Buddyfight 100 started off really great and it was looking like it would easily be the hype replacement for the original show that I was hoping for. The first few episodes were loaded with high stakes and awesome fights. Unfortunately, the middle of the show is bogged down by an incredibly large amount of day to day monster filler. It doesn’t really get great again until we start nearing the end and by then there was no way that it could catch the original Buddyfight. It’s still a fun show and one that I’d recommend, but it’s a step down.
The immensely powerful Yamigedo has arrived on Earth. He has already devoured many planets and even the universe is not safe from this beast. Gao Mikado and his friends must stop him, but the only way is to find the 8 Omni Lords so that they can seal them. Yamigedo’s human partner is Ikazuchi and he has the 100 Demons on his side so the heroes will have to fend those fighters off as well. It’s going to be tough, but Gao has a lot of friends on his side and together, they can do just about anything!
Right from the get go, Buddyfight 100 tried to have more tension. Gao’s first big duel with Tenbu was great and Ikazuchi has a great design. Yamigedo’s an imposing villain and even the intro before the theme song was epic for once as it has Tasuku and Gao talk about how they’re probably doomed and that they might not be able to save everyone this time. Considering the fact that Yamigedo can literally eat planets as well, this should have been awesome. Let’s tackle the main issue with the series right off the bat.
After the initial attack and the villains retreat for a while, Ikazuchi decides to send one of the 100 demons each episode. We have around 20+ episodes of that being the plot. He sends a monster, Gao defeats it, rinse and repeat. It doesn’t help that Shido is typically the host for the monster so it’s like watching the same duel over and over and over again. Once in a while the formula is changed a little as a friend gets mind controller or something, but it doesn’t help. I don’t mind seeing the same duel a few times, but it gets really stale after a while. The episodes may hold up well against the average show, but certainly not one that I had such high hopes for like Buddyfight. The plot would move at a snail’s pace as a result. A similar formula was used for finding the 8 Omni Lords and it definitely took a while.
The Omni Lords plot was infinitely more interesting and satisfying, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was very formulaic. You knew everything that was going to happen in the episode before it ever did. There were twists and surprises regarding the identities of the Omni Lords though and most of the true forms were satisfying. The only disappointing part is that Kazane was not an Omni Lord, nor was her buddy even though there was a lot of foreshadowing for her to get a big role. In the end, the twist was that someone she barely knew was an Omni Lord. That twist fell flat if you ask me.
By the end of the series, Buddyfight regained its stride. It was definitely too late to boost it to the original Buddyfight’s level, but it was great to see the show end on a high note. We got back to the high stakes battles and there was even a celebrity guest star who dueled Gao and helped him get back to dueling with his heart. The final episodes involved a lot of big duels against Yamigedo including one where the beast had a super ability that was basically unbeatable. You have to defeat him 20 times for the monster to stay down and that’s never going to happen. Luckily, Gao had a deux ex machina card that is just as crazy strong. Lucky eh?
Gao remains as one of the cooler main characters out there. He’s not quite as awesome as he was in the first show though. He went around wrecking everyone there and managed to go and defeat everyone who stood in his way. Here, he finally goes through the “shaken confidence” phase that most heroes seem to go on at some point or another. It gets to the point where he can’t hold a card without getting severely burned, which puts him in a pretty rough spot. You can’t duel if you can’t hold onto a card right? Once he gets over that he goes back to being the hero that I remember though. The good news is that this likely won’t affect him in the third show since most of the time this just happens to someone once. He’s easily still the best character in the show even if that was a bit of a set back.
Drum makes for a decent partner. He isn’t quite as charasmatic or likable as most toyetic partners like Megaman or Pikachu, but he’s not bad. Drum’s matured a lot since the first show so he’s no longer running away from Gao or being rebellious the whole time. By now, his bond with Gao is quite strong. He’s done well in preparing to be the leader of the Dragon Clan someday. At least he gets a role unlike Gao’s two friends. They never quite became big and that’s the problem with not being able to duel. You end up getting written out of the plot right away.
