Anime: Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V

Yuya Sakaki and his Pendulum Monsters.

"Locked in battle, duelists and their monsters are kicking against earth and dancing in the air! They storm through this Field! Behold! This is the newest and greatest evolution of Dueling! ACTION... DUEL!"

The fifth series in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, which first aired on April 6, 2014. ("ARC-V" is a double pun: it literally means "Story Arc 5", but the "V" shape also refers to the arc of a pendulum.)

In the world of ARC-V, significant developments in hard-light technology have given birth to "Action Duels": a new form of sports entertainment where Duelists fight alongside their monsters in spectacular fantasy arenas and aim to win the crowd as well as the fight.note 

Yuya Sakaki is an eighth-grader who aims to follow in the footsteps of his Disappeared Dad and become the most popular Entertainment Duelist in the world. When the pendulum pendant he received from his father suddenly begins to glow during a televised exhibition match, Yuya unlocks the incredible power of Pendulum Summoning: An unknown form of Summoning that could be Yuya's big break into showbiz... Or lead to a whole heap of unwanted trouble.

Similar like previous series, the Duel Monsters card game is Serious Business in the whole world. Similar like the past spin-offs, there are Duel Schools which teach people how to duel and in different styles; though unlike previous series, those are afterschools and regular schools indeed exist. However, the Fusion, Ritual, Synchro and Xyz Summonings are taught only in elite schools, with the Leo Duel School (LDS) being the monopole of the entire world. With Yuya's creation of Pendulum Summoning, a new Summoning method was born that had never been seen before. Despite being a student of the low-level You Show Duel School, he proves that the school's Entertainment Duel style can compete with anything.

Character related tropes are listed here.

This show provides examples of:

  • The Abridged Series: There's already one, and you can watch it here. Surprisingly for an abridged series, it already has six full episodes as of January 18 2015— Before the show itself is dubbed into English.
  • Adult Fear: So much.
    • In episode 4, Yuzu and the kids of You Show Duel school are literally hanging on for dear life. How would their parents react to that!?
    • In episode 32, Yoko watched the building her son was in collapse on top of him. He got away, but for a second she thought she saw her son be seriously hurt or worse
    • Everything about what Kurosaki said in #33 and #34. One day, you are minding your own business and then invaders from another dimension come and attack you for no reason as you watch as everyone you care about gets sealed in cards.
    • Another one for Yoko. Imagine yourself going to drop off some kids home when you get the call that says your son is in a coma.
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted. While the main cast are teenagers or younger, there are main recurring adult characters that have a major effect on the series.
  • Amateur Cast: With only some exceptions, the whole cast is composed by new or/and relatively unknown voice actors.
  • And I Must Scream: Kurosaki seals his victims in cards. Later revealed that Academia did the same to their victims of the Xyz Dimension, which includes Ruri.
  • Anime Hair: Like in the previous Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series, a lot of characters have crazy-looking hair.
  • Another Dimension: Episode 36 explains there are at least four alternative universes; Standard, Xyz, Synchro and Fusion, based on the series that used them the most.
  • Arc Words:
    • "The fun has just started" seems to be a recurrent phrase, as it shows in the plot, openings and endings mostly by Yuya.
    • For Yuto and Kurosaki, "Hangyaku" (Rebellion). It's mentioned in their summon chants for both of their ace monsters. Interestingly, Sora uses it too in his chant for Des-Toy Mad Chimaera, saying for it to CRUSH rebellions.
  • Beehive Barrier: The Action Spell card "Mirror Barrier," which prevents destruction of a monster by a card effect.
  • Bigger Bad: Yuto hints the existence of one, in the form of Academia. Later revelations hint at Akaba Leo being the Bigger bad
  • Black and Grey Morality: The Sora and Kurosaki duel. On one side we have a Cute and Psycho Fusion user that admitted he and his group attacked a defenseless world for fun; on the other side we have a "not so different" Xyz user that has hunted innocent LDS members to rescue his sister.
  • Breather Episode: Episode 38, while not entirely light has comic relief that absent after the incredibly dark episodes 33 through 37.
  • Cast Herd: The cast is usually divided into their duel school or factions.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Par for the course as it's a firmly established Yu-Gi-Oh! tradition.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Technology is so advanced at this point, Action Duels are more or less Shadow Duels. Serious injuries during a duel are very possible, though there seems to be some limit to the lethality, considering that Sora survived a bombing run and building collapse.
  • Cliffhanger: A meta example. After the gruesome battle in episode 34, there's a one week hiatus leaving the awaited episode 35 on hold.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The characters with the "Yu" prefix all have color schemes that go along with their respective Extra Deck cards:
    • Yuya wears a blend of orange and green, just like Pendulum Monsters. Not to mention his hair.
