At first, the title of the season: "Arc-V" may seem like an unimaginative title. However, remember what is a main motive of this season (Pendulum)? Now what does a Pendulum swing in?
In this season, it gives focus to more than just Pendulum Monsters. Why? Because Pendulum Summoning is a PERFECT support to older summoning methods, particularly Synchro and Xyz which need to have the material monsters on the field. Also, because in universe, as of currently, Yuya's Pendulum Monsters are the ONLY ones in existence...at least for now.
And now, Yuya is using Fusion in tandem with Pendulum. Whoever made this realisation, you predicted a crucial plot point well ahead of its revelation.
Sawatari's first new deck revolves around destroying Spell/Trap cards with Mobius. He probably intended to destroy Pendulum Monsters.
Every duel disk designs before had clear slots on where to place the monster cards. But this time it's just one continuous piece of light without any markings. It's because if it had the usual slots Pendulum Summon makes no sense. Since Yuya just created the Pendulum Monsters Pendulum Zones shouldn't exist on the dual disk and thus he would have nowhere to place them. If Pendulum Zones were there, then that means Pendulum cards already existed before.
Well, those duel disks did exist before such as Yliaster's.
They existed in the future shown by 5D's. Have we caught up to Zone's time? Are Zone, Bruno, Aporia and Paradox out there somewhere in Arc V?
Entertainment Duels are all Action duels, because they are more visually interesting than regular duels. They are way more entertaining to watch.
Which is why the Yuto's duel with Sawatari is so much darker, as it was a regular, possibly Shadow Duel.
In episode 10 Masumi says that Yuzu was blinded by an illusion, could this by foreshadowing that Yuto isn't real?
Or the illusion could refer to Yuzu's belief that Yuya and the Yuto were one and the same. Yuzu going after the action card's reflection instead of the real thing is also meant to represent that same belief.
Like always, a duelist's deck reflects their personality and character.
Yuya uses Entermate/Performapal monsters; Goofy performing animals about as serious looking as Yuya acts. And they Call Back to the friendship themes, Entermate = Entertainment Mate = Entertainment Friend.
Yuzu's Fantasia/Melodious monsters are exclusively female singers, reflecting her character type as a Girly Bruiser.
Gongenzaka uses Superheavy Samurai, a large sized archetype values using defense over offense, similar to Gongenzaka's steadfast duels. They are also based off Japanese mythology, reflecting his traditional dojo.
Sora uses Furnimals: innocent looking monsters that have a dark secret to them.
Furthermore, the way his Edge Imps deface and mutilate the Furminals to turn them into his demonic Death-Toys reflects how he sees enemy duelists as nothing but playthings, to be used for his amusement as roughly as possible until they're broken. It also reflects how as part of the Fusion Faction, he's used to a more brutal form of dueling which is like a war. And with every new Des-Toy being more grotesque-looking than the last one, they also mirror his state of mind as he loses his cool.
Hokuto uses Sacred/Constellars referring to his stellar performance with a 40 duel win streak while taking no damage. His name also refers to the Big Dipper, a well-known constellation.
Masumi uses Gem Knights; one of the most noble duel terminal archetypes, and she's the least outright cruel or aggressive of the LDS duelists. Her father was also a jeweler, and her name means beauty/purity.
Yaiba uses X-Sabers, appropriate for his Kid Samurai characterization. His last name means blade.
Reiji uses monsters named after conquerors, reflecting his power as CEO of Leo Corporation, with its apparent global monopoly of Duel Monsters, which of course makes the world go round, as well monsters named after astronomers, reflecting his intellect.
Michio uses Cookmates, being a masterful chef.
Kyuando uses Quiz monsters, and cards that force his opponent to answer questions so that he can react accordingly to outwit the opponent, reflecting his intellect.
Mieru is a fortuneteller, and she uses Sibyls (women thought to have prophetic powers in ancient Greece).
Kurosaki uses Raid Raptors, an archetype of cybernetic birds of prey, representing how he hunts the members of LDS to find Ruri, and how his mission has blinded him to everything but itself, leaving him cold just like his mechanical monsters.
