3 Episode Taste Test: Kämpfer

Unimaginative. Tired. Bland. Tedious. Insipid. The list of derogatory descriptions for Kämpfer is lengthy but suffice to say the utter lack of inspiration the series demonstrates is quite staggering. Cherry picking the most aggravating elements from other shows and combining them into a thoroughly banal presentation of gender swapping and fighting females which, on the face of it, is a combination ripe for exuberance.

the proclivities of the entire school population wielding an XX chromosome seem ridiculously tame

The opening scene is enough cause for one to turn off and continue no further: a luminous red-head shooting at a fluorescent blue-haired buxom female running and darting about conspicuous trees while her clothes are seductively shredded. Were it not for the next scene, a comparative master class in introductions, the series would be starting off at the very bottom of the entertainment hill. The inaugural episodes oscillate from apathetic combat to surprisingly gratifying school humour and only seems to hit its stride in the third which introduces a plethora of débutantes eager to ravish the goofy protagonist who woke up one morning a different sex than that which he went to bed.

The series brazenly pilfers so many different aspects that ultimately it means that it has no true identity of its own. The leading girls are only distinguishable by their hair colour and fall too quickly into their prescribed roles: teary eyed love interest, domineering senior, submissive bookworm and most tellingly of all, cowardly male lead. The OP and ED utterly destroy any notion of guesswork needed for the identities of the titular Kämpfers going so far as to reveal the design of a long-absent friend threatening to return in the future; even without them, events are predictable enough with only marginally more work going into the leading character designs than the tertiary, sex-crazed class mates.

Not content with the implications of schoolgirls fighting, there is a barely veiled undercurrent of smut which further smears the genre delineations. Were it not so utterly, laughably poor this would shift the series into more accommodating fan-service territory where a part-time female lead would be a welcome switch up. As it is, the series' attempts at the risqué are mediocre - even the proclivities of the entire school population wielding an XX chromosome seem ridiculously tame despite being a high-point to the first three episodes.

Kämpfer tries to do many things and ends up doing all of them terribly. Combat is protracted and sleep-inducing, romance is predictable and flat, only the sporadic comedic moments are worthwhile and they outstay their welcome very swiftly. With the threat of torturously thin plot explaining the talking stuffed animals and abilities of the girls sure to follow as well as more combatants, watching the rest of such a series fills one with dread rather than anticipation. An utter waste of time for those involved in its creation and those who choose to watch it.

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