    • Yuzu and Yuri have several shades of purple to match the purple Fusion monsters. Isao Kachidoki also has purple hair and uses a Fusion monster as his ace.
    • Yuto has a darker color scheme, like the black Xyz monsters.
    • Yugo wears white to go along with the white Synchro monsters. Incidentally, so does Gongenzaka.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Kachidoki wins duels by beating the living tar out of his opponents to prevent them from getting Action Cards. This isn't necessarily against the rules, but everyone clearly recognizes that it's an incredibly dirty way to duel.
  • Conspicuous CG:
    • Some of the bigger monsters, just like Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon or DDD Hell Armageddon the Cruel End Overlord
    • Yugo when riding his D-Wheel.
  • Cool Bike: Yugo, being from the Synchro Dimension, rides a D-Wheel. If it's not this, I don't know what it is.
  • The Conspiracy:
    • LDS has restricted advanced Extra Deck Summoning techniques and cards (Fusion, Synchro and Xyz) to only their top students and not the general public. They also control almost all Duel Schools around the world as a means to achieve some kind of goal.
    • Reiji is using the MCS to weed out powerful duelists to "serve as Lancers to protect the world", whatever that means.
  • Crossover: There is a kickass V-Jump wallpaper, showing Yuya with Beast-Eyes Pendulum Dragon and Super Saiyajin Son Goku with Shenron/Shenlong from Dragon Ball. It was also a spoiler, since it was published before Beast-Eyes' debut.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The series started getting a bit darker in Episode 3 when the danger of Action Duels were shown. It went back to its cheerful tone for a while, then Yuto and Kurosaki jumped in. The series still keep its tone mostly lighthearted... Although based on the second opening and ending, its just going to get darker.
    • Episode 34, courtesy of the interactions between Sora and Kurosaki.
    • The series' tone afterword is much darker as Yuto's past and the other dimensions are revealed. With Yuto even maybe dying and Yuya's dark side being released.
  • Deconstruction: The series has been deconstructing a lot of tropes common to the franchise like:
    • The Uniqueness Value of the aces cards used by the protagonists from the Egyptian Gods, Neo-Spacians, Signer Dragons and the Numbers is deconstructed by the public thinking Yuya is a cheater for having one of a kind Pendulum monsters. This is further deconstructed when a plot point in the series is Reiji's attempt to recreate the Pendulum monsters for mass use.
    • The usual parent abandonment of the franchise is deconstructed by Yuya having massive issues that still haunt him to this day due to his disappeared dad.
    • Sora and Kurosaki's duel in Episode 34 deconstructs the Solid Vision which has been a staple of the franchise since DM by making it clear what such a thing would more than likely be used for - all out battle where people can be seriously injured by materialized monsters. As a horrified Yuya notes when watching the Action Field go up in flames due to Revolution Falcon's bombing, it's no longer a duel for fun. Instead, it's nothing less than a brutal, unforgiving war. It's made even worse when you realize this was an isolated, contained incident, and in Kurosaki's home, such brutal conflicts are the status quo.
    • Finally, Episodes 37 and 39 deconstruct the Super-Powered Evil Side trope. With Yuto and Yugo berserker modes turned them into manics focused on destruction. While Yuya's shows how disturbing and creepy an evil side is.
  • Determinator: Enforced; ARC-V's main theme is "Take a step forward with courage!!".
  • Designated Girl Fight: Thus far, all of Yuzu's winning on-screen battles have either been against girls or focused on other characters (Yuzu vs Yuya in episode 2).
  • Deus ex Machina: Yuya gets to win his duel with Reiji in Episode 13 and save You Show Duel School ...because Himika got a call concerning the assault on professor Marco and just when Reiji was about to possibly initiate his winning turn, he steps out and gives the victory to Yuya.
  • Different in Every Episode:
    • Before each Action Duel, a sequence plays out where various characters introduce the concept, with different animation and characters each time it's done. The animation is different based on who is introducing the concept and the relationship between the characters. Example includes Gongenzaka and Ankokuji having a sparring match during theirs.
    • Also Fusion Chants, they vary based on the monsters used in the fusion. So for Fusion monsters with more lax requirements, the chant is pretty different each episode.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The second ending theme, Future Fighter! is sung by Kensho Ono and Yoshimasa Hosoya, Yuya and Reiji's voice actors.
  • Dramatic Irony: In Episode 33, Sora underestimates Raid Raptors — Rise Falcon. The LDS trio snarks to not underestimate it. It's almost Black Comedy as before they lost their memories, they underestimated that very monster before Kurosaki beat them down with it.
  • The Earth Prime Theory: Episode 36 revealed that the ARC-V world, Standard is the basis for all the other dimensions.
