Yu-Gi-Oh VRAINS Episode 46

Happy 20th Anniversary to Yu-Gi-Oh!!!! (Holy shit it’s been 20 years…)

Oh my god–, the duel may have been really hard to take seriously, but the last five minutes of the episode was so deep, so lonely and so incredibly sad. Ryoken not only rejected Yuusaku’s plea to become friends, but also made the conscious decision to continue the mission of eliminating the Ignis species, and quickly fled the scene. With that, Yuusaku made the decision to free Ai, who (for the time being) returns home. But with the two of them gone, Yuusaku is all alone again. Honestly that choked me up, because I can’t handle lonely Yuusaku.

By defeating Ryoken, Yuusaku was able to save everyone who was absorbed into the Tower of Hanoi, Ai and Link VRAINS as a whole, but at the end of the day, he couldn’t save the one he truly wanted to save. I think when we started seeing Yuusaku’s start loosening up over the course of this duel, was to serve as proof of him undergoing the process of letting go of his revenge, letting go of the past, and seizing a new future. This week in particular, we saw a side of him that Ai justifiably freaked out, “IT’S OUT OF CHARACTER! GO BACK TO YOUR OLD SELF!” And he wasn’t being overdramatic. Yuusaku was laughing, smiling, he seemed as as though he was fun. As bizarre as it felt, it was precious, it really was. Nothing makes me happier to see Yuusaku laugh and smile. I think this really came out of Ai opening up to him, and simply being by his side, and because of that, there was a part of Yuusaku that didn’t feel so alone anymore. And then there was also Ryoken, although he was fighting against him, despite the odds being against him, he had hope that he would be able to save him too and the two can finally become friends for real.

Setting Ai free was probably the most unexpected part of the episode, even Ai was surprised by his decision. I just hope that Ai doesn’t make him regret it by betraying his trust and leading a siege on humanity– one I don’t think will likely happen until SOL Technology launches an attack. Actually, it suddenly dawned to me how it would be quite interesting to see SOL put into practice of manipulating the public in the name of defending Link VRAINS against the “Invasive Species, Ignis”. I can see them going as far as creating false-flags, by using heir own AID to create a situation that paints the Ignis species as the villains that must be defeated. This could potentially enable them to scout talented duelists to basically serve as “Ignis Hunters”.

The primary reason why I suspect this, is because some point or another, Yuusaku and his future friends will be tasked with helping Ai protect his world from the invading forces of SOL Technologies. But there is also potentially a chance where the Ignis species might hijack SOL Technologies’ AI-Duelists at some point in the future. I don’t think the AIDs are out of the picture just yet. They were still early in development, and didn’t have the proper leader to lead its developments. And then there’s also the factor where Ryoken will likely only return when he has the evidence to back-up his claims and have the right to scream, “I TOLD YOU SO!”

But for Yuusaku’s sake, I hope Ai doesn’t betray his trust, but for the plot– I certainly wouldn’t mind it…
…at the expense of my poor heart.

I found the final duel between Ryoken and Yuusaku to be dragged out just a tad too long, but it was interesting to see them play in two different formats, Speed Duel and the Master Duel (which will remain my favourite since it’s classic). But I would be lying if I said the script wasn’t corny. It didn’t make me cringe, but it still weird. On the bright side, I found this week’s round of the duel was pretty hilarious– which required you not to take anything seriously. The combination of Ryoken being a dork “ANTI-GLARE PROTECTION” (attack negated, no use for it), the constant exchange of “What?!” and the classic: “It’s over 9000!” (that never gets old, at least for me, it has a special place in my heart). Oh and finally Firewall Dragon comes out, ONLY TO FEED IT OFF TO LINK 3 DECODE TALKER!!! Man that pissed me off, my favourite dragon was benched the entire time, and only have a five seconds appearance. I feel your pain buddy, I KNOW YOU PAIN!!!!

MY EMOTIONSSSS!!!!!

It took a long time, but we have finally reached the end of Hanoi Knights Arc! The climax of the first arc was pretty weak in comparison to the other Yu-Gi-Oh! series, but it was also wildly different. For starters, the cast size was extremely contained, making new characters appear and go as soon as they came. The protagonist worked as a lone wolf, and embraced his loneliness in the name of revenge. And although Yuusaku had two people (attempting to) help him stop the Hanoi Knights tower, they weren’t friends, just temporary allies, and were quickly eliminated. The only one who was by his side the whole way was Ai. But after all was said and done, while Yuusaku acknowledged he is done with his revenge, emerged victorious and had spared the Ryoken and the world from a certain death, he found himself all alone again.

