Note: Major spoilers in this review.
Episode 51: Raise the Flag of Revolution – Odd-Eyes Rebellion Dragon
Episode 51 continues on from where we left off in the previous chapter: Yuya and Reiji’s duel rages on, with the odds obviously favoring the latter.
And to be honest, this isn’t a comfortable episode to watch.
The use of the phrase “isn’t comfortable” is however rather paradoxical in this case, since there are both merits and demerits of Episode 51 that contributes to its “uncomfortability”. And since I usually prefer beginning things on a more positive note, I shall discuss the pros of this episode first. As with the last episode, Episode 51 piles up upon the emotional appeal of the show. As the rational, manipulative Reiji keeps on with his taunting of his opponent, the latter’s mental state slowly wades, building up to a complete heroic breakdown at the climax. The script is masterfully written, so much so that the audience could not help but sympathize with our main protagonist, yet the idea that Reiji’s actions are actually justified in the context of selecting the Lancers would land them in a dilemma.
The episode does a great job in fleshing out Reiji’s personality as a manipulative, calculating, morally-grey anti-hero character. As demonstrated by some of his dialogue in this episode, Reiji clearly does not care about the process; the end product is paramount of all. He is willing to sacrifice people in reaching his objective of selecting the Lancers, he is even willing to psychologically break one of his most powerful recruits completely in obtaining valuable data for research on what he claims “the evolution of Pendulum Summons”. Symbolized very well by his ace monster Abyss Ragnarok (whose effects allow Reiji to tribute his DD monster to banish one of the opponent’s monster), Reiji is truly a force to be feared by the protagonists of the show.
Unfortunately, such a beautifully written and executed script could not come together with a deserving duel choreography that should have been one of the main highlights of the episode. Reiji’s final turn, while set with the epic leitmotif “DDD”, is colossally cringeworthy. Bad plays rampantly occurring, with card effects that completely make zero sense. This is not a nitpick, however, because a conclusion to a duel is equally just as important as the process and the fact that this duel ends on such a “high” note leaves a really bad taste in my mouth.
I wouldn’t count this episode to be as good as the last one, but it is still an enjoyable closure to the Yuya vs Reiji showdown despite its flaws. Next episode, we look at a very unexpected duelist of the show, and it would definitely be interesting to witness how her showdown with Yuya would unfold.
Animation – 8/10
Sound – 9/10
Duel Choreography – 6/10
Script – 10/10
Episode 52: The Legendary Grandmaster Returns!! Until then!