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?
Yuya's first Pendulum Summoning in Episode 1: a rather fancy 'draw' maneuver that gives him dual streams of white light, along with sparkles. Looks a little much, until you notice that the streams of light match the curvature of Odd-Eyes' horns, who was destroyed earlier in the duel... and will soon come back, just as Yuya's about to start his comeback.
On a similar note, look at what happens when Yuya draws brand new Pendulum Monsters and transforms his magicians and Odd-Eyes. As previously mentioned, drawing new cards creates a streak of light and sparkles while transforming cards is the result of a line of sparkles forming a the bottom of the card and them sweeping up, revealing the new card. Sound familiar? Yuya is essentially performing a Shining Draw and Shining Evolution from "Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL".
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 Xyz, and Synchro in tandem with Pendulum. Whoever made this realization, 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's 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. That's because if it had the usual slots, Pendulum Summon would make no sense. Since Yuya just created the Pendulum Monsters, Pendulum Zones shouldn't exist on the duel disk and thus he would have nowhere to place them. If Pendulum Zones were there, then that means Pendulum cards already existed before.
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. They also are used by his father as well, showing how much Yuya wants or wanted to be like him.
Yuya also uses very few Warrior monsters in comparison to past protagonists: showing his disdain for using duels for war.
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 that value 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 Des-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.
In a way, Sora is also a Des-Toy himself - something perfectly innocent under ordinary terms twisted into a dangerous weapon by an outside force: Academia.
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.
His status as CEO is also reflected in his spells and trap cards since almost all of the names revolve around contracts.
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 and arrogance.
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.
Additionally, most of the Raidraptors are named after solitary birds (falcon, eagle, lanius, strix), reflecting on Kurosaki's I Work Alone mentality.
Reira's deck has a camara motif and relies on spell cards that can duplicate an opponent's monster. This shows that 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 which 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.
And one further note: In olden days, having your photo taken was believed to steal your soul. Reira seems almost emotionally dead, having sparkle-less eyes often seen with characters that have had their souls taken, and only appearing to follow the wills of others (namely his brother and mother) rather than have his own opinion.
Also they appear as weapons, a sword, cannon, armor, because his mother sees him as a weapon.
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.
Their ghostly state also reflects his status after episode 37.
Yugo used Speedroids, which not only refer to his Duel Runner (which is fast), but also his clueless nature: Speedroid monsters resemble weaponized toys. Yugo has no idea what is going on and is pretty clueless, yet is also rather powerful and dangerous.
And on a more meta level, Speedroids are a sub-archtype of roids. The previous roids were all cartoon vehicles, and utilized Fusion Summon. So, despite having nothing to do with the old ones, in either appearance or play style, they still are associated with them do to a similar name. Just like people assume Yugo is working for the Fusion Dimension, because his name sounds like the Japanese word for fusion.
On another meta-level, many of his Speedroids bring Yusei's monsters to memory. Clear Wing is obvious, but Ohajikd and Puzzle resemble Quickdraw Synchron and Speed Warrior.
Teppei is a fisherman who uses a deck based around Water Monsters, in particular the Legendary Fisherman. The guy also has a legendary sized ego.
Sawatari's decks reflect his character: His Dart Shooter's deck is filled with high level monsters, reflecting his arrogance. His Monarch deck is designed around destroying spell cards/Pendulum cards, reflecting his desire for revenge for his defeat. His Yosenju deck is a Pendulum Deck, reflecting his desire to have Yuya's power, and is mostly populated by weasels....which he is. His Underworld Troupe deck, the first deck he won a major duel with, is his later embrace of Yuya style dueling, with an entertainment based Pendulum theme.
Sawatari's Underworld Troupe deck is comprised of DARK Fiend-type monsters, make use of Pendulum Summon and have a connection to another archetype, the Underworld Scripts; all of those characteristics make it similar to Reiji's D/D/D deck, showing the connection between the two characters and hinting at how Sawatari got his new deck.
Ryozanpaku students all use Star decks: which are Power Decks focused on power whose ace monsters all possess brutal effects. This reflects the school's harsh training methods and general disdain for fun.
The Obelisk Force all use decks based around Ancient Gear Hound Dogs, with brutal effects. They are psychopathic soldiers who want to trample anything in front of them. The fact that they all use the same cards is something of a lampshade the fact that they all are Faceless Mooks, without distinguishing characteristics, and furthermore, they don't think for themselves, they are essentially Leo Akaba's attack dogs.
Additionally with Obelisk Force, despite supposedly being the elite soldiers of Academia, they don't seem to be very good duelists, even by the anime's standards for such. However, consider that they all use the same deck and strategies, often utilizing each other's cards in said strategies, and attack opponents in numbers. A lone soldier may not be too large of a threat in a full-scale war, but get several of them together and teach them tactics and teamwork, and they can be very effective together. Obelisk Force may not be good duelists alone, but they were trained to be an army, and they're quite effective at being that.
The Duel Chasers use Goyo Monsters, Synchro Monsters that can steal monsters from their opponents they defeat. Not only is this a reference to Trudge, it also reflects Crow's commentary about how Riding Duels were originally a Commons creation, but was stolen from them by the Tops for their own amusement and to the detriment of the Commons/Their opponents.
Yuri's dragon is called "Starve Venom Fusion Dragon". This is most likely a reference to Professor Viper from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX who used the "Venom" archetype. Furthermore, the dragon's snake-like appearance could be a nod to the Venom monsters being snakes. In addition, his Predator Plants are a nod to how he captured Rin and Ruri, like a venus flytrap, and is generally aggressive compared to his counterparts, like predators.
Unlike the other Yu boys, his deck has a direct counter to his bracelet girl's deck Super Polymerization. This reflects how Yuri is the only one who didn't have a connection to a girl.
ARC-V Crow uses Blackwings and Assault Blackwings, symbolizing that he is not only a counterpart to 5D's Crow, but also a harsher version (hence the mechanical winged Assault Blackwings), reflecting his more cynical personality.
Over time however, we see more older Blackwings, showing that no matter how this Crow may have come out, he's still Crow at heart.
Dennis uses Performages, that represent his similarities to Yuya, but also his duplicitous nature. Magic users tend to be viewed with suspicion in many cultures, and he was viewed with suspicion by fans, and later confirmed with his status as a mole.
They also reflect how well Dennis and Yuya work in a duel, as the decks can support each other.
ARC-V Jack's deck resembles his counterpart's deck with the use of Resonators and Scarlight Red Dragon Archfiend. As with Crow, this shows that while it's still Jack Atlas, he isn't the same as the one that appeared in 5D's. The main differences are a greater use of defensive cards, more reminisce of the later Jack Atlas of 5D's than the earlier one.
His deck and monster philosophy also seem a bit more leaning towards Yusei's, making him a slight composite character.
Tsukikage plays a Ninja Deck, which is obvious. However, a lot of his cards are either based on protection (showing his role as bodyguard and protector) or burn damage (for effective and quick victories where the Foe has little time to react, much like a real life assassination attempt by a Ninja).
Shinji uses a Bee Force Deck, which fits in many ways. Bees not only have the group overcomes obstacles mentality Shinji follows in his revolutionary ways, but are also single minded in their goals. Bees pollinate plants and sting enemies until the task at hand is complete, much like Shinji will do anything to see his goal reached.
Sergey uses the Thorn Prisoners, fiends bound by thorny vines to torture devices and with effects that deplete their controller's life points. While this represent Sergey being a Combat Sadomasochist, their appearance could also represent Sergey himself being bound by Roget's orders.
And now, he used Earthbounds, similar to the Dark Signers in Yu-Gi-oh! 5D's, fitting for an antagonist who is rumored to have died.
Selena's Lunalight monsters employ a straightforward beatdown strategy which fit Selena's no-nonsense personality. In addition, both have names related to the moon.
Also, her Fusion Monsters being dancers is most likely a reference to Asuka' monsters.
Serena's Lunalight are DARK monsters but her Pendulums Monsters that she acquired after joining the Lancers are LIGHT monsters, representing her HeelFace Turn.
Like other characters associated with Academia, Roget employs an Ancient Gear deck. However, unlike the Obelisk Force and Dennis, he doesn't use the Ancient Gear Hound, which represents the fact that he's betrayed the Professor and is no longer one of his "dogs". Furthermore his strategy of combining Ancient Gear Devil and Ancient Gear Magic Shield to create a Nigh-Invulnerable wall while he reduces his opponent's Life Points with Devil's effect has been defeated by taking advantage of the fact that while Devil might be nearly invincible, Magic shield isn't, reflects how he is a competent chessmaster but has a tendency of overlooking details that ultimately leads to his plans being compromised and his defeat.
Additionally, the fact that Roget focuses on a purely defensive strategy that prevents his opponents from making a dent in his LP reflects that behind his cold, calculated, and arrogant exterior, he is in reality a coward. Instead of facing the consequences of his actions head-on, he would rather turn tail and retreat (to Academia), stooping as low as to use hostages to do so.
Edo, even on the Academia side, uses Destiny HEROes. Destiny HEROes are based on Anti-Heroes or Anti-Villains, and these characters in comic book tend to be rather dark and follow a well intentioned extremist policy (Such as Sinestro, Magneto, and Doctor Doom). Academia thinks it is doing good in fusing the worlds, regardless of casualties.
Kaito uses a Cipher Deck. Cipher cards are filled with effects to hold out against destruction, power themselves up with the same monster, inflict massive damage on all opponents he faces, and his ace monster can steal the opponent's monsters and make them his own. Quite fitting for a surviving Resistance Member, fighting a lone war against Academia and having no little empathy left in him. His main deck cards are LIGHT Machine-Type Monsters that look like a different type (Fairy), which contrast with fellow survivor (and former rival) Kurosaki, whose deck is made up of DARK Winged-Beast-Type Monsters that look like machines.
Cipher effects and support usually revolve around having cards with the same name, which might represent how Kaito abandoned the idea of having companions, meaning he only trusts people with the same name as him.
Also, the fact that he no longer uses Photons separates him from his ZeXal counterpart, as Photons in that continuity were created using the energy of the Barian World. It can also reflect how he lost his family and friends, as his Photon cards were presumably made with the help of his father and other close allies.
There's quite a bit of Fridge Brilliance in Dennis's insult to him during their duel when he calls him predictable; given that Kite's dueling style was stated to be flashy and exciting before the invasion, if makes sense that he got rather pissed off by that.
It also makes sense that Kaito wouldn't use Photon cards because they were made to be used against Numbers and XYZ monsters by connection. Because most of his foes, especially the Fusion Dimension don't use XYZ monsters, Photon cards wouldn't be able to be used to their full potential. Cipher Dragon are more general purpose and can use its effect on any kind of Monster.
The ARC-V Juvenile Officers use Armoredog decks: like the Obelisk Force they are armed Mooks of Academia, or attack dogs. However their monsters are a bit less monsterous: being the home guard they are also less like soldiers and actually have distinct faces.
The Tyler Sisters use Amazoness monsters: showing their warrior natures and savage battle style.
Their ace monsters also contrast their personalities. The feminine and elegant Grace uses Amazoness Liger, while the wilder and hot-blooded Gloria uses Amazoness Empress.
B.B uses Gladiator Beasts: beasts whose lore suggests they are made to fight by cruel overseers. Guess what's his backstory?
His teacher also uses this deck, but one that is not bound by nearly as many restrictions and can control his cards. Truly an overseer him.
