12:37 PMRecap and Review: Yu-Gi-Oh Arc-V Special
So I have talked about this show a lot. I seem to mention it every time we stream and if you are sick of me talking about it I wonder why you are reading this. For everybody else sit back and make sure you got all your refreshments because this one is going to be a long one. With 40 episodes released at the time of this writing I am here to take you through the major events of these episodes and show you why I have fallen in love with this show. So without further ado this is a R&R special taking a look at Yu-Gi-Oh Arc-V.
Before we get into the show proper we need to set the stage. So let's get the initial plot out of the way. The show focuses on Yuya Sakaki a young and inspiring Entertainment Duelist. He looks to surpass his father Yusho and bring smiles to all who see him duel. This proves to be a long road as his father is the one who invented the current form of dueling Action Duels. It this form of dueling the duelist is able to ride their monster around the field and collection Action Cards that can change the course of a duel in an instant. The field itself can be anything and a duelist will have to be quick on his feet to win. Also the damage one takes during a duel is real to a certain extent. Yuya attends You-Show Dueling School and looks to hone his skills. That is a mouth full off the bat but trust me we have not even seen the tip of the iceberg. Now while Yuya is the main protagonist he is far from being the only focus of the show. For simplicity I will be focusing on what I call the Trinity of the show and using their various plots and actions to takes us through these 40 episodes. The Trinity consists of Yuya, and his best friends Yuzu Hiragi and Noboru Gongenzaka. These three are at the center of the story of this show and each have shining moments throughout. They are supported by the staff and other students of You-Show. Shuzo Hiragi, Yuzu's father, is the current principal and teaches the students the best he can. Tatsuya Yamashiro, Ayu Ayukawa, and Futoshi Harada are the only other students besides Yuya and Yuzu and act as the cheerleaders for our main three. They look to become pro duelist themselves one day. Yoko Sakaki, Yuya's mom, while not a part of the staff supports her son and the rest of You-Show with food and encouraging words. Finally there is Nico Smiley a talent agent who looks to push Yuya to become better and while not a part of the staff can be considered so in the first arc of the show. This brings me to the story arcs of the show itself. Now officially there are no arcs to the show like there is for another show I have done a R&R series on Kamen Rider Gaim. Still I will be splitting up the 40 episodes into two arcs for discussion purposes. With that said the two arcs are first LDS vs. You Show Birth of Pendulum Summoning and second Maiami Championship and The Four Dimensions. Do not worry I will explain what these arc titles mean in a bit. For now know that this show takes in Maiami because reasons and second I will regret doing this by the time I get to explaining the Four Dimensions part.
Now let's get rolling with the first arc of the show LDS vs. You Show. This takes up the first 26 episodes of the series and follows the Trinity as they come into conflict with LDS or Leo Dueling School the largest and most renown dueling school. This conflict center on a summoning method that Yuya "invented" at the beginning of the series Pendulum Summoning. Now hold tight folks because now I have to explain the different summoning methods in Yu-Gi-Oh. Do not worry it is important to know them for later trust me. There are four summoning methods I will be focusing on Pendulum, Fusion, Synchro, and XYZ. First is Pendulum which allows a duelist with Pendulum cards to summon several monster depending on the scale that is set by them. This method involves the levels of monsters much like two of the three other methods. These levels can go from one to twelve and depending on the level will restricts the ability to summon them. Level one through four can be summon without any trouble while level fire requires tributing one monster you control and anything higher requiring two. The scale for Pendulum likewise can be set to go from one to twelve and allows one to summon monster between these numbers. For instance if the scale is set to one and eight any monster with a level of two through seven can be summoned. This is new to the franchise and Yuya is the exclusive user of this method outside a few exceptions. Fusion is the fusing of two monsters into one using a card called Fusion normally. I am not going to go further outside saying that more than two monster can be fused. Synchro uses special monsters called Tuners to add the levels of monsters to together to summon a new one. For example, if a level three tuner combines with a level two monster a level five Synchro monster will be born. XYZ uses monsters of the same level and overlays them to form a new monster that has a rank equal to that level. Again for instance if two level three monsters are overlaid a rank three XYZ monster is born with the ability to use Overlay units, the overlaid monsters, to activate effects. These three summoning methods are used by a multitude of characters.
