「荒ぶる魔王、太陽の勇者」 (Saburu Maou , Taiyou no Yuusha)
“The Turbulent Demon King, The Sun Hero”

Now, let me get this straight first: This wasn’t a bad episode. Far from it, in fact. The showdown between Godou and Perseus was quite possibly the most thrilling sequence the show’s put out, and in my opinion was a much better watch than the climax with Athena and Voban. There’s a visceral quality to this fight that I never knew Campione! had to it, and makes it all the better for as we see Godou and Perseus hurting and doing some proper bloody damage to each other. ‘Course, the part with Liliana getting brainwashed by the fabulousness of Perseus and Godou snapping her back to reality with the power of love was just a teensy-winsey bit too contrived for my taste. Nothing’s perfect. Still, the best part is that the mythological exposition seemed to have taken a backseat when it was previously the focus of these showdowns, and I can’t say how glad I am that the fight itself takes much of the spotlight here. This episode was all about dropping the pretense from the developments, made so evident by the largely wordless and innuendo-laden kiss scene here, kiss scenes which always has been…well, little more than a exposition-glorified make-out session between Godou and whatever haremette was the flavor of the day. In short, brilliant! I’d call it a step in the right direction from the show, which at its heart was always nothing but another battle-romcom-fantasy, and it seems to finally be embracing its true nature rather than awkwardly posing as something more…complex than what it was. Or perhaps the scales finally fell from my eyes and I’ve come to see that Campione! was not the layered story I expected, or hoped it to be. It’s only after watching this last two episodes, this and last week’s enjoyably exaggerated romcom, that I’ve come to understand this fact.

Now, here’s my beef with the show. Sure, it’s finally embracing it’s true self, but in doing so, the episode was simply the show going through the motions, as per it’s three-episode pledge > turn > prestige magic act. There’s nothing to break the story from this trapping, and this creates an episode that is largely unexciting in any developments whatsoever. There’s no creativity to be had here, not when the show itself is following its own structure so strictly, and there’s nothing about the storytelling that excites me beyond “omigawd, that’s some cool choreography!” and nothing gets me all hot and bothered like “man, how much longer are they going to go at it?” beyond these admittedly basal things. And the entertainment value is wearing very thin after two and a half months of following this.

It’s a shame really, because what’s undoing the show for me now is that after watching nine episodes of a show that hasn’t really dared to do anything outside of the comfortable and minimal structure, it’s kinda sorta little…no, well, it’s immensely boring the heck out of me to watch these. I honestly did think that this was the best climax of any of Campione!’s arcs, perhaps even the strongest of the story arcs we’ve seen until now, as the show seemed to have finally found its footing. But this is little more than refinement of what’s come before, and with nothing that would even get me moderately excited about the happenings. My mind could be switched off the whole episode and I’d hardly have missed a thing. In fact, you know what? It probably was. Even the whole subplot of Athena conspiring to kill Perseus saw little investment from me, let alone the main story that does little more than to deliver yet another god and girl into Godou’s arms. There’s an entire world of gods and magic out there waiting to be explored by the story, but it seems content on focusing on the micro picture instead of the macro. Not necessarily a bad thing, but by anime standards, Campione!’s take on it is pretty run-of-the-mill. Campione! is another one of the summer-throwaways, and for me, it seems like the mood for throwing away is settling in a slight bit earlier than its end, if it’s not going to show a little variety.

Funny how things worked out. I didn’t intend for the post to come off as this much of a rant, yet here we are. The show’s gradual shift towards playing up its battle romcom aspects in a straight manner is a welcome shift, and might better serve the show in its final few episodes, but here’s where Campione! must display some variety in its delivery in this as well, or it’s just going to continue boring me if we’re treated to the same stuff.

Full-length images: 09, 33.

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  1. No romcom is complete without the loli, a crazy yandere, a bipolar tsundere and .. wait Athena fits them all. She is the one Godou should aim for. That’s why I keep watching it for the GodouxAthena ship. The fights are just icing on the cake for me.

  2. It might seem boring because due to the fact that they rush and skip many part of the novel, can’t help it when LN turn into anime it bound too happen. An anime will only be exciting when they follow the LN exactly and explaining all the little details about the plot but thats rarely happens. The only exception I seen so far is Accel world which follow the novel close to 95% novel material.

