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Ark @NeoArkadia24
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Should I ramble about Yoshida Shin, or at least what he's done? 🤔
I'll take Qu and Siliva's likes as a Yes. Okay, let's see.
This is Yoshida Shin himself. Pretty average guy. Pretty unsuspecting. Can't talk much on his early work, as it goes back to some really generic 90s anime.
Generic stuff like Calimero and Hanasaka Tenshi Tenten-kun. For simplicity's sake, let's say this was his early work, and the stuff that doesn't really establish his identity.
Also, around this period he got some Tokusatsu work. Of which you can watch legally is Ultraman Gaia:

He does Episodes 7, 16, 23, 36, 41 and 49 (I haven't watched this specifically so I can't give an opinion.)
One thing a bunch of my friends will recognize he did to, is the episode of The Big O, entitled "Daemonseed". The episode itself is a breather before the two part finale of the first season of Big O. Mostly about the setting's version of Christmas, which ultimately deals with
a really big ass flower. Most of it's about love. And the importance of spending time with the ones you love. And Roger Smith fits a trend with Yoshida we'll end up seeing a lot: He does characters inside their own heads. The episode also sets up "weird shit" for the finale.
The next real thing I can comment on is "Argento Soma". He only does Episode 16 for this, but the show feels overall like his sort of thing. Functionally, it's a really bad Evangelion clone with a bizarre main character with issues over the murder of the girl he loved.
And an alien robot named Frank who can only be controlled by a whiny waif girl who's got her own issues. But the ending kind of gets really surreal and interesting, imo. And the show oozes with the sort of supernatural-transtechno Yoshida's work seems to lean towards later.
Okay, so when do we get him actually being in charge of a series? Zone of the Enders: 2167 Idolo. This is an OVA that serves as the prologue episode for the first work he's actually in charge of: Zone of the Enders: Dolores, i.
"Zone of the Enders: Dolores, i" was a collaboration between Sunrise and Konami (and may be why he got into Yu-Gi-Oh!). It stands alone from the rest of the Z.O.E. brand and is a fun romp. It probably works better if you've played the Z.O.E. games.
The basic premise of Z.O.E. Dolores, i is that James Lynx, former military man turned space trucker, finds his estranged scientist wife shipped him a military weapon that calls itself Dolores, but is of the Isis Model. Things go poorly for James and his estranged children
as they become interplanetary criminals from a deranged cop/military man who insists on calling James "John Carpenter". Also the series has a crack Alice in Wonderland dream episode. Overall, James is a hot head but he's also got the experience of an older man to level it out.
Dolores herself is well, extremely deadly, but most of the series keeps its levity on James' hijinks combined with Dolores having the personality of a naive teenage girl who considers James her Prince. (Like Prince on White Horse). The series ends on a light hearted note, but
it involves a military conspiracy to end Earth's dominance by causing its space elevator to unanchor and crash onto the Earth., as well as a Ghost in the Machine mystery regarding Dolores and a girl named Dolly.

(Show is owned by Sentai but its not on Hidive)
Dolores is a major character, and prone to doing things, but James' daughter, Noel Lynx remains a mostly tertiary character in the story, despite being a Construction Site boss. So kind of a mix here. Plenty of women but James is kind of front and center and Dolores id Dolores.
Which leads us to him doing Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, Nihon Ad Systems and Konami's attempt at relaunching the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand after Toei Animation and Bandai's attempt of "Yu-Gi-Oh!" and "Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie" (i.e. the one with BEAUTIFICATION Honda and Green Hair Kaiba)
His early episodes include:
- "Insector" Haga vs Yugi
- "Dinosaur" Ryuzaki vs Jounouchi
- "Ghost" Kotsuzuka vs Jounouchi
- Pegasus vs Kaiba

So so far, nothing big deal, just adapts of the manga plus some padding with duels like Ryuzaki. Nothing stands out.
But this isn't insignificant either, these are a lot of heavy weight episodes, showing one way or another he's being given some important fights. This continues with him in the Duelist Kingdom Finals, where he covers 4 episodes:

- Kujaku Mai vs Yugi
- Bandit Keith vs Jounouchi
After this he's out for the rest of the arc with Takegami Junki stepping in to do the Pegasus vs Yugi fight. Yoshida's next big thing is a three parter: DM Quest, which is an anime original and kind of a mess. Kaiba returns to fire the Big 5 but gets somehow convinced to play
their new video game before commiting to firing him. The Big 5 somehow plans to virtually murder Kaiba in the video game and keep running Kaiba Corp like jerks since Kaiba went "I'mma walkabout" aftering being Mind Crushed. Kaiba gets caught and naturally Mokuba asks
Yugi and co. for help since they've already saved him and his brother from whacky Kaiba Corp Board Member Hijinks Before (Duelist Kingdom). The team for one reason or another dives into the game themselves to beat it and thus free Kaiba. Mai's there as a beta tester.
Naturally this ends up with Yugi and co. finding someone among the Big 5 has a Mokuba gender flip fetish which raises more questions than I think we need. The arc also introduces Yoshida's preference for Beyond The Impossible with Five God Dragon and Dragon Master Knight.
A note is, a lot of people ascribe Episode 28 to Yoshida. It has a lot of stuff I could see being his what with weird Judeo Christian Dream Imagery and Pegasus' Magic Cult That Never Comes Up Again. This piece of beauty is by Masashi Sogo (十川誠志)
Next time we see Yoshida is during the start of Battle City where he gets the job of handling Seeker, the first Rare Hunter, which isn't not a big deal per say but he ends up setting up the first fights of BC and padding out the fight which was shorter in the manga.
Oh right. He also gets to do the "This City will be Battle City" announcement episode by Kaiba where he blows up his own computer system with Obelisk. A bunch of aesthetic changes here along with the Duel again being beefed up a bit. (And using Expert Rules unlike the manga)
Next up: We get him doing Haga (again) vs Jounouchi, which in its adaptation loses a really funny scene with Jounouchi ordering lunch while wearing his Disk which leads to the whole "Parasite in his Deck" incident. But it does get padded to include Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth.
After that is the pretty straightforward adaptation of Jounouchi vs Kajiki Ryota at the Domino Aquarium. As with much of these straight adapts, there's not much to tell. Actually, I don't think this gets padded out much.
Moving on, we get to something of actual anime original content: Yami Bakura vs Ghost Kotsuzuka. It's mostly a filler episode that lets you see Yami Bakura's non Ouija/Necrofear tactics. The most noteworthy thing is Domino appears to have a western style cemetery.
Next: Jounouchi vs Rishid 3 Parter. This gets some dream sequence padding for one reason or another, and I believe Insect Queen gets stuffed into Jounouchi's Deck Line Up of him using his Battle City rivals' cards (when only Ryota and Roba had been respectful)
He follows up by doing the Mai vs Marik three parter. Due to the extreme horror and viciousness of the manga Duel, these episodes get watered down with the nature of Marik's Dark Game being memory erasure over basically severe torture. Also Marik uses the cards of his goons.
For an example of why this episode and Marik's savagery got nerfed, I think this page says it all:
But something really interesting comes up here. It's only been discovered recently with modern subtitles of the Battle City finals, but it's likely what establishes a reason why Yoshida gets so much work in Yu-Gi-Oh!

The above link? Someone discovered Marik when he chants the hieratic text to use Ra throughout Battle City? That someone on staff bothered to take the time to research Hieratic and make sure it works. Marik isn't speaking pure gibberish, he's speaking (slurred) Egyptian.
This is the first real instance of where Yoshida's possible real skill set shines: He seems to be an occult and mythology junkie. But we'll get back to this nonsense in Doma/Waking the Dragons. Yoshida next handles an adapt of the Marik and Isis backstory.
Oh, now this I don't remember: We get him doing the Big 2 episode in Virtual World where Big 2 ends up wanting Anzu's body to get a second chance at life to be a penguin activist and open a giant Penguin zoo theme park somehow. This is a pretty weird pair, to be honest.
We then have Yoshida adapting Kaiba's takeover of Kaiba Corp in the Big 5 vs Kaiba two parter. This ends up fleshing out Big 5 as well as an anime retelling of how Kaiba tossed Gozuboro out. Also James Bond-ian spy tech from Kaiba Corp.
(The weapons and arms bit from the manga gets well expanded into the Doma arc but needless to say Kaiba's early VR that became Duel Arenas ends up being used by Big 4 and 5's divisions to create smarter, better weapons. Kaiba doesn't like that) Also: Blue-Eyes shoots a Satellite.
Now we get the episode set that you can probably say establishes Yoshida firmly in his weird occultism stuff: Noa vs Kaiba and Noa vs Yugi. It combines the problems with uploading a child's brain alongside a pretty crazy version of the generic creation myth.
It's not very deeply connected being loosely based on creation and the flood and the rise of man. And the Spirit Cards Noa uses aren't really organized on any theme long (ditto his Creation Deck), and it was meant to sell the set Mythological Age, but the fight works well enough.
Back to the Battle City arc: Yoshida ends up doing Episode 123 where Jounouchi, Kaiba, Marik and Yugi fight it out. Not the entire fight for once but just this episode.
Remember that Over the top habit Yoshida has for going for big flashy things with Five God Dragon? It returns in Episode 131 which is a section of the Kaiba vs Yugi fight mean to extend an epic showdown between Obelisk and Osiris. (And match field and hand size for rest of Duel)
He also does 132 which sets up the Pharaoh Memory World Arc, but it's not a massive change. But after this, he vanishes from directly writing the rest of the Battle City arc. Why? Because of the grandiose filler arc DM does after Battle City.
