DVD Review: Kampfer – The Complete Collection
23/03/2016 2 Comments
MVM Entertainment’s latest DVD (and Blu-ray) release is non-other-than Kampfer, which is german for fighter; so is this DVD a Champion or is it a knock-out? Let’s find out in our DVD Review of Kampfer – The Complete Collection.
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, Natusru’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 gun?! Hormones, fists, and other body parts will fly as the daring, new gender-blender defender must become a contender or die!
Calling Kampfer a huge disappointment and a colossal waste of time is an under-statement; this may seem like a harsh statement from but from a show I never expected anything from then truer words have never been spoken. The premise of a fight between chosen warriors –all of which are girls – is given but in actuality its one big yuri-filled-harem with a twist; the main girl grabbing all the attention is actually a guy. It’s a interesting twist; but like i said it does nothing to save this series from being extremely disappointing.
Kampfer begins with two mysterious female characters battling it out; a red-head wielding a gun and another blue-haired girl fleeing for her life. It’s an exciting start and one that invites you into a world of intense battles… or so it would seem. The blue-haired-girl is known as Natsuru and she is our main protagonist of the series; however Natsuru is actually a guy and as such this is where the true events of the series lie. For whatever reason only girls can become Kampfers however as Natsuru is a guy his body magically changes in to a girl and so does his personality and as such he must now keep this gender-swapping ability a secret from everyone; which is quite a challenge when he can’t control the ability.
It’s an interesting concept; but as the series progresses forward the entire excitement it raised is suddenly gone. The concept of the Kampfer is that they must fight each other for the entertainment of the moderators. Who these moderators are, and their purpose is not explained but this isn’t the story being told. The story being told here is not the kampfers, the moderators or Natsuru’s ability but it’s actually the harem that this female form of Natsuru creates. How exactly does this work? Well in each episode a new type of kampfer is introduced but as opposed to killing each other they end up becoming affectionate with Natsuru and as such the main kampfer cast, both team-mates and enemies, bicker over Natsuru’s affection – especially the Student President. Ironically enough that’s not all as Natsuru’s crush, Kaeda, also reveals that she is in love with her and as a result makes the other kampfers quite jealous.
It’s a completely bonkers story; and one i found to be quite tedious to watch. The assumption of kampers fighting each other – through combat- while trying to protect their secrets would’ve been a better concept and yet instead we see enemies partner up and bicker over Nasuru. It sounds special; but it’s not. Sure enough however some ‘amusing’ moments do come out of it; such as the situation which sees Natsuru transferred to the girls side of the school or Kaeda trying to seduce the female form of Natsuru but at the end of the day theres just nothing here worth staying for; and even when they do battle it’s over so quickly that you may have missed it before it even started. My suggestion is watch something else; as this is just pointlessly stupid.
Despite my mediocre attempts to discourage you from waching this series the extras contained on this DVD release of Kampfer are quite formidable with a consistent selection of bonus content on offer.
The first DVD disc features a bonus Mini-Episode which see the Bowel Familiars, talking plushies which – i assume – grant the power of a kampfer to the girls and aid them in their kampfer activities, sees the characters discussing the events of the series in a stop-motion-animation kind of way.
Other bonus content included on this disc is a selection of trailers for other Sentai Filmwork releases, most of which have yet to receive a UK release, as well as the inclusion of textless opening and closing credits.
The third DVD disc of this set, which should be titled the OVA Collection Disc, features both OVA episodes of the series as well as a selection of bonus content related to the OVA episodes. In this case textless opening and closing songs as well as even more trailers for other Sentai Filmwork releases which, yet again, have not all been released into the UK.
Media: DVD 9 x2, DVD5 x1
Running Time: 2:30:55 (Disc 1), 2:30:07 (Disc 2), 49:52 (Disc 3)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
Kamper is not what i expected it to be; it’s a series that offers the impression of fights between female characters for supremacy but in actuality it’s a story of a guy – who is turned into a girl – fending off other kampfer that are affectionate towards him/her in both forms. Natsuru’s view on this situation is a dim-one, as he only has eyes for Kaeda, but when Kaeda has the eyes for the female version of Natsuru it leads to an uninspiring series of events that make little sense.
Of course i could be too harsh and looking at this from a personal view rather than critic’s view; but i’m being honest when i say i did not enjoy what it offered and i found it to be a pointless waste of time. Its this statement which makes me question why MVM bothered to license the show in the first place; as i can only assume either it was cheap to license or some demand was behind it? (personally it’s a show i have never heard of until now). In any event its an anime show that offers a different type of story to what you may be expecting; it’s not a fight for survival, nor is it a fight to keep the kampfer secret it’s just a series of events that see the female version of Natsuru put in difficult situations he must overcome and ironically enough the obvious difficulties are not even mentioned.
Its easy to see i lost interest in this show early on even the inclusion of two OVA episodes doesn’t change my opinion on this show being terrible. The OVA episodes are just as playful as the main series except this time all of the kampfers are close friends and directly flirt with Natsuru in front of each other. It’s not just the events of the series that are disappointing either as this DVD release in general has some notable flaws. To start with the picture quality throughout the release isn’t constant with notable pixilation and distortion throughout the main series; especially on episode 6 which featured heavy amounts of pixilation. Secondly a chapter point on episode 2 was missing so if you skipped the opening sequence you would be taken halfway through the episode – much like KAZE’s blu-ray release of World’s Conquest.
The only positives from this set would be the subtitles, which seem to have no flaws, and the selection of bonus content on offer; other-than-that its a pretty disappointing release with no real merit of entertainment. Kampfer is an alternate twist of a harem whereby the guy everyone wants to get with is actually a girl and as such everyone wants a piece of it; both guys and girls. If you like harem shows that Kampfer may be worth checking out; but i’d still recommend not watching it… even on Blu-ray.
Kampfer – The Complete Collection will be available on DVD and Blu-ray from the 28th March 2016.