The duel has finally come to an end, and Yuusaku managed to emerge victorious, but not without his losses. Kusanagi attempted to save Akira by using the LVSS device, but unfortunately failed. Not wanting to be a source of weakness, Akira took the matter into his own hands, and sacrificed himself so Yuusaku can fight without an ally held hostage.

To be frank, we needed this to happen. We needed Akira to be sacrificed one way or another because we simply could not have Yuusaku win yet another duel without experiencing some form of loss. He was put into a difficult situation where he didn’t want to lose anyone, and was trying to figure out how he can accomplish them all. Recognizing that, Akira took it upon himself to remind him to have conviction, and don’t lose track of the big picture. Even if sacrifices must be made, carry that burden and keep going. Transform that conviction into strength, and don’t let the efforts of those who have fallen be in vain. It was exactly what Yuusaku needed to hear, especially after all the seeds of doubts Spectre had planted throughout the duel. Now he is mad as hell, but he will use that conviction to reach Revolver.

But you know what was also important? Kusanagi experiencing his own failure as well. He is Yuusaku’s only partner, and. tried to play the true Support Role today, but his (imperfect) program wasn’t strong enough to override the Hanoi Knight’s virus that held Akira hostage. As result it wasn’t just Yuusaku who lost Akira, but Kusanagi as well. And based off what we have seen so far, he is not taking it well. For Kusanagi, his strength lies in being a reliable support, and now since his LVSS failed, this also means Yuusaku lacks a means to escape if they are unable to prevent the tower from being completed.

I loved the conditions that was required to win this thing. Yuusaku needed to bait Spectre into attacking him, so he taunted him by jabbing his sore spot of Revolver’s impression on him. Spectre’s mission was to simply stall Yuusaku long enough for the bridge to fall, not to outright defeat him. Spectre’s deadly combo relied on being a tanky nuisance, so when he decided he wanted to personally attack Yuusaku, it ended up imploding his entire strategy. And while Spectre had lost, he too experienced his own losses of having to watch his Mother Tree burn all over again, but it was good to see him remain insane till the very end.

Unfortunately for Yuusaku, time did run out and the bridge is collapsing right under his feet. This might cause him to have to reroute and take a detour, otherwise figure out a way to climb up the rubble. But I also suspect he might use one of those handy devices we’ve seen him use whenever he fell off his board during Speed Duels to fling him up to to the top- but that depends on how far long he was crossing the bridge. But I suppose the bigger question to this situation is how much time does he lose if he has to figure out an alternative route? More time Yuusaku loses, the bigger the time crunch. Honestly I have been starting to have my doubts about Yuusaku successfully stopping Revolver’s plans, but at the same time, I also suspect something will go wrong. It will become a situation neither one of them anticipated, and if anything, it will likely have something to do with Ai.

Speaking of the devil: I do want to address how Ao reacted to Akira’s decision to sacrifice himself. Since Akira been used as a hostage, Ai has been constantly pestering Yuusaku to discard him and how he doesn’t want to die. But now he just witness Akira make a heroic choice. For Ai, this was a shock to him. He never anticipated Akira doing such a thing, nor does he seem to truly understand how or why he did it. All Ai has been doing up till now is selfishly look out for himself, so it will be very interesting to see how Ai will process this event. (On the side note: Ai clinging to Yuusaku’s face was ADORABLE!!!!!!)

And finally, it was so nice to see the animation quality go up again, especially for this episode. I found it to be absolutely breathtaking, especially with Sunavalon Dryatrentiay’s Link 4 form. The cherry blossoms fluttering n the air was sooooooo pretty, that is was almost a bummer to see it be taken out.

Next week, based on the Preview, I am under the impression we are in for a “Recap Episode: Hanoi Knights Edition”, potentially giving us a bit more backstory on the Hanoi Knights, and possibly on Revolver himself. If it is a recap, and it doesn’t add anything new or significant to discuss, I will save it for a double-post with Episode 39. If not, I will cover the episode as scheduled.


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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Wilfredo Sifr Starduster

    Three things to sums up my thoughts about this episode:
    THANK GOODNESS Specter is finally gone. I, for one, am super disappointed that his backstory of being among Lost Incident’s victims WASN’T fabricated because that “emotional” scene of him sobbing at his scorched “mother tree” was so cringe I couldn’t feel sorry for him. His Sunvines were also annoying as heck to deal with despite them packed with so many Links in just TWO duels he was involving in against Blue Angel & Playmaker. Nonetheless, he’s an acceptable villain and a superior character to a certain pretentious “entertainer” that STILL doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do, but I hope we don’t see him again for a long time; or at least keep him out until the plot thickens in future episodes with so many mysteries yet to be solved, AND I want a rematch between him & Blue Angel so that he can get stomped for good.
    Salutes to Akira, the unsung hero of VRAINS. I’ll now admit, I genuinely like him as a good character who’re supposed to be working behind the shadows and bugging into other people’s businesses AND being borderline overprotective towards Aoi, but despite his flaws he’s still also among the first who got the earliest grasps to the main plot (i.e. hacking into Sol Tech’s computer to search for the mastermind of Lost Incident and even grabbing some vital exposition from Dr.Kogami about his own plans) Seeing him boldly sacrificing himself to erase Playmaker’s clouded mind was just epic & sad in a way. (So… WHEN will Kusanagi become another unsung hero…?)
    I AM PISSED AT PLAYMAKER STILL KEEP WINNING. It didn’t help at how he had the (bruised) ego to boast himself as this undefeated duelist who won everytime (when the opposite occurred during the Lost Incident) despite him also using reverse psychology against Specter (to gain a “fair” ground) and personally it was nothing but a showcase of his plot armor when he could’ve just died right there. Even with all these duels being staked so high HE MUST EVENTUALLY LOSE, no other Yugioh protagonist had their plot armors being as thick as him.
    And cheers for ANOTHER upcoming recap, and that’s why VRAINS just can’t be my favorite Yugioh show so far…

