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YMMV / Bakugan

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For the anime:

  • Awesome Music: 'Bang Bang Bakugan!', 'Buchirin Generation', 'Number One Battle Brawlers' and 'Air Drive'.
  • Broken Base: Either Baku Tech! Bakugan is the best reboot of the franchise, or the worst one ever done by Sega.
  • Cliché Storm: Bakugan is a series about monsters who are used in combat as part of a game. This game involves monsters attacking other monsters along with using cards to change the tide of the game. The plot of the anime is about how the Bakugans' homeworld is in jeopardy after Naga takes over the Infinity Core. Then the main characters have to use their Bakugan to save both worlds.
  • Complete Monster: These are the worst the Bakugan Battle Brawlers have had the displeasure of facing:
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    • New Vestroia: King Zenoheld is the ruthless leader of an alien race known as the Vestals, who enslaved the Bakugan to use them as entertainment against their will, passing them off as inanimate playthings. After they were freed and revealed as sapient beings, something which horrified most of his followers, Zenoheld designed the Bakugan Extermination System to commit genocide against them. His own son, Prince Hydron, fares no better as Zenoheld treats him as a disposable pawn, abusing and torturing him to take out his frustrations at losing. After his genocide attempt is foiled, Zenoheld loses it and decides to wipe out all life in the universe, including his home world of Vestal, out of petty spite for being defied.
    • Gundalian Invaders & Mechtanium Surge part 1: Emperor Barodius is the sadistic leader of an alien race known as the Gundalians and hero Dan Kuso's Arch-Enemy. Barodius invaded and planned to eventually destroy the peaceful world of Neathia in order to capture a powerful artifact known as the Sacred Orb, which would allow him to control all Bakugan and conquer all of reality. Barodius cares nothing for his men, and treats them as expendable pawns to use and abuse, having them tortured for failing him or having them killed in order to gain an advantage. Eventually defeated by the heroes and imprisoned in an alternate universe for eternity by Code Eve for his attempted genocide, he was mutated there into Mag Mel. As Mag Mel, he formed a psychic link with Dan Kuso and Drago, which he used to torment Dan with terrible visions of the destruction he intends to cause on Earth. Barodius, now as Mag Mel, declares war on his homeworld of Gundalia, intending to wipe it and his people off the map before being stopped. His newly created Co-Dragons Mistress Sellon and Anubius are expendable as well, Mag Mel killing the former despite her begging him to stop and the latter for living out his use. Mag Mel, after being fully revived, has all humans transferred to the dark dimension where he plans on torturing them. At full power, he sends monsters to the five biggest cities on Earth in order to drill to the Earth's core and blow it up, releasing a large amount of energy which he will use to wipe out the entire universe.
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  • Ending Fatigue: The New Vestroia arc. Okay, so the brawlers had to free the Bakugan from the Vexos. Oh wait! Now they have to stop the Vexos from destroying all the Bakugan! Oh wait! Now they have to stop the Vexos from destroying the whole universe! Mira even lampshades it:
    Mira: First you wanted to enslave the Bakugan, then you wanted to destroy the Bakugan and now you want to destroy the universe.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The Vexos will more than likely never appear again — and never did — but after entering the second season after New Vestroia, some of the members are still getting plenty of fan art. And Spectra's popularity was a contributing factor to his return in the latest arc.
    • Volt Luster is likely the most popular of the Vexos, being likely the most honorable antagonist in the series, by far the most sympathetic, and arguably the best Vexos in terms of pure skill in Season 2, after he Took A Levelin Badass and was able to hold his own against Shun/Baron simulataneously, and handed Hydron's ass to him. Also liked was his shades of Hidden Depths, being implied to serve Hydron out of loyalty rather than Zenoheld, his rescue from poverty all but stated to be the reason why, which is likely why he didn't kill Hydron. Not many fans took well to him being Put on a Bus to Hell and never being reunited with Brontes.
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  • Fandom Rivalry: It has one with Pokémon and Beyblade (especially Metal Fight Beyblade) fans due to sharing the same genre.
  • First Installment Wins: To many fans, Bakugan will never be as good as it was in the first series, no doubt thanks to Nelvana changing the relationship between Dan and Runo from Official Couple to Just Friends, later series slowly but surely losing various Gaming and Sports Anime and Manga elements and strategy until the middle of Gundailan Invaders where the show becomes about Kaiju spamming Ability Cards, and the female characters being treated horribly (the first series had a balanced main cast of three boys and three girls, but only the three boys became mainstays for the next three series.)
