Follow TV Tropes
Zexal's a good show, and it's my favorite yugioh series to date; the seasons are all continuous, and pick off where the previous left off. The villains are all amazingly well-developed characters, and their interactions with each other bring out their characters, especially the villains in Zexal II.
Yuma's not a good duelist from the get-go, but that's what makes him interesting as a character. You see Yuma grow as both a character and a duelist throughout the series, see him emotionally mature, and you can empathize with him-he screws up a lot in the beginning, but he learns from those mistakes, like any person would. He's human, and that's what's so appealing about him-he's a lot more realistic compared to some of the other protagonists, he struggles with occasionally failing, but gets through his challenges with the power of kattobingu, the phrase his dad gave him-meaning to never give up, and to keep going. It's because of kattobingu that Yuma's the way he is, and it's the way Yuma is that drives most of the show's many amazing character arcs and most of the plot.
While the plot in the beginning of Season 1 appears to be a giant fetch quest, it's quickly expanded from this in a matter of episodes-there are multiple characters working to collect the Numbers too, though the bulk of them aren't introduced until at least Season 2. Almost everybody trying to collect the Numbers use the grey morality trope to their advantage, but they use it amazingly well-there's Kaito, who collects them to save his brother, the Tron family who wishes to exact revenge on the one who wronged them, and the Zexal II villains, who are playing for the greatest stakes of all.
And then there's Kaito and Shark. Shark, the bully who broke Yuma's precious key episode 1, who continuously rejected Yuma's offers to help, who was kicked out of a tournament because of his drive to help his sister, and who gradually warms up to Yuma. Kaito is originally doing all he can to collect the Numbers to save his brother, to the point where his body is almost falling apart, but it doesn't matter to him, not when his brother could die if he doesn't collect all 100 Numbers. They're both fantastically developed throughout the series, along with the rest of the cast.
Zexal's animation, plot, and characters are amazing, and you should give it a shot.
Why have there been 3 reviews in 2 days by 3 different accounts defending this show, all basically saying the same thing? Are you three (starlightfeline, sharku, and ayirun) just friends watching the show together or something, or are you Sock Puppets?
Anyways, in response to these reviews, I'll just say that the main issue with Zexal is that it's just been done before, and more importantly it's been done BETTER. I'd point to Hikaru No Go, Megaman Battle Network, and, heck, the ORIGINAL Yugioh as examples of very similar concepts as Zexal, only executed (in my opinion) in far less awkward and less cliche ways.
Yuma starting off as a bad duelist isn't what makes him unlikable- it's the fact that he's an unsympathetic hyperactive brat. Why should I be expected to care about this kid? I mean, compare Yuma to Yugi. Yugi lives alone with his grandpa, has no friends, and is constantly bullied. The "super bad thing" that makes Yugi need Yami is Ushio threatening his life for money. This is why we (the audience) can empathize with him. The fact that he's really good at card games is incidental. Now let's look at Yuma. Yuma lives with two family members (albeit his parents ARE missing) and he already has two friends before the series starts, and he's clearly way more self-confident that Yugi. The "super bad thing" that happens to him to make need Astral is that a bully he's never met until today breaks his necklace.
Also, your review fails to address how Zexal is much Denser and Wackier than the other Yugiohs (except GX). This is just a heavy-handed attempt to get a new generation of kids to buy the cards, which is fine, but it's also really jarring and alienating of older audiences to jump from 5d's (which only occasionally had zany antics happening and was mostly serious) to a show where all the characters are constantly on a sugar high.
Also, the card designs are bland. Utopia looks like a generic armor-plated white warrior, Yuma plays archetypes, the Xyz monsters are just repainted Synchro monsters ect ect.
Now, I will admit that MAYBE the show gets better around the part with the Barian World in Zexal II, but I watched like over 10 episodes of it and the plot never really picked up (unless you count, "Generic evil guy want to hold a card game tournament the main character must win to complete his evil plant" as a plot) and the characters never really developed (unless you count, "Shark bullies people because he got disqualified from a card game tournament for looking at his opponent's deck by accident!" as character development).
