by Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)
At some point in life, we’ve seen films and TV shows that dealt with ancient mythological gods and demigods, from Medusa and Hercules to Odin, Perseus and Athena. What would it be like to have the powers of the gods? Or what would it be like to encounter these gods here, today? Such questions will never be answered, but we can always experience those “what if” moments through stories. Campione!, a new anime series put out by Sentai Filmworks, looks at these questions and the impact these hypothetical realities may have on an individual and on a society.
Godou Kusanagi, a middle school student, has gone to Italy to return a stone tablet to a friend of his grandfather. While in search for his grandfather’s friend, he is confronted and attacked by Erica, a blonde woman wielding a sword, who wants the tablet for herself. She tells him the tablet is actually a spell book and explains that there are ‘rogue gods’ who roam the Earth and will attempt to take the tablet for themselves so they may become stronger. All this is news to Godou. How could there really be ‘gods’ on the earth and why would they harm him, let alone want a stone tablet?
Soon, a battle between two gods breaks out and Godou realizes the reality of the situation Erica told him about. These gods don’t seem to care about the surrounding civilizations. After all, should one god defeat another, they’ll acquire the powers of their defeated foe. But Godou can’t allow these gods to destroy Italy, so he intervenes, and with the help of Erica, is able to defeat Verethragna, the Persian God of War. In the process, Godou obtains all of his powers and the title of Campione (God Slayer). Now, with the new title and new powers, other gods are set to challenge Godou as well as other Campiones around the world. But along with Erica and other maidens, he’s up to the task of keeping the piece as Campione!
While I had high hopes for Campione! given the story content, it didn’t live up to expectations. It was more or less like many anime of this genre: young boy comes into a position of power, someone challenges him, he wins, rinse and repeat. There really isn’t anything new here in terms of story arc or character development. This is also a harem type of anime. Godou starts off with Erica as his “knight.” She’s there to protect him and to give him information on the people he is facing. If he doesn’t have information on his enemies, he’s unable to use certain abilities. Now, he could get the information about these rouge gods by sitting and listening to her for hours or reading books, but that’s not very efficient when the god is in front of you and trying to kill you. So, to obtain the information of a rogue god or another campione immediately is to tongue kiss the maiden or knight. Yeah, I know. As the story progresses, he obtains three other women in this harem who helps him protect Italy and the world, and of course all of them “love” Godou and want a relationship with him. What kind of harem anime would this be if that didn’t happen?
While Campione! isn’t anything new in terms of story and has its fair share of fan service, some of the action sequences are fun to watch and have nice creativity. By defeating Verethragna, Godou was able to obtain ten different powers and they come in to play in unique ways, for the most part. It was also fun to watch him battle people like Athena and Perseus and to find out aspects of their histories that I had not known before. But despite liking certain aspects of this anime, it was an old, recycled story without much new. The series was a brief thirteen episodes long, but they definitely left it open for more down the road. However, this is one myth that really doesn’t need to be expanded on.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars