Plot: Kaiba has been spurned by his tie in Duel Monsters with Yugi, so he decides to send out his Game Shitennou (Four heavenly kings) to defeat him – Yami specifically. His first choice, Baron Ridley Sheldon, is obsessed with dolls and mannequins, especially a little girl doll called Fiona.
Meanwhile, Yugi is playing a game of Duel Monsters with Miho, who is playing for the first time, and he wins. He claims it’s his first victory (Which, I guess might be right since he tied with Kaiba.) She doesn’t take it well. In fact, she breaks down into tears and Honda goes on a tirade, chastising Yugi for beating Miho.
As fate would have it, he’s suddenly called into the infirmary where the nurse, having heard of his proficiency with games, decides to also challenge him to a game of Duel Monsters.
While Yugi does okay, he’s no match for the nurse. After a lengthy duel, Yugi has to get back to class, but not before the nurse takes his Neon Knight card as a prize for winning. If he wants to win it back, he’ll have to duel her again sometime.
Once Yugi leaves the room, it’s revealed that Kaiba and Sheldon were behind the whole duel – and they’re not done with him yet.
After school, Yugi runs off to an arcade to play a brand new fighting game. An employee seemingly directs him to a room where the new game is located, but it’s actually a trap set by Kaiba and Sheldon. They throw him into the back of a car and kidnap him – attempting to force him into a more proper duel of sorts and trigger Yami’s appearance.
After one attack, the baron is successful in triggering the appearance of Yami, but despite his best efforts, and using Yugi’s Neon Knight against him, he’s ultimately unable to defeat Yami. Kaiba stews in anger over the defeat, but he still has three more Shitennou to challenge Yami.
Breakdown: So uhm have I mentioned I hate Miho?
I think I have, but let me reiterate.
I fucking hate Miho.
And when Miho’s around, I fucking hate Honda.
For God’s sake, she is nothing but an annoying turd of a character. She loses at a card game, her first time playing, Yugi doesn’t rub it in her face or anything, in fact he’s incredibly humble about it (Even if Jonouchi jokes that Yugi’s cold when he’s gaming), yet she still cries and friggin’ sobs into Honda’s arms to get more sympathy.
Sympathy over losing one children’s card game.
Honda screams at him, so much that Yugi falls over in his seat, acting like he should have just let her win. And all Yugi can do is apologize, but even after saying sorry a couple times, Honda still berates the poor kid.
At the very least Anzu sticks up for him. She tells Honda it’s not Yugi’s fault and tells Yugi to not apologize for simply winning a game, which, of course, he shouldn’t. Miho, how crappy of a female protagonist do you have to be when Anzu of all people consistently looks eons better at every turn?
Onto the topic at hand, Yugi has two duels in this episode, and just like before both duels have their confusing moments. For instance, in the duel against the nurse, she summons a monster to destroy his monster on their respective first turns, but then she acts like it’s her turn again and summons another monster.
Also, when she summons a monster with 800 attack points, Yugi summons a monster with 600 attack points, but it’s on the forest field so it gains 50% more attack, making 900. Her Chimera monster had the ability to turn forest into wastelands, which is what it thrived on, giving it a 50% power boost and removing the 50% boost Yugi’s creature had – making it 1200 vs. 600, which means Yugi should have taken a 600 Life Point hit in the ensuing battle, but he didn’t. For some strange reason, his LP went down to 1700, as if the forest boost never came off of his creature.
And then they just decide to say ‘screw it’ anyway and have a nonsensical….err…I would ‘montage’ but you can literally understand nothing of what’s actually happening except cards are being played and Yugi’s losing.
When we cut back, she lures Yugi into a trap, but it’s hard to follow because they’re acting like we know what cards are already in play when we’d obviously have no idea.
Either Yugi concedes because class is back in session (….What time is it? First he’s playing with Miho, then he plays a seemingly insanely long match with the nurse, and now class is back in session? Were they having a two hour long recess or something?) and the nurse takes his Neon Knight card, even though they hadn’t established an ante rule.
Anyway, it’s a normal day in the neighborhood, ladeeda, the students are hard at work, the sun is shining, the nurse was a friggin’ marionette the whole time, the birds are chirping, the squirrels are—What? Oh oh, yeah, the nurse was a marionette controlled by the aforementioned doll dude….this entire time.
An entirely realistic adult human woman marionette with such precise control that he can naturally walk her all over the room and even easily handle playing cards, all from the simple two-pieces-of-wood-nailed-together-with-strings-attached controls of a regular marionette, controlled from….I dunno, behind a curtain (???) because Sheldon just comes right the hell out of nowhere, and gruff-voiced old man Sheldon can, somehow, perfectly emulate a young woman’s voice without any voice modulator or anything.
