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Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains Discussion

Discussion in 'The Anime Forum' started by Gold Guy, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    That would certainly be nice. I'm tired of Vrains being the Yusaku show and he doesn't even have any noteworthy interactions with Shoichi. He's just the bland tech support for Yusaku. It might make him realize that he does need help and Aoi being his first new alley would be fitting. She was in danger because of the Knights of Hanoi, but that would also mean that she'd realize how threatening they can be and Akira would probably be willing to help Yusaku out due to saving Aoi's life too.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. I wasn't expecting Yusaku to look for Aoi. I thought that he was trying to figure out if Ema went to their school for some reason, even though that doesn't make much sense when she's clearly older than him. I figured that Akira would prevent Aoi from going anywhere and not telling her duel. Some might say that he was being too protective, but in his defense, Aoi was put into a coma and would have stayed that way if it wasn't for Yusaku, so keeping her safe was completely understandable. I still don't like Ema, but I'll admit that using her defeat to her advantage was pretty smart. She wasn't planning on losing before, but using Playmaker as a distraction would allow for her and Akira to look into the data bank themselves. She even seemed to have a plan for Aoi spying on them too.

    Of course, Yusaku figured that there was something suspicious about the whole setup because he's such a perfect Gary Stu. I still don't understand how this world works. I figured that Link Vrains was the only place people could transport online, but Yusaku could go inside of a computer and shoot out Sphere Kuriboh in order to protect himself from security programs. And Akira and Ema could do the same thing with special devices when I thought that it relied on a duel disk. I don't even know how to figure this out and the show isn't going to explain anything about that. They just want to use it for a cool flash rather than actually expand on the setting and provide some world building.

    I should have expected Yusaku would face off against these AI duelists from SOL Technologies. They were trying really hard to make it seem like Yusaku would lose. Admittedly, a hand elimination deck is annoyingly frustrating to deal with, but when your main character has seemingly defeated all of the established duelists introduced thus far, I'm not going to worry if he'll be defeated by AI duelists created by a really obvious minor villain. Even the other workers were shocked that he'd just want to grab Playmaker's duel disk instead of defeating him in a duel. I'm not sure if he could have gotten Ignis that way either since Yusaku has said that the only way to get Ignis is to defeat him in a duel.

    Aoi coming in to help was kind of a neat twist, but of course she said that she'd be the one to defeat Playmaker. At least that leads into a Yusaku and Aoi tag duel and that could be interesting. I would like it if Yusaku finally realized that he can't do everything on his own and that he does need more help besides Shoichi. There could be some interesting strategies between Yusaku and Aoi during the duel. This whole episode was mainly setup, but rather boring setup in my opinion. The tag duel might be at least something different and interesting to watch.
     
  2. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 17

    Blue Angel really shines. I am so glad Aoi got her moment to shine. We will see how long that lasts giving this is Yu Gi Oh

    So Akari wants to duel Yusaku now, I wonder what is gripe is, does he really blame Yusaku for what happened to Aoi, I thought that was cleared up, maybe he is mad that is sister is rebelling against this strict rule and blaming Yusaku for being a bad influence.
     
  3. Radical

    Radical The Face of Evil & Epicness!!!!!

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    Episode 17 of Part 2 was pretty awesome/engaging,

    Yusaku(Playmaker)/Aoi(Blue Angel) vs. the AI programs begins, cool to see an awesome tag team duel.

    From Akira/Ema, I'll see about that incident, it might be darker, I'll see.

    Akira still the best older brother worried that Aoi is in danger, poor Akira.

    Yusaku(Playmaker)/Aoi(Blue Angel) vs. the AI programs was sweet, Aoi/Blue Angel getting her awesome major duel spotlight and win with her amazing skills/strategies beating the AI program was awesome, her next to Tea, Asuka, Akiza/Luna, and Yuzu the best, she's more better than Yusaku:D.A shame it wasn't a tag deal.

    Yusaku may be cool/interesting, but he'll develop/open his eyes to be less like Lelouch/Jotaro to learn to have friends and not always be solo with Aoi being the first best new ally.

    Shoichi is awesome, but I hope they'll do more of his character than be bland tech support.

    Love Kitamura's well-deserved just desserts, a one dimensional craphead scumbag, but he's a great new dangerous menace for Yusaku, I get a feeling further on he'll duel Yusaku.

    Akira dueling Yusaku, interesting, I'll see the reason for Akira to duel him next episode.

    Next episode preview: Yusaku vs. Akira will be sweet/interesting:D, I'll see Akira's cool deck, and that incident will come.
     
    #83 Radical, Sep 6, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  4. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Not to mention the head writer for Vrains was also the head writer for Zexal. The treatment of female characters has always been an issue for this franchise, including Arc V, but given his track record with the second half of 5D's, the Zexal anime and the Zexal manga, I'm really not expecting anything great with Aoi or any other female characters in Vrains. While Arc V had this issue too, particularly in the third season, at least the female characters were still important to the overall storyline and Yuzu's entire world didn't revolve on only Yuya. Their relationship was clearly important and was focused on quite a bit after she first disappeared, but she had other important connections to other characters too. Plus, there were more female duelists in Arc V than there has been in a Yu-Gi-Oh! series in a long time.

    Despite the issues Arc V had with its female cast, it did feel like they were genuinely putting an honest to goodness effort with getting more active female characters. With Vrains, I don't really get that same kind of impression with Aoi's victory, especially when her first on-screen victory is against a robot, her storyline does center completely on her brother and they had her put in a coma for Yusaku to save in her first duel. Admittedly, she is one of the few characters in Vrains that I find interesting, but that's not saying much when most of the characters are boring or annoying. And I'm still basically expecting her to become Yusaku's cheerleader or motivation fuel for Yusaku and/or Akira.