The militaristic appearance of the Raid Raptors also reflects the form of dueling Kurosaki knows: dueling not for entertainment or fun, but for survival itself to the point his world looks like a war-ravaged battlefield.
Reira's deck has a camara motif and relies on spell cards that can duplicate an opponent's monster. This shows that all he actually has no spark of his own and all he does is in order to be another prodigy like his brother to please his mother, leaving him traumatized. The card that nullified the effects on Ayu's side show that, from his point of view, the world is a cold and grey place.
His usage of CC and CCC monsters also parallels his brother's DD and DDD monsters and reflects his mother's heavily implied desire that he be a copy of Reiji.
Gen Ankokuji uses cards that take control of the opponent's monsters, reflecting his belief that people betray one another. Him using a Battleguard deck is because he idolizes Strong Ishijima who also uses Battleguards.
Why is Masumi the most concerned about Professor Marco? Because he is the fusion course teacher, which means that she is the closest to her, and likely even taught her how to duel.
Confirmed in Episode 21. With the addition of Masumi having a crush on Marco.
Yuya commented that the leader of the Entermate/Performapal monsters is Hammer Mammoth. This makes sense not only due to its attack power, but the fact that Elephants and Circuses are closely intertwined. Elephants are known for being star attractions to any circus.
Michio is one of the few duelists mentioned to regularly defeat LDS Students. This may seem a bit of an informed ability at first, but when you look at the way his cookmate deck works, you realize it's an anti-meta deck, which is murder against the Fusion, Synchro and Xyz monsters LDS students use.
Michio's deck is very good at destroying monsters via card effect. This means that there is very little his opponent can do against him, while he then goes around and chips at their life points with burn damage and a bunch of little monsters. However, Yuya is actually a very bad matchup for him, because Pendulum monsters can keep coming back from the dead (as Yuya exploited).
Both of the mysterious duelists we have seen use Xyz monsters. They also appear to come from the ruins of Heartland City, a place known for its Xyz monsters.
Ritual Monsters are the first old 'summon forms' that appeared outside of LDS, and was known about by a non-Sora child character from You Show (Tatsuya). It's also the only of the 'summon that predates Pendulum Monsters that does not use the Extra Deck. While Ritual Monsters did have a cameo suggestion of being an LDS course in Episode 3, they aren't what LDS advertises because they are not a Extra Deck card type.
In episode 22, the narrative goes around showing and proving that Mieru's predictions are always right. Well, in episode 23, she was right for the wrong reasons about the upright Tower, saying that it represented very bad omens for Yuya and that his life could be at risk. Considering that a freaking chandellier practically fell over him, you can see she was right. But he manages to be ok from that and win. Well, the Tower also represents breaking free of old, unhealthy believes in order to think out of the box: Yuya literally screwed destiny and managed to break the mold of Pendulum summon to achieve victory.
In episode 23, following the Tarot Motifs, in the major arcana, after the Tower card (that in the episode, represented Yuya's uncertainty and defeat) comes the Star card (that represents hope). Well, in that episode he fuses his ace card, Odd-Eyes, with Magician of Astromancy/Stargazer Magician.
In Episode 24, Kurosaki's deck makes sense for his mission. It seems to be tailored as anti-special summon (i.e. LDS's extra deck) weapon, which is why he was able to beat the LDS trio like that.
Like Yuto, Kurosaki uses the word 'hangyaku' (rebellion) in his summon chant for his ace monster, and his attack name for it is 'Brave Claw Revolution', mirroring 'Revolt of the Lightning' for Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon. Now remember that they're fighting Academia. The use of words like that is to symbolize them as the oppressed rising against an overwhelming enemy, hence Kurosaki's Badass Boast to the LDS trio and his chant for Rise Falcon also mentioning 'from adversity'.
