by Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

At some point in life, we’ve seen films and TV shows that dealt with  ancient mythological gods and demigods, from Medusa and Hercules to  Odin, Perseus and Athena. What would it be like to have the powers of  the gods? Or what would it be like to encounter these gods here, today?  Such questions will never be answered, but we can always experience  those “what if” moments through stories. Campione!, a new anime series put out by Sentai Filmworks, looks at these questions  and the impact these hypothetical realities may have on an individual  and on a society.

Godou Kusanagi, a middle school student, has gone  to Italy to return a stone tablet to a friend of his grandfather. While  in search for his grandfather’s friend, he is confronted and attacked  by Erica, a blonde woman wielding a sword, who wants the tablet for  herself. She tells him the tablet is actually a spell book and explains  that there are ‘rogue gods’ who roam the Earth and will attempt to take  the tablet for themselves so they may become stronger. All this is news  to Godou. How could there really be ‘gods’ on the earth and why would  they harm him, let alone want a stone tablet?

Soon, a battle between two gods breaks out and  Godou realizes the reality of the situation Erica told him about. These  gods don’t seem to care about the surrounding civilizations. After all,  should one god defeat another, they’ll acquire the powers of their defeated  foe. But Godou can’t allow these gods to destroy Italy, so he intervenes,  and with the help of Erica, is able to defeat Verethragna, the Persian  God of War. In the process, Godou obtains all of his powers and the  title of Campione (God Slayer). Now, with the new title and new powers,  other gods are set to challenge Godou as well as other Campiones around  the world. But along with Erica and other maidens, he’s up to the task  of keeping the piece as Campione!

While I had high hopes for Campione! given the story content, it didn’t live up to  expectations. It was more or less like many anime of this genre: young  boy comes into a position of power, someone challenges him, he wins,  rinse and repeat. There really isn’t anything new here in terms of story  arc or character development. This is also a harem type of anime. Godou  starts off with Erica as his “knight.” She’s there to protect  him and to give him information on the people he is facing. If he doesn’t  have information on his enemies, he’s unable to use certain abilities.  Now, he could get the information about these rouge gods by sitting  and listening to her for hours or reading books, but that’s not very  efficient when the god is in front of you and trying to kill you. So,  to obtain the information of a rogue god or another campione immediately  is to tongue kiss the maiden or knight. Yeah, I know. As the story progresses,  he obtains three other women in this harem who helps him protect Italy  and the world, and of course all of them “love” Godou and  want a relationship with him. What kind of harem anime would this be  if that didn’t happen?

While Campione! isn’t anything new in terms of story and has  its fair share of fan service, some of the action sequences are fun  to watch and have nice creativity. By defeating Verethragna, Godou was  able to obtain ten different powers and they come in to play in unique  ways, for the most part. It was also fun to watch him battle people  like Athena and Perseus and to find out aspects of their histories that  I had not known before. But despite liking certain aspects of this anime,  it was an old, recycled story without much new. The series was a brief  thirteen episodes long, but they definitely left it open for more down  the road. However, this is one myth that really doesn’t need to be expanded  on.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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