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Kämpfer 11 final

December 11, 2009

Standing in the shade offered by the trees that bask under the hot summer sun in the school yard, Shizuku thinks about Tamiko, the upperclassman she cherished but who lost her life in battle against a blue bracelet Kämpfer.

Invited to Shizuku’s house, Natsuru is awed by the large traditional mansion where the student council president resides alone for her parents are most away on business. Teasing Natsuru he should be glad to find himself alone with his girlfriend while her parents are away, Shizuku is disappointed by the boy’s lack of romantic awareness.

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Showing Natsuru the Burnt Alive Lion stuffed animal, Shizuku admits she stole it from Kaede’s house and thinks it is suspicious Kaede hasn’t mentioned it having gone missing even even though she cherishes it.

Turning out to be the very first Messenger, Burnt Alive Lion reveals the truth behind everything. The blue and red Kämpfers are forced to battle as a proxy for two factions in another universe that are to settle their feud through such a proxy fight under the guidance of the Moderators.

By having made a truce, Shizuku and her friends have endangered this proxy battle set up by the Moderators, no doubt this is why Kaede sprung into action, for she is inexorably tied to the Moderators, possibly being one herself.

Unsure what to think of those accusations towards Kaede, Natsuru stops his initial protests when Shizuku takes him to her room and kisses him, the shock unlocking his memories what happened on the summer trip.

Explaining how she befriended Tamiko back when she had just become a Kämpfer, Shizuku tells Natsuru how this kind upperclassman helped her but was one day brutally eliminated by a blue Kämpfer, which determined Shizuku to get revenge on the Moderators whom she holds responsible.

Pleading Natsuru to join forces with her against the Moderators, the student council president looks at the trinket phone strap she received from Natsuru with melancholy after the boy has left.

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Still unable to come to terms with Kaede being the evildoer, Natsuru heads to her apartment, hoping Shizuku’s claims prove to be false.

Alas Natsuru’s hopes are crushed when Kaede soon reveals her true colors. Saying she will have to change her plans now and recruit him to her side, Kaede advances on the boy.

Making Natsuru transform into female Kämpfer persona, Kaede reveals she actually hates males and as her eyes emit an alien yellow glow, she thoroughly hypnotizes Natsuru, ordering the Kämpfer to always remain in female form.

Promising the blue haired girl ample rewards, Kaede brainwashes Natsuru into obediently fighting alongside her.

As school ends the next day, Mikoto runs into Akane and reveals she’s been called out by Natsuru to meet him on the roof, the bespectacled girl retorts she too has been called out there by Natsuru.

Finding the two girls bickering over who will be the object of Natsuru’s affection, Shizuku intervenes and says she too was called by Natsuru, but the student council president suspects more is going on.

There is no time to admire the gorgeous sunset from the rooftop view though as Shizuku, Akane and Mikoto are attacked by the four white bracelet Kämpfers. Introducing themselves, Hitomi, Sayaka, Ryouka and Rika boldly state they will emerge victorious but the white Kämpfers are no match for the battle hardened skills of the three girls.

Having easily defeated the white Kämpfers, Shizuku, Akane and Mikoto are surprised to see Natsuru appear, their surprise however turns into shock when the blue haired Kämpfer unexpectedly attacks them.

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Noticing the blank gaze in Natsuru’s eyes, Shizuku realizes their friend has fallen under the hypnotic spell of Kaede. An assumption that proves correct when Kaede herself appears, wielding both a sword and gun.

Observing Kaede isn’t a Kämpfer since she doesn’t have a bracelet and must hence be a Moderator, Shizuku asks what her goal is, alas the student council president’s question goes unanswered as Kaede swiftly knocks her out along with her two allies.

Regaining consciousness, Shizuku, Akane and Mikoto find themselves chained together in the school courtyard illuminated only by the light of the moon.

Explaining the three girls have become a nuisance to the Moderators since they refused to fight each other even though they are forced to do so as red and blue Kämpfers, Kaede declares the Moderators decided to just erase them, for which purpose they had created the white Kämpfers.

Their original plan having failed, Kaede was forced to recruit Natsuru to their side. Torturing the three girls with the idea that by choosing to remain female, Natsuru prefers her over them, Kaede reveals that Natsuru would have chosen to remain male had he truly loved them.

Ordering Natsuru to end things, Kaede watches with glee as the Zauber user charges up a large fireball to blast three girls into oblivion.

Looking over the faces of his treasured friends, Natsuru comes to her senses when she spots the trinket phone strap dangling from Shizuku’s skirt pocket and stops her attack. Shocking Kaede, Natsuru exclaims that while she indeed loves her, she nonetheless refuses to hurt Shizuku, Akane and Mikoto, choosing them over her.

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Not intent on giving up, Kaede summons forth a sword and attacks the three girls, but she’s swiftly disarmed by Shizuku, who along with Akane and Mikoto has found renewed powers, allowing them to once again defeat Kaede and the white Kämpfers in the ensuing feud.

In a last desperate attempt to turn the tide of the battle, Kaede approaches Natsuru, trying to lure her one more time to her side but she violently pushes him aside when the Kämpfer transforms into his original male persona.
Thinking Natsuru will someday still choose her, Kaede escapes with the white Kämpfers.

Instead of pursuing the enemy, Shizuku, Akane and Mikoto each give Natsuru an earful for nearly having kissed Kaede, soon bickering amongst themselves for who is entitled to have Natsuru’s affection. Dragged between the three girls, Natsuru looks up dejectedly at the skies, wondering what will befall him.

