Towards the end of 2020, Anime Limited brought great joy to anime fans as they released season 1 of Konosuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Now they’re back with the second season, but has it held up to my original love of this fantasy anime? Let’s find out!
The short answer to my question is yes: I am still deeply in love with this wacky comedy. This season kicks off with Kazuma and his party of idiots (Aqua, Darkness and Megumin) in deep trouble. It turns out that during the heated battle that took place at the end of the first anime, the team managed to destroy a nobleman’s mansion. Kazuma is quickly arrested and put on trial (a trial that cheerfully parodies the Ace Attorney video game series). Nothing could go wrong, right?
When Kazuma is put on the stand, many crimes seemingly come to light (although most have been committed by his party members!) and with only Aqua and Megumin to defend him (who quickly give up on the idea) things can only go from bad to worse. It’s only when Darkness uses her influence as a noble that Kazuma is saved from certain death and lumped with a massive debt to repay instead. He might now owe millions and has had all of his belongings seized as partial repayment, but at least he’s alive and we’ve been welcomed back to this world with a bang.
This season follows the trend of the previous one with mostly self-contained stories early on and then one final big arc to finish off. KonoSuba has always been at its best when the tales are short because it means the odd episode that you might not enjoy doesn’t linger into the next – although unenjoyable episodes are overall less of a problem than last time around. On the whole, the stories are a lot more fun (and sometimes even genuinely moving), offer ample character development and, most importantly, continue to show just how useless our team of adventurers are.
Although our cast is still pretty pitiful, between this season and last they have made some progress as a team. Kazuma and Aqua have both learnt new skills since we last saw them and Megumin, although still limited to a single explosion a day, has also powered up. It’s not just their skills that are improving, as it’s quickly apparent that their teamwork is also getting better and Kazuma has grown into the role of party leader.
One of the nice things this time is that it offers an arc dedicated to Darkness, which explores some of her backstory. This is something I appreciated since until now we’ve not known much about her life before meeting Kazuma. Meanwhile, the final arc of the season spends quite a lot of time with Aqua and Wiz, who again I was happy to see more of. This is especially true for Wiz, whose introduction story last season was told in flashbacks to save time in the anime.
My only major complaint is down to Megumin, who is given a story arc involving a childhood friend. Once the episode involving their story is finished, Megumin’s friend, Yunyun, is mostly pushed aside and not seen again for any great length of time. Perhaps because of Megumin’s inability to produce anything but one explosion a day, she is also shelved for the majority of the season and only used for a few comedic scenes. At least they gave her a new companion in the form of a cat, Chomusuke, to keep her busy.
It has to be said that this season is a very satisfying watch and the conclusion delivers one of the best anime endings I’ve seen in quite some time. While it doesn’t finish off the overall KonoSuba story (only covering Volumes 3-4 of the light novels), it does finish off the tale it set out to tell very well while leaving the door open to return to this world someday. The final episode is full of the silly humour I’ve come to love the show for, but most importantly it also showcases just how much the characters have progressed as a team. Above all else, it’s just good fun.
As far as animation is concerned KonoSuba has once again been handled by Studio DEEN and where animation is concerned the show does seem to have been given more love (and budget) than its first outing. Despite this newfound quality, however, the animation can still look terrible to the average viewer. It’s clear that DEEN has made a stylistic choice to lean into the idea of KonoSuba not being the prettiest show in the world, which I think works well overall! It might not always look attractive, but the animation quality is there when it counts – like in the final fight.
Character designs, on the whole, are smoother and I think the world has more varied colours and looks sharper, but overall things haven’t changed much at all. I commented in my review of the first season that the poor animation adds something to the charm of KonoSuba and I still firmly believe this because fixing up the animation might have ruined the fun a bit.
When it comes to the music, composed again by Masato Kouda, there are quite a lot of new tracks on offer which do wonders to ramp up the action scenes. The opening theme is “Tomorrow” by Machico, who also worked on the Season 1 opening, and I have to say it’s a brilliant track that captures what KonoSuba is. The animation for the song sees our heroes embark on a quest and throughout we’re shown the various trials and tribulations they face before they return home, bruised but successful. It’s great fun and really sets up well for the show.
The ending theme is “Ouchi ni Kaeritai”, performed by the voice actors for Aqua, Megumin and Darkness. The song is a slow and more sombre affair than the opening but it works in contrast to the fast pace of the anime. It also wins points in my favour for featuring the flying cabbages in the animation.
As far as voice actors are concerned they all do a wonderful job in their roles but my personal highlights this season are Jun Fukushima (Shoukichi Naruko in Yowamushi Pedal, Shinsuke Chazawa in Shirobako) as Kazuma, who manages to go from a very deadpan tone of voice to utter hysterics in seconds, and Sora Amamiya (Touka Kirishima in Tokyo Ghoul, Elise in Bungo Stray Dogs), who plays Aqua and manages some pretty impressive screaming for the goddess. This time around I didn’t sample the English dub, but you can read more of my thoughts on that cast in my Season 1 Review.
As previously mentioned KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Season 2, comes to the UK thanks to Anime Limited. The series is available on Blu-ray in a collector’s edition, which includes all 10 episodes of the show as well as the OVA episode. The collector’s edition includes a 52-page booklet filled with artwork and character profiles. A standard edition of the release is currently scheduled for a release in April.
Overall, KonoSuba Season 2 certainly won’t leave fans disappointed with it being a faithful adaptation of the light novels. The blend of quirky characters and ridiculous humour draws you in and encourages you to keep watching right through to the end and even on a rewatch, it proves suitably compelling. This is one you won’t be forgetting anytime soon that’s for sure!