KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!

Spoiler Alert!

You get off the bus and start walking back home.

It had been a harrowing five hours but the round trip was worth it. The premium edition of Myriad Swords 2 was released at the store today and now you have it!

Your eyes feel heavy and your mind starts to drift…

Despite the sun shining in your eyes, you see a huge shadow barreling down on a passing girl.

A truck?!

Summoning every ounce of strength your exhausted body could muster, you push the girl out of the truck’s path…

Opening your eyes, you find yourself sitting inside a room that seems to be made of the universe itself. On the opposite side is an empty, white, high-backed chair.

“Welcome to the afterlife.”

Turning around, you see a beautiful, young girl with long blue hair. She sits in the white chair in front of you.

“Your life was a short one but you’re dead.”

Oh.

“What happened to the girl I pushed out of the way?”

“She’s alive.”

Well, that’s a relief!

“Actually, she wouldn’t have died. The tractor would have stopped before it hit her.”

Wait…tractor?

“Then, did I die from getting hit by the tractor?”

“No, you died from shock, thinking a truck ran over you.”

WHAAAAAAT?!

“Pfft! Hahahahahahahaha! In all my years as a goddess, you’re the first one to die such a pathetic death! You wet yourself and the doctors laughed at you as you had a heart attack…”

No, no, no, no! You don’t want to hear it!

“I have an offer for you. You like games, don’t you? You’ve read about the stories where a hero gets reincarnated on another world? Well, here’s your chance!”

Your ears perk up.

“There is a world being threatened by the Demon King. The people live fearing for their lives every day, facing slaughter at the hands of his army!”

It all sounds cliché to you, but no matter!

“If you take this up, I’ll grant you one ability or item second to none!” With a wave of her hand, a stack of papers appears on the floor.

Ah, the classic cheat ability you’ve heard so much about!

You look through the stack. All the abilities and equipment shown are completely broken!

“Could you hurry this up? I’ve got a quota to fill. Besides, there’s not much to expect from a shut-in NEET like you.”

Grrr! Just because she’s cute she thinks she can push you around!

Wait, that’s it!

You point at the goddess and say, “Okay then, I choose you.”

“Alright, now just stay inside the magic circle and…WHAT?!”

KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! (この素晴らしい世界に祝福を!, Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o!, lit. “A blessing to this wonderful world!”) is a light novel series, manga and anime (including one movie) written by Natsume Akatsuki (暁 なつめ, Akatsuki Natsume). This story is also featured in several video games, including the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita game, KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Judgment on this Greedy Game! (この素晴らしい世界に祝福を! -この欲深いゲームに審判を!-, Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o! -Kono Yokubukai Game ni Shinpan o!-). There are also three spin-off light novel series.

During his third year in middle school, the young Kazuma Sato witnessed his childhood crush going out with a delinquent biker. Heartbroken, he has stubbornly refused to attend school since then and spent almost all of his time playing online video games, effectively isolating himself from the world. While returning home one day after buying yet another game CD, Kazuma saw a girl about to be run over by a truck and pushed her out of its path…

Moments later, Kazuma is face-to-face with a blue-haired woman, the goddess Aqua, who tells him that he died. Unable to stifle her laughter, Aqua tells him that what he thought was truck was actually a slow-moving tractor and that he actually died from sheer shock! She then offers Kazuma the chance to reincarnate on a Fantasy World and go on a quest to defeat a Demon King. He would also have his choice of a single powerful item or ability to help him. Much to Aqua’s shocked surprise, Kazuma chose her as his “item” to take with him. The other gods curiously approve this and send Kazuma and Aqua to the Fantasy World, promising to allow Aqua to return to Heaven if Kazuma defeats the Demon King.

Someone’s not happy about it though…

Arriving in Axel, the town for beginning adventurers, Kazuma soon learns about the tough reality of his predicament. Lacking funds, Kazuma and Aqua work as laborers for several days before paying their registration fees at the local Adventurer’s Guild and purchasing equipment. After putting up a request for other adventurers, they are soon joined by the young wizard Megumin and the crusader Darkness.

Despite the hardships he faces, Kazuma becomes a capable adventurer in his own right and learns various useful skills along the way. In the course of his adventures, he fights against several of the Demon King’s monstrous generals. Exasperated by the Fantasy World and its people at times, Kazuma learns to find true friendship with his companions and enjoy his new life.

Left to right: Aqua, Megumin, Darkness, Kazuma

Main Characters

Kazuma Sato (佐藤 和真, Satō Kazuma), a 17-year old Japanese adventurer and former NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training). Disillusioned by the dangers of adventuring, Kazuma is cynical, cunning, perverted and somewhat lazy. Despite this, he is loyal and courageous, having literally sacrificed himself to defeat two of the Demon King’s generals. Kazuma has learned a diverse variety of skills to aid him when adventuring, such as Steal, Lurk, Snipe and Drain Touch. He also possesses astronomical good luck, resulting in him experiencing fortuitous events such as near-constant critical hits in battle and people forgiving his generally thoughtless behavior. As leader of his adventuring team, Kazuma directs his companions with unusual tactics, making best use of their limited abilities while targeting enemies’ weaknesses.

