Darren Dunstan to Attend the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier

June 16, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Darren Dunstan at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere on January 24, 2017
Photo by the Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Page

The 2017 Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier is getting another voice actor guest?! That’s right, Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament veteran Darren Dunstan will be attending this year’s event! Darren is best known as Maximillion Pegasus in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters and Jean Michel Roget in Yu-Gi-Oh ARC-V. He is also the voice director of every Yu-Gi-Oh! series since episode 60 of 5D’s.

Darren’s appearance could very well mean the return of the Ultimate Pegasus Challenge, a special tournament where Pegasus manipulates the game by announcing wacky rule changes while duels are taking place. This event has only ever been held three times — at the YCS Providence 2012, the NAWCQ 2013, and the NAWCQ 2015.

Now that there’s a third guest coming to the event, there simply must be a fourth. Let’s see an exciting two-versus-two tag team duel! C’mon, Konami, make it happen!

The 2017 Yu-Gi-Oh! NAWCQ will take place in Chicago, Illinois, on July 8 and 9.

Previously:
Ted Lewis to Attend the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier
Oliver Wyman to Attend the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier

Ted Lewis to Attend the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier

June 13, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Posted in 5D's, ARC-V, English dubbed, Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Ted Lewis in August 2016
Photo by Ted Lewis

The 2017 Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier has announced its next voice actor guest! Making his grand return to the dueling stage is Ted Lewis, best known for playing Bakura in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, Chumley Huffington in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, and Jack Atlas in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s and ARC-V. This will be Ted’s first tournament appearance since 2012 when he and six other voice actors attended YCS Providence to raise money for Dan Green.

With an appearance by The King at this event, could this mean that the Western release of the hotly anticipated Red Rising Dragon is just up ahead? One thing’s for sure — a Synchro versus Fusion showdown between Jack Atlas and Aster Phoenix is perfect for getting the crowd all fired up.

This year’s Yu-Gi-Oh! NAWCQ will be held in Chicago, Illinois, on July 8 and 9. Be on the lookout for the schedule of the autograph signings, live duel, and public events, coming soon to the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG events page.

Oliver Wyman to Attend the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier

June 7, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, English dubbed, GX, Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 2 Comments
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Darren Dunstan, Joe Shalack, and Oliver Wyman in January 2017
Darren Dunstan (left), Joe Shalack, and Oliver Wyman
Photo by jmsvegas

This year’s Yu-Gi-Oh! North American World Championship Qualifier is welcoming a brand new voice actor guest! Making his tournament debut is Oliver Wyman, the voice of Zigfried von Schroeder in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters and Aster Phoenix in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and ARC-V. Outside of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Oliver is a prolific audiobook narrator, having worked in the industry for over 17 years and recorded more than 250 books.

With the release of new Destiny HERO monsters just around the corner, attendees are sure to get some dynamite dueling from the stylish and ingenious Aster Phoenix in a scripted live duel. Who would you like to see Aster battle at the event?

The Yu-Gi-Oh! NAWCQ will take place on July 8 and 9 in Chicago, Illinois. Keep an eye on the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG events page for more details about this tournament coming soon.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 22: ‘Immortal Beings!!’

May 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 1 Comment
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Eve speaking to Ren as a butterfly lands on her card in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 22

Ren’s menacing two-headed dragon White Aura Biphamet is dominating the field. Not only has it destroyed Yugo’s ace, Clearwing Fast Dragon, it can attack twice in one turn. Yuya is in quite the bind. Yuya sets up a combo and lowers Biphamet’s attack power, giving him the opening to fight back with his own monster. But just when he thinks he’s destroyed it, Biphamet’s damaged head regenerates. Ren laughs it off.

“Gods rise again and again, just like us,” Ren proclaims. “I have lived a long time that was not part of my original life.” Yuya is puzzled by the comment.

“Even if you defeat me here, a harder trial awaits you in the future,” continues Ren. “Someday, you will understand. There is something I must obtain, no matter the cost. And the power to obtain that thing is the power of G.O.D.”

Ren begins to tell his story to Yuya. He recalls his days as a young man, racing for a smattering of spectators in a near-empty stadium. He rides a shoddy, outdated Duel Runner that barely holds together.

