Tag Archives: Yugioh

The Ultimate Downfall of Card Games: Power Creep

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

It is hard to talk about the evolution card games, both online and paper, without mentioning the genre’s most fatal flaw: power-creep. Now, because card games have been around for such a long time, and because many of them have grown quite old, there are many examples of this phenomenon that have been discussed in detail elsewhere. Still, as someone who has spent years in multiple different communities, I want to share my perspective on the issue.

First, for those who aren’t familiar with cards games or gaming terminology in general, power creep describes the gradual increase in strength of cards, both to compete with the current best cards of any given meta as well continually generate interest from players in the game. Over a long period of time, this usually results in cards that are significantly stronger than anything that came out during the initial period of the game.

There are a lot of obvious negatives to this phenomenon. For one, power-creep makes it so that it is very hard for someone to leave a given game for any extended period of time and then return to the game, because it likely that by the time that person gets back a lot new game mechanics have been added that are necessary to learn in order to play the game at a high level.

Another is that those who enjoy a specific archetype/playstyle will likely not be able to play with that deck indefinitely. This is because power-creep will inevitably start favoring another archetype/playstyle depending on what kind of cards are made more powerful in an given format.

Then there are the less obvious negatives, like the fact that increasing the power of cards does not necessarily drive any outside interesting in the game, but rather only serves to keep the already existing player base interested. This because even with all of the advertising in the world, a potential new player only has their pre-existing knowledge to go off of which, by definition, is probably not a lot.


One of the few positives, though, is the increased interest for already existing players. As a former Yugioh player and current Hearthstone player, I can tell you that the prospect of a new extra deck mechanic in Yugioh, as well as the introduction new keywords in Hearthstone was and is always incredibly exciting. Constantly expanding games also make it so that there is a continued sense of community among any given player base.

Regardless of the positives and negatives, though, the reality is that it is very hard to deal with power-creep in any meaningful way. One non-direct solution that games like Magic the Gathering have adopted is simply introducing different formats with different rules. This makes it so that players only have a specific-meta game, and thus make it a little easier to understand. However, this does not inherently limit power-creep in any way, as it is like that new combinations of cards will be discovered depending on the format.

Card games could also introduce new cards less often, thus decreasing the amount of power-creep in a given time period, but this has the effect of causing existing player bases to be less interested in the game and potentially even quitting.

There is also the question of is power-creep even necessarily that bad. After all, part of the appeal of competitive card games is seeing just how successful people can be in different formats, whether that be aggressive metas, control, tempo, or even burn and combo decks.

Personally, while I don’t find it particularly fun to constantly learn new game mechanics and deal with whatever overpowered BS comes out during a given expansion, and I cannot deny the fun I have theory crafting and deck testing with other people about the game. Overall, I think the best solution to power-creep is design a game such as DC Deck Builders, one that can use expansions, but doesn’t need to, and that is versatile enough to have multiple winning strategies and also rewards people for skillful plays.

What’s your opinion on power-creep? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

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If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


OWLS November “Failure” Post: What Card Game Anime Have Taught Me About Failure

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Hello everyone, and welcome once again to my monthly OWLS post. The topic for this month is failure, as described below:

One of the best ways we can learn is through failure. This month we will be talking about the failures of our favorite characters in pop culture media and what we can learn from them. We will also reflect on our own mistakes and failures and how those experiences have allowed us to grow as human beings

As I am the first person going this month, I would encourage you all heavily to check out Megan’s post when it come out on the 7th. For my post today, I thought I would talk about something that I do not often talk about anymore: Trading Card Games (TCG’s) and their related anime. With that said, let us get started.

As I stated above, I have a pretty long history TCGs and their anime, most notably Yugioh and Cardfight Vanguard. However, I do not often talk about either because I have not consistently watched the anime for either in a long time, and since this is not really a blog related to card games, I tend to avoid that subject as well. Still, there is no denying that both of these franchises have had a big impact on me, and have taught me quite a few things in my time watching them.

The first of the card game anime that I spent a long time with is Yugioh. For many reading this post, that probably is not surprising, considering just how popular it was for so many growing up. The show has thus far had six different iterations, with roughly one new game mechanic being introduced with each series. Despite the change, however, each one has roughly the same story line and central focus for its main characters, that being wanting to become the best pro duelist.

