"Once Upon a Time", known as "Angel With Blue Tears" in the Japanese version, is the thirty-third episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It first aired in Japan on December 27, 2017 and on Teletoon on December 22, 2018. It became available with official subtitles via Crunchyroll on January 10, 2018.
Blue Angel launches a series of attacks against Specter with her "Trickstars", but her attacks didn't work, since Specter is protected by his "Sunavalon". Blue Angel then uses her deadly combo. However, a sinister smile dashes across Specter's face...
Specter says he expected Blue Angel to react this way to his majestic "Sunavalon Dryas", only for Blue Angel to say she isn't scared of a tree with 0 ATK. When Specter ends his turn, Blue Angel states that she doesn't fall for it. During Blue Angel's turn, Specter also claims not to be intimidated by the effect of Blue Angel's "Trickstar Light Arena". Upon seeing Blue Angel Link Summon "Trickstar Holly Angel", Specter says that he's seen it enough times to be able to counter it. Blue Angel asks how that would help, since she's also using cards she has never played before. When "Holly Angel's" effect deals damage to Specter, Blue Angel notices "Dryas" sway, but ignores it. Then, after "Trickstar Lilybell" attacks Specter directly, Specter grins, because the direct attack gave him advantage - he is able to cheat out a Link Monster from his Extra Deck and play it on "Dryas'" Link Point. "Sunvine Gardna" lands on the field after emerging from one of "Dryas'" fruit.
After regaining the Life Points he lost, Specter tells Blue Angel that being her number one fan gives him the advantage in this duel, and he even knows where Blue Angel got her name. The "Blue Angel" book materializes in Specter's hand. He starts reading from it. At the point where the story claims "Blue Angel" had no friends, Specter says he is reminded of someone. Specter finishes reading the first part of the story, and postulates that Blue Angel named herself after the title character because her real-life brother turned her into a cold-hearted loner who had to lead an online double-life to keep herself happy. Blue Angel is not happy that Specter knows who she is in real life, claiming that Specter is ten times worse than the demon in the story. She says she will be the one who closes the book on Specter.
After taking damage from "Holly Angel's" attack, Specter claims that Blue Angel is nothing without the support of her fans, all of which have been deleted from LINK VRAINS. Blue Angel gets tired of Specter's arrogance, to which Specter replies it's perfection. Blue Angel says perfect doesn't exist, and continues the duel. Before she ends her turn, Blue Angel believes Specter's face-down will be returned to his hand, giving him five cards after his next draw. Once she plays "Trickstar Reincarnation", her two "Trickstar Lycoris" will deal 2000 damage in total and raise "Holly Angel's" ATK to 4000. Blue Angel announces that she's ending her turn; this allows Specter to activate his trap.
Meanwhile, Playmaker and The Gore are both running towards the tower from different directions. Pigeon continues to fly Frog around LINK VRAINS; the latter impatiently demands that Playmaker be found. Pigeon and Frog argue again; their argument is interrupted when Pigeon is hit with a rock and drops Frog in response. Frog and Pigeon turn around to see "Playmaker"... one wearing a different suit and appearing to be a few feet shorter. The pretender accuses Frog and Pigeon of working for the Knights of Hanoi. Frog asks if the pretender is Playmaker, and when the pretender says yes, Frog and Pigeon feign crying while guessing that the person behind the fake avatar could be an old man in real life. Just then, a virtual building topples over, releasing a dust cloud that rushes towards Frog and Pigeon. Pigeon flies Frog out of the way, but the pretender is defenseless. He is rescued by the real Playmaker, as Frog and Pigeon see when the dust subsides. Playmaker tells the young pretender to log out. When the pretender says he was trying to help, Playmaker says he already has, by reminding him of his mission, and he'll do it for his fans. The pretender gives his support and logs out. Frog asks if Pigeon has filmed it, and gets angry again when he hears a "no". Both then see that Playmaker is gone.
Back at the duel, Specter uses his Set card before "Light Arena" gets rid of it. When he looks at Blue Angel's Set card, Specter muses that Blue Angel's strategy was as predictable as he was lucky. The vines of "Sunvine Burial" wrap around Blue Angel's hand and snag the two remaining copies of "Trickstar Reincarnation". When Blue Angel asks how he knew, Specter simply says that he did his research, as expected from Blue Angel's biggest fan. Specter begins to intrude Blue Angel's real-world privacy by saying that she lost her parents at a young age, and had to be taken care of by her brother. She had a big hole in her heart, and it was only when big brother read her a book, a book that meant so much to her that she pretended to be its main character. Specter proudly accepts his role in his opponent's story that she is recreating, by being cast as the demon which would end Blue Angel tragically.
As the duel continues, Frog and Pigeon fly over it. At Café Nom, Kolter muses that thirty minutes have passed since the Tower of Hanoi first emerged. Kolter suddenly sees a live feed from LINK VRAINS, of Blue Angel's duel against Specter. At SOL Technologies, Risa Hayami informs Akira Zaizen of the returning feed, while Kolter at Café Nom hopes for the best too. Just after Specter Link Summons "Sunavalon Dryades", Blue Angel accuses Specter of misappropriating his own loneliness and sadness into herself. In fact, she believes only Specter was ever as lonely as sad as he made Blue Angel believe she was. Otherwise, why would he have learned the book off by heart? Specter concedes that Blue Angel's observation was correct - he indeed did live a difficult early life. But, he never had friends that saved him, or a brother to look after him. Specter resumes the duel, taking control of "Holly Angel" after attacking it with the powered-up "Sunvine Thrasher". At the end of the turn, Blue Angel tries to think out of a situation where her opponent can't be attacked and is controlling her monsters. She looks at her hand one more time.
