The idea behind this Impressions series is to give you a glimpse into the thought process behind an Anime Hajime Review. Plus, this is just the latest effort to bring you more anime content since it is hard to find time to watch a show that is more than 25-episodes long.
Please be sure to follow us so that you don’t miss when the official Anime Hajime Review of Shadowverse comes out on August 3rd, 2021.
With that said, please follow us along as we check out Shadowverse Episodes 1 to 8.
Episode 1 – This is Shadowverse!!
When off to school, Hiro Ryugasaki hears a strange voice coming from his family’s garage. There he finds a mysterious cell phone. But, rather than questioning it, Rygasakai is thrilled that he can finally play the immensely popular game Shadowverse.
Ryugasaki tries to battle his friend Kazuki Shindo at school, but the two keep getting pulled away to do other tasks. Then, at lunch, the pair learns that their other friend, Mimori Amamiya lost her cell during a Shadowverse battle against Takuma Kibakura.
After school, Ryugasaki heads to Shadowverse Stadium to try to get Amamiya’s phone back. Sure enough, Ryugasaki finds Kibakura there, and the two battle.
Kibakura scoffs when he learns that this is Ryugasaki’s first-ever match. Nevertheless, Ryugasaki has a blast and manages to pull off an upset victory. When Ryugasaki asks for Amamiya’s phone, Kibakura says he lost it to Lucia Yonazuki.
Ryugasaki heads to the park Yonazuki frequently hangs out and finds him there.
Although I didn’t get into it when I was a kid, Shadowverse instantly reminds me of classic Yu-Gi-Oh. Heck, this opening episode followed the first episode of Yu-Gi-Oh (from what I recall, it’s been a couple of decades) nearly beat for beat.
I suppose I need to keep reminding myself that this show is meant for younger audiences. Therefore, I should be a bit more open-minded.
Still, I can’t help but already notice how Shadowverse’s visuals don’t match up at all with its original game’s, which have, so far, been featured prominently.
Episode 2 – Hiro’s Resolve
When Hiro Ryugasaki finds Lucia Yonazuki, he explains the situation with the phone. Rather than putting up a fight, Yonazaki freely returns it. However, Ryugasaki challenges Yonazuki to a battle anyway.
Despite Ryugasaki’s lack of experience, his enthusiasm forces Yonazuki to change his typical strategy. Like it was before, Ryugasaki pulls out a victory by the skin of his teeth. But as the two are about to go their separate ways, Yonazuki leaves Ryugasaki with a cryptic message, “The card entrusted the future to you.”
At school the next day, everyone wants to hear the details about Ryugasaki’s two unbelievable victories. The problem is, Ryugasaki realizes that Yonazaki had actually let him win. Unsatisfied with such an outcome, Ryugasaki vows to achieve a true triumph eventually.
Again, kids show, but I hope this series doesn’t make it a habit to contradict itself.
Sure, rumors are one thing, but when Yonazuki goes around telling people that everyone who faces him quits Shadowverse, he can get down off its high horse. The entire reason Ryugasaki went to meet Yonazuki was that Takuma Kibakura LOST. And yet, Kibakura showed no signs of quitting when he battled Ryugasaki afterward.
Also, is this entire world designed around people playing Shadowverse. I bet I’ll get used to it, but it appears as though this series is one giant handjob to its source material.
Episode 3 – The Plot of the Genius Among Geniuses
Hiro Ryugasaki has been enjoying Shadowversehas built a reputation around his school as a strong player. One day, a first-year named Kai Ijuin, a genuine genius among geniuses, goes looking to challenge Ryugasaki. When they meet, Ijuin refuses to believe Ryugasaki is the person who defeated Lucia Yonazaki.
After school, Ryugasaki and Ijuin battle one another at the local Shadowverse Stadium. Ijuin boldly declares he will defeat Ryugasaki on the eighth turn of the match. The trouble is, Ijuin fails to calculate Ryugasaki’s enthusiasm.
During the battle, Ijuin explains that Yonazaki was the first person to beat him, and the humiliation of being wrong was devastating. However, Ryugasaki successfully turns the fight around and delivers Ijuin his second defeat.
Ijuin accepts Ryugasaki as a commendable Shadowverse player and vows to get stronger.
Episode 4 – Something Special
While getting ready for her day, Mimori Amamiya hears the young idol Alice Kurobane on television. Kurobane says that it’s better when people try to a little different sometimes. Feeling inspired, Amamiya changes up her usual look – a new hairpin.
At school, no one takes notice of any change, leaving Amamiya a tad disappointed.
Later in the day, when Amamiya is admiring all the Kurobane merchandise, she runs into a mysterious girl. The girl asks if Kurobane is all that special, and Amamiya insists that she is. Then, seeing Amamiya’s determination, the girl offers up a chance to meet Kurobane. The catch is, Amamiya must beat the girl at Shadowverse.
The match begins, and the girl takes an early advantage. However, Amamiya builds up an impressive combo and unleashes a game-ending volley.
As promised, the girl reveals herself to be (GASP) Alice Kurobane herself. Right as Kurobane is about to leave, she says Amamiya’s hairpin is cute.
This episode was fun. I know I’ve only sat through four Shadowversebattles so far. Still, this non-plot necessary fight between Amamiya and Kurobane was the first one I found to be entertaining.
Every other match up to this point has lacked any power because the outcome was always evident – a Hiro Ryugasaki victory.