Sometimes, there are scenes that really remind me of why I love anime.
And all of that for…..absolutely no reason. Kaiba already knows Yugi has two personalities and that default Yugi, despite being good at games, is nowhere near as good as Yami. There’s no reason for little Yugi to have a trial duel with Sheldon, besides maybe taking his Neon Knight? But there’s also no reason for that. Kaiba just kidnaps Yugi anyway, so there’s no need to bait him with the card (and they don’t – he just brings it up AS he’s kidnapping him) and, spoiler, they don’t show him taking back his Neon Knight card in the end either. It’s a complete waste of time.
You could maybe argue it’s so Sheldon could use the card, but he seems to have plenty of awesome cards himself, and he has Kaiba, the guy who practically has literally every card in existence, backing him up.
I thought that, once Yugi was out of school, he’d go back to the infirmary to challenge the nurse and get the card back….but nope. He’s not even thinking about the card. He just wants to go play a new fighting game at the arcade, but then gets kidnapped into playing Duel Monsters again.
And the employee who kidnapped Yugi was Kaiba wearing some sort of ultra-realistic Scooby-Doo-esque rubber mask? This episode is insane and I love it.
Kaiba: “I will bring you to your knees in the mansion of dolls!”
Also, holy shit the mansion of dolls is creepy. I mean, it’s to be expected, it’s a mansion of dolls, but all of the dolls faces have black empty eyes and circular, open, empty black mouths….
The game starts, and Sheldon immediately uses Neon Knight, who is way too strong for Yugi at the moment, so he defends with a dragon. Apparently, when on mountain areas, Neon Knight can use the lightning gathered there to…..uhmmmm…..uh….err…I actually have no idea what it’s meant to do. Neon Knight was already more than enough to take out the dragon. It was 1800 attack versus 800 defense.
The only thing the lightning seems to have done….is manifest itself in the real world and also shock Yugi?
I’m referencing an episode guide as I do this comparison, and it says that Yugi was slapped by Sheldon, but…no…no he wasn’t. There’s no indication that Sheldon slapped him at all. He called for the lightning ability, Neon Knight used it and it was like it struck both the dragon and Yugi. He even has smoke emanating from his back as he lay on the ground. Keep in mind this is little Yugi, and this isn’t a shadow game.
Sheldon says it’s the mansion of dolls doing this, but uhm….how and why? He just says ‘Remember, this is the mansion of dolls, so if you lose life points, even when your monsters are in defense mode.’ And that’s it. He starts a completely different statement after that.
Also, he didn’t lose life points, did he? Even if we say the chairs or surrounding dolls or something are rigged to shock them when they lose life points, his life point counter didn’t pop up nor did Sheldon say the lightning would cause him to lose life points.
Anyway, the rest of the duel is complete nonsense.
Yugi summons a Death Wolf and a Shadowman, which he shouldn’t be able to do.
…Damn, I used up my “Screw the rules” joke already so I can’t make the reference about summoning more than one monster per turn being against the rules. Hm, what other YGOA references can I make?
Mmmm….Inaccurate to this version, but that’ll work.
Once Yami pops up, Sheldon summons a beetle thing, which he says is more than a match for the wolf and Shadowman, but Yami has a trick up his sleeve – and it’s covered in bullshit, so he should probably get his sleeve washed.
Shadowman has the ability to cloak the entire field in darkness, making Neon Knight and the beetle blind. Death Wolf thrives in darkness and isn’t affected.
I want to note that it’s especially weird that the monster they chose to be a highlight in this episode (hehe, highlight) is Neon Knight…..a monster who can wield the massively illuminating lightning…..and who has a sword….that shines at all times. Even his name is indicative of being a shining light. But yeah, Neon Knight sure seems like a monster that would be crippled in darkness. Yup yup. Nothing strange about that.
Death Wolf takes out both Neon Knight and the beetle…on Sheldon’s turn….So either Sheldon doesn’t realize Death Wolf is somehow more powerful than both of his creatures, so he’s killing them by calling them to attack…………or this is stupid.
Also, Sheldon gets caught up in the explosion that ensues because of it? I don’t know what the hell’s going on. He’s got smoke coming off of him too, but he wasn’t shocked. Does this room emulate fire too?
No idea of the life point counts at this juncture because they’re not showing them to us at all.
Why show us a constantly updating life point counter in the match against the nurse….which was a pointless duel….and also she was a marionette the whole time….but not show us the life point counts in the duel that actually matters?
