Yu-Gi-Oh VRAINS Episode 109

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I was expecting a serious duel, but I am not even mad about how it turned out. I thought it was a great way to have a breather from how heavy these episodes has been, especially since next week is going to be a sad one, no doubt. I am also glad this duel was only an episode long because it’s important to keep the story rolling rather than stalling the time of Akira’s inevitable defeat. Also mad props to Ryoken for having Pandor use his Topologic monsters such as his signature Bomber Dragon. That was one hell of a way to say, “I GOT MY EYE ON YOU, AI”.

This week definitely made me fall in love with Pandor’s character. Since she has a free-will, she has the ability to sympathize with Ai’s struggles and despair. She even tried to give him a way out thanks to a loophole in the protocol, where if Ai were to return the key and consciousness he had stolen, he would be allowed to flee. In other-words, that’s the only situation where he can be spared.

Pandor also made a point of how Ai was trying to distract her throughout the duel, and in a way he was since he didn’t like the way she could identify his vulnerable emotions that he wants to keep hidden from others. However at the same time, we also got to see the side of Ai we have grown to know and love, his silliness. I thought the running gag of Ai trying to predict the next monster’s name and being upset that it wasn’t Nabee (since it meant he got it wrong) was absolutely hilarious. And Pandor’s reactions were just as fun.

But even though Ai actually had moments of self-doubts about his overall his abilities as a duelist, his determination to strive for victory remained unchanged. He made sure that Pandor couldn’t stall out the duel in her favour, and threw her a curveball by hijacking the plane and ensuring it won’t land as planned.

I also thought it was very interesting how Ai specifically referred to himself being unable to co-exist with Humans, and said it’s not outside of the possibility that A.I. and Humans can co-exist with each other. I think he is referring to the fact he can’t bear the weight of being the only one left and existing in a world where Humans in general either don’t trust him/perceived as an enemy (Ryoken) or want to exploit him (SOL Technology). That’s why there’s no turning back for him. This would also explain a bit more why he doesn’t want anyone but one person to know about his sadness…And that person, is probably Yuusaku, which why I think Ai is counting on him to put him out of his misery.

By keeping his sadness a secret from everyone else, and provoking them into perceiving him as a a threat, it’s a way of apply pressure to make Yuusaku to finally eliminate him. If that ends up being the case, we’re in store for hell of a heartache, because that’s not fair to Yuusaku at all. After everything they have gone through together, it is a terribly selfish wish, but it’s also very much like Ai.

Ugh, just thinking about it gives me a heartache!

That being said, I don’t think it’s going to go according Ai’s plans, especially if he chooses to spare Aoi in this duel (since we know, those who lose, will end up losing their consciousness). There is definitely a window of opportunity, and it could be exploited so as long Akira and Aoi doesn’t reveal the fact they now know Playmaker’s true identity—yet I have a feeling it’s probably an unavoidable topic. But let’s say they don’t tell him that, should Aoi be spared, thanks to her new relationship with Yuusaku, she should be able to provide him more information about Ai’s despair. However it isn’t outside of the realm of possibility that Pandor may end up being the one to deliver the information— especially, (and god forbid) Aoi loses her consciousness alongside Akira and is benched again.

Aside from the underlining angst, hilarity and cute interactions between Pandor and Ai, there was a small detail worth to pay attention to. Ai made a peculiar discovery when he was sent flying off the aircraft, only to recover thanks to a mechanism that was built into the SOLtis system.  And Ai asked the very question that surely ran through all of our minds:

“Why did they include this in the first place?”

The first thing that crossed my mind was, perhaps these SOLtis may have been built to deploy to be used in the military or to security (most likely the latter), which may be alluding to the dirty backroom deals that are being made in the SOL Technology corporation. If so, this would be a great way to put the shady corporation into the spotlight, as they have been slithering in the shadows all this time. With that in mind, I am very curious about how it will be dealt with once Ai takes control, especially if it turns out SOL Technology are the ones behind the unknown “truth” that Lightning had alluded to.