The Gladiator Beasts were also the first truly competitive deck to use Fusions. The perfect deck for the greatest warrior of Fusion Dimension.
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).
And in episode 46, it is shown in action, with him beating Olga and Halil at the same time.
It goes beyond that, and may even explain why the producers decided to card him instead of having him join the Lancers: his deck would make short work of a lot of players in the Synchro and Xyz Dimensions, such as Crow, Shinji and Kaito. But most notably, his deck is a perfect counter to Yuri of all people - since Cookmates are Main Deck monsters that keep returning to the hand, Predator Counters are almost useless against them, and Starve Venom Fusion Dragon's first two effects aren't as useful when the possible snatches are a 300 ATK boost and a one-time destruction that sends Starve Venom back to the Extra Deck.
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 types that predates Pendulum Monsters that does not use the Extra Deck. While Ritual Monsters did have a cameo suggestion of being a subject of the LDS composite course in Episode 3, they aren't what LDS advertises because they are not a Extra Deck card type.
This is also why Ritual monsters appeared in the Fusion Dimension and were not looked at as "OMG this is not right ERROR ERROR ERROR". It's because Ritual is something that's considered so basic, it exist everywhere, and is well-known by everyone.
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 chandelier 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. Episode 48 reveals Tatsuya's deck as Entermachines, monsters that look like robot toys.
Later on, this entertainment theme expands to include everyone that knows, follows and/or understands the "Egao" philosophy. Sawatari stuck with the Abyss Actors once he embraced entertain the audience over winning; Dennis (despite being a mole) likes the idea of being an entertainer and considers Trapeze Magician his Morality Pet, and Serena has her Moonlight Dancers and she, after her duel with Yugo, started to understand Yuya's love for bringing smiles.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Furthermore, when Sora saw the Fusion that Reiji used when he brought out Temujin, he questioned whether this summoning could be the "real thing," implying that Reiji's Fusion Summon is closer in nature to the one he's used to (Academia's) than LDS's.
Upon closer analysis, there are some clear differences between the LDS style of summoning and the original dimensions' styles, besides the difference in "summoning energy."
Fusion users in Standard all tend to have a few boss monsters that they simply sit on for the Duel (Masumi, Halil, Isao), with rather generic summoning conditions that often never enforce Fusion Monsters as Fusion Material. Their Fusion Monsters are usually huge beaters that inflict large amounts of damage using their effects, or can simply run over lesser monsters in battle. Academia's Fusion Monsters usually have at least one fixed material (with a few exceptions such as Serena's Cat Dancer), which seems limiting before you realize that they have several ways of searching specific materials with cards like Fusion Conscription. Their Fusion arsenal is more of a toolbox, where they can bring out various monsters with different effects to fit the situation, rather than just one huge beater that summons more huge beaters. The decreased specificity of LDS's Fusions could be another reason why Sora looked down on LDS's Fusion, because he possibly viewed it as easier and oversimplified, and thus a bastardization of what he grew to idolize, and why he was surprised that Reiji's Fusion Monster gave off strong Fusion vibes even though its summoning conditions were just as generic as Masumi's Gem-Knights.
The difference between the Xyz of LDS and the Xyz Dimension is much more defined and clearer than the differences between Fusions. LDS Xyz users focus on swarming the field with Xyz Monsters to overwhelm the enemy while also eating up resources, as seen with Hokuto's Constellars and Dennis's Performages. Xyz Dimension/Resistance Duelists focus on bringing out their one ace Xyz Monster as soon as possible and powering up that monster with other cards like Rank-Ups, as seen with Kurosaki, Yuto, Kaito, Allen, and Sayaka in their respective Duels. Kurosaki calls LDS's Xyz a "fraud" possibly because instead of focusing on a more tactical approach, which is necessary to survive in a war, LDS Duelists vomit out all their resources onto the board and treat their monsters like throwaways, without regard for the opponent's plan of action.
The difference between the Synchro of LDS and of the Synchro Dimension is also seen in terms of terms of skill. As shown by Yaiba, LDS Synchro users like LDS Xyz swarms the field with monsters for tuning but also recycle Synchro material monsters to do countless Synchros. While the Synchro Dimension/City users have a tendency to Synchro right away and then use their Synchro monsters to summon stronger Synchro monsters as shown by Crow, Shinji and Yugo.
The above also points to a recurring element in the playstyle of Standard: Quantity over Quality. The duelists of Standard have a seemingly unconscious desire to summon a bunch of monsters... because they were always meant to have Pendulum Summoning, which is all about numbers.
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 dragons gekirin, it would result in the wrath of the dragon. More explanation.
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.
Pendulum Cards are scattered for use on the Battle Royale. It makes one think that the whole Action Duel and Action Cards concept were created just so they could get to this point where anyone can obtain the Pendulum cards and use them for awesomeness.
Under that same belief, Riding Duels were used simply to help make the Earthbound Immortals more dangerous without too ludicrously buffing their in-show versions with Speed World. Quite possibly plausible.
Fridge Brilliance: Anyone having Pendulum Cards will give them an unexpected advantage over any potential Academia invaders, so the MCS Duelists will have a fighting chance against them.
After the events of episode 34~37, followed by the events starting from episode 39, Yuya's mental state is basically a pendulum. He gets easily a Heroic BSoD, but somebody manages to cheer him up, then he gets another Heroic BSoD again until the next person helps him out of it. Afterwards, he crosses the Despair Event Horizon.
Xyz beats Fusion: Ironically as it was Fusion that invaded and desolated Heartland, but on-screen Xyz has beaten Fusion; Kurosaki —> Sora, Yuto —> Sora, Yuya —> Kachidoki, Berserk Yuya —> Obelisk Force (Serena beats Dennis because he wasn't being serious at all so it doesn't count. But Sora later defeats Kurosaki on-screen, for then being almost defeated by Yuya's Xyz Pendulum monster. Also played with in the duel of Serena and Kurosaki vs Obelisk Force. While they did win, it was only because people kept interfering on the duel to help them and without their interference Kurosaki would not have been able to summon his monsters without pendulums to win.) Several of these are also justified by the fact that Sora was a Smug Snake that was making mistakes during the duels against Yuto and Kurosaki the first time. Which is why when Sora takes the duel seriously in their next match he beats Kurosaki.
Why is Yuya the only one of the Yu kids who has shown to evolve his dragon with different summon methods (Odd Eyes having Fusion and Xyz counterparts)? Because Standard has all the summon methods within it, and not just one as the case is in the other worlds.
Additionally, assuming that the extra deck cards are taken from other dimensions, then we have what Yuya could have evolved into without using Pendulum Summoning. If he never discovered Pendulum Summoning, Yuya would have been stuck with Odd-Eyes Dragon, a tribute monster. He would be stuck with the original evolution method: a Nomi monster. Just a main deck effect monster that cannot be normal summoned, and must be special summoned using certain specific methods. In that version, Yuya's evolved monster would have been Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon, the marquee card of his 2015 starter deck.
At the same time, Pendulum Monsters start in the main deck, but go to the extra deck when destroyed. If the extra deck cards don't originate from Standard, perhaps Pendulum cards are a metaphor to this: starting with the main deck, but gaining the extra deck later.
The non Yuya Yus are the opposites of their dimension's series (or at least basis of them). The Fusion Yu, Yuri, listens to authority, has a creepy grin, and is probably evil, very unlike the generally chill and lazy Judai. The Synchro Yu, Yugo, is completely goofy, gets angry easily and never seems to get off of his bike, unlike the serious and calm Yusei. The Xyz Yu, Yuto, is dark, bit broody, super serious and is extremely skilled, while Yuma is bubbly, lax and started off as rather unskilled.
In Episode 46, Serena states that the Fusion Dimension intends to assimilate the other Dimensions. In other words, they plan to FUSE the Dimensions. Maybe that's why Leo Akaba picked that Dimension to start his campaign.
In Episode 49, Sora outright states that Fusion is the power to make the worlds one.
So, the 2000 LP penalty for intruding seems to be a feature displayed by Standard's Duel Disk only, since the Obelisk Force didn't seem to get the penalty when they joined into the Knights of Duel's internal duel in episode 44 and Yugo didn't suffer penalty when he jumps in to save Sakuragi's bacon in episode 47. Most likely Kurosaki is penalty immune too, since his Duel Disk is from the Xyz dimension. And if this is true, it just makes Reiji's penalty idea even morestupid.
Unless it's somehow part of his plan to have only the best students survive the invasion by either succeeding on their own or winning in spite of the handicap. He might not care about who gets carded if he figures they'll be set free once everything is over, or if not that they'll be necessary sacrifices in the ongoing war. This is the same guy who used his own students as bait to lure out Kurosaki, after all.
This also gives a bit more weight to Reiji's decision of filling Sawatari up on everything except the penalty. As said above, Reiji needs the very best to fight the war, so his main priority, rather than ensuring the safety of the participants, is to test their abilities under a situation of disadvantage. Even (or especially) Sawatari.
Adding to this there is his treatment of his first bunch of Lancers. He actively said to them that they were the best and sent them against the Obelisk Force and they lost horribly. But Reiji's response to Nakajima's attempt to send back up is he knew the current LDS does not have the power to defeat the Academia. He actively let teenagers be carded to protect Serena. And he does it again with the ninja brothers, having them stop Sora, so he can keep Serena, a figure he knows is important to his father, on his side.
Also notable is that, in the Synchro Arc, the penalty has also been applied to Sora (who never participated in the Battle Royale, although the penalty could have been installed at the beginning of the tournament) and Sergey (whose Duel Disk is built into his arm, and therefore could never have been tampered with by Reiji). Both of the Duels in question have also involved Lancers, implying that: a) Reiji also planned to use the penalty as a weapon against enemies trying to intervene in a Lancer's Duel or b) that's just how Duels work in the alternate dimensions.
Brilliance sugar-coated with sweet irony: in episode 49, Kurosaki became the Ineffectual Loner who understood the real value of The Power of Friendship; Sora became the former friend turned evil who says friendship is useless in battle. They're now opposing rivals for each other.
Jossed, Sora seems to value his friends more than what Kurosaki has ever shown. In fact, Kurosaki only seems to be opening up now.
Why did Reiji name the pendulum cards he uses for scales after famous astronomers? Because just like how they explored space, the great unknown. Reiji is exploring Pendulum summoning, the new unknown summoning method.
Why is Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon a Xyz Pendulum card while Rune-Eyes and Beast-Eyes are regular Fusion monsters? Cause Rune-Eyes and Beast-Eyes are Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon evolution, but Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon is the result of mixing Dark Rebellion and Odd-Eyes together, mixing two of the dimension Dragons.
For a while, I felt that there Synchro Summoning was out of focus in ARC-V (The MAN Gongenzaka not withstanding) compared to the depth that Fusion and Xyz users got, and I wondered if that was just the author trying to limit accusations of Creator's Pet. However, with the reveal of Season 2 heavily involving the Synchro Dimension, this comes off as trying to avoid overdoing it with the Synchro Users ahead of time.
Based on the third opening, it seems that the Synchro Dimension itself hasn't been invaded explaining why the synchro dimension has been unexplored.
In episode 50, Reiji seemed sadistically focused on antagonizing the already extremely angry Yuya. At first this seems to be a Kick the Dog moment, but maybe he was doing it on purpose to draw out Yuya's Berserker Mode. He figured out Pendulum summoning by observing Yuya's duels, so he could trying to get Yuya to go berserk so he can analyze how best to use it against the Academia.
