• Another exciting episode of Bulbacast has been uploaded to YouTube. Watch it here.
  • Grookey, Scorbunny or Sobble, which one do you love most? Want to show your support with a cool banner, check out the info here!

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V

Hidden Mew

Administrator
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
9,863
Reaction score
6,847
I thought that Reiji vs. Zarc was really good. I liked how even though Leo was certain that their only hope of defeating Zarc was gone, Reiji was still confident that Yuya's soul was inside of Zarc. Seeing Zarc Pendulum summon just gave him more hope. All of their friends and allies felt the same way and that's why they all dueled so hard to save him. Even Sawatari wanted Reiji to get Yuya out from that monster and gave him Yuya's pendulum necklace. I liked how Reiji mentioned that Yuya discovering Pendulum summoning affected him. He was quite focused on studying Yuya and creating his own Pendulum cards at the beginning of the series. It has been quite awhile since they focused on that, so I don't think it was quite emotionally effective as it could be, but it still worked as a focus point for how Yuya affected Reiji. I liked that Reiji pointed out that Yuya has moved the hearts of many people, so he should be able to move Zarc's heart. Jack also pointed out that Yuya helped to move the hearts of all the people in the City, which I thought was really sweet. It's true that a lot of people have been affected by Yuya. Everyone who has dueled Zarc has had some connection to Yuya. Some have stronger connections to Yuya than others, as I'd say that Sawatari, Shun and Kaito probably have the weakest connections to Yuya out of all of the characters present here, but they all care about Yuya and wanted to help save him.

It was pretty neat to see Reiji use Pendulum summoning to go into Fusion, Xyz and Synchro again. It was nice that Reiji was trying to reach out to Yuya through his dueling. He had a really good combination too. He was able to negate the Pendulum effects of Zarc's monsters, used Executive Caesar's effect to prevent Odd Eyes from special summoning other monsters and used their attack points to power up his own monsters. Even though Zarc couldn't be destroyed in battle, Reiji was still able to do a lot of damage to his life points in his attempt to reach out to Yuya. Everyone was cheering Reiji on and hoping that they'd take their feelings to Yuya.

Zarc claiming that he created Pendulum summoning was a surprising development. I never thought that Yuya himself created Pendulum summoning. I always thought that he just discovered it and that is still kind of true, even though it was more like that Zarc discovered it. It does put the duel against Strong in a much different light. When I rewatched the first couple of episodes, there was a distinct difference in Yuya's voice when he Pendulum summoned for the first time, which must have been an early Zarc voice. That would explain why the Japanese version refers to Yuya's Berserk mode as Awakened Yuya. It also explained why Yuya sounded more aggressive and referred to his monsters as his servants during that scene, which might also tie in with how all of the dimensional dragons are Supreme King Servants here. It's also interesting to think that Zarc's soul was finally woken up after fourteen years. During that part of the duel against Strong, Yuya was determined to win in order to prove the strength of his father's dueling, so that determination to win must have stirred up Zarc's soul. That would also further explain why Zarc was able to take over Yuya's body completely when he did. He was focused on winning, on top of being emotionally and mentally exhausted from what he had gone through up to that point. The foreshadowing in this series just continues to amaze me. They had stuff like Zarc planned out by the first and second episode. That is amazing.

Zarc wanting to use Pendulum summoning when he fought against Ray again was interesting. He was planning his revival since he first woke up, but I still say that it wouldn't have been possible if Leo didn't start the dimensional war. Even with Zarc planning for his revival this whole time, there wouldn't have been any way for that to happen if Leo didn't mess up Ray's sacrifice by kidnapping the girls and providing means to travel between dimensions for at least Academia, as that helped both Yuto and Yuri at least to go through different dimensions. Still, it showed that Zarc really didn't want to lose to Ray again and further ties into how he he's really afraid of losing. It was interesting that those four cards splitting Zarc apart allowed for him to discover Pendulum summoning. Despite his plan and his desire to use Pendulum summoning against Ray, Pendulum cards are widely available in Standard, Academia was able to gain Pendulum cards and two of the Yuzu counterparts have used Pendulum summoning too. It was nice to see that Tsukikage had been revived and was helping to get Reira to the battle though.

Of course Zarc had an overpowered Trap card that allowed him to gain all of his dragons on the field after taking that much damage. Reiji was able to hold out against those attacks better than I thought he would. All of his monsters' Pendulum effects really helped to keep him safe from Clear Wing and Dark Rebellion's broken effects. But then there was Starve Venom's effects. I was actually expecting Starve Venom to eat Executive Alexander, but it still gained its abilities and became significantly more powerful. It almost seemed like Reiji was going to survive the turn before Starve Venom's effect gave all of Zarc's other monsters piercing damage and the damage was already going to be double due to Odd Eyes' effect. It did look pretty grim with the characters thinking that the world was going to be destroyed and even the little kids were crying that this monster wasn't Yuya. They were all so lucky that Reira jumped into the battle when he did. Tsukikage was able to save Reiji and Leo, even though Reiji looked so weird without his ridiculously long scarf.

Reira becoming Ray's vessel was a cool twist and made sense. It would have been nice if one of the Yuzu counterparts chose to be Ray's vessel, especially as a way to mirror how Zarc forced his will onto the Yuya counterparts through the Berserk Mode, but that might have been kind of tricky. Ray's spirit didn't start appearing until after the girls were starting to merge together in Arc V and they were unconscious by that point too. Still, it made sense with all of the buildup about Reira's connection to Ray, so I was fine with that. Plus, that dramatic reveal with his long hair was pretty awesome. I liked how Ray was speaking through Reira and was so determined to stop Zarc. If he'd revive, then she'd revive as well. If he tried to destroy the world, she'd save it. It has been a pretty common theory among fans that Zarc and Ray were really gods of destruction and creation and while that didn't happen here, I think it worked out for the best. Zarc being the result of society's growing desire for entertainment and developing an intense fear of losing to the point where he'd create broken cards to keep on winning made him much more interesting than simply being a god of destruction. Ray being a normal teenage girl who was willing to fight against who many considered a demon by that point is pretty awesome in itself. If anything, making them both human makes them both more interesting and their actions stand out more as a result, especially with Ray.

I was really happy with the En Flowers, En Birds, En Moon and En Wind cards. It made it even clearer that the duels against Zarc haven't been for nothing. It wasn't just about promoting Zarc's overpowered cards. All of the duels against Zarc allowed for Reira and Ray to use those cards. Even the extremely brief duel Leo had against Zarc allowed for him to help out by putting in a third Fusion monster in the Graveyard. All of Yuya's friends' efforts to save him weren't in vain and I liked how the cards' activation requirements emphasized that. Granted, even if that wasn't the case, you could see how these duels were having a gradual affect on Zarc. He was becoming more emotional with each duel, Gongenzaka's speech about Entertainment and Steadfast dueling triggered something inside of Zarc, he responded to the notion that he was afraid of losing and Pendulum summoning showed that Yuya's soul was indeed still inside of Zarc. There was more going on in those duels than just promoting new cards, but I like that the four cards made it even clearer that their efforts to save Yuya weren't in vain. In the end, they all still helped to save Yuya even after losing to Zarc, which I thought was a really nice touch. I actually didn't think that it would come down to Zarc vs. Ray, but Reira being her vessel was a different kind of twist to the mix. It was really beautiful to see all of those flowers blooming while damaging Zarc's life points. Turning all of Zarc's monsters into Normal monsters with their effects negated was an interesting way to get around Zarc's defenses.

I liked that even though Zarc was so sure about how he was, Reiji was certain that he was also Yuya and that his heart was swinging back and forth like a Pendulum. While it still seemed weird for the cards to be the embodiment of nature's powers, I think that the purification aspect helped to make it a bit more sense, especially when Zarc was so far gone by the time he became a demon, and it was a fitting mean to defeat Zarc in that regard. Yuya being Zarc's embodiment of his pure desire to pursue smiles was sweet and sounded fitting given his idealistic nature. He isn't perfect obviously, but his desire to make people smile is so genuinely sweet and sincere. It's honestly one of the reasons why I love Yuya so much.

I really liked how Yuzu was able to reach out to Yuya. Even though they had both merged with their counterparts to form Zarc and Ray, their feelings for each other were so strong that they were able to reach out to each other. I was hoping something like that would be able to happen since I love their relationship so much. Being able to shine through Ray and her other counterparts showed how strong both Yuzu and her feelings were. She knows Yuya and has seen his determination to find her regardless of how far away they were from each other. While this probably would have been effective even if the others hadn't dueled Zarc before, I think that the others' attempts to reach out to Yuya made it easier for Yuzu to do so herself. After all, we saw Yuya within Zarc's soul well before Yuzu talked to him. I was really surprised by Zarc's attempts to refute Yuzu's claims. I always thought that Yuri was the opposite of Yuya and that may still be true, but Zarc might be another opposite extreme of Yuya's personality. Instead of wanting to make people smile, Zarc wanted to bring fear. He also claimed that his true wish was to let people who forced him to fight and treated him like a toy to have a taste of what true fear is. That said a lot about Zarc's character. It gave me the impression that Zarc only went that far because of how people reacted to the violent duels. Instead of being able to duel the way he wanted to, he felt like a puppet who was dueling only for the crowd's satisfaction. Granted, Zarc isn't entirely blameless here since he didn't have to go as far as to become a giant dragon determined to destroy the world, but it does give the impression that Zarc might have been a lot like Yuya in the original world. He probably didn't have the kind of friendship and support that Yuya does. There was seemingly no one trying to get Zarc to go back to normal in the original world. They only wanted to defeat and seal him away.

It was so sweet that Yuzu wanted Yuya to respond to their feelings so that they could go home together. Reiji giving Yuya his pendulum necklace back was so nice and pretty fitting given that it went around different characters these past few episodes. Yuya hearing and seeing Yusho right as he was able to gain control back was really sweet and fitting too. Yuya thinking that his father abandoned him crushed before, but the feelings from his friends and the words from his father brought him back. Seeing all of the Yuya counterparts draw that last card was pretty neat. Smile Universe was such a cute card, even though it made the others wonder if it really was Yuya or not. Zarc's comment about how Pendulum monsters are indestructible was interesting since it added more reason as to why he wanted to use it in his rematch against Ray. These are monsters that can return from the Extra Deck easily. No matter how many times they are destroyed, they come back and that would appeal to Zarc. He was afraid of losing again, so he created a summoning method that gave the illusion of being indestructible. It gave Zarc the reassurance that he could always come back from any attack or defeat.

I liked how Yuya was determined to not be a demon, but you could also see that he was just barely holding off Zarc long enough for Reira to finish him off. Zarc and especially this last turn reminded me a lot of Marik from the Battle City finals. Like Marik, Zarc merged with his dragon, the way he was defeated involved using a Spell card that relied on monsters from the Graveyard and his defeat relied on Yuya holding him back long enough for Reira to land the finishing blow. They even had Zarc control one eye while Yuya's regular red eye was in the other one. It was a pretty awesome reference to DM. I liked that even though Yuya had control, he still needed help from his friends to defeat Zarc. It made it feel like it was still a group victory at the end, which was nice. I was worried if the dimensions splitting up again would allow for Zarc and Ray to be reborn. Not only could that potentially allow for this conflict to happen again, but I was also worried if that meant all of the counterparts would be reborn as infants again, which would be depressing. Reira sealing Zarc away himself was quite a surprise. He was already impressive with helping Ray duel Zarc, but Reira saving the day like that was such a huge twist, even though it was sad that Yuya was worried about what happened to him once he gained control back.

The preview looked pretty good. As wonderful as it is to see Yuya being happy again, it is clear that reality has been rewritten again. They couldn't jump from that duel and the dimensions merging together and go back to Standard so easily. Plus, there's no sign of Yuzu, which they would focus on if she was still there even in the preview.
 

Hidden Mew

Administrator
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
9,863
Reaction score
6,847
I thought that the first episode of the Miami Championship Battle Royale was pretty good. There was a lot of callbacks to the first episode. Everything from the opening narration, the billboard signs in the background as Yuya was heading to You Show, Yuya using the same Pendulum cards he used back in his duel against Strong and even some of the background music made me feel quite nostalgic for the beginning of the series. It felt strange to be nostalgic for the first episode when that was only three years ago, but it was still nice to see all of those callbacks. It seemed pretty clear that reality was just rewritten here. Yuya still had his fancy boots and Shuzo still had Yuzu's fan, even though none of them had any memories of how they got those items.

It was nice to see Yuya just having a duel with his friends. After seeing him be in pain for so many episodes, it was nice to see him being happy again. Seeing a bit of Tatsuya's deck was pretty neat too. It was really great to hear the Action Duel chant and see an Action Field Spell again, especially when the field they used was the same one Yuya and Yuzu had their duel in the second episode. It felt like forever since they had that chant. As much as I liked so many of the duels throughout the series, I have missed the different settings that Action Field Spells could provide. That was one of the cool visual aspects that stood out when the series was starting, so I have missed it. It made sense that they couldn't incorporate a ton of different Action Field Spells for the Lancers. Their priority was stopping Academia and getting only a couple of Action Field Spells with Crossover and Crossover Excel made sense, but it was an aspect of the dueling that I missed a bit.

It also seemed like Yusho didn't disappear for years in this reality. Shuzo said that Yusho was spreading Entertainment Dueling around the world. Without Academia starting the war, Yusho wouldn't have any reason to leave this dimension. That would have given Yuya a happier childhood. He didn't lose his father, have to deal with bullies, receive emotional damage and develop emotional problems as a result of those experiences, so that is nice.

I was surprised that Standard had been reborn as the Pendulum Dimension. For a moment, I thought that Pendulum cards no longer existed because of how Zarc discovered that when he was first defeated, but that might have been tricky to work with given that they still need to promote Pendulum cards. Although, it does make me wonder how different the history of this reality really is. We already know that Yusho didn't disappear, Yuya didn't face against Strong and then gain Pendulum cards from Zarc's soul starting to awaken, so I wonder how Pendulum cards were discovered for this reality. It could be that they were always around and people never questioned their presence as a result.

