Top 10 Anime Shows I Initially Misjudged

I know this may come as a shock to some people, but I have been known to be wrong from time to time. Not often, of course, but it does happen.

They say to never judge a book by its cover, but it’s not like I’m going to listen to those people because they usually look smug or pretentious and therefore probably don’t know what they’re talking about.

But perhaps I should have listened, because if I had, maybe I would have given these ten shows a chance instead of ruling them out from the start.

You see, for one reason or another – be it awful character designs, wobbly animation, a generic show summary, crazy faces or maybe soulless, dead-eyed characters from the uncanny valley – every now and then a show will look like it’s going to be terrible. And I will immediately judge it as such and strike it from my watch list without even bothering to watch the first episode. Once upon a time I would try to watch at least the first episode of every anime series that looked like it was in my wheelhouse, but these days I’m a very lazy busy man so I don’t have the time or desire to watch everything. As a result, I may have prematurely ejected a few shows I should not have.

So here are ten shows I initially passed on, only to later give them a try and discover that I totally misjudged them. And yes, there are only ten because to list any more would mean I’ve made more than ten mistakes, and that’s just crazy talk.

10. Kakegurui

kakegurui

Why I initially misjudged it:

Kakegurui means “compulsive gambler.” I’ve never been overly fond of gambling personally. I’m the type that finds it more anxiety-inducing than thrilling. So that wasn’t an initial draw.

Additionally, it was clear from the previews about this show that most of the characters were ultra-rich high school students throwing around money like it was nothing in an attempt to destroy or own one another (more on that in a second). All of the characters were likely sociopaths, including the main character. Given how many shows I’ve enjoyed with characters that are terrible people, you’d think that would be a draw, but just the notion itself is a turn-off.

The aspect that really turned me off was the idea that students who lose at gambling and go into debt become “pets,” which is just a nicer way of saying they’re slaves or indentured servants. Slavery is not okay and it says a lot about characters who are complicit in it.

Lastly there’s the animation style, with wild and distorted crazy faces. If you read my last post you’ll note that I stated that I’m not a fan of that style while discussing Asobi Asobase.

So between gambling, sociopaths, slaves and crazy faces, this was not checking any of my boxes

Why I was wrong:

I still don’t like the house pet aspect and the cruel and dehumanizing way in which they are treated. It’s exactly what I was afraid of.

Beyond that though, this series is flat out crazy. The main character is truly fascinating and her behavior really sold the show. Yumeko Jabami is rational and calculating yet also completely and utterly insane. She doesn’t just enjoy gambling, she LOVES the thrill of putting everything on the line, including her own life. It’s literally orgasmic for her.

yumeko-jabami

Literally!

Her intelligence backed by her brand of insanity that out-crazied her opponents were her greatest strengths. Watching how she managed to win out in clearly rigged games was really fun and thrilling.

The male protagonist is probably the only sane one in the show, and he’s there as a stabilizing element. The other characters are pretty detestable at first, but grow on you as their tables are turned and they become “friends” with Jabami. Mary is the typical entitled rich girl who stacks the deck in her favor and treats pets terribly, only to have a reversal of fortune when Jabami beats her and she becomes a pet herself. Itsuki collects fingernails from those she beats by plying them right off the finger. The idol, Yumemi, is of course the polar opposite of her bright and cheery stage persona and is disgusted by her otaku fans. Midari is just plain psychotic and sadistic, masturbating with a gun to the idea of death games such as Russian roulette, and admittedly she never becomes completely like-able. The student council president, Kirari, who devised the pet system, is of course the most sociopathic of the bunch.

There was very little about this show that I would normally enjoy, but I found myself really enjoying it nonetheless.

9. Recovery of an MMO Junkie

netojuu_no_susume

Why I initially misjudged it:

To be honest, I’m not a fan of MMORPGs, and this was essentially a show about a woman who quits her job to become a NEET and spends most of her time playing an online game. It was essentially another isekai show only instead of actually being transported into an online video game world, the characters would just interact within one as they play.

