(11 episodes ?)
What’s it about ?
A loser boy’s adventures into the world of EXTREME trading-card gaming, with fight scenes in a fancy holographic parallel world and an ethereal guide to advise him.
Yoga, our college protagonist with realistic (if messy) hair. He works two part-time jobs to make ends meet, although that doesn’t amount to much given the current economic crisis. At least he’s sensible about his expenses.
Hanabi, Yoga’s not-girlfriend who still supports him quite a bit. (But when he works up the courage to ask her out for dinner, she points towards her boyfriend, who’s waiting for her. Harsh.)
Masakaki, the supremely irritating dude who makes Yoga an Offer He Can’t Refuse and. Just. Won’t. Go. Away. The offer involves unlimited funding, with the provision it has to be spent in the Financial District… which does not look like a real place but some rather like sort of parallel digital world. Yoga eventually relents.
We spend most of the first half of the episode with the former owner of Yoga’s membership into the Financial District… and considering how he ends up jumping in front of a train, we can see the Deal does not always end well.
We also see various people in the Financial District, including a quirky cab driver, a couple of elf-like girls, and the badass dude who creams out Mr (Rail-)Roadkill in a duel.
Impressive. The Financial District has obvious CG everywhere, but it works, as it makes it all the more otherworldly. I also like the snazzy effect when subtitles and the like are incrusted on screen.
Also, there’s some very cool Taku Iwasaki music.
Umm. On the one hand, it’s certainly got some very good production values, and I like the grim description of our protagonist’s life. It’s a very atmospheric series indeed.
On the other hand… Well, the centerpiece of this episode has two characters in a glorified Yu-Gi-Oh-style duel, summoning virtual critters and launching spells to hack at each other’s
life points bank accounts.
I’m not sold yet, really.