I try to go into new series with an open mind, but I was pretty certain from the instant I heard the basic premise of this show that everything I disliked about Zexal was going to carry over to Arc-V. And having watched the first episode, I was pretty much right.
In fact, if anything, this is an even less
interesting first episode than Zexal's. Pretty much all Yu-Gi-Ohs seem to open with an introduction to the protagonist followed by a card game against a bad guy, but this time the stakes seem nonexistent. The only problem is Yuya's dad is missing, an idea that is not elaborated on much (AND was already used in Zexal). I mean, let's say Yuya loses the duel next episode (SPOILER: He won't). What's the worst that will happen? He'll be very sad? Why should I care about this character? And his opponent doesn't do anything particularly unsympathetic, either, besides some trash talk, but he looks like a generic buff thug, so I guess he's evil or something.
The other issue carried over from Zexal is the zaniness and garish colors. I mean, Yuya is introduced riding on a pink hippo, and before his duel he dresses up as a clown for no reason. That should tell you everything you need to know about the tone of this show.
And speaking of ways this show is exactly the same as Zexal, Yuya has a pendant that gives him a special new type of card so he can win the duel without any actual skill or effort. I'm sure the Number- I mean, err, Pendulum
Monsters will be the focus of the plot in the episodes to come, but for now they just seem to inexplicably and arbitrarily appear with no hint or promise of their nature (at least the Numbers got that demon gate dream sequence).
Another minor nitpick: The Action Duels seem cheap. The characters can just grab whatever cards they need from the environment now? That means duels will be even more scripted and fake than before! And it turns it into more of a physical activity rather than a turn-based strategy game.
There are some good things, though. I like the card designs. Despite being too brightly colored, Yuya's circus-themed cards are at least distinct and memorable, and his ace Dragon and Magician cards look pretty awesome. And given the lack of plot in this episode, it's possible the story will actually be interesting whenever it starts happening. I'm just not holding my breath.