Wow! Four years! Yes, The Manga Connoisseur has been strolling along for four years now, and we’re celebrating the only way we know how: Card games!
You may recall that the first manga I’d ever owned was King of Cards, probably the only series to star a girl who is a pro at a card game, despite the ironic title. Although no need to worry, because no one falls in love with their cousin in this one.
When I saw this manga on the shelf, I thought it would be nothing more than a knockoff of Yu-Gi-Oh!, specifically the Duelist series. I mean, it’s a card game manga, and the art looks similar to Yu-Gi-Oh!’s. Heck, there’s even exclamation points in the title!
It’s by the artist who drew Yu-Gi-Oh! R. That was a relief. Now I can throw out half of my “Yu-Gi-Oh!” comparisons. The manga is based off an anime, based off a card game made by Akira Itou (the YGOR artist) and the creator of Duel Masters, somehow. Or maybe all the stuff came out at once. I dunno.
Thing is, as a Jewish kid I couldn’t watch TV or go online. Playing card games was a boon for my brother and I. Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Magic: The Gathering, and a very confused interlude trying to figure out how to play Digimon. Don’t even bother, somehow I ended up beating my brother.
Reading this manga, I feel like I’m a kid again, playing a card game. Digimon, unfortunately. I don’t get the rules, I barely retained what the manga tried to explain.
So get this. Instead of lowering life points based on a set amount of health, the player has to knock out six opposing monsters. Keep in mind, the power of the creatures are usually 6000-10000. Nope, nothing confusing there.
I appreciate that they’re not just trying to rehash preexisting series (and that “shield” is on the side), but it’s just not for me. I bet the kids these days get it like that, though.
So the manga. We get Aichi who is a timid teen without friends, some guy who steals his card, another guy who’s an enemy made into a friend, a woman with an uncanny third sense at card games… Yugi, Kaiba, Joey, Mai. Formula: Complete.
He gets his Blaster Blade stolen, which is like the Dark Magician here. Fun fact: The manga comes with a free card. I got the Blaster Blade. It’s… it’s not that cool. This game, unlike real life, is played for cards, so the thief gives a pro, Kai, the card. Aichi plays Kai for the card, because a childhood friend gave it to him… Kai! Aichi wins, despite never having played, of course. Now they’re friends!
First, there’s no Duel Disk or holograms or motorcycles. The whole game is portrayed through imagination, which is fine. That’s how I like to play.
Second, there’s also no original formula. Nothing’s stolen from other series, but the gameplay is reused over and over. Aichi summons “Grime,” a bland Eevee, then Blaster Blade, then wins. Even Exodia was only used in the one duel.
The only character I particularly like is Misaki, who has a photographic memory, allowing her to remember strategies, rules, and call thieves scum over and over.
A definite step up from Tea. My problem is that she still loses to Aichi, but then again, the only character to beat him in this volume is some kid not even good enough to be on the exterior of the volume.
Oh, and for some reason, like Yugi to Joey, Aichi tries to befriend the guy who stole his card. He tries to join the Cardfight club, but the bully refuses, despite the fact that including him in the club will bring up their score average, letting them keep the club. Nice. Like everything, Aichi challenges him to a Cardfight. Oh, he wins, but before they fight, the bully says, “You think having a rare card makes you a card fighter?!” Um… Kai called you out on that in the first chapter, bully. That’s why you stole the Blaster Blade.
I can see this doing well enough. The characters have their own abilities, and if there’s a supernatural element, I haven’t gotten there yet. It does come off as trying to be another Yu-Gi-Oh! series, but on its own, there’s enough to work.
I say give it a look, at least the manga. Try not to think to hard about the rules and just have a good time.
Well, that’s Year Four for you. Merry Summer, Happy Heat Waves, and a Jolly Surf’s Up Dudes to you all! And here’s to 4444 more years!