This week’s episode turned out to be… for a lack of a better word: Interesting…
The first half of the episode was absolutely cringe-worthy. I was experiencing second-hand embarrassment by watching Yuuya trying to let the audience know about what happens to the losers. The second half, or rather the minute Possessed!Yuuya came back into action, I was taken aback, and became more invested in what was happening. But let’s start off with the incredibly excruciating and extremely embarrassing first half. It was painful to watch for two specific reasons:
#1: The Underground Forced Labor Camp is still only a RUMOR!
Both the characters and us the audience, who have heard people gossiping about the underground “forced labor camp” have no idea whether or not this is the truth. This is why Reiji has chosen to send Tsukikage there to investigate further to provide them a confirmation. God, just- don’t go on making a speech based off rumors Yuuya! In fact, what is actually happening is probably even worse than what the rumors claim it to be.
#2: Yuuya making a Fool out of Himself
Based off last week’s closing scene and this week’s opener (BEFORE he tells Sam he needs to do something before the duel), I thought we were finally going to see Yuuya try to act maturely, and find a creative way to make a statement, to unite the audience. Ugh, this is precisely what made it even more difficult to watch. He does the complete opposite and it leads me to yelling, “OH GOD I CAN’T WATCH THIS, SECOND-HAND EMBARRASSMENT. I CANNOT. THE CROWD WON’T GIVE A SHIT. I FREAKING KNOW IT. AND WHY SAY THIS WHEN YOU HAVE NO CONFIRMATION?! UGH THIS IS PAINFUL TO WATCH!!!!”
And that is exactly what happened. The crowd didn’t give two shits about his speech. Because Yuuya is a naive character, he couldn’t imagine how his attempt to educate the audience about the fates of the losers would back-fire so badly. Another downfall was how he is a foreigner with no knowledge about the Synchro World’s social culture. He was not expecting to see both the Tops and Commons along with MC Maria not care what happened to the losers, what was worse: they already “knew” about it. And their answer to him? “It’s a given”. If you lose, you are sent to the dumps and never return to see daylight again. If you win, you can keep on winning and rise to the top.
As messed up as it is in both ours and Yuuya’s perspective, it doesn’t matter because it will never change as long as the people of the Synchro Realm continue to keep it as part of their culture. Another factor is how the Synchro Realm’s culture defines “Entertainment”. We know there are mixed opinions thanks to Crow and Shinji about how the tournament rolls, but it appears there is one common ground regardless of the class: The duelist with the most confidence and least amount of hesitation is the one who the crowd will follow. This is why Jack called Yuuya out on his actions, sharing to us how he needs to win first (aka make a statement) before trying to make grand speeches. As the duelist who had lost to Jack in the exhibition match, Yuuya is already labeled as the loser, and no-one is going to listen to him because of his poor record. On top of that, Yuuya didn’t put his heart and soul into the duel, he was hesitant and lacking drive. I found this particular event to be is a stark contrast to how Shinji delivered his speech. Unlike Yuuya, he had the benefit of starting out with a clean record, but he was a commoner. In order to appear strong, he was very vocal and bold from the get go, and he went out strong in the duel. Had Shinji showed any signs of hesitation, the crowd would have not followed him. And it’s the truth: The minute Yuuya stopped hesitating, the crowd immediately shifted their support to Yuuya. The audience will cheer on for whoever shines the brightest, and Jack Altas makes a fine example of that.
But the Yuuya the audience had shifted their attention to not Yuuya himself, and it appears only Jack seems to have sensed this. This was another one of Yuuya’s half-hearted duels. He was letting the crowd get to him, he was upset how no one was listening to him and worse of all: his constant hesitation almost made him lose. Had it not been for whatever spirit within him to takeover, I am fairly certain Yuuya would have lost right then and there.