  • Easy Amnesia: Hokuto, Masumi and Yaiba's memories of Kurosaki are erased in episode 26, replaced with new memories that he was always their fellow LDS friend. Although, they do remember that his Raid Raptors — Rise Falcon is very powerful, but as a good memory rather than a bad memory.
  • Elite Mooks: Obelisk Force seems to be this.
  • Empathic Environment: The sky turns dark and gloomy in Episode 39 as Kachidoki corners Yuya in their duel, inadvertently unleashing the latter's dark side. This results in a disturbing win for Yuya.
  • Evolving Credits:
    • After the third episode, the first opening reveals Sawatari's three hidden Darts Shooter cards.
    • After Episode 37, the second openings changes from scenes of Yuya's duel with Sawatari and Yuzu's duel with Masumi to scenes of Yuya and Yuto holding their dragons and a scene of Yuzu and Serena each with their own bracelet. Also, Clear Wing Synchro Dragon and Yuri's face are no longer hidden.
  • Faceless Goons: Academia's Obelisk Force wear masks. The gems on the masks are colored differently.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The Fusion Dimension where seems to hate all Xyz users, considering themselves superior. While the Xyz Dimension seems to loathe all Fusion users. It is unknown how the Synchro Dimension feels, especially since the reveal during Yuto's duel against Yugo that they might just got caught in the war like Standard.
    • As of episode 41, it seems that members of the Fusion Dimension might feel the same way about members of the Standard Dimension as they do towards members of the Xyz Dimension.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon's right side is much more fancier than its left. The same also count for Rune-Eyes and Beast-Eyes.
  • Fire/Water Juxtaposition: When Shuzou and Himika do the Action Duel Sequence. Shuzou has a fiery background, while Himika has an icy one fitting their personalities.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Sora discards Fusion Recovery early on in his Duel with Yuya, a card that would only be useful in a deck with at least one Fusion Monster. Then he does the same with Instant Fusion. These hint at his Frightfur Bear.
    • Constellar Pleiades, Gem-Knight Master Diamond, and XX-Saber Gottoms, the ace monsters of the LDS Extra Deck course representatives, all appear in Strong Ishijima's commercial in episode 1.
    • The series in general does a good job of foreshadowing future events. The first season so far is mostly a set-up arc.
    • Sora offhanded comment after his duel against Yuya that everyone knows how to Fusion Summon where he's from and Yuto's comment that Sora "isn't from around here" hints that he's from the Fusion Dimension.
    • Also as a rewatch bonus take a look at Sora's reactions whenever Xyz is brought up, first instance he stops in the middle of his eating in class when Yuzu mentions it. Then during the duel with Houkuto, the Xyz user for the LDS trio, he makes snide comments to himself whenever Hokuto tries to bust Yuya's chops over his skill. Not to mention he's the one to explain how Xyz works to the Kids. Him being a Hunter of Xyz users should know all about their methods.
      • Also as an added bonus Sora is ironically the first one to point out what the DD in the Different Dimension cards is when Yuya first duels with Reiji. While also hinting at some familiarity with the cards as when his playstyle changes as he makes a comment about something in his playstyle being "Completely Different".
    • Yuto's attack on Sawatari hints that the Academia is a school. Which sets up that it's an alternative version of Duel Academia.
    • The scene in the first opening when there are four cards with Yuya's outline hint at Yuto, Yugo and Yuri. Yuya's alternative selves.
    • The line Reiji says during his duel with Yuya, "I've prepared a large taste for you of the power of the kings who rule the Different Dimension," while having a Fusion, a Synchro and an Xyz Monster on the field clearly sets up the fact that there are multiple dimensions based on which Special Summon method they use.
  • Friendly Rivalry: The You Show Duel School and the Gongenzaka Dojo are considered to be rivals. But there seems to be no hard feelings involved. Gongenzaka, the heir to the Dojo is best friends with Yuzu, daughter of the current headmaster and Yuya, son of the school's founder. It is also said that the Gongenzaka Dojo students helped Yuya a lot, mostly because the majority of his duels are with them.
  • Game Breaker: Invoked with Pendulum Summoningnote , which many characters in ARC-V consider to be akin to cheating. The groundbreaking aspect of Pendulum Summoning come from the fact that it allows you to summon several monsters at once, where past protagonists would typically bring out only their signature beast that might be supported by another weaker monster. As Yuya only has a few beatsticks such as Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon, it does not seem as broken when he plays the mechanic. It may also because that for quite a while, Yuya is the only Pendulum user in public.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • Many characters run multiple copies of the same card in this series.
    • Similarly, a few characters run stable cards that are played frequently in the real life game. For example, both Yuto and Yuzu run at least one copy Mystical Space Typhoon, or Sawatari having Breakthrough Skill in his first deck.