DM being a very long runner, and its staff working on various Jump series, shuffles the Series Composition job. This is basically the "Head Writer" for the show, who sketches out the big story and plans with the Director and Producers. Yoshida ends up taking the job after BC.
Yes. Waking the Dragons / Doma. This filler arc stands as an ambitious filler arc meant to fill in between Battle City and the memory arc to let Kazuki complete that arc. For better or worse this arc defines the franchise form here on out. In many ways it's an original sin.
Duel Monster Dimensions. Card Spirits. World Domination Schemes. Non-Egyptian Mythology. "This is your hero on Evil". KOKORO NO YAMI. It all comes barreling in here, and its effects on the anime side of Yu-Gi-Oh! cannot be understated.
Yoshida has a unique problem: The Pharaoh is going to want to recover his memories with the God Cards. He needs to stop this from happening. So he expands DM to a much more ridiculous, less personal scale: An ancient conspiracy deeper than the Gravekeepers and Shadi appears.
Dartz and his three Musketeers. They steal the God Cards (to make sure the Pharaoh can't begin his quest for his memories). And have their minion Grimro try and steal the Pharaoh's soul to awaken an ancient god (from not of Egypt)
Now why does it get all this ridiculous? Because the production staff for YGO needed to let Kazuki complete the Eygptian past. But this was the period of "Anime continuously airs, never stop." So they couldn't put YGO on hold and the card game needed to sell.
So anyways. Grimro. Duels Yugi to claim the God Cards completely and take the Pharaoh's Soul. He even uses Obelisk for himself, using a magic spell turned card: The Seal of Orichalcos. Which is where we're going to pause from a look over his writing and back to lore.
The Hieratic thing I mentioned? Yoshida does it again here, as somehow by a rather bizarre chain of logic, he connects the mythical city-state of Atlantis with the works of John Dee and Aleister Crowley, two of the great English magicians. How so?
The Seal itself is visually a six-sided star used by Crowley (the Unicursal Hexgram). The text on the seal and its card? Why John Dee? The card is written in Enochian. Specifically Japanese text romanized into English spellings spat into Enochian ( )… Ryuusui over at the original Wikia figured out what the card reads as when reversed into Japanese.

Which roughly is:

"If thou seeks our power
The great power that dwells
Dwells within thee
Offer it up unto us
And we shalt be resurrected".

It's not impossible to do this, but this is a detail put onto a card nearly no one could read until recent cuts. Someone cared to do this.
And cared to make it work and be sensible. Unlike the Dungeons & Dragons in Full Metal Alchemist Texts. This is arguably thankless work almost no one is going to look at. Just like the Hieratic. No one's going to figure that out (until recently).
So Yugi ultimately defeats Grimro, and Yoshida steps up to do the next big set up for Waking the Dragons: A lore dump. Yugi and co. run into Rebecca and Dr. Hopkins (Sugoroku's best friend and fellow archaeologist, with Hopkins being more of the real kind and less Indiana.)
Hopkins notes the Orichalcos stone resembles one he found in sunken ruins that carbon date to 10,000 years ago off America in the Atlantic (Probably based on Bimini Road as an Atlantis site wouldn't shock me here as a basis). Which leads to he mentioning Duel Monsters carvings.
Specifically that these ruins have carvings of Duel Monsters, 7000 years before the Egyptian carvings discovered and documented by Pegasus to create Duel Monsters. (The logic leap here is Egypt is often cited as a colony of Atlantean survivors)
Which leads into speculation by Arthur Hopkins and Rebecca that it's likely due to how much monsters, spirits, gods and magic come up, that it's possible monsters are real, and exist in their own parallel universe. With Rebecca stating it's arrogant to think we're the only world.
Which Yugi and the Pharaoh's dream later that night confirms: Dark Magician Girl brings them to her world, and explains humanity has created entire worlds of creatures and monsters made of "thought energy". This is the basis for the Spirit Worlds in GX and 5D's, more or less.
Now why did Yoshida do this to the show? Well, to keep in mind, anime productions are often planned months in advance. I believe in the order of episodes get worked on and planned especially for long runners months in advance.
The staff likely needed to plan out some arc as Kazuki only started the Egyptian Memory arc somewhere in October 2002. Doma started in March/April of 2003. By this point Kaz hadn't really established the rules of Ka and Ba. So Yoshida is left to work from what he has before that.
Which is basically going to derive from Otogi's manga arc and stuff early on from the first 7 volumes of the manga. Stuff like the Dragon Cards. The Devil's Board Game. Ammit. YGO has non Egyptian magic confirmed beyond Egypt. So he's got a baseline.
So without Ba and Ka established at the time he's writing up probably the treatments and notes and plans for Doma, he's got to pick what to do here. So we get Crowley esque "If you believe it, even if it's not real, it will become real" magic, and worlds believed into existence.
(That and I wouldn't be shocked if a producer or someone thought it was a good idea.). But needless to say, no definition of Ba and Ka by Kazuki leads to the creation of alternate realities inhabited by Monsters, who get summoned to Earth, some become tablets, and thus cards.
Also for those unaware, Timaeus is the name of the first dialogue by Plato:…
All of the Dragons are, ultimately, as to circle back to the Atlantis theme of the season.
Circling back, the main antagonists of the arc, the Musketeers exhibit various themes from Yoshida that come up again and again:
- Ghosts of the Past come back to haunt you
- Orphans
- Rich Kids who suffer a horrible fate
- Revenge

(Revenge and Ghosts came up in Dolores, i)
Also of interest is that while Yoshida was likely involved with deciding Mai's villainous turn, he absolutely pens 0 episodes focusing on her. Interestingly, this ends up being done by 面出明美 (Omode Akemi), a female writer who joined at the start of Alcatraz.
Instead Yoshida's efforts on the arc focus, after its set up, on Rafael vs Yugi (which focuses on the sadistic side of the Pharaoh the anime up until then doesn't really touch on), plot exposition and the final Duel with Dartz (that being an overblown 8 part monstrosity)
Speaking of Dartz, his origin story as fallen king of Atlantis due to the Orichalcos Stones from space (which was caused apparently by the Leviathan...) ends up introducing "cosmic horror" and "space" as recurring Yu-Gi-Oh! elements (not that Zorc was far off from that concept.)
And Dartz himself (along with everyone under the thrall of the Orichalcos) also serves as a good introduction to Yoshida's recurring focus on Greed, Hubris, Wrath and the general brooding darkness, despair and angst inherent to people.
After a brief break (or the break was to give him time), Yoshida is given the responsibility of sorting out to do with the "Dawn of the Duel" / "Millennium World" arc. Which had some major wham moments written when Kazuki Takahashi apparently lost a 1/3rd of his blood.
And you know, Zorc's design (rectified in the manga's reprinting but lead to the hilarious 4KMedia Edits).
But most of this arc was being done to make sure there wasn't a tremendous audience loss between the Grand Prix and GX, and also while Gallop had to juggle "Dawn of the Duel", "Eyeshield 21" and "Yu-Gi-Oh! GX" as their major projects (among numerous other shows)
Which led to some rather less than ideal animation stills to put it gently.
We'll probably never know who pushed for the elements, but Yoshida's tenure over the season led to more of a "Duel" vibe with DiaDhanks, each priest being given their own Shrine of Wedju as a Deck (instead of 1), and even had present day Kaiba shoehorned in to help fight Zorc.
Let's be polite and say this wasn't Yoshida and the rest of his co-workers' finest hour.
Yoshida himself penned the first 4 episodes of the Arc (thus bringing Kaiba into the story of the past) (Expect a lot of WHY level screen caps for this section, if I find them funny enough)
He then writes Kisara's introduction and the creation of the Millennium Items, and the death of Thief King Bakura which begins the "New Stage" (I have to assume he probably was partially responsible for streamlining and removing the actual RPG aesthetic of the Ultimate Dark Game)
He also did 214, which of what I know, wasn't a great adaptation of the battle between the Pharaoh and Set, as IIRC it made Set more brainwashed by his now wizard lich father than believing in an ideal and committing himself to it. The entire arc is kind of a muddled mess.
His last stop in this flashback arc is ultimately a bombastic quasi filler of Kaiba fighting off Zorc with the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon. (Yoshida seems oddly fond of Dragon Master Knight... and wrote every episode it appeared in, huh.)
However he doesn't handle the episode in which Atem's name awakens Holactie or however it's being officially named at this point. That was done by Ms. Odome Akemi (who handled the bulk of Jounouchi/Mai's episodes for Doma, if we remember).
What Yoshida does end up doing is the last 3 episodes of the series, closing the book on the Pharaoh, and expanding Yugi and Atem's Duel in a clash where Yugi has to prove he can beat ALL 3 GODS. Regardless of the previous arc's problems, he does try to end it on a good note.
Though, also, while Yoshida was working on Duel Monsters, he did have a hand (but not running) in other projects, such as Texhnolyze, Witch Hunter Robin, and Kurau Phantom Memory (the first item listed was another Chiaki J. Konaka project, like The Big O, but incredibly dark)
Also during DM's run, he was working on and off with Capcom with the first 3 entries of the Onimusha series, which is basically you fighting Odo Nobunaga who has become a vampire demon lord to rescue your beloved, and it escalates from there into time travel nonsense.
Now, we move into GX. Interestingly, for the bulk of GX, Yoshida apparently gets assigned to what people would call "Wham" episodes, where the status quo gets overturned. The first of which is the introduction of Titan and the reintroduction of Shadow/Dark Games to the sequel.
