"A Bridge Too Far", known as "Pointless Justice" in the Japanese version, is the thirty-sixth episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It first aired in Japan on January 24, 2018 aired on Teletoon on December 30, 2018. It became available with official subtitles via Crunchyroll on the same day.
Specter's devious Sunavalon combo keeps replenishing his LP and Summoning Sunvines, but Playmaker never lets up his attacks. Playmaker manages to figure out its weak point, and comes up with a plan to counter it, but...
Specter makes a bold claim. He says that he can't be defeated, and therefore, Playmaker can't stop Varis from destroying LINK VRAINS and the Ignis. Playmaker points at Specter, saying that he'll be destroyed as well. Specter says he knows, and for as long as believes in Varis, that is of no matter to him. Playmaker vows that he will stop Varis and save LINK VRAINS. Specter dares Playmaker to do the impossible, then.
Playmaker proceeds with the duel. He is shocked that Specter is able to Link Summon during the opponent's turn. Specter simply says the worst is yet to come, using "Sunavalon Glorious Growth's" effect to whip 1200 Life Points out of Playmaker. Ai makes a comment, and Playmaker says he sees how Blue Angel was defeated. Specter reminds Playmaker that his "Sunavalon Dryanome" can't be attacked. Ai notes that it also means that Specter can be attacked directly, and Playmaker follows up with his next attack.
Specter takes the damage, then mentions that "Glorious Growth's" effect is more than once per turn. Ai notes that Playmaker's giving his opponent advantage just by attacking. However, Playmaker then uses "Multi Sledgehammer's" effects to attack Specter directly for 4000 damage. Specter plays a mind game with his opponent, then reveals that "Glorious Growth" has another more-than-once-per-turn effect. He uses it to redirect the attack, follow the usual procedure and send Playmaker back to square one again. After the destroyed "Sunvine Gardna" ends Playmaker's Battle Phase, Ai tells Playmaker that they at least know what doesn't work, and Specter agrees.
While Playmaker ends his turn, Frog and Pigeon continue to lead the LINK VRAINS live feed astray. Frog gets impatient with Pigeon's slow flying. Just then, Pigeon spots a duel taking place on the bridge. Frog, however, tells Pigeon to stop because the bridge in front of them is disintegrating. Kolter notices what the live feed is capturing, and smiles. It is inferred that he sent the email to Pigeon. However, Kolter sees that Playmaker is dueling Specter, the one who defeated Blue Angel, and gets worried. Back at the duel, Specter taunts Playmaker once more, claiming that the revenge has gotten into Playmaker's head - he could've found a positive from his Lost Incident experience like Specter did. At that point, one of the bridge cables collapse, and Playmaker barks at Specter again. Specter clearly doesn't listen and continues with the duel.
When Specter enters his Battle Phase, Frog and Pigeon notice "Sunvine Thrasher's" attack, and become partial to Playmaker. However, to Playmaker's surprise, he sees the attacked monster, "Binary Blader", revived on Specter's field. This also causes Frog and Pigeon to cry out. However, it is what Playmaker wants, since, similar to what Blue Angel observed from before, if "Dryanome's" links are occupied, it can't use its effect to give Specter Life Points, because it's reliant on Special Summoning to those links. Specter plays another mind game on Playmaker; he says it doesn't stop him from doing another Link Summon. Specter plays the Link-2 "Sunavalon Daphne" which has a vacant Link Point. "Daphne's" effect then frees up one of "Dryanome's" Link Points by tributing "Binary Blader". At the end of Specter's turn, another bridge cable collapses.
In fact, an entire side of the bridge severs, only for "Dryanome" to transform some of its vines into cable support to keep the bridge in place. During Playmaker's turn, when "Draconnet" is summoned, Ai makes a comment about its wings, which makes Playmaker retort that he wants the bridge to fall. When Playmaker summons "Excode Talker" and "Underclock Taker" before using the former's effect, Specter still thinks he can't be touched. But then Specter gasps when "Excode Talker's" effect to block zones is used, meaning that he can't use "Dryanome's" effect. Desperation creeps in on Specter when "Thrasher" is weakened by "Underclock Taker's" effect - he thought his perfect strategy couldn't be broken. Playmaker proved Specter wrong, didn't he?
Specter therefore plays the ultimate distraction technique. He clicks his fingers to materialize a hologram of the trapped Akira Zaizen. Kolter sees this inside the safety of Café Nom and gasps. Playmaker doesn't care that his opponent is trying to dangle a hostage in front of him. Specter makes him think otherwise by revealing that the more damage he takes from the duel, the longer the thorns will grow, eventually touching Akira and turning him into data. Ai protests that Specter is cheating. So what, says Specter, as he laughs again. He issues Playmaker an ultimatum - attack Specter and lose Akira, or refrain and lose LINK VRAINS. Akira tells Playmaker to focus on the duel. However, Playmaker is disarmed enough to end his turn, making Ai protest.
