12 Days of Anime 2016, Day 5: Konosuba is (mostly) better than it should be.

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Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shufukufu wo! probably took a lot of people by surprise. It has all the hallmarks of a bad, generic light novel adaptation; Needlessly long name? Check. Unremarkable male lead who’s a little genre savy? Yup. A cast of mostly female characters obliged for some reason to hang out with said bland male lead? Naturally. Ahead of airing, Konosuba showed a bunch of red flags, it should probably have sucked. And yet it didn’t.In spite of a lot of the ingredients pointing towards Konosuba being “not my kind of thing at all”, I liked it a lot. This is almost entirely down to how it treats the cast. For all that the world throws at them, they’re still allowed to succeed. When bad things happen to them it’s usually as a result of their own actions.

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This is a constant from the very first meeting between Aqua and Kazuma. Aqua mocks Kazuma’s death, and is immediately punished for it by being dragged into the new world with him, which in turn backfires on Kazuma. By choosing to use his wish for petty vengeance he sabotages his own prospects.

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Konosuba works because the characters can consistently pull through, even if the world seems out to get them. For all that they agrivate one another they ultimately care about each other, and can achieve great things together. The show is at its weakest when it’s focussing on Kazuma being a massive tool, and he seems to get away with a lot more than the others (episode 9 is the most egregious example of this, and is more or less an episode of the show I assumed the whole thing would be). When the show gives in to these excesses it’s a lot less likeable, but overall this is usually kept in check.

Also it has ducks in it.

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12 Days of Anime 2016, Day 5: Konosuba is (mostly) better than it should be.

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