    • The entire way that the LEO Corporation goes about capturing Kurosaki. First, when three Mooks run into him they don't bother to ask who he is or to battle him, they immediately call for back-up. Then, when three teenage students have actually met Kurosaki and are perfect as bait, LEO Corporation uses security cameras to trail them the entire time and the moment one of them encounters Kurosaki they send an elite team to catch him. Compare this to your typical anime series, where if the teenage prodigies are for some reason sent out on an official mission that brings them face-to-face with a dangerous criminal, the higher-ups will usually let them go alone and trust them to fight and capture the enemy themselves. Considering that the LDS students didn't win, it's a good thing the elite team arrived in time to prevent their souls from being stolen.
  • Good Parents:
    • ARC-V shows the You Show School children's parents as supporting and caring towards them. Yusho constantly encouraged Yuya in his flashbacks, Yoko is always watching over him, Shuzou is seeing worrying over his daughter's troubled behavior and Futoshi's and Ayu's parents took time out of their agendas in order to be in the stadium to cheer for their children. Even Gongenzaka and Reiji are frequently seen with a parent.
    • Averted with Mr. Sawatari and Leo Akaba, though...
  • Gratuitous English: While this is common in this franchise, attack names are often entirely in English. However, we list here the attack names of the Special Summon dragons (including evolutions) because they are a mix of Japanese and English words, a possible nod to Blue-Eyes White Dragon and the two Galaxy-Eyes dragons, Photon and Tachyon.
    • Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon's Rasen no Strike Burst. Odd-Eyes Dragon's Spiral Flame is entirely in English instead.
    • Rune-Eyes Pendulum Dragon's Rengeki no Shining Burst. Beast-Eyes Pendulum Dragon's Hell Dive Burst is entirely in English instead.
    • Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon's Hangyaku no Lightning Disobey.
    • Clear Wing Synchro Dragon's Senpuu no Hell Dive Slasher.
  • Hall of Mirrors: While dueling Masumi in the "Crystal Corridor", Yuzu bumps into an Action Card's reflection while trying to get to it and loses because she can't get to the real one in time.
  • Hard Light: The Leo Corporation has invented "Solid Vision with mass", allowing anyone to interact with the Duel Monster holograms. This is part of what makes Action Duels so popular. Apparently, they can also control just how hard the light is because they state that the Junior Championship has the most spongy Solid Vision since the duelists are all young kids.
  • Hope Spot: In episode 37, Yuto and Yugo fall into some sort of trance after both of their dragons are summoned, which makes them both duel more viciously than normal. Yuya is able to bring Yuto back to his senses, and tries to snap Yugo out of it as well. When Yugo uses a monster effect on his own dragon rather than Yuto's, Yuya briefly thinks Yugo has returned to normal, but it turns out there was an additional effect to Clear Wing Synchro Dragon's monster effect that Yuya wasn't aware of that powered it up before delivering the finishing blow.
  • Hufflepuff House:
    • Ritual Summoning seems to be ignored for most of the time. This is not uncommon in the franchise, since only a few duelists actually use Ritual Cards, with Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's never showing a Ritual Summon at all. However, despite ARC-V focuses on all Special Summoning methods instead of only one unlike 5D's or ZEXAL, and the characters from this series treat these Special Summonings as awesome, Ritual Summoning seems not to be viewed as special as the other four methods. The fact that a Ritual Dimension hasn't been mentioned yet doesn't help either.
    • Related to above, LDS has four courses: Xyz, Synchro, Fusion and... the composite course. The composite course is never mentioned and students from it might be Sawatari and his lackeys, since Sawatari doesn't use any of the three major Special Summoning methods. Ritual Summoning is a subject in the composite course, but it's not the focus of the course.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The Fusion Faction hunted Heartland's Xyz users for fun and profit.
  • Idiot Ball: Invoked in some of Yuya's dueling opponents, likely due to the fact that like all main Yu-Gi-Oh! characters, Yuya needs to win most, if not, all of his important duels.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons:
    • Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon and its evolutions, Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon, and if one feels like stretching it, Constellar Ptolemy M7, which is a Machine-Type in dragon form.
    • Yuya and his alternative selves have dragons as their aces with the third word in their name referring to the type of card that they are. Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon, Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon and Clear Wing Synchro Dragon.
  • Japanese Ranguage: Shown in Episode 8, where it displays "58 wins and 5 roses", which makes it more puzzling when you consider that they spelled "lose" correctly not a few scenes earlier.
  • Jerkass: Every time a new one shows up, it's like the show does its best to trump the previous one.
  • Kid Hero: The main cast are in their early to mid teens.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Child Yuya was relentlessly mocked after his father's disappearance.
  • Large Ham: Hoo boy. Between Yuya's entertainment routine, the intro for almost every single action duel, and a lot of other things, there's definitely hamminess to spare.
  • Le Parkour: Very common in this series. They use it to get Action cards or kick ass.
