Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains Discussion

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Radical

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Episode 32 was pretty great/intense,

The Knights of Hanoi's crazy diabolical plan begins taking over LINK VRAINS creating the Tower of Hanoi.

The destruction in LINK VRAINS is pretty intense.

Go Onizuka the best character, nice he didn't want the kids to look, he's like Crow which I love it:D.

Kitamura the crappy selfish weasel to betray SOL Technologies and team up with the Knights of Hanoi, not that surprising, but love his satisfying defeat from Spectre, Kitamura will be demoted:p.

Spectre, my favorite awesome henchman, nice that he bees more ruthless/devious/psychotic on having a big personality.

Nice seeing Yusaku, Aoi, and Go together, nice of Yusaku/Playmaker telling them about the situation and saving poor Ema.

Both Yusaku/Playmaker, Aoi/Blue Angel, and Go splitting up to find Revolver was fine.

Aoi/Blue Angel vs. Spectre was pretty sweet, love Spectre's cool nasty deck, Aoi will get her sweet payback on defeating Spectre:D.

Next episode preview: Aoi/Blue Angel vs. Spectre begins, another awesome duel of Aoi's I'll enjoy.
 

zoombie

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Episode 33

Well I do appreciate this duel is going to take two episodes. Giving the nature of the characters in this episode and the episode preview, Aoi she has to win.

So Blue Angel was based on a book, from the sounds of it, it was a magical girl story, interesting.

I am glad to Aoi show her skills, and hopefully win.
 

Light Lucario

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I thought that last week's episode was okay. Spectre's deck was more unique than I expected. Not only could he reduce damage, but he could also regain life points equal to the damage. It was a good foil against Aoi's deck, which is all about causing effect damage and powering up her monsters as a result of that damage. The picture book origin for Blue Angel's name at least looked pretty. I don't know how Sprectre would have found out about that though. Since they already targeted Aoi before and Akira worked for SOL Technologies, they probably would have gathered some information on their pasts, but it also seems a bit much that he'd know just how much the picture book inspired Aoi. Although, they were also a bit on the nose with how Aoi is just like the Blue Angel in the storybook.

Aoi was pretty determined to win and her strategies sounded good, but I think she also got a bit too cocky. She was already planning out her victory before Sprectre chose to activate his Trap card. She was betting everything on Sprectre deciding to return his Trap card to his hand and being able to cause a large amount of damage from her combination to have a backup plan. That could be one reason why Sprectre brought up the whole picture book and how she felt so sad and lonely before. He wanted to get her so angry and determined to win that she would be more caught off guard by his strategies.

I really could have done without the scene with the annoying reports though. Not only was it more unfunny comedy moments, but we had to have another praising Playmaker as the best thing ever with both the kid dressing up like him and Yusaku dashing in to save him from falling virtual buildings. To be fair, Yusaku reassuring the kid that he'd save Link Vrains might have been more sweet and touching if the show hadn't gone out of its way to praise Yusaku at every possible chance it gets. It would also help if the show bothered to explain why Link Vrains is so important beyond how it is seemingly the only way people duel in this universe, but I stopped hoping for them to cover basic world building skills for this series ages ago. Because they've tried so hard to tell the audience how super special awesome Yusaku is and how he's the hero who saved Link Vrains, it feels too much like they're desperately attempting to make the audience like him instead of letting the audience decide for themselves how they feel about his character and his actions. If they didn't try to make Yusaku look like the best duelist in the universe, then I probably would have been more okay with this scene. I know that they wanted to have Yusaku show up in the episode at least once, but they probably could have come up with a different way to include him in the episode.

Aoi's comment about how Spectre must have been all alone because he said that the Blue Angel story was a good book was kind of weird. Just because someone likes the story doesn't mean that they were necessarily in the same emotional position that she was after losing her parents. She'll probably end up being right about it, if only so that can have further parallels between Aoi and Spectre given how their decks are foils to each other, but the logic seemed kind of strange to me. Spectre's deck changed drastically with his new Link monsters. It went from defensive to offensive rather quickly, which will probably throw Aoi off her guard even further. Getting a hold of Holly Angel increased his offense and puts Aoi in a tight spot given that it is one of her strongest monster. She seemed to have a new strategy in mind based on how she reacted with her next draw though.
 

zoombie

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Episode 34

So Aoi lost, and Yusaku is going to have to save the day. And you know what, I don't have that big of a problem with it.

The only problem I have is the length of the duel, if Aoi is going go lose, don't drag it out for two episodes. Unless it is the main villain, when we have multiple episode duels, I expect the good guys to win, not dragged out, giving us false hope.

The main reason it is okay, is because Aoi already had a big win earlier, so I guess it is okay, but just don't let it become a regular Yusaku is going to have clean up everyone's messes.

So next Yusaku vs Spectra, if Aoi got two episodes, Yusaku should get at least two episodes before defeating Spectra.
 

Light Lucario

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So Aoi lost, and Yusaku is going to have to save the day. And you know what, I don't have that big of a problem with it.

The only problem I have is the length of the duel, if Aoi is going go lose, don't drag it out for two episodes. Unless it is the main villain, when we have multiple episode duels, I expect the good guys to win, not dragged out, giving us false hope.
A two episode match really isn't that long though. The typical length of a duel has been one to two episodes since GX. They usually save longer duels for really important matches. Compared to how long the duels were during DM, the notion that a two episode match is long is just weird to me. There definitely are two episode matches that are dragged out, but I don't think that this was one of them.

While I do have a problem with the overall pacing in Vrains, I don't think that this match felt dragged out. I would have gotten rid of the whole mini Playmaker scene from the previous episode and maybe reduce the whole Spectre toying with Aoi's emotions since I really don't think that they're that similar, but that wouldn't have cut the duel down to one episode. The whole bit about the Blue Angel picture book and Spectre talking about how Aoi couldn't save him might be important for when they cover his backstory, but I just couldn't believe it with how they presented it here.

As far as giving the audience false hope, I think that's a bit much. You can't blame the writers for doing something you thought was unexpected based entirely on the episode length. Besides that, Aoi is not Yusaku. She doesn't have plot armor the size of the Grand Canyon that protects her from losing. I didn't think that she'd lose either, but it was far from impossible.

zoombie said:
The main reason it is okay, is because Aoi already had a big win earlier, so I guess it is okay, but just don't let it become a regular Yusaku is going to have clean up everyone's messes.
So because she had one big win earlier in the series, that makes her losing, being put into a coma for the second time and basically becoming motivation fuel for Yusaku and/or Akira again okay? That doesn't really make much sense to me. One big win doesn't negate a second coma and being motivation fuel. Based on what I have seen of fans reactions to Aoi, a lot of people overlook the problems around her character simply because she duels and/or looks pretty. It doesn't matter that she has been in a coma twice, has no noteworthy connections to characters besides Akira and it doesn't seem like she'll have any conflict to overcome that doesn't connect back to her brother. She duels and looks cool/cute enough for people. She was dueling the person who put that virus in her at the beginning of the series and she still lost primarily so that they could hype up Spectre for Yusaku. That's really bad. She is truly Rio 2.0 at this point. All we're missing is Akira going off to defeat Spectre himself. It won't happen, but that would make the parallel between Aoi and Rio even stronger.

