Sunday, January 23, 2011

Beyblade Metal Fusion DVD vol. 2 Impression

The Beyblade action is still spinning, should otaku care?

Pokémon is the gold standard for gaming and anime collectible/battling franchises. The amount of trading cards released, merchandise and games shows no signs of slowing and is a formula Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh! have replicated to varying levels of success. Beyblade is another such entry with a stronger anime and product line than gaming but still with a solid presence in all arenas. The latest anime offering which gives greater meaning to the games and products is Beyblade: Metal Fusion. The story in Metal Fusion drives the game action and gives fans greater need to buy those spinning tops. What does this mean to gamers and anime fans alike?

The Story: As Gingka continues his blading the evil organization Dark Nebula sets their plans in motion to neutralize him as he’s the only one with the power to prevent their unleashing of a dark and evil Beyblade. With a love of blading fueling him Gingka must overcome an odd game show which harnesses and assesses his power while confronting friends turned foes to be turned friends again. His courage and belief in his blade keep him going but Dark Nebula close in and engage Gingka in an epic battle where all could be lost.

There is more to the story but the points above keep the fun plot points intact. Gingka is the latest hero who has amazing potential and he’s put into amazing battles and must convince friends and foes alike what is the right path. The real star are the beyblades themselves which have power and character. The overall formula for this story has been seen before and it’s fit for the younger viewer but is a lot of fun. It reminds of all the tales above from Pokémon to Yu-Gi-Oh! and don’t mark this off as a kids show, it’s got a lot more depth than expected even if some of the story points are a bit hard to grasp.

The Animation and Action: Clean bright and vivid animation show off the colorful characters and settings which again reflect this overall genre. This is what many think of when told the word anime with big eye, big hair characters with over the top moves. If you’ve ever seen Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Digimon then you’ll know what to expect in the animation and action category.

What’s It Mean to Gamers: Gamers can get a taste of the full story for the DS and Wii games available which they or their kids will be playing. Any game that has a story driving it is greatly enhanced with a fleshed out story via animation or a book.

What’s It Mean to Anime Fans: Want more young boy growing into his power and overcoming evil? This is the latest in a long line of shonen anime and it fits in just perfect. Great mid-day Cartoon Network fodder also.

Overall Beyblade: Metal Fusion is a solid entry, a new round of anime episodes for young and old fans to embrace with good gaming backing and tops on steroids to buy and battle with. A successful product just needs a new story and setting to makes kids go gaga and Metal Fusion is hitting on all cylinders from the marketing front.

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