I didn’t really care for the first season, yet I went into the second season with enough interest to disregard my indifference to its past self. What appeared before me was not just a better product, but one that focused more the comedy of the everyday situation rather than trying to make things more than what they appear. It’s appreciable to be able to relax and unwind through the form of uncontrolled rambunctiousness, and I feel this is what KonoSuba as a series is best at. No more serious gobbledygook only used to be the butt of a joke, Konosuba 2 is simply stupid characters behaving stupidly… or so it may appear.
Before giving off more than what appears, Konosuba 2 isn’t entirely a good show. It’s more positive than negative, with a knack for enthusiastic shouting matches, though it’s pretty simplistic at heart. Like its debut season, the anime is a parody and little more, with characters and story moving at a snail’s pace to focus more on teaching the viewer how to expect the unexpected. Comedy is the focal point, and if that doesn’t work, there is no point to paying attention. I suppose one could also be charmed by the effort given forth by the characters’ blatant niches. A kind of entertainment that manages to entertain, but can’t stick further within the recesses of the mind.
That isn’t to say the characters don’t receive some attention or the story is bland. For what it’s worth, the story is there, though whether or not it has any impact on the characters’ actions is minimal. It comes down to them adventuring for a certain gain most often. What does manage to improve to some extent is the usefulness and further depth of the characters. While the first season used any and all appearances of utility as something to joke about later on, Konosuba 2 is a little more lax on the beating of the once dead horse. There are individual moments and scenes (as silly as they may appear) that give little trinkets of value towards the strength of the group’s closeness or someone’s true “beauty.” These moments are also swamped in-between further exerting characters’ one-joke personalities, but I digress.
Here’s something that interested me greatly: style of animation. A lot more silly, scrunchy faces this time around. Not only that, but a certain lack of flair that comes with the weight of the awkward situations. It’s not so much that they make silly faces, but that they make the same silly faces, and quite often. This manner of non-serious tone allows for some shortcuts in animation, as well. At many points I wondered why the animation looked so goofy in its simplicity, than questioned whether they were using it as an excuse to slack off. It may have just been me, but does the character design seem different? Not in clothing or common character identifiers such as hair or eye color, but the shape of their faces, their bodies—the physical make-up. There were points where I looked at a character and thought “Was their chin always that jagged?” Even more, it tends to change depending on the angle and scene, committing to a “Save it for the right moment” approach. There certainly are impressive moments of animation and detail present, just not too often.
I didn’t find the first season of Konosuba very funny. I thought it relied too much on breaking expectations in a (already noted) beating-of-dead-horse approach. Konosuba 2, while still not entirely funny in my eyes, is better suited for comedy. With the lack of expectations from the audience, which was constantly flirted with in the first season, characters are free to let their wildest exhibitions come to fruition. In a sort of “breaking the chains” method, characters, while already eccentric before, are now bombastic to the extreme, which is a lot more charming than it sounds. They fall within the clichés established by their own characters, but do so with such vigor and energy that it almost doesn’t matter. Character interactions feel all the more lovable by means of not having to worry about ulterior motives, either by the story or by the jurisdiction of the comedy. It also plays a lot into the cleverly crafted (but incredibly stupid) ideas on how to combat serious situations… which are actually taken seriously this time around.
A lot of the vibrant energy of Konosuba 2 can be attributed, once again, to the stellar voice acting. Many who have read my blog for some time know that I very rarely, if ever, discuss the performances by seiyuu in anime. Here, it becomes one of the focal points of enjoying this anime. Screaming, screaming at the top of their lungs, with a multitude of tones and precise vocal cues make this an absolute joy to listen to. I couldn’t imagine this being dubbed in English and even coming close to the same type of whiny amazingness that is succeeded primarily by Sora Amamiya as Aqua especially. These voices all suit the characters perfectly. Without their all-out performances, Konosuba 2 likely wouldn’t be as charming as it already is.
While I wouldn’t say it’s leagues better than the first season, it certainly washed the salty taste out of my mouth that the debut season left upon finishing it. I’m more inclined to admit that I’m a fan of this series and am hoping for a third season at some point, rather than continuing out of obligation, such a feeling I had coming into this season. While the atmosphere and parody bravado prevents Konosuba 2 from being anything other than dumb entertainment, it’s dumb entertainment that nearly transcends itself into a worthwhile and meaningful experience. Nearly.
The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.