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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    He still came to save the day though. He didn't join the duel to help Onizuka, but his reverse psychology motivation talk was able to help Onizuka keep on dueling. Without that, Onizuka may not have been able to get back up. Onizuka won the duel on his own, but it was still presented as though their lord and savior Yusaku came down from the heavens to help Onizuka win. It still leaves me with mixed feelings, but not joining in the duel itself isn't really enough for me.

    I'm so ready for that to happen too. While it makes sense that Yusaku would want to keep his identity a secret and go after the Knights of Hanoi primarily on his own, it really does factor into why I think he's so boring. He doesn't have a lot of characters to bounce off with and working with the other characters can help his goal too. Not to mention I'm still waiting for the magic of friendship to begin actually healing Yusaku.

    \

    Not really. Their hair styles don't look the same and other than having an eye patch in place of a D-Gazer, their designs don't really seem that similar. If she was using a train or machine deck, then that might be something.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. As much as I thought Dr. Genome was annoying. his combo was pretty impressive, especially when he cut Onizuka's life points and the attack points of his monster in half. Granted, it made it all the more obvious that Onizuka would make a come back victory, as per tradition in this franchise when one of the main characters is down to one hundred life points, but I'd still give him credit for a good strategy.

    As I mentioned before, I have mixed feelings on Yusaku helping out. On one had, the reverse psychology was a bit unexpected. I knew he wouldn't join the duel himself, if only because it was clearly reaching its conclusion and I didn't think that they'd want to drag it out for that much longer in order to showcase Yusaku's monsters, but I was expecting something more akin to his speech to Dr. Genome when he talked to Onizuka. While he didn't join the duel, he still ultimately saved the day by motivating Onizuka. It does show that he cares about other people and he just hides it, but it still kind of bothered me that Yusaku still had to save the day even when he wasn't the one dueling. This probably wouldn't have bothered me that much if the entire show up to this point hadn't been worshiping Yusaku as the best thing since slice bread. They keep praising him as a hero, including even when he first showed up in this episode, and I just find it to be so forced to keep praising him. It still feels like the writers are desperately trying to make the audience like Yusaku by constantly reminding them that he's the hero who saved Link Vrains. If they had toned down the hero worship, or preferably removed it completely, I'd probably be more okay with Yusaku showing up to indirectly save the day. It would be even better if this was to help further establish their friendship, but I don't think it was going to do that either.

    I liked Onizuka's come-back though. Getting rid of the masks was a nice touch that helped with his performance, although I still wish that they addressed that Onizuka was forcing himself into a role before. The whole heel turn worked in regards to wrestling, at least based on what little i know about it, but it felt kind of forced compared to when he was dueling Yusaku before. I thought that Yusaku would point that out too, but he was just talking about how duelist can always evolve further. Onizuka's strategy was pretty good though. He was able to get rid of the effects of Dr. Genome's monsters and win the duel. He got the virus recovering program too, although his one-shot friend obviously won't show up again because his purpose to create personal stakes is done. Onizuka claiming to be the world's best entertainer was a bit much. Maybe I would like his performances if I knew more about wrestling, but his main selling point for me is that he reminds me of Arc V and man I miss that series so much.

    I was hoping that Onizuka would mention to Yusaku that he did know his identity afterwards, but he didn't. I guess that was a lie to get Dr. Genome to duel him, unless they're going to bring that up later. While Onizuka may not know who Yusaku is, at least he's actively fighting against the Knights of Hanoi, so he can be more involved in the conflicts.

    I was confused when the Knights of Hanoi grunts were still turning other duelists into Another, but Yusaku mentioning that they keep updating the virus makes sense. I guess that would explain why they couldn't use the same program that healed Aoi to heal all of the other victims earlier either. I don't know if they could look at the updated virus to get a recover program that way, but they just wanted to find a way to still make becoming Another full of tension. I liked the scene with Aoi and Akira. Akira seemed happy to be able to spend more time with Aoi and Aoi felt the same, despite being distracted for a moment. While I do have my fair share of problems with this series, the moments being these two have been more genuinely touching than I expected, so that is nice.

    I still really hate how they make the fate of Link Vrains so important when I still don't know why Link Vrains is a big deal. It's where people duel, but that's not enough for me to care, especially when I still don't understand how it's apparently the only way people duel in this universe. I could believe that it's the most popular way to duel, but so popular to the point where using actual cards is a rarity is just weird. The fact that people losing against the Hanoi are being turned into Anothers helps to make this more of a big deal, but that wasn't the case before these last couple of episodes and they're even comparing the AI duelists facing off against the Knights of Hanoi to historical Japanese battles. All that served was primarily to hype up the two new Knights of Hanoi and to get Akira to leave so Aoi could go to Link Vrains on her own. Her situation is rather difficult. She'd want to help fight against the Knights of Hanoi, but she promised her brother that she wouldn't and she knows how much he cares about her too. I wish that there was more focus on Aoi being afraid of the Knights or wanting to get revenge for what they did to her. The latter could show up for her motivation for ultimately joining the fight, but it still seems like she seemingly has no problem dueling again. It would kind of bother me if Akira is the only thing stopping her from fighting against the Knights of Hanoi. She was put into a dangerous and life-threatening situation, but aside from how it has made Akira understandably protective of her, being brainwashed and nearly put into a coma for the rest of her life seemingly had no effect on Aoi herself, which would bother me if that was the case.
     
  2. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 25

    Well great to see Aoi or Blue Angel back in the fold. But who doesn't know Blue Angel, it seems everyone, even Akira's co worker, is the worst keep secret in the series. Though that Aoi was able to figure Ghost Girl, gives me hope she will figure out Yusaku is Playmaker, that is what I want, I want more people to know.

    Now than, Baira is an interesting character at least. First of all there seems to be a splinter group within the Hanoi Knights, not everyone is on the same page. Faust and Baira have their own goals. Also this is just wild speculation but could Baira be Revolver's sister. We got a little flashback, looked like the three of them were having a picnic, like a date, she said Revolver is like a younger brother to Faust, but she never said what her relationship to Revolver was. Than again wouldn't be easier just said that was little brother. Though for character design point, she could be Aoi's biological sister, but I doubt it.

    Anyway as great as it is to Aoi duel again, she is going to have to lose for plot reasons, as it seem Yusaku needs to duel Baira. Once again Yusaku is going to save the day while all the supporting characters are just there to be saved.
     
  3. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    To be fair, it's possible that SOL Technologies employees learned about Aoi being Blue Angel after she was put into a coma. People at her school, aside from Yusaku, don't know who she is, so it's not like everyone knows. Aoi figured out that Ema was Ghost Girl because of that message she sent to Blue Angel before. If we can get more people to find out that Yusaku is Playmaker, that would be good.

    I suppose it's possible that Baira could be Revolver's sister since we know so little about him and his backstory, but they could have been close to Revolver's father too. I don't see how Baira looks that similar to Aoi though. Aside from having brown hair, they don't look that similar to each other. Plus, if Aoi had a long-lost big sister, that probably would have been mentioned during her backstory with Akira.

