Monday, June 21, 2010

Trading Card Reviews: Bella Sara "Moonfairies" and "Sunflowers"

Those who know me already know that I collect some trading cards, strictly for the art and to amuse my OCD. Bella Sara is really the only one I collect semi-completely; it's a world populated mainly by magical shiny horses (and some pretty creepy, chimeric and mythical ones) that I would have loved when I was a child. By my quick mental reckoning, I'm guessing Moonfairies is the 12th series. Oddly if not frustratingly, it was only last week that I finally found the
previous set (Sunflowers) in stores. So I'm not sure what's going on with that distribution, but in any case I'd like to review and critique a trading card game aimed at 8-year old girls. Let's see what magic and irritating human additions await...


Actually, I'm going to c/p my review from DeviantArt, because it pretty much says it all.

1. Now 5 cards and a sticker, no fake tattoos, and they put the point vouchers on plain paper instead of shiny cards which was stupid. The package was 2 card pack and the lenticular card thingy, which does have nice art of 2 horses.
2. Well, they have leeway for more creative art than "Bella's Ball" which was just a bunch of horses and girls in fancy dress standing around in the same environment for the most part
3. overall art looks better than last time but I always have complaints
4. Dryads and Wolf Riders? OK I guess thats cool.
5. Foxglove horse looks nice.
7. 'Story' cards that don't make sense to me and I guess you go online and read about them. Also there is no online code for the horses anymore but whatever, i just like the pictures.


This one is a bit wordier, I suppose. Firstly I should note that human characters were introduced in, IIRC, the Royalty series-- technically I think it was only "Sara, Goddess of Horses", but it was the start. Humans came out in full force for Bella's Ball, which also introduced 'story cards.'

Being not quite human and a misanthropist, I was not pleased, but can put up with it if they remain more on the sidelines (i.e., if most of the cards feature only horses.) As it turns out some of the humans aren't that bad: consider Twig and Deru or Ivenna the wolf rider. Twig is some sort of forest fairy, that's cool. She's pretty cute and refreshingly non-Caucasian (no offense, but a little variety is nice.) Ivenna seems pretty badass, I mean check out her cards. She has a super cool wolf and looks somewhat Slavic, Nordic, or something, and the art is nice. Predictably however, the story cards I pulled in Moonfairies tell us she is a villain, apparently one of those awesome villains who is just randomly evil for plot purposes... although I guess there could always be a heel-turn or Tragic Past that will come out later. But it's a bit sad. I thought wolves were all cool now? Go onto DeviantArt and just search 'wolf' -- you'll put up innumerable accounts belonging to 14-year old girls who draw nothing but their wolf roleplay characters and wolf versions of the My Chemical Romance guys. Why the evil? Maybe 8-year olds haven't reached the shadow acceptance stage or something.

All in all the art is cute this time, with the usual complaints (Minty's card has a beautiful background, but the horse is lazily rendered... WTH? I love the totally ambiguous joint of the wing. Uh, it just kinda... comes out of there... somewhere. I DUNNO LOL.) The usual suspects from past series return, including Moonsprite from Babies, whose original card had beautiful art by Stephanie Pui-mun Law.

New horse: Gherkin, steed of the fairy king. Hmm I have to say... I find this name very questionable, for a male horse. Isn't a gherkin one of those tiny cutesy pickles? Forget that though, he's a noble unicorn stallion named after a freakin' pickle. 8-year olds probably won't care, but there is something very wrong here. Run out of names much?

The Ivenna card is lovely, in any case.

That's my review. To finish up I think I'll post a Daily Touhou Arrange:
This one is from East New Sound circle, who pretty much do electronica/vocal trance stuff. I've been listening to them a lot because I like that style of music anyway-- it's neutral enough to have in the background while doing art or writing, but still emotional enough to really get into and space out with. This is a vocal arrange of Eirin's stage 6 theme from Imperishable Night, already a lovely song in the game that lends itself really well to arranges.

Honestly it will be really hard for me to restrain myself from posting multiple songs. It's not even a conscious choice to get deeper and deeper into this stuff-- it starts with randomly hearing one song you like, then you link and link and find more, and you're in a hole from which you can never escape. It helps that I'm already into this style of music, but the music from these games is truly awesome.

Jaa, mata and hasta la vista.


  1. The art is nice to look at, I really like the moonsprite one.
    What's the text under the illustrations about? character dvpt/story telling?

    Nice touhou arrangement. When I write (you know the kind of things I write), I usually listen to this one for example:

    Really not the same style as what I usually silten to in the touhou departement, but I like the feeling it gives, it helps me set the mood to write.

  2. The text is usually a story quote or like, a motivational thing like "believe in the power of your dreams' or some such. XD

    Ooh, that's a really nice one. Good for writing... There are just so many great arranges of his music it blows my mind. Hes like a game-music genius.

  3. Believe indeed XD

    True, if I didn't restrain myself I could keep posting arrangements of my favourites touhou pieces until you'd have to shoot me.

  4. Ahahaha yes I could drive away all of my friends if I didn't calm myself down.

    YOU ALL MUST BE ASSIMILATED! Funny thing, I'm already assimilated a few... I'm gathering so much faith! Perhaps Kanako will smile upon me.

  5. Well you did progressively change me from "Touhou? what is that?" to "MARI/ALI!!!! etc..."

    Sooo, great success?

    I think so.

  6. Same here. It hit me before I realized. Atashi-sama did it to me, she takes 100% of the blame. I was once "Touhou, what is that, it looks too complicated"