One nice thing Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! did
KonoSuba was not a particularly good show, but it was just funny enough to keep me watching in the winter season (apart from episode 9, which falls into the 'burn it with fire now' category). Part of what made it funny was some of its cast of characters and how they bounced off each other; they weren't great people, but they were generally flawed in interesting ways. In the process of this, KonoSuba did something that I have to grudgingly admire it for.
It would have been very easy for the show to make Aqua and Megumin into basically useless characters, people who could talk the talk but definitely not back it up when the time came to do things. They're both already overblown characters and somewhat puffed-up, so it would have been funny and more than that, it would have been entirely typical of the genre. But KonoSuba doesn't do that.
Megumin may be a chuunibyo, but she's also perfectly competent. She can only cast one spell once a day, but it's a very good spell, one of the most destructive spells going; if you can get Megumin pointed in the right direction, nasty things are going to happen to your enemies. As I put it on Twitter once, Megumin is basically a version of Lina Inverse who skipped straight to Dragon Slave and loves it so much that she refuses to learn or use Fireball.
And Aqua, well, Aqua may be petty and flawed and arrogant and foolish, but she's also (still) a goddess. Literally, as the show makes clear. She can and does cast high level magic basically on demand (sometimes foolishly, of course) and do things like purify an entire lake all by herself. Within her sphere of magic there seems to be very little that she can't do if she wants to, and more than once she saves the day when she acts.
KonoSuba could have fully embraced Megumin and Aqua as laughingstock. It didn't; instead it made them competent and powerful, albeit with limitations, blind spots, and flaws. I have to reluctantly give it points for this decision.
(The less said about Darkness the better, and the main character is relatively noxious and unimportant. To my vague surprise the Wikipedia summary claims that Darkness is actually pretty powerful, but in the show she's basically completely ineffective so I maintain my stance here.)
(This is a 12-days post.)
Written on 21 December 2016.