    Yeah, that really bothers me too. They already hyped up Baira quite a bit with helping to defeat all of those AI duelists and they've been hinting that Yusaku needs to duel her in order to get the origin of the Another virus, so the chances of Aoi winning aren't that great. A part of me is unsure if they are going to have Aoi lose, mainly because she does have some personal stakes/revenge to take on against Baira and I don't know what losing would accomplish other than Yusaku saving the day again. I've mentioned before that the duels in this series generally lack tension since the outcomes are so obvious with Yusaku's giant plot armors. In this case, I'm unsure about whether or not they want to have Yusaku save the game yet again, which they probably will. I'll be genuinely surprised if Aoi is allowed to win given the setup.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. Of course, people would say that Onizuka was following in Playmaker's footsteps by taking on the Knights of Hanoi. It isn't inaccurate, but because of all of the hero worshiping of Playmaker, even a small line like that bothers me. At least Yusaku didn't do much this episode, so that was nice.

    The moment with Baira showing some doubt and concerns over their actions would have been better if it wasn't so easily resolved. She still may have some guilt over what they're doing, but it didn't take much for her to feel at ease about it. Not to mention their goal being so vague doesn't really help matters either. They basically want to destroy the Internet, but since it still seems kind of vague and we were just introduced to Baira properly, it didn't quite work.

    Ema going to meet Aoi was kind of odd. She wanted to talk about whether or not she was giving up dueling, but I think what threw me off was the whole "if you can't take responsibility for your actions, you should give up being Blue Angel" bit. Aoi was a victim of the Knights of Hanoi, so I don't know what actions she needed to take responsibility for. Maybe it was some reverse psychology to make Aoi to reconsider her choice, but it seemed weird. She only became Blue Angel so that Akira would appreciate her, but now that she knows that Akira loves her, she doesn't have a reason for dueling. That could have been just a lie since she seemed like she wanted to join the fight in the previous episode and her brother was the only thing holding her back from doing so. I was just kind of confused over the conversation.

    I so wanted Baira to eliminate the annoying news reporters since I'm beyond tired of their comedy routine, but choosing to spare them does make her stand out compared to the grunts attacking everyone around them. Aoi coming in to save them was expected though. I was glad that they acknowledged how Aoi went through a pretty traumatic experience. It kind of felt glossed over since she wants to forget about it and when we learned how she felt during that time, it was told to us. That's arguably one of the biggest problems Vrains has. It keeps telling the audience things that they could have just as easily shown us. Instead of Aoi talking about how she was screaming into an endless void where no one could hear her long after the fact, it would have been potentially more effective to see it when she was in the hospital. That would have added more tension to the duel because we would have seen how the virus was affecting Aoi from her perspective. Instead, the primary focus was on Akira and to a lesser extent Yusaku's reactions to Aoi being in a coma, which is something that will probably keep happening as the series continues. At least she was getting more upset over being reminded of the event and Baira being the one who created the virus gave her more of a personal reason to go after her specifically.

    The duel was okay. I still like Aoi's deck and her combos are pretty effective. While I didn't get the best first impression of Baira's character, her counter strategy to Aoi's deck was pretty good too. It does make sense that Baira would have a deck to counter Aoi's strategies, especially when her Triskstars deck is rather popular. It also worked a nice opposite to Aoi's deck design wise. Her monsters are all cute fairies, while Baira's monsters so far are creepy mummies. She was already at a pretty noticeable disadvantage, which could be a sign that Aoi will make a comeback victory, especially when Akira is watching the duel too. But considering that Yusaku is still looking into the origin of the virus and they've hinted a few times that he'll duel Baira, it still wouldn't surprise me if Aoi loses and Yusaku saves the day once again. Vrains is practically the Yusaku show as it is, so I wouldn't put it pass the writers to pull a stunt like that here either.
     
  4. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 26

    All right I was proven wrong and I am so happy. Aoi she actually won this duel. I thought for sure she would lose and Yusaku will come to save the day, but no she won this duel. She always able to change Baira's heart, which did cost Baira but she was aware of that.

    So Yusaku all he did was find out Baira true identity, and her age. She is 30 years years old, so she is to old to be any characters we know mother, so scratch that off the list. The only thing about the Yusaku plot, it was so someone would be there to find her and get her to a hospital.

    Anyway great episode, I loved being surprised in a good way.
     
    #104 zoombie, Nov 8, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  5. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong about this too. With the way they kept talking about how they needed the virus removal program and how Baira wanted to duel Playmaker, I thought that they were using Aoi to further hype her up and get Yusaku to save the day again. In our defenses, I think that was a reasonable assumption to make considering the Vrains has basically been the Yusaku show, they're just now getting other characters involved in the fight against the Hanoi over twenty episodes into the series and none of them know who Yusaku is.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. Baira's strategy was still pretty impressive. Not only was she able to cause some effect damage, but she was able to weaken Aoi's Holly Angel while keeping her own monster safe from her Trap card. It was a pretty effective combination. Although, the effect damage throwing Aoi into a few walls was a bit much. It was probably just for dramatic effect, but considering that it's all virtual and she wouldn't feel any actual pain, it isn't nearly as dramatic or intense as they expected it.

    Once Aoi went down to one hundred life points, I figured that she would win, if only because it's typical comeback victory for this franchise. I still don't like how the show paints Akira in the wrong for wanting to stop the duel though. Granted, there's no way he could have stopped it even if he did go to Link Vrains. Aoi wouldn't have wanted that and Baira definitely wouldn't have allowed for it, but I thought his concern was completely valid. He already nearly lost Aoi before and she was at risk of becoming Another with just one hundred life points. I probably wouldn't have minded the notion of a brother's role is to watch on the sideline until the end if the assistant didn't seem so confused as to why Akira was so worried and if the show hadn't painted his concern over his sister in a negative light before. Sure, Aoi was fighting at her full strength, but that shoudn't have meant that Akira's concern for her safety was invalid or he should just wait until it was too late to help her.

    Since Akira couldn't go down to help her, she was down to one hundred life points and her Skill allowed Baira to draw more cards, I figured that she wouldn't draw a Trap card. They were certainly playing it for dramatic effect, which worked better than with the effect damage earlier. Aoi's comeback was pretty nice too. She was able to eliminate one of Baira's monsters, have the Trap Card affect her Link monster and protected her new Link Monster at the same time. Not to mention she caused a bit of effect damage due to the Trickster monsters in her graveyard. That along with attacking her monster allowed for Aoi to win the duel.

    I was pleasantly surprised with the turnout of the match. Not only was Aoi able to win, but she was the one who indirectly save all of the Another victims instead of Yusaku. Yusaku's role in these past two episodes was much more low key than I expected, which I really liked. Yusaku has already gotten so much attention and so much hero worship in-universe that it's nice for them to finally start giving attention to the other characters. If they did this more often, Vrains probably wouldn't feel so much like the Yusaku show.

    Plus, I kind of liked the whole power of believing angle they went with Aoi's victory. It's a nice notion that having the power to keep on hoping could turn things out in your favor. It's typical shonen logic, but it's still nice. Using it to further expand on Baira's character was nice too since that helped to make her feel much less bland than before. Although, I have no idea how old she is supposed to be in the flashback. She is thirty right now, but she barely looked any different in the flashback. She might have looked five years younger tops, so that did make it visually confusing as to how she was so much different when she was younger. Still, I can get behind the idea of feeling like you had more hope when you were younger.

