As tragic as it was to watch Yuusaku break down as he defeats Kusanagi, I have to say the script this week was a messy one. In fact, I consider this particular event has to be among some of the weakest we have seen so far. It didn’t feel like the writing quality was there, which is upsetting because a lot of us were looking forward to seeing how the duel would play out.

Q____________Q Protect this child!

First of all: Considering how we witnessed Yuusaku struggle being forced to face Kusanagi last week, it frustrated me to see them continue dragging it out until the end of the episode. In fact I think this episode could have been a lot more heart-wrenching to watch had we gotten the chance to see both parties put up an earnest fight that had more of the back and forth dynamic. I feel like that would have added that missing layer of intensity between Kusanagi, who is fighting for his brother, while Yuusaku fights on behalf of their promise… which Yuusaku did not remember until fifteen minutes into the episode (which was basically over at that point since the duel was wrapped up within the next five minutes!)

Gee, no wonder the tension was missing!

As result, the majority of the episode continued to play as one-sided duel in Kusanagi’s favour until the very last minute, where Yuusaku finally pulls himself together and one-shots him.

Sure, they managed to make my heart twist as they walked us through the memory lane of their partnership, and for the first time we actually see Yuusaku cry (PROTECT THIS CHILD!). But you can’t tell me that they couldn’t have done better to make me more emotionally invested in the duel.

Although Kusanagi had lost, at the very least there is a sense of comfort knowing that Ai was able to collect and preserve Kusanagi’s data as Flame had done for Windy. But considering Yuusaku was so caught up with his friend disappearing in front of him, I don’t think he noticed what Ai did. Poor kid, he ended up blacking out, but but not before he made certain to declare that Lightning was the one who lost! (Please tell me I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t help but laugh!)

Another decision in the writing that frustrated me was the flashback of when Kusanagi and Yuusaku made their promise (which he had conveniently forgotten until now). It baffled me to see them suddenly make Yuusaku this naive boy who didn’t think Lightning would resort using Jin against them. Like come on, this is Yuusaku we’re talking about, he has gone through some traumatic shit, fought the Hanoi Knights and witnessed how cold-blooded Lightning and Windy were. It’s not like he didn’t know what Lightning’s personality when they were discussing the matter! And to have the audacity to make him forget that, and have Kusanagi try to subtly remind him? Again, this is something that could have been avoided had they skipped out the whole “let’s make Playmaker a punching bag until the last second”.

And lastly (and this is really just my own pet-peeve) they actually expect us to believe Lightning would actually carelessly leave an unconscious Yuusaku untouched? He is vulnerable, and Ai can only do so much to protect him at the moment. Why didn’t Lightning contain him? It’s not like he can’t. And on top of that, considering how Lightning cannot stand being outwitted by Humans, I am genuinely shocked there were no repercussions with Lightning lashing out when he learned Kusanagi had known all this time he would pit them against each other. I thought for sure he would try to do something to Jin, especially since he was suspicious of Kusanagi’s chatter.

Next week, we are definitely getting Bohman VS Kakeru, but it appears we may also be seeing the start of Ryoken VS Lightning, which shows they are looking to wrap things up. However since Kusanagi’s program was brought up today, this means it might influence the outcome of both if the duels are to take place the same time. Should that be the case, since we saw the Hanoi Knights discussing about making contacting Ryoken about the program, there’s a good chance that (because Yuusaku is unconscious) the program would interrupt both duels and forcefully eject the remaining three out.

RIP Kusanagi, you put on a great performance!


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

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Casper Juel Jensen

    I´ll put it as nicely as I can without sounding like I´m going on a rant cause I belive I have done that a little to much these last few episodes.
    The best part of the episode is defenetly the last 4 to 5 minutes before the ending solely due to the fact that I like the conversation, emotions and reactions.
    It´s quite sad though when what I love about an episode has got nothing to do with the duel depsite the series/franchise being about dueling but this felt forced and the fact that Yusaku had the exact cards he needed again lover the quality even further.
    So now it´s time for a 2 episode duel between Soulburner and Bohman and since we allready now the result I´m actually looking foward to something else quite entirely. Yugioh anime is to promote cards and episode 95´s title mention a phoenix and I´m actually go out on a lim that he´s gonna thanks to WINDY´s data do a storm acces in episode 94 (notice the animation in the prewiev, same movements as when Yusaku pull a card) and pull a Link 4 Salamangreat.
    Lastly just to get our brains going I have been thinking: This episode if you ask me gave us the answer to how Lightning is gonna get the chance to shine on the good side with Jin next season. As we saw in today´s episode he has a superiority complex and can´t accept his own shortcommings, hence I predict that he´s gonna be given a speech after his defeat and be allowed to grow alongside Jin from then on learning more about humility.