    1. It wouldn’t matter even if they did spend that extra episode on exposition because the main plot of the arc would still be basically what Asobi described; Godou meets girl, Godou meets boss character, fall back/retreat, learn about boss character, fight, kiss, defeats boss character.

  3. As a fan of the light novel, I am also very sad how much they rush through the material. 2 or 3 episodes per novel/arc is an insane pace and it hurts to see so many details get lost while they burn through the pare minimum of the plot. I’m crying.

  4. You really hit the nail there with all your insight, Asobi. I think the anime’s main reason of being is to just be a glorified advertisement for the light novels, hence the frantic pacing it has to cram in as much material as possible in the time they have. Although, despite all its glaring weaknesses, I just can’t get myself to hate it. In fact, after each episode, I find myself strangely satisfactorily entertained and contented. If I had to guess why, I think its because I just love the characters, especially Erica and Liliana, and even Godou. Yes, they’re all cliches that we’ve seen numerous times before in any standard romantic harem anime, yet each deviates just a little bit from their normal tropes to bring an added dimension to the trope the represent.

    Erica for example, seems like the typical feisty main love interest of the harem, but here she isn’t the typical tsundere who’s too shy to do anything to the hero. Instead, she’s this very forward girl who’s very open with her affections, and is a strong fighter too boot who doesn’t need too be saved each episode. In fact, she’s the one who mostly has to save Godou’s ass every time. She even allows Godou to have a mistress, although we all know he’s gonna have at least two more from the songs.

    Overall, I’m just gonna enjoy the ride while it lasts. Hopefully, we get more awesome scenes like in this episode (*cough*that kiss*cough*) in the next girls arc.

    1. I honestly wish I could share in your enjoyment. Sadly, even the antics of Erica seem to be wearing thin on me. I can only hope the show doesn’t wear me out before the end of it, but it seems to be getting there.

  5. The problem with LN adaptations is that the whole “story” can’t usually be seen at the start. Take Index for example: its self contained arcs can be summarized as comedy/SoL -> girl gets in trouble -> Touma saves the day by punching someone in the face. It’s just how that adventure/harem LN is written and it kept repeating again and again for a while (Index, Mikoto, Orsola, Kazakiri, Agnese, Kuroko, “Fukiyose” etc). What’s important in the repetitions however is that it introduces an aspect to the universe that will later be part of the big “story.”

    Index introduces magicians, Mikoto introduced the problems within AC, Orsola introduced the problems within the church, Kazakiri highlighted the hatred of magic towards science + AIM + angels etc. Once an aspect is introduced, it becomes part of that world. And once a lot of aspects are present, that world comes alive and we really see the Magic VS Science promised by the LN.

    Campione follows the same pattern. Volume 1 introduces us to our Campione hero, heretical gods and about the Serpent (earth goddesses like Athena), volume 2 is about the existence of other Campiones which may turn out to be tyrants, Volume 3 is how a Campione is born, Volume 4 is about the Hero of Steel (who hunts serpents), volume 5 is about how a different dimension exists. Once these aspects come together, only then can you see the world Campione is trying to build – one where Steel and Serpent fight, where humanity is helpless and where the Campione’s existence is seen as necessary but abominable to both gods and humans.

    1. While it’s true that almost all action/adventure stories follows a certain pattern, it’s alot more apparent with Campione because it’s main focus for each of the three arcs so far is the same and the circumstances that surrounds them doesn’t vary enough; what it comes down to is figuring out which mythology is the key to defeating the Boss Character- and even then they rely on the same method each time to ‘learn’ about the boss. There is hardly anything to ‘distract’ us from it.

      1. It actually had 4 arcs but the first chronological arc (volume 3) was shortened to 1 episode and placed at the beginning (episode 1). That arc would have broken the consecutive “pattern” since it wouldn’t have involved using the Golden Sword but the anime changed that anyway so it won’t help I guess.