    I'm not sure about how I feel about Aoi just wanting to duel for herself. On one hand, she shouldn't have to put herself in danger to save people if she doesn't want to, but on the other hand, it does make her look much more self-centered than I was expecting, especially when her promise to Akira didn't really seem to prevent her from wanting to help out like I thought at first. It does provide a flaw for Aoi that could be worked on, but despite the surprisingly development here, I still don't have much hope for her to get better treatment. Her first major role was to be put in a coma while Yusaku and Akira tried to rescue her. Given that and the track record of the head writer of the series, I'm not expecting much here. Admittedly, she is dueling more often than I expected, especially within the first arc, but I don't see her getting better treatment. I kind of feel bad in a way for thinking that since I would ideally like to give the show more of a chance in that department. But at the same time, the writer's history given that he wrote the second half of 5D's and all of Zexal makes me think that this train of thinking isn't unfounded. I just have mixed feelings in spite of being happy with how the duel turned out.

    All Yusaku did during these episodes was find out who Baira was, go to her house for virus recovering information and get her to a hospital when Revolver apparently put her in a coma. That's a lot less than I thought he would be doing. Even if Aoi managed to win, I thought that he would find the virus recovery program at her house, but I prefer making his role much smaller. They really need to do that more often. I know that he's the main character and he'll get the most focus/most ability to progress the plot as a result, but they really could give other characters more spotlight more often. I'm not even sure if they needed to wait this long to bring at least Onizuka involved with fighting the Knight of Hanoi. The next episode focuses on Shima, Yusaku's school friend. While I want more focus on other characters, they can skip focus on the comedy relief characters like Shima.

    Despite my mixed feelings on her character, I did like how Aoi was happy at the end with Akira praising her for helping the Another victims. He wouldn't know that she was more focused one getting her revenge, but she seemed happy and that was nice. As nice as her relationship with Akira is, I kind of hope that she'll have more conflict beyond that, which could be possible if they further address the whole self-centered attitude she had here.
     
  6. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Well the 100 LP didn't convince me she was going to win, it was when Baria was shocked and surprised. The 100 LP rule I always thought that only to the main character and the top antagonists that make the miracle comeback. Maybe I am too use to watching supporting characters lose over the years.

    Aoi is off to a good start, but I remember I thought the same thing about Yuzu how she was not going to be the typical Yu Gi Oh! female lead and look what happened. Let's hope they keep it up.
     
  7. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    It often happens to the main characters, but I'm pretty sure it has happened with other characters too. It makes sense in a way since it puts them in position for a big come from behind victory, although it's true that supporting characters in this franchise lose a lot more often than the main characters do.

    Even with all of the problems Arc V had with its female characters, I still wouldn't say that Yuzu turned out to be a typical Yu-Gi-Oh! female lead. While I wasn't thrilled with how it was handled, Yuzu had to be captured and merged with her counterparts to become Ray in order for the plot to progress. We wouldn't learn why Academia wanted the bracelet girls until they had all four of them and Ray was needed in order to defeat Zarc. Plus, it wasn't like Yuzu's entire world revolved around Yuya. Their relationship had a lot more focus, especially near the end of the series, but it wasn't just the typical main female lead devoted to the main character. They took time to show how important they were to each other, as opposed to it being completely one-sided like with Kotori or even Aki to a lesser degree, so their friendship felt much more genuine as a result. Not to mention Yuzu did form other important connections throughout the series. If it wasn't for her, Serena wouldn't have learned the truth about Academia, which would have allowed Sora to card Shun, and Sora probably wouldn't have turned against Academia when he did. Even Shuzo was the one who finally remembered Yuzu near the end of the series as opposed to Yuya.

    Arc V had its problems with female characters, particularly during its third year, but I still firmly believe that the series was taking good steps forward in that area. There were a lot more female characters during that series than I think most of, if not all of the other series and the majority of them, if not all of them, were important to varying degrees. That may not sound like much, but considering how most of the female characters are handled in other series in this franchise and how there really aren't a lot of female duelists in most other series, that's still some sense of progress, which I appreciated. It genuinely felt like a step in the right direction. I also still firmly believe that Yuzu is the best handled female lead that we've seen thus far. The writing behind her wasn't perfect, but she was important to the overall story, had a genuinely touching relationship with Yuya and was able to form strong connections with other characters throughout the series that were important too. That's a lot more than I can say for other female leads in this franchise, even with the problems with Yuzu in mind.

    As nice as it was for Aoi to surprisingly win the duel and to indirectly stop the Another virus, I can't really say that she's off to a good start. Her first main focus in the series was to be in a coma in order for Yusaku to save her. One surprisingly nice victory isn't really enough for me to overlook that. We didn't even learn how she felt about the experience for nearly twenty episodes and her first duel after being targeted by the villains felt like padding in order to promote her cards more than anything else. Not to mention her conflict seemingly revolving around just her older brother sends some red flag for me. Their relationship is a lot more touching than I thought it would be, but given how sisters in this franchise tend to exist primarily for their brothers to worry and protect them, it does make me worry that she'll just turn out to be motivation fuel for Akira and Yusaku at some point. I also can't stress enough how the head writer's work on other series in this franchise making me doubt the notion that Aoi will be handled better. Given my issues with Vrains or even the Arc V manga, which he also writes and does virtually nothing with Yuzu, it's clear that he hasn't improved in that area and shows no interest in doing anything more with female characters than he has to. There was a statement in the Zexal manga where he said if he was left to his own devices, his stories wouldn't have female characters, or something along those lines.

    If Aoi can somehow turn out to be a decently handled character, then that would pleasantly be surprising too, but I wouldn't count on it. There is nothing about the head writer or Vrains itself that makes me think that they'll give Aoi a good amount of screentime and/or development. I still see Vrains as largely the Yusaku show. Finally giving some focus to Onizuka and Aoi over twenty episodes into the series' run doesn't really change that, especially when Yusaku still had to indirectly help Onizuka win his duel. If they can provide more focus to other characters more often, maybe that would help to make it more plausible, but they'd have to do something much more impressive than Aoi winning one duel for that to happen. At least Yuzu was more directly involved in the plot during the first arc, we learned fairly early on that she would have a key role in the storyline and was basically the deuteragonist of the series. Aoi winning one duel, as nice as it was, doesn't really strike me as nearly as impressive by comparison. Not to mention I think Yuzu had much more personality than Aoi does at the moment, especially when her demeanor as Blue Angel is mostly an act.

    To be fair, I feel like at this point fans can never be content with female characters in this franchise. There are plenty of valid complaints over how female characters are handled in Yu-Gi-Oh! and shonen series in general, but I've also seen a lot of hateful and sexist complaints about female characters in this franchise. You can't please everyone, but it feels like fans are never going to be happy with what they do with female characters regardless.
     
  8. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 27

    While I don't like other characters having to rescued by Yusaku, Shima is okay, he can be a damsel and be rescued.

    Now than the Knight of Hanoi he throw the duel, I guess that is the only way Shima would get a victory. Still Shima showed some coverage.

    So next episode, we will end this little arc.
     
    #108 zoombie, Nov 15, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  9. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    To be fair, it makes more sense for Shima to need rescue than the other characters since he's just the comedy relief character. There was no way he'd actually be able to hold his own against a key member of the Knights of Hanoi.

