This week was another good episode, although it had a slightly underwhelming finish, it was still enjoyable. I for one really liked the approach of the Duel Quiz. It was fun to see a puzzle be used, and how even though they weren’t up against the Hanoi Knights, the stakes were just as high or higher due to way the dungeon had been designed. But while it makes me happy to see external threats that aren’t limited to the duels making a comeback, I would hope they find a way to continue to use it again since it helps makes the world of Link VRAINS a lot more interesting.

And so with the dungeon creator in mind, this brings us to a question I hadn’t considered until now: Who was the original owner of the cyberse deck?

The designer was not messing around with the lengths they were willing to go to protect it against the Hanoi Knights, and other fellow treasure hunters who hoped to find it. Their dungeon was littered with traps that would effectively “kill” the player in real life should they lose their duel-disk, since they would be unable to log out. On top of that, the deck wasn’t some digital material, it was actually hidden away in the real world. The sarcophagus they saw in the dungeon had nothing in it, and could easily dupe anyone into thinking it was a prank had they failed to properly solve the puzzle. Yuusaku of course, figured it out, realizing the way the duel was set up was actually map of Den City, containing coordinates of where the deck was hidden. So in order to actually obtain the prize, they had to go to the hidden location to retrieve it.

Although they didn’t actually show us who came up with the name ‘Playmaker’, (something I had wished to have seen,) we were still able to witness why and what inspired the name in the first place. By successfully solving the quiz, Yuusaku was able to obtain the Cyberse Deck, marking the start of the next chapter in his journey for revenge. So it made sense for him to pick up an actual name, one for the Hanoi Knights to fear and remember.

But more importantly, for the first time, Yuusaku wondered about why the Hanoi Knights are hunting the Cyberse? Why do they fear them? That’s when he realized this could not only be their secret weapon to use against the Hanoi Knights, but it could save him the trouble of aimlessly hunting for information. With the Cyberse Deck in his possession, it serves as the ultimate bait to have them come after him— just as he did when he took Ai hostage. He may be young, but he is one hell of a tactician, befitting of the name: Playmaker.

With that, it wraps up the backstory between Kusanagi and Yuusaku. It is a bit of a shame that it was only two episodes long. I wished we had the chance to see more of how Kusanagi and Yuusaku started meshing together as partners. While it is nice to see the two make a good team, and learned a lot more about Yuusaku’s character before her obtained the deck, aside from last week’s episode, we honestly didn’t get much information on Kusanagi’s character at all. The only new things we gained out of his episode is that he gave up his dream in hopes to save his brother, he isn’t really much of a duelist, and his only use is either behind the computer has a hacker or tackling another player to stop them from intervening. It is definitely a missed opportunity, especially if Kusanagi is going to be forced to make a decision at some point of whether or not he will part ways with Yuusaku.  Right now, obviously that doesn’t look like it will be the case, but based off the Opening, it has been widely speculated (myself included) that something will happen that will force the two apart. Be it Jin’s consciousness being held hostage and used against Kusanagi to turn on Yuusaku, or something else entirely. Either way, by not giving Kusanagi more air time to flesh out his character and his bond he speaks so highly of with Yuusaku, it is going to water down the impact of his ‘betrayal’. Unfortunately I don’t think we are going to get more of Kusanagi episodes, especially after having only gotten one after sixty-four episodes…. but I would like to be proven wrong.

Next week, Yuusaku and Kusanagi receive a message from someone who claims to be an Ignis wanting to meet Playmaker. The title is, “Earth Ignis “Earth” ….So I guess that means the Ignis might be legit? Or it is a trap? Or just Akira finally trying to strike up a proper conversation about the Ignis? Who knows…


Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog ...I may or may not be addicted to writing

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Wilfredo Sifr Starduster

    Duel quizzes returning? Not that I’m complaining. BUT I hope to see Kusanagi’s actual skills as a duelist instead of needed to be a grown man being continuously rescued by some random hacker boy CONSTANTLY. Not gonna lie though, the ending was too lackluster especially in regards to the name of “Playmaker” being coined and used for the first time.
    And we’re back with Ignis hunting again next episode, though I only wish they can be partnered up with their human brethren sooner.

