Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s (2008 anime) review

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Series: Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s
Studio: Gallop
Year: 2008

Intro

I decided to watch this because I was wondering if any of the other Yu-Gi-Oh series were any good. I wanted to believe that they could just be as good or if not better than the original series. I was aware that there were going to be a fresh set of characters with a new set of rules to the game of Duel Monsters. There were quite a few series that have been released since the conclusion of the first series, so I jumped in with blind faith and chose this series believing that it’ll be very good.

Plot

This series centers around Yusei Fudo and his quest to save Neo Domino City as this city serves as the metropolis while Satellite is seen as the slums. Many years prior to the start of this series, Neo Domino City was split into two places due to a malfunction in a reactor called Moment.

At the beginning of the series, Yusei’s primary goal is to get back his rare card, Stardust Dragon. His best friend Jack Atlas had stolen it and ran away from Satellite to Neo Domino City hoping to get a better life. Yusei’s other goal is to battle and defeat Jack.

Later on, they must join forces along with a few new friends they meet on the way to save and unite Neo Domino City from evil forces while playing the game of Duel Monsters. With each battle, kept bringing in new threats.

This new series also brought on new mechanics to the game of Duel Monsters. First is the addition of riding duels. It’s pretty much dueling but in racing form with specific abilities being used only in this format. Riders ride on their vehicle of choice called D-Wheels and use speed counters in addition to their cards to try to win.

The other mechanic is synchro summoning which is almost like combining creatures to create a better and scarier one.

Good

There are a lot of things that I took away from this series. The first theme I got out of this is the meaning of friendship and bonds. This is a theme that also was introduced in the original series where people need each other to succeed. Friendship goes a long way towards group and individual success. In team battles or individual encounters, the bonds they formed with each other went a long way in determining their outcome. The bonds formed are also centered around, of course, the main protagonist, Yusei.

The next thing I got out of this was the theme of segregation. Neo Domino City was seen as this utopia where those that live in it are living the life while those that are not are seen yearning for the days that they too can have a slice of that life. Those that live in Satellite are seen as subservient human beings. Those from Satellite that try to go to the city and are caught are sent to prison along with being branded on their face. I saw many parallels in this anime and what’s going on in the world.

The last theme I got out of this was hope. When things go bad and couldn’t get any worse, the only thing you may have left is hope. It has been needed on so many occasions and the optimism Yusei has had was infectious to his group of friends as they have used it towards their own success as well.

Bad

It actually took me a very long time to actually like the series. It didn’t get any good until the real overall plot kicked in and when Yusei finally was able to reacquire his beloved Stardust Dragon. The first episodes felt really slow and was a drag to watch.

Both seasons actually started off pretty slow, so the pacing wasn’t there. Many episodes were also filler and duels would occur just so they can squeeze in that one match to fill that quota.

Many of the side characters also were pretty useless during the duration of their existence in the series as they brought nothing to the table. Once the series got the ball rolling, it was really great to watch.

Overview

I thought that I wouldn’t enjoy another Yu-Gi-Oh series, but I actually did. I think I might even like this series more than the original even though things got a bit hectic at times. Many of the characters were likable and even the annoying ones grew on me over time. Maybe the other Yu-Gi-Oh series may also be pretty good.

Overall rating: 4/5
Reviewed by: Timtastic

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