By Natsume Akatsuki and Kurone Mishima. Released in Japan as “Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o!” by Kadokawa Sneaker Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Kevin Steinbach.
After a couple of volumes where I felt that perhaps the page count did not justify the limited content within, this final book in the main KonoSuba series seems to be just right. The final battle against the Demon Lord contains just about everything you’d want in a KonoSuba book. Kazuma wins by being kind of scummy and tricky; Aqua wails and whines but is also kinda lovable; Megumin casts explosion so much that the overuse of magic makes her nose bleed (at least I hope it’s due to overuse of magic, as otherwise that’s one weird fetish); and speaking of fetishes, Darkness is Darkness. The only thing missing is Yunyun being toyed with; she’s here, but mostly functions as a real competent person. As for the plot, it’s pretty much what you’d imagine, and the one big surprise I had with the book was not seeing one of the characters killed off, but when it happened.
We pick up where we left off last time, with our heroes getting most of the Demon King’s minions out of the castle by simply having Megumin carpet bomb it to death. And yes, she does this with Yunyun and the other heroes IN the castle. Then they’ve got to go find Aqua, which Kazuma does almost immediately, as he overthinks a trap for dumb people and therefore picks the dumb option. We then get a series of KonoSuba-esque scenes, which involve fighting minions, arguing, and comedy, until everyone reunited and takes on the Demon King and his most powerful supporters. Unfortunately, the Demon King is not named that for nothing; he’s pretty much impossible to kill, unless Kazuma does something that he’d really rather not do, as he was told that if it happens again there’s no turning back…
I’ve spent several reviews discussing the romance, such as it is, in KonoSuba, and it’s therefore amusing how little it actually matters here. Megumin’s still in the lead, yes, but that’s mostly by default, and it’s mentioned that darkness is turning down the many marriage proposals she’s getting for a reason, and that, after the final battle’s legend is passed around, Princess Iris has more of a crush on her “older brother” than ever before. But the romance is irrelevant because it’s secondary to the family. This whole adventure came about not because they actually wanted to kill the Demon King, but because Aqua was depressed. By the end of the book we’ve solved that, although I think Aqua wishes there was a way to do that that involved less of her sobbing desperately. The series ends restoring everything to the status quo, although things will presumably be easier with the lack of a Demon Lord making all monsters stronger than they should be.
There are many other unlicensed spinoffs in this series, featuring Darkness, Dust and Yunyun, Cecily, etc. The author also says he has ideas for sequels – this volume has several final battles, both in Axel and at Iris’ castle, but we don’t actually see any of them, and it’s hinted he may write that as well. That said, aside from the upcoming fanbook, I think Yen On is finished with KonoSuba novels for now. This is a very satisfying conclusion, and all fans should enjoy it.