Saturday, June 27, 2015

Campione! [Anime Review]

I like the way the back of the disc describes this series:
"Some people suddenly find religion, but for 16 year old Kusanagi Godo, it's that REALLY old time religion that's found him. As the result of defeating the God of War in mortal combat..."

After the first scene I really wanted to watch this subtitled, but the screen
became too busy and the subtitle color was not contrasting enough for me.
Do you really need more to draw you in? No... probably not, but if you do, I'll describe the series in this review. Perhaps it will push you over the edge or force you back from it.

3.5 out of 5 stars
This anime is slightly better than your average run-of-the-mill harem comedy. Not a lot better, but somewhat. It also does a few things that utterly irked me. 
There will be a lot of lip-locking in this anime.
So lets cover the information that you should expect. This is a Harem anime, set in the modern era, with lots and lots of gods. There are swords and cars and EMP blasts. The anime takes place in two countries; Italy and Japan.

This anime started out on a high note.
I never seem to meet funny drunks in real life, just sad
or depressed drunks. I want funny drunks!
The very first conversation was in Italian, English, and Japanese. Only in the subbed version, the dubbed lost this - however I think the dubbed anime did a much better job of pronouncing Italian. I don't speak Italian, but I have a friend who corrects me when I read the words wrong - I know how it should sound. The Japanese version does not sound right. Not right at all.

So you have to choose: do you want good sounding Italian, or do you want Japanese? You will not get both. And the subtitles get lost in the bright colors of the screen at times. (Hint: Black outline your subtitles!)

Salvatori Doni, who the hell are you really?
Ok. Lets cover the good things:

As usual with modern anime, it is gorgeously animated. The story is simple but not bad. There is harem comedy elements. There is a touch of fan service. Those are not the special things.

This is a harem comedy where there are real feelings and real relationship consequences. It was unexpected, but delightful. The honesty and depth was just wonderful. 

Those are not embers. Those are all golden swords.
The amount of information on various mythologies was also unexpectedly deep. You will learn more about the connections between various gods and various mythologies than you would likely expect in an anime - which could mean that you will simply learn a tiny bit, or a whole lot. Still an unexpected pleasure.

Now the irksome thing.
There are episodes that begin with references to characters that we have yet to meet. I'm not kidding. It was irksome. I went back and checked the previous episode, the previous previews, to see if I had missed something. I could not tell that I had. I did not like that, it made me feel as if I was missing information. There are only two volumes of the manga... what the heck was left out that made it feel off? Or was the manga that way as well? Was it the dubbing? Would the sub have been the same? I don't know, but it was irksome (as I've mentioned before).

Still a better than average harem comedy. Was it as good as Tenchi Muyo or El Hazard? Probably not... but those are the classic benchmarks. It is still worth checking out, at least on Crunchy Roll.

This is a Storm of Swords.

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