Cross stitch pattern of the cabbage monsters from KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Check out my review of the first three episodes below. Download the PDF here: Konosuba Pattern
Grid Size: 83W x 91H
Design Area: 5.79″ x 6.36″ (81 x 89 stitches)
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Ah KonoSuba, the weird side of the internet in anime form. I’m going to take a look at the first three episodes as they stand by themselves. I haven’t seen the whole series. This is just my first impressions. It starts with a pretty well crafted establishing scene of our protagonist Kazuma getting off a bus after buying a limited edition game. This tells us everything we need to know about this loser very succinctly before he take a page out of Urameshi’s book and dies saving someone from getting hit by a truck. This is great, you’re not two minutes into the first episode and he’s already dead. A lesser director would have shown his parents or the connection he shares with the girl he saved, but not here. This show has no illusions of a grand and emotional story.
So Kazuma meets the goddess Aqua in the afterlife and she laughs at him for dying when he didn’t need to. Looks like the girl would have been fine. This scene sets the tone of the show and tells us about Aqua’s character perfectly. You know, some of the jokes fall flat and there’s an excessive amount of fan service, but you’ve got to hand it to them that they can express a character’s motivation and personality so concisely and make it look easy.
Anyway, Aqua gives Kazuma the option of going to another dimension instead of heaven. It’s a world that’s basically an RPG, so obviously right up his alley. He gets to take one thing or power with him, so in a nice twist, he picks Aqua herself. Another goddess comes in almost immediately and you just know that she’s been waiting 100’s of years to get rid of this grumbling blue tart. She doesn’t even bat an eye as Aqua screams about it being a mistake. Man, goddesses are cold.
We get some establishing shots of the city of Axel in the parallel world. I love the animation choices here, because these could have given us some still generic shots, but the place looks lived in. Background characters look like they’re the stars of their own stories. They’re not, but they could be, and that’s one of the things I loved about Space Patrol Luluco.
Now Kazuma is excited and not bitter about leaving his old life behind, which is good because we never got to see it so it would be weird if they went for that angle. Aqua, on the other hand, is freaking out because she can’t use her powers to get home. So they decide to go to the adventurer’s guild, and holy cow, the world building in this place! What’s that snake? Who’s that statue? What’s with the ribbons on the wooden pillars? I love this building!
They need to pay a registration fee, so Aqua begs for money from a monk in the most gloriously un-humble way possible. There’s some blatantly noticeable CGI when they’re filling out their registration cards, but I’m not complaining too much. Turns out Kazuma’s only good stat is luck while Aqua is… well a goddess so her stats are through the roof. She chooses a healing class which anyone who has played an RPG will tell you is awesome to have in your party. Too bad she’s such a ditz.
So they get jobs as laborers, and Kazuma works surprisingly hard for a shut in who is only good at playing video games. I gave him a pass before when he was talking to people and being social because it was just asking directions, something he’d probably done before, but here we see him chatting and partying with his coworkers, and I can’t overlook this. He’s supposed to be an otaku. What’s he doing being all suave and extroverted?
Kazuma makes a pretty astute observation about adventurers being basically deadbeat job hoppers. It makes me feel better about myself, I guess. It’s not that I can’t hold down a job for more than a year at a time, I’m just an adventurer! I’m not bored with work. I’ve just fulfilled my quest!
Then Kazuma suddenly remembers that he’s actually there to kill the Devil King not lay bricks, so they decide to go on a kill quest to gank these five giant toads. If HunterXHunter has taught me nothing, it’s that the best time to attack and enemy is when it is attacking someone else, so the easiest way to kill a frog is when you let it eat your goddess. Perfect plan! They only end up killing two and reusing some animation. And it turns out that they didn’t make much more than if they had just laid bricks all day. Oh well.
So Aqua decides that they need more party members and puts up a dubious ad. First responder is Megumin, an arch wizard. Say what you want about the other’s lackluster character design, but Megumin’s design is spot on for her character. That hat always looks like it’s grinning evilly from any angle. My only complaint is that she’s supposed to be a crimson demon, yet she doesn’t look like a demon at all. They could have at least given her a tail or something.