  • The Magic Poker Equation:
    • A series staple; many characters have a very convenient opening hand.
    • Surprisingly enough, there is actually some aversion to this trope when looking at the decktypes used in the series. Hokuto and Yaiba, who use the Constellar and X-Saber archetypes respectively, make pretty standard plays in respect to how the real Yu-Gi-Oh! card game is played. With those Archetypes, getting out one or two monsters with 2500+ ATK on the first turn is pretty normal, especially when it's shown that characters carry multiple copies of cards.
  • Magnetic Plot Device: SO VERY MANY. We have Yuya's pendulum, his Pendulum Cards, Yuzu's bracelet and the series of advanced summon dragons that Yuya and his alternative selves have and the bracelets that Yuzu's alternative selves have.
  • Martial Arts and Crafts: The Junior Youth Championship's qualification mini arc features Yuya dueling with the aces of four different Dueling Schools. This schools not only teach how to play a children's card game but also double as cooking school, cram school and even fortune-telling school. And Sora has dueled opponents from schools that aside Dueling also teach Sumo, Shogi, Chess, Kabuki and Opera.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • ARC-V itself started very lighthearted with some dark elements here and there as per the Yu-Gi-Oh! standard; with the arrival of Yuto and Kurosaki, things started to get progressively more dark.
    • One of the biggest example could be the MCS arc; it started like any Tournament Arc until Sora vs. Kurosaki's duel, where 31 episodes of friendship and sport-like dueling were introduced to the concept of dueling as war, where only the strongest survives, in only one episode.
    • Episode 39 takes the cake, we start out with a normal duel with Yuya even being the Butt Monkey in the beginning. The duel slowly gets darker due to Isao's actions, till finally Yuya's Super-Powered Evil Side awakens and we head straight into Nightmare Fuel
  • Mooks: Academia has the Obelisk Force, all of them wearing the same uniforms, wear almost the same masks, and all of them seem to run Ancient Gear decks.
  • Multicolored Hair: Very common in this series. Most characters have either different shades of the same color or completely different hair colors.
  • Mythology Gag: The show throws this out in full force with a reference to every past series in some form seemingly (or literally) becoming integral to the plot:
    • In episode 4, Yuya's the effect of Performapal Kaleidoscorpion, Kaleid Mirage, which allows his Odd-Eyes Pendulum to attack any Special Summoned monster Sawatari controls. Odd-Eyes gets two mirage doppelgänger who ram their entire body on the enemy monster. An obvious reference to Shooting Star Dragon's Stardust Mirage.
    • In episode 8, we see a shot of a duelist and behind him are a silhouettes of Yugi's monsters: Curse of Dragon, Celtic Guardian, Mystical Elf, Giant Soldier of Stone, Berformet, Gazelle and Beaver Warrior.
    • Kurosaki and others seal people away into cards, much like Pegasus did in Duel Monsters.
    • Yuzu is found to be learning Fusion Summon, the primary form of summoning from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
    • In a flashback, Yuto is found to be dueling Yugo riding a motorcycle summoning a white dragon, referencing Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds.
    • Yuto and Kurosaki's ruined world is very similar to Heartland City from Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. Episode 36 confirms that it is Heartland.
    • One of the buildings in the Action Field in episode 14 is called "Stardust," another called "Shining Draw."
    • During her introduction in episode 22, Mieru Hochun uses Arcana Force monsters to tell fortunes.
    • Kurosaki having Rank-Up Magic cards makes everyone think about ZEXAL.
    • The top of Reiji's office has an upside down city like the Arc Cradle in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds.
    • Academia is very similar to the Duel Academia from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. The people from Academia also use similar Duel Disks.
    • There is a Duel School called Psycho Duel School, featuring Jinzo — Lord as its mascot monster. This is probably a reference to Makoto Inotsume's Psycho Style, which focuses on the Jinzo archetype (or the Jinzoningen — Psycho archetype in the OCG).
    • In Episode 36, Yuya and Yuto's reactions when they summon their respective dragons is just like when a Signer would summon their dragon against another Signer in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. Also, Odd-Eyes and Dark Rebellion's reaction to each other is similar to how the Signer Dragons would react to each other. Taken even further with Dark Rebellion and Clear Wing. Both Yuto and Yugo get Glowing Eyes of Doom, something that happened with Yusei and Jack during the first clash of Stardust Dragon and Red Dragon Archfiend.
    • In Episode 39, Yuya and Yuto fuse together spiritually in a sequence clearly homaging Yugi and Atem doing the same back in Duel Monsters.
