Now, when Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal started, like many fans of 5D's, I was horrified. The main character was unlikable, the Monster Of The Week
plot sucked, the villains were a joke, Yuma spammed Hope all the time over his other Numbers, and Ze Xal
seemed doomed to go down in history as the worst Yu-Gi-Oh series ever.
And then we got the introduction of the Tron Family and the plot suddenly was interesting. III, IV, V and Tron were all interesting characters with engaging personalities, goals, and deck themes. They really heralded in Cerebus Syndrome
to Ze Xal
, with the plot turning from Yuma's kiddy, annoying antics while hunting Numbers into a surprisingly dark story of Tron's quest for revenge against Dr. Faker. Tron himself is a maniacal, nightmarish villain who keeps you watching just to see how much he'll Kick The Dog
while laughing as creepily as possible. And the thing is, it's working. The Tron Family has given this series a dark, interesting plot which somehow clicks and works.
And that's just the problem. The Tron Family (and Shark
) are about the only reason to watch this series. Yuma is still as idiotic as ever, and the writers keep using him for comedy in moments where the tone should be as serious as possible. Kaito is a Villain Sue
and while his story with Haruto is engaging and heartwarming, his Curb Stomp Battle
run makes it impossible to really feel any suspense in his duels up until his duel with Tron. Dr. Faker and Mr. Heartland both sit around cackling and looking imposing, but that's just it. They sit around.
They never really push events forwards, while Tron and his family actively pursue their goals, albeit in a roundabout way.
All in all, Ze Xal
has potential, especially where the Tron Family plotline is concerned. But most of the rest of the show is entirely forgettable, and everything before Episode 32 is dull, boring and even irritating
. Afterwards, though, Tron, III, IV and V all add an interesting aspect to Ze Xal
which allows the anime to improve. In other words, watch this series for them, and Shark. Everyone else is either Out Of Focus
, annoying, or uninteresting.