Yu-Gi-Oh VRAINS Episode 1 [First Impression]


Eva’s First Impression

Say hello to my new bias.



Hey he may have wacky hair, but he is looking pretty darn badass * v *

I’M HOOKED. I deliberately made the decision to avoid spoilers, avoid watching the PV to basically go into this completely blind – and it definitely paid off. I was so pleasantly surprised by many things from this episode. For one, I already adore Yuusaku, I love his personality (he is both CUTE AND COOL!), his character design (even his wacky Playmaker form – HIS TRANSFORMATION SEQUENCE IS AWESOMEEEEEEEEEE), his deep voice is like a breath of fresh air, not to mention he is mighty fineeeeeee~!!!!! I am also curious to find out more about why he doesn’t enjoy dueling anymore (which is hilarious when you think about VRAIN’S predecessor: ARC-V).

It goes without saying VRAINS already gives off a lot of 5DS vibes, especially with a mature, cool under-fire protagonist, who happens to be a skillful hacker, and Speed Duels to the boot. I am absolutely thrilled to see the darker tone in the premiere, something we haven’t seen since 5DS. And I would sure hope – should the darker tone be relevant to this series, that they follow all the way through. Yu-Gi-Oh! + Angst = FUN STUFF!!!!

This episode also escalated quickly when it came down to conflict. Den City was vulnerable to the Hanoi Knights’ attack, but while the action that took place was cool and everything, it was incredibly confusing as to which “space” this attack was taking place in. I wished they had provided a better explanation of borderline between Link VRAINS and the real world. I had to rewatch the scene of the Hanoi Knight crashing into the space a couple of times before I figured, “Ah, Yuusaku and Kusanagi must have been inside the entire time. The spectators that are being ‘killed off’ are the VRAIN Accounts that are being deleted”. But even after coming to such conclusion, I am not confident whether or not I understood it correctly. Hopefully within the next few episodes we can gain a better understanding and example of how players enter and leave the space, if any at all.

But what surprised me the most about the premiere was the sheer amount of information that was dumped on us. Talk about literally, cutting straight to the chase. No really, I am dead serious. While a whole bunch of information was being rained down upon, we got three teams on a wild goose chase trying to capture an AI, Ignis! The writers had crammed so much into the episode, it was unbelievably overwhelming. So there’s a bloody good chance that many of us (including myself) had probably missed some key points. As result of that, I figured it would probably be best breakdown of what we learned today into bullet points rather than a wall of text.

The Protagonist:

By day he is known as Yuusaku who has very little interest in interacting with others (Kusanagi being the sole exception, and if he does, he tends to be incredibly straightforward), and by night VRAIN Link he goes by Playmaker, the Duelist of Justice (who is super popular)

  • Badass Hacker, n’uff said
  • Likes to be old-school and carries a physical copy of his deck. (Nowadays, people use AI Cards connected to Cloud)
  • He is basically a vigilante, and shows up like a super hero to deal with Hanaoi Knights. His partner in crime is Kusanagi. They are the third party duo.
  • He wants revenge on those who stole find Kusanagi’s little brother (MIA, I guess) and his past away.
  • We are told Yuusaku doesn’t particularly enjoy dueling nowadays.
  • There was also something is tracking Yuusaku throughout the entire episode, but I’m not sure if it was Ignis or not.

Ignis, the AI on the Run:

  • Smug little shit
    There was an attack 5 years ago from Hanoi, he hid the Cyverse somewhere inside the network
  • Calls himself the Savior of his buddies, only for 99% of his body to be eaten and mangled by a dragon. (His AI buddies are sealed in some Hanoi Knights’ trap)
  • Currently held Hostage by Yuusaku (LOL)
  • Has access/contains/controls Data material from Cyverse, and by releasing it (appears to) bring forth a Data Storm

There are two major organizations, SOL Technologies and the Hanaoi Knights.

SOL Technologies:

  • Developed a Duel Disk that uses AI cards and Cloud, and has access to a Virtual Reality Network Space, Link VRAINS (a place that has been described as a sacred place where only the greatest of veteran duelists gather)
  • Due to the removal of the Cyverse, the supply of Data Material has declined, and it’s negatively impact the performance of the network. Should Cyverse remain missing, further instability will spread through the network. As result it could mean the death of SOL Technologies. (Screw Public Safety!!!)
  • One of their err, Directors is known as Bishop-sama. (Not sure what’s up with that. Some weird shit going on…)

Hanoi Knights:

  • Said to an organization of Evil Hackers
  • One of their dudes is called Revolver. His buddy he works with has some sick dragon that wrecks havoc everywhere. Blowing shit up and stuff.
  • They can’t let SOL Technologies capture Ignis, fearing the Cyverse will be reborn and their (whatever) efforts will be all for nothing.