Ren’s father often told him the story of a legendary Turbo Dueling genius. Although that duelist was someone Ren would never be able to battle, Ren still idolized him and pushed himself in hopes of becoming a champion like him. But in the entertainment world, it isn’t enough just to have a drive to succeed, Ren says. You also need the right resources. And he wasn’t that fortunate.

One day, Ren receives the opportunity to participate in the Memorial Race, a major event with competitors coming from far and wide. But no matter how skilled he is, without a more powerful Duel Runner, he won’t stand a chance against them. Things take a turn for the better when the newest Duel Runner shows up at Ren’s garage. But where did it come from? A phone call leads Ren to the heartbreaking truth.

Ren’s father had invested all of his money into Ren’s future, buying him the latest Duel Runner just so he could achieve his dream. Overworked and broke, his father had collapsed and now lay dying in a hospital bed. Ren realizes that he must win the race. Otherwise, his father’s sacrifices would all be for naught.

At the Memorial Race, Ren proceeds to crush his veteran opponents one by one. With victory within arm’s reach, Ren prepares to launch his final attack. It was not to be, however. As Ren rounds the turn of the track, the wheel of his Duel Runner crushes a butterfly idling on the blacktop, causing him to skid out of control and crash into a wall. Ren, lying bloody and disoriented on the ground, looks up to see his bike burst into flames.

“I can’t die now… Not here, like this…” he says. “If I do, then what was the point of living?! I… I must live!”

Ren seemingly has a vision. He’s floating above a pool of water and two gigantic eyes are looking back at him…

“Battle phase!!” Ren cries out. He’s back on his Duel Runner in the stadium and has just defeated his final opponent. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a butterfly fluttering away. He begins to sweat nervously. Ren follows the butterfly, which flies back to his garage. His team is there cheering his victory but Ren just ignores the clamor, his eyes following the butterfly. In the corner of the garage, a woman stands holding up a card. It’s Eve. The butterfly lands on her card and she calls out him.

“G.O.D. has chosen you,” says Eve.

Ren goes on to live a fulfilling life. He becomes wealthy and successful. And it’s all because he was granted that second chance. About sixty years later, Ren is living his final days at his lavish mansion when he is approached by Eve. She has come to take him away, for it is now his time to repay G.O.D. for giving him the chance to live his life over again…

“It was all beyond the limits of imagination,” Ren tells Yuya. “When people encounter events that surpass human understanding, they stop being rational and find belief in God. I am one of those people.”

Ren removes his mask. The right side of his face has the same disfigurement as Eve. He brushes his hair upward with his fingers. Yuya’s pupils narrow and he gasps.

“Yugo?!”

Thoughts

Wow, this chapter. Oh my goodness, there’s so much to say about it. First, when Ren says to Yuya, “Gods rise again and again, just like us,” who is he talking about? Who is “us”? Initially, it seems like he’s talking about Eve and his other companions, but Yuya hasn’t met them before and wouldn’t know who they are. So why would he feel the need to say such a thing to Yuya? Could he actually be referring to himself and Yuya?

And then, the big revelation: Ren appears to have some kind of intimate or familial connection to Yugo. Is he a descendant of Yugo? Is he himself Yugo?! Yuya seems to think that he looks an awful lot like Yugo…

There’s an interesting nod to the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime in Ren’s flashback. Although Yugo has yet to be seen wearing a helmet in this manga, Ren does wear one in his past life…and it’s the same one that Yugo wears in the anime.

Ren's helmet from his past life in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 22

Who is the legendary Turbo Dueling genius that Ren idolized? He is only seen from behind in one panel in Ren’s flashback. Since it’s someone who Ren says that he will never be able to duel, it seems like it could be his father…or Yugo.

Now that it’s been revealed that Yugo has ties to this mysterious immortal character, it wouldn’t be a stretch to consider that maybe Yuya, Yuto, and Yuri have connections to other such characters as well. Yuya seems to be special, with Ren noting that he will undergo a difficult trial in the future. And what about Yuzu and Eve? As two of the few female characters in the story, are they connected too?

The appearance of the butterfly is rather significant. According to The Continuum Encyclopedia of Animal Symbolism in World Art, white butterflies in Japanese art symbolize immortality and are believed to be the spirits of the living and the dead and aren’t supposed to be captured. It seems, then, that when Ren accidentally kills that butterfly during his race, he committed a grievous act.