The twist here was that it was a romance between a woman playing as a male avatar and a male playing as a female avatar.

I liked the concept of the main character being an older female but I wasn’t sure the nerd romance angle could be handled well. Past experience has demonstrated it rarely works.

Why I was wrong:

This one actually worked! The writing was quite well done. Characters were like-able and relate-able and it was very easy to root for the main couple to get together.

Moriko was very believable as a career woman who had grown tired of corporate drudgery and wanted to seek a more fulfilling life. She was a bit awkward socially and didn’t focus too much on her looks. Yuta was a genuinely nice guy.

Also, the closing credits animation montage of Moriko from the point of view of her laptop camera is so ridiculously cute it’s not even fair! I usually skip opening and closing credits after the first time but I watched this one every time.

Squeeee!!!

The show itself was actually balanced well between reality and the game. It may actually take place within the real world more than the virtual world, certainly far more than I was expecting, so that was a pleasant surprise. The writing worked well in having these two gender-swapped characters interacting in the online world and the real world, but themselves not aware of the other’s online persona. But over time, the stories they tell each other online lead them to suspect that perhaps they are one and the same. It’s a pretty straight-forward romance tale but that doesn’t make it any less sweet and entertaining.

8. Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor

Akashic Records

Why I initially misjudged it:

Let’s start with the stupid, grammatically incorrect title. While it could be worse (looking at you Testament of Sister New Devil and World Break Aria of Curse for a Holy Swordsman), it’s still not great. And while we’re on the subject of stupid things, I should probably bring up the ridiculously revealing school uniforms (lingerie?) in this show. While my garter fetish had me personally digging the design, they are completely impractical and inappropriate for a school uniform.

Additionally, the show looked like it was going to be another generic magic academy series complete with a harem angle, only the twist being that the protagonist is a bad-boy instructor. Early reviews of the first episode also claimed that his lazy attitude made him more annoying than cool so that didn’t help. So at this point it was almost too easy to cue up the standard tropes to be expected: underrated protagonist who ends up being super powerful; super-serious and stubborn female rankled by protagonist’s uncouth behavior; overly kind and patient but air-headed female; requisite magic tournament; obligatory fanservice; yada yada yada.

Why I was wrong:

To be perfectly frank, I wasn’t entirely wrong. Almost all the tropes I listed above were correct and Glenn, the titular ‘bastard magic instructor,’ leaned more towards annoying than fun in the first episode. But I must admit to being pleasantly surprised by how downplayed these tropes were overall. Fanservice was limited and the magic tournament was more of a school activity than the whole overarching plot as is often the case in magic academy shows.

Sistine, the first female protagonist, was indeed constantly bothered by the teacher’s lackadaisical attitude and cynical dismissal of magic, but he won her over quite quickly once he got his act together and demonstrated his deep knowledge of magic and his reasons for not relying on it – even if her opinion was the opposite. Saving her from being raped didn’t hurt either (though granted this was a cliché damsel in distress moment I’m not particularly fond of).

sistine_wedding

Spoilers: They even get married! …Ok, not really.

As for the male protagonist, the series did a course correction on him by episode 2. In some ways it’s almost as if he were a completely different character, but since it was for the better I was certainly willing to overlook that. While still cynical and lazy, he did start to take teaching seriously and began demonstrating genuine support for his students. Additionally, he’s a former assassin with a dark past, and having seen the effects and misuse of magic, has a special ability wherein he cancels out all magic including his own, thereby relying on hand to hand combat skills alone.

Sistine is nowhere near as obnoxious as others of her ilk and is actually quite like-able. That rarely happens with me when it comes to these types of characters so that is very notable. Rumia is the typical princess in disguise but she’s not air-headed as I initially believed and is very compassionate and supportive. She’s a good egg. Immortal mage Celica, who forcefully coerced Glenn to teach since she saw his potential, is sadly underutilized over the course of the show, but I really liked her character and design.