  • Foe Yay: Often overlaps with Ho Yay as well, and IT'S OFTEN! An example is last battle between Dan and Masquerade in Battle Brawlers. The battle was goddamn epic and...well, Intense, complete with collateral damage and...Clothing Damage, well, Masquerade turns to be Alice Gehabich. And the guy in a girl's body tore off his tattered longcoat mid-battle, which exposed bare, feminine shoulders. And the reason he had a breastplate on? To hide a pair of boobs underneath.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: During the first season, before Marucho reveals it is his house, Runo expresses concern if it is a mall or a store, as it could possibly put her parents out of business. Her concern is used to make Runo act completely angry unnecessarily, and therefore a moment for comedy. This is probably a lot harder to laugh at due to the large amounts of businesses that went bankrupt due to the Great Recession.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • It was quite the flop in Japan, while a huge hit in America.
    • And it was the current go-to boy thing in South Africa for a while.
    • And is also very popular in Hungary of all places.
    • And was a success in Sweden, too.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Spectra and Gus. Need we say more?
    • Ren and Marucho.
    • Jake and Marucho.
    • After Dan faints in the first episode of Gundalian Invaders, Ren has his hand directly on Dan's crotch.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Shun gets shipped with Dan, Alice, and Fabia, amongst others.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Masquerade. The guy is a strategic mastermind who only ever loses one battle fairly, and constantly adapts his plans to the opposition of the Brawlers and even turns their efforts to stop him to his advantage. If something gets in his way, he jsut looks for an effective solution.
    • Mag Mel. He's been one step ahead of everyone the entire season. Even when he loses he ultimately comes out on top. Part of this is being an extremely good Chess Master, the other part is manipulating people to play into his hand. Though he's an Omnicidal Maniac, he normally has multiple plans going at once to the same goal so if one fails, he's got several backups ready. While he himself lacks charisma to some degree, he realized this and created two extremely charismatic Co-Dragons to do this for him, to wonderful effect.
  • Memetic Mutation: VILANTOR! Clearly the most powerful thing on the show, with a currently perfect fighting record. It has also been the battle cry for King Leonidas, stopped the USS Enterprise, been commentated on and then eaten by Orson Welles, fought crime in Gotham City, defeated all of Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragons, and generally been awesome on all levels.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Mag Mel performing Mind Rape on Dan and Drago For the Evulz. If not that, then paralyzing a boy in fear to place the Brawlers in a Sadistic Choice where they either have to kill an innocent human being or let Mag Mel's monsters continue to destroy everything in their path.
    • Coredegon and his gang cross this by being completely willing to obliterate hundreds of humans and Bakugan with absolutely no remorse.
  • Narm: The Doom Dimension's name is really silly-sounding, especially in a serious context.
  • Narm Charm: The English dub is known for this. It has some odd voice choices (such as Runo's accent and her mother's accent) and suffers from mediocre voice acting. When combined with the often Off-Model animation, the dub becomes So Bad, It's Good to its detractors. However, most fans of the series don't mind the dub much.
  • The Scrappy: Baron is the show's scrappy. He's an idolizing twit who looks like a strong man but has a voice that is higher pitched than his three year old sister. He's generally incompetent, and mocked as the worst character even on the show. Still, he's done nothing to earn himself any pity. And then there was the time that there were TWO of him.
  • Seasonal Rot: Also Sequelitis. Many fans and regular viewers found New Vestroia, Gundalian Invaders, and Mechtanium Surge to not be nearly as good as the original Battle Brawlers was.
  • Shipping Bed Death: The finale of Battle Brawlers tied up a lot of the romantic subplots. Naturally, this means there's nothing left for the female Brawlers to do and they're all either Demoted to Extras or Put on a Bus entirely in New Vestroia. Three new characters join Dan, Marucho and Shun to make up the new six-element team— and two of them are male. Periphery Demographic? What's that? We just want to sell toys, and that requires a Cast Full of Pretty Boys, right? Wait...that is going after a Periphery Demographic.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: For some reason, it's not about Dan the main character, but about Shun, his Foil & Lancer. Between Alice and Fabia, pick your choice....