On top of that, Kurosaki's Badass Boast perfectly sums up the duel, he's badly beaten and fighting on the edge (the LDS trio using their monsters to obliterate his field and hand, leaving him an instant from defeat), stands back up again (using Raid Raptors - Readiness to avoid losing the duel and Dimension Xyz to summon Rise Falcon), and overwhelms and eradicates his enemy (using Rise Falcon's effect to increase its ATK and attack all the opposing monsters at once).
Also, the name of the BGM which starts when Kurosaki activates Readiness is A Duelist Cornered. This name perfectly sums up the position Kurosaki was in, so why did it only start playing at the moment he escapes the pinch he's in? Because Kurosaki isn't truly cornered. From what we see in the duel, his strategy lets his opponents think they have him cornered, before he reverses the situation entirely with Rise Falcon's overwhelming power.
In the first ED, Gongenzaka is shown performing the same training and exercises alongside Yuya and Yuzu, except for the one where they try to grab an Action Card with their teeth. This makes sense once it's established that Gongenzaka never uses Action Cards when he duels; obviously, that means he wouldn't need to train at collecting them.
So far every You Show character's decks are filled with means of entertainment. Yuya having circus animals, Yuzu using singers, and Shuzou using athletes. Sora using stuffed toys, Futoshi using drawings, and Ayu having the theme of pet fishes.
Mieru's prediction at the start of episode 22 said that she would win six times in a row, but she lost to Yuya. Well, the prediction said she would win AFTER her duel with Yuya. That would explain why she manages to qualify for the MCS and still believes in her fortune telling.
During their duel, Sora and Kurosaki duel in the styles of the series their respective summon methods embody. Sora uses multiple consecutive Fusions to respond to the changing situation, much like how Judai tended to use multiple Fusions per duel rather than sitting on just one. Kurosaki on the other hand uses only one main deck monster, which he uses primarily as Xyz material, and relies heavily on his Xyz ace, supporting Rise Falcon and its evolutions with Spell and Trap cards, much like many opponents of the week in ZeXal.
In spite of using a Rank-Up-Magic, Kurosaki refers to the following summon as a Rank-Up Xyz Change rather than a Chaos Xyz Change. The only time that particular chant was used in ZeXal was with Astral Force, a Rank-Up-Magic unconnected to Chaos. As such, the reason Kurosaki doesn't refer to it as Chaos Xyz Change is because his Rank-Up-Magic cards aren't derived from the power of Chaos like the majority of those used in ZeXal.
Sora's behaviour in the You Show vs. LDS mini arc was a BIG foreshadowing of his true colors all along in retrospective. He jumped in at the idea of being Hokuto's opponent; Hokuto, a Xyz user, and Sora looks down on Xyz summon because he has faced Xyz users before (and in more extreme circumstances) and has defeated them with flying colors. With Masumi, a Fusion user, he was intrigued but didn't duel her in order to study LDS' fusion and learned that at the end it was nothing compared to the "real Fusion" he uses (whatever that means). Yaiba is a Synchro user and Sora flat out refuses to duel him, even when given the chance; most likely he has no past experiences with Synchro summon (as the Fusion faction and the Synchro faction seems to be different groups despite attacking Heartland) and with You Show needing this win, he was kind enough of not risking his new friends' school for his lack of strategy against it.
Episode 39 is called Awakening of the Imperial Wrath, or Awakening of the Reverse Scales. "Reverse Scales": Gekirin (逆鱗), in Japanese and Chinese mythology, refers to one particular scale out of 81 scales covering the body of the dragon. This scale, unlike others, is inverted. It is said in Japanese legends that if one were to touch the dragonís gekirin, it would result in the wrath of the dragon. More explantion.
Pendulum Monsters all go into the extra deck when destroyed, allowing them to come back again and again. Who is the one to discover them, but Yuya, a boy who lost his father and can suffer emotionally when his last link to his father, Odd-Eyes, is destroyed.
Reiji's archetype is named Different Dimension because it was built to use the Summon Methods from the Fusion, Synchro and Xyz dimensions.
