After hundreds and hundreds of anime with superpowers thrown in we have to say…we’ve seen it all at this point. Series like Super Crooks, My Hero Academia, and One Punch Man excite us with non-traditional looks at superpowers and how they work but you have to wonder…is this it? As otaku, have we really seen it all when it comes to anime centered around superpowers? Then a little series called High Card came into existence and we noticed here at Honey’s Anime almost no one really talking about this series.
As anime lovers, we dove in and only recently have seen that this is a fun super powered series and it’s not because it has amazing animation or a stellar story—though both of those elements are good in High Card—but because it takes the idea of superpowers and does in a way that we don’t see explored too often. High Card takes the world of card games—no, not Yu-Gi-Oh—and throws some superhuman abilities into the mix for a series that we really think needs more affection and attention!
Play Your Hand
In case you need a bit of a summary of what High Card is, let us help. High Card takes place in the fictional Kingdom of Fourland which has a supernatural secret. 52 playing cards allow specific individuals an assortment of abilities and could change the entire kingdom if they fall into the wrong hands. During a surprise attack, the magical 52 X-Playing Cards end up scattered throughout the lands and at the King’s orders, a special team called High Card has been summoned to reclaim these cards before they cause extreme havoc.
Right there is the beauty of High Card. These powers aren’t from some odd random event or bestowed upon by alien life forms, instead those with powers—called Players—are granted abilities due to playing cards and that is really a radical theme we don’t see too often.
Fire? Telekinesis? Marble Powers!?
Akin to My Hero Academia, High Card has some rather bizarre and unique superpowers. Rather than the usual gifts of telekinesis or fire, the Players have powers like Finn—the newest member of High Card and the series protagonist—who can summon a six-bullet revolver and aim with extreme precision, or Bobby Ball who can turn people into bloody marbles and use said marbles as projectiles. In 9 episodes—as of writing this article—the powers just keep surprising us by being different and we absolutely love that!
Yes, we love when a person can cast lightning projectiles or use the wind to create mini-hurricanes but when you have powers like consuming calories to avoid fatal damage or a man who can communicate to and use plants…it just keeps each power introduction from feeling like we’ve seen that before in some other series.
It’s About Style and Drive…and Cool Suits
What do you think of a super-powered human? Do you think they all wear cool capes and undies outside of tight suits? You wouldn’t be wrong in having this thought process as most heroes in comics and anime do look like that to some degree. High Card…doesn’t use that traditional fashion sense. All the Players of High Card wear colored suits—Finn’s yellow suit is actually pretty stylish we won’t deny—and make them look like high-class gamblers.
Yes, their disguise in the world is that they run a high-end car dealership but we can’t deny we kind of dig the literal business suit look. What would be scarier in a fight? Seeing a man/woman dressed in tight clothing or a gangster-like person who summons odd abilities to take you down.
Traditional Villains Work Here
Now one could argue the weaker element of High Card—which we may dive into more in our full review—the villains so far seem like X-Men clones. You have one guy who turns his body hard and another who can manipulate the size of flames but that’s okay with us. If you notice, the main team in High Card has a unique assortment of abilities and what gives them a challenge is using their odd card abilities against more terrifying powered Players. Finn especially finds it a challenge when he needs to use a literal gun-themed power against Players who can easily counter said gun by either disarming him or knocking him out.
High Card might have very predictable villain powers which go against the more unique superpowers but we think that allows the viewer to be kept in a similar setting without shocking them too much. We don’t know if High Card would work if everyone had hard powers that were strange and had to use them against each other.
High Card is really keeping us glued to our screens weekly with super-powered fights that aren’t your traditional takes of the genre. We love the idea of the playing cards and their Players and can’t wait to see where the series continues from here! Here’s hoping you readers catch up so you can join us for our review when this series ends in a few weeks!
Are you enjoying High Card and what power is your favorite in the series? Comment below to let us know as we always want to hear from our beloved readers! Keep stuck to our super-gifted hive here at Honey’s Anime for more anime coverage of this winter 2023 season and all things otaku!