Hearing Yuya say Ladies and Gentleman again was such a nice treat, even though he fell off his monster much like what happened in the first episode. It was nice to see Yuya and Gongenzaka were still friends even in this reality. Sawatari's entrance was pretty typical, although they actually made his gag funny by having Reiji show up right before he finished it. I wonder how Yuya and Sawatari met in this reality though. His history with Gongenzaka would have been at least somewhat similar, but he met Sawatari before because he had rare one of a kind cards with his Pendulum cards. It's not a huge important detail, but it's something that came to mind when I was watching that scene. It was nice to see some of the Standard supporting characters again. The LDS trio were back together. Hokuto, Michio, Teppei and Masumi's teacher could have been restored during the battle against Zarc after Standard had merged with the other dimensions. Both Crow and Tsukikage were revived despite being carded before. I still wish that they would have handled that subplot better. It felt like they tossed supporting characters aside just for Shun's introduction and to further show Reiji's morally gray mentality. Granted, I don't think I could have seen Masumi being with the main cast, even though she is still a pretty big fan favorite. I don't know if she would have clicked with the other Lancers and there were a ton of Fusion users as it was, but if they wanted to just figure out how to get rid of the LDS trio, there must have been a better way than Reiji altering their memories and putting them on the sideline, especially when he never uses that kind of technology again. Even having them all be carded during the Battle Royale might have been better, if only so it wouldn't feel like they left that plot thread dangling. Either that or getting the Lancer program that LDS was setting up right before they left Standard involved somehow would have been nice. I'm probably not as bothered by that as other fans are, but it's still an issue and something I would have preferred that they had handled differently.

I liked all of the signs the characters were given for the tournament. Even Sawatari's name gag managed to be funny again because Reiji was somehow okay with using that fancy title for his introduction for the Junior Youth Championship. It was interesting how Yuya already felt like there was something familiar about the field before Tsukikage showed up, especially when there was a swinging pendulum to represent his returning memories. Seeing Yuya and Gongenzaka determined to do their best against each other was a nice moment. It was so nice to see Yuya use Discover Hippo again. It felt like ages since he and he even used the same strategy as he did during his duel against Strong when he was battling Sawatari. It was nice that Gongenzaka and Sawatari are getting another duel. I assumed that their attempts to take down Zarc would be their last duels, but it's nice that they're getting a bit more time to shine. Granted, I'm mainly happy for Gongezaka since I actually like him and his connection to Yuya is way more genuine than what Sawatari has, but they both have some pretty nice decks and it's nice that they're getting a bit more time to shine. Seeing Hippo Carnival again was such a nice treat. I love Yuya's Dragons, but his Performapals really match his personality much more by comparison.

I really liked how they showed that Shuzo was feeling that something was missing throughout the whole episode. I love Yuya and Yuzu's friendship a lot, but I like that they aren't forgetting that Yuzu has other connections at this point too. They didn't downplay how much Shuzo loves Yuzu, how much he was broken up losing her in the first place and how he was worried about her even when the dimensions were merging together. His love for his daughter transcends dimensions and that is genuinely touching. It's also nice to see one of the few good father figures in this franchise getting some attention. I want Yuya and Yuzu to have a sweet reunion, but I'd love to see a sweet reunion between Shuzo, Sora and hopefully Yugo as well.

I was actually happy that everyone was slowly regaining their memories. As much as I loved seeing Yuya being happy again, it also felt less satisfying than I thought it would be. The lack of Yuzu in this reality was certainly a factor, but not the only reason. The happiness was nice, but it felt so artificial because we, as the audience, know that this reality wasn't what really happened. We know that their memories and reality itself have been rewritten. Seeing the characters being happier and possibly having a better past like with Yuya not losing his father didn't feel as satisfying as it could have been because we know this was something created through reality altering powers. Plus, losing all of their memories means that they lose all of their experiences and bonds that they've formed throughout the series. As rough as things have been for Yuya, those experiences helped to make him a stronger person than he was at the beginning of the series. The same can be said for other characters like Sora and Shun. Not to mention not remembering any of the friends they've made from the other dimensions was kind of sad. One of the reasons I'm kind of glad for this memory erasing twist is that they made it clear that they weren't going to end the series that way. That would have felt way too unsatisfying and bittersweet to me, so I was grateful that they were going to regain their memories.

I also thought it was interesting how this was different from the last time the universe was altered. When the dimensions were split apart for the first time, seemingly only Leo was able to regain his memories and I believe that was because he was so close to Zarc and Ray when everything was split apart. With this situation, Zarc was sealed before he could be reincarnated again as the dimensions were starting to separate again. Because the dimensions were put back together as opposed to being created from scratch, I assume that this means that reality was rewritten rather than being a brand new one like how it was when the dimensions were split apart the first time. That could have made it easier for people to slowly regain their memories. Both Reiji and Tsukikage were close by when Zarc was sealed away, so much like Leo, they most likely retained their memories, or were even easier to regain them at the very least. They both were aware of the situation. I understand that they wanted to give the characters their own memories to make them slowly remember the Miami Championship, but I don't know why they had to bring up Yoko's gag about Michio. That was gag was never funny in my opinion and it was so creepy. At least the other memories of the Miami Championship made sense and were fitting with what the characters had gone through like with Yuya vs. Sawatari and the Battle Royale.

It was nice to see Tsukikage duel again. I forgot about his combination, although it does work much better for Action Duels. He was still able to do quite a bit of damage to Yuya's life points. Himika's concern over Reira was kind of weird though. She had treated him as a weapon before, so her concern over making him smile again felt pretty jarring. She even gasped when Reiji told her that she'd have to give up on making Reira smile if Yuya loses the duel. It was pretty nice to see Yusho again, even though he was a bit harsh about the idea of Yuya losing the duel. Yuya was put into a pretty tight spot right before they ended the episode though.

The preview looked pretty good. Yuya starting to remember events from the other dimensions sounds nice. Shuzo walking into Yuzu's empty room was way more depressing and heartbreaking than I thought it would be.
 

Hidden Mew

Administrator
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
9,863
Reaction score
6,847
I thought that the second part to the Battle Royale was pretty good. I kind of liked that Himika felt guilt and regret for her actions. She did treat Reira like a weapon for her revenge and because of that, it led to Reira being reborn as a baby with an evil spirit within him. He did save the world from Zarc splitting apart into fourths again, but he sacrificed himself in the process. A part of me thinks that this would have been more effective if she was his birth mother in this new reality. That's what I originally thought when the previous episode aired, but I could still believe that seeing a child who she treated so poorly turn into an infant because of her actions would hit her pretty hard inside. It might have worked better if we had seen Himika's reactions upon regaining her memories and after what Reiji told her about what happened in the other dimensions, but they wanted the other characters to slowly regain their memories instead. I can understand that in terms of giving a better flow for this part of the storyline and it allowed for them to throw in some more twists with the characters and audience slowly realizing that this isn't right, but given how we have seen Himika before, it would have helped a bit more to see how she first processed this information.

I really liked how Yuya was able to distract Tsukikage by having his Hippo keep on running while he was looking for another Action Card. That was Yuya's dueling style shining though and was terrific. Sawatari joining in to help Tsukikage was a surprise and he was pushing Yuya into a corner, but it was nice that Gongenzaka joined in to help Yuya in response. Sawatari's plan to help Tsukikage backfired, but it didn't seem to bother Tsukikage. It was nice to see Gongenzaka help Yuya out since the combo fit with his dueling style. It also tied in nicely with their friendship since Gongenzaka has always been the strong supportive friend for Yuya. Gongenzaka said he wanted to defeat Yuya and I'm sure he meant it, but he wouldn't leave Yuya defenseless if he could help him out. It was a sudden change to a Tag Battle format, but I was happy with that. A Yuya and Gongenzaka tag duel sounded awesome. It would have been nice to get that earlier in the series, but it also fits better here. Since Gongenzaka's deck relies on not having any Spell or Trap cards in his Graveyard, being in a regular tag duel would put him in a serious disadvantage, which is why he kept losing in the Xyz arc, so waiting until they were in another Battle Royale situation for that tag team to happen made sense. Hearing them say Yuya's catchphrase was so wonderful and made me happy.

I liked that Yuya's memories started to flash through him and he remembered Jack. Granted, he was focused on the Riding Duel and the D-Wheel aspects, but at least he remembered Jack a bit. Sawatari did do a good job with reducing the damage from Odd Eyes' attack by using his Curtain Raiser's effect when he did. Although, it was hilarious and satisfying to see Discover Hippo charge right into Sawatari for that direct attack, especially when it was right in the middle of his ridiculous long title again. While I still don't like Sawatari or his giant ego, I liked his playful banter with Yuya about showing off the best Entertainment Duel. It actually almost made them feel like rivals, even though I don't think I'd label Sawatari as Yuya's rival per say. It's a bit too one-sided and they haven't really focused on a rivalry between them for a good chuck of the series either. Even so, the banter reminded me of how fired up they got during their second duel and wanting to show a great entertainment duel is fitting for both of their characters. Plus, it was a nice upbeat moment in the mist of everyone regaining their memories, so that was nice.

Yuya looked so happy when he shouted out Ladies and Gentleman only to be shocked over his own memories again. I liked that he remembered Ed and their duel. That was easily the best part of the Xyz arc and I really liked their friendship as well. Yuya using Entertainment Dragon's Show to equip Odd Eyes to Discover Hippo was just fantastic. I didn't know how much I wanted that until they showed Yuya combining his two most recognizable monsters. Plus, I loved how he sounded so happy and into his own performance. It's been awhile since he was able to do his usual Entertainment duel, but it was nice to see that the impact of traveling through the various dimensions was still shown through his dueling. Even with his memories being erased, he was still dueling like himself instead of just trying to be Yusho. The Sawatari's Theater Dragon Slaying Saga was a nice callback to his duel with Yugo. He did make a pretty good combination with his Funky Comedian's Pendulum effect and the Abyss Script Amanojaku to potentially do quite a bit of damage, but Yuya was able to get an Action Card that allowed him to reuse Evasion again. Hippo smelling it out was so cute and hilarious. Tsukikage was able to land another bit of effect damage with his own combo though.

I really liked how Shuzo was constantly struggling to remember Yuzu. He kept trying to, but he couldn't do so until he was about to go into what he thought was the storage room. It was sweet how he saw flashes of Yuzu, including baby and infant Yuzu, right before he went into her room. Sawatari was trying to land another attack, but fortunately Yuya's Trap card protected his monsters from being destroyed. It was pretty cool to see Gongenzaka Pendulum summon again and Yuya was having fun introducing his partner.

I liked how Shuzo just ran up to Nico and got the mike to talk to Yuya. I really love that Shuzo was the one who finally got everyone to remember Yuzu. It showed how much he loves Yuzu and it made him such a refreshing father figure for this franchise. It was still pretty depressing to see Yuzu's empty room. Everyone was shocked over Yuzu's name, but Yuya's reaction was just heartbreaking. He clearly loves Yuzu and he kept struggling to remember why he was traveling through other dimensions all this time, but he couldn't remember Yuzu until Shuzo showed up. It shocked Yuya to his core and it was a pretty sad scene.

I liked how Gongenzaka noticed how much the situation affected Yuya and decided to end tag match during that turn. Superheavy Samurai Kaku-5 had a pretty cool effect and it was able to make Sawatari's Big Star weak enough for him to defeat it. It was pretty cool to see Gongenzaka defeat both Sawatari and Tsukikage due to his monster's effect. Some fans might have wanted Sawatari to win for once since he is still a fan favorite. While I can understand that desire, I also like Gongenzaka a whole lot more than Sawatari and getting to see him shine some more is much more appealing to me. Plus, it made sense that the Battle Royale would come down to Yuya vs. Gongenzaka. Gongenzaka has a much stronger connection to Yuya than either Sawatari or Tsukikage and they both have a connection to Yuzu as well.

Because Yuya was finally able to remember his search for Yuzu, he was also able to slowly remember that he was Zarc. That was a pretty heartbreaking scene and a sad way to end the episode, but it was necessary for Yuya to remember that. Like I said before, the happiness for Yuya and the others was nice, but it also felt too fake to be really appreciated. They have to remember everything, even if those memories are quite painful. Otherwise, their happy ending wouldn't feel satisfying for the audience.

The preview looked pretty good. Getting to see Yuya and Gongenzaka duel against each other again sounds like fun. I also liked that Gongenzaka is pushing Yuya to take action by saying he'd go to save Yuzu and Reira himself. Their friendship is so great. I can see Gongenzaka saying that to Yuya in order to encourage him to save their friends.
 

Hidden Mew

Administrator
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
9,863
Reaction score
6,847
I thought that the conclusion to the Battle Royale was really good. I was surprised that everyone was remembering Zarc right after Yuya said his name. I thought that would be kept a secret among the main cast, but everyone was remembering what happened before instead. They were all slowly regaining their memories, so it made sense that they'd remember Zarc as well. That was an interesting touch instead of just sweeping what happened under the rug. I was glad that they brought everyone up to speed with what happened to Reira. It was still weird that those cards have the power to turn people into babies, but I guess it tied in with the whole turning everything back into pure beings. Reira sealing Zarc within himself saved Yuya and prevented Zarc from splitting apart again, but it still created a problem.

Zarc's evil spirit is within Reira and because of that, he can't smile. Zarc's influence could still affect Reira liked what happened with the Yuya counterparts and he could be revived again in a matter of years. I liked that Reiji was taking precautions to stop Zarc's revival now instead of assuming everything would be fine later. It was a smart way to handle the situation. I took the whole making Reira smile goal a bit too literally at first. They were talking about making Reira smile, but it's more like they are trying to eliminate any trace of Zarc in order to make sure that he couldn't be revived again. If Yuya makes Reira smile with his Entertainment Dueling, then the evil spirit within him can disappear. So it's less about just literal smiles and more like a purification process that involves making Reira smile, which does fit nicely with the tone of the series. I could see them throwing in some twist with this goal. Maybe Zarc could have a completely fresh start as a pure infant outside of Reira once they make him smile. For some reason, I'm way more interested/okay with Zarc being redeemed with a fresh start than I am with Yuri being redeemed, even though Zarc destroyed the original world and nearly destroyed the four dimensions when he was revived. His actions and lines during the last part of his duel just made him more interesting and sympathetic for me than what they've tried to do with Yuri, so I'd kind of like the idea of Zarc being able to start his life anew after all that.