At first the mentions of Fusion, Synchro and Xyz Summons courses at LDS where welcomed for being first time an installment makes reference to the summons from the other series, but since the appearance of Sora with his Fusion Summons and Yuto with Xyz Summon has started to raise a few eyebrows over the fact that everyone seems really surprised at anyone who isn't a student of LDS knowing how to make those summons, while this is kinda justified for the Pendulum Summons because Yuya pretty much discovered it, the fridge logic kicks in when you notice that they could simply read the instructions which are all written on the freaking cards.
Well, not on the cards, but it is in the rulebook, and so the basic method should be covered in Dueling 101. However, it seems that Extra Deck cards seem to be harder to get in the show; professional duelist Jack Atlas used only 5 himself (Red Dragon Archfiend, Majestic Red Dragon, Red Nova Dragon, Exploder Dragonwing, Crimson Blader and Multi-Piece Golem), and he was a champion. Yuma never had one until the start of his series, and Yuzu's father has never Xyz summoned either. It's possible that they are something of a status symbol, and so are more likely to be in the hands of a better equipped school.
And yet Yusei has 16 Synchro Monsters and a Fusion Monster, and notably a few even when in Satellite, where only cards thrown away go.
On the above point, if we focus simply on the Synchro Monsters pre Meklord, all but Stardust (which is implied to be soul bound to him or something) require specific Tuners. Monsters like that are generally seen as less valuable than more splashable Synchros, such as the ones Jack uses.
Admittedly when I wrote that I still haven't watched the 8th episode, and apparently LDS has been indeed hoarding all these summon types and (I assume) the cards needed for them. However while It's understandable the whole status thing and the cards not being easy to find, there's still the issue of people knowing nothing but the summon's name and just having an apparent ignorance of what those summons even consist about, It's like you can never even played the game and still theoretically understand how certain summon is made by following the events or keeping track of your favorite duelist, specially if in the YGO verse pro duelists are treated as huge stars.
When your monsters have a tendency to tear up the surrounding location and send debris flying everywhere, it makes perfect sense to wear facial protection (especially as demonstrated in Episode 7), even disregarding the need (or lack thereof) to conceal identity. This begs the question of why Yuto didn't bother to obtain a new set.
His mask is military grade, maybe they don't sell such things in Japan.
He kept the mask, but ditched the goggles after they broke. Goggles should be readily available for protection, though, in various styles, too.
Kurosaki leering over Masumi was a pretty weird thing to include at the end of 24, which begs the question of why bother? But since we've now learned of his hatred for Fusion users...
So, Action Duels are created by making solid matter, so that means that players can be physically damaged by cards, right? So if someone is using a deck full of torture cards (say, Marik, in the original show) they can actually do some serious harm to a player. How on earth would anyone sign off on turning holographic images of vicious dragons and giant robots and dark wizards into solid things? Think of how many people could die or get seriously injured just practicing with their cards in a duel and accidentally blowing themselves up.
Imagine if someone got attacked directly by a monster with a sword or a gun...
Basically, with Action Duels, everyone has access to their own Shadow Games. And they play them. For fun.
On the other hand, the amount of real damage inflicted from such duels is variable. In 5Ds, it is stated that while Psychic Duels and Shadow Duels both can inflict real damage to the point of lethality, the latter is considerably more dangerous. Later on, Aki is able to control how much damage her psychic powers cause, so it's a fair assumption that Action Duels have toned down damage compared to a regular Psychic or Shadow Duel. The "worst" that would likely happen in an Action Duel is severe injury, such as broken bones, but death would probably very rare compared to the other Duel types.
However in Episode 23, the dangers of an Action Duel become mildly apparent. Mieru, Yuya's current opponent, repeatedly tells Yuya to forfeit due to a psychic reading stating that destruction awaits him if he continues on his path. When Yuya refuses, Mieru immediately turns up her dueling and tries to end the game as quickly as possible to avoid the fate thus worrying about the apparent danger that the Action Duel could cause. It turns out she was right as the Chandelier hanging above the stadium collapses right as Yuya goes after the Action Card. While Yuya ends up okay (come on, the theme of the episode was defying fate), it leaves one to wonder...why the hell the Chandelier collapsed like it did? We saw the chains weakening and breaking with very little stress on them (the duel didn't come anywhere near there). How did it happen?
