With the power of a Pendulum Fusion, Yuri calls forth Starving Venemy Dragon to face off against Reiji Akaba’s D/D/D Supersight King Zero Maxwell. Starving Venemy’s effect is a mighty one, allowing it to steal the abilities of Zero Maxwell. Yuri attacks, but Akaba is ready for him, activating a trap that prevents his monster from being destroyed. Akaba stares unflinchingly at Yuri while his life points are whittled down. Yuri wants another shot at Akaba, but Yuya returns to the duel with a message.
“Reiji, you followed me here because you believed your dad,” says Yuya, looking dejectedly toward the ground. “But the story I heard was a bit different.” He closes his eyes and remembers…
On a certain day in the future, Yuya finds himself locked in a cylindrical escape pod. Yuya presses up against the window of the pod and sees his dad working nervously in his lab.
“Yuya, the power of G.O.D. will soon end the world,” Yusho tells him. The sweat pooling on his forehead trickles down his face past his tired eyes. Next to Yusho sits a card glowing brightly — Genesis Omega Dragon. It is hooked up to numerous sensors and is pulsating vibrantly with energy. Leo was obsessed with the card, says Yusho. After their experiments with it started getting dangerously out of hand, Yusho took it away from the military facility where they worked.
“We thought the power of this card was a chance phenomenon from another dimension…but it’s not!” exclaims Yusho. “It is an artificial creation.”
Yuya is confused, but Yusho doesn’t have all of the answers. It will be up to Yuya to find the one who created the card and what its true nature is. For now, Yusho has one final trick up his sleeve. He will use what little he understands of G.O.D.’s energy to throw Yuya back into the past, where he will have a chance to discover G.O.D.’s secrets and save the world.
“The World Illusion!” Yusho proclaims, smiling while putting on his magician’s top hat.
Yuya, with tears in his eyes, slaps the window of his escape pod and cries out to his dad. But it’s no use. A flash of light blinds him as the image of his dad in front of him vanishes…
Reiji Akaba scowls. “If you want me to listen to any more of this drivel, you’ll have to prove it by defeating me!!”
The duel rages on. Akaba tributes Zero Maxwell and summons an even deadlier monster, D/D/D Destiny King Zero Laplace, whose attack strength becomes double that of the monster it battles. It destroys Starving Venemy and Dark Anthelion, leaving Yuya’s field wide open. Yuya uses his defeated dragons’ abilities to move them to his Pendulum zones, but Akaba uses the effect of his own Pendulum monster, D/D Scale Surveyor, to drop Yuya’s Pendulum scales to zero. But Yuya only smiles.
“The Pendulum of destiny may stop, but I must go on! Overscale Pendulum!!”
These last two chapters have been somber. Last month, we saw Reiji Akaba part with his dad when the world was ending, and now we see the same thing from Yuya and his dad’s perspective. We still haven’t seen how Reiji was transported to the past. Does he have an escape pod too?
I’m calling it now. The best line in the entire series is in this chapter: “Stop trying to reduce me to your scale!” You are a king among kings, Reiji Akaba. If he had been dueling Yuto, would he have said, “Stop trying to reduce me to your rank!” instead?
Is anyone else really creeped out by Zero Laplace?
I mean, what even is that thing? “The Demon of Causality”?
It’s amusing to see Reiji, a person from the future who has all kinds of revolutionary technology at his disposal, play Block Attack, an ancient card from the earliest days of the Yu-Gi-Oh! game. Not only does he play it last chapter, but he loves it so much that in this chapter he uses another card to specifically retrieve it from his graveyard.
Overscale Pendulum. What’s that? I hope it’s not another a deus ex
You might have noticed that this month’s chapter is coming one week later than expected. The Japanese version is published in V Jump, which streeted on December 17. However, because the English version is published in Weekly Shonen Jump, which was off in Japan last Monday for the Christmas holiday, the chapter was added to this week’s WSJ issue instead. On the plus side, last Monday VIZ still released its own bonus WSJ issue with part 1 of Kazuki Takahashi’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Transcend Game, so be sure to check that out if you haven’t already. Part 2 will appear next Monday from VIZ in another bonus issue when Japan’s WSJ takes a break for New Year festivities.
