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I know in the fandom people didn't like how things felt plain after the Darksigners arc, but personally I think what they needed was an inbetweener. The second and third seasons really did feel extremely distant from each other nothing wrong with that but I always think they did needed an inbetween arc for Season 2 and 3 because of how a lot changed afterward or they needed to explain some stuff like what the hell happened to Ralley and Yusei's original gang? How did New Domino take Goodwin as the bad guy the whole time? Closure for Akiza after Sayer and the Arcadia movement always being a sham, and what ended up happening to Yanagi and Tanner? Honestly I think that is what should have happened before the WGPX arc or inbetween Seasons 2 and 3.
When I first heard of this series, I jumped ship. The concept seemed stupid, and GX had been declining for a good year. I spent the next year sticking exclusively to the original seasons, or jumping from one series to another. However, as I browsed the wiki, my curiosity got the better of me. I went to You Tube, searched for the first episode, and beheld the adventures of the Signers for hours.
This series was everything that I hated about GX reversed. The animation quality was a notch up, leading to better fights than GX's "monster flies at another, puff of smoke" battles. Yusei was stoic, smart, and, most importantly, fallible, providing a breath of fresh air to Judai's retarded invincibility. Jack Atlas was a joy to watch, containing many of Kaiba's better traits while still providing his own character. Dark Signers? Genuinely horrifying on a lot of levels. Card games on motorbikes? Hell, they actually pulled them off. The plot moved at a tight pace. Even the new Decks were splashable, versatile, and varied, not like GX's impenetrable archetypes.
My greatest love was the leading lady, Aki Izayoi. Kicking the old gender bias that had permeated the series to the curb, she was powerful, exciting, intimidating, and pretty damn sexy, to boot. Even her deck, a Plant Deck, showed 5Ds' healing hand, transforming an archetype used by nobody into one that grows Synchros quicker than the metaphorical bamboo.
Then there came Crow.
Crow is pointless, flat, and invincible. Nearly every scene with him is pretty much exactly like bad self-insert fanfic. He exists solely to show off Black Feathers and knock Aki out of third-billing.
By the time the third season had risen, nearly every good thing I listed up there had been siphoned out. Yusei was unstoppable. Jack was Jounouchi lite. The Dark Signers were gone. The plot was laden down with filler. The new Decks fell into the archetype trap.
And then there's Aki.
Gone is the mystery. Gone is the presence. Gone is even the skill. You could replace her with Anzu and nobody would notice.
One of the things it left behind from GX, evidently, was that GX, say what you will, knew how to improve with time and develop plots and characters. 5Ds... doesn't.
The first two seasons are some of the best in any series. As for the third? It ended with that last zoom-in on Daedalus Bridge.
5Ds is great, maybe not as riveting (yes, I buy into the Serious Business as well) as the last two entries, but servicable and interesting on its own.
Yusei's kind of meh, but I LOVE Jack. Jack Atlas, the Master of Faster!
Akiza, Action Girl extrordinaire! Then there's Leo the Tagalong Kid and Luna The Chick. I guess they have their uses, but I'm not crazy about them. And the villains! The Dark Signers with their Earthbound Gods/Immortals! Brilliant stuff. My biggest complaint is the turbo duels. I loathe the turbo duels. I'm barely aware of anything that happens in 5Ds because turbo duels are so dull. Half the time they focus on the bikes themselves and put alot of emphasis on the speed the actual bikes go for some reason. Carly vs Sayer? I could probably give you a play by play. Carly vs Jack? I'm vaguely aware that Fortune Lady Earth was played at some point and that Carly has some sort of trap card but that's literally the only part of the duel I can remember. Did Jack win? I assume he did, as he's still alive at the end. What happened to Carly? Did she survive? I hadn't even realized anything had happened to her until she reappeared with the other Dark Signers that disappeared sucked up at the end of their duels. —- Akiza vs Ransborg? A mile a minute, what'll happen next. I love Ransy's faux Shakespearian dialogue. Yusei vs Jack? I think a dragon or two might have made it onto the field, but beyond that I'm lost. —- Akiza vs Misty? Great stuff. Sad Story spells are hax. Goodwin vs Jack, Yusei and Crow? Well, Goodwin started with what? 12000 life points? And I'm sure an Earthbound Immortal was summoned at some point, because Goodwin was evidently evil all along. What happened after that? Did Yusei win? I'll take your word for it. Also, I'm given to understand that Crow dueled Greiger at some point but bugger me if I can remember any of it. I could go on.
Overall, I give 5Ds 6 out of 10. Not God's gift to dueling, but it does the best it can like the Little Engine That Could, only with card games! But not on motorcycles. It's in the Bible, you know. One of the Eight Deadly Sins.
Pride Wrath Sloth Lust Greed Gluttony Envy Card games on motorcycles.
Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds is the latest installment in card battling franchise. This time we move into the near future, where Domino has been ravaged by forces both human and supernatural, rendering it the slum Satellite, where its citizens live in the shadow of the glistening Neo Domino City. Much like the original series, 5Ds takes elements from world mythology, this time from South America, specifically the Nazca Lines, while the second season seems to focus on the concept of infinity. Our core cast members are the stoical Yuusei Fudo, the unfunny yet melodramatic Jack Atlas, Kallen lookalike Dark Magical Girl Aki Iyazoi, Crow Hogan, whose excitable personality works to counter the previous three's serious natures, and the Half Identical Twins Lua and Luka. The big gimmick of the show is the concept of Riding Duels, aka "Card games on motorbikes". Despite how eye-rolling this concept is, it's actually not played up all that much. There isn't too much special fanfare or mechanic changes, and there are also plenty of traditional, standing duels to balance things out.
As for the initial premise of the show, there are five Signers who are destined to fight evil counterparts called Dark Signers, lest the world be destroyed and all that jazz. In the beginning the plot meanders around a little bit, but picks up pace once Yuusei enters the Fortune Cup competion and the Dark Signers are gradually revealed shortly afterwards. The rest of the first season throws itself into the conflict against the Dark Signers and the connections between the various characters and their backstories. I was pleased to see that the writers did try to come up with some interesting developments, and that a number of the non-duelist characters managed to hold on to relevancy for a good while. So despite an occasional Narm typical of the franchise, it wasn't that bad. While the actual ending to the first season is overall nicely done, in this reviewer's opinion, some bumps do start to crop up as the end draws near. Some of the subplots are tied up in manners that aren't necessarily satisfying or clean, and Aki in particular seems to be on the recieving end of cheap writing several times. But all in all, it's a fine showing after the slog that was GX.
So, in conclusion, it's a perfectly serviceable entry in the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise.
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