Anime: Future Card Buddyfight

Twenty Minutes into the Future, Earth has been linked to a parallel world of monsters and magic through a new Collectible Card Game named Future Card Buddyfight. By using a "Buddy Rare" card as a portal, normal humans can become partners with a monster and call upon them to battle other players in "Buddyfights". As some humans choose to use the power of their Buddy to commit crimes, a law enforcement agency called the Buddypolice tracks down and confiscates the Decks of those who violate the law.

Gao Mikado is an eager young martial artist who becomes Buddies with the Hot-Blooded Drum Bunker Dragon. Receiving a Core Deck Case from Tasuku Ryuenji, a Buddyfight prodigy working for the Buddypolice, he takes his first steps into the fantastic world of Buddyfight.

Future Card Buddyfight is the Lighter and Softer sister show to Bushiroad's Cardfight!! Vanguard. It is explicitly targeted at a younger audience (elementary school kids), which is reflected in the simpler design of the tie-in Collectible Card Game. While the show can be very serious, it never shies away from being self-aware and poking fun at its own weirdness. New episodes are simulcast in Japanese and English, with the latter being made available on the official Youtube channel. You can check out the official site here.

Not to be confused with Buddy Complex, another Sunrise mecha anime that airs on the same season.

Future Card Buddyfight contains examples of the following:

