Aichi finds himself in a mysteriously advanced shop going up against a very skilled player.
What They Say:
Episode 6 - The Mysterious Card Shop
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With Aichi starting to get better at things related to game after the learning games he's been playing, he's spending more time with the kids who used to bully him some like Morikawa. They've found some mutual respect in the game and get along pretty well now. Morikawa has them going on a bit of a field trip this time to a card store that he's heard about and it is just as the episode title says, a mysterious shop. Located off to the side in a shopping center, down a dark corridor no less, it's a surprisingly modern and advanced looking place with holograms of cards floating about and a very high-tech battle table that you can play on. And it has an absolutely cute and adorable girl who runs it as the hostess, though there's an older woman behind her that watches over everything.
The layout is pretty elaborate and Aichi gets involved in a match on it, which at least looks a whole lot cooler than the real world aspects with the table top sheets and the like. Fighting against Kourin, who steps out of the shadows to challenge him, she looks down completely on Aichi since he's never been in a tournament before. It's amusing how these situations keep happening to him and even Morikawa gets perturbed by it, though mostly because he wanted to play Kourin since she's an attractive young woman. Aichi for his part actually makes out well here as he's playing with some amount of confidence. Kourin is doing her best to basically bully him, though she gets called out on it a bit by the owner in a subtle way, but Aichi really does manage to hold his own pretty well and keeps from being pressured much by it. Considering how he was at first, he's got a bit more backbone than you'd expect at this point.
The majority of the episode is the fight sequence, which isn't exactly a surprise. It does seem to reach for more of an epic feeling with this episode as Kourin really goes strong with things but Aichi has some actual strategy on hand to use and it works in his favor. The changes in Aichi and the way he is when he plays the game is fairly normal stuff and this episode shows us his growth as a player having learned the basics of competitive play. With the things he's learned over the last five episodes, he's able to use it rather well here and comes across as a solid player with some natural skill since he's going up against a very skilled player. The show just lacks the character material it needs to have in order to be more than just watching two people play a card game. There's an appeal in that for some, but for me it's really becoming grating in watching it unfold. It's obviously the main focus, but other shows have handled the whole thing much better. This is still much more of a training video than anything else and as I'll never play the game, it doesn't offer more than that for it to be actual entertainment.
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.