Yugioh Arc V Review


Yugioh Arc V certainly lasted a while but every Yugioh series must end at some point and 7 volumes is a go to number for the franchise. As with the other Yugioh titles this one opted to go for a completely original plot which is always a good idea since you don’t need to experience the same story twice. That being said, It wasn’t quite as engaging as the other spinoffs and from the manga sequels it is probably the weakest. I think it will probably make for a stronger read in volume format but monthly it could feel a little scattershot and rushed at times. As always you can look forward to having nonstop duels though.

Yuya is the main character and he has the spirits of 3 other people inside of him. Like Yugi he can body switch with them at any given point and they help a lot with the duels. Yuya is trying to stop a bunch of time travelers and enemy groups from using the G.O.D. card to wipe out humanity. He then runs into the main heroine Zuzu. She is determined to be his agent so she can make a lot of money. Certainly not the most noble of goals but at least she is trying for an honest living and not exploiting his skills. Can Yuya save the day or will this turn of events prove to be a distraction?

As with most Yugioh titles Arc V starts off rather low key with the stakes and by the end the lead is engaged in cosmic duels. It’s always fun to look at the progression there. I may be getting ahead of myself with the skipping here but the climax is excellent. We get a battle between two G.O.D. cards. Naturally both of them are comically OP with how their special abilities are basically all powerful. Landing a crazy infinite combo is basically all you can do to stop him. All of reality is at stake here since if Yuya loses then it’ll be like nothing ever happened the way he remembered it. Making an alternate reality is always an interesting idea but as the hero will always point out, it’ll always be “alternate” and not the real deal.

The art is pretty solid. It can get a little chaotic at times but not to the point where it would hurt your enjoyment or cause you to get confused. The action is captured pretty well by all of this. The character models are on point as well which is always important. There isn’t much to say about the writing as it is quite good. The name changes from the show can take a little getting used to, as with the characters’ new personalities. There isn’t a lot of time for most supporting characters. They show up for a duel and that’s about it. Technically I suppose that’s probably the case for most of these spinoffs. You only have so much time for duels after all.

The big villain of the series is Eve and she makes for a great final boss. It seems to be a bit of a trend with the final villain being a cosmic lady but I guess having it happen twice in a row may not be enough for a trend. Regardless she has a cool design and a great ace monster in G.O.D. The manga titles have always been on point with the original villains and she is no exception. Her right hand man was also pretty good. He definitely never felt like a big time threat the way that she was though. He was just there to stall the heroes a bit and was successful at his mission.

I do have to question the Adam guy though. He feels like a total villain even though I think the manga was a little ambiguous on that part. He basically goads Decklan into fighting Yuya one last time in the end. The thought was barely in his mind before that happened. I do think that Yuya deciding to destroy the god power right away may have been a little hasty but with how often power corrupts it was likely the right move. Likely the right move…but I was a little more on Declan’s side in the end. He wasn’t going to use the illusion but was hoping he could learn something from the power. It’s something that is worth doing. Imagine the technological innovations such a power could produce. It could be magnificent.

Meanwhile, Declan was pretty good here. I think he was more likable here than in the anime. Technically his character isn’t all that different, but maybe having him be the big final boss here made him feel more like a threat. His plans also seemed more well thought out here as opposed to the anime where it felt like he was on the losing side for a good part of the mental battle between him and the Professor. It goes without saying that Yuya’s dad is better here than in the anime because Yusho was terrible there. He’s one of the few characters where the anime probably dropped the ball a bit.

Meanwhile Yuya is definitely a solid protagonist. He has a goal right from the start and stays on the course til the end. He’s a little more serious than his anime counterpart and I dare say that he’s a better duelist at least in the start. That being said, he doesn’t have all the cool rage moments that his anime version had so he loses out there. The manga made the interesting decision to have him share a body with his other universe selfs and dropped the whole universe thing entirely. This was the part I wasn’t a huge fan of, but the whole plot is built around it so for better or worse it was here to stay. It’s interesting having Yuri act as a hero here. All of the personalities were pretty solid, but I’d say that Yugo takes the win here. He was definitely ready to take charge and made the hard calls.

I think Shay and Sora got the shortest end of the stick from all the characters. Shay is nowhere near the calm and collected guy he once was. He’s basically just a crazed lackey here. Sora isn’t much better. He’s at least a bit of a spy and still has skills, but after getting wrecked that’s basically it for him. Silvio’s pretty much the same. I think even if I hadn’t seen the show first I would have had a hard time liking Shay here. Suffice it to say the supporting character roster wasn’t amazing. Zuzu’s pretty decent though. Her decision to become Yuya’s manager is a pretty smart one since that’ll put her in a position to get fame and glory once he saves the multiverse. As for it actually turning out that way…well I wouldn’t get my hopes too high.

As far as the Yugioh spinoffs go Here are my current rankings. The best one is still Zexal then GX then 5Ds then this one. I think the VRains one has a good chance of beating Arc V as well. Again, this is still a great manga but it just wasn’t quite as much fun as the others. The other Yugioh titles simply set the bar a little too high I think. In particular it’s tough for Arc V since it was following Zexal which had an intense climax and around 3 different rivals. Against that, Arc V didn’t even really have a true rival character. Declan was more of an enemy than one after all.

On a more positive note, the manga did fix most of what I didn’t like about action duels in the anime. In the anime it all felt luck based as cards would just happen to be around to save the day. In the manga you know exactly how many cards are on the field from the start and you can only use 1 per turn. This prevents crazy strategies like in the anime where one guy picked up like 6-8 cards in a row and kept on using them. We also get a good amount of normal duels and even one turbo duel to keep it varied. At the end of the day this is still a Yugioh manga so you can expect a lot of amazing duels. Card duels are why I love the franchise so much in the first place and so long as the writing is solid (Which it was) then the manga is destined to be quite excellent!

The ending of the series may come across as a bit rushed. This is mainly due to the fact that the final events come out of nowhere and the ending isn’t really all that satisfying. It’s certainly nowhere near one of the worst endings though. Some aspects of it are pretty hype like the lead-up to a fight that likely won’t ever occur. The timelines possibly being rearranged and people not remembering the characters can be more annoying though. We won’t know any of this per say since the series ends so abruptly, but there’s a chance that things really didn’t go well for some of the heroes here.


Overall, Arc V is definitely another great Yugioh title to add to the collection. It delivers with a lot of great duels and maintains a pretty epic feel throughout. It reminds you why the Yugioh franchise is just so much fun. Arc V is a complete manga containing pretty much every positive element that you would want to see in such a title.. You’ll be sad to see it go and hopefully the next Yugioh manga starts up soon. I would highly recommend checking this manga out and if you buy the new copies you can even get a rare card. Now that’s a steal!

Overall 8/10

Advertisements

Yugioh VRAINS

Vrains_Promo_Poster
The latest Yugioh series is finally here! I’ve only seen the first episode of this show so far, but it’s already setting up a lot of hype plot points for the future. Make no mistake, this is a show that is certainly going places. It’s already got all the makings of a great show, the only question is how it will fare against the other Yugioh titles. I shall have a review with all of those answers once the show is over.

Overall 8/10

Future Card Buddyfight X Review


The card game genre is certainly going very well at the moment with Cardfight, Buddyfight, and Yugioh all hitting it out of the park. In particular Buddyfight has been going very well. I believe I said that the last season was the best in the series and this one comes very close to topping it. Just when you think the series has peaked it always returns to go to the next level. This season has three arcs which are all quite solid, but that’s enough build up. Let’s start the review!

Well, it is time for another large tournament. This time it will decide which monster world is the best as each one picks an emissary to represent them. It goes without saying that Gao is chosen for Dragon World. However one big surprise is that instead of Tasuku representing Star Dragon World we have a new character named Kanata. He is known as the no damage fighter and has actually managed to never get hit during all of the battles that he was in. Considering how the game works this is virtually impossible so either he cheated quite a bit or he is just very lucky. The best part is that he hasn’t even played Buddyfight in ages as he ditched the game to play soccer full time. Well he is basically forced into entering so now Gao will have to deal with him.

The first arc being a tournament is definitely a good way to kick things off and we get some nice development for Kanata as well. It is pretty much nonstop Buddyfighting so that’s definitely cool. As hype as the next arc is, I have to admit that this one wins. Still, the next arc starts off with a bang as you might expect. A new villain named Wisdom has shown up with his powerful Gear God. He wants to upgrade the world which means turning everyone into machines and controlling them. He manages to crush Gao as well as Kanata which makes him a legitimate threat. Beneath him are the Chaos 3, a group that should not be taken lightly. Gao and his friends will have to get much stronger if they want to save the world this time. Fortunately Tasuku and the Buddy Police are also on the case.

As per usual a big part of the season’s main focus is on Gao and his new buddy monster Batzz. This guy is a tough character whose personality is probably the most similar to Drum’s. He believes that he is the strongest monster in and people say that he came really close to destroying all of Dragon World before he was sealed away. Gao is determined that they will be friends though and as he is the strongest Buddyfighter they should easily become the best. Of course it won’t be that easy since Batzz has quite the ego at times and doesn’t like taking orders. While he is strong that also doesn’t make him immune to gameplay mechanics. I’d say that he beats Bal for me and it’s pretty tough to say compared to Drum. It’s a close one there but I’ll say that he wins out as Gao’s best Buddy so far.

Gao is a very solid main character as he always is. He’s pretty much the same as in the last few seasons so there isn’t much new stuff to say about him. He is still eager to win and always seems prepared for whoever they throw at him. Even without a buddy he has some good skills at the ready to back him up. At times Gao isn’t proactive enough and it feels like the heroes just wait for the villain to make a move but sometimes he goes with his gut like when he broke into the amusement park. That is definitely when he is at his best.

As for Batzz, he can be a little rough at first as he seems to be all talk and no action but I do like the idea of having Gao team up with the strongest monster of them all. Batzz still has trouble with mini Gear Gods and I have serious doubts on him being the strongest but he is certainly powerful. He is always up for a fight while at the same time being willing to atone for his past by getting sealed up. Once Batzz stopped zapping Gao all of the time he was able to get some real character development. I also like the fusion between him and Gao even if that got ditched for a big chunk of the season.