* * *
– Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 16: “Swinging Pendulums of Destiny!”
– Coming soon
And just like that, the first 49 episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V subbed are on Crunchyroll. These episodes correspond to season 1 of the English-dubbed version of the show and are available to all viewers outside Asia.
That sure was fast, wasn’t it? Crunchyroll’s subbed releases of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V have jumped ahead of the show’s English-dubbed U.S. TV broadcasts, the first time this has ever happened. (Nicktoons just aired episode 30 this past Sunday.) If you like how quickly CR and 4K Media are putting out these episodes, watch the show, share the episodes, and let them know that they are moving in the right direction. Maybe one day we’ll get Yu-Gi-Oh! anime simulcasts — who knows!
I’ve updated my page dedicated to Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V subbed streams with links to all of the episodes released thus far.
– Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Subbed on Crunchyroll
Earlier this year, Shueisha’s V Jump magazine asked Yu-Gi-Oh! fans in Japan which duels they loved the most in each of the five Yu-Gi-Oh! series. An online poll was conducted and the results were published in print last week in V Jump and online today on V Jump’s website. Let’s see which duels topped the charts!
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters:
- Episode 221 – The Last Duel of Destiny – Yami Yugi (Atem) vs. Yugi Muto (7673 votes)
- Episode 129 – The Sky Coliseum – Yugi vs. Kaiba (2975 votes)
- Episode 065 – Marik Makes His Move – God Combo – Yugi vs. Marik (1614 votes)
- Episode 125 – The Semifinal Match of Darkness – Jonouchi vs. Marik (1347 votes)
- Episode 160 – The Runaway Train Duel – Yugi vs. Insector Haga (1189 votes)
- Episode 167 – Thank-You Duel! Cronos vs. the Original Drop-Out Boy – Judai vs. Cronos (4233 votes)
- Episode 179 – Farewell, Judai! The Tearful Graduation Ceremony – Judai vs. Yugi (3783 votes)
- Episode 147 – The Battle of Destiny! Cyber Art vs. Crystal Beasts – Johan (Yubel) vs. Ryo (2964 votes)
- Episode 034 – Steamed Comfort! Blue-Eyes White Dragon – Judai vs. Kaibaman (1550 votes)
- Episode 153 – Battle of Chosen Cards! Elemental HEROs Versus Yubel – Judai vs. Yubel (1492 votes)
- Episode 152 – Future That Should be Traveled – Yusei vs. Jack (4969 votes)
- Episode 023 – The Final Game, Heart Hidden Under the Mask – Yusei vs. Aki (4270 votes)
- Episode 147 – Hope Toward the Future! – Z-ONE vs. Aporia (3337 votes)
- Episode 144 – Beginning of Demise – Battle for the Future! – Yusei vs. Antinomy (2576 votes)
- Episode 054 – Last Duel! Team Satisfaction – Yusei vs. Kyosuke (1263 votes)
- Episode 144 – The Ceremonial Battle!! Yuma vs. Astral (3784 votes)
- Episode 097 – Countdown to Defeat! The Terror of Deck Destruction – Yuma vs. Vector, Shark vs. Durbe, Kaito vs. Mizael (2829 votes)
- Episode 135 – The Future is in This Hand! The Climax of the Galaxy Showdown!! – Kaito vs. Mizael (2719 votes)
- Episode 124 – The Seven Barian Emperors! Soldiers of the Crimson World!! – Nash vs. IV (2501 votes)
- Episode 141 – The End of Chaos – The Deadly Final Hope Sword Slash – Yuma & Nash vs. Don Thousand (2182 votes)
- Episode 033 – Future City Heartland – Shun vs. Sora (3729 votes)
- Episode 031 – Roaring Whirlwind – Yosen Lost Tornado! – Yuya vs. Shingo (3325 votes)
- Episode 096 – Borrowed Words – Yuya vs. Jack (2220 votes)
- Episode 050 – Lancers – The Chosen Warriors – Yuya vs. Reiji (1597 votes)
- Episode 110 – Torn Smile World – Yuya vs. Edo (1399 votes)
These duels will air on TV during TV Tokyo’s Yu-Gi-Oh! 20th Selection program.
