Sunday, 20 May 2018


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Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Season 3
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1012 Mins
Audio: English and Japanese DD 5.1
Release Date: 18/06/2018
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes 

Just when you thought there couldn't possibly be more cards to find, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal has seven legendary number cards which are hidden around the four corners of the galaxy and each have a way of unlocking the power of the universe. 

Yuma and Astral have the task of finding them before their rivals, the Barians who might well use it to end all life. 

Their quest for the Numbers leads them to a temple, but when a boy calling himself  Nash turns up and everyone gets to thinking he might be dangerous, a spy for the Barians, or a Barian in disguise. They actually think all four when they really think about it. Nash seems shy, even scared of what might happen to him, though he has a good sense of his surroundings and saves them from harm. Even so, they are still wary of him. He might try to trick them, or even kill them if he is a Barian as they believe.

Without wasting any time, Yuma and Astral, plus his friends come up against a worthy foe, one they might not beat so easily, Mach. He plays to win and seems to think he will, but he hides a secret life, one of sadness, betrayal and lies. He tells them he will play for the Number, but there is a special forfeit - if they lose, they also lose two friends.

I like how the animators seem to have read the manga and taken key moments from it for the duels to make them look more spectacular. I thought it couldn't be possible to make it look as good, if not better, but they did a perfect job of bringing those scenes to life in the anime. The scenes where duelists show their cards is flashy, colourful, flamboyant and Yuma's duel with Mach makes more sense. His trusty steed is Pegasus, the one who saved him from death in his past when as a knight, he was betrayed by his men who envied him and took over his castle. At first you think Mach is miserable and cruel, but appearances can be deceptive when Yuma proves to be a worthy opponent.

In The Dark Mist Rises 1 & 2, Yuma learns he must put his trust in his friends, and in return his friends must trust him, though Astral decides he could leave him one day. Surprises are what this anime series is about, so Yuma thinks he has to duel against his opponent when his opponent turns the tables on him. It will be a battle of wits and strength as Yuma will have to take a backseat this time, dodging attempts made on his life by a ruthless swinging pendulum, while Astral will be the one dueling. Yuma is caught up in what he must do to save his friends, yet Astral also wants to make sure Yuma is okay. It is only when Astral urges Yuma to find a way to free himself from the pendulum and get to safety that Astral can get on with defeating his enemy. The reason is he can't think straight when he's worrying about Yuma. As it happens, Yuma needed this boost to spur him on and let Astral do what he does best.

The episodes are mostly two-parters just as in the manga, but themed around the relationship between Yuma and Astral. Astral can only perform to his best ability if Yuma remains unharmed and safe, maybe this is why he might leave Yuma one day. One episode entitled Put to the Test where Astral find two cards that could be seen as tales; one of a knight and his steed Pegasus from previous episodes and a man who fights with his fists in an arena, but was branded as a traitor and banished from his homeland - these could hold the key to the truth behind the Barians - but time as usual will tell.

I can imagine viewers seeing how much this series mirrors the fight scenes and dueling from, the original manga, and to be honest I like the way the series is shaping up in terms of characterization, the warmth you can feel towards them such as Yuma, his friends, even Nash at first, but is he evil? No one knows that for sure.

Bonus Material: No menu of options, no extras or set up.

Summary: Fast-paced, entertaining and with characters that are memorable right to the end!

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