OP Sequence

OP: 「あんりある♥パラダイス」 (Unreal Paradise) by 栗林みな実 (Kuribayashi Minami)
Watch the OP! Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Streaming ▼

「Schicksal ~選ばれし者~」 (Erabareshimono)
“Destiny ~The Chosen Ones~”

For a story about a healthy, hormone raging, 17 year old teenage boy with the ability to transform into a drop dead gorgeous girl, Kampfer sure manages to keep things pretty damn innocent. That’s my impression based on the manga thus far anyway, and this first episode sort of reaffirms it. Very cunningly, they manage to shift the focus from all the possibilities in the bedroom by concentrating on the fighting that fellow Kampfers have to engage in. Oh isn’t that convenient. I guess fighting really does solve everything, at least when it comes to anime.

Now before everyone says, “Here goes divine again with his SEKIREI-like anime”, I’ll go with the preemptive “Damn straight!”. Difference this time is, we don’t have to deal with one guy building up his harem of girls who need his love juices to get going. Instead, we have the ultimate trap a la Ranma 1/2 style in one Senou Natsuru. Played by Inoue Marina who’s known for her male roles, Natsuru can come off sounding like a guy when he’s supposed to and like a really soft-spoken girl when he transforms into his female Kampfer counterpart. To be honest, knowing that he’s played by a girl is probably the only reason I’m comfortable with checking out his female form. Sounds dumb huh? …or does it!? >_>

Having skimmed through the manga a few days earlier, I admittedly found the pacing of the story somewhat sluggish much like Omni did. That was a bit surprising because just like this first episode, we’re thrown into this wild premise of girls who are chosen by Moderators to become Kampfers, granted special powers via a type of weaponry (Zauber/magic, Gewehr/guns, Schwert/swords), and instructed to fight one another by their respective Messengers, who happen to take the form of stuffed animals with their innards/guts hanging out. (Yes, you did read that last part right.) Amidst all this, we actually have a sort of high school romance thing going on, with Natsuru interested in the out-of-his-league school beauty, Sakura Kaede (Nakajima Megumi of Ranka Lee Macross F fame).

Things get interesting in that department when Kaede falls for Natsuru’s female version after “she” saves her from a random attack by his soon-to-be-ally — the trigger happy, foul-mouthed, Mishima Akane (Horie Yui) who is actually the timid school librarian when she’s not busy busting heads as her red-headed other self. Over the course of the episode, we learn that Akane is actually on Natsuru’s side in this Kampfer fight since they both have blue bracelets and that they automatically transform when hostile red bracelet-wearing Kampfer are around. They’re both attacked by one of these Red Kampfers at the end of the episode, who appears to be Kaede but is expectantly none other than the student council president, Sangou Shizuku (Nazuka Kaori).

That’s quite a bit of stuff to have thrown in your face at once, so you would kind of expected things to pick up pretty quickly. However, the manga failed to show any indication of that and put my expectations of this anime adaptation in for a loop. Much to my surprise though, everything is like a million times better animated for Kampfer. The first ten minutes of this episode made me quickly realize that and I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I knew what was coming up. I mean the fan-service is one thing (including the struggles of being a girl), but Hocchan playing the foul-mouthed Akane is just priceless, especially at certain times. I really like the character designs in this adaptation as well. In fact, I think I prefer them over the manga ones. *gasp* The comedy was mildly humorous throughout (in a good way) and they even took cheap plugs with seiyuu references which were reminiscent of Hayate no Gotoku‘s style.

My only concern at this point is if they’ll have enough substance to prevent this from turning into another random high school fighting anime + trap. Seeing as the original work is a light novel that began almost three years ago, I’m hoping there’s more material from that than the one and a half year old manga has shown. If so, it should be a fun series to follow. Nomad has pleasantly surprised me with this first episode so I’ll be watching it either way, but it’s always nice when an anime is entertaining “and then some”. Things should get more interesting when Natsuru’s childhood friend Kondou Mikoto (Asumi Kana) shows up in person and when he makes his way to the girl’s side of their gender-divided school.

Seeing as there are quite a few naysayers with this series (*points at Patrik*), I might just have to see this series through blogging-wise to show it in a better light.