    The grunt didn't really throw the duel so much as he had a really bad hand, tried to make up for it and Shima just caught a lucky break.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. While Yusaku's three reason bit can still be annoying, he was pretty much right about why Shima shouldn't go after the Knights of Hanoi. I didn't even think he was being mean about it this time so much as just being blunt. Although, I do think that the dangers of fighting against the Knights of Hanoi have been lowered at least a bit due to the antivirus program. Apparently that didn't eliminate the threat of becoming Another since Yusaku just said that there were fewer cases happening, but that's really stretching how much tension they can get from this conflict. At least after the first wave of Another victims, they changed the virus. That was still an attempt to make it threatening, but it was fairly believable. This is like if they found a way to turn carded victims in Arc V back to normal before the end of the series. It just doesn't work.

    I understand that the scene showing how Shima first joined the Duel Club was supposed to flesh him out and make the audience like him, but it didn't really work for me. It felt more like a blatant attempt to make the audience care more about him before his inevitable capture/downfall. He did want to help fight the Knights of Hanoi before, but he's largely been just the annoying comedy relief side character without much presence beyond that. I wasn't even sure of his name for awhile. The line all show and no substance was referring to his dueling skills, but it also made me think of Vrains in general. Granted, that's a bit too harsh and not entirely accurate, but I do think that the series has more flash than substance at this point.

    I wasn't expecting someone to hand him a Cyberverse card, but of course he'd think that Playmaker chose him. Shima's Link Vrains outfit was really too bulky and overdesigned a bit, but that was probably the point. That was apparently the first time Shima went into Link Vrains, which does make me wonder how characters create their avatars, but that would require explaining how this world functions and the show apparently doesn't want to do that. While I haven't found Shima to be too funny, I have to admit that his duel with the Knight of Hanoi grunt was pretty hilarious. Both of them starting out with terrible hands only to attempt to bluff each other out was pretty funny. I've had terrible opening hands when playing the game too. I didn't need to see overly shojo Playmaker, but that did make me just pause for a moment wondering what the heck I was even watching. The scene was so stupid that it became hilarious, which can work. Shima was extremely lucky to win since if the grunt didn't cut down his life points to summon his monster, Shima would have lost.

    Yusaku was surprised that someone else had his Cyberverse Wizard. At first, I thought that Faust gave the card to Shima, but that wouldn't make sense when he was looking for Playmaker. I think it was Revolver. Revolver most likely knows who Playmaker is based on their previous confrontation, chose someone at random at Yusaku's school to give a Cyberverse card under the pretense of being Playmaker and is trying to lure Yusaku out to confirm his suspicions.

    It was so painfully obvious that Shima was going to attract attention and be captured. He proudly announced himself as Playmaker's associate, played a Cyberverse card and was talking about his actions as Brave Max in the real world. He was entirely too stupid to handle something like this, so being captured was inevitable. For a moment, I thought that they were going to turn Shima into Another, but I'm glad that they didn't due to the whole stretching the tension issue that I mentioned earlier. From a character perspective, I could understand why Shima would still panic at the possibility of becoming Another, but from the audience perspective, it doesn't carry that much weight because we have seen people brought back multiple times at this point. That's why I hope that they'll eventually find some other way to create tension since the Another virus really doesn't work after doing it three times.

    I didn't mind that Shima instantly tried to get out of the duel. He talks a big game, but he's a kid throwing himself into a dangerous situation without fully realizing it. I'd care more if I didn't find him annoying. He isn't the worst character in the show, but I just don't like him and his voice makes him more annoying to me for some reason. I have mixed feelings about Yusaku's reaction to the situation. On one hand, I actually like that Yusaku was worried about Shima. I'd gladly take Yusaku showing concern over other characters over the super stoic and reserved Yusaku that we normally get. It's a lot more interesting and more appealing to me to have a character display more emotions. That's not to say that a stoic character can't be likable or interesting, but I feel like Yusaku is just too bland and boring when he's just stoic. Not to mention it keeps making me see him as Yusei lite, so displaying more emotions and more concern for other characters is nice. On the other hand, I feel like Yusaku's concern for Shima feels too sudden. They haven't really had a lot of bonding moments to convey a sense of friendship. Even Yusaku telling him to not go to Link Vrains and calling him info man for his unnecessary exposition about the start of the Another virus was too sudden for me. They usually only share a couple of scenes at school every now and then, but nothing noteworthy, especially when Shima is doing the bulk of the talking during those scenes. There is also the issue of Yusaku continuing to be the savior of the universe with going on yet another rescue mission, but that would be the case even if I did like their friendship and it was kind of inevitable with a joke character like Shima.

    I kind of want to like the whole Yusaku going off to find where Shima was and getting ready to fight Faust in Link Vrains to save him more than I do. If they had a more natural progression of their bond or at least it didn't feel like Yusaku just suddenly started to like Shima, then I think it would be more effective. Ignis using the upgraded Duel Disk to find Shima's location was kind of weird, mainly because I don't know how a flying duel disk wouldn't attract attention, but it was pretty effective. I'll give the episode some credit. For a Shima focused episode, it worked much better than I expected, but I also went in expecting to be more annoyed at him than I was. The funny scenes, along with Yusaku showing some actual concern for someone else, helped to make it better than I expected, so that was nice.
     
  10. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 28

    Well that was a pretty good duel, Faust and his Insect Queen was quite impressive. Well Yusaku won this one. I do wish he would have told Ignis to shut up and hear Faust out.

    I don't know what Ignis is up to, obvious he set up the duel in the last episode,hmm.

    Looks like someone has figured out Playmaker's identity, and my guess he could be Revolver.

    Next episode, another clip show you got to be kidding me. What is up with this budget, get them a kickstarter if they need money. I rather they take a week off than give us clip shows like Arc V did from time to time.
     
  11. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I kind of why Yusaku didn't listen to Faust. The writers wanted to setup something about Ignis, possibly trying to make him look evil or the real threat despite what the Knights of Hanoi have done, but it felt kind of forced. Yusaku could have easily ignored Ignis and listened to Faust before defeating him. He could have chosen not to believe whatever he said about Ignis either way, so it felt like a forced way to create some drama/tension.

    I assumed that Revolver setup the duel, but Ignis giving the card data to Shima would work out a bit more smoothly. It would explain why Shima of all characters got the card since Ignis would know how much he admires Playmaker. I wouldn't have put it pass the show that Revolver just got the data and just happened to pick Shima out of all of the students at Yusaku's school to make the plot move more smoothly.

    That character in the shadows is most likely Revolver. I doubt that they'd introduce another new character after introducing three knights. Not to mention Revolver finding the truth would be more threatening than some brand new character. It does make me realize that Yusaku going into Baria's home without any kind of disguise was pretty stupid.

    It does sound like the setup for another clip show and I heard a rumor that there was going to be another clip show before episode thirty. If that is the case, then they must be having so many behind the scene problems right now. I thought that the first clip show was poorly timed and added nothing, but I let it slide. Getting a second one less than ten episodes later was the real red flag and getting a third one would be even worse, especially when the animation director apparently apologized on Twitter for the second clip show. I feel kind of bad for the animators since I know that the working conditions at Japanese animation studios are pretty terrible and they have tight deadlines, especially for a long running series like Vrains. But at the same time, I think that they could try something else to save on money.

