Okay, the little kids cosplaying Trickstar Black Catbat, Cyverse Wizard, and the Gouki monster are just the cutest. Nothing you say will ever prove otherwise. Really, though, it’s little touches like this that elevate VRAINS higher than it really should be. Unlike other entries in the franchise, it doesn’t forget that there is a world outside its main cast. Even if these scenes are throwaways, they breathe life into the setting, which is really huge for the show.
With Playmaker and Go taking down the Knights of Hanoi inside Link VRAINS, spectators have started to wonder if Blue Angel will ever take the stage alongside them, as she is the other person people trust to be able to go head-to-head against Hanoi. Facing pressure from Akira and not really having a terribly strong resolve on her own, Blue Angel remains out of the spotlight. That is, until Ema comes along and lectures her. She points out that Aoi’s actions are just the result of her doing her own thing without too much worrying about anything else – Blue Angel was created for Aoi’s own personal benefit, and she has yet to really utilize her status for anything else. I’m not too sold on this lecture, as it feels really contrived and not like something that would actually spur much of a change. Still, it seems to work, as Aoi gets mad enough to enter Link Vrains and challenge Baira, who is in the process of threatening Yamamoto and Pigeon.
Blue Angel realizes she has a personal grudge against Baira as she finds out Baira helped develop the Another virus, and that Blue Angel was used as a pseudo test subject during her dark fall in her duel against Playmaker. In order to help prevent others from experiencing the chilling isolation she did, Blue Angel takes a stand against Baira. In true real life fashion, though, Baira has realized the popularity of Blue Angel and her deck and has formed a counter-strategy – a Virus deck focused on negating the burn effects of Blue Angel and destroying her Field Spell. As literally everyone realizes, Blue Angel is in a pinch, barely keeping her ace alive through Baira’s assault. (But she still takes the damage!)
Is it just me, or do the visuals always seem to improve during Blue Angel-centric episodes? The animation isn’t terribly impressive, but like in Go’s duel, it’s better than average, as there are some interesting shots of Baira and Blue Angel maneuvering around on their boards. But all in all, the episode just looks sleeker, similar to how it did during Blue Angel’s duel against the AI Duelist. It’d be nice if this consistency could be kept. Even if the animation isn’t stand-out, having the show look clean can make up for that somewhat.
VRAINS is back on track for the time being, though I’m not looking forward to the inevitable recap episode that will follow this Another arc. I truly hope the series avoids it. For now, though, Go, Blue Angel! Love Blue! Angel!