Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!: The Knight’s Lullaby

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.

Ever since the revelation of her nobility, I’ve talked about how the author of the KonoSuba series has had a little bit of trouble with Darkness. The Lalatina side has come to the fore in recent books, and you see it here as well, as she helps come up with a scheme to force the adventurers to pay their taxes. But it has made her less hilariously appalling, which you could always count on Darkness being in earlier books. That said, KonoSuba has character development, slow though it may be. We’ve seen it with Megumin, and with Kazuma. And now it’s Darkness’s turn, as this book manages to combine her general nobility and need to do good things with her masochistic fantasies and leave her a more well-rounded character. The catalyst of this, as it was with Megumin, is her confession to Kazuma. Unfortunately for Darkness, and as Kazuma explicitly notes, this is not one of those light novels with polygamy.

The book starts where the last one left off, with Darkness begging everyone to not think that she had a love child. It’s her cousin, of course, but fortunately for the narrative, which literally just did “little kid causes chaos in Axel” last time with Komekko, she’s a minor character. Instead the first half of the book, barring the tax collecting subplot, is about Kazuma having to choose between Megumin, who already confessed to him but is not yet ready to go to bed with him, and Darkness, who confesses to him in this book, and certainly tries to go to bed with him, though her actual willingness to do this is in question. Which Kazuma does have a bit of “I have two girls wanting me, I am the man” to his behavior, he actually does think things through sensibly, and decides… he wants to be with Megumin, as “more than friends but less than lovers”. (Her age also seems to still make him uncomfortable, justifiably so.) While there are many funny parts involved, I appreciate the book handled this seriously.

The other half of the book has Darkness’ cousin having a virus that infects the local kids (what is it with 2020 light novels and pandemics?), causing Kazuma and Darkness to have to travel to get a “demon’s fingernail” as an ingredient for the cure. (Vanir, the obvious choice, can’t provide one as he turns to sand if they do it.) This is much more in the ‘goofball Konosuba’ style, especially once they add Chris to their group, who has decided to help them out, a decision she will quickly come to regret. There’s bathroom humor, girls getting stripped humor, tentacle rape humor… it’s not the classiest series in the world, but it never QUITE crosses a line, and for the most part is amusing, though I will admit I preferred the first half of the book.

So yeah, somewhere along the line this parody grew up. Well, except for Aqua. And the author hints that her development will be the climax of the series. Till then, this book is recommended for all KonoSuba fans, though if you ship Kazuma with Darkness, you might end up being a little sad.

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