Danball Senki Wars Review

It’s time to look at the manga adaption to the Wars series. It’s a pretty short one which makes for a pretty easy review. While you can tell that this is one of those adaptions that’s more of a tie-in than anything it still has a good story and I thought the art did step up whenever a fight scene would occur. It’s not exactly going for top tier, but I’d still say it’s pretty solid and that’s how I would describe the manga in general. It’s not something you may particularly remember but it doesn’t really do anything wrong either.

The manga starts with Sena finally making it into the elite LBX school. Now he can finally play the game as much as he wants and it even counts as part of the curriculum. The battles are for teams of 3 so he is paired with a former 1 on 1 champ named Hikaru and a strategist named Haruki. Together the 3 of them will do their best to win the big tournament and become the best in all of the land. To do this they will need to get past the legendary fighter known as Muraku. That guy is known for being pretty much impossible to stop in a fight due to the fact that he can beat most opponents in a single instant before they have a chance to react. Hopefully Sena knows what he is getting into.

Sena is your standard protagonist. He loves to eat and fight. Sena also believes that you can become friends with just about anyone just by having a friendly battle. He certainly isn’t afraid of Muraku and why should he be? Sena came here to fight and naturally that means he wants to go up against the strongest fighters that this school has to offer. His confidence also isn’t without justification as the guy does manage to win most of his fights. The only part about Sena that can be a bit much is in the climax when one guy’s trying to explain how he grew up in a war zone and had to fight to survive. Sena barely seems to care and just points out that they’re friends now.

In general the climax felt a bit rushed. You throw in the big antagonist in the form of Kouji who hints at a greater plot but there’s no time to really go into any of this. The show had time because of how long it is, but in this series almost the entire thing is the tournament. We get a quick fight near the end but that’s about it. At that point it’s all over so Sena just has to beat this guy and keep it moving. I like the concept of how he handles it though. All of the characters pool their resources together and create an ultimate LBX of sorts. If you’re going to win against a strong opponent like that then this is definitely the most logical way to do so. I just would have liked for this plot to have been a little longer but Kouji was a solid villain.

As for Sena’s partners, they don’t get to do a lot. Haruki never did much in the show either so it’s not too surprising. He’s not bad, but definitely comes across as super nervous next to someone as brave as Sena. The guy is never ready to just jump in and try his best. It’s why he ends up staying behind the others. Then you have Hikaru who is an LBX expert. I remember being really disappointed with this guy in the show because a big deal is made about his strength during his intro and then that vanishes completely. The guy doesn’t get to do much of anything so…..he shouldn’t have had any hype. It’s hard to believe this guy was the champion of anything and in the manga he really gets nothing to do so that doesn’t help matters.

Muraku is still pretty cool here though. He’s definitely a very solid rival and one who pushes Sena to the brink. He reminds me of Chaud and Protoman. This guy’s a classic rival and he has the confidence down. At the same time, he’s not super antagonistic or anything like that. The guy still enjoys a good fight and if anything is glad that Sena is around. It gets lonely at the top. It would have been nice if he could have gotten a rematch against Kouji since their first scuffle had a cheap shot involved. Still, Muraku makes his presence known.

Then you have the other rival Gendou and you may feel bad for him. The guy is actually incredibly strong but ultimately just gets held back because his partners are so weak. The manga even addresses this with Sena surprisingly targeting them. It’s a very effective strategy in combat of course but it’s not something you typically see the main character do. If this guy had solid partners then I dare say that the main characters would have been doomed. Gendou is definitely a good sport about all of this though so I’ll give him props for that. I always appreciate it when a character can take a loss since that’s pretty important.

As I mentioned, the art isn’t anything particularly impressive but during the action scenes I feel like a real effort was made. The LBX designs are solid and you do feel a good amount of weight behind each of the swings. It’s definitely important to have that in a fighting manga so this title delivers. The series may be short but that’s why it’s good that we kept the character roster small. You’ll remember the characters more than in some other titles even if it naturally isn’t as impactful as the main title.

Part of the issue when it comes to stakes is that this adaption basically ended while the series was still in pre arc. It would have been a lot of fun to have seen the series keep going and adapt a lot of the bigger fights that were coming up. Of course, here the power creep happened a whole lot quicker than in the show so it’s hard to see how the supporting characters would have been able to do much of anything. They’d definitely need new LBX machines at their disposal and very quickly if they would want to remain relevant in the battles. There are a lot of ways to write around that though.