    • Yuya's Super-Powered Evil Side is very similar to how Atem acted when he first started taking over Yugi. And to Judai's Haou.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: What Leo Corporation and Academia are implied to be.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Like in earlier series, Yuya can make cards out of thin air. But Yuzu and Gongenzaka somehow got Fusion and Synchro monsters and support that were members of the Archetypes they used, despite advanced Special Summoning methods being reserved for the elite schools and LDS students. It may be reasonable to assume that they made the cards out of thin air as well, albeit off-screen.
  • New Rules as the Plot Demands: Subverted. When Yuya literally creates the new Pendulum Monsters and Pendulum Summons mechanic out of nowhere in the middle of his duel in the first episode, Strong Ishijima actually asks if that is legal. The only reason he lets it slide, is because the SYSTEM considers it legal. And even then once the public realize Pendulum Summoning requires special cards, they consider Yuya a cheat. Since Yuya doesn't fully understand the Pendulum mechanic himself, it feels like this when a part of the mechanic occurs that he himself didn't know. That said, this only happens a few times and had already been explained in real life.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: The Resistance doesn't see Dueling as fun but as a war. Given their backstory, not hard to see why
  • No OSHA Compliance: Nearly every Action Field is dangerous and multiple times duelists have nearly fallen at dangerous heights. Good thing that episode 34 shows that there are limits toward this, albeit fatal injuries are still possible.
  • Off Model:
    • Episode 29 has some animation errors, even though the duel is rather well animated. Most notably the crowd characters suffer from bad animations, blatantly with Hokuto and Yaiba's facial expressions.
    • Episode 35 is rather badly animated. Maybe because of the previous episode.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: A big one for both Yuto and Yugo during their duel in episode 37, where they become focused on destroying each other. Yuya later got one in Episode 39.
  • Planet of Hats: Episode 36 shows that there are alternative dimensions that are divided by the advanced summoning method they use. Except the ARC-V world, Standard which uses them all.
  • Reality Ensues: Happens a fair bit... Or at least, as much as it can in a Yu-Gi-Oh! series, anyway.
    • In episode 2, when spectators discover that only Yuya possesses the "Pendulum Monsters" required for Pendulum Summoning, they consider it to be an unfair advantage and even accuse him of hacking the Duel System.
    • Being that the Pendulum Monsters came into existence suddenly, Yuya initially has no idea how they work and loses a duel because he botches the use of them. That they're new cards that only he has further makes him a target of duelists who want to know more about them and him.
    • Episode 3 reveals the real dangers of Action Duels. Thanks to the holograms having real mass, the attacks can actually hurt the duelists, and Yuzu and the children are in real danger of falling from a tower.
    • Happens again in #34 during Sora's duel with Kurosaki. Kurosaki causes a tower to fall on Sora and it ends up seriously injuring him.
    • The playing style of the LDS trio are quite realistic and they use combos that most real players would do.
    • In Episode 15, Sawatari especially states that the Pendulum Cards are being recreated.
    • In Yuya's duel with Mieru, because of his larger amounts of Level 5 and above monsters in his deck and relies on his Pendulum Summon's to bring them out, he opens with a brick handnote  with scales too low to Pendulum Summon any of them with no card effect to search for cards he needsnote  and has to skip his turn, with no monster or Spell/Trap to defend him. This is common for players who don't properly balance their decks.
    • See Deconstruction above.
    • Played for laughs when Gongenzaka duels Ankokuji. He gets some encouragement and gives an emotional speech, firing up Shuzo in the crowd... And then ends his turn, since he's already attacked.
  • Revisiting the Roots: ARC-V stands out of the Yu-Gi-Oh! spin-offs because it shows the older ways of advanced summoning (Fusion, Ritual, Synchro and Xyz) alongside the newest (Pendulum) and considers them as much of special. It also brings back old school's monsters and past archetypes, pleasing many fans.
    • Turns out the series also returns to the settings of the past series as well.
  • Serious Business: Wouldn't be a Yu-Gi-Oh! show without it. But ARC-V tends to do a bit more to justify it than other series.
    • The reason for other people trying to steal Yuya's Pendulum Monster cards are because they are one of a kind tools needed for an entirely new Summoning method when they were created.
    • The high stakes of Duels are more reasonable, as due to advances of technology, Duelists are really in danger- and spectators too, as used to chilling effect when Yuya duels Sawatari.
    • Yuya freaks out when Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon is destroyed during his Duel with Sora, and everyone treats his impending loss as a terrible blow, even though there are no real stakes. This one is less due to the consequences and more due to Odd-Eyes being Yuya's Living Emotional Crutch. Also, he didn't know that Sora would still manage to stick around at the time.
    • The series does a VERY good job justifying why Dueling is used for fights to the death. If you could make real monsters physically attack your enemies, convenient weapons are worthless. Powerful duelists are pretty much people of mass destruction as Kurosaki showed in his duel against Sora, he easily destroyed an entire city.