It's also not a good sign when the first two main/supporting characters to be absorbed by the Tower are the only female characters in the show. The franchise in general doesn't have the best history with female characters, but using the only female characters as motivation fuel for the male characters really doesn't help.

Besides all that, it already is a regular thing for Yusaku to clean up everyone's messes. Vrains is pretty much the Yusaku show. The other characters barely have any role/impact on the overall storyline thus far. He indirectly helped Onizuka to win his previous duel. He didn't have an active role in Aoi's previous duel, but that certainly isn't enough to change how he is seemingly the only character that matters for the writers. He is the only one constantly saving the day while the other characters normally don't show up or are defeated for him to rescue them. Instead of continuing the momentum from Aoi's last duel and have her defeat the person responsible for putting that virus in her, they have her basically "die" to hype Spectre up as a bigger threat for Yusaku to take down.

zoombie said:
So next Yusaku vs Spectra, if Aoi got two episodes, Yusaku should get at least two episodes before defeating Spectra.
I still have no idea how a two episode match in general would be considered long. I suspect that they'll give Yusaku two episodes, if only because they'd want to make a bigger deal when Yusaku inevitably wins.

Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. Aoi's first strategy was pretty good. Since she couldn't attack Specte's Link Monster, trying to return it to his hand, or in this case the Extra Deck, made sense. It would be the best way to effectively destroy his strategy, but he then was able to protect it with a monster's effect and steal another one of Aoi's monsters. She was able to gain more life points to survive the turn though.

As boring as it is to see characters go through the stale Link summoning sequence, I'll admit that Aoi's strategy was pretty good. She was able to power up her new monster enough to where she could have wiped out Spectre's life points in one hit, but he had another defense by moving the monster to a separate zone to negate the attack. While it made sense for an ability given everything else his Link monster could do, it also felt a bit on the overpowered side, or at least felt kind of ridiculous to me that he could avoid all of Aoi's attacks with seemingly little effort on his part.

While I was right in that they were going for how Aoi and Spectre are alike, I still don't really buy it. It was seemingly based on their love for the Blue Angel story book, which still seems like a weird connection. Aoi being isolated and lonely deep down inside made sense given what they established about her back in her introduction episode. Spectre has been hamming it up Yu-Gi-Oh! villain style for the past two episodes. He was clearly putting on an act to mess with Aoi's emotions. Both his facial expressions and voice gave that away, so I couldn't really believe the idea that he was sad and lonely after having unfulfilled love in his heart. It also really doesn't help that he has had virtually no presence in the series until recently. Despite being in the opening/ending themes and I assume he is Revolver's right hand man, I honestly didn't know Spectre's name until he appeared a couple of episodes ago. That does tie into another problem of the series. Characters usually don't have any noteworthy focus/screentime unless they're dueling. I had the same problem with Zexal. Dueling can be a good way to give characters more screentime/development, but that shouldn't be the only time they appear on-screen. It just limits what you can do with the characters.

That aspect of the duel reminded me of the BB duel back in Arc V. They were trying to say the same thing of how Yuya and BB were alike. Unlike with this match, I found that way more believable. We knew way more about Yuya than we do about Aoi, which to be fair would be case after over a hundred episodes into Arc V's run, and BB was presented as another victim of Academia's brainwashing instead of another hammy over the top Yu-Gi-Oh! villain like Spectre. They were more opposites rather than exactly the same. Yuya isolated himself out of sadness and fear, while BB lashed out like a monster out of fear, but I felt like it made sense in context and further showed Yuya's development as he could recognize his own emotional problems and relate to someone suffering from similar ones. For this match, it felt like they were trying to go for a deeper connection between Aoi and Spectre, but it just felt forced. Not to mention I'm not sure if I liked the idea of Aoi trying to save the person who put that virus in her. Yuya wanted to help BB even after he carded some of his friends, but BB was still more of a victim than Spectre seems to be based on what we have seen, helping BB didn't magically make it okay that he carded people as Yuya was still sad about it afterwards and Yuya being able to reach out to other people through his dueling was a huge aspect of both the series and his character arc as a whole. It wasn't just something that they threw in together all of a sudden because of a picture book that Yuya liked when he was little. If they really wanted Aoi to reach out to Spectre and understand his feelings, then it really felt too hollow to actually work.

I was still impressed with Aoi's second strategy. I thought that she was going to lose right when her first attack was negated, but she lasted longer than I expected. It was a pretty clever way to use her three Trap cards along with her monsters' effects to burn through Spectre's life points. He could only restore his life points once per turn, but her combo was a good attempt to bypass that by giving him more effect damage than he could recover from. If he didn't have that Trap card, she could have won, but Spectre also clearly planned for this possibility. Despite Aoi's pretty impressive combos, Spectre was definitely in control for the entire match. He might have been surprised by some of her moves, but he was only acting like he was in a tight spot to further throw Aoi off her guard. Even the whole Blue Angel story book was just a way to mess with her emotions and toy with her during the match.

Aoi would have lost even if Spectre didn't do anything because of her own Trap Card, but they wanted to have another dramatic loss where she loses her wings. I'll admit that Aoi landing right on her face did seem pretty brutal despite being virtual. I guess it just looked more realistic than flying through a building due to effect damage. Since Akira watched Aoi lose, I suspect he won't handle seeing her being absorbed well and he'll be understandably overprotective when she is inevitably revived. I'm sure that the show will continue to treat his concerns as being wrong despite how he has every right to be worried about his sister's life.

Like I said before, it really isn't a good thing that Aoi is being put in a coma again and effectively being motivation fuel for the male characters. Say what you will about Yuzu being captured and not getting another duel during Arc V's third season. As disappointing as that was, at least she still played a major role in defeating Zarc and effectively saving the world. That doesn't negate all of the problems with her character either. I'm just saying that she wasn't brushed off as simply motivation fuel for Yuya, she had other important bonds with other characters and she was still an important character for the overall storyline for Arc V. In spite of Arc V's problems with female character, it still felt like there was honest to goodness effort on the writers' part to provide more proactive/important female characters, which I can't really say the same thing for most of the other series. Aoi's role in the overall storyline is pretty minimal by comparison and a single big victory doesn't instantly make her being put into a coma again okay.

They may have Spectre tie into Yusaku's backstory given the whole Other Lost Incident title and some of the images during the preview, but I don't know if they really needed to throw Aoi under a bus just to hype up Spectre as a big threat for Yusaku.
 

zoombie

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Episode 35

So this more of a transitional episode, and we learn about Spectra.

Well than Aoi is out, and she is absorbed, but I am sure the end of the arc everyone is going to be fine. So we learn that Spectra he is a very messed person, he is the Yuri or the Victor of this show, I don't think Yusaku can reason with him. Also he is a tree huger.

Those two reporter guys, do we need them on the show, I am getting tired of them.

So next episode, we continue the duel, and it looks like it will take a while.
 

Light Lucario

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Well than Aoi is out, and she is absorbed, but I am sure the end of the arc everyone is going to be fine.
Of course everyone is going to be fine. The alternative would be they just killed off two main/supporting characters for good, which I don't think that they'd actually do. Not to mention the world would be in danger if the network was destroyed, so they aren't going to lose, especially when I still assume we're in the first arc of a three year long series. All of the characters will be restored, so Aoi will be fine.