    I doubt that he blames Yusaku for what happened to Aoi. He knew that Yusaku wasn't the one who put that virus into Aoi and he was able to basically save her life by defeating Revolver. I don't think that he even knows that she went to help Yusaku, so I don't see how he could blame him as a bad influence. If anything, he would be more upset at Ema since she did set up for Aoi to follow them in the previous episode. It might have been as a distraction for Yusaku rather than dueling against the AI duelists, but it was still ultimately her plan. It could be due to his own feelings regarding the event from ten years ago if they both find out what happened.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. I was disappointed that we didn't get a Yusaku and Aoi tag duel. I thought that they were setting up that with the previous episode, so both of them going their own way was a bit disappointing. I was hoping for some decent character interactions since Yusaku desperately needs more characters to bounce off of. Primarily interacting with just Shoichi and Ignis is so boring, especially with Shoichi is still just the bland tech support and Ignis is just plain annoying. On the bright side, we finally have our first non-Yusaku duel of the series. It's kind of weak that it's against an AI duelist, but at least it's a duel that isn't all about Yusaku.

    I also liked how Akira did want to make sure that Aoi wasn't going to do anything dangerous since their relationship is turning out a lot sweeter than I expected. Although, I don't know why Ema said that Aoi isn't a little kid. Akira's concern seemed completely justified. Granted, putting her on house arrest was a bit excessive, but she did nearly die because of dueling and he does care a lot about her, so it was at least understandable from an emotional perspective. It wasn't a matter of seeing Aoi as just a little kid or just as his little sister, but rather not wanting to almost lose his only family member again. That's at least how I saw his concern and immediate desire to go stop Aoi.

    Aoi's duel was pretty decent though. I really do like her deck, although I'm still not sure if I like her character. It's mainly due to already expecting the worst out of her storyline, but she is still more interesting than most of the other cast members, so that's at least something. I still don't see how going into a Link summon on the first turn is that impressive. I'm pretty sure that has happened in at least a good chuck of the other duels shown thus far. It's really not hard to get multiple monsters on the field within the first turn if you have the right cards in your hand. Seeing her burn deck in action again was pretty cool. It's still an effective strategy and quite refreshing from a female lead too. The AI duelist was also running a burn deck, so it was a pretty neat clash. Both sides kept doing damage little by little to each other. That did give the duel a nice back and forth motion and helped it to be engaging even with a AI opponent.

    I actually was a bit worried that Yusaku would suddenly come into save her somehow when she was close to losing and pulled that fake worried bit. They are so determined in making Yusaku the cool superhero type that I wouldn't put it past the show for doing something like that, but I liked that Aoi just saved herself from that effect combo herself. It was a good strategy and she was able to Link summon another monster in her following turn. I could have done without the fanservice focus on the monster's bottom right as the tail was forming. That's not the first time they've had a bit blatant fanservice monsters during their summoning, but it was a bit jarring and took me out of the episode. Aoi was able to get around the effect damage from the AI's monster, attack once due to how the other Continuous Spell card reduced battle damage once and then went for another attack for the victory. All things considered, it was pretty decent and entertaining duel.

    The same can't be said for Yusaku's duel. It was shorter because they rightly chose to focus on Aoi's duel for most of this episode, but it was still pretty weak. As much as I would have liked to see a tag duel with Yusaku and Aoi, the two separate duels not only provided the first non-Yusaku match, but the contrast perfectly shows the problems I have with Yusaku as far as dueling goes. There is absolutely no sense of tension in any of Yusaku's duels. Even with his AI opponent reducing his cards in his hand and the show trying to present it like Yusaku was in a big pinch, he was able to turn it around in just one turn. He was able to special summon other monsters and reduce his life points through their effects in order to activate Storm Access. I thought that they'd actually have Yusaku win through a different means for once, but it's still the same old thing. Whenever his life points get low enough, either through his opponent's strategies or his own cards' effects, he can just get a monster and that monster will win the duel for him. He may not be able to choose what monster it is exactly, but it's still basically a card that automatically means that he'll win. The only thing that stood out to me was that his monster was an Archfiend rather than another Code Talker monster, but that's not really much.

    That has been a huge issue for me with Yusaku's duels. He obviously can't lose because of Ignis, but I also generally know how he'll win due to Storm Access. It makes the duels much more boring than they really should be. It also makes him look much more like a Gary Stu if he always wins without too much of a challenge. I think Revolver was the only opponent thus far that really did give Yusaku a challenge, but I didn't get that impression with any of his other duels. I knew that Aoi was going to win too. This was her first duel after her recovery and she was facing an AI duelist. The chances were pretty good that she wasn't going to lose, but not knowing how exactly she'd turn things around helped to make the duel more engaging. Granted, it also help that we haven't seen Aoi duel every other episode using the same exact combo like we have with Yusaku, but at least wondering how Aoi was going to pull off the victory, particularly once she got down to only four hundred life points, made me more invested in the duel. That's one reason I hope that we'll get more non-Yusaku duels more often or at least get Yusaku to win besides using Storm Access. Even his victory against Revolver came down to that Skill mechanic given that he only gained Firewall Dragon through their first Speed Duel and would have lost without it. Unfortunately, I don't think that the chances for either options are particularly good right now, but going in either directions would really help with making the duels more interesting for me. There have been some decent to good duels even with my issues over Yusaku winning in mind, but usually it's because of his opponent's strategies and/or decks being appealing to me.

    It still seemed so weird that they're actually inside the computer. I guess it shouldn't be that surprising when they can go into Link Vrains, but I still don't remember that being mentioned prior to the previous episode. I don't know why Ema thought she needed to hide or that she was even hiding particularly well in the first place. I wasn't expecting Akira to face Yusaku. Given his default appearance is the same one he uses when he goes into Link Vrains, I just assumed that he wasn't a duelist. It could be a regular duel, which would be nice and potentially a way for Yusaku to win without using Storm Access in any way. I have my doubts about that since his newest monster could easily be key into that victory too. I am curious to see what kind of deck Akira uses though.
     