The decision of Titan's underuse of Titan in the anime, despite being a character designed by Kazuki btw probably lays on the director choices of Takegami Junki (武上純希) who heads the first 3 seasons of GX, along with director, Tsuji Hatsuki (辻 初樹)...
with a lot of GX's more meandering problems probably leaning on Hatsuki as director considering he was also director for the first four seasons of Cardfight!! Vanguard, which, bluntly put, has all the story consistency and focus of a sinking boat.
Speaking of which, another brief aside: Hatsuki seems to have a Jon Peters-y obsession with his big bad in both series: They're both abstract forces of the universe that possess a psychic and then uses them to spread a brainwashing plague to take over and destroy the world.
Both of which use highly mechanical servants in conjunction with their human thralls. Both of these forces are ultimately unfightable on a human level, and can only be pushed back, never truly defeated.
And oh, both of these forces only get a stronghold on earth because of some shitlord who have Vegeta tier level issues about being Second Best compared to their rivals, both paranoid about their own stagnation as card game good fight boy.
Jon Peters by the way before I end this tangent, is a Hollywood Producer with an obsession with Spiders who has tried to hamfist it into Superman and Sandman like he did with Wild, Wild West which resulted in this:
After the Titan episodes, Yoshida's next script is Episode 12, where we get a showdown between Manjoume and Misawa that highlights Misawa's skills as a technician and sets up Manjoume's entire character for the rest of the series either by intention or accident.
This is also one of the few if only episodes where Misawa gets any characterization as a friendly but skilled (albeit eccentric genius) rival to Judai before he gets shoehorned into being some barely noticed furry who becomes the butt of everyone's joke. 🤔
Also, for whatever reason, he gets placed into doing the Kagurazaka episodes where the named character steals Yugi's public Deck. Which begs the question of what defines the Duelist: Their Deck or their skills? (And ultimately ends like much early GX on a funny note)
For the end of the first half of Season 2, Yoshida ends up penning Episodes 24 to 26, which, whether you love or hate how Manjoume ends up, pretty much defines him as a character for the rest of the entire series, as an underdog proving he doesn't need his family's influence.
Season 1. Wow. Okay. Sorry. Brief pause here. Before I go on with GX, we're going to delve into another series that happened around the same time as the second half of GX Season 1. Trigger Warnings for sexual molestation of a minor, abusive parents, and frankly wierd shit apply.
In the Spring of 2005, an anime named Speed Grapher (スピード グラファー) aired. It was produced by Studio Gonzo, directed by 杉島 邦久 (Sugishima Kunihisa) (Director of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters) and penned by Yoshida and generally has a DM production alumni to it.
The basic premise of the series is Tatsumi Saiga, a former war photographer, known for his photos, uncovers that the rich and wealthy of Japanese society have been holding depraved parties at a secret club.
Saiga gets captured and forced to kiss the Goddess, which is assumed to kill him. Instead, it awakens a strange power inside him by expressing the dormant Euphoric gene inside him, giving him the power to explode anyone he photographs with his camera.
He kidnaps the Goddess, who turns out to be the hypnotized alter ego of a naive heiress called Kagura Tennozu, whose mother and entourage have been subjecting her to rather disgusting molestation of her bodily fluids to activate the Euphoric genes in people.
Saiga finds himself on the run from Shinzen Tennozu, Kagura's mother, and the club owner, Chouji Suitengu. Early on it remains fairly episodic as Saiga has to fight other Euphorics, ranging from a Spider Dentist to a Hooker made of Diamonds (EPIGENTICS folks).
The Euphorics' power is ultimately a result of this gene that's switched on that somehow due to the virus that switches it on, causes a person's inner most fetishes and desires to become a reality. Saiga being one of the few who hasn't gone complete clown car from doing so.
The crux of the series ultimately becomes Yoshida and his coworkers' rant on what Yoshida means by "Kokoro no Yami": Greed. Hubris. Decadent Politicians. Banks ruining people's lives. Pious arrogance. Wars. Unethical sexual perversion.
Basically people are very disgusting twisted, corrupt, and cruel deep down in many respects (and turns out to be the basis of Suitengu's plans, to take advantage of this massive sinkhole of morality depravity in the elite to ruin the Japanese government and economy)
Suffice it to say, Yoshida and Sugishima have a lot to say about their country and none of it's terribly great. Oh. Right. The other major recurring character is this lady: Hibari Ginza, a ridiculously corrupt cop who starts as a stalker to Saiga but kinda gets better-ish.
It's not a show for everyone, and it's admittedly not great with some of the nastier stuff it touches on, but I think if you're trying to understand why Mr. Yoshida keeps going on about "Kokoro no Yami", Speed Grapher explains a lot of what he means by it.
Funimation for those interested, has the US rights, with MVM Films in the UK and Madman Entertainment for Australia. It should be on Crunchyroll and YouTube. As well, of interest, its JPN OP was Duran Duran's "Girls on Film", which had to be replaced with "Shutter Speed" overseas
Also, yeah, I'll be blunt: Ginza's a faux Action Girl type. Competent but finds herself ultimately out of her league with the later Euphorics. Yes, this is one of the bigger recurring problems with Yoshida. He doesn't seem misogynistic as women are often in...
positions of authority in his works (Doctors, Construction Foreman, Police, etc.) but they often get sidelined for the male protaganist(s) and male villains. (Though with Aki and Blue Angel, their sidelining has more to do with problems regarding their actors)
Skipping ahead (… ) a bit, to note, Yoshida's issues with female characters seems to be "Shonen" series (thus a lot of guys preferred by superiors), plus male characters to him first when creating characters.
Admittedly this is a kind of sexism, but I'd put it as systematic sexism combined with what kind of character he's easiest with creating (brooding dark men) rather than personal malice towards women. Something like this was noted by the creators of Persona 3 and 4.
Basically back around when they grew up (… ), and I think Yoshida's in the same age, it was less common for guys to be platonic friends with girls, especially in school. Lack of experience tends weaken quality of writing.
That plus perverse incentives (Both the primary and periphery demographics, young~teenage boys and adult women, uh, want to see cool guys). Thus you get stuck in a rut writing male characters, over and over and over ad nausea to infinity.
But I think the fandom perception as him being some woman hater with an enormous vendetta is a gross exaggeration. It's just Yu-Gi-Oh! has a lot of built-in biases that means the main cast is a very high number of men, similar to Kamen Rider: (… )
Okay, another brief detour before back to GX: Karas. A 6 part OVA Yoshida penned with Tatsunoko Pictures for their 40th Anniversary. Wikipedia has a really In Depth Article on the matter (… )
A lot of the show is meant to be based on a conflict and dualism of Tradition vs Modernity, New vs Old, Status Quo vs Revolution, Science vs Supernatural. All kind of things that pour into 5D's, ZEXAL and VRAINS in one way or another. But it's frankly a mess.
Basically the problem is the first 2 episodes are all action and frankly makes it confusing who Karas is since it starts with investigation from the cops into supernatural incidents. By the time the show settles in Episode 3, it's time to set up for the ending.
And being 30 minute episodes, the cast ends up being extremely caricature/bland level. The main character is apparently the incest child of a mob boss. There's the cops. A recurring mascot lady. Generic Evil Big Bad Group. And. That's. Kinda. It?
Oh right, there's Homura, the Karas of another city who is forced by the embodiment of her city to do nothing for 5 Episodes while eating popcorn essentially, and gets bodied to show how bad Eko, the Big Bad is, on the 6th.
The show has a lot of neat ideas but it's a 6 Episode OVA without the time to build up its cast or make you care about them. It frankly would work better as a 13 to 26 Episode series, but ah well.
Of interest, it has supernatural creatures, the Yokai (the dub refers to them as Demons because lol), who the strongest of which materialize in the human world as horrifying mechanical hybrids that need to eat humans that serve as the main threats.
But of something, that especially comes back in his later works is the concept that worlds / nature have their own minds, goals, and desires. These end up being relevant in Yoshida's later works.
... So let's see, GX Season 1 Part 2, where... oh, Episode 35. This was a fun episode, circling back to Manjoume's brothers for the last major time of the series. And basically defines Manjoume for the rest of the anime by connecting him to the joke cards, the "Ojama".
The episode's fundamentally works. Manjoume is an underdog who shows up his brothers who put him in a ridiculous bind to defeat them and their super foil cards. He also has to deal with the goofy Ojamas, serving as a no-nonsense straight man to the events of the episode.
Now the question is did Yoshida just slowly evolve Manjoume into a living end or did the director and the lead composition want it. Good question, but this episode solidly cements his status as a comedic character, one you both laugh at, and laugh with.
And this follows up with Episode 39, in which Manjoume is the world's detective with the best results and worst conclusions. Faced with a robbery of the Keys needed to open the Spirit Gate, Manjoume decides to investigate himself.
Meanwhile, it turns out the criminals are the detective officially hired to deal with the case and multiple staff members, who all bear a dead-straight resemblance to the Dark Scorpions, a team of Lupin III-esque professional graverobbers and 'master' thieves.
Manjoume figures this out through basically dead wrong conclusions that arrive at the right answers (plus help with Ojamas serving as spy cameras). It ends up in a Duel and pretty much with the Dark Scorpions getting crushed by Ojama King in a belly flop. Your mileage may vary.
Now, the next one will probably ping at people. After the transformation of Manjoume's character, Yoshida is given the emotional climax of the Seven Stars arc: Episode 45 to 46. All but one Key in the previous episode has been captured by the mysterious 7th assassin.