Overall this was a fun series and I enjoyed seeing how Glenn and company would manage to wriggle their way out of the many predicaments.

7. Prison School

BS-XXXXX 111001C1 Combo Pack LE BD13

Why I initially misjudged it:

There were three primary reasons for why I wasn’t interested in this show. The first is one you’ll see pop up on several of the shows on this list: Men being treated like prisoners or second-class citizens at a former all-girls school (I’d feel similarly if the gender roles were reversed, it’s just not very common). As you’ve probably gathered from my previous posts (assuming you’ve read them), I’m an equality guy, so these kind of premises always rub me the wrong way.

The second reason was the over-sexualization of Meiko. I get that the show is satire but the warden wearing clothes that were far too tight to the point where she was bursting out of them was more of a turn-off than an attraction. That she seemed to enjoy beating male characters while simultaneously enticing them didn’t do her any favors.

The final reason was the crazy faces and the designs. I’ve touched on the crazy faces thing before so I don’t think I need to do so again, but as for the designs, just look at the face of the big character, Andre. That was just plain disturbing to me, with his tiny little face on a huge head with exaggerated ears. *Shivers*

Why I was wrong:

This show is actually pretty funny.

The punishment the underground student council dispenses on the “prisoners” often backfires because most of them are masochists. And Hana’s attempts to embarrass Kiyoshi always end up with her in a more embarrassing position, which is amusing given how cruel she is at the beginning. I did end up liking her by the end, and her scenes with Kiyoshi were pretty hot and sexually charged.

The bespectacled otaku and strategist Gakuto is eccentric in all the right ways and is definitely a stand-up guy that you can’t help but like. The things he does to assist, such as shitting himself in front of the class to record the bathroom noises or pulling down the underground student council president’s skirt purposefully as a distraction are things only a good friend would do.

The school’s chairman is also highly amusing. He talks in a very dramatic way, using pauses to create a larger impact for inane statements and he’s a self-described “ass-man.” In fact, he could be a helpful ally for the boys except that his obsession with female asses tends to only make things more difficult for them.

prison school assman

Some of the violence can be a bit excessive and Meiko’s sweating is like a flood, but overall the series is funny and clever. You’ll also never think of mushrooms the same way again. Or nipple hair.

6. One Punch Man

one punch man

Why I initially misjudged it:

Admittedly my primary reason for avoiding this show was the hype. I had never heard of One Punch Man and what seemed like out of the blue the whole world is going on about how highly anticipated and amazing this show is going to be.

I didn’t get it. It was a show about a ridiculous-looking bald guy who can defeat anyone with one punch. Yes, I understood that it was parody but it seemed to me as though it would be either anti-climactic or just the same joke/gimmick each episode.

The animation style also looked a little on the cheap or overly-cartoony side so it wasn’t exactly calling to me.

Why I was wrong:

It was actually all the things I stated above but admittedly it was very funny. It pretty much had me hooked as soon as Saitama (the titular one-punch man) saw the ball-chinned boy and realized that boy was in trouble after just having passed the monster looking to kill a ball-chinned boy. The part where the colossus stupidly squashes his own brother instead of Saitama was chuckle-inducing as well.

Saitama himself was great in how calmly and casually he took everything, especially that he believed the source of his power was just from working out for a few hours a day. The storyline that nobody believed he could be that strong so they weren’t willing to grant him a top-tier rank was amusing, especially given that a low rank would put him in the same category as a hero named Mumen Rider (he rides a bike, but with justice in his heart!).

mumen rider

“The bicyclist for justice, Mumen Rider, is here!”

The show’s biggest drawback was its glacial pace, which I was kind of expecting. When your hero can kill anything with one punch it requires a lot of time-killing in a 22-minute episode. Admittedly though, the one punch thing was pretty funny each time, like when he lightly swatted the mosquito creature and sent her rocketing into a big blood stain on the side of a building.

Overall it was a great show with a memorable cast of character and I’m glad I gave it a go. I’m not sure it lived up to the hype but it was certainly enjoyable enough.

5. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K

SaikiK

Why I initially misjudged it:

Okay, I’m going to be honest on this one, I only vaguely recall seeing a preview blurb for this series. I do believe that my initial reason for passing on it was because of the artwork of a pink-haired guy with weird antennae poking out of his head and sporting green-tinted glasses. It also mentioned something about the main character’s everyday life being a pain because he’s an incredibly powerful psychic. Plus the visuals seemed a little too psychedelic and trippy.

Like One Punch Man, this sounded like just another generic anime “comedy” about an overpowered character being angsty about being so overpowered that life is boring. It takes a deft touch to pull this sort of thing off successfully or without the character being aggravating.

Why I was wrong:

The show is a parody and is extremely funny. We’re not really made to sympathize too much with Saiki’s abilities because they are extremely useful and cool, but more that we feel bad for all the crazy scenarios he gets pulled into by the eccentric cast of characters that surround him. Saiki just wants a normal life, but that is clearly impossible given the hand he’s been dealt.

What makes this show work is both the short-form format and the zany cast. Each episode consists of about five short stories. Sometimes they are multi-part shorts, other times they are standalone. The short format is nice because it allows the writing to move quickly through the plot to get to the punchline. Granted I did always find myself wishing for more than just five chapters each episode, but the format itself makes certain that a joke doesn’t wear itself thin.

All of the side characters in the show are parodies of the stereotypes often seen in anime. Saiki himself, despite his powers, is clearly the most grounded and normal character (with the exception of his idol, the perfectly normal average kid). His parents are super-lovey-dovey, though his father is pathetic and incompetent while his mother is overly sweet – most of the time. Kaido is the typical chuunibyou, Hairo is the fired-up athlete do-gooder parody of a sports anime protagonist, Chiyo is the hopeless romantic with unrealistic expectations as well as bad luck, while Mera is the impoverished girl who holds down several part-time jobs to support her family yet binge eats whenever she can. Then of course there’s Teruhashi, who is the sweet on the outside but incredibly vain on the inside school idol/angel that makes everyone say “oh!,” only to fall for the perfectly average looking and “boring” Saiki because he can read her mind and therefore refuses to lavish the praise and attention on her that she’s accustomed to. And last but not least is Nendou, the ball-chinned physically mature guy with a terrible haircut who looks like he was beaten with an ugly stick. He looks like a gang-member but is in reality super-friendly and honorable, with an obsession for ramen. Oh, and he’s a complete imbecile; so much so that Saiki can’t read his mind or his presence because there’s nothing between his ears.

teruhashi_nendou

Nendou or Teruhashi? Which is which?

What I like about the show is how it manages to satirize anime tropes by having Saiki himself make these occurrences commonplace through his psychic ability to change the world’s perception. For example, being born with pink hair would make him stand out. No problem, just cause everyone to think that pink hair is perfectly natural and voila, low profile. If only the rest of Saiki’s life were so easy…

4. Interviews with Monster Girls

interview demis

Why I initially misjudged it:

Monster girl anime had become all the rage lately, what with shows like Monster Musume: Everyday Life With Monster Girls and A Centaur’s Daily Life. This one didn’t look to break the mold. Its title was even really similar to Everyday Life With Monster Girls.

In fairness, I didn’t have anything against the show. It looked like it was going to be a sweet slice-of-life show about demi-human girls being adorably cute. It just didn’t really seem to be bringing anything new to the table and wasn’t really pushing any of my buttons, so I initially passed on it.

Why I was wrong:

I actually was completely spot on in my assessment of the show. It was a cute slice-of-life show about super-cute monster girls. But you know what, sometimes that’s okay. When I decided to binge it, that was exactly what I needed at the time.

I decided to check out this show because I saw it was getting some pretty good buzz on social media. What makes this series stand out from the others was its focus on the characters. They weren’t all shallow stereotypes and the spin on discovering more about the modern-day reality versus the mythology of these supernatural creatures of folklore was a nice change of pace.

