17-year old Natsuru Seno has a major problem on his hands....he is a Kampfer! After awakening to discover that he has somehow transformed into a female super-fighter that must fight other Kampfers as the powerful Moderators have instructed him via his messenger Disemboweled Tiger, Natsuru must now deal with these changes as well as struggle to maintain his normal life at school. Will it prove to be too much for the hapless Natsuru to deal with? Or can he overcome this new challenge of going through life as both a average guy and a powerful female fighter?
Kämpfer: Volume One was first published on the 23rd of October, 2008 by Media Factory in Japan.
The story begins with a mortified Natsuru Seno awaking in his room in the middle of the night and discovering that he has somehow turned into a girl while he was sleeping. Dumbstruck as to how he has changed gender and now is wearing a female school uniform that the girls at his high school wears, he tries to comprehend this sudden, shocking development in his life. He is even more shocked when the stuffed doll that his female sweetheart Kaede Sakura gave him at school several days ago begins to move and address his current situation as how he has been chosen to become a Kampfer, a super-powered female fighter that fights against rival Kampfers in the Moderator's War. Confused as to what this all means, Natsuru gets into a exchange of words with his stuffed messenger, who will serve as both his advisor and mentor to guide him through the process of being a Kampfer, from mastering his powers down to who he must fight against in the coming days. Frustrated with everything that is happening, Natsuru sits down on his bed, wondering if this is all just a bad dream that he is having, muttering to himself about this whole situation. Getting irritated, he rises back to his feet and demands that he be changed back into his male form, since he has classes tomorrow and can't go to school as a girl. Agreeing to help return him back to his male form by reversing the process, Disemboweled Tiger takes aim and with a mighty punch, drills the stomach of the stunned Natsuru, knocking him backwards onto his bed and out cold.
Waking up the following morning, Natsuru is relieved to find himself back in his regular male body and comes to the conclusion that the events of last night must have been simply a bad dream that he was having. As he begins to get out of bed, Natsuru notices the strange, crown-shaped bracelet on his wrist, the dark navy blue color shining dully in the morning light as he stares at it in silent horror, for this means that the events of last night were real after all. It all comes rushing back to him, leaving him sitting on his bed in pure shock and disbelief as he tries to comprehend this change that will surely affect his daily life. Suddenly, it hits him that he will be late for his bus if he keeps sitting there, so he hurriedly prepares for school and rushes outside to make his way off to the bus stop. When he arrives, he lays eyes upon the girl of his dreams, the beautiful Kaede Sakura standing at the bus stop, her radiating beauty transfixing him as he stares at the girl who he passionately cares for. Taking notice of him, Kaede warmly greets him and begins to engage him in small talk while they wait on the sidewalk for the bus to arrive. Their conversation, however, is rudely interrupted when a mysterious red-haired girl appears next to Natsuru, her small pistol pressed up against his head as she address him that he is the one that she must kill today. Mortified, Kaede stands frozen in silent horror, watching the mysterious female with panic-filled eyes as Natsuru tries not to do anything foolish, for it just may cost him his life. Without warning, the blue bracelet on his wrist begins to brightly shine, and with a sudden tug, it drags Natsuru away from the scene at high speed, taking him somewhere where he can transform into his Kampfer form without anyone accidentally seeing it happen. When they arrive somewhere out of the public eye, the bracelet envelops him in a blinding light and thus Natsuru begins his transformation into his female Kampfer form, in order to deal with the pistol-wielding Kampfer that wishes to kill him.
Now in his female form, Natsuru barely has time to catch his breath before having to doge the bullet from the gun of the other Kampfer, who has followed him to where his transformation took place. Confused and scared as to why this is all happening to him, Natsuru asks his new rival as to why she is trying to kill him, since he doesn't remember ever doing anything to warrant getting shot at or to get killed over. Smiling, she tells him that Kampfers exist only to fight, and that the true enemies of Kampfers are other Kampfers who are tasked with fighting and killing the others in the name of the Moderators. Before he can respond, she unloads a whole clip in his direction, sending him diving to the ground to avoid the whizzing bullets overhead as he tries to think of a way out of this dangerous predicament. While his rival reloads her pistol, he takes a stand and tells her that he does not wish to fight her, but is interrupted when the concerned voice of Kaede comes from around the corner, for she has come looking for him after he was dragged away by his bracelet. Turning around, he comes face to face with a confused Kaede, who is standing behind him looking at him in confusion as she tries to understand what is happening before her eyes. Snapping at Kaede, the other Kampfer takes aim with her pistol and prepares to kill her for walking in on their fight, since humans are not supposed to know anything about Kampfers and their war. Horrified that the girl of his dreams will be shot dead, Natsuru rushes forward, raising his hand towards the other Kampfer as she cocks her pistol and begins to pull the trigger. Before he knows it, a large blue fireball appears from his hand and flies across the sky, missing his target by mere inches and creating a small crater on the wall behind her. The shock of the flame missing her stops his Kampfer rival from pulling the trigger, and the stunned Natsuru is in total disbelief that somehow he has summoned fire in his hands and shot it at her.
