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 to previous series, the Duel Monsters card game is Serious Business in the whole world. 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 monopoly 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.

Warning: While a good few spoilers are hidden, some spoilers are left unmarked! If you wish to watch the series without any spoilers, you have been warned.

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 eight full episodes as of April 12, 2015— Before the show itself is dubbed into English.
  • Adaptational Villainy / Adaptational Heroism: As noted on the Recycled Premise section of the YMMV page, the Tops / Common conflict seems to be identical to the dynamic between Satellite / Domino City dynamic, with one major exception: The separation is instigated by the Tops themselves rather than the Zero Reverse, like in 5Ds, making them look like even bigger assholes than before. Furthermore, their reaction towards the Commons comes off as much pettier, since THEY are the ones who left the citizens to dry, spreading crime and violence, rather than the Satellite residents needing to steal due to the scarcity of resources caused by the Zero Reverse.
  • 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 getting 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.
    • The Battle Royale sub-arc is filled with this. Your son or daughter is in a tournament and after a while any feed of your child is cut as they are forced to fight for survival against invaders from another dimension while you have no idea. The worst part has to be when the tournament is over and you find out your child was carded.
    • You are told your child is in another dimension and you have no way to get to them. That is a nightmare Shuzou is currently facing.
    • You look away for a second and a small child you are looking after disappears.
  • 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.
  • Alternate Universe: It's implied this is the explanation for the alternate dimensions. The names of locations like Academia and Heartland, and the fact the Synchro Dimension uses D-Wheels, could be taken as Mythology Gags, but the presence of alternate versions of Jack and Crow in the Synchro Dimension, as well as a few other hints, suggest that some For Want of a Nail Alternate History resulted in them each being an alternate version of the "prime" dimension, that being the Arc-V dimension and the previous four series so far.
  • Amateur Cast: With only some exceptions, the whole cast is composed by new or/and relatively unknown voice actors.
  • And I Must Scream: With the right Duel Disk, victors can seal people into cards.
  • Animation Bump: A few episodes are very good animated, but at the cost of the following episode being Off Model. Such well animated episodes are #34 and #45. Notably, episodes (including #34 and #45) with Hidekazu Ebina as the animation director are the best animated episodes overall.
  • Anime Hair: Like in the previous Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series, a lot of characters have crazy-looking hair, but it is one of the more subdued series.
  • 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. With Standard being the ARC-V dimension.
  • Anyone Can Die: Or be turned into a card at any rate. Surprisingly for a Yu-Gi-Oh! show there is a lot of supporting characters that are sealed in cards. This includes Hokuto, Michio, Olga, Halil, Teppei, Hikage and the three Knight of Duels Carl, Ashley and Bram.
  • 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.
    • "Smile" or also commonly known as "egao", which has been repeated a few dozen times.
  • Bad Future: The existence of the Fusion, Xyz and Synchro Dimensions, specifically their main locations being Duel Academy, Heartland City and Neo Domino City seem to imply that they are this for Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. In reality, they serve more as AlternateUniverses to them.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The second opening shows Sora along with the other LDS characters, which might foreshadow that he's not going to stay with You Show Duel School for long, but he never joins LDS. In fact, he antagonizes LDS.
  • 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 Leo Akaba being the Bigger bad.
  • Black Comedy: While normally a sane person would question why would a duel tournament allow anybody to physically assault another participant, the duel between Kachidoki and Yaiba could be seen as this. The fact that viewers do not even get to see the actual duel (it's implied that Kachidoki OTK's Yaiba), but are just shown shots of Kachidoki beating the ever-living daylights out of Yaiba and causing his Life to hit 0 can make a person go, "Well, that happened." Depending on a person's taste, Yaiba's screams also add to the hilarity.
  • Boring Yet Practical: Action Cards. Compared to many of the complex cards used in duels, their effects are simple and straightforward; negate an attack, negate a card's destruction, boost/lower a monster's stats, and so forth. But when seized and activated at the right time, they can swing the momentum in a duel.
  • Breather Episode:
    • Episode 38, while not entirely light has comic relief that was absent after the incredibly dark Episodes 34 through 37.
    • After a series of relatively high intensity and serious episodes, Episode 57 cooled things off a bit by having Dennis and Gogenzaka become impromptu street performers.
  • Cassandra Truth: Yuzu and Yugo end up in a situation like this when they are trying to warn the Synchro Dimension residents about the war.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Like other Yu-Gi-Oh! series, Arc-V is full of them. Special mention to Yuya, who many thought was a girl before the show started. And then there his three counterparts: Yuto, Yugo and Yuri.
  • Cast Herd: The cast is usually divided into their Duel School or factions.
