The idea behind this Impressions series is to give you a glimpse into the thought process behind an Anime Hajime Review. Plus, this is just the latest effort to bring you more anime content since it is hard to find time to watch a more than 25-episodes-long show.
Please be sure to follow us so that you don’t miss when the official Anime Hajime Review of Shadowverse comes out on August 3rd, 2021.
With that said, please follow along as we check out Shadowverse Episodes 33 to 40.
Episode 33 – Fate of Destruction
The Tree of Woe activates and consumes Mauro Abelard’s free will. All Hiro Ryugasaki and Lucia Yonazuki can do is watch on as their comrade succumbs to madness.
Elevated by the Tree of Woe’s power, Abelard commences with the world’s destruction. Seeing only one option, Ryugasaki and Yonazuki team up to face Abelard in a Shadowverse tag battle.
However, Abelard quickly takes complete control over the fight, and Ryugasaki and Yonazuki struggle to keep up. All the while, Ryugasaki tries to assure Abelard that there is meaning in his life, and everyone should have a chance to live. But no matter what Ryugasaki says, Abelard dismisses it out of hand.
As the Tree of Woe’s hold on Abelard strengthens, the match, which is already going poorly, takes a turn for the worse. Abelard draws cards that, effectively, make him untouchable. Thus, the fate of the world looks bleak.
Episode 34 – Battle of Despair
Mauro Abelard starts his turn with 40 hit points, his legendary card drawn, and three of the Tree of Woe’s divine instruments active. Conversely, Hiro Ryugasaki and Lucia Yonazuki have enough hit points that MIGHT let them survive one more round.
Despite all this, Ryugasaki notices the smile on Abelard’s face. As he did with Yonazuki, Ryugasaki asks if Abelard enjoys playing Shadowverse. The sheer audacity of such a question helps push Abelard over the edge, and the Tree of Woe takes full control of his will.
Refusing to give up, both Ryugasaki and Yonazuki draw their legendary cards. The overwhelming power of these cards manages to do the unthinkable – turning the match around. In a decisive volley, Ryugasaki and Yonazuki get past Abelard’s defenses and strike the final blow.
Having saved their friend, Ryugasaki and Yonazuki prepare to face the Tree of Woe at last. Abelard gives Ryugasaki a card that should prove instrumental in claiming victory, Prominence Fusion.
However, at that moment, a blinding energy impacts the ground, knocking out Yonazuki and Abelard. The Tree of Woe has sent another challenger to face the champions. Now, Ryugasaki must battle and defeat his father, Eiji Ryugasaki.
I can see why this episode should have been an epic hurrah-moment. With the odds so very much NOT in his favor, Ryugasaki could only have claimed victory with the power of his legendary card. Thus, when he successfully drew it, how could that not have resulted in a massive air-punching instance?
The answer is simple. The outcome was never in doubt.
To start, this was the first time Shadowverse ever suggested there was an element of luck to the titular game. Although we could assume such an element was always present, no match in this series ever came down to fate. Thus far in the show, characters have been portrayed as skillful, not lucky.
Next, the naïvety of Ryugasaki’s “We all love Shadowverse” speech was annoying as hell. The world was in literal ruins around him, so many people were in danger of dying, and, at the time, Ryugasaki was on the verge of utter defeat. Maybe allow for a bit of magnitude considering the moment at hand?
Finally, what is the point of all these powerful, obviously broken cards? There is, frankly, no good reason why Ryugasaki should have won this fight. Nevertheless, because the story dictated it to be so, win he did.
Episode 35 – Prelude to the End
Hiro Ryugasaki must now face his father, Eiji Ryugasaki, in a Shadowverse battle.
Elsewhere, the other champions are doing their best to make it to the Tree of Woe. However, never-ending streams of Empty Shadows are constantly halting their progress.
As the father-son match progresses, Eiji appears to have no memory of his son and is hellbent on destroying the world. Hiro resolves to free his father from the Empty Shadows’ hold, but he can’t even land an attack.
The other champions activate their legendary cards to clear a path to the Tree of Woe. Their heart gives Hiro hope that they can win, but his father has one more surprise up his sleeve.
Eiji plays the devastating Shadow Ignis Dragon, and all hope seems “lost.”
Episode 36 – A Heart That Believes
Eiji Ryugasaki brings his son down to a single hit point. Not only that, all of Hiro’s followers’ attacks no longer have any effect. With the wall in front of him seemingly insurmountable, Hiro wonders if this is indeed the end.
Then, our hero hears the voices of his dear friends and remembers: In Shadowverse, you don’t give up until the last card is drawn.
Rallying, the other champions arrive on the scene and give Hiro their support. A recovered Mauro Abelard reminds Hiro that he does have one move he can play. Without hesitation, Hiro draws Prominence Fusion and combines the power of his strongest cards.