Did your favorite duel make the cut?
Twenty years in the future, Reiji Akaba is diligently analyzing the energy data involving G.O.D. that his father gave him. He sits engrossed in his family’s home and lab, with scientific literature and papers stacked in tall piles all around him. The glow of his computer monitors are illuminating the dark room. He’s been working for over ten hours straight.
Without warning, the ground begins to shake. Is it an earthquake? Reiji walks slowly to the door and tries to open it, but it’s locked. He’s trapped. A video feed of his father appears on one of his monitors.
“This world is about to end through the power of G.O.D.,” says Leo Akaba as the rumbling outside grows louder. He’s saving Reiji by keeping him busy inside the lab, an emergency shelter. Leo plays some horrifying video footage — scads of meteorites are pelting the city as they speak.
“Yusho took the G.O.D. card. And soon he will release its power. Look, Reiji,” says Leo, motioning to a clock on the wall. Its second hand ticks more and more slowly until…it stops. And begins ticking backward.
“That is the power of G.O.D.,” Leo continues. “To control it, he will send his son to the past…but you must stop him.”
A bead of nervous sweat trickles down Reiji’s face as his father bids him farewell and cuts off the video feed…
In the present, Reiji Akaba and Yuya Sakaki are locked in a duel in an underground cavern. Akaba has Yuya on the ropes with his two Pendulum cards and his D/D/D Supersight King Zero Maxwell monster.
“You’ve got it all wrong! I didn’t come to this world to use G.O.D.’s power!” Yuya pleads. But Akaba won’t have any of it. He activates an effect that drops Yuya’s Pendulum zone cards to Scale 0 and stops Yuya from Pendulum summoning. Having no answer to the obstacle, Yuya calls on one of his personalities for help. With a flourish of his cloak, Yuto appears.
“You told me to bug off, but now you need me, huh?” Yuto sneers. He plays the Spell card Pendulum Xyz to allow him to use Yuya’s Pendulum zone cards to Xyz summon. He calls forth Dark Anthelion Dragon to take down Zero Maxwell. But Akaba won’t be stopped that easily. Zero Maxwell has the ability to reduce battle damage to 0 and is also a Pendulum monster. Yuya returns and ends his turn.
Akaba summons Zero Maxwell back to the field and attacks Dark Anthelion Dragon, but Yuya is able to save himself and his monster using its special abilities. He will need a different strategy if he wants to defeat Akaba. After a twist and sweep of his cloak, Yuri appears.
“I’ve been wanting a match with you!” he says to Akaba. Yuri plays the Spell card Dowsing Fusion, which allows him to Fusion summon using Pendulum monsters in his graveyard, and calls forth Starving Venemy Dragon.
Reiji Akaba smirks at the two menacing dragons staring him down.
“Pendulum Xyz and Pendulum Fusion… Finally, this is entertaining!”
Great duel so far! How fun to see Yuto and Yuri join Yuya. Surely Yugo will make an appearance next chapter with a Pendulum Synchro summon, yes? Their new dragons, with “eyes” all over their bodies, are cool but kind of creepy. Reiji and his D/D monsters are tough and look like a bad match-up against Yuya and his personalities.
So in the future, Yuya, Yuto, Yugo, and Yuri grow up as separate people. And Reiji doesn’t wear a scarf, haha. This chapter sure makes Yusho look like some kind of traitor or evildoer. I’m sure Yuya has another explanation of what happened. Details about the fusion of Yuya’s personalities and the time travel element still need to be fleshed out.