Yuya's doubt and confusion were completely understandable. He just remembered he was a demon right before he learned about Reira's situation. It was a lot for him to take in. Yusho's surprised appearance might have helped him a bit, but mentioning Yuzu also made Yuya more worried and nervous about what to do. Yoko going with the tough love approach made sense with her character, but I don't think it was the best choice to go with for this particular situation. While everything she said was true, I don't think that Yuya was in the best emotional state right then to deal with that. Granted, I thought that Yuya telling his own mother to shut up was a bit harsh, but he has been through some really traumatizing events, had to relieve some painful memories and realized that his best friend was still missing in spite of his efforts to find her. That was a lot for Yuya to process and handle emotionally, so that wasn't a good time for yelling. Plus, simply yelling at Yuya isn't going to make him more proactive. That's generally not a good way to deal with someone having an emotional breakdown, at least based on my experience, especially for someone like Yuya who wears his heart on his sleeve. Yelling at Yuya only made him tense up even more and think that this was just his problem to deal with. I think that Yoko realized that since she said she went overboard and was surprised that he had become bold enough to talk back to her like that.

Gongenzaka's approach to the situation was much better. He said he would go save Yuzu and Reira if Yuya kept feeling depressed, but he was clearly trying to motivation him through his dueling. I wasn't expecting Gongenzaka to summon a monster in attack mode or to go into a Synchro summon. I wasn't sure if the other summoning methods existed in this new reality, but I guess that the characters still have access to the other summoning methods even within this new Pendulum Dimension, which made sense. Pendulum summoning is basically a way to support the Extra Deck summoning methods. Gongenzaka's new Superheavy Steam Fiend Tetsudo'o had a really cool design too. I was really shocked when Gongenzaka threw his iron sandals in order to get an Action Card. I wasn't expecting that to happen, but it was pretty cool to see how fast Gongenzaka can really move. The strategy worked nicely with his new monster's effect, especially when Gongenzaka didn't make his deck unusable in the process of using Action Cards. Even when he couldn't attack Yuya, he was able to cause some effect damage, which still put Yuya in a tight spot since his life points were already pretty low. At least Yuya was lucky enough to avoid those attacks during his turn.

I liked that Yuya told Gongenzaka that he was giving his all during this duel. Gongenzaka wanted to make sure that Yuya wasn't holding back, but Yuya was trying to duel his best and think of how he could save Yuzu and Reira after they had saved him. That was a really sweet moment and it showed how much Yuya wanted to help them. It was still clearly affecting him emotionally, but he was still trying to duel the best he could even with that weight on his mind.

Yuya's combo with Pendulum Illusion was pretty cool. He was able to deal a bit of damage to Gongenzaka. It was just two hundred points like with Tetsudo'o's effect, but I liked how that made them pretty much even. It made the tail end of the duel more intense as they were both moving across the fields in order to get Action Cards so that they could deal damage to each other. It was pretty cool to see a back and forth Action Duel between Yuya and Gongenzaka like that, especially when I never would have thought that Gongenzaka would actually use Action Cards as part of his strategy. They were able to make a duel involving both duelists just giving a bit of damage to each other exciting and engaging. The fact that they were going all out and were basically even in their strength made it more intense and action-packed than I thought it would be, so that was cool. Yuya's Pendulum allowed him to protect Odd Eyes, while Tetsudo'o's effect allowed for Gongenzaka to deal some damage and get rid of Odd Eyes with ever turn. I thought it was cute how Yusho thought that Yoko was missing out on this battle just as she showed up to cheer on Yuya some more. That was a cute way to show how much they know each other and it was nice to see Yoko still supporting her son.

I loved hearing Yuya's theme during those last few turns. It felt like forever since that was used in the show and it made the duel even more exciting for me. I loved how Yuya recognized that Gongenzaka threw away his Steadfast Dueling in order to encourage him and he wanted to respond by going all out in this duel. Gongenzaka clearly wanted to do that from the beginning of this episode and it was really touching. It showed him how much of a good and supportive friend Gongenzaka is for Yuya. He was helping Yuya through firm yet gentle encouragement. That was similar to how Shuzo reacted when Yuya first got upset over Pendulums not being unique to him anymore. Instead of simply yelling at Yuya to deal with the reality of the situation, he chose to duel Yuya. He showed him that other people can and will Pendulum summon, but that's okay. Instead of being special by default, he could work to become a great Pendulum user, much like what happened for Yusho when Entertainment Dueling started to catch on. He had a firm yet gentle means to his method and that made Yuya respond to it better than if he had just yelled at Yuya or told him about Yusho without trying to show that message through their duel. Gongenzaka was doing the same kind of method through their duel and it was fantastic. He was trying to help Yuya through his depression by making him go all out during this duel. Going as far as to throw away his Steadfast Dueling style showed how much Gongenzaka wanted to reach out to Yuya as well. This was a much better approach to helping Yuya through an emotional breakdown and it has worked in the past. I think that showing the messages through dueling helps to make them come off more clearly to Yuya without making him feel worst in the process. Plus. Gongenzaka wasn't talking down to Yuya. I don't think that Yoko intended to talk down to Yuya in her speech, but it could easily come off that way to someone being yelled at when they're already feeling depressed. With Gongenzaka, they were on equal grounds as duelist and their attacks/combos left them even, so that would make it easier for them to communicate through dueling too.

It really came down to the wire given how they were able to deal damage to each other one after the other, so it was lucky that Yuya was able to grab that last Action Card. He was able to defeat Gongenzaka after a long hard fought duel. I really liked how Gongenzaka responded to him afterwards. Yuya was focused on winning rather than putting on a good performance at the same time, so I could see why Gongenzaka thought that Yuya's Entertainment could be better. It was still sweet to see Gongenzaka brofist Yuya's Pendulum necklace to show his encouragement. Their friendship is so wonderful and Gongenzaka is seriously underrated. He is such a great character and so supportive to Yuya.

I forgot that only one duelist from the Miami Championship could advance to the Youth Class. I always thought that made the process of becoming a pro duelist way more difficult than it probably needed to be. I liked that there were wormholes connecting the other dimensions together. It showed that even though the four dimensions were split apart again, the damage from Academia's actions and the duel against Zarc wasn't completely healed. I wonder if those wormholes will be permanent means of traveling through other dimensions. It would be nice if all of the characters from the different dimensions could still see each other again in the future instead of being separated forever, especially when the Yuya counterparts won't become Zarc again. I wasn't expecting that Yuya would have to travel through different dimensions to duel the other Lancers, but that is a pretty cool concept. We can potentially get some good sendoffs for the characters and locations while Yuya duels against the Lancers. It was nice that Yuya thought of saving the other girls along with Yuzu and it was nice to see him determined to save everyone. Running into Dennis was an interesting way to end the episode.

The preview looked pretty good. Heartland was still in ruins and people were still afraid of Polymerization, so it seemed like the reality rewrite only happened for Standard, which made sense given that it was reborn as the Pendulum Dimension. Yuya vs. Dennis looks like a fun match. Dennis turned out to be one of my favorite characters of the series, so I hope that they'll give him a good sense of closure through the duel.
 

Hidden Mew

Administrator
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
9,863
Reaction score
6,847
I thought that Yuya vs. Dennis was really good. Yuya was surprised to run into Dennis when he thought he was going off to duel Shun. Shun running off to find Ruri instead of being in the Junior Championship made sense. While I don't think his main goal has been to find Ruri for a long time, or at least I don't think it has been focused enough to be really described as his main goal, he would want to find her now that the war is over instead of being in a tournament. Even so, it was strange that he just left Heartland like that. It might have been more understandable if we had more insight into Shun and Ruri's relationship besides being siblings. They care about each other, but compared to other siblings in the franchise, their relationship feels a bit too lacking for my tastes. It was also strange how Yuya was recalling when the girls were merged together in Arc V. Yuya was struggling to fight off Zarc's control during that point, so he wouldn't have seen that happening. He knows that was Leo's plan and that it did kind of work since Ray was revived, but it seemed kind of confusing. They probably wanted to focus on what happened to Ruri specifically because of Shun, but it was kind of an odd choice to make there. Showing a clip of Reira and Ray fighting Zarc would have worked a bit better since Yuya would have been aware of that. This was the first time that Yuya learned that Dennis was indeed Yusho's student, so that would surprise him a bit.

I liked that Heartland was still in ruins. It seemed like reality was rewritten only for Standard, which made sense given that it was reborn as the Pendulum Dimension after the battle against Zarc. During the Battle Royale episodes, I thought that all of the characters from the other dimensions would have their memories rewritten as well, but I'm glad that wasn't the case. It would have been easy to just fix all of the damage that the other dimensions had suffered because of the war with reality altering powers, but it would have felt cheap. Similar to how the characters were happy at first in the new Pendulum Dimension, it would have felt unearned and unsatisfying to know that their happiness was the result of the conflict being magically healed away. Heartland still being in ruins showed that the damage from th war still lingered and needed to be dealt with, which I thought was a nice approach to the issue.

I thought that the duel itself was really good and fun. Yuya started off with Pendulum summoning his Odd Eyes and Dennis' Entermage monsters were really cool too. I liked how they brought back the family Yuya met during the first episode of the Xyz arc. That would make them more willing to watch the duel after seeing how Yuya performed his match before, but they were still afraid of just watching a duel, especially the adults. That was understandable given everything they went through. Even seeing Polymerization terrified them. Dennis did have a pretty good combination with Entermage Trapeze Force Witch and the Antique Gear Mask Spell card. He was able to lower Odd Eyes' attack points while preventing Yuya from using any Spell or Trap cards at the same time. Plus, he was able to deal double damage due to the Spell card.

It was nice to see Ed again and Grace being excited to see Yuya again was kind of cute. The people of Heartland rejecting them and dueling itself made sense with what they had to deal with, but it also contradicted how the Xyz arc ended before. They all seemed generally okay with former Academia soldiers helped them out with food, shelter and medical attention after Yuya defeated Ed. They probably wanted to resolve as much as they could in the Xyz Dimensions before Yuya's group left for Academia and I can understand that, but at the same time, that was one of the main issues I had with that arc's ending. All of the conflict resolved way too easily and quickly for my tastes. That's why I kind of don't mind this change here, even with it conflicting with how they ended the arc before. It felt more fitting and believable for the people of Heartland to distrust former Academia students and reject dueling itself after the war was over. People were carded and suffered through a war, so that would give them a lot of psychological damage. While we don't really see a lot hate towards the former Academia soldiers, we did see that the adults are afraid of dueling, there were kids afraid of the Tyler sisters and children were more receptive towards dueling compared to the adults at first most likely because they would have a harder time emotionally recovering than young children at least, so it still generally worked despite the issues with the setup. Plus, Ed made some really good points. Rebuilding a city is different from healing hearts and Academia did inflict huge wounds in their hearts during the war.

I liked how Ed's comment on how they could possibly find a solution if they could communicate through dueling made Yuya look at Dennis differently. I think that made Yuya able to figure out Dennis' plan pretty quickly. Yuya had a pretty nice combo with Miracle Mirrabbit's effects. He was able to protect Odd Eyes from Trapeze Force Witch's ability and have Odd Eyes attack again, which also allowed for Yuya to get around Antique Gear Mask's effect of preventing a monster from being destroyed once per turn. The Mirror Mirage Show was a cute title and Mirrabbit playing around before using its second effect was pretty cute.

I liked how Yuya was trying to entertain the crowd and wanted to emphasize Dennis as a fellow Entertainment Duelist too. It was pretty clear that Dennis was just playing the heel villain again. Even his threat to the family watching their match felt kind of phony since he just wanted them to keep on watching the match. The wink he gave after Ed talked about finding a solution through duel might have also made it clear to Yuya that Dennis was just acting. And he was right. Dennis threw off his mask and revealed his true self. He was never convincing as Dennis the solider. He always felt more convincing and sincere as Dennis the entertainer. It was part of his act as an Academia spy, but he did genuinely enjoy dueling that way. It's why his performances felt genuine and why he never made a good fit as a soldier. Plus, I've missed his Engrish catchphrases.

It was nice to see Trapeze Magician again since that is such an important card for Dennis. Yuya was lucky to evade the first attack on Mirrabbit since it didn't have any attack points after protecting Odd Eyes before, but he was surprised when the second attack was for Odd Eyes instead. Dennis wanted to destroy Trapeze Magician in order to upgrade it through Rank Up Magic Magical Force. Trapeze High Magician had a pretty nice design and a good ability. Attacking twice before was already good, but getting three attacks for one monster would definitely put an opponent in a tight spot. Attacking both of his monsters knocked Yuya down to just one hundred life points. He was lucky that Entermate Gongcat's Pendulum effect protected him from a third attack.

It looked like Yuya was already on his way to making a comeback after Pendulum summoning his monsters and using Sword Fish's ability, but Trapeze High Magician had another effect. Being protected from being destroyed due to battle or card effects three times in one turn was a really good effect. Yuya saying his catchphrase during his performance bit was great. I really liked his combination with Challenge Stairs and Hope Stairs. It was so cool to see Yuya riding on Odd Eyes while it was running over a rainbow. It reminded me of the first opening theme of the series. Plus, both of those Spell cards had a little Yuya on them, which might have been a reference to the Zexal finale. I know that Yuma used two cards that somehow images of him on them during that duel as well. That was nice and the little Yuya looked cute too. It almost seemed like Yuya was going to use Xiangsheng Magician's effect to bring out Dark Rebellion like Reiji predicted, but then he changed his mind. I think that was for the best given how the duel turned out, but it did really shock Reiji. Although, I'm not sure how he could be watching the duel when they're still in Miami City. He could have gone through the other dimensions himself to set that up along with talking to the remaining duelists, but that still felt kind of weird.

Yuya was able to use Hope Stairs to increase Odd Eyes' attack points, but Reversal Dancer's Pendulum effect gave Trapeze High Magician the same attack boost as well. Yuya was able to make good use of Miracle Mirrabbit's effect again before using Challenge Stairs' effect too. It really came down to the wire and seeing Yuya making attacks while running across the rainbow did make the duel more exciting as well. The way Yuya used that Action Card was really clever and totally fitting with his dueling style. He has gotten Action cards while his opponents weren't aware of it before and using it in an unexpected way made the climax of the duel more entertaining as well. Plus, it was a smart move. He was able to prevent Trapeze Magician from being destroyed, which allowed him to use that combo again in order to defeat Dennis. I liked how Yuya caught Dennis from falling off the tower. They both looked so genuinely happy and it made me feel happier too. It was a great ending to a great duel and it was nice to see the people being happier from watching the match as well. That shot of Kaito watching from afar was pretty nice too. It would have been nice to hear him talk again, even though he didn't have much of a connection to Yuya, but watching the duel in silence from afar does fit with his characterization too.

