Yu-Gi-Oh VRAINS Episode 18

Playmaker just about had it with obstructions and Akira is trying to have a heart to heart, opening up about his own past, only to have it backfire- big time. Rather than easing Playmaker into leaving him to investigate, he provoked him, and for the first time, he actually snaps. This of course was fantastic because for once, we have a protagonist who lashes out angrily, absolutely furious and insulted how Akira claims he can relate to him, when in fact he knows nothing about him and what he had experienced. And it’s true. While both Akira and Aoi had a rough phase in their lives after their parents’ death, (which coincidentally had also taken place 10 years ago), neither one of them went through the torture and traumatic experience Yuusaku had. They can’t relate to him, and they most certainly do not understand him. As Playmaker said: They only know the fictional version of him.

Now the timing of death of Zaizen’s parents is hard to ignore. They were killed ten years ago in a traffic incident, but I have a strong feeling that this might just be a cover-up story. Chances are, I think their parents may have worked for or have been involved with SOL Technologies and were part of the incident Yuusaku was a part of. And as I speculated a few weeks ago, given how this incident is not on record and there’s no employees with the exception of Dr. Kogami who knows about it, SOL Technologies may have gone as far killed off some employees to silence those who were perceived as a threat to revealing the truth. If this turns out to be the case, then this would be one way for Yuusaku and Kusanagi to be more open to the idea of working alongside Akira and Aoi, but for the time being, neither of them want anything to do with them, especially after they ticked them off.

And that’s an important point to recognize. It wasn’t just Yuusaku who snapped, it was Kusanagi as well. He is absolutely furious. Should Playmaker lose the duel, I suspect Kusanagi will do everything in his power to give him a quick way to escape. Screw losing gracefully. In a world where one is betting on their life everyday, losing their lead (Ai) is simply not an option. Retreat and fight another day. And remember, it wouldn’t be out of character for Kusanagi to prepare an exit and for Playmaker to take it. Of course I know better that I should moderate my hopes and expectations, but right now, one of the things I enjoying about this series the most is how Yuusaku is breaking out of the mold of the previous series protagonists. It isn’t about friendship and smiles, for Yuusaku is all about survival and seeking answers to the past of his lost memories.

Zaizen’s backstory was a hit and miss for me. Frankly speaking I couldn’t take it seriously, but I did like learning a bit more about Akira and how he did dirty goes and is too a talented hacker. This goes to show how Aoi picked up on it as well. There is also a good chance that it was during those tough days when he and Ghost Girl had most likely became acquaintances with each other.

I am pleased to see Akira is being depicted as a talented duelist. He has a quirky Tindangle Flip Effect Monster Deck made (Tindangles designs are quite creepy. I certainly didn’t expect that from Akira…). His deck strategy is giving Playmaker a headache, but he managed to finally bring out his true ace: Firewall Dragon (good to see you again buddy!). I suspect this duel will probably only last one more episode, but I am kind of hoping Playmaker will lose because he hasn’t lost a fight yet and he needs to. The longer it takes for him the fail, the greater the cost will be, and the less likely for it to happen. (Bloody plot-armor.) Now more than ever, this is a prime time to showcase how Playmaker would respond when he loses in such situation. Will he accept defeat and respect the conditions or will he retreat in attempt to avoid fulfilling the conditions?

Lastly, we should not forget about Kitamura. The crazy guy is obnoxious and demanding, but he is certainly not stupid. He was bright enough to catch on the conversation the hackers were having contained confidential information, and ordered all monitors off, and resumed observing them from his own office. With that in mind, I honestly don’t know how Akira is going to get out of this, let alone promoted since his superiors can hear every word they are saying. So much for secrecy. At this point, I feel like the writers are setting up Akira to fall. No disguise, blatantly snooping in databank, and now offering Playmaker to let him investigate on his behalf? Like hell those chess pieces are going to let this pass! Not to mention he outright vocalized his god damn weakness: His step-sister Aoi. Should anything happen to her, it will break his spirit. This is mainly why I wouldn’t be surprised if he loses, because everything is going to come back to bite him.

Overall this episode was pretty uninteresting and lacked impact. But the one thing I do want to mention is how I am quite pleased with art direction of the series have taken. It seems very promising with how they laid out the field, and how they are offering new angles to the Link Summons so that it’s not just the same old, same old. Hopefully next week will be a bit more engaging since we will be seeing more of Yuusaku’s past from the incident! Looking forward to it!



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

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8 Responses

  1. becs says:

    I get entirely why Yusaku snapped as well as Kusanagi. Akira tried to play the pity card on Yusaku and empathise with him whiile still denying him what he wanted to know. He just packed him into the helpless victim category and his mentioning of this and being all pitiful whilst hinting at parts os Yuusaku’s past that he wants to find out probably touched more than one uncomfortable places. I mean it’s really uncomfortable when people dig into your past and it’s even more invasive when it is traumatic. So Akira did not do himself any favours by his lack of tact when trying to get Yusaku to give up Ai.

    I do like how even though Yusaku was mad at him, he does recognise that Akira wasn’t telling the story to patronise or mock him, but that he was doing it to try and empathise with him in the most tragic way he knew. He said rightly that while Akira’s intentions and alignment are of a good nature, their experiences are not the same and he has imagined a version of Yusaku that doesn’t even touch what he feels.

