Campione: DROPPED

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August 29, 2012 by Julia

(serious Campione spoilers, through episode 6)

As I’ve mentioned before, this season I am watching Sword Art Online, Campione, Kokoro Connect, and Arcana Famiglia, plus Accel World and Folktales from Japan from last season.

Well, you can cross Campione off that list.

It sounded so promising:

Godō Kusanagi is a 16-year-old high school boy, who once killed the god “Verethragna” and acquired the title of “Campione” (“God Killer”) when he was 15. Erica Brandelli is a 16-year-old Italian girl, who is a “Great Knight” of the magic society “Bronze Black Cross” and had fought together with Godo to defeat Verethragna. Godo doesn’t like fighting but his title of “Campione” makes him get involved in battles against other Campiones and uncontrollable gods.

I thought I was getting an action series–Godou would fight various gods with spectacular attacks and fantastic animation, and maybe he would even put together a team to help him.  I expected wild personalities, creative fight scenes, interesting villains . . . no.  Not at all.

The biggest problem with the series, and the first of three reasons that I’m dropping it, is that the world barely makes sense.  I understand that it is an actual writing technique to introduce many mysterious concepts, terms, and organizations/people early on in a series to pique interest, but it doesn’t work at all if you just throw everything out there and carry on without ever explaining it.  Seriously, they even have long periods of exposition, and it is STILL confusing!

I barely understand how the magic works (Godou has access to twelve different “authorities” because of either the stele that gave (?) him the power to steal a sword, which in turn allowed him to kill Verethragna, or the power that he got from Verethragna himself), how other people use and get their powers, or how all of these groups interact and organize themselves.  There may be at least two different groups that fight the rogue gods (I do understand, and like, the “rogue god” concept), plus maybe some other groups?  And the other campione ALSO have groups (and groupies), but all the people seem to know each other and have history together, which is more frustrating than intriguing.

Part of the fun of a fighting series is watching cool battle scenes and getting pumped up for special attacks (like yelling, “Do Sekiha Tenkyoken!” at G-Gundam)–I enjoy it in shows ranging from Sailor Moon to G-Gundam.  But if I don’t know your attacks and barely understand how they even work, I can’t get into the fight.  With Campione, I’m like, “How did he do that attack?  Since when is that a power he has?  Where did these powers come from?!  Why can’t you just list them for me???”  Not fun.

The second thing is that most of the characters are SO DULL.  Seriously.  The only character I find remotely interesting is Godou, which I suppose is a good thing, but the others are boring.  I do like that Godou does not let Erica walk all over him, and isn’t distracted by her . . . assets, which sets him apart from many heroes of this kind of show, but he’s still a little shallow.  Erica is annoying, and the temple priestess is kind of an idiot.  I quite simply do not care about these people or their adventures.

Finally, like I said, I wanted to watch some cool fight scenes.  If you want to see how you intersperse school romantic comedy with fight scenes, go watch Full Metal Panic! and its sequels; if you want to see how NOT to do it, watch Campione.  The romance is completely insipid and and irrelevant.  Godou doesn’t have a crush on either Erica or the priestess, so they are competing with each other for no real reason.  Erica can’t seem to decide if she is a competent warrior or a slut, but I’m embarrassed for her whenever she goes into slut mode.  Girl, you can kick serious ass–why are you wandering around half-naked trying to seduce some dude you just met?  The “comedy” isn’t funny, either, which doesn’t help.

In the end, watching Campione got so frustrating that I have no desire to continue doing it–so I won’t.  Funny, I figured Kokoro Connect would be the first show I dropped, but it has gotten really compelling.

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