OP: 「Brave Blade!」 by 桜川めぐ (Sakuragawa Megu)
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「王様のいる風景」 (Osama no iru Fuke)
“A Day in the Life of a Lord”
This is actually getting pretty fun to follow. That is, if I tune my nitpicking mind out. I honestly expected better from the man who gave us the screenplays of Stein;Gate and Level E, because the pacing and writing of Campione! is quite simply a mess. Need an example? Let’s start with the opening of the show, right after that standard oh-so-mysterious dream sequence.
“It’s been a week.”
“I defeated Verethragna, and became the god-slayer, the Campione.”
“For no apparent reason, I became the center of attention, was forced to test my abilities against another Campione, and finally returned to Japan.”
……wait what. Yes, you read that right. To use Godou’s words, for no apparent reason, what seems to be a major plot point got shafted into a 5 seconds long monologue. The aftermath of him killing a god and becoming the center of attention, that’s gotta be pretty damn important, right? At least more so than 5 seconds? And I’m not even going to go into how the heck Godou came to get a hold of Verethragna’s 10 avatars by killing him, or the so-called conditions of his power that doesn’t seem to stop him from zipping around and destroying historical sites like a…well…god, or what exactly being a campione entails and why mage associations are seeking him, or even why Erica suddenly fell in love with him. Wait, in fact, let’s just scrape that last question. It’s an unquestionable rule that haremettes love the MC for reasons unknown. Campione!’s story, when held up to the light, just seems to fall completely apart. You can still feel the places where the invisible threads are suppose to tie these arbitrary details consistently together, but the threads are just not there for me to make sense of it all.
What irks me more so than this is that precious airtime is given to shown extremely unnecessary scenes. Try counting the number of times you’ve seen the “transfer student and class misunderstanding followed by a dash out of the room for some explanation” scene before. How is something like that a priority over some much needed exposition on the actual plot? Certainly, I do not expect an anime to explain everything to me, especially if it of little relevance to the story. You won’t find me harping endlessly on the irrelevant bits like how the heck they managed to get to Italy in a single night, because it’s not the main point of the story. The fact is that Campione! seems to be skirting around the bits that seem especially essential to its plot, rushing through a suite of developments that makes the whole episode feel like it was hastily patched together, and I can’t quite puzzle out what exactly the show wants to tell me as it throws out arbitrary terms like Authorities and Divine Instruments while expecting me to have some kind of understanding.
The thing is, if I can tune out all these plot holes and gaps in exposition, I can still make sense of the plot well enough to suffice. I get that killing gods somehow gives the victor their powers, I get that it’s due to this that Godou has become a central figure in the gods & magic world, and I get that Erica suddenly fell in love with him, even if there is a lack of proper explanations of all of these developments. Campione!’s story isn’t a hard one to follow or figure out, and if I can tune out all these inconsistencies and the erratic pacing, (which isn’t particularly hard) I can focus on the parts that Campione! does seem to get right.
Because for all the flaws I’ve mentioned, Campione! is still bizarrely entertaining to watch.
For one thing, it’s always hilariously fun when a girl is being so completely open with her unyielding love in a generic harem setup. Erica takes that up a notch and makes for a really entertaining heroine to watch, with a compelling number of facets to her character, going from manipulative to understanding, a temptress to knightly, as well as everything in between. With such a passive protagonist in Godou, Erica becomes the indisputable star of the show, and as they say, it’s the haremettes that make or break a harem show. With such an entertaining character to kick this harem off, I’m wondering this can be built upon with the other haremettes who seem equally open with their attraction, including Mariya Yuri (Hanazawa Kana) and Kraňčar Liliana (Kitamura Eri) who appeared this episode. And for all I complained about the uninspired plot and art, Studio Diomedea continues to deliver on the fights with the show, mixing up some brilliant choreography than conveys Godou’s amateurish experience surprisingly well, as he grasps with his newfound godly power.
Yes, I myself am torn on the show, because for all its inexcusable flaws and clichés, I find myself strangely entertained just by watching the silly harem antics and fights. I’ve likened it to Infinite Stratos before, and I do believe the comparison is apt, both being series I should be by all account hating, but end up looking upon them as guilty pleasures. Maybe I’m simple like that. Or maybe it’s because of summer. But even if I’m being entertained, I’m still hoping that the plot will formalize itself into something consistently sensible as we go forward with a story that seems to be dealing with another well-known mythological figure, Athena (Ogura Yui) from the Greek pantheon.
ED: 「Raise」 by 小倉唯 (Ogura Yui)
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