  • Call Back: In 5Ds, the Three Emperors of Yliaster used futuristic Duel Disks utilizing Hard Light where they placed their cards on light fields projected from their Duel Disks instead of on a card tray, and scenes set in the future showed everyone had such a Duel Disk. Arc-V remembered that and incorporated such Duel Disks as the norm, though they're not quite as advanced as the ones shown in 5Ds.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Par for the course as it's a firmly established Yu-Gi-Oh! tradition.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: 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 and continuity based. By episode 39, the series has become an interdimensional war.
  • 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.
  • Conspicuous CG: Some of the bigger monsters, just like Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon or DDD Great Death Lord, Hell Armageddon.
  • Cool Bike: D-Wheels are re-introduced in ARC-V. Those are from the Synchro Dimension.
    • Yoko also rides a bike in her duel with Yuya, though it does not seem to be a D-Wheel.
  • 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. Their goal is later revealed to be stopping Leo Abaka and defending their dimension.
    • Reiji is using the MCS to weed out powerful duelists to "serve as Lancers to protect the world", whatever that means. Turns out he's recruiting the finalists to fight in the war against Academia.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: In Episode 35, Yuzu finally tells Yuya and Gongenzaka about Yuto, the mysterious duelists who looks just like Yuya but uses Xyz Summons who attacked Sawatari. Gongenzaka quickly calls her out on not telling anyone about him back when Yuya took the blame for his actions, then goes for What the Hell, Hero? when he thinks she didn't say anything because she doubted Yuya and suspected he was behind it for real.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The City in Synchro Dimension, full stop. In the third opening, pictures of it looked incredibly stunning and beautiful, if a bit lacking in color. Come episode 54, however, it is revealed that 99% of the population lives in the slums, while the last 1% lives in Tops, a city built high above the ground. It's almost as though the people of Tops are flaunting their status for all to see from the ground below.
  • Creator Thumbprint: The series director, Katsumi Ono, also directed 5Ds, which makes a lot of story elements from Arc-V seem familiar — Yuya has daddy issues, Yuzu has a larger role than usual female leads, there's a plot-significant series of Dragon-types, and Action Duels are centered around Action Field Spells similar to Turbo Duels and Speed World. And then the whole Synchro Dimension storyline is similar to the first season of 5Ds, as noted on the Recycled Premise section on YMMV page.
  • 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.
    • Also, if the third opening sequence is anything to go by, Jack Atlas and Crow Hogan will soon be making an appearance in the show.
  • Cutting the Knot: It happens pretty often for a Yu-Gi-Oh! Show
    • Episode 46, Gongenzaka and others hold down Berserk Yuya, and Berserk Yuya just tries to get his cards back by kicking their asses.
    • Episode 50, Yuya is so pissed off by Reiji's actions that instead of challenging him to a duel, he just tries to sucker punch him.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Holy crap, Synchro Dimension Security. After their first attempts to detain Yuya and the others the usual way started to go south, they immediately called in backup to out number the lancers. After they got away though when Crow rescued them, their next attempts at detaining them involved not dueling them and instead detaining them by force.
  • Darker and Edgier: Is shaping up to be this to the entire franchise. The large amount of Deconstructions, Reconstructions, more realistic decks and playstyles, and general stronger focus on serialized storytelling, has resulted in the series being much more serious than past ones. Then comes Episode 34 with its War Is Hell themes and shocking plot reveals, and the series doesn't really let up from there even going into Season 2.
  • Darkest Hour: The Battle Royale sub-arc has a total of 15 note  characters carded, all of them teenagers on the good guys' side. While we do have assholes mixed in, the vast majority were people that just wanted to defend their home. Yuri making an appearance, Yuya suffering from a lot of Break the Cutie moments and Yuzu being chased around by Yuri for a night and being teleported away. Finally culminating in Yuya having his biggest break the cutie moment when he finds out Yuzu is missing or maybe even carded.
    • Episode 59 has Dennis, Kurosaki, Gongenzaka, Sawatari, Serena, Crow and Yuya being captured by Security and Yuya believing that Reira has gone missing.
  • Deconstruction: The series has been deconstructing a lot of tropes common to the franchise.
    • The Uniqueness Value of the ace cards used by the protagonists is deconstructed by Pendulum Monsters. Yuya having the only ones makes him a target for people who want to steal them, others think he's a cheater that uses hacked cards, and yet others think he's a coward for relying on an unfair advantage no one else has. This is further deconstructed when a plot point is Reiji's attempt to replicate Pendulum Monsters with new cards for mass production.
    • 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 Duel Monsters 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 maniacs focused on destruction. While Yuya's shows how disturbing and creepy an evil side is.
    • The Battle Royale arc deconstructs the Battle City arc of the second series anime. There, a bunch of duelists wandering town dueling each other at random as a secret force of antagonists invaded the city wasn't too big a deal. Here it's the same, except that Battle Royale mode allows for duelists to enter duels already in progress and gang up on others duelists. The result is total chaos as multiple duels with multiple duelists in them happen across several episodes.
