Cardfight!! Vanguard Episode #09 (Mania.com)

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

The Shop Tournament is about to begin and oh boy is Aichi excited!

What They Say:
Aichi is participating in the Shop Tournament held at Card Capital. The usual gang is there, plus a bunch of unusual folks... But Aichi's gaze is focused only on one place...

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After the in-shop competition to determine who would participate in the final open slots for the Shop Tournament, Aichi is all excited about what's at hand. As his mother and sister note, he's up early, more engaged and definitely happier than he has been in some time and it's all owed to his playing the card game and the competition itself that he's now able to get himself in. Of course, after playing against a variety of people at the shop so far and having fun learning and experiencing the teaching challenges he's had, he feels he's ready to really play, especially as he wants to go up against Kai again sometime in a real match and this is likely his best opportunity in the short term.

Part of the fun of tournaments is seeing who gets matched up against who. With the shop tournament here, there's a lot of people involved, including some familiar characters, but also some really odd ones. There's always someone who goes over the top and we see that in the 'cosplay ninja' character, one kid who shows up in a variation of a cosplay outfit complete with a helmet. Thankfully, the initial fights don't involve him for the most part and we see Aichi go up another kid around his own age as he deals with his own nervousness. He's so flustered by the event that he hasn't played properly from the start and he has to use a few tricks to try and shore up his moves.

In Summary:
The majority of the episode is made up of the match between the two and each of them do have their problems when they play, so it's not restricted to just Aichi and his nervousness and overall lack of experience. The matches are obviously going to be decent little learning experiences for him that make him more capable as time goes on. Thankfully, there isn't a lot of observational commentary by those not playing, though Kai gets in a few comments here and there, and the focus is on either the players themselves or the visualized action. Similar to the last episode, there's definitely more of that here, but it's still not something that has its own consistent setting or world that's utilized. Cardfight!! Vanguard really missed the boat in making the two sides connect better which would have made it more engaging for the viewer. While it feels less like a teaching show during this episode, there's still plenty of those moments

Features
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