The Problem With Card Game Anime -

The Problem With Card Game Anime

Mother’s Basement
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Anime about Trading Card Games like yugioh are never really about Trading Card Games, and that sucks, because I like Card Games. Oh no. the phrase “card games” has lost all meaning.
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In the depths of his Mother’s Basement, Geoff Thew creates videos analyzing the storytelling techniques of anime and video games. He has been named the number one Worst YouTube Anime Reviewer by The Top Tens.


  1. I’ve been pushing for a realistic Tcg anime that shows how much goes into those communities with local , regional , world tournaments.. Trading/buying/selling expensive cards or pulling that Rare impossible card that average joe would never buy out right due to price tag. The friends you make or the genuine skill that goes into deck building etc etc!! I can go on for days. Loved this video !!

  2. Am anime about a pro gaming team would be fucking fire if it leaned into strategy.

  3. Troy Walker The Progressive Anarcho Communist says:

    Food wars sux

  4. i guess they also had to take into account what audience they wanted to target.
    even in actual card game, mostly its the adults (or young adults) that could understand and appreciate complex strategies. there're quite a lot of us who value effort that people had to put in, in order to stack up the odds to be in their favor, even before the game starts.
    and even among these adults, they're even a bigger number of people who just…. "deck list???" left and right.
    just like video games, the casuals are always the majority and the hardcore will always have to accept the decision of the developer.
    But I agree, it would be really nice if they can find ways to showcase that efforts matter, not just some cliché stuff that don't actually work in real life
    there are probably people who still love cliché, so they will have to find the right mix. which will also take more effort and budget. it won't be an easy decision

  5. Feel like pure shit just want a YuGiOh episode of Yugi buying cards off of ebay

  6. I love how 2 of the background music were from (Gundam build fighter).
    Mother's Basement are you a Gundam fan?

  7. This isn't a TCG (it's a deckbuilding game), but I play Ascension from time to time and love going for Mechana builds. I don't even particularly like the steampunk aesthetic. I just think it's fun to be super annoying with a dozen different constructs that activate every turn and steam roll my opponents.

  8. I got into Shadowverse recently on mobile. It's a really fun fast paced game which, like you said, you have to build your deck around a win condition. It also got an anime recently…'s already on the path of luck and friendship🤦🏽‍♂️

  9. It's been 4yrs and I heard you say your not going to have Dark Magician and Black Luster Soldier in the same deck… But here I am running both to fusion summon Master of Chaos….
    Ohhh how the times have changed

  10. Since these kinds of anime are meant for kids… I doubt anyone would be interested. I wouldn't either, especially since I detest tournament arcs…

  11. Cool idea yugioh ocg structures kinda does it at a low scale and its pretty fun

  12. Didn’t even mention Chihayafuru 😔

    But also this concept is done well in the early episodes of Digimon S3

  13. 9:17 "Imagine if a villain intentionally did something like this to a hero"
    Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal episode Episode 5. Tokunosuke gives Yuma an Xyz monster called Baby Tiragon as a "show of friendship" but in their duel, he plays "Ultra C" which can steal an opponent's monster, if they specifically summon Baby Tiragon. By the confines of the anime, a "Number" monster cannot be defeated except with another "Number", so Yuma strategizes around this, using Baby Tiragon in an on-the-fly combo to defeat Tokunosuke without defeating Utopia itself.

  14. This feelsnlike a personal attack to Joey Wheeler's deck, that is based on dumb luck

  15. Honestly wixoss is one of my favorites for the reason that it has a balance of both a lot of the time. There is an arc in the first season which goes about deck building though for a sentimental reason (yuzuki's arc) which even if the incest turns me off of it, it has this whole deck building thing. Truth is, adamasphere actually is a good card that could win games and even though it is for a sentimental reason she has it, she does use it despite her not really wanting to. Yes, it is a card game anime that goes shounen a lot of the time, but even in those moments you learn about their strategies. Iona tells ruuko about her ability to force signi to attack so buffing her is essential as a strategy. It is a bit dramatic that she says she can't use her as she doesn't know the deck but it is normal when you had a completely different strategy before that is not even close to your old one. Piruluk's peeping goes as a strategy that plays mind games and shows you the control of blue decks. Green shows you the abundance of ener as well as how hitoe wins with yuzuki because eldora cant enercharge that well and red destroys ener. Basically whilena bit dramatic in the side it presents strategies of cards and colours.