  2. elior1

    eva since bohman want to absorb all the ignises and that lightning goal I think next episode bohman is going to try absorb AI but soulburner will reach the place before he can do it

  3. Moonflower157

    Today’s episode was so heartbreaking! And yeah, I was so shocked Playmaker was in tears for the first time. Ai and Soulburner were crying too and Flame yelled Kusanagi’s name in horror. I actually screamed “No!” when I saw Kusanagi die and dissolve into data. You’re right that Ai did at least hold onto Kusanagi’s data. At least Playmaker wasn’t filled with vengeance against Lightning because he knows that revenge doesn’t help in the end.
    I was so infuriated with Lightning! How dare he cause this entire mess just by blackmailing Kusanagi with Jin’s safety. I’m glad Playmaker didn’t fall for Lightning’s gaslighting to try to weaken his resolve after the duel and instead countered by saying what the promise they made actually was and even retorting it was Lightning that lost. I was quite glad Lightning was furious Kusanagi actually tricked him and anticipated his moves ahead of time. Lightning’s becoming a lot more openly malicious with each episode. His looks were getting more and more sadistic. Whenever Lightning just speaks, my teeth always ending up gritting and I was clenching my fists really hard. I think with this episode, Lightning’s won the Most Evil Yu-Gi-Oh Villain Award. I haven’t seen a villain like him that’s that sadistic and despicable in Yu-Gi-Oh. He’s earned the hatred of many of the characters and it seems Soulburner is now filled with vengeance. He even used “temee” in Japanese, which means he’s really mad.
    In fact, I noticed this throughout the duel, but Kusanagi seemed to throw insults at Playmaker, but they actually had an underlying meaning underneath to try and encourage Playmaker to finish him off quickly and remember the promise no matter how painful it’s gonna be. Kusanagi’s a pretty good actor if you think about it. Lightning didn’t even get suspicious a single time.
    Speaking of acting, I have a feeling I know why Kusanagi told Yusaku not to bring Ai to the private meeting. This was because if Ai knew what the plan actually was, he wouldn’t be good at masking his true feelings. We know that Ai’s acting skills aren’t the best given many duels when he tries to taunt opponents into doing something. So I guess it was best to keep Ai locked out of the loop so this plan could seem quite genuine and that they could fake that they actually weren’t anticipating Lightning using Jin as a hostage. Despite Yusaku knowing about the plan, he seemed quite pained to carry out the promise. I mean, I wouldn’t want to attack my best friend even if it was arranged ahead of time. It somehow really reminds me of Snape’s promise to kill Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

    1. Eva

      TT^TT Nobody wants to see Yuusaku cry, much less see him in pain. The boy suffered enough! And you’re right, we have seen how much he had grown since the beginning, knowing that revenge was not the answer. Instead he held on to the feelings of how proud Kusanagi was of him. Q___Q
      Lightning is definitely shaping out to be among some of YGO’s finest villains and it’s great because this is exactly what we wanted wanted to see.
      Leaving Ai out of the loop was definitely the right idea. For starters there’s no telling if Lightning could have gotten ahold of him/control him and we also know that Ai is incredibly emotional and would have certainly blurted out the truth earlier.

  4. Kazanova

    If only the duel is not dragged out and the rest of the thing that you have said, I would have praised the writers are being smart for this episode. I’ve been complaining about Playmaker’s record that so far has been undefeated, but this one victory is different. All this time, Playmaker, as he had said before during his Duel against Specter, only duels to win (which Crunchyroll mistranslated as his dueling always win). But this is one victory that feels meaningless because Playmaker actually lost so much even if it’s for the sake of fulfilling their promise.
    Putting aside the messy writing, I couldn’t stand seeing Playmaker cried. He is both physically and emotionally crushed that he passed out. Lightning is unforgivable. At this moment, I think Lightning is the cruelest YGO villain and no one can make me think otherwise!
    Now that Playmaker is at a vulnerable state, this is when Ai must be there for him and give him the support that he needs, especially once Soulburner lost against Bohman later. So far, Ai has never helped Playmaker in terms of meaningful emotional support and only helped in duels when Playmaker is in a pinch like during the last duel against Revolver (saving him from falling and protected him from debris) and the third duel against Bohman (providing Neo Storm Access). This is the time for Playmaker and Ai’s partnership/friendship to progress further.

    1. Eva

      Yuusaku needs a nice long PEACEFUL vacation after this. He has been through enough shit in his life already.
      I definitely agree, Lightning is among some of the best villains YGO has had.
      I’m looking forward to seeing how Ai will be that support for Yuusaku, especially since he will be the only one left unless the Hanoi Knights get them all out before Lightning or Bohman can finish them.

