Random Curiosity

Kampfer – 02 »

Kampfer – 01

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 ▼

October 2, 2009 at 6:07 am
  • October 2, 2009 at 6:12 amJaberlen

    I watched it!!
    Loved it!!

  • October 2, 2009 at 6:12 amImadori

    one of the series i don’t want to see this season, the storyline is not worth watching.

  • October 2, 2009 at 6:17 amJaberlen

    er…. imadori
    Give it a break, it’s just comedy… XP

  • October 2, 2009 at 6:23 amXSD

    So wrong, yet so right.. Gives that moe feel to it~! :D

  • October 2, 2009 at 6:28 amhellishdude

    will watch…after it ends :P

  • October 2, 2009 at 6:41 amewok

    red team, blue team, team fortress anyone?

  • October 2, 2009 at 6:44 amAlec

    hope this anime doesnt lose its steam like most anime do

  • October 2, 2009 at 7:01 amyuuji

    more like red vs blue (halo :D)

  • October 2, 2009 at 7:02 amMentar

    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

  • October 2, 2009 at 7:10 amHenry

  • October 2, 2009 at 7:29 amSadintotna

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 8:17 amSiddharth

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 8:19 amTOP2NE1

    Seems like they’ve diverged form the manga a little. Natsuru seems a bit more lame/pathetic in the anime.

    Manga > Anime, as of now.

  • October 2, 2009 at 8:42 amBaka Hentai

    Any resemblance to Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki is of course coincidental. ;-)

  • October 2, 2009 at 8:45 ammutio

    Sex and fanservice sells unfortunately..

  • October 2, 2009 at 8:48 amMegas

    A double-trap anime. Its definitely been done before but I’ll give it a chance. Hell, if it ends up being shit – well, I’m more than use to watching shit these days.

  • October 2, 2009 at 8:51 ammice

    this is definitely one of the best watch this season, but seems like the western community already got scared off by the trap + seemingly generic harem ecchi stuff.

  • October 2, 2009 at 9:11 amPrecise Moment

    1st episode was good enough to merit not dropping it. Hopefully there is actually a plot and its portrayed well enough along with the obvious fan service.

  • October 2, 2009 at 9:14 amduh

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 9:17 amRemy

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 9:41 amIrie

    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!

  • October 2, 2009 at 9:43 amB-Rizzle

    I’m loving this so far. I’m watching this for some “guilty pleasure”.

  • October 2, 2009 at 10:49 amViper

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 11:07 amJen

    As of now, it’s off to a semi-decent start. As long as they keep the nudity, groping and swimsuits to a minimum, it should at least be one of the better average shows this season.

  • October 2, 2009 at 11:27 amAnon

    well this will be the first and last time I read the blog entries about kampher. Not even worth mentioning.

  • October 2, 2009 at 12:00 pmpierce

    Yes! It’s been decided. Kämpfer will be my ecchi anime this season.

  • October 2, 2009 at 12:26 pmHappiness

    Woah boobies! Lots of skin shown is quite nice. Just hope this doesn’t turn into a bad anime though.

  • October 2, 2009 at 12:53 pmdivine

    Sakura was the one that gave Natsuru the freakish looking stuffed animal. She’s apparently a big fan of the Zoumotsu Animal franchise and loves giving them to her friends.

  • October 2, 2009 at 1:03 pmMegas

    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 :P

  • October 2, 2009 at 1:30 pmGod~Knows~

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 1:30 pmdivine

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 2:06 pmLiptonTwinkie

    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

  • October 2, 2009 at 2:18 pmDarth

    I enjoyed this. The humor was kinda “meh”, but the rest managed to keep me entertained. Will be looking forward to the rest.

    Oh, and the ED was awesome. :D

  • October 2, 2009 at 2:20 pmBrass2TheMax

    This kind of show is pretty far outside of what I usually watch, but I decided to give it a try… But I couldn’t stand the first episode. Dropped.

  • October 2, 2009 at 2:31 pmKaioshin Sama

    Othe then the sexy fanservice this one looks like junk. Then again I’ve never been a fan of the whole genderbending trend for even a second.

  • October 2, 2009 at 2:55 pmdivine

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 3:12 pmJubbz

    I was impressed with Kampfer as well. Surprisingly, the humor was good, especially Akane’s unintended innuendo XD

  • October 2, 2009 at 3:32 pmArc

    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~

  • October 2, 2009 at 3:44 pmspeakforyourself

    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)

  • October 2, 2009 at 3:45 pmSilver

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 4:01 pmUnknownYu

    those female uniform sure are TIGHT. …

  • October 2, 2009 at 4:03 pmlawlMSP

    Not gonna lie, the logo from the OP completely reminded me of K-ON’s.

  • October 2, 2009 at 4:03 pmDP

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 4:04 pmChimasternmay

    eh wtf ill watch it

  • October 2, 2009 at 4:24 pmRZX

    someone can tell me what is the height of Natsuru? that compared
    with rannma girl natsuru girl is high.

  • October 2, 2009 at 5:23 pmMike

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 5:30 pmHighman

    Well the characters are amusing and the fights are just that boring. I kinda thought it was more creative but anyway Mai HiME stands the king of Shoujo.

  • October 2, 2009 at 5:31 pmMike

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 6:21 pmZeeds

    Just Garbage. Nothing more to say.

  • October 2, 2009 at 6:44 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    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

  • October 2, 2009 at 6:46 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    ……..so of course i have to watch it.

  • October 2, 2009 at 6:52 pmMegas

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 6:58 pmKaus

    Does it qualify as a trap if its a female body?

  • October 2, 2009 at 7:04 pmart

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 7:07 pmdivine

    I’m too scared to get into a discussion about that, so let’s not go there…

  • October 2, 2009 at 7:18 pmC.R.

    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.)

  • October 2, 2009 at 7:20 pmJon

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 8:07 pmNinja Penguin

    The first episode exceeded all my initial expectations, and I really enjoyed it. If Kampfer can keep it up, then it’s going to be a fun ride.

  • October 2, 2009 at 9:23 pmmasamune111

    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.

  • October 2, 2009 at 9:46 pmSilver

    @ Megas

    That’s one reason why I like NOMAD. They totally reminds me of Galaxy Angel as I think they did an excellent job with that series.

  • October 3, 2009 at 6:42 ambobara

    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. :)

  • October 3, 2009 at 9:38 pmSOSAnimeBoy

    The dancing in the ed looks really painful.

  • October 4, 2009 at 12:46 amBlaque

    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.

  • October 4, 2009 at 7:20 amPappy

    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

  • October 4, 2009 at 7:58 amManami-chin

    It was unexpectedly good! Great comedy

  • October 4, 2009 at 3:54 pmSilver

    @ 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.

  • October 5, 2009 at 8:46 amActar

    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?

  • October 5, 2009 at 9:02 pmswr

    I like to it. It cool.

  • October 7, 2009 at 8:19 pmRyoga

    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

  • October 24, 2009 at 9:53 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    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.