* * *
– Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 15: “It’s Zero!”
– Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 17: “Another Fact!”
With its release of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX subbed in the books, Crunchyroll has announced that it will now begin streaming Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V subbed to audiences worldwide (except Asia). The release schedule is as follows:
- Episodes 1 through 15 are available now
- Episodes 16 through 30 will be added on November 22 at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT
- Episodes 31 through 40 will be added on November 29 at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT
- After that, five episodes will be added every Tuesday at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT (except on the first Tuesday of the month)
Check out Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V subbed at: http://www.crunchyroll.com/yu-gi-oh-arc-v
I’ll follow Crunchyroll’s updates on my new Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V – SUBBED Episodes page, but you don’t have to wait for me to link to them. Make a free account on Crunchyroll and add the show to your queue and you’ll always know when new episodes go up!
Tags: licensing, sakami merchandise
It’s been ages since official Yu-Gi-Oh! plushies have been seen outside Japan and Asia, but that will change early next year thanks to a new deal between 4K Media (Konami) and Sakami Merchandise. 4K Media announced today that it has tapped the Germany-based video game and comic goods specialist to produce plush toys of Yami Yugi and Yuya Sakaki, concept art of which is shown above. The plushies will be available in the first quarter of 2017 in various European countries.
“Sakami Merchandise is a new company specializing in the manufacturing of plush toys based on popular Japanese anime and manga, so of course Yu-Gi-Oh! was at the top of our must-have list,” said Sakami representative Ronny Wolf in a release.
Sakami Merchandise’s other products currently include plushies of L and Ryuk from Death Note and Conan Edogawa from Case Closed. The company also has plushies of Saitama from One-Punch Man and Teepo from Tales of Xillia lined up for sale later this year.
Yuya Sakaki versus Reiji Akaba. The duel of the Originals is on. Yuya begins uncharacteristically by bolstering his defenses. He knows who he is up against.
“We come from the future and we’re the only ones here now,” says Akaba, “So I can openly duel with my true deck — my true power! And no matter who falls here… there’s no fear of discovery.”
“That’s right,” Yuya responds. “Nobody would believe we come from the future.”
Akaba grits his teeth. That was all Yusho Sakaki’s fault, Akaba barks angrily. Yusho’s actions killed his father. He begins to recall the events of the past that led them to their present-day quandary.
Years ago, Yusho Sakaki and Leo Akaba were researchers developing the Solid Vision with Mass technology. After the pair reached a milestone in their work, Yusho decided that he would leave the world of science to become a duelist. But not just any old duelist — one who combines dueling with worlds of entertainment and stage magic.
Yusho’s goals were noble. He knew that Solid Vision with Mass was powerful technology that could revolutionize the way the world works. He also knew that it would one day fall into the hands of military, who would use it in unjust ways. So before that happens, he wanted to use it for something that brought joy to the world so that people could know of and experience the positive potential of the technology. After making that decision, Yusho and Leo would further their research in the realms of Solid Vision and Duel Monsters, developing the Pendulum summoning method as the hallmark of entertainment duels.
But, explains Reiji Akaba, something unexpected happened to their fathers. Solid Vision with Mass involves creating an artificial virtual dimension, then drawing out and materializing the mass from that dimension into the Solid Vision technology of the real world. One day, while trying connecting to the virtual dimension, they instead connected to a new dimension and encountered Genesis Omega Dragon — G.O.D. Before G.O.D. destroyed their world, Reiji and Yuya were thrown into this current world and, “by a strange coincidence,” would inherit the power of the Pendulum summoning technique.
Reiji Akaba fans the cards in his hands and holds them straight out in front of Yuya.
Now, says Akaba, he will use that power to stop Yuya from taking control of G.O.D.!