Now with that lesson in Yu-Gi-Oh out of the way let's get back to the main plot. Yusho disappeared three years before the start of the series before a major duel against Strong Ishijima. This caused many to turn against the famous duelist and call him a coward for not facing Strong. Yuya likewise had to suffer from many calling him the son of a coward and even though he was willing to duel Strong in his father's place he would not receive the opportunity until three years later at the start of the series. Yuya is outmatched by the current champion until his "gives birth" to Pendulum summoning via his pendent that he has. It also looks like a Pendulum and is called so by his father in flashbacks. This causes several of his cards to turn into Pendulum cards most notably Timegazer Magician, Stargazer Magician, and Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon. The two magicians are used to set the scale and with Odd-Eyes supported by Entermates, a series of monster Yuya uses, he is able to beat the champion.
Yuya won many people over that day but after finding out how he is able to Pendulum summon caused many to turn away from joining You-Show except for Tatsuya who join the school. This then leads to Yuya dueling mister B-villain himself Shingo Sawatari. A man so full of himself he later describes himself as Neo New Sawatari because he is so fresh he needs to say it in two languages at the same time. This duel has Yuzu and the kids used as hostages to force Yuya to duel against Shingo after he steals Yuya's Magicians. We soon find out anyone can Pendulum summon if they have the cards and we are first introduced to Reiji Akaba here. He is the CEO of Leo Corporation, the company that owns LDS, and is investigating Pendulum summoning. Yuya rescues his friends and is able to win the duel. This event will eventually lead to the major turning point for the Trinity as when Yuzu learns of Shingo wanting to get back at Yuya by any means she attempts to confront him. She is interrupted by a mysterious duelist in all black Yuto. He in a duel against Shingo summons Dark Rebellion XYZ Dragon and causes actual harm to Shingo in the duel. This along with the mysterious duelist looking just like Yuya in the face causes Yuzu to question whether it was him or not as Yuya appears after Yuto disappears in a bright light caused by her bracelet. Now there is one last member of You Show I need to introduce before we head any further. That is Sora Shiun'in. He is introduced before the whole Yuto situation as someone who wants to become Yuya's apprentice. He is defeated in a duel against Yuya so while he doesn't become his apprentice he does become his friend and joins You Show. He is a Fusion user and is very much the Micchy of this show. He acts very innocent for this entire arc and part of the next but do not be fooled. He has a dark side to him which we will get to later. Trust me I will be saying that a lot for a while.
Now this whole Yuto situation prompts Himika Akaba to use the situation to take over You Show due to the possibility of Yuya being the culprit behind the attack trough a best of three duel series where she pits members from the Fusion, XYZ, and Synchro courses of LDS against three people from You Show. This series of duels will set our trio of main characters on the path to better themselves in the coming arc. Now this trio of LDS characters will become recurring as the B plot as a call kicks into high gear after this series. The LDS students are Masumi Kotsu, fusion user, Hokuto Shijima, XYZ user, and Yaiba Todo, Synchro user. Hokuto takes on Yuya first and Yuya wins after struggling against the XYZ user for some time. Masumi is able to best Yuzu due to her being distracted by thoughts of Yuto being Yuya. Finally Noboru takes on Yaiba with his Steadfast dueling. Now Noboru is not a student of You Show his is simply a friend of Yuya and of the school in general. He is a student of Gongenzaka Dojo where his father is the leader and he is set to inherit the school in time. Sora is initially set to face Yaiba but let's Noboru take his place since he feels it is not a good match for him. Noboru manages to end the duel in a draw that leaves the two schools at one win a piece. This leads to a tiebreaker duel set between Masumi and Yuya but Reiji intervenes and takes her place. Being a duel prodigy Reiji is able to use all three summoning methods and overwhelms Yuya initially. While Yuya gains the upper hand for a moment Reiji shocks all by Pendulum summoning with his own Pendulum cards Leo Corporation invented . While Yuya attempts a comeback he is only saved by a glitch with the cards and another attack on a LDS student being reported. Reiji leaves giving the victory to Yuya but before doing so says he has found a way to go beyond Pendulum summoning. Now even though Yuya was given the victory there is no clear winner by the end as each have a play ready before they are interrupted.