    On a side note, Akira’s backstory does give insight as to why Aoi may look up to her brother and want to protect him. I’m more than willing to bet that she noticed how her brother struggled for her, so she wants to prove to him that she can help and take care of herself. It explains Akira’s overprotectiveness even more other than the usual big brother syndrome.

    Also, I never expected Akira to have a deck that good… He did not look the type.

    Really looking forward to next week as well! We fiinally get some of his past. Although i did hope the duel would be finished this episode.

    I thought the random note of the week though would be Ai saying “I think i’m seeing a pattern here” when Yusaku ran into his 3rd duel in a row on his battle into SOL technologies.

    One thing we can take from this episode that I think Akira implied about the incident from 10 years ago… apparantly Yusaku was kidnapped. So if that is true then maybe in the future when he remembers he’ll look for his parents.(or really father because in Yugioh *pfft* who needs mothers?).

    • Eva says:

      The flashback certainly gave us some more insight and depth in regards of Akira’s and Aoi’s relationship has, and how it’s important for her to show her brother she is a big girl and can take care of herself – in order to lessen the burden.

      LOL IKR? Akira really doesn’t look the type, but he sure comes out swinging.
      Me too I was hoping the duel would wrap up this week.

      I agree, I think Yuusaku was kidnapped as well (along with Kusanagi’s brother)… O_o Actually… Now that you mention his parents.
      What if his parents/family was one of the memories he had lost?!?!?! ; A ; It would explain why he lives alone ; A ;

  2. Wilfredo Sifr Starduster says:

    To think Akira plays Flip Monsters that emphasizes his overprotective nature for Aoi, LOL I thought they’re phased out given the current state of the game. And Yusaku’s pissed (along Kusanagi) because one doesn’t play the trauma game with them, but good to learn more about Akira & Aoi’s past though. Now I wonder how Blue Angel will respond afterwards given that she is now conscious unlike the Revolver incident.

    But next time VRAINS, can we have an episode or two of dueling WITHOUT Playmaker? God it’s like early Zexal times again…

  3. elior1 says:

    eva akira summon in the next episode preview didnt feel like or looks like link summon. in fact it looks completly diffrent summon with all this door the monster come from and thos fireballs

  4. I got a little scared when I saw Kusanagi and Playmaker snap. I’ve never seen them so angry before, especially Kusanagi. Then again, there’s a first for everything. But overall, I enjoyed this episode. We get to learn a little more about Akira and Aoi’s past and some more details on how they had to survive after they became orphans. But I’m glad those two had each other during dark times like those. If Akira had to work illegal jobs such as hacking, he must have been desperate to protect Aoi because she’s the only family he has now. And I can understand Akira was only trying to help Playmaker by asking for his trust. Must be to repay Playmaker for how he helped Aoi last time. However, on the other hand, by the angry look on Playmaker and Kusanagi’s faces, their incident must have been a lot worse than the Zaizen siblings’ situation and it must be a touchy subject for others to mention. Oh, but I do hope the main and supporting cast form a team to work together to take down their real enemy in the future, whether it’s SOL Technology or the Knights of Hanoi.

    • elior1 says:

      do you think it realy link summon akira using in the preview to summon this big dragon becouse with this door and the flames the dragon come out from not looks like it at all

  5. The more I learn about SOL Technologies the more I think they are the true villains of the series. I can see parallels being drawn between The Knights of Hanoi and SOL Technologies and Team Skull and The Aether Foundation from Pokémon Sun and Moon: In that the group that are set up as the primary villains turn out to be in cahoots with the seemingly ‘benevolent’ organization. At this point it would not surprise me if certain members of The Knights of Hanoi (I’m looking at you Spectre) turn out to be working for SOL Technologies.

    If Yusaku’s stolen memories turn out to be about him being kidnapped/drafted by SOL Technologies, alongside Spectre, Aoi, Go and Kusanagi’s brother, to be used in experiments regarding Cyberse and the Ignis as part of their plan for world domination or whatever their ambitions are; it would explain why SOL Technologies are so desperate to get Ignis back and why Spectre wants to destroy Cyberse, and maybe that’s why Spectre’s father Dr. Kogami is in the state he is in outside of Vrains, i.e. if he found out what SOL Technologies were really planning and they tried to silence him, like how you believed they silenced the Zaizen siblings parents Eva.

    I enjoyed the contrasts between Akira’s demonic Tindangle Deck and Aoi’s angelic Trickster Deck, as pointed out by Emma, in that the angel of Heaven revives the hound of Hell. I hope that Yusaku does lose this duel as Vrains needs plenty of twists in order to keep it fresh. That was the main weakness I think with Arc-V; after the Synchro Dimension Arc, the show had so many angles to choose from and it disappointed by resorting to convention. Arc-V was a story that needed more plot turns and twists to keep the cast on its toes. The ones we got, such as the Bracelet Girls brainwashing and Yusho’s dimension hopping presence, were great, but we needed more of that. As this universal conflict seemed restricted to only the core members of the Lancers and Academia, we needed to see more duellists taking arms and fighting for both sides. We needed Roget to carry out his play for the crown. We needed sigils, dammit!

    Either way I eagerly await some juicy revelations in the next episode and I hope you continue to keep up the good work Eva.

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