That's one of my big issues with the current mini arc. They're already putting in a saving the world while main characters are being "killed off" so early into the series. It would be like if GX had the Dark World arc or Zexal had something akin to the Barian Invasion arc about thirty episodes into their runs. The tension feels hallow and forced because we know that everything is going to be resolved. We knew that about those other arcs too, although at least the Dark World arc was generally more unexpected, but at least those were saved for much later points in the series where the characters would be ideally more fleshed out and in Zexal's case, a world saving conflict felt more natural. It also really doesn't help that we just came off from the Another virus conflict and that was resolved pretty easy. Why should I be invested in this conflict when the reset button will be hit just as easily and none of this angst/tension will matter in the long run?

zoombie said:
So we learn that Spectra he is a very messed person, he is the Yuri or the Victor of this show, I don't think Yusaku can reason with him. Also he is a tree huger.
I guess that they needed to give Spectre some semblance of a personality after doing nothing for so long, so they just went with hammy over the top secondary Yu-Gi-Oh! villain. So far, he doesn't quite have the enjoyable over the top appeal that Yuri or even Vector had for me.

zoombie said:
Those two reporter guys, do we need them on the show, I am getting tired of them.

So next episode, we continue the duel, and it looks like it will take a while.
I've been tired of the reporters for ages. They're annoying unnecessary comedy relief characters. Their main purpose thus far is just to provide Shoichi with footage of what's going on in Link Vrains, but one would think that they could find another way to do that beyond using annoying comedy relief characters. Since this episode was almost entirely exposition/backstory, the duel barely started, so they may need two more episodes for Yusaku to win. I wouldn't put it past the writers for Yusaku to win in just one episode given that he's the Gary Stu messiah of this universe, but the episode title and preview doesn't give me the impression that he'll win just yet.

Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. Of course Akira would go after Aoi once he found her at home. I didn't expect the doctor to show up to provide more exposition for what happened to him. SOL Technologies affecting him with a computer virus was more intense than I expected, even with how they wanted Ignis to gain more profit. They still seem intent that Ignis is going to destroy the world and the whole not knowing what it means for AIs to have free will still comes off as more pretentious than anything else. The fact that the Tower being destroyed means that even the Knight would be gone was more extreme too. I figured that they'd want to save themselves at least.

And of course they delayed Aoi being absorbed until Akira was there to see it. They had to provide as much angst as possible, but that just annoyed me. It really does make it look like Aoi's role in the show is just to provide angst and motivation fuel. It doesn't help that I find her own motivation to be a sloppy inconsistent mess at best. She started off the series as wanting to entertain the crowd, which was fine. Then she wanted to give up dueling after her first coma trip. I thought that she really wanted to keep up the fight, but she was seemingly okay with giving it up because she knew her brother cared about her. It was a bit self-centered, but I was fine with that too. Then she dueled to get some anger out and she suddenly felt anger during her time in a coma, despite how that wasn't mentioned at all until she faced the woman who created the virus.

Aoi was still perfectly fine with not dueling anymore until Baira spelled her out the message behind her victory, which does make her whole fighting for others comment feel more hallow to me. If she learned it during the course of the duel, that would be fine since it would feel more natural and the growth would feel earned. But someone else had to point it out to her. Then she was trying to reach out to Spectre to save him because she wanted to be like the Blue Angel the storybook, despite how the picture book hadn't been mentioned prior to their match, Spectre was the one who infested Aoi with the virus and Aoi had shown absolutely no interest in trying to reach out to people with her dueling. She liked being an entertainer at the beginning of the series, but that's not the same thing as reaching out to people. She was always focused on herself more than other people, asied from Akira, so it just doesn't work. She does come off as vain and selfish. Not quite to the extreme as Emma does, but she does feel more self-centered than I initially expected she would.

If this was a better written series, her self-centered personality would be dealt with, but it isn't and I doubt that they're going in that direction. They only want to use her for angst/motivational fuel and looking cute. Her motivation is all over the place, so I just can't believe that she genuinely wants to reach out to other people with her dueling when she has been completely focused on herself and even her victory against Baira didn't change that for me. In Arc V, they did address Yuya's selfish behavior, especially in the Synchro arc. It worked a lot better there because Yuya's motivation was consistent. He wanted to become a great Entertainment Duelist like his father and then wanted to end the dimensional war with his dueling. They weren't inconsistent with what Yuya wanted to do and they didn't use him for angst/motivation fuel for other characters. I had no expectations for Aoi going into the series primarily due to the head writer and I'm still annoyed/disappointed with the results. Unbelievable.

And Spectre just had to say that he defeated Aoi without using his full strength. That was believable considering he was in control of the duel from start to finish, but that was just another slap in the face for Aoi. It wasn't enough that she lost and was "killed" in front of Akira. They had to say that she wasn't even strong enough to face Spectre at his full power. And of course, Yusaku is going to push Spectre to that point, which makes the idea of the Vrains trio even more questionable to me. I don't want Yusaku to do everything on his own. I still would prefer for them to actually feel like a team just so Yusaku could have friends, possibly become less boring by bouncing off other character's personalities and start a more healthy healing process for his trauma, but considering that he'll defeat Spectre and Revolver, the show is indirectly supporting his belief that he should work alone. It's very unlike a Yu-Gi-Oh! series to do that. The importance of friendship is the main theme of the entire franchise, but there really aren't any noteworthy friendships in Vrains. Some people do like how it isn't like a Yu-Gi-Oh! series, but if it can't even convey the main theme of the franchise effectively, then that's a pretty big problem in my opinion.

In spite of all of my complaints, I admit that Spectre being one of the six children who was captured by the Knights of Hanoi was an interesting development. Yusaku has been so focused on his own pain that he didn't think anyone could feel differently about the Lost Incident. Spectre had no one prior to the incident while Yusaku doesn't have any memories before being captured. Since Spectre had no attachments to anyone else and felt a purpose for once in his life, he enjoyed his kidnapping and waited for Revolver once he was freed. This orphanage must have been poorly handled if a child could run away so easily. It makes Spectre a polar opposite to Yusaku, which was an interesting twist. It makes me wonder how the other children feel about the incident and if any of them are also members of the Knights of Hanoi.

The duel started off pretty boring. It felt like they took a bit too much time for the exposition/backstory, but it was less boring than seeing Yusaku Link summoning a bunch of monsters on his first turn, especially when we knew that it wouldn't. Yusaku wouldn't know what Spectre's monster could do, but since the audience does, it was just a bit too boring to wait through that wave of Link summons to get to the end of the episode. While Spectre's backstory was a bit more interesting than I expected, they lost me with the whole tree angle. I don't know who would leave a baby under a tree, but how was the tree protecting him? Spectre kept saying it was this tree, so was the tree he was living in was actually a Duel Spirit? That's doubtful, but that's the only reason I could think of as to why the branches could move like that. I also don't know how he could remember something that happened when he was an infant. That seemed pretty unbelievable to me as well. I guess that they wanted to provide a reason as to why his deck centered around this tree monster, especially when it doesn't really connect with his personality, but it just seemed weird and off-putting. Not to mention the orphanage he was at seemed even more questionable to me if his only connection to society was a tree.
 

zoombie

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Episode 36

Well the duel continues, well it seems no one in this show can read sarcasm, first Aoi, and now Ignus, can't anyone tell when Spectra is just messing with you and being sarcasm when he pretends he is in trouble.

