To expect an elaborate storyline, unexpected plot twists, and incredible character development from an ecchi harem show would be one of the greatest you mistakes you can ever make, but not from Campione! A not-so-typical harem, Campione! promises a load of ecchi and fanservice, but also delivers a kick-ass serving of action, and quite a great story.
But should you watch it?
Of Gods and Men
The story in Campione! is neither unique nor totally cliched. Gods sometimes go out of control, and start to wreak havoc on the human world. And it’s up to Knights to stop them. Kusanagi Godou, our main man, knows nothing of this, so imagine his surprise when he gets caught up in a fight!
He happens to meet Verethragna, the god of victory in Zoroastrianism Mythology, and is given one of his twelve aspects, known as Authorities, the White Stallion. He defeats Verethragna, and absorbs all of his twelve Authorities, becoming a Campione, a God-Slayer.
This story gets a lot of it’s mythology correct, which is very pleasing to a mythology buff like me, and its premise allows for that wholeheartedly. Definite plus. And that ties into the next point.....
Know Your Enemy, And Win a Thousand Battles
All of Godou’s Authorities rely on specific triggers to be useable, and he usually ends his fights with his Warrior Authority, which summons a landscape of golden swords, reminiscent of Gilgamesh’s Gate of Babylon in FS/N.
To trigger the Warrior Authority, Godou has to know enough about the enemy, and although that includes quite some lengthy dialogue, it’s all good, especially if you’re interested in mythology. And how does Godou get that information?
Yes, through kissing.
Lots and Lots of it.
Now, it does seem to be a pretty silly and stupid way to transfer information, but it does make sense, instead of the even more deus ex-y ‘telepathy’. And it’s nice to see, eh?
No Hero without Heroines!
This is very true for this anime, as Godou needs information to use his Warrior Authority. But besides that, each of the girls actively pursue Godou, for quite an understandable reason: they want his power. Of course, they fall in love with him soon, but it’s true that people would be drawn towards those with power.
They can also hold themselves well in battle, to which some may be skeptical and say: ‘isn’t that true of most action-harems?’ The answer to that is no. All of these Heroines can fight, and they’re better at it than Godou, and that’s great!
Each heroine is given nearly an entire arc to display their abilities and introduce them with enough depth to make each very distinct, and for a harem amine, that’s no small feat.
They’re also quite different from some typical Harem-y stereotypes. They’re not just good at fighting, they don’t lose themselves, or act innocent in the face of danger; they’re not damsels. I like this a lot. And they never hold the idiot ball. You don’t know how happy this makes me.
For examples on the personalities and why I think they’re quite good, check out the spoiler-y section after the review card.
Fanservice, or Lack Thereof
The fanservice is definitely prevalent in Campione!, but it doesn’t consume screentime, keeping it quite undertoned. Yes, there is fanservice. No, it isn’t distracting. That’s a great part of this anime, how it knows that it’s an ecchi anime, yet doesn’t try to stick it in at every possible point. The fanservice that does exist, is usually a valid usage, especially the kissing, which serves a purpose. This is a great example for our current slate of ecchi-style anime.
We Gotta Save the World (again), NOW!
This show doesn’t wait for you. Nope. It barrels on, with the barest of explanations, and leaves you to find out stuff for yourself. And it doesn’t even give you that time, starting a new arc with nearly no filler at all. Now, given that Campione! has quite the involved system, and of course is very “in-depth” because of its premise, this fast pacing can either hurt the experience or make it better, depending on the viewer.
I personally enjoyed it, because the fast pace never really lets up, meaning there are barely any moments wasted, making it different from its Harem peers, in that sense. But of course, this, combined with a lesser dose of fanservice, might drive off the average harem only viewer.
The fast pacing however, seems to run in loop, with each arc running very similarly to the last:
- Godou is in school or something.
- Some Heretic God appears, and starts wreaking havoc.
- Godou fights, and loses.
