Long story short, Medraut got caught up in other responsibilities as well as rewatching Code Geass yet again on Crunchyroll. So passive aggressiveness aside, I’m back to cover a small backlog of VRAINS episodes. Rejoice! Or rejoice with a question mark. Depends on your taste, I suppose. On to the review!
So, VRAINS actually had a staff shakeup starting with this episode. Masahiro Hosoda was replaced as chief director by Katsuya Asano. Now I’m not sure if that change had any bearing on this, but Episode 14 was a fairly immense improvement over previous ones. Not only did we thankfully receive a more natural and flexible link summoning animation (even if it still does run a little long), but the animation was fairly consistent throughout. The backgrounds could still use some work, but the fact that the show took even a single second to show something beyond recycled buildings in the background receives major points from me. (The background actually shifts from one recycled animation to another at one point.) Nothing flashy really stood out in the episode’s animation, which is a shame given how crisp the episode was and how unique looking the Altergeist monsters are, but given the consistency, I can’t really complain all that much.
The show also continues the pattern of utilizing more real-life strategies for character’s decks instead of just showing off small gimmicks to whet appetites. This time it’s Playmaker vs Ghost Girl, and the duel proceeds at a pretty quickened pace. If you zone out for even a second, you’re likely to have to rewind because you’ll miss an entire effect explanation. The show expects its audience to pay 100% attention to it at all times, which would be fine for any show not involving complex game interactions. Seriously, it would just be nice to have some more reaction shots or banter regarding the effects. I really miss that about other series, as filler as they were.
“I use this effect!”
“What? That can’t be!”
“I see. By using that effect, the player can thus -insert beneficial result here-. What a deadly strategy.”
It just made things seem a little more organic instead of having everyone but Ignis silent while a player performs actions.
Still, this was a solid episode. It managed to fix a few of the show’s major problems, but it still carries a few of the writing problems. Hopefully those too will be fixed soon.
Shoutout to Medraut for covering episodes 12 and 13!