I am really looking forward to next week’s episode. Tag-Duel with Aoi and Akira (with Pandor as their advisor) VS Ai. Exposing his despair and loneliness will be huge, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they can draw out his true feelings more effectively than Pandor could.

7 thoughts on “Yu-Gi-Oh VRAINS Episode 109

  1. I have to say that I didn’t expect for hilarious moments in this Duel, so I’m very glad, especially seeing Ai’s reactions. And I’ll admit that I’m starting to like Pandor after watching this episode. At the same time, along with that, I feel I owe an apology to Pandor for immediately accusing her going to be some evil villain more than Ai. I still have suspicion, but not as worse as before. For now, I’m very sorry for judging you so quickly, Pandor!
    Again, I feel sad for Ai in this episode. He doesn’t deny the possibility of A.I with free will to coexist in the future, but yet he believes that it’s impossible for him to coexist. It seems to Ai, coexistence is meaningless without his Ignis friends there together with him. Even if there’ll be more A.I with free will like Roboppi and Pandor, it’s still not right for Ai if he’s the only Ignis left, not when he is still targeted. I heard the alternative translation for the next episode preview is “Annoyance of Sympathy”. Looks like we’ll be seeing Ai losing his cool from the Zaizen siblings who definitely will try to convince him. It’s understandable. What Ai needs is neither pity nor sympathy. It won’t help his current state of mind. Ai taking over SOL is inevitable, but what’s he going to do with it though? He made it clear that he has no intention to annihilate humanity, but yet what he’s going to do may lead to their annihilation. Increasing my curiosity of Ai’s goal.
    Back to the duel, how exactly the monsters are able to inflict physical damage? Unlike Arc-V, as far as we know, there’s no Real Solid Vision in VRAINS. I thought the cards in real life is digitized, so it shouldn’t have harmed the duelists like Takeru’s flashback. Is this Ai and Pandor’s ability to somehow materialize the monsters in real life? Wow if that’s the case.

    1. Q______Q AIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!! My heart hurts for him so much. Next week is going to tear our hearts out, I’m sure.
      I’m probably gonna cry when he and Yuusaku finally meet again in person (his decoy copy doesn’t count).
      Good question about inflicting physical damage. Maybe it has something to do with their rapid evolution, similarly to how they are somehow able to steal people’s consciousness?

  2. Psst, Ai, don’t jinx the Nabee card. It might become the most OP thing and then it’ll get banned like Firewall Dragon.
    Honestly, I actually like this duel. Ai’s comedic nature still hasn’t left him and Pandor feels human even though she’s still underdeveloped. I am really looking forward to see what role she plays later on.
    I really like Pandor’s deck. It focuses on banishing set cards and then gaining counters through monsters and combos. It’s like a hybrid burn-damage deck. I do like the robot theme the Topologina monsters have.

    1. It was a welcomed change of pace! I also think it was very important for them to continue and emphasize on Ai’s much beloved silly side to show even though he is suffering, underneath that despair he is still there. It also really helps with the adjustment of his new vessel, as even though he has a different face, his expressions are so ingrained in my head, that it’s as though I can see a transparent layer of his old self in him— if that makes any sense. xD