Even though I previously said I didn’t want to draw comparisons between this series and the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s anime, the similarities seem inescapable. First there’s the revelation in chapter 14 that time travel is playing a role in the story. And now there are parallels to the story of Yusei and Z-One, at least superficially…

* * *

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 22: “Immortal Beings!!” is available now in VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump No. 25 (May 22, 2017). Grab the issue from VIZ, Amazon, comiXology, and Google Play Books.

Previous chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 21: “Yuya’s Memories!!”

Next chapter:
Coming soon

Also available now:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Volume 1

More Places to Watch Yu-Gi-Oh! (April 2017): STARZ, Steam, Crunchyroll

April 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Posted in 5D's, ARC-V, Bonds Beyond Time, Duel Monsters, English dubbed, GX, Yu-Gi-Oh!, ZEXAL | 2 Comments
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Screenshot of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime on the STARZ app

This past month, Yu-Gi-Oh! and its many anime spin-off series made their way to a few new video platforms, giving fans even more options to watch and buy the anime they love.

First up is the STARZ app (pictured above), where you can now find season 1 of the classic Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters series in English. Yu-Gi-Oh! joins other titles like Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, The Secret World of Arietty, and a few of the Ghost in the Shell animated movies as the only anime in the app. The STARZ app is free if your cable subscription package includes the network; otherwise, it costs $8.99 per month.

All throughout the month, Valve’s gaming and video distribution platform Steam has been adding plenty of Yu-Gi-Oh! anime titles to its catalog. Now available are the English dubs of:

And last but certainly not least, the English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL is now on Crunchyroll for U.S. viewers. After the anime streaming platform apparently mistakenly announced its availability last month, the series is accessible for real this time. Whew.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 21: ‘Yuya’s Memories!!’

April 24, 2017 at 10:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Yuya Sakaki suddenly finds himself on a Duel Runner in the middle of a Turbo Duel in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 21
Surprise TurboDool

Yugo and Ren’s Turbo Duel is revving up. Ren, with his Reincarnation Synchro strategy in full swing and his menacing behemoth White Aura Whale on the field, declares that he is ramping up his game into a new dimension. He awakens an even mightier monster, White Aura Biphamet, a grotesque two-headed beast with a destructive attack strength…and a hidden power.

Yugo’s eyes begin to blur. He can barely make out the silhouette of the Duel Runner in front of him. On the sidelines, Yuri and Yuto are watching the duel. Yuri holds up his hand; it’s starting to fade away. All three of them are losing their connection to Yuya.

Yugo uses Clearwing’s effect on Biphamet, which negates its special effects and drops its attack to zero. But Ren doesn’t even flinch. He orders Biphamet to attack, destroying Clearwing. But how?!

“White Aura Biphamet’s power is godly!” Ren laughs. “It defies common sense! You’ll never solve Biphamet’s mystery!”

Yugo activates a Trap, but before he can play it, he starts losing consciousness. The image in front of him is completely muddied up. This is it for him. Yugo calls out to Yuya, pleading for him to solve the mystery that is Ren’s monster.

“It looks like we have to leave this fight to Yuya,” says Yuri.

“Yuya… We believe in you!” Yuto calls out.

The three boys vanish.

Meanwhile, Yuya, far in the depths of his mind, sees a network of roots on the ground in front of him. Scattered all along the branches of these roots are large glowing orbs. He recognizes these as his real memories. But before he can do anything, his consciousness is suddenly jerked back into his body.

Yuya nearly loses control of the Duel Runner, careening left and right and comically driving up the walls of the track. He quickly gathers his wits and realizes that he is about to be annihilated by Ren’s Biphamet. His keen sense of observation helps him figure out how to use the Trap that Yugo has left for him. Yuya is safe for now.

Yuya quickly learns that Ren’s monster is seemingly immune to Clearwing’s effect and can also attack him twice in a row. Unless Yuya can figure out the enigma that is White Aura Biphamet, he doesn’t stand a chance against Ren!

Thoughts

First of all, the title of this chapter, “Yuya’s Memories,” is a big tease. Almost nothing about Yuya’s memories is actually revealed. Sigh. The memory orbs that Yuya is seeing for the first time initially appeared in chapter 13.

