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The Battle Begins!: Bakugan Battle Brawlers    by Cartoon Network Amazon.com order for
Battle Begins!
by Cartoon Network
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2008 (2008)
Paperback
*   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

I have never watched Cartoon Network's Bakugan Battle Brawlers, but I imagine reading their first graphic novel version, The Battle Begins!, is pretty close to the original. The volume is in full color, panels being what look like stills from the cartoon.

Dan Kuso and his friends around the world started playing Bakugan Battle Brawlers when mysterious cards fell from the sky, each springing forth a monster ball. What they do not know is that the battles they enact on Earth are much the same as the war that is taking place in Vestoria, the dimension from which the cards came. As Dan is fighting a rematch with an older bully, he discovers a new monster who speaks to him! It is only then that the Bakugan Battle Brawlers realize that this game might be bigger than its players.

Bakugan Battle Brawlers: The Battle Begins! is aimed at younger audiences. It is a fast read with lots of pictures and minimal narrative and dialogue. It is a rather unoriginal story, bearing strong resemblance to more popular franchises, such as Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh, and even a little Cardcaptors. Because of this, older manga fans might not get as much entertainment out of Bakugan Battle Brawlers as younger ones.

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