Also, the series ends with Kouji possibly having some valid points. At the end of the day he still comes across as a villain because he is so he undermines the points themselves. Still, if apparently LBX are being used for war outside this facility then maybe the kids should be doing something about it. In the show this actually does become a main focus so the manga was certainly heading in that direction. This works great as a preview to the show itself. Sort of something to get you interested and then have you check out the full anime. If anything you can skip the first few episodes and start near the end of this one if you want to directly continue although the reason you should start near the end is because the manga does diverge a bit.

Overall, Danball Senki Wars is a solid title. I do think everything should get a quick manga tie-in so even if it’s short it’s always nice to see this one. How I see it, a franchise should expand as much as it can. It may not get a ton of fans but as long as you get some then it’s a win. If you like action titles or Megaman in general then this is a good one to check out. It’s really quick so you’ll finish it in a flash but that doesn’t take away from the quality here. We get quite a few battles since the series goes full blast into them. The fights all have some strategy to them and as I mentioned, they’re drawn pretty well. I look forward to getting more manga for Danball Senki in the future. It’s a series that really shouldn’t end because there’s so much more you can do with it.

Overall 7/10

Danball Senki Wars

It’s been a while since the manga came out, but it’s finally started to be scanned. It’s off to a reasonable start. The art’s a little choppy, but the plot’s good and as the show was solid I’m expecting good things from the manga as well. I’ll have a review for the series up when I’ve finished it.

Overall 7/10

Little Battlers eXperience Wars: All Star Battle Review

It’s time to look at a little special that LBX Wars got after the series finishes. It gives us the crossover that we had long been waiting for; the big battle between Ban and Sena. It’s a little under 10 minutes so the special really has to hurry to the fight, but we got two quality fight scenes so I’d say that it did a good job of getting right to what I wanted to see in a crossover.

The premise is a little sad for Sena though as it turns out that he never got the proper approval to leave the island at the end of the series. Luckily, this is how he meets Ban, who has stopped at the island to teach the kids. Sena challenges Ban, but the old hero quickly brings along Jin for support. Sena gets a teammate as well, but ends up getting back stabbed (accidentally) and loses. Sena isn’t totally satisfied so he gets another rematch against Ban and this time it’s one on one. Can Sena squeeze out a win?

Don’t expect anything decisive as the special decides to play it very safe at the end. I’ll still give it credit for having a real victor in the first set though. At the very least, we know which tag team is better. While it was written to show that the loss was really Sena’s fault for rushing in, I don’t blame him. His robot’s specs should be vastly superior to Odin’s by this point so rushing in is a good strategy. Not to mention that being aggressive in combat is usually the best approach as opposed to the “wait and see” tactic that was suggested. I’d also say that Sena did a good job of holding his own for the most part.

It’s still a little hard to get used to Ban’s new design. (Yes, the glasses count as a whole new design) At the very least, he does seem to still have his old personality in tact. He was already drifting from the LBX game in the second series and it seems to be complete here as he mentions that he hasn’t played in a long time. It’s regrettable, but sometimes you live long enough to see yourself turn into the old man of the series. I can’t say that I’d like Ban much based on this, but he was great in the first two series so he still has that going for him. The supporting cast members like Jin and friends all seemed in character, but naturally there wasn’t enough time for them to do all that much here.

One thing that’s noticeable is how the special decided to save as much budget as it could. As such, we get several scenes where it’s just a giant head floating around or a sky view of the island. It’s not bad, but you can definitely see what the special is doing. I’m guessing this was made really quickly with a limited budget so they wanted to save it for the fight. I’d say that was a smart decision and it paid off since both action scenes were quite good. The animation has aged really well as with the rest of the series. We also got to see a lot of the classic tunes return for this special which was nice and nostalgic.

Overall, This was a pretty good special. It’s a shame that it was so short, but finally getting to see the main characters fight each other was fun. If anything, it probably hints that Sena would be able to beat Ban since he didn’t even use his full synchro mode in their fight. That makes sense since Sena was never a fan of it and the world isn’t in danger this time, but it’s something to think about. LBX did about all that it could in the 10 minutes and the one thing that I would have changed was to have a decisive victor in the last fight. That would have definitely been nice to see. I’d definitely recommend this special. You’ll probably enjoy it more if you’ve seen the show, but it could also be a nice way to get into the franchise as a whole. After all, it has the main strengths of why I like the series so much. The high quality action scenes and the solid soundtrack make for a good combo. Hopefully we get a Hollywood LBX movie or a nostalgic anime movie sequel at some point. We just need LBX to live on!

