Anime can come in different genres, that goes with the topic we are discussing today. There are anime based on trading card games that you can buy and collect, also play with friends but of course, it’s not as life-threatening or dangerous as the anime seemed to pose. Here are 13 best card game anime series of all time.
Best Card Game Anime Series of All Time
13. Duel Masters
The first in our list is Duel Masters, an anime that aired on October 21, 2002 to April 4, 2003. It runs for 26 episodes, licensed by Hasbro and produced by Studio Jack. It has had various sequels throughout the years with its latest aired from 2017 to 2018 with 57 episodes with the same title.
The first installment revolves around Shoubu Kirifuda, the best Duel Masters in his playground and those duelists are called Kaijudo Masters. He wants to be a world class duelist just like his father. The first step to his goal is to win the local tournament, but unfortunately, he was defeated by a world-class master called Knight. Upon remembering his father’s words, he decided not to give up on his goal while also enjoying the card game along the journey.
12. Battle Spirits: Shounen Toppa Bashin (2008)
Battle Spirit: Shounen Toppa Bashin was first aired on September 7, 2008 until September 6, 2009. The anime runs for 50 episodes, produced by Sunrise and Toei Animation. It has various sequels with its latest aired from 2016 to 2017 with 50 episodes.
Toppa Bashin only has one thing in mind, that is, the card game Battle Spirits. He received a ruby pendant from his missing father. One day, he encounters J, a child prodigy in Battle Spirits and also holds a similar pendant as him. He challenges J for a battle but then gets teleported to an Isekai World where the Spirits from the game become real. From there, Bashin starts his adventure in the Isekai World encountering new allies and enemies alike.
Aikatsu first started in Fall 2012 with 178 episodes that aired up to March 31, 2016. It’s produced by Sunrise and Bandai Namco Pictures. Like the rest of the card game series, it has several spin offs and sequels after the initial anime ends.
Starlight Academy is a prestigious school that trains girls to be idols in the entertainment business. Aspire to be a world renowned idol like Mizuki Kanzaki, Aoi Kiriya and her friend, Ichigo, enroll in the Starlight Academy. In order to partake in various auditions in the Academy, the girls have to collect cards that will grant them designer clothes and accessories to help them stand out.
10. Z/X: Ignition
Z/X: Ignition was first introduced in Winter 2014, with 12 episodes going from January 10, 2014 to April 3, 2014. It’s produced by Sotsu, Pony Canyon and Nippon Ichi Software with Telecom Animation Film Studio.
Five Black Points started to open up in the world, it acts as a portal to another parallel world and from there, monsters and weird creatures start to come out and invade the Earth. These creatures are dwellers that appear from five different timeframes of the same universe. In order to preserve their own timeframes, they must destroy the other and the key in doing so is with a card shaped device.
9. Bakugan Battle Brawlers
Bakugan first aired in Spring 2007 with 52 episodes. The series is produced by TMS Entertainment and Densu Inc. After the success of the first season, the anime then aired three more seasons continuing from where the first season left off.
Dan Kuso’s life changes when he grabs one of the cards that was falling off the sky. He and his friend, Shun, then invented a game called “Bakugan” and formed a group called “Bakugan Battle Brawlers” with some of their mutual friends. Soon, they are dragged into a fight for the fate of Vestoria, another dimension which is the home for the Bakugan. A rogue Bakugan called “Naga ” threatens the balance of Vestoria, which forces the dimension to merge with Earth and other dimensions. Now, Dan and his friends have to stop Naga from getting stronger and have complete control over Earth and other dimensions.
8. Cardfight!! Vanguard
The series first started airing on January 8, 2011 and produced by TMZ Entertainment. Its success resulted in another sequel up to six seasons and several spin offs were released, including a live action film and drama.
Aichi Sendou is a timid junior high school student who got bullied easily due to his personality. The only thing that gets him going in life is his trading card, Blaster Blade, from Cardfight!! Vanguard. Which is a popular trading card game that takes place on a different planet called “Cray.” One day, his Blaster Blade card gets stolen by his classmate, Katsumi Morikawa and chases him to a local card shop named Card Capital. In there, he’s met with Toshiki Kai, who originally gave him the Blaster Blade card. He duels Toshiki Kai and wins back his Blaster Blade card, from there on, his journey to discovering the world of Cardfight!! Vanguard even further.
7. Selector Infected WIXOSS
Selector Infected WIXOSS is animated by J.C Staff studio and licensed by Funimation. It first aired in Spring 2014 from April 4, 2014 to June 20, 2014. A twelve episode anime with a sequel released in Fall 2014. There’s also several seasons coming afterwards, also a movie was released along with some spin off from the anime.
