For some people, anime and card games go hand in hand so much that it is really a surprise to learn that Pokemon Y Yu-Gi-Oh! they were not actually based on the famous card games. In fact, like those who have read Toei’s manga or seen anime, Yu-Gi-Oh! It wasn’t even card games at first.
Still, there are many reasons why someone would be surprised if an anime is based on a card game. Sometimes the anime is very far from the original game. Sometimes it is believed that the card game was made to promote the show, not the other way around. There are even cases where viewers mistake the series for a parody of the genre. Finally, in some cases, both the anime and the card game are that dark.
10 Aikatsu! It started as an arcade card game in 2012
Also know as Aikatsu! Idol activity, this franchise started with an arcade card game in 2012. Taking place at Starlight Academy, girls train and audition to become pop idols. The cards help determine what players can wear in upcoming auditions.
The anime adaptation centers on a girl named Ichigo Hoshimiya, who enrolls in school to follow in the footsteps of her favorite idol, compete with her friends, and each season focuses on a new group of aspiring idols.
9 Bewitched! Magical Princess Lil’Pri started out in a player customizable Sega arcade game
In this anime, three girls who are incarnations of three classic fairy tale princesses, Cinderella, Snow White, and Kaguya-Hime, become magical pop idols to help save Fairyland. As a group, they are known as the “little princesses” or “Lil’Pri”.
The series actually began in a Sega arcade game where players scanned cards to customize their own characters, called Lilpri – Yubi Puru Hime Chen.
8 Monsuno was created to promote the card game and a line of toys
TO Pokemon-esque anime is Monsuno, which is also known for its graphic novel adaptation, is a Japanese-American co-production and is not only inspired by similar card-themed anime and manga, but was also created to promote the card game and a toy line.
Considered both an anime and a Western cartoon, the series revolves around the headline Monsuno, Animals Fused with Alien DNA. The hero, Chase Suno, sets out on a journey to find his missing father with his friends, meets Monsuno, and is confronted by two organizations with their own plans for Monsuno.
7 Duel Masters is based on Magic: The Gathering
While this series eventually got a card game of its own, which was in fact based on the cards used in the original anime, the original manga actually used cards from Magic: The Gathering.
Revolving around a card player named Shobu Kirifuda, the fact that this series was based on a moment in a real game might surprise Western viewers because the anime received a “gag dub” during its North American release. , which even aired on Cartoon Network. This caused some fans to mistakenly believe that it was simply a parody of another card-based anime.
6 Battle Spirits is all about cards
This anime revolves around a figure known as “Rei the Number One Star”, who is searching for the mysterious treasure known as Ultimate Battle Spirits. To achieve this goal, he has a dragon, a robot, a couple of brothers, and their incredible card game skills by his side.
Sometimes anime likes to focus on the characters and the story to the point that you almost forget that it is based on a card game, as do most of its viewers.
5 Weiß Survive is based on Weiß Schwarz, a card game aimed at the Otaku community
black White, which literally means “White” and “Black”, is a Japanese card game based on card battles targeting the otaku community. Interestingly, the cards themselves often employ pre-existing anime characters.
A few years after the release of the card game, a 16-episode anime series called White survives. In the universe of the series, two characters, Takeshi and Michi, find themselves trapped in another world thanks to the opening of a portal playing cards.
4 Mon Colle Knights was inspired by the Monster Collection
Inspired by the Monster Collection collectible card game, these series revolves around Mondo Ooya and Rokuna Hiiragi, who can travel to the Mon World, where monsters live. Here, they need to find six monstrous elements that can allow that world to connect to Earth.
Unfortunately, the villains are also after the elements, but with the intention of using them to take over both worlds. Along the way, they encounter a variety of creatures, from winged yetis to lava lizards.
3 Ange Vierge was a digital card game
This digital card game also inspired a media franchise, with anime and manga. Magical portals were opened all over the world, which has had the additional effect of awakening magical powers in young women.
Reunited at the Seiran Academy, these girls go by the group name “Progress”, calling their powers “Exceed”, and they fight an evil entity called Ouroboros who serves as a threat to five worlds within the series’ universe.
two Chihayafuru is inspired by Karuta, a traditional Japanese card game
The anime known as Chihayafuru it’s a bit unusual in the sense that it’s actually based on a traditional Japanese card game rather than a modern, merchandise-driven set aimed at modern kids. This game is called karuta and incorporates a Japanese card game that has its origin in the Portuguese playing cards. In its competitive version, players are often expected to memorize 100 tanka poems that are printed on the cards. This item may make western viewers surprised that this is a real game.
Chihaya Ayase is a young woman who meets a karuta player named Arata Wataya, which inspires her to become a talented player. Unlike most similar card-based anime, the series actually combines the sports genre with the slice of life and josei genres.
1 DokiDoki! PreCure was inspired by the traditional French playing card suit
Even the traditional French card game has inspired anime, including one of the Pretty cure Serie. DokiDoki! PreCure, each of the Cures is based on cards. Mana becomes Cure Heart, Aguri becomes Cure Ace, and Rikka becomes Cure Diamond, whose connection to the cards is in her name.
More subtle are Alice, who becomes Cure Rosetta, representing shamrocks, and Makoto, who becomes Cure Sword, representing swords. There is even a magic kingdom of Trump, whose name is a reference to a trump card; his princess is also a fan of karuta. It’s tempting to think that having a character named Alice could be a thank you to Alice in Wonderland, which is also famous for having card-based characters.
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