As if the series didn't skew young already, let's spend some time focusing on Aichi's little sister, the next Vanguard prodigy?
What They Say:
Emi starts taking an interest in Vanguard because of Aichi. One day while visiting Card Capital, Shin gets Emi to participate in a Vanguard fight for the first time!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With all the time Aichi has been spending with the Vanguard card game, it's little surprise that his sister is paying attention to it. His personality has changed a fair bit since he got into it, met Kai and ended up befriending some kids in his school that used to pick on him to some degree. What she doesn't know is how strange it can get at times, though she did see some of the tournament and the weirdness there. She did not see the pirates style shop that we got last episode, something that would have had her eyes roll juts as hard as mine did I'm sure. Still, she wants to know more about what makes her brother happy and she's showing a more obvious interest.
When Aichi and his friends arrive at the shop and see her there, there is a certain amount of surprise, but Aichi is generally happy about it rather than seeing it as an intrusion on his space, which would have been more natural. The show wants to promote some inclusiveness though in order to draw in more fans, so it's not a surprise to see them go this route. While there's some encouragement for her to play her brother, it's actually Morikawa that gets into it and the two of tem have a fun match. A match that only gets more fun when Kamui shows up and is completely shocked by what's happening and that she's playing against him of all people. Kamui's one to certainly raise the tension in the room with his arrival and personality.
Similar to past episodes, it is a bit of a training/teaching episode again as Morikawa shows her the way at times while Kamui offers his suggestions, though Emi often goes her own way. She is, of course, playing like a girl in picking the cards that she likes based on appearance, but she also has some natural skill and a whole lot of luck in how things unfold over the course of it. The action side of it is given more prominence in this episode, though it does still follow its own internal logic, but with Emi at the helm, there is a certain cuteness to it as well that works pretty well. Emi's got the kind of chipper and upbeat attitude that can make it fun, especially in comparison to Aichi who was mostly just earnest and somewhat serious because he was getting a thrill from playing.
Cardfight!! Vanguard lets Aichi take a bit of a backseat for this episode, though he offers some pleasant big brotherly advice to Emi as she takes on her first player with Misaki's borrowed deck. The match is fairly fun, though with it again dominating the majority of the episode, it's just too much for too long. If it had run half the length and then spent time on the characters, it might prove a bit more interesting and a lot less onerous to go through. The show does pick up a bit when it comes to the visualized battles though which is nice, but it's not enough to really salvage things into an interesting way. I'm really not that keen on Emi playing since it's just one more character in the group, one that Aichi would more naturally push away than embrace, but it's a nice side story episode almost with some potential.
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.