  2. Williamallen222

    As entertaining as these last two episodes were, am I the only one who feels like they are misplaced? Like they should have been shown at some point in Season 1 and could have been used in place of two of the filler episodes; such as Episode 29: Kusanagi Report, which would have been the perfect time for him to reflect on how he first met Yusaku.
    Next week it looks as thought the plot is going to start moving forward again with the introduction of the Earth Ignis as well as the return of Queen. I just had a thought; if Aoi doesn’t turn out to be the person who was based on the Water Ignis, is it possible that Queen could have been the female Lost Incident Victim we saw? I know that Dr Kogami kidnapped children for the Hanoi Project and Queen might be considered too old for that, but don’t forget that the Lost Incident took place 10 years ago and the term ‘child’ can range from ages 1-18 and Queen looks young enough that she could conceivably have worked her way up through the ranks of the organization that hired the man who was the source of her trauma, which would also explain why she wants the Ignis captured.
    I know I’m probably reaching with that theory, but I think it could be a distinct possibility, just like how I still think Bohman could be the Lost Incident victim who was based on the Earth Ignis. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it Eva, as well as anyone else’s and I look forward to next weeks episode.

    1. Eva

      I agree, this backstory should have happened a lot earlier, but at the same time, I wonder if they delayed it because the Cyberse deck’s original owner may make an appearance soon? Either way, hopefully there is an actually a good reason to put it off this long.
      Right now I don’t think the Water Ignis is based off Aoi, but perhaps if for whatever reason, they cannot connect with their original partner, be it they are dead or MIA, she may serve as a substitute of a sorts. I for one would love to see Aoi explore her new knowledge of the bond between Ignis and their partner, but frankly I know better not to hold my breath for it.
      That’s an interesting theory about Queen (it’s been so long, I actually forgot his name LOL), I haven’t thought about that. I wonder which side she would be on though: Would she despise the Ignis for being responsible for the shit she had to go through? I get the feeling this could be the case because so far, we have a prankster Windy partnered with seemingly no one (he’s still shady as f), and Flame and Ai get along with Yuusaku and Takeru just fine, so it would be a good way to break the trend.
      .. And I just realized we have yet to figure out what the hell happened to Emma after her confrontation with BS. Well I guess we just might find out next week since Akira will be in the picture, and he’ll probably mention if he has heard from her at all.
      I agree, Bohman is likely be one of the Lost Incident Victims and is based off Earth. If Earth turns out to be his partner, it’s possible he would know a bit of his true memories, and possibly wants to help him, therefore is reaching out to PM for assistance. I have no doubt in my mind that the bad guy will find a way to use Jin, possibly in a similar manner, or as a replacement should Bohman no longer serve useful.

  3. Moonflower157

    I did like the episode this week. I was extremely shocked how intelligent Yusaku really is. He noticed the traps and easily figured out the puzzle. Not only that, he found the Cyberse cards that would eventually become part of his deck not online, but in the real world. And he did it in almost a casual manner.
    I’m glad we now know the story of how Yusaku and Kusanagi became partners. Slightly underwhelming like you said, but I feel like they may have an argument later as implied in the opening. All good partners almost always will have arguments that cause rifts at some point.
    I don’t know whether you play the TCG or not, but did you understand what Unknown was explaining on how to solve the duel puzzle? I think after how Playmaker explained it, I understood. He was pretty clear on his reasons. I could definitely ask him to be my dueling tutor.
    As for present day Yusaku, I was shocked at how genuinely confused he looked when he heard Naoki’s “blackmail”. Thank goodness he doesn’t know Yusaku’s true secret. I was thinking about the postcard part for Blue Angel’s Handshake event and I thought, “Yeah, Naoki is just being lazy and doesn’t want to go through the effort of doing that whole stack”. And for the third and hopefully final time, I don’t want to hear the “soulmates” thing. It’s disgusting! And snitching Yusaku out to Playmaker. Come on, that’s just basically badmouthing Yusaku to his alter-ego not knowing they’re one and the same person.
    I’m actually more excited for next week’s episode. We’ll be meeting Earth the Earth Ignis for the first time. But it looks like Takeru won’t be in the next episode and Yusaku will be going solo for this mission. We haven’t seen Playmaker on solo missions since season 1. Plus the Water Ignis will be making her debut in the series next week as well. I’m excited because she’s the Ignis I really want to see. Her name is actually Aqua like many people suspected.

