with all due respect, buddyfight ace is decent, it really is.
...but, if im being honest, i can't really recommend it unless said person enjoys the following:
1. kids anime
2. card / game anime
3. buddyfight as a series
this is because, while ace/shin branches off in terms of prior continuity, its characters and storyline are rather basic and rushed. unlike prior seasons where the main cast got plenty of time to develop, ace focuses SOLELY on 4 main characters: masato, yuga, ranma, and subaru. two of these characters can be summed up with basic applicable tropes; masato is the generic sports kid while subaru is the genius.
other characters exist, but rarely impact the story directly.
this doesn't mean theyre bad characters, it just means they arent exactly memorable. a problem with buddyfight after the events of season 2 (buddyfight 100) is that characters are often shoved into the story with little to no background. ace is the biggest offender of this, shoveling in an ENTIRELY new cast only to have many of them appear once and then never again. its understandable for one-off characters to exist in shows, especially for ones aimed at a younger audience, but MANY of these characters were implied to have larger roles in the series (half of them are even directly in the opening. of which never changed for over 40 episodes... odd)
but there is, of course, ranma and yuga, the two true "main" characters. i'll have to say that this is where the season truly shines - ranma's betrayal is the result of jealousy towards his best friend yuga, of whom hes known since childhood. the two are obviously very close, but as time progresses, ranma finds himself wishing for yuga's defeat during buddyfights. without explicitly spoiling things for potential watchers, ranma gets corrupted, but this 'corruption' is interesting due to the fact that he is sentient the entire time. his actions are a reflection of his innermost feelings, of which waver greatly throughout the season.
so, if its an overall interesting premise, why such a lackluster rating? its because of how rushed the final product is. getting into specific details would mean mentioning bushiroad as a company alongside buddyfight as a game with the intent to make money. please keep in mind that a majority of what i say here is mere speculation, but the truth of the matter is that this season has an incredibly low budget. animation errors an re-used frames are more apparent than EVER before. on top of this is the blatant disregard for a majority of the cast, almost as if the team planned for them to be used later on, but never go around to it.
(sidenote: buddyfight's anime is currently on hiatus, said hiatus came to light after the OLM team behind buddyfight's animation got bought out by another company. this leads me to believe that there may be some inside discussion on the future of the series and whether or not the anime will continue. but again, all of this is speculation)
music, however, is stellar. all buddyfight seasons have amazing, memorable soundtracks. though the opening could've used a change halfway through, i'm not going to complain much here. (again, most likely due to the budget, as every other season got 2-3 openings and endings)
fights are pretty good too, albeit a tad predictable due to the rushed plot. you know the filler characters arent going to win, for example; but this is more or less a staple of a card-game anime than anything else. i did enjoy the world variation though, not nearly as diverse as earlier seasons, but you can tell they tried to utilize a variety of decks alongside introducing an entirely new one (lost world). concepts and monsters are solid, but im getting a bit tired of seeing dragons all the time...
all in all, ace is alright. its okay, but not something i'd recommend unless you're a fan of the series or love this kind of content to begin with. the two main characters have a very interesting, personal dynamic, but the remaining cast leave a lot to be desired, as even their character arcs feel rushed or nonexistent. designs are solid and creative, as with every other season of the series. music is catchy and unique, albeit a bit overused, but like the length of the series, ace doesn't overstay its welcome - but it doesn't push boundaries or showcase particularly unique development, either.
if you're interested in buddyfight, i recommend watching the first two seasons instead; much more memorable and developed cast. there's a tad more filler, yes, but the characters feel more quirky and unique. almost everyone makes a second or third appearance in some way (and if not, they tie directly into the overarching plot/provide support for the main team)
but hey, some people really liked ace/shin buddyfight, and that's fine. give it a try if you're into the game or characters, just don't expect a high level of development and seriousness.
This was a far better show than the previous Buddyfight animes. As that seemed to drag on too much. But this. This was a nice breath of fresh air. A great way to start a new series. Or least one that's set in the future from the previous series.
It's a great watch! You should really give it a try if you haven't already. Even if card games aren't your cup of tea, as they touch on some heavy subjects within the main plot, and they handle it pretty well. The characters are also quite good too! They are all unique in their own right!