Anime

Konosuba 2: An Invitation for This Knucklehead!

This episode of Konosuba had a lot more little video game nods than have mostly been apparent this season, I counted at least two jokes for that, normally I don’t notice any. Then again, I don’t often play role-playing games these days so I may have missed one or two. (as always, spoilers!)

The one that stood out to me as a joke that probably got underrated is Vanir complaining that Wiz has a shop full of random crap, and just keeps on buying it. That’s a perfect description of nearly all shopkeepers in these kinds of games, albeit usually aided by the player’s incessant desire to pick up junk and exchange it for currency, and I’m impressed that they, without making a big deal of nudging us to get that it was a joke, just slid it in there in a slick manner as part of the plot. That plot being that Vanir has a tendency to accidentally murder his allies.

The other main video game aspect joke this week was stats coming into play after taking a back seat in the show for a few weeks as who gets to ride in the back of a caravan becomes a life or death rock-paper-scissors. Now, this felt a bit unexplained. Kazuma wins because he has high luck but also he claims to have never lost a game of rock-paper-scissors from birth. Having recently watched No Game No Life, that anime’s use of this game was in my mind and I can’t help but feel, comedy of Aqua looking pathetic after all her techniques and luck buffing didn’t work aside, that that show did it better by explaining the thought processes. Different tones and all, but still, that they explain Kazuma’s victories by him being so lucky that he literally can’t lose a game of chance seems a bit too far even for a comedy. It just took me out of the moment. I don’t expect him to win his fights fair and square, that’s not what this show is about, but claiming his luck was with him his whole life doesn’t fit. Of course, he could have been exaggerating and then I’d be alright with it.

That aside, this was an excellent episode. I knew it would be from the moment it opened and Aqua and Kazuma were acting so unusually amiable towards each other, to Megumin’s obvious distress. When you have a set up that characters acting civilised towards each other is a sign that things are wrong, you have a good thing going. I very much enjoyed watching them do that for the half of the episode where they acted that way. And the reason makes sense with the plot because Vanir (beautifully camp as always, he’s proving to be a highlight of this season) is promising to finance them for his ideas and so they’re acting all faux-rich, don’t even need to adventure anymore (to Megumin’s horror). One thing I didn’t get is that there is no contest between the options that Vanir is offering. 300 million Eris straight up, or 1 million Eris a month, so the characters debating about that took me out of the moment too. Think about that for more than a few seconds and you’ll see it takes 25 years for the second option to make you more money. There is no guarantee that this deal will last and by that time has passed you’ll surely have found another income stream… I’m taking Konosuba too seriously again, let me just mentally change 1 million Eris to 10 million Eris and it all remains internally consistent with previous monetary values and this time a more logical dilemma.

Finally, the Running Kites getting attracted to Darkness’ hard muscles (‘In spite of it all, I am still a woman’ – was a genius line, delivered perfectly), I mean, adamantite was fun as again, like episode 5, it showed off Darkness’ perverted and masochistic tendencies in unexpected and funny ways, as well as putting the group in danger as they travel to… I’ve forgotten where they’re travelling to. I’ll find out next week when we get more plot.

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