Reaper's Reviews: 'KonoSuba S2'
Original title: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2
Format: 10 episodes + 1 OVA
Release: January 12, 2017 - March 16, 2017
Source: Light novel
Review Release: July 7th, 2018
10 is an insultingly short number of episodes for a comedy series with great writing, well-timed scenarios and impossible-to-hate characters, but KonoSuba got the shaft back in its original airing, and the second season is no exception with just 10 more episodes, not including the delicious OVA dessert.
KonoSuba was one of those delightful surprises every now and then; a comedy series that really got me with its hilarity and fun take on a trite genre, and after finishing the first season I jumped straight ahead to watch its continuation, finishing all 10 episodes and the OVA in one sitting.
Now in my review of the first season, I mentioned that one of KonoSuba’s chief problems was its weird structure that hampered some of its characters, their introductions and personalities. And while it was by no means a deal-breaker, I was eagerly awaiting to see if the second season will manage to rectify this particular problem.
Well, it’s the same and then some, I’ll give it that. And that’s not a bad thing.
Story & Setting
Not much has changed since previous season; in fact, KonoSuba S2 continues exactly where its predecessor ended with Kazuma being accused of the damage caused to a noble’s mansion due to the KonoSuba S1 finale.
Beyond being a glorious way to open the season, KonoSuba S2’s opening chapter also introduces two antagonistic forces for future storylines… In the hypothetical third season, hopefully.
From there the second season marches off into what made the first season so damn good: wacky adventures, no holds-down mockery of the fantasy genre and often well-timed humor. With its dysfunctional yet lovable cast of unlikely heroes, KonoSuba S2 is another delicious dish that rarely drops below the high bar it set in its first season.
As its main cast and majority of mainstay side characters were already introduced one way or another previously, KonoSuba S2 places an even greater focus on its unbelievable situations and zany humor, making an overall even more consistently funny series even compared to its predecessor.
Playing to its strengths this season keeps pushing its comedic elements with absurd interactions and crude gags on a slightly larger scale that involves more dungeons, demons and even a different location than the norm. If you didn’t like the previous season’s style of comedy then this season won’t change your mind, but if you did, then this season is about 5 times funnier.
In a way this season it to KonoSuba what Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and the recently released Deadpool 2 are to their predecessors: another slice of great, non-stop fun with great comedy, even if it lacks the same air of freshness as their prequels had. It’s more of the same, really, and that’s fine.
But the the problem with the “more of the same” mentality sometimes is the refusal to fix some issues that were in the earlier installments, and KonoSuba S2 suffers from it to an extent, namely its structure and pacing. Granted, it’s not as severe as in KonoSuba S1, but it’s especially noticeable in the last two episodes where a new villain is introduced but gets quickly defeated without any build-up or explanation beyond being an evil demon general.
In comparison to both Verdia’s little arc from the first season and Vanir who got introduced this season, it’s rather disappointing.
This season's biggest issue might be overall subjective depending on your preferences, but KonoSuba S2’s sense of progress is minimal at best. Yes, Kazuma and co. defeated two more generals of the Demon King, but beyond that the status quo remains more or less the same.
We don’t really get any meaningful development to either the general overarching story of the quest to defeat said Demon King, and while there is some world-building, it’s obviously second fiddle to the continued misadventure of the party.
But the severity or importance of this flaw is ultimately dependent on what you as viewers want from the show: do you wish some more progress in Kazuma, Aqua, Darkness and Megumin’s quest? Or would you rather just watch them being silly and unfortunate in said quest?
Either way I can’t say that the journey here - or lack thereof - is boring, because KonoSuba S2 hides its flaws well enough with funny plotlines and the same great characters… with a few bonuses.
As was mentioned above, being a second season, KonoSuba S2 has a lot more time investing in its main characters beyond their introduction. For the most part, it’s all done well with all of our lovable personalities back, allowing for more jokes and laughs to roll around.
On a whole, I would say there isn’t anything truly new with the characters, not even the main cast who remains more or less what it was back in S1. On one hand, we get to see once more the natural chemistry between Kazuma, Aqua, Megumin and Darkness and that’s always a pleasure. On the other hand, it links back to the ‘lack of progress’ problem I mentioned and the characters definitely the biggest victims here.