Against the odds, Hiro defeats his father. However, things are not over.
The Tree of Woe activates and sucks up the seven champions into itself. Hiro then wakes up in his own bed, and his mother, Asagi Ryugasaki, walks in to check on him.
Episode 37 – A Voice That Calls to Awaken
Hiro Ryugasaki and the other champions wake up in a perfect world. Here, all their greatest desires have come true, and none of them no longer need to know the meaning of suffering.
However, the voice of a young girl keeps telling Ryugasaki to wake up. Although Ryugasaki tries to ignore the girl, she proves to be persistent.
Eventually, the girl reveals herself to Ryugasaki and sends him to an unknown battlefield. There he meets a dragon-slaying military unit led by Rowen Dragespear. Dragespear tells Ryugasaki that no one remembers how they got to this place.
Suddenly, the young girl appears again and informs Ryugasaki to battle the Black Dragon. Before he can make sense of those instructions, the unit’s scouts report a dragon attacking nearby. Dragespear and Ryugasaki run to face this foe.
Dragespear and his unit are no match for the dragon, but Ryugasaki gets the feeling he knows what to do. He summons his Shadowverse deck and easily defeats the dragon.
Upon seeing Ryugasaki’s actions, Dragespear thinks he might know where the Black Dragon is. But in a surprise move, Dragespear challenges Ryugasaki to a battle.
Episode 38 – Hiro and the Black Dragon Knight
Hiro Ryugasaki and Rowen Dragespear begin their battle.
Ryugasaki quickly learns he is at a disadvantage. His trusty dragon deck will have difficulty overcoming Dragespear’s dragon-slayer deck.
The ensuing match is fierce but admirable. During the battle, Ryugasaki remembers his mission and the Tree of Woe. He also recalls Dragespear is none other than his legendary card.
The bond between Ryugasaki and Dragespear deepens, and the two vow to bring about the restoration of the world. As Ryugasaki wins the fight, the illusion breaks, and he returns to the Tree of Woe.
There, the young girl explains that only when the other six champions awaken can they save the world from destruction.
Episode 39 – Mimori’s an Idol
Elsewhere in the dream world, Mimori Amamiya is a top idol.
Despite the happiness she feels, Amamiya wonders if this is really who she is. Just then, the voice of the young girl tells her to awaken. The girl transports Amamiya to a dark forest. There she meets the forest guardian Arisa.
Amamiya and Arisa form an instant friendship. The two work together to defeat the evil force that has corrupted the forest. But the plan goes wrong when the evil possesses Arisa. To save the guardian, Amamiya must defeat her in a Shadowverse battle.
During the fight, Amamiya remembers she is not a world-class idol but an ordinary girl. The match comes down to the wire, but Amamiya, believing in herself (as well as the heart of the card), successfully frees her friend.
The match reminded the two they were already connected; Arisa is Amamiya’s legendary card. Now, they will face the Tree of Woe as a team.
Amamiya becomes the second champion to awaken.
Episode 40 – Alice’s Truth
While enjoying her freedom, Alice Kurobane’s head begins to ache when she sees the idol sensation Mimori Amamiya. It is almost as if she is forgetting something important.
Suddenly, the young girl speaks to Kurobane, telling her to wake up. The next thing she knows, Kurobane finds herself in a dark forest (the same one Amamiya is in). After a bit of wandering, she finds her way to an old mansion. To her delight, the ancient building is teeming with ghosts and spirits.
Inside, Kurobane comes across a girl named Luna, who is all alone. Not knowing who Kurobane is, Luna grows frightened and initiates a Shadowverse battle. Although she is not sure what is going on, Kurobane is happy to play.
Over the course of the match, Kurobane and Luna become good friends. As they battle, Kurobane realizes her freedom has been a dream this whole time, and she must return to her mission. However, Luna is too skilled a Shadowverse player, and Kurobane doesn’t have the cards to knock her hit points to zero.
So, Kurobane uses a different strategy. Rather than attacking the leader, Kurobane goes after Luna’s deck. Once Luna plays all her cards, she must immediately forfeit the game.
Having enjoyed herself, Kurobane asks Luna (who is her legendary card) to join her in saving the world.
Kurobane is the third champion to awaken.
I know I’ve already said this, but it bears repeating:
Hiro Ryugasaki is a boring character, and his fights are easily the dullest thing about this series.
It doesn’t matter what is going on; whenever Ryugasaki is in a battle, there is no tension. I am not saying the other matches with different players are gold. However, there are, at least, a lot more interesting.
I take great solace in knowing there are only eight more episodes to go. I had finished with Shadowverse a long time ago.
Thanks for following along with me. If you’ve seen this series and feel I am wrong in my descriptions, please let me know in the comments below.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m Odyssey, and I’ll see you next week as we conclude Shadowverse with Episodes 41 to 48.