  3. Your review was seriously amazing this time! So in-depth! I really enjoyed reading every last word. Now that I’ve graduated from college and I’m busy with my new job, I’m finding it harder to find time to comment here like I used to in college. Yeah, I do agree that I thought the episode would be completely serious, but I’m glad it turned out to not be that way. I just love Ai’s silly moments that still come out every once in a while like you said. That tantrum that Ai threw briefly for thinking Topologina Navee was gonna come out made me laugh so hard! Ai may have the body of a young man in his early 20s, but he still acts like a child in some ways. Although chronologically speaking, he is 10 years old, but currently looks older than Yusaku.
    Before, in the last few episodes, I felt unsure of my stance regarding Ai’s character, but now after this episode, I have to say that I’m ultimately sympathetic with Ai. He’s not truly a bad guy and does seem to hold a soft spot for Playmaker even now as an enemy. He did mention that there’s only one person that he can tell his true feelings to, and that has to be Yusaku like you said. I can tell Ai is still kind on the inside, but we don’t see it as much now. He seemed genuinely touched that Pandor was willing to let him go if he peacefully surrendered the consciousness data and the code key. She was looking out for him as a fellow AI, especially since they’re AI with free will created by the Kogamis. Plus Ai did imply that he still believes in coexistence and wants other AIs to be able to live with humans, but like you said, he feels he’s the exception, an outcast essentially. I guess he feels he doesn’t fit in with either category of a AI or a human. Plus even if he did attack humans, he did show he had personal reservations of doing so, even if he never intended to turn back and didn’t want to hurt humanity. I guess in the end, he can’t truly bring himself to cut ties with the members of Team Playmaker, even Revolver to an extent. After all, he did call Revolver ‘Revolver-sensei’ many times throughout the episode.
    Good point on the grappling hand, although it did freak me out when I initially saw it. I actually screamed in fear when I saw that. I’m not one for scary movies, so I ended up covering my eyes when that part came out on the raw live stream this morning. Maybe we’ll get to learn what the other features of the SOLtis bodies have.
    Pandor was what really shocked me today. At first, I thought she didn’t really have much of a personality, but it seems with this episode, I was wrong. She seemed to become fairly sympathetic with Ai after seeing how sad Ai truly was, using his jokester personality as a mask to cover it up. Yeah, she’s definitely different from Revolver, but still didn’t seem to mind the fact that she has a limit on her free will and was fully aware of it too.
    I’m a little worried about Playmaker to be honest. He clearly isn’t in for Revolver’s plans to kill Ai. He didn’t seem to mind the team up back when Lightning was the enemy, but now that Ai’s the enemy, that’s a different story. He definitely seemed concerned for Ai despite everything. I wonder how Yusaku and Ai’s relationship will become as season 3 goes along.
    I don’t know about you, but the way Ai was tranquilly smiling to get to Akira and Blue Maiden was quite seductive to me. I know his smile was a bit cold and sinister too, but it was strangely making him more attractive too. I’m so excited for the duel next week! I want to see those new Marincess cards in the duel. Plus it’ll be Blue Maiden and Ai’s first time speaking directly to each other. I’m sure the Zaizen siblings will express their pity towards Ai and attempt to reason with him first. I have a feeling Blue Maiden will call out Ai for doing all this and saying that it’s only nullifying Aqua’s sacrifice. I know you mentioned this, but I really want Aoi to be spared. I don’t really want this to happen, but I do have a feeling she’ll lash out at Ai in her grief that Akira’s been taken away from her.

    1. Congratulations on graduating college and your new job! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚ Thank you for your kind words!
      I am very worried about Yuusaku as well QAQ You know shit is gonna hit the fan considering how he has been more or less benched for the past 4 episodes or so? SOBS JUST WHEN HE THOUGHT THEY DEALT WITH THE CRISIS, THIS HAPPENS.
      //I don’t know about you, but the way Ai was tranquilly smiling to get to Akira and Blue Maiden was quite seductive to me. I know his smile was a bit cold and sinister too, but it was strangely making him more attractive too.//
      OKAY GOOD I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS BEEN THINKING THAT! Seriously, for the past few episodes, even though we know deep inside, Ai is still the same to some extent, his new tone of voice and the way he speaks really makes his character more handsome than I ever thought he’d be! He has certainly evolved into quite an attractive character!
      I have a lot of feelings about this okay.
      I too think it’s Aoi who is going to be the one who gets under Ai’s skin. Although she didn’t spend a lot of time with Aqua, she has at least the very least witnessed the bond of the Ignis and their Origin. How she will deal with Ai taking Akira away from her, will be certainly interesting, especially if Akira ends up taking “responsibility” for his involvement in Earth’s demise, and for doing nothing to save him.

      1. In early episodes before Ai got his body data back, Ai mentioned that he is handsome (while he is not since his Ignis form is leaning more to cute). Now, he proved himself that he really is handsome in human form. XD

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