        I also find it weird that people got the impression that figuring out Athena’s identity was more prominent than Yuri’s dilemma for that 2nd arc. Erica’s kiss was just the standard throw-away “kiss per volume” since she already knew Athena from her studies while the text was more on describing how Yuri saw the ordeal (Godou was dead at the time so they switched perspectives) and her bravery that led to Godou being summoned. Doesn’t bode well for Yuri that a simple kiss drew more attention than her but maybe it’s just the anime. Also, Godou may have spent a little more time “figuring out”/explaining Athena’s background as Serpent but that term is a big recurring concept to the LN so I can’t blame them.

        And if it makes you feel any better, it does become different as it goes on. The mythology learning and teaching takes a backseat. The fights become different as well. Put in a spoiler just in case but I tried my best to keep it ambiguous and general.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        My opinion is, the author realized later on that he isn’t writing a detective story where we have to figure out the identity of the god like Godou. The transmission of the knowledge (kissing) is still there since that’s the “hook” of this series but the time spent figuring out what to transmit is reduced to almost nothing to make way for the conflict instead.

    2. Chaos2Frozen nails the point with his comments: The repetitive storytelling and the focus on the god/girl of the arc aspect in the story has done a couple things, make any new developments unexciting because of unoriginality, shows a lack of exploration beyond this simple structure, and makes me lose my investment in the plot of the story, ergo, makes the development unexciting because I’m not engaged anymore.

      Wookie, your opinions seems influenced by the LN from they way you talk of the plot, but I just haven’t seen the anime making a strong attempt to put the light on it.

      1. It’s true that I am influenced by the LN so I may be seeing what the anime’s trying to show but failing to. For example, Godou being obsessed with victory and being a perfect fit for the God of Victory seems almost non-existent if you don’t look for it (in the smiles he has in battle, how he reacted to the word victory from Liliana, how he was called the most vicious by Erica).

        I don’t think it’s a secret that most who have read the LN aren’t too happy with the anime. I’m not happy as well. They even added more anime original stuff in the most recent episode. Instead of focusing on the bad, all I tried to do was to explain what the author was attempting in the story and see if that might help people appreciate the anime even a little bit more.

        I just wanted to clarify (even though I’m sure most know it already) that there is a story being told here that fails to get across in the anime and that the comment “entire world of gods and magic out there waiting to be explored by the story, but it seems content on focusing on the micro picture instead of the macro” is a fair judgement for the anime but maybe not the entire series itself. And I do know that you’re talking about the anime and your comments apply only to it. I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in so I started with the statement “the problem with LN adaptations” to detach it from the anime.

  6. Not bad for “summer throwaway” series, and at moments brilliant…
    Liliana getting into kissing (thanks for the great trolling by that meido) was worthy a note in the annals of tsundere…

  7. Two things:
    1. The kissing, while very much glorified and really too much, happened before the battle and not during. It makes it a bit bearable that they made out before the match(there were actually people watching them do it) and not in the middle while thinking about what was Perseus doing during an important fight.
    2. Perseus wasn’t killed by Athena but by Doni. Doni was planning to killsteal Perseus and he did but he didn’t get Perseus’ powers because it was not a legitimate defeat. Pandora did not approve of the kill and did not give Doni her blessing.

    And I agree with Whookie. Campione looks pretty self contained at first like Index because it’s building up on some aspects, though I admit it fails a bit with this adaptation. They focused too much on the kissing/harem and less on the world building and the different aspects. I guess I should have seen this coming seeing as volume 3 got a massive nerf in episode 1.
    The next and last arc is something different but the first parts will be a bit formulaic like episode 5. There’s 3 more episodes so just bear with it I guess.

  8. Man this show is easily the best anime in this season for me. I already love the harem genres, but hate the fact that there’s always only one girl the main guy ends up with so I’m really glad this show is actually rare in a sense that there’s no one girl ending or open ended ending, because this show has a main lead that actually ends up with a harem in the end! Gotta give props to Kudou! I havent seen a harem lead this interesting since Ken Sugisaki.

  9. They probably would have added more content from the source material if they had more episodes. It was really weird when they referenced the fight with the other Campione that we never got to see at all. I’ve not read the novels, but I suspect that had they stuck more to the source material with a 13 episode schedule zero would have happened at all. That said after close to three years away from Anime I find this show to be a great deal of fun. Especially since the majority of the cast doesn’t piss me off.


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