Ancient Holy Sword Dragon is basically the sidekick of Batzz. He means well and always defends the big guy, but in his own I wouldn’t say that he’s a great character. He’s not bad but felt rather unnecessary as having one main monster was enough of you ask me. He did help with Batzz’s development though so I can see why he was added.

Kanata is one of the big new characters here and I can safely say that the show handled him really well. As I mentioned earlier he was so good at the game that nobody could even land a hit on him. Realizing that this was hurting everyone’s morale he decided to stop playing the game even though he had enjoyed it and went on to play soccer full time instead. Fortunately he was selected for the big world championships which forced Kanata to realize that the game is still fun and there will always be more opponents. I actually started to root for Kanata towards the end of his duel with Gao because the hero’s deck started to get cheesy as he drew around 6 shields back to back. Kanata winning the tournament would have really completed his character arc. He also ended up losing to Wisdom later on but despite that you can’t really say that Kanata lost his edge. Naturally he does take damage in all of his duels now but that’s because it was never realistic to avoid damage in the first place. It just doesn’t work within the rules of the game. While Gao surpasses everyone by the end of the season again, Kanata gets enough power ups to stay on his level. Considering that he is a brand new character, it’s impressive how high up the ranks he has gotten.

Gaito may be returning from the past season but he is still one of the big three alongside Gao and Tasuku so he gets quite a few fights. The season addresses the weakness behind his Death Count Requiem technique as it does guarantee a win after 3 turns but lasting that long isn’t easy. Gaito is able to speed this up to 2 turns which is huge. It also becomes borderline overpowered but a lot of the abilities started to get crazy in this arc so it keeps Gaito relevant.

A new mechanic that I neglected to mention earlier is Overturn/Overkill. It is a special ability that can be used once per match depending on if your monster has evolved enough to use it. How useful this ability is completely depends on the monster. Gaito’s is extremely good as it skips his opponents turn so he gets to have 2 waves of attacks. Wisdom’s endsvthe opponent’s current turn in addition to letting him summon 3 monsters. That’s the just of the ability and it is definitely a game changer. This instantly puts any fighter without such an ability at a huge disadvantage but fortunately for the cast it appears that everyone learned it.

Wisdom plays a huge role in this story of course and is a very charismatic opponent. His goal of upgrading the world is certainly a fun one and it’s always nice to see him dismiss his underlings so casually. He reminds me a lot of Kyoya and is certainly about as smug. Even his fame and wealth are comparable. He is evidently smart as Wisdom is able to create code and bend Gear God to his will. He is an expert duelist and also has no qualms about taking the fight to the heroes. The batch of episodes where he attacked Gao and Kanata for the Mirage Card was certainly a standout moment. The season definitely wouldn’t have been the same without such a great villain at the helm.

There is also his butler who is surprisingly a powerful opponent as well. He transforms into a powered up mode rather nonchalantly and may have the best ability out of them all. His flag goes over the opponent’s flag so they can’t use any spells or monsters. Basically unless you have the one specific upgrade card that Wisdom or Kyoya has, it is game over. There is nothing you can even do against this technique so it is easy to see why he didn’t get to fight all that much in the series. It would have been very tough to think of ways to defeat him.

Of course older characters from the series are still present. Tasuku gets a reasonable role here as he continues on with the Buddypolice. While he may not have much time to duel for fun anymore, he has still kept his skills and helps out at times. The only questionable part for Tasuku is that he seems a little more “by the books” than usual. He actually tells Gao and the others to stay back because civilians but he knows better than most just how strong Gao is. It was a rather odd scene. At least he didn’t care much when Gao followed him though so I guess it wasn’t much of a big deal.

Tetsuya and Zanya show up as well but their roles are quite small. They never actually get to do anything important in this season and just serve as a reminder that if you don’t work to improve your skills you will quickly be left in the dust. I suppose I should just be glad that they got to appear? I dunno, I was never the biggest fan of theirs anyway. Their buddy monsters get new super forms though to keep up with everyone else and join the thunder empire though.

I suppose Kiri’s role is kind of important here. He knows about the coming threat and goes over to protect Dragon World while the heroes take on Wisdom. Considering that he is an Omni lord his abilities are never all that impressive. Still, I guess it is good that he is trying his best. He is much better than Guru after all. Guru is an old guy who actually has incredible power. We’ve seen this kind of character many times before but it tends to not work out. This is one of those times. Guru is always trying really hard to be funny but the scenes may just make you cringe. His advice is rarely ever useful and he doesn’t deserve to have such a high power level. The heroes keep on crawling back to his base for more intel over and over again which definitely gets annoying. Hopefully he is written out of the show as soon as possible.

From the Chaos 3 the member with the biggest role is easily Sakate. He is Kanata’s rival so naturally that makes their duels very personal. His dueling style is very unique as he attacks with a bunch of swords instead of monsters. It’s a pretty unique approach and one that feels very useful. I won’t call it OP since having monsters is still really handy but I can see why he is one of the strongest duelists. Brutal’s role is the smallest and he’s the most bland character of the 3. He’s a loyal guy but he really doesn’t have a great reason to follow Wisdom. At the very least he should have defected once Wisdom started going crazy.

Then we have Keisetsu who is taken a lot less seriously than all of the other villains. He is legitimately strong as he gives quite a few characters a good fight, but at the end of the day he just isn’t able to close out his matches. It’s not how you start a fight of course, but how you finish it and this guy just wasn’t ready for that.

The final arc is a nice homage to the rest of the series. It is a shame that the tournament was so small since this meant that it couldn’t bring back a bunch of the older characters but since the first arc was a huge tournament I suppose that the series didn’t want to seem redundant. At the very least we did see all of the villains return like Wisdom, Kyoya, and Bolt. Tasuku and Noboru getting their own fights again was a blast as well. Some of the fights could get a little questionable like Kyoya getting a new super form and 10 hand cards, but not drawing a single shield to win the duel though. I suppose since he was the final boss of a big tournament in the last season they didn’t want to do that again though. Plus going with Tasuku vs Gao is definitely the ultimate homage to the old days for when they were big rivals. This series gave just about everyone the closure you would want to see and the easter eggs to the previous seasons were handled well.

Then the series even squeezed in one last duel in the final episode which was unexpected. Gao receives a challenge from a new character by the airport and this guy may be the strongest opponent that Gao has ever seen. The scene couldn’t quite decide if it wanted the new character to be super mysterious or more of a happy fellow, but either way he had skills. If not for the plot summary of the next season already spoiling the twist the scene would be even more powerful. Either way it kind of makes you not want the time skip yet so we can see Gao get a rematch but if time travel becomes a factor soon then that might not be an issue. It is a great way to hype up the next series even if it does mean that you will be waiting for the new main character to master the game so we get him at this level. I haven’t seen a passing of the torch moment like this in quite a long time so it was an unexpected surprise.

As always the animation is really high quality. The colors are very sharp and the energy effects are on point. Something is always happening on screen whether it be during a fight or normal dialogue. You’ll never feel bored during an episode of the animation has anything to say about it. The soundtrack is also top notch as we have come to expect from the series. At this point several characters have their own themes and that continues to be a trend. Wisdom’s theme is certainly the standout here as it’s just a great tune. It perfectly builds up the suspense and anticipation of what is to come next.

With the classic era over here is how the Buddyfight seasons rank. In 1st is Buddyfight Triple D. The tournament was just handled flawlessly and is my personal favorite from the whole series. 2nd is Buddyfight X for all the reasons described above. In 3rd is the first season which will always be nostalgic and did a great job introducing the cast. In 4th is Buddyfight 100 which had a very slow middle which brought down the season somewhat, but was ultimately still pretty good. It’ll be interesting to see where season 5 ends up ranking. The show will have to introduce all of the characters and everything so the first season probably won’t be cracking the top 3 just yet but never count a card game show out. It just may end up surprising you.

Overall, Buddyfight X is definitely a great title both literally and in regard to the whole season. It’s just nonstop excitement and the new characters really worked well and were seamlessly added to the universe. I dare say that it had the highest stakes as well since Wisdom actually did take over some planets and he was playing for keeps here. When he attacked the heroes on the ship they were in real danger. Of course now Gao is fairly OP with his current deck since he has access to so many super forms so he will be ready for any new villains. It’s always hard to see how they will be able to come up with stronger decks and opponents for Gao, but taking away his Buddy has usually worked well since it nerfs him until he inevitably gets some cool special abilities. The next season won’t have to try and work around this though as we are getting a time skip and a new main character. It should be a blast and this era of Buddyfight ended on a high note.

Overall 9/10

Yugioh Arc V

eee94519
This Yugioh manga may have succeeded in making the most changes out of all its predecessors. I’m always glad to see it have a brand new plot since it makes the manga more exciting. That being said, I don’t really like the new personality they gave Shay. While the manga doesn’t look to be as exciting as the anime, it’s very early on and is a solid title regardless. After all, Yugioh duels in any context are awesome! I shall have a review for this series once it finishes.

Overall 7/10

Yugioh: The Dark Side of Dimensions Review


It feels good to finally have another Yugioh movie out in the world. The 3D crossover still ranks as the greatest film of all time so I had really high hopes for this one. Spoiler Alert- it doesn’t manage to topple the 3D film, but nothing really can. This film was handled perfectly and I can safely say that it is in my top 5 movies of all time. At the moment I’d put it in 4th. 1st being Bonds Beyond Time 2nd being Broly The Legendary Super Saiyan 3rd being DBZ Resurrection F and Bleach: Hell Verse being right under the Dark Side of Dimensions. It gets a little tricky after that with Boruto, Final Fantasy VII, Madoka Rebellion, and others films fighting it out. Whether you’re a Kaiba fan or not, you should definitely be able to enjoy this adventure.

