KaiJudo: Rise of the Duel Masters: Creatures Unleashed - Buy from Amazon
KaiJudo: Rise of the Duel Masters is the latest cartoon series based on a card game. That lowers expectations. The first DVD, Creatures Unleashed has five episodes, including the three-part beginning, but is it a good introduction to the series, or should fans of the genre stick to one of the other similar shows in the genre?
The show begins with a monster entering our world through a rift. Before it can cause too much damage, a mysterious man, Chavez, summons a different monster and forces it back through the rift before closing it. He calls the temple to tell them it happened again and as he leaves the area, he is watched by another mysterious man. We then go to the home of a young boy, Ray, who is drawing before going to bed. After talking to his mom and his grandfather, we see his drawing. It is a monster that looks exactly like the one attacked that night. The next day while at school, Ray and his friends, Gabe and Allie, are the target of some bullies. After school when they are picked on again, Ray is able to accidentally summon the monster. The mysterious man, The Choten, and his sidekick, Alakshmi.
Later Chavez goes to the three kids while they are at Allie's place, but before he can tell them what is going on, Alakshmi attacks them. Chavez is able to summon a creature to protect them as they escape to the Vale, where the Kaiju creatures live. It is a very harsh introduction to this world. Eventually, Ray, Gabe and Allie are given a chance to prove they have what it takes to be Duel Masters. Ray passes the tests, Gabe and Allie do not. Ray refuses to be a part of the group unless his friends can join as well and when they catch a traitor, Fingers, all three are granted membership as Duel Masters.
In the first episode after the three-part pilot, Om Nom Nom, the three are sent after a rogue fire creature, a Burn Belly. Each are given a water creature, but Gabe has trouble getting along with Garble, his water creature. In the second episode, Hunter, the trio tries to rescue a baby dune gecko, which Alakshmi has and The Choten wants for an experiment.
The only extra is a six-minute behind-the-scenes featurette. This is not a lot, but it is more than most similar TV on DVD releases have.
There is nothing overtly wrong with KaiJudo: Rise of the Duel Masters and there are some elements that work. It has good animation, good action, plenty of talented voice actors. On the other hand, there's not a lot here that sets it apart form the other shows in the genre, and there are a lot of them. If you are interested in the show, then Creatures Unleashed is a good introduction, but it is hard to recommend this show over its competition.
- Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
Date posted: 2012-12-02