    • Episode 50 deconstructs the general shounen trope of building a team of elite teenage heroes, as once the protagonists learn that the entire Battle Royale was designed to find Lancers, rather then be proud or excited to join most of them get mad at Reiji for putting peoples lives on the line so carelessly and are far from thrilled at the prospect of becoming child soldiers.
    • The Kid Hero trope is deconstructed by showing how mentally damaging it is to have teenagers being forced to fight in a war. With Reiji effectively spelling out that they're going to be Child Soldiers.
      • For that matter, the fact that most of the main characters are just barely in their teens but are forced to deal with an interdimensional war is also deconstructed. For example: Reiji's Improbable Age is deconstructed in the the Battle Royale mini-arc. While the Battle Royale plan is sound on paper, in reality it runs into numerous problems: Underestimating how long the invasion would go on, he forces the town to stay in the stadium, causing some to question what is going on; his first batch of Lancers' decks were mismatched, lowering their efficiency as a team, which leads to their defeat; and, finally, his attempts to keep the invasion under wraps put the MCS duelists in danger. All these problems show that while he's intelligent, he's lacking severely in the experience department.
    • All major tournaments from previous series were never Not Just Tournaments and had their dark moments, but the Junior Youth Championship, the major sub-tournament of the Maiami Championship (MCS), gets cancelled after achieving its purpose.
    • The Tagalong Kid trope is deconstructed by showing that no matter how skilled or strong Reira is, he's still a kid and would naturally be scared on a real war.
    • It's not even afraid to deconstruct things introduced only a few episodes earlier. During Yuya's duel with his mom, his mother tells him how his father use to be able to end any conflict with everyone having a smile on their face, no matter how serious the matter was. Naturally, Yuya attempts to follow in his footsteps when a mix up results in the Synchro Dimension security coming after him. He starts his entertainment duel routine, and security promptly responds by... Frankly not giving a shit and calling more security on his arse when he starts coming out on top.
    • The Mooks trope is deconstructed by having the mooks of the Synchro Dimension, Security follow a lot of the mooks checklist but are incredibly competent. Especially the idea that the heroes can just take down a large number of mooks easily, instead Security is most competent in groups, surrounding and taking down the Lancers due to sheer numbers alone.
    • The Duels Decide Everything trope, the very basis of the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise, isn't even safe from deconstruction in this series. Namely, after the lancers managed to get away when they attempted to duel them the first time, the next time they attempt to catch them, they don't make any attempts to duel them, instead detaining them through force and sheer numbers alone.
    • Then the series would mildly deconstruct the hard light system again in episode 62 by instead of using it to duel the guards, they instead use to hard light hologram monsters to hold back the security themselves when they attempt to detain them by force, and then provide a distraction in order to escape Synchro Dimension prison.
  • 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 duels have either been against girls or focused on other characters (Yuzu vs Yuya in episode 2).
    • Averted for the Battle Royale sub-arc where most of the female characters duel male opponents (Yuzu vs. Dennis, Serena vs. Dennis, Yuzu vs. Halil, Gongenzaga vs. Olga) or a tag duel with both female and male opponents (Yuzu & Gongenzaka vs. Halil & Olga).
  • 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 an assault on professor Marco just when Reiji was about to (possibly) initiate his winning turn, causing him to step out and give Yuya the match.
  • 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.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Being sealed into a card is a pretty clear metaphor for death or murder, considering its permanence and the trauma associated with witnessing it.
    • Reiji and Himika's war speech that signaled the end of MCS. The audience's reaction changing from horrified to prideful as Reiji glorifies warfare comes off as extremely unsettling, especially in a children's show. Not that the main casts are happy about it.
    • The situation in Synchro Dimension City, when less than 1% of the population controls more than 99% of the wealth.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune:
    • The first ending theme, One Step is sung by P☆Cute (Pendulum☆Cute), a pop duo created exclusively for this series. The members are called Ruri Shirosaki and Masumi Anzunote . These are however Stage Names; their real names are Rin Aizawa and Arisa Kiyoto, respectively. Arisa Kiyoto voices Masumi Kotsu.
    • The second ending theme, Future Fighter! is sung by Kensho Ono and Yoshimasa Hosoya, Yuya and Reiji's voice actors.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Invoked. When Dennis and Kurosaki decide to hold an underground gambling Riding Duel to see who gets to go to the Friendship Cup, the latter starts with a measly 1000 LP in order to make sure his opponent might actually win the duel. They still manage to tie up at 100 LP by the end of the episode.
  • 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.
    • Dennis' status as The Mole has already been revealed to the audience, but none of the heroes are aware of that yet.
