When your kid is suddenly out at all hours and up and out early, it's a good thing, but as a parent you may want to ask a few questions.
What They Say:
Episode 3 - Welcome to Card Capital
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Aichi's life has changed noticeably in the last few days since becoming more interested in cardfights as his cute younger sister and his attractive mother have noted that he's up early in the morning and ready for school and spending time out. They take it as a positive since he used to spend all his time alone in his room just lazing about, which really doesn't say much good about him prior to finding his new addiction. Regardless, even though they aren't aware of what he's up to, they're happy that he's getting out and being more active in some form. Emi's intent on seeing what her brother is up to though so she waits for him outside his school to see where he's going. Of course, she sees nothing but evil and darkness from the boys he's with as the head off to Card Capital for a match against each other.
The reality of the situation is obviously completely different as she goes in to see so many people playing, especially kids her age as well, with lots and lots of happy faces. The dark and scary nature she sees from the outside is contrasted by the bright and inviting interior, which is something I can easily relate to having been in my share of card shops, game stores and especially comic book stores that definitely buck the stereotype. Emi gets an introduction to the place from Nitta as he shows her around the basics, including the cat and Misaki, but most especially very detailed and accurate images of the booster packs and boxes of the cards. Some things you have to get completely right after all.
With Emi watching on from a distance, with Nitta almost crossing the line to creepy by offering her private lessons afterward, we see Aichi getting more and more confident with his cardfighting skills. Though he's not going up against Kai but rather classmates that were bullying him before, he's definitely gaining a quiet confidence in himself and building on top of that. The fight scenes within the game world get a bit more attention this time around which is good, though every time it really ramps up it feels like it goes back to the shop itself. Running in parallel to all of this is Emi's view of him changing based on how he's playing this game. Even her view of the evil guys he was with changes over in it which is good to see. It's all fairly forced and simple, but it works nicely to promote card games as something that good kids do and that they can come out of their shell like this. You can definitely tell this is being heavily scripted by the industry itself.
With this episode of the series, we get the promotion that card games can change your life, make you feel better about yourself and more confident. It can also be something that your younger siblings can do and they can see that card game shops aren't dens of evil. Admittedly, this is all pretty much just good PR and it's understandable why they did it. At the same time, I have had friends in the past who went through this kind of change so I know it does happen. The main focus of this episode is on getting Emi to see what's going on and introduce Aichi's family a bit, which is a good thing for fleshing it out a bit. And the old adage is true; a family that games together stays together.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.