I have a problem with the harem in Campione! There, I put my opinion right at the top for all of you to see. In fact I’ll do you one better, I have a problem with harems in general. Is it the hopeless romantic within me that begs for all relationships to be monogamous? Probably. But that sort of argument wouldn’t hold much water with most readers so I’ll defend my position from a more critical standpoint. I feel that harems are detriment to character development and meaningful progression in a story.
Now considering the length of this post, and the sanity of my readers, I’ll keep this short and only reflect on Campione! and the elements that make it’s stable of women completely misused. When considering the problem with it’s harem a few glaring missteps become apparent. First, none of the female characters have enough screen time to develop their characters or personalities. Second, even if their personalities seem interesting, once they are enveloped into Godou’s group they become one dimensional. Last, the story begins to flounder as it more concerned about where each lady falls into Godou’s Fantasy Anime Woman roster.
As of right now each female was given two to three episodes to really shine. Considering that each of these episodes had a baddie that Godou was trying to topple, it didn’t give them much screen time. It’s frustrating considering each of them has something interesting about them. While Erica does standout from the crowd, Liliana and Ena are lookers as well. Nothing seems to go past a first date with them though. We don’t learn much about their beliefs, motivations or pasts. Sometimes it feels like that their lives only began when Godou walked into it.
But what about the fallout from these introductory arcs? After they have been corralled into the harem they fail to intrigue me any longer. Erica lost all of her tsundere charm that she displayed in the initial outing. Yuri’s timid nature becomes even more subdued by Erica’s presence. Liliana becomes obsessed with the King of Kings and her every action is dictated by Godou. They become all to predictable which is bit annoying because outside of the harem they were sparks that drove the show.
Since dynamic characters are no longer pushing along the storyline, the show falls into a sort of quagmire. A lot seems to be happening each episode but under closer analysis I realize that little progress has been made. Campione! spends so much time trying to get it’s women in line that it fails to create a meaningful tale. I understand that sometimes a show can follow a serialized format, but this one begs to tell an epic storyline. Its a mythos filled with rogue gods, politics and drama! How can it not tell a cohesive and gripping narrative!
Honestly though, sometimes a harem does work. I don’t think they should disappear from anime, but there is a time and a place for them. They work excellently in romantic comedies or slice of lifes that focus more on character drama than pushing along a narrative. With the luxury of such time, a proper harem can be created with each member having redeeming qualities that the viewership loves. Campione! is not a show with that luxury. Sadly, it’s too late for the show considering it has only a handful of episodes left. But maybe I can be proven wrong. It’s been done before!