The latest episode of Shadowverse Flame was released on Saturday. An anime about a real TCG game Shadowverse with a real-game mechanic. This episode shows how the game’s intense atmosphere for each turn passes. So, before watching this anime, sit down and don’t forget to grab a snack because the battle is absolutely interesting to watch. First thing first, what is Shadowverse? If you don’t know anything about that, let me brief you first.
What is Shadowverse?
Shadowverse is a card battle game developed and published by Cygames for Android and iOS first and then Windows and macOS in another couple of months in 2016. If you’re familiar with Hearthstone, you will get this game quickly. It’s completely different with Yu-Gi-Oh! where you need to understand a wall of text and a ton of requirements to play a certain card, this particular game is arguably easier to play.
So, what’s the catch? Instead of playing the cards like a madman in one turn, this game applies a play-point system. It will ensure players limit the cards they are playing. Then, the longer the turn is, the game will instantly go intense. That’s what the anime is trying to sell.
There, you are already caught up and ready to play. Let’s move on to the episode, shall we?
What’s going on?
Let’s catch up on the previous episode. Ren wants to make a friend with her upperclassman Tsubasa. Instead of making progress one at a time, Ren was like “Yeah screw that, let’s battle and be a friend”. Very typical of a shounen anime. Then, cold-hearted Tsubasa agreed to that invitation.
This week’s episode shows the battle between two girls who have mirror-like personalities, Ren with her cheerful personality and Tsubasa with a cold-hearted personality. Before you judge Tsubasa, she had a sister-like relationship with her friend in the past. Long story short, when the person close to her loses to Hiruma in battle, she just goes poof from her life. That’s why she chose to close her heart to anyone because she doesn’t want to lose something precious again.
Cheerful as she is, Ren tried to pull Tsubasa from the deep of frustration. She knew that being left out is scary and lonely. Ren herself is experienced to be left out because no girl likes a hero story like her. I mean come on, you know the percentage of male-female ratio whether they like Kamen Rider or not. So, instead of self-destructing with negative emotions, she wants to be her very own self. That’s what Ren wants to teach Tsubasa about.
After that, start the cliché banter about “get away from me” and “I want to know you better” argument in the middle of battle. In the end, Tsubasa gives it 100% in the battle. Yet, she loses against Ren who just got a high roll in her last draw. Again, a very typical shounen anime.
In the end, Tsubasa opened his heart and accept Ren as her friend. The anime ends with Ren and Tsubasa playing on the seashore and having a sleepover at Tsubasa’s home in the next episode. That’s a protagonist move!
But the fact that the fans are misled about Ren’s winning comes as shock. This week’s episode is “If You Can’t Surpass Me, There’s No Point”. The fans assume that Tsubasa will win. In case you don’t know, Ren is the first year while Tsubasa is in the third year. Moreover, Tsubasa was the former leader of one of the seven clubs in the school. Forums in MAL also said that by that title, Tsubasa should win by a large margin. Yet the winner is Ren. You got me.
The Battle Mechanic
Now, we know that this anime is all about a game right? What good review is if we don’t talk about the game mechanic in this episode? Let’s break them down and think about it for a second. I know that not everyone plays this game. But please bear with me and pretend that you understand what I’m saying.
The game mechanic from this episode is legit. Because this is the second time Tsubasa duel with someone, I won’t go that far with her. On the other hand, this is Ren’s first time battle in the entire anime and her deck is pretty interesting.
She uses a hero swordcraft deck that focuses on control midrange. It can be seen from Ironwall Guardener who has the last word of restoring 3 points of her health and spell card Heroic Entry which calls Mach Knights, draw two cards, and restore five of her play-point. That’s nerfed target if Cygames decided to release that over-value spell card.
The most interesting about card battle anime is the effect they have on the player. Remember Yu-Gi-Oh! when the opponent decides to attack you? Yeah, somehow you got blown up by some holographic monster and hurt yourself. This anime try to bring that to the next level, not only do they blow up Ren, but they also put a Henshin scene like Kamen rider or magical girl to her. Talk about exaggerating. But, that’s what makes this anime interesting to watch.
This anime is broadcasted at 10:00 am every Saturday on TV Tokyo. You can also watch the stream of Shadowverse Flame on Crunchyroll.