What a fantastic way to end this match! Even after successfully assembling his Max Monster Magnum Over Road, Yuuga didn’t even get the chance to properly use it until much later. Neil forced him to take it off the field in attempt to save it, and then followed up with Paradigm Shift to reset his hand. In fact, he used this strategy twice, which made it quite painful after seeing the lengths Yuuga went through to draw as many cards as he could to get them back into his hands.
What made it even more impressive to me though was that Yuuga didn’t give up trying to win this thing with his normal monsters, Sevens Road Magician and Sevens Road Witch. While that plan backfired, Seven Roads Magician still managed to save the day thanks to Magical Switch, leaving Yuuga with just 100 LP left to hang on for one try after his attack was deflected back onto him. AND THEN NEIL FREAKING GETS ALL HIS LIFE POINTS BACK. That was so rude, but that actually ended up contributing to his loss since Magnum Over Road’s third effect was: Until the turn’s end, Magnum Over Road’s ATK increases by the difference in their life points. I don’t know about you, but that gave me life. It was super satisfying to see Yuuga secure victory in such a way!
Ultimately it was thanks to the wholesome power of friendship that helped Yuuga pull through. With Gakuto’s, Romin’s and Rook’s’ ID repurposed into Max Monsters cards, Yuuga believed they would come to his aid when he needed it most, and they did. As Otes said himself, a true duelist can draw and attract cards to him. So Yuuga is certainly living up to the expectations and potential Otes had seen in him to open the door to the new world.
Hurray! It is a happy end for everyone! Rush Duels lives to fight another day, Kaizo is back and running, even Romin, Rook, and Gakuto all got their accounts recovered…Except, what becomes of the three Max Monsters Yuuga has? Are they now like a hybrid between user ID and Max Monster card or what? I thought the other three would get brand new ones, but it seems Neil just restored them to their original state. I guess we’ll find out soon enough what became of them.
All is well! Err, almost everyone. Neil having his account terminated as he gave himself the same amount of penalties to ensure a fair fight. (Even though I don’t like him, I have to give him credit for that.).
That being said, although Yuuga has defeated Neil, Rush Duel isn’t out of the woods just yet. Yuuga’s Rush Duels is opening the door to a new era of duels, but Goha Corp doesn’t want anything to change. And now after the epic battle atop Goha Corporation’s headquarters, I think the interest in Rush Duels will finally go beyond the elementary demographic which was already at 77.7% (I snorted when I saw the number, they really are going all out with the freaking sevens theme in commemoration of the seventh installment).
At the end of the episode, they teased us a new set of antagonists/rivals, who vowed to utterly crush the existence of Rush Duels for once and for all. This does makes me curious about how they plan to go about ramping up the antagonists going forward. Neil was by far the best one we have seen because for the first time, this series actually gave us a threatening opponent (I mean he freaking one-shot Yuuga the first time they fought against each other!). It is almost a shame that he is no longer a threat, but I am also glad it was resolved since it means we aren’t going to see this conflict between them be dragged out for another 25 episodes. So I do hope, while balancing the light-hearted charm this series has had since the beginning, they will gradually ramp up the antagonists as seen fit to match the growing popularity of Rush Duels and Yuuga’s journey to becoming the next Duel King.
But this also got me thinking, this arc has shown us is that we are also seeing that it’s not necessarily just Yuuga who has their own set of ideals they wish to see become the new norm. As confusing as it was, Neil had his own vision (his providence), which may or may not have agreed with Goha’s vision (and I am not even going to think about it because it makes my head hurt if I bother trying). That’s why despite having used Yuuga’s Rush Duels program to create Maximum Monsters, Neil believed in time, Rush Duels would lose its appeal and forgotten. This does make me wonder if we might actually see more antagonists, or even proper rivals who are also trying to get their version of the game to become the next big thing. That would certainly be an interesting way to add an additional challenge on top of Goha trying to keep the status quo.
So how was this arc as a whole? Compared to the first arc where it was strong from the start and had a weak finish, this one had the opposite problem. In the beginning I thought it was pretty shaky because after the hilarity of episode 14, episodes 15, 16 and 17 were either okay or just straight up boring to me. The reasons for that were either the jokes didn’t land with me, or I just wasn’t engaged with the duel due to the lack of interesting opponents and personal connections. Luckily, the second and third problems were resolved as soon as episode 18 when Neil threw down the gauntlet! From there on out, they gave us exactly those two things! Hallelujah! Problems solved!
That’s why apart from those three episodes, I have to say: Overall this arc was super solid. I think the best part was seeing the grand reveal of Maximum Summon that had been foreshadowed as early as the first episode of the series. The fact they did it in such a shrewd and creative way made it all the more impressive. It was also great to see more of Romin, Gakuto and Rook, and especially shed some layers to Yuuga’s character by making him experience defeat in such humiliating fashion, which in turn allowed us to see him be vulnerable and enabled him friends to step up on his behalf!
Another reason why this arc was great because we were finally able to properly explore the plot regarding Otes and the reason why he chose Yuuga, and have a better sense of the kind of challenges Yuuga will be facing as the story progresses.
I don’t know if there’s going to be a change to the OP next week to mark the beginning of the next arc, man I am going to miss this one dearly. It was such a bop. In fact speaking of which, it was a pleasant surprise to see them actually skip the OP Sequence this week! So I was glad to see it be the insert song when Yuuga delivered the final blow to Neil (not to mention fittingly so because it’s such a fun song!). On the otherhand, I’m really hoping for a new ED Song, ahahahaha!
Here’s to hoping the next arc will be just as good as this gauntlet was! I’m looking forward to meeting our new rivals/antagonists. Hopefully they will be just as good as Neil or better, because as crazy as character was, it was definitely the step in the right direction!
PS: Does anyone else find it funny that nobody felt bad for Neil losing his account? They were worried for a second and then completely shrugged it off, haha! I suppose it was because he was a good sport about it, hahaha!