And you thought your childhood was tough: Twelve-year-old Dan Kuso continues his fight to save the universe in Volume 2 of the popular anime series Bakugan Battle Brawlers: Game On
. For the uninitiated, Bakugan are monsters that can be summoned to fight using cards a la Pokemon
; after Dan and his pals learn the secrets of the cards, they discover that an inter-dimensional villain named Masquerade also seeks to use them to banish the Bakugan to the Doom Dimension (which is as bad as it sounds). Volume 2 compiles Episodes 6 through 9 from the first season of the English-language version of Bakugan
; "A Combination Battle" forces Dan and tomboy Runo to work together in order to defeat a pair of upstart magicians, while "Bakugan Idol" and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" introduce a pop music sister act who challenge Dan while under Masquerade's sway. And in the closer, "Fight or Flight!" Dan calls on Bakugan expert Alice to help him in a battle against two boys whom Masquerade has promised to help. Though pitched at anime's typical hurricane pace, Bakugan
does manage to inject a bit of character and plot into the proceedings, most notably in the boys' storyline in "Fight or Flight!" That aspect may make the show a little more tolerable for older viewers, though its target audience--kids under 10--will probably care only for the plentiful battles. As with Volume 1, no DVD extras are included, but each disc comes with an official trading card, which is probably worth more to fans than any supplemental feature. --Paul Gaita
Bakugan is the story of Dan and his friends as they battle their Bakugan monsters to save the parallel universe of Vestroia and ultimately the Earth from destruction. What these young warriors initially thought was just a game has become a race to restore peace throughout the universe!