Seeing all of the kids around Yuya asking him to teach them Entertainment Dueling was so adorable, but I really loved how Yuya said that Dennis would be the one to teach them. He was standing afar from the kids at first, possibly thinking that he didn't deserve praise or attention due to being from Academia. Even with my own difficulties at reading body language, the way Dennis was positioned there definitely gave off a sad/lonely/distant vibe to me. He looked and acted shocked that Yuya would even say something like that. He didn't expect that to happen, but he was absolutely happy with this outcome. All of the kids were happy to learn from him and he was happy to be their teacher. I was hoping that Dennis would get a good sense of closure through this duel, but this was honestly better than I had expected. It felt so fitting that he'd become a teacher to the Heartland kids. Like I said before, he was never convincing as a solider, but he was as an Entertainment Duelist. That's where his heart truly was. Even though he was following Academia due to his own fears and conflicting emotions, he still loved to perform and allowing him to pass on that knowledge to kids just felt perfect. I didn't expect him to be this happy by the end of the match and based on his reaction with Yuya made that suggestion, I don't think Dennis expected to be this happy either.

It also felt like a good way to give both Dennis and the Xyz Dimension a happy ending. Instead of being magically fixed, they're all just starting the healing process by moving forward by learning Entertaining Dueling. The damage was still clearly there through their destroyed city and fear of Fusion cards, but seeing the duel made them happier. It showed them that duels can be still be fun instead of a reminder of what they had been through or a danger of going through that nightmare again. It's still an idealistic solution, but it fits with the general tone/message of the series and it feels more warranted than if everything was fine after Yuya defeated Ed. At least the duel was about starting the healing process for Heartland and I liked that the kids were the most receptive to the Entertainment Dueling concept. That felt fitting, especially when they might not have the same kind of fears adults would have when it comes to dueling. It actually kind of reminded me of how they resolved the conflict in the City through Yuya and Jack's duel. It brought the City together, but I didn't see it as an instant solution to their problems either. It was more like they were finally able to start working on bringing peace to the City as a result of that duel, which is one reason why it worked for me and one reason why this duel clicked for me as well.

It would have been interesting if they did find some way to mention how Dennis carded himself before like maybe through a monologue. That was a huge deal for his character and it's one of the reasons why Dennis became even more interesting to me, but I can see why it wasn't included. I don't think that Dennis would have brought it up all of a sudden. He could have maybe thought about it, but that might have been kind of tricky to pull off given everything else they were doing through this episode. His conclusion still worked really well even without bringing up what happened to him before. I was hoping for Yuya and Ed to have a nice moment before Yuya left. I liked their friendship and Ed did work hard in reaching out to Yuya during his duel against Zarc, but it was nice that the primary focus was still on Yuya and Dennis. It still would have been nice to see them talking a bit more, but the duel being so great and Dennis having a fantastic conclusion made up for that. Seeing one of my favorite Arc V characters get such a great and fitting send off made me really happy and I hope that continues with the other characters in the series.

The preview looks pretty good. Shun's flashbacks with Yuto and Ruri looked cute and Yuya dueling against Shun sounds pretty cool.
 

Hidden Mew

Administrator
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
9,863
Reaction score
6,847
I thought that Yuya vs. Shun was pretty good. Yuya seeing the destruction with the Fusion dimension was remembering his time as Zarc was pretty sad. Even so, I still really like that the other dimensions weren't magically fixed. The more I think about it, the more unsatisfying it would have felt if defeating Zarc would have instantly solved everything. It would have felt a bit too easy and it's more unique that they're taking time to deal with the aftermath of the battle too. It could potentially make the happy ending feel more earned knowing that they're taking time to resolve the conflict and taking care of the lingering damage that the war and the battle against Zarc has had on the dimensions and characters.

It was nice to see Sora again and seeing Asuka again was a nice surprise, but I don't know why Asuka would be trying to help Leo. While they both abandoned Academia, I could see why Sora would stick around the Professor after the battle against Zarc. I could believe that he still feels some loyalty towards Leo and now that the war is over, he wouldn't have to choose between Academia and his friends. On the other hand, Asuka has been fighting against Academia for at least a year prior to the series' beginning and she'd feel more loyalty towards Yusho as her teacher than Leo at this point. They might have wanted to show that Asuka did revive like the other carded victims and maybe she felt some sympathy towards Leo once she learned about Ray, which could have awakened her loyalty towards Academia as well, but it felt like a really odd choice to me.

Shun was quite enraged right from the start. Even when Yuya tried to explain the situation to him, he was too angry to believe it at face value. To be fair, that would be an understandable reaction regardless of his emotional state. His earliest memories still had Ruri in them, so he couldn't see her as just a fragment of Ray and the idea would be unbelievable to him. Yuya was right in that their memories of Yuzu and Ruri aren't lies, but it's also true that they were Zarc and Ray before. It was pretty cute to see little Shun and Ruri. It still doesn't add much to their relationship, but they looked like cute little kids. Having some flashbacks to Yuya and Yuzu being together was really precious and sweet too.

Leo was still chasing after Ray's ghost, but at least he wasn't threatening the other dimensions again by doing so. He also pointed out that the four pieces of Zarc were ultimately revived as one person in Yuya himself. It seemed like Yuya didn't remember Yuto, Yugo or Yuri until that moment either. It made sense that Yuya was the main counterpart out of the four pieces. It seemed like Standard was the center of the four dimensions given that it could use all of the Extra Deck summoning methods and Zarc was revived by using Yuya as his host body too. Ray's host body during the battle was Reira, but he forced her out in order to seal Zarc away. That could have made it more difficult for Yuzu to revive along side Yuya, but it does make me wonder how and why that happened to her and the other Yuzu counterparts.

Shun's anger at the idea that Yuto and Ruri not longer exist was understandable and I was totally in favor of Shun punching Leo in the face, but that unfortunately didn't happen. I liked that Leo basically realized that he did mess up badly though. He was so focused on getting Ray back that he didn't see the Yuzu counterparts as real people with their own lives and their own connections to other people. I liked seeing bits of the counterparts' relationships with each other during that speech. Yuri seeing Serena from afar does make me wonder how many times they could have met in the Fusion dimension only to go on their separate ways again. It was pretty clear that he didn't see the Yuzu counterparts as real people, but it was nice that he recognized that and acknowledged that he did terrible things. If he didn't try to revive Ray, Zarc wouldn't have been revived. His actions actively ruined Ray's sacrifice. While it was a good revelation for him, it still felt like Leo got off a bit too easy. He nearly destroyed four dimensions and basically destroyed Heartland in his attempt to get his daughter back. You could argue that his motivation makes him sympathetic, but he still was willing to destroy the peace of the four dimensions for his own desires. And not only did Reiji call him out on his selfishness multiple times, but Leo also didn't really seem to regret his actions throughout the battle against Zarc. The only regret he had was for creating Real Solid Vision, which admittedly was a huge factor in creating Supreme Dragon King Zarc, but his actions upon regaining his memories are still pretty bad too. It just seems a bit much for him to finally recognize that he was in the wrong here. At least the show isn't redeeming him per say. Leo just realized that he was awful and that he deserved to be punched as much as Shun wanted to do. It doesn't come off like they forgive Leo with Shun choosing not to punch Leo. Although, I might have felt better about Leo's speech if Shun did punch him.

While I understand that Shun was in shock and grieving for Yuto and Ruri, saying that he only had dueling left bothered me a bit. We know that he has made friends outside of Yuto by this point. He became friends with Crow, grew to trust Yuya and the other Lancers and he still had friends like Allen, Sayaka and Kaito in the Xyz dimension too. Admittedly, not all of those friendships were handled as well as they could be, but claiming that Shun had nothing besides dueling with Yuto and Ruri was just plain not true. I can understand why Shun would want to get Ruri back now that the war is over, but choosing to find her instead of helping with restoring Heartland does say a lot about him. He does care about Ruri, but choosing her over everything and everyone else probably would have worked more if they had fleshed out their relationship beyond being siblings. Compared to most other siblings in the franchise, there isn't a lot of insight into their relationship. While wanting to save Ruri was why Shun became involved in the plot, there's a reason why they spent much more time dealing with his anger/trust issues after they got to the Synchro dimension. That's why I wouldn't say that Ruri is Shun's entire goal/motivation given that it hasn't been focused on nearly as much as it could be. There's even more insight into Yuto's relationship with Ruri. It's still not a whole lot and they waited way too long to focus on that, but at least they were able to show enough to where I could see that their feelings for each other came off as genuine.

I was also hoping that there would be more of a reason as to why Kaito didn't follow Shun to save Ruri. After all, one of the reasons Kaito went to Academia was to help save Ruri for Shun. Ruri and Kaito barely had a connection, but I don't know why Kaito wouldn't want to help Shun at least. It seemed like they couldn't get his voice actor back for another episode or two or there wasn't a way to factor in Kaito during the remaining episodes, which is a shame. I liked Shun and Kaito's friendship, especially during their tag duel against Zarc. I understand that they wanted to have the duel serve as a bit of closure for Shun, or at least help him deal with the reality of the situation, but at the same time, it felt like a regression for his character to claim he had nothing in his life besides dueling now that Yuto and Ruri were gone.

The duel itself was pretty good. Shun started off strong with causing some effect damage. Seeing Yuya and Shun going after Action Cards so quickly right off the bat was pretty neat too. Yuya had a good counter attack with getting Odd Eyes on the field and increasing Xiangsheng Magician's attack points, but Shun had that Raidraptor Risky Flight Trap card to protect him. It was a pretty effective combination. Not only could he reduce the battle damage and stop the battle phase, but he got more Rudder Strixes on the field to give Yuya more burn damage. Yuya didn't even have time to look for an Action Card during that combo. Seeing Rise Falcon again was pretty cool, especially when it always looked awesome when attacking another monster. It was really great to see a back and forth motion with the Action Cards. Yuya was able to get another chance at using Miracle again, but it wasn't easy because of the cards Shun was getting too. Having them both go after the Action Cards helped to keep the duel more intense and interesting.

I really liked how they've been setting up for Yuya's fear of summoning the other dragons. This was the second time he could have summoned Dark Rebellion, but he didn't. Even when he was dueling against Dennis, it looked like he was going to summon it only to stop himself to go with another strategy. In that case, it could have been an unconscious fear, especially if Yuya didn't remember Yuto, Yugo and Yuri prior to this episode, but it has been set up quite nicely. Shun thought that he had the duel in the bag once he brought out Revolution Falcon, but he wasn't expecting Yuya to use Scale Magician's effect to reduce the damage. I wasn't expecting another Odd Eyes, but Odd Eyes Lancer Dragon looked pretty neat. It had a lot of effects, but it was cool to see it in action. I wasn't expecting Odd Eyes Saber Dragon to be shown again, even as a way to activate another card's effect, but it did prevent Revolution Falcon from destroying Odd Eyes Lancer Dragon.

It was pretty cool to see Shun summon out Raidraptor Final Fortress Falcon. It was a Rank twelve monster too. I liked the bit of symbolism with Shun's strategy. Summoning higher Ranked monsters every time one was destroyed worked nicely with how duelists of the Rebellion fight, but it could also serve as a way to show how his anger becomes more fierce the longer he battles. Even his screams upon getting a new Xyz monster were becoming more intense. It was a nice way of conveying his anger and frustration through the duel. It still would have been more effective if his relationship with Ruri was handled better, but it was still a pretty fitting way to show his emotional state over losing his best friend and sister.

The duel really came down to the wire with both Yuya and Shun activating their monsters' effects over and over again. Once Yuya didn't have any other Odd Eyes monsters on his field, I really wasn't sure how the duel was going to end. It left me on the edge of my seat. Once he activated the Trap card, I thought that Yuya was going for a tie, but he had one last trick left up his sleeve with Odd Eyes Lancer Dragon's last effect giving him just enough extra life points to survive the last battle. It was a really close duel and honestly more exciting than I thought it would be, so that was nice. I actually really liked that the final moment of the duel gave Shun hope. That's something that I don't think he had too much of throughout the series, even when he was less angry towards others. He wanted to save Ruri and win the war, but he was often acting out of anger more so than being hopeful that the war would be over if that makes any sense. He would often fight back out of rage and anger, but he didn't hope for the war to be over. He wanted to win of course, but hoping for victory and hoping for a return to peace can be different. Shun saw Yuto through Yuya and that gave him hope that Yuto was still living inside of Yuya. That also gave him hope that Ruri was still alive within Yuzu or Ray. While it wasn't nearly as effective as Dennis' conclusion, it was still a nice moment and it felt fitting for Shun to have hope instead of anger in his heart. After all, he wouldn't be okay with never seeing Yuto and Ruri ever again. Giving him hope that they're still alive works more with the general tone of the series, so it was a nice bit of closure for Shun. Jack showing up to confront Yuya was a cool way to end the episode.

The preview looked pretty good. I love that we're getting Yuya vs. Jack. Jack would be the most fitting character to help Yuya through his fear of using the other dragons. Plus, I love their friendship, so getting another chance to see them interact again makes me happy and sounds awesome too.
 

Hidden Mew

Administrator
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
9,863
Reaction score
6,847
I thought that Yuya vs. Jack was pretty good. I figured that both Jack and Shun could tell that something was off before. Yuya could have summoned Dark Rebellion, but chose not to. Yuya being afraid of summoning the other dragons was built up nicely over the previous couple of episodes. It still might have been an unconscious fear when he dueled Dennis, but they still showed it through both of Yuya's duels pretty well. And it was a completely understandable fear too. Bringing the four dragons together made Zarc's influence much stronger and merging together made them servants of Supreme Dragon King Zarc. Plus, he had a good point on how Zarc's soul would react in Reira and possibly make him into a demon if the four dragons were brought back together.

