So, I wanted a light and short anime to watch yesterday. For some reason I picked kampfer. ecchi school stories aren't my thing yet I did wanted to give one of those a chance.
Good lord, the story sucks, the characters are bad cliches, the animation is an average and the sound is unremarkable. BUT I COULDN'T STOP WATCHING!!!
The context is so absurd it's funny. Seems like every school girl in japan is either a lesbian or bisexual, whose parents left 'em to live alone; and they are fine inviting whoever to 'sleep over' and handing over their virginity at the faintest sign. All that while in a highschool where no one seems surprised to see gunshots in the walls or massive structural destruction every other day.
As every reviewer before me will tell you (yes I read em all, just to be sure I'm sane) when all those elements combines the result is unexpected. You get hooked. And I will tell you the reason: it's not the ecchi, it's not the 'action', it's not the plot (lol)... you just wanna know who the hell the moron-cliche-dense-trany main character is gonna choose. It's the same reason you watched all 7 seasons of Ranma even tho after the 4rth it stop making any sense: you just wanted Ranma to effing kiss Akane and be done with it! Well same goes here, you get a squadron of horny highschoolers rubbing their bodies against Senou (literally... individually, at the same time... on several ocations... and in every degree of... rubbiness), and he, as a good mentally challenged harem main character, seems completely confused about what these girls might want from him. Good thing its only 12 episodes long, cause I gotta tell you: if it were 24, I might have watched 'em all the same, dying a little from the inside while hidding in a closet nearby; as I did with the first 12.
So, would I recomend it? gee...I don't know.
Tell you what, go watch 12 episodes of Ranma and get rid of that unhealthy gender-bender curiosity you got, then go watch something else.
Not being a major reviewer of sorts, I just need to come here to somehow make sense of the wasted 4-5 hours of my life.
I am a big fan of gender-bender storys. When I saw this on a monthly marathon, hosted by Chii on Anime Planet, I was overjoyed and really looking forward to this title. It sounded like I, Me My, Starberry Eggs, meets My-Hime, and had potential. I was just finishing a title that was the polar opposite called Aoi Bunkoi, so the change of pace sounded like Rocky Road bliss.
20 minutes into the first episode I realized I was more wrong than people who order a Snuggie. The first mistake? The creators decided to shoe horn about a dozen already well worn genre's into a 12 episode masterpiece of what is wrong with the industry.
To make this as easy as a Bandaid removal, I might as well get to the worst part of Kampfer, the story. Natsuru Senō is a teen boy who one day wakes up from a odd dream to find he is a girl. After the initial shock he is talked to by a stuffed animal that tells him he is a Kamfer. This just puzzles him more but like any good fast paced, poorly written show, his worry wears off in five minutes.
Later, he finds out more about Kampfers. In the preset rules are the following;
1. All the girls change apearence, attitude, or both. 2. Once changed, they fight with super powers that are limited to one of the following; A fire wielder, a gun toting mama, or a sword fighter type. 3. There are two sides that are advisaries. If your wristband is red, you are going to be fighting with girls who wear blue 4. Transformation happens automatically when they are around each other, and at first you can not control it. 5. The only way you can have powers is being a girl, this is why he becomes a she.
Interestingly enough, these guidelines are heaved out the door for convenience. There are other girls, white bands, mind control, a surprise boss out of left field ... and well I guess red and blue can fight together... and that automatic change does not always happen, and, ah screw it who needs rules?
Anyhow, he has a thing for a cute girl at school at first it is more or less one sided. Soon a second girl enters the romantic picture in the form of an old time friend, then a third who originally tried to kill him. If this does not sound like a well worn path enough, it gets better. Soon he has a harem of women which leads to the pool episode, the beauty pageant episode, the yuri action, and the girl jealousy sequences. Oh cliche! I spit at thee.
What is most frustrating, is what could have been good premises; him having to hide his transformations, or him having to be a girl to get the girl of his dreams to like him (she seems to only have a thing for women) but never gets explored enough to be humorous. And in fact it always seemed like a broken clock, the timing was off for the laughs.
For the most part the animation is clean but stiff. The transformations, which are hardly used, are actually a treat. But for the life of me, all the characters could have just been the same face and eye design with no differentiating characteristics at all. If it was not for the kindergarten crayon box of hair colors I would have a hard time identifying them. I will give the creators some credit for the absolutely disgusting stuffed animals.
Speaking about the Entrails Animals. These are what are called Messengers in the show. Designed to be disturbingly cute toys wearing their guts on the outside of thier body, they provided the only break of monotony. Every time they are on screen they provide brief amuzment, with names such as Strangled Stray Dog, Disembowled Tiger, or my personal favorite the blood shot eyed Suicidal Black Rabbit. Outside of this however, is the cast members borrowed from other anime such as Love Hina, Magikano, or Maburaho relabeled and stuck back in Kampfer.
