Shukufuku no Campanella’s Blessing

by eternal on August 7, 2010

I went into Shukufuku no Campanella knowing one thing only: the art. Ko~Cha has worked on a lot of Windmill’s games – browse if you’d like – and, frankly, she (he?) is an incredible artist. I saw the character merchandise for the game and leafed through the Danbooru tag back in the Winter, and I was hyped for the anime solely because the premise looked exciting and I knew it would be pretty and shiny.

It goes without saying that I’m not disappointed. At the time of writing this, only the first third of the show has aired, but it’s already proven that it can magically read my mind and do exactly what I want it to.

As I was looking up the staff to see why the show is as visually beautiful as it is, I noticed that the sakkan is Makoto Koga – the same person who did the character designs, among other things, for Aria. I know the animation director would have more impact on the way the scenes play out rather than the overall style or feel of the visuals, but it occurred to me that there’s quite a lot in common between the two series, at least superficially. The shots of Ert’Aria by the sea and the crowds of jubilant villagers watching Agnes’ puppet show instantly bring to mind Neo Venezia, the perfect vacation destination. There’s a feel of childish excitement in the bright colouring and very distinctive character designs. Whether it’s the festive European feel or laid-back character dialogue, both Aria and Campanella thrive on their blissfulness.

In other words, Campanella’s Blessing is basically what an Aria eroge would look like.

Greatest eyecatches ever.

Perhaps this is what it takes to make me like iyashikei: a subgenre that, despite being theoretically appealing, always puts me to sleep. Campanella does something very good with its characters, something that many shows fail at doing. It actually knows how to have fun. The incredible art certainly helps, but I’m pretty fond of peko‘s original designs in Mayoi Neko Overrun, and that doesn’t stop the show from being average at best. See, Campanella‘s characters and dialogue are entertaining, period. It’s kinda like that manga I read in its use of SD art to add to the hilarity; I’m not sure how much of that was present in Windmill’s game, but it certainly works in the anime. When the presentation is this top-notch, the generic character archetypes and situations hardly make it less funny. It’s more like those cliches are finally being done right.

On top of that, we have something vague and difficult to discuss that I always seem to want to discuss: atmosphere. In this case, it can be pretty much pinned down to the setting. This type of happy-go-lucky, festive, almost Harvest Moon type of fantasy setting is rare in eroge; most fantasy settings lean toward the warrior heroine/mahou senshi style, and fantasy isn’t even common to begin with. The setting allows for not only a plethora of idyllic Aria-esque backgrounds, but also some very creative outfits and hairstyles for the girls. The designs are completely over-the-top, and it fits perfectly.

The parody aspect of the show is nice too, although it doesn’t hit me particularly hard since I’m not a huge JRPG gamer. What the meta does do, regardless of comedy, is it adds to the show’s sense of adventure. That’s why I mentioned Harvest Moon above: it’s like an RPG, but it isn’t held back by a forcefully serious plot, or at least not yet. The meta is there to make you smile when you see Leicester synthesize a gem with Carina’s weapon to increase its power, and I think it succeeds at that.

All that really matters in this post is that I like Agnes.

It might sound like I’m jumping the gun, but Shukufuku no Campanella has already proven itself to me. When I saw the stunning art and interesting setting, all I hoped for was a story that would use those factors to the fullest. This is exactly what the Campanella anime is doing. Like the loli vampire stories of yore – Tsukuyomi, Blood Alone, you name it – the appeal lies in the fact that the herione is a vampire, and it capitalizes on that by forging a plot and setting that compliment her. Shukufuku no Campanella is filling a niche that I never knew existed, and I love it.

Now this is what I call a blessing.


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

ExecutiveOtaku August 7, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Atmosphere definitely nails the appeal of the show in one word. It is a lot like Harvest Moon as you say (which is timely since I’m playing Back to Nature at the moment.) It really is a simple show at heart, and I think that it conveys a simple form of fun and calm to the viewer. Some people have spoken poorly of it’s simplicity, but complexity need not be the aim of every series.


RyanA August 7, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Super enjoyable watch, and the art/designs and setting are cake and icing, or vice-versa. There isn’t a lot of substance to the show, but I think that’s precisely why I can enjoy it so easily; good feel.


LostGamer August 8, 2010 at 11:20 am

I’ll have to check this one out, I enjoyed the first season of Aria and ecchi doesn’t scare me :P Another awesome review, thank you!


pdshingo August 8, 2010 at 11:52 am

The live of this anime on Niconico is worth watching because of comments.


ETERNAL August 11, 2010 at 10:06 pm

So I heard. Do the Japanese actually like the show? I have no idea how eroge adaptations are received in Japan (actually, I don’t know how anything is received in Japan).


pdshingo September 1, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Sorry for late reply. I didn’t see this until today. I think most ACG fans could accept eroge adaptations, but it still depend on topic and story. There are many people watching Campanella, but I think eroge adaptations such as Fate/Stay night, Air/Kanon/Clannad is more popular than Campanella.


Aorii August 9, 2010 at 9:02 am

Nice to see Campanella getting positive response from an aniblogger instead of all the bashing it’s gotten hit by xD. Although I’m sure the Campanella=Aria drives enough ppl up walls, like Impz.
The laid back JRPG-style presentation has been done before, just with never so much budget. I still think it’s a tad too generic, but whatever the case Funimations sure thought it had enough potential for picking up… blu-rays where~


ETERNAL August 11, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Well, it’s what Aria would look like as an eroge, and I don’t think those types of fans would want to see Aria as an eroge :P

The generic-ness is tricky because the show is supposed to be at least somewhat familiar, but it would quickly get boring if the dialogue got too caught up in the standard jokes of the genre. So far they’ve been doing well so I don’t mind as long as it doesn’t force too much drama (or at least not too early on). And yes, this would look spectacular on BD~


Krozam August 24, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Lovely art, indeed. I just watched the first 7 episodes yesterday, and then went to check out the CG’s of the original visual novel.

Campanella is ecchi fluff without any serious content, but at least it’s quality ecchi fluff. A good one within its own genre, I’d say, though it had the potential to be far better in the hands of a more skilled director. I especially enjoy the world, it’s far more carefully created than one would expect from a story this empty. The male lead isn’t bad either, a bit too perfect but at least it’s understandable why a bunch of cute girls would be all over him. Oh, and the battle musics are great.


ETERNAL August 28, 2010 at 8:38 pm

The male lead is indeed pretty cool, and I’m glad he isn’t the typical loser character. As you said, he’s unrealistic, but at least I can see why he has his harem.

I actually skimmed through the CGs again the other day, and I’m as impressed as I was when I first saw them. There’s something about the style of the chara designs that really appeals to me.


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