Somewhat alleviated in episode 27. The younger kids' Action Duel fields are cushioned.
Episode 34 has Sora carpet bombed and crushed by a tower. Considering that he's not a fine paste and actually holds on to consciousness for a bit, it would seem the dangers of Action Duels are less threatening than they seem.
One teased by the show itself. Not long after Masumi defeats Yuzu in their duel, belittling her as she does so, a Professor from her school disappears who she seems to be quite close with. Did tYuto feel like dishing out some Disproportionate Retribution?
Considering that Yuto was surprised to see Kurosaki, who was the guy who attacked Marco, this was probably just a coincidence.
Or, Fridge Squick: It is quite possible that Yuya has a fondness of softcore hippo pornography, if the opening is anything to go by, if not an outright fetish. Look at the skimpily-attired hippos. Now look at Yuya during the scene. You may vomit now; I'll certainly be...
You know those massive gouges Raid Raptors - Rise Falcon makes in sheet metal? Makes it awfully convenient that the whirlwind it created when summoned blew everyone away. Getting your soul sealed into a card would be the least of your worries, then...
Also an In-Universe one, since Masumi is terrified when she sees them.
Let's not even get started on Yuto's hometown. It looks like the Satellite, but instead being the ruins of HEARTLAND CITY as oppose to Domino City, and its filled with gang warfare between duelists. What in the name of the Sacred Beasts happened since Zexal?
Does anyone ever considered this happened in the future after Yuma's adventure? For all we know Heartland City was destroyed some years after Yuma and his friends pass away from old age or something or they were too old to properly defend the city or something.
It turns out the answer is that it was actually a parallel dimension Heartland destroyed in the inter-dimensional conflict.
When was it said it wasn't in fact the 'original' Heartland City?
Bonds Beyond Time confirms the first three series to take place in the same dimension, but is there anything linking Zexal to the others? We still don't know which dimension either the first three series or the Zexal series take place in relative to Arc V yet.
Episode 26 was for the most part a heartwarming episode, with Yuya and Gongenzaka dueling and the end to the Qualifier Mini-arc. But the last minute or so.....just becomes horrifying.
By horrifying, I of course mean that Reiji:
A: Had the memories of Masumi, Hokuto and Yaiba erased of their battle with Kurosaki.
B: Has been watching several duelists to be apparently 'lancers' to FIGHT FOR THEIR WORLD!?
Sora being a Fusion user that taught this summoning method to Yuzu, Ruri's lookalike, got some real nasty vibes in episode 29 thanks to Kurosaki's shocked expression; but it was until episode 34 that got downright disturbing with Sora using Des-Toy/Frightfur Mad Chimaera's effect to take possession of Kurosaki's fallen monster and then gloating that he and his fusion faction took Kurosaki's comrades away, which included his sister. In episode 29, Yuzu was Ruri's proxy in Sora's attempt to show to Kurosaki his powers and torturing him with the implication of him corrupting her with Fusion while he, Kurosaki, can't do anything about it.
Episode 34 was full of blatant Nightmare Fuel, but consider this: We've seen in various episodes that the Duelists from the other dimensions can inflict actual damage with their cards (Yuto pinning Sawatari to the wall, Kurosaki's Rise Falcon leaving claw marks in an overpass, and so on). At the end of Kurosaki's duel with Sora, he literally bombarded the Action Field with Revolution Falcon's effect... imagine what would have happened if one of those had hit Sora instead of that tower.
The flashback of Episode 40 showed Widespread Ruin being used like a IED. Now, if one trap card can be used that way, what other spell and trap cards could be used that way!? (Bottomless Trap Hole, Nightmare Wheel, Dark Hole, Raigeki, Skill Drain, Soul Drain, Torrential Tribute, Soul Taker, Tribute to the Doomed, etc)