Unmemorable... forgettable... what were we talking about? Oh yeah, sound. The opening and ending was bland crackers, which was a good thing cause after a couple episodes I could skip both. The voice acting was not bad and in fact the actors used for the animals were actually fun, with the only grating voice was the obvious girl voice for Natsuru. Why use the woman's voice for a teen boy is beyond me. Child, yes, teen, no.
Through the grace of God I somehow managed not to strangle myself with my mouse cord while finishing this series. When you decide to rumage through a pile of the most over used romantic comedy and super powered girls stories in the existance of man, your probably not going to make something memorable, or lasting. In fact if this ends up even remembered well by the anime fan mob 5 years later I will be most surprised.
Sadly, the creators will probably get the simple ratings they were going for. Which in it's own way makes me frown. =(
Kampfer is a typical harem ecchi in a high school setting, where the main character can transform into a girl. Ugh, I hate this genre, so I sat down with a few drinks. While it is action and has a story, it is terrbly cheesy and full of tropes. But at least it still has a story unlike other anime, even if it's shit. A terrible story is better than nothing. Otherwise I'd advise avoiding this anime, despite a bit of subtext on the whole theme of love. It is the usual pointless harem anime however, where nothing really happens. Oh and while it is 14 episodes, episode 12 is an extra filler that has nothing to do with anything. Especially as it features both genders of Natsuru as a couple. The best bit about this, is probably the funny lesbian antics.
The quality of animation is very good for a 2009 anime. However, the style is not original despite decent use of comedic facial expressions. And then there's the ecchi. This is the typical lack of context, unjustifiable fanservice. I'm too tired of complaining about this. At least there isn't any actual topless scenes. The number of scenes where characters almost have sex in painful. Not sure where to fit this in, but they decide to change the intro & outro for the last 2 episodes, which is kinda pointless IMO.
Honestly, the music isn't all that terrible. The intro and outro's aren't cringeworthy and some of the sound design was decent. But it's not that great either. Not worth getting the soundtrack for at least. Kampfer is only availale in Japanese, though you'd think there'd be a german dub or something given the many German references. The voices aren't terrible, though the main character sounds like a girl, since they use the same voice actor or both male and female versions of the character. The entrails animals all have high-pitched girly voices, except for the lion. Oh and the penguin is voice acted by that person who always does tsundere character voices.
Natsuru Senou is your typical high-schooler harem protagonist... except he can turn into a girl. And an (arguably) oversexualised one at that. And this is his big secret. His taste in women is terrible as the girl he has a crush on, Kaede Sakura, is a total bitch who only likes him when he's a girl. And yes, he is still a gutless coward, using his female form to get closer to her, despite him wanting her to like the real, male him. Arguable indecisive since he doesn't go for any of the other potential romances, though he is dedicated to the one girl he'll never be with. And he is oblivious tothe feelings of other girls. Of course he doesn't bang her, the one time he gets a chance. As a guy. He's a tad shy about certain things while he's a girl, like how short his skirt is. And he is only of capable of fighting as his Kampfer (girl) form who uses fire. As is every other Kampfer. The female Natsuru is a school idol and is continually sexually harassed by other girls, not boys since the school is segregated and Natsuru is the only significant male character in this anime.
Speaking of bitch (pun totally intended), Kaede Sakura is a terrible human being. Love is something that goes beyond gender, where gender doesn't matter. Yet she only likes the female version of Natsuru. She only wants to use Natsuru for her bitchy deeds. She is agressive on the female Natsuru, groping her and the like. She also likes the 'Entrails Animal' franchise and is their biggest fan. Funny thing is SPOILER< She is the one with a harem in the end >SPOILER
Akane Mishima is the typical shy bookworm girl with glasses, who has a massive crush on Natsuru and unlike Kaede, she prefers the male version, though she won't discriminate against the female version and still loves Natsuru. Already a better person than Kaede. When she transfoms into a Kampfer, she becomes very aggressive and foul-mouthed. Shoots first, talks later.
Shizuku Sangou is the typical school president, has it all character. While rather calm she is the most sexually agressive, successfully locking lips with her beloved Natsuru on multiple occasions and also attempting to have sex with him. Of course she always fails. Her Kampfer is the most unique as the transformation barely changes her and her personality remains the same. She acts rather mature, despite her sexual agressiveness, since she doesn't want to fight the other Kampfer team without good reason. She questions the ideas of the moderators.
The final main character is Mikoto Kondou, Natsuru's childhood friend. For the first half, she is away travelling the world. She is very energetic/hyperactive and likes to cook curry and seduce Natsuru by wearing nought but an apron. She also gets a bit agressive in her Kampfer form.
The other characters aren't too amazing, though most of the chicks have a lesbian crush on the female Natsuru while hating the male one. Such terrible human beings, gender shouldn't matter when it comes to love.