The episodes reveal Amnael, the 7th Assassin, is the alias of the up-to comedic side character, Professor Daitokuji, Judai's wise but seemingly cowardly teacher. He's given a brief but tragic backstory that makes him a dark counterpart to Sugoroku and Arthur Hopkins.
Deck Wise, Amanael/Daitokuji's Deck is pretty much a by-the-numbers checklist of items from Alchemy, such as the processes for the Philosopher's Stones, common metals, and even a Trismegistus. (Not to say he doesn't make them look cool, but it's pretty pair for course)
And from previous episodes and these ones, while Daitokuji is a sympathetic figure out to complete his life's work (so much so he made a Homunculus clone of himself as he died from a vague anime illness), he's still responsible for horrific experiments in the abandoned dorm.
Sympathetic? Yes. Tragic? Yes. But still did unspeakable things, but Amnael also seems to waver as to his own goal, and presented with the likelihood of his own death, pushes Judai to his limits, possibly stealth training Judai to face Kagemaru.
The episode also pushes forth that Alchemy, in a certain way, need not be through mystic science, Alchemy, the art of transformation, also occurs by the growth of a person, and Judai's past year has been an alchemy of its own, changing him into someone better.
Yoshida ultimately ends up using the theme of this episode, growth into adulthood, as a key theme for his Series Composition about GX Season 4. But here it caps off with Judai's ultimate HERO for Season 1, Elemental HERO Elixirer/Electrum.
The next episodes after this are the finale of the Shadow Stars arc, where we get a lot of pomp and not much circumstance. Kagemaru's honestly a flat as hell villain compared to his far more interesting minions. The Duel itself is pretty much a knockoff version of Yugi vs Atem
Complete with bargain bin God Cards, the 3 Phantasms/Sacred Beasts. It's a pretty flashy Duel with a lot of tension but it's mostly a triumph of style over substance. And is one by a complete Deus ex Machina, with the origins of the Phantasms never explained.
Won. Wow I can totally spell for real, gaiz, I swear. Anyways, Season 2, Yoshida pops off for a bit, coming back for the first big event of Season 2: Edo Phoenix's true colors being revealed, starting with a Duel against Kaiser.
This episode introduces a recurring theme of Season 2 (and touched on in Season 4), which is that you can be a big fish at Duel Academia, but you will be truly tested in the Pros if you're actually "all that". It sets up Edo, but it also defines Kaiser for the rest of the show.
The episode also introduces the concept of alternate Elemental HERO Fusions of the same materials, but for whatever reason, most likely Neos and the Destiny Heroes clogging airtime, never gets brought up after these two Duels.
The next two episodes go into the personal rivalry between Juudai and Edo, with Edo being driven by a mission by Saiou regarding vague Destiny and this somehow ties into his father's killer. Edo more or less takes personal offense to Judai using heroes when he has no "Justice".
He also uses the one card that pretty much might as well say "Exchange Decks mid Duel", D - Time.
The episode also exemplifies the difference between Judai and Edo. Judai is more Silver Age goofy American Superheroes, while Edo is more post Watchmen and Indie, with a huge British flavored. Classic Hero vs Anti-Hero, but with less Superdickery.
The Duel ultimately ends with Judai taking one of his few major losses (thanks to the Hulk in the Iron Mask), and ultimately leads to Judai's ability to see cards stolen due to Saiou's Wave of Light powers fucking up (I forget why exactly, Winged Kuriboh?)
But basically it sets up that Judai, without even the most absurd purpose (such as being told by a talking Dolphin on Jupiter to fight Black Hole Sparkle Poop) (Sadly no, Yoshida did not do Episode 62 in all its drugged out glory)
Instead he does the rematch of Edo and Judai, which ends with Edo's defeat by the new Neo Spacian and Elemental HERO Neos cards (inspired by classic Japanese tokusatsu fiction such as Ultraman and Guyver), and Judai ultimately saves his door from a small fat frog.
Next up we get 75 and 76 which with the next... 3? Episodes seem to be some vague attempt to use strewn about parts of the canceled GX movie script. Yoshida himself uses his two episodes of the mini-arc to capstone Kenzan and Sho.
Despite their bitter "Who's the better brother to Aniki" rivalry, they manage to summon Dinosaur Gao Gai Gar, and... lose miserably to a bunch of guys using shitty Monarch Decks. Not their finest hour but their teamwork is at least cool to watch.
Also Kaiba and Saiou talk for vague reasons involving Kaiba Land that I refuse to remember, but it continues Kaiba's woefully under utilized appearances in GX (I think this being the last), while Pegasus ends up serving as a much cooler "Big Good". (Then again, Kaiba's a dick.)
After this the rest of that arc falls apart because of weird "Create-A-Card" contest winners show up and derail the arc off a cliff. When Yoshida comes back around it's for the last truly Misawa centric episode of GX, and probably a pretty hard hitting one.
Long story short, the episode focuses on Misawa's continual reduction from a main cast member to a running joke (so much so everyone keeps going "Oh, you're here too?") of how little he matters and has failed to blend with the rest of his friends. He's ignored and mocked.
He's the last real member of Ra Yellow left at Duel Academia who hasn't been turned or corrupted by The Society of Light, the school's local space cult. And the episode focuses extremely strongly on Misawa's being ignored not just by the Society but by Judai&co., his own friends.
He has a chance to actually defeat Manjoume and stop the Society of Light, but when the dice come down, Misawa is baited by Saiou, who eats at his sense of loneliness, lack of respect, lack of belonging, and that even this victory will mean nothing, because he is nothing.
It's interesting, Yoshida, the writer who introduces us to Misawa, also shows us the character's inner demons in the last episode he's relevant as a key character. And sets him up to be one of the Three Big Bad Minions for the rest of the arc (something GX ends up subverting)
I personally just find it really interesting that we ultimately get to see Misawa's good side and bad side really defined by Yoshida. Very much a capstone. Shame the character ended up becoming what he did (a joke)
Speaking of Jokes, and characters who are anti-climatic, we get Yoshida ending up doing White Thunder's showdown with Judai. As with any Yoshida written Manjoume episode post Episode 12, it's a basically a comedy. Or a farce.
That Thunder, the man Saiou chose to found his society, is himself the odd man out increasingly. Just something about him ends up dirty. Dark. Stained. Try as he might to conform to the Society he ends up somewhat. *off*
(Also notably Koyasu Takehito, Saiou's VA, seems to have been unavailable for voicing lines in this two parter, most notable in a silent scene of Manjoume receiving the White Knights, and an ersatz Preacher who should of been Saiou, but it works to show Manjoume out of favor...?)
Also this great still shot. While Yoshida seems to be mostly at home with brooding characters, really this episode and most of Manjoume's episodes make it clear he's not above being silly. And Manjoume is very much his kind of guy, just played for laughs.
But it also makes clear that Saiou's mind control, while powerful, is still something that can be unraveled. That you can't force someone to, for the long term, be someone they're not. Especially if they have friends (and Ojamas) that are willing to fight back.
And then we get to Episodes 97 and 98. Which are a triumph of Man against Bad Planning. I can only imagine everyone realizing they had to tie up the Ultimate D plotline but forgot to do *any* build up whatsoever. I can only imagine this being Yoshida with dealing with this mess.
Basically Yoshida has to end up doing a ton of retcons and "Remember the New Guy" shit to build up stuff that wasn't even bothered with. But what we do get is one of GX's more memorable one-shot villains: "The D", the Pro League World Champ.
And for some reason a Hannibal Lector knockoff who plays Spellcaster Burn Lock. It's a very very tight episode but it makes up for it all with maximum impact to compensate for the fact this all had to be written in at the last stretch of the season.
The D, even if shallow, ends up quite memorable, with rather scene chewing lines and equally well handled visuals and dialogue, show that with the die cast, Yoshida tries to make the resolution of Edo's arc something you'll at least remember.
And also very very well highlights how dangerous the Wave of Light is after a season of gag thematic mooks, ridiculous alien robots, Misawa running naked and Manjoume being. Manjoume. Here we see why Saiou and the Wave are a problem in a very clear show of force.
And the subsequent episode makes it ever so clear the depths of how rotten DD (oh right, I'm mixing up Dub and Sub) has become since the Light corrupted him beyond being a petty thief. A friend brought this up that in many ways Bloo-D ends up paralleling the classic Jinmei scene
from Devilman that makes it just how clear, how cruel, how dark and how nasty the demons truly are. That Edo is forced to kill what's left of his own father to stop a man who's become more thing than person. And despite the toyetic-ness, despite the compact arc, it works.
Now, this next bit I think will shock people. Episodes 106 and 107 of GX end up being Yoshida's. That's right. The initial characterization of everyone's rainbow and crystal loving German boy of fun and joy? From Yoshida. From a man who notes he's best at home with srs characters
Now obviously a show, as anything is a collaborative process, but I do find this interesting none the less. We've got him setting up what many feel is one of the show's main pairings, but he also quickly scatter shot sets up the rest of the cast, as well as an arc subplot.
Two subplots actually. The Cobra and the Rainbow Dragon angles (though the latter gets handled in typical strange GX fashion of a roundabout manner.) And makes it clear underneath Johan and Judai's fun Duel, there's a lot of bad shit going on almost immediately.
And we skip forward to Episodes 113 to 114, two episodes that basically completely set the tone of Season 3, with the concept of "Kokoro no Yami" (Darkness of the Heart). Which circles us back to DOMA and Speed Grapher's thesis on humans being pretty awful.
The Duel itself is left field but it focuses on one of Judai's teachers, one who blames his career being completely ruined on Judai sleeping and cutting his class, leading to other students cutting and dropping it as well.