Overall 7/10

Little Battlers Experience W Review

It’s been a while since I reviewed the first series. I actually finished this one a while back and am getting closer to finishing the third series which is why I needed to get this one out. The first LBX series was a lot of fun and a great series all around. The characters were solid and we got a lot of great fights. W ups the game to another level and I don’t see any other LBX season defeating it. Wars has the best plot, but W has the best action scenes and the power levels were a blast. They were all over the place, but pretty hype all the same. With 2 arcs and a whole lot of tournaments included, W couldn’t get much better.

It’s been a while since Ban and friends won Artemis so they’re taking a long break from saving the world. Ban was hanging out at the mall when LBX robots suddenly go on a rampage and start attacking civilians. One kid is targeted so Ban quickly gives him a robot to fight with. The kid’s name is Hiro and he’s a natural prodigy at the game. It’s not surprising though since he is proficient at every video game that he has ever played, including the LBX game inside of the Arcade. The two of them fend off the robots, but at a lethal cost to Ban’s LBX from the original series. No worries though, he gets a new one and the two of them are set to save the world.

Who is threatening the world this time? A mysterious group of terrorists known as Detector are behind it this time. The stakes are quite serious this time as the terrorists are attacking countries around the world and destroying national landmarks. They won’t stop until every country bows before them. Naturally, America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists, but they are sitting ducks against the legions of LBX robots that assault them. Detector has the power to take control of any LBX and since America has hundreds of them lying around, it is a sticky situation. Ban and Hiro join the government in order to put a stop to this and are aided by American representative Jessica and Japanese brawler Ran. Jin and ex villain Yuuya also decide to come and help. The heroes have a lot of members on their side, but they are still outnumbered 100-1. It also gets personal when most of Ban’s friends from season 1 are kidnapped and brainwashed into joining Detector. Ban has to stop them now…no matter the cost!

The tone of this series is certainly more serious than the first season which makes sense, but it keeps a good balance of also being light hearted. Between the super serious fights there is still time for tournaments. The animation is very sharp and I’d say that it is noticeably improved from the first season. The best fights from the original series can still hold their own of course, but this one consistently had a lot of great fights and good speed showings from the characters. We even got a space fight in this series which was certainly a treat to watch. The series also kept the recycled footage to a minimum with the special attacks so the actual fights still had good animation. The special attacks always look nice and flashy as well so I still like to see them.

The soundtrack is excellent. There are a lot of great battle themes to be found here and the music can always be heard over the sound effects. Some shows put the music on a little too low at some points or you just can’t remember the music by the end. That’s not the case with W as most of the themes become fairly iconic by the end. I also really liked the first opening. The 2nd and third openings weren’t quite as good, but they weren’t bad either. Well…the third one may have been a little bad, but it wasn’t terrible. The first one was easily the most energetic though and it was the most fitting for this series.

Ban is the main character of this adventure once again although this time he shares the role with Hiro and Ran. I’d say that Ban still is The main character in the end though and he still gets the most hype. Several fighters like Kirito and Jessica wanted to fight Ban right from the get go since he has the reputation of being one of the world’s greatest players. He does a good job of upholding that title as well. He takes a few losses during the series when the big villains start to show up, but in 1 on 1 fights he always holds his own. If his robot hadn’t been broken in the first episode…things could have been very different as well. Ban’s a great leader and a super solid main character to have around.

Hiro had me worried when he first appeared. I really didn’t care for his design as the glasses were a bit much. Luckily, the show was just trolling and after he fell into a fountain, his hair style switched and the glasses broke. Suddenly he looked like the hardcore main character that I had been waiting for. In any other show, Hiro could have easily passed as the main character and nobody would blink an eye. His personality is a little different from Ban’s as he is less serious and likes to have a good time. In that sense, he’s like Ban from season 1. Unfortunately, saving the world so many times has taken its toll on Ban and he seems to have less fun than the others. Jin and Ban both reflect on this at one point as they may not be much older than the others physically, but it sure seems like it when the two groups are together. Hiro really likes superheroes and classic anime which makes him even cooler. His natural battle skills are great and while his special reaction ability isn’t really delved into…at all in the series, it is finally explained in the third title.

Ami and Kazu may have had a huge role in season 1, but their roles are minimal here. Ami doesn’t look bad, but she simply can’t fight alongside the others anymore. Her LBX has been completely surpassed even if it used to be very powerful. Kazu has also changed quite a bit as he worked out a lot and is more outgoing. Unfortunately, he developed into a completely terrible character. It involves a plot twist that I’m about to mention, but it erases any chance of me ever liking the character again. So much for character development.

