Wild Cardz

If only explosions, cute women, and editing as blindingly fast as a new 1GHz processor could make for a good show.

Hmm...what all should I say about this show? To give you the very basics, Wild Cardz is about a team of women in short skirts who each use a particular suit from a deck of cards to channel their unique powers. They are defenders of the Card Kingdom, which exists somewhere within an island chain not all that much unlike Japan. As dangers face their country, they fight for freedom, justice, and the Amer...er, Card Kingdom Way. Yeehaw!

The plot itself is pretty ludicrous. After an admittedly entertaining set piece at the start, the story begins. A huge chess piece rises from the sea and starts to attack a power plant within the Card Kingdom. The girls use their various defenses, which of course involve not only transformation sequences but also the naming of the particular attack they are using. All of this comes to a dramatic head over the course of about 45 minutes, which are jammed into two 23 minute episodes. There are no more episodes sitting out there to be found, so no need to go looking.

First, the good. The show is amusing, and occasionally even funny. The pacing, as mentioned before, is extremely swift, and one could possibly get so caught up in the non-stop action that the lack of plot might not be a concern. The artwork is colorful and sharp, and appears to be made on a relatively high budget--there are no blatant "bad shots", though with the editing it is possible that the speed made up for any problems. The women are cute, and the show is definitely set for a male audience, as there are plenty of tease shots with bouncing (yet covered) bosoms and mini-skirts cut up to you-know-where. Nothing really happens in that sense, though, and so some will watch this and find it funny and diverting for an hour or so.

The problem is, we should expect better. It's something to rent first and then buy only if you find it immensely entertaining. Frankly, although I found the show OK, it is utterly forgettable. The characters have absolutely no depth, and the plot itself is so weak that the audience is never completely certain who is attacking what and why. Also, the naming of one's attack has become a telltale sign of a video game conversion or a poorly made film. It's an easy substitute for meaningful dialogue or even witty banter. It also takes away a sense of credibility. Even Hokuto no Ken, the grandfather of martial arts/action films, knew better than to label each move its characters made. Finally, the translation is really not that accurate, and it's not particularly well-written for a subtitled effort (though it doesn't appear to be a dubtitle). I only have two years of Japanese language studies and a lot of anime under my belt, but when I can tell that certain things are missing or added to the English text, it's a clear sign that not all is well. It's not that disturbing, just not accurate.

So the bottom line? It's a spoonful of sugar...plenty sweet while it lasts, but it really only gives you a craving for something more substantial afterwards.

Wild Cardz -- violence (though little directed towards actual characters), very brief nudity, language -- C+