The card franchise of Yu-Gi-Oh! hasn't been afraid to get dark with its various anime seasons, with Yugi Moto's "pharaoh" side being unafraid to send people to the "Shadow Realm" should they lose in a duel, and it seems as if the original ending for the fifth spin-off of the series in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS was planned to have a much darker finale. The series followed the main character of Yusaku Fujiki as he navigated the virtual reality that was established to house the duelists who are looking to become the best in the world when it comes to the legendary card game!
The original ending was set to be an extremely "bad" one, as the final duel would have taken place following the end of the world. With the apocalypse being foretold throughout the anime of VRAINS, the creators of the anime were originally thinking that they would venture forth into this future dystopia and would reveal that AI was "planned from the beginning" to finally be the big bad of the series. Of course, things changed when the studio decided to make the ending a bit less dark and instead created a happier ending for Yusaku and his friends, keeping with the tone of the overall franchise!
Twitter User MaidenDays shared the original dark ending plan for Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS that would have transported the protagonist into a dark future that was being foreshadowed for some time throughout the anime and nearly made its way into the original plans:
Essentially vrains would have had a "bad end". Gallop staff member posted it on their personal website.
In Spanish-speaking fandom a post was going around that vrains had been cancelled (based the same source). This is a mistranslation; person who posted it has since retracted.— メイデン | Maiden @ Moonberry Rights (@maidendays) May 11, 2020
While Yu-Gi-Oh!'s recent anime and card tournaments have been postponed thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic, the passion that the fan base has for the franchise continues to grow as the series releases more anime interpretations throughout the years. Though the anime franchise has had its share of dark moments, this original ending was certainly one of the darkest of the series had it come to fruition.
What do you consider to be the darkest moments that took place in Yu-Gi-Oh!'s story? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and dueling!