Okay, so Konosuba I’m not writing out that whole title again is an isekai comedy written by Natsume Akatsuki and is the first novel in a long-running series. (Also for those who don’t know isekai is a Japanese word for other world and will be used frequently in this review). The series follows its protagonist Kazuma Sato as he blunders his way through his journey where the only thing he really has going for him is his above-average luck and genre awareness.
So as mentioned above Konosuba is extensively a comedy. Said comedy is mostly drawn from subverting tropes commonly found in its second genre: Isekai. You see the isekai genre as it currently exists mainly contains teenage male power fantasies; stories where a normal nerd can gain insane amounts of strength, power, and magic with about as much effort as it takes to open a bag of chips. This is not the case for Konosuba’s protagonist however as he is recognized in-universe as one of the weakest adventurers in the guild. Additionally, this is not something that changes later in the book with Kazuma’s biggest achievement by the end of the novel being the fact that he killed a larger-than-normal amount of sentient cabbages during the harvest.
Another bit of comedic subversion in this book is how Kazuma’s team is set up. You see in normal isekai stories the protagonist is typically surrounded by a party whose gender ratio generally leans in the opposite direction to the protagonist, i.e. if the protagonist is male there will be a disproportionate amount of females. However, the subversion with Kazuma’s group is not that they are mostly male but rather the fact that they are completely worthless. With a group that consists of a healer who refuses to do anything unless she’s in crippling debt, a wizard who only knows one spell that can be cast once per day, and a paladin who can’t hit a target that is standing right in front of her Kazuma almost has to play the role of babysitter for the group of idiots that he found himself with.
None of this is to say that Kazuma himself is not also an idiot, he is, just less than the others. For example, the only reason the group’s healer, Aqua, is with the group is because Kazuma dragged her along. You see in this novel Kazuma is brought to his new world after he died a tragic death in our own. Upon dying he met Aqua, who claimed to be a goddess who could send him to a new world with one item or power of his choosing. However since Aqua mocked the way Kazuma died, in an act of pettiness he decided to bring Aqua with him to the new world.
However, I have gushed about this book for long enough and need to finish this review somehow. All in all, I personally believe that if you are a fan of the isekai genre this is a novel worth picking up and if you aren’t this novel still contains its fair share of good jokes.