The primary two characters that sold this show for me were the ironically named vampire, Hikari (hikari means “light” in Japanese), and the succubus math teacher, Satie, who constantly needs to cover up her skin to prevent her natural aphrodisiac effect from arousing men.

Hikari is energetic and a bit of a trouble-maker, but she’s mischievous in a fun way. She’s very much the opposite of what you’d expect of a vampire.

Not your typical vampire

Satie’s arc is interesting in that it really delves into what life would be like for someone who naturally tempts men and therefore could be considered a danger to society if she were to use it to her advantage. But more importantly, she’s never sure whether someone loves her for who she is as a person versus simply being enthralled by her spell, and therefore having to be ever vigilant with how she exposes herself and also as a result, quite lonely. I found the notion quite fascinating and the series explored it well.

3. Armed Girls Machiavellism

Armed Girls Machiavellism

Why I initially misjudged it:

Season preview guides noted that this was a show about a group of sword-wielding girls at a formerly all-girls’ school with the authority to “correct” the behavior of male attendees by forcing them to choose between cross-dressing or expulsion. The new transfer student is naturally rebellious to that and strong enough to fight back. This is a pretty standard plot for an anime series.

My primary issues were three-fold. First, it reminded me a lot of Freezing, in that it clearly would be the primary protagonist having to battle his way through the gauntlet of female sword-wielders (swords-women? Swordspeople?). Freezing rubbed me the wrong way because the female antagonists-turned-allies were horrible bullies, and I don’t take kindly to bullying. It’s hard to find a character like-able after they were a complete shit-heel, only changing their ways because someone stronger put them in their place. I feared this show would take a similar tack with the girls, especially given that this would clearly result in a harem for the protagonist by the end.

Secondly, I’m admittedly not a huge fan of ‘run the gauntlet’ plots. Too much antagonism, I suppose. And often it sets the stage for the protagonist to face ever increasing odds and ass-pulling new unforeseen skills to use at just the right time.

And lastly, the whole cross-dressing aspect reeked of sexism and, much like gay jokes in today’s culture, rather stale and outdated as humor. It didn’t seem funny so much as borderline cringe-worthy. I’m not one to be overly-sensitive about political correctness and such, but there are some things that toe the line for me, and this was one of them.

Oh, and I’m also not a fan of men beating up women. Call me crazy or gentlemanly like that.

Why I was wrong:

I still didn’t like the cross-dressing aspect. It just felt weird.

Aside from that though, the girls weren’t terrible bullies. They were mostly uninformed and paranoid, fearing men were immoral animals and therefore needed to suppress them.

The plot of the show is essentially male protagonist Fudou needing to get stamps from all five girls to earn a leave of absence from the school’s academy. Of course this means having to defeat them all in battle. Fudou is a self-confident and rebellious sort with the strength and skills to back it up, and I’ve found myself really digging that sort of character in anime these days, especially given the frustrating milk-toast protagonists we usually get.

Rin, the demon-masked leader, was defeated by Fudou in the first episode, and in addition to an accidental kiss, switched loyalties pretty quickly, even if too tsundere to admit it. Mary is amusing in that she thinks all men are perverted pigs but is surprised (and offended) that Fudou won’t grope her, even though deep down she kind of wants him to. Warabi is your typical haughty loli-ish character, but the fact that she didn’t openly fall for the protagonist after falling to him (though her pet bear did!) was something different. She also became a staunch ally thereafter. I was also surprised by the twist with the blind (and strongest) swords-woman, Tsukuyo, in that Fudou never really fought her as we all expected.

Satori is pretty much the topper for me though, what with her unpredictably insane personality, blackmailing Fudou by posing in a compromising position with him and later going full Eastern Promises by intentionally fighting him in the buff by the bath as part of her strategy.

satorieasternpromises

Who Didn’t Wear It Better?

