Random Curiosity

Campione! – 05, 06 »« Campione! – 02

Campione! – 03, 04

Episode 03

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「遠方より敵来たる」 (Enpo Yori Teki Kitaru)
“From Afar, An Enemy Comes”

The show finally starts giving us some time catch our breath with an episode heavy on the exposition, but never going too overboard with its infodump. We come to learn about the Divine Instrument “Gorgonion” and its connection to Athena, through a prophecy of the world falling to ruin if she comes into possession of it and reverts to her true form. I have to admit here, I’m somewhat dismayed by the revelation of this simplistic, uninspiring story, turning what could’ve been a complex antagonist in Athena to a throwaway “I will destroy the world!” villain. Of course, the show acknowledges the numerous myths and legends pertaining to the character, but understanding the god is merely used as a condition for Godou’s activation of his golden sword, and doesn’t seem central to defining Athena and her motivations.

In spite of my gripes with the story, this was perhaps the strongest episode of Campione! yet, going at a pace that seems just about right for the series, instead of it seemingly rushing to some incomprehensible end. The fights and Erica’s antics are as entertaining as always, as was the prim and proper Mariya’s outburst at Godou’s denseness which provided a few muted chuckles. Oh, and of course, how can one fail to give the best part a mention? Director Kusakawa Keizou uses the episode to brilliantly showcase his experience with the harem genre, having Godou french both the immortal loli and the hot Italian under the guise of lolmagick. Tongues, saliva, and all. Godou, you sunafa gun! At least we now know the reason Erica kissed him in that very first episode, demonstrated here as a transfer of knowledge about the god for the activation of his sword.

Well, even if I said this episode was a step up from the previous episodes, it still isn’t saying much. The pacing here does slow down to give the show time for dumping a load of details onto us, but the exposition is nearly always clumsily executed. Take for example, the admission from Godou about the last time he “died” and got resurrected, inserted as a passing statement in their discussion of the strategy to tackle Athena, an odd place to mention it, and I’m left there puzzled as to why they chose now of all times to bring this up instead of the first time he died. (Which I’m assuming here was the time when they fought with Verathragna.) I’m finding that there is a poor connect between these bits of explanation and the developments we’re getting, giving the show a – for lack of a better way to explain it – choppy, patchwork feel to it. Exposition and development fail to transition properly into each other, such as with the preamble to the fight with Athena here. I barely had any sense of its significance despite the grim consequences of letting her come into contact with the Divine Instrument.

I fear what we’ve been treated to until now is what we’re likely to see over the course of the show, and the choppy progression of the plot thus far sure doesn’t set a good precedence for what’s to come next.

Full-length images: 05, 07, 12, 17, 25, 30, 31.

 

Episode 04

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Campione   04   10 Campione   04   11 Campione   04   12
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Campione   04   25 Campione   04   26 Campione   04   27
Campione   04   28 Campione   04   29 Campione   04   30
Campione   04   31 Campione   04   32 Campione   04   33
Campione   04   34 Campione   04   35 Campione   04   36

「まつろわぬアテナ」 (Matsurowanu Atena)
“Rogue Athena”

Picking straight up from where episode 3 left off, Athena claims the Gorgonion from Mariya, leaving Godou to confront the fully awakened goddess in an epic final showdown. Well, I say final showdown, but true to light novel form, it’s not so much a fight as it is a battle of words. This is played amusingly straight in Campione!’s case, since his lecture on Athena’s history also doubles as a spell chant, the very thing that powers the golden sword. The infodump doesn’t seem to have any real significance to the fight asides from that weak justification, but well, ain’t that how it always goes in these battle-novel adaptations? At least the random facts and mythology guesswork make for much better small talk than idealism debates based on ridiculous premises. Yes Touma, I’m looking at you. I’m always looking at you. (The ToaruIndex one, in case anyone thought I was referring to the one here.)