Yuya thought that he'd have to work around the other dragons and do his best with his Entertainment, but like Jack said, he mustn't falter if he wants to accomplish something. Yuya's fears were understandable and I was glad that they didn't try to brush off his concerns or paint him as weak for being afraid, but he was holding himself back and that was a problem he had to overcome. He couldn't go all out if he kept preventing himself from using the other dragons, especially when that can and later on did put him at a disadvantage during a duel. He did have some good strategies for his duels against Dennis and Shun and I still say his strategy for Dennis was still better than if he did use Dark Rebellion, but it still wasn't enough to make Reira smile and that is important to stop Zarc's destructive cycle once and for all. Not to mention Yuya needed to overcome this fear so that he wouldn't be afraid of Zarc's revival again either.

A duel against Jack sounded like a great idea. Their match did help bring the City together and it was easily one of the best duels in the series, so having them fight again would be a good choice to help make Reira smile. Plus, Jack would be the best choice to push Yuya into using the four dragons. I don't know if any of the Arc V characters could do that exactly, especially when they don't normally give Yuya tough love kind of approach like Jack does. Gongenzaka could potentially, but they already dueled. Besides that, this felt pretty fitting given how much impact Jack has had on Yuya's development. He's practically a mentor figure to Yuya in a sense given how he really helped him to find his own Entertainment style. The Dimension Highway looked really cool and being able to duel while riding through dimensions sounded so awesome. I kept wondering how Reiji was able to prepare all of this, but at least this had the rule of cool going for it. It also makes me hopeful that the dimensions will be merged in a sense. Not forced like Leo was trying to do, but something a bit more natural so that each world can be safe. I'd just prefer it if they didn't separate the dimensions again after they've made friends throughout all four of them, especially when it shouldn't be necessary to do that once Zarc's evil spirit is gone. It was really great to see Crow again. It was sweet that he brought Yuya's helmet, D-Wheel and suit from the Friendship Cup for this match. I liked their friendship and I wanted to see them together again, so that was nice. Getting to see the Friendship Cup Stadium again with some of the Synchro characters again was really cool too.

The duel itself started off pretty good. Jack started off strong with getting Red Daemon's Dragon Scarlight out on the field. Yuya was able to Pendulum summon Odd Eyes, Entermate Drago Remora and Entermate Odd Eyes Minotaur, but he was still set on not using the other dragons. He could feel that Dark Rebellion, Clear Wing and Starve Venom wanted to be summoned so that Zarc could be awakened again, but that just made him more afraid to use them. He knew what it was like to become Zarc and wouldn't want that to happen to Reira or anyone else. Yuya's combo with Drago Remora powering up Odd Eyes while Minotaur decreased Scarlight's attack points was good, but it was only going to do a bit of damage even with Odd Eyes' effect doubling the damage. If he had summoned Dark Rebellion, he still wouldn't have been able to destroy it due to Jack's Trap card, but he would have been able to use Dark Rebellion's effect to weaken it further and cause some major damage to Jack in order to get a stronger lead. As it was, Jack's Trap card protected Scarlight and Yuya was only able to cause a little bit of damage.

Jack was able to use Scarlight's ability to destroy Yuya's monsters, but he was lucky that Drago Remora protected itself and Odd Eyes from being destroyed from that effect. He only got five hundred points of damage, but then Jack was able to destroy Drago Remora to cause more damage. He really did want Yuya to summon the other dragons, but Yuya was afraid for both Reira and Ray. If something happened to Ray, that could affect Yuzu, Serena, Rin and Ruri as well. If Zarc was revived, then Ray would be needed to defeat him too. Yuya tried to use the same combo from before, but Jack was already prepared. He got an Action Card and even when Yuya used Stargazer Magician's Pendulum effect, he had a backup plan. Because a Spell card was set on the field, Jack could special summon Red Giant and its ability skipped the Battle Phase. It was a really impressive strategy on Jack's part that showed off his skills quite nicely. It seemed like the You Show kids and Shuzo were starting to realize that Reira and Yuzu could be in danger if Yuya summoned the dragons, but Yoko kept cheering him on with her fiery spirit, which was a nice little moment.

Jack was upset that Yuya didn't summon the other dragons, even after he gave him plenty of chances, so he would want to end the duel instead. It was awesome to see Jack Synchro summon Red Daemon's Dragon Tyrant. The sequence is always so cool, the summoning chant is neat and seeing both versions of his ace monster was great. Yuya was in a really tight spot after Drago Remora was destroyed. He was on the verge of losing when Jack ordered Scarlight to attack Minotaur. It was nice to see that Yuto, Yugo and Yuri were indeed inside of Yuya's soul. That was one of the more confusing parts about the reality reset in Standard, especially when there was no sign of Yuto in Heartland either. It was the first time that Yuya and Yugo interacted, which was nice. It would have been cool to see them meet properly sooner, especially when I think that they could have gotten along quite nicely due to their similar personality traits, but to be fair, there was a really good reason why they Yuya counterparts were separated from each other. Being together only made Zarc's influence within them grow stronger and made it easier for them to merge together. They might be even closer to their dragons now that they're within Yuya's soul and they wanted Yuya to hear the dragons' voices instead of ignoring them.

Although, I really hope that they aren't giving Yuri a free pass for his actions just because Zarc's evil is gone from their hearts. That would feel like such a cop-out. At least with Leo, he actually recognized that he did terrible things and the main cast didn't forgive him. Shun just decided not to punch him, which doesn't sound like forgiveness to me. Yuri's behavior and actions throughout the series seem a bit too much to just brush off as primarily the result of Zarc's influence. At least it seemed more like Yuya was focusing on how he and Yuri are part of the same person instead of instantly forgiving him, so that helped a bit. Yuya was really lucky that Entermate Odd Eyes Dissolver could prevent Minotaur's battle destruction and damage. Yuya was able to stop Tyrant's ability and protect himself from Scarlight's ability as well. He was only barely able to survive, but it was a good strategy all the same.

That moment with Yuto, Yugo and Yuri really seemed to help Yuya deal with his fear. He recognized that they were all originally one person and even without that evil influence within their hearts, he was still Zarc. Seeing Zarc's appearance over Yuya made me wonder if the good Zarc is within Yuya as well. Perhaps the evil part of his soul was separated from Zarc himself when Reira sealed it away and the good Zarc is in Yuya. I liked how Yuya was able to explain to Jack that he did understand what he was trying to tell him through their duel. He wanted Yuya to not be afraid of his own monsters since a duelist has to control monsters as they see fit. Plus, it was holding Yuya back and made this duel more of a challenge for him than it most likely would have been otherwise. It was nice to see that Jack's tough love approach did help Yuya. This worked a bit better than how he first reacted in their rematch, but it helps that they are friends now. It also showed that Jack does care about Yuya and wanted to help him. I love their friendship so much.

It was pretty cool to see Yuya summon the other dragons. I wasn't expecting him to use the cards in his Pendulum Zones to Synchro and Fusion summon though. He was able to keep the chants for Dark Rebellion and Clear Wing, but it was a bit different for Starve Venom. He kept Yuri's Fusion pose, so that was a nice twist. The dragons being summoned actually did start to affect Reira as well. I wasn't expecting Reira to glow purple, but that was Zarc's soul responding to the dragons. I didn't think that the dragons' cries would sound like whales, but it did convey their sadness quite nicely. I wouldn't have thought that they were afraid of Ray, but it made sense. The dragons felt pain because of Real Solid Vision and because of that, they could have become afraid of losing, similar to Zarc himself. They wanted to merge together again so that they'd become so powerful that they wouldn't lose or feel pain again, but Ray defeated them twice already. They couldn't just act as if they were stronger than her after that and they had to acknowledge their fear as well. I think that realizing that the dragons were afraid helped Yuya out more because he knew what he wanted to do then. He wanted to prove that they were strong without merging together to form Supreme Dragon King Zarc and it was a good way to end the episode.

The preview looked pretty good. Yuya wanting to use the dragons' powers to protect everyone's smiles as opposed to hurting people or destroying the world sounded really great and fitting for his character and the series in general. Turning despair into hope and happiness is right up this franchise's alley too.
 

Ebail

Mega Ultra Easter Bunny!
Joined
Apr 15, 2010
Messages
11,594
Reaction score
1,036
So now that the series is coming to an end this week I'm gonna post my overall thoughts in this spoiler here.

I'm honestly incredibly upset that Arc-V is coming to an end, even though we all knew it would eventually. We all have our own Yu-Gi-Oh series that we like more than others, and that's cool. As someone who has been into the overall franchise since like episode 10 of DM originally aired in the US DM will always be my favorite for the nostalgia, and that if it didn't succeed we wouldn't be this far along with YGO.

That being said it didn't take too long for Arc-V to become my favorite spinoff, replacing 5D's in my mind which was my favorite before (tbh Jack was the biggest reason for my love of 5D's and so him being in Arc-V was fantatsic)

Arc-V had everything I could have wanted from a YGO series. It didn't ignore summon types in favor of the newest type (GX had no new type, 5D's barely showed off Fusions, and iirc there wasn't any Ritual, Zexal acted like Synchro's never happened, and barely mentioned Fusion as well, and had what, 1 Ritual)

And so how did Arc-V handle this? With all those summon types having their own world. It's a great way of saying how Synchro users had no clue of Xyz, and vice versa for example.

Arc-V reintroduced various older characters from all series, save for DM who instead got a movie to show off their characters once more, with what was once Kaiba's Duel Academy instead being used as a place of war, and battle to turn all the dimensions into one. Jack being the strongest duelist in the Synchro Dimension like he was in 5D's (save for Yusei as previous Protag's didn't appear) and he fit the role perfectly as a rival for Yuya, as he always pushed him to go above his limits, such as by coming up with a Pendulum/Synchro monster, and needing to summon all 4 of the Dimensional Dragons.

I especially liked that once we started to see the faces of the other Yu boys, and how their dragons were all related we got a glimpse of what was going to come in the future after an early duel Yuya had in the Maiami Championships, and in the first duel where Yuya summoned Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon against the Obelisk Force. The darker force that started to awaken in Yuya once he fused with Yuto.

I liked that eventually we got the explanation as to why there were four dimensions, as apposed to something like "there always were, and I (I being Leo) wanted to fuse them so I could be an absolute ruler" and why there only seemed to be 4 Yu boys, and 4 Bracelet girls while everyone else seemed to look different.

I mean I'd have never seen that Leo wanted the 4 girls to fuse together because the single being was his own original daughter, and that originally Zarc was exactly like Yuya was, only wanting to entertain everyone, with Yuya eventually becoming the main villain of the series.

I mean in DM we never really saw Atem as a main villain. In GX Judai/Jaden had the brief period as The Supreme King, but it didn't last too long, and he wasn't the main bad guy in the series. In 5D's we had a guy who cloned himself to be like/look like Yusei, but it wasn't actually Yusei himself, and in Zexal it was never Yuma at all so to have Yuya, after all the fighting he did to protect and make people smile, be the one who was the main bad guy in Arc-V, (albeit with some help from Leo as if he never tried to fuse the 4 dimensions together the 4 Yu boys would have probably never come into contact, and Zarc wouldn't have been revived) was a twist I didn't see coming.

I also loved all the screen time/duel time all the other characters got. It wasn't just Yuya having all the duels to himself, and winning every duel as he got to lose a fair enough amount (including the the main rival, Reiji something most of the main rivals don't get to do) because we got to see a lot of good duels, and bad blood brew such as between Sora and Shun (which was kinda just dropped once Sora arrived in the Synchro Dimension) and we also got to look into a lot of characters through their dueling, and actions.

I loved everything about this series, except maybe the way the ending was being drawn out some, but ehhhh. I loved the characters, the duels, the plotline, the message behind the show of always trying to smile no matter how tough things get because it can always get better, the fact that we got to see old faces, and duelists specialize in all kinds of summon types, pendulum summoning itself, the music...everything tbh.

Thank you Arc-V for being an incredible spinoff, and I'll never forget how I'd always enjoy finding the subs were up for an episode because I looked forward to every episode every week. You'll always be great in my eyes, and I know I'll no problems rewatching you.
 

Hidden Mew

Administrator
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
9,863
Reaction score
6,847
I thought that the conclusion to Yuya vs. Jack and the start of Yuya vs. Reiji was pretty good. I liked how the episode started with both Yusho and Jack talking about how they wanted Yuya to show off his power, resolve and the entertainment he believes in. It was a nice way to show how they both wanted Yuya to pass through this test. I really liked how Yuya acknowledged the dragons' fear and understood why they wanted to merge again. They didn't want to just cause destruction again, but wanted to be strong enough to face Ray, who they knew was stronger than them. It was kind of like how the other characters reacted to Yuya's fear in the previous episode. They acknowledged his feelings, or at least didn't belittle him for being afraid, but they also recognized that he needed to overcome it for various reasons. Yuya wanting to use their power to protect everyone's smiles instead of hurting people or destroying the world was great. That was a fitting reaction for his character. He has strong monsters, but he'd never want to use them to hurt people. Even in the opening theme, Yuya is using Odd Eyes Raging Dragon, a monster created from the darkness in his heart, to create light. He'd want to use the dimensional dragons in the same kind of way.

Yuya using Starve Venom's effects to gain the attack powers and effects of Jack's dragons was pretty good. I forgot just how overpowered Starve Venom is. Jack being able to protect himself with that Trap card was pretty good and of course he'd want Yuya to go all out in a battle instead of just winning through effect damage. Yuya figured that Jack would be able to stop that effect damage too. Dark Rebellion weakening Jack's monsters before Starve Venom attacked was pretty good, but Jack was able to avoid it by using the Action Card Yuya had set on the field before. Dark Rebellion's attack could have ended the match right then and there, but Jack reduced the damage with another Action Card. Jack sent his Trap card to reduce the damage from Clear Wing's attack as well. I liked that Jack was happy that Yuya was able to use the dragons. It was also good to see that the duel was affecting Reira. Zarc's influence was decreasing, so he could have felt what the dragons were feeling during the duel.

It came down to the wire with both Yuya and Jack going after Action Cards for that final turn. It was nice to see Clear Wing helping Yuya to get that last Action Card. It was a cool visual with Yuya riding a D-Wheel while on top of a dragon. Plus, it further showed the effect Yuya was having on the dragons. Instead of being afraid or trying to merge together again, they were starting to help Yuya. It was cool to see Odd Eyes destroying Scarlight again. It was a great ending to the duel and seeing all of the characters from the different dimensions cheering them on was really nice. Crow and Shun's moment in particular was quite nice, even though it also felt like the writers just remembered their friendship.