And also was a promising Pro Duelist who eventually fell into sickness due to his own stress, both jobs to support his family. Fundamentally, the two=parter is basically a GX take on "Homer's Enemy", someone who's suffered their entire life vs someone who's slacked.
It asks, "Can Judai's built up inate prodigy skills at Duel Monsters be a flaw", and yes, yes it is. This is the start of GX's "deconstruction" of its own story. And that heroes can fall, heroes can betray. Even Heroes become monsters.
And if to hammer the point home to almost mind numbing obviousness, Mr. Satou, the professor in question? His ace card is an Eva Unit knockoff, called Scab Scarknight, who after endless battles, became a monster, an empty shell of the hero it once was. (A recurring Yoshida theme)
And, we get Yoshida being given the duty of completing the first cour of this Season with the 3 parter of Professor Cobra vs Judai. Which on the animation side gets us Amon and Cobra with almost ridiculous Hokuto no Ken tier muscles.
The Duel itself isn't tremendously deep but is a pretty solid fight between Cobra's venomous snakes and Judai's heroes but most of the importance is more on Cobra himself, a father who has sold himself to something quite Devil-ish to get back his son.
Ultimately we get Judai pulling out the unbefore seen Triple Contact of Elemental HERO Magma Neos (hi Product Placement) and ultimately it ends with Cobra, win or lose, obtaining his goal. That's right, for once we have a villain running on You Win, You Lose, I Win, You Lose.
Well technically Kagemaru did that but this is much more clearly explained. Ultimately, Cobra's deal with the devil like being (Yubel) turns out to be a Jackass Genie deal, as Yubel lets him meet Rick again! ... By hypnotizing him to kill himself and join his son in death.
And to make it clear we're not Dealing with Saturday Morning Cartoon Villains or Ron L. Hubbard anymore, we go pretty hard straight Go Nagai here with a villain who drags the heroes in a world that's nearly hell. (And into an arc ripping of The Drifting Classroom)
For Season 3, we're not seeing Yoshida doing Manjoumes anymore, no he seems to be aimed at dealing with major key wham and climax episodes of the arc, all banging home "Darkness of the Heart". Darkness by envy, Darkness to see a loved one. And in fact we see him tying up Cour 2.
Specifically Episodes 128 to 130. After episodes of Dueling Zombies and Surviving in the Desert, we get switched to the heroes fighting across dimensions in one of the most insane Duel Rigs imagined and Pegasus painting with a sick suit to draw Rainbow Dragon before everyone dies
And despite how ludicrious this reaches in terms of things happening, Episode 128 plays things straight, in a way I feel is an asset to the show, that despite how ridiculous this is getting for this arc, the writing takes it with dignity and serious,
As to Rainbow Dragon, instead of it being in another world, Yoshida takes a cheat and puts it an unspecified ruin. (All the meanwhile we have Echo, Amon's servant yet sister figure trying to blow up the Rainbow Dragon mural before Pegasus can use it as inspiration)
But mostly 128 serves as fanservice, in the non sexual sense, of a lot of hype action, past and fan favorite characters fighting, all on epic stakes that a little bit too high maybe.
But 129 dovetails into it and 130 being a follow up of Judai, making those references to spirits in Early episodes and our arc villain much more ominous and disturbed. (And with GX apparently aping Devilman quite a bit, our Villain is essentially Lucifer meets Psycho Jenny)
The Devilman parallel is almost likely intentional along with the reference to Baron Ashura. (Which makes this whole sense heavily drawing on Go Nagai in general). Our villain is the yandere obsessed hermaphrodite lover of the hero, who finds himself more than human.
Also GX in its adamant insistence on explaining nothing, with these episodes, does not explain the Phantasms but focuses them as being MacGuffins / Plot Devices to help revive Yubel's body, her goal this entire time. (Which if nothing else, Yoshida reuses things.)
But with all of these bomb shells on Judai that he has a dark past not even he remembers, we do get Johan having his moment of triumph against Yubel and the Phantasms, giving Judai and the others a chance to escape his Evil Ex's grasp. (And there's an Anti Holactie too!)
For the rest of the season, Yoshida mostly ducks out of writing scripts. With Takegami Junki writing up the vast majority of the episodes of weight for this season. But Yoshida does get one arguably cool bit: O'Brien's min-arc.
These episodes follow up Jim, who had a magic artifact, being presumably killed by Judai who has given into his own heart's darkness due to having 'killed' his own friends and learning Johan is 'dead'. O'Brien is positioned as the normal man in a world of supermen.
141 is about O'Brien running screaming, and coming to terms with Jim losing to Judai, who has become the biggest threat in the artificial dimension created by Yubel. This episode has the issue of O'Brien being at odds with previous characterization of Cool Merc Guy
But it's mostly an attempt to give O'Brien a more human feel beyond his status as implacable mercenary. That even his courage and cool-headed nature can falter and a (brief) journey to find the inner hero and realizing even if he isn't good enough, someone has to fight.
There's not much to say on 142/143, except O'Brien's resolve to snap Judai out of his Batman of Zur-En-Arrh esque split personality running his body while Judai is catatonic from his friends having been murdered before his eyes.
But I think we can safely say O'Brien gets a pretty cool sendoff here, being the unlikely hero, the one man without magic bullshit backstory cards or wizard artifacts (sans his friend's prosthetic magic eye), ends up stopping a man who he considers/ed his friend.
One thing I personally do like with O'Brien as an aside is that despite being pretty clearly African and kinda a gonk-y appearance, the show never really makes any deal about his race, which plenty of writers are more prone to do. He just happens to be there.
Ultimately Takegami Junki steps down from the show (and unlike many people's complaints Yoshida ignored the Light of Destruction, it's ultimately Junki who decides to slam the book shut on the Light having written Yubel's back story and the flashback closer to the season)
Presumably someone on staff convinced Director Tsuji that having an immaterial reality spanning light wave of vagueness wouldn't be a good closer to the series and no way to do it justice, so it's dealt with off screen, giving Yoshida and Tsuji a clean slate for "Season 4"
This arc remains controversial because of the Wave of Light being dropped, but I think has grown on fans in subsequent years as its themes become much more appreciated, chiefly being adulthood, the loss of innocence, Judai's own issues, and relearning to love something.
The season opens with most of the DA crew getting ready for their graduation, except Judai, who hasn't left the empty Osiris Red dorm in weeks, pretty much not talking to anyone. Making it clear his experience becoming a Devilman has not let him return to normal.
What ultimately draws Judai out of his exile/hermitage is the appearance of a new guy, Fujiwara Yusuke, who has hypnotic powers. (Why does a Fairy monster have hypnosis? Is this a general Spirit skill???) Who is being hunted down by a man made of cards, named Trueman.
The next episode folows up with Judai finding a feather from Yusuke. For Judai shaped reasons, he ultimately tries to leave Duel Academy, figuring the new weird shit of Feather Boy and Leather Card Man are his fault as a weirdness magnet, and is tired of hurting his friends.
And as Judai tries to leave, Saiou and Kagemaru, the previous villains reformed by Judai explain to him pretty briefly that no, it's not him, the Academy is pretty much in the middle of cosmic leylines and is bound to be the target of something or other.
This is essentially Yoshida going with the equivalent of "The school is built on Indian Burial Grounds" to justify Takegami and Tsuji's three previous years of nonsense of Gag Dark Games, Star Cults, Murderous Light Waves, Sand Worlds and your creepy Yandere Childhood Friend.
And to make it crystal clear just how screwed Judai is that he can't just 'run away', Trueman opens a whole in the world near the Volcano and forces him into a Duel with a vastly improved Deck, this time using Meteor B. Dragon (a minor subtheme of Trueman getting more skilled)
Episode 3 of Season 4 follows with Judai trying to figure out the truth about Darkness and Yusuke Fujiwara, who it turns out is a lost student from around the time of Kagemaru and Daitokuji's experiments from Season 1. But it turns into layers within layers.
Basically it gets complicated that Kagemaru and Daitokuji were running their own experiments at the same time Fujiwara was running his own that led to Fubuki becoming the thrall of "Darkness" and subsequently becoming a Seven Star.
It's retconned that the Darkness of Season 1 was but a mere fragment of an entity of the same name. And Judai and Fubuki get into a harrowing Duel to drag out Fubuki's memories. Also Judai's obsession with solving things gets him slapped for being a dick.
(A sub theme of the Season as obviously noticed, Judai is pretty much obsessed with dealing with things without his friends getting in the way of fire after the LAST TWO SEASONS traumatizing them that he acts like a complete yutz.)
Though we do get Judai threatening Daitokuji's ghost to spill the beans or get flushed down the toilet, which is pretty great. For all GX's seriousness in this arc, it has some great levity.)
And closing this four parter opener for the season is Episode 160, where the Abandoned Dorm gets leveled by Honest, and Trueman attempts a last ditch effort of directly attacking Judai to kill him and secure his master's plans, this time with a favorite of Yoshida's, FGD.
Also of note, this episode seems to try and tie DOMA into continuity as Honest's home dimension is the same dimension more or less that DMG came from in DOMA, as a visual deadringer.
The Episode ends with Judai's friends telling him he doesn't need to protect them, that if Darkness comes around, they'll fight him together (this doesn't go so well, but the sentiment starts pushing Judai to stop being completely alone).
Yoshida steps away from direct script writing for the next few episodes, but for the rest of the cour, the show focuses on the more human side of the cast's story, on their personal goals, fears and dreams, allowing the 3rd years to get some closure.