And another fridge brilliance. Heartland isn't just the home of Kurosaki. It's also Yuto's home, who happens to be inside Yuya right now. Reiji chose that action field for a good reason.
Fridge Horror: If that's true, then Berserk Yuya would become the Lancers' Godzilla Threshold: by conciously unleashing the rage of an already unstablewoobie, he could become a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who, already done of putting up with all this crap, might succumb to his inner darkness and just plain old destroy Academia to end with their "fusing all dimensions" shit; after all he has two of the four dimensional dragons and five dragons if we count the Odd-Eyes fusions and Odd-Eyes Rebellion, making him by himself the biggest threat ever.
Episode 51 basically confirms this. He starts smiling when Yuya nearly enters Berserk Mode. And gave a freaky slasher smile when he saw Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon.
Pendulum Summoning actually take elements from previous style of special summoning and amp it up.
Fusion: Need a Spell card (Polymerization) to perform special summon, in pendulum summoning's case: Two spell cards that happened to be monsters!
Synchro: Need a specialized monster (Tuner) on field to do special summoning while being wary of the Synchro Material's level, sounds like Pendulum summoning again but with the Pendulum Scale.
Xyz: Stacking of monsters (Pendulum Monsters stacks in Extra deck) and you could use(Special Summon) them all at once as if activating Xyz's monster's effect (and removing Xyz material/monster from the stack).
Ritual: For those who do not play the actual game: Ritual has a strange mechanism: You can not special Summon Ritual Monster from Graveyard (with other spell cards that bring back other monsters) unless you have special summon it before. Pendulum Monster stay in Extra deck after they are destroyed on the field and can be summon over and over again.
Reiji, despite specializing on all types of summon, seems to be more focused on fusion and Xyz in both his duel with Barrett and his 2nd duel with Yuya. This is because he's taunting his opponents with the summon types they're more sensitive at, with pendulum summon being used exclusively against and for Yuya.
So far, each of the four dimension dragons' personalities match their respective owner.
Odd-Eyes is the least violent and the silliest of the four fitting his master, Yuya and his ideal that dueling should be fun and his entertainer persona. Odd-Eyes has shown a comical side like happily eating a lot of spaghetti in Yuya's duel against Michio and making a smile while under the effect of Smile World in his duel against Yoko. And when Yuya underwent Berserk Mode in episode 1 when he only had Odd-Eyes, Yuya wasn't aggressive or filled with rage like Yuto, Yugo or Yuya's later uses of Berserk Mode when he also had Dark Rebellion but instead was simply more confident.
Dark Rebellion is the stoic, but is filled with rage. Dark Rebellion hasn't shown itself to be too different from other monsters when it is summoned. But after Yuya got it, his Berserk Mode become much more aggressive, Similar to his master Yuto who, while merciful and calm headed, still obviously holds plenty of hatard towards his enemies like his rage against Yugo and the Obelisk Force.
Clear Wing is the most talkative and competitive of the four. Clear Wing is so far the only dragon that has communicated with its owner and wants to fight Dark Rebellion. Not unlike Yugo, the most hot-blooded of the Yus who's traveled dimensions to duel Yuto again.
Starve Venom is just as destructive as its sadistic master Yuri, as shown in episode 47 where it destroyed the landscape for no reason at all.
The locations in each of the dimensions. Academia for the Fusion Dimension, the Resistance for the Xyz Dimension, and the City for the Synchro Dimension. Academia, Resistance, and City together spell out ARC. V is the Roman numeral for five; this is the fifth "Yu-Gi-Oh!" season. The title of this season is "ARC-V".
Slightly WMG here, but with Arc V practically being "Callback: The Series" for Yugioh, there's some pretty strong hints that the evolved versions of the advanced summoning methods are set to reappear too. 'Rank Up' has already been debuted by Kurosaki and with Jack retuning, double tuning is probably on the menu in the same way. Also on the evolved Synchro front, Action Duelling seems like the perfect setup for 'Accel Synchro' since the ability to ride your monsters would let one build up the necessary speed even in a ground duel. And as for fusion, now that it's been revealed that Academia's goal is to fuse the alternate dimensions, it's not impossible that the card canonically established in GX as having that ability, 'Ultimate Fusion God' could finally reappear in full, and that the purpose of the invasion is to sacrifice enough people to create a 'Super Polymerisation' to summon it.
Speaking of callbacks: The situation in other dimension so far are callback to previous series plot. Xyz-Dimension is facing an invasion from another Dimension (similar to Zexal's plot), Fusion-Dimension wanted to fuse all dimension (the Super Polymerisation plot all over again), City has class discrimination (similar to the first Arc of 5D's).
The Yuyas and Yuzus are being introduced based on the chronology of their respective summoning method excluding the Yuya and Yuzu. The first Yu to be introduced was Yuto, next was Yugo and finally it was Yuri. This follows a backward chronology of their respective summoning method, Xyz is the newest while Fusion is the oldest but Yuri was introduced last while Yuto was first introduced. In comparison the Yuzus are introduced chronology of their summoning methods, first was Serena (Fusion), then was Rin (Synchro) and finally is Ruri (Xyz).
Fusion Dimension is so elitist, for a long time it referred to the Extra Deck as the Fusion Deck.
Why did Yuzu get her outfit swapped with Serena? Because if she is going to be riding on Yugo's D-Wheel all day in her regular outfit, she'd be giving off Panty Shot after Panty Shot (It's a small Fridge I'll admit, but a fridge none the less).
Duel Chaser 227 was very proud of his 100% arrest rate. Well, considering the one single loss against Yugo was enough to get himself fired, of course he would have a 100% arrest rate. This also means that all active Duel Chasers would also have a 100% arrest rate.
It might just have been because he defied a direct order, which cost him the match. If he just held off, then he could have kept his job.
Or that he lost on television, shaming the entire group by losing to a Common.
Episode 56, reveals that each member of Security has the exact same deck and this makes sense. The pre-made decks are probably specially made and tested by the City, meaning most likely they are much stronger than a deck a normal person could ever make. Also by giving everyone the same deck, individual accomplishments are due to skill, so they know who to promote and who to fire.
When Jean Michel Roget is looking over the profiles for Gongenzaka, Kurosaki and Dennis, Gongenzaka is listed as having a Standard disk and Kurosaki an Xyz one. Why? Because Gongenzaka uses Synchros, and thus the automatic assumption would be to assume that he's normal among the "special" duelists like Kurosaki that use different Summoning methods.
Actually, since Roget seems to at least be aware of the existence of other dimensions and may even be in cahoots with Academia, though it's not confirmed, it may be that he simply could recognize the dimension from where the Disks came.
Why has (as of now) there been no word on an ARC-VYusei? It's because Yusei was born in Neo-Domino City in 5D's, unlike Crow and Jack who were Satellite born. If a Yusei does exist in this dimension, he's going to be a Top, not a Common or a Common who became a Top. Of course, this leads to a bit of unease about a Jerkass version of Yusei appearing later....
Late to the Punchline: It took until now to realize the thematic connection between Odd-Eyes and the gazer Magicians. Even the original still works, as Whatevermancy usually entailed looking into Whatever to see the future.
In episode 63, Kurosaki pulls a Big Damn Hero against the Attack Force of Security, who always invoked the power of authority. Kurosaki's motif is rebellion and he helped the Lancers to escape prison.
Serena's Academia uniform is colored red, which, assuming Academia follows the same system as it's GX counterpart, means that she's in the lowest position. The blue students are elitist, and would never willingly spend time with someone they would consider a "drop-out girl." In that case, that's probably the best place to keep Serena to make sure Yuri doesn't form a bond with her like his counterparts did with her counterparts.
Sam being given a card by Jack is very similar to Yugi giving Judai Winged Kuriboh back in GX. However, Sam took it completely different than Judai did. This subtly plays with the concept of ARC-V Jack Atlas being a true champion compared to his counterpart in 5D's, by having him emulate THE king of games himself, if reality ensues.
His views on every card having it's strengths makes him also come off a lot like the Yusei of ARC-V, another king.
The various weird phenomenon that happened so far between Yuya and his counterparts are related to the native summoning method of the person Yuya is experiencing it with.
Similar to how Xyz monsters are made, Yuya overlaps with Yuto to attain enough power to create the cards needed to summon Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon.
Similar to the process of Synchro Summoning, Yuya seemingly synchronized with Yugo, allowing him to share a mind and senses to subconsciously help Yugo in his duel.
Fridge Horror: If that's true, then it's possible that at some point Yuya will fuse with Yuri. Yuya will fuse with Yuri.
Many have given Sawatari flack for losing his first duel in the Synchro Dimension in one turn. However, it is a canon weakness of Pendulum Decks that Brick Hands (much like Yuya's during his duel with Mieru) can and will happen. Also, the Security personal shown are likely trained to perform One Hit KO's, likely on their first turns, to maximize their effectiveness in capturing enemies of the state. Sawatari could have had the perfect hand, but if he never got to play....
Yuya, Sawatari and Dennis all have entertainment as themes due to their decks, but each of them have different kinds of monsters that represent different kinds of entertainment that fit their personality. Yuya's deck is made up of circus animals, the circus is seen as a place of wonder and excitement, usually meant for children fitting Yuya, who truly wants to make everyone happy. Sawatari's deck is filled with actors, which have a reputation of being petty, drama queens and arrogant, just like Sawatari. Dennis' monsters are magicians, which have the implication that there is more to them than what they seem and misdirection just like how Dennis is a mole
In addition, as Yuya grows wiser (or is forced that way by Arc-'s Gen esc plot), he uses more Magicians, showing him mature. They also tie into the myth arc, being a mysterious type of monster even as the mysteries of the story grow.
Dennis' inability to grab any action cards after summoning Ancient Gear Chaos Giant. He bemoans that they're abandoning him after he's abandoned his Entertainer persona. What two duelists do we see who grab Action Cards the most? Yuya and Yuzu, who are both entertainment duelists. So yes, Dennis, the Action Cards have abandoned you.
About Yuya's and Yuzu's dimensional counterparts and everyone mixing them up, which many people find ridiculous but what if they don't really have different haircolors? What if those are just for the audience to tell them apart? Yeah I know that unusual haircolors is a staple of anime, and that they aren't the only ones with crazy hair colors. But what if the actual trope at work here is Hair Color Dissonance? All the Yuya and Yuzu's dopplegangers have actually the same hair color with different hairstyles which makes it way more believable that they are constantly confused with each other. This post goes to explain that there's some historical background for this.
Chojiro Tokumatsu seems to be the only Synchro resident who is not happy with the Friendship Cup sending the losers to the underground. This makes sense since it was created after him going to prison. Not only that, but the people in the crowd would have been just born, children, or teenagers when this happened which made it easy to spread the belief that it was okay to punish the losers. This mentality just became easier to maintain when Jack won the cup and established hope that their Commons could improve their living conditions and "justifying" that the losers just didn't try hard enough to win.
The fact that the two shown survivors of the Xyz Dimension are DARK users: In the actual card game many Dark monster family groups have been successful in competitive card play (Dark World, Inzektor, Shadoll, Blackwing, Burning Abyss, Ghosttrick, etc), and thus likely lethally competitve card play. Also, in many After the End style stories, such as Marvel Zombies, it's the darker, morally gray characters, like Magneto, who are able to best survive.
