So I heard you like .hack and Sword Art Online.
This episode thrusts us face-first into a new story arc, one that seems to have materialized out of thin air. Duelists are being forcibly sucked into Link VRAINS, their bodies empty shells as their minds remain trapped inside the virtual world, similar to Blue Angel’s condition earlier in the show. Still, the show makes it out that this is a thing that has been going on for quite some time. Naoki, Go, and Yusaku all seem quite aware of it. It would be really helpful to get a sense of how much time has passed since the Data Bank infiltration (which I may have overlooked), as otherwise it’s a little hard to believe that this has been going on for a while given that this plot point has never been discussed prior. This seems like the sort of thing that should have been built up in the previous episode. You know. Instead of a recap episode.
After realizing the occurrences are targeting duelists who might be Playmaker, Yusaku conveniently tracks down the next victim (known as an Another) and is helpless as he is sucked into Link VRAINS. Go is present in Link VRAINS for some reason and saves the kid from being killed by a Knights of Hanoi man named Dr. Genome, apparently the one causing the Another incidents. (Does Link VRAINS not have any kind of moderators, or even those AI bots, to prevent this?) Unable to do anything at the time, Go rushes to the hospital in the real world to see about his friend’s condition, meeting Yusaku in the process.
It seems this brief meeting provided Go with valuable information, as he soon shows up again in Link VRAINS disguised as Playmaker, luring out Dr. Genome and baiting him into a duel with Playmaker’s identity on the line. Whether or not Go knows Yusaku is Playmaker is uncertain, but it is nice to continue to see a character exploit the avatar creation component of Link VRAINS, something I’ll never forgive Akira for overlooking. In any case, the omnipresent Link VRAINS cameras zooming in on Go’s face as he begins his duel is like the best part of the episode. It was so terrible that it was hilarious.
There’s some decent animation choreography during Go’s physical fight against several Knights of Hanoi, but it all seems kind of choppy and in slow-motion. Nothing really looks all that fluid. All in all, not the show at its best, visually, though the ideas are present.
At the very least this episode reveals there’s more to Hanoi than just Revolver, Mr. Professor Dad, and Specter. It’s a little weird regarding the disconnect between the methods of Dr. Genome, Revolver, and the Hanoi fodder. It seems they should be working together more, but that doesn’t seem the case at all. Everyone’s trying out their own ways to achieve what they want, reminding me a little of Yliaster in 5D’s. Hopefully Hanoi will become a more cohesive organization in the future. Right now it’s just a disorganized mess with no clear power structure.
Really, this just isn’t a great-looking episode, not in terms of visuals or writing. The plot for this new mini-arc feels cobbled together without the necessary set up, and the animation looks neither crisp nor exciting. The show is far from ugly; it’s just very bland.
Young Go is a different story; he is ugly as heck. Who let this character design through the staff meeting?
As ugly as he is, at least the mystery seems to be solved. The yellow on his head…IS MOST LIKELY HAIR, NOT A HAT. I just wonder now how he got such clean streaks in his hair if that is the case…
Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS - Episode 22
- Dr. Genome's plan makes sense, even if it is not executed well and is overall ridiculous
- Background characters actually display common sense when dealing with Hanoi
- Subpar animation
- Minimal setup for the Another incidents
- Young Go
- Plot has totally forgotten the AI bots, which would be relevant right now
- Young Go again