    Where that falls off a bit is lostorage, where bets are uh…. Well they are lacking for the mind control part, but, the most bullshit was joker. She did a lot of bullshit with her ability which basically made me like "yeah this is not the card game lol"

  16. Would you ever consider doing a video on Subete no Jinrui wo Hakai suru. Sorera wa Saisei Dekinai.(Destroy all humankind. They can't be regenerated.). Its a really good ongoing manga based on Magic the Gathering that takes place during the late 90's. It does a good job of explaining the different kind of decks used at the time and pretty much is the kind of story that you describe here. It follows two middle school students and their local gaming shop. the plot never moves away from its down to earth inst3ead focusing on the characters learning more about the game, explaining the different meta breaking cards that were released at the time and a bit of a romance plot between the two. its honestly my go to manga if I'm in a card game mood and sounds like you may enjoy it too. Unfortunately there is not english release that I know of, though there are a lot of fan translations.

  17. So, I'm still very much a "my numbers are bigger than yours" player just cause I have fun with my blue eyes deck. My girlfriend in retaliation made a buster blader deck. I win rarely against it

  18. I use a magic the gathering up ulamog, the ceaseless hunger eldrazi commander deck

  19. I would love to see a series where a real life tcg plaver gets teleported to the yu gi oh world and destroys everyone because of his meta experience and helps others to understand how to play efficiently (maybe he opens a school/club)

  20. I know this is an older video and this anime is not about card games but Hikaru no Go actually does what you describe in the video really well. The series did it so well that the number of younger kids playing Go skyrocketed during its release.

  21. I think the first season of cardfight vanguard anime kinda did this in a more magical kinda way

  22. Zexal actually does do the "give your opponent something to punish them" thing.

    Vector gives yuma rank up magic barian's force as well as 5 "B" cards to use as signs of their friendship. When vector does the heel turn and duels yuma, he uses a card that specifically requires his opponent to have "B" cards in their deck that results in milling 90% of Yuma's deck turn 1. And as his friend, vector knows yuma's deck isn't GY reliant and doesn't have very many graveyard-based effects.

  23. With magic the gathering my strategy summer enough monsters to kill get the lp to zero.

  24. The worst one: shadowverse anime: a school with a card game, just like gx. But shadowverse game: you are in the world the cards come from. Huh

  25. I liked the vanguard anime but when it got to the big stakes I dropped it.

  26. Damn i want anime about Clash Royale because only that card game i played, I want to see an X-Bow player fight hir counter and seaing how over powered is a Mega Knight

  27. I mean all the reason you gave for why it would make a good anime can be used for why it does not work.

  28. 2:20 I am so glad that he adresses this all, he actually adresses the ONE THING duel masters actually did while it Aired.

    One episode the mc’s entire deck got basically tactically disassembled and he had to make a totally new deck to progress at all…

    that is the ONLY episode I remember because it was the most relatable moment in a anime I’ve had witnessed… more series need the struggle and grind of the build for the deck, not just pre made my grandpa’a deck semantics

  29. One of the things that I think divides real and depictions of card games is variety. In the real world, the meta mostly coalesces around a few decks, maybe with some slight variations. This is not ideal for anime, especially if the purpose of said anime is supposed to sell product. Characters wouldn’t be as unique in themes as much as be archetypes of players. Instead of unique decks and villain of the week potential that makes anime card games so fun, it becomes a little more bland and uninteresting, and isn’t conducive to printing all kinds of new cards. On top of this, it may feel like establishing an in-series meta could be viewed as or be deliberately used to shill certain cards even harder, which can degrades other cards if these “meta” cards are actually made that good compared to others in order to encourage sales.

  30. Can you imagine if every duel in the yugioh anime ended on the first or second turn after one combo that took 10 minutes to finish? you know, like the actual card game?