  • Duels Decide Everything: The series Zig Zags between playing this trope completely straight as per-natural for a Yu-Gi-Oh series and Averting it. While Duel Monsters is still the deciding factor on a lot of things, quite a few characters outright defy it. For example, when detaining the Lancers, the Synchro Dimension Security makes absolutely no attempts to duel after they managed to escape the first time, instead detaining them by force. Then, when attempting a prison break, most of the characters use the Hard Light monsters to fight off the security themselves and provide a distraction while they escape instead of attempting to duel for their freedom. Also, Shun and Gong have absolutely no qualms with beating the crap out of security themselves while escaping. Eat your heart out, Kaiba.
  • The Earth Prime Theory: Episode 36 revealed that the ARC-V dimension, 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.
  • 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.
    • After Episode 54, the third opening changes the opening from Action Duels to Riding Duels, showing Yuya being chased by Security after he arrives in the Synchro Dimension with an overview of Jean-Michel Roger, showing the preparations of a Riding duel, showing Crow and Jack when Odd-Eyes and Clear Wing are fighting. And then showing Jean-Michel Roger and two new characters and seeing Jack unsilhouetted
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • The Fusion Dimension seems to hate all Xyz users, considering themselves superior. The Xyz Dimension seems to loathe all Fusion users due to their instigation of conflict. 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.
    • More of fantastic class-ism, but the people in Synchro Dimension's Tops absolutely despise the "Commons" who live in the slums below. Security tries to throw out any Commons that manage to get into Tops.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon's right side is much more fancier than its left. The same also apply 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 Death-Toy 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. In the 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.
      • In combination with the scene in the third ending where Yuya and his counterparts are shown on cards and Yuzu and Serena also being shown on cards with Yuzu being where Rin and Ruri are clearly meant to be, this is made much more explicit.
    • 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.
    • In Yuto's first episode, he asks Sawatari about the Academia because of his LDS pin, Sawatari says everyone in the LDS gets one when they enter the school and it is dropped. This hints that Leo Akaba is the head of Academia explaining why LDS and Academia have the same pins. This is brought up again when Dennis shows the Obelisk Force his pin to get them to help him out.
    • It was hinted that there was more to Yoko then just being a loving mother in episode 14. The reveal that she was a gang leader was shocking though.
    • Yuto's flashback of his duel against Yugo seems very odd when we meet Yugo. The flashback makes much more sense when you realize Yuto thought Yugo was Yuri
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Episode 57 reveals that Jaeger/Lazar is on City's 100 yen bill. The shopkeeper that was mean to Carly in her first appearance also made a cameo.
  • 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.
  • Fun with Acronyms: "Leo Duel School" is called LDS for short. Episode 52 reveals that the Duel Schools have actually been set up as training courses to teach duelists in preparation for the war with Academia, and LDS is renamed to "Lance Defense Soldiers."
  • Fusion Dance: Outside of the obvious Fusion Monsters, Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon, the Supreme Black King Dragon can be considered one, with a mix of Beyond the Impossible considering it involves giving Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon, an Xyz monster, a LEVEL.
  • 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 staple cards that are played frequently in the real life game. For example, both Yuto and Yuzu run at least one copy Mystical Spaaaaaace 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.
    • It seems that genre savviness transcends dimensions as something similar happened in episode 56 during Yuya, Sawatari and Serena duels with the Securities and they would have been arrested if it wasn't for Crow intervention.
    • During Yugo's duel with the Duel Chaser, they made sure he couldn't go past a certain speed and controlled the roads he was using. If they beat him then his D-Wheel would be shut down, if Yugo won, then they would have road blocks waiting for him.
  • Genre Shift: ARC-V started out as a light hearted anime with some darker undertones, not unlike GX. By the time the Tournament Arc was done, it became a dimensional war that deconstructs the Hard Light system that's been in place in the series for years, putting it on the same level as, or perhapse even more so than the Shadow Games from the first and second series animes, as well as taking a deeper look at the psychological ramifications it all has on the cast, sometimes verging on Neon Genesis Evangelion levels of psychological breakage, especially in regards to the main protagonist...
  • Good Counterpart: By episode 52, LDS is this to the Academia. They are both duel schools focused on creating dueling soldiers, the difference is the LDS' goal is simple self-defense compared to the Academia's goal of invading other dimensions.
  • 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 Four Dimension 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 Shiny 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.
    • Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon's Hanki no Gekirin Strike Disobey.
    • On another note, quite a few characters (Yuya, Sawatari, Dennis, Halil) are prone to exclaiming things in English even outside of the usual Duel lingo, as are the opening/ending themes. There's so much that one almost starts to wonder whether English networks could get away with airing it without even needing a dub.
  • 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, "Real Solid Vision", 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.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Invoked by Reiji. When Yuya tells him that he got his two Fusion dragons because of Yuzu, who in turn asked Sora to learn Fusion Summoning, Reiji points out that Sora indirectly influenced Yuya and that the power of Rune-Eyes and Beast-Eyes originated from Academia.
  • 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.
