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Deconstructed Trope / Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V

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The series has been deconstructing a lot of tropes common to the franchise, to the point where it qualifies as a Deconstructor Fleet, largely of Internal Deconstruction examples.

  • 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 in that when Reiji and Leo Corp find out about Pendulum Monsters, they start replicating them for mass production, stunning Yuya when he learns he's not the only Pendulum user anymore.
    • Furthermore the fact that Pendulum cards are so new means that there isn't an archetype built to counter them, so whenever an enemy gets their hands on some Pendulum cards dueling them becomes extremely difficult. Furthermore unless the opponent is already known to use Pendulum most people don't expect to see it in a duel and thus are caught off-guard, which is exactly what happens with Leo.
  • 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.
  • The Hard Light technology of the holograms is viciously deconstructed. Arc-V makes it clear what technology of that level would more likely be used for — war. Repeatedly, characters do battle by using their holographic monsters to fight (not a proper duel, just a monster battle), characters are at risk of getting harmed by the holograms, at extreme times there's immense property damage, and the holograms are often used to get around easier by riding on monsters. Being a duelist in Arc-V means more than just being good at the Duel Monsters card game — it means being athletic enough to jump and run around fantastic Action Duel fields, and having the courage to do it knowing serious injury is a probably risk.
    • Taken to its logical extreme with Zarc, who dueled with the intent of hurting his opponents in order to get a rise out of the crowds. Eventually, he fused himself with his dragon cards and became strong enough to destroy the world.
  • The Super-Powered Evil Side trope is deconstructed. Those that fall into it lose all control over themselves, have no control over when it happens, and when it stops they're usually horrified by what they've done.
  • 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 was presented in a highly formulaic series of normal duels focusing on the two main protagonists before the antagonists got involved in covert abductions. In this series, Battle Royale mode is added, letting duelists enter duels already on progress, and even team up on other duelists 2 or even 3-on-1. The result is total chaos as multiple duels with multiple duelists in them in numerous different configurations happen across multiple episodes, and the spectators and announcer struggle to keep up constantly switching focus on the action.
  • 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 than be proud or excited to join most of them get mad at Reiji for putting lives on the line so carelessly and are far from thrilled at the prospect of becoming child soldiers.
  • The Kid Hero and Child Soldier tropes are deconstructed to hell and back. The Lancers are not at all thrilled at being used to fight a war, and Reira is flat out traumatized by what he has to go through. Meanwhile with other characters, Kurosaki has fallen victim to He Who Fights Monsters, becoming as violent and brutal as his enemies, and Sora performs a Heel–Face Turn because he was raised to be a soldier and has only now found true happiness by being allowed to act like a child and be friends with people.
  • 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 second major tournament is an annual event, but despite the previous years having no magic or plot relevance none of them were ever innocent. The entire thing weighs in heavily to the City's Bread and Circuses routine, being a major PR tool used by the corrupt city council to keep the masses happy.
  • 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 idea of Mooks is deconstructed by Obelisk Force and Security. They are strong precisely because they attack in numbers and use the same decks over and over; they outnumber opponents and gang up on them, and their decks all synergize perfectly to create devastating combos. Even if they lose, they keep coming to Zerg Rush you until you either collapse from physical exhaustion or make a misplay and lose a duel. The heroes also only defeat them because they are all professional duelists, your standard civilian wouldn't stand a chance.
  • The Duels Decide Everything trope, the very basis of the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise, isn't even safe from deconstruction in this series. Numerous characters, particularly Security, lose a duel, but continue on with what they were doing anyway. There's also many times they skip the dueling and just use brute force to apprehend the heroes.
    • Furthermore the use of this trope can bite the initiator in the ass- as when Asuka dueled Yuri- despite proving she was physically capable of just knocking him out- in order to get him to pull a Heel–Face Turn but got carded instead.
  • Interestingly the Jerk with a Heart of Gold trope usually displayed in The Rival is deconstructed here, usually the cast can see through the rival's rough exterior and understand their good intentions. But here, Jack's attitude and words only make everyone see his actions as nothing but arrogance and full of spite instead of what he intended.
  • The Serious Business attitudes towards the card game. Normally, the negative effects this causes for the duelist are supernatural (Oricalcos, Shadow Realm, soul sealed in doll, sent to the stars, soul stolen, etc), and are not known to the public. In the Synchro Dimension, the punishment is man-made slavery, and the public is not only aware of it, but aren't even bothered by it.