So hostage taking, so Yusaku's weaknesses is he cares about people? Anyway I think the duel will be over next episode.

I don't know about you, but unless he is dueling Revolver or some other big bad, when Yusaku duels doesn't have the same tension as the other duels. When it is the other good guys, there is an uncertainty of who is going to win, while here we know Yusaku is going to win, it is just a question of how.
 

Light Lucario

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Well the duel continues, well it seems no one in this show can read sarcasm, first Aoi, and now Ignus, can't anyone tell when Spectra is just messing with you and being sarcasm when he pretends he is in trouble.
Even I could tell when he was just messing with his opponents, but he has been in pretty much hammy villain mode for the past couple of episodes, so that helps.

zoombie said:
So hostage taking, so Yusaku's weaknesses is he cares about people? Anyway I think the duel will be over next episode.
Apparently it is. It does make sense considering how he didn't want other people to get involved with his fight due to the dangers involved and he was worried about Ema when she was about to be absorbed. I'm not sure if it's as convincing as it could be considering that Yusaku rarely interacts with most of the cast and they've talked about his sense of justice a lot more than actually showing it. It reminds me a bit of when they revealed his tragic backstory. It made sense that he basically has PTSD from his traumatic experience, but because they didn't show it enough through his behavior and actions, it's much less convincing than it honestly should be.

zoombie said:
I don't know about you, but unless he is dueling Revolver or some other big bad, when Yusaku duels doesn't have the same tension as the other duels. When it is the other good guys, there is an uncertainty of who is going to win, while here we know Yusaku is going to win, it is just a question of how.
What other big bad is there in the show besides Revolver at this point? I'm kind of surprised you thought that Yusaku's duel with Revolver had tension. Considering everything that was on the line, there was no chance Yusaku was going to lose. They even used Ema to hype Revolver up because he lost to Yusaku in his first duel of the series. I've mentioned it before, but the lack of tension is a big problem I have in the series, particularly with Yusaku's duels. He already has the regular plot armor that the protagonists in this franchise tend to have in the form of Ignis. He can't lose or else Ignis will be lost and the show would effectively be over. Plus, he has his Storm Access Skill for Speed Duels, which basically give him the exact monster he needs out of thin air in order to win.

I actually wish that more of Yusaku's duels just left us wondering how he'll be able to pull it off. That's pretty typical when a lead character duels. We know that they're generally going to win most of the time. I think only Judai and Yuya lost more often than the audience expected. We just don't know how and that can keep the audience engaged in the duels, or at least that's the case for me. That's why Yusaku's duels are so boring to me. Since Speed Duels are about ninety percent of the duels thus far in this series, Yusaku can use Storm Access to pull out a random monster to win. I don't have to wonder how Yusaku is going to make a come back victory because the basic setup of the Speed Duels pretty much gives it away. He may use a different monster, but he'll still rely on Storm Access to save the day. It's really boring and it got old really fast due to how often Yusaku duels.

It's one reason why his match against Akira is probably one of my favorite duels in the series thus far. With one less blatant and huge plot armor to protect Yusaku, I actually could wonder how he'd win for once. Plus, I liked the backstory for Akira and it made me appreciate his character a lot more than I thought I would at the start of the series. Even this duel, while not as good as the match against Akira, is still a bit more engaging than his usual matches because I can wonder how he'll turn things around. It doesn't fix the lack of tension completely. He still has plot armor the size of a canyon and the fact that he has defeated all of the established main/supporting characters alone makes it doubtful that he'll lose to anyone at this rate, but it at least makes the duels more engaging for me, which is at least a start.

Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. I still actually like the idea of Yusaku and Spectre being polar opposites. It is an interesting dynamic and I thought that Spectre had a point with how Yusaku couldn't understand him or Revolver because he was too obsessed with revenge. I would kind of like it if they address Yusaku's obsession with revenge preventing him from connecting with people in general, but considering that this came from one of the villains, I'm pretty sure that we're supposed to side with Yusaku as usual here. Plus, I still don't like the whole mother tree concept. That is still far too weird for me and makes the conflict less interesting to me as a result.

The duel itself was pretty decent. Yusaku attempting to power up one of his monsters in order to knock out all of Spectre's life points made sense, but Spectre would have something to protect himself. It was a pretty obvious strategy after all. Despite how we had seen most of Spectre's moves during his previous match, there was a nice bit of back and forth with Yusaku attempting to overcome his combos while Spectre kept protecting himself. It helped to make the duel a bit more engaging than a Yusaku match is for me normally, so that was nice.

Yusaku's strategy near the end was actually pretty good. He was able to take into account the monster zones that Spectre could still use to heal any damage he took by making them unavailable. It was seemingly his only chance to win before Spectre revealed that he had Akira. That did surprise me. I thought that he was locked there just so that Revolver's father could talk to him about his motivation, but I guess that would explain why he was still in the cage after he left too. While it isn't a new concept, I don't know how Spectre's damage could affect the vines around Akira. I guess any time where the vines grew closer to him they quickly went back to normal due to Spectre's combo healing any damage he took.

While it made sense that Yusaku wouldn't go through with the attack because of Akira being in danger, it also felt like an artificial way to create more tension and make the duel last another episode. I know that Akira would be affected by a virus if the vines hit him, but they already got the cure for the Another virus. It's possible that this virus would be different to where that information wouldn't help them, but it just kind of bothers me that they're still trying to use viruses as a form of tension. You can only use that so many times after the damage has been healed before it loses any weight behind it. It would be like if they still treated being turned into a card as a big deal in Arc V after they found a way to reverse the process. Even with being able to create different viruses, it doesn't really work as a form of tension because it can be easily undone.

Although, I did kind of like how Spectre brought up the whole dragging people in their fight since that has been another issue for Yusaku. Even though he wants to fight on his own without getting other people involved, his actions have endangered other people. And it isn't just what happened to Aoi or the fact that he got Ignis that caused all of this. Because he is popular and his fights against the Knights are practically broadcasted now instead of in the shadows like I think it was prior to the start of the series, people are going to want to fight them just like Yusaku. Even the whole Another virus incident was all about the Knights targeting innocent people in the attempt of finding Yusaku. As much as he may not want people to get involved, people have and will continue to be hurt because of his fight against the Knights. That's not to say that he shouldn't fight them since they are a pretty big threat at this point, but Yusaku should know and accept that his actions have consequences.

I like to think that there's a decent chance that they'll address that issue in the following episode too, but it's probably more likely that Yusaku will say that it isn't his fault that innocent people are getting caught in the crossfire of this battle. As much as I'd like to see Yusaku accept more help and actually have friends so that he can start a more healthy healing process and this series can start to feel more like a Yu-Gi-Oh! series, the show is also kind of indirectly supporting his case that he should fight on his own. Aoi already lost and I doubt that Onizuka is going to have a major role in destroying the tower. At most, he might be able to get one victory and help Yusaku defeat Revolver in some manner, but Yusaku is totally going to be the one to save the day. He'll defeat Spectre and eventually Revolver because no one else besides this universe's savior Yusaku can save the world. At the very least, it would make the idea of making these three into this series' trio more of a stretch when they have no noteworthy connection to each other and Yusaku will most likely do the heavy lifting by the end of it.
 

zoombie

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Episode 37

While the outcome was never in doubt, still a fine episode, we conclude the Yusaku / Spectre duel. Yusaku able to trick Spectre into continuing the duel and not take the cheep way out.