Tasuku still gets a large focus in this season as with the last one. Jack gets damaged at one point so he goes on a quest to find someone who can fix him. It involves a lot of time travel and traitors, but Tasuku always gets down to the bottom of a mystery. He’s always pretty serious about how to handle a situation and it’s good to have a pro on the team. Due to Jack not being around as much as usual, he doesn’t get a whole lot of duels this time around. Still, you can always count on Tasuku in a pinch and he makes for a solid rival to Gao. I dare say that he has been surpassed by Noboru so he would be my third favorite character in the show now. Still pretty high though and he appears a lot more than Noboru so it’s always good to see him.
As with Drum, Jack has gone through a lot and he’s had many different forms. I wouldn’t say that his personality has changed all that much since he’s always been reasonable. His quest for vengeance on Variable Cord at the end never really went anywhere and came out of nowhere, but I suppose he really doesn’t like traitors. Who does right? I definitely prefer Jack to Drum and he is the best Buddy Monster in the show.
Noboru finally comes back to town and I’m instantly reminded how much I’ve missed the guy while he was away. Noboru made for another good rival to Gao and his overwhelming confidence is always good to see. He immediately challenged Ikazuchi and nearly defeated him which was definitely impressive. Having him as a big villain for a while was also cool. His evil personality was just as likable and I’m just disappointed that he never got to have a big fight with Gao in the end. I was waiting for that since it’s been ages since they’ve gotten to fight. Speaking of which, while there were a lot of throwaway duels as a result, one good thing about the episode count being so long is that every character got to have his/her share of fights. Pretty much everyone from season 1 got to Buddyfight and Noboru eventually turned almost everyone evil so they could fight the heroes again. It may not have been the most thrilling thing in the world since I can’t take most of the season 1 friends seriously, but it’s good for their fans. Having the 8 Inverse Omni Lords was definitely quite the stretch though.
Tetsuya’s about the same as last season. He’s a nice enough guy who always dances and sings while he duels. It’s an intriguing way to fight, but not any more so than wearing actual bananas on his head. He gets a medium sized role as he gets a few episodes to himself and gets one of the big final duels. His skills aren’t that bad and he gets a lot of character development, but he really should take the duels a little more seriously. It’s easy to see why Zanya gets so annoyed with him. Tetsuya could get away with his antics more if he was one of the greatest duelists out there, but that’s not really the case. It’s good that he’s forgiving though since Asmodai constantly tries to keep secrets from him. The two of them need to work as a team more since trust shouldn’t be an issue at this point. It’s a little sad for Asmodai since most of his plans don’t work out so well, but he does come through quite a few times for the heroes.
Zanya gets a new ninja in addition to his normal one for this season. The ninja’s gimmick is that he’s super chatty so now Zanya won’t have to always be so silent all the time. The talkative one is actually pretty decent though and he is certainly cooler than the silent ninja. Zanya helps the heroes out and gets quite a few episodes of his own during the adventures. His “must avoid girls at all costs” shtick can get a little tiresome, but this running gag isn’t used quite as much as it was in season 1 so that’s a good thing. He’s one of the more skilled supporting characters, but I don’t see him ever getting a huge role again. He has basically been replaced by the newer fighters to an extent although him and Tetsuya still had the biggest roles this time.
Rouga was a big rival in the first season and keeps that role here. He is still always eager to enter a fight and plays by his own rules. The show makes it a point to show off his advanced skills, but Rouga’s role was still very small in the end. He never got to fight Ikazuchi and only had a few battles in the entire series. I was expecting more of a reaction when Kyoya appeared as well since he wants to be friends again someday. Rouga’s my kind of character and I hope he gets more of a role in the next season. At worst, he can be a little generic, but for the most part he performs his role quite well. He just needs a cool new monster since he hasn’t gotten a power up since season 1.
Kiri gets a huge role here. In season 1, his personality did a 180 towards the end as he became a hardcore fighter instead of the little kid who looked up to Gao a lot. That happens here once again as he realizes his destiny of being one of the big Omni Lords. As a result, Kiri becomes a pacifist and prefers not to use his super powers. His new form has a cool design, but my favorite version of Kiri was probably his hardcore one from the end of the first series. This is still a big improvement over his initial form though. I’m assuming that he is one of the people to decide to stay on Earth, but if he did leave, then I guess he may return as a guest star someday.
Sofia has always had a lot of hype and is always making plans in the background. Her teleporation ability is incredibly useful and makes her a dangerous character to have as an enemy. That being said, she does get intimidated by Gratos and playing all of the sides was a very dangerous way to go about things. The show still hasn’t really discussed what her motivations are for working with the villains yet. After two seasons she is still as mysterious as ever. Sofia’s a solid character, but I want to see the heroes directly challenge her a little more. It’s the opposite with Shido as he gets completely wrecked numerous times throughout the series. He rarely ever wins although he does get one serious fight at the end where he proves that he is actually a very good duelist when he is trying. I thought that it was actually a very solid episodes and it occurred during the final 4 of the series so he got some major props there. Shido is a likable character. He’s typically used for comic relief and doesn’t mind being a villain if it’ll help him out in any way, but he’s ultimately not going to try and destroy the world or anything like that. Now that the villains are gone, he may be able to finally have some peace and quiet for a change.
Kazane was one of Gao’s rivals to an extent, but that’s not really her role this time. She has to prove to the Count that she can protect herself and helps the rest of the heroes in the final battles. Ultimately, her role was not as big as I had anticipated it to be. She still had a pivotal role in the end I suppose. Cracking under pressure when fighting the frog guy was not great though. Between her and Gao, we had a lot of cracking in this season. She still should have gotten some kind of twist after all of the foreshadowing. Jin and his fellow season 1 fighters deserve a quick shoutout here, but that’s about it. They all returned for some quick fights, but they don’t really do anything here. They’re really meant to be cool guest stars, but these guys were never all that great so it doesn’t work too well. Jin and the others aren’t bad characters, but to be a cool guest star you need to be someone a little better like Noboru. Now having him return works a lot better as a guest star.
Ban Enma is one of the new characters in Buddyfight and he’s definitely cool. He’s a good fighter like Gao and it’s always fun to have some hand to hand fighters around. His true form is just as cool and I’m glad that his personality didn’t change. In another series, he easily could have been the fan favorite character or the big rival. This series has enough rivals at this point so I’ll just call him a friend, but Ban is definitely a likable guy. I would definitely love to see him have a big role again next time. His followers are definitely some of the more loyal ones around and that’s because of Ban’s charismatic personality.
Mukuro is a character that I actually mixed up with Variable Cord the first time around. I just figured that they were the same character. Mukuro’s big plot twist in the end about how he’s actually a hero was definitely out of the blue and felt a little off, but he’s a cool character anyway. All of his appearances signified that something epic was about to happen. His deck was really cool as well and in the end he proved just how heroic he can be. His role wasn’t huge, but he made his presence known. I’d say that he’s even a little cooler than Ban.
Tenbu is one of the 8 Omni Lords and he is unfortunately a pretty bad character. Just think of Brock from Pokemon or a similar character like that. He flirts quite a lot and spends most of the time getting beaten up or knocked out. He even lost his memories of why he was trying to warn the heroes in the first place, which ends up making him a huge liability. If the heroes had known what was going to happen a little earlier, it’s safe to say that things may have turned out very differently. He never got better as the series went on.
Ikazuchi was a really cool villain in his debut. I didn’t care for the plot twist that he used to be a hero though and ultimately that’s the route he took. Ikazuchi made the right move of course, but it also resulted in random hijinx of him trying to live a normal life and then getting wrecked by Yamigedo for a while. He was cool as a villain, but we rarely got to see him actually do anything. His first duel with Gao was still the highlight of this character’s career. That being said, I like him more for the design than for his personality so it barely counts in the end I suppose. If handled right, he could make for another good rival in the next season though. He is apparently skilled enough to win 99 games against Gao after all, although I find that hard to believe.
Yamigedo was the big hyped monster and he got a big role. He even got to talk quite a bit in the end during his final form. There’s definitely no reason not to like this fighter. He’s huge and is one of the more impressive giant monsters that I’ve seen in a while. His ability to petrify anything that he touches is quite the lethal ability as well. His best deputy, Gratos was also pretty cool. Gratos was actually treated like The main villain for a while and he was certainly very imposing. He never backed down from a fight and he handled the situation very well the entire time. He even seemed to figure out that Sofia was hiding something, although he never really made any moves to stop her. He relied on scare tactics and they were effective to an extent. He even came with his own throne. It’s hard not to recognize this guy as the best villain. If we don’t count Kyoya since his role was small and he is supposed to be more of a hero nowadays, then Gratos definitely takes that honor.