      1. Kazanova

        I wonder if Akira and Ghost Girl will try to do something too. I know that they stay in Link Vrains to ensure other users’ safety, but if they watch Playmaker passed out and then Soulburner lost to Bohman, I don’t think they’ll just stay silent.
        About Yusaku forgetting his promise with Kusanagi, I think he still remembers since in the previous episode he said the time has finally come. He still remember the promise, but he is very torn to carry it out. Even though Yusaku made his words, to actually doing it itself is understandably very difficult since his best partner’s life would be the cost. Too bad the writers didn’t do quite a good job to deliver the story and dragging it in this episode.

  5. Wilfredo Sifr Starduster

    RIP Kusanagi, Playmaker yelling out your name and breaking down crying at your demise for the sake of fulfilling the promise you two made in the past was truly the most emotional moment in this show so far. An outstanding supporting character had left us… T_T
    But the next duel is the one I couldn’t care less about, after all they’re two of my most hated characters in this season.

  6. ecarg312

    Honestly, Kusanagi is my favorite character in this show, so seeing him die left a rather bittersweet feeling in my heart. Also, Playmaker telling Lightning that Kusanagi had been aware of Lightning’s schemes all this time made me happy. I was like “Who’s dumb now, you evil lemon?” and did the sassy snapping at the screen while I said it.
    I think Lightning not doing any actions shows how…childish he can be. All six of the Ignises are technically ten-year-old children and seeing how Lightning believed that making Playmaker duel Kusanagi will be heart-wrenching for him is actually a childish scheme, especially with how he got a bit of a temper tantrum towards the end.
    Soulburner being angry is very understandable since he has been with Yusaku and Kusanagi since the beginning of Season 2. He was like a third person witness to see the bond between the two, so seeing him furious made me go, “Yeah, go burn them to oblivion Soulburner”…and then I realized that his next opponent is Bohman, who is most likely the final boss of this season…and I became saddened because he’s going to lose and I’ll be sad because he’s one of my favorite characters. I just hope THIS duel will be THE best Soulburner duel since all of his other duels were really lackluster. If he dies, PM will have to put Bohman in the trash and then click “Empty Trash”. Revolver will also have to prepare a juicer larger than his dragons in order to turn a certain lemon into lemonade…and I will cackle when Lightning meets his downfall.

    1. Eva

      Yeah that sassy comeback was great! Too bad he passed out right after that! XD
      //I think Lightning not doing any actions shows how…childish he can be. All six of the Ignises are technically ten-year-old children and seeing how Lightning believed that making Playmaker duel Kusanagi will be heart-wrenching for him is actually a childish scheme, especially with how he got a bit of a temper tantrum towards the end.//
      That’s a great observation, I think you hit the nail right on the head!
      Me too, I’m really hoping they step it up BIG TIME for SB’s duel because his duels have been leaving a lot more to be desired! Let’s see him truly burn it up for once! If he does, Bohman will certainly have a field day with learning/experiencing a whole different set of emotions, and how they can be used.
      //Revolver will also have to prepare a juicer larger than his dragons in order to turn a certain lemon into lemonade…and I will cackle when Lightning meets his downfall.///

    2. Vamoss

      There’s a rumor going around about a Borreload Xyz Card coming out soon. Tbh it would make sense for that to happen so… Revolver gets Xyz summons!

  7. Vamoss

    The thing that Disappointed me the most was great they didn’t reveal how Yusauku got the name “Playmaker”. I honestly thought this Duel/Episode would do that. Anyway…. While watching the episode a thought popped in my head: “Why Did Lightning Create Bohman?” I mean … When you think it about it… It makes sense a certain level.Lightning created Bohman to “Unify” (Control) the Ignis and “Capture” them. I can’t help but think that there’s a different reason. I’m not one to theorize but I think Lightning wants a Human Form. Sure Lightning basically rules Link Vrains but… In episode 47 (AKA The Crime Of The Century) it was shown that Bohman can enter the Real Wprld. So… If Lightning does Unify the Ignis I see him using Bohman as a Vessel to Rule Humans. Sorry, just thought I’d put in my 2 Cents.

    1. ecarg312

      Actually, how Playmaker came to be is actually reading in between the lines. Since he was “Unknown” first, no one knew who he was. Now that Kusanagi knew of his identity, he became “Yusaku” but in English. The kanji for “Yu” means “play” and “saku” means “Make”. The translation together means “Playmake” and since he’s a person, stick in the “-er” suffix and there you have “Playmaker”.

      1. Vamoss

        I know that but I just figured there would be a deeper meaning.In the “Backstory” two-parter it ends with Ai, Flame or Takeru saying “But you didn’t explain why he’s called Playmaker”. I just figured a Hanoi Grunt or someone who saw him take on a Hanoi Grunt have him the name.

  8. il-Palazzo

    I was half-expecting that Ai would show more of his sinister side, take over the duel, and finish Kusanagi. But I guess would be too much for Yuusaku to continue being his friend like that.

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