So it was expected Akari would sacrifice himself so Yusaku wouldn't be held back. Also shows how far Yusaku and Akari relationship in that he trusts and believes in Yusaku now.

Spectre going with the train, yes he is crazy, and it just a crazy, but I still sympathize a bit with the guy.

In the end Yusaku wins, and Spectre kills himself, I wonder if we will ever see him again?

So next episode, I don't know what will happen, will Yusaku and Revolver duel, or we looking at another clip show?
 

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Spectre going with the train, yes he is crazy, and it just a crazy, but I still sympathize a bit with the guy.
I don't. There's just nothing sympathetic about Spectre. He is typical hammy over the top secondary Yu-Gi-Oh! villain without anything noteworthy about him. At least Vector and Yuri were more entertaining with their hammy behavior. It also helped that they didn't just suddenly show up with a personality after doing nothing for about thirty episodes. Plus, I still find the whole mother tree angle incredibly stupid. Not to mention I'm still confused as to why he wouldn't have any connections to other people or how a tree could protect a baby in the first place.

zoombie said:
In the end Yusaku wins, and Spectre kills himself, I wonder if we will ever see him again?
Probably. Unless they give Revolver a new right hand man or there is a new threat after this arc, then I don't see why they'd permanently kill off Spectre.

zoombie said:
So next episode, I don't know what will happen, will Yusaku and Revolver duel, or we looking at another clip show?
Based on the preview seeming showing footage from previous episodes and the episode title, I think that the chances are disturbingly good that we'll get another clip show. It will also be eight episodes since the last clip show, which seems to be a pattern. On one hand, getting a clip show from Revolver's perspective could be interesting. On the other hand, this would be the fourth clip show Vrains has had in less than forty episodes, the chances are pretty good we wouldn't learn anything new if the other clip shows are any indication and getting a clip show in the middle of an arc is really bad regardless. There is no excuse for going with this many clip shows right off the bat.

Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. Obviously, Yusaku wasn't going to just fall off the bridge, but I was somewhat surprised that Spectre even considered that. Not only because of wanting to appeal to Revolver, but also because that made trapping Akira kind of moot. If he was just going to delay the duel long enough to where the bridge broke down, then he could have just had his tree destroy it. It was already using its vines to keep it together during the duel, so I don't know why he bothered to use a hostage in that regard.

Yusaku wouldn't attack with Akira in danger, but his strategy was pretty decent. He was able to reduce damage and prevent Spectre's monsters from attacking for a moment. Akira talking about how Aoi's sacrifice would be in vain if Yusaku didn't win was a bit odd, if only because her sacrifice already feels in vain simply because she didn't accomplish anything through dueling Spectre. All it did was hype Spectre up for Yusaku to defeat. The match does make Aoi look worse in a way. Yusaku could have defeated Spectre in the previous episode, but he was forced to use a hostage to keep the duel going on. Yusaku didn't struggle nearly as much as Aoi did and he was strong enough to where Spectre had to use dirty tricks to save himself. They already gave Aoi a few slaps to the face with Spectre crushing her so soundly, but this setup makes her defeat even worse in a way.

They also tried to make the destruction of Spectre's tree dramatic, but I still couldn't get over how stupid it was for a character to consider a tree their mother. Maybe it would be different if the tree was really a Duel Spirit instead or something like that, but it was seemingly a regular tree that could just somehow move its branches. It was just too ridiculous and nonsensical for me to take seriously, regardless of the show's attempts to do so.

I was somewhat surprised that Shoichi couldn't save Akira, if only because of how that seemed like a quick and easy fix to the problem. But I didn't consider the angst factor, which seems to be what this arc is going for more than anything else. I did like how he had more faith in Yusaku and telling him that even if more people become victims, he has to carry on that burden and move forward. Admittedly, I would have preferred it if they did more with Yusaku during this duel, if only because having doubt didn't seem to be a problem and it still makes him come off as a huge Gary Stu, but I should have seen something like this coming too. They don't want to make Yusaku look emotionally vulnerable or show any emotions besides anger and his standard monotone voice.

Akira willing to sacrifice himself so that Yusaku could win the duel was a nice gesture, but they really made a big deal about him going to be with Aoi. It's something about this arc that really confuses me. The characters make a big deal about this conflict and being absorbed, which is understandable in-universe. The audience knows that everything will be fine, but the characters don't. My problem is just how dramatic they make these "deaths" out to be. Aoi being absorbed was saved until Akira showed up and Akira was thinking of going back home with Aoi right before he was absorbed. Unless by some strange event that this is actually the last arc and Vrains will be an incredibly short Yu-Gi-Oh! series, it doesn't make sense to me to do a save the world plot with dramatic "deaths" for the main characters this early on in the series. It just feels jarring to me when I know everything will be undone, which makes the drama and conflict feel much more hallow than it would be otherwise. As I've mentioned before, this still feels like if they had the Barian Invasion arc right within Zexal's first year. It was obvious that everything would be undone within that arc as well, especially when the Numeron Code was introduced earlier in the series, but at least saving something like a bunch of established characters dying make sense for near the end of the series. Even GX's Dark World arc was better placed because we had more time with the characters to flesh them out so that their deaths would have more impact and it wasn't as clear that they'd be brought back. This arc wants to be full of drama and tension, but much like Vrains itself, I just feel nothing about it and any drama they can create is just moot.

Yusaku was pretty upset over Akira's sacrifice, as was Shoichi surprisingly enough. While it was a bit dull to see Yusaku Link summon a couple of times, I did appreciate that he didn't rely on Firewall Dragon. I keep expecting him to spam his ace monster, but he hasn't thus far. Plus, that combo was a pretty good way to get around Spectre's combo and it made use of all of the different Link monsters in their Graveyards. Spectre's comment about how doubt and regret aren't the same thing makes me wonder if they'll deal with Yusaku's regret for what has happened and for indirectly leading to more innocent people being dragged into this fight, but I doubt it. They don't seem interested in making Yusaku anything more than their perfect Gary Stu savior who claims that his dueling always wins.
 

zoombie

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Episode 38

Well like we thought it is a clip show. So not much to say, other than that it all but confirms Revolver knows Playmakers identity.

Next episode, Go Onizuki is going to be a sacrificial lamb to Revolver.
 
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Light Lucario

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Well like we thought it is a clip show. So not much to say, other than that it all but confirms Revolver knows Playmakers identity.
Which was already pretty obvious given that they hid his face while identifying Yusaku in that footage. He also mentioned that Yusaku showed up as Playmaker a year ago, but I don't know if that was mentioned before or not. Obviously, he meant a year prior to the series' beginning. There's no way a year has passed in-universe. Either way, we're really scrapping at the bottom of the barrel for new content if we only have confirmation of the obvious.

zoombie said:
Next episode, Go Onizuki is going to be a sacrificial lamb to Revolver.
And Yusaku is going to save the day again. As you put it before, Yusaku is going to keep cleaning up other characters' messes, which only continues to make Aoi's defeat look worse and makes me wonder the point of the Vrains trio.