Yes, some answers! The origin and explanation behind Solid Vision with Mass finally appears — and the pseudo-scientific explanation behind it makes sense. But as usual, with the revelation comes more questions than answers. What is G.O.D. and why did it destroy Reiji and Yuya’s future world? How were the duo saved and transported into the past? And why is Reiji so scary in this chapter? “Thanks for bringing us to this cave, where I can kill you and no one will hear you scream.”
But, umm, this story sure is becoming more and more similar to the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s anime. First it was the introduction of the time travel element. Now all of the mentions of “zero” in this chapter are evoking comparisons of the World Illusion to Zero Reverse.
By the way, the kanji (Chinese character used in the Japanese writing system) for “Rei” (零) in “Reiji” means zero. It also appears in the name of the Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL anime character Rei Shingetsu (Ray Shadows in the English-dubbed anime).
Where are Yuya and Reiji dueling? Was it ever explicitly stated? I thought they were deep underground beneath Yuya’s hideout after they dropped through a trap door in the previous chapter. Yet the recap appearing at the beginning of this chapter states that they are at the bottom of the Leo Corporation’s excavation site outside the city. This is more or less confirmed by Sawatari and Kurosaki, who are wandering the tunnels of that very site and who receive a message that Reiji’s duel signal had been detected. Perhaps they are close enough to the location of the duel and will rush there in the next chapter.
The location of Yuya’s hideout was never explicitly stated, however. Maybe Yuya has been living above the excavation site this entire time. Or maybe Yuya used his Solid Vision manipulation abilities to transport himself and Reiji to the site.
Hey, what’s up with the name of Reiji’s father? First it was Reo, then last chapter it was Leo, now it’s back to Reo again. After seeing Leo last chapter, the connection to the name of his company — Leo Corporation — became obvious, so that is probably the intended spelling. Style guides — put them to good use!
* * *
– Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 14: “Where It Began!”
– Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 16: “Swinging Pendulums of Destiny!”
Yuya Sakaki is jostled awake. He sits up on his couch, face covered in cold sweat. His head is pounding. What’s he doing in his hideout? Yuto and Yuri help him fill in the blanks. Yuya collapsed while dueling Sora Shiunin. Yugo was able to bring him back here, but then someone with a Duel Runner from the future infiltrated Yuya’s mind. Yugo fought him off before collapsing himself.
“A third enemy, huh?” wonders Yuya. “I thought they’d show up eventually, but I didn’t think they’d go straight for my memory.”
Yuya walks over to his computer. While he was sleeping, someone messed with his security system and now a “friend” is on his way over.
Yuzu, just back from a shopping trip, is relieved to see Yuya up and about. She wants to prepare some food for Yuya and his guest, but it seems that he has already arrived. A shadowy figure stands calmly by a staircase across the room. The scarf around his neck flaps wildly. He steps forward. It’s Reiji Akaba.
“I’m sorry but I do not consider you a friend!” exclaims Akaba.
Yuya and Akaba are both “from the same era,” Yuya tells Yuzu. And people who duel Akaba… don’t usually survive.
“If I don’t come back, you can sell my stuff!” Yuya laughs. Before Yuzu can even figure out what’s happening, Yuya approaches Akaba and snaps his fingers. A trap door opens beneath their feet, then clangs shut. Yuzu looks on completely horrified. They were gone.
Across the city, a restless Shingo Sawatari and Shun Kurosaki decide to survey the Leo Corporation excavation site that Reiji Akaba visited earlier. After crisscrossing through a network of tunnels, the duo approach the same large steel door that Akaba had passed through.
Sawatari and Kurosaki enter and find a room filled with old upturned furniture and tattered belongings, just as Akaba had left it. Kurosaki picks up a digital clock, its display frozen in time. He notices a stack of science magazines strewn on a counter top. His eyes narrow.
“What is this room?” Kurosaki asks. “All the dates are more than twenty years in the future…”
Yuya Sakaki and Reiji Akaba land in a spacious cavern far below Yuya’s hideout. A cylindrical single-person escape pod is embedded in the ground nearby. Its hatch is open. Akaba eyes the apparatus.
