Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 (First Impressions – Episodes 1 to 8)

Author: Jitakukeibihei (Natsume Akatsuki)

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Magic, Adventure

Episodes: 8/10

Production Studio: Studio Deen

 

Introduction

Being one of the first anime from the “new life in a new world” genre of light novels, KonoSuba was one of the most popular animes in 2016. It’s almost no surprise that a sequel would be coming considering the light novel’s strong continuation. However, there is a lot of negative criticism that came along with the sequel. Although it has reached many top lists this winter, many old fans criticize the sequel as being lazy, drastically lacking in animation quality, and surprisingly, boring. I beg to differ, however, and why you ask? Read on to find out!

 

Storyline Premise

The story continues after Kazuma’s group destroyed the Destroyer in the first season. Kazuma has been accused of acts against a nobleman after destroying their mansion, all thanks to the explosion the Destroyer created when it was, ironically, destroyed. He was put behind bars and now it’s up to his friends to clear his name and bust him out of jail. KonoSuba continues from the plot of the last episode of season 1 which is a great element to transitioning through seasons. I really like the Prison Break arc of this season, even if it was only the first few episodes. It really refreshed the series’ comedic element.

 

Animation & Art

Now here comes the criticism. For animation quality purposes, I will be using gifs of quite a lot in this section. Comparing the animation done with season 1 to season 2, season 1 definitely takes the cake. The thing that makes KonoSuba differ from most other sequels is the fact that they remake scenes instead of reusing scenes for season 2. A perfect example for this is the iconic “Panty Steal” scene

Scene from Season 1

Scene from Season 2

Nowadays, you hardly ever see animation studios do this. Anyone who’s a hardcore fan of an anime’s first season would definitely spot a reoccuring scene here and there, and so far, I haven’t seen Konosuba ever do that. Furthermore, as you can see from the “Panty Steal” scene, the animation quality has almost drastically improved for Season 2. Animations are even shown slightly slower to show this effect.

Overall, although the art style may seem kooky or obnoxious, the art style serves to make the anime more comedic than it already is, in my opinion. And with the quality of the animation being this crisp and smooth even for a comedy anime, it wouldn’t be unexpected to see some dumb looking faces every once and awhile, especially considering the animators would put most of their work into the overall quality of the animation rather than stick to a rigid art style for the characters. And heck, I wouldn’t mind a goofy face or two if it means I get to see amazing backgrounds like these:

Sound & Music

Personally, I loved the ending theme of the first season. It was relaxing, soothing, enjoyable, and it even told a story about Kazuma and his friends. Season 2’s ending theme follows the same concept as the first season’s and it even sounds similar. The lyrics of Season 2’s shows a more comfortable tone being used, foreshadowing the characters being more involved with the town they live in and its residents.

The voice acting was also improved on. Character interactions feel more realistic than they did in Season 1. Though merely a coincidence, this coincidental effect can also affect the story in a way. It makes it sound as if the characters really bonded with one another.

 

Characterization

As I mentioned in voice acting, in Season 2, the characters speak to each other more casually than they did in Season 1, giving off the impression that there is character development within the span of the 2 seasons. The realism is made slightly more apparent when you realize the main characters tend to speak less casually with the minor or newer characters.

Other than that, you can even see change within the main characters’ personalities. For example, Kazuma seems more paranoid over everything. In Season 1 he had a passionate desire to defeat The Demon King, but we see this trait completely abandoned in Season 2.

Conclusion

Did I like the first season of KonoSuba? Definitely. So it wouldn’t be a surprise that I found the second season to be almost completely better than the first. KonoSuba 2 was definitely a well-hyped addition to the series, and the developers delivered with spanking new content while keeping true to the first season. Although attracting quite a bit of criticism, I’d recommend KonoSuba 2 even if you’re not the comedy-type.

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