Though couldn't it be that Yuto and Kurosaki aren't the only survivors of Xyzs? Just the ones that went to Standard (to specifically find Ruri)? We see other duelists with Kurosaki and Yuto when Yugo first appeared. They might have stayed back because the risk of not coming back / not being related to Ruri.
There's also a chance that they're merely the only survivors of Heartland. The world includes more than one city, and the writers do show other countries like India, Norway and New York when the news about the war is broadcast to the world. Somewhere out there, there's likely larger, more powerful and well-organized resistance groups and refugees, if not a few surviving nations who were already military-strong and able to fight back more quickly (Israel, for example).
Not sure how intentionally this on the Dub's part (or if it's just to fit the naming scheme), "Lulu" (Ruri's dub name), has the same nickname to the protagonist who has heavy themes to Rebellion / La Resistance . Doesn't help that birds are also tied to the 2.
Even if he wasn't planning on using Synchro Summoning, Yuya was still planning on using Tuning Magician, hence why he added Gap Power to his deck to take advantage of the life point difference created.
With Reiji the CEO of Leo Corporation, and thus the producer of cards in Miami City, any additions to the decks of the Lancers, such as Gongenzaka or Yuya, can now be explained by Reiji creating them.
In episode 53, Kurosaki was upset when Reiji announced that Reira would be coming with them. He got so angry and rude about it that some fans assumed he thought Reira would hold them back, but episode 83 reveals he has a soft spot for children, and that his previous actions were probably his way of showing concern and worry.
Kurosaki's summon chant for Ultimate Falcon is different from his other Xyz monsters. The chants of his Rank 1-8 falcons have something to do with war, but Ultimate Falcon's chant is about obtaining victory through the "wills of [its] countless comrades". Fitting since episode 82 is where he and Crow become friends.
The dance scene between Bloom Prima dancing with Frightfur Chimera is a reference to the famous ballroom scene in Beauty and the Beast. As pointed out in the funny section, a beautiful lady dancing with an Eldritch Abomination while looking totally happy, similar to how Belle had no problem dancing with the Beast. Bloom Prima's even wearing a yellow dress just like Belle!
Yugo calling Serena tough, but inflexible. Serena beat a lot of opponents using the same strategies because they weren't familiar with fusion. When she dueled against the Obelisk Force, who studied her deck and knew how to counter it, she struggled until Gong and Sawatari joined in.
As described by the wiki, Kurosaki's main theme (and, indeed, the main theme of the Xyz Dimension in general) of rebellion is mirrored perfectly by his first three Xyz Monsters:
Rise Falcon represents the initial rise of the rebellion: it starts out weak, but can cripple the oppressors' assets to gain strength. Additionally, its opponents tend to underestimate it until it completely curbstomps them.
Blaze Falcon represents the warfare stage: because La Résistance is usually much weaker in a direct fight than the oppressors (Blaze Falcon's meager 1000 ATK), they rely on subterfuge and sabotage of key assets (attacking directly and destroying the opponent's monsters) to attain victory.
Revolution Falcon is, of course, the final push by the rebellion to wipe out the oppressors once and for all, reflected by its effect to both destroy the opponent's monsters and attack all monsters the opponent controls while simultaneously reducing their ATK and DEF to 0.
Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon. Often time the monster just gets hit by the worf effect. Sora held out against it thanks to time and action cards, Reiji beat it to win, Crow destroyed it and lost only due to effect damage, and Sergey also beat it and won. However, it could be seen as a metaphor for Yuya's anger: it felt good the first time Yuya used it, but in the end it just doesn't win where it counts.
When it isn't used out of anger it tends to do a lot better: against Kaito's Cipher Dragon it managed to match it in power despite Kite's attempts to the contrary and later managed to set up for summoning Dark Rebelion, which managed to shock Kaito out of his anger.
If it would ever be destroyed, it will either be a scale 4 that can put another pendulum scale on the field, or a version of Odd-eyes that traded in it's double damage effect for 500 more ATK. This represents his anger as well: either he mindlessly pendulum summons whatever he can (which won't include his boss monster), or he gives up his strategy for power. Contrast this to his other extra deck pendulum monster, Nirvana High Paladin, which has a strategic effect when it's a pendulum scale, and a scale of 8 to boot, but it's monster effect gives you more cards and deal damage that cannot end the game. Odd-Eyes Rebellion intends to end the game then and there, with total destruction, which Nirvana expects the fight to go on longer, and is a but more gentle. they have opposite black-and-white world views... as are the respective card frames, with Odd-Eyes Rebellion being a black Xyz monster and Nirvana High being a white Synchro monster.
Similarly, the Fusion Odd-Eyes also ran into Worf Effects......starting after the Sora vs Kurosaki fight. After Sora revealed his true colors, the Fusion Monsters (which he is responsible for by giving Yuzu Polymerization in the first place), The Power of Friendship that created these cards became tainted. And for a Yu protagonist, such a taint is very damaging. Notice how Brave-Eyes Pendulum Dragon, which did win a duel for Yuya, did not appear until after he and Sora patched things up.
How Yuya first uses Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon and Nirvana High Paladin further highlights their status as polar opposites. When Yuya summons Odd-Eyes, it attacks Obelisk Force in such a violent manner that it creates a windstorm that (literally) pushed people away. When Nirvana was summoned and later destroyed, it was used to set up a combo that brought people to him as he built up his winning move.
And again with Dark Requiem XYZ Dragon, a monster born from Yuto's anger at the loss of his comrades. When first summoning it, Yuto had the advantage, but it ends up not even winning its first duel, something both Dark Rebellion and Odd-Eyes Rebellion accomplished, and Yuya is the one who's hurt when he's against a rock and buried.
Jack Atlas' role as The King in conjunction with his name: in Greek mythology Atlas was the Titan responsible for holding the sky and the earth apart for all time, to prevent them from crashing into each other. This is exactly what the council wants from Jack. To separate the sky (Tops) and the earth (Commons) for all time by standing as a god to both sides.
And yet, Jack himself is shown to have the exact opposite opinion, that the Tops and the Commons need to come together. Note how in his rematch against Yuya, since he knew that Yuya uses a summoning method tailored specifically for swarming, he subtly maneuvered Yuya into a position where he had to use all of his monsters, both the Top (Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon) and the Commons (the Performapals and Magicians) together to win. Jack wanted Yuya to show the people that if everyone worked together, there was nothing they couldn't do. Even while there would still be Tops that opposed such unification (represented by Tyrant Red Dragon Archfiend), the combined might of every like-minded individual would be able to take them down.
In fact, it's even reasonable to assume that Jack never intended to win the duel. His goals were twofold: The first was to teach the people the aforementioned lesson, while the second was to mentor Yuya. He intended to teach Yuya to come up with his own strategies, instead of following the examples set by others (namely, by his father); the implication was that Jack was familiar with Yusho's strategies and knew how to overcome them, so Yuya would need to take him by surprise to win. This is all but made explicit at the end, when he tells Yuya to face him with all of his might, and strike him down.
Why did Yuya's victory have such a huge effect on the City beside the usual Yu-Gi-Oh! logic? Easy! Yuya in effect completely DESTROYED their values by how he defeated Jack. Jack as a person perfectly represents their ideals of a competitive society, he was a Common that rose to the Top and has been invincible for 3 years. This is perfectly shown in Jack's second duel with Yuya, he was able to power up his Red Dragon Tyrant to 10000 attack points something that greatly shocked the audience in and out of universe by the huge amount of attack points. But Yuya instead of summoning a single monster that turn the tables, he used his much weaker monsters to slowly weaken Tyrant to the point that Odd-Eyes could destroy it. Yuya showed that by working together the weak can overcome anything.
This works especially well if RDA is interpreted as representing Tops opposed to the unification of Commons and Tops, Odd-Eyes is interpreted as representing Tops who support the unification, and the Performapal and Magician monsters are interpreted as representing the Commons.
It is also a take on Shinji's own philosophies, possibly explaining why he suddenly began cheering on Yuya.
There is some commentary on Crow's statement that Commons cannot afford a lot of cards, yet he himself possessing 4 monsters good enough to be called an Ace Monster (Chidori, Raikiri, Kusanagi, and Onimaru) and 10 Synchro Monsters overall. However, this isn't contradictory: in Arc-V many duelists are shown to have multiple copies of their ace cards. Hokuto had two Pleiades, Yaiba had three Gottoms, Reiji had three Doom King Armageddons, and many Security members carried multiple Goyo Synchro and later Fusion monsters. Other duelists are also shown to use multiple copies of major staple cards in their deck beyond the generally accepted Polymerization or Self-Swarming cards, like Kurosaki, Masumi, Dennis and Yosen Sawatari. Crow is stating he doesn't have multiple copies of them, particularly Raikiri, not that he doesn't have any good Synchro Monsters.
There's a glass motif going on with Dark Requiem Xyz Dragon, its summon sequence has the Solid Vision distorting Dark Rebellion to make it seem coated in glass, and Requiem itself has wings which resemble stained glass. The glass is symbolic of Yuto: the glass which coats Dark Rebellion before shattering to unleash Dark Requiem is symbolic of his previous state and the ideal of 'bring smiles with your duels' being torn apart by the loss of his comrades. Requiem's stained glass wings evoke a church, which often have graveyards in their grounds, thus being symbolic of Yuto's sorrow at the loss of those comrades and desire to avenge them by destroying Academia.
Initially it seems that Yuri is the only clone-boy not to harken back to a previous series lead through his Deck (Yuto's Phantom Knights are the same Type as Yuma's ace Hope; Yugo's Speedroids are evocative of Riding Duels and bear the same Attribute as Yusei's Stardust, while Clear Wing Synchro Dragon's name appears to be a reference to Clear Mind), with no obvious connection to Judai through either his Starve Venom or his Predator Plants. However, note that at the climax of GX's third season, Judai's soul fused with that of Yubel, whose deck focused on supporting her own card via... you guessed it, DARK Plant-types. Yubel herself later became a key player in Judai's deck, and despite her Fiend typing, in the flashback to her human self prior to her transformation, it's mentioned that she will become "a *dragon* far too ugly to glance at" or something along those lines.
To qualify for the Miami Championship, you need to either have a 60% win ratio, or win 6 duels in a row. In defeating Marco, Tio, the three random LDS guys Mr. Sawatari sent after Yuya, and then the trio of Hokuto, Masumi and Yaiba, Kurosaki did in fact qualify under the latter ruling.
Yuri seems disgusted attacking Ojama King with Starve Venom Fusion Dragon. Not only because Ojama King is terribly ugly, but also because it's the only of the summoned monsters that actually caused any problem to his OTK, since it gives 0 ATK to SVFD, is a 3000 DEF wall (forcing him to copy Jumbo Drill's piercing effect) and locks three Monster Zones, which limits any other plays he could do had the OTK failed.
In a brilliant Lampshade Hanging, Yuya outright says that a tag duel is a terrible gamemode for Gongenzaka's deck thanks to the shared Graveyard rule locking out the Superheavy Samurais with "no S/T in grave" restrictions, specially when his partner was dependent on Underworld Script cards. However, it's even worse against the Tyler sisters: Gongenzaka's deck, in general, focuses on agression through powerful Defense Position attackers and breaking the opponent's Spells and Traps. The Tyler sisters play Amazoness decks, which have powerful continuous effects that manipulate the numbers on the battlefield (ATK boosts, damage redirection...), and while they CAN play spells and traps, they aren't that reliant on them for Shutendoji to be a big threat, and even if Gongenzaka got to use Susanoo's effect, most of their spells and traps were Amazoness-specific anyways - not to mention that the defensive support that they played against Yuya and Kurosaki was mostly made of continuous S/T, i.e. cards that one must destroy for them to hit the Graveyard. Add everything up, and you'll realize that Gongenzaka was playing an uphill battle.
