Konosuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! was something of a breakaway hit when it debuted in 2016, introducing a teenage shut-in named Kazuma Sato who dies and meets a goddess named Aqua who makes him an offer he can’t refuse. She can bring him back to life in a fantasy world that looks and feels like a classic MMORPG, where he will help defeat the villainous Demon King. The isekai series is a wild ride filled with colorful characters, including fan favorite Megumin, a magician obsessed with explosions.
Megumin proved to be such a popular character that she was granted her own spinoff series, Konosuba: An Explosion on this Wonderful World. Instead of occurring alongside the main narrative, it’s a prequel that follows a young Megumin as she grows up in the Crimson Magic village. Among other things, the prequel answers the mystery of why she’s so enamored with explosion magic, but it’s a pretty pedestrian reason. After seeing a legendary female mage use explosion magic to save her life, Megumin vows to learn how to do it herself, despite her village’s opposition to her dangerous experiments.
But Megumin refuses to listen, and eventually she uses the experience points she receives (this universe really is exactly like an RPG) to power up and perfect her craft. Her adorable friend Yunyun is along for the ride, and their not always friendly interactions are a treat. There are also appearances by Megumin’s familiar “Shadow,” whom Konosuba fans will recognize. This world-building is a lot of fun for readers familiar with the original series, whether through the light novels, the manga, or the anime.
The first volume moves quickly, with so much fantasy action, drama, and character humor that it seems as if it’s over before it’s begun, but it leaves you wanting more. It’s a fun, lighthearted look into the mind of a charming character. With attractive art, great plotting, and an interesting ongoing story, Konosuba: An Explosion on This Wonderful World! is a great followup that will satisfy fans of the original series. Just don’t make the risky decision to try explosion magic because of it.
publisher: Yen Press
story: Natsume Akatsuki
Art: Kasumi Morino