The film pretty much starts with Kaiba reminding the world why he is the greatest. He manages to finally defeat Yami Yugi. Granted, it was an A.I. version of him, but with Kaiba’s top of the line tech it may as well have been the legendary duelist. Kaiba wants to bring the real deal back though after Yugi and friends sealed the Pharaoh away in the past for all of eternity. To that end he has uncovered the Millenium Puzzle and must put the pieces back together. Things don’t go as planned when an avatar of the Plana shows up. His name is Deva and he can’t allow Yami to come back or else he will lose his special powers. This would ruin his plans for revenge so he attempts to get in Kaiba’s way.

The heroes are thrown into the mix because they are Deva’s targets. Joey is still really into dueling, but Yugi has mostly moved on from such things. He is forced into action once more though when Deva kidnaps Bakura and Joey. It’s personal this time and Yugi is determined to end things once and for all. Can he really hope to win without the help and guidance of Yami though? It may be time for Kaiba to step up as the new hero.

One thing you’ll notice from the start is that Kaiba’s practically the main character of this adventure. He gets the most interesting plot, the best lines, and the best duels. He completely steals the show here and his genius goes to brand new heights. He is able to make just about anything from power inhibitors to space ships. Kaiba even comes up with a solid light duel disc which can repel reality warping. If that’s not impressive, then I don’t know what is! Almost every single line from Kaiba is an insult or a way to brag about himself. It wouldn’t work so well if he was always full of hot air, but Kaiba can back up all of his tough talk. He basically doesn’t get to lose in the entire film. He is a master class duelist and as far as I’m concerned, he’s the best. Kaiba has completely surpassed everyone to the point where they can only hope to deal some damage with gimmicks and cheap tricks. Kaiba’s basically a perfect rival and the film reminds me of why he is so awesome. Aside from Jaden, he is definitely the best character in the franchise and one of my all time favorites in media. He even subverts the trope of the rival getting wrecked by the villain in the opening scene. Kaiba really stops every trope that opposes him as seen in his duel with Yugi and the ending as well. Kaiba really wasn’t playing around in this film and shows that you can be obsessed with getting payback while still serving the community and the world in the process. He’s just an upstanding guy.

Deva is the main villain of the film and he is definitely solid. I’d have to say that he is a far superior villain to Paradox. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the Pyramid of Light, but I’m inclined to say that he is better than that guy as well. Deva is not quite ready to surpass the big shots like True Bakura and Marik, but I’ll also give him the edge over Pegasus. Deva may have gone off from the heroic path, but I have to give him credit for his determination. He never forgot the identity of the person he had to get revenge against even after many years and he did manipulate his powers well. If he was facing anyone other than Kaiba, he could have really done a lot of damage in the opening acts.

This film really did manage to bring back as many big plots as possible along the way. As I mentioned earlier, the film was basically perfect. To be perfect, it had to bring back a certain character from the manga that I had been hoping would return. Well, it happened and I suppose I won’t say who exactly, but this villain’s a fan favorite. He does quite a lot of damage even if the film didn’t allow him to re obtain his true form. That would have been even more fun and I was actually expecting it to happen for a while there. The film gave him many opportunities, but I suppose it simply wasn’t to be.

Yugi gets a big role as expected. He nearly dies in traffic which would have been a very sad way to go, but he managed to get out in the nick of time. It was a nice contrast to when Kaiba was around. I’m not crazy about Yugi deciding to step away from dueling, but I suppose that was always more Yami’s thing than Yugi’s. Yugi just likes games in general so I guess it was about time for him to move on. He’s a nice enough character as always. While not as tough as Joey, Yugi’s always ready to do the right thing and he is a determined guy. He does his best to search for Bakura and comes through when the stakes are high. He does give up a little too easily on Yami though, but luckily Kaiba called him out on it. It’s interesting to see Yugi in a semi retired state being forced back into action by Kaiba. Especially since he’s barely the main character this time around. It’s a different perspective and one that I definitely enjoyed.

One part of the film that was puzzling was the fact that Joey didn’t get to duel. He talked about dueling quite a lot in the film and it felt like the film was trying to build that up as an actual plot. I was fully expecting him to duel Deva at one point, but I guess maybe it was going to take too long. That, or it was planned for an extra long uncut version which will debut any day now. That would definitely be fun right? Tea and Tristan are also around although they don’t do all that much. Tristan spends most of the film getting choked and messed with while Tea supports the duelists from the stands. She ends up being the first person to ditch the group for good so the status quo is certainly changing. Bakura is fairly important to the film, but I do definitely miss his true self. Normal Bakura just doesn’t work as a character quite as well as when he had that extra edge. Either way, it is fun to see the whole gang back again.

A cool tribute to the classic game of Yugioh is that the film had each duel start at 8000 life points. The manga and anime titles never got to do this all that much because each duel would take too long. Technically, Yugioh should always be played with 8000 life points though as that is the standard. Since this was the big movie and time wasn’t really an issue, Dark Dimensions got to pull it off. I can safely say that I do prefer the 8000 life points set up. It allows each duelist to unveil longer combos without instantly winning through them. Yugioh 5Ds showed us the cons of a 4000 life point duel since you can feasibly beat someone in a single turn so they wouldn’t have a chance to counter. With 8000 life points, that isn’t really an issue.

The theater where I saw this film had a lot of lively Yugioh fans in attendance so that was cool. This also meant that they were paying a lot of attention to the cards and naturally all of them had to subtly call out a moment where Kaiba had a special ability that let him instantly summon a Blue Eyes. Based on the reaction, I’m guessing that the effect was a little sketchy (Does it work like that?) or the card was a super obscure one that nobody has. It was a very cool ability though and Kaiba always makes sure to have the best cards. His preparation is second to none. Considering what a big film this is though, I’m fairly sure that the film played by the rules. Unlike the show where it can get away with breaking the rules sometimes, I doubt the writers would dare here.

For kicks, there is one gimmick style of dueling in this film, Dimension Dueling. Under this style, you can summon whatever cards you want by infusing your cards with your limitless mental energy. Ultimately, there is absolutely no point to this technique and the only reason they probably added it was so you could see Yugi and Kaiba striking DBZ poses as they powered up. As such, it was less annoying than some other gimmicks like Action Cards from Arc V and it was passable. Of course, I was still thrilled that most of the duels in the film where of the standard kind. Why mess with something that’s not broken?

If you’re waiting for Yami, then I’ll just say not to expect too much> This film’s really meant to be more of a Kaiba searching movie similar to Homura’s search for Madoka in Rebellion. Both climaxes are just as satisfying though so while Yami and Madoka didn’t get to appear all that much, the brief moment is hyped to the max. In this case, the rules probably were destroyed since the summon came out of nowhere, but I’m cool with that since the villain basically broke the rules by using a power up in the first place. His unlimited attacks with the cubes were also a little over powered and hard to stop. Anything goes at that point right?

As expected, the animation is absolutely top notch here. The energy effects are great and all of the characters designs are completely on point. You won’t have seen so much blue in just about any other film. Kaiba has made the place so futuristic that you’d think you were in 5Ds or Zexal world at this point. It’s kind of cool that the classic series may finally be more advanced than the sequels. Whether it’s box monsters or a bunch of cool dragons, you’ll feel each and every blow from the monsters. A punch will send debris everywhere and the animation will crisply move on to the next scene. This film even made it easy for TV channels to air it as some scenes will go with a fade out before entering the next moment. Not to be outdone, the soundtrack is also excellent here. I would have liked a good GX tune or two of course, but this is a classic Yugioh movie so it makes sense to stick to its roots. We get a really nifty remix of Kaiba’s Batman theme from the TV show and also a pretty good remix of “Your Move” for the end credits. With the writing also at 5 star quality the whole time, the movie really has everything going for it.

Also to bring it up one more time, the film handled Kaiba’s counter to reality warping perfectly. It really sets the standard for how other characters can handle it. Just activate your high tech gadgets and the villains are forced to respect it. Kaiba’s tech really knows no bounds and coming up for counters to abilities that have never been seen before was another epic moment. It’s easy to see why the crowd cheered for every single Kaiba scene. It was insane. The other characters were lucky to get cheering for half of their scenes.

It was a really good decision to make this movie 2 hours for a change. It allowed the film to fit in a bunch of duels and also made the film more satisfying. It is hard to do quite as much when you only have 30-40 minutes as the duel has to be very short and that leaves no time for hype. Half of this film is really devoted to Kaiba’s hype and it paid off very well. The film never even comes close to dragging on as it’s almost nonstop action from the start. I’ve got to give the film a lot of credit for being this amazing. It really didn’t make any mistakes which is why it’s the optimal classic Yugioh film. I can’t see it being surpassed by another. In fact, even the bullies were defeated by the guy who was being bullied for a change. That was nice to see.

Overall, Yugioh The Dark Side of Dimensions is a film that I highly recommend. Whether you’re a Yugioh fan or not, you can appreciate the intensity and amazement that each scene brings to the table. There are a bunch of homages for old time fans, but enough flashbacks to help newcomers along as well. It’s hard to see anyone walk out of the theater and not pick Kaiba as the stand out character, but I suppose I can also see how his overwhelming presence and confidence can be a little intimidating for a lead. He’s certainly not here to make friends and accomplishing his objective is all that matters. At the same time, Kaiba never fell off the wagon so to speak. He never went crazy or power mad as he tried extreme things to bring Yami back. He didn’t even physically threaten anyone this time as he calmly just made sure to get what he wanted. Kaiba manipulates people, but he does so in a professional way that will keep his PR agency happy. As such, the ending of the film is perfect. Naturally, it would have been awesome if the film could have been extended another 20 minutes since Kaiba deserves the win. It would have been highly controversial though so the film may have been wise in playing it safe. It’ll be very hard to top this film to be honest, but if they do another crossover with Yugioh GX, anything is possible. It’s a really good time to be a card game fan with so many titles going on right now. It feels good!

Overall 9/10

Yugioh Zexal Review


Time to look at the final Yu-Gi-Oh spinoff manga for now. It was fun to have GX, 5Ds, and Zexal all going at one point. I’ll finally be able to start the Arc V manga soon so that’ll be cool since not having any Yugioh titles for a little while it rough. While the Zexal manga was not quite able to defeat the GX or 5Ds anime, it surprisingly had the best manga adaption. It made the risky decision of adding two new characters for the manga, but it actually worked really well as the new characters were excellent. I dare say that this manga just had more stakes and overall epicness than the former. As they were all 9 volumes, this helped clinch it.