This method of distraction solidified her capacity for craftiness, determination and craziness. That Fudou then reciprocated by removing his own clothes made the fight something different from the norm and even more sexually charged, yet slightly discomforting at the same time.

The action is good and the fights are rather unique, such as Fudou sumo wrestling a bear – with both wearing a mawashi (sumo loincloth) – and the aforementioned nude bath fight. This series isn’t breaking too many molds and the girls are mostly based on stereotypes, but it’s fun. And isn’t that what makes a show enjoyable?

2. Saekano ~How to Raise A Boring Girlfriend~

saekano

Why I initially misjudged it:

Saekano initially just looked to be another generic harem about a high-school loser and his gal-pals trying to make a visual novel/eroge. Nonetheless, I did decide to give it a chance by watching episode 0 when it came out. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this episode was a bad way to introduce the show to a new audience. For starters, episode 0 works much better if you watch it last, not first, as the full cast is already assembled and working on their visual novel. While I get that it’s a way to introduce said cast and that it is specifically not episode one, being thrown in the middle of a story is confusing and off-putting, and this was clearly catered to already-established fans of the light novel.

That aside, the episode started out as being a bit too meta, with the characters making commentary about the genre in general by using their game and its script as a means of breaking the fourth wall, essentially winking at the audience that it’s in on the joke. While the series is generally smarter in the manner with which it treads familiar ground, this doesn’t help when the show itself tends to revel in many of the cliché trappings of the genre in a non-joking manner quite often. You can’t always have your cake and eat it too. So that aspect didn’t do it any favors.

In addition, and probably the most damning, was the level of fanservice in this episode. Each girl got their share of screen-time with the beta-male protagonist, Tomoya Aki, throwing themselves at him while the camera lingered and ogled their half-naked bodies a tad too much. This aspect seemingly-confirmed my fears that the show would be nothing more than a cheesecake fanservice harem show.

Ironically, the only girl that didn’t really throw herself at the protagonist was the titular boring girlfriend, Megumi Kato, and her more subdued characterization only served to reiterate the ‘boring’ aspect of the title even though the end of the episode gave the impression that she might be the one to win the protagonist’s heart in the end. Suffice it to say, I was not overly enamored with her or the show as a whole.

Why I was wrong:

In two words: Megumi Kato. And yes, the irony is not lost on me. While it may have taken a couple of episodes for her to win me over, when she did it was utterly and completely. Megumi may just be the most realistic depiction of a character in any anime I’ve ever seen.

While her compatriots hew more towards tropes, with half-Japanese blonde tsundere Eriri Spencer Sawamura being an amazing doujinshi artist trying to hide her otaku side and the prestigious, idolized Utaha Kasumigaoka secretly being a famous light novel author, Megumi is perfectly ordinary. She doesn’t stand out, she doesn’t have any exceptional skills, she’s not popular. She just is. She’s honest and sincere, reacts amusingly as one would expect when constantly referred to as ‘ordinary’ and ultimately just sort of accepts, albeit reluctantly at first, being the model for the game’s heroine without fully understanding what that means. But she holds no judgment towards Tomoya for his otaku lifestyle and appreciates the friendship she establishes with Eriri. But while she often lacks passion, she is curious to learn and assist, and she’s not afraid to stand up for herself or call out Tomoya when he acts selfishly.

I didn’t want her to end up with the Tomoya in the end, and thus I particularly appreciated the scene when she sets him straight when he thought maybe she was upset with him because she liked him, explaining that he has done nothing to earn her love, so why would she?

The look says it all…

It is indeed a meta moment, but a realistic one, pointing out the ridiculousness of beta-male protagonists in anime being the envy of a bevy of women for inexplicable reasons other than “because protagonist.” Sure, there lurks the possibility that she may in actuality hold some feelings for him, and while she naturally acts like his other half and is comfortable enough with him to hang out/bathe/sleep over at his house – schoolmates actually comment that they’re like a married couple – she understands that her role is to be his muse.