Now each of our three main characters discover that they need to improve in some way during these duels. This is what set up the next series of episodes that take us through the rest of arc one. Yuya looks to discover what is beyond Pendulum, Yuzu looks to become stronger to protect the school and her friends, and Noboru looks to improve himself and his style of dueling. For Yuya he finds an answer as he attempts to qualify for the Maiami Championship. He needs to win four duels in a row to have 50 duels with a 60% win rate. Two of these four duel are not that important and coincidently they are the first two. The last two are the major ones as Yuya finds a hint in the form of Pendulum Fusion. It is a fancy way of saying a Pendulum summon that is followed up by a Fusion summon. He discovers this thanks to Yuzu who during Yuya's qualifying is with Sora learning Fusion summoning while he qualifies by winning six duels in a row. Yuya first shows this off against Mieru Hochun a Ritual Summon user and the most adorable bag of emotions you will ever see. Now I did not talk about Ritual before as this is the only time it appears in the series thus far but for those wondering Ritual involves tributing two monsters with the use of a spell card whose levels are greater than or equal to the monster being summoned. Yuya summons Rune-Eyes Pendulum Dragon to win the duel and the heart of Mieru much to Yuzu's frustration. This is Yuya's first hint to what is beyond Pendulum and will become a stable move of his going forward. Yuya's final duel and the last duel of this arc is against Noboru who has attained Synchro summoning thanks to Yaiba teaching him. The two friends battle hard and with Yuya winning and Noboru qualifying off screen and Yuzu qualifying long before all this all three are set for the Maiami Championship.
Now before we move on there is a bit more to talk about. Throughout the course of all this there are the movements of two duelist who attack various people who attend LDS Yuto who we discussed before and Shun Kurosaki a friend of ourdoppelganger. The two have been making various attacks on LDS for reason we do not find out until the end of this arc. Simply put they are a part of The Resistance which is in a war against an organization known as Academia. Shun has been more aggressive as he has even attacked staff and trapped them in cards. This leads him into conflict with the three kids from LDS who after him for attacking her teacher Marco. The three get their chance at vengeance but fall before the power Shun wields while Yuzu is told everything I said above by Yuto who prevents her from intervening. Also through this we find out that many of Yuto and Shin's friends are captured and one of them Ruri looks just like Yuzu. If this sounds confusing do not worry everything will be explained later kind of. Simply put Shun makes a deal with Reiji after confronting him in hopes of gaining him as a bargaining chip against his father Leo Akaba. Arc one ends with Reiji looking over a list of people he is interested in for his Lancer Program and all those on that list is qualified for the Maiami Championship.
Arc two which is still ongoing as of episode 40 brings us to the Maiami Championship where all involved look to win the tournament. Many of the Duel Schools around the city is competing and the other participants will put our heroes to the test. We start with round one as Yuya has a rematch with Shingo, Yuzu has her rematch with Masumi and Noboru goes against former Gongenzaka student Gen Ankokuji. All three face adversity but win their duels in the end. This bring us to the duel that shows the true face of one character and cracks the mystery behind this show wide open. Shun after being entered the Championship duels Sora. Shun is entered in the Championship by Reiji and the LDS trio believe him to be their friend after their memories are wiped of events that involve him in the previous arc. Through this duel we find out Shun and Yuto are from Heartland a city that was invaded by Academia. Their people were captured and their city destroyed in the ensuing battle. Sora reveals himself to be from Academia and shows he enjoys hunting XYZ users like prey. He sadistic smiles while launching a furious assault against Shun but he uses a few tricks to defeat Sora in the end. Sora is injured in the battle and after being brought to a hospital is confronted by Yuto. Sora demands Yuto take him to Shun for a rematch but after refusing and leaving Sora gives chase. This prompts the Trinity who are outside to split up and search for him. This leads to a confrontation among Yuya, Yuto, and Sora that reveals more of what is going on. We find out that there are four dimensions. Three are named after summoning methods Synchro, XYZ, and Fusion. The forth which is where the show takes place is called Standard. Yuto and Shun are from XYZ while Sora is from Fusion. Sora is forced back to his dimension whiles Yuya and Yuto discuss what I said above. Eventually another duelist arrives from another dimension. Riding a white bike is the Synchro user Yugo another person who looks like Yuya. Yuto and Yugo eventually end up in a duel to settle things between them which results in two being possessed by something. This happens after they each bring out their dragons, Yugo's being Clear Wing Synchro Dragon. The dragons seem to resonate with each other and the duelist themselves feel a burning pain when they are in conflict. Yuya manages to snap Yuto out of the possessed state but not with Yugo who attacks Yuto and wins the duel. This causes something to happen which is still hard to describe as it is still very unexplained as of this writing. What is known is Yuya somehow has Yuto's soul inside him and has Dark Rebellion. Meanwhile Reiji now posses Yuto's Duel Disk and is keeping this information from Shun. This brings us to the episodes 39 and 40 as we see the affects of Yuto's soul in Yuya and Reiji meeting another of Yuzu's doppelgangers Serena from the fusion dimension. Yuya shows a more aggressive side comparable to when Yuto and Yugo where possessed and wins his second round duel against Kachidoki who outright attacks his opponent during his duels. Yuya is a bit depressed since he won using more aggressive tactics than he normally uses. Reiji confronts Serena and has to duel her bodyguard Barrett. Reiji shows his dueling might and beats Barrett and we end this arc for now with Reiji confronting Serena for the second time.
