Konosuba: An Explosion on This Wonderful World!: Yunyun’s Turn

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

I have to admit that I was less thrilled with the second volume of Megumin’s spinoff series. This is pretty much because the middle half of the book is filled with Zesta and Cecily, the two Axis Church members that we’ve seen in KonoSuba books 4 and 8. I don’t mind Aqua, mostly as she’s not a creeper, but the same cannot be said for the acolytes of her church. The running gag here is that, because the Axis Church basically has as its creed “do whatever the hell you want”, it tends to attract the wrong sort of people, and we see that here, played, of course, for comic effect. Zesta is infamous for his behavior, to the point that when he’s arrested and falsely accused of being a traitor to the human race, no one wants to bother to defend him. Cecily is also pretty bad, taking opportunities to feel Megumin up in the bath, etc. Fortunately, the first and last parts of the book are much better.

Despite the subtitle of the book, we do not get Yunyun’s narrative POV here, alas. Which makes sense, as the fun of Yunyun is watching her flail, not getting inside her head. That said, she does come off pretty well in this book. Following Megumin to Arcanletia because, well, because life without Megumin terrifies her, Yunyun as always tends to alternate the ‘sensible’ role with Megumin when the situation calls for it. The last quarter of the book shows the two on a carriage to Axel Town with a number of other people, and various monsters keep attacking the carriage. This leads to the funniest part of the book, as Megumin can’t use Explosion without hurting the other travelers, so ends up being pitied and looked down on by everyone else as Yunyun, who can use various magics, takes out all the monsters. Of course, at the end Megumin does end up showing off and regaining people’s respect – it’s her series, after all.

The plot, aside from shifting Megumin to Axel Town (the book ends right as the first in the main series begins – Megumin sees Kazuma and Aqua arrive in this world, though she resolves not to have anything to do with them), involves Chomusuke being sought after by a demon who is convinced (and not without good reasons, as readers of the main series will know) that Chomusuke is Lady Wollbach. Megumin, despite verbally not caring about Chomusuke, ends up defending her against this demon, despite also taking the cash offered to hand her over. (This is how the broke Megumin can finally afford to leave the village.) This, of course, sets up events in Book 9, which had not been released at the time this came out in Japan (this came out between Books 5 and 6). Again, seeing the contrast between Megumin’s seemingly blase attitude towards everyone and everything and her actual feelings deep down is the main reason to get these books.

So yes, I wish there had been less Axis Church, but overall this was still pretty good. Next volume likely will see things end up how they were at the start of the series proper – with Megumin and Yunyun separated, and Megumin meeting Kazuma and Aqua properly.

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