    • A rather cruel one in Episode 48. Michio and Teppei join in the tag match of Tsukikage, Serena, and Kurosaki vs the Obelisk Force. And through their teamwork, they are able to halve the life points of the Obelisk Force. Till they turn it around and defeat both Michio and Teppei, sealing them both into cards.
  • 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.
    • Dennis and Sawatari seem to lost all of their sense to keep secret about their advantages over the Synchro Dimension when arriving there as Shingo told the Security about Action Spells even when he wasn't asked or tortured, directly hampered Yuya as a result while Dennis used Pendulum and Xyz summon in a joke duel against Gongenzaka even though he doesn't have anything to gain for winning. But as Dennis is The Mole, it could be on less stupidity and more on purpose
  • 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.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The Yu-Gi-Oh! version. It starts out with Yuto, the Dark Duelist, mostly about who he is, why does he look just like Yuya, how does he know Yuzu and what happened to him. For a while we only got bits and piece like Yuzu looked like a friend of his Ruri that was kidnapped and some group called the Academia was his enemy. This eventually was shown to have been planned from the start as his story was revealed to be a huge interdimensional war between dimensions that resembled previous Yu-Gi-Oh! series. While we have gotten a lot of answers, many still remain from why Yuya and Yuzu are the only characters with an Identical Stranger, what are they and why does Leo want to fuse the dimensions.
  • 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.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In addition to pulling a lot of Subverted Tropes in regards to series staples, the anime also hangs a lot of lampshades on stuff that's still played straight. For example...
    • In episode 55 when Yugo and Yuzu get into a riding duel with security, Yuzu points out just how incredibly dangerous "card games on motorcycles" would be in real life, even without the Hard Light making the attacks real and possibly causing a wipeout, and even suggests stopping and dueling him normally for safety reasons. Doesn't stop Yugo from continuing the duel though, nor does it stop him from scaring Yuzu silly with half the stunts he pulls during it.
  • 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.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Gongenzaka justifies his use of Synchro Summoning to his father by proclaiming that dueling is constantly evolving, and even Steadfast Dueling must evolve or be left behind in a new era where everyone else has moved on. This is pretty much exactly what happens in the real life card game, with old archetypes like Harpies and Cyber Dragons getting new support cards to allow them to use new strategies and summoning methods introduced after their original runs. The recurring theme of the three main protagonists seeking to evolve their dueling styles with new strategies to keep up with opponents could also be a nudge to real life players that dislike the new summoning methods like Synchro and Xyz.
    • In episode 60 and 61, Yuya is back into a corner by a card called "No Cheating Allowed", which bounces any special summoned cards back to the opponents hand whenever a Cardian monster is on the field, making his Pendulum Summons useless until he can get rid of it. A character on the sidelines quickly comments on how as long as that card's on the field, Yuya's Pendulum summoning will be treated as cheating. This seems to mirror a lot of veteran players reactions to when Pendulum Summoning was introduced in the actual card game, with many considering it broken and cheating.
  • 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.
  • Magic Versus Science: Like past Yu-Gi-Oh! series there is a divide between magic and science. But unlike other series, science has the main focus. Due to advances in science, holograms have real mass and being sealed in card in purely scientific, making the threat purely scientific. But magic still exists with Yuya and Yuzu and their dimensional counterparts.
  • Magnetic Plot Device: So very many. We have Yuya's pendulum, his Pendulum Cards, Yuzu's bracelet and the four dimension 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.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Very downplayed, while the show like all other spinoff was created to sell cards, plot and characters come first. There have been times when duels have been skipped or just shown the end like Sora and Kurosaki's rematch to continue the flow of the plot.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • 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 Kachidoki's actions, till finally Yuya's Super-Powered Evil Side awakens and we head straight into Nightmare Fuel.
  • Mooks:
    • The Obelisk Force acted like this for the Battle Royale arc. Unfortunately they were also the Elite Mooks.
    • Security is this for the Synchro arc. They all use Goyo decks and like the Obelisk Force are very competent. Beating Sawatari in an OTK, nearly beating Yugo, Yuya struggling against them and very Genre Savvy in their actions. They are much more dangerous than in 5D's.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink:
    • Eventually divulges into this when the interdimensional war was revealed. Sort by factions and individual characters, we have: White (the You Show Duel School, Yuya, Yuzu and Gongenzaka) vs. Lighter Grey (Yuto plus Serena) vs. Darker Gray (the Big Good LDS and Kurosaki and Yuya's Berserker mode for kicking only assholes) vs. Black (the Academia). Yugo and the Synchro Dimension didn't appear enough to sort into these shade of conflict (their own conflict seems to be in the white vs grey type as the Security sectors are just technically doing their job) while a few of the Asshole Victim are just Jerkass. Sora seems to go from Dark Gray to Black with a few Pet the Dog moments.