Despite my referring to them as trope-ish earlier, the other characters are like-able as well and actually show some growth over the course of the series, and as stated before, when it’s not pointedly analyzing or skewering its own genre, the series does stand out for at least using the staples of the genre in an intelligent way. It’s an enjoyable series overall and I’m glad I gave it a second chance.

1. Konosuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!

konosuba

Why I initially misjudged it:

On most season preview guides, the summary for this show amounted to “Otaku dies heroically and meets a goddess in the afterlife who offers him a chance to live again in a video game-like world of magic and fantasy where he must defeat the demon lord, but as a bonus he can bring one item of value with him. In this case, the otaku chooses to bring the goddess with him.” Notice how that sounds like every other show about an otaku/NEET that wakes up in another world? Or that the word “goddess” could almost be interchangeable with “smartphone” or “the ability to reset time” or “being super-overpowered” and that it sounds about as unoriginal as you can get? Yeah, that’s how I read it. I’ve had just about enough of these Sword Art Online clones, so I had already mentally passed on this before I had even finished reading the full summary.

Additionally, as physically pleasing as the characters appeared, any video previews or gifs of the show that I saw made the animation look a bit wonky. Animation quality seemed a bit too fluid – like watery jello fluid, not smooth fluid – and things that I thought were meant to be sexy seemed a bit off-putting instead, such as how breasts seemed to defy the laws of physics in almost unsettling ways and succubi looked more blobby than enticing. That combined with the generic summary left me with no inclination to ever watch this show.

Why I was wrong:

This. Series. Is. Fucking. Hilarious! I could not have been more wrong about this show and I blame every preview website for not saying that this show is essentially a parody that flips the clichés of all those “waking up in another world” (isekai) shows on their head.

For starters, protagonist Kazuma doesn’t really die heroically saving a girl from an oncoming truck. Instead he mistakes a slow-moving tractor for a truck, pushes the girl out of the way and then dies of shock while (allegedly) pissing himself. And then the conceited goddess, Aqua, mocks him for it, so he uses the “bring anything” loophole to bring her with him to the new world out of spite.

One would imagine that being reborn in an RPG-like world would mean that Kazuma and Aqua would be going on quests and constantly adventuring. Nope, they mostly spend their time in the town doing menial labor to earn some money and living in a barn because they’re poor and Aqua spends all their funds at the bar. Despite that, the plot is certainly not boring.

That’s because what really makes the show are the dysfunctional characters. Kazuma (“I’m Kazuma”) is one of the better male protagonists in anime. He’s a former otaku and has a bit of a perverted streak, but he’s a good guy and probably the only sane person in this crazy world. He’s registered as an adventurer, but since all of his stats are average, with the exception of high intelligence and luck, he doesn’t have any particular skills. He does use what he has to great effect though.

Aqua is completely useless and obsessed with being revered. As a Goddess, she has extremely high magic stats and can purify water or raise the dead, but not surprisingly her intelligence is really low. It doesn’t help that she spends all of her XP on stupid parlor tricks instead of useful magic.

konosuba-aqua-water-trick

Useless Goddess

Darkness is a hardcore masochist. She’s a knight who can’t hit anything with her sword but she loves taking abuse while defending others. And I mean LOVES the idea of being abused and potentially physically and sexually tortured. She’s clearly not in her right mind but her heart is in the right place most of the time.

Last but certainly not least is my favorite, Megumin, a black mage who will only invest in the powerful explosion magic and nothing else. Unfortunately she can only use it once per day and she’ll expend all her energy in the process, her body collapsing and being completely unable to move immediately afterwards.

Explosion GIF

“EXPLOSION!!!!”

Her people are also basically like chuunibyou, so they all have weird names and crazy fashion sense, with bandages and eyepatches. She honestly believes that Chunchunmaru is an awesome name for a sword and thus permanently brands Kazuma’s legendary sword that name before he can give it a name of his own.

I could honestly go on and on as there are so many great and funny moments in this series, but I recommend you check it out for yourself. You will not be disappointed!

Until next time!

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