Yuma was not a great duelist, but then he met Astral. Astral was an alien from another planet who had been stripped of his memories and most of his skills. The one thing that he remembers is that he is a master duelist. Yuma now needs to collect all of the Number Cards to get Astral’s memories back, but it’ll be difficult since several factions are after it. Yuma’s group is Team 1 and he has several friends helping him out. Team 2 is Shark’s group. The mysterious Luna is helping him gather the cards so he can defeat Kyoji, a guy who has obtained dark powers and may not be fully human anymore. The third group is Team Kite. He needs the Numbers to help bring his brother back from a crazed state and is essentially being blackmailed through that. Finally, we have Kyoji. His motivations are unknown, but he intends to get in everyone’s way.

What helps a lot here is that I like virtually all of the main characters. Yuma’s friends aren’t all that great, but they never do all that much and are stuck in the background. Yuma is a fun lead character. He may not be quite as charismatic as Jaden or as serious as Yusei, but he’s a good guy. He gradually gets better at dueling as the series goes on and has to make a lot of tough decisions. He always tries to find a way out for everyone. His Super Saiyan form is also really awesome even if it doesn’t technically do all that much. It does help for the space battles though and the Shining Draw shouldn’t be underestimated.

Astral is not nearly as interesting or likable. He typically makes all the wrong decisions and is willing to sacrifice many lives if it will help fulfill his mission. He’s the kind of guy that you really just can’t trust. His dueling skills are exceptional and he is one of the strongest fighters so it is hard to get past him. He probably would be more likable if he had all of his memories, but it would be a very different series if that was the case.

Shark is one of the main rivals in the series and he is a lot more reasonable than how he was towards the end of the anime. He is actively trying to protect the world here as he fights to stop Kyoji. It’s also rather personal due to them growing up together. Shark’s cards may not be as fancy as Kite’s or Yuma’s, but he gets the job done with pure skills. Luna is essentially his adviser in this series as she helps him become aware of what is happening and even gives him some cards to give Shark a boost. She’s a pretty powerful duelist in her own right and works well as one of the mysterious characters of the series. Luna was necessary to ensure that Shark had at least one ally on his team and to widen the gap between him and Yuma.

Kite is always a cool rival and that doesn’t change in the manga. His Galaxy Photon Dragons are always a treat to watch and his “Destroy Them All” deck is my favorite kind. It’s similar to how Kaiba duels which makes sense since you expect the rival to be like that. Zexal is similar to GX in that sense as both titles had two rivals. Aster and Zane vs Shark and Kite. Kite is the best rival as Zane was in GX, but they’re both pretty solid. Kite really does a good job of staying tough right up til the very end.

Time for the two made up villains of the series. Luna was the third of the 3 Original characters and the author did a really good job of making them all good. Kyoji has a great design and his spider abilities are very versatile. He has a really good deck and has his own motivations for doing all of this. His backstory is surprisingly dark though and makes a lot of characters look really bad. So, his brother was murdered by a random guy who assumed the brother’s identity and nobody ever realized. Kyoji took care of this guy, but couldn’t really cope with the tragedy as a whole and surrendered to the powers of darkness. He cracked from there. Kyoji was definitely a very imposing villain and while you would be sympathetic enough to root for him, he’s not completely crazy to the point where you wince whenever he’s on screen. He’s pretty cool and works well as the big boss.

Zexal decided to pull a Naruto and randomly added a cosmic villain of ultimate power by the name of E’Rah. She is the Goddess of Despair and all of her cards as pretty over the top. She’s very powerful and I actually like it when big villains suddenly show up like that. Kaguya, Tabuu, Nightshroud, etc. Unfortunately, it sometimes comes at the expense of a better villain like in this example and Naruto, but I suppose it’s worth the price. The climax just kept on escalating with each chapter. There’s no reason not to like E’Rah as she talks a really good game and has a solid design. She gives off a cosmic vibe throughout the duel.

Zexal never stepped on the brakes and just kept on going full speed ahead towards the end. There is constantly a duel going on and I’m not sure if we ever got a chapter without one. I feel like we must have, but at the very least it would have been a very rare occurrence. I am glad that the manga diverged from the anime early on as I always think that the manga titles should be very different. There really isn’t much point in adapting the anime faithfully since you’ll have ideally already seen what is going to happen. All of the Yugioh spinoffs did their own story and it’s worked out well so far. The plot with Kyoji started off right away and that’s when the series really took off.

The art was very good for Zexal. I’d say that it was better than GX, but maybe slightly worse than 5Ds. It’s close and I guess you could say they’re about equal. The pages will get quite busy during the duels as some monsters can take up half of the page and with all of the spells and traps being activated left and right, you have to really take a good look at each page to see everything. Not to mention that there is a lot of text on each page so it takes longer than the average volume as a result. This does help give you some more value for your money though right?


Overall, Yugioh Zexal was a great way to end off the current Yugioh spinoffs that I was reading. It’s very action packed with a great cast of characters. The duels are a lot of fun as always and they cover a whole lot in the 9 volumes. You’ll certainly never be bored as you’re reading the series and it sets a high bar for all of the other titles. You don’t always need to be a long running series to get a high score as long as you cut to the chase right away. This will also help me get all set for the upcoming Yugioh film and the Arc V manga. Both are bound to be great as Yugioh never disappoints. I recommend reading this manga ASAP and then hurrying off to the theater to help support the Yugioh nation!

Overall 9/10

Yugioh The Falsebound Kingdom Review


It’s time to review another Yugioh game, but unfortunately it is easily the worst one that I have ever played. I’m sorry Yugioh fans, I didn’t think it was possible to have a bad one…but here we are. For starters, it doesn’t feel like a Yugioh game at all. The plot is laughable and the gameplay is as bad as possible for its turn based style. It makes Digimon Data Squad and Pokemon Colosseum look like they had lightning fast loading times. It doesn’t help that Yugioh overstays its welcome as well. Prepare yourself for a rocky experience when playing the game!

You can choose to play as Kaiba or Yugi initially. I believe that after completing both stories you unlock Joey’s mode as well. You’d have to be extremely dedicated to do that though since this game is very long and completing both stories could easily result in a 20+ hour long game. Kaiba’s mode sees him in Ancient Egypt. He leads an army, but unfortunately his brother was kidnapped by a guy called Scott, whose clothes look like modern day gear. Kaiba quickly pursues this villain, but he will have to fight off many other armies, bandits, and other such fighters who get in his way. Can Kaiba rescue Mokuba and stop this random guy from messing around with the past?

I didn’t like the plot for a lot of reasons. The main one is that I really don’t like AU stories a lot of the time unless the concept is super good to actually justify having the characters here. There is a plot twist that makes this moot by the end, but also reminds you how pointless the whole charade was. Kaiba and friends didn’t need to be here and this could have easily been a Dynasty Warriors game instead. The monsters felt really out of place as well if you ask me. I don’t like Ancient Egypt as a setting and most of the characters were either generic or annoying. It was fun to see Yugi show up for a quick cameo, but that was it. He was gone as soon as he appeared and then it was back to fighting Scott in a battle of no interest to anyone playing.

This game also felt very low budget. The soundtrack is essentially nonexistent and the only tune that I can recall was very dead and lifeless. Certainly not what you’d like to hear while having a nice duel. All of the cutscenes were just little picture boxes with text after it. Once in a while, the background would change which was a nice little touch and Slifer got a quick cutscene, but that was basically it. The graphics were all right I suppose, but not while on the overhead map. Everyone looked the same there and the creatures were so tiny that you typically couldn’t see anything. Moving on the map was a pain and likewise, using any item took way too long there. Travelling to enemy camps would take forever and by the time you made a move, the enemies were already on top of you. Typically, the best move was to simply beat all of the minions and then attack the castle, but that would mean a very long level for you to play. The quickest way to win is to dash over to the enemy castle, but odds are that your monster wouldn’t be fast enough to pull this off. I was able to do it a handful of times, but mostly my strategy didn’t pan out.

This wouldn’t be terrible…if the combat system was any good. On the surface, it is the classic turn based system that Pokemon uses. You take turns with the opponent on who gets to attack and each battle is a 3 on 3 match. The problem is that everyone’s attacks take a little long since you have to watch the whole animation and every member has a lot of health. You have a limited amount of actions in a battle so if both teams run out, then you have to fight again after a 0 second intermission. It can be 5 seconds if you are fighting from a castle. Rinse and repeat for all of the minions and this can be tough. Especially if you send out 9 teams and the opponent has 9 as well. Personally, I recommend sticking to 2 and just using them the whole time. Even if you lose, the level ups save so you can keep retrying until you win. I also recommend avoiding any optional minions as the mild EXP boost isn’t worth it and just focus on completing the level. Pegasus was extremely valuable and Ishizu was good as well. Kaiba was actually pretty weak, which was a shame.

Items are crucial as well since the computers will constantly be healing themselves. You’ll want to have some kind of healing array on your side as well if you really want to win. It costs a lot of money, but you should naturally have enough while playing through the game. I only ran out after the final level was over and by then I didn’t need to buy any more items anyway so it was all good. Either way, the matches will drag on quite a bit. You’ll need to use some strategy rather than just attacking over and over, but since every character only has 1 attack, prepare to see the same one spammed over and over and over again.

There is some replay value here as you can try to beat the game with all 3 characters, but there’s not much of a purpose to this beyond just doing it for fun. I didn’t find the game to be all that fun at all so I certainly don’t plan on doing that. The game was long enough as it is so it will definitely satisfy you considering how cheap the game is. You can get it for under 5 dollars, but should you? Think carefully on that because it is a Yugioh game in name only. Seriously, there is no card playing to be found here at all and that is rather tragic if you ask me.