It seems like we’ve only just started with Athena’s arc, yet here we already are at its conclusion. I don’t know how quickly these episodes are plowing through the volumes, but I guess the best thing I can say about the anime here is that the rush through the material isn’t as obvious as it was before, even if the story still seems to be moving at a brisk pace. The characters seem to be suffering for it though, because after all these episodes, Erica remains the only character to have made any kind of impression. A girl that’s open to polygamy and even puts another female up for our dense protagonist’s consideration? Erica keeps hogging all the awesome in this show! Plus, she’s the only one who feels like there’s depth to her character. Erica’s incessant reminders that she’ll be the one most suitable to Godou in the end almost seem like some kind of brainwashing, and it puts her motives under a questionable light, as does the fact that she practically orchestrated the entire situation with Athena. There’s little reason to doubt her devotion to Godou thus far, but Erica does seem to know far more about the going-ons in the world compared to most of the characters, which makes me wonder if she has any secret plans that require Godou’s cooperation, or if she’s trying to mold Godou in some manner.

Athena’s arc in its entirety felt extremely simple, a notion echoed by Amakasu Touma (Masumoto Shinobu) at the episode’s close, though I believe not quite in the same respect. The hinting at a bigger picture couldn’t be more obvious even without bringing up the foreshadowing of the Prophecy of Starless Night and the involvement of another campione, Duke Vobon, through Liliana’s presence in Japan. What I personally meant was that this first arc never quite lived up to the potential of the premise and kept with its relatively simple storyline of a rampaging, two dimensional baddie. Don’t get me wrong, I still find it entertaining enough, but I can’t seem to kill the hope for the show to be more than what it is at the moment.

_________

If you were anything like me and never touched the light novels before, chances are you probably couldn’t fully catch Godou’s winding lecture on Athena’s true nature unless you’re some kind of mythology buff. With some help from a well-read friend of mine, I’ve summarized what I believe the anime was trying to say here:

Show Spoiler ▼

I won’t presume this information to be 100% accurate, so if you happen to find any inconsistencies, feel free to point it out in the comments!

Full-length images: 23, 27, 33.

End Card

Campione   04   End Card
July 31, 2012 at 7:43 am
38 comments »
  • July 31, 2012 at 8:06 amPtolemaios00

    Seeing the action animated was definitely awesome. They also cut down Goudo’s Kotodama speech just enough to make sense. It does still feel a bit rushed, but at least they kept the important parts (like Erica’s teasing).

    The only thing that really bugs be is the overly grandiose narrator at the beginning of the OP and the preview.

    • July 31, 2012 at 8:12 amAsobi

      I don’t know about you, but I can never hate on Fumihiko Tachiki’s narration, ever since the Kaiji days. :D

    • August 1, 2012 at 5:55 amSuppa Tenko

      I kinda like it. It makes me feel like I’m watching Gao Gai Gar.

      So far compared to most harem protagonists, I actually like Godou. He’s not a complete perv but at the same time not dense. Reacts much like a well balanced normal person IMO. Also is relatively smart even though there’s no explanation for it and knowledge inexplicably appears. None the less he’s quite competent and doesn’t spout moral BS like Touma. Almost as good as Kirito I’d say.

      Overall despite it not going into LN level detail, I’m loving all of the big explosions and invincible main character.

  • July 31, 2012 at 8:33 ambelatkuro

    Aside from episode one which is the whole of volume 3, volume 1 was adapted quite well. Granted, the novels are a bit wordy with narrations of how the places look and what the characters are thinking but in animated form, that can be cut down to just showing it by animation and just including the dialogues in it. The dialogues here may seem tiresome to listen to but at least it has a purpose, mostly. It suffers a bit with the exposition of stuff but that’s the limitations of animating LNs I guess. Things can get cut down fast in a different medium but it keeps most of the important parts so I’m still okay with it.
    This fast pace will actually continue as the OP shows Ena, a character for volume 5. With how volume 1 was handled, each volumes may get 3-4 episodes as well so yeah.

    inb4 Gate of Babylon. It’s more like Unlimited Blade Works than GoB.
    Learn the difference.

    • July 31, 2012 at 9:06 amAsobi

      Or as I like to call it, UNLIMITEDBLADESOFBABYLONWORKS.