All of the extra deck monsters have the common trait of a dependence on their summoning materials, with it being more and more down played with the latter summoning types:
The Fusion monsters, Rune-Eyes and Beast-Eyes rely on the one dragon fusion material for their affects with their quality, I.E. level and attack respectively, playing a major part
The Xyz monsters rely on the monsters used to Xyz summoning them, usually Dark Rebellion since it didn't originally belong to Yuya, and have limits to how much they can be used, with Odd-eyes Rebellion activating on summoning and Dark Requiem not activating its effects without having Dark Rebellion as a material.
The Synchro Paladins both add a card from the graveyard after using a certain type of monster as a material, though that is more of a nice bonus since they naturally have their own effects that are more powerful. Specifically, they both hurt your opponent's life points when they destroy a monster by battle.
One noticeable thing about Dennis during his last two duels before he cards himself is that he seems to have removed all of his Ancient Gear cards from his deck. This makes sense, considering how his old ace, Ancient Gear Chaos Giant screwed him over during his last action duel because its destructive presence destroyed the surrounding area making it impossible for Dennis to get action cards, which ultimately cost him the duel. However, because of his patiorism towards to the Fusion Dimension, he decided to get a Performage fusion monster that allow him to still use fusion.
The one time after this point he uses a Ancient Gear card was when he was playing the bad guy. What card was it, but Ancient Gear Mask.
Kurosaki main decking Revolution Force makes a lot more sense once you consider how many times he might have dueled Kaito.
In general, it makes sense if he used it regularly in the Xyz Dimension (where he would be facing against other Xyz users enough to use it), but hasn't had an opportunity to get new cards since the invasion started.
In retrospect all of Reiji's duels are symbolic to his opponent to the point of psychoanalysis:
In his first duel with Yuya he summons monsters based on all 3 Extra Deck summons which are all things Yuya doesn't have. He later uses Pendulums to show that not only he's a master of the game but Yuya isn't anything special. However his Pendulum Monsters glitch out and Reiji leaves the game before he had the chance to overwhelm Yuya.
His duel with Barret involves him using a new Fusion monster, referencing the fact Barret is from Fusion as well as defeating him with an Xyz Monster representing the fact Fusion invaded and nearly destroyed the Xyz Dimension.
Reiji's second duel with Yuya plays out like the first, summoning all 3 Extra Deck monsters only for them be defeated by Yuya's newly acquired Fusion Monsters. Reiji then summons a powerful Fusion Monster of his own to defeat those Fusion monsters, showing that his Fusions aren't as strong as others. When Yuya retaliates by summoning Dark Rebellion and Odd-Eyes Rebellion, Reiji summons a counter in an Xyz Monster again reflecting Yuya's newly acquired monsters. Yuya lost because his anger blinded him in the process.
Finally Reiji's duel with Roget has Reiji summoning a Fusion Monster, representing Roget's origin from Fusion, and a Synchro Monster representing the Dimension Roget wanted to conquer. Reiji then 1 turn kills Roget with the said monsters circumventing the latter's strategy. When its revealed that Roget was using holograms to infinitely replace himself, Reiji uses his own "dirty" tactics involving his newly created Pendulum monsters that were created to fight Academia, causing an infinite 1 turn kill every time.
And in his duel versus Leo, who wants to unite the four dimensions, in his first turn he uses all their summoning methods, then making it so Leo can't use them, symbolically representing Fusion, Synchro, and Xyz turning against him, led by Pendulum.
The number of Anti-Climax Bosses in the series (as shown on the YMMV page) may seem like a bit of a copout at first. If you actually play the card game, you'll realize that boss monsters in this series tend to only last a couple of turns at most because that's what the actual game is like at this point.
Each of the Dragon Boys have shown different powers that fit with the dimension they're from and allow for the creation of a single person.
Yuto's power is overlaying. Yuto's power allows for the boys' souls to inhibit a single body like how Xyz monsters have Xyz material under the Xyz monster. Also Yuto's power forces 1 soul to be dominant while the rest are mostly quiet as shown at first Yuto was silent inside of Yuya, similar to how Xyz material aren't counted as cards while under the Xyz monster.
Yugo's power is synchronization. As stated it allows the boys' to share a single consciousness, sharing their skills and strengths. When summoning Synchro Monsters, the Synchro Material monsters must have the same total level as the Synchro monster.
Yuri's power is fusion. This was hinted in episode 92 when the four boys were going to fuse, we see Yuri walking to Yugo while Yugo and Yuya aren't moving. Yuri's power mixes the four Dragon Boys into an entirely different being like how Fusion Monsters are different cards from their fusion material monsters. Yuri's power is the final power to revive the Demonic Duelist.
Yuya's power is card creation and the center of the Dragon Boys. First we have to ask what does Yuya represent, he didn't originally represent Pendulums as they were created at the start of the series. As Odd-Eyes was originally an effect monster, Yuya represents the main deck. When dueling, the deck can create different plays and possibilities because you draw each turn, similar to how Yuya can create new possibilities when he creates new cards. Also Yuya has shown the ability to trigger the other boy's power like when Yuto was absorbed instead of the other way around or Yuya was able to trigger the mass Synchronization due to the electric chip in his helmet. When dueling the different extra deck summoning methods are caused by cards in the main deck.
Why was Yuri ordered to bring back the Bracelet girls without turning them into a card when it would have been easier since Academia can un-card people ? The four girls are pieces of his daughter Ray, so not only he may not want them to experience being turned into a card but also he might want to avoid a situation where the un-carding process goes wrong and ruins his plans.
In retrospect Yuri's Starve Venom Fusion Dragon being a Level 8 Monster which goes against the other leveled Dragons being 7 may seem odd at first but it makes sense. If you think about it the total levels to Xyz Summon Dark Rebellion do equal 8 but due to it having a Rank means it doesn't have an exact Level and its not a Synchro monster so the Levels don't add up to summon it. This makes Starve Venom more of an Evil Counterpart to Dark Rebellion more so than the other Dragons especially since the Fusion Dimension waged war against the Xyz Dimension.
It seems strange that Ruri resisted Yuri in a duel, whereas Rin just ran away until he cornered her and knocked her out. Then you notice Rin doesn't have a Duel Disk in that scene, which by itself makes sense - Ruri would've had to carry hers at all times in a warzone, whereas even with Security around in Synchro, Rin could be less vigilant. But aside from that, remember that Rin and Yugo shared a D-Wheel, and that Yugo doesn't get off his bike to duel until after the thing gets trashed, implying that the only Disk he has is the one attached to the D-Wheel. It stands to reason that Rin and Yugo didn't just share the D-Wheel, but also the Duel Disk. Adds a whole other level to Yugo's desperation to find her - if he hadn't been the one on the D-Wheel that night, maybe Rin could've had a means to resist Yuri's kidnapping, or hell, a means to drive away faster than he could catch her.
After The Reveal that the bracelet girls and Yu boys were all adopted via magic, you notice something about them. Ruri, Yuya, and Yuzu are the only ones with last names given, and they're the only ones with known relatives. It seems that Ray and Zarc's reincarnations didn't come with last names of their own, but they could assume the last names of their adopted families. Furthermore through Yusho and Shuzou's fragmented memories we know that these characters have no real beginning and not much of a history beyond childhood, so they don't actually "belong" in their worlds, whereas their adoptive families have apparently existed since the worlds were split up and belong there just as much as anybody else.
Each of Zarc's reincarnations represents a different side of his persona. Yuya is his desire to entertain, Yugo is his competitive nature, Yuto is his vengefulness (Yuto wanted to avenge his comrades against Academia, Zarc and his dragons were rebelling against their misuse by people) and Yuri is his destructive inclinations. When Zarc acts through Yuya/Yuto, while it's not entertaining per se, he typically retaliates against the enemy in the flashiest manner possible.
This is also why Yuto is generally a lot more mellow than the other three: until Academia came around he didn't have anything to really be vengeful about. His inherited trait didn't manifest until much later, meaning he was able to grow with a more balanced emotional palette.
Some have noted that the Dimensional Dragons generally do not seem to fit their deck types all that well (Odd-Eyes is too high level for most Performapal scales, there are only a few Level 4 Phantom Knights that are monsters and Clear Wing's defensive ability is at odds with the offensive oriented Speedroids). As the dragons originate from Zarc, this is a bit of a way to show that they are different from their original version and have grown in different ways. The one Yu boy whose deck matches their dragon well is Yuri, who is the most Zarc-ish of all.
Yuya's Magicians, his most reliable way of summoning Odd-Eyes, are tied to Zarc, noting how Yuya is the most like Zarc before he decided to go destruction mad.
Yuusho speculates that he was chosen by Zarc to train Yuya to be a duelist. From this alone, we can also speculate why Zarc placed the other three counterparts where they are in their respective dimensions. Yuri was always living at the Academy and every day of his life was full of dueling. The same goes for Yuuto's origin, who was once a student at a dueling school and was Kaito's opponent during a school match before the invasion. Yugo was born a Commons and had to learn how to duel in order to survive and climb his way up the City's hierarchy. All four of the boys were placed in just the right situations to master their dimension's dueling.
When summoning Red Dragon Archfiend Tyrant, Jack mentions the Crimson Dragon, and it briefly appears. While not all that relevant to the plot, if it exists, it would be a double shout-out to 5D's: not just that era's major driving force, but in this context, it would be a powerful magic used by a rival that has nothing to do with our hero's story... just like Team Ragnarok and their Aesir cards.
Yuya's Magic Poker Equation ability to get Odd-Eyes, and later him and his counterpart's ability to easily get the materials for their dragons out, has some justification. As they are all Zarc's dragons and tied to his return via triggering Awakenings from having them all out, of course he'd want them to get on the field as quickly as possible. It's also why Odd-Eyes started to appear a bit less after Episode 37: Yuya was drawing for Dark Rebellion summonings. Heck the one duel in which Yuya never summoned a Dragon, his duel with Shinji, did have the materials for Dark Rebellion in play as his first turn (Salutiger and Silver Claw). Had he dueled 'properly', he'd have been able to summon Dark Rebellion.
During his duel with the Duel Chaser, Yugo reprimanded him for stealing his monster, but then used a monster that allowed him to take a tuner from the chaser's graveyard to do his own synchro summon. Another early sign that the commons are just as punchable as everyone else in the synchro dimension.
Alternatively, the Duel Chaser took Yugo's main monster, implying that The Tops are in a position to take whatever they want while Yugo, and by extension the commons, have to settle with using only that which The Tops have thrown away/ sent to GY.
The Fusion Dimension's actions are generally the cause of a lot of the problems shown in each universe: from the minor bits like Yusho's M.I.A status to major ones like the class system in Synchro and the destruction of the Xyz dimension. This seems a bit contrived, but it actually has some subtext to it: GX was the first series to seriously deconstruct the tropes of the franchise, and did it a lot more than the first two series. It also had a wide assortment of corruption and misery based villains compared to the other two series. Clearly it was exporting them: it's actions deconstructed 5D's/Synchro dimension and made miserable Zexal/Xyz dimension.
