Arrrrrrrgggggghhhhh! Another harem trap! After watching anime for so long, I should probably better at screening what I watch so I can avoid certain genres. The first episode plays itself off like it’s going to be something akin to the “Fate:” series. Then, in the intro to the second episode, it basically tells you “by the way, this is a Harem”. Since the series is only 13 episodes long, I decided to soldier through it anyway.
Campione! is a show about a boy (Godou Kusanagi) who kills a god and becomes a Campione (also called a King or God Slayer) who fights other gods. That’s right, you read that correctly: HE KILLED A GOD! And that’s how this show starts. As the Campione, his duty is to fight against heretical gods who threaten humanity by changing the world to suit themselves. Along with fighting gods, being the Campione also seems to attrack different women to him in order to help him learn about the gods and fight against them. BTW, did I mention that the way he “learns” is through magic that can only be performed by kissing his female companions…*sigh*.
I have the feeling that this show was created when someone came up with that idea of a random kid killing a god and said, “now how do I get an entire show out of this?” After mulling the idea around in their head for all of 30 seconds they promptly decided “I know! I’ll make it a harem and add some fan-service. PROBLEM SOLVED!” I am aware that this is based on a light novel series and I can only hope to all that’s good that the novels are significantly better than this thing that was presented to the world as an anime. It’s clear that Campione! doesn’t take itself to seriously, but in some cases that almost seems to come of as just not bothering to try.
It took me until about 7 episodes in to realize that the show couldn’t be taken seriously. During that episode, Godou fights a guy who looks like a vampire-werewolf-hybrid who’s infused with the powers of Apollo and Osiris and commands an undead army. After the fight, Godou is kissed by a female knight while a female shrine maiden protests as a radio tower collapses in the background. This is immediately followed by…you guessed it…A BEACH EPISODE! The wheelhouse of all fan-service based shows. It’s like the show starts off as shonen, then quickly jumps to harem, then slowly migrates toward the ecchi zone.
The story, if you can call it that, in this thing is all over the place. It’s just a series of poorly explained events that result in Godou kissing girls and fighting random interpretations of gods from different religions and mythologies and then reciting a brief history lesson about them in order to defeat them with a sword. A sword that’s primary ability, other than killing gods, seems to be growing to ridiculous sizes and proportions.
This set-up actually kind of makes the show disappointing because, given the subject matter (minus the ridiculous sword), they actually had a lot of source material to work with. The show has the ability to pull on the collective of all world mythology and religion that contains supernatural beings and in some small ways they do. The show invokes several gods and even manipulates their mythology to try to make things a little more interesting. However, these moments are short and get lost between the general shenanigans of the rest of the show. There are also a lot of continuity issues with the story. At many points the story seems to jump ahead, having Godou learn new abilities and meet new characters in the time between episodes and never bothering to explain what exactly is going on. Again, I’m assuming that this stuff is actually covered in the novels, but since I’m only addressing the anime, I can’t really consider that.
The fight scenes show a similar amount of potential, but they share limited screen time with the mythological elements of the show. Since, apparently, this kid can only seem to take the time to learn about these gods while he’s actually in the process of fighting them. Godou and the gods have a virtually endless set of abilities they seem to be able to pull from, which actually makes the fights seem promising. Sadly, that promise is never met. The animation for the show in general and the fight scenes reminds me of a Buso Renkin or Fate: Stay/Night. I know those two shows don’t exactly have the same production value, but that’s what came to mind. The Fate: comparison seems appropriate since Godou’s primary ability just seems to be a gold-colored ripoff of the “Infinite Bladeworks” landscape from the Fate: series.
I think I’ve already wasted more time reviewing this show than was put into thinking about it’s production. It’s mostly mindless harem antics with a bunch of fan-service thrown on top of some generic character design and a poorly executed plot, that could have actually been interesting if some real time/money had been put behind it. There’s really nothing in this anime that you couldn’t find somewhere else and, if you’re an avid anime watcher, I have no doubt you’ll recognize every overused trope and borrowed idea that was crammed into this anime.