I am very intrigued by the ‘Possession State’ we saw this week. And to tell the truth, I am very uncertain how about long the duration of the possession was, so I could be very wrong about my speculation of Yuuya being in a possessed state from the moment it kicks in, to the final strike. Initially, I thought maybe it was Yuuto coming into action, but then I realized it couldn’t have been him, and it was nothing like the Berserk Mode we have seen in the past either. The one who was in control today had a completely different aura, tone of voice and energy. Of course with the helmet and goggles on, it makes it very difficult to identify whether or not it was Yuuya experiencing a moment of character growth, or it’s another ‘spirit’ within him, but I think the characteristics of the behavior and body language provided us a strong indication it is possible to have been someone/something else. Who we saw come into action today was someone who had confidence, strong posture, zero hesitation and was radiant. The individual in control also appeared to be incredibly mature, which was a striking contrast when Yuuya has been stuck in this naive and highly emotional state. His expressions were so different to the Yuuya we know. In fact, I thought he appeared to be a lot older, and I felt was the kind of vibe where we were seeing the man Yuuya could possibly become in the future- and you know what, maybe that’s just it. A hint of how Yuuya’s character will develop further into the future.
If we were to interpret Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon (also mind you: a Light Attribute, opposite of Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon) as a form of symbolism… it sheds a new light to even more possibilities of what is happening to Yuuya. Earlier in the series, I have speculated it was the Dragons playing some type of roles with these sudden possessions. Now this particular matter has not been debunked nor confirmed yet, so the possibility is still there -especially based off what we have seen today. Looking back, we know that Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon only came to existence because of the Beserk Mode. It was a card that didn’t exist until Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon and Dark Rebellion XYZ Dragon were both in Yuuya’s possession. So I wonder to myself if Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon is another dragon Yuuya did not originally have in his deck, and was born out of this particular possession state. I also wonder if perhaps this particular dragon may end up playing an important role in the future, but before I speculate further with that, I want to find out whether or not Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon has always been in Yuuya’s deck.
(Yes, I am well aware it has debuted in Yu-Gi-Oh! Saber Force Starter Deck, but I will wait and see to find out if Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon was just a choice to switch up Yuuya’s routine or will play a bigger role in the future.)
Another theory that came to mind is also perhaps, maybe- JUST MAYBE- this is supposed to be opposite of the Berserk State we have seen. Just throwing it out there, but please remember, these are all merely just speculations, so take it with a grain of salt because I could be completely off the mark.
In other news, Yuuya’s failed speech ended up affecting Reiji’s end which without a doubt probably ticked him off. The board were not amused to see him trying to raise a ruckus over “trivial” matters that is part of the norm of a “class-based” society. They were pretty annoyed considering they straight out said they are questioning whether or not they can form an alliance with Reiji and his Lancers. But Reiji appears to not be fazed by Yuuya’s blunder since he has more important matters to be concerned about. Seeing how DC227 has a Fusion card and monster in his hands, Reiji now wondering if there is a rat in the Synchro Dimension. But another small tidbit which had caught my attention is how the board looks complete unfazed by DC227 using Fusion. So I can’t help but wonder perhaps the Board themselves are also in the middle of negotiating a potential alliance with Academia…
NEXT WEEK! Sawatari VS Yuugo! This should be without a doubt a fun match to watch! I will be looking forward to it since once Yuugo defeats Sawatari, we won’t have to hear him yapping in his room for the rest of the tournament! 😀
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This episode hurt to try to digest. I agree that Yuuya’s speech was rather made very naively, and was not really something I had expected before the preview for this episode. The fact that the Council hasn’t made any move to deny the existence of the labor facility made me think that it might actually be true? But you’re right that it’s still unconfirmed. Regardless, it’s still a little hard to stomach that City’s society sees nothing wrong with punishing losers who have the will to try but are not able to be that single person who stands at the top. I have to wonder if Yuugo thought through the consequences of entering the tournament, since only one of he and Rin/Yuzu can make it to the top of the tournament. He can make it to the top and duel Jack, but at the cost of losing his important person (unless he and Rin were only going to have a single entry to the tournament).
