The matches continue in the store tournament as the young kids vie for the title of the best of the best at a card game.
What They Say:
Aichi continues getting his hands dirty in a fight with the mysterious Ninja Master in the second round of the Shop Tournament. Using the skills of his "Nubatama" deck, the ninja backs Aichi into a corner!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Aichi's fight against the Ninja Master, the man who is actually one of his teachers from school in disguise for such an event, continues on into this episode and is actually something of a drag in a way. Most of what we've seen so far has been resolved episode by episode rather than continuing on and that's actually been a bit welcome since a real-life card game that lasts for just a few minutes lasting for an entire 24 minute episode can be rough enough. Having it go beyond that feels like it's dragging it all out a bit more, especially as this continues to be a teaching show about the game so we get lots and lots of commentary from the bystanders and those involved in the game itself.
Thankfully, that match doesn't last too awful long and it does allow Aichi to progress, because to have him lose this early on in the tournament would be a bad thing as the young viewers want to live through Aichi's achievements and victories. With the teacher withdrawing as Ninja Master and disappearing from that persona, though he does make an appearance in what I guess you could call his normal weekend clothes, it allows the show to move on to other matches to help work through the next level of opponents. They all move fairly quickly though in comparison to what Aichi's matches are like, and faster than what we saw of Kai's previous match which at least had some decent commentary to it as he played alongside Aichi. Misaki continues to be a dark horse character here as she plays with a certain kind of cold and calculating nature.
A good chunk of the episode goes towards basic little silly situations s the matches come to a close before the finals and they decide to break for lunch. There's some mildly amusing drama related to the way Kamui is so into Emi and follows her around like a puppy dog, dreaming of her calling him dear as they picnic under a tree in a park. It's cute in its own way but it just continues to paint him as a little goof and doesn't add all that much. On the flip side, we do see Kai being so very serious about the tournament as he goes over his cards and talks like he's about to enter a war. All of it is just prelude to the randomness of the matches to be drawn going into the finals so that there can be the end game match against two players. Naturally, it's all going towards the end game where it will be Kai versus Aichi, but first he has to take down Kamui. Which will be welcome as Kamui needs a loss.
Cardfight!! Vanguard does at least spend some time away from the game here as the lunch break hits, but by and large it's about the matches. After the initial one, they gloss over the others so they can move forward, which is definitely a preferred method since overanalyzing games like this can get pretty boring, especially if you never have any intent to actually play it. The character side of the show had some potential early on but a lot of it fell by the wayside pretty quickly. When we do get small dashes of it like we do here, it's cute, but still largely fluff, especially as it's pretty much elementary school puppy dog love. Aichi continues to come across well but Kai is starting to look a little silly with his darkly serious and obsessive tone about winning. But that's part of his age as well so it's sort of easy to ignore, but it's definitely there.
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.