  5. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 18

    So Yusaku and Akari are dueling over pride and trust. Who is more worthy to have this information and makes things right.

    We need dueling in the show, this could be settled so simple by talking, whatever.
     
  6. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Well, it makes sense within the context of the situation and franchise. Arguments are often settled through a duel and Yusaku wasn't going to back down unless Akira could defeat him. Given Yusaku's reaction to Akira trying to talk things out to him in the middle of the duel, I don't think talking things out would have worked out anyway. Dueling is often seen as a form of communication anyway.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. I didn't consider the possibility that Akira already knew the information from that incident before confronting Yusaku. I don't know why Shoichi was surprised over Sol Technologies being involved in the incident. They had information about it in their data bank and Revolver said that Sol Technologies was an evil group. It should have been expected that they were involved. At least Akira wasn't still mad over what happened to Aoi or anything like that since that wouldn't have made any sense. Akira wanting to take action himself sounded nice on paper and he doesn't come off as a shady person like Ema is, as she freely admit that either winning or losing their previous duel was really a victory for her in the end, but it's no surprise that Yusaku wouldn't accept that. He spent all this time just going for his revenge and he wouldn't take no for an answer. Plus, he probably still wouldn't trust Akria with something like that.

    The duel itself was okay. I was curious to see Akira's deck, especially when I really didn't think he would be a duelist, but I was a bit disappointed with what we got. His monsters look really unappealing to me design-wise. They look pretty over-designed, especially Tindangle Hound. Even so, I did find his strategy interesting. Yusaku relies pretty heavily on his Link monsters and Decode Talker gets a boost from monsters that it's linked with, so Akira used his monsters' effects to weaken Yusaku's monsters. The combination with Tindangle Hound and Tindangle Angel was pretty neat too. Even with Tindangle Hound being destroyed, he could bring it back with Tindangle Angel's effect. I certainly wasn't expecting a Flip deck from Akira, so while I don't like the monster designs, the strategy involved is pretty cool.

    I actually liked getting more insight into Akira and Aoi's backstory. That's way better than dangling a vague backstory around in order to lure the audience in like they've been doing with Yusaku since episode one. I was also glad that they confirmed that Aoi and Akira are step-siblings. There was a lot of confusion over the sister in-law translation in Aoi's first episode. While it's pretty standard for little sisters to be motivation fuels for older brothers in this franchise, I actually liked how they handled that aspect here. Unlike most of the other siblings in this franchise, there's a significant age gap between Akira and Aoi, so that can make their relationship much different. They were only sixteen and six respectively when they're parents died. Considering the whole incident with Yusaku happened ten years ago, I wouldn't be surprised if they were connected. Without any money or support from their family, Akira was forced to become an adult at a young age to provide for Aoi. It definitely reminded me of the backstory for Kaiba and Mokuba, although Akira didn't have the same kind of emotional trauma that Kaiba did that resulted in more emotional problems. It was a genuinely sweet and effective way to show that Akira cares about Aoi and why providing for her is so important to him. It still makes me worry that Aoi is just going to stand around, look pretty and end up being Akira, as well as possibly Yusaku's, motivation fuel in the end, but it was still a nice scene that made me like Akira more than I would have expected.

    I was seriously confused over the angry reactions from both Yusaku and especially Shoichi though. Akira wasn't trying to belittle Yusaku through his speech. He was trying to emphasize with Yusaku and Akira doesn't even know Shoichi, so why either of them would be so upset just confuses me. I know that they were focused on how Akira doesn't know them, so he can't talk like he knows their pain or what they're going through, but I don't think that he was claiming that he was. If anything, his backstory showed a bit more as to why he wanted to help Yusaku. He had to grow up fast to take care of Aoi, so seeing someone like Yusaku who suffered greatly around that same age would make him want to help. He'd want to be the adult and take care of the situation instead of the actual child taking on this potentially dangerous responsibility. That's kind of how I took the scene at least. He was trying to reach out to Yusaku only to be yelled at, which kind of bothered me. It felt like both Yusaku and Shoichi missed the point of Akira's speech if they were only focused on how much he didn't understand their pain.

    While I kind of liked that they finally did something with Shoichi's side of the situation, as they've done virtually nothing in regards to his feelings over his brother being kidnapped up to this point, he has been too bland and primarily just in the background to make that reaction feel anything more than sudden and out of nowhere. I would have liked Yusaku's line regarding how Akira knows only a fictionalize version of him if there was more of a significant difference between Yusaku and Playmaker. There really isn't in my opinion. Yusaku has the same serious/dead pan reactions and expression as himself and as Playmaker. Maybe I'm just not picking up on the differences, but it definitely doesn't feel like they're different enough for Playmaker to be seen as a fictionalized version of Yusaku.

    Akira was still doing pretty well with that combination, although I wish that Ema didn't spell out the symbolism with the Hound and Angel monsters. Yusaku summoned out Fire Wall Dragon was expected, although I thought that would happen in the next episode instead of the ending to this one. At least the duel is a regular standing duel, so Yusaku won't have Storm Access. I wouldn't be surprised if the skill still manages to save Yusaku. There's still no sense of tension with Yusaku dueling. After he has defeated nearly all of the established duelists, there's really no reason why I should worry about whether or not he'll win.
     
  7. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 19

    So they stop mid duel to tell some backstory. Well than Yusaku's past is all kinds of messed up, so I understand why he is so vengeful.

    Is it so wrong, that I am more on Akari's side here when it comes to live a good life put the past behind over obsession with revenge. But Yusaku has other reason trying to rescue someone, and I understand he does not feel he can live a peaceful live until he helps that person.

    So who the mastermind of this, Akari knows, I get a someone is about to disappear flag here.
     