      • July 31, 2012 at 4:27 pmAiras

        Good one!

      • July 31, 2012 at 4:30 pmAiras

        UNLIMITEDGATESOFBABYLONBLADEWORKS!

    • August 1, 2012 at 6:23 amEuzio

      Actually, Its more like a mesh of Unlimited Blade Works and The library from Dantalian no Shoka. He has to chant out the God’s history then rain swords on them to deal any sort of damage XD

  • July 31, 2012 at 8:40 amG27

    I found an interesting link that really fits with EP4 myths:
    http://perseus.mpiwg-berlin.mpg.de/classes/finALp.html

  • July 31, 2012 at 8:58 amTingster013

    So we can transfer information through kissing? Really?? I am gonna get a smart girlfriend and kiss her, maybe this way her knowledge will be mine??

    • July 31, 2012 at 9:02 amG27

      lol, It’s a magic… Erica is a mage xD

    • July 31, 2012 at 5:49 pmDarke

      The premise is that the Campione’s body is highly resistant to magic (which also includes beneficial spells), so the only way to get magic inside the body is via kissing. Conveniently enough there’s a “Learning” spell that allows temporary knowledge transfer (as in, it’s forgotten within a day or two) from the mage to the subject. Thus the “kiss to grow smarter” scenes.

      • August 1, 2012 at 3:42 amTingster013

        One or 2 day is fine, I will just kiss her before the day of the exam…

    • August 1, 2012 at 4:57 amAndrew

      kiss – Specified data rates of 12 Mbit/s
      French kiss – Specified data rates of 480 Mbit/s
      … sex (?) – maximum transmission speed of up to 5 Gbit/s

      Magical industry standard

      I’m very like Erica …

    • August 1, 2012 at 6:26 amEuzio

      Its like how they transfer knowledge in the matrix. Except u do it mouth to mouth XD. As long as the opposite party is a beauty like Erica then i’d definitely prefer that method :P

  • July 31, 2012 at 9:26 amOrangeJuice

    Am I the only one who enjoyed the mytho history twist (as quoted in the spoiler)?
    I find it pretty cool even if it may not be accurate, it kinda make sense and make the “Deities” in this show all the more interesting.
    Maybe it’s just the mytho geek in me acting up, hehe :P

    And of course, there’s the sweet tongue action here and there *thumbs up*

    • July 31, 2012 at 1:43 pmBenz

      I wouldn’t call it a myth history twist or they may not be accurate, because for one all myths are not accurate to begin with, cause you know myths are myths there are no evidence to prove its exsistences. I wouldn’t go as far as saying the myth in these episode are true but I wouldn’t pass my judgement to say all of them are complete false either. Like you mention they way they put it here it kind of make sense in some way.

    • August 1, 2012 at 7:34 pmhaseo0408

      Well, the common origin of all myths and legends is one of the strong points of Campione!, because without the knowledge about the deity you are fighting a campione will not last long in the strugle against gods. The King of Swords, Salvatore Doni is an exception, that guy is a complete idiot so the fact he still lives is the true miracle not that he has killed a god.

  • July 31, 2012 at 10:05 amewok40k

    Erica is awesome female character, from combat prowess, to unashamed kissing antics to polygamy openess… she is strong enough to allow more girls into Goudou’s harem – especially if they seem quiet and passive enough to not threaten her no1 status…

  • July 31, 2012 at 1:58 pmSteven Den Beste

    Athena is going to be a regular character. And apparently by saying the things he did, while holding the sword, he cut Athena off from her past and destroyed the powers she had which came from that past. He let her go, but her power is much diminished now.

    My bet is that she eventually becomes part of the harem.

  • July 31, 2012 at 3:28 pmX

    This anime is boring. How can anyone watch this?

  • July 31, 2012 at 4:45 pmQwert

    After seeing Athena’s transformation there is no doubt in my mind that the gorgonion is an evil terrible artifact that must be destroyed.