Specter grins, saying that Playmaker doesn't have the conscience to make tough decisions. If Specter were Playmaker, he would have gotten his revenge on the Knights of Hanoi. But now, Specter has another turn and he'll make it count. He'll make sure Playmaker's guilty of what he does or does not, but would Playmaker even feel guilt once he ceases to exist? Specter also mentions that "Underclock Taker's" effect expires because he ended his turn, and reminds Playmaker who's to blame for his latest loss? Not Specter. With that, the duel continues. After "Sunavalon Force" deals Playmaker damage, more cables on the bridge are severed, and the bridge starts to collapse.
Featured Duel: Playmaker vs. Specter
Turn 2: Playmaker
As a Cyberse Link Monster battled, Playmaker activates the effect of "Multi Sledgehammer", giving it a Hammer Counter ("Multi Sledgehammer": 0 → 1 Hammer Counter). As it was co-linked to two monsters, Playmaker activates the effect of "Binary Sorceress" to halve the ATK of a monster he controls, then increasing the ATK of another monster he controls by the same value until the End Phase. He halves the ATK of "Binary Sorceress" and increases the ATK of "Binary Blader" ("Binary Sorceress": 1600 → 800 ATK, "Binary Blader": 1800 → 2600 ATK). "Binary Blader" attacks "Sunvine Gardna". As "Binary Blader" battled, Playmaker activates its effect, making the opponent's monster unable to be destroyed by that battle, also it can make a second attack. Specter activates the effect of "Gardna" to reduce the battle damage he would take by 800 for every Link Arrow a "Sunavalon" Link Monster that points to it has, in this case, one. The attack continues, but "Gardna" is not destroyed (Specter: 4000 → 2800 LP). As a monster co-linked to "Binary Sorceress" inflicted battle damage, Playmaker activates its effect, gaining LP equal to the damage dealt (Playmaker: 4000 → 5200 LP) and as a Cyberse Link Monster battled, Playmaker activates the effect of "Multi Sledgehammer" ("Multi Sledgehammer": 1 → 2 Hammer Counter). As Specter took battle damage, he activates his face-down Continuous Trap Card "Sunavalon Glorious Growth", Special Summoning a "Sunvine Token" (0/0), then letting him Link Summon using it and monsters he controls as Link Material. Specter uses the "Sunvine Token", "Gardna" and "Sunavalon Dryas" to Link Summon "Sunavalon Dryanome" (0/LINK-3/↙↓↘) to the Extra Monster Zone. Specter then activates the effect of "Glorious Growth", gaining LP equal to the damage taken, then inflicting that amount as damage to Playmaker (Specter: 2800 → 4000 LP; Playmaker: 5200 → 4000 LP).
"Binary Blader" attacks directly, with the effects of "Binary Sorceress" and "Multi Sledgehammer" following after (Specter: 4000 → 1400 LP; Playmaker: 4000 → 6600 LP; "Multi Sledgehammer": 2 → 3 Hammer Counter). As Specter took battle damage, he activates the effect of "Dryanome", which allows him to Special Summon a "Sunvine" Link Monster from his Extra Deck to a zone it points to, then he gains LP equal to the damage he took. Specter Special Summons "Sunvine Gardna" (600/LINK-1/↑) to the zone the bottom Link Arrow of "Dryanome" points to, and gains LP (Specter: 1400 → 4000 LP). As Specter gained LP, he activates the effect of "Glorious Growth", inflicting that amount as damage to Playmaker (Playmaker: 6600 → 4000 LP).
As "Multi Sledgehammer" is co-linked to a Cyberse monster, it can attack directly. "Multi Sledgehammer" attacks directly. As "Multi Sledgehammer" attacked, Playmaker activates its effect, removing all Hammer Counters from "Multi Sledgehammer" to increase its ATK by 1000 for each Hammer Counter removed ("Multi Sledgehammer": 3 → 0 Hammer Counter; 1000 → 4000 ATK) until the End Phase. As Playmaker's monster attacked directly, Specter activates the effect of "Glorious Growth" to negate the attack then redirect that attack to a "Sunvine" monster he controls. He redirects the attack to "Gardna", with the effect of "Gardna" reducing the battle damage he would take by 800 for every Link Arrow a "Sunavalon" Link Monster that points to it has, in this case, three. "Gardna" is destroyed, with the effect of "Binary Sorceress" following after (Specter: 4000 → 3000 LP; Playmaker: 4000 → 5000 LP). Specter activates the effects of "Dryanome" and "Glorious Growth" in sequence, Special Summoning "Gardna" to the zone the bottom-left Link Arrow of "Dryanome" points to (Specter: 3000 → 4000 LP; Playmaker: 5000 → 4000 LP). As "Gardna" was destroyed and sent to the GY, Specter activates its effect to end the Battle Phase. Playmaker Sets a card.
