Kai's level 0 vanguard.

I haven’t been posting much about Cardfight Vanguard lately. They actually had an interesting arc in which Aichi lost control of himself and became a bit of a monster. I enjoyed that because it was quite a shake-up from the earlier episodes, both in terms of Aichi’s character, and the general tone and focus of the series. With episode 50 that arc seems to have come to a close. I believe the next part will be the National championship.

Blaster Blade, Aichi Sendou's avatar, and lynchpin of the Royal Paladin deck.

What really spurred me to write this entry, however, was the release of the English version of the Cardfight decks. There is now an English language Vanguard website, and I recommend checking it out if you are confused about how the game works, as they have straightforward explanations of the mechanics, and many of the cards you see on the show are completely described. At the moment there are two starter packs available, one based on Aichi’s Royal Paladin deck, and one based on Kai’s Kagero clan deck. There is also one booster pack that has a variety of clans represented. I found looking over the battle pack very revealing. For example I discovered that Battle Sister Chocolate is in the Oracle Think Tank clan, and there are at least two other “Battle Sisters”, Mocha and Cocoa, even though Chocolate seems to be the only Battle SisterĀ that gets used in the anime. I guess it is because Misaki is the only one who regularly plays with an Oracle Think Tank deck.

Ren Suzugamori (left) watches in delight as Aichi Sendo (right) loses his perspective.

Cardfight! Vanguard has gone in an interesting new direction lately. We might say that Aichi has been seduced by the dark side. Last episode we saw that, just before the National Tournament, Aichi’s psyqualia had fully activated, and Ren took advantage of it, by convincing Aichi to abandon his Paladin deck for the Shadow Paladin deck. In this episode Kourin, of Ultra Rare, hunts Kai down, and challenges him over his role in activating Aichi’s psyqualia.

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Kyou, having been cast out of Foo Foghters, finds the world of Vanguard unwelcoming.

Episode 41 of Cardfight! Vanguard was the best episode in a while. Kyou is one of the crazier opponents that Team Q4 has met, and he has a real grudge. In addition, Aichi is going over the edge as well. His friends are all starting to notice that his personality is changing, and this more confident personality gives Aichi’s seiyuu an opportunity to shake up the way he is played. The result is a much more tense and exciting match than I would have imagined.

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Aichi finally sees it ~ the image of how he will win.

One thing that Cardfight! Vanguard stresses is the power of imagination. Previous episodes have shown this in many different ways, and last episode indicated that Aichi’s current problem was that he didn’t have a strong image of how he would win when he assembled his deck. In episode 35, the beach training camp ends, but not before Aichi sees the image he is looking for (no, not Misaki in a bikini top).

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Everyone helps in the cooking as a team-building exercise.

Episode 34 of Cardfight Vanguard introduces a new OP, which is a bit of a shame, because it is nowhere near as good as the first one. Team Q4 heads to a training camp, where they meet Team Caesar. Not a particularly eventful episode. All the games were shown in abbreviated fashion. Aichi was given some advice, to “imagine how he will win”, while building his deck. Morikawa acted like an ass. Kamui followed Emi around like a puppy dog.

It's a battle between a Royal Paladin deck, and a Dark Irregulars deck, with a spot at the National Championship Tournament at stake.

Cardfight! Vanguard episode 32 concludes the qualifying matches for the National Tournament. Aichi fights “the General” of the Foo Fighter’s team AL4, and the game turns out to be a good one, with a rather shocking conclusion. Also Ren Suzugamori shows himself to be a mean jerk.

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Yet another new deck!

Due to continuing circumstances, this is another batch update with very brief comments on each series.

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In the world of Anime, as in Life, anything can happen.

I’m having an Internet service disruption, so I have to post this at the town library. Consequently I don’t have a lot of time to mull over these posts and am submitting comments forĀ Tiger and Bunny 19, Kamisama no Memo-chou 5, Cardfight Vanguard 30, Mawaru Penguin Drum 5 all together. Read on for random musings about life, giant rodents, and more.

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Misaki's trump card is a tie to sweet memories from her past.

Episode 29 provided a rare Cardfight! Vanguard treat. This time we got a real match with Misaki fighting all out, and the stakes were pretty high, as Team Q4 have yet to qualify for the Second day of the national championship tournament.

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Elaine takes one for the team.

Episode 28 finishes team Q4’s first round in the qualifiers for the National Champion Tournament. Sadly, this was a pretty depressing episode. In short, the team from Card Capitol is starting out in a bad position.

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