"Turning Point", known as "The Crawling Losers" in the Japanese version, is the seventy-third episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime, as well as the seven hundred and seventy-seventh episode of the NAS Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise. In honor of this, the episode featured a special opening featuring the protagonists from the previous anime series. It first aired in Japan on September 13, 2015 and in Australia on October 27, 2016. Nicktoons aired on March 5, 2017. It became available with official subtitles via Crunchyroll on January 24, 2017
Sylvio lost his Duel, and was subsequently sent to the underground. In that place, Gong was arguing with the owner of the Underground Dueling Arena, Lucas Swank. Lucas tells Gong, Sylvio and Moon Shadow about the rules of the underground facility, and how to get back to the surface. On the other hand, Moon Shadow, whom managed to escape from the facility, speaks to Yuya about Declan and Riley's desires.
Yuya recaps his progress in the Friendship Cup, which he feels is wrong to have the losers sent to the underground. However, he recalls wanting to pursue victory himself, and feeling unable to stop it. He thinks of Gong, Chojiro, Moon Shadow and Sylvio as they are sent to meet their fates.
Sylvio is being restrained by two burly undertakers as they send him to the underground. As he struggles, the two undertakers simply remind him that it is the Friendship Cup's rule that the losers be sent to the underground, never to return. As the two undertakers operate an elevator to the underground, they tell Sylvio to listen carefully to the rules if he wants to survive. What Sylvio sees when he approaches from inside the elevator, shocks him: a waste treatment facility where workers are forced to sort different types of garbage into boxes. Boxes are then transported by conveyor belts into a molten furnace.
Lucas Swank is then seen talking to a few workers, including another who has just joined. He claims that the Commons will find their new home in this waste treatment facility, and from then on, it's simply a race to the bottom. The person he is addressing, which is the officer that Yuya defeated, begs for another chance, saying he'll beat Yuya this time and rise to the top once more. Swank says the officer already had his chance, and blew it; he kicks the officer back to the floor, and tells him that if he wants to see the light, he has to start from the bottom again and deal with the other losers coming his way. Two other workers help the officer get up.
At that point, Gong and Chojiro intervene, telling Swank to let go of the officer. Addressing the two as "Dennis' mate" and "Enjoy Chojiro" respectively, Swank suggests that they haven't been welcomed properly, and offers them a chance to redeem themselves by beating everyone around him in a duel. Chojiro refuses, claiming that it's just bullying, and calls Swank a coward. Swank doesn't flinch; he says that the chance he gives Chojiro is something that can be done in minutes which normally takes years. Turning to the officer still being restrained, Swank cites him as having known about this, then disrespecting those around him, saying that "no Common can beat an ex-Topsider like me". The officer drops to the floor again, and Swank hopes that the officer simply realises his position.
Chojiro interrupts Swank here, and Gong remembers that he called himself a promoter that last time they met, and wonders why he's in charge of the underground. Swank says that he's here simply to sort out the garbage. Chojiro and Gong are not happy that they're being referred to as garbage. Swank tells the two to blame the higher powers, as their rules determined who were worthless enough to end up here. But even among this pile of trash, Swank says, he can unearth some hidden gems, and that's his job. Chojiro and Gong ask if that means they simply move to the Underground Dueling Arena; Swank doesn't guarantee it. He says the real gems get presented to the "king", which he clarifies is the Sector Security boss, Jean-Michel Roget. Swank says Roget personally tipped him off about the arrival of the police, which let him escape when they arrived.
Chojiro knows this means that Swank is bribing Roget with duelists, and calls Swank a coward. Gong asks why, but not even Swank knows Roget's intentions, except his desire for strong duelists. Swank lets the two know that Sergey is already one such duelist that he offered Roget; he is still at the Friendship Cup. Host Melissa Trail introduces the third Turbo Duel of the day, between Damon Lopez and Sergey Volkov. After Damon makes his introduction, Sergey arrives on a monster Duel Runner and this draws a few murmurs among the crowd. Swank's voice returns at this point; he says people recognise Sergey as the "Duelist Crusher" (dub: "Dueling Destroyer"), as he was once a notorious criminal who challenged duelists everywhere whether pro or amateur; Security came after him, and it took twenty members (dub: "half of Security") to finally bring him to justice. But in confinement, he continued his ruthless streak against the other inmates, which eventually forced authorities to send him even lower. There, he met Swank; he was offered the same thing Gong and Chojiro are being offered now, and beat fifty of Swank's duelists. This was enough to convince Swank to bring him to Roget, and it made his day; Sergey was given back his freedom, and now works directly under Roget.
Roget himself is watching Sergey's progress while playing chess as usual, musing that his plan is about to become a reality. Declan Akaba and his younger sibling are also watching the duel about to unfold; he knows that after this match, the only first-round tie left is between Shay Obsidian and Dennis McField, two of his Lancers. He addresses the High Council and requests to leave; upon being asked for what purpose, Declan simply says that he needs some air.