    Arc V didn't normally take a week off outside of holidays like Golden Week or New Years. There were times where a sport event took over their timeslot, most noticeable with a ping pong tournament right before Yuya's rematch with Jack, but that was beyond their control. I'm not sure if they could just take the week off. They may be obligated to make a certain amount of episodes per season/year, but I agree that taking a week off would be better than another clip show. Even if they somehow made a good clip show episode, it would be kind of moot at this point considering how many they've already made and we're still in the first arc. That is an absolutely terrible sign for the show.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. Of course Yusaku would show up at the nick of time to save Shima only to ignore him afterwards. The duel itself was okay. Faust's strategy was pretty good, even if it did remind me of Haga's duels back in DM. The sound effects whenever his worm tokens were summoned was so creepy, but that was probably the point.

    They were trying really hard to put Yusaku in a tight spot. Even after his Link summons, Cybeverse Wizard was turned into an insect, he couldn't use it or the worm tokens Faust placed on his field and was down to fifty life points. Crashing into a virtual building still doesn't have the same kind of impact as a character actually feeling that damage. Of course, Yusaku's Spell was just the right card to save the day and break through Faust's combo. And he got a brand new Link monster with his Skill that allowed him to turn the duel around. While I had problems with Onizuka's duel, both that match and Aoi's match were more interesting to watch at least, if only because there was some semblance of tension. They didn't have a get of out jail free card like Yusaku does with Storm access, which makes their duels at least potentially more entertaining.

    They tried to make Faust a bit more interesting with feeling guilt for what he did to those children, but it felt a bit too sudden and lacking. At least Baira's guilt and regret at the end of her duel with Aoi made sense given what they established about her and her reactions to Aoi during the duel. He did want to warn Yusaku about Ignis, but he just ignored him to win the duel. Yusaku wondering about what he meant about humanity's future was kind of strange. If he didn't defeat him right away, he could have gotten at least some clues about it.

    I was kind of hoping for some moment between Yusaku and Shima to make their friendship feel more genuine, but that didn't really happen. Playmaker just gave Shima some vague encouragement while Yusaku tried to downplay his feelings once he got to Shima. It isn't the first time Yusaku hasn't admitted to caring about another person, but I kind of hope that doesn't keep happening, if only because he does need friendships to help make him more interesting and to maybe actually start some kind of healing process for him. I'm still waiting for the magic of friendship to heal Yusaku's emotional trauma because that's what this franchise is all about. It really does feel to me at times that the people behind Vrains have forgotten the main theme of the franchise, especially when there aren't really any noteworthy friendships presented in the show thus far.

    Yusaku seemed to be questioning if Ignis was the one behind the duel and that does seem likely now. Given his reactions to Faust's claims, I wonder if they're going to make Ignis the real threat, but I also wouldn't be surprised if this was just a red hearing to throw the audience for a loop. It does seem like Revolver has found out who Playmaker is. I didn't think that there would be a security camera in Baira's room, but that would make sense. It still makes me wonder in retrospect why Yusaku and Shoichi didn't wear some kind of disguise just to be safe. Maybe they didn't think that they could be connected back to Playmaker, but two random people asking about the Knights of Hanoi would have made them look suspicious to say the least.
     
  12. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 29

    Just a clip show, not much to say about this episode.I do find it interesting that Shoichi considers Go and Aoi as allies, while Yusaku still considers himself a longer.

    More excited about next week. I wondering what kind of Hungry Games Revolver is planning. I am hoping soon other characters will find out Playmakers identity, it is about time we did that. Maybe Revolver figured it out and he will just tell everyone.
     
  13. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    Not to mention saying that they worked together to defeat the three Knight of Hanoi is a bit of a stretch. Yusaku did kind of help Onizuka for his duel and they apparently were communicating with each other after fighting some grunts afterwards, but Yusaku wasn't involved in Aoi's duel at all and neither she or Onizuka were involved or aware of Yusaku's duel against Faust. They may start working together more actively in the future, but saying that they're allies who work together now seems to be bending the truth a bit.

    I don't know if we can call Revolver's plan a Hunger Games, but I only vaguely know about how that series works. If Revolver does know who Yusaku is, which he probably does, then I don't see why he would just tell everyone. What advantage would he get if other characters outside of the Knight of Hanoi knew who Playmaker is? Besides that, just telling everyone would lose his advantage in the situation. He could use that information to target Yusaku and possibly Shoichi outside of Link Vrains. If other people knew it, then that would just make them more likely to help Yusaku when he's in danger.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was horrible. Unlike the previous recaps, I was more prepared for this one. I heard rumors about another clip show a couple of weeks ago and even the title for this episode sounded like a possible recap setup. However, that didn't make me less angry about it. I thought it would at least a bit, but I still felt like my time was completely wasted when watching this. To give the episode some bit of credit, the idea of Shoichi writing a report of their experiences with the Knights of Hanoi because he's worried of what could happen to him and Yusaku makes sense. I don't know why they didn't consider that they were fighting real people earlier and the report could also easily be used against them to prove that Yusaku is Playmaker, but I think it is a bit more of a natural setup for a clip show episode than the annoying comedy relief reporters getting that interview from Ema or Ignis talking to Yusaku's cleaning robot.

    That being said, this might be the laziest clip show presented thus far in the series, which says a lot considering that we already had two clip show episodes. The other two clip shows attempted to have some new scenes thrown in between the clips. It wasn't much and they didn't have to worry about mouth flaps during most of those scenes, but it was still an attempt to thrown in some new footage. This one just had Shoichi at the beginning of the episode setting up his report file only to then be nearly twenty minutes of nothing but clips. Their budget must be incredibly bad if these three clip show episodes are any indication.

    I'm also pretty sure that events of the first episode, Yusaku's first encounter with Revolver and their duels were covered in the first recap. Ema wouldn't have known about how Yusaku captured Ignis or when they learned about Revolver, but I'm pretty positive that she covered his first duel in the series, as well as his duels with Revolver. They definitely covered Yusaku's tragic backstory in the second recap episode as well. They didn't have enough material to recap since the last recap, so they went back to what was already recapped for the audience. Unbelievable. I know that the in-universe reason was that Shoichi wanted to record their experiences with the Knight of Hanoi and Revolver, but the fact that most of the first half of the recap was already covered months ago is pretty bad.

    It also still bothers me that both Onizuka and Aoi's duels are given footnote treatment. Again, the in-universe reason would be that Shoichi has no idea of what their own experiences were. That was the same reason why Ignis glossed over Aoi's duel against the AI in the second recap. Even so, it still bothers me that even in a recap episode, Yusaku is the main focus. They can't bother to focus on anyone else besides their lord and savior Yusaku. I also still disagree with the notion that Yusaku, Onizuka and Aoi are allies, or at least that they're working together. Maybe you could make an argument that Yusaku and Onizuka are working together since there was some communication after Onizuka's duel, but even then, I'm genuinely not sure if Yusaku would consider anyone besides Shoichi and I guess Ai as allies. He seems pretty content with working mainly on his own. It seems pretty much like what fans would want to see rather than what actually happened.

