Episode 35: The Academia and the Resistance
Continuing off from the epic that was Episode 34, this episode focuses on Sora once more, but with another member of the Resistance group – Yuuto. To summarize this episode, Sora escapes from the hospital he is in and faces off Yuuto (or as the episode mentions, Ute) in a duel while both of them reveals more about their own organizations – Academia and Resistance respectively, relating back to the episode title.
While I wouldn’t say this episode is disappointing, this episode does not surprise me as well. Being the set-up for the upcoming mini-arc, the first half of this episode ultimately only summarizes the plot points of the first 34 episodes, with little to no furthering of the story line in the second half as the spotlight falls on the Yuuto vs Sora duel. However, this episode does showcase one of the best character interaction moments in the series – that of Yuuto and Sora. The tension and animosity between the two, from the moment Sora open his eyes, slowly builds up and peaks during the climax of the duel. I love how Yuuto knows about Sora’s desperation for a rematch with Shun and toys around with it (no pun intended), while Sora taunts Yuuto throughout the whole duel just to reach his goals.
However, who I feels is the MVP for this episode is neither Yuuto nor Sora, but actually Reiji. This episode shows again his calm but calculating personality, and proves that he is indeed the perfect chessmaster behind this whole Maiami Championship. Unlike some of the “man-behind-the-curtains” characters in past Yu-Gi-Oh series, some of the judgments Reiji make are actually pretty logical and therefore perfectly understandable given the circumstances. For instance, this episode has him ordering his personnel not to make any move but utilize the surveillance cameras instead in order to prevent from ruining the event. While Reiji has not been talking much despite being the major anti-hero in this series, I thoroughly enjoy each of his appearances.
Plot aside, the duel in this episode is an enjoyable one. The duel choreographer manages to retain the same standards as Episodes 33 and 34, writing a duel that does not involve highly situational cards or deus ex machina drawings. Once again, I must mention how much I love each character using their low-level monsters first before bringing out their boss monsters during the climax of the duel.
Unfortunately, the animation quality of this episode is not the best, as there are a good number of off-model character shots and really bad recycling of previous scenes. For example, Sora’s Fusion Summoning of Des-Toy Scissors Bear should have been redrawn to meet the situation that he is in, instead of recycling the same sequence that have been used for the past 34 episodes.
While not the top episode I was hoping for, this episode is still a pretty enjoyable one with some of he best moments for our characters. Next episode, we have, surprisingly, a third party joining the duel and I would love to see how the writers move on from there.
Duel Choreography: 9/10
Episode 36: The Resonating Dragons. Until then!