Konosuba: An Explosion on This Wonderful World! Bonus Story: We Are the Megumin Bandits!

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.

Of course, this is just the 4th volume of the Megumin spinoff, really. But since it’s now caught up with the main series and is no longer a prequel (or possibly as the original was announced as a trilogy), we get a “Bonus Story” with more Megumin shenanigans. Yunyun is here as well, though the expansion of the cast means that she doesn’t really get a chance to do much other than play the tsukkomi and be pathetic. And, alas, Cecily is back as well, and continues to be the worst nun ever. That said, as the 10th volume of the main series hinted, we get a new addition to the group. Princess Iris is sneaking away from the royal residence every day, and quickly insinuates herself into Megumin’s group as the muscle (she certainly has the sword skills). Add a very reluctant thief, and you have all you could ever want in a KonoSuba spinoff.

The “plot”, such as it is, takes place mostly around Vol. 9 of the main series, though the last quarter or so takes place around the 11th book. Megumin has discovered Chris and Kazuma pulling off one of their Silver Haired Bandit raids, and finds herself fired up about the idea of stealing in order to defeat bad people (and also strangely attracted to the masked assistant). She decides to form her own group, quickly rounding up those I mentioned above… including Chris, who as you can imagine feels very awkward about all of this. After a brief detour where they try to figure out who a blond, handsome adventurer of legend is (it’s pretty obviously Dust, though the legend, as you might guess, is quite wrong in many places), they end up taking on a rival of Darkness’s who has a herd of monsters around her mansion deep in the forest. There has to be a reason, right?

There are a few flaws here. The last chunk of the book is back to Kazuma’s POV, which is fine but is not really what I signed up for with this Megumin-driven spinoff. And, as with the main series hinting about this series before we got it in English, the spinoff series hints about another as yet unlicensed spinoff series, this one starring Dust, that is familiar with Japanese readers. Mostly you get the fact that Yunyun and Dust have had adventures before, and she’s not happy about it. On the other hand, the parts of the book with Megumin thinking about her current state are excellent. She’s newly in love with Kazuma, but isn’t quite sure how that works, or even why she fell for him. She’s also trying to figure out how to be a “leader”, and Kazuma, who is mostly in non-dirtbag mode in this book, gives her some excellent advice. Fans of their pairing will be happy with this book.

There’s one more book in the series, which I’m sure we’ll get relatively soon. Till then, this is a solid KonoSuba spinoff with lots of laughs and some good Megumin character development.

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