What do you get when you mix Yu-Gi-Oh and Duelmasters together? You get CardFIGHT!! Vanguard! Okay, not really, but Vanguard is made by the creators of Yu-Gi-Oh and Duelmasters, but it’s not like what most of you guys think it is. I actually enjoyed the anime, even if it is a bit childish and you can call it a Yu-Gi-Oh rip off, but you’re completely wrong. Vanguard follows a different style of gameplay and they pulled it off pretty well, in my opinion.
Since I’ll be summarising the episodes, there will be spoilers, so I will post my usual spoiler tag. You can read on if you don’t care about spoilers, but I highly recommend you don’t, unless you want to check it out before actually watching it. I’ll also collapse the post, so you’ll need to click on ‘Read More’ if you want to read more.
THERE ARE SPOILERS TO THE ANIME IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED IT. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Episode starts off with two teenagers having a card fight with one another. Of course, the weaker of the two, Morikawa Katsumi loses against pro card fighter Kai Toshiki, resulting in a big blow to his ego.
Kai is no pushover and his strength is acknowledged by most people, except for Morikawa of course. The desperate cardfighter says what was up with his luck, with Kai only replying with, ‘My luck?’ (Kai Toshiki, CFV Episode 1). He obviously won by skill of course, Kai does not rely on luck. Just as he turned around to leave, Kai’s best friend, Miwa Taishi stops him and asked if he’s been beaten yet. Kai replies with a no and Miwa declares Kai as the best player in the card shop. Enraged by that, Morikawa exclaims that Kai isn’t all that great, but Miwa only further enrages him by taunting him.
Outside, Kai wonders that is winning all there is to the game? He looks into the sky and wonders if there is anyone better around to cardfight.
Scene breaks to a junior high school classroom were an eccentric American history teacher explains the samurais back in the Sengoku period. While the class mutters and snickers behind his back, the teacher calls out to one of his students to answer the question. Sendou Aichi stands up and tries to answer the question, ‘I guess, I would always have an escape plan’ (Sendou Aichi, CFV Episode 1). This resulted in the whole class laughing at him and he becomes embarrassed.
Sitting back down, Aichi looks depressed at how can nervous he gets when he’s called to answer a question. Smiling to himself, he reached into his pockets and pulled out a notebook and opened it to reveal one of the Vanguard cards, Blaster Blade. Aichi hoped that one day, he could be as strong and courageous as Blaster Blade. Morikawa, still sour about his loss to Kai, notices Aichi’s card and plots to take it from it.
During lunch break, Morikawa and his friend, Izaki Yuuta, corners Aichi and demands he show them Blaster Blade. As Aichi did as he was told, Morikawa swiped the card and proceeded to run off to Card Capital with it, in hopes of beating Kai. Being connected to the card, Aichi is determined to get back his card and follows the two.
At Card Capital, Miwa and Kai were casually talking to one another when Morikawa and Izaki burst into the shop. Demanding a cardfight and getting shot down, Morikawa shows Kai and Miwa the Blaster Blade he had swiped earlier. Kai, persuaded albeit reluctantly, decided to play a game with Morikawa. As Aichi arrives on the scene in exhaustion, Kai won against Morikawa and now Blaster Blade belongs to him.
Aichi asks Kai if he could his card back, but the expert cardfighter says no and if Aichi wanted his card back, he would have to beat Kai in a Vanguard battle. Aichi challenges Kai to a cardfight, with some protesting from Morikawa on how Aichi has never played the game and probably doesn’t even have a deck. Turns out, Aichi had built a deck just in case he wanted to ever learn Vanguard and the match between Kai and Aichi begins.
Both of them set down their Grade 0 Vanguard (Stardust Trumpeter and Lizard Runner, Undeux respectively) as Kai begins to explain the rules. Starting off first, Kai starts by riding the Embodiment of Armour, Bahr. He also calls the Flame of Hope, Aermo to his rear-guard. Although he declares an attack, Kai explains that if you go first, you can’t attack, much to Aichi’s relief.
Aichi’s turn begins by riding Little Sage, Marron and bringing Wingal to the rear-guard. He declares an attack with Marron with support from Wingal and Kai explains the driver trigger as Aichi reveals the top card of his deck, Little Sage, Marron and add it to his hand. The attack goes through and Kai gets one damage.
Back to Kai’s turn, he starts off by riding, Dragon Knight, Nehalem and calls another Bahr to the rear-guard. He starts to attack Marron with Bahr, to which Aichi notices that their power level is the same. If the power is the same, the damage goes through, but Kai explained the process of defending. Aichi uses Bringer of Good Luck, Epona to defend against Bahr, saving him one damage. Kai attacks with Nehalem, with support from Aermo, giving one damage point to Aichi.
Aichi begins his next turn by riding, Knight of Silence, Gallatin and calling Little Sage, Marron and Flogal to the rear-guard. He has Gallatin attack with the support of Wingal and deals one point of damage to Kai. But Marron’s attack with Flogal’s support is negated as Kai defends with Flame of Hope, Aermo. Aichi ends his turn with no other options.
Kai starts off with calling Wyven Strike Tejas and Wyven Strike Jarran to the rear-guard. He attacks Marron with Bahr, but Aichi swoops in and defends with Flogal. Kai’s next target is Gallatin with Tejas with Jarren’s support. The attack goes through and the last to attack is Nehalem. Kai checks for a drive trigger and drew the Embodiment of Spear, Tahr. Unfortunately for Aichi, Kai also drew a Critical Trigger and he manages to deal three points of damage to Aichi, making the total go up to four.
Aichi’s turn is next, but just as all hope seems lost, he manages to draw his prized card, Blaster Blade. He rides Blaster Blade and the episode ends on a cliffhanger on the next part of the fight.
My Comment: I don’t know about you guys, but I enjoyed the first episode. With the cliffhanger, it really makes you want to watch the next episode and finds out who wins. My only complaint would be how Kai explained to play the game. I understood it, but to other people, it may be a bit confusing, so I have to swoop in and clarify everything. That aside, I enjoyed it and even if you don’t really care or want to watch, I like it. Next episode summary will come up later!