I can only hope this series throws in a few of these filler fights to really showcase the Shadowverse game.
Episode 5 – Fierce Battle! Hiro vs. Kazuki!
Hiro Ryugasaki and Kazuki Shindo have been battling each other for days. Although the two are having fun, Shindo is having trouble beating Ryugasaki.
After school, there is a small tournament at the Shadowverse Stadium. Ryugasaki and Shindo enter, with Shindo hoping to win a particular prize for his little siblings. The two friends battle their way through until they face each other in the final round.
This battle turns out to be the closest they ever had, but Ryugasaki comes out on top once again. Luckily, the prize Shindo was aiming for was for second place, so both, in a way, were victors.
I am waiting for the day when Ryugasaki finally loses. I imagine it is going to happen. And given how this show has been going so far, it will be one hell of a deal.
Still, this series has not given me the confidence to think Ryugasaki will go undefeated (on screen anyway).
Episode 6 – The Reason for Strength
While on his way to school, Hiro Ryugasaki runs into Lucia Yonazuki. Although Ryugasaki wants to battle, there is no time, and the two go their separate ways. Then, to Ryugasaki shock, he runs into Kai Ijuin, who tells him they have the day off.
Ryugasaki and Ijuin wait for Yonazuki to get out of class. However, Yonazuki exits through the opposite gate to avoid them. But waiting for him is Seiya Kibakura, the older brother of Takuma Kibakura and a professional Shadowverse player. Seiya wants to thank Yonanzuki for allowing his brother to change. But Yonazuki, remembering what Ryugaski said, reveals that it was not him that did so.
Seiya offers a challenge, and Yonazuki, wanting to face a pro, accepts.
Their match is close, but in the end, it is Yonazuki’s victory. Upon leaving, Seiya gives Yonazuki an invitation to a tournament.
Later that night, Yonazuki visits his sick sister in the hospital. It turns out that Yonazuki battles because he needs the money to pay for his sister’s treatment.
It has taken a while, but it finally seems this series has found a direction to take its story. Surprise, it’s a tournament, because what the hell else would it be.
I am still waiting for something to grab my attention. But frankly, that something hasn’t come up yet. I don’t plan on quitting this series, but at six episodes in, I had hoped there would be one aspect I could say I’m enjoying.
Episode 7 – Aim for Master Rank!
Hiro Ryugasaki learns of the upcoming Shadowverse National Tournament. Unfortunately, to enter, contestants need to have reached the rank of Master. Being an A-Rank himself, Ryugasaki attempts to qualify by the start of the tournament – tomorrow.
Ryugasaki pushes onward and successfully makes it to the AA-Rank, one below Master. Along with Kazuki Shindo and Mimori Amamiya, he heads to the Shadowverse Stadium to try and find a master, but it is closed.
However, a mysterious man shows up and opens the stadium. The man, a legendary Grand Master, makes a deal with Ryugasaki. Should Ryugasaki beat the Grand Master, he will earn the rank of Master and enter the tournament.
The battle is the most difficult Ryugasaki has yet faced, but, against all odds, he comes out the victory. The man grants Ryugasaki the rank of Master and invites him to enter the tournament. For their encouragement, Shindo and Amamiya are given invitations as well.
With the best players gathered, the National Shadowverse Tournament is about to begin.
So ranks are utter BS. How can you get excited about a fight when Ryugasaki, facing a Grand Master and has one hit-point left, manages to win anyway.
There is no tension; there is no fun. And now, we have to sit through an entire tournament where Ryugasaki is just going to keep winning like it is nothing. On top of that, I suspect all of Ryugasaki’s friends, who are much lower-ranked, will also pull off impossible victories.
Maybe this series will prove me wrong.
Episode 8 – The National Tournament Finals Begin!
The tournament begins, and Hiro Ryugasaki finds himself in the first match against player Ecila.
As the battle begins, Ecila reveals herself to be none other than Alice Kurobane. The audience erupts with excitement and immediately turns on Ryugasaki. Kurobane uses her outward cute and little-girl nature to hide her true power. However, Ryugasaki sees through it and attacks with his full strength.
Kurobane plays it up for the crowd, and Ryugasaki thinks she is holding back. Ryugasaki tries to convince her to take the fight seriously, but Kurobane insists on keeping her idol image intact. As a result, Ryugasaki takes the victory.
Because of her role as an idol, Kurobane can’t play Shadowverse the way she wants.
Let’s make a bet. I am going to go out on a limb and predict, step by step, how this tournament will play out.
Victors – Seiya Kibakura, Kai Ijuin, Maura Aberaldo, Shiroku(?) (this is the only one I think is a true toss-up), Kazuki Shindo, Mimori Amamiya, and Lucia Yonazuki
Victors – Hiro Ryugasaki, Maura Aberaldo, Kazuki Shindo, and Lucia Yonazuki
Victors – Hiro Ryugasaki and Lucia Yonazuki
Tournament Winner – Hiro Ryugasaki
Prove me wrong, Shadowverse; prove me wrong.
I can’t say I am impressed.
I know there is still a ton of show left to go, but after these first eight episodes, I think this will be a long watch. Nothing about it is what I would call exciting; so far, everything has been predictable.
Sure, this series has plenty of time to turn things around. I am still willing to give Shadowverse a chance.
Thanks for following along with me. If you’ve seen this series and feel I am wrong in my descriptions, please let me know in the comments below.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m Odyssey, and I’ll see you next week for Shadowverse Episodes 9 to 16.