Also in another way, one could even make a Harry Potter connection for Fusion's evilness: As the dimension generally filled with expendables Standard is Hufflepuff. As the dimension with a few prominent characters who tend to be among the smarter/more genre savy ones Xyz is Ravenclaw. As the dimension with the most named characters and fleshed out status, Synchro is Gryffindor. Fusion is surrounded by water and looks down on other dimensions as inferior: Fusion is Slytherin.
Yuzu's bracelet is the only one that teleports the Yu-Boys away if they get too close to each other. The En Flower card is the only one of the nature cards that removes Zarc's monsters from the field after they become normal monsters. So Yuzu's bracelet is preventing Zarc's resurrection by removing Zarc's counterparts from the field before they can fuse.
Here's abit of Fridge Brilliance for this part of the Yugioh Series. One thing that's normally a staple of the series is that the protagonist has "Yu" as the first part of their name. Here, that's played out perfectly well with the Dragon boys: Yuya, Yuto, Yugo and Yuri. But there's also two other people who have "Yu" as a part of their names. Yuzu and Yusho. Yuzu has been noted in some Memetic Mutation s to be the actual protagonist of the show, and some of the plot revolves around her and her counterparts (which are eventually revealed to be Ray who is one of the huge reasons there are different dimensions in the first place). As for Yusho, he was Dimension hopping, opening up show schools so he could teach people the fundamentals of dueling so they could protect themselves against Academia. Really, all of them can qualify for a protagonist role!
Sounds solid, but there's a tiny hole in that theory: while Yuzu is almost certainly a nod to the trend, the "Yu" in her name is shorter, which is probably the reason why her name was changed to "Zuzu" in the dub.
The Dragon Boys and Bracelet Girls decks tend to mesh well with out each other: Yugo and Rin's decks in the real life card game work quite well together, while Yuto's more defensive style would support Ruri's more offensive one well. During the show Yuya and Yuzu's decks both gain Fusion capabilities whose support cards both could use, with similar offensive strategies between the two of them and the dragon upgrade that would have been without Pendulum, Odd-Eyes Saber Dragon, being a result of tributing a Light monster, aka Yuzu's attribute. Clearly Ray wanting her counterparts to have every reason to stick close to Zarc's extends to combat as well. Yuri and Serena's decks, while possessing some kinship, do not mesh as well, noting how the two are not close at all despite what Ray/Destiny would prefer.
Yuya and Yuzu both developing Fusion in their decks is interesting when one notes that a certain Yu boy and bracelet girl who are supposed to share Fusion aren't close at all. One of each was clearly needed...
Why was Zarc able to resurrect with a body when Ray needed to use Reira to do anything? Because Zarc was having the Dragon Boys duel each other, with the winner absorbing the loser. Eventually, all of the Dragon Boys would be residing in a single body, and then Zarc could take over that body. With Ray, all of the Bracelet Girls were being absorbed into Arc-V while having their bodies disintegrated in the process. So without a physical body to use, Ray could only appear as a spirit. That's why Ray needed Reira because she essentially didn't have a body to resurrect herself since ARC-V destroyed all of Ray's possible hosts.
Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon and Smile World appearing together in the opening was seen as weird, especially since both of them ends up never played together at the same time, but it's actually Foreshadowing for Zarc's defeat, with what essentially are power-up of both (Odd-Eyes Raging Dragon represented Zarc's soul inside Yuya, and also reference the Supreme Dragon King that actually was Zarc, while Smile World is meant to hint at Smile Universe) being on the stage for his defeat.
Yuya's first summoning of Clear Wing and Starve Venom actually has shout outs to their summoning's series of origin. He uses Stargazer Magician to summon Clear Wing, referring 5Ds Yusei's Stardust and Shooting Star Dragons. Starve Venom is summoned with Timegazer Magician, while GX's Jaden was reincarnation of an ancient prince from a time long past.
With what we learn about Zarc in the last few episodes, the series even manages to Deconstruct both Fighting from the Inside and The Bad Guy Wins, by having Zarc win in a way that actually removes his evil. We learn that Zarc's Start of Darkness was caused by him trying to entertain the audience, but being driven insane by their lust for blood. After the dimensions are split, Zarc places his dimensional reincarnations, the Yu-boys, in positions where they'll learn to duel, in hopes that they'll revive him... but also gives them a desire to entertain, very possibly a result of his pre-insanity personality managing to break through his Omnicidal Maniac personality for a brief instant. (Yuya is the most obvious about this, as his entire personality revolves around entertaining others. However, Yuto has a thing for smiles (and constantly encourages Yuya not to lose his), and Yugo loves high-speed acrobatic stunts and risky all-or-nothing gambling plays (both of which keep the audience in suspense), while also using a deck based on toys (toys being something designed for the explicit purpose of entertaining people); Yuri was likely similar at first, but Zarc's influence corrupted it into a desire to be entertained.) When Zarc is revived, while he makes it clear that he wants to destroy the world in revenge, he also (if I remember correctly) outright says that he's going to destroy everything because senseless violence is what the audience wanted, showing that even after going crazy, he's still driven by a twisted form of his desire to entertain. So, in the end, when Yuya manages to make Reira smile, finally purifying Zarc's evil, he shows that he can truly entertain the audience, without relying on violence or being driven insane by their desire for it. And thus, due to the faintest influence from his pre-insanity personality leaking through, Zarc manages to make everyone smile, entertain the audience without using violence, andremove his own evil, and even make peace with Ray, through Yuya. Who says the villain winning is a bad thing, again? By the looks of things, he even got the girl!
Moreover, Yuya's entertainment style directly addresses the flaws in Zarc's. Where Zarc's style made the dragons, and himself, feel that they were effectively the peoples' slaves, Yuya sets out to entertain the monsters just as much as the audience and opponent. This makes them feel like part of the audience, instead of like they're enslaved, helping to prevent them from desiring revenge and causing another Zarc to rise. It's likely that when Zarc's pre-insanity personality leaked through, he saw exactly where he failed, and did everything in his power specifically to prevent it from happening again.
Listen to this: a group of duelists who all use the same deck, play the same moves and block their opponent from actually playing the game all for personal satisfaction, degrading the very soul of the game. Now did I just describe the Obelisk Force or real life competitive players?
When you look at how Zarc, Ray, and the Original Dimension were divided, you notice that they were all divided in the same basic format. Three of their counterparts were the embodiment of one of their key traits while the last counterpart was an embodiment of all of their traits.
First, we have Zarc, who was divided into his key traits before going mad. From the flashbacks, we can see that Zarc was a pacifist, could be a bit goofy, and loved good entertainment.
Yuto was shown to be a pacifist, disliking the idea of having to fight to survive during Acadamia's invasion of the Xyz Dimension.
Yugo was shown to be a bit goody, drawing up really childish designs for a D-Wheel and doing things that can annoy people and earn him some sort of physical, comedic punishment.
Yuri was shown to love entertainment, but due to his unhealthy upbringing, he grew to find entertainment in other people's suffering.
Yuya embodies all of these traits, but is not defined by a single trait.
Next, we have Ray, who from the flashbacks can be seen as a kindhearted person who isn't afraid to reprimand people for their actions and has a no nonsense attitude.
Ruri was seen to be very kindhearted, being someone who assisted refugees as opposed to fighting.
Rin was constantly seen reprimanding Yugo for his goofy tendencies.
Serena was seen to have a no nonsense attitude, as seen in her dueling style and her interactions with others.
Yuzu was embodies all of these traits, but is not defined by a single trait.
Finally, the Original Dimension had all of the summoning methods while each of the dimensions it divided into had only one of them save for Standard. However, while Standard originally didn't have any Extra Deck summoning method, it came to posses all of them.
The above point also explains why the Standard counterparts became the bodies that all the counterparts inhabit. The Standard counterparts are essentially everything Zarc and Ray were. Zarc and Ray truly were reborn in Yuya and Yuzu respectively when all of their counterparts became one.
Why do the counterparts only become verbal after being absorbed at specific points in the story? They were all woken up by their own memories. Each counterpart only woke up when the counterpart that absorbed them entered their home dimension where all of their memories took place. Going off of the above point, each counterpart started as a key trait of the original and developed an more unique personality by experiencing their own lives and forming their own memories.
Yuto first became vocal in Yuya after Yuya entered the Xyz Dimension because that was where the memories that developed Yuto's personality began to truly stir.
Yugo never became vocal in Yuri because Yuri never entered the Synchro Dimension after absorbing Yugo, so Yugo's memories were never stirred.
All of the counterparts became vocal in Yuya during his second duel with Jack because the track they were on ran through all of the dimensions, stirring all of their memories at once.
Why was Yuri so much friendlier at the end of the series? Because he has been silently watching Yuya's entertainment dueling the entire time Yuya was traveling through all of the dimensions. Yuya made Yuri a better person the same way he did with the likes of the Synchro Dimension, Edo, Grace, Gloria, Kaito, and B.B.
It likely also helped that Zarc's personality has seemingly moved to inhabit Reira instead. We're likely seeing the true Yuri for the first time, what he would've been if he'd been given the chance to develop a personality of his own instead of being isolated from Serena and left to fester with Zarc's influence.
Sawatari dueled all of the three Yu boys except Yuri. However he was still defeated by a Fusion Dragon in his second duel with Yuya: Beast-Eyes Pendulum Dragon. He also dueled Yuya one on one twice and was defeated by a Pendulum Dragon the first time. So he was defeated by a Pendulum Dragon, a Xyz Dragon, a Fusion Dragon, and a Synchro Dragon.
The dub changing Jacks title from King of Games to Master of Faster makes sense in 3 ways. Not only does it avoid pissing off the Fan Dumb purists, but its one of Jacks titles in 5Ds and it fits the theme of Riding/Turbo Duels better.
Gongenzaka has a deck with no spells in it, and uses Synchros. That means, even if he was forced to use the original Riding Duel rules from 5D's, he still wouldn't have to change his deck to replace normal spells with Speed Spells.
Remember when Kaito and Shun used Sayaka's Little Fairy? Both of them used Little Fairy to help bring out the power of a monster with "Étranger" in their name (Cipher Étranger for Kaito, and Raidraptor - Étranger Falcon for Shun). "Étranger" is a French word that means "stranger" in English. Little Fairy is a card that's a stranger to their deck, because it's neither a Cipher nor a Raidraptor.
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.
Humorously, if Yuya taking 300 tries to figure out how to Pendulum Summon again, while watching footage of the first time he did it, is the rule and not the exception, this might be perfectly justified.
Episode 127 reveals that those summoning methods didn't exist in Standard before Leo Akaba reintroduced them, thus explaining the unfamiliarity with them.
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.
Mikiyo made it to the second round of an international tournament of only 64 duelists in her age group with... a generic Fairy deck. Her ace is a Normal Monster. She doesn't even have a coherent archetype such as Agents, it's just a random pool of cards. No amount of skill can compensate for having such an uncompetitive deck, especially one without a win condition.
Hard to say the exacts of a deck we only briefly saw. Plus, the cards she did use actually do work with each other (Gellundo is a two tribute for Fairy monsters, which can summon Wingweaver, while the Spirit of Victories she had were attack boosters for Fairies in general.)
There are quite a few cards that support normal monsters, and her ace has no summoning condition, making it easy to summon. Maybe she plays a deck that is economical with cards; she uses Wingweaver only because she can summon it easily, and considers it no big loss if something happens to it (there are real-life decks based around Blue-Eyes White Dragon with a similar philosophy). Plus, there are probably a bunch of anime-only cards that would make Normal Fairies a legitimate deck (see: Team Taiyo, who use commons from the first few real life sets, which become problematic because of a bunch of new anime cards).