  8. Radical

    Radical The Face of Evil & Epicness!!!!!

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    Episode 19 was pretty sweet,

    Yusaku/Playmaker vs. Akira is pretty sweet, Akira's monsters were awesome/strong.

    Despite Yusaku's lousy cold anti-social personality, he'll develop to learn about friendship/trust, still love Yusaku, a good reason for Ignis to dislike Yusaku, poor Light Lucario won't handle more of Yusaku's lousy behavior.

    Akira's sweet speech to forget about the past/revenge and have a good better life was awesome, but Yusaku has a good reason to be vengeful though, both Akira/Aoi better awesome interesting characters than Yusaku/Ignis:D.

    Nice seeing Aoi, both her/Ignis wanting to know about the tragic incident was nice.

    Yusaku's tragic backstory was interesting/messed-up:ack:, poor Yusaku, a good reason for him for revenge along with saving Shoichi's brother and unlocking the truth.

    SOL Technology are the true dangerous threat, zoombie is right.

    Yusaku searching for the Hanoi Project along with the mastermind behind it was interesting, I'll see who the mastermind is.

    I do root for Akira in the duel though, sorry Yusaku.

    Next episode preview: The sweet Yusaku/Playmaker vs. Akira duel continues, poor Akira though.
     
  9. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I'm not a fan of stopping the duel just to provide some backstory. It felt kind of forced to do it right then and there and felt like an excuse to extend the duel into a three-parter unnecessarily. It doesn't help that Aoi just suddenly came from the sidelines to find out the truth before the duel was over instead of waiting until afterwards since the duel is about figuring out who would use the information to take on the villains.

    Honestly, I think both sides made good points here. Akira was right in that he should try to live a good life instead of being consumed by revenge. Plus, he'd feel better if such a huge responsibility wasn't placed on a child. He's a teenager obviously, but sixteen is still a child, so I could see why Akira would want to step in, especially knowing his backstory. However, Yusaku does have the right to at least know what happened given he was one of the victims, getting revenge might help him to move on and he'd want to rescue that person who saved him, even though I'm positive that the person was Revolver. Still, I'd lead more towards Akira's side, or at least not really see him in the wrong for trying to keep a child from handling something so huge.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. Yusaku's attack only allowed for Akira to bring out his ace monster, which might be one of the worst designs I've seen in the show thus far. I thought that his monsters were overly designed, but I could at least tell where their faces and heads were. It was just far too busy and ugly for my tastes. Akira did have a pretty effective combination though. He got rid of Code Talker and set up so that his ace monster couldn't be destroyed by card effects or battle. I was confused in regard to the Link requirements for one of his Trap Cards, especially when the show still hasn't explained much about Link summoning or how the new field works. I thought that Link Markers only worked for your side of the field instead of the whole thing. It was a good, if extremely broken combo with the Trap cards and the monster's own effect.

    Even with Akira pushing Yusaku into a corner, it was clear that he wasn't going to lose. They're just setting up for Yusaku to make a big comeback. That's pretty typical of a Yu-Gi-Oh! series and I wouldn't mind that too much if they didn't already ruin any sense of tension with Yusaku's duels. Even without Storm Access, I'm still not going to be too invested in Yusaku's duels simply because he can't lose and the writers have already shown that they'll do anything to make sure he keeps winning. They were trying to go for a funny banter between him and Ignis, but I just find Ignis too annoying to be funny. Yusaku's line of how he doesn't need the warmth of people was rather telling though. It would explain why he seems rather fine with not developing much of any friendships and I don't know if they're going to change that anytime soon. Outside of Onizuka, who may turn out to be a one-shot character given he hasn't been even mentioned since their duel, he hasn't developed any kind of connection with other characters. They did play that last draw as a big moment, but I'm sure that it's the card that will turn the duel around for Yusaku.

    I still liked that Akira just wanted to have Yusaku stop going for revenge. He clearly wasn't being a jerk about it, which still makes me confused over Yusaku's and Shoichi's intense reactions towards him in the previous episode. He knew what it meant to lose time as a sixteen year old boy. I'm sure that he was grateful that he could take care of Aoi when he did, but he was still basically forced to be an adult well before he was ready. It's a huge responsibility and he didn't want to see anyone sixteen year old boy going through something like that. He might have been projecting or assuming too much about Yusaku in regards to thinking he could just smile it off with friends and talk about his future, but he wasn't being a jerk about it. He was still ultimately trying to help Yusaku. There are some people who may not agree with Akira here, but at the very least, I don't think that he's in the wrong or that he's the bad guy in this situation given his reasoning behind his decision.

    I figured that Aoi would show up during the duel, but I didn't think that she'd do it right then. Like I said before, I don't like how they stopped the duel for the backstory, especially when Aoi's reasoning behind it was rather weak. Link Vrains has changed since Yusaku showed up and knowing what Yusaku was fighting for would somehow allow her to move forward. This certainly isn't the first time a duel has been stopped to give out exposition or backstory. They usually just handle the exposition/backstory in a more natural way or at least provide a better in-universe reason for why they'd stop the duel. It really does come off as a way to force in another three part duel. At least this makes a bit more sense than doing that with Revolver. They didn't have any build up to Yusaku dueling Akira or any sign that Akira was even a duelist, but at least the information Yusaku wanted to get could be really important in progressing the storyline.

    I actually kind of liked Yusaku's backstory though. It kind of reminded me of his struggling moment against Revolver in that he actually was emotionally vulnerable. Plus, being kidnapped and tortured for six months would mess anyone up, let alone a six year old child. An experience like that would be difficult, if not impossible, for most people to recover completely from. They did a nice job with showing how his traumatic experience left huge mental scars in the flashback. I keep forgetting about Shoichi's brother and the friend who saved Yusaku, so those along with wanting to get revenge in order to move on does make his desire to fight back more understandable.

