“Seeing the Future”, Now

I “saw the future”…in one way of speaking.

After wandering around AniChart for a while, I came across a summer 2019 video I’d never seen before…I’ve put it down below so you can watch it too.

It’s only 27 minutes with skippable credits at the end and no OP, so it shouldn’t be too harsh on your schedule.

So, what is it you’ve just shown me?

It’s an episode 0 for a VR/card battle anime coming out in 2020 (unsurprisingly called Zenonzard the Animation), but I think of it as “Persona‘s art style on Yugioh, with some decent-looking CGI but also the makings of Divine Gate“…

…What does that have to do with the post title, though? I don’t get it.

I’m not expecting Zenonzard to become a huge hit any time in 2020. That’s what it has to do with it. (Yes, the Divine Gate bit was not a compliment.)

Well, the first point is that we’re getting a winter 2020 anime being hyped up in the summer of 2019 by plonking down an entire first episode, which I don’t think I’ve seen before. The closest match would be how Kado started with an episode 0 explaining the physics guy who shows up in episode 1, but that was at the start of its season and not so far beforehand.

The second reason is because there’s a point in the episode where the protagonist Sota pulls out an Alabaster card as some foreshadowing of his use of it in the climactic battle. Even at the point of foreshadowing, I started to expect him to pull out a darn Trap card the Alabaster later on…and surely enough, he does, because as it turns out, the Alabaster is “the Ninth God of War”…whatever that means *rolls eyes*.

Sidebar: I only know of what a Trap card does from memes and have only gotten into Yugioh‘s manga in recent years…I wasn’t a card battler in my youth, okay?!?

So with this mindset, while I was watching, I tried to think a few seconds ahead.

I managed to successfully pinpoint maybe two or three plot points this way before they even appeared on screen, which begs the question: why is Zenonzard’s episode 0 so predictable?

Is it its genre trappings – the teenage angst about wanting to be accepted that makes Sota not much better than Aoto from Divine Gate and the latter’s cheesy metaphors about rain?

Is it because it foreshadows so heavily?

Or is it because the foreshadowing does its job?

I guess my own answer to this is because its plot is trying to keep up with its (admittedly pretty cool-looking) visuals, but it’s trying a bit too hard to be clever in that department when it’s actually mediocre…but you can decide for yourself by watching the video above, if you didn’t stop to watch it where I plonked it down.

Maybe I’m just a wee bit biased towards this anime because Yuichiro Umehara voices Ash Claude (the AI – aka “Codeman” – who naturally gets his butt handed back to him at the end thanks to the power of protagonists)…but seriously, there’s a reason works purely motivated by wanting to see Ume reappear – in an audial way of speaking – don’t rank particularly highly on my pre-season hype lists, y’know?

So, am I being far too harsh on Zenonzard’s foreshadowing? Is there something else I could blame if it sucks (or praise if it’s good) that I didn’t think of?

What do you think about this?

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