They go back to the toads, but Megumin’s explosion magic needs time to activate, so Aqua rushes forwards and gets eaten again. You’d think she would have learned her lesson the first time, but alas, no. The best bit is how the frog just sits there oblivious to the swirling black hole of magic accumulating around it, before it gets blown apart by the explosion. Then Megumin passes out and gets eaten by a toad too. Don’t worry, Kazuma saves them both and we learn that grand arch wizard Megumin is just as useless as everyone else in the party because she can only cast one spell and she can only do it once a day. Peachy! I actually do love her determination though. She’s not using this one spell out of stupidity. She’s using it because it’s the best and most beautiful spell out there. She truly loves explosion magic and is completely devoted to it, and that’s something I can appreciate. Kazuma however cannot and tries to dump her, but through an unnecessarily erotic misunderstanding, he decides to keep her on.
Then we meet party member number four, Darkness the crusader. Why is her name Darkness? I don’t know, and I’m pretty sure it will never be explained. We do get to see a moment of Kazuma being a dork around a pretty girl which is adorable. Darkness is looking to join, but Kazuma is not having any of it regardless of how much she pushes because she’s setting off so many red flags she might as well be an especially patriotic Chinese. It’s funny and serves to further explain her freaky-deaky character, but it seems out of place for Kazuma to give her a hard no like this considering that he just caved for Megumin.
So, Kazuma has leveled up enough to learn a new skill, but needs someone to teach him. Darkness’ friend Chris says she can teach him the move Steal, and shows him by stealing all his money. Unfortunately, I ran into a pretty major spoiler looking her up to find her name, and now I hate her for no reason. Stay off the wiki, friends. This has been a PSA from Cross Stitch Quest, good night. Kazuma learns the skill through yet another unnecessary CG sequence and is tasked with stealing his money back from Chris. There’s some good dramatic build up as he casts the spell. Since Kazuma’s luck stat is freakishly high, he steals her highest valued item, her panties. Just in case you forgot this was a harem anime. He proceeds to wave his trophy about like a lunatic in one of the funniest scenes so far. It may have been predictable, but I’m still having fun.
Back in the guild hall… you know, the more I see of this building, the more I fall in love with it. There’s this big burnt patch of ground that’s been there since the first episode and I really want to know what happened there. (Update: you get a better look at this area in episode 10 and it could be a huge animal skin rug, but the head doesn’t look like an animal or monster. Weird.) Anyway, Chris rats out Kazuma to the whole adventurers guild and Kazuma reacts by… stealing Megumin’s panties too. It’s not as funny the second time around, but this solidifies Darkness’ desire to join the party since she’s kinky like that.
They all sit down and Kazuma tries to scare her away by saying that he intends to kill the Devil King. Surprise, surprise, this backfires. Suddenly, all adventurers are called to defend the city from an attack from a hoard of rampaging cabbages! Their highly concentrated nutrients will not go unnoticed! Brassica Prime must be appeased! Onward to glory! This fight is interesting because we get to see both Darkness’ strength and weaknesses in battle. She has dismal aim, but high defense and HP. She is a holy knight and will protect the fallen. It’s just taken to it’s logical and kinky conclusion that she gets off by getting hurt. Frankly, I’m surprised the masochistic guardian isn’t a more common trope. It makes so much sense.
I also want to talk about how Aqua finds all sorts of ways to use her low level water spell. The girl may be as thick as a short plank of wood, but she’s as resourceful as a fox. Need to keep those cabbages fresh? Nature’s Beauty. Need all these cups filled? Nature’s Beauty! Need to boost morale? Let me get out my Nature’s Beauty! Aqua seems to be growing more as a person by changing dimensions than Kazuma has. There’s a scene where she goes around giving water to all the exhausted warriors. She cares about people, and I think her stuffy office job just suppressed that.
Overall, I enjoyed KonoSuba. Yeah, no one knows what a bra is, there’s a noticeable amount of reused animation, and the CG is a tad jarring, but the atmosphere is immersive and the characters are fun to watch. I’m going to get flack for this, but I really want to hear an English dub of this. I think I would be able to understand the fast paced humor a little better if I could hear it in my own language. Luckily, there aren’t many instances of characters talking over each other. I’m looking forward to the rest of it too. I give the first three episodes of KonoSuba a go watch it out of ten.