    That being said, I still don't like how they've handled this aspect of Yusaku's character in general. At least part of it comes from how they've dangled Yusaku's vague tragic backstory as a tease right from the start. They've basically kept it vague in the hopes that it would make the audience want to keep following the show in order to learn more about it. That isn't a bad approach when it comes to the storyline or world building. Arc V had plenty of teases to its overarching storyline early on too, but we got details of information along the way well before Yuya first met Yuto. We weren't completely in the dark, while I feel like we mostly were in regards to Yusaku's vague tragic backstory. Plus, I don't think that method works as well for something like a character backstory. That should be generally be clearer for the audience since it helps to flesh out the character sooner rather than later and helps to make their motivations/behavior more understandable too. While they did a nice job with showing the effects that the traumatic effect had on Yusaku in the flashback, I don't think that they've done enough to show that outside of those scenes. He'd get more intense at times against the Hanoi Knights, such as with his duel against Revolver, and the whole three reason thing is a coping mechanism from that experience, but we don't see anything akin to Yusaku struggling to be happy in spite of what he went through, waking up from terrible nightmares or having more rage issues because of his focused on revenge. I wouldn't mind the whole exposition in the middle of the duel that much if it felt like they did more to actually show more of the impact through Yusaku's behavior prior to this episode. That's why it still ultimately feel more of the typical show, don't tell problem that the show has.

    Despite the traumatic experience, Yusaku honestly seems rather okay with his situation. He doesn't care about other people, which is basically admitted in this episode, and I don't think that the show is going to present that or his desire for revenge as bad things anytime soon. It's one reason why describing himself as an isolated and possibly lonely person still leaves me confused. He's certainly isolated, but he doesn't seem lonely. He just keeps the bare minimum interactions with Shoichi, Ignis and anyone else he has to interact with. Yusaku's behavior prior to this episode wouldn't make me think that he suffered from immense physical and mental damage despite the event taking place ten years ago, which is kind of an issue. With Yuya, you can tell that losing his father and being bullied made a huge impact on his character without half and episode's worth of exposition because it was a big aspect to his character. It resulted in Yuya dealing with a lot of emotional problems that he struggled with throughout the series. Yuya's backstory was key for his character and shown in many ways. I feel like Yusaku's backstory should also be more visible than it is. I still appreciate the backstory for providing some much needed emotional vulnerability to Yusaku, but I don't think that alone is enough, especially when he still has primarily come off as a Gary Stu throughout the show instead of the tortured soul that I think that the show wants him to be.

    I don't know why the characters keep getting surprised at the notion that Hanoi or SOL Technologies are involved with the project. Neither one of them may be the true villains, but they're both clearly supposed to be bad guys here. Of course, Akira wouldn't tell who the mastermind of the project was and they spent half of the episode on exposition. It still makes a bit more sense than making the Revolver duel a three part match, but it still feels too forced for my tastes.
     
  10. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 20

    So Yusaku wins this duel to no one's surprise. Ai was hilarious, I love how over confident he was with his acting, only for Yusaku to burst his bubble.

    So Dr. Hanou was the master mind, I am kind of not surprised, but him being dead, that is a shock. I thought he was in a coma. I doubt he is dead for real, we will see.

    So now next episode we have a little cool off and get ready for the next major battle.
     
  11. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Ignis is still much more annoying than funny to me, although the reaction to Yusaku bursting his bubble was kind of funny.

    Yeah, I fully expected Ignis' creator to behind the incident, but being dead was a bit of an unexpected twist. I doubt that he'll really dead. He could have faked his death or just be on life support for years in order to be able to enact his villainous plans in the virtual world without other people trying to stop him.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was actually pretty good. Akira did kind of lose me a bit with not telling Yusaku who the mastermind was. They obviously wanted to save that for the end of the episode reveal, but not wanting Yusaku to become a devil of revenge was a bit of an odd reason. He's been doing that throughout the duel, but it was more focused on Yusaku having a happier life and not having a huge burden to bear at a young age than simply not having revenge if that makes any sense. Besides that, I think that the ship sailed in terms of Yusaku becoming a devil of revenge and not telling him that information after learning about his backstory would only make the problem worse.

    Although, the more I think about Yusaku's backstory, the more hallow it kind of feels. They've hinted at it throughout the show, so it doesn't feel forced or unbelievable, but they have spent most of the series praising Yusaku as the hero who saved Link Vrains multiple times and even called him a superhero during his duel with Ema. And yet he has this traumatic backstory that should be more present in his behavior a lot more than I think it is. It does show through his anger and desire for revenge, but I don't think that's enough to match with what the exposition/flashback in the previous episode showed. It just comes off as the writers wanting to make a traditionally cool lead character while slapping on a tragic backstory in the attempt to make him deeper than he is. I'm still hoping that they'll do more with Yusaku's PTSD, emphasize his emotional damage and start the process of healing somehow, but it's hard to say whether or not they'll do that when he still is presented as this great hero of Link Vrains and they haven't shown his desire for revenge as a bad thing. If anything, they've been trying to justify his desire for revenge through his backstory, so I don't have a lot of hopes for Yusaku's storyline at this point.

    I figured that the Trap card Yusaku put out would save him, but it was a pretty nice strategy with getting to attack directly with Firewall Dragon in the following turn. Akira's Field Spell made his combination even more overpowered and broken. I was still expecting Yusaku to Link summon that new monster he got from his previous duel just so that he could indirectly rely on Storm Access again. I have to admit that Yusaku's strategy with summoning out those different Link Monsters was pretty effective. He threw Akira off his guard by activating his Trap card, was able to reduce the effect damage and eliminated his Field Spell's effect so he could attack at the same time.

