Plot: A grade schooler named Kamui is blowing all of the local junior high Vanguard players away. He’s garnered quite the fanbase, and Kamui’s grown quite the ego. He refuses to battle Aichi at first because he perceives him to be weak, but decides to challenge him when he believes Aichi’s little sister, Emi, is actually his girlfriend. Wanting to win her heart, he takes on Aichi. But can Aichi win when he only has one Grade 3 card in his deck? A card he got only a few minutes prior?
Breakdown: I knew it was only a matter of time before this series introduced a character who would gnaw on my nerves. Enter Kamui, an egotistical little brat who….honestly could be a lot worse.
While he was pissing me off at the start, by the end, I found him to at least be more tolerable than Morikawa, who just keeps getting worse to me the more I watch this series.
Morikawa’s an idiot and a crappy Vanguard player, but he acts like he’s the best no matter how many times he loses.
Kamui, on the other hand, may have an ego, but it’s at least deserved. He’s a very knowledgeable and skillful Vanguard player, and he doesn’t throw around much smacktalk in-game. He’s also more than willing to actually teach Aichi different aspects of the game, such as telling him that he can redraw cards once per match if he gets a bad hand, which I’m surprised never came up before now.
Many characters in Kamui’s place in other shows would probably have him telling Aichi BS stuff to sabotage him, but he obviously cares too much about the game and his status as a player to do such a thing.
The match in this episode went by a bit fast for my taste. Length-wise, it was fine, but there was a hell of a lot going on in a short amount of time for me to keep up sometimes. I’m still fuzzy on how drive and damage triggers work and why damage cards need to be flipped upside down sometimes and what that means, but it was a flurry of cards and flipping and wheee.
It was a good battle with a lot of action, but let the newbies keep up.
Outside of all of that, we have the crux of this entire battle, which is yet another person thinking Emi is Aichi’s girlfriend, and I still don’t get it. I’ll forgive Kamui for having a duel for Aichi’s ‘woman’ because he’s a kid, plus the resolution to this whole subplot is kinda funny.
One last minor note – Kamui has a ‘thing’ about getting common sayings and things wrong and people have to correct him. For example, he believes you have to challenge someone to a duel by slapping them in the face with a white bag when it’s supposed to be a glove. It’s not funny.
This episode also deserves some praise for not going the predictable route. Aichi gets his first Grade 3 Vanguard in this episode, and they don’t make a big to-do about it, really. It is his best move in the match, but in the end, Kamui has his own Grade 3 cards and wins. I was surprised, but even Aichi didn’t take this badly. He just thought to himself that he’s happy he gets to fight so many different and skilled players.
Can someone bend the laws of reality and make me friends with Aichi?
Next episode, we’re introduced to a hologram version of the game.
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