Turn 3: Specter
Specter sends a card from his hand to the GY to activate the Continuous Spell Card "Sunvine Shrine". Once per turn, Specter can Special Summon a Level 4 or lower Plant Normal Monster from his GY. He Special Summon "Sunseed Genius Loci" (0/600) from the GY. Specter uses "Genius Loci" to Link Summon "Sunvine Thrasher" (800/LINK-1/↓) to the zone the bottom-right Link Arrow of "Dryanome" points to. 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 three ("Thrasher": 800 → 3200 ATK).
"Thrasher" attacks "Binary Blader". Playmaker activates the effect of "Binary Sorceress" to halve the ATK of "Multi Sledgehammer" and increase the ATK of "Binary Blader" by the lost ATK ("Multi Sledgehammer": 1000 → 500 ATK; "Binary Blader": 1800 → 2300 ATK). "Thrasher" destroys "Binary Blader" (Playmaker: 4000 → 3100 LP). As "Thrasher" destroyed a monster by battle, Specter activates its effect, Special Summoning that monster to a zone a "Sunavalon" Link Monster points to. He Special Summons "Binary Blader" (1800/LINK-2/←→) to the zone the bottom Link Arrow of "Dryanome" points to. "Binary Blader" attacks and destroys "Binary Sorceress" (Playmaker: 3100 → 2900 LP).
Specter Normal Summons "Genius Loci" (0/600). Specter uses "Genius Loci" and "Gardna" to Link Summon "Sunavalon Daphne" (0/LINK-2/←→) to the zone the bottom-left Link Arrow of "Dryanome" points to. Specter Tributes "Binary Blader" to activate the effect of "Daphne", returning both copies of "Gardna" in his GY to his Extra Deck. Specter Sets a card.
Turn 4: Playmaker
Specter activates the Continuous Trap Card "Sunavalon Force". While "Force" is on the field, "Sunavalon" monsters cannot be targeted by Playmaker's card effects. Playmaker Normal Summons "Draconnet". As "Draconnet" was Normal Summoned, Playmaker activates its effect, Special Summoning a Level 2 or lower Normal Monster from his hand or Deck in Defense Position. He Special Summons "Bitron" (200/2000). Playmaker uses "Bitron" to Link Summon "Link Spider" (1000/LINK-1/↓) to the Extra Monster Zone. Playmaker activates the effect of "Link Spider", Special Summoning a Level 4 or lower Normal Monster from his hand to a zone it points to. He Special Summons "Digitron" (1500/0) to the zone the bottom Link Arrow of "Link Spider" points to. Playmaker uses "Link Spider" and "Draconnet" to Link Summon "Underclock Taker" (1000/LINK-2/←↓) to the Extra Monster Zone. Playmaker uses "Digitron" and the Link-2 "Multi Sledgehammer" to Link Summon "Excode Talker" (2300/LINK-3/←↑→) to the zone the bottom Link Arrow of "Underclock Taker" points to. Monsters "Excode Talker" points to gain 500 ATK, also they cannot be destroyed by card effects ("Underclock Taker": 1000 → 1500 ATK). As "Excode Talker" was Link Summoned, Playmaker activates its effect, which allows him to prevent the use of a number of Main Monster Zones up to the number of cards in the Extra Monster Zones while "Excode Talker" is on the field. As two monsters are in the Extra Monster Zones, Playmaker prevents the use of both zones the left and right Link Arrows of "Daphne" point to. Playmaker activates the effect of "Underclock Taker" to reduce the ATK of Specter's monster by the ATK of a monster it points to. Playmaker reduces the ATK of "Thrasher" by the ATK of "Excode Talker" ("Thrasher": 3200 → 900 ATK).
At this point, Specter reveals that Akira Zaizen has been captured and will be infected with a computer virus if Specter's LP reduce so Playmaker does not attack. During the End Phase, the effect of "Underclock Taker" expires ("Thrasher": 900 → 3200 ATK).
Turn 5: Specter
"Thrasher" attacks and destroys "Underclock Taker" (Playmaker: 2900 → 1200 LP). As Playmaker's monster was destroyed by battle, Specter activates the effect of "Force", inflicting 100 damage to Playmaker for every Link Arrow the Link Monster with the highest Link Rating on the field has, in this case, three (Playmaker: 1200 → 900 LP).
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.