First Impressions–Campione!

[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_09.29_[2012.06.30_21.25.28] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_19.34_[2012.06.30_21.35.32] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_22.32_[2012.06.30_21.38.30]

If any premise ever screamed out “Light novel!” it’s this one.

[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_00.46_[2012.06.30_21.16.45]I enjoyed the first episode of Campione!, though my initial impression is that this a pretty generic setup.  I don’t necessarily consider “generic” a negative term, as long as a series is well executed and based on initial evidence, that seems to be the case here.  I’m already hearing a lot of howling from fans of the LNs about major changes and rushed pacing, but fortunately I don’t have to carry that baggage and can judge the anime on its own merits. 

[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_00.55_[2012.06.30_21.16.54]Of course the flipside of that is that things can feel a bit rushed or confusing, and there a definite sense that this story started in the middle.  Our hero is Kusanagi Godou (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) a Japanese teen in Italy to deliver a stone tablet which turns out to be an artifact called the Grimoire of Prometheus.  Along the way he meets what has the makings of a harem, starting with Erica Blandelli (Hikasa Youko), who turns out to be a Knight from a magical order, and who’s very interested in the grimoire.  There’s also Erica’s maid Ariana, plus a seductive with who’s older than she looks and a whole bunch of Gods including Verethranga, an ancient Persian warlord with ten incarnations who’s busy reviving old Gods like Melqart to give him somebody interesting to fight.  And Godou ends up being drawn into the battle between the two Gods on the Isle of Sardinia, and killing Verethranga using the power of the grimoire to steal his golden sword – a sword which can destroy a God’s divinity.

[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_01.26_[2012.06.30_21.17.25]If it sounds like an awful lot of stuff happened in the first episode, that’s because it did.  As I said there wasn’t much preamble here – we just jumped right into a speeding car.  I’m fairly certain the events of the first ep are actually a flashback being recalled by Godou, explaining how he got the be the “Campione” or God Killer.  Just why he suddenly became so knowledgeable and gung-ho to fight in the middle of the battle between Verethranga and Melqart I’m not certain, as he was acting like a fairly normal harem lead before then – and make no mistake, Gods and battles aside this has the whiff of harem all over it.  Erica is a classic tsundere, book-perfect, with the interesting angle that she’s also apparently a drinker.  We also have the lusty witch Lucretia as well.  The harem stuff feels pretty standard, but the God stuff is at least a half-turn of the dial away from cliché.

[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_02.35_[2012.06.30_21.18.34]I’m not expecting a whole lot of originality here on the whole, but Campione! is a nice-looking show (though this is a pre-air and not the best quality) from Diomedea, whose biggest hit so far has been the Shinryaku! Ika Musume series, and Studio Barnum.  The animation is pretty solid and the character designs from Ika Musume’s Ishikawa Masakazu – based on the originals from LN artist Sikorsky – are above-average, especially the Gods.  I see little in the résumé of director Kusakwa Keizou to fill me with hope, but series composer Hanada Jukki (Level E, Kuragehime, Sola, Steins;Gate, Seitokai no Ichizon) has done some very good adaptations to say the least.  It’ll be two weeks until we get a new episode, but I’ll check in with the show then and see how things develop.

[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_03.30_[2012.06.30_21.19.29] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_04.33_[2012.06.30_21.20.32] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_04.49_[2012.06.30_21.20.48]
[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_05.48_[2012.06.30_21.21.47] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_05.51_[2012.06.30_21.21.50] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_06.26_[2012.06.30_21.22.25]
[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_07.57_[2012.06.30_21.23.56] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_08.20_[2012.06.30_21.24.19] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_09.06_[2012.06.30_21.25.05]
[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_10.23_[2012.06.30_21.26.22] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_11.14_[2012.06.30_21.27.12] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_11.35_[2012.06.30_21.27.34]
[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_11.51_[2012.06.30_21.27.50] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_12.38_[2012.06.30_21.28.36] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_13.00_[2012.06.30_21.28.59]
[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_13.05_[2012.06.30_21.29.03] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_15.43_[2012.06.30_21.31.41] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_17.07_[2012.06.30_21.33.06]
[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_18.17_[2012.06.30_21.34.15] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_20.30_[2012.06.30_21.36.28] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_20.41_[2012.06.30_21.36.39]
[FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_22.13_[2012.06.30_21.38.11] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_23.09_[2012.06.30_21.39.08] [FFF] Campione! - 01 [Preair][62BDDF11].mkv_snapshot_23.20_[2012.06.30_21.39.19]
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10 comments

  1. d

    Harem girls? You forgot he was on the phone at the beginning. Probably left a lover back in Japan.

