This is review number ninety seven and it’s still part of the Summer 2012 lineup. I’m pretty much done with this lineup. The rest are season twos of other anime and I need to see the first season of it to give the show justice. It has five more anime left and two are still ongoing. I just need to review one more and I’m done with this lineup in the meantime.
The anime I’m reviewing today is Campione. It’s a thirteen episode anime about a guy who killed a god and now he is considered a king. It sounds like a pretty nice anime, huh? I bet it is. Let’s read on.
Godou Kusanagi is the Campione!
Campione is the title given to those who succeed in killing a god. He is the kings of kings. He is a demon that cannot be controlled by anyone. This is the story of a young man who has become a Campione and the women surrounding him.
Taking the Pants Off
A friend recommended this anime to me and told me I should watch it immediately. He doesn’t know that I watch and review all the anime of a season lineup so I just nod and said “I’ll take a look at it.” I was expecting the anime to be an Ecchi anime with a weak attempt at a story. Story and Ecchi don’t mix so when I saw the first episode, I kind of had a feeling that the anime will easily abandon it so they can get the guy to grab some boobs or walk in on a naked girl in the bathroom. Yknow, normal Ecchi stuff and I am fine with that. First impressions don’t last though and as the story slowly solidify; I was slowly lost on the anime. To be honest, I’d prefer an Ecchi anime with a weak story and lots of boob grabbing than an anime with a good story rushed to fit in a twelve episode frame. Campione is decent but it could’ve been better.
The first episode of the anime is one of the reason I thought the anime would be more Ecchi than Story. It starts with our hero, Godou Kusanagi, going to Italy to return a stone tablet to a friend of his grandfather. On the way, he was attacked by a blonde beauty and he met a rogue god. He also saw a giant boar trample a building. I was prepared to see the story disintegrate for the perversion to slowly leak out. I counted the minutes, but the Ecchi had one scene in the anime and the rest was actually about this convoluted plot about Godou having a showdown with a god. So in the end, he defeated this rogue god and he became a “Campione”. They are guys who slay gods and there are only seven of them in the world. After all, humans killing gods can’t be as easy as a walk in the park. The rogue god he fought is a troublesome god that brings disaster to the world. Normal people see it as natural disasters like an earthquake or a typhoon but it’s actually the rogue god going ape sh*t on the world. A Campione is a king and a king protects his people. This anime is about a normal guy who suddenly became a king that crosses swords with gods and it’s his duty to slay them. It’s a pretty good premise and the anime can do wonders with it. If you’re looking for an Ecchi anime with a story to hold it together like Highschool DxD or “That’s why I can’t play H” then you won’t find it in this anime. This anime is more along the lines of Hidan no Aria in terms of it’s set up. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing the anime has a heavy plot and still has time to do some Comedy or Romance or Harem on the side. It’s also a bad thing though because judging by the first episode of the anime, you’d have to get used to the anime’s fast pace and shallow story that really affects the beautiful premise.
The pacing of the anime is very fast. There is no time to let any scene sink in because another event is already happening. It also doesn’t help that the anime decided to do a time leap on the first and second episode having the story progress and the status quo greatly changed. In episode one, the blonde beauty was just this girl who is head strong and thinks Godou is a nuisance. In episode two (I think after several months), the girl is clinging to the guy like an ordinary clichéd girl in an anime. I was still adjusting to the fact that Godou became a god but then the plot was suddenly moving forward and it has entered its first arc. It’s a safe bet that the anime won’t make sense until you’ve seen the third episode but there are elements of the anime that will make you stay. I seriously waited for some boob grabbing or panty shots. There is none in this anime which was a bummer for me. The second episode featured a new girl and some organizations who are interested in Godou becoming a Campione. Ok, you’re still figuring out the relation of Godou becoming a god slayer then the anime introduces a new plot point and while you’re getting things aligned, a new bad guy appears and picks a fight with Godou. The first arc of the anime which takes up three episodes would’ve made a lot more sense if it was stretched to six episodes. The fast pacing of the anime really affected the anime hugely. The characters were introduced haphazardly, the plot becomes shallow and the overall charm of the anime is held back which is never a good thing.
The fast pace of the anime also affected the basic set up of the anime. One thing the anime never explained was Godou’s power that he obtained from the rogue god he fought at episode one. The conditions of using it, the abilities he obtains from it and its weaknesses were never fully explained by the anime. Like I said before, there was a time gap from episode one to episode two and the explanation must’ve been done there because the next thing we know, Godou is using the damn ability knowing its full strength and limitations that the anime never explained to the audience. We were asked to fill in the blanks and it mostly sucks because we’re busy figuring out what the hell is happening with the story. The rogue gods was also never fully explained in the anime. They seem to appear whenever they feel like it and the anime doesn’t really tell us how they appear or what are the conditions for one to appear. Basically, they just appear and Godou fights with them. The rest of the Campione, the organizations involved with the Campione like the Historical Society and the Black Crosses was also never explained in the anime. These things are the elements that make up the story and the anime never explained them so when the plot keeps moving at a fast pace, the viewers is just tasked to absorb the moment. Oh, Godou is fighting Athena. Awesome. Let’s not ask how she got there, the reason why the blonde girl has some summon beings of her own or why the “power of words” is pivotal to defeating Athena. None of that matters. It’s a fight between the good guy and a bad guy. That’s all that matters.