    • Special note of the Lancers, who despite being the good guys are made up of differing kinds of moralities. Yuya and Gongenzaka are obviously White, being the kindest characters on the team who are deeply opposed to the war. Sawatari and Serena are Light Grey, Sawatari seems more focused on the pride of being on the Lancers than the actual war while Serena has her heart in the right place, has done some horrible things when still loyal to the Academia. Reiji and Kurosaki are Dark Grey, while still having good intentions, have done some horrible actions and aren't stopping anytime soon. Dennis is Black, being an Academia spy. Reira and Tsukikage are unaffiliated, simply following Reiji's orders for differing reasons.
  • Multicolored Hair: Very common in this series. Most characters have either different shades of the same color or completely different hair colors.
  • Myth Arc: The series so far is focused on the Interdimensional war that Leo Akaba started and the main casts attempts to stop it or help it.
  • 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 doppelgängers 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. Though, it later turns out that the Duel Disks are able to do that, not because the duelists have magical powers or something.
    • 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! 5D's.
    • 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! 5D's.
    • 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.
    • The fact that Yuya Xyz Summons for the first time during the episode numbered as 39, is a reference to Number 39: Utopia (Kibou'ou Hope).
    • Yugo seems to think that Clear Wing Synchro Dragon can let him travel through time on his D-Wheel. The Crimson Dragon actually did that for Yusei during the tenth anniversary movie.
    • Yoko's title when she was a motorcycle riding boss girl was ''Shooting Star Yoko''. The title is in Japanese ("nagareboshi"), however.
    • Yuya's Xyz Pendulum upgrade for Odd-Eyes is Supreme King Black Dragon ("Haoh Kokuryu") Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon.
    • In episode 47, Yuya wonders about the dark force inside him, while a shadow similar to Yami Yugi's in the opening of the original Toei YuGiOh anime appears behind him.
    • Episode 54 is full of this for the 5D's. With Security, Tops, and duel roads opening up when a riding duel is starting and. The episode even begins with a narration mirroring the narration in the "Believe in Nexus" and "Going My Way" intros to 5Ds, and the episode ends with "Riding Duel, Acceleration!"
    • Episode 55 continues the trend of 5D's gags with Security using Jutte Knight/Fighter, Lost Star Descent, Goyo monsters and Gate Blocker.
    • Yuzu first interaction with a riding duel is her sitting on someone else's D-Wheel while they duel. Just like Aki's first interaction with a riding duel
    • In Episode 60, a Security guard is briefly seen playing the Wii game Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Wheelie Breakers with much of the UI removed on a PSP-like handheld device.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: What Leo Corporation and Academia are implied to be. Subverted for Leo Corporation but played straight for the Academia.
  • 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.
  • Not Just a Tournament: The MSC arc started as a normal tournament albet with Reiji using the tournament as a testing ground for possible new Lancers. Then it just falls off the rails as the Academia invades forcing Reiji to use a Battle Royal to hide their invasion and keep nonduelist safe.
  • Off Model:
    • Episode 9 has characters with bad drawn faces.
    • 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.
    • Episode 46 suffers a similar case. The previous episode was an Animation Bump, but this episode was not so good in terms of animation, especially the first half. However, the animation of Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon was the highlight of the episode, which might be another justification why the rest of the episode wasn't animated so well.
    • Episode 61's animation and proportions are absolutely horrendous, with several characters looking like they have slanted faces, Gong looking squashed in every group shot, a lot of background characters having "dead eyes" and having a Dull Surprise expression on their face when their not over exaggerating their emotions to a ridiculous degree, and even the monsters themselves are draw rather "derp"ishly. Unlike the above examples, it doesn't have the excuse of the previous episode being an Animation Bump or all the budget going specifically to one monster summon. It turns out that the next episode would have an animation bump.
  • Once More with Clarity: In episode 54, the flashback Yuto had in episode 18, is once again shown from Yugo's perspective, solidifying that their conflict was not only a misunderstanding but quite possibly planned out by Yuri.
  • 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.
  • Poor Communication Kills: An justified example, the reason for Yuto and Yugo's rivalry. They both thought the other was Yuri who kidnapped Ruri and Rin, people very important to them. As such they were both angry and probably would never think that there was a second person that looked like them around.
  • 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 and doesn't have any spell or trap cards
    • What do you do when you have a psycho, possessed, and overpowered duelist? Hold him down and prevent him from using his deck. As Gongenzaka, Michio, Teppei and Mieru did to Berserk Yuya.
    • When Yuzu dueled the psychotic Yuri that she couldn't beat and as a result would be captured, she simply tried to run away. It didn't work, but it was still a good idea, unlike a lot of Yu-Gi-Oh! characters that would have fought to the bitter end.
    • So Yugo beat the duel chaser, does that mean they will let him go? Nope they just try to stop him by blocking him.