I liked how Jack acknowledged that Yuya could use the dragons, but he still couldn't hear the roar of his soul. There was still something he lacked that prevented him from making Reira smile. I really hope that this isn't the last time Yuya and Jack interact with each other. I really love their friendship and Jack is practically a mentor figure to Yuya. While Yuya idolizes Yusho and learned about entertainment dueling from him, Jack had the most impact on Yuya's character and helped him to figure out his own style of dueling. Yuya even put Jack on the same level as his father before, which is pretty huge given how much Yuya respects his father. Plus, I think that I like Arc V Jack the most out of the other versions of the character. I still love 5D's Jack, but I like that Arc V Jack feels more happy/content with losing than 5D's Jack ever did, even at the end of that series. It makes sense that the two versions of Jack would react differently to losing, but I prefer Jack being content with losing to help Yuya grow instead of the writers not wanting Yusei to lose in the 5D's finale. I still hope that the dimensions will be linked together at the end so none of the characters have to say goodbye to each other.

I liked how Yuya wanted to take the pro test right away so he could help Reira. He still didn't know what he lacked, but he still wanted to do what he could to save Reira. While I don't mind that Reiji is Yuya's final test, I still really wish that it could have been Yuzu somehow. Granted, I don't know how that would have worked when she hasn't been revived for some reason and the other girls seemingly don't exist, which also means that we couldn't get Yuya vs. Serena despite her being a Lancer as well, but that would have been pretty awesome. I feel like the match up would have had more emotional weight behind it too. While I do kind of like the friendship between Yuya and Reiji, I don't feel like there is enough there to really make it work as a final duel, at least compared to something like Yuya vs. Yuzu. It could have potentially helped to resolve the dragons' fear of Ray and it would have been nice for Yuzu to get a duel after not having one for ages. That being said, Reiji being the final test did work out better than I expected. He even chose the same Action Field from their first duel, which kind of fits in with what the past few episodes have been about. The Battle Royale and tests for Yuya were continuing where the Miami Championship left off, so this could be considered finishing up their first match, even though I'm not sure how well that works when they did have a rematch after the Academia invaded Standard. It was a nice bit of nostalgia to see one of the earlier Action Fields and it allowed for Yuya to reflect on how different things are for him. Back then, he didn't question where Pendulum cards came from or why he was the only one with them. None of the characters really did that for that matter, but now he knows where they came from and why he was the first one to use them. Seeing Yuya and Reiji perform the Action Chant together was really nice too.

The duel had a pretty nice start. Yuya had a unique first turn. He didn't go into a Pendulum summon first, but summoned Entermate Duck Dearl and Entermate Card Bird in order to draw another card. Then he used the Spell Pendulum Card Burst to destroy his monsters in order to draw two more cards and then set the Pendulum scale. It was a really unique way for Yuya to set up a Pendulum summon and it was a smart strategy too. Not only could he get Odd Eyes out, but he got all the cards necessary to bring out the other dragons, including the monsters he destroyed in order to use Pendulum Card Burst. It was nice to see Yuya happy to bring out the other dragons. Instead of being afraid of them, he was happy knowing that the dragons were right by his side and that gave him the confidence that this duel will make Reira smile. Seeing Yuya do the Yuri Fusion summoning pose was still pretty neat. It was nice that Yuya went from Pendulum summoning to Fusion, Synchro and Xyz right in the first turn. That was another reason why Yuya vs. Reiji worked better than I initially thought it would. Both Yuya and Reiji have all of the Extra Deck summoning methods in their decks, so they are on equal levels. In their rematch, Yuya only had Fusion and Xyz monsters, so he wasn't quite ready to beat him back then, but now he is.

Reiji started off strong as well with Pendulum summoning his three DDD Doom Hell Armaggeddon. I never liked their designs, so I'm glad that they weren't used all that much. I liked how Yuya chose to move around the field on Starve Venom instead of using his boots. Allen's reaction to it was funny and it was a lot cooler to move around on dragons too. Yuya was lucky enough to avoid that first attack, but I really thought that the second attack hit Clear Wing for a moment. Seeing the smoke where Yuya and Clear Wing were was pretty intense too. Getting a third Action Card to power up Dark Rebellion was really cool. Yuya moving around to get Action Cards to save his monsters made the turn more intense. It was also an effective way to show how much the dragons were responding to Yuya. Characters were saying throughout the episode that Yuya was controlling the dragons and that he was their master, but it was more fitting and accurate to say that they were working together. Even Gongenzaka was pointing out that it was like they were communicating with each other. Yuya has Zarc's powers, which includes understanding monsters' voices, so he wouldn't command them like a master. He'd want to work with them as a friend, he wanted to bring the powers of the dragons together and he was happy that they were able to understand each other so well. It was certainly not like a master/servant kind of relationship. It was also cute how Odd Eyes didn't want Yuya to forget it when he was thanking all of the other dragons.

That moment where Yuya remembers what it was to be Zarc was really great. The idea that Zarc wanted to create duels that entertained the crowd, the opponent and even the monsters made sense. Yuya was called the embodiment of Zarc's desire to make people smile, so it wasn't like Zarc was always evil. Since he could understand what his monsters were feeling, he'd want to make them happy through duels as well. Plus, we could see that the audience's desire for violent duels influenced him to the point where he wanted to destroy the world to please them. He even said right before he was defeated again that he wanted people who used him like a toy to taste real fear. That definitely gave the impression that Zarc was lashing out of anger for not being able to duel the way he wanted to instead of just being a complete heartless monster. Even Reira started to cry along with Yuya, possibly because they still share some emotional link. It could also be that Zarc within Reira finally remembered his true dream and realized how far he had fallen from it. It was a really powerful moment that made me like Zarc more and hoped that he could get some redemption by the end. He might be my favorite villain in the series, or at least my favorite final villain in the franchise. He was hinted at throughout the series, even as early as the first two episodes, his desire for destruction worked nicely in contrast to Yuya's goal, his backstory, especially the reason behind his overpowered cards, made him much more interesting and moments like this one helped to make him sympathetic. I also really loved how Yuya was openly crying. Yuya is a stronger and more confident person than he was when the series began, but he still wears his heart on his sleeve. He is still an emotional person and I love how that wasn't treated as weakness or as a problem itself. Yuya being emotional or sensitive wasn't the issue, but rather how he tried to hide/downplay his emotions was. It was so wonderfully refreshing and it's one of the reasons why I love Yuya so much.

Trying to make Reiji smile as the last test was a bit unexpected, but it made sense. After all, if Reiji smiles, then it's more likely for Reira to smile too. Reiji planned for those attacks to fail so he could draw more cards, which would explain why he didn't attack the same dragon three times before. Reiji going into the different summoning methods was typical for his dueling style, but it was a bit different with using different Spell cards as the necessary materials. Plus, his monsters had much better designs and they posed a more intimidating challenge for Yuya to overcome. It was also a pretty good cliffhanger to end the episode on.

The preview looked pretty good. It looked like Yuya will get a couple more dragons and talk to the other counterparts. I am still a bit worried how the ending will turn out. While I still don't think that they're rushing towards a conclusion, or at least it doesn't feel that way to me, I still wish we got at least another couple of episodes. It would have been good to give the finale duel a bit more time, as well as possibly doing more for the aftermath of the match. Plus, more Arc V is always good in my book. I might have been worried how they could cover everything in one episode even if we got another couple of episodes too. Even so, I just hope that everything will work out. If the finale can leave me feeling as happy as Dennis' sendoff episode did, I'll be pretty darn happy. I just want my favorite series in the franchise to have a good and satisfying conclusion.
 

Zexy

Fire Chicken
Joined
Jun 9, 2012
Messages
19,562
Reaction score
6,295
The series is finally over. About time I make one big post to sum all of my thoughts on it up:

I had high expectations from the series as soon as it started. ZEXAL had just ended with a bang and the new series was up, focusing on the Pendulum Summon which looked overpowered right away, saying that it is going to use all previous Extra Deck summoning methods (Fusion, Synchro and Xyz) and that straight from the first episodes, the protagonist would defeat the current Duel Champion by rewriting the cards in his hand (which Yuma didn't get to do until the ZEXAL II form). However the first opening was a bit too cheery for my liking but I knew it'd have to get darker later.

Right from the first episode I only focused on a few things that seemed important for the long run: Yusho had disappeared and Yuya's Pendulum had magical powers. These immediately looked related to me; I believed Yusho's disappearance was part of the bargain for getting the Pendulum or because he knew of some great evil that he might've tried to extinguish but failed, with it becoming Yuya's responsibility in the end. The only other thing that looked important was Reiji Akaba who had the traits of a promising rival.

Soon after Shingo was introduced and I was hoping he'd be very important too, considering his prominence in the opening. I liked how he started off with stealing the Pendulum cards, being the second person to use them, and summoning 3 high level monsters at once. I liked that Darts Shooter Deck and was thinking he'd stick with it till the end. How mistaken I was... Anyway, after his defeat I believed he would be a character similar to Shark.

Next up was Sora who looked a bit suspicious especially after I saw his Fusion Monster. Then the 7th episode, a dark duelist resembling Yuya appeared and used a nice Xyz Dragon. I thought he was Yuya's twin at the time and also found it strange that his "evil" counterpart had Xyz only, thinking that Fusion/Synchro were under-represented. I was a bit bummed when Shingo didn't use the same Deck that Duel although Mobius The Frost Monarch is always a card I liked and I thought getting defeated again would be important for his development. I didn't think too much of the first Yuzu bracelet blink at the time.

Right afterwards I got glad the the whole "LDS trying to take over You Show" plot became a thing. Up until that point the series lacked an actual plot. Those Duels were interesting, I liked how Yuzu's loss was meaningful and she wasn't the kind of female lead I was used to after Kotori. Gongenzaka also had a really nice Duel. Yuya VS Reiji looked great, down to the way it ended, with all the Yuma VS Kite parallels. The next ep with Shuzo was a bit boring.

Then the series took a dive down that I didn't appreciate. The qualifying for the Junior Youth Championship duels, especially the first two, that were two-parters despite being less interesting than the 3 Duels of You Show, felt just bad and dragging on. The Yuzu/Sora plot was interesting though, meanwhile Shun was introduced and at first I didn't like him, I felt like he kinda made Yuto look less unique. This changed when he won 1v3 with Rise Falcon. AWESOME DUEL. Meanwhile Yuya VS Mieru and Gongenzaka were also nice, the 1st part being over and I was pretty happy with how it was turning out.

2nd opening looked great! At this point I could tell that there were 2 more people looking like Yuya and that they probably weren't quadruplets, I also got pretty serious hints that there were different worlds for each summoning method before the Four Dimensions were actually revealed. The odd thing was the mention of Ruri because I didn't expect to have four Yuzu counterparts too until Serena was introduced (at that point I just knew that Rin would show and that Yugo's plot would revolve around her). Anyway, the kids' duels I didn't like much although I appreciated that they tried to show us something more than the main characters. The first round for Yuya/Yuzu/Gong was great, rematch with Shing:bulbaWave:Masumi/Gen. I was still unsure of what they would do with Shing:bulbaWave:afraid that they wouldn't do much, though, because he had ended up becoming a bit too irrelevant after Episode 7 until that point and getting disqualified soon meant he couldn't be relevant for the rest of the tournament either.

Shun VS Sora was a great Duel and the aftermath of it was nice too. Didn't expect Yuto to be absorbed, a counterpart "death" that soon was a shock. I liked how Berserk Mode started being a thing afterwards, though. Serena's introduction felt a bit forced but I can't say I didn't like her as a character, she was a nice contrast to Yuzu too (and would expect their meeting to be much less friendly than what we got). The Battle Royale looked very promising right away, I was expecting Yuzu to be kidnapped by Academia with the 3rd arc being going there to save her and stop Leo etc., wrapping up the first half. Synchro looked so underdeveloped I thought it would get the entire second half with a completely different villain from Leo. Yet towards the end of the Battle Royale there was an announcement that the series would have 3 acts that just caught me completely off-guard because there didn't seem to be enough time to wrap up the first one.

Anyway, onwards to Synchr:bulbaWave:3rd opening. I was already afraid that giving Synchro too much time could be a problem as the seemingly main antagonist, Leo, would have to wait too long. Although having a single main plot instead of two very distinct halves like 5DS/ZEXAL looked refreshing. Anyway, I liked the idea of the Lancers even though I felt like it made Shingo too irrelevant by that point (wish he'd keep Yosenju and be better!) and I also really hoped for Mieru to be in. The Duel with Yoko was great, never before has a series given this much characterization to the protagonist's mother.

And now actually in Synchro... things started getting boring here. From the one hand I was hyped and felt like the Lancers were a nice group on a trip to another world but what we got bummed me down quickly. Security was too generic of a villain, the point of them being split got boring quickly, Crow got me bored too. Shun VS Dennis was cool though and actually getting them all in prison looked nice, even though it meant we'd have to deal with a Tokumatsu Duel that tried to mirror the Facility Duel from 5Ds. The way they escaped was actually nice as well with ARC-V and how it all lead to Friendship Cup. I knew it had to get much better from here, especially when Academia will invade and turn Synchro into another Xyz and Yugo would be absorbed with Yuya going even more Berserk because of it.

Pitting all the cast against each other in the Last 16 was nice to see. We wouldn't have got this kind of Duels otherwise. Although I didn't like how they couldn't all hang out together and interact more (the 3rd ending fooled me into believing we'd get more interesting interactions between Lancers). I would also like to see much more Yuya/Yugo interactions and how that would be handled around Yuzu. The part about the underground wasn't something I liked either but it was a fair way to put characters on a bus out of the show for a while, it seemed like, because the cast had grown big and full of not-so-powerful characters that could've been a problem for the later invasion (although I'd rather have them turned into cards); you can't have the same Battle Royale-esque thing too many times. I would also expect Yuya VS Yugo to happen around episode 75 because of misleading opening but we didn't get that :( Yugo VS Shingo made me think that Yuri VS Shingo where Shingo would get carded would happen; it really seemed like all that character would do is losing to all the male counterparts.

Anyway, I liked how Shun VS Dennis ended and that it would mean things would get serious afterwards. 4th opening just didn't look as dramatic as I'd like it imo. Sergey VS Yuzu was something I didn't expect YGO to do although ARC-V loved to surprise me. Yet at this point I was kinda fed up that it was padded a bit too much and would keep doing so, I hoped we were done with that after the 1st intro and the Synchro intro too! Anyway, the Duels afterwards were good, Crow VS Shun not being friendly right away felt a bit forced but probably made it more interesting. Yugo VS Serena just felt very random and weird to actually happen so I was expecting the invasion to stop the tournament somewhere around this point, but nope. I was actually very afraid Serena would win that Duel, I really wanted Yugo to get it.

