me it mostly happens after drinking a lot and forgetting to use the restroom before I grab an Uber ride back from the bar, but I’m sure we’ve all had the experience, with ghost dolls or otherwise. (Mostly otherwise.) It keeps the focus off the peeing itself, and puts it onto the little goofy social conventions that arise around it. That’s much more relatable, funnier, and less gross ground to till than the weird shit Saikin got up to.
Good. I got to use Saikin as a contrasting example for something a better show did. I guess the 23 minutes I spent watching Saikin’s first episode wasn’t a complete waste. Mostly a waste, but not a complete one.
When In Doubt, Blame Aqua
Wiz and Megumin were definitely the stars of this episode for me; Wiz, for reasons I’ve already mentioned, and Megumin because scared Megumin is epic-level adorable. I mean, when she started casting Dragon Slave inside … hah!
But I did get a kick out of Aqua. I felt for her when her expensive liquor got stolen—lemme tell ya, if someone drinks my super expensive after-bath alcohol, Stilts is gonna fuck a spirit up. But the revelation at the end that the whole thing was all Aqua’s fault was just a cherry on the top. Truly, Aqua is the cause of, and solution to, most of Kazuma’s problems.
Oh, and good job turning down the extra reward, Kazuma. That shows that, no matter how brutal he can be to his idiot teammates—especially Aqua—Kazuma is basically a good guy. Also, Aqua deserves it.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Wiz is a moe lich & scared Megumin is adorable, but Aqua got most of the laughs this week, easily #konosuba 08
- It was a bit wonky how Wiz was introduced with a flashback to something we’d never seen before, but how they met her didn’t seem super interesting, and having them have met before off-screen prevented Kazuma’s team from conveniently meeting Wiz right before everything in this episode happens, so I’m largely okay with it. Probably that’s just the slack KonoSuba has earned by being funny paying dividends again.
- I once again regret that Verdia didn’t survive. Woulda been funny to see him meet Wiz again.
- If Kazuma’s Adventurer class is the only one that can learn all skills (even if it is at enhanced cost), it has the potential to be totally overpowered. All he needs to do is find all the most hax abilities, and he’ll be unstoppable eventually.
- That random Nature’s Beauty was perfect.
- Thank you for the see-through nightie, Darkness. Swiftly approvd.
- Author’s note: I’ll be out of town next week, so Takaii will be blogging episode nine. Thank you, Takkun!
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: Deadpool: Tonal Balance Through Non-Linear Storytelling, Through their own flaws, Look to the one before, and The problem with character development episodes.