I mean, I guess I COULD waste time watching another 20 or 30 Zexal episodes to see if it ever gets any better, but I think I'd rather just watch something like Avatar the Last Airbender, where the concepts are fresh and original, the characters aren't constantly hyperactive and STILL get character development, and I don't have to watch a dozen episodes to get to the "good part."
And here we see the far sides on each side.
"The older audiences from 5D's". Don't stereotype. I've been watching YGO since it started. 5D's is by far my least favorite series (though it does start off pretty strong).
You can't sit there and tell that me that Utopia is a generic warrior when Stardust was a generic dragon.
ZEXAL is just as serious as 5D's. The stakes are just as high. Yeah, there's some more humor, but its better executed than "wacky Jack Atlas likes cup ramen!!" which just comes off as jarring.
You like what you like. If you don't like ZEXAL, that's fine. But don't list reasons that can be applied to the series you're defending too.
But the 5d's audience is only older because 5d's existed BEFORE Zexal! How is that stereotyping? Also, I've been watching Yugioh since the start, too. What I meant is, assuming you (like what I did) followed all the Yugioh series in order up until Zexal, the Mood Whiplash can be jarring. (I don't have anything against "kid shows" by the way, I just don't care for Zexal's style of humor.)
Card designs are probably too objective to discuss. I thought that 5d's generally had clever designs, but in retrospect it's probably not fair to compare given I watched all 150 or so episodes of 5d's and only around 10 Zexals (I play the actual card game, but I'm not sure which cards are specifically from the Zexal anime anyways, so...)
I was already aware Zexal got darker as it went along, but the first couple episodes were definitely less intense than the early 5d's ones, so it just failed to grab my attention.
The reason I felt the need to reply was that the original review implied this show was the greatest Yugioh ever and I simply felt obligated as a Yugioh fan to explain why I disagree.
You know, there's a point to be made here: not that either series is bad, but that it comes down to the different styles. 5Ds was more serious, and Zexal is simply that much more optimistic. The argument made for Zexal's seriousness is unfounded, though; In the first 13 episodes of 5Ds, you had incredible dueling, legends and stories directing to Nazcan Gods, a broken-down city of destitute people, violence in terms of crashes, classism and actual physical combat, imprisonment and extreme injury portrayed on-screen. A few episodes later? People were dying on-screen and coming back to life.
Zexal simply doesn't have that kind of stakes or harder storytelling, and that's fine because it needs to build into greater depths. Also good...but I didn't certainly like-and I'm sure others still don't-being talked down to at the start of the series. We just came from a hard-hitting card-playing and motorcycle series that not only played the game well, but also really made you feel the threat in and out. Something that bugs me still to this day are Yuma's dueling screwups when it comes to more serious topics. He's a great character-and his dueling should improve based on that. Not just improve when people are in danger.
You know who also had a powerful story with good development? Yuki Judai and Yusei Fudo. And both were incredible duelists as well. Personally, I wouldn't mind a better duelist at the start if that meant you could expand them from the get-go like they were.
That's all I want to know.
all three of us are in the tumblr zexal fandom together so when one of us posted about reviewing the show other joined in
I would like to respond by saying, the other three protagonists had issues that made them unbearable.
Yusei was likable, but he was often hailed as \"Jesues Yusei\" for how much contrived his combos are and his 100% win record.
Jaden Yuki had a good personality, but his situational fusion combos, and extreme focus on him, to the point of which you be forgiven that you thought the shows\' actual name was \"The Jaden Show\", made him lose likability points.
Yugi was bullied and had an unfortunate situation, but that was his only character traits. Outside that, and his self-esteem issues, there was little about the character, making him very bland.
Leave a Comment:
Community Showcase More