Monday, December 28, 2009
Kämpfer tries to be two different things at once: a sexy action series and a zany romantic comedy, with harem, gender-bending, and yuri tropes thrown in for extra flavor. It fails on both counts, but at least it seems to know that it can't take itself seriously...until the end, when it tries to force laughably bad melodrama onto the viewers and (intentionally) make them laugh at the same time. And even if a terrible series knows that it ain't exactly Cowboy Bebop, that doesn't change the fact that it sucks.
After having Natsuru transfer to the all-girls' side of his high school, Student Council President Shizuku decides to pursue male-Natsuru, even while competing against Akane (the meganekko who prefers male-Natsuru), Sakura (the girl Natsuru likes, who prefers female-Natsuru), the rest of the students enrolled in the girls' side of the high school (who all prefer female-Natsuru), and eventually, Mikoto (Natsuru's childhood friend, who prefers male-Natsuru). Different things happen, like a bra-shopping and karaoke outing, the school cultural festival (this was the best part of the series, imo; I'm a sucker for otaku references, like the cosplay worn by the guys trying to sneak into the girls' side, or the Utena/Sailor Moon/Suzumiya Haruhi references during the beauty pageant), different girls taking Natsuru on dates, a group sleepover at Sakura's house (of course, with Sakura's real objective being to sleep with female-Natsuru), and a trip to stay at a hotel with a pool and public bathing area. During the hotel arc, we find out that Sakura is eeevil, and has a harem of White Kämpfers (as opposed to the Blue and Red Kämpfers, which were the only groups known up to that point) that attack Natsuru and co. Sakura tries to make Natsuru seduce Shizuku, and of course, he fails. Eventually Sakura's White Kämpfers attack Akane, Mikoto, and Shizuku while Natsuru is under Sakura's control. Natsuru breaks free, a battle ensues in which clothes shred like tissue paper and the characters scream and charge forward with the worst insert song ever playing in the background...Sakura and the White Kämpfers lose and retreat, of course. And an explanation is given for the existence of the Red and Blue Kämpfers (but not the White ones) that doesn't make any sense. That ends the series proper.
But wait! There's a Christmas special afterward that features the Entrails Animals (dare I say that Harakiri Tiger makes a better protagonist than Natsuru? Aside from that awful Muppet-voice...) switching bodies with Natsuru and co., and going on a Christmas Eve date with Sakura. We kind of find out who Natsuru ultimately chooses (wtf), and Sakura turns out to be Santa. The end.
The art is consistently crisp and clean-looking, but average. The story's a joke, but it had some entertaining bits. Kämpfer isn't the worst show airing this season (that honor goes to Sora no Otoshimono), but it's still a disposable series.
I wonder why Akane is the only character whose personality changes when she becomes a Kämpfer. Eh...not really.
Completely unrelated anecdote: Yesterday evening, several of my relatives from Colombia came over for a post-Christmas holiday dinner. When one of them asked me "¿Tú me recuerdas?" ("Do you remember me?"), I said "Hai!" when I meant to say "¡Sí!" A few other times throughout the evening, I found myself mentally translating English into Japanese when I intended to say something in Spanish, and having to re-translate it before I said it. TT__TT Didn't mention it, though, since who mixes up Japanese and Spanish...?
BGM- "Howling" by abingdon boys school