Campione! – 12
「天叢雲劍」 (Ten Murakumo Tsurugi)
“The Sword of Ama no Murakumo”
I don’t think anyone could’ve mistook the heavy-headed innuendo-laced “resuscitation” of Erica here. The setup with Godou’s extremely convenient “youth” authority that just happened to be what the doctor ordered for the mana (and love) deprived Erica is little more than an excuse for the studio to put out the scene, and the writers themselves certainly didn’t seem bother with any kind of subtlety here; no, rather than that, it almost seemed like they reveled in the parodic nature of Godou’s “make-out” session with Erica, and decided to bring it all the way to the edge of that fine line between ecchi and hentai while they still had the chance. But if they wanted to make me all hot and bothered, I can tell you that the only effect they achieved was to leave me extremely confused and feeling strangely awkward. I honestly didn’t know whether I should be laughing or cringing when the show pulled out phrases like “I can feel your power inside me” while the camera cheekily pans over on some very telling areas. Or when Erica started bleeding from all the “kissing”. Or that the whole thing played out with them in the missionary position. You see what I mean? Completely unsubtle about what it’s trying to be, highly amusing, and awkward as hell. Which I guess just basically describes most borderline-H shows I’ve seen. You really don’t want anyone to be around you when you’re watching this.
Since I’m talking about that particular scene anyway, I want to mention it was hilarious, and pretty facepalm-worthy, how Godou was still in denial of Erica’s feelings when she was literally at death’s door. As I’ve personally found out, there’s actually limit to the denseness viewers can accept! What a surprise! And when the guy still refuses to acknowledge the words of a girl speaking out her dying will, well now, that’s suspension of belief on a level even I can’t quite achieve. I’m just glad she eventually got through to him, or I probably would’ve stopped watching there and then. It reiterates the fact that the point of this arc was to bring into question the dynamics of the harem and Godou’s feelings about it, but the progression of events from last episode is choppy to say the least, and the effect undermined by the gratuitous focus on the physical aspect rather than the emotional aspect of reciprocating Erica’s feelings.
The really ironic bit is that this scene just happens to be the most…interesting (for lack of a better word) few minutes of what amounts to a wholly unremarkable episode. The plot dealing with the Susanoo, the underworld, and Ena being possessed by Ama no Murakamo all felt underwhelming despite the fact that some of the ideas on show here were actually pretty neat. We see an amiable rough god in Susanoo who doesn’t immediately jumps to fight, and we learn that Ena is his descendant, effectively making her a demigod of sorts. However, these are all quickly glossed over in the anime’s rush to wrap up by next episode’s conclusion, and served to make both the ensuing conflict with Murakumo as well as the sudden appearance of the two contrasting Athenas seem tacked on and completely unspectacular. Even the animation team seemed to pick up on this, with the kiss scene having a noticeably improved quality to the animation over the rest of shoddily animated the episode.
Ena probably got the worst of the cuts. There was a strong focus on leading haremette Erica throughout this arc, and the amount of time given to Ena’s characterization is so minimal I honestly had to wonder why she was positioned as a main heroine from the start of the series, when her purpose in the storyline feels little more than being an unwitting damsel in distress with some fanservice to top it off.
I highly doubt the final episode will be enough to salvage the rushed, unenjoyable mess this arc has become, and I can only hope that the show goes out with a spectacle of a fight; that aspect always seems to be where Campione! is best at.