Featured Duel: Blue Angel vs. Specter
Turn 1: Specter
"Sunavalon Dryas" cannot be attacked, but it does not prevent Blue Angel's monsters from attacking directly. "Dryas" also cannot be used as a Link Material for a Link Summon during the turn in which it was Link Summoned. Specter Sets a card.
Turn 2: Blue Angel
Blue Angel's hand contains two copies of "Trickstar Lycoris", "Trickstar Candina", "Trickstar Light Stage", "Trickstar Light Arena", and "Trickstar Treat". Blue Angel Normal Summons "Candina" (1800/400). As it was Normal Summoned, Blue Angel activates its effect to add a "Trickstar" card from her deck to her hand. She adds "Trickstar Reincarnation". Blue Angel activates the Field Spell "Light Stage". As "Light Stage" was activated, Blue Angel uses its effect, adding a "Trickstar" monster from her Deck to her hand. She adds "Trickstar Lilybell". As "Lilybell" was added from her Deck to her hand through a method other than drawing, Blue Angel activates its effect to Special Summon it in Attack Position (800/2000). Blue Angel activates the Field Spell "Light Arena". Blue Angel activates the effect of "Light Arena", preventing Specter from activating a Set card on his field until the End Phase, when he must activate it, or else it is returned to his hand. Blue Angel activates the effect of both copies of "Lycoris" in her hand, Special Summoning them, then returning a "Trickstar" monster on the field back to her hand. She Special Summons both in Attack Position (1600/1200 each), then returns "Candina" to her hand. Blue Angel uses both copies of "Lycoris" to Link Summon "Trickstar Holly Angel" (2000/LINK-2/↙↘) to the Extra Monster Zone. As she Link Summoned a "Trickstar" Link Monster, Blue Angel activates the effect of "Light Arena", Special Summoning a "Trickstar" monster from the GY that was used for that Link Summon. She Special Summons "Lycoris" to the bottom-left Link Point of "Holly Angel" in Attack Position (1600/1200). As a "Trickstar" monster was Normal or Special Summoned to a zone it points to, its effect activates, inflicting 200 damage to Specter (Specter: 4000 → 3800 LP). As Specter took damage from a "Trickstar" monster's effect, "Holly Angel" gains ATK equal to the damage he took ("Holly Angel": 2000 → 2200 ATK).
The effect of "Lilybell" lets it attack directly (Specter: 3800 → 3000 LP). As Specter took battle or effect damage, he activates the effect of "Dryas", which allows him to Special Summon a "Sunvine" Link Monster from his Extra Deck to a zone his "Sunavalon" Link Monster points to, then Specter gains LP equal to the damage he took (Specter: 3000 → 3800 LP). He Special Summons "Sunvine Gardna" (600/LINK-1/↑) to the bottom Link Point of "Dryas". As "Lilybell" inflicted battle damage to Specter, Blue Angel activates its effect to add a "Trickstar" monster from her GY to her hand. She adds her second copy of "Lycoris" to her hand. "Holly Angel" attacks "Sunvine Gardna". Specter activates the effect of "Sunvine Gardna" to reduce the battle damage he would take by 800 for every Link Arrow a "Sunavalon" Link Monster that points to it has. "Sunvine Gardna" is destroyed, and its effect reduces the Battle Damage by 800 (Specter: 3800 → 3000 LP). As "Sunvine Gardna" was destroyed during the Battle Phase, its effect activates, which ends the Battle Phase. Blue Angel activates the effect of "Lycoris" in her hand, Special Summoning it in Attack Position (1600/1200), then returning "Lilybell" to her hand. Blue Angel Sets a card.
During the End Phase, by the effect of "Light Arena", Specter must activate his Set card or else it is returned to his hand. He chooses to activate his face-down "Sunvine Burial", which allows him to look at Blue Angel's Set Spell/Trap Card, and if it is a Trap Card, it is banished, along with any copies of that same Trap Card in Blue Angel's hand or Deck. He chooses Blue Angel's face-down "Trickstar Reincarnation", banishing it and two more copies of "Reincarnation" from Blue Angel's Deck.
Turn 3: Specter
As Specter added a card from his Deck to his hand, the effects of both "Lycoris" activate, each inflicting 200 damage to Specter (Specter: 3000 → 2800 → 2600 LP). As Specter took battle or effect damage, he activates the effect of "Dryas", which allows him to Special Summon "Sunvine Healer" (600/LINK-1/↑) from his Extra Deck to the bottom Link Point of "Dryas", then he gains LP equal to the damage he took (Specter: 2600 → 2800 LP). Specter activates the effect of "Healer" to gain 300 LP for every Link Arrow a "Sunavalon" Link Monster that points to it has, in this case one (Specter: 2800 → 3100 LP). As Specter took damage from a "Trickstar" monster's effect, "Holly Angel" gains ATK equal to the damage he took ("Holly Angel": 2000 → 2400 ATK). Specter uses "Dryas" and "Healer" to Link Summon "Sunavalon Dryades" (0/LINK-2/↙↘) to the Extra Monster Zone. Specter Normal Summons "Sunseed Genius Loci" (0/600). He uses "Genius Loci" to Link Summon "Sunvine Thrasher" (800/LINK-1/↓) to the bottom-left Link Point of "Dryades". Specter activates the effect of "Thrasher", which lets him increase its ATK by 800 for every Link Arrow a "Sunavalon" Link Monster that points to it has, in this case two ("Thrasher": 800 → 2400 ATK).
"Thrasher" attacks "Holly Angel", and both are destroyed. As "Thrasher" destroyed a monster by battle, Specter activates its effect, Special Summoning it to a zone a "Sunavalon" Link Monster points to. He Special Summons "Holly Angel". "Holly Angel" attacks "Lycoris" (Blue Angel: 4000 → 3600 LP).
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.