  2. I

    When light novels went mainstream in anime because of Shana and Haruhi, it was mainly because they offered all the same things as manga when animated but also meant a more planned and well thought out story was available. Certainly Shana and Haruhi had very unique and interesting stories to tell, but now crud like Oreimo and IS are popular light novels.

    Moe girls have always been present in LNs since FMP but at least they had proper characters. Now they're just moe panderers.

    Want to write a LN, okay read this book on moe, include one chapter a book entirely devoted on a female who has one defining quality, make the guy really passive in romance or a total perv but when he needs to fight he becomes as aggressive as a shark. Oh and include some ridiculous subplot on fantasy or mecha but the main thing is the harem, you've got to maintain that for as long as possible. Enjoy the millions.

    I don't hate light novels but I think that they pander to the otaku anthem far too much. Manga deals with many demographs so there is always something for everyone. Why aren't their any Josei aimed LNs? That would at least level the playing field.

  3. A

    To be totally fair, for this series, I think for every "They're so moe!" fanboy, there will be a "Cool, an obscure [X Nationality] God" fan. Probably a good quarter of the material from the novels consists of extensive detailing of the gods. If that doesn't interest you, it's perfectly fine. But I don't think there's anything particularly otaku-specific about an interest in mythology.

  4. S

    As a technical point, most light novels could use a bit of "rushing" to make them less chatty at times. Most LN conversions end up a bit too much like shounen series that are dragging out a fight, with large amounts of exposition that don't mean much. (I guess the counter example is Horizon which probably needed about 3 more episodes of exposition for most of its audience, though I didn't find it that hard to follow)

    Still, this wasn't bad. It's an interesting idea. Starting a series after you've "won" makes for an interesting storytelling time. Should be interesting to watch our lead keep his throne.

  5. K

    You're right. The history of this episode covers the third volume, which is a flashback. The first volume happens after Godou has had some adventures as a Campione. And don't worry, Erika stops being a tsundere in the meantime(not a spoiler, this happens prior to the first volume).

  6. T

    I was thinking that the pacing and being thrown into a moving car as Enzo said was an effect of what you said. I haven't read the light novel but it felt that it was not really the beginning or they purposely rushed it so they could use a fight and action packed episode as the hook for the series. I personally liked the episode and am looking forward to how the story progresses. It definitely has the potential to be a pretty fun and interesting show.

  7. b

    The maid's name is Arianna, not Liliana. Liliana was the one with this guy. But yes, Liliana is voiced by Kitamura Eri. Dunno who Arianna's seiyuu is though.

    And yeah, this was fairly rushed and covered volume 3 but do take note that the LN is wordy and some of the dialogue in there consists of talking about the mythology and history of the gods that they will and have encountered.
    It also has a lot of Godou's monologues on things he is experiencing.

    For me, this was okay. The explanation as to why he suddenly became knowledgeable will be handled later as that was explained in the first volumes. They just wanted to get the story of how he got his Campione status out of the way so we can proceed with the first volumes. Whether that's a good thing or not is up to the next episodes. I like what I see so far with the animation and the acting so let's see if they can keep this up.

  8. M

    Kusakawa Keizou actually has a rather interesting list of previous works. His efforts in Inukami, Asura Cryin', Mayoi Neko Overrun, and Sekirei show that his ability to maintain a decent minimum of art quality is consistent.

    To be more precise, the episode he directed in Mayoi Neko Overrun (episode 11) is surprising if you've seen the rest of that series. It is blotched by huge pits of art quality. But you get to Kusakawa's episode, and it's easily better than the low points of the series. He has good flow, but I guess that's also subjective. I'd like to think Kusakawa is talented, because even a blatant fan-service show like Sekirei was enjoyable to watch.

    If anything, Campione won't cause any eye cancer.

  9. A

    I'm sorry, but why do you even bother talking about this wish fulfillment fanfiction crap?

  10. F

    That last attack, with all those golden swords, was really original so it needs a name. Maybe: Gate of Unlimited Copypasted Blade Works.

    BTW, Babilon's god would own this Persian one.

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