Episode 46: The Rebellious Supreme King Black Dragon
Directly following up to what I personally lauded as the “zenith” or “epic” that was the previous episode, the burden on this episode to satisfy its now high expectations of the audience is as heavy as ever. Because of how Episode 45 excelled so much in terms of both the script and the animation quality, I did feel pity for the staff members working on this episode, who have to ensure that both aspects of this episode are at the very least on par with the previous one.
And how is this episode? One word: meh.
I personally have sort of mixed feelings about this episode. On the one hand, it does a remarkable job fulfilling our desires of a well-written, cohesive story; but on the other hand, its animation is so atrociously horrible, that it single-handedly bogs down the overall quality of this episode, and potentially even the entire series as a whole.
Episode 46 starts off elaborating on the duel between berserk mode Yuya and the Obelisk Force, who are on orders by Akaba Leo in order to capture Serena. The first half essentially wraps up the whole duel, which, as predictable as we can see from the title of this episode, ends off with Yuya summoning his new ace monster and performing a One-Turn Three-Kill. While, as I’ve mentioned in the review of the last episode, I personally do not care much for the Obelisk Force, it is surely satisfying to witness the new dragon upgrade in its rebellious glory, complete with an epic CGI sequence as it spreads its wings and bare its fangs. Ono Kensho does a fantastic work portraying Yuya as he becomes an embodiment of madness, violently thrashing his opponents to vent his anger.
Much to the contrary, this first half however fails to blend such great writing and acting with the aesthetic appeal that it deserves. Aside from the CGI sequence when the new dragon is being summoned (which, by the way, is not the responsibility of the animation director), this scene overall is the weakest in the whole series in terms of art. Angles are terribly chosen, movements are laughable, and even the character proportions are simply off-proportional nine out of ten times. Did the animation director forget his/her duties at some point in the making of the episode? Or was he/she simply trolling the audience members with such horrendous animation? In any case, it is jarring to even consider that the animation director had put in at least some effort in this lazily-done first half of the episode.
The second half, on the other hand, does indeed look somehow more pleasing. And perhaps it’s because there is not so much action and quick movements as the first half that the animation director is so poor at. This second half is, of course, the conversation between Yuzu and Serena. Despite the characters still looking off-model for this part, the art is generally passable, and helps redeem some of the horrid in the earlier half.
Back to the script and acting, however, once again both of these exceed far beyond my expectations. Yuzu and Serena have some truly well-handled moments of interaction. The dialogue between them is just excellently penned, as each of the girls try to convey their points to the other and convince her to accept them. Acted out by the talented Yuuna Inamura, the conversation is what one would just expect from two acquaintances with such polarizing personalities, and it is definitely amusing that the tension between them slowly lightens up as they break the ice with each other.
What more can I say about this episode? ARC-V is already my top Yu-Gi-Oh anime series at this point in time in terms of story. But please, animation directors, do not repeat your mistakes again with such horrible animation that would do nothing but ruin what is so good about the series.
Animation – 5/10
Sound – 9/10
Duel Choreography – NA
Script – 9/10
Overall – 7/10
Episode 47: Yuuri with the Cold Smile! Until then!