Really, this game should have been good, but it really felt like a bad fanfic. The story just makes no sense and is not interesting in the slightest. How did this Scott guy go and kidnap everyone anyway? The game doesn’t bother to explain this at all. The computer also gets sentient by the end and suddenly turns into an old guy with a beard. The concept is cool even if it has been done to death (By other Yugioh games as well) but the design was pretty bad. Fighting against a God card was cool, but it had way too much health so it was tedious to defeat. Not hard, but tedious. If the gameplay had only been sped up 2X, I could have easily seen this game grab a 6. Probably not a 7 anyway since it just wasn’t interesting, but gameplay plays a huge role in any title so if it was as smooth as the average Pokemon game, this review would be quite different.

Overall, The Falsebound Kingdom is a game that I recommend avoiding. It is easily the worst Yugioh game out there and that is even including the odd GX game where you follow a calendar and as such, there is no real plot to the game and nothing to do either since if you miss a day, you miss an opportunity. I can’t stand the day system, but luckily I’ve only encountered 2-4 games that do such a thing. Back to this game though, I don’t see if being surpassed as the worst anytime soon. Even the Duelist of the Roses game for PS2 (Something like that) should be better since it uses the standard gameplay. I’ve had this game on the backburner for many years (And I can see why) so I am glad to have it done once and for all!

Overall 4/10

Yugioh 5Ds Review


It’s been a while since I reviewed Yugioh Zexal and I actually finished this show at around the same time so this is long overdue. This is the final review that was buried in my backlog for a while so it’s good to have it all done. Yugioh 5D’s is easily in my top 10 favorite shows of all time like I’ve mentioned several times on the site. It’s just about perfect and easily deserves to be known as one of the best Yugioh series…even dethroning the original.

The series takes place far in the future. You can essentially say that it is canon to the older series or not, it doesn’t really matter as it is so far in the future that none of the older characters or their monsters will be appearing. A large accident split the country in two and all of the rich people live in the glamorous Domino City while the poor live in Satellite, hunted by the cops. Yusei decides that he wants to head to Domino City and he arrives just in time to enter a tournament.

The first arc is mainly about the big tournament and then the organizer of the whole thing, Mr. Goodwin, turns out to be a little corrupt. Longtime Yugioh fans or any anime fan will likely see it coming, but it’s still fun as he makes for a good starter villain. I enjoyed this arc although it was fairly short, but I feel like I would enjoy it a whole lot more now. While the tournament was epic, we hadn’t known any of the characters yet. Tournaments are actually a great way of introducing characters for sure, but the second watch makes it all the more meaningful since you now know them more and can appreciate their older days. Of course, the series would just get better and better from here. Mainly because Yusei’s old friends stopped appearing here as well and his newer ones were a lot cooler.

The second arc is the fan favorite one and it was a lot of fun. The main characters found out that they were actually chosen by the Crimson Dragon as the only ones who could stop the Dark Signers. One of them also had a history with Yusei as they both grew up in Satellite, but betrayal and disagreements between the teammates separated all of them. A reporter also gave into the dark side and there were many intense duels in the show as well as Yusei’s first real challenge. The stakes definitely went up for this arc and we got quite a few epic fights. The animation also went to the next level.

Finally, we had the World Grand Prix arc. This one was easily the longest and also had some filler, which won’t be too cool for some fans. Basically, this arc finally put the motorcycles back into the show. Instead of the standing duels like in the older shows, the motorcycles came into play as Yusei and his friends had to prove that they were the best in the world or the new villain group would plunge the world back into darkness. This arc introduced a whole lot of new characters. A lot of them were one shots of course, but that’s just how it goes.

The tournament battles were extremely exciting and that’s why I loved the arc so much. As I mentioned earlier, once you know the characters, the tournaments get to be even more fun. A lot of the new teams were also cool or at least made for good fights. The climax in each of the arcs was very exciting as Yugioh climaxes are always spectacular, but the final battle in the final arc was definitely the best one. We got some really epic opera themes at the last second and the villain really lasted quite a while. Ending the series on a high note is always important.

Yugioh 5D’s main gimmick, which a lot of fans had fun with is that the characters now duel while on motorcycles. It’s a pretty interesting twist and while standing duels will always be my favorite, it does make for some nice visuals. It’s fun to see such a high speed duel and the tournaments handled it quite well. It did help to differentiate it from the other Yugioh series, that’s for sure. I also think that Synchro Summoning is a whole lot better than the XYZ style from Zexal. It was a new feature that was actually a lot of fun and wasn’t too overpowered.

That being said, the final cards are naturally extremely powerful. The final ones that the villains have can essentially do anything within the rules of the game. While not as OP as the Yubel card in Yugioh GX, it’s safe to say that they can hold their own against any of the other final bosses. Each of the Time Lords has a different special ability and once you’ve got the whole army on your side, it’s game over for your opponent.

As you would expect, the animation in Yugioh 5D’s is top notch. It actually looks better than Yugioh Zexal and is automatically the best animated Yugioh series. I don’t even think that Yugioh Arc V will be able to pass it in that area. The series had a theatrical effect to it so the night duels looked especially good while the daytime ones were superb as well. 5D’s really excelled in that area. The Earthbound Immortals are completely in CGI so you may have a chuckle when those guys come out of the woodworks. The CGI is certainly obvious and they would have looked better hand drawn, but at least they got the scale wrong. I much preferred the other big cards as I wasn’t impressed with these guys, but the CGI…you will never forget it! Now, we can’t forget about the soundtrack right!?

Yugioh 5D’s gets 5 stars there as well. I got to watch the first two arcs in English for the Dub music and the final one subbed for the Japanese themes. The Dub wins as expected, but both versions are quite good. For the Dub, we got a lot of fast paced action themes that really fit with the duels and it was second only to GX in Yugioh world. I also liked the voices and missed them a lot when the Dub ended. For the Sub, I love Jack’s theme and would probably rank it as the best subbed theme with the opera one from the final boss being a close second. I also like the techno theme for when Speed World is activated. Since I got to hear two different soundtracks, it helped this show ultimately have more likable themes than most shows could ever hope to have. Another star to add to Yugioh 5D’s book.

The writing is also exceptional for the series. I’d actually say that every single Yugioh title has been quite good with the writing as they all tend to tackle some deep themes and know when to be serious as well as when to be light toned again. Yugioh 5Ds is no exception and it deals with the end of the world and how humanity can be pretty corrupt and whether it should be saved or not. Another topic is how much of a price are the characters willing to pay to save the rest of the human race. The episodes will always get you thinking and the series is always very interesting as well as exciting, which is an incredible combo.

The show is also very long. With over 150 episodes, you have a lot of time to get attached to the characters and watch their character progression. Character development is very real in this series after all. While some of the characters will never be likable like Yusei’s old friends, most of the main cast is quite good and the villains are solid. On that note, let’s talk about the characters, as the show has a decently large cast.

Yusei is the main character of Yugioh 5D’s and he is certainly a likable character. He’s a natural leader and he gets the job done. While not as overly happy and upbeat as Yuma, Yusei’s still a fairly cheerful guy to hang out with. He started out as a very serious guy, but his friends helped him to just enjoy everything a little more. He rarely ever lost to anyone in the whole series and I believe that he only lost on screen once if a commentor is to be believed on Youtube. I can’t verify this as it’s been a while, but if so…that’s very impressive. His deck is fairly balanced and it’s actually better than Yugi’s if you ask me. I like his Junk Warrior and his Stardust Dragon is a lot of fun. Yusei’s Iron Scarecrow is also a very good trap card as it can block an attack and never leaves his field. Really, Yusei may have gotten the best starter deck out of all the main characters including Jaden. It’s quite good and very powerful. It’s definitely hard to be a better lead than Yusei as I really had no problems with the character.
5Dx137_New_look_Sherry
Akiza is the main heroine of the series and her telekenetic abilities were enjoyable to see as most Yugioh characters do not have any physical abilities. She can also duel, which instantly makes her cooler than Tea and Tori. I’d also say that she beats Alexis, making Akiza the best main heroine from the Yugioh franchise. Her flower deck is solid and her dragon also has some neat abilities at its disposal although I wouldn’t call it as impressive as some of the others in the series. While Akiza may not be quite as powerful as Jack or Yusei, she can hold her own in a fight. Her battle with the Dark Signer Misty was a lot of fun. She lost her abilities for a good chunk of the series, which was unfortunate, but maybe she would have been too overpowered with them. Either way, I’m glad that she got them back for a time.

Jack Atlas started out as a very antagonistic character. He was friends with Yusei, but set his sights on grander pastures and left his old friends. He was deceived for a while into believing that he was the King when his opponents had been throwing fights. This left him with a chip on his shoulders that he tried to get rid of during the whole series. His skills were very real though and his Red Dragon Archfiend is probably the best dragon from all of them. He’s incredibly powerful and is very useful in a fight. Jack’s aggressive playing style makes him a blast to watch. While he learns to be more strategic in the end, he never loses that fiery passion for dueling.

Crow joined the group a little later into the show. I feel like the writers didn’t even know that they were going to add him in so his inclusion into the story just came out of nowhere. I feel like he never proved himself quite as well as the other three characters and I still don’t find him to be quite as impressive in terms of dueling either. Even his dragon is a little on the weak side. That being said, he’s certainly not a bad character and is still a nice guy. While he may not have been developed quite as much, Crow definitely got his share of important duels in the show.

Leo and Luna were the final main members of the group. Leo always wanted to be one of the heroes and he finally got his chance by the end. His Power Tool Dragon was never that strong, but he was a decent card. Leo always meant well, but he was basically a kid at the grown ups table. Luna had her Ancient Fairy Dragon who also wasn’t too impressive, but was a decent card. Unfortunately, she had the bad luck of getting two duels that really weren’t exciting at all. One of them was in Arc 1 and the other in Arc 2. For some reason, any episode with her and Leo just couldn’t grab my attention the same way that the other duelists did. I think that making them just a little older or a little tougher would have really helped them.

