Plot: Jounouchi prepares for his first duel in the tournament. His friends urge him to go after someone easy, but the ruthless Mai Kujaku challenges him first to weed out the weakest duelists. She uses a card trick to make it seem like she has psychic powers and can see her cards even when they’re face down. Psyching out the rookie, Mai easily takes the lead in the duel. Can Jounouchi come out a winner or will he lose his only chance at saving his sister’s sight?
Jounouchi’s first speech right before he starts his duel with Mai is pretty deep and insightful. In the dub, Joey just babbles on about how he has to prove himself even though he never got much training, isn’t very experienced etc.
Mai mentions in the dub that the field they’re playing on is 40% mountain, 40% forest and 20% meadow. In the original, it’s 40% mountains 40% grassland and 20% wasteland. This is a fairly glaring error since they make a point early on in both versions that Joey/Jounouchi’s home field is grassland. It doesn’t matter all that much in the grand scheme of things, but still.
Hey 4Kids, it’s Harpy Lady, not The Harpy’s Lady!
Yami Yugi in the original helps Jounouchi by bringing up the “Something that can be seen, yet cannot be seen” thing again. (In this case, scent) In the dub, he says Mai’s just trying to divide and conquer; a strategy that’s been used for centuries. Then as he says “Believe me, I know” they edit in a closeup of Yami’s face and impose a Millennium Eye mark on his forehead….So, 4Kids remembers that Yami has no memories of his life as an ancient pharaoh, right? Right?
In the original, when Jounouchi has his eyes closed, he wonders if this is what people ‘see’ when they’re blind. Then he says he doesn’t want her sister to live like that. 4Kids, sadly, omits this somber bit of dialogue.
Another omission of “Something that can be seen etc.” (This time it’s….Time.) They also edit out a shot of the Sennen (Millennium) puzzle’s box since that no longer has bearing on the scene.
In both versions, they completely ignore a primary aspect of the Time Wizard (but it’s fixed later) Time Wizard works by flipping a coin. Call it right, all opposing monsters die (and in Baby Dragon’s case, turns it into a Thousand Dragon, I’ll give the anime a pass for this. Thousand Dragon is actually a fusion of Baby Dragon and Time Wizard) call it wrong, and all of your monsters die. In addition, you take damage equal to half of the lost monsters’ attack points. In this instance, the Time Magician just uses Time Magic with no gambling involved (which makes it pretty OP)
More ‘cheating’: Joey/Jounouchi uses Thousand Dragon to attack three monsters at once.
I actually really liked this episode, even if Jounouchi gets some Yugi training wheels. It took Mai down her first peg, even though it technically is the start of the domino effect that carries way way way later into the show. It shows that Jounouchi’s smarter than he seems both in dueling and cleverness, and it was just a nice first victory for him. I always like Jounouchi episodes.
Next episode, it’s Yugi’s turn to duel next against the fearsome master of the sea, Ryouta Kajiki. Let’s hope Yugi’s monsters can swim.