Konosuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! Vol. 1 TP
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: November 22, 2016
Price: $13.00
Creator: Natsume Akatsuki (writer), Masahito Watari (art)
Format: 160 pgs., Black & White, Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-3165-5256-1
Age Rating: 13+
ICv2 Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

It's no lie to say that Konosuba has been one of the more highly anticipated manga releases of 2016.  After the hit anime launched around the world, people have not been able to get enough of the goddess Aqua and her cohort Kazuma.  Even I have to admit that my curiosity had been piqued.  Now that I've gotten through the first volume though, I'm left with a big heaping plate of 'meh'.

Konosuba is not a bad opening volume in terms of characters or content.  The main characters are certainly memorable and the jokes are decent however the execution of the story leaves quite a bit to be desired.

The main issue that Konosuba runs into is with its pacing which moves at a lightning fast pace which was a major turnoff for me.  I would expect this kind of frantic joke pace from a four panel series but in a regular, fantasy-comedy like this one, you just naturally assume that the series will ease you into the main plot and let you get to know the characters before hammering you with character gag after character gag.  That's not the case with Konosuba which either assumes that you already have enough familiarity with these characters to laugh at their antics right away or figures that you'll just get used to things fairly quickly and be able to laugh within the first few pages once you get the swing of things.

Sadly I don't see this being the case for most people who read this volume.  While occasionally the jokes are amusing, most of them are stale and left me dreading going into yet another chapter only to find the same things over and over again.

While younger audience members might find some joy within the pages of this fantasy comedy, most people are going to find themselves lost in the frantic pace that is showing absolutely signs of slowing down.  Perfectly average, if you don't add this to your library don't feel too bad about it.

--L.B. Bryant