May 10, 2017 — September 25, 2019
|No. of episodes||
Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is the sixth Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series and the fifth main spin-off series, which began airing in Japan on May 10, 2017. It aired in Japan every Wednesday at 6:25 pm Japanese Standard Time instead of the usual Sundays like the previous Yu-Gi-Oh! series. This series airs alongside reruns of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL as part of BS Japan's Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Hour block. It later airs alongside reruns of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's starting from November 2017. Since September 2021, it has been airing on Pluto TV, on their channel "Anime All Day".
Crunchyroll simulcasted the show in the United States with legal subtitles.
The series stars Yusaku Fujiki as the main protagonist, and takes place in a high-school setting, featuring Virtual Reality Duels in a cyberspace constructed with LINK VRAINS, the latest in virtual-reality technology. As with the previous three spin-off series (5D's, ZEXAL, and ARC-V), VRAINS introduces and focuses on a new type of Summoning: Link Summoning.
An English dub preview for Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS was shown alongside a remastered showing of the movie Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light on March 11, 2018. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS premiered in Canada on Teletoon on September 1st, 2018. Season 2 began airing in the fall. Season 3, the final season of the series, ended on September 25, 2019.
VRAINS is a combination of the acronyms VR, AI and NS, standing for Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and Network System, respectively.
The series is based in a world roughly 10 years from now where a massive Virtual Reality Network called LINK VRAINS has been established. It’s a suspense thriller style story where Yusaku fights in order to learn the truth of events in the past.
There is a city where network systems have evolved: Den City. In this city, with the advanced network technology developed by the corporation SOL Technologies, a Virtual Reality space called LINK VRAINS (Link Virtual Reality Artificial Intelligence Network System) has been developed. By using LINK VRAINS which was built inside the Network System, Duels unfold where Duelists change their appearance separate from their real life identities, and in this VR Space people became excited over the latest way to Duel.
However, in LINK VRAINS, a mysterious hacker group that hacks via Dueling has appeared: The Knights of Hanoi. Their goal is to destroy the AI World known as Cyberse that exists somewhere in the depths of the Network.
However, there is one Duelist who stands against the threat to LINK VRAINS. His name is Playmaker. He has become famous in the Network World for crushing the Knights of Hanoi in fierce Duels, without mentioning his name. But the true identity of Playmaker is ordinary high school student Yusaku Fujiki, who pursues the Knights of Hanoi that appear in VRAINS in order to find out the truth of an incident that happened in his past.
The show's theme is "Take a step forward, and try!", on the premise that kids should start to try things out instead of just giving up at the first try due to being overwhelmed by information.
As of episode 14, Masahiro Hosoda, due to unknown reasons, stepped down as Director and was replaced by Asano Katsuya. It's to be noted that as of this episode, the backgrounds of LINK VRAINS and the Link Summoning methods were changed and added more detail, possibly due to the change. Even the point gauge for the Link Monsters included Link Markers. Also another interesting thing is that since the same episode, the series is under supervision of Satou Tatsuo (best known as director of Martian Successor Nadesico series), who oversees Asano's direction of the series.
Japanese opening theme 1: With The Wind
- Performer: Hiroaki "Tommy" Tominaga
- Episodes: 001-046, 120 ending theme
Japanese opening theme 2: go forward
- Performer: Kimeru
- Episodes: 047-102
Japanese opening theme 3: calling
- Performer: Kimeru
- Episodes: 103-120
Japanese ending theme 1: Believe In Magic
- Performer: Ryoga
- Episodes: 001-024
Japanese ending theme 2: Writing Life
- Performer: Goodbye Holiday
- Episodes: 025-046
Japanese ending theme 3: BOY
- Performer: uchuu
- Episodes: 047-070
Japanese ending theme 4: Glory
- Performer: Band-Maid
- Episodes: 071-096
Japanese ending theme 5: Are you ready?
- Performer: BiS
- Episodes: 096-119
- Episodes: 01-
Differences between adaptions
- The names on the Duelist VS screen are removed.
- The girl school uniforms are given pantyhoses instead of skirt lengthened like the two previous series
- Some names are Americanized in the dub, while some attain their surname and names.
- Music is rescored and replaced with new music in the dub.
- Some close-up shots of female monsters are removed to avoid sexual references.
- Some scenes are cut to avoid death and violence.
- Sound effects may be altered or removed.
- This is the second spin-off series, after ZEXAL, where the new type of monster introduced (in this case, Link Monsters) does not have a Level (instead, they have a Link Rating).
- The English dub of VRAINS is the first series with an instrumental theme song since the original series.
- This series has the only English dub where:
- Death and death threats aren't rare.
- The monster Attributes and Spell & Trap icons are translated.
- The opening theme song lacks any vocals. (The original theme song contains distorted "lyrics" of the phrases "Your move", "Yu-Gi-Oh!", and Yugi's famous dub quote; "It's Time to Duel!").
- This is the last series to:
- Air in the 2010s.
- Be produced by Gallop Studios, as the succeeding series is animated by Bridge.
- This is the only series so far:
- With only 120 episodes, this is the shortest running series so far.
- This series has seven clip shows, which make up 5.83% of the series' runtime.
- Unlike other series to introduce new duel categories, this series' final battle does not use its introduced duel format.
- VRAINS is the first series not to reuse sound effects from previous Yu-Gi-Oh! series.
- "The Organization | [VRAINS] Director Change". YGOrganization. August 16, 2017. https://ygorganization.com/vrains-director-change/. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- " The Organization | [VRAINS] Major Announcement of Details". YGOrganization. March 24, 2017. https://ygorganization.com/finallymydigimonandyugiohfanficisareality/. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- "The Organization | [Weekly Jump] Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Revealed!". YGOrganization. February 16, 2017. https://ygorganization.com/sohowisthisnotstandingout/. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
- "The Organization | [VRAINS] New Information from LABO (Week 3)". YGOrganization. April 19, 2017. https://ygorganization.com/icantpossiblyfigurethisoutcanyou/. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
- "The Organization | [Jump Festa 2017] Latest Information Stage: 6th Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime". YGOrganization. December 17, 2016. https://ygorganization.com/jump-festa-2017-latest-information-stage/. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 14: "An Invitation"