The story is there, the Kampfer's are on two teams, red & blue and it is their job to fight each other. Though nobody really knows why, only that it is the wish of the moderators. Who are unknown. There are barely any fights, if I'm honest. The general story is done terribly too. The flow of the story is pretty bad, despite interesting twists and turns. The ending was abysmal as it just really had a lot of pointless filler. It ended in such a way, almost as if to say "See you in the sequel!" Which of course, there isn't a sequel, thank goodness. To me, this anime says a lot about love. There's no point in being attracted to someone for their looks, especially they think the same way and love won't become of it. They actually end up just wanting to use you. And gender doesn't matter when it comes to love, it should be for the personality inside. If someone one supposedly loves switches gender, that love should still be there. And good looks (being sexually attractive) will just attract a lot of unwanted attention, especially from those who don't appreciate the real person inside. That's coming from personal experience ;) One thing I agree with Shizuku on, is that sex is for genuine love and not for other reasons, like you've been told to do it by someone else. Enough of the rant, this review needs to end, I've messed it up by drinking through this anime already.
I would have said this is a harem ecchi with action and a story. Yet those two things are barely there and done terribly. Heck, even by adding a story, they still don't manage to fix the big problem that the plot of harem anime never goes anywhere. I enjoyed it a bit but it was definitely the booze. I do not recommend this anime to anyone, a waste of time. There is no point in this anime, especially since the story goes nowhere. Even for the perverts who want fanservice, there is something that does it better. It's called porn, I don't know if you've heard of it? Speaking of which, they mention porn in one of the episodes which made me laugh my face off.
Family-friendliness Rating: 4/5 It's ecchi, what did you expect? (lower is better)
Overall Rating: 3.5/10 (higher is better)
***Spoiler free review***
Well I have to be honest; I knew exactly what I was getting into when I started watching Kampfer. I was told it was a no nonsense ecchi with some serious omg female x female moments but I did manage to enjoy the show for more than the tits it showed off…asses too!
2 teams; red vs. blue; butt and boob shots every other scene; women who are a little too bicurious; you get the gist of the show. Wasn’t really interested in the plot at all but for what it’s worth the show did keep me interested until all hell broke loose on episode thirteen. Speaking of episode thirteen, that episode takes “Well that escalated quickly” to a whole new level.
Pretty solid in my honest opinion. The eyes where my favorite aspect of the animation with props also going to the detail of the female character models. For a show that relies heavily on fanservice, it’s a good thing they got that right.
Soundtrack was extremely generic and forgetful. The voice actors however did a pretty good job; while I cannot list the actors off the top of my head, I did recognize a couple from other anime I have enjoyed.
I’ll probably get a lot of flak for this but I actually enjoyed the character interactions in this show (and no not just the sexualish stuff). The bits that played off between each character was actually pretty funny to watch in most cases. Even though I hate indecisive male leads, it sometimes pays off to have multiple romantic options.
I normally do not watch ecchi shows since I like stuff with substance but I was just in one of those moods to watch this kind of crap. Funny thing is compared to other ecchi no nonsense anime (Campione! and the newest season of High School DxD) this one was actually somewhat enjoyable. If you are looking for something to watch that involves bouncing balls of fat then here you go. You might just pay attention a little bit.
Thanks for reading my review! If you liked my writing style, would like to see some other reviews, or just want to talk, please stop by my page!
This anime... some words that immediately come to mind are horrible, terrible, and completely insubstantial in every single way. At the start, it seems like it has possible potential with a goofy, gender-bending story. No spoilers, but it only goes downhill from that first episode. The story is dropped, the characters have no development or likeability, there is absolutely nothing good here, I cannot stress that point any more. Well, the animation isn't terrible, but that's like playing a video game for its graphics; You're missing out on what makes it an enjoyable experience. Once again, no spoilers, but episode 11 was the most infuriating episode of any anime I've ever seen. And episode 12, the last episode? Let's bring up a completely random side story that gives no end to the main "story".
Okay, now is the time for the SPOILERS.
By the second episode, the main female character, Senou, goes to school. The school is split into 2 sections for the boys and girls, so she/he joins the female side. Guess what happens? Every girl instantly turns lesbian for Senou. Not even joking. Now, this actually made me laugh when it first happened because it was completely ridiculous and amusing. For the rest of the damn anime it focuses on a couple of girls trying to get with Senou; the story is gone, now it is a harem. At some point later on, they kind of try to save the story by introducing the white kampfers. Now suddenly, Sakura summoned (?) the white kampfers? And she is a mediator? What is her goal? Why are the Kampfers here? What happens in the end? In some animes (for example: Paranoia Agent and Lain) it is okay when questions are unanswered. It is okay when the story is well developed and it makes you think and make connections between characters and events. Therefore, it is not okay at all in this anime. Back to the harem, I guess if you like harems and can forgive everything else, you might like this anime. Don't expect it to get sexual, though, this is not a hentai. The harem episodes, episode 2 - terrible ending, have lots of sexual teases, but nothing happens more than those teases.
All in all, this anime has:
It doesn't have:
Yes, 1 + 1 + 5 + 6 / 4 does not equal 1, but characters and story are way more important than animation and sound.
To me, this creation is an unforgivable abomination. I can't recommend it to anyone but the most resilient harem addicts.