Note: This article is very long, with many screenshots covered, and there will be spoilers for the 1st season.
Hello guys, and this is the first article in the two-part series Theme Song Analysis, in which I’m taking the two new opening and ending theme songs for the ARC-V anime that debuted yesterday and doing a detailed analysis on all the important frames in those themes. The first part covers “Burn!”, the opening theme sung by Choutokkyuu（超特急） , and if you want the lyrics or video link to it, it’s here in another article: https://stardustjunction.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/arc-v-oped-2-lyrics-videos/
So before the analysis, allow me to do a quick review of the song itself. I feel that the theme song is rather catchy, as expected of songs by Choutokkyuu. In fact, I personally like the tune much better than “Believe x Believe”, especially the chorus part. The lyrics are typical of any shounen anime theme song, repeating the same messages of “not giving up”, “surpassing limits” etc, but it isn’t really fair to expect something like “unravel” (by ling tosite sigure) or “Memoria” (from Aoi Eir) given the genre of this anime, is it?
Yu-Gi-Oh has the habit of letting their best animators do the visuals for the theme songs, and you can clearly see it in this new set of opening and ending songs. The animation for the opening is smooth, and there are certain action sequences that really stand out.
So, moving away from my personal opinion, let’s go on to the analysis!
The beginning of the song presents the 3 major protagonists, perhaps the most important characters of the show, along with the “items” that best represent them: the pendant for Yuya, bracelet for Yuzu and red bandana for Gongenzaka.
Cue cut to the silhouettes of the three protagonists standing before the entrance into the main stadium of Maiami City, before moving closer to them, revealing their faces and pans over to the crowd inside the stadium, and finally the ARC-V logo flashes in.
At this point, I think it’s pretty safe to assume the “Power Trio” of this current season is: Yuya (the hero), Yuzu (opposite gender friend), Gongenzaka (same gender friend). Or at least the writers would like us to believe that the Power Trio refers to them. This would pretty much mark the first time in Yu-Gi-Oh history that the Power Trio does not consist of the rival character and instead have a female character in place (hurray for feminism in Yu-Gi-Oh!).
Then we have the usual introduction to all the little friends of our main protagonist Yuya. In this scene, he is being surrounded by the three little disciples in his school, followed by a warm embrace by Mieru, who outright is in love with him. Quickly storming into the scene is Yuzu with her (in)famous giant harisen fan, and Yuya is once again prey to the ruthless weapon. Poor Yuya.
Personally, I would love to see a lot more of Mieru and her Ritual Monsters in this season of the show, despite her constant outbursts of love declarations. And of course, see how she manages her relationship with her “love rival” Yuzu.
Cue to scene where Yuya runs along an endless path (a bit of cliche in shounen anime theme songs), with imagery of all his (or his friends’) potential opponents in the championship, all of which has been featured or at least foreshadowed in previous episodes.
And here comes Mieru and Michio! Although I didn’t like the latter as much as the former, it would still be great to see another match between him and Yuya. And of course, a big relief that the annoying Quiz duelist who was featured in Episodes 19-20 doesn’t appear in this opening at all.
Easter egg: Arcana Force – The Fool is the card inside the blue apple, for your information.
Then we move on to a scene showing all of Yuya’s Entermates monsters (sadly my screenshots for this were quite bad so I had to delete them), followed by him being taken by his two Pendulum Magicians and brought up to the sky, where there’s a giant arc drawn by his Pendulum.
Not sure whether this giant arc is purely imagery, or it has big relations to the plot of this season? Hmm.
Then, comes the LDS gang! Synchronizing nicely with the lyrics, the camera pans “up” to showcase all of the LDS members, first the 3 duelists each representing a different Summoning method, then Sawatari, Shun, and…?
Sora, what are you doing with the whole LDS gang? Will you be betraying You Show and defect to the rival duel school!?
It’s definitely interesting to see how the whole Shun vs Sora duel coming up soon would affect the latter, leading up to his “potential” defection.
And of course, how could one forget the great leader Akaba Reiji?
The camera zooms into Reiji’s left eye, and comes the sequence that literally made me scream:
This man is probably Akaba Reo, Reiji’s father who the son mentioned in an earlier episode is an enemy, and is perhaps the big boss of the whole season. What is more interesting is his overall design: he has two unevenly-sized eyes, with a big muscular body contour, and a facial shape that oddly reminds me of Rex Goodwin. And the green room that he’s gazing into, is this unknown machine whereby cards fly into it:
The whole of Season 1, we know that Leo Corporation has the ability to detect energy levels emitted during a powerful Summoning. The cards flying into this machine and the eerie green light makes me speculate that it definitely has something to do with that technology. Perhaps this is an energy collection machine that Reo intends to use it for his evil purposes? Or a weapon used to conquer the world like the old Kaiba Corporation under Gozaburo Kaiba?
Cut to a battle sequence which in my opinion is one of the best animated sequence in ARC-V. Reiji declares an attack with 3 of his giant behemoths, clashing into Yuuto’s Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon, who then launches a counterattack. Does this mean we would get to see a Reiji vs Yuuto duel soon?
Yuya hops into his Odd-Eyes Pendulum Dragon, ready for an attack:
And here comes two new characters! One of them has been foreshadowed in an earlier episode, where he is shown battling with Yuuto in his D-Wheel. This time, we have confirmation that he does is riding on a D-Wheel, and we get to see his face eventually:
Judging from his eyes and color scheme, I say he is probably the Synchro counterpart to Yuya, much like how Yuuto can be said to be an Xyz counterpart to him.
Then we have yet another new character, in complete shadows:
Well, I say not so much of “shadows” anymore if you do a lightness adjustment in Photoshop (evil laugh):
(Image sourced from BBS Newwise)
Judging from the color scheme and face yet again, I say that he’s the Fusion counterpart to Yuya.
Following that, we have Yuya riding on his Odd-Eyes stampeding through a rainbow, finally declaring an attack with his Odd-Eyes, Beast-Eyes, Rune-Eyes all at once:
An LDS rocket pierces through the clouds, while Yuya rides on his ace monster. The rocket definitely hints at some kind of space travel for this season in my opinion:
Then “swoosh!” past soars a quick shadow. It’s not a bird! It’s not a plane! It’s… Shun on his Rise Falcon! Perhaps the most badass moment ever in this opening!
Repeat of the beginning once more, accompanied by still shots of two duels involving the two important characters, and finally a big photo of all the protagonists in this show to finish off!
Well, must say that was one intense opening theme. Anyway, thanks for reading through this humongous post and the next part covering the ending theme will come tomorrow, so do continue to stay tuned!