Professor Yamano is to blame for Kazu’s downfall. So, remember the terrorist group known as Detector? They went around blowing up landmarks and terrorizing people. Yamano claims that they never destroyed anyone, but I find that incredibly difficult to believe based on the first episode. The LBX robots were blasting away at the entire mall and this was happening on a large scale around the entire planet. There were definitely casualties if we’re being honest here. They threatened all of the countries around the world and used fear tactics to accomplish their objectives. The big twist behind this is that Ban’s father created the group. What was his reasoning? He needed to steal a few vans worth of some material to stop the real villains from getting it and getting to space where they could destroy the world….

So the show is trying to say that Yamano…with his political clout with all of the high ranking officials, couldn’t have simply explained the situation? Even if he thought that the government was corrupted, he could have told just about any smaller security group or even have hired Ban and friends to secure it. Creating a global terrorist group and actually attacking all of these locations just to legitimize his group as a serious one is inexcusable. I don’t care what his excuses were, Detector did way too many horrible things to be forgiven. The twist made no sense and Yamano should have been arrested. No matter the reason, he caused a lot of large scale destruction and likely many murders. He shouldn’t be walking around the world carefree after all of that. I was really hoping that the final scene of the show would be him in jail. Even the cops and his friends barely seemed to care. Kazu knew about this and joined anyway…so he’s just as guilty. This is a good way to destroy 2 characters in one easy step.

Cobra is the American liaison who helps the characters get flights and whatever resources they need. He doesn’t really add anything to the show though. If he had been cut out, I wouldn’t have minded at all. A lot of the season 1 supporting characters show up during this title as well. Most of them don’t get much of a role, but it’s always fun to see the Power Rangers return. Otacross would have been better left to our memories though. Gouda and Sendou get decently large roles here. Surprisingly, they can still keep up with the new robots. Sendou isn’t too surprising I suppose since his Joker was all about speed and that keeps him relevant. His skills are actually pretty good and I find him to be significantly stronger than Gouda. Gouda feels like a parody at this point. His LBX is extremely slow and all of its attacks are predictable. How he manages to win anyway is beyond me. It’s a good thing that the show doesn’t really care about power levels. It’s fun to see them, but most of the new supporting characters are more likable.

Ran is the third main character of the group. She’s always eager for a fight and likes to brawl without a weapon. That’s certainly not how most LBX fight so it’s fun to see the hand to hand battles. Unfortunately, her LBX does start to get seriously outclassed by Ban and Hiro’s after a while, but she managed to keep up with them for most of the series. She’s definitely a likable heroine and a solid addition to the cast. I ended up liking her more than Ami from the first series. It certainly does help that she is a fighter.

Jessica is the other heroine and I feel like she had potential that was never reached. For example, she is very confident in her abilities. She believes that nobody can beat her 1 on 1, but why does she think this? Jessica never gives the viewers a reason to buy into this self hype since she never seems to be nearly as strong as Ban and Jin, let alone worthy of the title World Champ. Her gun skills are good, but her LBX doesn’t seem all that impressive otherwise. Ah well, I still like to see the characters have confidence. She just needs to prove herself a little more and since she missed out on the third season, she may not get that opportunity.

Jin may have been the big rival in the first series, but his role is a big smaller this time around. He’s a main supporting character, but his robot never got any real improvements so he is no longer to fight on par with Ban. It’s a shame, but you could tell as soon as he appeared that he wouldn’t be much of a threat this time. That’s because the design for his new LBX simply wasn’t that good. It had a throwaway feel to it and the writers didn’t even try this time. He still talks a good game and comes up with good strategies though. With some plot hax, he was even able to take Ban down once. He’s a fun character, but much like Zoro from One Piece, the time skip seems to have dulled his competitive flame. Jin is now content to just be an ally, as opposed to trying to surpass Ban.

Asuka is one of the new rivals who shows up. She was able to take on Ban and Hiro at once so her skills are certainly for real. I don’t believe she should be portrayed as quite That tough though since Hiro and Ban were given custom LBX robots that should be the strongest on the planet. How is Asuka’s so much better than theirs? I do like the design of the Vampire Cat though and Asuka certainly lives up to her hype. She even steps up to aid the heroes against the villains and ends up being one of the better new characters.

It was fun to see Yuuya return in this season, but I was never a big fan of the guy. His character is certainly very different since he isn’t being mind controlled anymore. He is just too serious and I typically disagreed with him whenever he was on screen. I wouldn’t have minded if he didn’t join the others as a main character and would have preferred that. Another old face to show up was Kousuke. He was a surprise stand-out character from the first series. He really just appeared as a cameo and got wrecked by Hiro, but it was nice to see him. I do think that the character was nerfed though as he should have put up a better fight.

