The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Kämpfer
Genre: Comedy
Company: Nomad
Format: 11 episodes
Dates: 2 Oct 2009 – 10 Dec 2009

Synopsis: Senou Natsuru is your average high school-going boy. One morning, he wakes up to find that he’s turned into a girl. A stuffed animal tells him that he has become a “Kämpfer” and it is his sworn duty to fight against the others that are like him. With that, his prosaic, uneventful life comes to a screeching halt and he finds him the constant target of other Kämpfer.

The Highlights
Plot: Non-existent until the ninth episode.
Humour: Low-brow, ineffective and quite demeaning.
Originality: The last word I would associate with this anime.
Fanservice: No shortage here.
Characters: Most, if not all, are completely one-dimensional.
Episode 11: Painful.

With atrocities like Akikan!, Rosario + Vampire and Negima!, the harem genre has unfortunately become associated with cheap laughs and wanton nudity. Kämpfer does little more than add to the growing number of bad apples that have discredited this genre.

From the onset, Kämpfer reeks of “bad”. Like too many other harem comedies, plot is deftly sidestepped. Instead, each episode is filled to the brim with stale humour and heap after heap of fanservice. In fact, it is not till the ninth episode that the faintest glimmer of a coherent plot is even noticeable. Alas, the sudden turn of events is hastily strung together and not in the least riveting. Kämpfer is an absolute trainwreck in the story department.

Despite being a comedy, there is little in the humour to wax lyrical about. Relying completely on recycled gags that grew stale after the third episode and heaps of fanservice, rarely did I chuckle, let alone guffaw at the crippled attempts at inducing laughter. In addition, the surfeit of fanservice elevated Kämpfer to within mere inches of a full-fledged hentai.

It may be hard to believe but neither the plot nor the humour is the worst aspect of Kämpfer. Rather, the ensemble of one-dimensional characters easily take the cake. Obliviousness to others’ signs of affection is a trait very commonly manifested in the male leads of harem anime. Natsuru takes this trait one step further. With a head made out of concrete, his denseness alone is a massive dent to any semblance of merit that his character may possess. The side characters are paper-thin, doing little more than conveniently losing their clothing and vying for his attention in the most cringe-inducing manner.

The final nail in the coffin is delivered in episode 11. This episode single-handedly plummeted Kämpfer from bad to utterly egregious. With a clumsily tied together conclusion and some of the cheesiest lines to grace the small screen, any hopes of it reaching mediocrity were crushed.

In summation, Kämpfer has irrefutably cemented itself in the realm of failures. With no cohesion, poor characterisation and rancid humour, there are next to no redeeming qualities here. Should the anime industry have its own version of the Razzies, you can be certain that Kämpfer will get my vote.

The Rating: 2

Reviewed by: Fuu

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