Waking up transformed into a beautiful girl might be the stuff of some guys' fantasies, but when the suddenly effeminatized Natsuru is informed by a stuffed tiger that he's now a Kampfer, a mystical fighter who has to fight other Kampfers in female form, his life becomes a living nightmare!
Putting aside the obvious "plumbing" issues, Natsuru's best childhood friend turns out to swing the other way and SHE has a crush on his new female body. Not complex enough? Natsuru's school has separate sections for boys and girls, so he and she are now double enrolled. The rumor-mill has it that he's dating herself. And there are other Kampfers attending the school who want to take her out, and he's not sure which ones mean "on a date" and which ones mean "permanently." Oh, and did we mention that some Kampfers use swords and guns?! Hormones, fists, and other body parts will fly as the daring, new gender-bender defender must become a contender or die!
I really love all of the crazy implausible story concepts anime is capable of delivering us. Kämpfer is no exception, as it combines many time honored and tested themes of mahou shoujo-esque transformations, girls fighting each other, gender confusion, and lesbianism. Mix in plenty of service and a clichéd harem of the usual personality types and you have an anime that basically been made a hundred times before. And a lot better too. Even though, I still found myself inexorability drawn to this title because of its fabulous seiyuu cast.
The premise for Kämpfer is a bit unique. While it shares
many of the same themes as shows like Ikkitousen and Sekirei, Kämpfer deviates by essentially making the male lead one of his own harem by forcing him to transform into a girl in order to participate in the battles. The girls are divided into factions, red and blue, and must battle each other to the death (apparently) at the behest of a mysterious and sinister sounding faction known as the Moderators. From the start we seem to be set for a series chalk full of exciting action and ecchi gender bending comedy. By mid series we have our completed harem all vying for the affections of our clueless nondescript leading man (more on him later). Initially I found Kämpfer had a lot of potential for delivering some interesting action and some really entertaining comedy. Unfortunately it doesn't take too long for things to start to unravel. Mainly because the series makes the mistakes many others have made before, trying to be and do too many things instead of just keeping things simple. It was also a bit creepy the matter-of-fact way the lead accepted his fate of becoming a girl and his constantly flip flopping back and forth between masculinity and femininity. This element always tends to bother me a bit in gender bending stories and its rare that it actually really works.
For a show that appeared to be about action and fighting there is a shocking lack of any real fighting in it. Very little about why the girls are fighting is even explained adequately and the ending to the series is in a word: pathetic. Additionally even the ecchi is inadequate with even the supposed "uncensored" version of the show lacking anything all that arousing. The comedy which at times is pretty good is not good enough, enough of the time to really be very pleasing in that aspect either. While normally I would scoff at the mention of any kind of serious romance or drama coming out of a harem anime, the series does try to deliver some of this as well. Some of it works but the characters are so uninteresting and lifeless that the impact is really lost.
Because of the mediocre nature of all of the shows elements it’s unlikely to appeal to fans of any of these genres. Those who like action or romance will not be satisfied and neither will fans of ecchi since all of the service is pretty tame and pedestrian by current standards. Combining that with the terrible ending that fails to resolve neither the main plot or any of it's subplots and we have almost total across the board fail.
The characters really bare the blunt of the blame for Kämpfer being so uninspired. This is nowhere more evident than with our harems leading man, er woman, Natsuru. Now this is nothing new to anyone who has watched any harems. Typically it’s the girls who always shine brightest in these sorts of shows with the guy being a typically plain and indecisive proxy for the fantasies of the intended, mostly male audience. The only difference here is that the guy is in fact one of the girls too. Though other than being hot and combined the stereotypical guy in a girls body humor there is absolutely nothing interesting about "her" either. Maybe the most memorable thing about Natsuru though is he is without a doubt the most clueless and colossally stupid man in the history of the universe. Really dude, buy a fucking clue! I wanted to reach through the TV and slap him myself. I actually almost felt sorry for those girls.
Speaking of the girls they unfortunately don’t fair much better. They meet all the usual harem standards by combining a tomboyish childhood friend, moe oujosama, tsundere meganekko, and cool aloof student council president. They are about as exciting as their descriptions too. Perhaps the only exception is Akane, the bespectacled tsundere. Though this may only have been because of my affinity for the character type and that she was voiced by Yue Horie then out of any real quality. The supporting cast is equally as clichéd and unmemorable. So much so that I doubt I could even remember any of their names without looking at the cast list first.
