Sikorsky really isn’t the best illustrator, but he gets better.
I wasn’t particularly impressed by Campione! when my friend first dragged me onto the project, its first chapter opening up like a typical harem romance-comedy and the second featuring a classic shounen contemporary-fantasy battle. But I was promised GAR enough to slay gods and the mythology to come along, so I kept with it, and for once I was taught not to judge a book by its opening chapters either. It’s still a harem series, but when author Taketsuki Jou decides to fight blasphemy with blasphemy, lead by a male comparable with the demigod heroes of Greece and a heroine that manipulates everyone (especially her teammates) under her fingertips, this becomes quite the creative endeavor into mythology — of Heretic Gods.
Fans of mythology, of superpowered GAR leads, of a harem that just might actually work? Well this is the story for you.
Kusanagi Godou is a high-school boy whose greatest wish is to peacefully enjoy his life, except by a series of coincidences and plothax galore he ‘accidentally’ slays the Persian God of War, Verethragna, and becomes the 7th godslayer residing in the world, usurping Verethragna’s ten incarnations as his own power and ascending to divinity where no mortal man can hope to touch, thus forever dooming his life to chaos — this is where our story starts. Sounds familiar enough to countless light novel adaptions out there?
That lasted until he met the war maiden of Greece, Athena, and discovered just how many gods he truly faced in the form of a single Heretic God — gods angered by the mythology that mankind choose to constrain and defile them with.
But aren’t mythology praises to the gods? Yes, but that’s only when you limit the scope to that of a single culture. In the words of author Taketsuki Jou:
To regard foreign gods as evil spirits, demons, and monsters to be vanquished by one’s own gods; such examples are plenty. It really is blasphemy.
Caught as the only Campione who stood between Athena’s wrath and humanity, Godou stepped up to the plate to confront the maiden of war, the gorgon of snakes, the mother goddess of earth, and etc… all her other incarnations diffused or adapted across cultural, historical, and geological boundaries — origins well researched and explained, albeit creatively bent at times. Facing an endlessly powerful foe, Godou is armed with not just hotblooded shounen determination but also enough adaptability and understanding of his opponent to make even Sun Tzu proud (something quite rare in ani-fandom); not to mention faith in his followers (aka harem).
[Ike Masato] ‘The red devil’ indeed…
Erica Blandelli, his partner and leader of his companions, is a piece of work. This selfish ojou-sama is not only a daring fighter worthy of standing besides a demigod, but is ‘generous’ enough to prod Godou to seduce other girls with party potential for his harem. The fine print? She has to be number one, and she will bully, manipulate, and blackmail the other girls (and Godou) to ensure her absolute dominion. The reason this harem may just actually work isn’t because of the Emperor, but because the Empress rules it. She might send shivers down your spine, but she won’t leave you bored.
Unfortunately for her, Godou, as main male leads always go, is denser than a black hole. Fortunately for her, he attracts girls like one as well (to be fair, so did the other demigod heroes of mythology).
Thus begins the story of Godou and his party’s (mis)adventures in defeating the trouble-making Heretic Gods. It’s not deep, it lacks central themes outside mythological investigations into the origins of blasphemy, but for those who roll along with keeping an open mind, you might just learn something interesting about cultural exchange while having some fun~
P.S. This is in no way a vote of confidence for the anime; I don’t trust Diomedea when it comes to adaptations.