Wow. Holy shit. I had a feeling Yuuga was going to lose this one, but not like this like! Yuuga getting one-shot? NOPE. Did not see that coming! When the last the last time we had that happen to the protagonist this early on? Probably too long ago to remember. Anyhow, it goes without saying this is the kind of shock factor I have been hoping to see for a long time now! MY PATIENCE FINALLY PAID OFF! Poor Yuuga, went into this duel all excited and ready to roll, but instead all that awaited him was defeat and despair. It should be noted how Rook’s instincts that he had a bad feeling about what was ahead of them was right on the mark.
But goodness gracious, everything leading up to the duel between Yuuga and Neil was so incredibly confusing, it made my head hurt. Well actually, my head was already in pain because of a persisting migraine that has been plaguing me for the past few days, so as you can imagine after watching this episode, my brain was complete mush. I struggled to understand where they were going with “providence”, but when it was being thrown left and right about shirts, and apples and just about everything, eventually I just gave up trying to understand it, and settled for waiting for the answer to present itself. So when Yuuga said, “I don’t get what you’re saying, but okay”, that pretty much sums up the episode. But hey, despite all of that, it was still fun to watch!
And truthfully, I still can’t say I completely understand it, but I think I got the general gist of it. Basically, Neil wants to go beyond the boundaries of God’s intent or their destinies… or as the A.I. at the shrine put it, “Fate is not given to you, but something you must carve yourself!”, or something like that. (God help me. If any of you have a better or more accurate interpretation, by all means please share!)
The other major event that took place was Neil suddenly being confronted by five of the Goha’s Hexagon Executives. Apparently they had “unanimously” agreed to dismiss Neil from his position as the overseer of duels. (As noted: Mimi, the sixth member, decided not to join in because she did not agree with their cowardly ways). I found this to be incredibly confusing because this issue seemed to have dropped out of nowhere. After-all we have just met Neil only a couple of episodes ago, and up until now, we have never seen him and any of the Goha Executives interact with each other (apart from Mimi who said she’ll partake in the challenge as one of his fighters). Their reasons for removing him is because of his dogmatism and for the sake of Goha’s future, and while Neil has certainly indicated in his backstory that everyone should be concerned about him being given that much power in the first place, I just wished this part was built up better, because we really haven’t seen much of anything from Goha in general. On top of that, we also learned that they intended to kick Mimi out too, (oof, so much for that promotion…), so I wished they had at least showed us some events leading up to it rather having us have to roll with the case of all of this transpiring off-screen.
Apart from that blunder and incredibly confusing first half of the episode, it was fantastic to see the shift to something more serious. Neil has been analyzing Rush Duels through Kaizo’s original data, and while doing so he has become drawn to it, and even decided to use it when he fought five of Goha Hexagon Executives. He wiped the floor, and then later newly debuted Maximum Summon, whipping out Yggdrago the Heavenly Emperor Dragon Tree.
Maximum Summon was without a doubt the biggest surprise of the episode, only because I wasn’t sure if they were going to introduce us to a new one at all in this series. It is amazing that they waited until now to reveal it, and I would say it was worth the wait because it allowed Rush Duels to be the in the spotlight long enough for people to get the gist of the formula. It involves combining three separate monsters (of the same type) into one. When I saw that, I immediately thought about Blue-Eyes White Dragon, which was also shown to us prior to the duel when Yuuga was trying to piece together what ‘providence’ meant. And when Neil pulled out and put together three of “Yggdrago the Heavenly Emperor Dragon Tree” (the two other pieces are referred to as ‘left’ and ‘right’ versions), it made me think back to Kaiba’s Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, which comes out of fusing three Blue-Eyes White Dragons. Make no mistake, these two are entirely different summoning techniques, but I do find it rather interesting how similar it is. In the matter of fact, I do wonder if this was intentionally done as a a subtle call back to the classic. (Which is kind of funny when you think about it, since Duel Monsters was the ‘origin’ of the franchise.) In fact if that is really the case, this makes me wonder if maybe this whole thing of becoming the next Duel King will actually become something a lot more serious after-all.
With that said, I am very excited to see how everything is going to unfold from here on out. This is no small lost for Yuuga, it’s a brutal one. If the six chances still apply even when fighting Neil, then Yuuga is really going to need every bit he can get. However having already gotten one strike, and now obtaining another, he only has four left, and three of which will probably be struck out next week with Romin, Gakuto and Rook all teaming up against who appears to be Otis? Should that happen, then Yuuga is quickly left with only one more chance, provided nobody else screws up in the mean time.
Looking forward to the next one! Until then, see you next time!