The best thing to come out of the cast is clearly the talking stuffed "Entrails Animals" that serve as companions for each of the Kämpfer. The fact that they were all voiced by very well known seiyuu was a big part of it but they were really the only characters who were actually funny. You know a series is in a lot of trouble when the highlight of the show is the preview of the next episode and the summary before the episode starts (all coincidently voiced by these characters). I felt that a huge opportunity was missed in not making these characters more involved in the episodes dialogue and comedy bits. I felt there was a lot of untapped potential left behind.
Artistically Kämpfer is solid but unspectacular. The girls are cute and have nice figures and our leading man is at least somewhat manly in at least appearance. I thought the breasts were pretty silly looking though, a bit too torpedoish looking. Kind of a peeve of mine that if you’re going to show me these girls tits all the time that they don’t even look natural. Even if they are usually obscured by the usual convenient steam and light beams. The action scenes are also not that spectacular either, which is even more disappointing considering how few their actually are.
The voice acting is the best and only real bright spot of the anime. A real all star lineup of acting talent is on display but unfortunately they all had very little to work with. The musical performances were fair. I was a little disappointed at who they actually had perform the OP/ED songs considering the talent they had available.
Overall there is nothing for me to recommend about this anime. It fails as a action, harem, or even ecchi comedy. While it does have its moments at times there is not enough of any one thing to really appeal to fans of any of these genres. Stay clear, you can do a lot better than this one.
Ah, Kampfer. The Anime with big-breasted girls fighting for no reason. Here's what I think after completing Kampfer. I will not write spoilers so don't worry.
Story? Hmm. Kampfer actually has no story. It's basically just a guy turning into a girl that goes to a school in which boys and girls are separated. Just throw a few random fights out there, and ta-dah, you get Kampfer. They basically don't know why they're fighting until the very end, in which came out as a sci-fi thing.
I loved the art of Kampfer. It was outstanding. The details are very well drawn and animated, and ofcourse,
the breasts. Perfect 32 dds are perfect. It looked clean, and the fight scenes were also good.
Didn't really stand out that much, but it was still good. You get your typical sound in Kampfer. Nothing really stood out in this one, althought the OP song was very good.
Typical harem show. Everyone likes the main protagonist. You also get different types of characters, like tsundere, moe, etc, in this show, which is typical. Although you will notice right away who the enemy is going to be, the characters were all good. I mean, a guy turning into a girl? Good, isn't it?
Sure, there were few good episodes in Kampfer, but some were bad, and some were so-so. I did enjoy watching it. Had some good laughs in it.
Althought it was kind of predictable, cliche, and the ending was a turn off, it was still good. If you like Harem, Ecchi, with a little bit of action, then Kampfer is for you!
Gender bending not your cup of tea? Harem is too redundant in the anime industry lately? Well then perhaps having one more of such show might not hurt too much. As the saying goes “there’s always an exception to everything”, and Kampfer might just be that one exception for you! Blessed with nice animation and huge plot twists (for better or for worse), Kampfer sure surprised many viewers towards the end of the show...in a negative way.
Let us start with something that is very lacking in Kampfer, the plot. Excluding the plot twists that contributed to some much
needed “excitements”, the story was pretty non-existent. Viewers first find themselves thrown into the mist of a pre-planned battle between the red Kampfers and blue Kampfers, staged by some mysterious force only known as the “moderators”. Part way through the anime, any hint of potential story will be replaced by random fan service. Not only was the ending poorly made, but the lack of conclusion also made Kampfer not very satisfying.
Special emphasis should be placed on Shizuku, the student council president and the only character with a brain in the group of Kampfers. She almost single-handedly saved the character category from total destruction in my eyes. In fact, recently there have been comparisons made between Shizuku and Hitagi Senjougahara (a very well liked character among otaku) from Bakemonogatari due to their tsundere nature. Another note worthy character is Akane. She can be seen as a masochist, but due to her transformation as a Kampfer, one can also argue that she somewhat a tsundere character as well. These two characters showed the most growth and seem to be the most developed out of all the main characters. In fact, they are like two bright candles lit in a dark room.
Although there are some likable characters, the overall characters development/growth for the majority of the casts is very minimal. They start and end the show practically the same way. It seems like they did not learn a single thing during their little “adventure”. What hurts the anime most is perhaps the lack of uniqueness from our gender flopping protagonist. He/she does have the looks, but at the end of show the one that will likely have the most impact on you will not be him/her.
