How Blessed Can You Be?
|One of the last new shows of the Winter 2016 season to air, Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo, or “Give Blessings to this Wonderful World!” was one that just felt like it had a bit of ‘something’ before the season started, but we all know that that kind of thing can be highly imaginary? So what was the reality of the show like? Let’s take a look.|
Starting with the Basics
You never think it’s the last time you’re going to see your… figures.
The show starts off with the main guy, Kazuma Satou, reflecting on his rare trip outside to go buy a new game. But due to a rare twist of fate, he tries to save a girl from his school (that he doesn’t really go to) from being run over by a truck. Too bad it wasn’t a truck, it was a tractor. And the girl wasn’t going to get hurt anyway. Kazuma just overreacted and ended up dying from the shock of trying to save someone (but this is something that we’ll get back to in a little bit). And now he’s in the afterlife, and is facing a choice. The goddess Aqua appears before him and offers him a choice: You can be reincarnated and start your life over, or you can go to heaven.
Aqua has a bit of a laugh at Kazuma’s expense
Well, actually, that’s not all there is to the choice. Who wants to start their life over as a baby? And to hear Aqua tell it, Heaven isn’t all that: a bunch of non-corporeal old people just sunbathing. “But!” (and there’s always a “but!”) there’s a third possibility. There’s another world that has isn’t so great, ruled by a Demon King, and because of that the rate of reincarnaters isn’t very high. So special offer: Kazuma can choose to go to that world, with his self intact, and try to fight the Demon King! And as an added bonus, he can choose one thing to take along with him, be it an item or ability.
Starting Off on the Odd Foot
The angel wasn’t particularly sad to see her go
The relationship between Aqua and Kazuma does get kind of a weird start. I mentioned that he didn’t really get run over, but instead died from a heart attack from the shock of thinking he was run over? Well, that’s information from Aqua, who has a bit of a laugh at Kazuma’s expense about it, including telling him that the doctors and even his parents were laughing at him for peeing his pants and having a heart attack. And she doesn’t let him off the hook saying this was a joke, instead laughing at his embarrassment and misfortune. So one question that the viewer still has, especially given her “Well, that was a fun way to let off some stress” statement is “how did Kazuma really die?” Was there actually a truck, and Aqua’s having him on? Or was it just like she says, and she’s having him on… Or does it matter? Well, perhaps in trying to figure out how reliable Aqua is as they move forward, because they’re going to spend a lot of time together.
Definitely different reactions
That’s right, Kazuma, fed up with Aqua’s hassling him, picks her as the one thing to take with him to the new world. And apparently not wanting to miss any time, an angel (played by Ai Kakuma) shows up to usher both Kazuma and the severely protesting Aqua to the new world. Said angel seems to really enjoy this task, too, so I wonder if Aqua’s not the most favorite person in the afterlife. So begins their adventure in the new world, as they try to become guild members, figure out how to make some money, and eventually settle in where they don’t want to be.
Funnier Than You Think
Sometimes you need some help (and some underwear)
The real charm of the show is that it’s pretty darn funny. Usually I don’t laugh out loud when watching TV by myself. But there were four or five times that I actually did just that during this premiere. Aqua’s a lot of fun, even as she’s not really the main focus of the show. She’s got the right kind of attitude, poking Kazuma as a “Hiki-Neet”, being just a bit self-aggrandizing as a goddess, and partying it up and eventually getting along with Kazuma. And Kazuma plays off her pretty well, with not a little of his own arrogance, and just a little spite like that which led him to select Aqua in the first place. And his ability to ‘play the game’ of the adventuring world, even if it’s not actually a game, is in a good contrast to her naivete, and at least sets her up for some successes.
When goddesses drink with the guys…
But really, there’s no one ‘great’ thing about this show, it’s more that the whole thing is just a lot of fun. The montage that ends this first episode is a good example of this, repetitive but adding things each time through, from working and sleeping in a dirty stable to working and eating to working and eating and partying and barfing to their own sheets to give them a clean stable to lie in. But next episode, we’re probably going to get to that adventuring thing, with average but lucky Kazuma and highly capable but not too bright or lucky Aqua.
…they barf rainbows
I said in the Preview that Studio Deen doesn’t mean what it used to mean. And this show is a perfect example of it. It looks good, it’s well animated, it is exciting and interesting and even a bit different, both character-wise and looks. Good direction, and good voice work by Sora Amamiya and Jun Fukushima, made this one a lot of fun to watch. I’m hoping that keeps up throughout the rest of the season.