You can basically judge the anime’s potential on the first arc (episode 2-4) because the rest of the episodes follows the same pattern. If you can get over the fact that the anime moves at a fast pace and if you can absorb the way the anime throws important plot points at you, then you’ll soon enjoy the anime. The anime follows a basic pattern. It starts with Godou at school doing normal school stuff then an enemy appears and picks a fight with him, then he fights it and will probably get beaten then a girl will help him fight the bad guy and the second fight goes in favor to Godou in which he basically succeeds. It’s a simple pattern but that’s only if you can get pass the fast pacing. The anime really does a great job of balancing the fast paced story with the other elements of the anime. There isn’t any Romance and the Ecchi is so little you hardly feel it but there is a genre that the anime really did a great job at doing: Harem. There are four arcs in the anime and each one has a different girl involved in the fights so as the anime progresses, the number of girls that try to be with Godou increases. I love this part of the show because it was a strong genre but it never got in the way of the story. There is always time for the girls to flirt with Godou and try to pull his arm off trying to be with him but there is also time to the girls to get caught up in the battles.
With the fast pacing, only one thing is clear: Godou must kill all rogue gods and he has some girls who are willing to put their lives in danger for him. As far as shallow plot goes, the one in Campione is nice. If you let certain things fly over your head then you can seriously enjoy the story. I feel the anime really did try to make sense of it all but some elements just doesn’t get enough time to be unraveled. It’s not that big of a deal if you can enjoy what the plot tries to serve. The feeling that it could’ve been better will always linger but as far as condensing huge chapters of a light novel in twelve episodes, the anime does a great job at trying.
The anime does have some great things to it. One thing I really like about the show is the incorporation of mythology into the story. I love mythology even though I never really took the time to dive into it because of all the names (I suck at remembering names) and the anime really makes the story has a certain depth to it when they incorporate mythology. The mythology is also really detailed which makes certain things more special. The incorporation of mythology does have some downside to it like making the story convoluted but it’s a certain element of the anime that makes it unique.
The characters in the anime are a bit generic but their role in the anime makes them a lot more memorable. The anime has an expanding harem and it’s certainly a huge plus to see these girls with all of their different personalities try to claim Godou for their own. There will easily be one girl that you will like among the harem and it’s because their personality greatly stand out among the group. There is the flirty one who tries to get it on with our hero, there is the polite one who blushes when she thinks of being with Godou, there is a straightforward one who serves as his knight attached to her duties but has a soft side to her and there is the happy go lucky one. There is no boring scene whenever the girls are in school trying to be with Godou. It’s Harem though and not Ecchi. The events in the anime will clearly make the distinction clearer but I don’t want to spoil it so you’d just have to see it for yourself how the Harem elements works in the anime. As for our hero, Godou, he is the typical main character that goes along the flow. If the story needs him to be serious then he is serious. If he needs to be a clueless guy with a harem then he’ll fill the role. He’s the generic type of main character and he has no standout personality. He’s just the guy that summons a bunch of swords and fights the bad guys.
The villains in the anime are all superb. They are all arrogant because they dismiss Godou as an amateur or just a mere human so it really gets under your skin. It’s all the more exciting when Godou mounts a comeback and shatters the villain’s arrogant smug. They are all pretty strong though and no villains are the same. So in every arc, there is different arrogant villain to face which makes the anime exciting when it enters its fight scenes.
The anime is really decent but I honestly feel that if it could’ve been twenty four episodes instead of twelve then the anime would’ve been great. The fast pacing really hurt the anime but it was still able to redeem itself a bit. They should’ve just tried to focus on important chapters of the light novel in order for all the elements to make sense in the anime. I don’t mind for the anime going two seasons because the premise is too good to be ruined by bad execution.
Sight and Sound
The character design is pretty normal. As long as the characters have enough beauty to deliver some fan service then it’s all good. The characters themselves are a generic and archetypes you’ve probably seen before. No one looks alike so that’s a good thing. Even the gods are pretty normal. I was expecting them to be grander but the anime tried to make them look modern. For example, Athena was portrayed as a small school girl with a hat that has cat ears. I give points for creativity but they should’ve amplified their god awesomeness. Maybe have them wear clothes of their ear and have glowing light surrounding them. It’s a bit of a missed opportunity in my opinion.
The animation is pretty nice. The fight scenes in the anime are all great. They all have some storytelling in them and they aren’t predictable. They could’ve been better but the fast pacing affected it too. I really enjoy seeing Godou unleash his powers and I love seeing those summons of his unleash some hell on his opponents. In terms of actual melee fights, there isn’t much here. All Godou knows is to swing his sword. I personally love the scene with the thousand swords floating in the air. It reminds of Gilgamesh from Fate Zero and his awesome swords.
The other thing that really stands out in terms of animation is the kissing scenes. There was one particular kissing scene in the later parts of the anime that was really borderline hentai. It was close to getting there and it was super suggestive. The kissing scenes are really long and you can often see the tongue go inside the other one’s mouth and it was awesome. It’s a bit uncomfortable to watch but it was awesome. It’s probably the best part of the anime.
The OP song is “BRAVE BLADE!” by Megu Sakuragawa. It’s a pretty normal OP song but I do love Megu’s voice because it was charming to listen to. The OP sequence is pretty normal as well. It featured all the characters, both minor and main, and it gave us an idea of what the anime is about.
The ED song is “Raise” by Yui Ogura. Yui is the voice actress that did Athena’s voice. It is a bonus to hear her voice because her dandere voice gets more features in the song. The song is pretty normal as well but it’s OK, I guess. The ED sequence featured the Harem of the anime. It’s pretty nice.
7/10 “The fast pacing affected the overall charm of the anime.”
I see the anime’s potential and I can give it a 9/10 if it was properly establish. Unfortunately, the anime has a weak plot, not enough fan service to redeem it and a fast pacing that ruins the experience. If you enjoy an anime with a great premise like Campione then it won’t hurt to give it a try.