ZEXAL Episode 132 Review

Faces. Faces. More faces. Beethoven’s Symphony No.5. Unfortunately WordPress still seems to give me the middle finger if I try to upload multiple images, so we’re going to have to do without until I figure stuff out. Needless to say, spoilers. 

So we start off with a continuation of last week’s episode. Vector’s pulled his little JANJAJAAAAAAAAAAAAN, revealing that it was indeed the psychotic prince who killed Nasch(Shark) and Merag(Rio) in the Barian World, thus leading to their reincarnation as humans. It turns out that Nasch and Merag were reborn in the freshly dead bodies of two of their family’s descendants, effectively making their bodies zombies and their souls those of demonic space ghosts.

Between that and the fact that Vector did it on the basis of a freaking point system where 100,000,000 points=KILL NASCH, Merag is furious. However, Vector manages to hold off Merag and keep himself alive by using a continuous trap, Damage Pot. Afterwards, his little bondage armor made of Don Thousand’s throne proceeds to suck the life out of Shark(who’s trapped in a pocket dimension) and transfer his energy to Vector once more, thus boosting his LP back to 4000. As Vector attempts to take Merag out by using the effect of his Number, Don Thousand stops him, reminding him that they’d also be taking damage. Here’s where we see Vector’s tendency to get so caught up in his own antics that he kinda stops thinking about the consequences. For a guy who can plot so many conspiracies, he kinda has the issue of putting his own enjoyment above everything else.

Vector ultimately chooses not to use the effect of Number 43, and Merag proceeds to taunt Vector and  his little combo. Completely ridiculed and flat out pissed, he decides to have a little payback and show them a little something.

 

With yet another of his trademark SHOUGEKI NO SHINJITSU moments, he proceeds to sing the opening to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. You know, that iconinc Da-Da-Da-DUM. Anyways. He shows Merag and BOOKS!(Durbe) the little prison in which he’s been keeping Shark, and thus we have moment where he finally tells them what he’s been doing with Shark’s body. Cut to the opening.

Once the opening’s done and we’re back, we see Alito/Alioth saying he’s going to be the one to bring Girag back to his senses, despite the fact that he’s lost the vast majority of his powers as a Barian and can no longer use his Over Hundred Number. Kinda out of nowhere tbh, but I guess it works since the Over Hundred Numbers are tied to Don Thousand’s strength and Alito’s no longer under Don Thousand’s influence. We get a nice little scene of Alito stating how he’s pretty much Girag’s only friend, followed by Yuma passing on Number 64 to him so that Don Thousand’s hold on Girag can be broken. For those who haven’t kept up, the Legendary Numbers from the ruins can break Don Thousand’s hold on the Barian Lords if they destroy the Over Hundred Numbers that belong to each of their respective Lords. We cut away as soon as Alito’s turn ends.

Back to Vector’s glorious trolling in the Barian World, Merag’s face is contorted and twisted with pain and shock. Her face is just THAT full of suffering and despair, and if she had a mouth it’d be kinda scary to see. Durbe’s obviously enraged, and Vector’s laughing his butt off like the Joker, so in an attempt at punishing the mad prince Durbe launches a suicide attack on Vector, even managing to get Vector to flinch. Unfortunately his attack falls short as Vector activates a continuous trap to protect his Number and keep his LP at 1, and Durbe’s left with 1 LP at the same time. Durbe’s left with no choice but to end his turn, and Shark gets tortured by metallic tentacles once more.

After the commercial break we cut back to Alito and Girag, with Girag unleashing his Over Hundred Number. He proceeds to summon Number 58, equip it to his Chaos Number 106, and declare a direct attack. And…that’s about it for that scene. Talk about anticlimactic, but hey! More Vector!

At this point Vector’s in full swing with his trolling. The music is a sinister but comic orchestra piece of strings, and right off the bat he declares that he’s going to destroy a card on the field with the effect of his Evil 1 continuous trap. He makes all sorts of silly faces that are flat out deformed to the point where you honestly have to wonder if you’re not watching Gurren Lagann or something, and in one of the most surreal portrayals we’ve ever had in this show, so do the eyes on his armor. He uses yet a THIRD voice, more or less pouting about how he can’t attack that turn, and wonders what he should destroy. He then proceeds to put on a really annoying grin and declares that he’s going to nuke his own Damage Pot, explaining that the instant it blows up, it’s going to inflict damage to everybody equal to the amount of damage it sucked up back during Merag’s turn. And we go back to the Studio Trigger faces as he explains that it’s going to kill off the other two Lords while he survives.

AAAAAND the pot explodes, only after a series of really creepy moans that sound awfully like uh. You know what, just watch the ep yourself. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say it. Durbe manages to convert all 3900 points of the damage divided between them to an ATK boost for Merag’s monster. Unfortunately Durbe has to take damage at the end of the turn that’s equal to the power boost. And he dies with a bunch of apologies for his incompetence and a large amount of sappiness shared by everybody except for Vector, who’s laughing his rear off.

We then cut back to Girag, who direct attacks Alito, then uses Number 58 multiple times to try and OTK Alito. Yes, Number 58 can use its burn effect multiple times in the anime. Alito manages to survive with the usage of yet another situational Counter Trap and display a wonderful show of hot blood.

The episode ends with Merag seemingly killing off Vector, managing to get him to make a silly face full of fear. Not. Vector survives with a sinister laugh and the episode ends.

So. How was the episode?

Surprisingly good. I mean, we have a lot of Hikokubo’s usual ace spamming and situational cards, but it actually feels like there was some elements of strategy this time around. The guy using the unlimited number of damage reducers actually has a reason to, seeing as how he has a continuous spell that resets his LP at the end of each turn, we don’t see battle negation/effect negation get spammed to no end, it actually feels like each person is reading the other guy’s strategy, etc.

There’s a nice tension to the main highlight of the episode. It’s less about ludicrous combos that do nothing on their own, the duel has more single cards that swing things around and make for more potent combinations or counters when put together while still being SOMEWHAT reasonable by the standards of the anime. The more situational combos are easily stopped by 1~2 cards much like real life, while the more powerful ones are harder to stop simply because of how unfair they are.

That makes it feel a lot closer to say, DM than the usual 5D’s~ZEXAL fair of unlimited situational traps that ask for a specific scenario. This is only made better by the raw emotion displayed in the mouthless faces, the potent usage of deformation in the animation, and the overall comic yet sinister nature of Vector. Between the emotions of the Barian Seven and the sheer talent of Hino Satoshi’s work with Vector, we have a very strong episode with plenty of HAM moments and energy, which is only made better by the usage of the music.

All in all it’s a decent episode that works well and has plenty of eye-candy, and with barely any familiar cards it’s a lot less repetitive than previous episodes. Though, outside of the Numbers, I doubt there’s anything we’ll really need to look forward to in Primal Origin. Still, I suggest you check it out if you haven’t already done so.

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