KonoSuba | I much enjoyed.
Every episode, there are segments when the characters are self-aware about their surroundings. The interactions and relationships he forges with others is also mostly comedic. Kazuma and Aqua’s relationship stands out as the idiot duo. It’s pretty easy to see that they aren’t very compatible especially with Kazuma’s self-interests. In essence, he isn’t a hero that fights for others but mostly for himself. In the meantime, Aqua is often useless with her skills and low intelligence despite having the status of a Goddess. Often or not, the two shares a relationship that stands along the firm line of “two people basically forced to cooperate with each other”. It doesn’t stop there though. Megumin, a mage with chunnibyou-like personality and Darkness, a masochist knight also joins them on the quest. Together, they make up the Adventurer’s Guild.
For those who are familiar with Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai, Megumin will probably feel similar to the character, Rika. Her over exaggerated speeches and chuunibyou behavior are the highlights of her character. And adding to her arsenal of tricks, she’s got explosive magic which apparently has a limit before she collapses in comedic fashion. Then, there’s Darkness. She’s both an honorable knight and masochist. Yeah, you heard that right.
For some peculiar reason, the show also makes her look like a jobber as she often misses her attacks in comedic fashion. When examining these two characters, it’s easy to say that the party is doomed to fail. How are they supposed to defeat the Demon King with this pool of talent? The answer might be Kazuma but his thieving skills doesn’t help much either except for stripping others of their panties. Nonetheless, the show makes it clear that the quest isn’t meant to be taken seriously. Each episode divides segments in their fantasy world and show what Kazuma’s party is capable of. Unfortunately for them, it often ends up with disastrous moments like being swallowed by oversized toads, being assaulted by armies of cabbages, trapped by alligators, etc. You get the general idea. In retrospect, the show is self-aware of its intentions and almost makes us pity the protagonists for their pathetic worthiness.
However, that’s what actually makes the series stand out as enjoyable. It’s fun with all the comedic factors with Darkness’ machoism or Aqua being useless during their adventure. Kazuma’s character is more of a deconstruction of the hero trope and his death is even portrayed as a parody. And while it seems like he may have a “harem”, there’s actually a lot more emphasis on Kazuma trying to escape from the trio. However, there’s development in their connection as well. While the girls sees him as a useless leader of the group, they do trust him more and more throughout the show. Similarly, Kazuma does begin rely on his party more as times goes on. However, their quest results are often pretty predictable where they manage to defeat the boss, but not without getting a lot of humiliation in between.
On the lesser fun note, the artwork is a really downside produced by studio DEEN. The previews weren’t impressive so I had low expectations from the start. After watching the series, my mind didn’t change much in terms of technical visuals. The characters look like they are cut from a potato with minimal effort. There’s not much details poured into the characters besides the character designs. Backgrounds looks moderate although convincing for the fantasy setting while the action is more or less exciting. Oh and of course, there’s some fan service. From suggestive camera angles to masochism, it’s there.
When examining the soundtrack, it’s actually fairly well done. While the OP and ED theme songs aren’t spectacular, it’s constructed with a clear amount of fantasy details and highlights of the main protagonists. The show also retains a lighthearted OST soundtrack because the series really isn’t meant to be taken seriously.