Reira got a nice moment afterwards (and before, I really didn't expect him to not be Leo's biological son). Sora's addition, while nice, felt strange, I didn't really like how he ended up becoming good this easily, I expected a good Yuya VS Sora later followed by a Yuri VS Sora where Sora would get carded. I was also hoping for more Sora/Shun interactions in Synchro but we didn't get that. Anyway, the Academia invasion was lackluster. I really hoped the Dimension would end up like Xyz at the end of this but it was stopped by episode 92 a bit too easily. I didn't like how the amount of Obelisk Force didn't matter this much unlike the Royale where they were 9 and it was an important point that each trio did different things. I was also hoping for Tsukikage getting carded to save Sora.

Barrett was a surprise to see again and was actually quite interesting, I was afraid he'd be boring because his duel against Reiji didn't look good. Yuri VS Yugo was set to happen and I thought Yuya would absorb him after the loss in a parallel to the Yuto one. And while all the nice stuff was set up, none of it really happened :( Yuri VS Sora was interrupted, Yuri VS Yugo was also interrupted, Yuya didn't absorb Yugo, Reira didn't get something cooler and more relevant, Serena did even more nothing than I'd expect her to, NO ONE GOT CARDED, the Gong/Shing:bulbaWave:Tokumatsu group that looked like "let's stall for time" fodder didn't do anything and the list goes on...

Episode 92 while still one of my favourite because it basically was the climax of the Synchro arc, single-handedly put on a bus 3 of the important 8 counterpart characters including Yugo who should've almost got main character status in this arc before getting absorbed! It also single-handedly sealed the fate of the rest of the Synchro arc being boring; the tournament was not interrupted, Yuya couldn't go 3/4 berserk, there was no Academia left to raze the dimension either. We just had to deal with 8 episodes of Roger/Sergey and a good Yuya VS Jack Duel at least. Jack VS Sergey felt particularly boring and I was also annoyed to see it would be neither Yuya nor Yugo who'd defeat him for vengeance for Yuzu. The defeat of Roger could've been better and while it was a cool Reiji moment it lasted too little. Then his final act kinda ruined the moment too, they couldn't even get a moment to celebrate or something before being thrown straight to the most melancholic dimension you could be in; Xyz. I didn't like those 8 last episodes of Act II: Synchro, but who would've told me it wouldn't be the worst final 8 episodes of an act...

I kinda didn't like how we would get an Xyz arc early in Act III, I thought that in Standard and Fusion it got and could get enough screentime for it to not be needed and that full Fusion would work better. Although it was set up in an interesting way, a few characters who haven't shown up since 92 are somewhere out until they strike again, there was double focus on Fusion/Xyz while things might've been going on at Synchro with the Lancers we still didn't know about. It had potential with the minor detail that I just couldn't think of how many things we could get in Xyz other than... basically what we got.

There was Kaito and Edo and it looked obvious it will all revolve around them and won't last long. Yet Kaito wasn't defeated as I'd like him to (even though it kinda fits the main character to not do so, Yuma never got a win on him in ZEXAL). The Edo Duels were interesting at least. But we also had to deal with early boring Kaito Duel and the Tyler sisters Duels of pairs losing to stall for time followed by more pairs by more pairs... none of them getting carded either! Gong/Shingo really didn't have to be carried around this much anymore. Also I liked how Yuto could now talk with Yuya and how he regretted going to Standard for a bit.

Onwards to Fusion, I liked how Yug:bulbaWave:Yuzu reunited, the interactions with Alexis, meeting Yusho at last! I was kinda hoping for his disappearance story to be more interesting than this, though, just like early on. He also had no answers for the Pendulum (which itself wasn't that important anymore, the series was nothing like I expected it early on at this point; OK except the part where Yuya would Pendulum summon tons of monsters and make crazy plays with all four methods). Dennis reappearing was nice (tbh I felt like that Yuya VS Dennis still had to happen since he wasn't carded in Synchro and that he shouldn't have been written off the latter half of Synchro like this) but Yusho looked too cowardly that Duel.

A bit onwards, Yuya in Fusion was nice but meant Yug:bulbaWave:Yuzu didn't get developed on again :( The return of Kachidoki was nice, wasn't expecting that either. Kaito VS Dennis was a nice Duel but its end... Yuya VS Dennis didn't happen (yet), although Dennis' "death" was fitting for his character. Serena's return was nice although I felt very bad for her turning evil and Yuzu getting kidnapped like that after managing to avoid it all this time. The return of the Lancers was cool, I liked how Crow/Sora joined them but I'd like to have Jack as an actual Lancer too.

Another bad part imo was the Survival Duel. It had the potential to be interesting; if the casualties were more. We got Tsukikage and Crow. We could've also got Shingo, Gong and Jack. It's not like the characters were relevant for the rest of the Academia arc, also on the matter of carding Crow and getting him back either don't do it or do it right and get Jack along with him and don't return them until after Zarc is out! Or if people start reviving anyway card them now and bring them all back? Why did Gong/Shingo have to survive again... actually, nah, I'd like it if it was so Shingo could get carded to Yuri but we didn't get that. Academia didn't look threatening at all anymore.

Rin VS Yugo was great, each Yuzu counterpart got a cooler entrance than the previous one. Ruri VS Shun wasn't this good and the outcome wasn't something I liked either. Yuri VS Alexis was nice but Yuri using Ancient Gears wasn't (although his Predator Plants Deck wasn't that nice Main Deck-wise). Yuri VS Sora was also good... but got a part cut and Sora not carded. In retrospect I can see why, but at the same time it wasn't necessary to keep him alive either. Yuri VS Yugo was good, Yugo losing because of outside influence (Kait:bulbaWave:Edo) in parallel to Yuto (Yuya) was nice and him getting absorbed in Yuri wasn't too bad, no longer cared about Yuya getting him since they never managed to interact enough and it wouldn't have an effect in the Synchro arc where it would be relevant. The actual last words could've been a bit better than him getting Berserk though.

Yuya/Yuto VS Serena/Ruri was nice but could've been a bit better. I would like to see Ruri split Yuya and Yuto with Yuya VS Serena and Yuto VS Ruri. As for how they would re-fuse to make Zarc... not sure, but it would have been cool to get. It would also give Serena/Rin/Ruri bracelets some good ability that made sense for them.

I liked how Yuya was almost able to defeat Reiji and Leo at the same time, Yusho shouldn't have stopped that :( Leo, though, wasn't that good of a villain after all, even though the plot he explain made sense... but also not. From that point onwards we got strange dimension fuse/de-fuse things that caused amnesia as the writers conveniently wanted. At least he got the first Pendulum/Fusion. Anyway, Yuri VS Yusho and Yuya VS Yuri were great. Zarc time!

The Zarc Duel was nice but the major issues were Jack/Gong and Shing:bulbaWave:Crow which just made less sense than Jack/Crow and Gong/Shingo... and even then I don't feel like the latter were that needed. I'd rather they didn't have Crow carded, have Alexis around too (although Sora was fitting). Sora/Shun interactions here were good. Everything else about this Duel was great, Zarc's strategy, Reiji. Reira/Ray was also interesting although I was hoping for Ray to fully revive. At least Reira became very very important like he was being built up to become.

And then the last 8 episodes... yeah, when I said in Synchro that I thought the last 8 episodes were boring but didn't know what I was in for, this is what I'm talking about. As if it hasn't got confusing already with resets and amnesias etc. we get another reset with more amnesia, no revived Yuzu/Ray/etc. and no split Yut:bulbaWave:Yug:bulbaWave:Yuri. This had the potential to be good and had good moments; VS Tsukikage, VS Dennis (finally!), VS Shun (I was really not expecting this to even happen but nice!) and VS Reiji. I didn't like how he had to fight Jack again, feel like it invalidates the first win he got on him a bit, which was flashier. The concept of Dimension Highway was great and a Synchro-related Duel had to happen... but not Jack. Or Crow. I'd rather have Shinji, honestly!

The only thing I didn't like in the end was that it felt rushed as an ending and the counterparts weren't split. I feel bad for Yuto, Yugo, Yuri, Serena, Rin and Ruri. I really liked these characters and would rather have them all hang out as an ensemble like ZEXAL was kind enough to treat us to.
TL;DR I REALLY liked the show, it had great moments and lots of surprises but also obvious flaws (but that's fair). I actually liked it more than ZEXAL (and this is coming from the person named Zexy because of how much he liked it). I feel like the show mostly suffered because in Synchro they wanted to take too long and in Fusion they were afraid they didn't have time so they squeezed things... then got 8 more episodes so they had to fill in that gap.
 

Hidden Mew

Administrator
Joined
Jun 17, 2006
Messages
9,863
Reaction score
6,847
I wanted to give a bit more time to reflect more on the ending before typing out my thoughts on it. Plus, as long as it can take for me to make these posts, talking about Arc V always makes me so happy and I wanted to hold off on the finale a bit longer for that reasons as well. It's also partly why I was still catching up on reviewing the episodes right up until the finale, along with just being busy with other stuff and wanting to wait until I felt more up for typing my thoughts out. I'll save my thoughts as the series as a whole for another posts since this will be pretty long as it is.

Anyway, I thought that the conclusion to Yuya vs. Reiji was really good. I wasn't expecting them to not play the opening theme, but it was for the best just so that the episode had as much time as it possibly could get. Reiji's combination was really impressive. He was able to negate the effects of Yuya's monsters aside from Odd Eyes with Whitest Hell Armageddon's effect, destroy his non Pendulum monsters with Darkness Hell Armageddon's effect and then deal him damage equal to Odd Eyes' attack points with Purplish Hell Armageddon's effect. It really put Yuya in a tight spot, but he was still determined to make everyone smile despite being unsure how he was going to do that when all of the other dragons destroyed. While I still don't like that Yuri was seemingly forgiven for what he has done, I liked seeing the other Yuya counterparts supporting him. Even though Yugo and Yuri haven't known Yuya for too long, I imagine that merging together made them feel more at comfortable with him, especially when Zarc's influence was trying to bring them together throughout the series and like Yugo pointed out, they were originally one person.

I especially liked how Yuya pointed out that if he wants to make Zarc smile, then he'll have to smile as well. That was a big issue for Yuya throughout the series. He was so focused on making other people smile that he didn't focus on being happy himself. He clearly loved to perform and genuinely wanted to entertain the crowd, but there were times where it came off as forced, especially when he was trying to simply mimic his father's dueling. If Yuya has more fun himself, then that makes it potentially easier to entertain the crowd. Happiness is contagious like that. That lined showed how far Yuya has come. He knows that he can't put on the best performance if he's just forcing himself to smile. If he can have fun, then he can make others smile with him.

It was pretty awesome to see Yuya and Yuri use the Odd Eyes Fusion Gate card to fuse Odd Eyes with Starve Venom together. Supreme King Violent Dragon - Odd Eyes Venom Dragon looked so beautiful. The shade of purple on its design along with its wings made it look so appealing. Sora wondering if Yuya purified Yuri's dragon made me wonder if they needed to purify the dragons along with the piece of Zarc's soul in Reira to stop Zarc's revival. Odd Eyes Venom did have a pretty overpowered effect, but Purplish Hell Armageddon's effect brought it back down to normal before the attack could land. Sending Odd Eyes Fusion Gate to the Graveyard to get Odd Eyes Synchro Gate was pretty neat. Supreme King White Dragon - Odd Eyes Wing Dragon was pretty cool. I would have preferred a bit more blue on its design, but it does work as a Synchro upgrade for Odd Eyes and Clear Wing. Plus, Yuya and Yugo working together to summon it was great. I especially liked how Jack reacted to seeing Yuya duel once he summoned Odd Eyes Wing Dragon. He could feel the passion in Yuya's soul this time around and wanted to see him keep moving forward with that conviction. It was a sweet moment that showed how much he cares about Yuya and supports him.

Odd Eyes Wing's effect would have been quite effective with destroying all of Reiji's monsters and gaining their attack points, but Darkness Hell Armageddon's effect protected his Pendulum monsters from being destroyed by effects. Yuya deciding to attack despite Odd Eyes Wing having fewer attack points was strange, but its destruction allowed for him to get the Odd Eyes Xyz Gate Spell card out on the field. It was cool to see Odd Eyes Rebellion Dragon again. Seeing Yuya go from Fusion, to Synchro to Xyz was pretty awesome and it was about working together with his counterparts too. It was also about purifying the dragons along with Zarc. All of the upgraded dragons are Supreme King monsters, but they aren't servants anymore. Yuya was able to prove to the dragons that they didn't have to become Supreme King Dragon Zarc in order to become stronger. Working together with Yuya and his counterparts allowed for the dragons to gain new strength without endangering anyone, which added a nice touch to the duel.

Yuya had a pretty nice combination with banishing the Odd Eyes Gate cards to give Odd Eyes Rebellion another attack, as well as using Wonder Chance to add in another attack. Even though getting that Action Card didn't help Yuya protect him from one of Reiji's attacks, it did help set up this counterattack for him. It looked like Yuya's attack worked before Reiji revealed another effect for Purplish Hell Armageddon. Reiji still took the damage, but his monsters couldn't be destroyed by battle either. Yuya was in a pretty tight spot with no cards in his hand and only one face down card. He was lucky that his Called Off Performance Trap card protected him from battle and effect damage during that turn and that he could put Odd Eyes Rebellion in the Pendulum Zone.

Entermate Five Star Rainbow Magician looked and it allowed Yuya to bring back Odd Eyes Venom, Odd Eyes Wing, Ignition Eagle and summon Odd Eyes Priest. Reiji activated Whitest Hell Armageddon's effect again, but Yuya was still able to bring back Odd Eyes due to Odd Eyes Priest's effect. Yuya using Five Star Rainbow Magician's effect to lower all of the monsters' attack points to zero was a surprising twist, but I liked seeing how happy he was. Even Sayaka pointed out that he was like a kid who was planning to have as much fun as he can. That kind of ties back to Yuya's line earlier about how he'll need to smile if he wants Zarc to smile. He was genuinely having fun despite being put in a tight spot and that would make it easier for other people to enjoy the duel too. Yuya's plan with Five Star Rainbow Magician was pretty cool. It basically did require them to go for Action Cards, but that was a fitting choice given that it would make the duel more exciting to see who got five cards set first. Besides that, they couldn't set cards on the turn that they use their Draw Phase, so their only other option was to get Action Cards, unless they just wanted to stand until they both had five Spell/Trap cards that they could set, but that would be boring.