    This was actually the first time one of Yusaku's duels had any kind of tension. It was obvious he wasn't going to lose because of Ignis and they were powering up Akira's combinations to ridiculous levels just to make his comeback more noteworthy, but he didn't really have to use Storm Access directly or indirectly to save himself for once. That did reduce one of my major problems with Yusaku's duels in that I didn't know how exactly he'd turn things around at the end. With Storm Access, I don't really have to wonder about that, but without it, there was some sense of tension and suspense in wondering how he'd turn it around. It was a surprisingly effective strategy. It doesn't fix all of my issues with Yusaku's duels, as his plot armor is still pretty obvious, but there will be hopefully more duels without the use of Storm Access in the future. That would hopefully help to make the duels less boring to me.

    At first, I thought that he went for reducing Akira's monsters attack points down to zero was for some honorable duelist reason, but the obvious symbolism with Aoi and Akira was expected too. I don't know why they went for protecting each other when they wouldn't die and I don't know how Aoi showed up in front of Akira based on where she was during the duel, but they were just going for a touching sibling moment there. Despite Yusaku saying that he's walking a dark path, the show is still justifying his actions more than not. Plus, I don't really like how the show hasn't addressed that he shouldn't be fighting this battle primarily on his own. I know it's for his own revenge, as well as Shoichi, but friendship is a key aspect of Yu-Gi-Oh! and so far, I don't know if Yusaku is actually going to form any meaningful bonds with other characters. He might at some point, but twenty episodes in and he's still primarily working alone and actively wants to keep other people away from what he's doing. I just hope that we get to a point where Yusaku admits that he needs more people to help him with his mission, if only show that Yusaku can have more characters to bounce off of.

    While I'm still worried that Aoi is just going to be motivation fuel for Akira and Yusaku, her moment with Akira was admittedly pretty sweet. Akira couldn't stop Yusaku, but Aoi was able to gain a better understanding of her brother and their relationship should improve as a result. As much as I wanted a more antagonistic sibling relationship, I still have a huge soft spot for sweet sibling moments in this franchise and their relationship/history has been one of the few emotionally effective aspects of Vrains thus far, so I'm generally fine with how it has turned out so far.

    Of course, Ignis' creator was the person behind the project, although he was working alone. SOL Technologies kept it secret because of their own image, but a part of me wouldn't be surprised if it turned out that there were more people at SOL Technologies either involved or in favor of whatever he did. I was surprised that he was apparently dead, although I'm still leading towards the notion that he is on life support instead of resurrected from the dead exactly. I still have no idea why Link Vrains is important and even why the villains want to destroy it kind of bothers me. They have to keep their motivation a secret for awhile. They can't reveal everything right off the bat, but if I don't understand why a key aspect of the new setting is important, then why should I care that the villains want to destroy it? I don't even understand the notion of destroying the whole network. Revolver mentioned something about how the network is bad because people can hide who they are or something along those lines, but that's still not a good enough reason to really destroy their virtual reality.
     
  12. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 21

    A clip show really, we just had one 8 episodes ago, I am starting to worry about the budget of thee show. I don't much to say, we didn't get a new OP and ED, I guess we are going to get a month late since the series got a late start.
     
  13. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Has there been news for a new OP and ED? We usually don't get new themes until a new arc and that doesn't always match with the start of a new anime season. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if they are having some budget problems. That would explain why we have two clip show episodes in one arc and I still think that they needed another month to get Vrains ready to air. We normally don't have that large of a gap between the end and beginning of a Yu-Gi-Oh! series and it took them quite awhile to show any actual footage from the show too.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was pretty bad. We didn't need the first clip show episode, but we certainly didn't need a second one not even ten episodes later. While stuff has happened, it's definitely not enough for a clip show. There have been only four duels between this and the first clip show episode and they glossed over Aoi's duel. Granted, the in-universe explanation would be that Ignis wasn't there to explain how Aoi won, but it's still pretty telling that the focus is still on Yusaku during even clip shows.

    I think that the amount of clip shows could be a combination of budget problems and Vrains not really knowing how to focus on anyone who isn't Yusaku. Admittedly, I think that they had a better chance to focus on other characters like Aoi and Onizuka with the first clip show, but they still could have shown more of how Aoi and Akira were doing after the duel or preferably do something with Onizuka to build up to his return. I was beginning to think that he was just a one-shot character due to not being mentioned or seen outside of flashbacks for nearly twenty episodes. Even focusing more on how Shoichi feels could have been interesting, especially with the opening about how he thought that their revenge could be over, but that was quickly brushed aside. Instead, the focus was still all about what has happened to Yusaku and wondering how he'd handle everything that has happened to him. Vrains' idea of having a cool off episode is either exposition episodes or clip shows. Neither one is really a good approach, although at least we tend to get some new information from exposition episodes. All we got here was Yusaku coming to the conclusion that they still have a lead in Revolver, which definitely wasn't worth saving for an episode cliffhanger given how obvious that reveal was.

    Admittedly, they were a bit more creative with some of the comedy bits with Ignis and the robot than they were with the annoying reporters. I don't like Ignis at all, but at least he can get a laugh out of me sometimes, which is more than I can say for the reporters. This was still a pretty bland clip show episode without really adding anything new. It still ultimately felt like a pointless waste of time. The fact that this is the second clip show in the same arc only makes it worse. For a moment, I thought that they were trying to do recaps after Yusaku has dueled three times to tie in the with the whole three gimmick, but that wasn't the case since Yusaku had more than three duels before the first clip show. There is absolutely no good excuse for having this many clip shows in one arc. Their hands could easily be tied due to budget issues, but they still could figure out at least a more interesting way to have clip shows than these two episodes were.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Radical

    Radical The Face of Evil & Epicness!!!!!

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    Episode 22 was pretty sweet, after annoying clip show day,

    An eclipse, a plot device coming.

    Shima saying Another wrong and Yusaku owning him was funny, Shima is a dumb loser, hehehe.