“Is this where you started in this era?” Akaba asks Yuya.
Yuya looks down at his feet. “After my dad triggered the World Illusion, I ended up here,” he replies. “He was researching Solid Vision with your father, Doctor Leo Akaba.”
“When I heard your name in this era, I knew you had to come find me,” continues Yuya. “But there’s no bad blood between you and me so do we have to fight?”
“As Originals from the future, it is our destiny to fight!!” asserts Akaba. “I will stop you no matter what!! I won’t let you control G.O.D.!”
Sorry but I can’t even finish writing a narrative for this chapter because I’m losing my marbles here. This chapter is crazy. Just when you think you’re starting to get a grip on the universe that the story is taking place in — bam — time travel. What what what?! I’m trying hard to curb the urge to draw comparisons between this story and the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s anime. Yeah, they both feature Duel Runners and an apocalyptic component involving time travel, but they can’t be related, right? They just can’t be! DX
This chapter, with its time travel revelation, feels very much like it could be a make-or-break chapter for readers who are on the fence about following this manga. If readers feel that the story hasn’t been captivating enough or has been too confusing, this element might cause them to drop the series. Hopefully writer Shin Yoshida knows where he’s going with this.
So there’s an escape pod under Yuya’s hideout, eh? An escape pod, a la Superman. Or like Yusei Fudo. (No wait! I said I wouldn’t talk about the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s anime!)
So Yuya is Superman? No, he’s from the future, not from outer space. He’s one of the Originals. Wait, an Original? Like in The Vampire Diaries? So Yuya’s a vampire? From the future! What?! No, that’s not right either.
Haha, okay, in all seriousness, what is even going on here? Is everything that we’ve learned about Yuya a lie? Sora was right — Yuya isn’t actually an infamous hacker. It’s too bad that Sora wasn’t able to finish his investigation and is now MIA.
Why does Reiji need to duel Yuya? What happened to Reiji’s father? Yuya and Reiji spend a good six or seven pages expounding on their history. Then Ren returns with a cameo to reveal a secret about Reiji. This is definitely all something you have to read for yourself.
The World Illusion. Ah, finally, the details are slowly coming. Yuya says that Yusho triggered the World Illusion, but Ren, during his duel with Yugo, said that both Yusho and Leo Akaba were responsible. Does Ren know something that Reiji doesn’t?
Also, Reiji’s father is apparently named Leo, not Reo as was stated earlier. Suddenly, the name of Reiji’s company makes sense. It isn’t just a name with fancy heraldic lions around the company logo.
Reiji’s motorcycle looks really detailed and kind of vintage when considering the futuristic setting of this manga. The design might be based on an actual bike. Chime in if you know the model! Hey Reiji, don’t you know that you shouldn’t have loose clothing fluttering around like that when you’re riding a motorcycle? Your scarf might get snagged on something!
Seeing Reiji’s science magazines makes me think that there will soon be a D/D Albert Einstein monster. There already are D/D Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla monsters that just came out in The Dark Illusion set.
Hey, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is on the cover of this week’s WSJ! That’s Yuya and Odd-Eyes Phantom Dragon from the cover of the Japanese volume 1 compilation of the manga. And not only that, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is also in the first position in the magazine instead of being tacked on at the end like it usually is. Hooray!
* * *
– Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 13: “The Adam Factor!”
– Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 15: “It’s Zero!”
Tags: manga, scholastic
VIZ Media is back this quarter with another issue of its Weekly Shonen Jump print magazine, and Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is one of four hot titles that’s included inside. The Fall 2016 edition of the WSJ Jump Pack is a 96-page look at some of the most popular Jump manga currently on the market. Included are:
- Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, chapter 2
- Haikyu!!, chapter 2
- My Hero Academia, chapter 2
- Naruto: The Seventh Hokage and the Scarlet Spring, chapter 1
Plus, new Yu-Gi-Oh! duelists and collectors won’t want to miss all of the extras that are included in the Jump Pack:
- An Ultra Rare Dark Magician Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG card, drawn and signed by Kazuki Takahashi. This is a reprint of the card included in the April 2011 issue of SJ.
