This week’s episode had a lot more focus on the duel itself, rather than Spectre pressing on with the psychological battle. We did see him go back to that near the end of the episode, but by then I was already quite bored. Without that extra spice, the duel felt more like a repeat of Aoi’s fight more than anything else. This was mainly because Spectre is more or less using the same strategy he used against Aoi. And combine that with Yuusaku stalling out the duel by neutralizing impacts with Binary Sorceress’s healing effect, it is no wonder it quickly became a snooze fest. Only when Binary Sorceress is finally destroyed, Yuusaku decides to switch up his strategy and start bringing out his go-to Link Summons. Took long enough!

It is hard to say whether or not Spectre truly felt he was in a peril to actually drag Akira into the duel and hold him hostage to discourage Yuusaku from attacking him. As soon as he did that, he resumed his psychological attacks by calling Yuusaku a hypocrite for condemning him for dragging Akira into their fight. He goes on saying Yuusaku has done the same thing by of hiding Ignis. Had he not done so, the Hanoi Knights wouldn’t have to resort to this plan, there wouldn’t have been any casualties. Nevertheless, I am pleased to see a villain play dirty. Yes, all means, play dirty- you are a villain after all, people expect you to break the rules!

As he does so, Spectre mocks Yuusaku of how he talks big about revenge, but cannot be cruel and leave anyone behind. Without justice, he cannot hold the weight of revenge, because in reality he is weak.

Bullseye. Without Justice, Yuusaku will crumble under the weight of his despair and PTSD. Seeking justice is his way of coping with his trauma, the idea that he is fighting not just for himself, but for the others as well is literally what is keeping him sane. Now bearing that in mind, I find it rather ironic how aside from Kusanagi, while Yuusaku has been continuously pushing people away, he is now facing the unintended consequences because he has been protecting Ai. Because Yuusaku has been so fixated on his revenge and is so desperate for answers, that he doesn’t even realize Ai is playing him like a fiddle, nor have ever stopped to carefully think about why the Hanoi Knights are after Ai, and why they consider him dangerous. It wasn’t until recently that Yuusaku believed he had the upper hand in their relationship: He was the one holding Ai hostage. The reality is, he is the puppet and Ai is the puppeteer.

Finally his chance to shine! …I hope

However Spectre’s trump card of holding Akira hostage is unlikely to last long with Kusanagi finally gaining visuals of the fight, and has read the situation Yuusaku is currently in. If Spectre wants to play dirty, at least Yuusaku got backup and Kusanagi can figure out a way to rid of the virus so Akira won’t be in harms way, or safely log  him out altogether. Once he does so, Yuusaku will be able to have the confidence to strike back. And based off the preview, it looks Yuusaku may potentially start crafting up his own psychological attacks to use against Spectre. But with his A-Class acting, it will be difficult to tell whether or not the hits will actually leave a mark.


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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Wilfredo Sifr Starduster

    Nothing much to say except that the duel was still dragging on & that exchange of blows between Playmaker & Specter simply lead to nothing which was quite annoying. (But those layers of barrier setup by Sunavalon cards were absurdly difficult to break, seriously…) And when Playmaker finally got the chance for a breakthrough Specter played dirty by introducing Akira as the “prince trapped in the castle” but for me personally that was rather amusing actually. Honestly though, please get this duel done already.

    1. Eva

      They seriously had me considering the duel just might end with Spectre successfully stalling him out. But of course that would be such an underwhelming way for Yuusaku lose. 😂 Oh man, I hope next week is the last one, this episode was unbearably boring to watch.

  2. Casper Juel Jensen

    As much as I love when duelist try to outwit eachother in a duel (infact it´s what I love about this game) this REEKS! of stalling from the writers. The more duels Yusaku have the more I come to realise during rewatching some of them that Firewall Dragon, Yusakus ace could blow up his opponents easy and therefore is the reasson why he never summons it (I mean it certanly isn´t because he should have a hard time summoning it or making use of its links).

  3. Kazanova

    I have to agree that I hope next week this Duel will end for good. And finally a villain who play dirty! Spectre even played dirtier than Yuri did in episode 123 (if Yuri at that time against Asuka can be considered dirty play though). I kinda hope Spectre stay as a villain and is not reformed whatsoever. He is the most compelling villain in VRAINS so far! By the way, I think I should let you know this just in case, but I heard rumours that there will be another recap episode soon. I hope this is just a rumour, but I thought I should let you know so in case it did happen the disappointment won’t be so much.

    1. Eva

      At this point, I’m willing to overlook the recaps if it means they need more time to deliver a high quality episode. Of course the obvious downside is the fact the recaps are eating up airtime, so one has to wonder how it will affect the pacing of the show in the long run.

      1. elior1

        most of the times the recaps comes after an arc ends so we will have one once this arc ends

  4. Sunny Chen

    That was rather dirty and cowardly of Spectre to use Akira as a hostage just to make sure he doesn’t get hurt. And Sunvine Thrasher makes me feel animosity towards him even more the way he took control of Binary Blader, Trickstar Holly Angel and Trickstar Crimson Heart with that card. I was extremely disgusted by that. On the other hand, I can feel a little bit of sympathy towards Spectre for his past. Spectre wants to protect that mother tree really badly. He’s probably a better villain than Yuri from ARC-V. He may even become a better antagonist than Revolver. I wonder whether the episode airing in two weeks will be a recap. Like you said, I’m also willing to overlook recaps if the new material is good. After all, ARC-V had a lot of episodes that would skip a week sometimes and that annoyed me even more than recaps.

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