As for some of the more minor heroes, Officer Trudge was a cop who meant well as he tried to put Yusei behind bars. He just wasn’t a very nice guy who only bgrudgingly started to become friendly with the heroes by the end as he slowly turned into a comic relief character. The fun part about him was that Trudge was actually in the original Yugioh manga for one chapter as Yami Yugi wrecked him in a Shadow Game. This furthers the theory that Yugioh 5Ds is actually an alternate universe, but since Yusei met the other heroes in the crossover between space and time, it’s interesting. Yusei did see Yugi in a newspaper after all. Maybe more time travel and reality shenanigans were involved. I liked him at first, but he slowly began to lose his cool factor. His partner was also decent at first, but then she started to crush on Jack in the same way that Trudge began to crush on her so both characters dropped really quickly.
Yusei's_Duel_Runner_fails
Lazar worked for Mr. Goodwin for a while, but he eventually became the head of the police…or the city. I forgot, but either way he never became a very cool character for me. I dunno…I just couldn’t take him seriously and he seemed so clearly evil that his change of heart felt a little sudden. Why did he become good? The show never did a great job of showing what caused this turnaround.

All right, now we’re into the Dark Signers! Kalin was the best member as you may expect and he was a lot of fun in the series. After he turned good, we got to see his new 1 turn kill deck over in the wild west. Seriously…he won on his first turn due to a special ability that dealt 800 points of damage for each card placed face down. He placed 5 cards and boom…that was the game. It’s a pretty awesome combo if you ask me even if it wouldn’t work in a normal duel due to each player having 8000 points of life.

Kalin gave Yusei a crushing defeat when they first fought and it was easily one of The most epic duels in the series. It was dark out and the personal stakes made the fight feel that much more intense. Kalin definitely had no mercy on his old teammate and the tension between them was intense. Kalin’s deck may not have been the most interesting, but he made up for that with his cool ride and elite dueling skills.

Greiger was kind of a part of the Dark Signers although he came out of nowhere to quickly duel Crow. He was essentially filler although he was also in the season 1 tournament. His motorcycle was very over the top and fun to look at and he actually nearly took down Goodwin by shooting his motorcycle through the glass in the stadium. He had a decent reason for turning into a villain and even if he felt a little shoehorned into the plot, he was a good villain. Crow needed someone to fight so it may as well have been him.

Roman was the leader of the Dark Signers and his duel with Yusei was one of the best animated duels in the show. The animation had a lot of detail in it and you could tell that it was the big fight of the arc even if the arc didn’t actually end with that fight. Roman looked tough and his dueling skills were very real. He may not have had any real OP cards like you would have expected, but he was a good leader for the Dark Signers.

Another Dark Signer was Carly. She was a reporter who really looked up to Jack, but was taken out by one of the corrupt PSY users. Little did the guy know that he was sealing his own fate as she got new abilities and used the powers of darkness to end him. It was another epic moment in the series as the fatalities were finally occurring and the PSY guy had been a fairly big villain in the background. I actually liked him and at least he could back up his tough talk. Carly was mostly the comic relief in the series as a hero, so this helped to give her some much needed dueling time. As a villain, Carly was great and her duel with Jack was a lot of fun. As a hero, I can’t say that I’m a fan of her though and her screen time is typically filler.
zone
Finally, we had Misty, who was the rival for Akiza. She blamed Akiza for what happened to her brother (I believe it was her brother) and she decided to wipe out the telekinetic user with her newfound abilities. It was a good duel and while the flashback cards are certainly…intriguing, it was a very close fight through and through. She had character, which is more than I can say for Luna’s opponent. There’s really nothing to say about the guy as he just rushed into the duel and qas quickly taken down. We don’t know why he was there and fans likely won’t even care. This guy was clearly just made up to fight Luna and we got another subplot about Fairy World that wasn’t any fun. Fairy World was surprisingly boring whenever it appeared.

Director Goodwin was the hidden boss of the arc and he had gotten a lot of hype for so long that it was great to see him jump into the action at the end. His super form was great and while his deck was not too memorable, it was still quite good. Goodwin put on a convincing act as one of the heroes for most of the show and while he started to ramble as a villain, I dare say that he may have been the best villain. If you still count Kalin as a villain, then I’ll go with him, but in terms of cool points, Goodwin may have this made. If we count villains who are not actually alive, then he does get beat though.

Sherry was a supporting character who appeared once in a while during the series until she finally got a huge role. She’s very similar to Kourin from Cardfight Vanguard actually. She ended up learning a plot twist and joined the other side for a while. It was definitely interesting, although I don’t think that she should have even considered switching sides though. It was a very interesting dilema though and I’ll certainly go into it a little at the end. She was a good character though and I admire her fighting spirit as she even had a quick scuffle with Bruno in the real world. Sherry was a strong character and I always like to see that. Being bold is a good way to claim victory!

Z-One is the final boss of the series. The show does a good job of strongly hinting the whole time about a certain twist involving another Yusei for so long. It was great as the show kept up the act and did it very subtlely so that you didn’t really have much reason to doubt the twist. Z-One’s goal is also nice and complex so he’s not your average villain. He’s doing this for what he considers to be a heroic goal. The death of a relative few to save millions in the future. We’ve heard it all before and you have to decide if you take this Utilitarian position or if you want to fight to avert the future, but risk everything. This complexity made the final battle even more epic. Not to mention that zooming around the sky with inverted gravity also added to that effect. The climax just kept on going and going with each episode getting more intense than the last.

Aporia was another awesome villain. Technically, he’s a villain combo, but at the same time, he claims that this is his original form. Time travel stuff. He looked a lot like Paradox in this mode and it was cool because we actually got to see Paradox as well for a quick cameo. This guy was certainly a powerful fighter and he put up quite a good fight against the heroes. He did everything to help his friend, which was a really neat twist since it shows how sometimes the villains can have strong bonds between them as well. After all, they didn’t consider themselves to be villains even though they put on a big production for the heroes. His first appearance was definitely something that will widen your eyes as it was a very epic moment.

Jakob was essentially the leader of Yliaster and he wasn’t quite as charismatic as his two teammates. He was the old and wise member of the group who wasn’t hot headed anymore, but it came at the expense of his character. I suppose that the team needs a reserved member like that, but it doesn’t make him any more fun. Likewise, I wasn’t a big fan of Lestor. He was the happy, kid member of the group and he had a nifty skateboard, but I was never impressed with his skills and found him to be a bit of a lightweight next to the others.

Primo on the other hand, now this was a pretty epic fighter. He really meant business and also defied the plan that the other two members had at one point. He just really wanted to beat Yusei and nobody was going to stand in his way. His super form of merging with his vehicle was cool and all of his duels were Awesome! I’m really glad that he defied orders in his duel as it just shows that his personality is the kind that I like in my villains. He’s similar to characters like Grimmjow, who just do what they want, regardless of orders.
5Dx142_Jack_fights_on
As for Visor, he was a mysterious figure who appeared towards the end of the series. The viewers knew his true identity for a while as he fought Sherry and appeared in the background, but the heroes didn’t figure this out until the final part of the series. As Visor, he was pretty cool and he taught Yusei how to upgrade his skills to the next level. Without that form of dimensional summoning, Yusei would have been doomed in the final battle. The legal aspects of this kind of summoning are a little intriguing though as it almost doesn’t seem fair, but it does give you an incentive to drive a little faster. Visor came in handy against Ghost as well.

The Ghost is actually my favorite villain in the series. Again, this only counts if you believe that robots can be characters as this guy was awesome, but he was technically not alive. His role wasn’t very huge either, but his first duel against Yusei was one of the best in the series (I use that phrase a lot, but the series was over 150 episodes so it’s fair enough) and I liked his design a lot. This guy meant business and most of the characters in the series could not have matched up against him.

As for some of the teams in the World Cup, Team Unicorn was pretty interesting. Yusei’s team had to overcome quite the massive lead that Unicorn had as Yusei essentially had to win a 1-3 battle. Really, he shouldn’t have won that match and the episode even shows us this as Unicorn could have won, but he wanted to win mano a mano and that was his mistake. Even then, Yusei probably should have lost, but it still shows just how tough he is that he can beat 3 duelists. Jack and Akiza certainly didn’t pull their weight there, but everyone has off games once in a while.

Team Ragnarok was another impressive team who wielded powerful cards like Odin and Loki. They were actually a little important to the plot as they wanted to stop Yliaster themselves. Their eyes made them able to see the villains similarly to how the Crimson’s Dragon power helps the main heroes. That being said, Yusei’s team needed the win and the battle was quite spectacular. It was some of the final episodes that the Dub aired so it was a big farewell to that side of the show. The duel was one of the best in the series.

Team Taiyo quickly deserves a mention as their team gimmick was pretty interesting. Rather than use the same overpowered cards that everyone else had, they wanted to win using basic cards. In part, this is due to the fact that they don’t have a lot of money. They were naturally doomed against Yusei’s team, but they still put up a decent fight and were actually likable even if their whole gimmick was just a bit much to swallow at times. Using basic cards is cool….but I don’t see how they made it so far in the tournament that way.

Yusei’s decision to fight Z-One was a good one in my opinion. The tricky situation was that dueling would inevitably overload the generators someday, which would cause a global incident on a nearly extinction level. The robots and duel monsters would turn against humanity and the world would really be doomed. Yusei decided that he would defy this though. I agree with his choice since Yliastor would have blown up a city, but I disagree with how he handled it. What did Yusei do? He built more generators after the timeskip and is making the cities more high tech. As more people continue to duel, this essentially makes it inevitable that the world will perish. So, I think Yusei could have done more to avert the future, but either way, Earth can’t last forever. They may as well play the card game while waiting for that to happen right?

