Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome once again to Maiami City, the place to be for action dueling. Based on the popular 5th iteration of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga takes fans back into the world of the ARC-V story, but with a twist. While most of the characters are easily recognizable from the anime, the manga takes things a step further with a completely new story and some new takes on familiar faces.
In the ARV-V manga we find a shadowy figure, referred to as The Phantom, on the run from the Leo Corporation. The Phantom turns out to be none other than beloved protagonist Yuya Sakaki however, when cornered by Akaba Reji’s Elite Duel Squad consisting of Shingo Sawatari, Shun Kurosaki and Sora Shiunin, the Phantom reveals himself to be not Yaya, but Yuto instead. From this point on things progress rather quickly with a couple of high impact duels which show the characters in some new and interesting shades of light.
Volume 1 serves as an introduction to the main cast and fan favorites from the anime and does a wonderful job of outright saying “these are not the duelist you think you know“. While those familiar with the anime series may at first face slight discomfort trying to reconcile these differences the pace of the story and significance of these differences makes them easy to digest. These wonderful new dynamics and personalities gives readers the feeling that this is something brand new which is honestly quite refreshing.
Not only are there new aspects to the character’s personalities but also new cards mixed into their decks. While Manga-Yuya still uses Pendulum Summoning as well a Performapal style deck, his brand new ace monster is none other than Odd-Eyes Phantom Dragon (a phantom dragon for “The Phantom”, clever) which is actually given as a gift card with this print of the volume release.
Beyond the refreshing changes to the characters and their decks, the manga seems to be setting up for a very serious, high stakes story. While there is some levity in the form of Yuya’s first encounter with Yuzu Hiragi and their budding Manager/Client(?) friendship, it is quickly revealed that Yuya is on a mission of great importance as he hunts for the card, Genesis Omega Dragon. Through the glimpses of this version of Akaba Reji, it is alluded that he has a similar goal and aims to remove Yuya as an obstacle.
High impact and face paced, Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Volume 1 is certainly not to be overlooked by any Yu-Gi-Oh fan. In six chapters the manga managed to make the familiar feel new and refreshing without being too jarring, while still setting the stage for things yet to come. It easily piques the interest of readers without giving away too much and offers two great duels to sink your teeth into.
The volume ended with Yuya hinting to the existence of his four other selves but no clues have been given as to how they themselves will fit into the story yet to come. These are the small details which hook you and keep you on the edge of your seat waiting for future volumes. Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Volume 1 is available now for $9.99USD.