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Karamazov

Saw the new Yu-Gi-Oh saga

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It honestly didn't seem like something I'd like at first: it was throwing in another gimmick that would likely be shoved down our faces and drag down the quality of duels; the protagonist was another fun-loving and comedic character (which I don't mind; but we just had Yuma and I was hoping for a break); the series was futuristic, which usually looks tacky. But Arc V's honestly surprised me.

Pendulum's actually pretty simple in concept, even if it seems a little OP at the moment. The fact that we're learning about it alongside the protagonist, coupled by the fact that it hasn't been used by every character constantly makes it a lot more bearable than the Xyz duels. I'm sure the guy who looks like a hipster Kaiba will probably use them and they will permeate every deck. But for now, it's a simple, low-key and interesting concept of dueling that doesn't drag down the quality of duels.

Yuya actually isn't so stupid after all. Sure, he was too much of an annoying clown at first, but then he mellowed out and seems more like a slightly serious version of S1-2 Jaden. He has a really great design to him, unlike Yuma. (His vest-sleeveless shirt combo with outdated flame pants just don't look good to me.) I don't like that he has a missing dad as part of his backstory and a magic plot-important pendant, just like Yuma.

Funny thing about Yuya: Me and my boyfriend watched the episode of Zexal where the vegetable guy wanted to make a Tomato-themed amusement park. Later, when I was watching Arc V, he commented on how Yuya looked like a tomato and said that the tomato episode in Zexal was foreshadowing.

As for the futuristic-ness of the series: it's waaaay better than Zexal. Zexal was super tacky and gaudy. Here, it's a lot less flashy and a lot simpler. Solid vision's really interesting for Action Duels, and the fields created so far look great. I'm really glad they dialed the technology back a bit, because it makes the location so much more relatable to our own time, too.

I'm mixed on Action Duels. On the one hand, setting up unique fields to duel in, and allowing you to physically work with your monsters is really cool. On the other hand, the Action Cards, while balanced, could easily be used to bullshit a character's way through a duel. ("Oh, I conveniently found this card! I dodged that attack!") I know there are traps to hinder them too, but I don't trust this franchise well enough not to abuse something like this. But it's a minor detail. Also, face-down cards seem to have less prominence so far.

For the record, I don't hate Zexal. I'm not a fan of it and I stopped watching it before it finished, but it had a lot of characters I really love. Yuma and Cat are some of my favorite YGO characters, the Arclight family was really cool, and there were a lot of interesting story elements. It just wasn't for me, and had a lot of things that made me lose interest.

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  1. Norzan's Avatar
    Yuma and Cat are also some my favourite YGO characters. Here's so far the only thing that pissed me off in Zexal: the way Don Thousand was brought into the plot. Vector gets his ass kicked, goes back to the Barian World and suddenly remembers that there's an ancient god beneath some lava and decides to awaken it, there was no build up at all to Don Thousand and that pissed me off.
  2. Hidden Mew's Avatar
    I'm loving Arc-V so much right now. Yuya is incredibly likable and not an annoying idiot like Yuma was. Yuma became more tolerable/okay as Zexal progressed, but for a good chuck of the first season, he was pretty irritating to me. Yuya having the same missing father figure issue is kind of weak, but I love how they're showing how he covers his sadness through his entertainment acts, as well as throw his opponents off by acting like a bit of a clown. There's a lot of potential for his character, especially with how there may come a time where he can't cover up his pain, he has a good amount of depth and he's instantly likable. He could easily become my favorite lead protagonist at this rate. I agree that he has a better design than Yuma and the future design in Arc-V is way better than what Zexal had. Zexal's settings, at least the cities, always seemed like they were trying too hard to be futuristic and just came off as bland, if that makes any sense.

    Having the audience learn about Pendulum Summons along with the characters is a great idea and I like how it instills a sense of mystery regarding where Pendulum Monsters came from and why Yuya didn't seem to know how he defeated Strong. Plus, there's Reiji, the hipster Kaiba, whose been watching Yuya from the shadows ever since his duel with Strong and seems to know a bit about Pendulum Monsters too. I'm still waiting to see if they'll give him a little brother he's protective over and a three-thousand attack point dragon as an ace monster since that would make him the most blatant attempt at making their own version of Kaiba. I like the Action Duels so far. Creating different settings based on Field Spells is really cool and can provide some interesting ways as how the characters can move around, especially riding on top of their monsters. The Action Cards themselves I'm still a bit unsure of. It does seem kind of cheap that they can just find a card to get out of a tight spot and I hope that they don't rely on it too much, but balancing it out with how it might not always work out or that they can find Action Trap Cards instead of Spells. I'm keeping an eye to see how that element plays out though.