It was pretty cool to see Yuya and Reiji running around the Action Field to collect Action Cards. It was fun to see Yuya playing around on the field a bit like with shooting out of a canon. and Reiji was moving around more than he normally does in a duel too. Even the other characters noticed how Reiji was getting into the duel, but like Yoko said, Yuya's entertainment was bringing the audience, the monsters and even Reiji into it. It was exciting to see them going after Action Cards and it really came down to the wire at the end. Both Yuya and Reiji got Action Cards at the same time for their fifth one, but Yuya placed it on the field faster than Reiji could. It looked like Yuya was just about to win after powering up his monsters, but Reiji had one more trick up his sleeve. With D/D Savant Albert's effect, he was able to place that last Action Card on the field and power up his monsters as well. Yuya was able to get Odd Eyes Rebellion out on the field thanks to Ignition Eagle's effect and added its attack power to Odd Eyes Pendulum Dragon as well. Even so, Reiji's combination was still pretty solid. He still negated the effects of Yuya's monsters aside from Odd Eyes due to Whitest Hell Armageddon's effect. Because Purplish Hell Armageddon was still on the field, his Pendulum monsters couldn't be destroyed and he could lower a monster's attack points back to normal once per turn.

Yuya shouting out Ladies and Gentleman always makes me happy and it showed that he did have another plan to get out of this tight spot. I loved how he explained that Odd Eyes would get stronger through its companions and called it the Arc of Light. He looked so happy when he was explaining it and the glitter forming from his hands to create an arc of light was such a cute touch too. Ignition Eagle's Pendulum effect really came in handy and seeing the fireworks of Yuya's different Entermate monsters was so cute too. It was especially nice to see Yuya bringing in the audience into his performance through the countdown. The effect gave Odd Eyes five hundred attack points for every Pendulum monsters on the field. Even though Reiji's monsters wouldn't be destroyed, he'd still take the damage and it was double thanks to Odd Eyes' effect. It was a really cool way to finish the duel. It showed that Yuya was able to surpass Reiji and that he was able to bring the dragons' powers together too. Plus, it was an entertaining way to win the duel that fit completely with Yuya's dueling style, right down to using Odd Eyes Pendulum Dragon for the finishing attack.

Hearing Reira's laughter in the mist of that silence was so nice and sweet. Hearing Burn play made me start tearing up a bit because the show was even closer to being over. While I prefer BelievexBelieve over Burn, the latter worked a lot better as an ending theme than I think the former would have, possibly due to the higher energy and beat throughout Burn. It was also nice to see all of the various characters from different dimensions showing up. I really didn't want the dimensions to be closed off or something like that at the end since the idea that they could never see each other was kind of sad. Plus, I did want Yuya to meet with Jack and Crow again and that technically happened, or at least he was right next to Jack when all of the characters came in and it does leave the possibilities of them interacting in the future. I just wanted the dimensions to not be sealed away or something so I was glad that didn't happen. It was sweet to see all of the counterparts smiling at each other, but it was bittersweet knowing that they didn't get their bodies back. I had a feeling that was going to happen given that there was so much focus on Yuya working together with the dragons during the past few episodes and I was wondering how they were going to maintain that influence if the other counterparts got their bodies back.

After thinking about it for awhile, I think that leaving the counterparts merged together is fitting for a few reasons. I first want to emphasize that I understand why some fans might be more upset about this part of the finale. I love Yuya and Yuzu to pieces, but Yugo, Serena and Reira are some of my favorite characters in the series too. I love Yuya and Yuzu's relationship, but the relationship between Yugo and Rin is my second favorite in the show and I liked what we saw of Rin too. I even wanted Zarc to somehow merge outside of Reira's body to become a new baby himself just so he could have a fresh start at life, along with possibly becoming Yuya's adopted little brother for extra adorableness. Fans have wanted Yuto to get his body back forever too, so I understand why some might feel disappointed here. However, I don't think that there was any indication that the counterparts would unmerge or if that was even possible. Fans hoped/assumed that was going to happen eventually and I did for the longest time too, but there wasn't something the Numeron Code established ahead of time that would instantly give everyone their own bodies back. I'm pretty sure neither Yuya or Yuto were wondering if they could separate and even Leo thought that none of them didn't exist anymore once Yuya was revived. It was always treated like a permanent thing, especially when Yuri merged with Yugo and was then trying to do so with Yuya, with seemingly no way to undo it. Sure, there were the En Cards, but I assumed that was just to seal Zarc away and even if that did work for the Yuya counterparts, that still wouldn't help the Yuzu counterparts. Fans might have thought it would have happened with making Reira smile and I can understand that assumption too, but that wasn't a guarantee either. All that we knew was going to happen would be that it would stop Zarc's revival and save Yuzu. It wasn't going to be an instant fix to everything.

In fact, another reason why I kind of liked this twist was because it wasn't an instant fix and that actually does fit in quite nicely with the show. There have been long lasting consequences throughout the series. Because of Zarc's actions in the past, he, Ray and the original world are effectively gone. Zarc and Ray's souls were split apart and reincarnated, but we know that the counterparts are different people and there isn't a way to bring them back as the people they used to be. Zarc and Ray were revived, but they were more like spirits rather than getting their bodies back. Even if Leo's plan had worked, he wouldn't have gotten back his original world either. It would just be a forced mixture of four dimensions and he would be the only one with any knowledge of the original world. He might have been able to bring Ray back too, but I doubt that given that he didn't realize that Ray needed a host body despite how focused he was on getting her back. There wasn't any way to bring the original world, Zarc or Ray back properly. Similarly, the same can be said for Reira. It is still really sad because we saw Reria gain so much development throughout the show, he was able to become a more confident person while still struggling with personal trauma and he is one of my favorite characters in the series, but he couldn't be brought back either. Reria as we knew him was effectively gone and he was reincarnated much like Ray. I was confused on whether or not infant Reira was a girl now due to translations, but either way, Reira can't be brought back to how we knew him. He effectively died saving the dimensions by sealing Zarc away and preventing him from splitting apart again to repeat this cycle of destruction.

And we've seen long lasting consequences in the other dimensions too. Defeating Zarc stopped the war, but it didn't instantly fix everything. There were still signs of the battle against Zarc in all of the dimensions when Yuya was dueling against the remaining Lancers and there were wormholes as a result of the dimensions being merged together as well. Heartland is the prime example of lingering damage from the dimensional war too. Their entire city was still in ruins and people were still afraid of the former Academia soldiers, as well as dueling itself, when Yuya showed up. They were able to move forward with entertainment dueling after Yuya vs. Dennis and Dennis being in charge of teaching the kids Entertainment Dueling, but that wasn't an instant fix. They were able to be happy about dueling again, but I saw it more as taking a step forward rather than erasing all of their pain completely. I doubt that anyone from Xyz is going to be comfortable around Fusion monsters anytime soon and their dimensions being virtually destroyed is going to linger on their society for quite some time too. While things were seemingly fine in Synchro, I also took their reaction to Yuya vs. Jack also being a step towards making a better future instead of just instantly washing away all of their social conflict. We don't really see much of Fusion after Zarc's revival, but the Academia teachings to brainwash the children soldiers most likely isn't going to go away quickly either. The war is over, but that doesn't mean that Academia will be completely happy now, especially when eliminating those kind of attitudes would be difficult. Sora did say that he was raised in Academia, so it wasn't like their attitudes towards dueling was only the result of the dimensional war. Even Standard has consequences with being newly reborn as the Pendulum dimension. They did eventually regain their memories, but Pendulum cards were available for everyone now. It's a bit more minor compared to the other dimensions, but it is still a sign that the dimensional war and Zarc had long lasting effects everywhere.

Basically, there weren't a lot of instant and easy solutions to the problems throughout the series and there were lingering consequences as well. I know that fans would have wanted a more Zexal kind of ending where everyone gets a happy ending and I understand that too, but I think going in this direction also gives the finale a bit more emotional weight. The counterparts are merged together instead of getting their own bodies and that bittersweet aspect does leave a bigger impact on the audience. To be clear, I didn't dislike the Zexal finale. I actually liked it quite a bit for being upbeat and hopeful, but it also did undermine the deaths that they tried to present as so emotional and dramatic by reviving them. That's one reason why I like this finale too since they were able to make the merges permanent instead of going to easy route. I think that there's value in both options. Plus, it worked nicely with the whole finding hope within despair theme of the show In spite of everything that happened to them, they were still smiling, even Shun after he saw Yuto and Ruri again, and they were able to move on towards a new future. It's not the perfect ending for all of them, but they were happy to be together despite losing their bodies and being separated from each other for so long and they were able to move forward instead of lingering on the past. Lingering on the past so much is exactly what caused Leo to effectively ruin countless lives too. One of the themes of the show is to take a step forward with courage and that's what they were able to do by smiling at each other like that.

Now it still wasn't a perfect ending. I would have preferred seeing how the girls were dealing with their situation. We saw Yuya working with his counterparts during the past couple of duels and it seemed like they were content with their souls being inside of Yuya's body, especially when Yuto has been there for quite some time and Zarc was trying to bring them together throughout the series, but we didn't get anything like that for Yuzu and her counterparts. As much as I do like this ending as a whole, that is a huge problem. Getting something with the girls interacting either when they were Ray or while Yuya was dueling other Lancers would have been nice. It might have been nice if they did show that the counterparts could switch places like what happened with Yuto before, although that might have been kind of tricky to pull off in just a short scene beyond what they did. It would have at least calm down the fanbase and stop people from acting like all of the counterparts are dead. They are clearly still alive, but just don't have their bodies. We might as well say that Astral was dead for the bulk of Zexal with that kind of logic. Still, showing that they could communicate with each other and other people would have been nice. It also would have been good to establish some kind of connection between Yuri and Serena. I didn't mind that they didn't know each other at first. It made sense with how Leo interfered with their lives and it does kind of add a tragic element to their pairing. They could have been so close and Yuri could have probably been less brutal if they had become friends like the other counterparts did. But with this ending in mid, they really needed something more than meeting one time. Even having a duel in Synchro could have worked for establishing some kind of connection between them, as well as giving Serena another duel. She would have lost, but she would have gone down fighting at least. I didn't mind the whole nerve gas trick to take Serena out of the action back when it first happened. It was still bad, but I took it as an in-universe recognition of her strength given that the Security guards didn't want to fight her fair and square. But knowing how things turned out, I really would have preferred for Serena to go down fighting if she had to be captured right then and there. Dueling Yuri would have done that and potentially provide the foundation for some connection between them at the same time. Zarc somehow becoming a different infant outside of Reria still would have been nice too, even though I'm still not sure how that would have worked, but his soul being happy right along with Reira is kind of sweet too. He'll still be able to experience happiness and a fresh start in a sense through Reira.

It was still really sweet how Yuya walked up to grab hold of Yuzu's hand and seeing everyone react to Yuzu's return. Shuzo and Gongenzaka crying was especially touching. I loved how Yuya welcomed Yuzu back home and that she was finally home. It would have been nice if they had a longer moment together, but they were just happy to be reunited and their feelings for each other were crystal clear even without a proper/direct confession. They love each other, whether it's romantically or platonic, and they don't need to say it out loud when the entire series is full of moments with these two showing their feelings for each other. I wasn't too happy with Leo seemingly being off the hook for what he did, especially if the ending does imply that he gets his family back, but Reiji laughing was kind of nice, if only because he hasn't shown to be that happy. I was pretty happy that the dimensions were one. It clearly wasn't a forced merge like what Leo tried to do before given that the stadium wasn't different beyond characters showing up there. We didn't see different dimensions forced in together like before. I assumed that they were just linked together due to the ray of light crossing through the various dimensions, as well as possibly the wormholes being involved with that link. Still, I was fine with that since the dimensions didn't need to be isolated from each other anymore now that Zarc won't be revived as a demon and it felt fitting with all of the connections they've made with characters in other dimensions.

I was pretty happy that Yuya was going to duel Yusho off screen mainly because I thought of that happening in a time skip epilogue. I absolutely would have loved a time skip epilogue for this series. I would have loved to see how the characters were doing, especially the counterparts to see if they could switch places, how Reira was growing up with Zarc's soul inside of her and how the dimensions were doing after they were linked together, but I can see why that didn't happen. There wasn't enough time to show all of that in the remaining moments of the episode and something like that would have benefited from another episode or two anyway. They don't tend to give long epilogues for the series even. Even the time skip epilogue in 5D's was I think only for a minute or two and to show how things have changed, they'd need something longer than that for Arc V. Plus, it still fits in nicely with the show's theme of taking a step forward with courage. We don't see what their futures will bring exactly, but seeing them being able to move forward with smiles and courage is a pretty satisfying note to end things on too. It would have been cool to see Yuya vs. Yusho, but I think it works fine to leave it off screen much like the ending to the GX manga with Judai dueling his mentor figure. It was also really nice to see that Yuya wanted to surpass his father. At the beginning of the series, he was focused on proving that his father's dueling was the best and that he had inherited his dueling style. But now, not only does Yuya have his own dueling style, but he'll have the confidence to say that one day he'll surpass his father instead of simply being a great Entertainment Duelist like his father. It was a really nice and subtle way to show how much Yuya had grown throughout the series.

All things considered, I didn't think that the ending was that rushed at all. It definitely would have benefited from another episode or two, especially to show more of the duel's aftermath, but they were able to cover the whole duel in one and a half episodes without rushing and and even the bit of aftermath we got wasn't too rushed at all. It did what it needed to do quite well and with plenty of emotionally satisfying moments to boot. I still would have had an older Yuya challenging Yusho, but doing it right after the duel worked too. Overall, it was a really good episode and a pretty solid and satisfying finale all things considered. I'll save my thoughts on the series as a whole later, but I do want to emphasize that Arc V is great and it is still my favorite series in the franchise. I love so much about Arc V, it makes me so happy whenever I think about it and I'm glad that I watched this series for so many reasons.
 
Top