Kirito had an intriguing plot during the series. He wanted to use a program to help bring his sister (I think it was his sister) back to life, but naturally this kept leading into dead ends. His journey was a futile one, but at least he learned how to like the LBX game again by the end. He is one of the stronger players and he made for a nice rival to Ban. Since Jin no longer counts, Ban needed someone who could compete against his skills. While Kirito may not live up to his name compared to then more popular Kirito, he is still a solid character. The fact that he is proficient with just about every robot is quite impressive as well.

Dr. Mummy is a villain that I couldn’t take seriously. I didn’t like how he had to take a deep breath between every sentence. That gimmick got old incredibly fast. The character gets a pretty big twist at the end. I can’t say that the twist really mattered all that much though and didn’t help the character much. It did get rid of the gimmick though so I was super glad about that. At least Mummy had more of a purpose here than Gojou though. I always like seeing villains betray each other and Mummy pulled that off. Gojou is an Egyptian LBX player who randomly shows up, gets wrecked, and then shows up again. There’s no real rhyme or reason to the character and he is really pointless. As you can tell…I’m not a fan.

While not a character, Achilles Deed was a fun villain to have. Someone is operating him of course, but the mystery of it all was neat. Achilles was such a fun robot from the original series and I was always a little sad that Ban never got him back. Seeing a new and improved evil version of the robot was definitely a lot of fun. It could fly as well, making Deed one of the most powerful LBX robots of all time. I was definitely very impressed with it. Another robot that got a lot of hype was Killer Droid. It’s not an LBX, but it is a robot that was created to destroy them. It is rather large, but I don’t consider it to be that fast. The problem is that it is incredibly difficult to injure the beast at all. Speed is great, you don’t get hit by Killer Droid, but if you can’t hit him, then it is an endless stalemate. He does get a weakness by the end though so suddenly everyone can beat him.

An underrated character is Jack Gelato and his LBX Proto-1. It was one of the original LBX robots and it is so powerful that it was able to take on the hero group. Hiro, Ban, Ran, and possibly some others were there, but Jack was handling them all rather well. He’s a great character and a government agent who is actually portrayed as really competent. His Proto-1 can hold his own against any robot based on that impressive fight and it’s good to have a government agent who can rank that high. Sadly, he only appears a small handful of times, but his opening fight is what really sold me on the character.

There was a random episode to tie into the Izuma 11 Go vs LBX movie. It was really good though as aliens suddenly show up and challenge Ban and Hiro. Surprisingly, the duo is completely overwhelmed and the aliens leave right before the heroes would have been destroyed. If that episode is any indication, then the movie must be incredible. I love the concept of alien LBX robots showing up and just dominating. Aliens are always a good story device to use in order to give the series some fresh and powerful villains. It was easily one of the best episodes in the franchise and I’d say that it was the best movie tie-in episode of all time. It was straight to the point and the whole episode was basically just one big fight.

After the initial arc with Detector, we get a mini arc after that. The LBX robots are on a rampage again and this time it is because of an A.I. program known as Mizel. The arc felt like filler and it didn’t really serve much of a purpose, but we got some more good fights so that is always a plus right? Mizel’s robot can infect other robots so you must defeat it without making any kind of contact. That’s incredibly tough, but it made for some good fights. The arc itself is rather bland, but I don’t think it could have passed the first arc anyway. At least Mizel has a good character design. We also get to see what a giant life sized LBX would look like. That made for a fun villain and even Godzilla may have had to back away from this foe.

One thing I have to say though is that the Chief of Security wasn’t too smart in the series. At one point, he finally figures out that the Vice President is one of the big traitors who is working for the villains. So…what does he do about it? He tells the President while the Vice is still in the room. Naturally, this results in the President getting kidnapped along with the Chief since the foot soldiers were also in on it. Aside from how terrible a decision that was by the Chief, I also just can’t buy it. I don’t care how much corruption there is, not all of the guards would be bribed and the President was in the White House. I don’t think you could kidnap her so easily. The whole thing just screamed plot hax.

Also, as mentioned earlier, the power levels are all over the place. At least the show doesn’t even pretend that it is logical though. Characters just fluctuate constantly with Ban having trouble against light-weights and then going on to fight the strongest villains. Everyone gets speedblitzed from time to time and the characters have to keep upgrading their robots to stay relevant. This typically happens with toyetic shows though so it’s to be expected. Just look at the first fight between Bass and Slur from Stream. That was lunacy!! It’s not something that would hurt the score though. It can still be entertaining although I admit that I would love to see the power levels be straightened out. It would make the villains more impressive when they beat Ban and Hiro. Instead, it happens so often that it becomes expected.