Meanwhile, at a undisclosed location, a unknown female stands before a window, looking out at the city in the distance as she pulls back her sleeve to reveal a similar-shaped bracelet on her wrist, which has begun to glow.
Chapter Two picks back up at the alley where Natsuru, Kaede, and the mysterious red-headed Kampfer with the pistol have been engaged in brief combat. Still stunned that a big ball of blue fire appeared in his hand and fired at his rival, Natsuru stares transfixed upon his outstreched hand as Kaede takes cover behind him, unsure of what to think of this wild situation. Now knowing what type of Kampfer that Natsuru is, the other Kampfer says "Zauber, huh...even without an activating item. Yer pretty skilled..." before prepping her pistol and proclaiming aloud that she will kill him. Horrified by her vows to step up her game in order to kill him, Natsuru raises his arms in front of his face, expecting the killing shot to strike him in any moment and kill him in front of his beloved Kaede. Suddenly, the advancing form of the rival Kampfer stops, and turns away from the perplexed figures of both Natsuru and Kaede, muttering aloud that this whole fight is "so borin'" as she leaves the alley in disgust. Catching his breath, the shaken Natsuru slowly turns around to face Kaede, who stares at him intently as if she was seeing double before her confused eyes. Panicing at the thought that she will associate this "mysterious girl" with his male form, Natsuru sprints as fast as his legs can carry him from the alleyway, leaving the baffled and worried Kaede standing there in shock as he races into the distance. After several minutes of running, Natsuru returns to his regular male form and tries to piece together what exactly happened in the past 20 or so minutes. As he looks up at the beautiful blue skies overhead, he hopes that he will not run into Kaede at school later in the day, for it just might cause for some awkward questions down the road for him to answer to.
Natsuru finally arrives at his high school several minutes later, already late for his home class that had started at the top of the hour. He remembers that how the school splits the male and female classes in separate halves of the school campus, with a massive barbed-wire fence splitting the campus in half so that the two sides can not interact with each other at school. His hopes are that since Kaede is locked away in the female side of school, that he will not run into her that day and have to answer for the wild events of that morning at the bus stop. Later in the day, as he sits silently at his desk thinking over what has happened to his normal life, word begins to spread in the classroom that Kaede Sakura has entered the male side of the school, and that she is looking for someone. Natsuru's close friend Kanji Higashida approaches him, telling him that a student from the girl's side has come to see him on business. Starting to worry that Kaede perhaps has put the pieces together and realized that the girl who saved her was actually him, Natsuru slowly makes his way towards the classroom door, where the female student is currently waiting for him. Instead of finding Kaede at the door, he comes across the shy, blushing figure of a brown-haired girl with glasses, standing timidly in front of him as he asks her if he is "the one that you wanted to see?". Nervously, she responds "Y-Yes! Excuse me!!" to him, her embarrassed expression showing him that she was very uncomfortable about meeting with him on the boy's side of school. She introduces herself to him as "Mishima Akane, Year Two of Class Four and the School Librarian", which sends chills down Natsuru's spine, since he remembered that the red-haired Kampfer that attacked him that morning also gave that name as her own when she first stuck her gun against his head. Stunned, he repeats the name while lifting his left hand to point at her, unsure as what to make of this development as she nods in response to his question.
In the library, Akane continues her discussion with the confused Natsuru, telling him that he has a contract bracelet and revealing to him that it really was her that attacked him at the bus stop earlier that day after he asks her about it. "Your'e always like that when you become a Kampfer?" he asks aloud, still trying to believe the fact that someone as timid and shy as Akane could transform into a dominating, trash-talking monster of a woman that he came across that morning.