    • The Lancers instead of being a well oiled machine on their first outing actually hinder each other due to differing personalities and lack of connection and time with each other.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Both Yuto and Kurosaki have called LDS to be over arrogant and lacking determination in their duels.
  • Reconstruction: Combine with Deconstruction, the series tries to incorporate many tropes from the previous series into more consistent and realistic ways.
    • Characters build their decks much more realistically — they run multiple copies of cards, use simple but effective combos with them, and staple cards are common. There's also significant drop of new cards appearing from nowhere, and an increase in the same cards appearing over and over as duelists rely on them.
    • The obsession people have with Yuya's Pendulum Monsters. It's not merely that a character has some rare or powerful trading cards; it's that these cards appeared from nowhere and yet were somehow recognized by the dueling computers as a legal move, and no one knows how that's possible. The result is also that some people think Yuya is just a cheater who hacked the card database to recognize made-up cards, and the company that runs the dueling systems is trying to replicate these cards for mass production.
    • The plot and Info Dump is only revealed from people that trust each other, or at least has some justified reason in their personality, not from Motive Rant.
    • The complex morality, Anyone Can Be Carded and Loads and Loads of Characters reflects realistically an interdimensional war, unlike many other series which only focus on a relatively small group of characters that aren't justified by being The Chosen Ones.
    • The main and supporting characters generally act more realistic and actually try to solve their problems outside dueling, averts Duels Decide Everything. See Reality Ensues.
  • Rescue Romance: Variation. Yoko and Yusho Sasaki met when he stepped into a duel she was having with a rival delinquent gang in order to rescue one of the members of her own gang they were keeping hostage. He showed up and rescued the girl, all while entertaining the perpetrators and winning her heart.
  • 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, conventional 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.
    • As a form of Call Back to Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Yugo stated that dueling is the fastest way to create a comfortable life for yourself in the Synchro Dimension, unlike Standard, which is treated more like a sport than anything.
  • Scenery Porn: Subverted. It might seem like the Synchro Dimension is beautiful, unlike the militarized Fusion Dimension and the destroyed Xyz Dimension. But then you get to the slums...
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Tops residents in the Synchro Dimension are dressed as if they're members of the upper class in Victorian England. Wearing three piece suits and the women wearing fancy dresses.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: In episode 53, the Lancers leave Standard, effectively taking the silly You Show group out of the story for now.
  • Snobs Vs Slobs: The make up of the Synchro Dimension as seen in Episode 55
  • 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.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: The openings are always incredibly positive, but the second opening played during the incredibly dark and downright depressing Battle Royale sub-arc. While the third opening and ending are incredibly happy and joyful, episode 50, where these songs were first shown, was a dark and depressing episode when Yuya finally breaks. That being said, the latter two do demonstrate a reasonably serious tone.
  • 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.
    • The second ending heavily hints at Yuto fusing with Yuya a good 5 episodes before it happened.
    • The second ending and the third opening give subtle hints that Yuya was either going to acquire Yuto's powers or gain access to the Real Solid Vision system without the large projectors that are normally required. Turns out it's the latter.
  • 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.
  • Subverted Trope: ARC-V excels at this. Many of their twists play on setting up how the other Yu-Gi-Oh! series would go about a problem and then do the opposite. The first example that happily shocked the fandom was the reintroduction of all summoning methods when both 5D's and ZEXAL focused heavily on their own unique summoning method Synchros and Xyzs respectively.
    • Gongenzaka is a major example, due to his design and personality many didn't expect anything from him, being possibly an incompetent Idiot Hero at most. But his duel against Yaiba proved them wrong, showing himself to be a very competent Duelist and possessing a surprisingly unique deck that can work in the actual real life card game, in addition to showing he has a surprising amount of Hidden Depths as the series went on that arguably makes him the most level headed character of the main cast, and he's been a major part of the series since.
    • In the Yuya vs Kachidoki duel, the fandom expected Yuya to change Kachidoki's ideals as Yu-Gi-Oh! protagonists have a history of acting as a Warrior Therapist. Instead Yuya's Superpowered Evil Side woke up and brutally defeated Kachidoki. Completely breaking his ideals.
    • In other series, dueling is used to solve every problem so its a shock when the characters use other methods like Gongenzaka and the others holding down a berserk Yuya, Yuya trying to punch Reiji in Episode 50.
    • While other series tournaments are never just a regular tournament, they are always finished with the big bad of the arc being deal through the final match or afterwords. Very few fans expected Himika Akaba to outright suspend the MSC before the final round, even before the quarter-finals should have started.
    • The fact that Yuzu is much more involved in the main, much higher stake plot during the first 35 episodes while Yuya is just a Pinball Protagonist can be consider this, due to the fact that previous YGO series have female characters frequently got Out of Focus or only play supporting roles while the male characters got involved in the more interesting storylines.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, the general public is never told of the current danger that's threatening the world. So the fact that Himika announced it to the whole world was shocking.