Perhaps I am giving a little too much credit to Nomad, the studio that produced Kampfer, but the designs on the characters (ie. their looks, their facial expressions, their Kampfer transformation, et cetera) were quite nicely animated. The animation quality also seems to be rather consistent (which is always a plus). They could have obviously improved on the details of the characters and the backgrounds, but for an ecchi/harem type show I strongly believe having your “merchandise” (ie. girl) looks good is way more crucial than anything else. And in that respect, Nomad was profoundly efficient.
The sound department in Kampfer is average in many ways. The OP may require some time to get accustom to, but the ED will surely get you hooked. However the BGM within the episodes were nothing outstanding. They may suite certain scene or event relatively well most of the time, but they never gave me the feeling that they are amplifying the scene through my ears. Sometimes BGM can make you feel all hyped up or ready to cry a river, but the music in Kampfer did not deliver to that level.
Kampfer fails as a romance anime. Kampfer fails as an action anime. Kampfer, however, delivers ecchiness and harem in a moderate level. Nothing too extreme and nothing too exciting. Its selling points are without a doubt the good and consistent animation quality, and interesting characters like Shizuku and Akane. Overall depending on what you are seeking for enjoyment, Kampfer can be a great source of entertainment or a total waste of time. Personally I liked Shizuku so much that I can ignore all the glaring faults from the show, but that is just my preference. By the way, did anyone tell you Kampfer is a show for Christmas with a story about Santa Claus?
Kampfer is an anime series I randomly picked while I was a bit bored and it wasn’t half bad. If you like perverted anime series this one might be pretty suitable for you. What I thought it was kind of unique and somewhat interesting was the gender switch that happens to a rather unlucky, ordinary student, as he tries to find out the meaning behind the changes.
Apparently, the reason of the sudden transformation was the existence of the female warriors called Kampfer, as the protagonist was chosen to become one. Although their existence is not really explained, one thing is certain, that these mysterious
warriors need to fight against each other for absolutely no reason (actually, in the anime it is stated something like : “You are born to fight!”, although apparently no kampfer knows the meaning behind these conflicts).
So, after an amazing start in the first episode, with intense action and pretty promising story, I actually thought that this show had the potential to be an amazing experience, though in the end it hadn’t met my expectations. The show flows at a normal pace, although it has very few intense moments, as it tends to step closer in the slice of life kind of genre following the main character’s life and his interactions with the other kampfer out there.
The story could be promising, but the writers preferred not to concentrate their attention into developing the plot, instead, they decided to mess with new ideas to show in every episode, as the events that happen in the episodes are hardly related to each other. Every episode is some kind of filler, containing ridiculous embarrassing situations that the characters are put in without affecting the plot, though some of them were pretty comical at times. I found the main concept of the gender changing to be a rather good idea, although all the meaningless fights among the kampfer as they seem to be controlled by this entity called “the Moderators” are pretty stupid and ridiculous. Also, there is no apparent villain or evil mind. One thing that just annoyed me was the absolutely lame and unoriginal ending, that probably dropped this show’s score by half, but that may be just my personal opinion.
Although there isn’t much to talk about the plot, the characters are the ones that keep the show alive (mostly). They are indeed unoriginal or just plain, as you can hardly even remember their names, but overall they are not that bad. The main character is pretty dumb, and has absolutely no personality at all, the only thing that you can notice is his obsessive love for one of the female characters and the difficulty in understanding people’s feelings. As his male self, he isn’t really noticeable, but his female self is the one that is in the center of attention almost all the time. Some comical situations may occur, especially when the other students abuse her good looking body. The cast is not that amazing, but you have your creepy set of characters such as a lesbian (unfortunately there is such a thing), a fool-mouthed red haired chick that threatens everyone with her handgun, a rather smart “Prez” that likes teasing the main character, a shy and innocent girl that seems to be in love with the protagonist and so forth. Overall, the characters are not that bad, although they are poorly developed, as I actually had a hard time finding myself a favorite.
The art is average, the characters look decent, but occasionally there can be found some animation errors, such as a completely mistaken reflection in a mirror, although they are rather hardly noticeable.
The sound is fair, it is nothing amazing, it is just right, as well as the voice acting which mostly suited the characters.
Despite the many flaws in character and plot development, I found this show quite enjoyable, maybe because I somewhat liked the concept ..I’m not very sure myself.
BOTTOM LINE: If you like ecchi style of anime with nice looking characters (mostly female with huge boobs) with a slice of life touch to it, almost inexistent story, average art, poor character development, you might give Kampfer a try, although don’t watch it if you have high expectations as you will probably be disappointed. Overall it’s a good time killer.
Thank you for reading my first review on MAL, I hope you find it helpful. Although I’ve been really careful while writing this review, I apologize for any potential grammar errors. Stay safe!
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