Relaxing after a hard day of catching flying cabbages…yes, flying cabbages!

Aqua, a goddess of water and an archpriest. Carefree, cheerful and conceited, Aqua enjoys being the center of attention and gets easily depressed and whiny whenever she feels unwanted. She believes in living only for the moment, which has resulted in her lacking foresight in her actions. An example of this is her habit of racking up huge debts due to her desire for alcohol and other luxuries. Aqua also unequivocally hates demons and the undead. As both a goddess and a powerful archpriest, she can cast spells such as Heal, Turn Undead, Exorcism, Purification, Resurrection and Create Water, all enhanced by her own divine power. Having no fighting skills whatsoever, Aqua is usually helpless against monsters that are not undead or demons. She also possesses extremely bad luck, which can usually be offset by Kazuma’s good luck. In the past, Aqua sent countless reincarnated people to the Fantasy World to fight the Demon King, with various degrees of success. On the Fantasy World, she is fanatically worshipped as the goddess of the cult-like Axis Order.

Purifying a polluted lake is more dangerous than it sounds.

Megumin, a 14-year old archwizard. While generally cheerful, smart and sincere, Megumin can get provoked easily and is obsessed with Explosion magic. In fact, Explosion is the only spell she can cast and she becomes completely drained for a day after she uses it once. Despite this, she will take (or waste) every opportunity she can to cast it, enjoying every moment with unhinged glee. As a member of the infamous Crimson Demon Clan, Megumin shares their common traits of talent for arcane magic and chuunibyou (中二病) tendencies such as overly dramatic behavior. She provides the magical firepower for her team, but her limited choice of magic has severely hampered her capabilities, usually resulting in her using Explosion only to deal a final blow of some sort. Megumin is the main character of the spin-off story Give Explosions to This Wonderful World! (この素晴らしい世界に爆焔を!, Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Bakuen o!), which takes place a year before she meets Kazuma.

Behold the light within me that extinguishes all!

Lalatina Ford Dustiness (a.k.a.  Darkness), a 19-year old crusader, aristocrat and heir of the distinguished House Dustiness. Brave, caring and serious, Darkness carries the air of graceful nobility. This barely hides the fact that she is a complete masochist who gets sexually aroused by almost any conceivable pain, suffering or humiliation she experiences. In fact, her not-so secret fantasy is to be tortured by the Demon King himself! Curiously, one of the few humiliations she truly doesn’t like is being made fun of by her real name, Lalatina. Because of her utter willingness to endure pain, Darkness is often mistaken by other adventurers as a paragon of selflessness. While she possesses great strength and stamina, she has extremely poor aiming skills, often completely missing her targets in close combat! As a result, Darkness often serves in defense, keeping opponents busy in order to give Kazuma and others the opportunity to strike.

Personal Thoughts

In many ways, Konosuba is a parody of the isekai genre itself. Instead of being a noble, selfless warrior, the main character Kazuma is a sneaky pragmatist who does whatever he can to win, fair or foul. While his companions might seem like an ideal, traditional harem of beautiful adventurers, all of them have serious flaws that result in them being nearly useless in actual adventuring, forcing Kazuma to learn how to pick up their slack. Despite his heroic deeds, Kazuma is dogged by a reputation as a sneak and a pervert, exacerbated by his friends’ habit of speaking of their woes with him out loud in the crowded hall of the Adventurer’s Guild! Despite all this, Kazuma is heroic and selfless in his own way, often pulling through where other adventurers more capable than him have failed. While they give each other much grief, Kazuma and his friends stick together through thick and thin.

Any work of art that Aqua makes is a masterpiece!

The satire also extends into the world itself. The Crimson Demon Clan encourages both magical talent and chuunibyou behavior, which has resulted in a village of powerful, yet delusional, mages. While the followers of the Axis Order are generally well-meaning and harmless, they are also a cult of semi-crazed zealots. The arch-devil Vanir, one of the Demon King’s generals, is an egotistical manipulator who never kills people and always keeps his word.

In the world of Konosuba, there is something bad for every good thing, often in the same package. To me, this is an extreme example of how there is both good and bad in our world. There are things out there that we like or dislike, love or hate. It’s a fact of life that there’s both good and bad in the world. In any case, how we deal with the world around us is our choice, whether we choose to fight, improve ourselves, go with the flow, stay safe in our shells, etc.

Moral

Part of living life is learning how to accept the world around us and finding ways to cope and prosper.

2 thoughts on “KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!

    1. Thank you for your comment. I’ll see what I can do about the posts’ length, but it’s a bit hard since there’s so much interesting information! More isekai stories are to come as I read them.

      Like

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