    • Special mention goes to the special summons. While Pendulum Summoning being a big deal is justified in that it's brand new and starts off exclusive to one person, it almost seems like any other type of summoning is damn near impossible to learn unless you have a proper teacher. Yuzu takes multiple episodes before she can learn even the most basic of fusion summoning, and Gogenzaka's father initially thought he stole synchro summoning from another school.
    • Episode 36 reveals that duelists from the Fusion Dimension conquered the Xyz Dimension with Duel Monsters.
  • Smug Snake: Played with in LDS. While they are very skilled, they underestimate their enemies and think they are the best. When Kurosaki, Yuto, Yuya and Yuzu have all beaten some of their aces. There are some exceptions though, such as Reiji and there are some who are implied to be nice, such as Tio.
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • Many fans and translators use double letters or an extra letter for names with long vocals, while the anime tends to romanizes them with only a single letter, e.g. "Yuuya" and "Yuya" or "Koutsu" and "Kotsu". For names with a "Sh", the fans and translators use "Sh", while the anime romanize such names with "Sy", e.g. "Yusho" and "Yusyo" or "Shuzou" and "Syuzou".
    • In episode 8, the You Show Duel School is romanized as "Yusyo Duel School". The school is founded by Yuya's father. The logo of the school has "You Show".
    • There is also the Maiami City and Miami City problem. Episode 27 solves this, it's Maiami City.
    • See also Versus Character Splash below.
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • The second opening shows the Professor's machine with that glowing green light, which first appears in episode 36. In this opening and everytime we see it in the anime, the machine is absorbing cards — the souls of people trapped inside them.
    • Well more like Spoiler Ending, but the second ending heavily hints at Yuto fusing with Yuya a good 5 episodes before it happened.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Yuzu, Yuto, Kurosaki and their whole sub-plot. Then averted as Yuya has returned from his qualifier and it is revealed to be the main plot.
  • Stealth Pun: The first opening, Believe x Believe, is pronounced "Biri Biri", and electricity is heard in the song when the name is sung. "Biribiri" is a Japanese onomatopoeia for sparking electricity.
  • “Stop Having Fun” Guys: In-universe, interestingly besides the heroes in the You Show school, everyone is like this calling dueling a battle. This becomes a plot point when the Resistance and Academia takes central stage and dueling is being used as a tool for warfare.
  • Stunned Silence:
    • How everyone reacted to Yuya winning in Episode 2
    • Reiji's use of Avoid in his first duel with Yuya.
    • Nearly everyone when it looked like the building that Yuya was in, collapsed in Episode 32.
    • When Kurosaki's Revolution Falcon started bombing the field.
    • When Yuya defeats Kachidoki with Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon while acting like a different person in Episode 39.
  • Take That:
    • While watching the duel between Gongenzaka and Synchro user Yaiba, the children comment on Yaiba's large amount of Special Summoning with something akin to distaste and mention it's like he's "playing solitaire". Synchro Summoning was seen by many casual players as a point where the game began losing a lot of player interaction as the game began focusing more on Special Summoning and began regarding it as boring.
    • There are two moments regarding playing monsters in Defense Position. When Gongenzaka Tribute Summons his Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei in face-up Defense Position, a confused Yaiba wonders how he did this; Gongenzaka explains it's because of his monster's effect. Previous series (barring ZEXAL) ignored the fact that Monster Cards cannot be Normal Summoned in face-up Defense Position. Later, Yuya is surprised that Mieru sets a monster in face-down Defense Position, a nod to the fact that since GX nobody ever set a Monster Card in face-down position (again, barring ZEXAL).
  • Technician Versus Performer:
    • It seems that, despite Action Duels being more interactive and being meant to be entertainment, few people take the idea of making it a show seriously, with some only doing it by having flashy Monsters. Technicians play more traditionally, letting their Monsters to do the fighting, unlike Yuya and his dad, who are Performers to the core and move around the arena with their Monsters and like to keep their audience in suspense.
    • Overall You Show characters are taught to be performers. One of the main points of the school is for duelists to interact with their monsters and use Action Cards to their fullest.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Both Yuto and Kurosaki have called LDS to be over arrogant and lacking determination in their duels.
  • Theme Naming: In keeping with the protagonist's name starting with Yu, only we now have eight of them at once this time! (Yuya, Yusho, Yuzu, Yuto, Yugo, Yuri, Yuzo and Yuu) Man, this page is gonna get confusing to read...
    • Yuzu is an Odd Name Out, since the U in her name is shorter.
    • Yuya, Yuto, Yugo and Yuri are intentional since they are apparent alternate selves from four different dimensions. Of course, it works only well with the fan-spellings, but the apparent official spellings (Ute for Yuto and Hyugo for Yugo) defy it a bit.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: If there's any indication that Yuzu's going to blow a gasket, expect those that notice to look like this.