- A Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG fold-out paper game mat and beginner’s guide.
- A 20-card Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG demo deck that accompanies the guide.
- A coupon for one free copy of any Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Starter Deck, redeemable at your local Official Tournament Store (OTS).
- A promo code for $5 off an annual subscription of Weekly Shonen Jump — a sweet deal that’ll let you keep up with the monthly Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V simulpubs, plus all of the other WSJ manga.
The magazine also features an article that introduces all of the different activities that are available at an OTS near you, like official tournaments, Battle City, Sneak Peeks, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Day.
The Weekly Shonen Jump Fall 2016 Jump Pack is available now at Scholastic book fairs throughout the U.S. for $10.99. Visit Scholastic’s website to find a book fair near you. All purchases made at these book fairs help financially support the host school, so maybe consider picking up an extra item or two while you’re there. I’m sure the WSJ staff and the school would appreciate it!
– Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V in Spring 2016 WSJ Jump Pack
The Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime makes its debut on home video today in the U.S. and Canada with the first 24 episodes landing on both DVD and Blu-ray! However, you would be forgiven for not being aware of this since 4K Media (Konami) has not formally announced the availability of this title, nor has distributor Cinedigm Entertainment added these products to its online catalog. With all of the radio silence, it wasn’t clear if orders would even be filled. Thankfully, they were.
Cinedigm’s Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V home video release is one of many firsts. This post will look at what makes this title special, examine what’s included with Cinedigm’s products, and compare them to the only other physical ARC-V home video product currently on the market — the Japanese DVD from Marvelous.
Yu-Gi-Oh! History is Made Again
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V marks the first time any Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series has received a high-definition Blu-ray release. While Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL both made their debut in the era of HD broadcasting, neither received a BD release, not even in Japan. Both series do have HD download-to-own options in North America, however. Up until today, the only Yu-Gi-Oh! BD product was for the movie Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time.
Speaking of download-to-own options, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is also the first series to have episode downloads released simultaneously while the show is still on the air, ahead of the home video release. Cinedigm has been adding DTO episodes to popular video platforms as they air on Nicktoons, with the option to buy a season pass. Fourteen episodes were uploaded before Nicktoons went into reruns. But as of today, episodes 1 through 24 of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V are available for download on various platforms, including Amazon, Google Play Movies & TV, iTunes, Microsoft Movies & TV, PlayStation Video, and VUDU.
Today’s Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V release is also the first time that an English dub has landed on home video first in North America since the days of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX — that was way, way back when FUNimation was distributing that show between 2006 and 2009! Since then, the English-language releases of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL both debuted on DVD in Australia long before they made it to this side of the planet. (However, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s never saw season 2 over there, and ZEXAL didn’t even finish season 1.) And Manga UK, the British division of Manga Entertainment, was the first to bring out Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time on DVD and Blu-ray for the British market.
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V from Cinedigm
The Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Season 1 Volume 1 DVD and Blu-ray are released on Cinedigm’s Flatiron Film Company label and include episodes 1 through 24 of 4K Media’s English dub. Both products include three double-layer discs. Curiously, there are eight episodes on disc 1, nine on disc 2, and seven on disc 3. Among anime releases, putting eight episodes on one disc is a bit much for DVD, but is not at all unusual for BD. Some other anime publishers often squeeze thirteen HD episodes onto one BD disc (which isn’t necessarily detrimental to the video quality; it depends on the show), so Cinedigm handled the data spacing challenges well here.
Both versions include the basic single-page menu pictured at the top of this post. Yuya’s pendant swings back and forth in the background while the harmony for the theme song, “Can You Feel The Power?” loops.