ED Sequence

ED: 「ワンウェイ両想い」 (One Way Ryouomoi) by 井上麻里奈, 中島愛 (Inoue Marina, Nakajima Megumi)
Watch the ED! Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Streaming ▼


  1. I must say that I do prefer the manga art ^_^; … but other than that, I’m quite happy with the conversion overall. Should turn into a nice “guilty pleasure” for mindless fun

  2. The directors seem to follow the Nolan school of “do a billion cut shots and jitter-cams to make sure no one figures out how much our fight scenes actually suck.” Anything I could make sense of was painfully generic.

    The fanservice nearly put me to sleep. Anyone that is looking to use sex in anime better keep in mind that Queen’s Blade is airing this season. Top it or just don’t do fanservice. There’s no point otherwise.

    Either way, it was just too boring to continue watching. I’ve seen AMVs with more thought put into them.

  3. Just finished watching Episode 1. I must say, the part about “turning into a girl with superpowers” really caught my attention, and I really enjoyed the first episode. Lets see how this continues on from the next episode.

  4. Inoue Marina and Horie Yui are great voice actresses and the section in the library with all the seiyuu references was probably the highlight of the show for me, however overall the show looks like it’s going to be pretty bad. Possibly semi-enjoyable-in-an-ashamedly-way kind of bad, but it does look like it’s in the same vein as Sekirei and hopefully won’t be as bad as say Akikan.

  5. As much as this tries to imitate Ranma 1/2, it can’t touch it. Don’t care much for an anime where a woman trapped in a boy’s body realizes that she was born with the wrong tool downstair, but through the miracle of magic, can transform herself to the gender she was meant to be.

  6. Seems to have excellent production value. Loved the manga and this first episode doesn’t disappoint. I’m waiting for a plot surprise with the childhood friend. Wasn’t she the one that gave away those stuffed animals? Thanks for following!

  7. There actually isn’t that much fanservice at all. Outside of the “coming back from commercial” animation and the ending animation, everything is very innocent. Far less than most animes. And yes, I read the manga, and the show is wayyy more entertaining animated.

  8. The level of innocence of the so-called ecchi scenes in this anime can’t be overlooked. Right now, I don’t think another anime like this can survive w/o semi-extreme fanservice. It doesn’t have to get as bad as Juuden or Queen’s Blade. But it doesn’t even come close to Seikirei as of yet. In other words, its boring as hell. But I won’t call it shit yet. A measly booby-transformation scene ain’t going to do it – even Nanoha had that 😛

  9. I likes them traps.
    But the animation budget is definitely lacking.Something of Index or Shana’s level would do wonders for the fight scenes.The fights are essentially 1/3 of the whole anime’s premise.

    1. Boobs
    2. Oppai
    3. Girls trying to kill each other.

  10. I’m actually hoping they don’t try to milk the fan service too much and just use it as a complement to the actual show. They have a lot going for them with the quirky characters and crazy premise, so I don’t think they need to resort to it. However, producers always seem to take that out if ratings look like they’re dropping below expectations.

  11. I’ve read this series on the manga, im surprised this would get picked up as a review here……it’s pretty boring. Not even the action in this can be enough to attract my attention

  12. It’s all about broadening your tastes so you don’t fall into typical target audience categories. Go in with an open mind / benefit of the doubt mentality and you may find something you like. Go in convinced you’ll hate it and well, you’ll probably hate it. If you gave it a try and didn’t like it, fair enough. We can’t all like the same stuff.

    I’d recommend shows like Kampfer to people who tend to watch a lot of anime concurrently. If you’re one of those people who only have time to follow one or two shows, it makes sense to be more selective. Just watch your Gundams, CODE GEASSes, Fullmetal Alchemists, and Darker than Blacks of the season. Mainstream it up to make the most of your time.

    I’m here to give some limelight to the often glossed over stuff though.

