Anime Movie Review: KONOSUBA -God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World!- Legend of Crimson

Details: More information can be found at https://myanimelist.net/anime/38040/Kono_Subarashii_Sekai_ni_Shukufuku_wo__Kurenai_Densetsu and you can watch it for free at https://www.crunchyroll.com/konosuba-gods-blessing-on-this-wonderful-world/konosuba-gods-blessing-on-this-wonderful-world-legend-of-crimson-konosuba-gods-blessing-on-this-wonderful-world-legend-of-crimson-794436

Score: 7/10

Legend of Crimson is a movie spawned by the fairly popular anime, Konosuba. While I greatly enjoyed this comedy, the movie was somewhat disappointing as it lacked that higher level of animation quality you’d expect from a movie. What’s also sad is that even though the humor is exactly the same here as in the anime series, I didn’t find it as funny. I think I just grew out of this type of humor and don’t enjoy it as much anymore.

Konosuba is an isekai story. Generally in these types of stories, someone from the real world dies and is reborn into another world, usually a fantasy world. That person is usually granted immense power as isekai stories are usually power fantasies. However, this is a comedy and our protagonist is reborn into the new world with almost no power. Now, we get to watch our unfortunate, sleazy protagonist flail about while meeting other oddballs in this new world.

One of the funniest parts of this anime is watching these pathetic characters struggle. Most scenes usually start off with our protagonists confident in their ability to handle the situation. Then the true danger appears and we get to watch our protagonists crumble into a pile of cowardly dust. They play up this scene structure over and over again and mostly, it’s hilarious. It’s almost always funny watching an arrogant character knocked into the shadow realm of humility again and again. Also funny is watching how these characters start off trying to be decent human beings, but once a situation escalates, they degenerate into the vile of characters. The main draw of Konosuba is watching these cowardly, perverse, sleazy characters flail about as the world their in continues to throw them in difficult situations.

My biggest gripe with this movie is the animation. The animation quality is about the same as the anime series, which isn’t terrible. It’s just that you’d expect a movie to up the quality just a bit over an episodic series because a movie is just one big episode. I don’t know how their budgeting and time management went, but the higher quality of animation just isn’t here.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie, but it could’ve been better. Also worth mentioning is that there is a lot of fan service in this show… though some of the fan service is turned around on you into a fairly hilarious joke. I won’t explain it more than that for fear of spoiling the plot.

Manhwa Review: SSS-Class Suicide Hunter

Details: Currently ongoing. Also known as SSS급 자살헌터.

Score: 6.9/10

SSS-Class Suicide Hunter starts off as a refreshing take on the overdone Korean-isekai-dungeon-raiding genre. Sadly, this only applies to the first one or two story arcs before settling in the same old redundant narrative pattern that all manhwa comics in this genre fall into.

Kind of like Tower of God, our protagonist lives in a tower, which is like this multidimensional construct with multiple floors. Each floor is like a separate world. There are lots of other people in this tower and their goal is all the same: they want to ascend the tower and obtain power, glory, or whatever it is at the top of the tower. Anyone who enters the tower is granted powers, except that our protagonist has not yet been granted one. One day while consumed with envy, our protagonist gets the power to steal an ability from another player, but it only activates when he’s killed by that player. He is later killed by that player and gains the power to reborn. So begins a story where the protagonist dies over and over again in order to gain more abilities, grow stronger and ascend the tower.

The strongest part of this comic is the concept. The idea of being killed in order to get stronger is interesting. Unfortunately, it just turns into slightly more creative take similar to the anime Re:Zero or the movie Groundhog’s Day. There was some real revenge film vibes at first, but then it just turns into doing tasks and climbing the tower… which I’ve read plenty of times in other web comics.

The art is good and that is a good selling point.

Overall, this is just another standard genre comic that starts off okay, but falls back into tropes later on. I’ll still keep up with it because the art is good and the hope that it’ll try something different than what the other comics in this genre are doing.

Manhwa Review: The Max Level Hero Has Returned!

Details: Currently ongoing. Also known as 만렙 영웅님 께서 귀환 하신다!

Score: 7/10

This comic is yet another fantasy story about an overpowered protagonist and follows many of the tropes of the isekai genre.