The one I think does the best job with this concept is Yugioh 5ds, which tells the story of Yusei, a young duelist who grows up on an island disconnected from the mainland of Domino City. After finding his way off of the island, battling the security and riding his bike through a garbage shoot all the way to the mainland, Yusei attempts to connect with his former friend Jack Atlas, who betrayed him in order to get off the island and make it as a pro turbo duelist.

One of the biggest character traits among Yugioh main characters as well as Shounen protagonists more broadly speaking is a sense of unwavering confidence. No matter the situation they find themselves in, whether it be fighting against a powerful opponent, or trying to solve a difficult mystery about their identity, they generally take on everything with a smile. This is even more true in shows aimed at kids where the stakes are much lower story-wise. Because of this, the franchise’s many iterations do not often deal with the concept of failure. Rather, through the main characters’ confident exteriors implies that the best cover against failure is to shield one’s self with, well, confidence.

However, other card game anime, like Cardfight Vanguard, take an opposite approach when it comes their main characters. Cardfight Vanguard centers around Aichi Sendou, a middle school student with a passing interest in the game of Cardfight. Aichi is fairly shy and timid, and often does not stand up for himself. Morikawa, his school’s bully, recognizes this and uses it to steal Aichi’s favorite card Blaster Blade. After getting his card stolen, Aichi reunites and plays against Kai, who originally gave him Blaster Blade.

Aichi arguably deals with failure much more throughout the series than any of the Yugioh protagonists did during the course of their series, excluding Yusei. After forming a team with a few other people at a local card shop, Aichi then begins competing in tournaments. However, at first, it does not work out that well. Team Q4, as he, Misaki, Kai, and Kamui are then known, do terribly at the first regional event they participate in, and as such, are unable to qualify for the national tournament. Even after initially qualifying for team Q4, Aichi is only a stand-in member, and does not play much.

Still, instead of giving up, Aichi takes note, and learns from both his teammates matches and his own. He eventually is able to compete among the best in Japan, and later on the best in the world. To him, failure is simply an opportunity for learning and improving, and he is not the only one. The other members of Q4 also face their fair share of rivalries and challenges, but do not give up when the going gets tough. Except for Kamui in the beginning, he kinda sucks, lol.

The most important takeaways from these series are, as cheesy as they may be, to always be confident when working towards your goal, but also to be humble and learn from failure. Failure does not have to be scary. In fact, most of the time it is good.

What else is important about failure? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Reflecting on Anime in the 2010s and the Turbulence of Life

If there is any a more potent reminder that time is starting to move more quickly, it is the end of a decade. In just a few more months, 2019 will end, marking the beginning of another 10 years. Before I inevitably forget to write my obligatory end of the year post welcoming and hoping for a better next year, I wanted to take some time to talk about Anime in this decade, what affect it has had on me, and where I see myself going.

A Decade of Anime: A Medium Growing Stronger

I’ll admit that, given my younger age and relative inexperience with older series, this next statement is going to be incredibly biased, but anime in the 2010s has been a truly wonderful experience. It seems to be the case that as the medium has grown in popularity, especially in the West, the diversity in its genre’s and overall storytelling has gone up. Part of it is likely due to the overall growth allowing for experimentation and risk at animation studios, such as at Studio Trigger. However, part of it also seems to come from the influence of and involvement of cultures and people outside of Japan, such as with LeSean Thomas and Kevin Pinkerton.

Many Studios, including the previously mentioned Trigger, alongside others like Madhouse and Ufotable, have been pushing against the grain when it comes to anime’s generally less polished nature. Ufotable in particular has done amazing work, and has seen great success in this this year’s Demon Slayer.

The mainstream acceptance of anime in many more places across the western cultural landscape has also meant an increased an number of fans getting involved in the medium. Of course, in the short term, as someone who writes about anime, this generally benefits me, but it also means that those who enjoy it are less likely to be isolated from others who share the same interest. More discussion can only serve to enhance and expand understanding of these shows, which will serve to enrich future discussion.

It seems as though anime in the during this decade has gone through sort of cultural shift that video games went through in the later part of the 2000s. As more people became familiar with video games, and the medium started getting mainstream acceptance, people came to see it as just another thing people do. Anime has, slowly, but surely, gone through roughly the same process.

2010 Anime’s Affect on Me.

I try not to treat certain eras of any given medium of entertainment as a monolith, because every era can be defined by a quite a number of things. However, Anime in the 2010s did seem to be noticeably different, for a lot of the reasons I already mentioned. The result of this, at least for me, is that I have only become more fascinated by the possibilities of anime.