This is about the Dennis vs. Yuzu duel in Episode 44, as we know the Bloom Diva card (Yuzu ace monster) made its debut in the anime before it was released in the TCG, so the real life card ended up having a different effect than the anime one, the one thing that bothers me about this duel is the next: Unlike real life effect, Bloom Divas anime deals BATTLE damage, not EFFECT damage, so Dennis Stilts Shooter shouldnt have been able to reflect the damage back. Same as when he used Trapeze Magician to attack, Yuzu should have won right there because Trapeze cant negate battle damage. But for whatever reason, the anime decided to changed Bloom Diva effect to match with real life effect just so Yuzu would lose, I know this sounds more like a rant but hear me, while it would be understandable if they just decided to change it just in order to match it up to the real card, why didn't they do it before?, the card has been out for a while now, and just the previous episode had Yuzu use the Bloom Diva as usual without changes; Yep, that's it, they made Yuzu lose just to make Dennis look better, let's just hope this is a one time thing and not the start of something worse for Yuzu's character.
Anime!Bloom Diva originally redirected battle damage but that was retconned to nullifying the damage and inflicting it to the opponent.
This is revealed to be building up Dennis as he's an enemy. He has to be a credible threat and as he's from the Fusion Dimension, he should be generally more skilled than any Standard Dimension duelist.
Why does Yuzu's bracelet resemble Xyz material? Serena's bracelet looks like fusion material monsters, so shouldn't Yuzu's pendent resemble a Pendulum summon?
It actually resembles all of the Extra Deck Summoning methods. Xyz, it's pretty obvious at first glance when it's unfolded as it looks like the path of overlay units. Fusion, the gems are surrounded by flower design that looks like its spiralling, which is what Fusion Summoning looks like. Synchro, when it's folded up it looks like a Synchro ring. For Pendulum, the two gems on either side represent Pendulums. No surprise since she's Standard's bracelet holder.
As of Episode 127, it's revealed that the bracelets are not related to summoning methods at all. Except they are; they counter various types of Extra Deck monster.
If Dennis lost to Serena because he left Polymerization, why wouldn't he keep his non-Fusion cards out of his deck from that point?
He's too proud of his Fusion cards as they represent his real home.
He might have put them back purposely for his duel with Kurosaki if he did take them out. It's implied at the beginning of the episode that he intends to give Kurosaki a beat-down.
So now we know that all of the bracelet girls and Yu boys are reincarnations of Ray and Zarc respectively, and Yusho theorizes that Ray and Zarc had some control over where they were reborn. Why then did they choose to only be selective with a few of their reincarnations? It seems that Yuya was reborn as Yuya Sakaki because Yusho's philosophies support Zarc's beliefs and Yuzu was reborn to Shuzou because that would allow her to grow up next to Yuya, but then why not give Yugo, Rin, Yuto, Yuri and Serena parents as well?
Perhaps Yugo didn't have parents because having no one to depend on meant he'd have to learn to fend for himself, and Rin didn't because she needed to stay near him (which meant being in the same orphanage)?
Related to the one above, why did Ray make Ruri Shun's sister? How does that benefit her goals?
Ok the point was to put Yuya under the strongest duelist in Standard, Yusho. My guess is Zarc chose the places where his reincarnations can grow in strength easiest. Yusho was not only the dueling champion but also had a Dueling school. Yugo was placed in the Commons where to survive you had to develop your dueling skills for a better future and Yuri was placed in Duel Academia which is self explanatory. Yuto is the only one that has questionable reasoning why he was born there but if you remember he's close friends with Shun and Kaito, the best duelists in Heartland Zarc might have manipulated their memories to make Yuto close to them. For the girls, they were place to be close to the boys. Yuzu was made the daughter of Shuzuo, Yusho's friend and teammate, Rin was placed in the same orphanage as Yugo and Serena was also in Duel Academia. Ruri was probably made Shun's sister because it would be the easiest way to meet Yuto.
For all the trouble people have in Fusion Dimension, nobody ever thought of traveling by their monsters? Kurosaki went to Security Tower using his Raid Raptors and 4 episodes before that he brought other Lancers, Tokumatsu, Sam, Amanda, Frank and Tanner using his monster so they could've used it in the similar way. Yusho could've avoided encounter with Yuri by travelling using Performapal Sky Magician, something he can do as clearly shown in his duel with Yuri so why?
This might be because Fusion trains people to be soldiers, while everyone else is more casual (and in particular, rebels tend to need to use whatever they can get their hands on wherever they can make it work, even if that's not its original purpose). Being trained as soldiers, they likely see their decks as weapons and nothing more... and when's the last time you saw someone drive their gun to work? Yusho is an oddity since he's from Standard, and his son has been seen riding his monsters literally right from the start. Maybe he didn't want to stand out?
Supreme King Dragon Zarc is not only an integration of all of his strongest monsters (the Dimension Dragons and Astrograph Sorcerer), it's also an integration of all of their effects as well. His destruction effect when summoned is somewhat of an inversion of Starve Venom's destruction effect when it's destroyed. It's effect to negate effects that target it is somewhat like Clear Wing's effect. It's ability to summon two "Supreme King Servant Dragon" monsters from the deck is like an inverse to Dark Rebellion's detachment of materials to drain attack from monsters. It's effect to keep Fusion, Synchro or Xyz monsters from being affected by other monsters (of the same summoning types) is somewhat like Odd Eye's Pendulum Effect of reducing damage from battles involving Pendulum Monsters to 0. The way Astrograph Sorcerer ties in is that it's effect to return monsters, spells and traps and the like to the field is kind of like Zarc's Pendulum effect, in which you can tribute a Supreme King Monster to bring it back.
The only reason Zarc kept his winning stride was that everyone insisted in joining the duel instead of accepting defeat and challenging him again. That left Zarc with the advantage of a field already set as he needed while everyone else had to build up and expose himself to his effects. While that was instrumental to the four cards created to seal him, that had specific condition to be activated and wouldn't have worked on the first turn otherwise, starting the duel again might have left Zarc with less powerful hands (for example, not drawing his game-breaking pendulums) and without the LP gain he had from previous duel, and might have led to his defeat (even if he had the same opening hand again, he would have been utterly crushed by Reiji, being unable to summon his Dragon King or his servants or his pendulum effects, leaving him exposed to the massive beating from the High Executive Kings).
The point of everyone intruding on the duel and accepting the 2000 LP penalty, was to prevent Zarc from going all nuts and eliminating everything. If Reiji decided to reset everything before challenging him, what's stopping Zarc from refusing and then blasting him with his dragon at point blank.
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 5D's, 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 Yuto 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...
I'm pretty sure those hippos are supposed to represent the audience that Yuya strives to perform for, who he always seeks to entertain - the fact that they're skimpily-dressed is likely irrelevant to him, especially since they are cute cartoon hippos rather than human girls.
While it's not sexual, Ankokuji's goons sure seem to enjoy Yuya's hippo show in episode 30...
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.
Its cry brings another dose of this when you realize that it's the same as Earthbound Cod Acsilla piscu.
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?
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.
Alleviated. It was an action duel, which are made to be mostly harmless since they are used as a form of entertainment. Of course, had they been dueling with their dimension's duel disks, the solid light system would not have limiters/security measures. Which begs the question: How long until someone starts using the solid vision monsters while disregarding the "rules"?
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)
Well, Skill Drain probably wouldn't do much, seeing as ordinary humans can reasonably be assumed to be Normal monsters, and Dark Hole would just create a black hole; likely a harmless one while Earth's gravitational field cancels it out, if my understanding of black hole physics is accurate.
That being said, having your monster be destroyed or impaled as you use it as a mount or are otherwise too close won't end well.
Learning what happened to Yuto's hometown when Yuto was explaining things to Yuya in Episode 36 was sad on its own, but the reveal in Episode 41 that the Fusion Dimension began their invasion of the Xyz Dimension three years ago makes it even worse. Assuming that Yuya and Yuto are the same age, then Yuto was likely eleven years old at the time the events of that particular flashback took place.
In Episode 47, when Yuri met Yuzu, he didn't card Yuzu only because the Professor would be mad at him. But if you think about it, it would be a lot easier if Yuri simply carded Yuzu, teleported back to the Fusion Dimension and then uncarded her. But the fact that the Professor wouldn't be happy means that even the Academia can't uncard the victims. Meaning right now, there is no way to free them. And I Must Scream indeed.
In episode 34, Yuya notes how the field is becoming more and more of the battlefield. But why is that card effects are causing more damage to the field in this field? Well, it has noted that the effects of the solid mass systems can be controlled to different levels of hardness. Reiji picking Heartland was obviously not a coincidence, probably done to test both Sora and Kurosaki and to get them to slip information about themselves and the war. It's likely Reiji purposely amplified the damage in order re-create the Heartland invasion,and therefore the attacks/trap card causing more damage to the surrounding areas (Sora and Kurosaki also get more physical damage on their bodies, which would be more closer to how a war battle will play out instead of a friendly tournament battle)
In Episode 57, Dennis duels Gongenzaka in the Synchro Dimension. Dennis switches from hero to villain for the show because Gon didn't want to be the villain. He calls Xyz and pendulum summoning evil summoning methods as the villain, because he wants to trick the children into associating them with the enemy.
In Episode 62, there is a joint liability whenever there is a prison break. Regardless if the prisoner in question was involved or not, they will be punished simply through association. Luckily this didn't happen but what exactly will happen to Yuya and co. if the Facility Security learns that Crow and co. escaped?
This leans into a bit of Fridge Brilliance when you realize this was precisely the reason Crow repeatedly declared that he and Yuya were no longer comrades while in the Facility: to spare them this fate.
Yuri. While Yugo and Yuto do have quite noticeable differences from Yuya in personality, they still are fairly similar to him: Yuto with his importance with friendship and his desire not to hurt people, and Yugo with his demeanor and desire to prove himself. Yuri however.......has no traits he shares with Yuya. Is he like that because he is under the influence of Academia, or was he just born bad?
He probably wasn't born that way, but considering what Sora went through to warp his mind, it's possibly Yuri's "treatment" might have been even worse to ensure it never wears off.
The fact that the next batch of Lancers are being trained by Himika is horrifying when we learned how far she was willing to go with Reira, a CHILD.
Yuri's also been shown to treat situations like they were a game. What is a game suppose to do? Bring entertainment.
So, we learn that the City already knew about what happens to the losers of the Friendship Cup and are totally fine with it. Does that mean Yugo willingly signed himself and Yuzu up for the tournament knowing that one of them might become a slave forever? He might think it's worth the risk, but remember Yuzu doesn't even live in the same dimension as him, and she's shown desperately wanting to go back to Standard. So Yugo possibly signed Yuzu up, knowing that she might never return home if she loses.
It might not even be he realizes that is necessarily odd to her. Yugo grew up in this environment. In real life, a lot of people have traditions others see as barbaric but they see as perfectly normal, such as America's gun numbers, Europe's more open acceptance of things like nudity, and Middle Eastern countries with dress codes for women. Yugo probably thinks this kind of behavior is normal.
Even more horrifying are the implications that life in commons is so bad that the people competing would risk life of forced labor to have a chance of reaching tops status. It's only normal to the people of commons because it's seen as a worthwhile risk to take.