It is time to move onto the next chapter of the journey, and what better way to start it off with Yuusaku cooking at the food-truck, our best girls are back, Ghost Girl in a new outfit, and the opening of Link VRAINS 2.0!!! There is a lot to look forward to!

Eva

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

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16 Responses

  1. Silent Protagonist says:

    Oh I see, so you’re okay with “over 9000” but Ryoken’s anti-glare protection is dorky? Piss off.

    Joking aside, I’m absolutely okay with how the duel turned out. It helped me realize that the Code Talkers and Firewall are a direct mirror to Yusei’s Warriors and Stardust Dragon respectively. In that – on paper – Stardust is Yusei’s ace, but he’s more likely to use the Warriors to actually win games because much like Firewall, Stardust in a vacuum really isn’t that impressive. If he does come out to party, it’ll likely be for some combo, or to further some other strategy or (specifically in the case of Stardust) plot reasons.

    The problem with Firewall when compared to the aces of previous protagonists, is that he just doesn’t have any connection to Yusaku or plot of VRAINS in general. Dark Magician was Yugi’s favorite card, Neos was the literal core of the Neo-spacian deck. Stardust was one of the Signer Dragons as well as one of the kick-starters to 5ds’ plot, Utopia was the first Number that Yuma got and I’m sure I don’t have to explain Odd-eyes to anyone here.

    Firewall just kinda… exists. He’s not relevant to anyone or anything in VRAINS other than being a Cyberse, thus he doesn’t appear nearly as often.

    • Eva says:

      Poor Ryoken though, he was all set for it and then NOPE, DENIED! I thought was adorable. XD (It’s not the first time, but the whole anti-glare extra bit is so over the top but it gives me the impression of Ryoken’s more childish side, though he would never admit it, kekekekeke).

      It is a pity Firewall doesn’t have a particular role… and is just… there… ; v ;||
      And dragons are my bias, so I can’t help myself ;)

  2. Spencer Sim says:

    In 2016, Dark Side of Dimensions was made to celebrate the Manga’s 20 years. Now, the game is 20 years old.
    At least Firewall Dragon appeared rather than being gone. I mean there are people thinking that Firewall was totally gone in the entire YGO Vrains just because Firewall Dragon was limited [in actual game, people can use only 1 copy of it instead of 3] and therefore needs to work on Yusaku’s new ace to replace Firewall Dragon which was most likely Cyberse Magician [A ritual Cyberse Monster]. Also,it kinda seems that Decode Talker is stealing Firewall Dragon’s role there. I hope there is more focus with Firewall Dragon from the next episode onwards even if it means only using it as a link material for its evolution.
    What i liked about this episode is the ending of this episode. It made me replay that part several times before getting over with it. I will really miss AI so much T.T.
    Yusaku’s move in the duel would have been impressive if that duel was an actual gameplay.
    If Yusaku was a troll, he would have claimed Ryoken’s house as his own. [I mean,his house is nice.Who would not want it?]
    Ok,what happened to Specter,Dr.Gemone,Baria and Faust? i mean they can’t just die there since they were released from the Hanoi Tower.They need to appear more.

    • Eva says:

      //If Yusaku was a troll, he would have claimed Ryoken’s house as his own. [I mean,his house is nice.Who would not want it?]/

      LMFAO!!!!!! I ACTUALLY THOUGHT THE SAME THING!!! I WAS LIKE, “DO IT YUUSAKU, MAKE THIS YOUR NEW BATCAVE HQ!”

  3. Yeah, this duel was unnecessarily dragged on for too long. I was saddened when Revolver rejected Yusaku’s friendship and wouldn’t rest until his destiny was fulfilled. That means, Ryoken is unfortunately still a villain. I do hope when he comes back, he’ll be redeemed and realize the Ignis aren’t evil.