  13. Shana and Index are the best examples of how much shows with extremely awesome animation can actually fail = poor characters, poor story, loads of useless senseless talking crap = completely waste of time
    Will check out railgun to see if it turns out to be the exact same crap again, hope not~

  14. I read the Manga. I read the Novels. I watched this Episode. Judgement: APPROVED

    well – it cant be compared to code geass or full metal alchemist action-or-emotional-disaster-wise (yet) – but the shows starts rather nice and somehow refreshing if you compare it to the mecha/yuri waves. If i wanted to see peeing girls with tazers i watch juuden, if i want to see hentai, i watch queensblade (seriously the first episode could also count as random tentacle rape…other topic) and if i want to see something promising: this one can be good.
    For the first episode it was good show – now hope that they dont go down like princess lover. Personally i don’t think that 12/3 Episodes will display the whole content of the novels – but hey – lets see 2-3 episodes later how the shows going.

    ps: fall09 watchlist 17 animes/droprate about 7 after 3 episodes (i give them a chance)

  15. Well, as far as I’m concern, I rather like it because the fanservice is not those type that’s in your face type. It’s a bit more subtle. Seriously, watching panty shot over and over is irritating because it’s so in your face. This one I have not seen it once and the fanservice is here and there but they just don’t stick out like a sore thumb. Not only that, the animation was surprisingly nice. Then again, it’s from NOMAD and I really like them for the Galaxy Angel series.

  16. I liked it.

    The animation itself wasn’t super-impressive, but the basic designs were fine. But more important, it was fast-paced, not boring, and well directed.

    Having a Ranma-style character subverts some of the more boring harem cliche and makes this an interesting hybrid between harem/fighting and magical girl show!

    Making the Kampfer switch personality or sex when transformed adds an extra fun element. So you could say Akane is a perfect tsundere, as she’s shy library girl in normal form but tough girl in kampfer form. What’s nice is that she knows it, which adds some extra depth to the character.

    Plus you got to love having a foul-mouthed talking stuffed animal mascot named Black Seppuku Bunny and that all the stuffed pets have their entrails falling out. Extra points for making that not the hero(ine)’s mascot but another character’s.

  17. I have such high hope for this anime but sadly it just feel normal to me, not great but normal.

    1. I can’t help but feel that the VA for this anime just don’t seem to fit its character, which is unusual for an anime. Example the main characters voice sound so childish and I dont mean young as a teenager but young like a 8-9 yr old kid. Marina Inoue as Natsuru Senō just don’t seem to fit the male side VA, if it up to me I would pick someone like Kazuya Ichijou.
    Then his stuff animeal also sound very unfit, I would think Mitsuaki Madono who play Kon in bleach would have been a much better choice.

    2. This show is mainly created for some fan service, but I notice every panty shot or fan service shot that we suppose to get is all cover up, why create a show when one of its main focus in attracting its viewer by its fan service but end up not showing any at all. Feel like princess lover with its black hole again.

    3. Some of the joke and enjoyable part in the manga come from fan service, but the anime seems to change part of it and cut out the fan service but in the end it tend to cut the joke from its as well. So it just not as funny as the manga.

    Like I say overall I have such high hope for this anime but it just feel very normal to me right now, hopefully this is only the first episode and the creator will be smarter and put back the fan service back in the anime.
    I don’t deny I am pervert but honestly some of the jokes in the manga also came from these fan service so by cutting them come from the anime it cut out the jokes and make this whole experience alot less enjoyable.

  18. For example in the manga during the library scene where Natsuru Senō was suppose to act as bait had a reason and a little fan service, but in the anime Mishima Akane just ask Natsuru Senō go act as bait and he just say ok and run out without the scene in the manga. I don’t know but that just feel so stupid to me.

  19. This is one of those many cases where the Manga shouldnt even exist. it was TRASH at best.
    i could write a better manga plot with a pencil hanging out my arse-hole. i have zero expectations for this. i mean “seriously” has anyone actually read that crap. the mangaka should be ashamed

    BROOKLYN otaku
  20. I actually think the seiyuu is spot-on for Natsuru. I won’t split hairs about this. Just how low do you think a seiyuu’s voice that plays a cross-gender character should be. Adding on that, its Nomad we’re talking about here. They don’t have the cash to hire 2 seiyuu for one character. They pulled off great stuff with hardly no money before. They also haven’t bombed anything before.

    Given that, I really do like the way that they convey action scenes. They don’t overdo them. The action in Rozen Maiden & Sola was some of the best of their times. I just don’t want them to mix genres with this. If its going to be action-ecchi, then let it stay ecchi & make it funny because of it. If it going to be an action-comedy then let it stay a comedy w/o screwing us with boobs & panties. So far they’re doing the latter.

    Nomad don’t make shit. Even though Chokotto Sister was pretty bad, it still wasn’t shit. That’s what happens when they mix genres.