What we do see of Yuya’s past is a brief but adorable panel of Yuya playing a game of “how to break my board” with his three counterparts. It is these experiences that has helped him hone his skills as a vigilant duelist and kept him alive against Ren.

I’m really sad. Yuya’s counterparts are gone…at least for now. This is all happening so quickly. They and Yuya seemed to be fine just a few chapters ago, but now, Yuya is dueling all alone. I suppose it was inevitable that Yuya would eventually face off against Ren. Yugo already dueled Ren, so they probably wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything new story-wise had they seen their duel to the end. But for Yuya to suddenly be in this dangerous situation by all himself, not knowing what happened to his companions and unable to turn to them for support, is just so tragic.

In true Yu-Gi-Oh! storytelling-fashion, Yuya is unable to read Ren’s card and figure out Biphamet’s effect. Naturally. By the way, “Biphamet” is really unpunny.

* * *

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 21: “Yuya’s Memories!!” is available now in VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump No. 21-22 (April 24, 2017). Grab the issue from VIZ, Amazon, comiXology, and Google Play Books.

Previous chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 20: “Your Opponent Is Me!”

Next chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 22: “Immortal Beings!!”

Also available now:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Volume 1

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Manga Volume 1 Available Now

April 4, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 3 Comments
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Cover of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Volume 1, from VIZ Media, digital edition

Out today from VIZ Media is Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Volume 1, a new Yu-Gi-Oh! manga from writer Shin Yoshida and illustrator Naohito Miyoshi. This graphic novel collects chapters 1 through 6 and is available in print format for $9.99 and digital format $6.99. The physical book includes an Ultra Rare Odd-Eyes Phantom Dragon card, Yuya’s signature monster.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is a monthly title serialized in VIZ’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. It has an original story that’s completely different from the anime. In the world of the manga, Yuya Sakaki is a hacker on the run from the LEO Corporation’s Reiji Akaba. As a master of a new form of summoning — the Pendulum Summons — Yuya is on the hunt for Genesis Omega Dragon, a card that’s said to determine the fate of the world. This story and its characters are hot.

If you’ve been reading Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V in WSJ, is it still worth it to pick up the graphic novel? Of course! In addition to touched-up artwork and lettering, English sound effects, and translation fixes, the graphic novel includes early design sketches of Yuya Sakaki, Yuto, Reiji Akaba, and Yuzu Hiragi by illustrator Naohito Miyoshi. Some of their looks are pretty different from the final product.

Going forward, new volumes of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V will be published twice a year, says a press release from VIZ. Too slow? Prefer reading simulpubs instead? Subscribe to Weekly Shonen Jump!

Shonen Jump Digital Manga Sale: $2 Off Everything

If you’re looking to start or grow your digital manga collection, this week is the best time to do it. From today, April 4, through April 10, all Shonen Jump manga volumes are $2 off* on every platform. Yes, that includes all of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, which are now just $4.99 per volume. Check them out:

*Except most of the books that just streeted today. Yes, that means Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Volume 1, isn’t on sale. Sigh.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 20: ‘Your Opponent Is Me!’

March 27, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 1 Comment
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Sometimes, men must risk their lives in battle, says Yugo in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 20

Yuya mounts his Duel Runner. There’s a look of earnestness on his face. Yuzu stands beside him and watches nervously. Suddenly, a portal opens behinds them and Ren comes barreling forth on his own Duel Runner. It’s an even more advanced model than his previous bike, with sleek lines and a pointed front fairing like a fighter jet. Yuya smiles.

“There you are,” says Yuya.

“A particle accelerator… You chose an interesting course,” states Ren. “Yuya Sakaki, do you want to duel me?”

But before Yuya can reply, Yugo takes over, pushing Yuya’s consciousness far out of the way. Yugo is raring to go. Yuzu objects to their duel; it’s too dangerous and she wants to protect Yuya, she says. She stands boldly in front of the two duelists as they rev their engines hoping to stop them from dueling, but they bolt right past her.

Ren takes charge and speeds ahead of Yugo.

“This is the most advanced machine of my era!” Ren proclaims. “As long as I ride this Duel Runner, my pride demands that I stay ahead of you!” He quickly sets up his Reincarnation Synchro game, summoning his gargantuan White Aura Whale.

