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.

A second season called Future Card Buddyfight Hundred has been announced and will start airing in April 2015.

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:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Shido uses his power as student council president to cheat at the ABC cup by looking at Genma's deck. He also abuses his power for his own amusement.
  • 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 gone 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.
    • Shounen Hair: Gao Mikado.
      • Gao's late brother Yota had a similar hairstyle, except that it was blue where Gao's is red.
  • Another Dimension: The other worlds. Dragon Worldand Dungeon World are the only ones that get any real attention, though Darkness Dragon World is also briefly shown.
  • Armored Dragon: Several, most of which are one-off monsters summoned during individual battles.
  • Armor Is Useless: Justified due to how Buddyfighting works.
  • As You Know: Ubiquitous since the show is based on a card game. The function of explaining the many cards used by the characters is mainly served by Paruko, though other characters will also fill the role at times.
    • The second season turns this into outright Product Placement by showing the actual card onscreen while Paruko describes it.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The general philosophy of Danger World.
  • Banana Peel: Tetsuya and Asmodai prank Rouga with one in an attempt to get him to lighten up. It doesn't work.
  • Big Bad: Kyoya Gaen in the first season and Ikazuchi in the second.
  • Big Good: The Buddypolice.
    • Commander I continues his role as this in secret after Shido's father takes over the Buddypolice. Count Dawn fills the role in the second season.
  • Bond Creatures: Buddy Monsters are usually this, though there have been instances of characters having alternate or temporary Buddies. The ones that do are mostly villains, though. Shido, for instance uses Bluechase Dragon as his Buddy for the ABC Cup and several of the Hundred Demons during the second season, but his real Buddy is Death Ruler Gallows.
  • Book Ends: Early in season one Tasuku entrusts Gao with his Gargantua Punisher!! card. At the end of the season, Gao gives it back to Tasuku.
  • Butt Monkey: Shido, especially in season two.
  • 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.
  • Color-Coded Time Stop : Distortion punisher freezes time and turns everything black and white except for its caster and the sword it spawns.
  • 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:
    • Dragon World units are generally balanced between offence and defense between all of it's decks, especially with it's Armordragons.
    • Magic World units are weaker than average, but compensate with powerful effects and spells.
      • 72 Pillars are extremely weak monsters but most of them have a lot of on call effects and its supporting spells allows them to be called quickly and from drop zone as well to reactivate it's effects.
    • Danger World units have overwhelming offensive power at the cost of defence and some of their cards require the player to leave their center open, or have a certain amount of life left.
      • The "A" units can put themselves into the soul of a weapon to give it additional abilities if the player's life is low enough.
    • Katana World units have 2 different play styles:
    • Ancient World units have incredibly high stats, but inflict damage upon their owner when destroyed and some of their cards use the player's lifepoints as resource.
      • Dragon Lord cards require the player to have a Size 3 monster on the field and have effects that activate from the hand.
      • The Raging Spirits' Size 3 monsters force the opponent to attack them.
    • Dungeon World units (the "Dungeon Monster" line at least) potentially have powerful effects, but their success is reliant on chance.
      • Adventurers are individually weak, but gain power in combination, resulting on a reliance on link attacks and a Zerg Rush Strategy
    • Legend World focuses on items and some of their cards can act as counters to specific decks. However, their weapons requires the center to be open and the counters are useless against anything else.
      • The Wyder Sarkal units usually have high power but low defense or restrictions.
      • The Hero units focuses on link attacking the opponent.
      • Asgard focuses on combining card effects but they require a lot of gauge as well as specific cards to be in the drop zone or the field.
      • Cards of the Star attribute focus on a lockdown strategy, setting up a formation that limits your opponent's actions while increasing your offensive power
      • Fairies are extremely weak but have a lot of abilities that mill cards to activate powerful spells and effects depending on the number of fairies in the drop zone.
    • Darkness Dragon World units can damage the opponent even if their center is occupied with their effects.