Everything is not what it seemed, when Ruuko Kominato receives a deck of cards called WIXOSS, she finds out later on that there is a girl trapped in her LRIG, or her avatar card. There are others who end up in the same predicament as hers and they are called “Selectors”.” They are a special player of WIXOSS that battles each other for a chance of their deepest desires being granted. But of course, it’s not as easy as it seemed as if they lose three times, their lives will be destroyed.
6. Cardcaptor Sakura
Cardcaptor Sakura is an anime that anyone has at least heard of once. It’s first initial release aired in Spring 1998 with 70 episodes that ran from April 7, 1998 to March 21, 2000. It’s produced by NHK, Kodansha, Sogo Vision and YTV with Madhouse studio animating it. Cardcaptor Sakura is one of the most famous anime up to this point, there are several spin offs and movies about the story and even a new anime that was released years later.
It’s a story about Sakura Kinomoto, a ten year old fourth grader who stumbles upon a mysterious book containing a set of cards. Suddenly, a magical wind blows the card away all over the world. Within the book, awaken the Beast of the Seal, Keroberos or Kero-chan, who tells Sakura that she has just released the mystical Clow Cards created by a sorcerer Clow Reed. Each card possesses incredible powers and can act independently–thus why the cards were sealed. Sakura has to recapture the cards using the powers given by Kero-chan to stop a catastrophe that was caused by releasing the cards.
5. Weiß Survive
Weiß Survive is produced by TBS and Bushiroad with Studio Hibari animating the anime. It first aired in summer 2009 from June 6, 2009 to September 26, 2009 with 16 episodes in total. Its popularity has resulted in another season called Weiß Survive R that aired in Winter 2010 with 12 episodes in total.
Weiß Survive revolves around the story of Takeshi, who one day was transported to another dimension when he was having a study session with Michi, the most beautiful girl in his class. The dimension is known as Weiss Schwarz Battle Space, where he is one of the chosen warriors and wins several card battles in order for him to go back home. The problem is, he doesn’t know how to play the card game. But fortunately, Michi is there with him that’s able to expertly teach him how to play and win the card game. His adventures in the strange dimension starts as he has to learn and adapt to the new situation he’s in.
4. Fantasista Doll
Produced by Amber Film Works and TOHO Animation, Fantasista Doll is an anime aired during Summer 2013. It has a length of 12 episodes, going from July 7, 2013 to September 29, 2013 with Sentai Filmworks licensing the anime.
Uzume Uno is a former champion of a card game tournament who has stopped playing cards ever since she entered high school. One day, she was given a strange device containing five powerful Fantasista Dolls. These dolls are sentient virtual beings who reside inside the cards now have chosen Uzume to be their new master. There are other masters who have their own Fantasista Dolls and Uzume can fight these masters in tournaments.
3. Build Divide
Build Divide is a currently airing anime that was first released on October 10, 2021 up until now. It is produced and licensed by Aniplex with LIDENFILMS as the studio. Despite still being an ongoing season, the second season has been set to be aired in April 2022 titled Build Divide: Code Black.
In New Kyoto, a city that is governed by the “King”, whose worth is determined by their strength in the Build Divide trading card game. In order to challenge the “King”, one must participate in a tournament called Rebuild when the “Key” is completed. If one defeats the King in Build Divide, any wish of theirs will be fulfilled. Teruto Kurabe vows to take down the King and participates in Rebuild with Sakura Banka, a mysterious girl who aids him.
With 25 episodes, Chihayafuru is produced by VAP, Nippon Television with Sentai Filmworks as licensors and Madhouse studio. It aired during Fall 2011 from October 5, 2011 to March 28, 2012. A sequel was aired in Winter 2013 with another sequel in play during Fall 2019.
It’s the story of Chihaya Ayase, a tomboyish girl who grew up under the shadow of her older sister. She didn’t seem to have any goals in life until she met with the quiet transfer student Arata Wataya. He introduced her to a card game called Karuta, and he, along with another friend, Taichi Mashima, grew up playing Karuta together until they eventually had to split up and reunite during high school. From there, Chihaya dreams to be the best karuta card player.
Yu-Gi-Oh! the series is one of the famous trading card games, the anime first started on April 4, 1998 and since then, there are various seasons, sequels and spin offs based on the series.
The story started with Yugi, who is into card games and one day solved an ancient puzzle called the Millennium Puzzle that grants him the power of darkness. By solving the puzzle, Yugi unleashed a new personality within which is the soul of the “King of Games.” From there, he’s faced with a dangerous card game that can potentially make the players lose their lives. As the stakes get higher, Yugi must prepare himself as he dives into the Shadow Games to uncover the truth of the “King of Games” and the Millennium Puzzle.