Don't make any judgements until you've watched episode 13. Seriously, that's the point where the show gets real, and if you stop before then you are missing out. That said...Zexal gets a lot of flack. Zexal has weird hair? Ahahaha. Yuugi Motou exists, conversation over, and honestly the weird hair in Zexal is on par with the weirdness of every other ygo anime. Don't let the bright colors and silly hairstyles fool you. It's not a childish show, and it's well-animated, and it's as dark as the other three are. Yuuma Tsukumo isn't a good duelist? Yup, he starts out the show as a terrible duelist. And that is what makes him interesting, and compelling, and endearing: he's not perfect. He's striving so hard for his goal, but he still has some way to go. He needs people to help him. But he tries, even when he loses, even when people put him down, and that's what makes him a great protagonist. He feels real. Yuuma's development is amazing, and so is he. There are tons of other great, interesting characters, ranging from friendly rivals to outright evil villains, and all of them all well-drawn and there-dimensional. We have characters like Shark, who looks like he's going to be a standard Jounouchi expy and then turns into a really interesting secondary protagonist instead. We have the Arclights, three villains with ostensibly the same goal but distinct personalities and motivations. We even have guys like Black Mist, who are evil but still nuanced in some way. There's someone for everyone here, and it's the characters and their bonds that drive the plot in many ways. The plot itself looks like a standard collect-them-all quest and them spirals out of control into a complex, high stakes plot with an alien war and blurred loyalties and hard choices. The pacing in the first half of the show is a little whiplash, but Zexal II is much tighter, and honestly Zexal has some of the most hilarious filler of any ygo series ever. It's much, much better than it sounds here. Go watch it, all the way through episode 13. The duels are character-driven and fun and none of them last six entire episodes (I'm looking at you, Yami Yuuig and Kaiba).
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