High Card – A Supernatural Deck Review

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High Card
High Card (Credits: Crunchyroll)

TMS Entertainment created a new franchise, High Card, that began in 2022 with Hikaru Muno and Homura Kawamoto. The series, themed around poker, uses the famous card game as a framework for many of the scenes and concepts, which all connect back to the original card game involving the series’ title.

Finn learns that his orphanage is on the brink of closing because of money-related problems. He also lived on the street doing small thief work and testing his luck. In search of more money, he heads out to a casino to play cards but isn’t prepared for what is coming his way next. Eventually, he is caught up in a car chase and bloody shootout.

The Japanese voice cast of Finn Oldman is done by Gen Satou, Leo Constantine Pinochle by Shun Hori, Chris Redgrave by Toshiki Masuda, Wendy Satou by Haruka Shiraishi, and Vijay Kumar Singh by Yuuichirou Umehara.

The Japanese voice cast for the supporting character Bobby Ball is done by Chiharu Sawashiro, Chelsea by Yurika Kubo, John Doe by Inoue Kazuhiko, Jake by Hiroki Gotou, Ban Klondike by Tomokazu Seki, and Luck Lunchman by Shigeru Chiba. 

  • Total Episodes – 12
  • Directed by – Junichi Wada
  • Written by – Naoki Kuroyanagi, Kenichi Yamashita, Kazuhiko Inukai, Shingo Nagai
  • Original Run – 9th January 2023 – 27th March 2023
  • Where to watch – Crunchyroll

Also Read: How To Watch High Card Episodes? Streaming Guide

High Card Synopsis

High card is a new fantasy anime that is an underrated gem. It is based on a private deck of 52 X-Playing cards. These playing cards can bestow the person who possesses them different supernatural powers, which, if used in the set, can help control the world order. These cards help the cardholder use the power of the card’s spirit inside the card.

The monarch of the Fourland has commanded a secret group of players personally to collect all the cards dispersed worldwide. The group is called High Card, and they have a second job as workers for Pinochle, the only carmaker.

Soon Finn also joins the secret group as their 5th member on a life-risking quest to locate and gather the cards. Now it will be interesting to see who will conquer everything.

It is a solid anime with a not-so-unique concept but executed uniquely. It is a fast-paced anime that has action and humor. It may not be the peak anime, but it is worth the watch.

A still from High Card (Credits: Crunchyroll)

Also Read: ‘High Card’ Anime From The Creator Of Kakegurui Slated For 2023 Release

High Card Story And Review

On a night against a shining moon, a fighter ship makes the necessary arrangements to stay alert during a king’s coronation. Suddenly a brutal missile is launched, damaging the deadly ship while a man in shades watches with anticipation. 

An intruder named Iris enters an army base and evades all the guards as she makes her way to the target zone. In an intense revelation, she unleashes a card that gives her the power to bomb the tower and end all the guards, after which she quickly escapes with a suitcase on a chopper.

However, a mysterious woman summons a storm, and the suitcase is opened, revealing a deck of power cards that now get scattered. After this, the story is taken to a month later when our hero Finn and his dog make their way across the town in a hectic fashion.

Finn is shown to be a thief who likes to rob anyone regardless of their stature, and this is because he has to pay for the kids in an orphanage. Finn is told that the orphanage is about to be sold off for some real estate renovation, making things tricky for him.

He goes to sell a stolen watch to a stingy salesman but is told that he is being sketchy. Our hero tries to sell his shirt after that, but he is not given a chance to trick the store owner, who wants a special card of his which seems to be similar to the one Iris was using. Finn refuses the trade, and with nothing else on his mind, he goes to a casino and tries his luck over there to win some cash to save the orphanage.

Finn encounters an eager gambler, Luckman, who challenges him to a card game and easily wins. Finn steals his Casino card from him, but Luckman has lucky gloves to help him. Finn is taken to meet an evil go-on named Bobby Ball, who exposes Luckman’s power card and shows off his card that can kill people with marbles.

high card power card
One of the Power cards used in High Card(Credits: Crunchyroll)

Bobby threatens Finn and Luckman to hand over their cards, but then Chris shows up and fights with Bobby. Finn eventually steals his card back from Bobby and runs away but is blinded by a mysterious vine.

Finn wakes up to a team of card warriors consisting of Bernard, Wendy, and Vijay. Bernard explains that Finn is now a card warrior for the high card society, and their job is to collect the other power cards. Finn meets Chris in a fancy car, and they go on a mission to chase after Rocky Rock, who is revealed to be the same waiter bullied earlier.

Finn cannot land a finisher blow, so Chris tackles Rocky and drives him into the river. Chris’s card helps him survive the blow, but it becomes inactive, and Finn shoots at the car and helps him break free. The men escape with Rocky, returning to the base for a good time while Bernard plots something with Theodore.

Nix stands before an idol God and summons a power card, which Finn uses to save Leo from the kidnappers. The kidnappers reveal that Leo is from a wealthy family and Leo doesn’t care about their feelings. Finn tries to explain to the kidnappers that violence isn’t the answer, leading to a hilarious battle.

The cops eventually arrive to stop the fight and arrest the kidnappers, but they also take Finn and Leo in for questioning. Both boys can walk out of the police station, and Finn tells Leo about his past accident, but Leo still has no emotion about his trauma.

