It’s easy to gush about the things you love.
It’s easy to bash on the things you hate.
You know what’s hard? To talk about a series that is both of these things and also isn’t. A series that is straight down the middle, full of potential and possibility, but also just messy and just….messy.
So yeah, after the cut let’s take a dive into Kampfer.
After watching the entirety of Kampfer, I only had one real reaction.
In all seriousness though, after watching Kampfer my reactions were very similar to my feelings after watching Shinmai Maou no Testament.
No! Wait come back! This isn’t a long winded bullshit blog post going over feelings that are frankly way to intense about a show that is basically soft-core porn, I promise! Don’t leave!
Ok, still here? Alright. I made that comparison, because like…that show… I find that Kampfer is an anime brimming with potential and ideals, but just refuses to actually do anything with them.
The entire time I watched this show, I saw that potential, but I also saw that the story didn’t seem to care, or rather want to follow it up with the effort required. Kampfer’s story of women fighting in some proxy war, and the gimmick of our lead swapping between two genders is ripe with creativity, or at the very least for some quality storytelling. Instead however Kampfer decides to forgo any time explaining the plot or characters reasoning and just throws us right into the action.
Then there is the entire last minute plot twist involving the final “villain” which should be a treated as a massively significant moment that forever alters the mindset of our heroes, but is just played off as nothing, and none of the characters go through any real time reflecting or processing just what happens, in fact that is pretty much when the story just ends. In fact, the entire reveal of the villain feels like such a tonal shift for the series, but has no real build up or payoff and it is almost as shocking as it is infuriating. This was very much another “Chisato moment” for me, when I know that in the hands of better writers this would have redefined the entire series, but it is never given the weight it deserves. I mean I am STILL trying to fucking wrap my head around it all.
Yet, despite all the shortcomings this story is dripping with potential. The characters are interesting, the harem antics are clever enough, and the chemistry between the leads works pretty well. There are comedic moments that made me laugh out loud, and the reveal of the final villain just wanted me to find out what was going on. It’s just sad then that Kampfer doesn’t want to do the homework required to make that effort pay off.
Kampfer is not a bad show, but it is absolutely not a good or even great show either. It is very much a “bad” version of Date A Live. Yet where that show has flaws that prevent it from becoming a truly outstanding series, it is still massively entertaining and made with enough love and effort that where it hits the targets it always landing bull-eyes. Kampfer feels like a medicore show that was a few revised script drafts and a few missing plot points or character beats away from being a great one. It honestly feels like somebody turned in the anime script with half the story missing and they just went ahead anyway. It’s hard for me to completely dislike this work, yet also fully praise it. I both enjoyed my time with it, and found that I was just moments away from yelling “what the FUCK is happening?!” so many times.
This was a weird one to watch guys, I’d love to see what other people have thought about it, but all I can say is that this show was one fucking hot mess.