Yeah, yeah. 10 out of ten seems like a bit much for an anime made to promote a card game, but believe me when I say you would NOT regret watching this. Aichi Sendou is a weak middle school kid that gets the ever-loving crap beat out of him on a regular basis. He likes the card game, the bully-guy steals it, and he has to win it back from an old rival.
So sure, this doesn't start of as the epitome of an amazing series, but it's got it's own charm to it. This anime breaks away from traditional card anime in the way that characters don't just PULL OUT A MIRACLE IN EVERY BATTLE AND WIN EVERY SINGLE TIME REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCE. It's actually exciting to see who wins and who loses these games. Things could twist on a dime. No battle is ever just cut and dry ONE PERSON BLOWS THE COMPETITION AWAY THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE BATTLE. You genuinely don't know the outcome until it happens.
So this may seem like a minor novelty, and the show IS cheesy at times. The show's strong point isn't really intensity as it is the characters. Cardfight!! Vanguard has some of the most interesting characters you could get out of a show like this. Some are timid, others are angsty and antisocial, but characterization plays an enourmous part in this show.
Of course the first few episodes aren't that exciting, but it really does pick up afterwards. Some seem to think it's uninteresting because "The bully becomes his friend after a couple episodes", which I respond with the fact that Morikawa is pretty much just a lowly goofball. You're really not supposed to take him seriously.
The animation can get a bit janky at some points later on in the series, but overall everything looks pretty clean and nice. Can't argue with the monster designs, as they are all fresh and interesting designs throughout.
Oh the sound. Some of the battles have excellent music, and honestly, this show has an A+ English voice acting team. Everything sounds great, and it seems the VAs really outdid themselves.
As I stated above, the characters for this show are all fantastic. Every single one has strong and weak points and even the most powerful fighters on the show can lose at some point. The characterization is wonderful and exciting to watch, making you want to start the next episode right after each one ends.
Overall, I wouldn't go as far as to say this anime was flawless. It's cheesiness in the early episodes really is its major flaw, but it quickly outgrows that when you become attached to the entertaining cast.
What makes this anime great is the way it keeps you guessing. No matter what, the outcome of the battle isn't decided until the last damage has been dealt. This provides an entertaining battle with each episode. Not to mention the story develops greatly when the supernatural aspects are introduced.
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