    Shoichi talking about Jin at the end would have been nice if we had any idea of how their relationship was like before. Shoichi does want to help his brother, so he clearly cares, but we don't have any insight into their dynamics before the whole Lost Incident event. They were happy in the picture, but that isn't enough for me to care, especially when I'm pretty sure that this is the first time we've even heard his brother's name. It's entirely possible that it was said before and I don't remember it, but I'm positive that we didn't hear the name Jin until this episode. Considering that saving Jin is supposedly a part of Yusaku's motivation, as well as a big part of Shoichi's motivation, we really shouldn't have just learned his name nearly thirty episodes in.

    As expected, the recap added nothing other than Yusaku and Shoichi feeling like there was something dangerous happening ahead, which is still pretty much nothing. Clip shows are generally know to be lazy and skippable with few exceptions, but this was just pathetic. If this was the first clip show episode of the series, it would still be bad, lazy and far too early for a clip show, but I think I'd be more willing to let it slide or at least not be that upset about it. The fact that this is their third clip show episode makes it immensely worse. There is no good reason why a show needs to have three clip shows in less than thirty episodes. Even having three clips show episodes throughout a series' entire run is a bit too much. The other series usually just have two and they're typically spread pretty far apart too. Vrains has three clip shows in the span of twenty-nine episodes. That's roughly one clip show for every ten episodes.

    I do genuinely wonder if this is just how the series is going to operate due to whatever behind the scene problems they must be having. Starting from episode thirteen, we've getting recap episodes after every three or four duels and they're eight episodes apart from each other. Are we just going to get recap episodes every two months or so for the whole series? Depending on how long Vrains is supposed to go for, that would be a lot of pointless recap episodes. I still feel kind of bad for the animators since what I've heard about work condition for animators in Japan sounds pretty awful, but at the same time, there must be a better way for them to save some of their budget besides recap episodes. Vrains' idea of a breather episode seems to be either exposition or recaps and neither are particularly good.

    Episodes like this one make me genuinely wonder if Vrains will become my new least favorite series in the franchise. I try not to rank a series when it's just starting out. It isn't quite fair for Vrains when I'm comparing it with series that have already completed their runs and I've felt the same about series in the franchise. It took me around forty or so episodes to feel comfortable enough to say that Arc V is my favorite series and I genuinely loved it right from the start. I'm not sure when I decided that Zexal was my least favorite series, but I would say it was around the half way point at the latest. With that in mind, I can't really see Vrains ranking high on my list of favorite series at the rate its going. The recap episodes are a big problem and do contribute to the pacing problem I think that the show has, but it isn't the biggest one. The biggest problems are probably the show, don't tell rule being violated frequently, the immense hero worshiping for Yusaku and rarely focusing on other characters. I might also include the whole Storm Access skill for further eliminating whatever tension Yusaku's duels could have, but there are a lot of reasons why I don't like this series. It isn't bad enough to make me drop the show and a part of me still wishes I could enjoy it, as opposed to watching it for the small chance of liking it, but it isn't good in my opinion.

    If I had to include it on my personal ranking list, I'd say that it's just barely better than Zexal. The pacing for Vrains' first few episodes was actually pretty okay. It only became more of a problem with the Revolver, but the structure for the first few duels generally worked, much more so than most of Zexal's early duels. The setup for Vrains has a bit more potential than I think Zexal's premise did and to Vrains' credit, I don't think that most of the main cast are as one note as the Zexal cast were. There definitely are some bland characters like Shoichi and the annoying comedy relief characters also kind of remind me of Zexal's humor too, but if they provided better focus for characters not named Yusaku and emphasized that Yusaku is a traumatized child dealing with his trauma in an unhealthy/problematic manner as opposed to making him the cool superhero that all the kids love, they'd be more interesting and I'd probably like the show more. The series could definitely improve and I could feel differently about it, which are another couple of reasons why I'd rather wait before ranking a series, but given my problems with it and my experiences with the head writers' other works in the franchise, it seems really unlikely that Vrains will rank up high on my list of favorite Yu-Gi-Oh! series once it finishes its run.
     
  14. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 30

    So wasn't expecting Yusak and Emma to go on an adventure together. They are two characters that do have different motivation, so I guess their goals won't get in each other ways. Yusaku could give a dam about treasure, and Emma is not looking for fights.

    Just me or that interaction with Emma and Akari seem like they were flirting. Interesting match though I do prefer that co worker girl for Akari. But hat is just me.

    So Emma vs Revolver, time for the Knights to go on a wining track.
     
  15. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I'm not sure if they went on an adventure together so much as they walked down a tunnel for a couple of minutes and padded out the episode with that whole cheating game bit.

    I kind of got that impression too. I'm not sure if there's a popular pairing for this series yet, but I've seen some Akira and Ema fanart at least. I don't like the co worker girl. I'm not sure if she even has a name and more importantly, she comes off as the kind of female character who exist primarily to have a one-sided crush on a male character. I don't like Ema in the slightest, but at least she has some semblance of personality. It's not a likable personality mind you, but it's a bit more than a minor character having a one-sided crush on a main character.

    As for the episode itself, I thought that it was pretty boring. I'm positive that the person we saw at the beginning getting some hotdogs was Revolver. They were hiding his face and his voice was almost identical, so that's most likely Revolver and they're saving his reveal for probably his next duel with Yusaku. Yusaku feeling something along with Ignis still makes me think that he's either a human AI or that something during those six months he was captured allowed him to develop a Link Sense.

    I have no idea how the incompetent comedy relief villain was able to lie to his bosses about his AI Duelists Squad defeating those three Knights of Hanoi. Wouldn't it be common knowledge that Yusaku, Onizuka and Aoi defeated those Knights? And wouldn't his bosses at least be aware that the AI Duelist Squads were wiped out? If it's so easy to lie to them, then that doesn't make SOL Technologies look particularly competent as a whole. Plus, I don't know why we needed another rendition of the AI Duelist Squad being deleted rapidly. That already happened before and it didn't accomplish much other than hyping up the new villains, which wasn't really necessary. This scene especially didn't feel necessary given that it was just for another comedy relief bit.

    Ema and Akria do seem to have a bit of chemistry together and I could see the appeal behind that pairing more if I liked Ema. Akira is probably the most interesting character in the series for me thus far. I'm not sure if that makes him my favorite since that might be going too far, but he does seem a lot more interesting and likable than I was expecting when they first revealed his design. Ema on the other hand would probably be one of my least favorites characters. She just comes off too as shallow and self-centered for my tastes. That wouldn't be a problem if she had more good qualities to balance out those flaws or the show was interested in developing her character, but I don't think that she has a lot of good qualities to make her likable and show definitely isn't interested in developing her character.

    The fact that Ignis kept wanting Yusaku to not check out the source of the danger does make me think he's trying to hide something. They already setup that bit of doubt in him due to his actions in the previous duel. He may be more aware of what's going on than he's letting on. Either that or he's just afraid of the potential danger. Ema using Playmaker's appearance to confirm that there was a treasure makes sense. While using that whole deck of bad cards to cheat her way to the treasure was fitting for her character, it also felt like a huge waste of time. They were probably going for some comedy relief bit with Ignis trying to dramatically pull out a card only to fail at the game, but it felt like padding so that they could fill the run time. Maybe it wouldn't have felt like that if I thought that the scene was funny or if we didn't just come off from the third clip show in this darn show, but it was just not fun or funny for me to sit through that.

