Entrails Everywhere: DarkEmerl watches Kampfer

Hey, it’s DarkEmerl again. Like I have already said, sorry about the lack of posts, all three of us have been busy with school and whatnot.

So, this time I am reviewing the Fall 2009 anime Kampfer. I came across the series when I recently read the manga, so I then decided to watch the anime.

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Story: 12/20

Kampfer is about Natsuru Senou, your average high school boy, who wakes up one morning and discovers that he has been transformed into a busty girl (that’s ecchi anime for you). It turns out that he has been chosen to become a Kampfer, and is required to fight other Kampfers while in his girl form. Kampfer’s story seems like one of those things that nobody cares about because it makes no sense, but it does a good job in explaining what’s going on for us. As expected from an ecchi anime, Kampfer has a lot of fanservice, some of which is somewhat relevant to the story, unlike a lot of fanservice in anime where it is there for no reason whatsoever. Kampfer would have had a lot of potential as an anime if it didn’t have the comedy aspect to it and had a more serious, and perhaps dark tone. However, it did a fairly good job with it’s plot, even with all of the fanservice.

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Characters: 9/20

Most of Kampfer’s characters aren’t that great. Don’t get me wrong, their designs are pretty good, but that’s for the Visuals section. Quite a few of Kampfer’s females are your usual cutesy anime girls, which can be a good thing sometimes, but not in this case. Kaede Sakura, Natsuru’s love interest, particularly irritates me, but I can’t go into too much reasoning for that without blurting out spoilers. About which characters I like, there are quite a few characters that take my interest, but one character that I think I should mention is Shizuku Sangou, the president of the school council. From her personality to her determination to find out the truth about why Kampfers fight, Shizuku never failed to interest me, and she is definitely my favourite character in the series.

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Visuals: 14/20

Kampfer was animated by the studio Nomad, which is probably known to most people for animating the Rozen Maiden series. Like Rozen Maiden, Kampfer’s fight scenes were fairly well animated, as the fights aren’t the main focus of the series I wasn’t expecting something amazing out of them visual wise. Kampfer’s art style is fairly similar to most ecchi in the way that it is drawn, but the character designs were good, even though they weren’t the most original designs that I have ever seen. The backgrounds and settings looked fairly normal, but did have their unique side.

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Sound: 12/20

Kampfer’s background music wasn’t that great. A good soundtrack is supposed to stick in your head for a while, and I can’t remember any songs in Kampfer’s OST. I did quite enjoy both the opening song (Unreal Paradise by Minami Kuribayashi) and the ending song (One Way Ryouomoi by Marina Inoue), along with the character song album, featuring the songs from the karaoke episode. Kampfer also has a good set of voice actors in its cast. Two voice actors that I think did a particularly good job are Yui Horie (Akane Mishima) and Kaori Nazuka (Shizuku Sangou). Yui Horie was excellent at portraying Akane’s two personalities (and let’s face it, Yui Horie is good at every character she voices), and even though I’ve never really heard any characters voiced by Kaori Nazuka before, she gave me a great first impression.

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Originality: 10/20

The main concept and story of Kampfer is something I haven’t seen before, and I can’t even think of anything similar to it. However, it’s comedy is something which you can find in almost any ecchi/comedy anime, and the characters aren’t really original personality-wise. To be honest, I can’t really say much about Kampfer’s originality, apart from that it could have been a lot better than it was.

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Overall: 57/100

So Kampfer isn’t the best anime out there, but I have definitely seen worse ecchi before. I may not strongly recommend it, but fans of the genre should check it out when they have the time. Keep in mind it is somewhat hard for a girl to watch ecchi, let alone review it.

Discovering the Truth: DarkEmerl watches UN-GO

My first ever review is of the Fall 2011 anime series UN-GO. Enjoy.

Story: 15/20

UN-GO revolves around Shinjurou Yuuki, a detective, and his mysterious assistant, Inga. Shinjurou is known for losing to his rival, Rinroku Kaishou, while aiding police investigations, earning his nickname, ‘Defeated Detective’. In the series, Shinjurou and Inga solve numerous cases together. While each episode has a different case for the first half of the anime, a story eventually develops near the end. This story could of come earlier on, and because of this many people probably decided to drop the series from an early point, but it is worth the wait. I am a fan of detective anime, and I was not disappointed. However, don’t expect the cases to be so complex that they are almost impossible for you to figure out until the very end.

Characters: 13/20

UN-GO has a unique set of characters, from their design to their backgrounds. The only exception to this is Rie Kaishou, Rinroku’s daughter. I thought that her personality was rather dull, her character design was plain, and that she was rather predictable. A character I particularly liked was Inga, as he never failed to interest me, and I thought that he was cute, too. As you can see from the screenshots, Inga certainly has an interesting character design, especially his clothing, that somewhat resembles a panda. While some personalities of characters I thought that I had never seen before, some of them were rather bland.

Visuals: 19/20

UN-GO was animated by the studio Bones, which is well known for anime like Ouran High School Host Club, Soul Eater and Fullmetal Alchemist. Everything I have seen by Bones so far has been really well animated, and UN-GO is no exception. From the animation to the art style and the way it is coloured, Bones have done an amazing job again. Inga’s transformations (fans of the series will know what I am talking about) are particularly well animated, and are a visual treat.

Sound: 16/20

UN-GO has pretty good sound. The opening song, How to Go by School Food Punishment, and the ending song, Fantasy by LAMA are both songs that will probably end up stuck in your head for a while. The soundtrack isn’t the most memorable soundtrack I know, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. The main characters, Shinjurou and Inga, are voiced by Ryo Katsuji (Shinjurou) and Aki Toyosaki (Inga), and they certainly did a great job. Aki Toyosaki did a particularly good job, as she is mostly known for voicing cutesy girls, but Inga is completely different. I am not familiar with Ryo Katsuji’s other voice acting roles, but he did a good job as Shinjurou.

Originality: 17/20

As a fan of the mystery genre in all sorts of medias, not just anime, I have seen my fair share of detective stories. And I have to stay, I have never seen anything like UN-GO before. Most aspects of UN-GO are original, with the exception of the story at the beginning at the anime, it’s just solving cases. The second half is more original, but like I have previously said, it came in too late.

Overall: 80/100

So overall, even though it’s not perfect, UN-GO is a pretty good anime, and I recommend that you check it out if you are a fan of the detective genre, or if you like a fairly original series with good art.