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It has been a hot minute since anything Konosuba-related was on the air or being discussed broadly, so when I heard Natsume Akatsuki’s spin-off series focusing on Megumin was getting an adaptation, there was indeed a bit of excitement on my part. The show has always been about stupid, crass isekai brand humor, but it never really pretended to be anything else, and in that sense, it was pretty funny.
Meanwhile, Megumin was always one of my favorite parts of the show, even if the jokes involving her were a bit one-note and usually ended in something exploding. She added a flavorful overconfidence that balanced out against the other three idiots on screen.
If it was not obvious from the title and promo art, Konosuba: An Explosion on this Wonderful World focuses on Megumin, telling the story of growing up and learning magic in her home village. Though the place is relatively small, there is no shortage of apparent problems, be they monstrous or human. Despite it all, Megumin…is still trying to learn explosion magic, which is widely considered a joke.
Despite some good attempts, the series has thus far left me a little underwhelmed. This is not to say it is bad by any means, but the opening episodes do not have as much of the zaniness that was present in the original.
Still, my overall disappointment so far might be attributable to a couple of things. First, the original series aired when I was still in high school, and though saying my sense of humor would has changed drastically would be a lie, there is a sense of sameness to the comedy. There is a sameness to it that is not as funny as the first time.
Second, a big part of Konosuba‘s comedic success was its character dynamics. The show was funny not necessarily because of anyone individually, but because the stupid was passed around among the main characters and gradually built. There is some of that present, like with Megumin and YunYun’s budding rivalry/friendship, but rarely does it rise to the level of laugh-out-loud.
Still, harping on it this much maybe sells it a bit short. Despite Megumin’s one-notedness in the original, this side story has done a solid job at making her a more interesting and complex character. It is clear that her village is suffering from poverty and lack of resources (still mostly lack of intelligence but it is fine to but that aside). Even if her pursuit of explosion magic is quite literally a joke, it is fun to try and watch the underdog succeed.
Overall, it feels like a fine addition to the Konosuba universe…so far. Hard to say where it will go without having read any of the source material. However, I do hope they push more of the side characters like the series has been trending towards, because, otherwise, it will probably end up being just ok.
How do you feel about the new Konosuba series? Let me know in the comments.
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