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High Card
Episode 4

by MrAJCosplay,

How would you rate episode 4 of
High Card ?
Community score: 3.8


There's the good old Kakegurui influence I was waiting for! On the one hand, I'm happy this episode had a lot more going on in terms of foreshadowing and character development. I also liked the fact that most of the episode was told from the perspective of Wendy, the character who arguably received the least amount of focus since High Card. Her trying to figure out what role she is supposed to have on the team and live up to her fathers legacy is pretty standard as far as character motivations go, but I like the fact that High Card is willing to explore other characters outside of Finn. And considering that the main internal conflict with Wendy wasn't really resolved by the end of the episode, I wonder if the show is setting this up as a two-parter or if this is something that'll come to fruition towards the end of the show. Whether High Card has enough real estate to fully flesh all of this out is hard to say, but given what we have here, I don't exactly have a lot of faith.

While Wendy's character arc is nothing we haven't seen before, I can't help but feel like certain details weren't made clear. The episode tries to establish that Wendy is a loner by choice. She lives by herself, keeps to herself at work, and it's implied that she regularly drinks herself stupid at night, anguishing over the fact that people don't have faith in her. The problem is that Wendy doesn't really come off as someone who wants to be alone; rather, it feels like she is doing this because she was told from a very young age that the only way for her to harness the power of her playing card is to live a life of solitude. I'm assuming because the card brings out some kind of indiscriminate power in the wielder so it's better for other people's sake if the wielder doesn't have any attachments, but if that's the case, why is Wendy even part of a team in the first place? The show establishes that Wendy is not exactly supposed to be a field agent and she's mostly there for support, but it seems like she is still competent as a fighter without fully drawing her sword. Plus, it's implied this isn't the first time that she has drawn her sword as everybody else on the team except Finn is incredibly wary and familiar with this alternate personality that comes out.

I guess I just feel like High Card tried to juggle too much with Wendy's character. The fact that she declares she'll take the path of solitude didn't track with what came afterwards. What am I supposed to take away from the fact that she made breakfast for her teammates and cleaned the car dealership? In the flashbacks, we see that Wendy's father was able to use the sword without turning into a complete psychopath but is that because he was a loner? What exactly does “solitude" imply here? Maybe the card reacts differently depending on the person?

This is the tricky thing about shows like this; when it's all about the spectacle, it's very easy for me to get lost and wrapped up in everything. I actually really enjoyed the heist and the twist about the bank robbers card power. The way that Finn disarms Wendy was ridiculous (I don't buy that Finn's aim is THAT good) but it was really cool so I let it slide. But this episode tries to tie a character's personal development with the nature of the cards themselves, and considering that we know very little about the cards, I feel more distracted by the missing details than enthralled by the action.

That said, there are still some seeds of intrigue here. I initially thought the cards chose their wielders, but apparently not only have these cards been around for at least one generation, they can be passed down to others. Does this mean that there were other people around the world with these playing cards before the heist that took place at the beginning of the show where we saw a bunch of other cards get scattered? The series only takes place a month after that inciting incident so I'm very curious about what the larger picture here is.


High Card is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

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