  21. @Highman
    Mai HiME king of Shoujo? what?
    from the very first episode you can see Mai is going to end up with that totally useless, unbelievably annoying guy from first ep, even though they are like ‘have nothing really to do with each other’ in the whole series.

  22. hahaha,when I skimmed the plotline(scribble,scribble,guy turns into girl,scribble,scribble,objective to fight,scribble,scribble,Akane-tsundere type,scribble,scribble)wait a minute…this all sounds very similar to a certain old late 80’s-mid 90’s similar trap comedy fighting anime series. I look further;nope, not another ranma 1/2 series.interesting. I haven’t seen it yet,but I’ll make some time to check it out.I’m between shows right now.(though I doubt this show will go over 6 seasons,heh.)

  23. While Inoue Marina may work for some male characters, doing a 17 year old male isn’t the right voice. When I see Natsuru’s male form with a voice a 10 year old kid would have made me wince. Thankfully, Natsuru doesn’t exist in his male form much. I think having a male voice actor for his male form would be best, but even someone like Romi Paku might be passable, Inoue Marina just has too high a voice for a 17 year old male. And to think the transformation gave him boobs, took away his “thing”, but couldn’t stretch his larynx.

  24. Despite being predictable (all the generic plot points and characters seem to be there), it was actually quite entertaining entertaining. Not much of a fan of fanservice-y shows, but if Bakemonogatari and Gurren Lagann are indications, shows like that might actually have some substance in them yet.

    And Lol at Seiyuu jokes.

  25. That was more or less disapppointing.
    I agree that Marina Inoue also voicing the male Natsuru isn’t the right choice.
    Same goes for whoever is voicing the stuffed animal. What an annoying voice.
    Highlights of this episode: Yukari Tamura as Seppuku Kuro Usagi and Yui Horie as Akane. 🙂

  26. The show was rather mindless, but to be honest, I was surprised it wasn’t this Needless/Ikkitousen fanservice fest. It has a lot of magic skirt and such, but overall is pretty much more about the fights, which is pretty surprsing. And it was actually funny, soemthing these shows tend to actually fail to do sometimes, which I give it props for myself.

    And stuff.

  27. Well, I’ll have to say I like it. When I saw this, I immediately thought “this is the mindless light-hearted series I’ve been waiting for this season.” It’s not too serious, and it’s easy to say it doesn’t force it.

    Also I like it because their full use of “moe.” I’m not a fan of ecchi but I’m a sucker for anything adorable, which Natsuru excels at.

    In the manga,a character noted how similar the female Natsuru’s voice is with the normal Natsuru. So they stuck to the material; hence the same VA for both versions

  28. @ Mike

    Does all fanservice MUST have panty shots slamming you in the face? Anyway, at least we don’t see black holes in this one probably because they don’t intend to show it at all. The fanservice seems to be somewhere else.

  29. I really don’t understand the widely varying opinions of the people here. Some say it’s great while others say it’s trash. Really disconcerting.

    Really strange that people can say that the series has a horrible plot. Seriously? With most Anime today just based on character interactions, especially Slice of Life Anime, I enjoyed this episode. What ‘substance’ could you possibly be looking for?

    – Characters were interesting and well fleshed out.
    – Interesting concept that while common, is unique enough.
    – Good action that kept me glued.
    – Just enough fanservice.

    Comparing this series to Queens Blade with statements like: ‘top Queen’s Blade or don’t have fanservice’ is simply ridiculous. Queens Blade was simply to extreme and plot wise, I found the average Hentai Anime much more appealing. No show can top Queens Blade in fanservice, or should I say outright Hentai?

  30. Instantly thought of Ranma ½ reading the very first sentence here ^^
    Heyyy what the.. it even has an Akane! <3

    There’s been quite a few series “inspired” by Rumiko Takahashi so far now, including that recent Urusei Yatsura rip-off; To-Love Ru

  31. Pretty good so far (watched all 4 released so far).

    The seiyuu references and the blantant Gundam references are funny, lol. (At least from subs.)

    “You may be a Kampfer, but you’re not a Mobile Suit!” – Since the Kampfer is a Zeon Mobile Suit from Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket.

    “So reds really ARE three times faster!” – Reference to Zeon ace pilot Char Aznable piloting his red Zaku II, declared to be 3x faster than a standard Zaku II, lol.


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