The second arc is far easier to summarize since both major plots intertwine with each other throughout the arc instead of being a bit more isolated in arc one. Now to talk about the major thing. Yes there are four Yuya's as we have seen Yuya's Fusion counterpart Yuri. He has not made another appearance although we can expect him soon. Yuzu likewise also three counterparts although Ruri has yet to be seen on screen and Yuzu's Synchro counterpart has gone unmentioned. There is more than just a face that minds the two groups together as each of the Yuya's has a dragon with a summoning method in the name and the Yuzu's each have a bracelet but the exact nature of the bracelets outside teleporting Yuya's away from each other when they are nearby Yuzu is still up in the air. Also it can be noted that Yuya and Yuzu are the only ones with counterparts thus far. This is mystery is compounded further by Reiji's actions throughout these two parts since he seems to have known about the dimensions far before the show even hinting at them and has been operating in the background working a much larger angle. This is further compounded by other outlying questions like why Reiji's brother Reira who is always with his brother when he is observing key events. Yuya's pendent and the true origin of Pendulum cards. The Lancer Program and why Leo Akaba seems to be in charge of Academia. All this leads to a very complex mystery where we as the audience has a huge canvas with only bits and pieces filled in. The larger picture is still unknown and very little in the way of hints are given and even if they are they are hidden in plain sight. For instance looking back the four dimensions were hinted at by Reiji in his duel with Yuya. Reiji uses DDD monsters that are otherwise known as Different Dimension Demons. Each is only associated with a specific summoning method. This is part of why I love the show as the unraveling just what is going on has been a thrilling ride. This is also helped by a cast of characters that all feel important in their own way. I have already talked about how Yuya, Yuzu, and Noboru are the center of the show and the supporting cast around them. It also helps that many of the other duelist stand out and feel like something more than just a deck for character to face off against. The LDS trio have become a part of the show and even Shingo proved himself in his second duel against Yuya showing the potential to become a rival for Yuya. This is also helped by the duels themselves which do not feel like one sided affairs. There is a back and forth nature to the duels and while some comebacks are more effective than others the duels are exciting. The music is also great as both openings Believe X Believe and Burn are great to listen to and the second ending theme Future Fighters is so good I can have it on loop for hours doing other things. All this is why I love this show and why I talk about it every time we stream.
As for what the future of this show holds it is hard to tell right now. With episode 40 leaving on a bit of a cliffhanger when it comes to Serena there is still plenty more to speculate on. One thing I did not mention before is the huge number of references to previous series in this show. The major two being Heartland and Academia being very reminiscent of two previous series Zexal and GX. While the Zexal references are smaller Academia incorporates very specific things like attire of the students and the architecture of the buildings. I have wonder if any of these hints and nodes are just there for the anniversary of the franchise or if there is something more to it. To be honest I could say that somehow they are hinting at a future crossover of all five shows but there is nothing to back up said claim. Reiji feels like a combination of Buckle from Drive and Takatora from Gaim. He knows far more than he lets on and he seems to have been involved in this war of the dimensions for far longer that the time period of the series. All in all I just cannot wait for more episodes and see where this all leads to. It has been a joy to rewatch the series for this write up and discovering little things that I missed the first time around makes keep a more vigilant eye out for anything in current episodes. To end out I will say if you want to see the show yourself check our MonoSubs or DeadFish for subs of the show or watch it live on several live streams around four in the morning every Sunday. Search Arc-V on tumbler for specific links as many people contribute to this. Until Glock catches up I will not be discussing it on TGSR but if given the chance I will talk about it to some capacity. This show has been quite the experience and I hope it continues to be just as good in the next 40 episodes.
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