    1. Eva

      No I don’t play the TCG though I did for a time collect the cards for fun. I will admit it was quite overwhelming, but as you said, they did a good job explaining it so that I finally got the gist of it, which is good for new players or those who don’t play the game at all. Haha!
      I elected to ignore the idiot because he is not was worth my time. But I gotta say, Yuusaku’s confused face was FREAKING ADORABLE! I wish he had shut him down, but then again if he had it would probably put him at risk of exposing himself, so walking away was the best option.
      Seriously though, they need to stop with the “PM Soulmate” thing. It’s revolting and annoying! He got some nerve to even blackmail Yuusaku, so f him. Delete his character already, he serves no purpose to the plot! It’s is BEYOND ME why they insist to keep him around, he’s not funny!!!!!
      I’m excited to see Yuusaku do solo missions again too! 😀
      OOH The water Ignis too?! All the more reason to be excited!!!!

  4. Spencer Sim

    Everyone who hoped that Naoki did not know about Playmaker’s identity have their hopes and dreams NOT disappointed. The writers is just messing with us about Naoki knowing who is Playmaker.
    Any resemblance to some random AI worm eating up Hanoi knight to Episode 2 where AI literally ate a Hanoi knight? Good memories.
    Honestly, the quiz duel was actually genius. Who would be so clever to do this in real life? Definitely not me.

    1. Eva

      LOL I thought the exact same thing when I saw the AI worm gobble up the HK. 😂
      Yeah the duel quiz was really well executed. It has been a long time since we seen a good puzzle like this in YGO!

      1. elior1

        yes the last time was back in 5d

  5. Becs

    Honestly, Yusaku was so clever here. I mean its one thing to solve a duelling quiz but he actually payed attention to the movement of the duelling stones and thought over what the significance is. I like how they’re now combining Link Vrains objects with the real world. Makes it feel like it’s not solely a cyber thing which is a problem I had in season 1 that they didn’t get out of Vrains too much and as a result since the layout was quite… bland to say the least wasn’t interesting to look at. Season 2 has vamped up the design so it’s not as boring but variation is needed.
    I was actually wondering why Yusaku and Kusanagi were not questioning WHO would leave such a powerful deck to be salvaged. I mean, they’re established to be smart and inquisitive. Unless they’re implying that they are/were so blinded by thoughts of revenge that they just didn’t think about it? I don’t think so, because while Yusaku may not have thought about why the Knights were after Hanoi decks what we know of season 1 is that Yusaku did question things. He doesn’t always blindly accept them. So it’s strange to me why our duo would not question the origins of the deck.
    I’m actually a little scared if and when Kusanagi and Yusaku have an argument. It’ll be such a blow to Yusaku and I don’t want him to suffer. Maybe Takeru will step up as Yusaku’s Bestie when that happens. 🙂
    I agree about Yusaku’s confused face. Just adorable!! I was kind of surprised that Shima misinterpreted THAT as a secret. He was only shown once to cover for Kusanagi at the hot dog stand. It would make sense as a secret as apparantly quite a few high schools in Japan do forbid having part-time jobs as their students ONLY job is supposedly to study (although they don’t exactly get paid for it…).

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