Both organizations are actively attempting to capture Ignis, the AI

  • We have yet to learn for what purpose these AI serve, but the one thing we did learn, is that it appears they are the ones who can influence these so-called DATA STORMS

The premiere definitely focused more on the plot related detailed rather than the characters themselves. With Go-Onizuka and Blue Angel, both to said to be Charisma Duelists (whatever the heck that is supposed to be) who have the skills to back them in. I am curious to see how Yuusaku will interact with them in the future, especially given his personality and how he didn’t even know who they were until Kusanagi provided a brief reminder. That alone just shows Yuusaku could care less who these guys were unless they had some form of connection with those he intends to get revenge on. I am also looking forward to seeing how Yuusaku’s and Ignis have opposite personalities are going to clash, and I eagerly anticipate the future bickering between the two. Their brief interaction they had with each other today shows promise.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is off to a dramatic start, and it’s safe to say that I am probably going stick with it for a while. However as it has been three years, I would like to remind everyone of my general rules with 50+ Episodes Series. I guarantee to cover 3 – 5 episodes (varying on how long it takes to get a better understanding of the series). If I like where it’s going, I give it between 10 – 15 episodes to allow me to get the gist of the direction of the series will go and whether or not I will likely to make the 2 – 3 years commitment. So far, with this premiere, it sure looks promising.

I look forward to next week’s episode!!! And who could those mythical wind riders be?!

Possibility of Blogging: High

Random Note of the Week: Holy shit those fairies monsters look like Yuzu’s monsters, FEEEEELLLSSSSS


Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog

You may also like...

26 Responses

  1. Kazanova says:

    Please continue! I’ve missed you Eva! It’s nice to read your review again (TTvTT)

    No Duel yet, but VRAINS already stole my heart~ Yusaku is so cool! I love him at first sight already! I hope they’re not making him some overpowered deadpan protagonist. I’m looking forward to see his growth! He doesn’t enjoy Dueling that much anymore, which means I bet that he’ll start enjoying it again through meeting new friends as the story progress. I agree that Yusaku has many similarities with Yusei! Though, the main difference between Yusaku and Yusei is Yusei was friendlier and more sociable.

    I’ll wait for your review next week!

    • Eva says:

      :D YOU BET I WILL CONTINUE! :D Also good news, I have more time on my hands and dear god, life is boring when you got nothing to blog haahahah! Before I return as a full-time writer though there are a couple of things in my back-log that I have been wanting to get out for over a year now. So I told myself before I commit to the next season I consider of making a return as a full-time writer, I need to finish the back-log projects :3 That said, even if I managed to catch up to my projects, I’m not 100% certain whether or not I will return for the summer season yet because I am considering traveling across the country this summer (and I know I wouldn’t be able to cover more than one show if I do that!)

      IKR, no duels but <3 <3 <3 I'm in love! Yuusaku is just too cooolllll! And gorgeous, he's drop dead gorgeous. He's so gorgeous that not even his crazy hair as Playmaker takes anything away!

      And thank you! <3 Good to be back! <3 <3 <3

      • Kazanova says:

        YAY! I love you, Eva! If I could, I would’ve hug you ! XD

        Travelling across the country? You’re going to some kind of field trip/holiday? I wish you good luck with your back-log projects!

        To be honest, at first I found Yusaku’s hair, awkward. But then I got used to it and this first episode successfully made me love everything about him both inside and outside (^w^)
        Revolver is also cool too, but his mask/helmet is not my liking though, and I still can’t get used to it. From the OP, Revolver is most likely the Rival Character in the series (like Kaiba, Jack, Reiji, etc)?

        • Eva says:


          Yup! :D Snce it’s Canada 150th Anniversary this year, there’s a free pass (Discovery Pass) to the national parks, so I really want to go hiking, and camping if possible! :D It’s been something I have been wanting to do for a long time. ; v ; But if the weather gonna suck, I’ll have to wait for a better season… (And so far it hasn’t looked too promising with all the flooding that’s going on…)

          (๑ÒωÓ๑) The backlogs are a lot of work, but I am determined to finally finish what I started hahaha! It was unfortunate that I couldn’t put more time into them sooner.