    Dr. Kogami and the Knights of Hanoi's diabolical plan on creating Anothers from the victim duelists is interesting.

    Cool seeing Go Onizuka, and his major role on facing the Knights of Hanoi while protecting Makoto was pretty awesome, he's better than Yusaku.His past protecting Makoto was great.Both Chazz, Jack Atlas, Shark, and Go, the best rival/anti-heroes ever:D.

    Revolver wanting a rematch with Yusaku was interesting.

    Dr. Genome and the two new members, my favorite great new interesting Knights of Hanoi, the female Knight is cute.

    Go knowing Yusaku's identity was interesting.

    Go vs. Dr. Genome I'll enjoy, cool to see Go dueling again after Aoi:D.

    Next episode preview: Go vs. Dr. Genome begins, I'll see Dr. Genome's cool deck.
     
  15. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 22

    Well I guess we know who are next opponent, it is Dr. Genome. I was worried that Onizuka was going to join him, and speaking of which great to Onizuka again, we haven't seen him in a while.

    So we see more members of the Knights of Hanoi, who are these people?

    So does Onizuka really know Playmaker's identity or is it just a bluff, he had a that scene with Yusaku, maybe, maybe not, Interesting to see where this goes.


     
  16. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I'd kind of love it if Onizuka does know that Yusaku is Playmaker just from looking at his face. I'm still not sure why no one else has picked up on that, especially when the characters in Arc V knew that Yuya and Yuzu looked exactly like their dimensional counterparts. Different hair color alone shouldn't be enough to hide that.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. The opening threw me off since I thought that the characters were dueling outside of Link Vrains for once. I don't recall them showing a virtual sun in Link Vrains before, especially when we normally see the same generic background for all of the duels. They don't normally reflect the actual time. It does make the scenery a bit different, but it also feels kind of tacked on at this point. I really could have done with Shima trying to explain the Another situation to Yusaku. He just came off as extremely annoying and his loud voice didn't help. Considering that Yusaku already knew about it and the next scene was all about his investigation, it felt like poorly done exposition. That being said, Yusaku walking away from Shima, along with revealing that he already knew about the Another situation, was pretty funny.

    I have to admit that the Knights of Hanoi's plan was pretty smart and effective. They knew that Playmaker has an old duel disk and is a hacker, so targeting the people they think could be Playmaker in order to get Ignis makes sense. I don't know why Yusaku didn't want to jump to that conclusion after listing out those three connections. It seemed pretty obvious what they were doing well before Yusaku saw that footage from Link Vrains. Not to mention they pointed out a couple of times that the Another victims were in a similar state as Aoi was when she was attacked, so that should have made it clear that it was the Knights of Hanoi. I don't know how he could have seen all of what happened, but they needed to show him what Onizuka was doing in order to lead up to that duel too.

    I thought that Dr. Genome was actually Revolver due to the hair style. He looked a lot more intimidating before they revealed his design. He just looks like another over the top evil minor villain. I don't know what the eye patches for the new Knights mean other than they just want to look cool. While I like that Onizuka came back and we got some backstory for him, his motivation for dueling against Dr. Genome was really sloppy. He was so upset over what happened to Makato, but he's definitely a one-shot character. He won't appear after this whole Another situation is resolved most likely and it's a desperate attempt at giving Onizuka a more personal reason for going after the Knights of Hanoi. If Makato was an established character, then it would probably be different, but it just seems like a poor way of bringing Onizuka back into the spotlight. At least his motivation for dueling Yusaku before made more sense given that we actually saw his reaction to the kids praising Playmaker and the episode before that did show the belt that the kids made for him too. Granted, I still find it annoying how the kids flip flopped so hard and easily during that two parter in general, but his motivation for that duel was generally fine, or at least handled better than it was here.

    The whole flashback with Makato certainly would have had more meaning if we actually saw their friendship instead of being told about it. Same with blaming himself for what happened to Makato. Onizuka cares about him, but because it's just suddenly told to the audience instead of being told naturally, it feels like a force and artificial way to bring Onizuka into the conflict. Not to mention Onizuka's design as a child was just awful. Gongenzaka never looked like a child either, but at least they didn't slap a huge head and a regular child's body like they did with Onizuka. His interaction with Yusaku was brief, but I'd still love it if just looking at Yusaku made him realize that he is Playmaker. It probably has something to do with getting the same kind of pressure from Yusaku as he would from Playmaker after their duel.

    Revolver not wanting to move forward until he defeats Yusaku is pretty typical rival mentality for this franchise, but I'm also pretty sure that means he is the person who talked to Yusaku before. The music during his conversation with his father was quite nice though. They were really going for mindless destruction again with the Knight grunts attack random nameless characters. I guess that they can force characters into a duel now with their special cards somehow. I am so tired of characters constantly praising Yusaku as a hero. It still feels like the writers want to just shove his character down the audience's throat until they like him for being so hip, cool and edgy.

    I was surprised with the fake Playmaker, but it took me awhile to realize it was Onizuka trying to lure out Dr. Genome. Admittedly, the fight scene was surprisingly awesome. Maybe it was because it caught me off guard or how it reminded me of Yusei punching people back in 5D's, but it was pretty cool in spite of being more flashy action to downplay the little to no substance that the show has in my opinion. Onizuka deciding to duel instead of helping the Knights made sense, although putting Playmaker's identity on the line also seemed a bit strange. It might have been to keep Dr. Genome interested in dueling him, but it would be nice if someone else knew Yusaku's secret. He desperately needs more characters to bounce off of, Onizuka would be a helpful ally in their fight and it would be good for Yusaku to open up to more people. While I find the in-universe hero worship to be annoyingly frustrating, if they remember that Yusaku is a traumatized child, they could use the magic of friendship to help him start to actually heal. This is a Yu-Gi-Oh! series, so maybe they'll remember that friendship is the main theme of the franchise and so that Yusaku isn't primarily on his own for the whole series.
     
