Cardfight Vanguard 23 – cardshop crisis
June 19, 2011
Episode 23 of Cardfight!! Vanguard brings us back to cardshop PSY. I had been looking forward to this ever since Ultra Rare appeared at the opening of the Kanto regional tournament. I had been hoping for clarification of some of the weird hints that have been infrequently dropped throughout the series that there is more to Vanguard than a card game. In addition a new character is introduced, and we witness a pretty interesting match.
There was a question on, LuRa’s Anime Blog, about whether this new character would be male or female. It can now be said definitively that he is male, but I can certainly see why there was some confusion. Personally Ren’s character design reminds me of Priss from Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040.
Well, I see a resemblance. They both have similar personalities as well. I wonder if Ren is also a rock star. Anyways, this gives me an opportunity to link to the OP for the Tokyo 2040 remake of Bubblegum Crisis.
Ren is a member of the reigning National Vanguard champion team. Team Q4 (minus Kai) meet him at cardshop PSY, where he has been summoned by Ultra Rare for a Vanguard fight. The purpose of the match seems to be to test Ren’s abilities. His opponent will be Ultra Rare member Kourin.
In order to test Ren’s abilities, he is given a Vanguard deck to play with. This is the first time that we have seen a fight with two identical decks. In the past we have seen opponents using decks with the same themes, but the decks could be composed differently by changing the proportion of cards (e.g. ratio of level 1 to level 2, or the exact number of some specific card). This time they each have the exact same deck, not just decks of the same theme.
The theme this time was all female cards, so the various cards were fairies, mermaids, and, yes, nuns. Even though many cards from deck to deck have similar capabilities, it is pretty entertaining to see the different themes, which result in varied battle scenes, despite a very similar underlying mechanic.
Arguably the most interesting reveal of the episode was that Aichi is transported to Planet Kray just by watching Ren look through his cards. As I mentioned last week, there have been hints throughout the series that Vanguard is more than just a game, and PSY seems to be at the heart of the ultimate mystery. Because Kai has stressed the importance of imagination, and the shop is named PSY, I am guessing this special something is related to ESP-like qualities in the players. Aichi certainly exhibited some kind of esper ability, since his vision of the three mermaids turned out to be a premonition of the crucial card that Ren used to win the match.
Next week is the Final Turn!