    1. Kazanova

      Actually, Playmaker said “Ore wa katsu tame duel shika shinai”, which I’m pretty sure means “I duel only to win”, not “My dueling always win”. I think crunchy roll mistranslated this part.

  2. Kazanova

    Akira’s sacrifice is something expected, but it still quite painful to watch it. Yusaku finally won’t hesitate anymore, but I wonder how he will survive from the fall. And Specter is finally down. Even though it looked it was the end of him, considering how in the previous YGO series no matter how bad and evil and psycho certain villains were, they’re redeemed in the end, so I won’t raise the death flag for Specter yet. I truly hope he’s not going to be redeemed in the future though. He is perfect as he is. If he’s going to make appearance again, I hope he’ll stay as a villain. And then Ai…I’m also wondering if this will be the first step for his character development. He is an AI who constantly saying before that he can’t understand humans’ certain actions and thinking, just like how he told Playmaker to abandon Akira. Maybe Akira’s decision this time too, is something beyond his comprehension and it will make him trying to understand more about humans.

  3. becs

    I’m not sure what to make of next episode. Maybe it will be a recap, but it may also give us insight into the hanoi knights side. So if its told from Revolver’s perspective then we may get some extra info in addition to the stuff we know before… However, it still means we’ll be back in recap hell… Honestly that 3 suns recap episode from zexal was better than any of vrains recaps and that first season SUCKED!!
    I really am concerned with the amount of recaps they are doing… and after they promised that they wouldnt do any more for a while.
    And yes, the animation looked so much better this week. I gasped when Akira sacrificed himself.
    Now that I think about it with you saying Kusanagi is taking this bad. It might possibly be because he too is suffering from a trauma himself (maybe not quite PTSD, but something still quite haunting. I think family and friends of people who’ve gone through trauma can experience this, just not sure what its called) of not wanting to fail others and not wanting to lose anyone else. While Akira may not be as close to him as Yusaku, it still hurts Kusanagi that he wasn’t able to help him which probably stems from the fact that he was unable to help his little brother get over the trauma. Which is probably why he is helping Yusaku at all. It ties in with Yusaku in a way. To help Yusaku resolve his own problems helps to alliviate this unconscious guilt he has for not being strong or good enough to help his little brother (whose name keeps escaping me).
    And yes, Ai hugging Yusaku’s face is adorable. Their relationship is so weird to view. Because every other Yugioh protagonist who has had a spirit partner of some kind: Yugi, Jaden and Yuma, they all had a reciprical relationship with their partner. Yugi, it was respect and trust with Atem, Jaden learned to reconnect with Yubel, and Yuma got angry at Astral from the beginning and mellowed out eventually
    (although dont blame him for being pissed with Astral. Astral was a dick more than half the time. It perplexed me why people liked him. He was bland, he wasn’t interesting. Yuma was more interesting by comparison and that wasn’t by much. He’s not terrible as i liked that he wasnt ashamed to cry. But yeah… a lot of his personality was less than desirable)
    But yeah with Ai and Yusaku it’s quite… one sided. Yusaku ignores Ai’s jabs more than half the time and only responds occasionally to his comments. I mean, I don’t know how Yusaku feels about Ai really… we don’t even know how disturbed he is by Ai ilicit relationship with his cleaning robot Roboppy.
    AiXRoboppy is my OTP in Vrains XD

    1. Kazanova

      Speaking about Ai and Roboppy…the scenes that seemed to suggest they are in ‘illicit’ relationship, may actually Roboppy modifying Yusaku’s Duel Disk? The sounds that Ai was making every time they did that maybe is actually because since he is trapped inside Yusaku’s Duel Disk, whenever Roboppy is in the middle of modifying it (which of course requires her to touch the Duel Disk) Ai also felt it? This didn’t cross my mind until after Ai is shown with the modified Duel Disk when he was looking for Shima.

      1. Sunny Chen

        Now that you mention it, you might be right. Although I do think that Roboppy has fallen in love with Ai and vice versa. They do blush towards each other. She compliments him and calls him “Aniki”, which one uses to address the boss of a yakuza, or in this case, Ai. “Aniki” can also mean “big brother”, but that doesn’t make any sense in this context. I wonder what Roboppy will be like once Ai makes her smarter, considering how she’s becoming smarter each time she appears in the episodes. She went from not knowing what “boring” meant to being perfectly capable of converting a duel disk into a drone and gossiping about “the master”.

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