Anyway, I thought that this episode was pretty bad. I knew it was going to be a clip show, but even with that knowledge, it was still boring and felt like a waste of time. Getting a clip show from Revolver's perspective could have been interesting, but we still don't really learn anything new about him or the series. He apparently felt guilty over causing so many other knights to fall because of his obsession with Yusaku, but that felt pretty weak to me. We're told about his feelings, but we don't really see it through his actions or behavior. That's still possibly one of the biggest problems Vrains has writing wise. It suffers from a lot of show, don't tell issues and this is a prime example. Maybe you could take putting the knights in their own kind of coffins and telling Spectre that he fought well as signs that he does care, but that doesn't quite work either due to the minimal interactions he has had with these characters.

Even though at least two of the knights were connected to Revolver's childhood, he barely interacted with them and when he did, they were former and talking about their goals as Knights of Hanoi. There's no sense of grief or regret from Revolver beyond what he tells the audience, but that isn't convincing. Despite Spectre basically being his right hand man, they haven't had any noteworthy scenes. This is an issue for Vrains in general since there isn't really a sense of friendship within the cast and the attempts to create friends usually feel forced or too sudden to feel genuine. Much like Yusaku, it seems like they want to make Revolver "complex", but don't really know how to go about it, especially when they seem intent on making his motivation vague and mysterious. Not to mention his own bit of how the Internet is bad because it's fake from his first duel with Yusaku is a clear example of pretentious.

It's also really not a good sign that I honestly couldn't tell which footage was from older episodes or not due to the background being basically the same in most of Revolver's scenes. He kept saying that this will their final duel and a part of me genuinely hopes that means Vrains will be really short. It wouldn't be good for a few reasons and it's unlikely that they'd do something like that anyway, but I'm already waiting for the next series that I'll hopefully actually like. Vrains is quite possibly my new least favorite series in the franchise, so if we get a new series instead, I'm all for it. It would almost make sense in a way due to how this arc is more akin to something you'd see in the final arc rather than during a series' first year. It's still sad that even the clip shows make a big deal about Yusaku while other characters are a footnote at best.

I'm also surprised that I didn't mention this before, but I really don't like the duel disks in this series. Other than Yusaku's, the duel disks are so plain and could be mistaken just as wrist bracelets. Despite being digital, there's nothing really unique or creative about them. I've just been noticing that more during these past few episodes.

And because we haven't hyped Revolver enough, he gets to duel against Onizuka who will obviously lose. What is the point of the Vrains trio? Why should I want Yusaku to team up with anyone after this whole Tower of Hanoi mess is resolved? I do want Yusaku to bounce off more characters, develop friendships and actually start healing in a more healthy way, but the show is kind of proving him right in that he should fight alone. Aoi already was crushed by Spectre for no other reason other than angst and hyping up Yusaku's next opponent. Onizuka might be able to help Yusaku somehow through his duel with Revolver, like leaving him a card before being absorbed or he'll indirectly inspire Yusaku's winning strategy, but he's obviously going to lose too. They may not slap him in the face as much as they did with Aoi simply because he's not a female character, but there's no doubt that they're going to use Onizuka to further hype up Revolver. As annoying as that is, it does make a bit more sense than when they did that with Ema. Onizuka was one of the top Duelists before Yusaku defeated him, while Ema was just a cyber treasure hunter. Yusaku already defeated them, so that does make it less noteworthy for Revolver to do it too, but it makes a bit more sense.

This is also a really bad side effect of making Yusaku so overpowered. He has defeated all of the established characters introduced thus far, so Revolver defeating other people that Yusaku has already defeated doesn't have the same kind of impact as the show would want it to. It also makes me wonder why Yusaku needs to team up with anyone. Sure, Onizuka and Aoi defeated two secondary villains, but that was nothing Yusaku couldn't have done himself and their impact on the conflict has been pretty minimal at best. Vrains treating Yusaku as the overpowered Gary Stu savior of their universe already made any tension nonexistent, but it also actively goes against the theme of the franchise in a way. Instead of forcing Yusaku to recognize he can't do this alone and he needs to rely on other people for help, this arc is telling him to keep moving forward even if that means more innocent people get hurt. It's why I don't think that Vrains feels like a Yu-Gi-Oh! series in a way. It does have some tropes and cliches of the franchise, but the lack of friendships and the emphasis on bonds/working together is really noticeable. At this rate, the other characters might as well be written out of the show just so that Yusaku can fight the villains all on his own.
 

zoombie

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Episode 39

Well Go Onizuka is going to last more than one episode in this duel, that is a moral win. I thought Revolver was going to defeat him rather easily in one episode, so good for you Onizuka.

Not to much say here, outside of the duel, not much happened in this episode. Still surprising good showing for Go Onizuka.

This arc is going to have two enemies, both of beat the supporting characters and defeated by Yusaku, so irritating.
 
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Light Lucario

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Episode 38

Well Go Onizuka is going to last more than one episode in this duel, that is a moral win. I thought Revolver was going to defeat him rather easily in one episode, so good for you Onizuka.

Not to much say here, outside of the duel, not much happened in this episode. Still surprising good showing for Go Onizuka.
I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not at this point. I was also expecting Onizuka to lose right away, but this feels more like delaying the inevitable than anything else. We know that Onizuka is not going to defeat Revolver, so making it a two part match just feels like they're padding things out, which isn't a new development for the series. If the series had stronger characterization, then they could use the time effectively to make the audience care more about Onizuka, but I don't think that's going to happen. Onizuka does have more personality compared to other characters in Vrains, but that's not saying much and rarely showing up doesn't help matters either. He's just one of the few, if only, characters in this cast that I could describe as fun.

zoombie said:
This arc is going to have two enemies, both of beat the supporting characters and defeated by Yusaku, so irritating.
That is annoying and even calling Onizuka and Aoi supporting characters is pretty sad. A lot of people consider them the Vrains trio, but Aoi and Onizuka are thrown under a bus so that Yusaku can save the day. I honestly wonder why Yusaku should bother teaming up with anyone at this point. He's going to save the world and be praised even more, so why set up a trio at all? Maybe this wouldn't be as bad if there was at least an emotional connection between the group, but there isn't. They're still just a group of people who fight the same enemy primarily alone. There is no sense of team work or friendship, which is really bad for a franchise like Yu-Gi-Oh! where friendship is a major theme. I'm still waiting for the magic of friendship to heal Yusaku so that he can move towards a better future in a healthier way, but I don't think that's going to happen at this rate.

Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. Yusaku being saved by the Data Storm still makes me think he's either a human form of a program or he developed a link with the network after the experiment. Onizuka promising to come back to his manager only made it more apparent that he'll lose. Even the kids cheering for him made me think of how sad they'll be when they see him lose. While I still don't think that there's a strong connection between the main trio, Onizuka did have more of a reaction to Aoi being absorbed than I expected. He was more shocked that she could lose rather than emotional over losing a friend, which is a pretty huge difference. I'll admit that Yusaku completely ignoring the comedy relief reporters speech about how they want to stay in Link Vrains was funny. It doesn't make them more tolerable, but at least the joke made me laugh.