- The “data transfer” occurs.
- He stalls and explains the enemy’s weaknesses.
- Warrior Authority Time!
Of course, they are in no way similar to each other in terms of content, but there could have been a little bit more variation. Really.
Is There a Manual or Something?
I wish there was one, too. This show, like I’ve said above, doesn’t bother explaining things to you. This would be fine if said acts weren’t continuously being practiced, for example, having Godou suddenly whip out a new Authority and whacking his opponent with it, and that happens very often.
It’s not completely unexplained, but it really feels like there could be a bit more background, on pretty much everything.
There are multiple organizations bent on defeating Heretic Gods, including the Historical Society and the Black Crosses etc., which seem to be mere names, getting barely any explanation of their purpose. The only one which was sort of well explained was the Committee for the Compilation of True History, which was only really explained so Godou could have a ‘reliable’ source of information.
Every single combat encounter ends with Godou’s victory, following a simple, repeating sequence, which usually amounts to stalling until he gets to use the Warrior Authority.
And the enemies are also nearly just as bad. They seem to be quite childish, according to Godou:
“I used to think that they were these mighty, omniscient beings. But now that I’ve actually met them, gods seem more childish than anyone.”
Gods usually appear and destroy just because they’re bored. I cannot accept that gods are so simple as that, and though the final enemy is a little bit more complex, most of the battles fall into a cliched “the world will end if I don’t win” style. I don’t mind that, but using it for EVERY battle is a bit too much.
Final Fantasy XIII-4
Any of you who’ve played that game shoulf know of it’s insanely linear and simple plotline and story. Campione!’s ending was predictable, more than a mile away. From his first encounter with Athena, you could already tell it was gonna end that way.
But similarly to FFXIII, there is a point which could’ve been explored a bit more, but was sadly under-used. I’m referring to the Netherworld in Campione!, but I won’t say too much because that would be spoiler-y.
I’m the Main Character?
As I’ve said above, The characters, which should be the strongest point of Harem anime, (besides the fanservice) are pretty great in Campione!, with a very obvious exception.
Yes, I’m talking about Godou, our “Main Character”.
He’s quite the typical harem lead, completely unaware of anything, unassertive, and of course, very Baka. But he’s also able to fight when push comes to shove, using everything in his arsenal of Authorities to defeat his enemies. But, 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.
He’s never the driving factor in the storyline, spouting typical cliche lines, shouting in rage against world-shattering enemies, and generally being a hero. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but this point is made very obvious by the great personalities that the female leads have. And we’re apparently demeaning women with harem anime. xD
That One Really “Symbolic” Scene
In episode 11, there’s a scene rife with
sexuality symbolism. I can’t say anything beyond plainly saying they’re getting it on, without taking their clothes off. ._.
He’s doing it to save Erica, but honestly...... I didn’t know what to make of it. This scene will probably the closest to breaking the line between hentai and ecchi I’ve seen so far, and will probably kill off interest for the finale for some.
Again, some explanation in the Spoilers section.
Campione! is an ecchi anime, and it doesn’t try to change that fact, but with quite the tale to tell, I would still say this is an ecchi to watch.
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The Spoiler-y Section!
As promised, I’ll give some quick examples of why I find each heroine to be unique.
The self proclaimed ‘Red Devil’, Erica is the first heroine to encounter Godou, and subsequently the first to kiss him. She wields the Cuore di Leone, literally Lion Heart, a weapon that can be shaped into nearly anything. That’s already awesome in itself.
As a member of the Copper Black Cross, she tries to obtain Godou’s loyalty as a Campione, through seduction. She of course falls in love with him, and even
has clothed sex received a blessing from Godou.
As a character, she fits very well into the ‘tsundere’ stereotype. But however the situation is, it doesn’t distract her from her goal in battle, and she always keeps to the fight. I find this a very good trait, because of how realistic it is. Nobody would be that distracted by blown off clothing when facing a deadly opponent, now would they?