  31. "But the only life point that matters is your last one" you say that as though that sentiment isn't echoed in the multiple YGO series, like, a lot. Fact is, card games, at least in the YGO series, can't speak for the others, are apart of these characters day to day lives. We see them working on their decks, we see them buying card packs and we see them swapping out different cards for strategy's sake, and bringing up Exodia is just a bad argument when he's MIA for most of DM and shows up once in GX and isn't…really played as a monster card(he's just A Monster). The Heart Of The Cards is a DM thing and, admittedly, I haven't watched DM since I was a wee one, but in GX, ZEXAL and 5Ds we see the characters swap out cards for strategy, getting more cards, having different strategies and all that shit, and I'm gonna be honest, I don't know what the point of this video is. This sounds the same as saying "sports anime isn't about the sports" and like…Yeah. Anime is a character driven media, what…What the fuck else would it be? Are you upset because there's like, magical elements and it's not just a show about the basic card game? Cause like…A single card game with no story doesn't an anime make. There are times when there's lowstakes duels in ygo, but it's still a series that needs a plot. Like how in sports anime there's low stakes games, but it still needs some kind of plot, like a tournament or something, and lower than 'world ending' stakes just doesn't cut it for ygo clones because of the whole plot Takahashi had planned out…Though, now that I think about it, I would love a like, basket ball anime that's about going against aliens or demons and that the fate of the world is at risk an-God dammit that's just Space Jam again!

  32. Mother's Basement, I'm currently in the process of creating a TCG and am planning the start of a cartoon to be spun around the game with care and depth. Feel free to hmu if you wanna see what my team has in store and give any input you think you make the show better.

  33. There is a manga called Yu-Gi-Oh structures that focuses on the OCG game where deck building, the meta, and booster pack openings are highlighted. I enjoy it so much but I doubt it will appeal to non Yu Gi Oh players. The combos take too long to finish so the panels just give the final end board and just straight up lists the card combos without drawing them.

    I don't know how they can translate that into an anime that is comprehensible to non players knowing that even we players get our rulings messed up as well. (coughs: missing the timing, chain blocking, etc.).

  34. As a Magic: the Gathering player I highly recommend the series Friday Nights by Loading Ready Run. It's a sketch comedy series (find it on youtube) and I enjoy it quite a bit. I believe that is has stopped airing (in fact I'm 99% certain it has, I just want to be wrong) but when it was coming out I would always look forward to their monthly releases. Good stuff.

    I would also find it interesting to see a show focused on the in-universe cannon (canon?) of MtG. I'm not gonna lie, it isn't always great. Sometimes it's bad, sometimes it's shallow, and sometimes it's biphobic which is never good. But sometimes it's great. The Ixilan storyline particularly stood out, and it would be amazing to see some of the better stuff get a decent adaptation. Idk, maybe that's just me

  35. Once upon a time, I wanted a card game series where friends better themselves at locals, focus on their respective playstyles, refine it via buying packs, practice, and trading cards with one another, ultimately culminating in a road trip to a regional tournament to put their knowledge to the test.

    This video inspires me to think that's not a crazy idea.

  36. When talking about how the ideal card fame anime would work, I believe you are describing "The Gamers: Hands of Fate" movie…

  37. I absolutely adore Yu-Gi-Oh. it’s dumb and it’s goofy but it’s really fun to watch. I don’t care if they do the rules wrong it’s still fun and funny and that’s why I like card game anime.

  38. I also love Magic the gathering I play a blue red control deck and I love it because unlike Yu-Gi-Oh it actually gives your opponents a chance to play the game

  39. I think Sky Strikers might be the best archetype to use for a hero deck that actually plays like it looks. It's a resource deck, basically built around granting yourself card advantage and denying it to your opponent until you can win, and it's got some fun milestones you have to hit for full effectiveness, as well as a boss monster who's a) a cute girl in a mech suit and b) can be buffed up indefinitely for premium card game final blow moments.

  40. as someone who has been referred to as "good at playing a deck but bad at building one" I can chalk at least a bit of that to the fact that Yu-Gi-Oh (but really any card game anime) puts no focus on deck building. At the same time, as someone who's getting properly into Yu-Gi-Oh and recently played his first tournament, I'd be interested to see what would happen if just one real player was to be put into an anime like Yu-Gi-Oh and how he'd absolutely kick everyone's asses.

    The other thing that could be interesting is to have a protag like me (interested, a decent pilot, but bad at building) try their first tournament, get absolutely clobbered, and then have the proper way of deck building introduced to them by some mentor figure, or rival, or oddly friendly villain (as Geoff mentioned with that Yugi, Time Wizard thing) and then get better and better. With a moral of "don't trust in luck, stack things in your favour" which I think applies well to real life too

  41. I haven't finished reading it yet but a good manga with a card game called Destroy all humanity It can't be regenerated

  42. Me not knowing there were other TCG animes outside of YuGiOh…

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