Feb 4, 2015
Lord_Rutsah (All reviews)
take the scenario from Terminator + tons of mindless violence + card games on motorcycles (that are surprisingly good) + a badass protagonist: Welcome to 5ds!

5ds revitalized the game when it needed it most. Konami created new types of cards (synchros) and introduced them through an anime so good that people actually got over the fact that Konami was creating new rules again (The same tactic was repeated quite successfully with Arc V and completely failed with Zexal). The duels suddenly became A LOT faster and more enjoyable and the game that was going downhill until then suddenly stepped up.

For starters FINALLY we're through with "school children protagonists". Yusei was already 18 when the show started, had already trouble with cops and was basically living in a giant scrapyard/post-apocalyptic city. Literally from the first minutes of the anime all you can say is "wow, is this really yugioh?!". Obviously the super-added levels of violence meant that 4kids butchered the anime even more than usual in the dub, making it utterly unwatchable, but that's hardly the original's fault.

And staying on the "violence makes good" theme, lets talk about emotional violence as well. Aki, the show's female lead is quite clearly a girl with a LOT of problems and torn between her loyalties, from the start to the end. On the one hand she wants to go with the protagonist... Mostly because she just fancies him, on the other she wants to stay with her boss, who she also fancies (kinda, and also kinda sees him as a fatherly figure, honestly it's a pretty interesting subplot). And the main reason she can't choose is that in 5ds, there is no clearly evil character. Obviously the protagonist is good, but there is no character you can clearly call an "one-sided villain", including her boss. On one hand that makes for a much more mature plot, on other it doesn't allow for the sheer evil badassness that Vector was (read my zexal II review). In fact even the last main villain of the anime, the big bad behind it all, STILL isn't evil. Misguided maybe, yes, but he only had the best of intentions (you know, unlike the motherfu%$ing Vector and the others).

The protagonist, Yusei, best of all, never jokes, almost never smiles and is in fact from start to finish dead serious about everything. The fact that he can outrun security (constantly), beat the crap out of everyone (no, I don't mean in a card game, I mean literally, beat the crap out of people), build 2 whole motorcycles from scrap and understand physics (without ever going to school mind you) makes him a total boss. After him comes Jack Atlas, the second male lead, who gets almost equal screentime, and is a fan-favourite due to his dueling style and unparalleled ego. He makes for an amazing antagonist and surprisingly well-written character (and is in fact the only character in the anime to get more chicks than Yusei). Lets be honest here, EVERYONE who has seen 5ds was hyped every time that "Red Demon's Dragon" was summoned. (Come on, you can even recite the summoning chant)

The plot starts from post-apocalyptic future, goes to "suck my Aztec d$%^" and ends up Terminator (down to the last detail). While pretty light on twists there are a few that really make for interesting story (for example who the final opponents of the second and final Arcs were). Most of the anime is delightfully dark, with purple and dark blue being the primarly used colors. (As far as I can remember you almost never see the sun in the first Arcs).

When it comes to animation and OSTes 5ds was way above the antagonism. In fact when it came out, I quite honestly thought it had the best OST in anime after Bleach (Fairy Tail hadn't come out yet). The animation has a unique dark style to it that really makes the anime enjoyable and you asking for more.

It doesn't matter if you didn't like yugioh in general, at least the first 8-9 episodes of this one are a must-watch.