    I don't know what monster was attacking Yusaku, but I kept thinking to myself that something was finally happening. Revolver being behind the situation and trapping Ema was expected. Ema tried to get away, but it was futile. I am kind of surprised that they're going to show their duel based on the preview. Since the outcome is extremely obvious, I figured that they'd have the duel off-screen, but they probably want to showoff Revolver's new cards in order to hype him up further. Not that it really means anything since Ema isn't really a strong duelist, or at least I didn't get that impression in her duel with Yusaku, and Yusaku is going to beat him for their rematch anyway. It would be an interesting twist if Yusaku does lose when he duels against Revolver, but since he'd lose Ignis and effectively the plot couldn't happen, I doubt that they'll go down that route.

    While it wasn't clip show levels bad, the padding in this episode was just really distracting and bad. It felt like a lot of setup for the next few episodes, but it felt boring and more like they were trying to fill in the run time more than anything else. Setup can be good and engaging. Arc V had setup episodes that were still good, but that's because they provided some world building and characterizations to flesh out the series and characters. It didn't feel like they were wasting time with those episodes, or with the series as a whole for that matter considering most episodes are important from a character and/or story perspective. Vrains isn't interested in doing that. They just want to make it seem like something is happening when there isn't.

    And if we're supposed to feel bad when Ema inevitably loses to Revolver, that would make the series feel even more like Zexal to me, in the sense that I'm suppose to feel bad/sad for characters that I don't really like and the show hasn't attempted to do much to make them more appealing in my opinion. I do think that Vrains is just barely better than Zexal if we're going by the first thirty episodes, but the writing style between both series is unsurprisingly similar and that's not a good thing in my opinion. It's disappointing, but given they share the same head writer, I should have been more prepared for this possibility when the cast and crew were first revealed in retrospect.
     
  16. Radical

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

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    Episodes 26, 27, 28, and 30 were pretty sweet,

    Baira's true identity being Dr. Kyoko Taki from Yusaku was great.
    The Knights of Hanoi being responsible on the child kidnapping along with Yusaku was interesting.
    Aoi/Blue Angel vs. Baira was an awesome duel, Aoi was amazing on getting the upperhand using Trickstar Bella Madonna winning the duel was sweet:D.
    Baira's change of heart on curing the victims was great, sweet of Aoi to develop her, poor Baira:(.
    Akira proud of Aoi was pretty sweet, best protective older brother.

    Naoki wanting to fight the Knights of Hanoi was great/brave of him, but too reckless, nice he develops though.
    Yusaku warning him to not go to LINK VRAINS was nice.
    Naoki's alter ego Lonely Brave/Brave Max looks pretty cool:D.
    Naoki/Lonely Brave vs. the Knight of Hanoi was great/funny:p.
    Naoki getting his win by luck with the Cyberse Wizard card was great.
    Cool seeing Faust, his plan kidnapping Naoki to lure Playmaker was great.
    Yusaku showing concern when Naoki is kidnapped was great, he'll develop from his lousy Anti-Friendship nature soon.
    Yusaku/Playmaker vs. Faust begins.

    Naoki/Brave Max giving Yusaku the Cyberse Wizard card was great.
    Yusaku/Playmaker vs. Faust was an amazing duel, Faust an impressive top strongest duelist with a sweet Insect-themed deck:D.
    Faust wanting to reveal Ignis's dark secret was great/interesting.
    Ignis having a dark secret was interesting which will be revealed pretty soon.
    Poor Faust the Final Commander's loss.
    Yusaku saving Naoki was great.

    Kitamura lying to his bosses for his stupid promotion, still a lousy piece of crap, he'll be crushed soon:shrug:.
    The mysterious customer in the beginning is Revolver, they'll show his true face soon.
    Akira/Ema's sweet chemistry, but Hayami the cute girl co-worker is the one for Akira which I love her character:anime:.
    Yusaku(Playmaker)/Ignis and Ema investigating the source of the danger was great.
    Ignis's dark secret will come on not wanting to see the source of the danger.
    The comedy relief bit with Ema tricking Ignis was so funny, hehehe.
    Love Ema, a greedy selfish creep on wanting the treasure much like Faye Valentine/Fujiko:D.
    The giant cyber monster chasing Yusaku(Playmaker)/Ignis has a cool design.
    Cool seeing Revolver.
    Ema vs. Revolver begins, another sweet duel I'll enjoy.

    Next episode preview: Ema vs. Revolver begins, I'll enjoy it, poor Ema no match for Revolver though.
     
  17. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 31

    Well it went as expected, Emma was no match for Revolver and is game begins.

    This duel didn't feel like I had a lot of steaks, I was no worried for Emma long term. She is a main character, I am sure she will be back sooner than later, this is not like the Knights form the previous arc. And now that the citizens are starting to disappear as we see in the preview, the next arc is going to be about reversing that, so Emma will be back at the end of the arc.So it didn't feel like there was a lot steaks.

    But I do like Emma's character development, she gave away treasure and cared for something besides treasure, we will see where that leads.

    Anyway Revolver game is in progress, and ironic that our main character is called Playmaker.
     
  18. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    I know what you mean. While there was something on the line in this duel, it was hard to really feel that tension when we all knew how it was going to turn out and the idea that Ema is gone for good is pretty unlikely. I'd honestly give the show some credit if they did do that simply because there would be some long lasting consequences for once. As much as the show made a big deal about the whole Another virus, they were able to undo it all relatively easily. Defeating two of those three Knights basically saved everyone from the Another virus, so defeating Revolver will probably save everyone that has been absorbed by his tower. It almost reminds me a bit of the last arc of Zexal where characters were dying left and right. They made a big deal about their deaths and some of them were actually emotionally effective, but when they had already established the Numeron Code well before that arc, which made it really obvious that they'd be brought back and by what means, it made it harder to care about their deaths.

    They'd probably be able to create at least some tension out of this situation if Yusaku hadn't already defeated Revolver, but he has. He's defeated pretty much all of the established main/prominent supporting characters at this point, so that alone makes it difficult to make the idea that he's going to lose believable. Not to mention he has a huge amount of plot armor, so the chances of Yusaku losing when something is important on the line is pretty slim at best.

    I'd hesitate to call that character development, or at least right now. She cared about trying to help people with this treasure instead of selling it, but it mainly felt like it happened just so that her death scene could be more emotional rather than a natural progression of her character. I can easily see her still acting the same and doing whatever she can to get treasure whenever she does come back. If this experiences changes her after she inevitably comes back, then that would be more along the lines of character development.

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. While the outcome of the duel was obvious, it did end up being better than I expected. Ema actually had a pretty good strategy to block Revolver's cards and even send his Link monster back to his Extra Deck. I still don't really like her deck, but I think that this match did a better job showing her skills than her match with Yusaku did, if only because they didn't thrown in anyone like Shoichi saying how close the match was when it didn't feel that close. Granted, this match had a similar problem in that the outcome was obvious, but they did a decent job showing her skills and I was actually pretty impressed with her combos. Plus, a duel that isn't revolving around Yusaku already has that going for it.