The first two episodes focus on Asuka, and her feelings on Judai as well as whether she wants to be a Pro or an Academic, as well as Judai's inability to treat Dueling as a game rather than a life or death struggle. It's kind of messy with Asuka's fading in Season 3 but it tries.
The next pair interestingly touches on the Cyber Dojo from Season 2, Kaiser's own health conditions, and Sho and his brother's shadow, and the brothers in general. Kaiser's death being retconned annoys people but I feel this, again, at least closes the book on the two.
The third set has Yoshida co-writing with 坂本豊和 who only shows up for these episodes and Johan vs Judai. Yoshida goes to give closure on Manjoume, trying to tie his pride and his own goofiness together, while making it clear how overwhelming the Pro Leagues are.
Thanks to Chronos, Manjoume gets an apprenticeship from Edo, which ends up going pretty well, until Manjoume and Edo find themselves dragged into the schemes of a greedy producer who's even stolen Edo's custom order new ace card. (That cost millions to produce)
Naturally Manjoume becomes a goofy minor but rising Pro as "Ojamanjoume" and Edo is forced into exile and the whole thing is a goofy mess from start to end, more a Shakespearen comedy or farce. And Edo gets punched by an Ojama.
And to capstone this mini-arc, we have Chronos agonizing over his students moving on, especially this generation who have moved and changed him as a teacher as much as he's changed them. (And has Judai do all his hanging school work to Graduate)
Following this, Yoshida does the script for 5 more episodes, the start of Cour 2 and the last 4 Episodes. The first is basically set up of Darkness' ultimate plan coming to fruition by the Graduation Duels leading to something going terribly wrong. (Also Horus)
The rest of the arc is pretty much an action suspense thriller of Judai trying to chase down and stop Trueman, not realizing just how dangerous and well prepared Fujiwara, Darkness and Trueman are, and his friends getting crushed.
It culiminates with Yoshida taking the helm for the series climax, with Judai facing off Darkness, who let's be very blunt, is a stand-in for depression, anxiety, self-loathing and doubt, and that fear that you will be crushed in the real world once you step out as an adult.
Darkness clarifies he is the dark side of the universe, the back of the card of the world that exists, and that from what he can see as a God, humanity is doomed to kill itself. (Which ends up being strong foreshadowing for 5D's)
Darkness ultimately gets beat back by Judai telling people to believe in hope and that even if they fail, they can keep trying again, which combined with a super Neos Fusion, ends up pushing Darkness back, who swears he can never truly die as long as man fears themselves.
But this sums up GX Season 4's conclusion: Adulthood is terrifying, it can drive you into crippling depression, but bar a catastrophe, you always have a chance when you wake up tomorrow to deal with things. But Judai's own personal problems haven't been dealt with.
The last 2 episodes being a fanservice match of Judai vs Yugi, which deals with Judai's own problem all of Season 3 Part 2 and GX Season 4: He's had trouble really enjoying a Duel, remembering why Duels were something other than the a life or death matter.
And with the Duel's end left unseen, we find Judai in the desert, refreshed emotionally and spiritually. Even if he's not quite human anymore, he's regained, not his innocence, but his enjoyment back. And with it back, he takes a step onto the road and whatever future awaits him.
Before going into 5D's, a quick side trip on two items. Yoshida ends up being in charge story directionof Episodes 459 to 469 of Naruto Shipudden, but since I'm one of like five people that doesn't read/watch Naruto, I can't note dick on this.
Also, in 2011 he was Script Supervisor with Sacred Seven, a Henshin Hero series by Bandai/Sunrise that had its production count halved for resource allocation to Tiger & Bunny, an unexpected hit. I remember dick all about it, to be blunt, which speaks volumes.
Yoshida is on staff with 5D's from the start, but doesn't contribute until Episode 9, as the first 8 episodes are all accredited to Tomioka Atsuhiro who establishes the initial setting and tone of the series (and is Script Superivsor until Episode 26)
Yoshida's first episodes are 9 and 10, in which Yusei faces a crooked warden to escape imprisonment. I like Iron Chains, but I really have no real feelings on the matter as the villain is comically flat, and it continues Tomioka's characterization as Yusei as very determined.
Next up is 20 and 21, a pair of episodes intended to set up for Part 2 of 5D's first season, so to speak. Yoshida sets up Bomber as a tragic antagonist basically trying to get revenge for his village that was the victims of essentially a magic nuke via the Crimson Dragon.
Ideally this a good two parter featuring how menacing Bomber's Deck is, how focused he is on his goal and was basically intended to make it clear that Yliaster was very much a problem with how deep the conspiracies ran deep, and Godwin was much more dangerous than first thought.
I suspect this and the Fortune Cup finale were handed to him ultimately by Tomioka to let Yoshida have a chance to develop the mythology for 5D's since by this point Tomioka should of likely known he was on his way out (which seems to be related to Pokemon commitments)
This also leads into Season 2 which for better or worse, leads to Aki's developmental chickification and Yusei becoming much more of a Messiah figure, and well, everything basically lighting on fire due to RL cults and probably the PTA complaining.
The PTA probably had a hand in 5D's weird writing. The show was pushing easy issues I can see parents being upset wtih for a kid's show: Classism, Nuclear Arms/Genocide, New age religion and the like that I can easily see getting in trouble back around 2007~2008.
That and the Director's just flat out a flake based on 5D's, ARC-V and Symphogear. So I'd wager the director plus external factors were more likely a factor here, outside of Messiah Yusei as Messiahs seem to be a thing Yoshida likes.
As noted, Yoshida before taking over as Story Supervisor wrote 25 and 26 which pretty much exist to set up the Dark Signer arc. Most of the early set up of the arc is left to co-workers with Yoshida himself being in charge of introducing Crow.
Which is a pretty fun introduction episode, Crow's a pretty likeable cool badass friend. Though people have noted they wonder why it changed from Kaz's suggestion well, that's ultimately the decision of the Producers, Director and Show Writers, and we got super best friend Crow.
Though again, in general, keep in mind Yoshida is in charge of the direction of the Dark Signers arc (but again, Directors and Producers are going to have final say). The arc has a a de-emphasis on Classism and the like. So, again. It's hard to say who pushed to do so.
That said, Yoshida's next appearance for actual episodes? 36 to 30, the Arcadia Movement arc, which makes it pretty clear this movement for Psychics is literally Scientology. Also Rua for some reason gets undermined as being a Signer or Psychic.
Divine is pretty much a mustache twirling villain but practically so. He's a Psychic using other Psychics in a new age religion cult, and figures with more Signers, he can have more influence, which he can use to start world wide terrorism because "Fuck you, Society".
Though with a 50 story skyscraper and an office full of exotic paintings, woodwork and statues, I'm left wondering how much he believes in the movement and how much he's just Ron L Hubbard/The Leader from the Simpsons trying to line his own pockets. I'd bet Column A & Column B.
Meanwhile, 37 focuses on Carly with the Arcadia Movement, who is trying to expose what exactly they're doing. Unfortunately, Divine is extremely savvy. And what we get is a rather heart wrenching murder that honestly feels extremely well handled. Speaking of Carly...
One of the major speculated (and almost certain) reasons among fans why her character got tanked despite 27 onwards building her up and why 5D's flees from cults like the devil is well, her VA was a member of a New Age Religion called ロマゾフィー協会 (The Roma Sophie Society).
On the scales of things, this cult was fairly benign. The leader had a 'spiritual epiphany' from anesthesia. But it was mostly an excuse to get off the founding couple's spanking fetish and love of women in miniskirts (claiming miniskirts awakened ESP and stopped Earthquakes)
Li-Mei Chiang (Carly's VA) was a high ranking member and teacher in the cult, apparently aggressive with recruiting. The cult, while small, apparently had Diet and JSDF members among its members. And before getting busted in 2010-ish had been under investigation for years.
This pretty much came to a head because the cult got too aggressive with the Spanking to the point of breaking women's hips and buttocks. Understandably, the production probably cut out Carly as much as possible despite likely signed contracts because well, not a great situation.
However, back to 38 and 39, we get the second major introduction of the Dark Signers, see how a Dark Signer happens, and just get a lot of well done writing in these episodes for Aki, Divine, Misty and Carly that while it cuts off the movement, it's actually a good human drama.
However I suspect Yoshida and Ono pushing the envelope here along with Yusei getting shrapnel and going "Real" ultimately got the show in trouble with moral guardians which is why the second half of the arc after this kinda strays in GX tier cartoon-ishness to compensate.
Speaking of Cartoonishness, Yoshida in one of his lower moments rights Episode 47, the start of the Demak "arc". The ED hinted Rua would fight Bomber, Ruka Demak, and the show hinted Demak had an interesting backstory vaguely, which comes to nothing.
The arc ends up being Ruka in a really weird send up of the later books of Oz with the Nome King. Except he's a monkey. Operating as a card and a Duel Spirit. Nothing about these stretch of episodes from Demak to Zeman is explained at all in any regard. It's pretty much the nadir
On the more interesting note, the production team (likely Yoshida since weird naming conventions and references come up with him) managed to name all the Earthbound Immortals after real Quechua (Modern Day Incan) words, though I believe Aslla Piscu was named as such to dodge...
censorship since part of the Quechuan word for Hummingbird sounds damn similar to penis in Japanese which would get people in trouble on a family friendly timeslot. (48 to 50 btw were by 植田 浩二)
Oh look, I'm back. I got distracted. 5D's 51 to 53 were Yoshida, which is basically Yoshida super sonically backpedaling on the depths of the BACKSTORY HE WROTE FOR THE FORTUNE CUP and needing to figure out how to use Crow since he sells like hotcakes.