  • 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).
  • The Team: Starting from episode 50, Reiji has finally chosen his eight Lancers who serve under him. These eight duelists are Yuya, Serena, Gongenzaka, Sawatari, Kurosaki, Dennis, Tsukikage and Reira.
  • Technician vs. 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.
  • Teleportation Sickness: Sawatari commented that traveling to another dimension felt a little unpleasant.
  • 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 the work of fate.
  • Tournament Arc: The Maiami Championship (MCS) starting from episode 27, which includes sub-tournaments in different age classes, most notably the Junior Youth Championship, where the majority of duels are shown. 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. As a part of the Deconstruction, the Junior Youth Championship is cancelled after the round where the top 8 were determined.
  • 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: It's all over the place here: The main charactersnote , the You Show kids trionote , the main LDS trionote , the LDS transfer trio note , and the most significant members of Academianote  and the Resistancenote .
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The show seems to heading the way to this trope since the Dark Duelist arc as Yuya and Yuzu seem to have separate plots from each other. On the rare case that one of them doesn't appear or is in the same storyline, Reiji or other characters will take up screen time and they will also have separate plot lines from the two leads,. This even evolve into three and four lines when there is a lot of characters traveled in groups with different agenda / alliance or the event is particularly high stake, such as the Fusion Dimension Invasion arc and the Synchro Dimension arc. A rare case for a children fantasy / sci fi shows that was executed well due to avoiding Arc Fatigue and the characters are compelling and likable.
  • 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.
    • Ok who expected Jack and Crow?
  • 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.
  • Villain Ball: Jean-Michel Roger gets to hold this right after a spectacular display of Genre Savvy-ness. He has the Lancers, a group of people with mysterious dueling abilities arrested, but then decides that only one of them should be held in a secure, isolated cell. Granted, he did order the others to be kept apart from one another (not that this order was followed), but he still treated them like normal prisoners. Not only that, he doesn't even single out a prisoner from the first batch he caught, he waits until they've caught both groups to interrogate one of them!
  • War for Fun and Profit: According to Sora, this is the entire reason the Fusion dimension invaded the Xyz dimension.
  • War Is Hell: The series does not pull its punches when showing the realities of war. With the Akaba's using realistic propaganda to draft soldiers, child soldiers being sociopaths because they were mislead by adults and realistically showing that anyone can die in a war, even the civilians.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 7: This is the first episode with a darker shift in the series, introducing us to Yuto, who in turn hints us to the existance of a Big Bad, reintroduces both the Xyz Summon and the real shock waves in a duel without an action field and on top of all has the same face as Yuya.
    • The 30s episodes are pretty much one Wham Episode after another, and each raises the ante more and more from the one before. By the time Episode 40 hits, you'll look back at Episode 30 and realize "wait, everything that just happened was in the span of 10 episodes?"
      • 31/32. Sawatari has Pendulum Monsters that work properly, confirming LDS has perfected them and are ready to mass produce them. After giving Yuya a heck of a duel with them, his Character Development starts to sink in as he has fun entertaining the crown during the duel and encourages Yuya to make his typical comeback if he can, because the crowd is waiting for it.
      • 33/34. Sora and Kurosaki have a brutal duel that obliterates the Action Field, and throughout the duel, references are made to how Sora's people invaded Kurosaki's home, with Sora revealing his true colours as an Ax-Crazy psycho. When the duel ends, Sora is injured by the falling rubble of the Action Field, and the crowd is left in stunned silence at what they just witnessed.
      • 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 because of, Leo Akaba, Reiji's father. Then at the end, Yugo appears on his Duel Runner to challenge Yuto.
      • Episode 37: Yugo is revealed to be independent from Academia and to have lost someone precious to him. Yuto is defeated by Yugo and dies, entrusting his Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon to Yuya. And Yuri, the Fusion Dimension's equivalent to Yuya, Yuto and Yugo, 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.
    • Episode 46 has Dennis welcome Yuri.
    • The third opening sequence has a rather big one, with a brief silhouette of what appears to be Jack Atlas with Red Dragon Archfiend behind him.
    • Episode 59 has Tsukikage appearing out of nowhere to rescue Reira
  • 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. Then the plot gets started and this trope is sadly averted more than played straight.
    • 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.
    • Averted in any of the duels that have to do with the interdimensional war. The Academia laugh at their victory and their opponents are just trying to survive or have become just as bad as them.
    • Averted in the Synchro Dimension as well. Security looks down on everyone, while their opponents are trying to escape.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Security has shown a disturbing lack of restraint towards children as seen in Yugo's duel against the Duel Chaser. Or Yuya's duel against Security, they refuse to hold back their punches and simply mock their opponents.
    • And then there's Kurosaki, who certainly doesn't seem to mind hurting Sora.
  • 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.