  • Special Effects Failure: Anything rendered in CG that aren't the Bakugan themselves (thanks to not using cel shading on those other elements), the pigeons also combine this with what may be the Uncanny Valley.
  • Soundtrack Fatigue: The show repeatedly abuses a very slim number of soundtracks from start to finish throughout the entire run, playing them over and over to the point they lose their likeability and border on Soundtrack Dissonance. Normally, this is common with a lot of long-running anime, but it's taken to new heights with Bakugan. Granted, there are a few that aren't overused or unique to one season, but when the music tracks start playing in one easily predictable sequence in four episodes straight and you don't get any new ones to listen to that will alleviate the stale music, it gets old fast.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: The show blatantly takes elements from Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh and Beyblade a solid half of a decade after all those shows debuted. In fact, the best way to describe it is often "that mishmash Mons show"
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Many wanted Volt to join the brawlers, and by extension replace The Scrappy that Baron was with a much more interesting and complex character. This never happens.
    • If it weren't painfully obvious already, Runo, Julie and Alice fall into this category after the first season.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Hydron. He might act like a spoiled brat, but at the end of the day, he's still just a lonely teenager who was repeatedly abused by the very person that was supposed to care for him.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • In one episode, while Joe is getting healed after fainting, the Brawlers enter his personal computer and go through his personal information to see if he is working with Masquerade. The fact he isn't quickly points the Brawlers in the right, but they are entering someone's private computer files and seeing personal information while he is unconscious, which is invasion of privacy in real life, and this is portrayed normally, and swiftly used for comedy. This kind of scene would be very hard to play as comedic today to the emergence of digital privacy as a major issue in the 2010's.
    • Masquerade managing to track down where the brawlers are simply by accessing the Bagukan website, (before the reveal he is Alice), can get a lot more uncomfortable with the rise of online harassment as a major issue.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Mechtanium Surge, thanks to it's Continuity Porn (one of the biggest complaints from fans about New Vestroia and Gundalian Invaders is that everyone except Dan, Marucho and Shun is Put on a Bus) and the surprisingly dark storyline. Opinions vary on how successful this actually was.
  • The Woobie: The show has quite a number of them.
    • Alice is unwittingly corrupted by Naga and is turned into Masquerade. While under Naga's control, she is forced to send countless Bagukan to their equivalent of Hell, learns that her grandfather is serving a monster, and later condemns all of her friends to the Doom Dimension even though they later escape. When she finally breaks free of it, she is forced to remember all of the atrocities that she committed under Naga's orders.
    • Wavern is born a white Bakugan, leaving her powerless and the subject of discrimination from the more normal Bakugan. She saw her brother go insane with a desire for power, she is brutally separated from her Love Interest before being forced to hide the Infinity Core which is slowly killing her, and finally, it makes her the target of her brother which forces Drago to kill her.

For the real card game:

  • Adaptation Displacement: The anime is better known than the Card Game.
  • Game-Breaker: The "H-Bomb". The card "Haos 2" (where you steal one of your opponents won gate cards by having a lower printed power) makes the "H", a "Lowest Power Wins" gate card is the fuse, and a low-power Haos bakugan is the bomb. You win two points in a single round. This is getting increasingly broken as the G-power cap rises and will probably never go out of fashion. The only limit is that you can have only one of each card in your deck.
  • Stop Having Fun, Guys: Who are on opposing sides about rolling.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Harpus is male… not even the shows staff got this.

For the video games:

Bakugan Battle Brawlers
  • Game-Breaker: Darkus Leonidus with a specific set of 4 cards (one Gate Card, 3 Ability Cards) can easily break 1000 G-Power before adding pickups and whatever is generated in the battle itself. To say nothing about Omega Leonidas with Darkus Attribute and the same setup (substituting one ability card).
Bakugan Defenders of the Core
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