Beyond Yoshida, the Dark Signers battles are more or less damage control trying to misdirect blame and make the Dark Signers more sympathetic and make certain people more mustache twirling. Also Ruka gets cards she basically doesn't use.
And Crow is fucking Indiana Jones in the Crystal Skull movie.
Really the Duel itself is fine and pretty groovy, but Crow being able to defeat a member of the Conspiracy That Can Only Lose to Signers is a sore point to fans. But over all, for what Yoshida had to do, it makes Crow and Bomber both sympathetic.
Andddd we get Yoshida doing 56 and 57, which establish Rudger and Rex's backstory. It also has the Man from Yliaster that makes fans cry whenever he's mentioned wondering who he was along with 5D's blazing trainwreck of lost plot threads.
I really can't say much on this entire sequence, because due to the weird behind-the-scenes issues and director Katsumi Ono tends to be Style over Substance, 5D's is just problematic to note beyond surface level on this stuff.

or: "Is this symbolism?"
Which leads us to seeing Yoshida writing nothing else for Dark Signers and is busy focusing on the pre-WRGP arc and... Bonds Beyond Time. The latter of which is blamed for stealing coherence from this entire second, all for a 40 minute movie.
He starts with 55 and 56, which is essentially the holding pattern of it for Yoshida's "Second Seasons" of his series, where a mysterious new enemy with cards no one's ever seen before shows up. Also between this season and VRAINS, Yoshida shows a definite love for 2001.
After a Cour wise of episodes, including Rua duels a Ghost, but also Antinomy and Sherry LeBlance, Yoshida returns. With the show's basically single Flash Back Episode...?

Which results in Dark Glass/Antinomy falls off a cliff and becomes a dumb goofy mechanic due to a cat.
Episode 81 is Bruno and the start of a three parter, of which the second episode was completely not written by Yoshida and has Jaeger have an entire family look just like him that caused friends I know to suffer a mental breakdown.
Also Aki acts like a teenage girl thirsty as shit for Yusei, which pisses fans off for acting like a teenage girl as 5D's rockets away from Season 1 ever happened as much possible.
I'm not joking on Jaeger's family:
Yoshida closes the arc with Yusei dueling a cartoonish security robot. And then vanishes into the ether for another 20 episodes and with the director even stepping down temporarily for Crashtown.
That said, keep in mind Yoshida was structuring the general vibe of weird sci-fi of these cours while he focused on Bonds Beyond Time, meaning even the classic scene of Z-ONE from Episode 93 was probably intended by him, even if not written. Ditto Accel Synchro.
As for Bonds Beyond Time: it's Canon, it sets up some heavy details for the desperation of future Yliaster but its shortness makes it a fluff puff piece with a fair number of Paradox's characterization left unsaid and Malefic Truth Dragon is a knock-off of a Dragon from Karas.
And you get Yoshida doing the introduction of Team Unicorn in Episodes 96, 98 and 99. Who pretty much exist to be starter bosses for the WRGP and sell Duelist Revoltuion (5D's is kinda really painfully shallow with its product advertisement)
That said, these episodes sideline Crow for what should be a while giving Aki a chance to be a team player and work in the WRGP! Which she does, even if she gets blown out by Andre. Unfortunately, two weird things come up...
According to YamiNoRPG, a good acquaintance, from archive diving of news in Japan, he apparently stumbled across the fact Team Catastrophe's bike crash gimmick unfortunately was decided on and then had to be cut short in the midst of a series of car crashes.
Also, Kinoshita Ayumi, Aki's voice actress had just gotten married and near as anyone can tell, she asked for a reprieve from work so she could enjoy her marriage. So Aki got car crashed and became a benchwarmer for the rest of the season until Z-ONE.
Never 4 Get.

A reasonable request but after half a year or so of Aki being sidelined for Jack, Crow and Yusei, it leaves a sour taste in fans' mouths of what is perceived to be Yoshida's sexism, when it seems more like Yoshida is cursed by a Japanese Indian Burial Ground.
We then get him doing another Recap episode (Ep 103) which basically is used to remind fans about the Yliaster plotline and concerns they're pulling strings regarding the tournament.
Then Yoshida cracks his knuckles and throws himself full force into the plot with Episodes 106 and 107, part of the Ghost Battle Royale Mode. Complete nonsense but it's used to pretty much set the stakes Placido is willing to murder a lot of people to stop the future.
107 has Bruno finally return to being Antinomy but it feels like Yoshida and Ono hadn't entirely pinned down the plans of Team Yliaster, so why Antinomy is fighting his own ally's scheme comes off as something of a mystery, but it's solid fanservice.
Basically a major issue is Yoshida keeps trying to settle a story but Ono seems to be intent on Rule of Cool going "But what if we added Wizard Hoverbike Centaur Men with Lasers"
And then we get 110 which is Yoshida doing the big plot dump/exposition episode, where the Tenors, as fans affectionately refer to the three emperors of Yliasters as, reveal themselves in full and tell Team 5D's that they'll fuck up their shit in the WRGP.
Also, Sherry, god bless her soul, tries to suplex Jose's arm.
After a very brief detour to fight the Ultima Weapon Bonus Boss of the Earthbound Immortals, (Scar)Red Nova, Team 5D's harasses Jaeger again, who's been in hiding, and leads us to the next bit: Yusei being stupid while being in espionage.
116 and 117 start innocuous, but just show how dangerous the Emperors are, as they literally erase a fairly major member of their organization in this period, from ever existing, seemingly, after a flurry of revelations for Sherry which end up with her lost in time.
5D's never explains what the giant red sun associated with the Ark Cradle but it's typically assumed in fanon to be the Crimson Dragon or some shit.
Yoshida then pops in for Episode 121, which while Team Taiyou is kind of a filler to the finale of the arc, Yoshida definitely manages to sell Zushin the Sleeping Giant with a ton of grandeur, pomp and circumstance of a difficult to summon and unusuable but extremely strong card.
He then scripts the last 2 episodes of Team Ragnarok (128 & 129), which is pretty much a giant ad for Starstrike Blast and Storm of Ragnarok. Team Ragnarok is functionally interesting as "There's other heroes in the setting", but it's not really handled quite all that well...?
That said, Yoshida definitely tries to make it a spectacle and the animation team just go full fucking ham with the animation as "Literal badass dragon fights the big three of Norse Mythology" is something you don't get to do that often in your line of work.
And then 130 is a clip show that sets up for the final arc: The Ark Cradle, which is where after nearly a year and a 1/2 of fiery trainwrecks, the show gets its goddamn act together, and Yoshida and his team manage to make the show's climax worth everything.
We jump to 137 to 138 where the stakes are really set: Stopping Aporia stopped nothing. Z-ONE is determined to play his last trump card, blowing up the entirity of Neo Domino to kill Momentum technology in its tracks, using his flying fortress as a massive bomb.
I mean, the Cradle literally crashes into reality. Ragnarok gets to do something (creating a bridge to the land of the Gods). Sherry comes back.
Yoshida slinks off for most of the rest of the show's finale, due to quite an amount of busy work: Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, the divisive fourth installment, as he's not only writing the show, but he's writing its manga too. He only does 2 more episodes of 5D's: 151 and 154.
Before we get to ZEXAL, 151. It's pretty much Z-ONE's jaded Utilitarianism vs Yusei's humanism. Also we get a really good theme song and a pretentious final monster. Yoshida goes for "Over the top finish" as is his style since Dragon Master Knight.
And to finish 5D's, Episode 154, Yoshida has Yusei be a messiah who inspires his friends to feel secure with their futures and then returns to his home planet (I joke I joke)
Now ZEXAL is controversial as it's visually much more 'immature' compared to 5D's (the master of Style over Substance), and it got a sizable piece of its pie eaten by Cardfight!! Vanguard which promised YGO fans to be less embarassing and more real.
Essentially Yoshida is balancing a hero who is:
- Nobita Nobi (Doraemon)
- A hero who doesn't understand shit about the games so kids can understand (a post 5D's obsession of the suits)
- Kaz's request of a theme of Transcend and what seems to be Saint Seiya homaging.
The cast of ZEXAL was basically Kaz knocking off Doraemon. Seriously, go look at a lot of the dynamics, they basically match to a degree. Just Astral is Doraemon but competent. Ultimately, Yoshida is trying to keep several plates spinning at once.
Now obviously the ZEXAL staff discards the Yuma is incompetent at card games within the first cour but it is a notable obsession of someone on the YGO production committee:

"What if our hero doesn't know shit about cards so the fans can learn the card game with him. 8D???"
That said, Yoshida takes the helm of the first 4 Episodes. Yuma is pretty much immediately the most hyperactive hero he's written, as while he's done some hotbloods, Yoshida's typically stuck with them being more grounded. The show's also a bit rocky, more GX than 5D's/DM.
Generally the first 26 or so episodes bar Kaito's plot tend to be very episodic/monster of the week, as the staff try to feel out the show and what it should be.
Yoshida then does Episode 7 and 8 which is hinted to set up that the Astral World and Earth have had some contact or at least things on Earth remind Astral of home. Though for whatever reason, the plot threads of this episode are never brought back up.
These being that again, there seems to be some contact with the Astrals in the past to inspire this show, or the fact Astral has a mother who created him that's never addressed later on, as the creation is more attributed to Eliphas later on. Part of the show finding itself.
And then we get 10, where Yoshida establishes Shark as a master tactician capable of crushing even Numbers AND has a deeper backstory for why he's such a jerk, setting him up for much bigger things down the road, in story.