    I actually kinda laughed when Ai said Yusaku smiling was out of character. Yusaku has definitely loosened up like you said. He’s shown the most emotion out of all the episodes thus far. He must be happy that the chains of his past and revenge have faded away. I was a bit shocked too when I saw Yusaku setting Ai free. Very unexpected like you said. That proves that Yusaku has grown to care for Ai if he was willing to no longer hold him a hostage. It was touching too. Although after he set Ai free, he seemed a little sad afterwards and you could see it on his face. However, that means Yusaku can start a new life now that his revenge is finally over. He’s definitely acknowledged the fact that he’s lonely and doesn’t have any friends but that didn’t mean he didn’t want to be friends with others. The Lost Incident just made it extremely difficult to make friends because of that “deep abyss”.

    I can’t wait to see what Yusaku’s like in season 2. In the preview, it looks like he’ll be having his second on-screen interaction with Aoi as she comes to visit Kusanagi’s food truck. So far, they’ve only interacted while in Link VRAINS. I wonder whether Aoi has figured out Yusaku’s identity as Playmaker as she was suspicious but dismissed that when the dummy deck was shown in episode 6. Plus I wonder what the new threat is. Whatever the new threat is, Ai will return to assist Yusaku and hopefully their partnership has improved a lot. If the episode is titled “Playmaker’s Return”, then that means Yusaku hasn’t been back in Link VRAINS for quite a while, which also implies the next episode takes place several months after this episode.

    With the 20th Anniversary of Yu-Gi-Oh(that’s a very long time), let’s hope Cyberse Magician is eventually used because I’m dying to see a Ritual summon in VRAINS. My secondary deck is the Cyber Angels, and that’s what really revolutionized Ritual Monsters. Ritual summoning is my third most proficient summoning method, behind Fusion and Link. I want Playmaker to say “Ritual Summon” and play Cynet Ritual.

    • Eva says:

      I am very excited for Yuusaku’s character development in the next season! I too am very curious to see whether or not Aoi may confront him to confirm her suspicions, or will figure it out along the way. I can’t imagine Yuusaku would want to publicize himself as being the Heroic Playmaker himself.

      BRING BACK THE RITUAL SUMMONS!!!!!!!! BEEN TOO LONG!!!!!!!!

  4. And so the first season of Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains has come to a conclusion. As to my overall thoughts regarding the first 46 episodes, I think they can best be described as “middle-of-the-road”. Not the best, but certainly not the worst either. I think some of that had to do with the limited cast, not that this is necessarily a bad thing, since we got to see the results of Yusaku’s character development from the very first episode until now. But I feel the way the cast was executed left me feeling empty for lack of a better phrase, since Go’s character felt detached from the main story and although both Aoi, Akira and Emma had a strong presence they could have been utilised more In the end it was Yusaku alone who brought down the Knights of Hanoi with Aoi, Go, Akira and Emma serving as jobbers to increase the threat of Revolver and Spectre far too late into the show.
    Focusing on Yusaku’s story was both this season’s greatest strength and its greatest weakness, since as I mentioned before; the other major characters got shunted to the side so that the ending could focus entirely on him, and you said yourself Eva that Aoi and Go were never Yusaku’s, friends just temporary allies. But hopefully the second season is set to change that, since more characters are being introduced, but I just hope that they don’t abandon the characters they already have (though from the looks of the preview it seems to be doing a good job so far).

    Like you Eva I felt that the climax duel of the Tower of Hanoi between Playmaker and Revolver was pretty weak in comparison to the previous series, and that 5Ds, Zexal and Arc-V had stronger endings to their first seasons (Yusei, Jack and Crow fighting Rex Godwin to stop the advance of the King of the Underworld, Yuma, Shark and Kaito coming together to face Dr Faker/Vector to stop the destruction of the Astral World and Yuya fighting Sora to bring him back to the side of good while the Lancers face the Obelisk Force to protect Serena).
    Another thing I noticed was that Vrains had the shortest first season at just 46 episodes, although the large number of recaps probably had something to do with that due to behind the scenes production issues, since Vrains only has three animation studios working on it, as opposed to Arc-V which had ten studios working on it. I feel like if these recaps weren’t a problem we might have gotten a chance to better integrate the other characters into the story more. This would allow the Three Lieutenants of the Knights of Hanoi to have more of a presence in the story instead of having them defeated as soon as they were introduced as well as showcase Spectre’s cruelty and backstory sooner too, instead of bunching it all together towards the end with his duels between Blue Angel and Playmaker.

