Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. VRAINS finally provides a really interesting setting for the duel between Playmaker and Revolver, even if it is quite forced. Lava plumes erupt across Link VRAINS to create a field of destruction and desolation. Yet the show completely ignores that in favor of its usual background animation of generic buildings, only this time they are bathed in red light. (Oooh. Spooky.) Suffice it to say this frustrates me more than just using the standard setting, because the show actually went out of its way to provide a really interesting duel field, and then it totally abandons it.
Anyway, the duel between Revolver and Playmaker would actually be a really good one if not for the screentime-bludgeoning we receive from consecutive Link summons. Again. I’m pretty sure 1/5 of the episode is just Link summoning sequences. This is the most major problem with the show currently, as it interrupts the flow of the action and also eats up valuable time that could be used for dialogue exchanges or tone-setting, two aspects the show is relatively light on at the moment. I swear, I’m “triggered” now every time I see Playmaker summon Bitron, because I know where the duel is about to go…
I’m hoping this duel will continue to provide insight into Yusaku, Revolver, and Ignis, as the show keeps teasing us with tidbits of information but nothing that’s overall very revealing. Considering the stakes of this duel (Ignis, Link VRAINS, Cyverse, Yusaku’s past, Aoi), there’s a lot that could come to light, and it would be a huge misstep for the show to squander this opportunity to provide some meaningful conversation among its characters. There’s obviously some connection between Revolver and Yusaku, but it’s hard to identify those connections in this duel from simple plot contrivances.
This is a pretty brief review, as I’m swamped with finishing my Master’s program right now. But really, there’s not much to say anyway beyond the usual grievances. This probably would have been the strongest episode yet if not for the main two points I discussed above. It was full of good ideas, informative information, improved music, and decent integration of its cast, but it unfortunately remained mired in exhausting visual sequences and a few noticeable production issues. However, I’ll admit I’m giving the Visuals points this week solely for Decode Talker’s attack scene. It may not have been anything fresh, but it was still a lot of fun to watch.
Side note, we get to see a “random” card pulled out of the Data Storm again. Just once, I hope a character pulls a card that is totally unusable for them. Give Yusaku a Blackwing Link monster or something.
Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS - Episode 9
- True sense of purpose in the duel
- Better explanation of Link mechanics
- The attack scene by Decode Talker
- Consecutive Link summons are just boring and take up too much time
- Show goes out of its way to provide a cool aesthetic but completely ignores it
- Questionable CGI and some poorly animated shots