And there was Yuuya’s possession. The zoom-in of Yuuya’s eye before he started his turn suggests that he’s in control of what he’s doing, but I agree that the speech patterns and way of acting are very out of character for Yuuya. I hadn’t thought it could be Yuuto because the things that angered Yuuya haven’t been noted as triggers for Yuuto. However, the lead-up to the switch to being possessed didn’t seem like Yuuya was falling into despair like the previous instances. He was a bit shocked at his monsters being taken, but he didn’t seem anything but angry (but his eyes were shaded, maybe he was about to cry). That might support your theory that this is a different method of possession, but I don’t think it’s impossible that Yuuya just hit his breaking point. People tend to act more violently and speak more caustically when extremely angry. And there’s the comment from Roger that this is Yuuya’s true nature (mirroring the MCS martial arts students claims that possessed!Yuuya is the real Yuuya, I guess?). That could support your theory that this is some kind of older, more mature incarnation of Yuuya. There’s also been evidence in some of his more recent interactions with Reiji that suggest that Yuuya’s impulsiveness includes an aggressive streak. But then, where would Saber Dragon have come from if he wasn’t possessed? I don’t really know what to make of Yuuya here (and neither did Yuzu, it seems), I just know that it scared me that he was violent enough to ram into DC227. There is a moment at the end where he seems to be waking up when Melissa congratulates him, but his regret indicates that he remembers everything he has done (though I think that’s been the case since the first possession after absorbing Yuuto). Undoubtedly, there’s going to be focus over the next several episodes on Yuuya just angsting about the fact he thinks he sent someone underground, and maybe even angsting that he could have seriously injured the guy with his violence. I wonder if this going to lead to development of a more violent Yuuya, but I doubt it since it takes away from the quintessential Yu-Gi-Oh! message of fighting without violence. (At the same time, I was excited by the return of possessed!Yuuya because I hadn’t expected it to show up in this episode.)
This episode made me also worry about the Council possibly colluding with Academia, and not just Roger, but you articulated that much better than I could have.
Also, it’s apparently Hidekazu Ebina animation next week? That would definitely make up for some of the more squished-looking faces in this episode (and cartoony Saber Dragon). And if the name of the episode is any indication, I’m curious to see how Sawatari beats Clear Wing. It’ll probably be hilarious either way.
(Sorry about the extremely giant comment.)
Giant comments always welcomed! 😀
Oh man, I can tell you have relieved I am to know I am not the only one who noticed these things, I was worried I was seriously overthinking it too much!
I agree with your thoughts about Yuuya’s more aggressive streak, it could very well be part of who he is. I too was startled when he rammed the D-Wheel into his opponent. My first thought was, “… Yuuya wouldn’t do that… right?” Perhaps Yuuya is one of those characters who need to hit the bottom before they can climb their way back up and become stronger and better.
I swear I watched that scene a half-dozen to make up my mind if I thought it was Yuuya or not, and I honestly still don’t know. The first time I watched him attack 227, I swore out loud. I want Yuuya to be happy, but he has so much growing to do, and the writers are really making him earn it.
I thought a bit more about how Yuuya was acting towards the end of this episode, and it seemed his words and actions align most how Yuugo acts during duels. (Yuuto is reluctant and stoic, Yuuya tries to be fun and happy, Yuugo is hotheaded and drives straight at people and woe on the ones who don’t get out of the way, Yuuri… is creepy?) I don’t know if that means anything. Maybe foreshadowing for how Yuuya will act after absorbing Yuugo (assuming that happens)? I know some people say that Yuuya has gotten wangst-y since absorbing Yuuto (but really, he’s gone through some terrible trauma since that happened, even if he angsts loudly).
Basically, violent Yuuya. How did we get here?
I had a bad feeling the moment I saw the trailer for this episode last week. I knew it would be painful.
I agree with both of you guys opinions. However, Yuya is right about the whole “Friendship Cup”, and the fact that the audience (especially the commoners who I thought would care about their own people send to the labor force) actually cheering made me a bit upset. Speaking off..I wonder if Yugo knew about all this? Because remember he said that he and Rin build the duel runner together in order to enter this cup together. So were they prepared to face what would happen if one of them lost? Sigh… I just wonder how Yuya will handle all of this especially now that he is facing some of the people he cares about in the second round. I can honestly believe that if Yuzu ever lost one of her duels, Yuya will go in his berserk mode and it WILL be chaos.
You know this is the second or third time that someone had said that “berserk” Yuya is his true self. (Jean and the martial arts students.) Which sorta make sense… considering he uses his father motto in order to block out all of the loneliness/pain that he suffered through out the years of his early childhood, and the fact that is own mom points out that he has emotional issues. In fact this reminds me of Aki from Yu-gi-oh 5d’s before she changed her ways. Remember thought out season 1 she always wore a mask to conceal herself as the “Black Rose Witch” because their was a side of her that enjoyed destruction-the one where she enjoyed her powers. It wasn’t until Yusei came and saved her that she began to control her powers.