          I am curious to see what Revolver’s character will be like. I actually like his mask, I find it cool LOLZ. He is probably a rival character, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having two opposing antagonists right off the bat. Creates a fun dynamic.

  2. 75chaosflare says:

    Honestly, it looks like a pretty nice start. The start of the plot is displayed as well as the prelude. There was a nice introduction to Yusaku and his communication with people and his goals with his mysterious past. He easily gives Yusei vibes and I love it.
    The characters also seem very interesting based on their bios and I can’t wait to seem them.

    The Op is great and the I love the ED(pic of Aoi “wanting Nii-san to notice me” with sparkling scenario XD) just from it giving a lot of Sonic Riders vibe from the beat of it.

    • Eva says:

      Yes Yusei’s similarities definitely explains one of the many reasons why I was instantly drawn to Yuusaku’s character. I do LOVE these type of characters. Hahaha!

      Oh yes the OP and ED songs are really good. The one thing that premiere really caught me off guard with was all the deep voices. The song, the protagonist, it’s pretty funny. xDDD

  3. Virginia says:

    To answer your confusion Eva…

    I think the real world and Vrains world is like one city built on top of the other but the city on top is invisible. That’s the best way to think SOL of as a public safety thing.

    So the base city is the real world and Vrains is the city built over it. Vrains world is invisible and can’t be felt unless they enter but it still exists. It explains why boundaries between Vrains world and real world feel invisible. I think Den City is dependent on Vrains to the point the city will be in danger if Vrains gets hacked and everything. Though dependent on entertainment can be seen extreme…

    • Eva says:

      Yeah there’s a good possibilities that could be it. Still difficult to wrap my head around though! ●.◉ LMAO!
      Nevertheless, that’s quite a dangerous set up for the city, especially considering SOL Technologies higher care more about than company’s profits and stability than public safety, whom the general public relies on.

  4. First words: WE SONIC (“Free”) RIDERS (“Zero Gravity”) IN YUGIOH NOW!!! XD

    This “Speed Duel” format gives me Sonic Riders vibes, but I’m irked by how the new Yugioh rulings limited off other Extra Deck methods AND Pendulum summons to death just to accommodate Link Summons. THIS major gripe aside, YUSAKU/PLAYMAKER! This guy instantly won me over like Yusei once did in 5D’s and I can tell he’s already miles better than “MUH KATTOBINGU” Yuma AND dat Egao Messiah Tomato Yuya. And the AI “Ignis” is such an egotistical jerk from the beginning and running away from SOL Technologies & the “Knights of Hanoi” for FIVE YEARS still couldn’t make him change a bit. That being said, I HATE THAT NAOKI FAT DUDE, he’s not SHIVERS KIDS ver.2 but he’s painfully unbearable to watch for even a minute. Hope Yusaku has other (new) friends beside Kusanagi. Minus points for NO debut duel for Yusaku in the first episode, though.

    “Holy shit those fairies monsters look like Yuzu’s monsters”

    Those are Trickstars, the Blue Angel’s- I mean, AOI’S archetype, but since that fiend SHIN YOSHIDA is in the storyboard, expect her to be relegated to another new cheerleader soon (like Kotori had been for the entirety of ZEXAL), if even Yuzu couldn’t escape the fate of female characters/duelists being badly treated then no chance for Aoi to shine much often (she’s already fleeing in fear before the Playmaker bailed her out)… Unless they try to prove me wrong.

    • Eva says:

      //First words: WE SONIC (“Free”) RIDERS (“Zero Gravity”) IN YUGIOH NOW!!! XD//


      I am absolutely looking forward to Ignis and Yuusaku’s interactions, it’s gonna be a blast I’m sure of it.
      Dear god I hope he doesn’t become friends with that Shiver 2.0 dude, he looks to be those annoying useless chatterbox type of characters. =_=|||

      SO THEY ARE CALLEDTRICKSTARS * v * WELCOME TO MY COLLECTION!!!!! Seriously I adore their designs.

      I have definitely tempered my expectations for the females’ roles with Shin Yoshida on board. There were several scenes that had his name written all over it. But hey if I fall in love with Aoi, what can I do right? Yuzu during the first half of ARC-V was such a rare bonus, that it only made me love the show even more. At least with VRAINS, the protagonist alone is what got me head over heels, and it’s more likely he will be the one driving the plot, as oppose to ARC-V when the plot was running away from Yuuya for 35 episodes while Yuzu held the spotlight lmfao.