Overall, LBX W is a superb title. With its constant action and great characters, it’s virtually a perfect anime. There is no fanservice, language, or other such negatives that plague the average title. It’s a blast and a half from start to finish. It always remembers how to be a fun show and there are only 1-3 episodes that may have not been all that entertaining. For a long show like this one, that’s mighty impressive. The fights are so good that something should always be happening. I highly recommend this show to anyone who likes a solid action scene. One of the best fights in the series is the 5 way free for all at the Artemis finals, but there were dozens of awesome fights so I couldn’t even say which one was the best. Even fights that seem like throwaway battles have a tendency to be awesome by the end. Just look at Jack Gelatto? That didn’t seem important, but ended up being epic anyway. This has definitely been a fun franchise to get into and I look forward to reviewing the final installment in this series!

Overall 9/10

Little Battlers Experience Review

It’s time to review a relatively modern action show that is similar to Megaman. In the future, instead of netnavi’s, we have LBX robots. Beyond that, it’s essentially the Megaman series and you can bet that this is a good thing! I can’t say that I’ve seen many anime which had big fight scenes quite as often as this one. The plot may not have been the best, but it got the job done I suppose. Also, plot is always secondary to characters and their action scenes.

Interestingly enough, I got to watch parts of this show in Japanese and in English. One episode I saw in both versions to really see how different they were. As such, I may swap some English and Japanese names now and then, but I’ll mostly be using the original versions. I saw most of it subbed as I only watched 3-5 episodes of the English version. It was definitely fun and both versions certainly have their positives.

The plot revolved around a kid named Ban. He is into the cool new thing on the block which is the LBX fad. These mini robots are able to fight in mini arenas against each other. You can continue to customize your mech until he is the strongest in the biz. The interesting part about this is that the whole world basically runs on the assumption that people won’t use these toys for evil. The toys are actually powered with real guns and weapons. They can also operate in the real world with no limitations. With Megaman, the navis couldn’t run amok in the real world without new tech so it made a little more sense. You’ll have to suspend your disbelief quite a bit right off the bat.

Again though, such things aren’t really too important. It’s all right that this plot development isn’t the greatest one out there. Ban’s father was presumed dead in a plane crash, but the heroes quickly find out that he is being held by a villainous organization. At the helm of this organization is a man named Kaido. Ban will have to team up with his school friends and the government (Or at least, a small faction within the organization) to stop them. It will involve winning many tournaments as there is a secret program within Ban’s LBX, which was made from his father, that is the key to this whole puzzle. The plot takes a lot of breaks for the tournaments, which I was glad about since the tournaments were definitely the best parts of the show. The action was great!

At 44 episodes, the show is decently long running without being as long as popular titles like Naruto and Bleach. There’s enough time for the show to introduce a lot of characters and for the heroes to get a lot of battles. Again, my only real complaint with the show would be the plot at times. I felt like the plot would actually slow the show down as I enjoyed the fillerish parts better than the main story. For example, you could say that a lot of the random fights in the tournament was filler for the real plot of stopping Mr. Kaido. Well, those were the best parts and the episodes where the heroes planned on how to stop Kaido and how to stop the world from being blown up were usually a lot more slow paced. At one point, we got about 3 episodes without any real fights as the heroes made plans after plans.

The heroes prevented an assassination and fought off an enraged employee, but those episodes were typically light on action. They were still good episodes (Well, maybe not the latter) and I like strategic episodes as much as the next guy, but I certainly enjoy the hard hitting battles from the tournaments a lot more. I’m not going to go out there and say that the plot was downright bad. After all, the tournaments are technically still part of the plot right? Still, it wasn’t quite as good as rival shows like Megaman or Cardfight.

I was a little iffy on the animation at first. Most of the show is your standard animation which was a good thing. All of the characters were drawn well and while I wouldn’t call it exceptional, I’d definitely call it solid. It would essentially be a perfect 7, the definition of good animation. For the robots, they were basically in CGI ish looking forms so they weren’t quite as smooth as possible. In that sense, I feel like the animation could have been better and it really stuck out for me a lot at first. As the battles went on, I grew used to the style. Hand drawn would have been much better, but the show really pushed the CGI to its limit. We still got a whole lot of explosions and cool looking beams. The fights were also decently long at times, which certainly helped.
I usually don’t need to really mention this as it will occur in just about every show to an extent, but it was much more blatant than usual here. There is a lot of plot hax and power level inconsistencies riddled throughout the show. It is especially evident towards the climax of the anime as Ban goes from being one shotted and crushed along with all of his friends by the Sephiroth inspired LBX to just randomly surpassing him in the end. He was getting creamed by Kaido’s LBX, but quickly took him out with a single move when he realized the stakes. Jin was getting owned by Kaido and lost an arm (His robot lost an arm to be exact) but started to win because apparently having your speed cut in half and wobbling makes it impossible for a robot to guess your next target. While visually interesting, none of the final fights made any sense on a thematic level. Even Jin’s new super form, which came out of nowhere was more than a little dubious. It’s definitely something that will make you shake your head a little. That being said, plot hax never lower the score on a show, they’re just something to make a note of.

