"Looking Back", known as "Hanoi’s Recollection" in the Japanese version, is the thirty-eighth episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. It aired in Japan on February 7, 2018 and aired on Teletoon on January 6, 2019. It became available with official subtitles via Crunchyroll on the same day. This episode is a clip show.
As the Tower of Hanoi gradually approaches its completion, Varis reflects on the battles that had been waged in LINK VRAINS. And now, carrying on the wishes of Dr. Kogami with firm resolve, Varis makes his move...
Varis looks over at his fallen comrades: Dr. Genome, Baira, Faust and Specter. He vows not to let Specter's defeat be in vain. That said, Varis knows that his first mistake was not destroying the Cyberse World five years ago, and a flashback to the first episode is shown, including the moment Varis knew Playmaker had the escaped Ignis.
The first Knight of Hanoi that tried to take the Ignis from Playmaker, failed. Varis recalls that his team wasn't the only one searching for Playmaker, but they were able to entice bystanders to do their bidding, such as one Blue Angel, who Specter was able to give a corrupt card to before her duel against Playmaker. After her defeat, Varis knew they were one step closer to luring out Playmaker. And indeed, Varis found Playmaker after the latter's capture at the hands of Akira Zaizen. Prior to his Speed Duel against Playmaker, Varis outlined his reasons for capturing Playmaker's Ignis. During the duel, he demonstrated Storm Access, but the duel ended in a draw. Varis decided to intensify the Data Storm and lure Playmaker to where they would Master Duel. Playmaker overcame Varis' "Fire Prison" to Link Summon "Firewall Dragon" and win the duel, but this happened only after Playmaker inferred that he was a victim of the Lost Incident, something Varis had not known about Playmaker until then.
Faust, Baira and Dr. Genome would soon join Varis on his mission to track Playmaker down and seize his Ignis. Unfortunately, Dr. Genome lost to The Gore, Baira lost to Blue Angel and Faust lost to Playmaker. Varis honors their brave efforts that ultimately bought time for Varis. Just then, Dr. Kogami appears to Varis, asking if he has uncovered Playmaker's identity yet. Varis appears not to tell the truth. Dr. Kogami laments that he should never have experimented with the creation of self-aware artificial intelligence. He says this over a flashback to the manifestation of the Tower of Hanoi. Varis sees the tower and believes Playmaker may very well be drawn to resist. Varis awaits Playmaker, accusing him of being on the wrong side of history, and looks forward to eliminating him for good.
The following cards appeared in this episode. No cards debuted in this episode.