Back at the underground, Chojiro is surprised to hear that Sergey has been reborn, as Moon Shadow eavesdrops on the conversation. Swank reiterates that Sergey, as the "Duelist Crusher", crushes any opponent he encounters, yet Roget has been able to keep him at his disposal. Gong wonders if Roget is a mind-controller; Swank dodges the question, and remembers that Gong was from a different dimension. Gong is taken aback; Swank continues, mentioning that Roget might also be from a different dimension. As Moon Shadow continues to eavesdrop while operating a shaft behind Gong, Swank says he can't confirm it, but does know that many things are rumoured about him. He thinks Roget suddenly appeared out of nowhere, climbing to the top of Sector Security because he was able to bribe the administration with many unseen technologies. At this point, Roget is still watching Sergey's progress; he admits he was arrested for fraud back when people didn't know that the Augmented Reality Combat System existed.
Meanwhile, the Turbo Duel finally begins as Melissa finishes the countdown; Damon speeds in front as Sergey's heavier runner struggles to accelerate. Back at the underground, Gong interprets Swank's latest statement as saying that Roget brought technology over from another dimension; Roget is smirking. As the Turbo Duel progresses, Melissa commentates that Damon's "Alien Shocktrooper" has taken out all of Sergey's monsters. Damon himself is addressing his opponent, wondering where Sergey's "Duelist Crusher" skills went, and most of the crowd agrees, shouting that the duel is too boring. Damon muses to himself that Sergey has been neutralized ever since Security took him in, but Roget, who has been watching the duel, thinks otherwise. Back at the underground, Swank says he doesn't care about Roget's background as long as it gives him an opportunity to do business, and asks Chojiro and Gong to accept his proposal or he'll suspend his business for the day.
Chojiro and Gong hesitate to answer, and Swank claims they're too scared. Just then, Chojiro's former lackeys at the Facility appear, and ask their boss to accept Swank's offer. Chojiro apologizes for having to see his former lackeys at the underground as well; the teal-robed lackey says it means they'll be among Chojiro and Gong's opponents, and the light blue-robed lackey says that victory for them puts them one step closer to Roget. Chojiro is angry at his subordinates' challenge, and Gong tries to calm him down. Just then, Sylvio arrives at the underground, and accepts Swank's challenge, which he too has heard; Moon Shadow finishes with his eavesdropping and vanishes. Sylvio proudly claims he's not afraid of anyone in the underground. Swank is pleased that the spirit of the one that has joined, and begins proceedings immediately, just as Moon Shadow hides underneath the elevator rising back up.
Back at the Duel Palace, Sergey has emerged from the dust of his monsters' destruction and is closing in on Damon, just as Damon continues to blabber about his imminent victory. As the crowd continue to encourage Damon, Yuya is watching from his room. He does not think he's watching a duel; he's watching someone get hurt. But then he remembers how he knocked his opponent off his Duel Runner, and regrets doing the same thing. At a viewing spot high up, Moon Shadow reports back to Declan; Declan concludes that Roget must be a Duel Academy agent sent over from the Fusion Dimension. Riley hears this with surprise. Declan praises Moon Shadow's work but says that he must continue gathering intel, as well as look out for the Lancers. As Moon Shadow turns to leave, Riley finally speaks up. He approaches Moon Shadow slowly while holding his rag doll, and hesitates, before admitting he wants to apologize to Moon Shadow and Declan. Riley says he wanted to fight, but Moon Shadow took his place. Declan tells Riley not to worry, because Moon Shadow was sent to gather intel for his plan. But Riley admits he did something bad to Moon Shadow. He wished for Moon Shadow's loss against Shinji Weber because he wasn't the one dueling. Riley admits, he wants to be trusted by his brother like Moon Shadow currently is. He remembers Jack Atlas' words during his meeting with the Akabas, and wants to be seen as a trustworthy member of the team, by his brother as well as Yuya.
Yuya is still watching the Turbo Duel between Damon and Sergey when, suddenly, he sees Damon knocked off his runner. Even Melissa is commentating her shock at what just happened. Even the crowd can't believe what happened, having seen Damon in the clear lead just a few seconds ago. Roget, however, watching from his office, knows that Sergey simply unleashed his power at the right moment, and knows that he'll desire tougher opponents than Damon. Nevertheless, Melissa goes on to professionally declare Sergey the winner, just as Damon is carried off on a stretcher. Yuya laments at the fact that Damon will meet his fate underground, just as someone knocks on his door. Yuya approaches the door without opening it, asking who's there. He hears Moon Shadow's voice with surprise. Moon Shadow, leaning his back on Yuya's door, assures him that the others are safe. Yuya smiles with relief before asking about Gong, Chojiro and Sylvio; whether they had escaped. Moon Shadow says they haven't; he escaped alone. He iterates that his duty is to gather intel from underground, and he is busy filing his report for Declan. Yuya already knows that Moon Shadow had switched places with Riley at the Friendship Cup, but is frustrated, not knowing why Moon Shadow isn't trying to save the other Lancers. Moon Shadow claims he is doing so; if he knew Declan had no regard for the lives of people turned into cards, he would have severed ties with Declan long ago. He tells Yuya that Declan opposes the Duel Academy, which is why he travels between dimensions to fight them. Declan would not abandon those allies he shares a purpose with, claims Moon Shadow.