As for the soundtrack, I naturally heard two different versions of it. I got to hear the DUB music from the first episodes as well as the Subbed themes later on. For the dub, it is interesting to note that it essentially has the same soundtrack as Megaman NT Warrior. The waves of nostalgia hit me right to the core and I certainly won’t forget those anytime soon. That being said, the subbed themes had some really good battle themes. In particular, I really liked one theme that was typically used for tension or when something big was about to happen. For example, it played when the heroes decided to go behind the government’s back and storm the villain’s base. It was definitely an epic moment.

Okay, now’s a good time to talk about the characters. No show can be truly excellent with a bad cast right? Luckily, the cast of character is good, perhaps not great as some of the main characters are lacking a little, but most of them are interesting and fun to root for. Let’s start off with good ole Ban. Ban’s essentially your average main character. He’s a little generic, but mostly just in good ways and you definitely wouldn’t call him a bad character. He wants to help his friends and be one of the best LBX players out there. One thing that separates him from other leads is his big commitment to saving his father at any cost. He defies the government and attacks the villain’s base on several occasions. It typically does not pay off, but I always appreciated the attempt. Ban also takes the loss of one of his comrades particularly hard, which sidelines him for a few episodes. Lan had a similar experience involving Megaman, but that was more personal. I don’t think he would have taken this quite as hard.

Ban stands up for heroic ideals whenever he is on screen and he’s certainly committed to that path. He never gets tempted to join the dark side or anything like that. Seeing him continue to improve and level up during his fights is always nice. I would have liked for him to have been a little more competitive or rage induced for some of the matches as he can be a little too laid back. Still, Ban’s definitely a good main character and a likable guy to root for.

Ami’s the main heroine in the show and unlike a lot of her counterparts, she can fight and isn’t forgotten in the latter parts of the show. At around the halfway mark, she gets a major power up in the form of the robot Pandora, which actually kept her above Kazu for the rest of the show. Sure, she’ll never be as strong as Ban or Jin, but that’s just the way things go. She was a likable character and I’m glad that she was always ready for a fight.

Kazu was a lot more conservative and never picked a fight unless he thought there was a chance of victory. While Ami’s robots specialized in close range combat, he was a sniper. This was a little bad for him as being a sniper meant that his physical capabilities were always rather limited. I wasn’t a huge fan of him and he doubted Ban a whole lot, but he was still a decent main character. At least he could fight and he got a big confidence boost whenever he would win a match. The show could have done more with his character, but being a likable character with minimal development is better than being an unlikable one with a lot of screen time.

Jin is Ban’s rival and at first I wasn’t sure if I could take him seriously. His entrance was decently cool though and it was almost entirely ripped/borrowed from Chaud’s. Like Chaud, he would beat his opponent in seconds and even had a similar design. By the end, Jin continued to make the best choices possible. His sideplot was typically good and his personality made him a much more likable character than Ban by the end. I certainly liked his confidence and as I constantly mention, I love to see characters to really put their focus on speed. His speedy LBX was just the ticket that he needed. He may not have been quite as cool as some of the other rivals that I’ve seen, but he would certainly rank pretty high up in the rankings by the end. Jin was easily the best character in the series and likewise, the franchise. I really don’t see any character matching up to him and things will only continue to look up for him from here now that he is an established character who will likely continue to get hype along with Ban. After all, the final battles were exclusively used for Ban and Jin battles. None of the other characters could keep up, but I suspect that Jin will always be relevant.

