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Bakugan Battle Brawlers

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Bakugan Battle Brawlers
Bakugan.jpg
This is Bakugan!
Genre: Fantasy adventure
Running Time: 24 minutes
Country: Japan
Canada
Release Date: April 7, 2007 – January 26, 2012
Network(s): TV Tokyo
Teletoon (Canada)
Cartoon Network (USA)
Indosiar (Indonesia)
Seasons: 4
Episodes: 189
Next show: Baku Tech! Bakugan



Bakugan Battle Brawlers (爆丸 バトルブローラーズ, Bakugan Batoru Burōrāzu) is a Japanese-Canadian anime adventure television series based on the video game series of the same name. The anime was produced by TMS Entertainment, Dentsu Inc., and Nelvana Limited under the direction of Mitsuo Hashimoto. The story and lore center on the lives of creatures called Bakugan and the "battle brawlers" who possess them. The Bakugan franchise, including the video game series, itself is a joint venture between Sega Toys and Spin Master.

Plot

One day strange cards fall from the sky, children all over the world find these cards and discover from them small balls that are capable of turning into monsters known as Bakugan every time they enter into battle. Months later a game is formed with these cards, but everything starts to change when a mysterious villain known as Masquerade appears to change the life of Dan and his friends revealing that Bakugan is not just a game.

Why It Brawls

  1. The concept of the story and lore are interesting because it is a card game that was created precisely by children who found the cards around the world, including competing worldwide to see who leads the ranking of the best player.
    • The concept of players stopping time so they can duel each other in a duel in another secret dimension is also a new twist on the typical "card game battle" anime.
  2. The toyline, which is also based on the videogames, is also really great and memorable, and they even had a few tie-in promo toys with McDonald's.
  3. The series is a faithful adaption of the videogame series that it was based on.
  4. The mystery of Masquerade's identity and the fact that the kids secretly have to deal with the threat of Naga coming to take over the Earth during the first season is a pretty well executed "save the world" story.
  5. Pretty great soundtrack.
  6. Creative and cool character designs, both for the human characters and their Bakugan. Many Bakugan even make reference to mythological creatures, such as Hydranoid that each form of evolution gains an extra head in reference to the Hydra of Lerna.
  7. It has an extensive amount of likeable and memorable characters like Dan, Runo, Marucho, Julie, Shun, Joe, Drago, Preyas, Wavern, Klaus, Chan Lee, Billy among others.
    • Alice Gehabich is very lovable and beautiful.
    • Masquerade is a pretty awesome villain.
    • Preyas works very well as a comic relief character by much of the humor of the show, sometimes even making references, reminding a bit of a Deadpool-style character and a hilarious goofball.
  8. The show's main characters showed great evolution and development over the course of the episodes:
    • Dan: stopped seeing Bakugan as just a fun game and realized that the Bakugan were living creatures with feelings just as humans are.
    • Runo: managed to act on her feelings for Dan by accepting her love for him and becoming his girlfriend at the end of the first season.
    • Shun: learned to deal with his mother's death and overcame the trauma by returning to help his friends.
    • Marucho: learned that he was a good boy who always strived to impress his parents and shouldn't hate his past actions.
    • Julie: grew out of her love interest in Dan when she realized that her true love was with her childhood friend Billy, helping him redeem himself after he became one of Masquerade's henchmen.
    • Alice: she had to deal with the fact that her grandfather had been possessed by Naga and become Hal-G, as well as getting over the fact that she was the Masquerade for all that time and learning how to duel Bakugan to help his friends to defeat Naga and rescue her grandfather back.
  9. The plot twist about Alice being the Masquerade was brilliant, mainly because the anime already gave clues in some episodes that helped the audience to theorize the possibility of her being the Masquerade.
  10. Amazing opening and ending songs, both in the English version and in the original Japanese version, with songs like "Two Worlds Collide", "Number One Batle Brawlers", "Bucchigiri Infinite Generation", "Cho! Saikyo! Warriors", "Air Drive" and others being very catchy.
  11. The western version, although adapted by Nelvana, was not completely butchered differently than it was with BeyBlade and Cardcaptor Sakura, the original anime plot remained the same and several of the Japanese names were kept (with a few exceptions like Danma to Daniel), the new BMGs are also decent.

Bad Qualities

  1. The show is not particularly original as it uses story elements previously used by anime such as Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Digimon, and Beyblade, given that it's another Pokémon clone.
  2. While not typically thought of as a contender for the worst anime dub, Bakugan has extremely mediocre English voice acting all round.
  3. Some of the characters from the first 4 seasons were forgotten including Wavern (until in the first half of Mechtanium Surge), and her partner, Joe Brown.
  4. The game rules are rarely explained during the anime which can leave viewers confused about what is going on during the brawls. Also just like Yu-Gi-Oh! there are many moments where characters appear breaking the rules.
  5. Shun can be considered a Sasuke ripoff to some people.
  6. Similar to Sonic X (another anime from TMS Entertainment), the show had a low budget compared to the studio's main animes which ended up resulting in several scenes in which the characters appear drawn off-model or animation scenes that repeat in the same episode (example: character throwing the Bakugan on the card).
  7. Depending on your point of view the show went into decline: season 2 (New Vestroia), in season 3 (Gundalian Invaders) or season 4 (Mechtanium Surge).
    • In New Vestroia it's because many of the characters present in the first season where removed, leaving only Dan, Shun, Marucho and Drago returning to the main core, in addition to changes in the game rules.
  8. Dan and Shun can be considered gary-stus. Shun for practically being presented on the show as the best and most skillful Bakugan player in the world and Dan for not only surpassing Shun in the world rankings, but also for the fact that his partner Drago was the most evolved Bakugan in the entire series (he has had more than 10 evolutions!) and the only one to continue after the first season and remain until the end of the series.
  9. The reboot Bakugan: Battle Planet, wasn’t the best compared to the original series, but it is still considered decent by many.
  10. Some of the newer videogames, such as Champions of Vestroia, weren't well-received.

Trivia

  • Just like Sonic X, that is another 2000s children's anime made by TMS, Bakugan anime did not achieve the same popularity in Japan as it did in North America, which resulted in the last season airing outside of Japan.

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