Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!: You’re Being Summoned, Darkness

By Natsume Akatsuki and Kurone Mishima. Released in Japan as “Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o!: Chūnibyō demo Majo ga Shitai!” by Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Kevin Steinbach.

Another day, another KonoSuba novel, and another manga series being parodied in the subtitle. This time it’s You’re Being Summoned, Azazel-san, a long-running seinen comedy manga with two anime series. Last time I said that we might get a bit more plot, and that’s certainly true, though thankfully that does not mean that things get any more serious. Sure, Kazuma is being put to death for crimes against the state, but honestly, he could have gotten out of that about eight different ways simply by not being Kazuma. And as you may have guessed by the cover, Darkness features heavily in this book. We get a lot more detail on her background, and find that her strong sense of self can even duel with a lesser demon. This, again, does not make her any less ridiculous. Summing up KonoSuba remains one of the easiest things in the worst: selfish protagonists do stupid things, and the reader laughs.

I’m actually very impressed that Kazuma falls into this category as well. It would be all too easy to turn him into a Kyon type, merely reacting against the antics of everyone else. But no, he manages to make some head-scratchingly selfish and foolish decisions throughout, especially near the start, simply by running his mouth off. Of course, he does also save the day at the end – sort of, in reality Kazuma mostly saves the day by directing others to do so – but one wonders how far he’d go if he simply reined in his put-upon ego. Megumin has a reunion with a classmate of hers, and Yunyun seems to be more powerful but in reality may be even more pathetic than Megumin, which takes some doing. The name really doesn’t help, and I was highly amused that Kazuma and I had the same reaction to it.

As indicated above, Darkness gets the most to do here. The revelation of her family background is not all that surprising, really, and I was relieved that she doesn’t really switch personalities too much when she’s back in her home. As for the marriage meeting, it’s the highlight of the book, with Kazuma’s scheming and Darkness’ sabotage attempts combining in the best way, culminating in a duel which seems to end in a wet T-shirt contest. I’d mentioned before how shipping was minimal in the series, but it’s picking up – Darkness’ angry description of her ideal man does sound an awful lot like Kazuma, and the bath scene he has with Megumin gets a lot more awkward when he realized that she’ll grow out of being ‘underage’ pretty soon. As for Aqua, her part in all this is to be ridiculous, and she succeeds at this admirably. She and Kazuma make a great baka duo.

This volume takes us halfway through Season 2, meaning we only have one more till we catch up with the anime. Of course, the series is so popular there may be a third anime before December. In any case, fans of KonoSuba will enjoy this a great deal, as it’s still one of the funniest light novels being released.

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