Most of the horror and angst in the Synchro arc comes from the subtle yet omnipresent effect of Humans Are Bastards. Not just the fact that humanity is entirely responsible for the situation being formed, but the fact that humanity is equally responsible for the situation being enforced and continued. The commons themselves largely support the system, meaning that change and revolution are both extremely difficult goals since any revolutionaries will have to change a lot of people's minds before they can gain enough support to make a difference.
Can we talk about the Fridge Horror behind Yugo and Rin's dream of dueling each other in the Friendship Cup? Both characters knew full-well what would happen should either of them win, so they were essentially setting a goal of dooming one of the two to work in a scrap factory for life while the other would become a Top. Yugo is either really mistaken about his and Rin's friendship, or those two are utterly insane.
Hell, now that I think about it, it's entirely possible that Rin was subconsciously engineering this to have a semi-permanent solution to a Yuya duplicate.
During Kurosaki's flashback in episode 75, we see that at some point he was part of a larger group of teenagers sneaking through the city, and he stayed back along with Yuto and a few other duelists to help fight Academia off. Now consider this: unlike many other Yugioh series, adults play a crucial role in the plot. So where are the adults in the Heartland group we see there? Simple: The teenage members of the resistance fight separately from the adult members, in squads of their own, given different tasks. From there the fridge horror sets in when you realize that this means the resistance sends groups of emotional, inexperienced or less-experienced teenagers fighting Academia directly. Anybody who knows about teenage involvement in war can tell you that with this structure there will be some resistance members who take things too far, and apparently the higher-ups don't care to take preventive measures around this.
Academia seemed to be attacking everyone they saw, it seems like a sad truth, but they had no choice but to teach the children to fight in order to survive.
Dennis (episode 75 by Sora) and Serena (in episode 92 by Barrett) were sent back to Academia. Their decks contain Pendulum Monsters. The result as shown in episode 128? Leo has his own Pendulum Monsters.
And then during his duels after Put on a Bus, Dennis was able to perform Pendulum Summon. Using Academia's Duel Disk. This and Tyler Sisters' countermeasure in their battle against Yuya and Kurosaki, there's a good chance Academia had studied Pendulum Summoning to some extent.
Earlier it was suggested that ARC-V verse Yusei is probably a arrogant Top. However, a different possibility is also possible: the lack of Ener-D and eat your soul Earthbound Immortals suggests that Ener-D was never invented. Jack and Crow do not know each other, and most of the 5D's characters who have shown up or cameod are related more to Jack and Crow than Yusei, such as Mukuro Enjou (who Jack defeated several times in the early part of the show), Dococle (Crow arrested him during the later part of the show), Garome (A one-shot duelist Jack dueled after the Dark Signer Arc), and J/Yaeger (who Crow dueled twice). That means that it is very possible that one of the nails between ARC-V City and 5D's New Domino City may just be Yusei and his father NEVER HAVING EXISTED. With that logic, one can also assume Academia and the Resistance were caused by worlds without Judai and Yuma.
It gets slightly worse if you consider that for the Fusion Dimension. Academia is also a world that was caused without Yugi and thusly Kaiba not getting all the character development he had. He was always a jerk but Kaiba was much worse in the beginning of the series who wouldn't blink an eye at creating a world dominating duelist school.
Yuma's possible existence in the XYZ dimension gets a bit bad when you think about it. Astral and the Number cards don't exist in the XYZ dimension, therefore Yuma wouldn't have grown as a duelist that much. Yuma could have been one of the duelist fighting back against Academia but got carded because he just wasn't strong enough.
If Yuma was born at all. At the Zexal finale, it was pretty strongly implied/confirmed that Yuma is a 'shard' that Astral that he lost during the fight with Don Thousand. If Astral doesn't exist...neither does Yuma.
Speaking of 5D's cameos, out of the 6 Signers we only meet Jack and Crow. Yusei's existence can be argued and disputed as of current and we can assume the Twins are fine, being a part of the Tops but never had the courage to stand out and duel which Yusei teaches them. So what about Aki? One of the cameos in a flashback was Divine. If you remember right he's the leader of the Arcadia Movement and was the very person who was controlling Aki. We haven't fully explored the Synchro Dimension but we can also assume the Arcadia Movement exists due to his appearance. This means Aki could potentially be a member of a dangerous group, being Brainwashed and Crazy by Divine. However Divine did lose to Jack in the Fortune Cup so he might be stuck in the Underground, setting him back. This could mean that the Movement dissolved but this could also mean Aki never got to experience life and control her powers, being shunned by everyone else.
Remember that bit in episode 40 which showed Barrett losing an eye to a Widespread Ruin card used as an IED? When Tokumatsu charges at Security in episode 95, it's revealed that they've set up countless Trap Cards just for a situation like this (which, thankfully, are all taken out by Reiji's Kali Yuga). One of them is Dimensional Prison. Let that sink in for a bit.
Sawatari didn't know how to operate the Academia duel disk to card those duelists. If Yuya hadn't stopped him, he might have accidentally carded himself.
With the revelation in Episode 103, Yusho has been travelling between Standard, Xyz, and Fusion teaching people dueling. However everyone in Maiami City and Heartland hates Yusho for mysteriously disappearing and call him a coward for disappearing. Yuya manages to become a celebrity in Synchro in almost an instant but due to forces beyond his control is sent to Xyz. Sounds familar? However time will tell if the City hates Yuya for the same reason as Yusho, if we ever see the Dimension again, but that implication is still there. After all the citizens would wonder what happened to their Duel king.
Yusho vanished before a big match, and during an invasion. No one in-universe knew why. Yuya has Reiji, Reira, and other witnesses to say he was sucked into a doom vortex, hell, the building he was in vanished off the face of the City.
Episode 106 and supplementary materials reveal that all of Starve Venom Fusion Dragon's effects have been significantly buffed from its OCG counterpart. If you think of the scenario where Starve Venom faced Clear Wing and imagine what would happen after that, Starve Venom's first effect would be negated by Clear Wing and it gets destroyed while powering up Clear Wing. Then, Starve Venom's third effect would be triggered due to its own destruction, which would destroy Clear Wing and inflict 5300 damage to Yugo. The rest is imagination you have to think of by yourself.
The match ups against Yuya and Yuto don't look too good either. If Starve Venom fights Odd Eyes, it'd have 5300 attack points and causes double battle damage. And, even if Dark Rebellion manages to destroy it, Yuri yould be left with at least 100 life points, while Yuto takes up to 4600 damage.
Actually, unless I'm mistaken, Clear Wing and it's OCG counterpart's effects are exactly the same, right? So in fact, Yugo's Clear Wing is the only one who has a decent match-up with Yuri's Starve Venom, since it can negate both of Starve Venom's effects, the first one being a Level 5 or higher monster's effect being activated on the field, and the second being the one that targets a level 5 or higher monster on the field, meaning Yuri would be royally boned. Thus severely lessening the Fridge Horror.
Except that Starve Venom's destruction effect doesn't target, and it is no longer on the field.And while at it,Yuri can simply make SVFD run over Clear Wing without activating any of his effects.
Yugo, Yuri, and the four bracelet girls are now in the Fusion Dimension. Think about it.
If what Yuri did to the five You Show Duelists in Episode 106 is bad enough? That was nothing when compared to what this Judai would do to those aforementioned opponents: Cold-Blooded Torture to frightening extremes.
If Sayaka attempts to beg him to spare Kurosaki, he might ignore her or respond by with a "Shut Up, Kirk!" and "Don't You Dare Pity Me!" speech before attempting to kill Kurosaki, and he would've done so if it weren't for Yuto calling him out for it.
Or, alternatively, Saiou's antagonist status in GX might result in him becoming a Well-Intentioned Extremist, given that Academia are villains that he might try and stop using drastic measures. As for his HeelFace Turn in GX? Well, Academia does have the Doktor and his brain bugs...
Junko and Momoe: The Tyler Sisters are a pair of ruthlessamazons who gets easily distracted at anything "pretty". Granted, Gloria is Tsundere while Grace is a Womanchild. The Junko and Momoe of ARC-V on the other hand might be in a completely different level than their GX counterparts or even the Tyler Sisters themselves; They're a pair of Alpha BitchGirl Posse who shows no respect and sympathy to their opponents while enjoying all the ruckus they've caused, unlike the Tyler Sisters, who are willing to give some respect to their opponents despite being Smug SuperBlood Knights. Imagine if they use Amazon Brigade decks that are similar to the ones that the Tyler Sisters are using...
Jim: Captain Solo is nothing more than a stereotypical one-shot villain. This Jim on the other hand might be as bad as, or even worse than his GX manga counterpart.
Hayato: In GX he's the Gentle Giant of Judai's inner circle for the first fifty episodes, and like BB, he uses an animal-themed deck. This Hayato, however, might be a Fat Bastard who has complete disregard for human life, treating them as if they were pathetic and weak.
Misawa: His GX counterpart is prone to switching sides because he wants everyone to recognize and acknowledge his achievements. Since ARC-V is a sci-fi war series, this Misawa might be a Mad Scientist who has no problems experimenting captured Living Macguffins without any regard for their safety. His method of keeping anyone under his control is different from the Doktor's: instead of turning them into Brainwashed and CrazyPeople Puppets by implanting Parasite Fusioners, he uses a special drug that boosts the consumers' overall combat performance at the cost of becoming Ax-CrazySuper Soldiers. It's effects are very fatal, ensuring their loyalty to Academia. Think of it as something similar to the Gamma Glipheptin.
Dennis said that the days he spent with the Lancers were fun. When the Lancers went to the Synchro Dimension, they were separated, and the only time Dennis had any interaction them was when he was underground dueling with Gongenzaka and Kurosaki. Afterwards, he got sent to jail and then forced to participate in a tournament and got beaten up by fellow Lancer Kurosaki. Just how bad is Academia if Dennis considers this "fun"?
As of Episode 117 we get to see the Bracelet girls and the power of the Doktor's mind control. And yes its very powerful that the Doktor was capable of faking out a Hope Spot for Yugo. But remember in the Synchro Dimension where Roget was going to do the same thing to Yuya which luckily Roget ran out of time and had to improvise a electric chip in his helmet. But big question is how many of these mind control freaks does Leo Akaba know?
The connection between the Dragon Boys and Bracelet Girls takes a scary turn in Episode 127. The four pieces of Ray and Zarc each ended up in one of the Four Dimensions, eventually ending up as extremely close friends and possibly gaining feelings for each other with the exception being Yuri and Selena due to Leo's interference. Is it possible that Ray had a wish to quell Zarc's hate that the nature cards responded to and had their pieces encounters in each dimension as an attempt to quell the feelings caused Zarc to become evil? If that's the case, then Leo's plans have only helped restore those feelings in Zarc and lead to his possible resurrection.
Episode 129: How did Yusho stop Yuya from injuring both Reiji and Leo? By using a defect card whose effect persist even after duel was over because of a glitch. If such a glitch exist, imagine what will happen to a monster card with that very glitch.
Consider the fact that Zarc created the Pendulum Summon mechanic. Now think back to the very first episode, when Yuya somehow spontaneously created his first Pendulum Cards and, later, couldn't remember how they work? That was actually the very first instance of the Supreme King awakening within Yuya!
Think about the first Duel and Yuya's Duel with Kachidoki. The same track played during both scenes in moments involving Zarc reawakening within Yuya, thus making "Swing! Pendulum of Souls!" not Yuya's theme, but Zarc's. Such a heroic-sounding theme, and yet hearing it meant the Supreme King was coming one step closer to his revival.