Zenonzard is Worth Watching for the Music Alone
by BANDAI (Paid Advertisement),
Zenonzard is the companion anime to the card battle smartphone game of the same name. Set in a future where the most popular sport in the world is the collectible card game Zenonzard, Episode 0 follows Sota Azuma. A young man with incredible talent, he has sworn off playing the game for secretive reasons of his own. However, all this changes when he meets Eilietta Lash, an advanced android who wishes to be his partner in THE ZENON: the Zenonzard World Championships.
Episode 0 is part card battle and part personal drama, centering on why Sota has given up on Zenonzard and what it'll take to get him back on the field. It also serves to showcase a world where card game players are treated like rock stars both inside the game and out. They get limo rides, have tons of rabid fans, and are watched by millions across the globe live.
But then there's the sci-fi twist: When launching into an official World Championship match, the surrounding area becomes a fantastical battlefield. Those in physical proximity see the area transformed via holograms and AR technology. Meanwhile people from around the world can join the audience via VR, even showing up as holograms in the physical arena.
Rather than the typical stadium seating found at a sporting event, the area around the battlefield becomes more like a nightclub. People dance, meet with friends, and drink at a virtual bar while models walk runways. But the best part? On the turntables is a DJ to give the battles and the party surrounding them a rocking dubstep soundtrack.
And make no mistake, the soundtrack is absolutely one of the standouts when it comes to Zenonzard. Composed by ONETRAP, it starts out catchy but rather subdued for the first half of Episode 0. However, the moment it shifts into the hyper-realistic VR card game battle world, the soundtrack goes to the next level.
It really kicks off with a killer track at 13:00 in Episode 0. As Sota turns his key to THE ZENON, the DJ begins his set with a crazy drop. Then, as the virtual world forms around Sota, both THE ZENON spectators and us, the viewers, get to rock to the awesome techno beat.
The next standout song “Wake Up,” sung by Nanase Matsuoka, comes at 21:17 in Episode 0, at the moment when Sota faces his trauma and vows to fight on. It is a hopeful techno ballad that perfectly matches the joy that comes from rekindling one's soul.z
“Wake Up” then leads directly into “It's So Beautiful,” also sung by Nanase Matsuoka, at 23:09 in Episode 0. As the song that plays at the climax of Sota's first pro battle, it's a soaring triumphant song that fits perfectly with the visuals on screen.
The final song of episode 0 is the ending song of the anime, “Da la Doubt,” sung by Nanase Matsuoka and Kirisame Undertaker, starting at 25:26. This is a light and poppy tune that has fun mixing its male and female vocals with voice distortion to great effect.
If nothing else, be sure to check out these rocking songs. Of course, you could just watch the full Episode 0--free on YouTube with English subtitles (among many other languages)--and let your eyes get as much of a treat as your ears with the exciting card battle action and crazy color pallet.
Oh, and if you're interested in the lore behind Zenonzard, be sure to check out Episode 1 of the anime as well. It's a completely different type of story (one of prejudice and betrayal set during the witch trials) but one that's no less absorbing.
And be sure to subscribe to the Official Zenonzard YouTube channel for more episodes (currently planned at one a month) along with potential news about an international release of the app.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history