Count Dawn is an all right character I suppose. His gimmick of constantly turning to dust can be a little repetitive though. He also goes a little power crazy in my opinion. He’s a relatively new character and yet he quickly assumes command and acts like a big shot. I don’t think that it has been earned. So, maybe I’ll downgrade him from all right so slightly sub-par. Captain Answer finally gets to fight here which was pretty neat. He had one fight in the first show as well I believe. My main problem with him is that his human alias is completely unlikable. I can’t believe that the guy was ever a big hero based on how he acts. It’s too extreme and he never got to do anything cool since he was mind controlled almost immediately. It’s a shame since I love Answer himself.
Variable Cord is an intriguing character. While he may not have had his memories for a while, I can’t say that it really excuses him from being a total villain for most of the series only to let us know that he was a hero all along. I didn’t buy it and I feel like he was just playing all of the sides until a victor was near. He has a really cool design and he’s definitely a very powerful foe, but I feel like you’ve got to count him as a villain. Regardless, his episodes were always fun and the subplot with him and Tasuku’s future adventures was always enjoyable as well.
Kyoya was the big boss of season 1 so it makes sense that he would show up here. I’m glad that he didn’t deny being the hero by the end even if it wasn’t true. Still, I feel like the writers dind’t think his plot through all that much. His big plan is hyped up for many, many episodes. Yet, when he finally goes through with the plan, it fails miserably. It wasn’t even close to succeeding and it has to be one of the worst attempts that I’ve ever seen. Even his cool monster which made a lot of big threats back in the day got one shotted by Yamigedo. I think Kyoya was squeezed into the plot for no real reason and ultimately his plot never actually went anywhere. He’s still a cool character though and easily one of the most charismatic figures in the series. I think it’s safe to say that he’s still the best villain since I find it hard to believe that he’s really turned over a new leaf.
Well, one thing’s for sure, the moment where Gao lost his first duel was a pivotal moment in the series. It was treated as a major event which is what should happen. Gao has never lost a duel before and he’s dueled all of the strongest fighters in the world. This showed just how much of a threat Ikazuchi and Yamigedo were to have such a feat. Instead of the episodic One Hundred Demons and Omni Lord finding episodes, I would have continued that with a big training montage. Maybe send Gao to the future where he is trained by himself or something like that. I think it would have made for a very epic adventure.
The animation is solid as expected. I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is a big step up from the original Buddyfight show, but it is a little better. You can see the difference if you watch an episode from both titles, but it’s a subtle one. It’s probably just because the series came out afterwards by a week so it had about a year’s worth of time to beat the respective episode from the first series. Regardless, it’s definitely solid. When it comes to the soundtrack, it is a huge improvement over the first series. Most of the themes are catchy, but there are 3 that stand out above the rest. One is a “hope is lost” theme that plays whenever something super tragic just happened or when the villain is winning. The cool thing is that the theme only consists of a single sound for the most part that keeps on repeating. It has some background elements after that, but it’s quite effective for being so simple. A second really good theme is another despair one that pops up quite a bit for the villains. A third one is your average battle theme. There were probably a few others in there as well.
It’s also worth noting that the openings for this show have been much better than the first one. The main one with the Giant Monster running around and Gao vs Tasuku the mini fight is the best one. It feels more like an anime opening than the first Buddyfight show, where it was a little too unfocused and just about showing off the visuals. This show remembered that foreshadowing and a good amount of action can go a long way in an opening.
Overall, Buddyfight 100 was a good sequel to Buddyfight. Considering how many great new characters were introduced, you’d think that this series would have beaten the original. Unfortunately, the bad pacing ended up hurting the series quite a bit. Still, with its length and solid replay value, Buddyfight 100 is still a series that I’d recommend to anyone. It’s one of the weaker card shows overall and I’d say that it may be the weakest unless we count Capsule Monsters, but that just shows how high the bar is set for these kind of titles. I’m confident that the next series for Buddyfight will reclaim its former glory even if it’s not off to the greatest of starts. It feels a little like a soft reboot and the characters are certainly a lot more expressive than they used to be. It’s very odd and I’m waiting for the twist that this is actually a parallel universe. Well until then, wait and see what other anime reviews I’ve got in store for you all soon.