Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!: Crimson Fate

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

This is another one of those books where the last sixth or so of the novel completely dwarfs everything that comes before it, so let’s use the time before the cover art to talk about the rest of it. Despite wanting to hang around the mansion and do nothing aside from get involved in wacky binding adventures with Darkness, Kazuma is coerced into going to a nearby castle that is beset by another Demon General. This one seems familiar to Kazuma, as he’s seen her before in the hot springs about five books ago. She’s also very familiar to Megumin and Yunyun, for backstory reasons that drive a lot of the plot. The demon general keeps blowing up the castle every day with Explosion. Fortunately, they have Aqua’s extraordinary public works gifts (no, really, not making a joke here) and also the ability to beat her at her own game. But whose Explosions are best? And oh yes, will Megumin find time to confess?

I’ve always been impressed with Konosuba, despite the occasional murmur of other girls, keeping itself to a simple love triangle. Megumin and Darkness both love Kazuma, despite his… well, Kazuma-ness. That said, one of these girls is MUCH MORE POPULAR among fans than the other. And it has to be said, at a base personality level that leaves out eccentricities, Megumin and Kazuma are the most compatible and similar. Here she does confess, and though there’s no kiss there’s a little snuggling. He also says he loves her back, but she accurately points out this is because he doesn’t want to upset her, and his own feelings are somewhat ambiguous. I was very amused by his apologizing to all the other waffling harem protagonists he always yelled at for not jumping the girl’s bones in manga he read. I also liked Megumin and Darkness inviting him to wash their backs at one point knowing he’s never going to actually do it.

ARE they now together? Well, Kazuma is wondering that himself at the end of the book. The author, though, implies that they plan to put romance on the back burner for the next volume, so it might be a while before we see any further development here, and in any case, few people are reading KonoSuba primarily for the sweet romantic bits. This isn’t good news for Darkness, though she does get an extended scene at the start of the book, possibly to apologize for doing almost nothing else the rest of the book. Darkness is Kazuma’s “type” more than Megumin, but her own eccentricities, i.e her masochism, is much more difficult to turn off than Megumin’s chuuni behavior, so a realistic relationship doesn’t seem in the cards. As for Aqua, once again the story emphasizes how they’re like brother and sister and not romantic. Which, honestly, thank God. That said, Aqua’s skills at building walls in this book may be the best part of the volume. Stop being a goddess, become a foreman!

As with the last book, this one ends with a cliffhanger where Princess Iris writes to say that she’s being married off. No way Kazuma lets that happen. In the meantime, enjoy a very good KonoSuba volume, essential for Megumin fans.

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