      It would nice to see him learn some lessons from ARC-V with the female roles, but I am certainly not holding my breath for it.

      • BTW I just read Akira’s (Zaizen) bio a bit, turns out he’s a workaholic while Aoi is a silent bro-con IRL. Funny since

        Spoiler in Kirakira Precure (the latest Precure season which you didn’t cover) AKIRA AND AOI are in that show too, with Aoi being a rich lady who has a rock band of her own, while Akira being a “SHE” instead of a “he” and has “his”-er, “her” own little sister Miku. The protagonist, Usami Ichika (who fell for Akira by mistake one time), is genuinely more charming and entertaining than Asahina Mirai in Mahou Tsukai Precure.

        Now part of me wants the two Akiras and Aois to meet each other! XD

        • Eva says:

          ( X_X||| Ah crap it looks like our spoiler tag is broken…. I’ll see if I can get a fix. EDIT: Got a temporary solution, but the regular spoiler tags at this time is not working it seems. May not work for all browsers though.)

          I’ve been meaning to watch the latest precure, hadn’t had the time to get around to it. Once I clear my back-log that I want to address, if I still have time I’m thinking of potentially doing a binge coverage (if I like it).

    • marsh381 says:

      Argh, I can’t believe I’m still correcting stuff like this even after my long hiatus from this site when I dropped Arc-V. Aoi couldn’t do anything in that situation. The Hanoi Knight didn’t care about anyone, nor did he want to duel anyone. It was basically just destroy everything on sight looking for Ignis. If Aoi challenged him he would have honestly just incinerated her on the spot (AKA deleting her account). The ONLY reason why he is even dueling Yusaku is because Yusaku has Ignis as his hostage.
      While its up to personal preference, to me is Plus to not have a duel in the first ep. Because 1) It would have been shoehorned in there because they would have attempted it to finish it in the one episode. Exposition would of had to been cut out. 2) Plus since Speed Duels function differently than normal duels, along with the introduction towards Link summoning, it would have taken too much time to explain it. Leaving all that information for the next episode dedicated towards their duel is smarter. 3) Deciding to not duel in the first episode shows that they’re at least attempting to tell that audience that there is a story and it isn’t just teenagers fighting each other with cards. 4) Even if they decided to make this duel 2 parter then exposition would have been cut out, which this series needs. 5) Considering how the duel is written for next episodes’ summary and Ignis’s role in Yusaku’s Duel, cramming those events into one episode wouldn’t have been right. Unless this was some hour long special, not dueling in the first ep is the smarter choice.

      • “Aoi couldn’t do anything in that situation. The Hanoi Knight didn’t care about anyone, nor did he want to duel anyone.”

        Yes, I KNOW that Aoi was helpless in such situation, but I won’t be surprised where in future episodes she gets shafted in the story with SHIN YOSHIDA the anti-feminist on the storyboard. Just see Kotori who’s nothing but a cheerleader for ZEXAL’s entirety.

        • Eva says:

          Second this ^^^: And it’s pretty much why I am going int with no expectations or hope for the ladies this season. If anything looks positive, I am going to be cautiously optimistic. It would be nice if they learned their lessons, but I won’t hold my breath for it. Honestly I don’t know if I would prefer a badass heroine who gets reduce down to a Damsel in Distress – aka leads to disappointment – or a passive one that doesn’t stand out much so that I don’t become hopeful. Either way, there is no winner, more like pick your poison.


    All joking aside, that’s the vibe I got from SOL Technologies and Akira when he was talking to Bishop. How funny would it be if Roget got sent to the Vrains Universe when his dimensional teleporter malfunctioned and this is all part of his plan for interdimensional domination LOL.

    The new series is looking good so far. Like you Eva I got a very 5Ds vibe from watching it, which make sense since Zexal took elements from Duel Monsters and Arc V took elements from GX. I also think this is the first time in Yu-Gi-Oh history where the opening episode had no proper duel, all the other series had the main protagonist duel in the first episode, sometimes leading into the second. Vrains is already starting to break traditions, I hope it continues to be good, since the main series director is the same one for Digimon Xros Wars.

    I hope you continue with your cover of Vrains Eva, its already shaping up to be a great series.

