「この素晴らしい世界にエクスプロージョン」 (Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Ekusupuroujon o!)
“An Explosion on This Wonderful World!”
Ha, told ya it would end this way. How else is a season full of explosions supposed to end otherwise? Beating demons? Fulfilling fantasies? Giving Yunyun the treatment she (rightfully and not so rightfully) deserves? Alright, in all those ways – but also by finally bringing together the eponymous crew who make Konosuba tick. Honestly that moment alone was enough for this episode, and while easy to go into the rest of this finale’s happenings, I think the screenshots do the duty well enough. This was the proper tie-in for Konosuba proper, and with it also confirming season three is on its way, a nice sendoff for this season’s shenanigans. Personally I’m quite content with the results – which means it’s time to get on those impressions!
If there’s one way to sum up Konosuba’s literally explosive side-story it’s that it won’t be changing any minds. If you love this slapstick parody of a series and all the goofball characters involved, you have a taste for its humour or simply find Megumin a fun character, you’re going to find lots to enjoy here. Conversely if none of it ever appealed the interest will definitely be lacking, even if there’s room for some change of opinion. In effect it’s a true side-story, warts and all.
Without a doubt for me the major selling point (and arguable improvement over the original Konosuba) for this series is its strong focus on character personality and development. Besides Megumin receiving a good deal of attention, Yunyun (and for that matter Chomusuke) also got a healthy dose of fleshing out, providing a much more nuanced and complex take on what were originally one-dimensional archetypes. Hard to envision the explosion girl having a heart of gold or deep-rooted care for friends after all, or the sad yet adorable rival actually being a close friend and confidant. The depth given to Megumin and Yunyun alone made a lot of the arcs this season quite fun to watch, particularly in how it provided context to later story events and placed them in relation to Megumin’s character. Nothing seriously over the top of course mind you (this was still a comedy a heart), but more than enough to build on what we’ve already seen before.
With that said, however, the Megumin edition was not without its defects. The show for one noticeably slowed down and lost some of its unique charm after the main duo left the Crimson Demon village, while the comedy, even by Konosuba standards, was naturally different (if not weaker) than the main story. Part of this is down to it being the Megumin story; Konosuba was carried by its party dynamics and interactions, something that can only go so far when its Megumin and Yunyun bouncing off each other. The other part is the conflicts themselves, for while it follows the Konosuba format of off-the-wall problems it’s once again hard to make them comedically impactful when its, once again, Megumin and Yunyun having to carry the day. As aforementioned you really have to enjoy Konosuba itself to get the greatest enjoyment here, because for all Megumin might be hilarious it’s the easter eggs and cameos which give this series its true staying power.
In the end though this spinoff did what was written on the tin: it provided Konosuba-esque laughs, gave a better understanding of one of its key characters, and helped keep the Konosuba name going among the latest anime crowd. The Megumin edition may have its defects, it may not give the full Konosuba experience, but it definitely is worthy of being part of the franchise. And who knows, it might be enough to give that Darkness spinoff the anime it too deserves.