Cartoon Network // 2007 // 89 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Adam Arseneau (Retired) // January 10th, 2009
It's time to roll!
Bakugan, Vol. 2: Game On, the second installment in the ever-expanding Bakugan animation/card game/toy collectable/soul stealing/child robbing franchise has hit DVD, and this Judge is even less interested than he was the first time out, probably because he hasn't had time build his Bakugan Battle Deck up.
This DVD contains the next four episodes in the franchise:
* "06: A Combination Battle"
At an amusement park, Dan and Runo are invited onstage to take part in a magic trick. But when Dan picks a card, will it spell Doom? As it turns out, yes.
* "07: Bakugan Idol"
Masquerade enlists a popular singing duo to crash Marcho's big welcoming party. When they show up, the Battle Brawlers jump into action.
* "08: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"
After defeating the Masquerade's two pop star princesses, Drago reveals the tale of how Bakugan came to earth and a tale of a human who has crossed over to Vestroia.
* "09: Fight or Flight"
When Masquerade convinces two boys into using the Doom Card, it's going to take a skilled brawler to take them on. Good thing Alice steps in to help.
Oh Bakugan; so transparent in your attempt to sell toys to little children. It's hard to get too excited about a DVD that exists for no other reason than to sell boring, uninteresting toys to our youth. Each episode of the animated series gets less interesting than the last, with more complex battles that just remind viewers of how they need to buy more merchandise to win their own battles between friends.
The only development in the franchise thus far is the introduction of Masquerade, a recurring villain who keeps randomly showing up and challenging the gang to battles. The trick here is that he's got something called a Doom Card, which actually "kills" the opponent's Bakugan, adding a sense of...danger? I guess? I could swear I've seen Dan use (and lose) the same damn Bakugan in like three episodes thus far, so the idea of consequence seems a bit flimsy here. Masquerade also has some of the stupidest character design ever put to celluloid. Even for an anime, he's really dumb-looking.
You can't even get excited about the "battle" sequence, which just kind of recycle footage of giant monsters tussling with each other like high school wrestlers, because every few minutes, we get an academic lecture on the "rules" of Bakugan battle brawling, which make absolutely no sense to casual onlookers. Like, "Ability Card activate! Combination of Haos and Darkus! A light-attributed Bakugan can spike its power level by a 100Gs against a Darkus attributed Bakugan!" That's actual dialogue from the show. It might as well be Greek. Even when the show manages to (gasp!) put our hapless Battle Brawlers into an unwinnable situation, they just reach into their pocket and whip out an as-of-yet-unseen battle card that flips the odds and wins the match. Yawn.
Vol. 1 might have given audiences a flimsy five episodes, but Vol. 2 shafts the pocketbook of our nation's youth even further, ponying up a paltry four this time with no extras or supplements of any kind; unless of course you count the game playing card stuck inside the DVD itself, which gives kids even more incentive to throw down money for this garbage. It's like Yu-Gi-Oh! except even more transparent in its desire for audiences to fork over its money.
Watching Bakugan makes me glad I'm not a parent yet, because the day my kid comes up to me and asks to buy crap like this, I may hurl myself off a bridge.
Review content copyright © 2009 Adam Arseneau; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Cartoon Network
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site