Now, I know that it’s a little controversial to have this show over the classic Yugioh. I think almost everyone would agree to this one beating Zexal and GX being over 5Ds is something that most people wouldn’t agree with either. The Yugioh Duelist manga was extremely awesome and would beat 5D’s, but at the same time, 5Ds just had more epic moments. It had the better animation and the better soundtrack. Yugioh has the slight edge in characters thanks to Yami Yugi and Kaiba, but even then, the rest of 5D’s supporting cast beats Yugioh’s. 5Ds was just more exciting even if it was shorter. It took a while to finish the series, but Yugioh 5Ds is a title that I will definitely not forget. The grand scheme of the show can only be matched by few titles and even less can say that they’ve had a climax that was quite as exciting for such a long duration.
Signers_face_Dark_Signers
Overall, Yugioh 5D’s is a fantastic show. While it loses to Yugioh GX, it could have easily been a 10 due to how good it is. I placed 5 shows ahead of it, GX, Madoka Magica, Digimon Data Squad, Justice League and Cardfight Vanguard, but it’s extremely close and you could make a decent case for it to pass Madoka and Justice League. There are so many epic moments throughout this series and even the comedy episodes and filler titles were typically a lot of fun. This is mainly due to how exceptional the writing is and how enjoyable the characters are. This is really an all star title! After a while, with so many legendary shows, some of them just have to give. Even if I have 5D’s at 6th place, that’s still very impressive. With great animation, a superb soundtrack, and a whole lot of episodes to sift through, you should absolutely start this series. Trust me, you will not regret it!

Overall 9/10

Yugioh Zexal Review



Yugioh is currently the greatest franchise of all time. It has exceled in every area and that is a feat which is nearly impossible to match. It currently possesses the greatest movie of all time and the greatest TV show of all time. Yugioh also has another 9 star show in 5Ds and a great title in the original. The video games have been terrific and R/Duelist ensure that the manga section is elite as well. From this, you can probably see why Zexal has so much pressure on it. Zexal probably has the worst rep from all of the main shows, but it is debatable as many people do not like GX with a passion. Zexal ended up being a great show, but it is safe to say that it could never end up reaching the same level as any of the previous three shows. A fate similar to that if Cardfight G at the moment.

The show takes place many years after 5Ds. Technically, it may not be in continuity, but there are enough nods that we can essentially place it in the timeline. Just in an unofficial way like Avengers Assemble. The story follows a kid named Yuma as he goes through his days striving to high five the sky. He is a terrible duelist, but he never gives up and has a lot of fun. One day, he gets a pendant and a spirit named Astral appears. The spirit has lost his memories and needs to recover the 100 Number Cards to get them back. Naturally, Yuma decides to help and Astral decides to make him a better duelist along the way.

The first arc mainly deals with a large tournament. Mr. Heartland is one of the organizers and it is safe to say that he is corrupt. His boss wants to do something shifty with the numbers and he coerces number hunter, Kite, to join the fray as well. Throw in a bunch of other characters and we’ve got quite a tournament. Can Yuma defeat all of these fighters!?

The second arc deals with the Barian Emperors. They have arrived on Earth and wish to destroy Astral and his world along with him. Yuma will have to level up his dueling abilities even more if he is going to defeat them, but things get personal when he finds out that there may be a traitor or two in his midst. His bonds of friendship are shaken to the core. How can Yuma fight for his friends when they may not even be his friends!? The stakes get higher in this arc and it is also a lot darker. I definitely can’t forget the arc opener…that was intense!

Zexal distinguishes itself from the other Yugioh series with how exaggerated the dueling is. Not that the stakes are the highest or anything like that, but you can do almost anything in a single turn. Need to summon 6-8 monsters at once? Not a problem! Need to do the triple fusion to build the overlay network and summon your favorite monster on the first turn? No worries, you can even deal some damage while you are at it. The combos are seriously overpowered here. It is to the point where you need a dynamite hand from the start or else you are doomed. Luckily, the duelists have luck and Shining Draw skills on their side.
Donthousand3
To counter all of the monster combos, we have constant traps at the ready. There are likely more trap battles here than in the rest of the franchise. Duelists are constantly playing spell and trap cards so often that it feels like a classic DBZ fight! “Are you done?” “Almost, but first I activate…” This happens soooo many times during the series. I thought it was overdone, but I suppose that spell and trap cards are fun to use. It makes for sone great boasts during the duel.

There are quite a few deux ex machinas to be found as Yuma will unveil a new card at just the right time! He also got some new cards when he first leveled up into his Super Saiyan form. A pretty good bonus if you ask me! This is regrettable, but I know that it is pretty hard to avoid considering how strong the villains are at times. The new cards are typically fun, which is always good.

The new gimmick that is added to the actual duels is that you can now Exceed summon. It is similar to fusion and it’s almost the same thing. The main difference is that your monsters need to be the same level. You don’t need to tune them or activate a card to fuse the monsters, the levels just have to align and then you’ve got a new monster at the ready to help out! It’s not a bad gimmick and it’s fairly easy to use. It’s a lot better than Cardfight G’s gimmick, but it’s probably not quite as fun as Synchro Summoning. Also, the show’s exaggerated play style points out the holes in this technique as you can seriously take advantage of the new way of summoning. It was still a fun addition to watch while it was around though.

Zexal’s animation is big, bold, and bright. Similar to how the 90’s comics loved their exaggerated panels and colorful designs, Zexal takes a similar approach. Other anime that have basically done this include Saint Seiya Omega and Digimon Fusion. It is certainly not my favorite style and I prefer something more streamlined like Yugioh GX, but I suppose that it works well enough. The animation is still pretty good even if it is not great. Some episodes spared no expense like Kite’s first duel or some of the big budget battles that would pop up now and again. You certainly would not mistake this for being an older title and it took advantage of the many energy attacks that were present. Unfortunately, a lot of the monsters still manage to be in total CGI, which looks significantly less impressive. Nothing beats watching a hand drawn monster appear to take names and beat up on the opponents. It’s a lot more satisfying to watch after all.

Zexal’s soundtrack is certainly one area where it does not impress. Most of the themes are fairly generic and you will forget them very easily. Most of the tunes aren’t bad, but it just felt like no real effort was put into them. That being said, you will probably start to like them by the time you are done with the show. You will have heard them many times after all and since the array of themes is rather limited, they have to keep playing them for each battle.
h2zkw04f1jri
Kite is the best character of the show so we may as well talk about him first. He is Yuma’s true rival in the show although you can make the case for Shark as well. Kite uses a Photon deck and what is unique about it is that he rarely exceed summons. He prefers to fight with more traditional techniques like tribute summoning. His Neo Galaxy Eyes dragon is a true beast and a worthy opponent to come up against. I liked Kite right from the start and his ability to manipulate the flow of time was excellent. He provided the show with a good enemy and he is probably the only human who was able to help a lot in the final battle while on his own. It doesn’t get much better than facing someone while in outer space!

Shark was Yuma’s first rival although I would argue that Kite fits the roll a little better. Shark duels rather early on in the series, but then he takes a backseat for a while. It is hard to say why, but if just felt like Shark wasn’t around as often as the others until the Barian arc. He did have quite a few important duels and he was in the climax so I am not sure why I get that feeling. Either way, by the end of the series he is easily in second or third as far as the most influential characters go. (Minus Astral)

Shark is a good rival. He lost rather quickly as a lot of shows like to have the hero beat the rival in the first episodes, but things went up for him from there. He was definitely one of the more likable heroes. Then, the final arc happened. Let’s just say that the “I fight for my friends” idea was thrown out the window. Shark was torn between his loyalties to Earth and his real home. Ultimately, he decides to choose the latter and that would have been ok if handled differently.

The problem is that there is no good reason for Shark’s last few decisions. He wants to protect some people, but he is conveniently forgetting that those people have been causing damage and mayhem in the city. He should also know that Yuma and co are not planning on doing anything drastic so they could all talk about this. Unfortunately, Astral is also very frustratingly extreme on the issue, which does not help. The whole climax could have been avoided if Shark had simply agreed with Yuma. That way everyone would coexist in peace. Astral’s clan wanted war as well, but it would be easy for Yuma to calm them down since he did save them a while back. Ah well, Shark still proves himself to be a very good duelist and he still did help out a lot. He is easily one of the best heroes for the first arc and he is an intimidating fighter in the final one. We can’t really call him a hero anymore though since he destroyed another hero and attempted to destroy an entire race.

Yuma is the main character of the show and he upholds the tradition of most Yugioh leads having a name that begins with a Y. Jaden may have not confirmed to this tradition, but he is Jaden. His skills allow him to write his own legacy. Yuma is pretty bad at dueling when the show first starts. He is probably worse than normal Yugi was at the time although it is probably debatable. As the series progresses, Yuma becomes a pro in his own right. I would certainly still consider Yugi, Jaden, and Yusei to be better duelists, but Yuma’s deck is probably better than Yugi’s (Minus the God Cards) and Yusei’s. Yuma’s many variations of Utopia will serve him well. Yuma’s deck has an incredible number of cards as new ones keep on popping up whenever he is in a pinch.

Yuma is the only lead in Yugioh who gets multiple super forms as the series progresses. His first form is probably the best as he becomes a Super Saiyan! That was definitely pretty awesome. Naturally, his forms come with their own special abilities like Shining Draw. Shining Draw is very useful as it allows you to draw any card that you want. This naturally shifts the balance of power in any duel. I am inclined to believe that Yuma also gets a degree of flight, super strength, and speed, but it is a little hard to verify.

As for his personality, Yuma is a decent lead. I prefer my main characters to be more confident and talented, but Yuma still has other good traits. He never gives up on his friends as shown in his final duels with Vector, Shark, and Astral. He’s definitely a hero and Yuma would never destroy a villain. He tries to see the good inside of every character. Yuma may take it to extremes, but at least you know that you can certainly trust him in a pinch! When he is serious, Yuma can be a real threat as a duelist and his skill progression was handled rather well. If he could have fewer comic relief scenes at times, he would be an even better lead.

Astral is a ghost who accompanies Yuma for the duration of the series. He lost his memories and he needs Yuma to get them back. The two heroes have a number of good adventures, but Astral still keeps his original goal in mind. He wants the complete destruction of Barian World. Nothing Yuma says will change his mind so they eventually engage in a duel. It is rather disappointing to see how low Astral has gotten in that final duel. There is a twist which suggests that Astral may have just been testing Yuma, but I still wonder about that. If Yuma had not that the proven the heart of the cards was with him, I think we may have had to say goodbye to Barian World.
ZX13-Kaito_stiehlt_Seele
Astral’s gimmick is that he’s new to Earth so he asks a lot of questions and makes observations. I don’t tend to care for a character like that and Astral may be a pro, but he’s the kind of guy who rarely makes his own decisions and simply listens to the corrupt men in charge. He never ended up being a good character for me, but he could have been a lot worse. At least he fought when the going got tough.

