Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters

TV review by
Lien Murakami, Common Sense Media
Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters TV Poster Image
Anti-bullying message in solid trading card anime.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

The old duel masters are encouraged to be open minded about accepting new methods and improvements to old techniques. Ray treats the creatures he summons with kindness and compassion and is treated well by the creatures in return. Bullies are clearly on the wrong side. Friends work together to solve problems.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ray, Allie, and Gabe are loyal to each other and accept one another for who they are. They face bullies together and stand up for one another. In addition, some of the duel masters are flexible and open minded about change and are as open to learning from their young pupils as they are to guiding them. Some stereotypical characterizations, such as an older Asian character who speaks in a stereotypical Mr. Miyagi-type accent.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of bloodless fantasy violence as the practitioners of Kaijudo use their skills to summon creatures to fight both each other and the "duel masters." Creatures don't die but lose energy and are capable of being summoned again. Some of the adult characters are ruthless.

Sexy Stuff

Some of the adult female characters wear form-fitting clothing and are designed with impossibly thin and curvy body types and proportions.

Language

Some name-calling and insults with racial elements from bullies, such as: "Probably only half a blackbelt and only half good at math."

Consumerism

Part of a trading card merchandising effort. The series is based on the popular Duel Masters anime and manga franchise, which has a lot of merchandise available.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters is an animated series based on the popular Japanese Duel Masters anime and manga franchise, both of which are tied to a trading card game and associated with toys similar to Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh. Expect a lot of bloodless fantasy violence, a number of ruthless adult characters, and summoned creatures that could be scary for younger viewers. There's some racial stereotyping in the series, including an older Asian character who speaks in a stereotypical Mr. Miyagi-type accent while spouting obscure wisdom. Bullying and racist language has clear negative consequences. In fact, the series has an explicit anti-bullying message, and the main characters display loyalty, friendship, and determination.

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written bySleepy'weasel March 20, 2013

Kind of a racist show

The show does have a good storyline and the animation is pretty good. But, the show is pretty racist to white males. From the school yard bullies to the evil ba... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byGabiey July 17, 2012

Amazing Duel Masters

This show is absolutely one of the best shows i've watched. When I first saw it i thought it was just going to be one of those sterotypical shows like Poke... Continue reading

What's the story?

Fourteen-year-old Raiden "Ray" Pierce-Okamoto (voiced by Scott Wolf) is a mixed-race kid living in California with his mom and grandfather. Ray and his friends Allie (Kari Wahlgren) and Gabe (Phil LaMarr) are often bullied at school by racist kids. One day, while defending himself and his friends from the bullies, Ray accidentally summons a creature from the Veil, an alternate parallel dimension where such creatures were banished long ago in order to protect the Earth. Ray and his friends subsequently meet a secret order of "duel masters" and are recruited to learn Kaijudo ("the way of the strange creature") and become duel masters themselves.The duel masters summon creatures to protect the Veil from crumbling and unleashing the trapped creatures on the Earth, as well as protecting the creatures themselves from The Choten (Oded Fehr), who seeks to use the creatures for his own ends.

Is it any good?

KAIJUDO: RISE OF THE DUEL MASTERS is a reimagining of the popular Japanese anime and manga franchise Duel Masters. It follows many of the familiar conventions of similar action cartoons, including the main character's previously unrevealed talent for summoning creatures to help him battle bullies and bad guys. But despite its conventional trappings and some ethnic stereotyping, the series manages to wrap the story in positive messages about being open to change, teamwork, and the negatives of bullying. Additionally, there's some depth to the characters, such as when the kids react to their newfound talents with a believable mixture of fear and resignation.

Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters is like Pokemon at its best. It has characters that viewers can care about and root for, as well as interesting creatures that are an active part of the story rather than simply tools for the human characters to use. All in all, the series is a solid entry in the trading card-game cartoon genre.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bullies and bullying. What is a bully, and how can kids stand up for themselves if they encounter a bully? What else can kids do to stop bullying?

  • Talk about violence in cartoons and whether a series is more appealing when there's violence. Is it possible to have an exciting series without violence? What are some of your favorite non-violent TV shows?

  • Is change scary? How can change help improve the way that things are traditionally done? What are some traditions that have been improved upon with new technology or methods?

TV details

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