  17. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 23


    So Go Onizuka doesn't know Playmakers, or is Yusaku just being arrogant, I mean it is not like it is impossible right.

    Reguardless Onizuka becomes Dark Onizuka and has a new style. Not really a heel turn because the people were cheering, but whatever.

    My only problem, why can't Onizuka just win this himself, why does Yusaku have to show up and save the day, I know he is the main character, but come on.
     
  18. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Well, to Yusaku's perspective, there wouldn't be any way Onizuka could figure out who he is just from their brief conversation. He only said a couple of sentences to Onizuka before leaving. It may not be arrogance so much as just not thinking that it's possible, but I still hope that he does simply because Yusaku needs more characters to bounce off of.

    I thought that people still cheered for heels in wrestling too, but I could be mistaken since I hardly know anything about wrestling. Plus, he was up against one of the Knights of Hanoi, so they wouldn't root against him with this kind of matchup. If he was against their lord and savior Playmaker, it would be different since they all worship the ground he walks on.

    Honestly, they've gone way overboard with the hero worship for Yusaku well before this point. I was kidding when calling Playmaker their lord and savior, but they do pretty much treat him as the best thing since slice bread. They've frequently referred to Yusaku as the hero who saved Link Vrains or even a super hero on multiple cases. It still screams of desperation to me. It's like the writers want the audience to like their cool new lead character so much that they want to shove him down our throats and tell us how we should feel about him instead of coming to that decision ourselves based on his actions.

    As for Yusaku showing up to save Onizuka, I have mixed feelings on it. On one hand, I kind of like that Yusaku was actually showing some different emotions for once and wanting to help Onizuka could help to sell more on their eventual friendship if Onizuka does join the group. On the other hand, it just further increases the problem about the in-universe hero worshiping of Yusaku. Even when he isn't the one dueling, they still find a way to make it about him and to throw in more extreme praise for the character. It doesn't help that this is only our second duel of the series where Yusaku isn't the one dueling. I don't think that he'll join in the duel himself, if only because it's kind of late in the duel to do that, but even just providing some encouraging words to Onizuka could either undermine his victory or at least keep forcing the hero role onto Yusaku. If the show recognized that he's a traumatized child dealing with his emotional damage in an unhealthy way instead of making him into a Gary Stu superhero loved by all, Yusaku would probably be a lot more interesting to me.

    As for the episode, I thought it was okay. I knew that the preview mentioned a change in Onizuka's dueling style, but I wasn't expecting a heel turn. All I thought during that reveal was wondering how he could have gotten that mask on his face. I don't know why everyone was so shocked over the notion of Dark Onizuka. It wasn't like he was becoming evil. It was just a heel turn, which was fitting given the wrestling inspiration behind Onizuka's style. Ignis calling it tacky was kind of funny, if only because I thought that the reveal was just weird more than anything else.

    While it did fit, it didn't really feel as decent entertainment compared to his duel with Yusaku. There was still a performance element behind his dueling style, particularly with wearing the mask and somehow spraying something on Genome's face during his first bit of effect damage, but it felt more hallow and forced to me. I don't know if Genome's point about how Onizuka couldn't change his DNA, or the core of his dueling style, was right, but I do think that he was forcing this change just to stick with the times. He was already worried that he was behind the times after his duel with Yusaku. He still wants to entertain people, but just do so with a different fighting style, which would be fine if the change felt more genuine rather than forced out of fear or desperation.

    I don't mind that Onizuka studied Yusaku's duels after he lost to him. That's pretty typical of minor rival characters, but the claim that Yusaku had changed an entire generation was absolutely ridiculous. He's a popular duelist, but claiming that an entire generation of duelists is different simply because of him is just stupid. I know that Reiji once referred to the current generation of duelists as the Yuya Sakaki generation during Arc V, but that wasn't to emphasize how super special awesome Yuya was. It was the fact that Pendulum cards had a big effect on the game, as well as their society as a whole. Since Yuya seemingly created Pendulum cards, it made sense to use his name in reference to the current young duelists. If they hadn't done so much to overly praise Yusaku prior to this point, maybe this claim wouldn't annoy me so much, but as it is, it just makes the hero worshiping of Yusaku much worse. Even when he isn't in the duel, they'll find a way to praise their lord and savior Playmaker.

    The duel itself was fairly decent. While Onizuka's whole heel act felt too forced for my tastes, it still worked with his wrestling theme and he had some pretty good combos with his monsters. Genome was just able to counter them pretty easily, which could tie into my theory that Onizuka's heel act is just holding him back. It wouldn't be like his DNA is holding him back like Genome claimed, but just that he can't change himself into something that he isn't. As annoying as Genome's whole DNA emphasis was, he did do a pretty good job with his own combos and he even got Onizuka down to two hundred life points. It took me awhile to recognize that the duel was taking place outside of their usual background since Onizuka was able to fall down without possibly dying. They made that into a big deal for Speed Duels, even though they obviously aren't going to let any of their characters die yet.

    Like I said before, Yusaku reacting to Onizuka's situation and apparently going off to help him was a mixed bag at best. It would still be nice if Onizuka joined Yusaku in his fight against the Knight of Hanoi, especially when Yusaku needs to know that he can't do this alone or expect that there won't be any innocent victims during this fight, but Yusaku saving Onizuka somehow just makes him still feel like a huge Gary Stu to me. His backstory already feels like window dressing in terms of trying to make him more deep than he is, so being the one to save the day, everyone loving Playmaker and how he defines an entire generation doesn't help matters. The more the writers try to beat the audience with how cool and awesome Yusaku is, the more I dislike him. I don't find him unlikable, but he is really boring and not really interesting when they're so bent on making him the super special hero that everyone loves regardless of how they actually feel about him.
     

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