Cardfight Vanguard Asian Circuit Review
We start off the second season of Cardfight Vanguard with a mystery: somehow, the Royal Paladin, Kagero and Shadow Paladin clans have been wiped from existence. And Aichi is the only one who remembers. After learning Limit Break, a skill that is activated during late game, Aichi, Kamui and Misaki end up entering the Vanguard Asian Circuit; mostly for Aichi to get answers. As they go along their way, the three characters learn a lot about themselves and about their decks as well as the true purpose of the Asian Circuit and the mysterious return of a long forgotten clan, Aqua Force.
The second season picks up where the first season left off, allowing for a good jump on point with its opening episode; which re-teaches the game of vanguard while also gives us a tutorial on Limit Break. Aichi, Kamui and Misaki are the focus this season as the three work together to face off many cardfighters in the international stage. Yet, they find the international stage full of familiar faces as well, including Team Asteroid … which now has a new member.
While the second season jumps into the Asian Circuit right away, we do seem to have presence from series supporting regulars such as Morikawa, Izaki, Emi and Miwa. Also, Kourin, Suiko and Rekka take a more hands on approach with Team Q4 this season. Yet, while at the heart of the season, it is find and free the trapped clans, this second season focus’s on development of our three main characters … and little else. While we get our first glimpse of the big bad that was mentioned at the end of season one, it does not appear till the final episodes. Plus, Leon, for most of the season, shows up being an enigma. Sure, this pays off when you find out his particular connection to “The Void” but, Leon’s appearances are sprinkled throughout the second half of the season. While Ren had a late entry himself, Ren was still a significant part of the first season. Leon, on the other hand, just feels as he’s there and he has a chip on his shoulder. The impact of his schemes seem …rather light.
I will give a hand to both the Japanese and English dub casts for this second season. Both bring their A-game to the show. Particularly enjoyed Ren’s and Aichi’s voice actors for both audio tracks. Tsubasa Yonaga’s Aichi was great this past season but was surpassed by his English dub counterpart James Beach as Beach not only matched his Japanese counterpart in terms of tone and acting but added a bit of bass into Aichi’s voice, making him sound older by the time the second season had come to an end. Atsushi Abe and Roger Rhodes both come to life as Ren in their own way; giving stellar voice acting performances.
Jam Project gives their high energy again for this new opening. The power of Jam Project is not denied while the ending themes are … okay for the most part. Just like in season one of the English dub, Bluewater only graced us with one ending theme in English while Japan had 3. Yet, still very entertaining.
Overall, the animation was great. The voice acting was stellar. The biggest problem with this second season was the overall storyline. We got great development from out main characters, particularly Aichi and Misaki, yet the main story kind of fell flat till the end and by then, it felt rushed. Otherwise, this was a solid season. I give Cardfight Vanguard Asian Circuit a 3 out of 5. You can find Cardfight Vanguard Asian Circuit English dub on Youtube and its Japanese original track on Crunchyroll now.