Oh KonoSuba, how I love thy tales. But where are thee headed? From a fun and interesting af Crimson arc, over a sweet visit to the Queen, becoming some kind of Robin Hood, and turning her into Kazuma’s adopted little sister arc, to Darkness’s thrilling wedding arc. Nothing but ups for three whole volumes. Then you took a break holding a nice little festival in town, you deserve it. But what now? The frontlines? Just randomly, on a whim? Eris and the Aegis from last volume not even mentioned with a single word? What was the whole festival for? OK, let’s forget the festival then.
Why are we going to the frontline? Chomusuke (?) – the cat – is actually a sealed Vile God. And while we’re at it, I wanna emphasize how much I love the fact that he really is a sealed away Vile God, when at the time Megumin mentions it, it absolutely and definitely sounds like she’s just trying to gloss over her nervousness. So now we’ve got an arc covering that… Or do we?
Kazuma and friends do kind of set out on a road trip to the frontlines. It really does feel like a road trip, and hardly like it’s a threatening situation. On their way, they meet a commander of the Demon King’s army in a hot spring resort of sorts – unknowing of her true identity – and get along with her. At the same time she doesn’t know they’re holding the rest of her sealed away powers in the form of Chomusuke (I hope I’m spelling that right).
They arrive at the frontline bastion under siege by the commander. She apparently is a user of Explosion Magic just like Megumin. She comes once a day and just blasts an outer wall to break open their defenses and let the demon army capture it.
It’s pretty fun how Kazuma and Aqua just dick around the fortress, getting on the nerves of the adventurers and soldiers stationed there, throwing around Darkness’s status to get what they want, and Darkness absolutely despairing because of it.
The biggest issue I have with this volume is that everything just kind of trots along. They kind of just go to the frontlines, they kind of just are at the fortress, they kind of just fight the demons, they kind of just win. It blurs together a lot with hardly any standout moments that are significant to the story. Nothing feels grand.
It’s funny, it’s good, it’s entertaining, but it pales in comparison to volumes 5, 6, and 7. In the end, it does pick up and it feels like they’re doing something epic when they actually defeat the commander, but that’s only 20 pages or so. And I won’t spoil anything on how they do it, because the end is basically volume 9’s biggest strength. The epilogue where Kazuma chickens out on Megumin is giga cringe, by the way. Probably intentionally but I really wished for something more clever.
Volume 9 should be all about Megumin, Chomusuke, and the Vile Goddess trying to fuse with her other half to regain her powers, and yet hardly anything happens with Chomusuke, Megumin is also weirdly passive considering how impactful an influence the Vile Goddess turns out to have had on her life, and in the end it feels like there’s been way too little tension and build up for how significant this part of the plot theoretically should be. It just races by, entertaining but forgettable. All in all, I liked volume 9 more than 8, but it’s still not packing a punch although the ingredients were all there this time. At least we’re teased with an aftermath concerning Chomusuke, but we’ll have to wait and see how that turns out.