DVD Review: Campione – The Complete Series

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Is defeating gods an attractive merit? Well in the world of Campione it must be as we find our main protagonist Kusanagi Godo swamped with women at every turn; but that aside for a moment what did we think of the series and this DVD release by MVM Entertainment? Well lets find out in our DVD Review of Campione – The Complete Collection.

Synopsis:

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, Godo’s stuck with the unwanted position of Campione, or God Slayer, whose duty is to fight Herectical Gods whenever they try to muscle in on the local turf.

Not only is this likely to make Godo roadkill on the Highway to Heaven, it’s also a job that comes with a lot of other problems. Like how to deal with the fact that his “enhanced status” is attracting a bevy of overly worshippy female followers. After all, they’re just there to aid him in his demi-godly duties, right? So why is it that their leader, the demonically manipulative sword-mistress Erica Brandelli, seems to have such a devilish interest in encouraging some VERY unorthodox activities?

Our View:

Campione, or Champione as I originally called it, is a deceitful anime series; on the offset it looks like a show that sees a regular high-school student become god slayer through a variety of unfortunate events but in reality this is just a ruse for a comedy based harem series. That’s right you don’t have to worry about gods and mythology here; as the real enemy is the amount of potential cleavage on show. Acutally that last sentence is a bit of a lie as Campione does indeed feature a wide variety of gods and greek mythology; so much so that it eventually becomes quite tiresome.

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Ok, so lets start at the beginning; 16-year-old Kusanagi Godo has arrived in Italy hoping to return a stone tablet that he received from his grandfarther to its rightful owner; however while navigating his way round the city he stumbles into Erica Blandelli, a young female who introduces herself as a member of the ‘Copper Black Cross’ organization and protector of the world. Shortly after this introduction two gods appear and begin to run rampant across the city, at which point both Kusanagi and Erica step-in to try and stop them. While Erica is fending off attacks from Verethragna Kusanagi makes a deal with the other god, Melqart; a deal which grants Kusanagi a wealth of unique abilties.

Upon receiving this new power Kusanagi makes short work of Verethragna and thus receives the title of Campione – a god slayer; but that’s not all as Erica insists on becoming Kunsagi’s loyal servant and mistress – much to the confusion of Kusanagi. From here it’s a process of ‘rinse and repeat’ as after every three episodes a new female protagonist is introduced, a new god to defeat and plenty of harem styled content to enjoy – so much so that this “rinse and repeat process” eventually becomes rather tiresome. Of course Campione does bring some ‘new ideas’ to the table; for example in order for Kunsanagi to defeat these gods he must know about their history, a feat which is accomplished by the female cast members kissing him for long periods of time. This is the reason why new female characters are brought in so quickly, not just because it adds some ‘harem’ elements to the show but it is so that they can share their knowledge of the gods with him; and thus allow Kusanagi a fighting chance.

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Amusingly just knowing about the gods isn’t enough for Kusanagi to defeat them; he must also shout out aloud what he knows about the god – in the form of a magic chant – so that the gods power becomes weaker. At first it seems like an interesting way to defeat a god; weaken them with words and then attack with the sword, but it eventually becomes quite boring as you’ll find yourself watching two people shout at each other as opposed to swords clashing in mid-air. Don’t get me wrong there is some fight scenes, especially between the female cast and subordinates, but in terms a fight between the “almgihty god slayer” and gods there isn’t really that much taking place.

Mind you this isn’t Campione’s biggest flaw, as the biggest flaw for me was the ‘random’ appearance of characters without any previous introduction or knowledge about them; it’s like the viewer is expected to know who they are before they appear on screen. I’m not referring to ‘mysterious’ characters either, for instance in the fifth episode Kunsagi and Erica start talking about a fight that Kunsagi had with another campione named Doni, however as far as the viewer is concerned it’s a fight that has never taken place but more importantly it’s something thats never shown.

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It just feels like crucial story elements, such as the numerous organizations involved with the Campione, are skipped over in order for the relationships between Kunsagi and his female cast to be dragged out before the final confrontation; and with the series being only thirteen episodes long this is indeed a possibility, as by the time the last female character is introduced it is time for the final showdown.

Extras:

As of late MVM Entertainment releases, most of which have been authored by Hanabee, have provided a steady stream of bonus content and it’s no different in this DVD release of Campione.

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As you’ll notice in the screenshot above this DVD release of Campione features the original Japanese Promotional trailer for the series along with the textless (clean) opening and closing songs. Finally to wrap it all up there is the inclusion of trailers for other anime releases, most of which are currently available via MVM Entertainment themselves.

Of course its not a lot of bonus content; but considering the amount of “barebone” releases we get nowadays it’s nice to see ‘some’ content being included on the discs; even if it is just trailers and promotional materials.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x2
Region: 2
Running Time: 2:52:27 (Disc 1), 2:26:46 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

Campione is a thirteen episode long anime series that sees traditional high-school student Kusanagi Godo become a god slayer after defeating Verethragna in Italy; however keeping himself alive during fights against gods is the least of his worries. By day Kusanagi attempts to lead a normal school-life, but by night he attempts to defeat gods with the help of his mistress and servant, Erica; however with each passing god defeated a new ‘girl’ approaches and shows affection towards Kusanagi, much to the annoyance of Erica. As such the series is filled with two battles constantly taking place; one to stop God’s from destroying the earth and another to win over Kunsagi’s heart.

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As they say “all is fair in love and war” and that’s exactly what we can expect from Campione; an equal sharing of battles with gods and deepening relationships between characters – with Kunsagi stuck in the middle of it. Despite all of my ‘seemingly’ negative comments Campione is an entertaining and interesting series; it just has a few flaws makes it not as immersive and enjoyable as it should or could have been.

When it comes to this DVD release by MVM Entertainment then it is a different story as the DVD has been authored to the highest quality. For instance the picture and audio quality remain consistent throughout the entire series with no pixilation or distortion, a feat which sometimes occurs with HD products on DVD. Another positive is that the English Dub, which has been done by Sentai Filmworks, is actually really good (and dare I say it but it is probably one of the best Sentai English Dubs I’ve ever heard), however the Japanese audio track still provides the more natural and enjoyable experience – especially when it comes to the ecchi scenes, such as the Beach episode, of the series.

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Overall I found Campione to be an interesting experience if not a rather stale one; it simply starts off good and then steadily becomes a tiresome “rinse and repeat” process until the final confrontation at the end. This being said if you like harem filled shows with some awkwardness and explosive fights thrown in for good measure then Campione is probably right up your alley.

Score: review-stars-4

Campione – The Complete Collection will be available on DVD and Blu-ray from the 4th August 2014.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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