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Campione! Episode #01 Anime Review

4 min read

Sometimes it’s not worth returning things. Other times, the reward is so worth the risk.

What They Say:
Tale of the Beginning

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Based on the light novel series by Jo Taketsuki that began in 2008 and has twelve volumes to its name, a manga series also kicked off in 2011 in Super Dash & Go with Jiro Sakamoto illstrating it. Which in turn has lead to the new anime, licensed for home video by Sentai Filmworks and streaming on Crunchyroll, with studio Diomedea production the animation. Diomedea has some good shows to its name and Campione definitely has a good look about it as well, especially as it’s the second show this season to give us something from this region of Europe as the show opens introducing us to Godou, a young man traveling the world that has ended up in Sardinia, Italy to return a tablet that his grandfather gave him. Bringing something like this back to its original owner is something he feels like he must do.

Of course, nothing unusual happens as he ends up meeting a beautiful blonde girl in a bright red dress named Erica that demands the grimoire back and is only interrupted from threatening him at knife point over it when a giant supernatural beast shows up in the city and she has to duel with it. It’s a quick series of events, but it gives us a good look at the action of the series, sets the tone well and highlights the quality of the animation. What’s interesting is the fallout from it all with the destruction and impact on the land as Erica reveals that only certain people can see these incidents, caused by rogue ancient gods, and that the rest of the world simply sees it as natural disasters that have happened, such as sudden intense weather patterns or the like. It provides an interesting cover for things, but it also provides us with a ton of information about the overall premise within the first half of the first episode, making the show instantly accessible and able to move forward with adding more and more points to it.

Not surprisingly, Godou gets drawn into all of this when Erica brings him back to return the grimoire to Lucrezia, the woman who originally had it. Of course, she’s seemingly younger than Erica which boggles him but adds to the larger story going on here with the ancients and their involvement in things. But she’s also playful in what she does to mess with Godou and Erica, providing for some surprisingly well done and, um, engaging fanservice that I’m heartily in favor of. In the end, you know that Godou will be drawn in enough to help out Erica who takes her role as a knight seriously in the fight with the rogue gods, even if she doesn’t care for Lucrezia’s approach or personality at times. There’s some good fun here, even if it feels like it’s all a bit rushed at times, because you come away from a first episode like this feeling like you’ve got a good handle on things and that it has a lot of room to expand from here.

In Summary:
Campione is one of the series I was most keen in seeing more of based on the promos that came out and the opening episode didn’t fall short in the end. While it hits up a lot of material and definitely plays big here, it’s showcasing that it can go in a lot of different directions whil playing with a familiar track. Godou isn’t well defined overall, but we get the basics for him and sense that there is something more. Erica is a pretty straightforward noble knight type and the two should make for a good pairing with Lucrezia manipulating things in a fun way. I do like that they play big here in dealing with ancient gods, intense power and the way it’s all hidden in plain view. And I also like that, at least for now, we get another show set in Italy where the backgrounds stand out and it’s more than just the usual things we get out of anime. The show has a lot of potential, but it also has a lot to try and achieve as well. Really, it comes down to that last ninety seconds or so of the episode that will either make you want to get behind it or not, but I think it’s the kind of show that demands you get behind it and hope that it manages what it sets out to do.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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