Some of them, at least.
Darkness finally received a well deserved episode focusing on her which was a lovely treatment and explored a bit more of her family background as well as her overall relationship with Kazuma and to a lesser extent Aqua.
After a bizarrely placed OVA episode from S1, Yunyun gets a proper introduction and she’s an adorable addition to the cast with her shy, soft personality and pathetic rivalry with Megumin, which makes me a bit excited for a future Megumin-focused episode.
Another character who gets a surprising amount of exposure is Wiz, everyone’s favorite busty lich-demon general. I admit, I didn’t like Wiz that much in S1 due to her brief amount of screentime and lack of character, but in S2 she finally rubbed off on me and her role in the season finale cements her as a pivotal character in KonoSuba’s narrative.
And finally we have Vanir, a fellow demon general who gets introduced mid-season but quickly becomes an eccentric ally to Kazuma’s group. And I will say it now: Vanir is quite possibly my favorite character in KonoSuba thus far. His slick design, hammy voice and deliciously over the top nature make him a fantastic addition.
Well, we also have Sena, who serves as a minor, random antagonist here and there. I don't like Sena. I can't see anyone liking Sena. Sena is a hindrance. She is a headache, and I'm glad she doesn't get too much of relevance in the group's adventures.
Animation & Sound
In comparison to the first season, KonoSuba S2 is even more inconsistent when it comes to its animation quality, but interestingly enough, this goes both ways: at its absolute worst, KonoSuba S2 looks even wonkier and clunkier than its predecessor, sporting some off-model characters, blurry lack of detail and junky movement.
However, at its absolute best, the season can have some wonderfully animated sequences and even general improvement in terms of special effects and attention to detail. One sequence in particular is a fairly large fight scene in the season’s final episode which boasts shiny action and smooth animation. Nothing jaw-dropping, mind you, but good enough to warrant a mention.
Now as for the sound department, there isn’t anything particularly new or noteworthy here besides a new opening and ending songs, the former being quite catchy and lovable while the latter continues the tradition of being sang by the main female leads. Both are wonderfully sang themes that outshine an otherwise lackluster soundtrack.
KonoSuba S2 is essentially more KonoSuba, and that’s great. KonoSuba was a lovely comedy that sadly only got 10 episodes on its belt, so 10 more episodes make for a delicious second meal with more great comedy involving our favorite band of misfits. And this time around I feel that its overall comedic timing and quality is even higher and more consistent than the previous season.
Its flaws depend heavily on your enjoyment of the previous season, because if you didn’t like the first season of KonoSuba, then this season will do nothing to change your opinion of it. Also, if you were looking for a solid sense of evolution with the main narrative, prepare to be disappointed because this season focuses way more on humor than story.
Overall, KonoSuba S2 is just more deliciously hilarious KonoSuba adventures. Its over similarity to its predecessor season and lack of genuine plot progress definitely prove to make this season feel less fresh and inventive, but by keeping with its zany and absurd humor and characters, any fan of the first KonoSuba season is in for another funny romp.
- More KonoSuba, with somewhat more consistent jokes and better comedic timing
- Retrains the same great cast, with welcome new additions... for the most part
- At its best, looks great and smooth...
- ...While at its worst, looks worse than its predecessor
- Doesn't add much to the overall formula of the first season
- Overarching story doesn't progress much save for the last two episodes
& The Ugly:
- Has anyone in KonoSuba heard of bras?! Yunyun, honey, cover yourself...
As for alternate anime for you to watch, how shameful of me was to exclude the anime classic Slayers as a recommendation? It has fantasy, comedy and lovable characters, and has about five seasons, so there is a lot of meat here. Just let me warn you that it hasn't aged very well in terms of animation.
As for my other recommendation, why not check Overlord? It's another rather recent Isekai anime that doesn't play according to the genre's rules, so it might be worth you time if you're looking for more subvertive anime or parodies.
© 2018 Raziel Reaper