Episode 43: The Marvelous Exchange Student Dennis
Wait… So this episode isn’t actually titled “The Marvelous Hiiragi Yuzu”!?
Episode 43 continues from the ending of Episode 42, where we have two major duels set-up, namely Yuya & Dennis vs Takeda & Umesugi as well as Yuzu & Gongenzaka vs Olga & Halil. The three main characters attempting to counter-attack with their Life Points on the line.
Oddly, despite the fact that the title contains the word “Dennis”, the writing of this episode does not actually revolve around the single character itself. Like last episode, Episode 43 is a very split-focused chapter, transitioning from one duel to another within a few minutes. And while it is certainly a fresh and original way of crafting a tournament arc in Yu-Gi-Oh, sometimes it does feel lethargic having to divide my attention among the various duels that are happening at the same time.
But enough about that small nitpick. Let’s move on to who the writer wants us to focus on this episode – Dennis McField. Dennis is indeed a well-introduced character in my opinion, hailing from the Broadway branch of the Leo Duel School. He is smart, well-versed, entertaining (and I do mean that he’s entertaining), and certainly funny. One of his very first scenes in this episode is him receiving 2000 damage as a result of interrupting the 1-vs-2 duel between Yuya and the thugs, and it is animated in the most hilarious way imaginable. At the same time, some of his dialogue and his background does hint at a more mysterious, complicated character, and I like the way the writers presented him as essentially the Johan to Yuya’s Judai.
The duel itself, however, isn’t that well-choreographed. Because this is a duel that the writers need to wrap up in a single episode, it mostly consists of simple plays that the anime series has so far been cleverly trying to avoid. Monster design, once again, is a major issue, as Dennis conveniently holds three copies of the same card with an effect that somehow allows his tag-team to dodge the burning strategy used by their opponents well.
The other duel, on the other hand, is way more marvelous in my opinion. With Yuzu crash-landing onto Olga in the last episode, the battle immediately becomes a 2-vs-2 tag-team duel. Gongenzaka does understand what it means to duel as a team – sacrificing himself and allowing Yuzu to survive Olga’s attack such that she is able to deal the final blow to the opposing tag-team.
And speaking of the main heroine, Yuzu points a large middle finger at both Asuka and Aki in past series with this single duel. A true heroine, indeed. Picking herself up from the last couple of attacks, Yuzu is able to turn the table completely, pulling off a splendid combo at her very last turn that would literally remind one of Yami Yugi and Judai’s strategies back in the first two anime series.
My biggest complaint of this episode, aside from the couple that I’ve mentioned earlier, is with the animation mainly. While the episode does bring us some highly fluent action sequences with really, really, well-drawn close-ups of the characters’ faces and their fingers, the animation quality on the whole is still pretty inconsistent, occasionally featuring some badly proportioned half-body shots like these:
Episode 43, on the whole, could be said to be a step-up from the decent Episode 42, but there is still much more room for improvements. Next episode looks to be rather exciting, as we move away from the tournament for a while and focus on the return of a major antagonist character.
Animation – 7/10
Sound – 8/10
Duel Choreography – 8/10
Script – 7/10
Overall – 8/10
Episode 44: Shiunin Sora Storms Forth!! Until then!