The semi-finals come to a conclusion and the final match in the shop tournament is underway!
What They Say:
Aichi challenges Kamui, trying to get revenge for his previous loss. Since their last fight, the gap in their skills has closed considerably. Aichi puts everything he's got out there in order to reach that fight with Kai he's aiming for.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Cardfight!! Vanguard hits a quick moment at the start here that is almost a bit of a surprise as Kai takes down Misaki with a quick and final move and then walks off, his victory complete. It is about right for Kai and his personality, though it's not something he's doing as a cool or cruel act on his part, he's just done and moving on to whatever will be next. He is confident of course, as we saw that throughout the portion of his game we saw in the last episode, but that confidence can be misconstrued as he walks away after his victory. Then again, these are middle school kids, so you can read only so far below the surface about what their real intentions may be.
I'm actually a little sad that Kai and Misaki's match was as short as it was and given as little attention as it was. Considering we got to see Misaki play previously and she's a solid player at the least, having their math given so little attention, acting more as filler between the bigger moments of Aichi and Kamui's match, it felt a little bit like a lack of respect for Misaki. Particularly since she's the only female player that's been in the show so far. Unsurprisingly, everything is moving closer towards the final match being between Kai and Aichi, something that was a given since the entire tournament idea started up in the show, and this episode focuses heavily on how the game is unfolding between Kamui and Aichi so we can wait ever so tensely about who will face Kai in the finals.
Which is why the way events unfold are really surprising as Aichi ends up losing. He's not won every game he's played of course, but this is a loss that comes at a time when he was so eagerly wanting o go up against Kai. To have Kamui win and go to the finals with him is disheartening for him. Kai's reaction is pretty amusing though as he says he doesn't really want to play him because he wants to play someone who is better than him, which shows just how views Aichi as someone with a lot of potential and a style of play that's evolving well. The match between Kai and Kamui is kind of fun simply because it runs so quickly as Kai runs roughshod over him with his moves and attacks, all backed up by that youthful confidence. There's definitely a significant difference between their levels of play.
Cardfight!! Vanguard throws a bit of a curveball here but it does it in a way that's actually pretty hard on Kamui. All of this is prelude though for setting up the cast of characters that we know so well for going to the bigger tournament together as a team for the store, so there's a certain fun for that. Of course, we all knew that was coming, but I liked the curveball that was thrown in here because the show has largely been predictable, but it's had these elements as well when it comes to Aichi, which helps to keep him from being a young Cardfight!! Vanguard prodigy. It doesn't make me like the show any more than I do, but an episode like this works better simply because it does force Aichi into dealing with these situations, though it is only marginally touched upon.
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.