Episode 40: The Warrior of Academia
Following up from last episode’s twist of events, Episode 40 further explores the hidden truths behind this entire interdimensional war, as Akaba Reiji comes face to face with Serena, a young girl who looks exactly like the heroine of the show, Hiiragi Yuzu. At the same time, our heroine continues on her road to victory in the Maiami Championship, as she duels against a one-shot character – the idol duelist, in the second round of this championship.
This is an enjoyable episode of ARC-V. Decent, but not reaching the high standards that episodes like 24 or 34 managed to achieve. As I had expected earlier before I sat down to watch the live broadcast of this episode, it couldn’t be really said that the plot thickens this episode. An acceptable fact, since the past few episodes were indeed filled with so many important twists and surprises that the plot has to move at a much slower pace to balance out the intensity.
At the same time, it couldn’t be said either that this episode is in any way uninteresting despite being what is perhaps more commonly known in anime terminology as a breather episode. Episode 40 takes it time exploring the two new characters introduced bit by bit in the previous two episodes – Serena and Barette. Akaba Reiji deserves a mention as well, with him being part of the spotlight in this episode.
With 22 minutes to focus on 3 characters, how does Episode 40 go? It has its ups and downs, I would say. Serena and Akaba Reiji are fantastic in this episode, and this is attributed to two things: interesting dialogue that highlight the unique personalities of each of these characters very well, as well as amazing voice acting by their respective seiyuus. This episode proves how underrated is of the voice talent Inamura Yuuna in the industry. Her only major role in recent years is that of Hiiragi Yuzu in this anime. However, as one can see from Episode 40, she can split between two roles just as fine as some of the major stars in this business. Serena’s voice instantly gives her the vibe of an arrogant, strong-willed female character, and that is well-contrasted with Hiiragi Yuzu in my opinion.
I don’t think I have to comment on how amazing Reiji’s VA is, do I?
Barette, on the other hand however, is more of a disappointment. Portrayed as some sort of bodyguard to Serena, Barette is dead-loyal to the person he’s serving and enjoys being honored. Which seems pretty cliche to me in my opinion, but since this is only a first impression, I would be happy to see more of how this character would develop in the future.
There is only one big duel in this episode, and that is between Reiji and Barette. Yuzu’s duel is basically glossed over since it should be pretty clear who would emerge victorious in that duel. Definitely a fun duel, I would say. Reiji finally gets some action after nearly 30 episodes of no dueling and I am glad to see him catching up with the main characters by showcasing some of his new DD/DDD monsters. It also feels nostalgic with Barette playing some of the old-school cards from the previous era (hint: one of his monsters is a certain panther). The duel flows well too, exceptional for a duel that lasts only an episode.
All in all, a good breather episode of ARC-V, kind of like a mild cup of coffee after a heavy dinner that was Episodes 33-39. Next episode looks to be a true plot episode with more explanation of the Academia and Serena getting more action.
Animation – 8/10
Sound – 9/10
Duel Choreography – 9/10
Script – 7/10
Overall – 8/10
Episode 41: The Land of Ambitions – Duel Academia! Until then!