Anime Review: Shukufuku no Campanella Episode 2

(Originally published on Livejournal on 10/9/10)

Anime Review Second Chance:
Shukufuku no Campanella Episode 2

I am picking one show from the previous season that I gave a “thumbs-down” rating, and giving it a second chance. For the Spring season, I had chosen Senkou no Night Raid as my “second chance” pick, and in retrospect I probably should have left it in the dustbin. For the Summer season it’s slim pickings, but I finally settled on Shukufuku no Campanella as the rejected show that has the greatest chance of maintaining my interest.

Summary of the First Episode: In a pink-and-blue-pastel fantasy world, in the bustling town of Eltaria, Leicester and his long-time friend Carina, both members of the Oasis Clan, begin their happy day. In short order they meet a travelling puppeteer named Agnes Boulange, a ravishing holy knight named Chelsea Arcot, and the neighborhood twins Ritos and Salsa Tortilla — and by the end of the day Leicester is surrounded by seven nubile women. They head up to the top of the church tower to observe the special meteor shower, when one of the meteors (composed of a special energy called Eru) strikes the tower. Leicester runs over to find out what happened, and stumbles across a cute female automaton, who awakens and calls him “Papa”.

Ep.2 tl;dr review: Oasis Clan accepts a Quest; Defeat the big confused dragon with mysterious power from Minette.

Episode 2 Summary: Everyone returns back to the Oasis Clan House, where Minette’s origins are explained. She’s a complex automaton created by a master craftsman, so perfect that she is indistinguishable from a little girl; awakened by the infusion of Eru from the meteor shower she has awakened, and since the first person she saw was Leicester, Minette has become attached to him. The next day Carina’s father (the most powerful man in Eltaria) says that some Eru-energy meteor fragments fell into the castle vault, and charges the Oasis Clan with a “Quest” to examine the situation. They enter a giant door leading to the magical world of old dragons, and are immediately beset upon by a shadowy dragon figure. Battling the dragon is ineffective, until a mysterious floating girl shows up and and tells them to trust Minette to the task. She kindly talks with the dragon, calms it down, then absorbs it with a special power called “Anima Feller”. The girl, named Garnet, explains she’s an ancient dragon, and the beast they defeated was her shadow that was separated when the Eru meteor came down. Garnet hands Minette a glowing red orb as a token of thanks and friendship, and the Quest is completed — time for a beach party!

My Thoughts: I really don’t get who is the target audience for the show. Story and plot-wise, it’s a very simplistic fantasy adventure, with bright, cheerful adventurers and light, sunny, inoffensive quests — about what you would expect for a ten-year-old girl to enjoy. On the other hand, there are moments of inappropriate fan-service with non-explicit panty and cleavage shots, as if it’s aimed for the hormonally-enriched teenage boy. The two just don’t mix. Then again, the show started out as an adults-only video game, and then was adapted into an all-ages game, novel, manga and anime series, so looks like some of the original adults-only content still colors the present adaptation. Frankly speaking, it’s a bit unnerving and I’d rather they chose to go one direction or the other, but not both at the same time because it isn’t working out.

As I noted on the first episode, the whole show is terribly inoffensive (story-wise), and the second episode proves no different. They’re just a cute band of happy friends going out on a little afternoon adventure. Blah. With the addition of Minette, I suppose it could turn into sort of a Pinocchio-style story as she tries to become more human, that might be a bit interesting. But as things stand right now, I’m not optimistic. I’ll give it one more episode, but if I’m not amazed, then back in the reject pile it goes.

The Verdict:

Up Next: A quick recap of “Where Things Stand” of currently-watched series, A look ahead to the Fall 2010 season, and then cleaning up a handful of Spring and Summer first episodes that I missed the first (and second) time around.

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