The DVDs are housed in a black Amaray clamshell case with a double-sided swing tray. The BDs sit in a typical blue-colored clamshell case with a double-sided swing tray and is a few millimeters thinner than a DVD case. On the cover of both products is Yuya Sakaki, Timegazer Magician, and Stargazer Magician. The spine of the DVD volume shows part of an image of Performapal Hip Hippo which, when placed beside future releases, will form a larger picture. The BD case does not have an image on its spine; it has only the text “ARC-V Season 1 Vol. 1.”
Neither the DVDs nor the BDs include any extras, as has been the trend with almost all of Cinedigm’s Yu-Gi-Oh! releases. Both products are region locked — the DVDs to region 1 and the BDs to region A.
4K Media opted not to release Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V in a season set, a decision last seen in September 2014 with the Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Season 1 Volume 1 DVD. It remains to be seen whether Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V will get season box sets. (ZEXAL eventually did.)
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V from Japan’s Marvelous
Japan saw its first Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V DVD in September 2014 from Marvelous. The show’s home video release in Japan is noteworthy in its own way because of its elimination of box sets. For the first time since the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters days, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is sold only as single volumes.
As expected from a Japanese anime home video, Marvelous’ volume 1 DVD includes only the first four episodes for a cool 6,264 yen (about 62 of today’s U.S. dollars). Naturally, the product is locked to region 2 and includes no subtitles.
Despite not being included as part of a larger set, volume 1 nevertheless contains numerous extras on the disc, like the clean (textless) opening and ending; a line art gallery of the main characters and monsters; commercials for the ARC-V anime, DVD, and music CD; and a 20-minute round table where the voice actors for Yuya, Yuzu, and Syuzo chat about the show’s characters. First printings of volume 1 also included an application to see a special ARC-V talk show that took place in February 2015, plus three photos of the show’s characters.
Video Screenshot Comparison
The table below contains links to a few screenshots from Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V episode 1. There are only three products to compare: Cinedigm’s DVD and Blu-ray and Marvelous’ Japanese DVD.
All links open in a new window. Warning: Uncropped, full-size PNG images!
[A] Cinedigm Blu-ray
[B] Cinedigm DVD
[C] Marvelous DVD
The video quality of Cinedigm and Marvelous’ Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V DVDs aren’t all that different from their previous releases, especially when compared to their handling of the anamorphic widescreen Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s and ZEXAL DVDs.
Once again, Cinedigm’s video has the better crop and better colors. And yet, Cinedigm’s video still suffers from the same defect with the horizontal lines at the very bottom of the picture seen in its Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, 5D’s, and ZEXAL DVDs. In the ARC-V screenshots, the problem is most noticeable in B2, right below the lower button of Nico Smiley’s suit jacket. While the video is playing, this problem doesn’t really stand out, but the mere fact that this is still an issue after so many DVDs have been created is an annoyance. Fortunately, Cinedigm’s BD doesn’t have this problem.
Marvelous’ video once again suffers from ugly ringing artifacts that are present throughout. This is especially pronounced in an image like C6, where the picture is mostly still and features large sections of solid color. The artifacts are all too visible all around the borders of Yuya’s hair, face, and clothes. Also note the substantial bleeding of the red text outlines in C4.
Cinedigm’s Blu-ray plays very smoothly and would be fantastic if not for one glaring problem: the colors look way off. The reds in the picture aren’t red enough while the greens are much too green. The amount of blue seems to be okay. At first, I thought my computer wasn’t correctly calibrated to play BDs, but Cinedigm’s Bonds Beyond Time BD doesn’t suffer any color problems during playback. So what’s the deal here? Anime videophiles, let me know what your experience is with these products.
Title: Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Season 1 Vol. 1
Street Date: September 6, 2016
Distributor: Cinedigm Entertainment
Label: Flatiron Film Company
Licensed by: 4K Media (Konami)
Disc count: Three double-layer DVD discs
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (16:9)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Closed Captions: Yes
Disc count: Three double-layer BD discs
Video: 1920×1080 (16:9) at 23.976 fps
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Closed Captions: Yes
Also available for download on various digital platforms.