Mr. Kaido was the main villain for almost the entire series. He was one of the reasons why I didn’t really care for the plot. He’s just not very interesting and is about as generic as you can get. I respect his LBX skills and he is certainly very powerful. That being said, he could have been more interesting. He was always talking about his big goals and feigning ignorance for all of his evil deeds, but it got old after a while. Of course, there is a twist about his personality and it will certainly make you look a little closer at one of the episodes. Back to his LBX, it was cool to see it copy the heroes’ abilities and its raw specs were already impressive on its own. Kaido is certainly not someone to take lightly. I’ll take power over personality in this case, but there’s no reason why we couldn’t have both.
Gouda was Ban’s first big opponent and his LBX was tough to get by. It was a sturdy close range combatant whose overwhelming power made up for his lackluster speed. Gouda was designed in a way that made him look very similar to Kamina from Gurren Lagann. That was always interesting and I’d say that he was a fairly good character. He felt a little outmatched towards the end because while his LBX got some upgrades, his robot never got any faster. That’s definitely dicey for him. Still, Gouda’s automatically one of the best supporting characters in the show.

Daiki’s also another good character who started out as a bit of an antagonist, but eventually became one of the main heroes. He always loved to look at his tarot cards before a match. Despite his calm demeanor, he definitely gets into the heat of battle and is very confident of his skills. Why not, considering that he is easily one of the strongest heroes. At one point, he effectively caught up to Jin and nearly surpassed him. While Jin and Ban inevitably surpassed him once again, Daiki would be in third amongst the heroes and his LBX is incredibly fast. I always like a good speed character and Daiki definitely fit the bill. Mix in his illusions and this guy was definitely very powerful.

Takuya was the main government liason who helped the main characters a lot. I actually ended up liking him much more than I had expected. He’s not the stuffy official that you would expect and he actually engages in fisticuffs on multiple occasions. It is regrettable that he has no LBX to fight with since you would expect him to have some way to fight, but he prefers to do things the old fashioned way. Sadly, it seems like he won’t be participating in the field that much anymore now that he got promoted to a higher position, but he had a good run while he lasted. Yuusuke was also involved with the government, but preferred to keep a low profile. He had a pretty powerful LBX, but he ended up giving it to Ami, which put him at a competitive disadvantage. Yuusuke’s role was decently big as a supporting character and he was decently likable. For the most part, he was just around, but that’ll do.

Lex is known as the strongest player in the world and he definitely lives up to his hype. He didn’t really do anything for a very large part of the series so I was worried about whether or not he would end up fighting at all. There is a fairly big twist involving the character in the end. We never really got to know the guy so you’re not really sure what to feel when it all goes down. I ended up thinking of him as a good character. He made some random decisions at the end though and seemed to have broken down a bit. I felt like all of his efforts were very half hearted and Lex was a very indecisive character in general. Nevertheless, his LBX was very cool and had a great design. He was a superb LBX and was great at close quarters combat. The final episodes really had a lot of epic battles with high stakes and the tournament battles were a lot of fun as well.

Mika is a character that the writers clearly had no idea how to handle. She was portrayed as the mysterious girl who was probably an expert fighter for a while, but after the first 20 episodes passed, I knew that something was up. Turns out that all of the hype was fake and she just spends her time crushing on one of Ban’s rivals. I’d give the anime points for tricking me…if this wasn’t such a downright terrible twist. She’s a really bad character and I’m still irritated at just how bad she was. Ryuu’s even worse as he’s the average bully type character who likes the main heroine and likes to pretend that he’s really tough. Turns out, he’s actually very weak and Dex from Megaman NT Warrior is much more likable.

Kousuke is one of the final bosses in the show and easily one of the most powerful characters in the series. How good is he? Well, since I’d say that he’s still much stronger than Ban and Jin, his only competition would be Lex. Both of them seem to consider themselves to be the best LBX player on the planet and both of them have super forms. For now, I’m going to say that Lex is possibly a little stronger, but it’s very close and I definitely liked Kousuke a lot. He got quite a lot of hype when he debuted and his entrance was very well done. He also wasn’t afraid of the other villains and I wish that he could have fought some more. Either way, he was definitely an epic character and I hope to see him appear more in the future.

Yagami is a villain who defected to the hero side after realizing the truth about Mr. Kaido. It’s still a little iffy with how he worked for the villain for so long without realizing anything, but better late than never right? His LBX was always surprisingly weak considering his high position in the organization. He came in handy a little in the end, but Yagami never managed to make himself stand out amidst the other characters in the show.
Overall, It took me about a year, but I finally finished the classic LBX show. The characters were solid, the animation was nice to look at, and the soundtrack was quite good. While the plot could have used a little work at times, I’m satisfied with how the show turned out. I would certainly call it a great one and highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good action show. This show has a lot of fight scenes and we get a lot of unique fighters even if the power levels are verrrry wonky. We’re talking Xros Wars levels here folks. I look forward to seeing how the sequels stack up. I have high expectations from them and am expecting another 8 or higher from the sequel. I’ll see you then and until that time, I should have begun wrapping up some manga titles to fill the void.

Overall 8/10