    • After Mieru interrupts Yuya and Yuzu's touching moment, the kids are all looking very nervous as Yuzu starts to lose it. Fortunately, it only sucks for Yuya.
    • They do this again when Mieru shows up in front of Yuzu. Fortunately, they hold her back.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: The duel between Yuya and Kachidoki seems to represent this. Kachidoki is straightforward and focused on the prize, willing to plain old assault his opponents in order to slow them down, representing the Tiger. Yuya is more soft in his dueling, as he looks to have a connection with both the opponent and the audience and tries to use duels in order to bring people together, representing the Dragon (which also is his Animal Motif). It's also shown that Kachidoki holds a grudge towards Yuya, who is oblivious and Kachidoki considered their duel to be work of fate.
  • Tournament Arc: The Maiami Championship (MCS) starting from episode 27, which includes sub-tournaments in different age classes. The story gives a lot of build-up for this tournament, and it is stated in episode 26 that this is not going to be just a normal tournament.
  • Training from Hell: The Ryozanpaku School is a boarding school that refuses its students from leaving the campus unless its for school and the students cannot see their parents till they graduate.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: So far there have been three. The LDS trionote , the You Show kids trionote  and Yuya, Yuzu and Gongenzaka. The same goes to Academianote  and the Resistance'snote  most significant members. And the LDS transfer trio note 
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: It is revealed that the war going on is between the different dimensions that resemble previous Yu-Gi-Oh! series world's with ARC-V world being caught in the middle.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • The appearance of already existing mainstream archetypes, including some that appeared in the Duel Terminal series, something that has never happened in an anime barring 5D's with the Allies of Justice.
    • Heck, the very fact that the other Extra Deck monsters were showing up frequently and as plot points was an unexpected move.
    • Yuto and Kurosaki count as well: there was no indication early on aside in-series that they would show up, but they took over the plot quite quickly. Then came Academia.
    • Then there's Yosenju. Although since Sawatari (with his lackeys) did the commercial narration for Tribe Force (an OCG-only special booster which introduced them), this came mostly unexpected to the Western viewers.
  • Versus Character Splash: Before the start of a duel, there is a VS screen when both duelists shout "Duel!". The names of the duelists are shown on-screen, but only either the first name or last name, depending with which they are referred to.
    • The screens also show the spellings of certain names that differ from the "fan-spelling". This include Syuzou/Shuzou, Layra/Reira or Ute/Yuto. But whether the spellings are official or not is another question.
  • War for Fun and Profit: According to Sora, this is the entire reason the Fusion dimension invaded the Xyz dimension.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 36. Sora is transported back to his dimension, which revealed Academia is the enemy that Yuto and Kurosaki have been fighting. There are alternative universes based on the advanced summoning they use and they are at war with each other. The war is Leo's desire. And in the end, Yugo appears.
    • Episode 37: Yugo is revealed to be independent from Academia and to have lost someone precious to him. Yuto is defeated by Yugo and possibly even killed and gives his Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon to Yuya. And the Fusion Dimension's equivalent to Yuya, Yuto and Yugo, Yuri appears and is sent after Yuzu by the Professor.
    • Episode 39: Yuya seems to fuse spiritually with Yuto, unleashing a fearsome and destructive personality with Glowing Eyes of Doom who summons Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon and absolutely demolishes Isao Kachidoki in an OTK. The episode ends with the audience and Yuya's friends became horrified (with Tatsuya and Futoshi giving a "What the Hell, Hero?" reaction) at his winning move, and not only Yuya himself having no idea what happened, but also beginning to question himself for breaking his ideals.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Episode 39 has Yuya with Glowing Eyes of Doom.
    • From episode 45, Dennis has Polymerization in his deck.
  • White and Grey Morality: The only truly evil character so far has been Ankokuji, who qualifies due to a truly horrendous outlook on life. Everyone else is generally good, though the show does its best to trump itself each time it introduces a Jerkass, or they have a few grey areas, particularly Reiji and Kurosaki. And then Sora's group (this includes him) which are revealed to believe firmly in For the Evulz.)
  • World of Ham: First, it's a Yu-Gi-Oh! show. Nearly everyone has a hammy side, but Yuya, Gongenzaka, Shuzo and Sawatari are the hammest by far.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • This is everywhere. Nearly every match ends with the opponents respecting the other's skill.
    • Averted in the Sora vs Kurosaki duel. With Kurosaki attempting to steal Sora's soul afterwards and Sora refusing to admit defeat to an Xyz user.
    • Also averted in the Yuya vs Kachidoki duel. Where Kachidoki refused to takes Yuya's hand after Yuya defeated him.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: This is a Yu-Gi-Oh! show after all. Yuya follows in the footsteps of the last four heroes with bi-colored hair, red and green this time.