So I wonder if the same thing like that will happened to Yuya? Maybe the only thing keeping that darkness in check is Yuya pendent (which I hope that they do an episode about and that darkness inside of him.) Speaking of darkness… Jack and the other synchro people don’t understand how dangerous berserk Yuya can be especially when he is in rage. (Just imagine what would had happen if berserk Yuya came out during his first duel with Jack, he could have he seriously hurt or worse…)
I just find Yuya the most interesting main character by far. In fact, I believe that the writers try to give him true character growth than any other Yugioh protag ever. That is the reason why I believe that once he find his own style (Performalpal/Odd-Eyes/Magicians) and fight through these hardships in his life right now he will rise just like Yugi and the other great protag before him. Sorry to the long post 🙁 I just thought about sharing my thoughts 🙂
p.s. I love your blog :3 I look forward to your reviews every single day 😉
You’re definitely right about that and I can see the relations and similarities of Aki’s dark days in Yuuya. For me, rather than the pendulum itself, I think by focusing so much on trying to be like his father is what preventing him from falling off the edge. It’s like a double-edge sword because on one-hand it’s what (barely) keeping him sane, and on the other it is one of the many things preventing him from growing an individual and discovering his own identity. And I agree, Yuuya is most definitely one of the most interesting main characters of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise, and what makes him that way are his many human flaws.
Unfortunately for the Synchro Realm folks, they have not actually seen Yuuya go batshit insane yet, so they have no idea they are poking a very sensitive dragon who is at the brink of unleashing his fury.
You can’t exactly blame Yuya for acting “naive behavior”, he found the whole thing wrong and he spoke his mind about to the whole crowd which was expected but the moment when people started trashing him for losing to Jack when in turns they wouldn’t do anything compared to him in his shoes. Even though the whole Synchro arc seems slow and not exactly thrill worthy for now it does give Yuya more development as well as a lot of struggle compared to most of the previous protagonists had to deal with so early.
My thought at first when I saw the preview when MC Melissa Claire treated the whole thing calmly, I assumed that it’s her job and there’s nothing she can do about; but the moment the councilmen didn’t care I felt as if yup the whole society is indeed corrupted with Jack in Arc-V somewhat of an ass in my opinion.
Yuya was shown hesitate at first when he didn’t want to finish 227 right away until he activated his independent Berserk state implying he’s was at his limit where he would want to entertain people or “just screw all that all kick your ass”. His first berserk state in 39 was Yuto possessing him and at the start 45 until they seemingly merged into one which created Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon. In the end of the duel he even regretted doing what he done and tried to reach 227 when he was being carried on a stretcher.
Overall, what I find saddest thing about all of this is that the Xyz Dimension had it completely worst and makes you want to sympathize with their losses where currently in Synchro it gives you the impression that you won’t really feel bad after seeing people in the crowd get carded as well as question if it’s even worth saving where they clearly screwed themselves.
To be completely honest, I thought the part where he duelled chaser 227 to be more painful. You could see & feel the desperation that Duel Chaser 227 had while battling Yuya. It was not fun to watch that.
Furthermore, I actually still think that this is Beserk mode, I kinda compare it to the different Jinchuuriki forms from naruto actually. Where’s the beserk mode we saw in this episode, was more or less a partial transformation, unlike the previous times where Yuya completely lost control. This one was fairly similar to the Yuya from the first episode too, in terms of word usage and the way he spoke.
….I DIDN’T THINK OF THAT!!! Y’all are giving me way too many conspiracy theories. Possessed!Yuya could be Yugo/Yuto, Odd-Eyes/Dark Rebellion, some evil spirit like Yubel, Yusei and Jaden and Yami Yugi (YEAH IT’S A LONG SHOT BUT *JUST MAYBE*). And chances are that whatever the answer is will have something to do with the lack of Yusei and Yuma and Jaden Yugi- or maybe I’m wrong again, I DON’T KNOW GEEEEEEZ THIS IS AGONIZING!
And don’t get me started on Yuya’s preaching, had me clutching my chest in agony while I muted the video because it was that painful. Still, they deserved what they got with Beserk!Yuya. Jack has a point, but at the same time if Yusei was here this never would have happened. Yusei wouldn’t have preached like so, but he would have fought to prevent this sort of savage nature from ever being born in Synchro- If the circumstances were a little different, I think that Synchro could have been just like Fusion!
…Dammit. These episodes and the rambles that follow are seriously bad for my health. Sorry. 🙁
At least there’s no way for next week to mess up my heart, too…. right?