  • The Synchro Dimension seems to be a deconstruction of the entire second season of 5D's. When Satellite and Neo Domino City were connected at the end of the first season, they merged cleanly. While here despite the Tops and Commons both living in the City, the classism is even worse. With the Tops looking down on the Commons and the Commons having a lot of aggression towards the Tops and seem to be one push away from a total rebellion.
  • The All-Loving Hero trope is even deconstructed. Yuya tries to be as peaceful as possible and he usually fails as a result. Most of the time, his attempts are ignored by his enemy, who instead use it to gain the advantage. When he simply can't take all the stress he's under, Yuya tends to snap violently, or becomes depressed because he's unable to deal with the cruelty of the world in a healthy manner.
  • The Blithe Spirit trope is horribly deconstructed. Yuya attempts to change the City by showcasing his Entertainment Dueling and calling them out on their apathy but instead of the Commons seeing Yuya's points and changing, they mock and hate him for attacking their culture. A major part of Yuya's development in the Synchro Arc is his realization that blithe spirits doesn't work, they only anger those you are trying to change.
  • The Commons revolution deconstructs La Résistance. Yes, the Commons need help, and yes, the Tops aren't going to do a damn thing. But violence only breeds violence, innocent people are caught in the crossfire, and Shinji's allies develop Black and White Insanity very quickly.
  • Heel Realization is deconstructed by Edo, who has been raised by the Academia since childhood and as such he strongly believes in their ideals. When Yusho was able to reach him, he went through a massive freak out, unable to admit beliefs that he had for so long could be wrong. Ultimately reconstructed after Yuya beats him in their second Duel.
  • The For Happiness trope is deconstructed by Zarc of all people. He truly wanted to make people happy but due to the people of the original dimension bloodthirsty attitude, he was twisted into a monster himself.
  • The dueling, the foundations of the franchise itself, gets deconstructed. When Leo invented Real Solid Vision to allow monsters to physically exist, the ancient Duel Spirits started using that to manifest in the real through them. Turns out they aren't happy at people using Duel Monsters as a game where they fight each other for the entertainment of humans, so they eventually grew angry and started attacking people.
  • Identity Amnesia is deconstructed by Leo. After the dimensions were split, he lost all memory of who he was. Due to lasting memories of the Original Dimension, he created a new life for himself. Usually for this trope the person that suffers from this trope focuses on their original memories and identity. Here we see that because Leo focused on his memories of the Original Dimension, he truly hurt Himika and Reiji.
  • Morality Chain is deconstructed in episode 129. While the Bracelet girls can appeal to the Dragon Boys' better nature. If the girls themselves are in danger then the boys will focus on girls safety even above their wishes.
  • The Chess Master and Magnificent Bastard tropes are horribly deconstructed throughout the series. There are many characters that create long term plans and each time internal biases or just fact that people are unpredictable, mess them up.
    • A lot of Reiji's plans mess up because he can't plan for every possible option. His plan to get allies in the Synchro Dimension hit a huge snag when the Lancers were teleported to different locations without anyway to communicate or a plan to get back together.
    • Roger's own confidence in his abilities lead to mistaking believing that he could control anyone easily. This belief lead to Serena giving an Action Card for her pride which lead to her defeat and Sergey breaking free of his control and losing which destroyed his King's Gambit.
    • Leo's own bias against Zarc and for Ray meant he separated Serena from meeting Yuri, this meant that Yuri was more susceptible to Zarc's influence which he only furthered when he allowed Yuri to listen to his destructive impulses. His use of Yuri as an enforcer only let the four Dragon Boys meet easier as they gained grudges against each other.
    • Ray placed her reincarnations close to Zarc's to act as a seal but she didn't realize how well that would work. Due to how close they became, whenever Yuzu, Ruri or Rin were hurt that lead to Yuya, Yuto and Yugo to awaken, speeding up Zarc's revival.
    • Zarc's confidence in his own power lead him to think he could overpower his reincarnations' personalities. In the end it was because of Yuya being able to fight back, that Reira and Ray were able to defeat him again.
  • Episode 144 deconstructs Zexal's ending. Where the main cast temporarily died and were brought back to life with no real mental scaring. Episode 144's plot is the Xyz Dimension is still scarred by their experiences to the point of being unable to duel.