And then we get 13 and 14, Kaito's introduction, which is where the real plot comes in. (This is basically a truism for most of YGO, it waits for Episode 12~14 or Episode 24~26 before making the true depths of its plot evident) Here, the plot reveals others are after the Numbers.
Incidentally this, the first two Episodes and the two Tokunosuke episodes basically form the basis of both the anime and manga before they veer into massively different directions.
And then we get Episode 19 which is a breather episode before the end of the second Cour, but Yoshida uses this breather to establish Kattobingu (I'll bring it to 'em! or what have you), Yuma's catchphrase and life philosophy. And also establishes Tetsuo has a hot sister.
Kattobing is kind of a mockery point among western points and it is weird they did it this way but the intent is important: A little boy's father taught him to never give up. Keep fighting. Keep trying. Failure isn't the end. Which is a pretty basic Shonen Jump story lesson.
Hell, Shokugeki no Soma basically argues the same lesson: Failure teaches you. Passion and unwillingness to give up matters. Maybe Yoshida's a bit awkward on delivery, but he tries to explain why Yuma's dumb catchphrase matters, which I think is better than some writers.
And then we get the closer to the pre WDC arc, starting with Shark vs Kaito, showing how far Mr. Tactics vs the professional hunter goes. Followed by establishing Astral's skills. And just the build up of Kaito's passion vs Yuma and Astral's. (22 to 24)
And then in Episode 25, mostly a recap episode, along with stuff mentioned in the 22~24 three parter, Yoshida establishes for the long reach, the existence of three Worlds: Earth, Barian, and Astral setting the show up for its long run.
And 26, which is also a set up episode, establishing the World Duel Carnival and that there will be multiple antagonists and Kaito's side has multiple Photon Hunters all after the Numbers, along with Tron's group.
I think for expedience, I'll try and just hustle along here since it's been a damn month on this thread. So. Next up, Episodes 31, 33 and 34. One is a light hearted two parter while the other two set up the Trons properly.
Then 42 and 43 which develops Haruto and Kaito, as well as the Tron Family. Followed by Episodes 47 to 49, which are III's big showdown for the arc, which is used to show why Kattobingu drives Yuma. (Also 49 always reminds me of The Touch by Stan Bush, I dunno why)
Then 55 and 56, V's lore episodes (Much of IV and Shark's development for the Duel Coaster Arc is by Kamishiro Tsutumo of ARC-V infamy), and then Tron vs Yuma (65 to 67)
And then Yoshida finishes with the season's main villain in 69 to 71 (Kaito vs Yuma is Suzuki Yasuyuki, who is a very very long time co-worker of Yoshida's from Dolores, GX, 5D's, and Speed Grapher.)
ZEXAL II opens with 74 and 75 by Yoshida, which is pretty much a clone of his Gurimo and Ghost and Bowman plots. (Also, this season introduces Zappa Go's brief 2 year tenure with the franchise.)
Zappa Go fwiw typically does Rom-Com/Erotic material, but he's done ZEXAL and is currently doing the major storyline of the Little Black Book in Lupin III Part 5. Basically he's very well versed in how characters 'feel', is the best way I can put it.
And then Episode 81, a major comedy episode, AND Kotori's single Duel in the show. As serious as his work can be, this episode harks back to his Dolores, i stuff where he just revels in the sheer silliness.
Yoshida then does the plot dump in Episode 89, setting up the Numeron Code and Dark Mist. The Giant is of course, not explained, but I suspect a good deal of Zexal's loose plot threads were ultimately Director decisions.
Really a lot of plot heavy episodes you'd assume in ZEXAL 2 are handed over to Zappa Go and others, while Yoshida seems more content to the writing of the manga as well as overall story direction. Such as 99 and 100, where he sets up the Legendary Numbers.
Then 108 and 109 that close the Legendary Numbers arc. Basically Yoshida seems content with focusing on Deep Lore. Also girls Dueling under hypnosis. The Zexal anime really has a pretty constant mind control fetish going the heck on.
Then again, the number of kids' shows that don't indulge in hypno-fetishism is probably countable on one hand. But that's a topic for another thread.
Then 116 which sets up Part 1 of some deep lore. The reason he doesn't do the second half is for a very important reason: The Astral World is literally an entire arc of lore dump done by Yoshida alone.
Yes. 118 to 121 is basically all Yoshida, all the time, giving us a look at the Astral World, what the limits of Dueling in Zexal is, and as much lore and setting as possible for it and the Barians.
Gonna be honest: ZEXAL is my easily most favorite YGO alongside GX. And stuff like Eliphas and Shark's arc really really helps sell the show. There's a epic fantasy feeling with ZEXAL where it just hits a lot of notes and buttons.
Also Yoshida is credited as a partial writer for 126, I suspect he did the non Shark-IV bromance parts, which seems to have been Zappa's work. (Please watch Zexal)
And then in an odd twist, we have Yoshida doing 129-130, where as Zappa does the following episodes, swapping Alit who had been typically a Zappa character with Durbe and Rio (more Yoshida)
Yoshida also handles the second part of 133 along with 134 & 135. So basically closing the book on Kaito and Mizael's vague but interesting to watch rivalry as dragon masters. Kaito's vague rivalry is probably the weakest point of Zexal II as Zexal I finished his story.
Really, it is the weak point. Kaito being finished as a character in ZEXAL I makes him kind of a third wheel and Yoshida has to bullshit in some dragon prophecy from the Numeron Code to give them any reason to fight beyond toy reasons. Lesson: Always leave character dev doors.
On the other hand, Mizael's voice acting and the sheer shock-and-awe of Tachyon Dragon basically carries any shallowness he has a character. So.

Yoshida also writes the second half of 138 (Notice a pattern here?), which is basically plot dumping after Vector gets bounced like a super ball into redemption and then death and Don Thousand for some Lucifer metaphor reason becomes a sparkly bishie.
Since Yoshida isn't writing the next show (and we all know how that turns out) he focuses on writing the emotional climax of Zexal with Yuma fighting Nasch and Astral. Shark/Nasch pretty much provides the emotional power of the finale and works really well imo.
And is a conflict of themes. Zexal spent its entire time building up Yuma's belief in "Zeal"/"Kattobing", the potential to do anything. Shark conversely is a fear of the unknown. He has the duty of a king to protect people and is afraid of vague promises.
Shark has to ensure a future for the Barians, but can't trust Yuma and Astral that Eliphas' agenda won't destroy the countless souls in the Barian World who have trusted Nasch/Shark with their lives. Basically, he's a broken version of Iskandar from Fate/Zero.
Honestly, I really like that. Shark's motivation isn't "Villain has a point" or "Utopia justifies the means" . He's just a man with the weight of the world and expectations beyond his control forced to make extremely awful choices for the sake of people he loves.
And we end Zexal with Yuma facing off against his alien best friend, Astral. It's a fight over the Numeron code but is ultimately a friendly battle unlike the rest of the arc. Sort of a Yugi vs Judai or Yugi vs Yami esque Duel.
And it ends pretty happily with Yuma and pals going on another adventure. This time to fight a giant hand of... cloud chaos?
Yoshida also does the ZEXAL Manga and ARC-V Mangas. The Zexal one is kind of obvious as a first time work by him as a manga writer. It reads more like an anime rough draft with a focus on villains of the month after doing Shark, Tokunosuke and Kaito.
It's also as fanservice-y if not fanservice-ier than the anime, but this might be due to Miyoshi Naohito-sensei being essentially very bluntly Horny on Main. (On the other hand he seems to be why Luna and E'rah exist as characters, but focus is on the 4 main boys and Astral.)
Luna and E'rah was Miyoshi pointing out to Yoshida he kept leaning to auto generating male characters for the former, and the latter was basically Miyoshi got tired of drawing Yagumo. (Yoshida intended divine and graceful for E'rah, Miyoshi went for Hott Damn instead)
Pictured: A man who knows exactly what he wants to draw:
ARC-V meanwhile, while incomplete shows a much more streamlined (possibly to the point of detriment) storyline that basically has no real wasted or filler chapters. The problem for many though is the loss of girls dueling like ARC-V's anime was much more willing to do.
The chief reason being is the story is cramped with the 4 Yuyas and Reiji being shaken to do Product Placement duty, leaving Yuzu stuck as a Watsonian observer with all the other recurring girls nowhere in sight, and Sawatari shilling the Monarch Structure Deck. 🤔
As to VRAINS, Yoshida was hired as Script Supervisor, and did the first 3 Episodes, followed by Episodes 8 to 13. So basically the vast majority of plot set up. And then 18 to 21. So most of the Hanoi focus is on him.
Then Episode 35, setting up Specter's ties to the Lost Incident. The revelation of the Ignis in 43, and co-wrote 44 to 46 with Tachihara Masaki (立原正輝).
Episodes 47, 50 and 55 (i.e. the plot dump heavy episodes) are Yoshida's work as well. Most of his focus on VRAINS seems to be the lore intensive episodes. Rumors of production problems for the show might be why.
Gist of the Rumors is: ARC-V's episodes were massively behind schedule because Kamishiro Tsutomu, AV's writer, wasn't turning in scripts on time, leading to storyboarding problems. Backlog combined with VRAINS basically massively retooling itself in pre-production led to issues.
This led to basically VRAINS being a mess its first season with awkward pacing and a lot of recap episodes and excessively reused assets. Yoshida's lack of appearance may be him coordinating the bigger picture with the rest of the staff as a result.
So uh, there, we're basically done. Took me a month due to being a flake (then again his work is long and prolific).
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