Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 1: ‘The Name Is Phantom!’August 24, 2015 at 10:56 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 2 Comments
“On the mean streets of Maiami City, you’ve got to work hard to be the best. Yuzu Hiiragi and her father run a dueling school that’s seen better days. If only they had a star teacher to bring in new students! When a rogue Duelist known as Phantom appears in the city, Yuzu may have found a savior, but Phantom will have to deal with the LC Corporation’s special forces before he can get into any community service!”
On a quiet pier at the edge of Maiami City, a little boy stands alone weeping. He had overslept and missed the Leo Corporation Duel Tournament. His chance to see a dragon monster come to life at the tournament through the wonders of Solid Vision with Mass technology was gone. When you’re young, the small things like that mean the world to you.
A tall, masked, hooded figure is seen standing behind the boy. He sympathizes with the boy and wants to dry his tears. But no, he can’t! Not now anyway. He’s supposed to be on the run, a radioed voice reminds him. He shouldn’t be hanging around there. But he shrugs off the earnest reminder.
A thunderous blast lights up the pier, turning heads and knocking the boy onto his butt. A cloud of smoke dissipates around the hooded figure. There, hovering above the ground behind him, as real as the figure himself, is a dragon. Odd-Eyes Phantom Dragon. The crying boy now stares in awe at the beast. And in that briefest of moments, the figure is seen under his hood without his mask, smiling.
An alarm suddenly starts screeching in a futuristic-looking control room at the Leo Corporation. Mass sensors within the city had been triggered. LC President Reiji Akaba finally found what he has been searching for — Odd-Eyes and the Phantom! Akaba calls for his special forces and orders the capture of the Phantom. On his monitor is the face of the smiling hooded figure, his piercing eyes seemingly looking right back at Akaba.
“The true identity of the Phantom…” mutters Akaba, “The destiny factor who holds our future in his hands… is Yuya Sakaki!!”
The Phantom swiftly scales the rooftops of Maiami City. Far in the distance are the searchlights of three LC helicopters. He really screwed this up, exclaims the radioed voice. Once again, the Phantom is dismissive of the voice’s concerns. After all, he’s a Dueltainer, and a Dueltainer’s gonna Dueltain, especially in the face of crying children.
“Making people smile is my mission!” proclaims the Phantom.
Not far from the Phantom’s location is the Syu Zo Duel School. Within its walls, the overly excited, tracksuit-clad principal Syu Zo Hiiragi enthusiastically preaches the power of self confidence. Alas, the only ones listening are the walls themselves; the school is emptier than a banker’s heart. His daughter Yuzu Hiiragi smacks some sense into him. Why is he clowning around when they have no students? Doesn’t he understand that their coffers are just as empty and that they could soon be going under? Suddenly, some earsplitting mechanical whirs break up their thoughts. They race outside and see three LC helicopters overhead.
Of course, thinks Yuzu. What a perfect idea! The notorious Dueltainer known as the Phantom! He’s the one rumors say is hacking the LC’s Solid Vision systems. If they could get him to teach at their school, that would attract the attention of Duelists from all over. Everyone would want to enroll! Yuzu’s eyes glaze over as she envisages the money they could be making.
If only it were so simple. The Phantom is a hot commodity and the Leo Corporation is moments away from apprehending him for itself. The three helicopters had caught up to him! Inside each is a hunter on the prowl. Shingo Sawatari. Shun Kurosaki. Sora Shiunin.
Akaba watches from his monitors as the three helicopters shine their lights at the hooded figure and close in on him. They had him now! Sawatari leaps out and confronts the hooded figure. He’s done it! He has successfully trapped the infamous Phantom, Yuya Sakaki, and could now take him on one-on-one.
But nothing is ever so simple, is it? The hooded figure throws off his mask. It isn’t Sakaki at all! It’s another spikey-haired male, and he is just as game for a challenge…
Welcome to the manga universe of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V and the era of Action Duels, made possible by the development of Solid Vision with Mass. If only people knew the path that they have paved is a one-way road to destruction…
“…And the pendulum of fate has begun to swing…”
Weighing in at only 15 pages, the first chapter of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V wastes no time setting up the story. All of the characters behave with a sense of urgency and desperation. Yuya — or is it “Phantom”? — seems to have been on the run for quite some time. Nevertheless, he is the only character in this busy chapter who is able to slow down and appeal to the reader as a kind, empathetic soul, despite having an unseen wheelman radioing him instructions and driving him to act.
Reiji knows what he needs to do to capture Yuya and he’s pushing hard to get the job done. The pair may have even had a few close encounters in the past, but clearly this is as close as Reiji has ever gotten to catching him.
Syu Zo has seemingly lost his wits, unable to accept the dire reality of his school. Yuzu’s irritation with her father’s delusions is amusing; her own fantasy of winning over an alleged cyberterrorist for the benefit of her school is farcical and brings home to the reader the punchline that Syu Zo started. Like father, like daughter.
Naohito Miyoshi’s art is stellar, as expected. The same crisp lines that make his Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL manga so visually satisfying appear again here in ARC-V. The boys look fierce when they need to be and cute during the other times, though not overbearingly so. One shot of Yuya is criminally sexy, however. The girls — uhh — girl is the only one who gets a full body shot, as expected in a shonen title. Reiji’s outrageous, flailing scarf contrasts his apparent cold and calculating vibe.
What mysteries does this ARC-V universe hold? Will Shin Yoshida’s pen tell another dark, twisted tale as it did in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL? If you are lucky enough to live in a country where the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime is already airing, or you caught the preview of episode 1 during the 150th YCS or 2015 NAWCQ live streams, you’ll quickly recognize that this is not the same story as the anime!
Well, I’m sold. What about you? Are you convinced enough to give this series a shot?
Here’s your chance to see read a Yu-Gi-Oh! manga serialized from start to finish in lockstep with the Japanese publication! Grab this week’s 214-page issue of Weekly Shonen Jump for $0.99. Or, if you are feeling bold, subscribe for an entire year of weekly manga simulpubs for $25.99.
Scale 1: “The Name Is Phantom!”
Original Concept: Kazuki Takahashi
Production Support: Studio Dice
Story: Shin Yoshida
Art: Naohito Miyoshi
Duel Composition: Masahiro Hikokubo
Translation: HC Language Solutions
Manga Editing: Mike Montesa
English Lettering: John Hunt
Magazine: Weekly Shonen Jump No. 39 (August 24, 2015)
Publisher: VIZ Media
A note about the release schedule: In Japan, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V runs in Shueisha’s V Jump, a monthly magazine that is published during the third week of every month (the exact day of the week varies each month). VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump digital magazine is published every Monday — the same day as Shueisha’s WSJ magazine in Japan. But since VIZ’s WSJ also includes some titles that are found in Shueisha’s other Jump magazines (like Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V in V Jump), VIZ publishes those titles on the Monday immediately following whatever day they are published in Japan.
– Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 2: “Yuto vs. Sawatari!”