Leo is a manager of a high card that Nix and her brothers kidnap. Finn frees himself from his cuffs and summons his power card to trap the brothers. Chris shows up as Leo’s guard and offers a million dollars to the kidnappers. Leo reveals his power card, allowing him to turn money into anything he can buy. Leo uses his powers to turn the million dollars into a bazooka and fires it at the fire girl.

Finn has to help him, and Leo summons a bandage with a burnt dollar to give Finn. Later, we learn that Leo is the manager of the high card, but he doesn’t have a good relationship with his dad. In a flashback, we see a samurai fighter who impresses his daughter with his amazing skills, and then an intense display shows us how the girl trains to be an ultimate sword fighter.

A still from High Card (Credits: Crunchyroll)

Wendy wakes up the same way but reaches the base on time this time. She rushes to a meeting and puts on shades to avoid exposing her hangover to the boys. Later she drinks beer at the bar while the team sits down for a meal. She seems hesitant to use her sword skills and gets drunk out of loneliness.

Captain Young and his men make it to John Doe’s robbery scene and spot Chris on the footage. A blonde detective named Sugar seems to know him, and she asks Young to capture Chris, but he says that the job is already done, so there’s no need to stress so much. John Doe wants Young to talk to him but finds Sugar, a warmer companion, so he decides to cooperate.

You will learn the kingdom’s past, where 52 knights were deployed to save a wizard boy from the terrors of war. As a token of his gratitude, the boy formed these knights into cards revealed to be power cards. The High Card members discuss their plan to take this card and return it to its rightful owner.

King learns about the auction of a power card and deploys his thunder guard Blist. Chris and Blist get into an intense fight, and the bids go up to three million dollars. Finn makes a surprise appearance and tries to help Chris, but his seasickness gets the better of him, and he gets taken hostage by Blist.

Finn tries to grab the card, but Leo falls on him. The mystery woman arrives and steals the power card with her magic. Vijay helps our heroes by revealing Chelsea’s social media profile, and Chelsea runs away while using their love connection powers. 

The most important details in this text are the attempts by the heroes to catch Chelsea, Finn’s nightmare, and Chris’ secret. Chris tries to use his charm to win her, but it is useless as she doesn’t give in to his tactics and walks away. Finn has a nightmare about his past, and Chris reassures him, and the boys go to meet his sister Michelle. 

Chris doesn’t want Michelle to know about the high card, so he lets her believe he is in love with Finn, and then the trio has a fun day together. However, Michelle suddenly faints, and Chris makes Chelsea undo the love connection to rush her to the hospital. Chris is told that Michelle has little time left, and Chelsea tells him she’ll eventually give him her card one day.

Love Connection Power of Chelsea in High Card (Credits: Crunchyroll)

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Final Verdict

The pilot is very interesting, with elaborate action moments and off-grip; like the animations, the music is amazing. There are rockets and a well-lit backdrop, and the lines and how they’re drawn are so specific.

The action starts to break in, and you’re starting to see what is happening. Certain power sets are happening. You don’t know what certain characters are capable of, and then somebody’s carrying a briefcase, and the briefcase opens up, and it’s a whole bunch of cards.

If you don’t know what these cards are, it moves forward in time, and you’re met with the main protagonist, Finn, thief-like. He is an orphan, helps with an orphanage, and prides himself on being a proper thief. He is not dainty or anything like that, but he knows what he wants and tries to get it by any means necessary. 

He carries around this random card, calls his good luck card, and gambles. He finds a way to a casino, and he’s met by somebody who has way more luck than he does for the first time. It’s almost Supernatural. From that point on, there’s nothing but action as shoot them up, Espionage, at times very gory, at times very flashy but very vibrant, very beautiful. 

The uses of colors in this anime are so well done, and also when you start to see certain people with suits. And certain colors they have used, certain things they’re wearing, whether gloves or shoes, you can tell the animation has an aesthetic style.

It seems like there is a world that exists within the regular world, and there are people that are doing certain things that are just unnatural. Then there are other people trying to upset that established order of the world.  

The way world-building goes and the order and establishment of certain things happening in the storyline. You’re going to be excited to the core. They did great with the voice-acting cast, as they seemed thrilled. They were really in it. 

The way that the character models are moving and their facial aesthetics are to be noticed because you can tell certain characters that they are not normal, and then you can tell for certain other characters that catch them off guard.

All the characters in High Card (Finn, Chris, Leo, Vijay, and Wendy) develop on you. The episodes keep events interesting by providing more backstory on the individuals and the cards at a steady rate.

When those kinds of moments happen from an animation standpoint, it’s exciting because you don’t know what one person is capable of, and you also don’t know what another person is about to do or how they will react.

The concept is entertaining, and the series takes its time introducing you to it, preventing an expo dump. Nevertheless, the power structure is simple, devoid of nonsense and unnecessary complication. Also, the animation is excellent for not being from a major company.

This anime is ideal for those who enjoy tales about Nakama, abilities, action, a companion policeman-type narrative, and an overall mystery.

Our Rating: ⭐ (4.1/5).

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By Tanya Khandelwal

Tanya Khandelwal is currently pursuing her B.Tech. She lives in Jaipur city of Rajasthan, India. Along with her academic pursuits, she has a keen interest in content writing with a specialisation in Anime, Manga, and gaming. Her love for these fields began at a young age and has only grown stronger over the years. She spends her free time watching anime, reading manga, and playing video games, which has given her a deep understanding and appreciation of the storytelling and character development in these mediums. You can connect with her at tanya.khandelwal0404@gmail.com

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