Yugo thrusts his bike up the curved wall of the tunnel then uses the momentum from driving downward to accelerate. But Ren’s Duel Runner is too fast. Yugo won’t be able to get ahead of Ren to pick up any Action Cards, but he’s determined not to let that stop him from winning. Yugo sets his Pendulum scales, then Synchro summons his signature monster — Clearwing Fast Dragon.

All the while, Yuto and Yuri look on. Yuto thinks the power of Yugo’s explosive dueling can give him the edge over Ren’s futuristic machine. But Yuri is still worried about Yugo’s earlier comment about their weakening connection to Yuya.

Yuya, having been pushed out of his body by Yugo, now stands alone in a rocky wasteland in the deepest recesses of his mind. He can’t even see the duel from where he is. He peers over a cliff and is aghast by what he sees.

Thoughts

First of all, those boys almost run over Yuzu when she stands in front of their starting line. Rude! I don’t know about Ren but I wouldn’t expect such ungentlemanly behavior from Yugo.

Why does Yuya choose to duel at this particle accelerator? Where in the city are they anyway? Last chapter, Ren seemed shocked when his saw this particular location. This change in venue comes quite suddenly and with no explanation. And Yuzu just tags along for the ride. “Hey, let’s go duel over there today, okay?” “Err, okay.”

Yugo says that Ren brought his most powerful Duel Runner because he’s “playing for keeps.” But what exactly does that mean? They’ve already dueled, and it’s not well established why Yugo needs to defeat Ren so badly. Yugo knows pretty much nothing about Ren, but Ren knows a lot more about Yugo, and about Yuya’s history.

It seems that the characters have made some decisions without leaving any clues behind their reasoning for the reader. I expect to see a lot of exposition and backstory after this duel.

* * *

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 20: “Your Opponent Is Me!” is available now in VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump No. 17 (March 27, 2017). Grab the issue from VIZ, Amazon, comiXology, and Google Play Books.

Previous chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 19: “Their Whereabouts!”

Next:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 21: “Yuya’s Memories!!”

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Subbed – Episodes 50-99 Complete

March 15, 2017 at 6:00 am | Posted in ARC-V, Japanese, Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Screenshot of the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime videos page on Crunchyroll

Crunchyroll has hit another milestone in its Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime releases. Episodes 50 through 99 were added to the platform yesterday in Japanese with English subs. This wraps up the Friendship Cup story line in the Synchro Dimension — the equivalent of season 2 of 4K Media’s English dub.

Next, Crunchyroll is entering new territory. Episodes 100 and onward have yet to be played in any Western country, not even the ones that have already finished airing the season 2 English dub. Exciting! Don’t forget to add the show to your CR queue to always be alerted of new episodes.

My Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V – SUBBED Episodes page now has links to all of CR’s latest episodes.

Previously:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Subbed – Episodes 1-49 Complete

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Season 1 Blu-Ray, DVD Box Sets Available Now

March 7, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, English dubbed, Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 3 Comments
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Cinedigm's Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Season 1 Blu-ray and DVD box sets

Out today from Cinedigm Entertainment is the complete first season of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V on Blu-ray and DVD! All 49 episodes of 4K Media’s English dub are available in your choice of a region A Blu-ray box set for $69.97, or a region 1 DVD box set for $44.99. Each set has two volumes and six discs.

Cinedigm initially released the first volume of season 1 in September 2016. If you already own that, don’t worry. Volume 2 of season 1 is also available separately for $29.93 for the BDs and $19.95 for the DVDs. If you would like the box, however, the only way to get it is by purchasing the season set.

The video in volume 2 BDs unfortunately suffers from the same color issues as that in volume 1. (Check out my screenshot comparisons and write-up for volume 1 for more details.) I’ve reached out to Cinedigm and will update this post if a solution is found.

All 49 episodes of season 1 are now also available for download on several platforms, including Amazon, Google Play Movies & TV, iTunes, Microsoft Movies & TV, PlayStation Video, and VUDU. The HD download-to-own episodes are free of the color problems seen on the BDs.

Previously:
Cinedigm’s Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Season 1 Vol. 1 DVD & Blu-ray: An Overview

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