Kämpfer 1 – Kämpfer is Kämpfer
Every fall, it happens; I end up watching a series for no rhyme or reason other than I want to and, to what’s become no surprise, it’s always trash. 2006 was Otoboku, 2007 was Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun, 2008 was *shudder* Chaos;Head, and now in the fall of 2009 I’m watching Kämpfer.
So why is Kämpfer trash? Well that’s like asking why we breathe. It just is. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s jump right into this train wreck together, shall we?
If ever there was hope for this series, it was right here in the very first minute. Not much is known and while a pretty standard scene, a schoolgirl with a gun is chasing another schoolgirl, and it looks like she’s certainly looking to kill her target. Looks like a somewhat dark and intriguing show.
Then the OP sequence comes.
With Minami Kuribayashi singing for an anime again – it’s been like three years since we’ve heard an OP from her, right? – and schoolgirls throwing chains and shooting fire at one another, I thought I’d stumbled into a low-grade Mai HiME ripoff, but that would be an insult to Mai HiME. From traps to yuri to dancing mascots, this show already reeks of desperation.
So the story starts with our lead Natsuru, who is voiced by Marina Inoue, waking up with boobs, long hair, and panties. Harakiri Tiger, a stuffed animal from the popular Entrails Animals collection with one of the most grating voices imaginable, explains to Natsuru he has to be a girl because he’s been chosen by moderators to be a Kämpfer and Kämpfers are always girls and they must fight no matter what. Yep, this is definitely anime.
Anyway, Natsuru thinks he’s dreaming and Harakiri Tiger kicks him into waking up as a very effeminate-sounding Marina Inoue. He goes to school with his not-too-secret crush, Kaede Sakura who is voiced by Megumi Nakajima. You may be surprised to know Ms. Nakajima originally wanted to focus on singing after her breakthrough role of Ranka in Macross Frontier. Keep this in mind as I blog through this series. Continuously tell yourself “this is the same girl who wanted to focus on her singing career and not get stuck in working on anime”. You’ll figure out why eventually.
She notices the bracelet he’s wearing, thinking nothing of an incredibly effeminate guy wearing a bracelet as most of us do, but Natsuru’s bracelet glows when he’s about to transform, and oh so conveniently, here comes the gunslinger girl (hyuk hyuk) from before the OP reduced this to dreck, and she’s looking to finish the job! You know what this means, everyone!
After confirming it’s a trap, Natsuru does what any magical heroine does after transforming… she runs. Wait that’s not right. She runs and bounces. Okay, much better. Much like Kashimashi, Natsuru seems much more adept at being a woman than being a man from his desire not to kick the gun girl’s ass all over the crosswalk, and natural skill to flash the camera with panty shots with her new powers. The redhead, now introduced as Akane, for some reason is impressed with Natsuru’s panty shot capabilities but still needs to kill him because he’s a Kämpfer. Unfortunately, she’s interrupted by Sakura who has chased after them, and this is where Akane becomes my favorite character.
She’s actually going to shoot the love interest! Holy god, this girls got intangible but definitely existent balls! However, she is stopped because Natsuru blows her fiery load all over the street, saving Sakura. Akane tries to take another shot, but Natsuru saves her from being crushed by a falling lamppost, after which Akane decides to run away for whatever reason. Natsuru does as well, after being tended to by Sakura, leaving Sakura to stand there and blush with her hair blowing in the sudden breeze. Subtle, ain’t it?
So everyone finally gets to school… I think. Why are there two separate schools? And why does one look bright, cheery, and interesting and the other look bleak and unwelcoming? Well, viewers, that would be because the bright, cheery side is the girls side and the desolate end is the boys side. Subtle, ain’t it? Then again, considering Natsuru’s seemingly only male friend has desires such as being physically and verbally abused by one of the girl students and loves taking pictures of girls more than anyone else… man, do you think there could be a more progressive series?
Oh, and Natsuru also apparently has another female friend named Mikoto, but she’s in Africa right now.
Outside, the girl waiting for him turns out to be a meek bespectacled lass named Akane. Yes, the very same Akane, voiced by Yui Horie. They go to the library where Akane reveals this and apologizes for the incredibly hot and vulgar woman she becomes when she transforms. I don’t know what she has to apologize for either. Natsuru then apologizes for getting E-cups when he transforms. Again, why?
Anyway, apparently because they both have blue bracelets they are on the same “team” or whatever. Their enemies wear red bracelets. Man, this series is throwing me through so many loops! She learned all this from Black Seppuku Bunny who everything thinks sounds like Yukari Tamura because IT IS YUKARI TAMURA. If you’re going to break the fourth wall, just do it!
Anyway, Akane goes on about how she’s totally horny for Natsuru with lots of not so vague innuendo when they end up on top of each other and are interrupted by the series’ obligatory ice queen Shizuku, voiced by… *rubs eyes* Kaori Nazuka? As in the voice actress of Nunnally? WOW. Guys, you gotta hear this for yourself. Even Naruto wouldn’t believe-
Thank you, my conscience. I deserved that.
Anyway, Shizuku would rather they do the nasty elsewhere, but before they can Natsuru transforms again and has to pee where Natsuru has no idea how he’s supposed to pee as a girl… you know what, I’m done. Sakura’s horny for female Natsuru and Natsuru tells Akane. Akane gets jealous and pulls the “call me by my first name” card which gets her so “excited”, but just then she turns back into Hawt Akane because another Kämpfer shows up and starts destroying the library with swords on chains. Akane turns Natsuru into bait to draw out their enemy, and because Natsuru is a pussy who can’t fight he agrees to it. Sakura is found at the center of the maelstrom and Akane takes a shot at her. End of episode.
So by the end we have no idea what a Kämpfer is, why they have to fight each other, who split them into teams, why they have to be girls, and where their bracelets come from. We also have no idea why the disemboweled stuffed animals can not only talk but are the only source of plot-related information in the series. We also have no idea why the girls side of the school gets 95% of the funding and the boys’ side gets all the scraps. What we do know is that none of this matters because you can’t think and fap at the same time.
Speaking of which…