    • Hero World units can be equipped to the player like they were items even giving them a defensive stat as well.
    • Star Dragon World units use the Crossnize mechanic to put themselves in another monster's soul, and have effects that activate when in the soul.
    • In addition, there are different flags and other monsters that can mix the worlds together:
      • The Dragon Ein flag allows one to use any Dragon attribute card from any world and start with more life, but in exchange the player using the flag starts behind with only a 4 card starting hand.
      • The Parade of Hundred Demons flag allows one to use any Hundred Demons attribute card from any world.
      • Generic cards are not affiliated with any world and as such, can be used in any deck.
      • Omni-Lord monsters are similar to generic cards where they can be used in any deck but are affiliated with a specific world. In that respect, if they are used outside of their natural world, the deck may only have one copy of that monster.
  • Counter Attack: Katana World specialises in this.
    • Distortion Punisher is one specifically for impact cards.
  • Critical Existence Failure: A player loses a match when they drop to 0 Life Points. There are, however, effects that allow you to get around this, by one means or another.
  • 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?.
  • Dirty Old Man: Tenbu has hit on both Paruko and Stella and his introduction has him battling for (he thinks) Paruko's affections.
  • 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.
  • Draconic Humanoid: Found mostly in Dragon World, though Darkness Dragon World has them, too.
    • They can also come from other worlds. Qinus Axia, for example, is from Magic World.
  • Dragon Knight: Mostly affiliated with Dragon World and Darkness Dragon World. The monster class of the same name is a different trope.
  • Dragon Rider: Dragon Knight monsters.
  • Eaten Alive: Yamigedo eats Tenbu.
  • Equippable Ally: Deconstructed with Jack, whose Gold Ritter form is an item card, as said form renders him mindless. It eventually turns out that it was temporary while he was in the form, though. After training in Dragon World in the second season, Jack manages to retain his sense of self in Gold Ritter form.
    • The Crossnize mechanic for Star Dragon world also lets an upgraded Jack do this with robotic monsters.
  • Evil Counterpart: Darkness Dragon World to Dragon World, and the Purgatory Knights to the Thunder Knights.
    • Gremlin, Disaster's deckbuilder, is one to Baku. They're also cousins. Kanahebi of Sengoku Academy starts off as one to Zanya.
  • Excited Show Title!: The episode titles, many of the card names and even their effect text are all really excited!
  • Extreme Omnivore: Grand Wilderness will eat anything including garbage and even threatens to eat Shido at one point. While normally a Planet Eater, Yamigedo is much smaller after being unsealed on Earth and as such will eat anything Ikazuchi lets him.
  • 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.
    • One of the Hundred Demons, Heim, looks down on humans in general and refuses to work with Shido because he's human.
  • 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.
    • Genma is this to the Seifukai.
  • 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's to 0.
  • Hot-Blooded: Drum Bunker Dragon.
    • Genma is probably the most Hot-Blooded character shown in the first season. Ban Enma has this as his defining feature as well.
  • I Believe I Can Fly: Every Buddy has a unique Buddy Skill that they can give their partner, all of which allow flight except for Noboru's, which acts as armor instead.
  • 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 four worlds (Dragon World, Ancient World, Darkness Dragon World and Star Dragon World) and feature in several others, to the point where they have their own Flag allowing a player to use just the Dragon cards from all the worlds in their deck.
  • 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.
    • He loses to Ikazuchi in 'Hundred, leading to Tenbu getting eaten by Yamigedo.
  • Large Ham: Dragon Knight, Vlad Dracula and especially GENMA TODOROKI!!!!!!
    • Taken Up to Eleven when Genma dresses up as Captain Answer.
  • 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.
  • Monster of the Week: The first several episodes of Hundred follow this formula with a couple of monsters that last two episodes. Then Yamigedo takes center stage.