The duel was okay. It was mainly Onizuka spamming out his Goki monsters. He did have better combinations than I expected like how he protected himself from Bomber Dragon's effect damage. I was also surprised that Yusaku actually showed up to watch the duel. I thought that they were going to stretch that search for another episode or that he didn't get there until after Onizuka lost.

Revolver was pretty smart with how he played with Onizuka emotionally. He prevented Onizuka from attacking until he had four Link monsters, which led to Onizuka spamming out a ton of monsters in order to get four of them and then Revolver was able to destroy them with his Trap. It was impressive that Onizuka's combos allowed him to get that many monsters in one turn, but he was still playing right into Revolver's hand. Although, I laughed so hard when the Trap card turned out to be Mirror Force. They made such a big deal about this mysterious Trap card only for it to turn out to be Mirror Force. It wasn't a bad card to use, especially when Onizuka used up his hand to get all of those monsters out on the field and he was put in a major disadvantage as a result, but making a mystery out such an old card just seemed funny to me. It is quite possible that this isn't the Trap card that Yusaku heard about from Ema. It is kind of weird to make a big deal about such an old card, even if it hasn't been shown in an anime series for a long time, so it could be a red herring, but I wouldn't be shocked if that was the big twist they went for either.
 

zoombie

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Episode 40

So long Go Onizuka you lasted much longer than I thought. I thought this duel would last half the episode, went the full, good for you Onizuka.

And he is lucky the feed went dead, so the kids didn't have to see him lose.

So now it iYuzaku and Revolver, the duel of all duels, I wonder how many episodes this will go. I am hoping after this is over, Revolver will be un masked.
 

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And he is lucky the feed went dead, so the kids didn't have to see him lose.
I was just glad that they didn't use that as a way to make his "death" more emotional than it warranted.

zoombie said:
So now it iYuzaku and Revolver, the duel of all duels, I wonder how many episodes this will go. I am hoping after this is over, Revolver will be un masked.
I'm sure that they're going to do that. Since Revolver already knows that Yusaku is Playmaker, they might as well have him find out who Revolver is, especially when there shouldn't be live feed of the duel and they've been avoiding showing Revolver's true face for quite some time.

Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. Admittedly, I didn't come into this episode with the best mindset, mainly because I was already expecting the obvious outcome and was already frustrated by it for multiple reasons, but the duel was decent. It still had the usual boring calling out a bunch of different monsters all at once, but there were still good strategies for both Onizuka and Revolver. Even after being crushed by Mirror Force, Onizuka was still willing to fight back and was able to hold off against Revolver's attacks pretty well.

Even Yusaku showed some moments of respect and almost being happy that Onizuka was doing so well. I really wish that they would focus more on that instead of having Yusaku fight alone. This is the closest to friendship Yusaku has really gotten with any of the main characters and he has admired/respected Onizuka from the start, so developing that more so that they could actually be considered friends would be nice, but apparently they prefer for Yusaku to still just be on the sidelines and not react more than a small smile.

While Onizuka's speech about how he decided to fight for himself was trying to be empowering, it came off as the opposite message they should go for. Fighting for yourself isn't really what Yu-Gi-Oh! generally emphasizes. Fighting to protect your friends and other people is much more common, which makes sense when friendship is the major theme of the franchise. I understand the notion that you're alone when you're dueling and maybe I misread the statement, but it just came off as a lot more self-centered than possibly intended. It isn't as shallow as other characters' motivation like Aoi's or Ema's, especially when we do know that Onizuka is fighting for the children too, but it still rubbed me the wrong way. It still came off as the opposite message that they should have gone with for this duel. If this was a good series, I could see the more selfish/self-centered motivations for characters being questioned and dealt with later, but I doubt that they're going in that direction at all here.

While I don't think that Onizuka lasting longer than expected is necessarily a good thing, the fact that he did force Revolver to use a new strong monster on the other hand does say something good about his skills. Plus, it did come down to the wire more than I expected, which was neat and helped to make the duel more engaging. I was glad that they didn't show the end of the duel on the live feed. They were already using Onizuka's connection to the kids to make his defeat more obvious, but seeing them cry would just make the emotional manipulation more apparent and annoying for me. A part of me was kind of hoping for Yusaku to have a more emotional reaction to Onizuka's defeat though. There were moments of respect/admiration from Yusaku throughout the duel, so you'd think that he'd be more upset over Onizuka losing right in front of him.

While the outcome was obvious, it still frustrates me for so many reasons. It makes it extremely obvious that no one in this series matters more than Yusaku. The notion of a Vrains trio is a complete joke considering what happened with two of the characters here. Both Aoi and Onizuka were thrown under a bus just to hype up Yusaku's next opponents. At least they didn't proceed to insult and belittle Onizuka throughout his duel like what happened with Aoi. Because Onizuka is a male character, Revolver was able to pay him some compliments regarding his fighting spirit. Because Aoi is the female lead and the head writer is clearly sexist, she was insulted during and after the duel. Wonderful. On one hand, Onizuka's duel did at leas give Yusaku some insight into Revolver's strategy, but on the other hand, they didn't need to sacrifice one of their lead characters in order to do that, especially when Yusaku is guaranteed to defeat Revolver. If he doesn't, the world is effectively doomed, Revolver would get Ignis and the show would be over. It might provide a better in-universe reason for why Yusaku could win if he didn't know anything about Revolver's strategies, but I doubt that considering he'll just rely on Storm Access like always. Even if that wasn't the case, it isn't a good thing that two of the supposed main trio of the series were tossed aside in favor of the lead character in the first major conflict of the series.

Besides all that, Onizuka's defeat allowing Yusaku to learn some of Revolver's strategies is the biggest accomplishment any of the other characters have done during this arc. That is absolutely lame and horrible. It did make me realize something that might have been obvious: the series could function pretty much the same if it was just Yusaku, Ignis and Shoichi. The other characters aren't completely pointless or could be easily written out of the series necessarily, but they are completely useless, which could be worse in a way. This is the first really huge conflict of the series, even though I still dislike how they already put an end of the world plot so early into the series' run, and Yusaku is the only main character who will have any victories or any significant impact on the storyline. Everyone else has been "killed" off in order to hype up Yusaku's next opponent and/or to increase the angst factor. This is why I say that none of the other characters matter. They could have given at least one of the other characters a victory, but Yusaku took all priority.

The series could function virtually the same if they just introduced more villains and one-shot characters to promote certain archetypes. They obviously won't, but the fact that I could see the series working pretty much the same if they wrote off most of the main/supporting cast really isn't good. It also indirectly supports Yusaku's belief that he should fight alone, which is still the opposite message that they should be going for. Since Yusaku is going to defeat Revolver by himself, why should he team up with other characters? Why should I even worry about him when his victories are all guaranteed in the first place and he's already defeated every established character at this point of the series? He's already going to save the world primarily on his own, so what advantage would he have in working with other characters? He's clearly strong enough to defeat anyone at this point.