    Ema was more focused on helping people with the treasure she found, but I still think that was more forced or unnatural. It was pretty clear that Yusaku's presence meant that there was something dangerous or at least important going on, but she still chose to trick her way into getting the treasure for herself. Realizing that she was over her head with Revolver capturing her and that this information was so important doesn't really negate that. She'd need to do more than simply giving away the information for it to come off as actual character development rather than forcing to make her death more emotional.

    I don't know why they didn't show Revolver's Trap card, but I guess they just wanted to have something flashy that got rid of Ema's monsters and whatever was chasing after Yusaku. I also completely forgot about Revolver having the Storm Access skill, but I don't know why Ema tried to use her skill against it. Aside from reusing the same fanservicey shots of her body, it didn't accomplish anything and more importantly, she knew that this wasn't a guaranteed way to prevent Revolver from using his skills. She tried the same trick with Yusaku and it didn't work. Even if she got a monster with some attack points, Revolver's Trap Card allowed him to cut his life points in half, so chances are pretty good that he would have been able to activate his skill regardless of what she drew.

    I wasn't really into Revolver's new dragon, but the attack animation made it look more intimidating. While Ema losing was expected and she did play right into Revolver's hand, she still better than I expected. I don't think that Yusaku has developed any friendship with Ema, but I did like how he was genuinely upset and wanted to save her. I greatly prefer Yusaku visibly caring about other people over the traditionally cool protagonist whose too shy to admit that he was even worried about Shima after he was kidnapped. Showing that he does care about other people is much more appealing to me by comparison and it gives him some emotional vulnerability that is greatly needed.

    I just thought that Ema would be turned into Another instead of being absorbed into Revolver's tower. It was a bunch of flashy destruction, but since it's all virtual and the chances are great that it will be instantly fixed once Revolver is defeated, it doesn't come off nearly as intimidating as I think the writers wanted it to be. A part of me wonders if Onizuka and Aoi will get something to do with this tower, but the bulk of the focus will be on Yusaku as per usual unfortunately. If he was a more interesting character, I'd probably be more okay with him getting all of this attention, but he's still pretty boring and overpowered.
     
  19. zoombie

    zoombie Well-Known Member

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    Episode 32

    Okay this is pretty much a setup episode for this arc, and was a good setup episode.

    First of all that SOL exec showed what he is made of. Is willing to betray his own company for his own gain.

    The team is finally together, this is what we waited for. I am hoping by the end of this arc, there is actually some real bonds here. They all fight alone, now it is time to fight together.

    First duel Aoi vs Specter, I am hoping Aoi wins this. After what Specter did, she deserves to beat him.

    Next episode, looks like this duel will last an whole episode and will focus on it, and not jump to something else like a One Piece episode, which I am happy about.
     
  20. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    It's still hard to convey them as a team per say when they still fight alone. Granted, it made sense for them to split up and they at least were communicating with each other, which conveyed more of a sense of teamwork than their previous meeting did, but it still feels more like they fight on their own and they just happen to fight the same enemy if that makes any sense. At least their duels should actually help with the goal of stopping Revolver's plan.

    The chances are pretty good that she'll win. They already hyped up Specter so that Aoi's skills could look more impressive once she defeats him. Since she doesn't have giant plot armor like Yusaku, it isn't a guarantee, but I don't think it's something to worry about.

    Why would they jump around to something else after starting the duel? They often do have slide plots going on along with a duel, but they wouldn't just start the duel and not cut back to it until a few episodes later like One Piece and other long running series do. If she was dueling against a nameless character, then they'd probably cut it, but why would they avoid showing the duel between two named characters?

    Anyway, I thought that this episode was okay. While the destruction of Link Vrains is on a wider scale than before, it it was hard to really find this intimidating and threatening given how the show has handled conflict and destruction before. They made a huge deal about the Another virus going around, but it was resolved relatively easily with just a couple of duels. Even the higher stakes didn't make it feel more intense to me. If anything, it made it more obvious that Yusaku will defeat Revolver. Losing would not only mean losing Ignis, but put the planet in danger due to basically losing the Internet. I thought that Revolver wanted to destroy the Internet in general along with Ignis, but Yusaku and Shoichi wouldn't be aware of his goals beyond Ignis anyway.

    All of the destruction was full of flash with little to no substance behind it. They tried to make a big deal about the characters being absorbed, but knowing that it's going to be all reversed ahead of time really reduces the impact. I think another problem I have with this is that the show is basically trying to add more tension and stakes with every new conflict. The stakes getting higher as the series progresses makes sense, but I feel like the show is trying too much and too hard to do that all at once. I assume that we're still in the first arc, or at least the first season, so already tackling a global threat feels a bit much to me. The threat level is more akin to something that would happen near the end of the series rather than in its first season. Other series have done that, such as GX's first season, but at least with GX, they did actually have breather episodes and much better characterizations to make it work. Not to mention the tone of the series wasn't as serious as Vrains desperately tries to be. Plus, it makes me wonder what other threats they could possibly deal with when they're already dealing with a global threat. It just feels like the show is trying too hard to be serious or edgy, so it just falls flat for me in that sense as well.

    It will probably feel even more like that if Aoi and Onizuka are turned into data during this conflict. They'll most likely lose at some point, unless they're just prevented from dueling by a certain point, so they'll probably be turned into data when that happens. That would just further guarantee that everything would be restored and most likely weaken any emotional scene that they attempt to make from their defeats.

    While I didn't think that the whole characters being absorbed, I actually did like how Onizuka didn't want the kids to watch. He's one of the few likable characters for me and his devotion to the kids does remind me of Crow in a way, so that's a point in his favor. I'll admit that I didn't see the annoying comedy relief SOL Technologies executive trying to team with Revolver coming. It actually did fit with his characterization given how narrow minded he was over his promotions. It was pretty satisfying to see Specter defeat him and turn him into data given how annoying he was. Although, I honestly couldn't remember Specter's name before this episode. Despite being in the ending themes and being Revolver's assistant apparently, he has had little presence in the show itself, so I guess that they needed him to do something after all this time.

    It was kind of nice that Yusaku was willing to bring Aoi and Onizuka up to speed over what was going on. I'm still not really sold on how Aoi started to learn to fight for other people, if only because she was still focusing on herself even she won her last duel and only came to that conclusion after her opponent explained it to her. It's more believable character development than the idea that Ema had some from the previous episode, but it feels a bit too insincere or something like that for me to find the development genuine.

    I wanted them to go into the tower together since that would help to develop some bonds between them. It made sense why they'd split up when they were under a time limit and only one of them had to defeat Revolver, but splitting up just doesn't convey a sense of team work. Actually communicating before leaving was at least a step in the right direction if they do want them to feel like a team, but it still feels much more like they all fight alone despite facing the same enemy. At least the idea that they worked together to stop Revolver's plans will probably be more believable than the recap claiming that they worked together when facing off against those new villains over the Another virus.

    I wasn't expecting Aoi to have the first duel, but she would have more of a personal stake against Specter. He was pretty smug, which conveyed more personality than he had before at least. The duel only barely started, but he seems to be running a plant deck. The preview was focusing a lot on the story book that apparently inspired Aoi's Blue Angel persona. It does sound interesting, but not showing a lot of footage from the duel itself is a bit concerning to me given the series' production problems.
     

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