Dr. Faker was one of the first big villains of the series. He was never a favorite of mine, but he had a pretty nifty super form. He also gave us one of the best battles of the series, which was a lot of fun. That being said, he just didn’t have a great design and lacked the personality needed to make a villain really threatening. I would say that Vetrix was an improvement, but not really. Zexal really struggled with the villains in the first part of the series. Vetrix’s voice took away any mystery that he could have had. His deck was pretty handy though and it was certainly dangerous. That just didn’t make him a great villain.

I’m afraid that Yuma’s friends weren’t great. Bronk was your average bully who wasn’t good at dueling, but eventually became Yuma’s friend. Unfortunately, his skills never got better. Flip, Caswell, and Cathy were around, but they never helped out or became likable characters either. Tori is the main heroine of the series and she does her best to cheer Yuma on, but the show missed its big opportunity by never really letting her duel. This means that she was relegated to the background and never had much of an impact on the story.

Rio is Shark’s sister and she doesn’t really get to appear until the start of the second part of the show. She is a very good duelist and a nice supporting character to have around. Finally, we had a friend who could duel! Unfortunately, that was around when the twist about the Barian Emperors came around so her days as a hero were very limited. She was a tough duelist until the end though and her ice deck was fun.

Dextra was one of the allies/rivals from the early part of the series along with Nistro. They faded away in the final arc, but they still tried to help. Dextra was a good character although she never got to do all that much and her overall fight record wasn’t that great. Nistro talks a good game, but his actual skills aren’t quite as good as he would like to think. He still put up a good fight against one of the Barian Emperors, but he was doomed from the start.

Quattro tries to be like a rival to Shark in the series. He doesn’t duel the guy enough for us to really count it, but that’s what his personality is like. He mellows out after the first arc though and manages to be more likable than Trey, but not quite as cool as Quinton. It’s almost hard to imagine how he could have become so nice after he was so evil at first, but it just shows that he had some fast character development. He was a fun supporting character.

I didn’t really care for Trey though. He was the nice guy of the group, but he was tricked rather easily and this leads to disagreements with Yuma. He does help Yuma out of a few jams though so his helpfulness should not be overlooked. Most of the other heroes aren’t quite as useful when push comes to shove. Quinton is still the best of the group and it isn’t just because he has one of the coolest number cards. He’s a good duelist right up until the end and he puts up a good fight against Mizar, which is more than most of the other characters can say. He has an air of confidence about him and that makes Quinton a worthy hero to have on one’s side.

Dumon is one of the nicer Barian Emperors. He’s actually very reasonable and if the other emperors weren’t always looking for a fight, the heroes could have likely made peace through him. It wasn’t to be though and unfortunately, Dumon is also one of the weaker ones. His deck simply wasn’t very imaginative, but his design was cool. Mizar is easily one of the cooler Barian Emperors and I remember how epic his first appearance was. After having to watch Girag for so long, I was thrilled to have someone around who could fight. It was also the first time that Shark, Kite, and Yuma had gathered together in quite a while. Mizar’s Galaxy Eyes made for a great monster and while he may have been cannon fodder for the final boss, Mizar never backed down.

Girag is one of the Barian Emperors and he’s one of the main reasons why the show got off to a slow start at first. (Minus the first episode) It’s really hard to take him seriously and he’s actually a fairly weak duelist. His number isn’t very impressive and he spends a lot of time getting taken out or simply relying on minions. It’s a good thing that he had other emperors to back him up. Alito was a decent one who used to be a bit of a boxer. His deck was the most normal out of the emperors as he didn’t rely on a lot of fancy tricks to win. He simply hit hard and hit fast. Alito’s certainly a little gullible and it can be sad to see him turn on Yuma so suddenly, but he ultimately realizes that he has to fight to win. Behind Mizar and Vector and Nash and Rio……he is the best one…which is sort of saying something right?
zexal___third_form_by_kristianthetiragon-d6og515
We also can’t forget Dark Astral. He was a pretty fun villain to have. It was also a fun plot since we didn’t know that numbers could have a will of their own before that moment occurred. He got several power ups and proved to be a thorn in the side of the heroes for quite some time. I liked his character a lot and his ending wasn’t very satisfying, but you certainly can’t say that he didn’t have a lot of action before that. He got to fight quite a few times and he displayed a whole lot of power while he was around. He was a very threatening villain to be sure.

Eliphas was one of the big members of Astral World and the only one who could fight aside from Astral. His design was very good and you could certainly tell that he was a threat to any duelist. His cards weren’t very overpowered or anything, he was simply a very good duelist. It was fun to see him upgrade his monsters over and over again to be sure. He’s a rather unreasonable character and one of the main reasons why Astral ended up making some bad decisions. I certainly can’t call Eliphas a hero, but he made for a fun villain although his appearances were brief.

Mr. Heartland is one of those characters who will leave you in suspense for a while. He appears a lot in the show, but he rarely ever gets to duel. He gets an intriguing super form in Zexal II, but it certainly didn’t help me become a fan of him. He was another uninteresting villain. Meanwhile, Yuma’s Dad seemed like a good character, but his plot never really went anywhere. It seems like he’s still alive of course, but he just never checks in on Yuma. He prefers to help from the shadows, but he certainly could have helped the heroes save the planet if he had wanted too. I’m not sure how much of a duelist he is, but I’m willing to bet that he was a powerful one.

Vector is one of the biggest villains and also one of the best ones. He uses trickery to make the heroes lower their guards before striking. He’s an excellent duelist as well so you shouldn’t underestimate him either. In terms of raw power, he was easily one of the biggest threats that Yuma had to face. It’s a good thing for the hero that they’re just facing each other in a duel right? Vector spends most of the season pretending to be Yuma’s ally and his scheme works rather well. It’s pretty disheartening for the heroes to find a traitor in their midst, but that’s just how smooth Vector is. His Barian form was certainly cool. Shark should have been a little more alert when around this guy, but in the end, the heroes were ready for his tricks. Without him, it would have been very hard to have taken the Barian Emperors seriously. I’d say that Shark is still the best villain, but it’s between Vector and the upcoming villain for second place.

Don Thousand is the ultimate villain of this series and he was an epic way to end the series. He wasn’t the actual final boss that Yuma had to face, but he felt like it. His true form looks like something you would see out of Toriko and his deck doesn’t disappoint in how powerful it is. Don Thousand can actually rewrite reality thanks to one of his spell cards so he can change your card into another one. It’s the kind of ability that is almost impossible to stop and it’s a lot of fun to see how powerful a card can be. He can certainly hold his own against any other final boss in the Yugioh franchise and he’s also one of the cooler ones. It was seriously fun to watch him duel.

One area where Zexal surpassed the other Yugioh series was in how many filler or “filler” episodes that it had. Some of the battles may have technically been important for the number cards, but they were effectively filler. This happens for most of Yuma’s early tournament battles as well as his early days and even the Barian Emperor had some when Yuma had to fight random people who were taken over by Barian Force. The filler episodes certainly slowed the pacing down and weren’t as exciting as the big episodes. As such, you need to be a big fan of the actual dueling or that will hurt the experience for you a bit. We have a whole episode about Yuma dueling a guy who liked tomatoes and Yuma has to eat them during the duel. It’s pretty surreal.

As with most Yugioh series, the tone is very light at first, but then things get serious towards the end. It’s almost a tradition at this point that the whole supporting cast has to be eliminated towards the end. It happened in GX, and now it happened here. Okay…that’s two out of 4 series, but we’ll see what happens once Arc V arrives. Either way, the stakes were certainly very high. Perhaps not quite as much as GX, which was the original, but still higher than you would have guessed from the beginning.

The climax of each arc is also pretty great as you would expect. I actually preferred the first big battle as it was Kite, Shark, and Yuma against the villain in season 1. Season 2 couldn’t top that so it was just Shark and Yuma against the villain. Still really epic of course, but nothing beats a 3 on 1 duel. The animation and tension greatly improved in Zexal II so it really did put out all of the stops. One of the reasons why Yugioh always has such a great climax is because it already established all of the characters early on in the series. This means that you will be caring about each duel at the end and the stakes keep getting higher and higher. Also, I still have to say that the first episode of Zexal II was brilliant, so brilliant that it holds up against the climax as well.

Zexal is well over 100 episodes, which is a pretty good size. It’s shorter than 5D’s, which was shorter than GX, which was shorter than the original Yugioh, but I’m satisfied as long as we continue to crack 100 episodes. As I already mentioned, it’s not quite as good as the first three shows either, but it’s still a great show. It’s simply tough to top those legends as the first three Yugioh series were basically all stars. The main reason why Zexal can’t top them is because the soundtrack, animation, and duels are typically not as good as say, 5D’s. Ah well, it’s not the newest kid on the block now so a little pressure will leave it for a while.
ZEXAL_episode_82
Overall, Yugioh Zexal is a great show despite its flaws. It easily cracked the 8 stars rating and exceeded expectations that may have been had after the first episodes. We got lot of great duels. The animation was very good and the soundtrack had some good moments although it was certainly unimpressive. Zexal may be at the bottom of the hill for now, but once Arc V starts in America, it should be able to move up a spot. At the very least, I don’t see it passing Zexal until it has 50+ episodes. If you liked the other Yugioh titles, I recommend this one. The card fighting can be a tad exaggerated in their constant traps, but it will be a long, yet fun ride. Even if you just want a fun action title that is fairly light, this is a good bet. Watch out for the statue reference to GX.

Overall 8/10

Yugioh Ultimate Masters World Championship 2006

300px-Yu-Gi-Oh_UM_WCT_2006
I sort of beat the game a while back, but I never got the final 3 unlockable duelists because it involved clearing challenges so I didn’t really feel like that was part of the main game. This all happened a long time ago though so there shall not be a review for it at this point in time. Still, I highly recommend this game and it is easily one of the best Yugioh titles!

Overall 8/10