    I will admit that I too was surprised that Playmaker let Ignis go, but it was a welcome change of pace for the show and demonstrates that Yusaku is willing to let go of his revenge and focus on rebuilding his life as well as showing how far the two of them have come since the early episodes. I also liked that Ryoken didn’t become Yusaku’s ally in the end and how almost the reverse has happened between them: having defeated the Knights of Hanoi, Yusaku can finally be a peace with his past, whereas Ryoken has been consumed by his desire to carry out his father’s plan to exterminate the Ignis. He has left for now but anyone with an ounce of Genre Savviness knows that this isn’t the last we’ll see of him and I look forward to the day that he and Yusaku can put the past behind them and become allies for good.
    All in all I did enjoy the first season, but it now needs to kick itself into high gear for the second season and hopefully pull a Zexal and get even better as it goes along. I believe that this is possible since there is still plenty of story left to be told: The identities of the other three children of the Lost Incident, Sol Technologies is still at large, Revolver’s continued ambitions and whether or not Dr Kogami’s fears about the Ignis becoming the downfall of humanity will ring true. As for where I’d rank Vrains so far in regards to the other seasons it would be (5Ds – Arc-V – Vrains – Duel Monsters – GX – Zexal).

    I’d be happy to hear any thoughts on whether you or anyone else agree or disagree with my assessment of the first season of Vrains Eva and I look forward to seeing all of you for the second season.

    (To end on a slightly darkly humours note, I just hope that Ryoken took his father’s body with him on that boat. How awkward would it be for him to leave Yusaku and Kusanagi alone with in the house a corpse! XD).

    • Eva says:

      //Another thing I noticed was that Vrains had the shortest first season at just 46 episodes, although the large number of recaps probably had something to do with that due to behind the scenes production issues, since Vrains only has three animation studios working on it, as opposed to Arc-V which had ten studios working on it. I feel like if these recaps weren’t a problem we might have gotten a chance to better integrate the other characters into the story more. This would allow the Three Lieutenants of the Knights of Hanoi to have more of a presence in the story instead of having them defeated as soon as they were introduced as well as showcase Spectre’s cruelty and backstory sooner too, instead of bunching it all together towards the end with his duels between Blue Angel and Playmaker.//

      I absolutely agree. Taking into consideration the amount of recap episodes, and how this particular arc could’ve been extended to 50 episodes, that would give us about 8 extra episodes to allow them to flesh out some of the other characters, and have them be more involved in the events. It’s quite amazing how it was more or less a one-man show for 50 episodes. The most facinating part of course is how Yuusaku started off as a lone wolf, and still ended up alone ocen he completed his mission. It wasn’t a situation where he magically made friends. It focused more on his inner conflicts, the journey he had to take to finally be able to get closure.

      //(To end on a slightly darkly humours note, I just hope that Ryoken took his father’s body with him on that boat. How awkward would it be for him to leave Yusaku and Kusanagi alone with in the house a corpse! XD).//

      MY EXACT THOUGHT!!!!!!

  5. Kazanova says:

    I’m quite surprised you didn’t make any comment about the next episode preview (I’m referring to Yusaku working at Kusanagi’s hot dog booth and GO’s new hairstyle), but I guess it didn’t really interest you? Looks like we’re not going to see Ai and Revolver for a while…I hope they appear again soon in Season 2.

    • Eva says:

      I did… at the bottom of the post. 😂 Right after the last paragraph.

      • Kazanova says:

        Oh, you’re right. Sorry, didn’t notice it.

        And I forgot to mention it in the previous comment, but…don’t you agree how cute and precious Yusaku’s smile was near the end of the episode?! It’s the most genuine compared to before! XD

        • Eva says:

          I KNOWWWW IT WAS SO PRECIOUSSSSSS!!!! PROTECT YUSAKU’S SMILE AT ALL COST!!! ; A ; I DON’T WANT MA BOI TO BE LONELY ANYMORE!!!

  6. becs says:

    I agree for the most part. I feel like Ryoken is in denial though. He doesn’t want to acknowledge the fact that his father could be wrong. He clearly admires his father and I think his regret for pitying Yusaku plays into this. He’s trying to become like his dad and has taken on his values as a result which conflict with his own sympathy and sense of right and wrong.