  • Alternate Universe: The different worlds are described as such, with Dungeon World explicitly being a paralell universe where many characters from the human world exist as monsters.
  • Anime Hair: The hair in this show is very strange. Tetsuya's hair hasn't go unnoticed by the cast, with people mistaking his hair for bananas. Subverted though, when he rips off a piece of his hair and shows us those things on his head really are bananas.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The general philosophy of Danger World.
  • Big Good: The Buddypolice.
  • The Cameo: In the fourth episode, several characters from Cardfight!! Vanguard make cameo appearances as background extras.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: Additional copies of the same monster on the field at once are given alternate colorations.
  • Combination Attack: You can have two of your monsters attack at the same time, adding their Attack power together with the intent of overcoming a high Defence score. The "Adventurer" line from Dungeon World specialise in this, gaining even more power when they attack together.
  • Combining Mecha: Ultimate Cardburn in episode 35.
  • Competitive Balance:
  • Counter Attack: Katana World specialises in this.
  • Critical Existence Failure: A player loses a match when they drop to 0 Life Points.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Gao in his Let's Get Dangerous mode, defeats Rouga in his first turn.
  • Dark Is Evil: Disaster in general, and in the game's lore, Darkness Dragon World, inhabited by demons, black dragons and monsters.
    • Dark Is Not Evil: In spite of their demonic appearances, use of black magic and sacrificing their own allies, the Purgatory Knights are heroes from Dragon World trapped in Darkness Dragon World and constantly fighting to protect their homeland by using black magic to become immortal. In spite of their corruption, card flavor text plays them sympathetically, with much Who Wants to Live Forever? and Was It Really Worth It?.
  • Discard and Draw: Once per turn, you can place one card from your hand into the Gauge and then draw one new card. This action is known in the anime as "Charge and Draw".
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The ending theme is sung by Sora Tokui, who plays (and cosplays as) Paruko Nanana.
  • Evil Counterpart: Darkness Dragon World to Dragon World, and the Purgatory Knights to the Thunder Knights.
  • Fallen Hero: The Purgatory Knights archetype from Darkness Dragon World are this, as they were legendary heroes of Dragon World who trapped themselves in the Darkness Dragon World to protect their homeland, becoming corrupted by black magic in the process.
  • Fantastic Racism: Drum does not like Dragon Knights and objects to the idea of being in the same deck as them.
  • A Father to His Men: Gao doesn't like his monsters getting hurt in his place, so he leaves himself completely open to attack. This changes after a pep-talk from his monsters.
  • Finishing Move: "Impact Cards", which can only be used in the Final Phase under specific conditions. Special mention goes to "Gargantua Punisher!!", which can only be used if it would finish off the opponent.
  • Fun Size: Buddies can make themselves smaller when not Buddyfighting so they don't scare people.
  • Hidden Depths: Episode six goes into Gao's past, explaining how his Unsportsmanlike Gloating and unnecessary roughness scared people off. This is why he takes offense to Rouga's views toward Buddyfight; he knows how negative that attitude is, and wants to keep Rouga off that path.
  • Hit Points: Each player has 10 Life to play with, and the goal is to reduce your opponent to 0.
  • Hot-Blooded: Drum Bunker Dragon.
  • I Believe I Can Fly: Every Buddy has a unique Buddy Skill that they can give their partner, all which allow flight.
  • Infinite Supplies: Baku seems to have an endless cache of cards, to the point where it's made clear that he doesn't make modifications to Gao's deck but instead builds an entirely new deck of cards each time.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: They star as the focus of two worlds and feature in several others.
  • Invincible Hero: Gao starts the show by winning against an undefeated "prodigy" Buddyfighter, and has yet to lose a game since. The one time he doesn't have a victory is because the fight was interrupted, though he was about to win anyway. In 39, even though he wins his match with Kiri (who now has Disaster Force), Kiri basically rejects their friendship, resulting in Gao admitting he'd rather have lost the Buddyfight instead of a friend.
  • Large Ham: Dragon Knight, Vlad Dracula and especially GENMA TODOROKI!!!!!!
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to Cardfight!! Vanguard. Vanguard takes a grounded approach to its story and has since gone Darker and Edgier; Buddyfight runs off Rule of Fun and Rule of Cool.
  • Lost in Translation: A joke in Episode 4, especially since it involves a character cameoing from another anime altogether. Essentially, a cameoing Misaki, Kourin, Naoki and Shingo are watching Gao getting called out by a trio he beat earlier, and Misaki says 'hey, it's not me' when the other three point to her. The joke is that Gao is referred to as "taiyou banchou" in the original Japanese (Sun Fighter in the dub), and a Running Gag in Season 3 of Vanguard is Naoki referring to Misaki as "banchou" due to her long skirt and stern personality (translated as 'Boss Lady' by subs). Because of the different terms used by the respective dubs, this doesn't translate at all.
    • Also in Gao's speech when he luminizes his deck. In the original Japanese dub, it's called "BakuDora", which is a pun since it's made by Baku. But in the English dub, it's called "Explosive Dragon deck." The pun kinda lost its meaning when translated (Unless the viewer is knowledgeable in the Japanese language), Baku means explosive in English.
  • My Greatest Failure: Gao considers his conduct against Rouga during their first fight to be this.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The inhabitants of Danger World.
  • Nonindicative Name: The Katana World is more specifically a Japan themed world. Not everything involves Katanas.
  • No Place for Me There: With the reveal that the Purgatory Knights are heroes who have fought to protect Dragon World in spite of being corrupted, Demios Sword Dragon's Buddy Rare flavor text seems like this:
    It's been so long, my beautiful homeland. And also, goodbye.
  • One-Winged Angel: Martial Arts Dragon Emperor Duel Sieger has two stronger forms that can be summoned when the previous form is defeated.
  • Opposing Sports Team: The Middle-School Student Council, who go to absurd lengths to keep their "reputation" against the Elementary School division.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: A side-effect of using either the Future Force or Disaster Force.
  • Product Placement
  • Put on a Bus: Noboru Kodo leaves with his parents to another country in episode 15.
    • This happens frequently throughout the series. Other characters who have been put on a bus include Suzumi Mikado, Qinus Axia, and Terumi Kuchinawa. The first two of these characters have reappeared since being put on a bus.
  • School Newspaper News Hound: Paruko Nanana.
  • Serious Business: Rouga's attitude towards winning at card games. Later expanded upon with the introduction of "Sengoku Academy", a rival school where Buddyfights are used to settle every single dispute or issue.
  • Ship Tease: In Episode 36, A few people give Baku and Kuguru knowing glances when their respective card forms are shown going into a link attack while holding hands. They mostly brush it off.
  • Super Mode: "Future Force", a mysterious power that causes the items, effects and damage from the Buddyfight Cards to become real and permanent. It has an Evil Counterpart in the "Disaster Force".
  • Theme Deck: Enforced by the rules of the game; monsters are classified by their home World, and you can only play cards from one chosen World (which is displayed by your Flag card). The only exception to this rule are Generic cards, which can be included in any deck.
  • This Is a Drill: Drum's weapon is a series of drills attached to a jet engine.
  • Urban Fantasy: Occasionally people wind up with dragons and such following them around. Everyone accepts them into society without much fuss, and parents of children with buddies immediately treat the monster as part of their family. A demon is a popular local TV personality.