    While I grew to find Yuma tolerable/okay, Cathy was pretty much the opposite. I liked her at first since she seemed to have a bit more personality than Kotori, could duel and being shy around people made her fairly relatable, even though I still question why she'd fall in love with Yuma or why the writers though it would be a good idea to give Yuma a harem. But after she became more comfortable with the main cast, she just became boring. Technically, growing out of her shyness is development, but it just kind of happened. There wasn't any buildup to make it work, to make me care that she wasn't shy anymore and they didn't put anything in its place to make her more interesting. She just became Yuma's cat-girl cheerleader and honestly, she was a completely unnecessary character in my opinion. To be fair though, there were other characters in Zexal who I thought were completely unnecessary too, but that didn't make her case any better.

    Still, I'm loving Arc-V so far. The characters have been appealing/interesting, aside from Shingo since he was nothing but a huge jerk, the pacing has been solid and the mystery has been engaging. It's so far off to a better start than at least Zexal was for me and I'm hoping that it continues in that direction.
  3. ScarletSky's Avatar
    You aren't missing much from ZEXAL I'm afraid. It gets pretty... lame over time. The last Arc in particular could've been written much better.
  4. Hidden Mew's Avatar
    I kind of liked the last arc of Zexal. There were a lot of significant problems with that arc, primarily the pacing being a bit too fast, Don Thousand being a seriously boring villain and killing off a bunch of characters so quickly with very few of them having any kind of emotional impact, at least on me, and it wasn't nearly as good as the Legendary Numbers arc was for me, but the last couple of duels were good and the ending was surprisingly satisfying. The series overall is okay at best. While I can see where people who like it a lot are coming from in some aspects, I can also definitely see why it wouldn't be appealing to others. In my opinion, the first few arcs were pretty bad, a good portion of the main characters were uninteresting, the duels were pretty bad and the pacing was almost always problematic throughout its whole run. If the series had been basically like the last two arcs were for me with stronger characters, better pacing and better duels, I probably would have liked the series more at least.
  5. ScarletSky's Avatar
    The Legendary Number War was my favorite arc too. xD But anyway, yeah. Pacing was too fast and the characters were killed off with ridiculous carelessness. Not they were well developed to begin with aside from Shark, but still.
    Personally, I started off being okay with Yuma, then he started to grow on me... then when it became apparent he was going to be a relatively static character, it went to full blown dislike. I can't say I found many characters truly fun to watch on the protagonist side, except Shark. (He was probably the only protagonist who got good character development imo.)
  6. Hidden Mew's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Scarlet Sky
    The Legendary Number War was my favorite arc too. xD But anyway, yeah. Pacing was too fast and the characters were killed off with ridiculous carelessness. Not they were well developed to begin with aside from Shark, but still.
    Personally, I started off being okay with Yuma, then he started to grow on me... then when it became apparent he was going to be a relatively static character, it went to full blown dislike. I can't say I found many characters truly fun to watch on the protagonist side, except Shark. (He was probably the only protagonist who got good character development imo.)
    That was my main problem with the characters being killed off. Most of them weren't particularly developed well or had fleshed out personalities to make me care about their deaths, except for Shark. They did handle Kaito and possibly IV's death scenes better than the others due to giving them the primary focus, rather than killing a bunch of characters off at once, but most of the deaths just felt so emotionally lacking. Compared to the Dark World arc in GX, they handled the characters deaths there much better, but the cast of GX generally had stronger characterizations than the cast in Zexal had. Shark was easily the best developed character in Zexal and was one of the few characters that was always interesting to watch for me. His subplot in the Legendary Number arc was one of the main reasons it became my favorite arc. It was just handled really well, made progress in the following arc and had good emotional payoff at the end. Compared to Yuma and especially Kaito, who really didn't have anything to do after Haruto was somehow cured and was just boring, he definitely had the best development out of the three lead characters.
  7. Karamazov's Avatar
    I was honestly pretty freaking sick of Shark and his ugly face. Even if he did get a lot, I still hated him.
  8. Hidden Mew's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Karamazov
    I was honestly pretty freaking sick of Shark and his ugly face. Even if he did get a lot, I still hated him.
    I thought that his design was better than Yuma and Kaito, but that probably doesn't say much. Aside from the last two arcs, I didn't think he was that overexposed and even in those two arcs, they balanced it out with Yuma's subplot in finding Astral and dealing with losing his friends. By comparison, his subplot in the WDC arc barely got any focus because the show was so focused on Yuma and the Arclights.

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