Sorry if you guys were expecting a 2013 series; I haven’t gotten into one yet. I would like to thank everyone who gave me recommendations on my last post, but…they didn’t work out very well. Today I’m finally going to delve into a less recent anime series. However, this series isn’t that old. So why not watch it? I’m a sucker for these types of animes anyways. It reminds me of my younger days, enjoying Yugioh, Pokemon, DBZ, and the lot. Vanguard is also not your typical card game, it’s a bit different, which I discovered after checking out the first episode.
Usually when I start a new series the first episode either puts me to sleep, or draws me in. Cardfight Vanguard did the latter, but not at first. When I watched the anime a while back, I didn’t even make it to the middle of the episode. It just didn’t seem interesting, and I was done with card games. I put down the series and never picked it back up.
…Until now. It’s a bit different this time, for some reason the anime drew me in with it’s bright visuals, and fascinating monsters. The opening sequence consists of a fight between two monsters and some talking. Nothing new, this seems to be a common way to introduce a series. A minute or so later we’re met with the opening.
Now the opening was something. The song was a great “get excited now” track. The opening gives you a peek of the characters, and they’re Vanguards. For a newcomer, you don’t really know what’s going on at first, but watching the bright colors and cards fly around the screen is certainly interesting. I wasn’t instantly hooked yet, but I kept watching.
Here’s our first look at the characters in the story. They aren’t really diverse. We have Kai Toshiki, your typical calm and collected cool guy. He wipes the floor with everyone in the card shop. There’s also his groupie, Taishi Miwa. We also get a look at a few other characters who haven’t been brought into the story much. While they don’t differ from the usual, they still prove to be interesting.
Next, we get to meet the main character; Aichi Sendou. No, unlike Bakugan’s Dan Kuso, and Pokemon’s Ash Ketchum, he’s not that much of a loudmouth. He resembles normal Yugi. He’s a nice and quiet character, more on the shy side. Became my favorite character instantly, not only for his soft spoken voice actor, but because of relation.
Ever had a passion that no one around you seemed to understand? You’ve never been able to relate to others because of your hobbies. Then one day, you find out that there are people like you, and as soon as you meet them, you soon come out of your shell. Most anime fans should understand.
That person is Aichi, he’s literally the personification of that description. He’s been holding on to a card called Blaster Blade for quite a while. You guys know where this is heading right?
When the school bully “Morikawa” steals his card, he drops him timid act and chases after him. Morikawa runs to duel Kai and wagers the card in the duel. Of course he ends up losing, and Kai gets the card. Aichi finally arrives at the card shop asking for it back, but Kai isn’t going to part with it so easily. Aichi decides to duel for the card, but is allowed to use it in his deck.
This part was laid out pretty well for the common newcomer. Aichi himself has never dueled before, so we have the opportunity to learn along with him. Dueling is similar to Yugioh and the Pokemon TCG. The duel actually takes place on a planet known as Cray, but we’re the only one’s seeing that action. If you’re interested in how to play and the rules click here.
The episode ends as Aichi, on the verge of losing, top decks his vanguard Blaster Blade. He then later reveals that Kai was the one who gave him the card in his younger years. There’s the cliffhanger ending!
A Few Side Thoughts
Sound: For a first impression, the music and opening/ending were very good. I actually wanted to look up the sound track. The fast paced tunes and the upbeat music definitely help make the series.
Voice (English): Sorry for those who love hearing the original Japanese voices, I enjoy English Dubs when they’re avaliable. The voice acting is very fitting for the characters, especially for a dub. I have no complaints so far. For those interested a list can be seen here.
Graphics: The animation is very nice. The action scenes are clean and to the point. Overall the anime is filled with brightly colored scenery and cast.
Story: Can’t say much about the story from the first episode, but there’s only so much you can do with card games.
Characters: The few characters so far are intriguing. Even one of the less popular, Morikawa, isn’t too bad. He’s a character that’s great at giving you a laugh.
That’s all for now! The series is pretty long (100+ episodes), so I’m not sure if I’m going to keep up with every one. Let me know if you guys like this, or if it’s not your thing.