ANIME & MANGA - Review
11:00 - 9th July 2016, by NEO Staff

Kämpfer Series and OVA Collection

Kämpfer exist for the sole purpose of fighting. They’re an elite gaggle of warriors, shackled with an oath bracelet which glows and strobes before their transformation for battle occurs. There are two groups – red and blue – and they are forced by fate into a cosmic scuffle against each other.

Only girls can become kämpfer, but Natsuru Senou, a high-school boy whose personality doesn’t develop beyond the colour of his hair, is somehow transformed into a ludicrously busty gal and thrust into the part. It’s a storyline plucked from pubescent fantasy, a wish fulfilment with Natsuru no more than an author insert.

Each kämpfer is accompanied by a stuffed animal ‘messenger’ in various states of disembowelment, and if you thought Bleach’s Kon was annoying, you haven’t seen anything yet. Despite a plot based around warriors bound by fate, clashing swords, guns and magic, it’s a little light on the conflict. What there is plenty of, however, is ecchi and set-ups for Sapphic scenes. The belligerent student council president is herself, shock horror, a kämpfer, and gets Natsuro transferred to the girls’ side of the school.

The academy might be co-ed, but there’s little interaction between the guys and gals, emphasised by a Berlin Wall-style divide down the middle. The girls think and act like guys, and they’re all over Natsuru from the get go, with some of the more opportunistic turning him into a veritable idol.
The trans-narrative is handled with about as much tact as you’d expect from a gender-swapping sex comedy. It rigidly reinforces tired gender roles and stereotypes, ending up with something arbitrary and old fashioned. And the fact it looks like a shonen series circa 2003 doesn’t help one iota.

Light on scraps and substance, there isn’t an awful lot to get excited about in Kämpfer’s mix of ecchi and Germanophilia.
SCORE: 1.5/5
TAGS: Kämpfer, MVM
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