    Thank god she changed relolified afterwards…

    • July 31, 2012 at 10:07 pmFallenrock

      *sigh* Loli Athena is indeed much cuter -_-

  • July 31, 2012 at 6:19 pmtendo

    Godou did not kill athena, nano
    athena should have the power of water, nano
    when is athena going to say nano?, nano

    • August 1, 2012 at 11:33 pmCybersteel

      omamori himari nano?

  • July 31, 2012 at 7:23 pmSilentCid

    Seems like Godou is taking his job seriously now.

  • July 31, 2012 at 9:02 pmMagus_Killer

    The explanation of Aeon of Isis, Aeon of Osiris, and whatnot, kinda feels its from To Aru Majutsu no Index. To expand on Asobi’s mention of Kusanagi Godou vis-a-vis Kamijou Touma, the former feels like an expy of the latter, for several reasons:

    1. Both of their names have something to gods: “God” in Godou, “Kami” in Kamijou
    2. Both use monologues before attacking/in-between attacking.
    3. Both have harems composed mainly of action girls.
    4. Both have defeated white-haired characters whose power levels are over 9000…
    5. Both suffer from a daily amount of misfortune (though Touma’s surpasses Godou’s by a large margin)
    6. Both characters strive to maintain a normal life despite magicians and other people related to the supernatural intruding every now and then.

    • July 31, 2012 at 9:44 pmjust as planned

      you’re overthinking.

    • July 31, 2012 at 10:02 pmAllen Walker

      Nice one.

    • July 31, 2012 at 11:33 pmArcad

      Over thinking but I really gotta agree

    • August 1, 2012 at 2:27 pmSalbazier

      Yes, overthinking. Especially since a number of those points are actually quite common. And the first one doesn’t make sense since it is very unlikely for a Japanese author to make a pun on a name based on english word. If the Japanese want to make a name carry certain meaning, they usually do it by kanji. For that matter, ‘kami’ in Kamijou may or may not mean god (I don’t know the actual meaning of his name)

    • August 1, 2012 at 7:38 pmhaseo0408

      Well, it´s true that Godou is different from any other Campione in the recorded history. First he killed a god that was considered completely invencible since the dawn of time and second, he is by far the youngest person to archive the tittle of King.

    • August 2, 2012 at 1:03 amAsobi

      I wouldn’t go as far as to say Godou’s an expy of Touma, after all, some of the points brought up can be expanded to encompass most other light novel protagonists. But yes, the similarities you pointed out are uncanny.

      FYI i dislike Touma because I find he’s far too much of an naive idealist who never grows as a character throughout the series.

  • August 1, 2012 at 6:28 pmWhookie

    Regarding Athena not being threatening, it’s the failure of the anime to portray just how big of a deal Campiones and Gods are.

    Athena turning everything to night and snuffing out the light was portrayed as terrifying for normal humans in the LN. It brought them back to the days when man was subservient to nature, huddling together and praying to a divinity that the calamity passes. Technology (symbolized by the fire Prometheus stole and gave to the humans) was taken from them. She brought back the primordial fear of nature (in this case, fear of the night) which led man to conceive of gods in the first place (god of volcanoes, god of the storm, god of the sea etc).

    Not to mention her petrification was downplayed. She was supposed to have kept using it all throughout the fight which forced Godou to keep using the golden sword to negate it (which eventually drained the golden sword) simultaneous with snake summoning and owls. Anyone who didn’t have the power to cut divine power would be an easy kill for Athena since even a Campione’s magic immunity doesn’t work against it.

  • August 1, 2012 at 8:07 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    So I’m thinking “while he’s talking athena to death” WAIT A MINUTE!! IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE EDUCATIONAL!?!?!?!!?! this is pretty decent though, ain’t as cool as being a DEMON LORD, but it’s aight and bound to get a little crazier….i hope

  • August 2, 2012 at 11:39 amNymphetamine2791

    ….If only I could learn my course material like that -___-

  • August 2, 2012 at 4:56 pmVad Deasduade

    Is it just me or does Athena remind you of Sanya (from Strike Witches)?

  • August 3, 2012 at 7:44 amWanderer

    Wait wait wait… Dog Days has vanished from the “Current Series” list. You’re still blogging this thing, but dropping that series?!