  • My Greatest Failure: Gao considers his conduct against Rouga during their first fight to be this.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Death Dragon, Deathgaze Dragon has some elements of Shaped Like Itself
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: The inhabitants of Danger World.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Because the Omni Lords entrusted Yamigeddo's seal to Ikauchi's family, the clan mistook the Omni Lords as gods and lived strict and unpleasant lives in order to appeal them. This lead to Ikazuchi's terrible home life and eventual release of Yamigeddo.
  • Non-Indicative 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."
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: A couple of dragon-centaurs are used in Buddyfights, one of which is Dual Sieger's second form.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Many monsters have some variant of "demon" in their name and many over them aren't even remotely malicious.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: There's a pretty wide variety of designs, from generic ones such as Igneel to humanoid ones like Drum to downright bizarre ones like Deathgaze Dragon.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Mary Sue, Suzuha's Buddy, looks like a stained glass window. There's also Monster of the Week Mysterious Decarabia, who looks like a star with a skull in the center. Decarabia's card also shows numerous animal limbs reaching out from inside the star.
  • One-Winged Angel: Martial Arts Dragon Emperor Duel Sieger has two stronger forms that can be summoned when the previous form is defeated.
    • Yamigedo takes on the bestial form seen in the intro after consuming some of Asmodai's power. Before then, it had been an shadowy purple creature that hung around the cave with Ikazuchi.
  • Opposing Sports Team: The Middle-School Student Council, who go to absurd lengths to keep their "reputation" against the Elementary School division.
  • Planet Eater: Yamigedo.
  • Pocket Dimension: Buddies stay in one while in card form or after being taken out in a Buddyfight until they are resummoned. The Darkness Barrier in the second season is also one containing a Buddyfight arena.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: A side-effect of using either the Future Force or Disaster Force.
  • The Power of Rock: Invoked with Tetsuya's demon deck, which has music-themed cards.
  • Product Placement: The actual cards are often shown on screen next to whatever monster or object they bring in. Paruko's Tako-scope gets used for this in the second season.
  • Put on a Bus: Rouga leaves after his defeat against Gao. 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.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Kyouya Gaen and his Buddy Azi Dahaka both have this feature. It's also a very common feature for the Hundred Demons.
  • 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.
  • Standard Snippet: Kyoya took the beginning of Toccata and Fuege in D Minor as his Leimotif. The first time he makes an on-screen appearance, he's even playing it on an Ominous Pipe Organ.
  • Super Hero: Captain Answer, who is actually Mr. Neginoyama, though whether this is his true identity is ambiguous.
    • Drum's Buddy Police form has this as an attribute.
  • 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.
    • There are special Flag card that allows the player to play cards from different worlds. However, it still restricts the player to cards with certain attributes.
  • This Is a Drill: Drum's weapon is a series of drills attached to a jet engine.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Happens to Tasuku and Jack as a result of their training in Dragon World. Tasuku can now upgrade Jack to Gold Ritter without Jack losing his mind and he also gets a Star Dragon World Deck, with Jack getting a matching upgrade.
    • After the ABC Cup, Drum trains in various other worlds to access new forms. His onscreen training in Dungeon World lets him become Brave, Drum. He also gets a Dragowizard form and a Thunder Knight form by training offscreen in Magic World and Dragon World respectively. When Gao joins the Buddy Police, Drum also trains offscreen in Hero World to obtain his Buddy Police form.
  • Tournament Arc: The ABC Cup and the Gaen Cup.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: A big to-do is made of the identity of the mysterious Purgatory Knight, in show. In real life, promotional material for Set 5 showed multiple cards where he is without his helmet, revealing that it's Tasuku.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole: The device that Disaster used to open a portal to Darkness Dragon World was described as generating a black hole.
  • 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.
  • Verbal Tic: Some of the monsters have these and they're left intact in the dub.
  • Wham Episode: In the fourteenth episode of Hundred, Gao loses to Ikazuchi and Tenbu is eaten by Yamigedo.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: The OP, "Card of the Future".
  • X-Ray Sparks: Happens whenever Shido gets shocked by Ikazuchi.