This is why I think Vrains is my new least favorite series in the franchise. I think I hated Zexal more by this point in its run, but I'm more annoyed/frustrated with Vrains by comparison. As annoying and unlikable as Yuma could be, I didn't think that nearly the entire cast could be written out without changing much of anything. He still needed characters like Shark and Kaito for the major battles. Yusaku doesn't really need Aoi or Onizuka to help him and learning more about Revolver's deck through Onizuka doesn't really count for much. I don't know why I should bother being invested in any of the other characters when they're virtually useless compared to the high and mighty Yusaku. There are many reasons why I dislike Vrains, but coming to that realization made me dislike it more than Zexal. Even if it improves at some point like what Zexal did during its second half, I don't think that would be enough to drastically improve my feelings towards the series. It will be a miracle if I like it more than Zexal at this point. The main reasons I'm even still watching Vrains are due to wanting to support the simulcast release and the fact that it's a Yu-Gi-Oh! series, despite how it feels way too non-Yu-Gi-Oh! with its messages and characters. I do want to like Vrains and that's one reason why it does frustrate me more than Zexal in a way, but it just doesn't look like that's going to happen at this rate.
 

zoombie

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Episode 41

We made it clear what Yusaku's relationship to Ai is, he has no emotional connection, so he won't allow himself to be betrayed.

So the ending of the episode, wants us to believe Revolver unleash the final blow, but of course the duel won't end here. The previews shows us that.

Speaking of the previews, we might see Revolver unmasked next episode, the preview already shows what he looks like a kid, so probably?
 

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In a Dream World
We made it clear what Yusaku's relationship to Ai is, he has no emotional connection, so he won't allow himself to be betrayed.
I really hope that he genuinely feels nothing towards Ignis and he wasn't just covering it up in front of Revolver. It would honestly be a lot more believable to me that Yusaku has no emotional connection to Ignis and just sees him as a means to an end.

zoombie said:
So the ending of the episode, wants us to believe Revolver unleash the final blow, but of course the duel won't end here. The previews shows us that.
It's not the first time they've done something like this with ending the episode on a cliffhanger only to reveal that the duel continues in the preview. They definitely had to pad out the episode to get to that point in this case though.

zoombie said:
Speaking of the previews, we might see Revolver unmasked next episode, the preview already shows what he looks like a kid, so probably?
I have no idea why they revealed what Revolver looked like as a kid during the preview. We don't know his real name or what he looks like now, but considering how they've made a big deal about hiding his face and identity, it seemed pretty stupid to just reveal what he looked like as a kid during the preview.

Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. They were seriously padding for time with the previous on segment. They covered all of the duels during this mini arc, which seemed pretty unnecessary. It did further emphasize how Aoi and Onizuka's losses were handled differently. Aoi was insulted and belittled during and after the duel, had her wings ripped off again and was tossed around like a rag doll until she landed face first on the ground. Onizuka got to push Revolver into using more of his strength than he thought possible, go down fighting and was able to give a farewell message to Yusaku before he was absorbed. Their losses ultimately didn't contribute anything noteworthy, but Onizuka came off way better than Aoi, which is just sad. Combined with the previous on segment and the opening theme, we didn't get new footage until five minutes into the episode. It's not only the clip shows that show how bad the budget for this series is.

They're also trying really hard to make this duel more dangerous. It's not enough that the fate of the world is basically on the line, but all of the debris flying around can hurt and potentially kill people if it hits in the wrong spot. Considering that people in Link Vrains can survive being tossed through a building from just effect damage and jump back out like it's no problem, I have a hard time really believing that rocks cutting through their virtual bodies can kill them. Besides that, it's just drama for the shake of drama. There's no chance that either Yusaku or Revolver are going to die due to the debris crashing through them. We know that Yusaku is going to win, so they had to create some other way to add more tension to the duel. It's one of my many issues with Vrains. There's surprisingly little tension involved due to Yusaku's giant plot armor, but the show is constantly trying to create more tension and drama in spite of that.

At least we did learn more about the Lost Incident and Ignis, even if it was put in right in the middle of the episode in order to pad out the running time. There were six children involved with the project to create Ignis and we've already met two of them with Yusaku and Spectre. I wonder if we'll meet the other four children from that project. The fact that there were six children and six Ignis does seem like a cute nod to the fact that this is the sixth Yu-Gi-Oh! series. The fact that Ignis was molded after Yusaku was an interesting connection given that they're polar opposites, but that might have been the point. I was surprised that Ignis was faking about having lost his memories before. I thought that they were going somewhere different with Ignis being evil. That could still happen, but it seemed like he was just trying to prevent Yusaku from learning about his lies more than anything else before. The whole notion that an AI learning to lie is a huge threat to humanity still comes off as a bit pretentious to me, mainly due to how Revolver has talked about AI developing free will before.

I liked that Yusaku didn't start getting upset over Ignis lying and flat out said that he never felt friendship with him. As much as I hate how Vrains doesn't really have a strong sense of friendship between any of the characters, it makes a lot more sense that Yusaku doesn't care about Ignis than suddenly saying that he believes in Ignis or that he refuses to acknowledge what Revolver claims due to his connection with Ignis. Ignis has been talking about their friendship and I thought that they were going in that direction during Yusaku's first duel with Revolver after Ignis disappeared, but he really hasn't shown any emotional attachment towards Ignis. Ignis just feels more comfortable with Yusaku rather suddenly, thinks that their friends and Yusaku says that they aren't. I wouldn't be surprised if the show tries to say that Yusaku was lying during that scene later, but I really hope that he just doesn't see Ignis as anything more than a hostage or a tool for his own goal.

The duel itself was okay. While Yusaku knew ahead of time about Revolver's Mirror Force Trap card, they really didn't have to throw Ema and Onizuka under a bus just to do that. The reveal of Mirror Force was hilariously stupid, but now it just feels stupid. It is an effective strategy, especially when I forgot that Link Monsters can't be put in defense mode, but seeing that the mysterious dangerous Trap card was in fact Mirror Force was just stupid. Yusaku really didn't need to know about what Trap card it was ahead of time. Revolver put out a much weaker monster in attack mode with one card face down. Even without knowing what it was exactly, Yusaku could have figured it could have destroyed his monsters or done something bad. Yusaku even had a brand new monster that protected his monsters in attack mode from being destroyed. It might have been more situational without knowing about Mirror Force, but he didn't need to know about it. Even with knowing about Revolver's Trap card, he was still able to use it and destroy Yusaku's monsters. There was little, if any, point to having Yusaku learn about Mirror Force ahead of time.

They were really trying to make the duel more intense with Yusaku being injured by the debris and being at the end of his rope with all of those attacks. It obviously wasn't going to end there, but they had to find some way to end the episode on a cliffhanger. Revealing what Revolver looked like as a kid during the previews still seems so incredibly stupid to me after all of the hype surrounding his actual face.
 

zoombie

Well-Known Member
Jan 23, 2007
29,806
Ratings
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83
New York
Episode 42

So that is it, a draw. Well I guess they wanted to surprise us, and this is the closest we get to Yusaku losing.

So the Ignis redemption begins, I don't know it is going to take a lot for me to warm up to him.

What is all this nonsense but saving the world, I thought the Knights were trying to destroy it. Either they are really delusional or there is more to this story than meets the eye.

Anyway I am wondering if everyone comes back, or are they still kind of "dead" for a little while longer?

Next episode, Yusaku face to face with a mask less Revolver.