The story takes place in a fantasy world of magic, monster and kingdoms. The protagonist is a young prince when he is attacked and rendered comatose. While comatose, the kid somehow ends up in the afterlife of heroes. There he trains for a thousand years in all manner of combat and magic. He later returns to his body with the knowledge and experience he gained from that experience. Now, the prince will use all his strength from a thousand years of training to get revenge on those who tried to kill him.

Overall, this is another generic Korean isekai manhwa that is saved purely by how decent the art is. The art is still not as good as Solo Leveling, but it’s decent enough that I got some enjoyment from the story. Narratively, there is nothing new in this manhwa that hundreds of other manhwa have not already done.

Manga Review: Gate – Where the JSDF Fought

The above trailer is for the anime. This review is for the manga.

Details: Currently ongoing. Also known as GATE – Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri and ゲート 自衛隊彼の地にて、斯く戦えり.

Score: 7/10

Gate – Where the JSDF Fought is interesting in that it combines the tropes of a fantasy isekai story with those of a military/gun fanatic story.

The story starts off in modern Japan. A magical gate has appeared in Shibuya and an army seemingly from a fantasy world shows up and starts killing people. The Japanese Defense force shows up and repels the invading army back into the gate. Fearing what else will come out of the gate, the Japanese Defense Force is ordered to enter the gate and deal with whatever threats they find inside the gate.

The first story arc is simply military supremacy. The enemy is medieval and the Japanese Defense Force has guns. It’s a one sided slaughter. The story gets more interesting as the plot tries to tell a sort of realistic story about how Japan would try to establish diplomatic relations with a medieval society in a fantasy world. There are tons of new threats for the Japanese government to deal with like new natural resources on the other side that need to be negotiated for, nations that could be easily destroyed but are negotiated with for the sake of peace, new natural disasters like the presence of dragons that can survive bombs and machine guns, and a whole bunch of fantasy world problems that will be dealt with modern diplomacy and weaponry.

The other main part of the story is a harem story. The main character is a Japanese special forces soldier who is also an otaku or nerd. He loves manga and anime and all the other stuff that comes with it. Over the course of the story, he meets all sorts of classic, fetishized female tropes that you normally see in anime and they become of the core group of characters. It’s very harem-esque. There is much fan service. It’s an interesting juxtaposition of glorifying the Japanese military while also showing off scantily clad, well endowed anime girls.

Personally, I found the otaku tropes generic and overdone, but I really enjoyed the military and political aspects of the story, even though they are a bit oversimplified and glorify Japanese integrity quite a bit. Some people might find the pro Japanese military stuff objectionable, but I didn’t mind it at all. Every country that produces entertainment also produces stuff that makes that country look good. I’ve read quite a bit of Korean Manhwa and they never hesitate to include some Japanese characters as the bad guys. American media often casts bad guys as Russians or Nazis. The Chinese government doesn’t even allow their entertainment industry to touch upon politics unless it is a blatant attempt to make China look good and foreigners bad. Every country does this sort of thing and I found the presence of this in this manga to be minor and not take away too much from my enjoyment of this story.

The art is fine.

Overall, I enjoyed this manga. It’s something unique in that I can’t recall seeing a story that combined classic anime tropes with military glorification. It’s definitely something new to me and new is often more than enough to keep me entertained.

Manga Review: The Death Mage Who Doesn’t Want a Fourth Time

Details: Currently ongoing. Also known as Yondome wa Iyana Shi Zokusei Majutsushi and 四度目は嫌な死属性魔術師.

Score: 6/10

This story starts out a bit tragic, but eventually turns into a somewhat boring isekai story with tons of fan service.

The story focuses on a Japanese high school student who dies along with his class. A god shows up and reincarnates them all into another world. However, the god screws up and instead of reincarnating our protagonist into a good life, he reincarnates into a living hell where is is tortured for decades. After our protagonist dies a second time, the god shows up again and reincarnates him into a third life in hopes of things being a little better. In this new world, he is reborn as a half vampire in a fantasy world and must find a way to survive another difficult circumstance.

The story starts very tragic. When he reincarnates the first time to his second life, the tone of the story is fairly serious. When he reincarnates the second time to his third life, the tone remains dark and serious, but lightens up considerably. While I like happy stories, this lightening of the tone of this story made the story far less interesting and far more boring. At the current issue of the story, the protagonist is overpowered and surrounded by a large breasted harem of female characters. Basically, the story became a generic isekai/ harem story.

The art is not very good.

Overall, this was a skippable story. It started off with some promise, but that promise was squandered. I don’t recommend reading this.