Anime original by Studio Hibari
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Known of only by a select few, the 52 X-Playing cards can each grant their owners superhuman power and abilities. After the cards are stolen from the Kingdom of Fourland in a daring heist, an elite group of operatives known as High Card is put together to hunt down and retrieve them. As the new owner of one of the cards, orphan and petty thief Finn is inadvertantly caught up in the conflict.
Don’t be fooled by the superficial, male idol/fujoshi sheen that this show exudes. Yes, all the main characters are ultra-handsome sparkly bishonen, and that’s definitely one of the selling points here. But at heart this seems to be a pure slice of old-fashioned anime cheese, full of insane action scenes, silly names and wildly improbable scenarios. I mean, there’s a bad guy in this episode called LUCKY LUNCHMAN for god’s sake. If you laughed at that chances are you’ll enjoy at least some of what High Card has to offer. The powers the titular cards grant are pleasingly imaginatve and stupid too, with our baddie of the week having the ability to change anything into marbles (???) while main character Finn has the Hol Horse Memorial Ability of a superpower that is just ‘has a gun’. Really Jojo is a remarkably apt comparison and like that show High Card‘s watchability will depend on keeping the energy and silliness high and not getting too bogged down in the details. That’s a bit harder than it sounds, but I had an awful lot of fun with this opener and I hope they’ll be able to pull it off.
Hey, a show where I actually had a modicum of fun while watching. We’ve got ourselves here a pretty standard setup for a collect-em-all / monster of the week battle show here, which has some potential as long as they really lean into how silly everything is. It’s earned another episode or two, but if High Card isn’t making me laugh every week with some new, completely ridiculous power with an equally ridiculous name – aka the JoJo Effect – then I don’t think it’ll keep me hooked.