I didn’t realise that Kazuma and Megumin were still doing their explosion routine! YES! EXPUROSSIIOONNNNN forever. On to episode 3 of this season which I don’t really have anything but positive things to say about. Still, they did some really interesting things that I can talk about in this episode.
We must be getting into the real stories now, as our heroes head into… a beginner dungeon. At least it seems like a beginner dungeon from the way they describe it. Which is something I’m really excited by, Konosuba’s setting calls for the party to go into a dungeon and yet somehow, they haven’t done it unless I’m forgetting something, but by the way Megumin complains about her explosion magic being useless, and she’s right, strategically it is possibly the least useful and actually outright harmful power to take into an underground dungeon. This should be fun.
I’m pleased Kazuma has foresight, literally, as well as wisely investing his skills to be useful to the party. There were shades of this in the previous episode as well. It isn’t good, or at least it’s been way overdone, for a comedy to have the lead be a moron. Well, he’s a moron sometimes. But it’s good for him to be thinking logically about this because it makes me feel like I would do similar things in his place rather than getting frustrated because I know I could do better. Aqua fills the dumb role quite perfectly anyway. One would think. And I’m actually floored that the show didn’t immediately make her fall into a trap, the way she’s prancing about makes you expect there to be a trap, especially when picking up the empty chest (although the show can’t resist one chest later obviously being a trap). Konosuba is way ahead of the curve and I respect it for doing constant subversions.
Incidentally, the music stopping and starting as Megumin practices her catchphrase is hilarious.
But it turns out that this episode is largely a different one for Konosuba. Like with episode 2, it has most of the focus on the healthy banterous relationship between Kazuma and Megumin in the previous episode, Aqua in this one. That provides most of the laughs – ‘thank you very much Aqua-sama’. But actually, the funniest part of the episode comes from them playing Keele’s dungeon pretty much entirely straight. Aqua isn’t useless, she starts to come across as quite serene and useful. And competent Aqua is a cute Aqua, proving a law of anime cuteness, if they’re a good character, they’ll feel more cute. In any other show, normal Aqua would be insufferable but I enjoy her on screen anyway because I’ve given in to her specifically, but her acting weirdly capable is even better. This really isn’t normally her so you get sucked in waiting for them to break character but, tongue in cheek, the episode keeps making everything so perfect, nicey-nice and a straight way to finish a dungeon as Keele, the boss, himself turns out to be a harmless lich just waiting for someone to come and save him, so no fighting, he just willingly submits. And the dungeon is cleared, no major setbacks. Well, one.
It was time for the episode to break character a bit and acknowledge that yes, it was just making our characters good at doing things for a bit to move the story along as Aqua turns out to have been attracting the undead and therefore wasn’t really affecting the difficulty of the dungeon at all, she’s there and she can get rid of them but on his own, Kazuma would have been fine too. And everything is back to normal with Aqua crying with fear and Kazuma being a bastard with his sneaky thief skills. It’d be horrible if I said I enjoyed that so I won’t say it.
And the party at the end was a nice wrap-up of the episode as well as giving some cameos to returning characters and showing how they really never are going to pay off their debt. Also I didn’t think it would happen, but I’m starting to miss Darkness – she got one scene but it had no relevance on the rest of the episode so I hope we check in on her next time, with the rotation of the character focuses they’ve been doing (aside: I do love it when shows do this with their characters and give them a whole episode to shine in). It would make sense to anyway.