Cardfight!! Vanguard Episode #05 (

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Saturday, February 05, 2011
Release Date: Friday, February 04, 2011

The more Aichi plays, the more he understands the game and all the tricks he needs to master.

What They Say:
Episode 5 - Whirlwind! Kamui, the Grade-School Fighter!

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Aichi's playing against Misaki was a decent enough teaching game for him as he started to understand more about what's needed to play a deck. While he's not been hugely reliant on his main Buster blade card, he hasn't figure out the tricks and nuance to it all when it comes to pairing up cards and bringing his attacks and defense together in a way that really shines. Yet even as he losses, again, he's not demoralized by it as he wants to figure it all out. He's quieter after a los for the most part, but he doesn't give up and keeps trying to come back to it with a new understanding and approach.

This episode has Aichi returning to the store to get a booster pack so he can build up his deck a little more but he gets sidetracked a bit as there's someone new in there, a bit younger than he is in fact, who has his own little group of fans and followers that hang on his every word and play. He's the overconfident kid that has it all figured out and essentially goes forward to school Aichi in a new game that the two get to play against each other. The kid is pretty confident and has that wise old man sageness about him that can be truly annoying in anyone under a particular age, but even more so from some elementary school student when it comes to a trading card game. Aichi doesn't really recognize this as he's just wanting to play and learn, but you can imagine that Misaki would want to just slap him around some given the chance.

What kills me about this show is that the further it goes on, the more the rules get explained and the more complicated the game comes across as. Perhaps it's just my general distaste for TCG's that is influencing me here, but if you view this show as a training guide on how to play, each new episode brings in more complicated rules that really gives you the feeling that it's not the deck that you have that will let you win, or any strategy you may employ with said deck, but rather just how well you know the details of the rules to take advantage of things in order to utilize the deck. The rules are of course important in games like this, but the level of detail to it and the number of tricks that are being built upon the foundation lets the thing come across as much more complicated than it needs to be, or should be.

In Summary:
As the series marches on, the main problem is still very much here in comparison to other shows that deal with the TCG world. It's getting pretty boring. Others have come up with creative ways to actually tell a story about the characters and the game itself that can keep you entertained even if you'll never pick up a deck or even see it, never mind play it. What Cardfight!! Vanguard is doing is being a pure commercial with little else to it. There's nothing wrong with it if you're rather up front about it, and they are here for the most part, but that's not entertainment. That's an instructional video. And that's what we have here. The few moments of Aichi dealing with things or the nice little moment of Emi are welcome, but they're certainly not able to carry the show.

Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
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.

Mania Grade: C-
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Cardfight!! Vanguard