Despite all my frustrations with the way 5D’s played out in the second season, I’ll give it this: it doesn’t follow the usual script of making romantic love a priority, or even an important part of the human experience. 5D’s, like yugioh in general, was all about bonds between people–the unique connections that the characters were able to make with each other and the power that gave them. Romance played little to no role in any of these relationships: most important was friendship and family, the personal, important bonds between intimates, partners, and teams. Unlike with romance, it wasn’t about finding “the one” or about creating a hierarchy among the bonds–each bond is important in itself and has value, and having multiple bonds didn’t diminish the value of any of the others.
In a society that seems to revolve around romance and the narrative of finding “the one”, having stories like this where the bonds connecting multiple friends in a powerful circle of friendship, rather than having a teleology where everything leads to romantic pairings, is so important. It tells us that it’s ok and normal and powerful to prioritize friendship and to create a network of friends, each of which we value on their own unique terms, rather than being yet another voice telling us that we should be seeking romantic relationships because only when we finally find the one true love of our life will we be whole and happy.
Along with that, it also tells us at the end that it’s ok to seek a future on our own terms, to find happiness for ourselves without having to rely on someone else to provide wholeness and happiness for us. They all part ways to find the life that will make them happy as individuals, because that’s healthy, to be comfortable enough to live alone and for yourself. Knowing who you are and what you want out of life is so important, and this narrative tells us that we can take time to be on our own and grow as individuals, and that’s ok. And it doesn’t mean that the bonds we have with our friends lose value. We can be individuals with our own lives and still have important bonds that add meaning to our lives.
And finally, it’s ok to move on from one stage of life to another when you feel ready to advance. No one has the right to hold you back if you want to seek your potential. If anything, they should encourage you and support you. They should respect your agency as an individual, like Yusei always did. No matter what, he always respected the decisions people made and treated them seriously.
So basically, 5D’s has incredible value as a story that defies normative scripts about romance and friendship and relationships, and even though lots of things piss me off about the second season, this show still means so much to me because of these values it teaches.
Splash Mountain Sunset by Justin Brown Via Flickr: I almost never actually go on Splash Mountain, I hate the feeling of wet clothes sticking to my skin. I don’t know how it happens so consistently, but I seem to always be the recipient of the drenching splashes, and it’s never the big drop that gets me, it’s always one of the two smaller drops.
Ghost Galaxy by Justin Brown Via Flickr: I found this one while I was looking through some of my old Disneyland photos. Ghost Galaxy is probably my least favorite of the holiday overlays, it really doesn’t do much to make me like Space Mountain more. I like the ride to begin with, and the additions just feel kind of gimmicky, especially compared with what a good job they do on the Haunted Mansion overlay.