    Yusaku being alone at the end is quite sad but also liberating… I think this first part was about his getting his answers by completing his revenge so he could come to terms with what happened to him, even if he wished he picked a different road he had to finish his path before he could start a new one.

    I think next season is Yusaku slowly opening up and overcoming his trauma by facing his isolation head on and gaining closer friendships as a result. It will be hard for him, but the overall story at least in this arc is about overcoming trauma and how people deal with it. Kusanagi’s brother shut himself off, Yusaku channeled his fear into focused revenge and projection onto others, the other guy (I can’t remember his name. The one with Sunavalon) embraced the trauma because it gave him stimulation which he never felt before.

    Maybe they’ll do a 5ds thing where the children whom the Ignis are based off all team up with Yusaku like the signers from 5ds. It may mean that some characters here will be forgotten. Hopefully not Aoi, but probably Go will go if they follow the fan popularity (PLEASE FADE HIM OUT fingers crossed).

    Also, Am I the only one who thinks the next season looks like there’s going to be a VRAINS Tournament? I suppose it’s only a matter of time but I’m not going to be too happy if it is. It’s kind of a bit boring these tournament arcs…

    As for the hanoi knights arc… I thought it was ok. Even though they went with a different protagonist it feels like they played it safe. It didn’t feel like they took any risks in the episodes. I mean Arc-V did that quite early on, even though there were some poorer quality episodes it made you appreciate the ones that stood out above all.
    In Vrains there were no great stand out moments that I can remember. Nor any low points I can remember. It kind of fluctuated very little. Sure some episodes were better than others but it was a bar that was rising and lowered all the time and not by much and stayed at the same rate pretty much all the way through.

    So it was ok but felt like it was played too safe with stock characters that are there ONLY because similar characters existed in previous series coughNaokicough. But the contained cast of the main characters may be its greatest strength depending how they deal with future episodes that hopefully DO NOT have a recap every 10 episodes.

    • Eva says:

      You make an excellent point about Ryoken being in denial. He definitely regrets pitying Yusaku, and I think it just flips his world upside down to for not only this father to die on him, but to be wrong too.

      //Maybe they’ll do a 5ds thing where the children whom the Ignis are based off all team up with Yusaku like the signers from 5ds. It may mean that some characters here will be forgotten. Hopefully not Aoi, but probably Go will go if they follow the fan popularity (PLEASE FADE HIM OUT fingers crossed).//

      I was thinking the same thing. But omg, fade Onizuka out…. There is absolutely nothing interesting about his character! THEY HAVE TRIED AND THEY FAILED!

      I also believe there will be a LINK VRAINS Tournament- it was bound to happen at some point. I strongly believe the tournament is what SOL Technologies will be using to scout duelists to serve as “Ignis Hunters”. There is no way in hell SOL is going to let the Ignis species on the loose.

  7. Virginia says:

    The preview looks like yusaku’s making aoi’s order but she’s skeptical of his skills given that Yusaku looks like he’s made some kind of cooking mistake XD

    I’m looking forward to part 2, even though compared to arc v around this time, the plot doesn’t excite me at all.

  8. Wilfredo Sifr Starduster says:

    I’ll make this short & quick: Between THIS dragged out season finale duel and Yuma going Shining Draw to defeat III in Zexal’s season finale, I’d choose the latter just because it’s absolutely infuriating to see Playmaker bust out asspull cards continuously and DAT DOUBLE EXTRA LINK made me flipped countless tables because although one can point out that Ryoken’s Extra Link was nowhere near as impenetrable as he envisioned because of two Link Markers giving Playmaker more breathing space, it’s just an excuse to maintain the protagonist’s unbreakable plot armor by shilling out endless situational cards that will probably never be released. Even the ending was extremely stupid & cringeworthy to watch where Yusaku releasing Ai to mark the end of the first arc had ZERO emotional impact and felt shoehorned in the last minute.

    Even the new season’s preview didn’t make me excited. As much as it’s intriguing to see more Yusaku x Aoi interactions & Ghost Girl having a new outfit in the (Neo) New Link VRAINS which will possibly have its opening party ruined, it’s simply blood-boiling to see Go revealing his ridiculous haircut without the Ea top & BASTARD MAX GODDAMMIT KILL THAT LARDASS ALREADY!!!

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