As the main heroine, she says she doesn’t mind sharing Godou with other women, on the condition that she’ll always be his no.1. How cute.
She assists Godou in the very first battle, where Godou captures all of Verethragna’s authorities when he’s engaged in combat. She passes information through a kiss, and enables him to finish off Verethragna with the Warrior Authority.
She’s quite forceful with Godou, but of course, she cares about him very deeply.
Yuri is very shy and normally speaks very politely. When she gets angry, its difficult to distinguish if she’s angry or trying to be polite. Yuri is a big believer in propriety, so will not hesitate to confront those she believes are acting outside moral bounds.
At school, before Erica transferred in, she was described as the number #1 beauty in school. She also has the mind set of a refined “ojou-sama,” which means she is sometimes naïve enough to believe a bending of the truth and may even cause a misunderstanding, mostly when Godou is involved. It is impossible for her to lie or rather, for her to lie convincingly. She has little understanding of modern technology, and has trouble just figuring out how to work her cellphone.
Yuri is very strong willed, able to ignore discomfort when needed. The downside is that she’s stubborn with order, and lectures other but can’t handle being lectured. As the story progresses, she gradually gets used to being in provocative situations with Godou.
She was originally apprehensive, close to scared, of Godou. She opens up to him after Godou saves her from Sasha Dejanstahl Voban, who has a hilarious name. She possesses a powerful ability known as Spirit Vision, and can also use healing magic.
She’s practically 100% similar to Asia from High School DxD, and is of course, my personal favorite. I could go on for hours, mind you.
Liliana has a serious, knight-like personality. And because of her personality, she easily, if not often, gets played by Erica and Karen, Liliana’s maid, before she realizes it. However, despite her serious attitude, Liliana has shy, modest feelings toward her body and loves to read romantic novels, but is too embarrassed to share her hobby and gets furious when someone reads her books. Her biggest wish is to have her first kiss with her true love.
A serious, duty-bound knight, Liliana belongs to the Bronze Black Cross, and was in the employ of Sasha “The Cougar” Voban (lol), before deciding to instead ‘seduce’ Godou. I don’t think it needs to be said that she fails multiple times, to great hilarity.
She helps him fight Perseus while they were in Italy, and takes care of Godou while he had been knocked out, showing a caring side to her.
She’s not only proficient with a sword, she’s also great at spell casting, and is willing to put the needs of others above her own, kissing Godou against her wishes, to stop Perseus. But she doesn’t regret it, instead cherishing it as her wish coming true.
I’m sort of sad that she’ll never get to see it through though. T.T
As the last heroine to appear, Ena had the least amount of characterization, merely acting as a damsel-in-distress, albeit because she was trying to get more power.
Ena has a very strange personality in that she seems relaxed about things of the modern world, but still has a slight naivete about her. She is the type of person who acts on impulse and instinct, rather than her brains.
She was sent as back up seducer to obtain Godou’s loyalty by the History Compilation Comitee, and has been shown to have a pretty good relationship with Susano’o, even going as far as calling him Gramps.
As the wielder of the Ame no Murakumo no Tsurugi, she possesses incredible power, but is also susceptible to possession, as seen when she battles Erica in the Netherworld.
And again, as I said, I don’t have too much to say about Ena, since she’s relatively newer to the party, and barely had any time for characterization.
That One Scene.... Continued.
Although one would say it’s basically nothing but fanservice, the reason behind it is quite well explained, as least I think it is.
Basically, Erica, as a normal human, cannot be in the Netherworld for too long, as it drains her of her life force. Godou, being the hero that he is, cannot stand by and watch her die, and decides to use an Authority, Youth, to grant her divine protection.
I cannot argue for the fanservice, or against it, because like everyone else, I don’t know how the Youth Authority works. As I’ve said above, the creators rarely bothered to explain anything, so again, we’re left with no explanation, and a thoroughly ‘symbolic’ scene.