Episode 44: Shiunin Sora Storms Forth!
Episode 44 marks the return of the main plot as we witness the comeback of the titular character who has now turned full-fledged antagonist, vowing revenge against the “Xyz Scum” who he once lost to.
To be honest, despite the fact that this is mostly a setup episode for the juicier parts ahead, I really enjoyed it. A major contributor to this are the character interactions throughout the episode. As highlighted in the preview of the episode, Yuya and Kurosaki clashes face-to-face for the first time in about twenty-five episodes and it is not difficult to imagine the animosity that each harbors for another. Yuya wants to know more about Resistance but doubts why Kurosaki is now working with Reiji; whereas Kurosaki suspects Yuya for hiding off his best friend Yuto – the various conflicts and misunderstandings between the two have been built up in the previous episodes, eventually reaching a climax in this single episode.
On the other hand, we have the heroine Hiiragi Yuzu attempting to secure a clean sweep of the Leo Duel School trio by challenging against Dennis. The duel does make me wonder, why doesn’t this episode has the title of the previous one? For those who are confused, Episode 43 was titled “The Marvelous Exchange Student Dennis” and in my opinion, that could have been a much, much appropriate description of this episode.
And with that being said, it could be deduced that I like Dennis a lot as a character. Dennis is a true entertainer, presenting a great juxtaposition against Yuya who is currently on the descending into darkness, forgetting what being an entertainment duelist is all about. He is dazzling but not overly flamboyant, funny but not obnoxious, and has that kind of suave, witty charm that is so lacking among the characters in this series so far. I praise the writers for establishing such a strong character with Dennis, injecting such a fresh element into the show.
Dennis’ duel against Yuzu is highly entertaining, despite the fact that I would have wished for a much longer match-up. Like I said, the character interactions in this episode are the highlights, and the one between the two duelists is what make the duel so pleasing to watch. Coupled with mostly fluid animation sequences, this duel perhaps tops even the one in Episode 43 which I had so many praises for.
With all that being said, however, this isn’t a perfect episode of ARC-V either. The “annoy of the week” award in this episode goes to Sakaki Youko, who fangasms Michio and Dennis to the point that it wouldn’t be surprising if her husband left her because of her nearly pedophilia behavior. Nah, I was joking. Yet, jokes aside, her character doesn’t really appeal to me this episode, and I would have preferred a larger focus on the other main characters rather than her cringeworthy comedic moments.
Another problem I have with this episode is, once again, with the split-focus approach that the episode takes. While in the last episode’s review, I mentioned that this was only a nitpick, in this episode this has become quite an issue that takes away some of my enjoyment. As I mentioned, it is mainly due to this split-focus approach that results in the Yuzu vs Dennis duel being so short. Welp, at least this wouldn’t last because next episode does look like we are only going to focus on two areas.
Episode 44 is yet another good episode of ARC-V, establishing a number of excellent character interaction moments and setting up the stage for big plot revelations next episode. While there are indeed a couple of problems with this episode, in overall, my feelings for this episode is still largely positive.
Animation – 8/10
Sound – 8/10
Duel Choreography – 9/10
Script – 8/10
Overall – 8/10
Episode 45: Destruction and Generation! Until then!