Having cheered on their respective Kämpfers, Harakiri Tora, Seppuku Kuro Usagi, Kanden Yamaneko and Chissoku Norainu wonder what will happen to them now having so openly defied the Moderators.

Apparently this is indeed the last episode, next week they will air an ‘extra’ episode with what looks like a stand-alone story, much like extra winter episode that ended the “K-ON!” series run.

As such the writers seem to have chose to put in some kind of resolution which of course isn’t any since the main plot of Kaede being linked to the moderators and planning Shizuku and her friends’ doom is still unresolved because Kaede escaped with her minions.

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Nonetheless it doesn’t look like many fans will really appreciate this ending, nor that there will be any sequel or second season at this time.

Rarely do I explicitly voice a negative opinion as I do not believe in being negative, even less in complaining or bashing, but to be frank I was sorely disappointed in this ending episode of “Kämpfer”.

With the disemboweled stuffed animal being Messengers, the magic use and such, I was able to accept the fact the Kämpfer battles were a proxy conflict to decide a feud far off in another universe.
Besides that, the final confrontation involving the brainwashed Natsuru was fairly standard fare, right up until the scene where Natsuru comes to his senses, then everything suddenly shifted into an incoherent element of absurd scenes and events.

The disemboweled stuffed animals sing a song to encourage the girls? Natsuru just stands aside without doing anything? The girls get an unexplained power up? Kaede simply retreats to fight another day?

Without meaning to sound overly harsh or presumptuous, a far better ending might have simply been to have Natsuru say he indeed loved Kaede but seeing who sche became as a Moderator, he chooses his friends over her.

In a classic but working plot evolution, have Natsuru defeat Kaede to go into a tearjerking scene as Kaede falls down defeated. But as the emotion of victory is washed away by the sadness of Kaede being lost, you have her wake up free from the Moderator’s influence and all is well. めでたしめでたし…

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That would have been a decent enough ending and plenty of opportunity to still make a follow-up season! And not the poor final scenes we saw in this episode.

Still, did greatly enjoy “Kämpfer”, especially the first comic oriented half of the series was solid entertainment, the latter half with more action was still decent, but it is a shame the final scenes of the ending leave such a bad aftertaste.

Perhaps an additional pitfall that lead to this poor ending was the fact Natsuru did not evolve at all as a character, while Akane and Shizuku each grew as character, Natsuru remained the same, never delving into choosing to be male or female, his feelings for the others,.. a shame they missed the opportunity to do something interesting with Natsuru.

Actually want to see more of the white Kämpfers, while generic characters, they were quite the hoot and had the kept the humor geared in that direction instead of making it overly slapstick oriented like with the singing stuffed animals at the end, it would have worked out better.

Animation was solid throughout the series, some slumps here and there, but nothing dramatic. The energetic opening and ending themes were consistent for such a default type series.

What is a saving grace for Natsuru’s character and the series as a whole is the amazing voice work of Marina Inoue as Natsuru, as well as Yui Horie who was brilliant in her voice performance of Akane.

Their terrific voice acting along with the excellent characters that were Shizuku, Akane and all the lovely (albeit standard) yuri and transgender humor made it a worthwhile series to watch which I did greatly enjoy.

If only the final few scenes had kept on that same level, then it would be great overall, but alas it was not to be.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    December 11, 2009 10:44 pm

    Man good anime like Kampfer and Nyan Koi seem to end too fast T ^ T

  2. December 12, 2009 12:12 pm

    I found this 11th to be crappy. The secrets unfolds were just not funny. I enjoyed the series overall, it was fun and stuff, but I also kept watching it because I wanted to know about Sakura and about the reason why the Kampfers fight, also wanted to know about Shizuku’s friend.

    Then it was all revealed in this episode… But it wasn’t exciting, I feel like I’ve waited for nothing, it’s frustrating haha

    I agree that Akane’s voice was well done

  3. December 12, 2009 1:45 pm

    @Chris
    A shame that Kämpfer ends with such a bad aftertaste though.
    @Ghost In The Shell
    While I could accept the reasons behind the Kämpfers, it was all delivered so quick as mere matter-of-fact and yet other important aspects remained totally unsolved, like what happens to a Kämpfer when she’s defeated (in the manga they just disappear from the face of the earth) and who is Kaede really?
    Feels like halfway the final episode the writers got stuck and just threw something together.

  4. December 12, 2009 5:49 pm

    Yeah, exactly. It was all revealed at the same episode, but it almost didn’t say anything.

  5. December 12, 2009 6:53 pm

    I’ve yet to watch past EP5 of Kampfer (because I’ve got no time), but after reading this post, I think I’ll be picking Kampfer up again pretty quick.

    Can’t wait to see Sakura getting smacked around by the others. Had hated her since the start of the series!

  6. December 12, 2009 6:57 pm

    @Netto
    Well you’ll love hating her as the nemesis! ^^
    Thought the choice of having the overly perfect kind girl character turn out to be the antagonist a daring and interesting choice, but in the end they didn’t have the audacity to really follow through and have Kaede seriously defeated. A shame.

  7. December 13, 2009 12:35 am

    Btw, I’m mistaken or there wasn’t any blood in this series? Just like Noir, I mean. People get hurt but don’t bleed.

    And it almost didn’t even have fight scenes u.u

  8. December 13, 2009 9:36 am

    @Ghost In The Shell
    Don’t think I spotted any blood.
    E.g. in the final episode after nearly kissing Kaede, Natsuru gets hit by Mikoto’s sword, Shizuku’s knife and Akane’s bullets but he somehow comes out unscathed… ^^;;

  9. December 13, 2009 1:46 pm

    And Akane needs to take shooting lessons lol

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