Another effect is one that I have mentioned pretty often at this point, but is worth repeating here: without a lot of the shows from this decade, I probably would not have gone as deep down the rabbit whole into anime as I have. Growing up with anime has defined a large part of who I am, and through all my ups and downs it has been there with me, even if only in the background.

Anime with the Most Personal Impact

I have watched a lot of anime, most of it from this decade. However, I wanted to quickly shout-out some of the shows that have had a pretty profound impact on me and on my general approach to life.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai

After seeing the goofy English title and a few small snippets from the first episode, it was hard to imagine that this show was going to have any serious impact on me, but man am I glad to be wrong. Bunny Girl Senpai is a show that I can only really describe as deceptively wise, in that it is a show whose messages can only really come from people who have a lot of life experience. Granted, that is nothing special in an of itself, but it also came to me at a point in time when I needed to hear it.


I could probably write an entire separate article even longer than this one likely will be about how much Yugioh and other cards games influenced me as a person. But, as is true a lot of others like myself, I would have never gotten into the card game if it were not for the anime it spawned. The show kept me entertained for hours, and I would always go onto YouTube and rewatch a lot of the duels from the show, and While I do not play much of the game or even keep up to date with the latest series anymore, the franchise still has an important place in my heart.

and finally…

March Comes in Like a Lion

I don’t know if I need to say much at this point, but I will say a little anyway. Rei Kiriyama has been one of the more relatable characters that I have ever come across, and his story, despite being fairly distant in subject matter, is incredibly saddening even just on a human level. The feeling of the not knowing who you are is a universal one, and March Comes in Like a Lion conveys it incredibly well.

Looking Forward to the Future

I think what I am trying to say with this post overall is that anime is in a really good place, both for me and as a community. There are so many wonderful elements of anime to enjoy, and it is definitely much easier to be a fan than it was in the past. Here is to another decade of anime, making friends, and enjoying life.

How do you guys feel about anime in the 2010s? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

What Else Should You Watch?: Yu-Gi-Oh

Yugioh is a franchise that, whether it be through the anime or through the card game of which I have dedicated a significant portion of my life, I will always be connected to in one way or another. Of course, we are talking about the anime in this post, and for a good reason. As well as for its nostalgic value, Yugioh remains entertaining anime for the idea of settling conflict with a card game. It is definitely still as stupid as it sounds, but in the end becomes a worthwhile way of developing the loveable goofballs of the series and its further incarnations, although some are better than others. *cough cough* Zexal *cough cough* For a bit of a change of pace, I thought it would be fun to recommend other card game anime because there are actually a few good ones out there.

Cardfight Vanguard


Vanguard is a show I discovered while watching illegal uploads on YouTube, and have loved it ever since. The show’s first few seasons center around Aichi Sendou, a middle schooler who hasn’t had the easiest time fitting in. One day, after being bullied by a dude named Morikawa, Aichi ends up in a local card shop where he rediscovers the game of Vanguard, and plays his first game ever against one of the best players around, Kai.

The show has a really good first few episode, with each of the first five explaining a different part of the game. This makes it so that the viewer knows everything they need to to get invested in the matches.

One of the things worth mentioning that I suddenly remembered while writing this is the music, which is actually surprisingly good considering the audience the show is supposed to be aimed at.

Future Card Buddyfight

Future Card Buddyfight

Buddyfight, while being somewhat similar to Cardfight in terms of how its game is played, has a much different atmosphere. Whereas Cardfight leans into relatively darker territory, Buddyfight largely remains kid-friendly, but even that can be fun.

Centered around Gao Mikado, Buddyfight centers around a world where players of the card game Buddyfight often find themselves choosing a buddy, or a companion from another world to serve as their most powerful monster. Gao meets Drum, a dragon who eventually becomes his buddy, and although the two get off to a rocky start, they eventually start working together to rise to the top.

The show does something similar to Cardfight in that it introduces the game in its opening episodes, although not as quickly. The game of Buddyfight, as it is used in the show, is actually a lot more interesting. The idea that monsters come from other worlds and form bonds with humans creates an interesting setup and leads to a lot of fascinating side plots, as well as fairly decent antagonists.

What other anime remind you of Yugioh? Are they better? Worse? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!