Hey, Gale speaking!
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i’m thinking about astral in this episode.
at first i thought that astral was going to be ‘reset’ e.g. he’d lose all his memories and that’s why he wanted to destroy barian world, but that doesn’t seem to be what’s happening at all.
i’m questioning whether he actually wants to destroy barian world, though. considering the astrals’ need chaos to survive apparently? then again all the barians are dead, so it’s not like destroying the world would actually do anything. but i wonder if that’s what astral really wants, or if that’s what he feels he needs to say to yuuma so they can have this duel.
and they need to have this duel. it’s important. it’s especially important because this is, i believe, the first time we’ll see astral’s deck, and having a deck of your own in ygo is very important. this is yuuma and astral’s first time dueling as equals, seriously, pitting their ideals against one another, so it absolutely has to happen from a story perspective.
but that’s all from a story perspective. why does astral want to have this duel with yuuma? does he want the Code to destroy Barian World, and if so why would he do that? and if he doesn’t, what’s the point?
astral obviously still cares about yuuma and his conversation with kazuma suggests some greater purpose, so i don’t think it can just be about the Code and Barian World. part of astral’s development over the course of the show has been this move from rationality and fulfilling his purpose to empathy and acting to do what’s right.
i think the most likely possibility is that this is a test of yuuma’s ability. astral knows that yuuma wants to create a new future with the Code, and perhaps that’s not something astral is suited to do himself. so this duel is about yuuma proving his talent, and his resolve, so that he can do as he promised and find a way that doesn’t end up with any worlds getting destroyed. and in the end, when he wins, he and astral will be able to part on good terms.
(it would be great if later in the duel astral’s mask of indifference slips and he laughs at yuuma or something and they bond and stuff)
as for how the heck kazuma fits into everything…i can only guess that his plan has been to reunite the astral/barian worlds and end the conflict all along, and he sent astral/the Key to yuuma in order to create the possibility of a peaceful resolution (i say peaceful but kaito and the barians are STILL DEAD).
yuuma says in this ep something like ‘i don’t understand him and he doesn’t understand me’ but i don’t think that that’s true. i think astral understands yuuma just fine, and that’s why he set the conditions and the stakes that he did for their duel. he’s seen that yuuma has the ability to defy logic and reason and win — he won without taking astral’s advice in his very first duel against shark.
you’re going to create a new future? astral is saying. then show me you have the power.
which actually makes me look at astral using hope in a new light — i posted earlier about it from yuuma’s point of view, but if astral isn’t really doing this to destroy the barian world, then this duel is about astral’s hope, for yuuma, that yuuma will be able to defeat him and rebuild a better future.