    • Eva says:

      OMFG, WHAT IF THEY ACTUALLY DO THAT?!?!?!! I don’t know if I would laugh or cry. I guess the biggest hint to that would be to look for Jean-Roger’s voice actor. XD

      The lack of an actual duel in this premiere is quite surprising, but I actually think it was a smart move. Yuusaku’s character isn’t interested in drawing attention to himself (despite his flashy appearance as Playmaker), and on top of that, he doesn’t enjoy duels. He only does so as Playmaker for a mission.

      Breaking traditions is a good start, and I would hope with the new time slot that it will encourage them to do that – whether or not the reasons for changing the time slot was for better or for worse.

      We will see how it turns out in the coming weeks, but I don’t think that’s going to be a concern considering how strong of a start this premiere was. ^ v ^/

  6. God I’m so excited for this
    I already am deeply in love with Yusaku’s personality because he’s exactly the type of protagonist we need after Arc-V and Zexal. Not that I hated Yuya or Yuma, but someone a little less outgoing and happy-go-lucky will be nice. Not to mention just his general air of being calculating, calm, intelligent, and even somewhat ruthless (kinda getting some Kurosaki vibes from him). I loved the scene where he talks to his classmate so much, the entire delivery was perfect. I’m also really hyped to see his backstory and why he doesn’t enjoy dueling, as you said. I also like his partner so far since he seems sort of like a father figure and a voice of reason in case Yusaku becomes too serious or goes too far.
    We also don’t know much about Aoi / Blue Angel yet, but I’m excited to see the sort of dual nature between her idol personality in VR and her real-life self who seems a bit more serious.
    Also the opening and ending themes are AMAZING.
    Overall I’m just so hyped for this series I can barely think of all the reasons why right now.

    • Eva says:


      I got Shun vibes from him too (also if look closely he already has a bit of his hair XD), and I totally dig it. I absolutely agree with you, Yuusaku’s personality is exactly the shift we needed after happy-go-lucky ARC-V. What’s also interesting to me though is how the YGO series seems to have a pattern with the characters’ age/skill level progression. Kid/Novice > Teen/Intermediate > Mature/Experienced. I first noticed this right after 5DS ended. Zexal was targeted to a new audience who has yet to learn how the game works, ARC-V they expect you to have the gist of it, and now with VRAINS, looks like they expect you to know how it works by now.

      Kusanagi seems to be a cool dude. Like you said, I too think he’s going to serve often as Yuusaku’s voice of reason/advisor when he needs it. At this time I don’t necessarily see him as a father figure, but more of the big brother.

      Curious to see how Aoi is going to turn out as well.


      (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ *:・゚✧ ALL ABOARD THE HYPE TRAIN~ (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ *:・゚✧

      • Thank you~! I figured I’d keep Yuto for the rest of Arc-V but I already knew I wanted to change it for VRAINS.
        My main joy with Yusaku so far is that he seems to take no shit, he’s very goal-oriented and serious which hopefully means he won’t be prone to the same shortcomings Yuya was, which hindered Arc-V a lot. Plus he already proved he’s great at reading people and figuring things out, so he’s definitely more compitent.
        I assume Yusaku is a good duelist too since he’s taken out the Knights of Hanoi for so long, but accoring to Ignis his deck is weak and the preview indicates he’ll struggle (though that might just be adjusting to Speed Duels), so I’m curious if Ignis will introduce him to Link Monsters (the new summon mechanic). Even if that’s true though he seems intelligent enough to make sense of the new dueling quickly, so I assume he’ll still be better from the start than Yuya, closer to Yusei or Judai who already seemed to be proficient at dueling.
        Kusanagi probably is more of a big brother role, I couldn’t think of the right term. The way the ED frames him though there’s more depth to him that I’ll be curious to see.
        Aoi is great and I love her deck, I just hope she won’t be sidelined. I’m definitely collecting her and Yusaku’s decks. Go, on the other hand, I have zero interest in so far…

  7. May says:

    Were Speed Duels the style introduced in Zexal manga?

    • Eva says:

      I have no idea. I never read Zexal’s manga. ^^;

    • The answer is YES and NO. Speed Duels were already a thing in Duel Terminals, but this new “Speed Duel” format is commonly used in Duel Links and will be the regular feature for the VRAINS duels. Personally I’m not too fond of THIS format…

%d bloggers like this: