When author Natsume Akatsuki’s first chapter of KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! debuted on Shousetsuka ni Narou in 2012, audiences were quick to fall in love with the isekai adventures of Kazuma Sato, the typical teenage NEET, and his fellow party members Aqua, Megumin, and Darkness.
The KonoSuba light novels quickly began to receive adaptations across various mediums, including video games, manga, and a wildly popular anime. After the end of the anime’s second season in 2017, fans have been waiting with bated breath for news regarding a potential third season for the series. While not as long as a full season, the bumbling exploits of Kazuma and his party have been continued in KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Legend of Crimson, a new, beautiful, and hilarious film continuation of the series’ story which is sure to satisfy dedicated viewers and entertain even the most casual of anime fans.
The end of KonoSuba’s second season, which saw the party chased out of Arcanretia after defeating Hans the Deadly Poison Slime due to Aqua continually blessing and purifying the town’s hot springs, was an adaptation of KonoSuba’s fourth light novel, You Good-for-Nothing Quartet. Without skipping a beat, KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Legend of Crimson picks up immediately after the season’s conclusion and adapts the entirety of the next light novel in the series, Let’s Go, Crimson Magic of Explosion!
Yunyun, a rival to Megumin and fellow member of the Crimson Demon Clan, approaches the party seeking their help in protecting her village from the forces of Sylvia, a general of the Demon King. The party agrees to assist Yunyun and travel to the Crimson Demon village, meeting Megumin’s friends, family, and community and learning about their culture along the way to confronting and defeating Sylvia.
As the film is a direct adaptation of Let’s Go, Crimson Magic of Explosion! and thus also a sequel to KonoSuba’s second season, viewers are immediately dropped into the action without any time spent introducing the characters or establishing the setting. While this may prove jarring to viewers unfamiliar with the series, the lack of exposition is merely a minor inconvenience for casual viewers, as the film does not rely heavily on established lore, outside of Megumin being a member of the Crimson Demon Clan. There are also references to events seen in episodes of the anime series, but thankfully the film does not require detailed knowledge of past events in order to understand the story being told.
The series humor, an element which has contributed to its widespread popularity, is on full display in the film. Kazuma’s cowardice and perversion hasn’t been toned down since the end of season 2, as seen in a particularly humorous scene wherein Kazuma attempts to rationalize and justify his perverted thoughts as he shares a room with Megumin at her parents’ house.
Kazuma isn’t the only source of comedy in the film, as characters such as Sylvia, Aqua, Megumin, and the other Crimson Demons have their own prominent moments of comedy which makes every character feel involved, rather than feeling forced into a background position.
The film even features genuinely funny gags separated by eye catches throughout most of the first act in scenes that are reminiscent of the weekly anime series; though this results in a bit of odd pacing at the film’s beginning, the joke-laden road to the film’s plot quickly gives way and naturally brings viewers in to the larger story.
Sylvia herself presents a particularly interesting villain and choice for general in the Demon King’s army. Her buxom appearance immediately endures itself to Kazuma as she toys with him, switching between reciprocal flirtation to deadly threatening during her interactions with him. She plays a great comedic facilitator to Kazuma and the party and proves to be a genuinely scary enemy underneath her gorgeous exterior.
Instead of being produced by Studio Deen, the production studio responsible for the KonoSuba anime and films such as Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works and Gekijōban Meiji Tokyo Renka: Hana Kagami no Fantasia, production duties for KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Legend of Crimson were handed to studio J.C. Staff, whose work includes A Certain Magical Index: The Movie – The Miracle of Endymion and Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?: Arrow of the Orion?
J.C. Staff’s experience with animating fantasy settings and comedic moments shines through in the film: the comedic timing of the visuals delivers the weight of Kazuma’s embarrassment, Syliva’s movements and attacks are expressive, and magical spells light up the area with dazzling light displays.
Though spells, such as Megumin’s signature Explosion magic, are animated beautifully in the anime series, the film’s higher production value becomes readily apparent as J.C. Staff animates individual sparks, rays of light, and floating magical symbols alongside the already gorgeous casting spells.
Given that much of this movie takes place in the Crimson Demon village, home to an entire population of mages, the impressive light shows are consistently featured throughout the movie; J.C. Staff clearly did not fall into the pitfall of focusing their animation efforts only on the climactic moments of the story.
Unsurprisingly, the entirety of the core cast from the anime series returns to reprise their anime roles for the film. Though par-for-the-course in productions made in recent years, this reprisal contributes to the authenticity of the dialogue being delivered and the continuity of the KonoSuba story. Though Jun Fukushima (Kazuma) and Rie Takahashi (Megumin) deliver a fair amount of lines, the voice acting for smaller characters shines through thanks to performances by actors such as Aki Toyosaki (Yunyun) and Mamiko Noto (Yuiyui). Particularly enjoyable are the voice actors for the various Crimson Demons, as they bring an overly excited energy to the otaku-like magic fanboys who occupy the village.
The soundtrack, provided by Masato Koda, provides a perfect blend of comedy and genuine rising tension and action. Early comedic moments are silent, with only the eye catches featuring the quick strums of a banjo and the flourishes of a guitar, and later moments feature comedic twangs and deep bass lines.
As the film progresses, choral vocals and deep horns begin to set the stage for the troubles presented to the party by Sylvia and her army. Strangely, though KonoSuba is a comedy, the music featured in the film’s more serious moments would feel at home in a classic Castlevania game.
In every sense of the word, KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! Legend of Crimson is a fun movie. The humor is genuinely funny, the characters all feel as if they’re individuals rather than nameless faces in a crowd, and the exciting action moments are made all the better thanks to J.C. Staff’s animation. Though the film may initially seem a bit confusing to those unfamiliar with the series, this is ultimately a minor issue which should have no bearing on one’s enjoyment of the film.
If the future of KonoSuba light novel adapatations are movies on par with Legend of Crimson, KonoSuba fans, and anime fans in general, can look toward future productions with confidence.
- Genuinely funny jokes and gags
- Beautiful magic effects and animation
- A direct adapatation of the light novel, and a sequel to season 2
- Lack of character and world introduction may confuse some casual viewers