Moon Shadow promises to continue reporting what happens in the underground; in return, he hopes Yuya wins the Friendship Cup, not only for Declan but also Riley. Yuya is shocked to hear it's Riley wish as well. Moon Shadow recalls the conversation he had with Riley; Riley told Moon Shadow that after being protected for a long time by Yuya, he wants to return the favor and fight alongside. But because he already chose not to participate in the Friendship Cup, he also hopes Yuya keeps winning for his own sake, so that he has a rematch with Jack Atlas. Riley knows that Jack was a Common who won the Friendship Cup, proving something that had never been done before, while the Lancers were simply here to save the Synchro Dimension, but their people didn't believe they were being invaded. Therefore, in order to convince the people, a Lancer has to beat Jack.
Yuya is disheartened, knowing that Jack beat him before. Staring at his pendant, Yuya hopes he could beat Jack the next time, but doesn't know how to achieve this. Moon Shadow tells Yuya that Jack told them not to give up trying to accomplish something. That's when Yuya realises that beating Jack is the only way to convince him of the Lancers and their purpose. He asks Moon Shadow to relay his thanks to Riley, and promises that he'll defeat Jack and win the Friendship Cup for the Lancers. Moon Shadow interrupts Yuya at that point, saying that Riley is already back with the High Council, so he can only do so another time. Yuya sheepishly asks Moon Shadow for another favour at this point.
Zuzu, in her room, is lying on her bed with her feet still on the floor to the right, thinking about Yuya when she hears a knock. She sees a piece of paper slip under her door, and goes to examine it. Outside, Moon Shadow vanishes after walking a few steps. Back in her room, Zuzu notices that the piece of paper has Yuya's handwriting on it, and begins to read. She sheds a few tears near the end.
Yuya's letter to Zuzu
Original (translated): "Zuzu, I finally realized. The reason my voice wouldn't carry, no matter how hard I screamed. And also, the reason why Jack said I only duel to entertain myself. It's because I have yet to show that I've achieved anything. No one will pay attention to me unless I win, like Jack, and become a person they acknowledge. I have no status in this world yet. If I don't have anything to be acknowledged by, then no matter how loud I shout... I'll only be fighting for myself, and I won't be able to move anyone's heart. In order to charm people, engage them, make them entertained, I need to be acknowledged. And to do that, I need to defeat Jack. Then I'll be able to face Duel Academy and bring the dimensional war to an end. And then, we can go back home. I promised the principal, Allie, Frederick, Tate, even my mother, that I'd bring Zuzu back home, no matter what. I'll save Gong and Sylvio, too. And I won't abandon a single one of our other friends. I hope that in this world, everyone smiles. And then, we all go home... to all of our homes! I'll win! With the way I duel! And I'll bring the smiles back to the hearts of everyone at New Domino City!"
Dub: "Dear Zuzu, it stinks that I can't see you in person, but I know you're doing just fine. Hope you're enjoying the food. Sure, beats the burnt waffles your dad makes for us on Waffle Wednesdays. I do miss the sweet syrup he drowns them in, though. Oh, and speaking of sweet, nice duel, by the way. You looked like a natural on that runner. Maybe we can bring one back with us when we get home. That's right, I'm gonna make sure we get back home no matter what. But first, I have to get through to the people of this city. It's a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I can't believe that everyone's okay with sending people away forever. I hoped I could remind everyone that dueling is about having fun and smiling, but it's hard to do when I'm having a hard time smiling and having fun by myself. Losing to Jack was the worst, but seeing you duel and entertain the crowd turned things around for me. When we all left to look for you, I made a promise to everyone that I'd find you, save the galaxy (sic) and bring you home safe and sound. The first part is done, now I just have to work on the 'safe and sound', and that goes for Gong, Sylvio, everyone else... 'cause I'm not gonna abandon any of my friends! I'll leave this world a place where everyone can smile again. And then, we can all go back home and have some of your dad's burnt waffles! I promise to take center stage, Zuzu! I'll win the Friendship Cup, swinging the crowd my way and bringing smiles back to the hearts of everyone!"
Featured Duel: Damon Lopez vs. Sergey Volkov
At the start of the Duel, the Field Spell Card "Crossover Acceleration" is activated, as per the rules of an Action Duel and a Turbo Duel. It will allow the players to use Action Cards, but they may only have one in their hand at a time.
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.
In other languages
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