🙁 Yeah it was really sad. Poor DC227… he might have been better off staying out of the tournament altogether.
I really like your theory as well! SO MANY POSSIBILITIES! 8D
My theory about the different transformation stages of Beserk mode?
Yes, I was referring to your theory 🙂
The fact that Tokumatsu is the only one who showed any surprise at this fact when he apologizes to Yuzu last week a lot clearly showed that the only ones not in the know about this are people who have been imprisoned.
A part of society is that we become desensitized to something as it continuously happens to the point where one can see nothing wrong with it.
It also makes Shinji and the Commons not all that different from the Tops since they accept this kind of worldview and Shinji is willing to defeat opponents who suffer such a fate. There were Commons who were entertained by Yuugo and 227’s duel earlier as well alongside the Tops, so even they enjoy watching Security crush Commons.
Yuyas cards and the like are tied to his pendant. It was his pendant and partial possession that gave him the ability to summon Pendulums in the first place.
You make a really valid point. But yes, from Choujiro’s words and reactions it seems like the City wasn’t always like this. The horrible dystopia that we’ve come to know seems to be quite recent – or at least, it’s gotten much worse with time. It’s the principle of the boiled frog, I guess: after all the abuse and horribleness of that bullshit “competitive society”, even the Commons now don’t give a fuck about people being pretty much enslaved over losing a tournament.
Still, I predict this will not last long. The City is in a fragile equilibrium, and with so much internal tension waiting to snap, it will not be able to withstand the invasion. Especially, not with JMR clearly acting as an insider.
Ironically, his actions may end up doing the city good – the chaos that will ensue from the civil war will certainly mark the demise of many Tops – and honestly, I’d be all up for it. Damn, I can’t believe I’m rooting for Leo Akaba now.
I’m very curious as to what happened to make the City into such a hellhole. Sure, everyone talks as if it’s been that way forever, but it’s pretty clear it’s not that way. I’m really curious… and I honestly can’t wait to see the City burn when the forces of Academia will inevitably strike and hell will break loose.
Don’t hate on Yuya, guys. He’s the only one right, yet the poor lad is, at the same time, horribly wrong. The City is reminding me more and more of Columbia from Bioshock Infinite, to be honest. It’s such a horrible dystopia that it’s hard to believe – but humanity has done much, much worse in its history. The problem is that the Board represents the evil status quo, which of course everyone would be better without. Shinji represents the revolutionary spirit. He wants to overthrow the board, and bring down the entire castle of injustice that is the City’s social system. But at the same time, he’s reckless and violent, and he has no idea that the threat of Academia is looming closer, and his civil war will inevitably help him (though honestly I’d love to see some Tops carded – no compassion for the bastards). Yuya and Crow, in this, represent the only good side. They hate the injustice that is the City’s society, but at the same time they abhor violence. They are in the right, ideally. But being right isn’t enough.
I have to say, I hated Jack and Melissa a little in this episode. I honestly have no patience for shounen characters who are all about “being strong” and bullshit like that, while not giving a fuck about much more important things (seriously, Jack? People are being enslaved and you dare to call Yuya out on his INDECISIVENESS? Shut the fuck up, you pretentious asshole), and Melissa was really a shitfaced hypocrite, with her “we are all friends”, and being so dismissive of Yuya. At the same time, I realize that they have reasons: they’ve grown up in that messed up culture of “free competition”, and have internalized the injustice. Jack may have a soft side, but he’s probably resigned himself to the fact that the City is beyond redemption – even the Commons, who should be the victims, show no compassions for those who lose, and have adopted the mentality of the Tops. Melissa seemed to feel some compassion for the Commons when she was introduced, but it’s likely that she has to put on a mask when she’s announcing. She’d never be able to say in front of the entire City: “sorry guys, but yes, our entire society is built on lies and exploitment and this is not right at all, you sick fucks”.
It’s harsh… but personally, I am of the belief that no matter how hideous and dangerous the civil war will be… it will happen. And it probably should happen. Innocents will die, innocents will suffer, and maybe if we’re lucky some of the Tops will die and suffer too (that, and in the City there really aren’t many innocents – no matter how small, everyone still is partly guilty of the horrible state of affairs. Ever read V for Vendetta? V’s speech kinda applies). But this system MUST be broken…
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