Yami starts suspecting something odd is going on because, not only could Death Wolf not destroy the beetle’s horn in one try (but…why did it get get two tries? It wasn’t even his turn) but his Knight Soldier couldn’t defeat Sheldon’s Gargoyle when he seemingly had the ability to do so. Knight Soldier got destroyed instead.
Using his powers of deduction and the dart board writing method used in this show, Yami figures out that Sheldon is using a doll field with doll monsters. What’s a doll field or a doll monster, and why is it seemingly something invisible, isn’t a card in play or doesn’t actually exist because it’s not like any of the monsters look or act like dolls nor do they have “doll” in their names or anything but Yami is making this shit up as he goes along?
Time for Yami’s magic powers of “I win no matter what,” Yami uses, and I quote, a “magic card” (It’s never given a name nor is there a clear explanation what it does, it’s just a magic card.) on Death Wolf that makes it howl super destructive or something.
Sheldon tries to combat this with a Salamander monster, but that’s not enough. Both the Gargoyle and Salamander are destroyed by the howl and uh…Yami wins. I guess.
Sheldon saunters home in the rain, telling his damaged doll, Fiona, that he’ll fix her right up, Kaiba swears his vengeance once more and Yugi goes back to playing Duel Monsters with Miho, who keeps losing. But this time she says, if she loses (I think this is a mistranslation and it’s meant to say ‘Win’ because why would she be manipulating the boys into defeating her?), she’ll give the winner a kiss, which makes the guys start fighting over who will duel her, resulting in them just all making kissy faces at her without even starting a game. Anzu shoves the cards into Yugi’s face. Womp womp.
Well….that sure was a nice, frosty glass of “Huh?”
Seriously, did any part of this episode make any sense in the slightest? Why would Kaiba hire other people to duel Yugi/Yami in his stead? What qualifications did this doll-obsessed dude have to warrant recruiting him? What the hell was the point of the duel with the nurse? Why do they insist on having Duel Monsters keep popping up as a game in this series if they never bother actually having it make sense or allow the viewer to follow along?
I actually did enjoy this episode just for going off the rails so much. I laughed out loud for several seconds when they revealed the nurse was a marionette, and showing that the arcade employee was Kaiba in a rubber mask was the cherry on top. How did they even know he was going there?
There were no stakes whatsoever in this entire episode. If Yugi won, he’d get back his Neon Knight card, though he doesn’t really seem to give too much of a crap about it (we never see him retrieving it or talking about/looking at it after the duel is over.) and we as an audience don’t either because it’s our first time seeing it.
If he lost….??? He might get a bit hurt by the….whatever things are causing harm when they lose life points, and Kaiba would be cocky about it, even though he didn’t earn it, but that’s it. It’s not even an actual shadow game, despite the depictions. Sheldon didn’t suffer a penalty game. He just got a bit roughed up, as did his doll. And the monster depictions were…I can only assume they were figments of their imagination put on display for us, like in Cardfight!! Vanguard.
Despite the insane levels of bullshit in both duels that we had no choice but to swallow, the only thing that actually makes me irritated and not entertained on grade A WTFery is the fact that the nurse duel was done so much better than the duel with Sheldon.
Why was the entirely pointless duel not only seemingly longer and more tense than the duel with the baron, but also more well done on a technical level because they were showing LP, making clear the attack and defense points and even explaining precisely what the magic cards and effects did (For the most part, anyway)? Granted, they did a cheap montage where they skipped over numerous turns and revealed a continuous magic card to us that we didn’t know was in play, but overall the duel still made eons more sense and had more effort put into it than the duel with the baron.
….Oh and, of course, the part with Miho pissed me off, but those were also pointless bookends to the episode.
I just feel like this entire episode was a waste of time. It was entertaining, sure, and had enough confusion to make a Psychic Pokemon jealous, but there was no point to anything here. Absolutely none. I haven’t seen an episode so pointless in a long time, and it’s a shame because there are so many stories that the anime skips over that could have been adapted and filled this spot, but they choose to give us this instead.
It’s like what a kid would write up if the assignment was to write a YGO Season Zero episode and the deadline to hand it in was in two minutes.
I know I’ve said this before, but say all you want about the 2000 anime being annoying with how they blather on explaining the effects of each and every card they play, but that’s much more preferable than just making shit up and explaining nothing. I almost feel like the writers can’t be bothered to write a duel that actually makes sense, so they just decide to pull whatever they can out of their asses and scotch tape it together until they decide it’s over.
Next time, anime-wise anyway, Jonouchi shows off some mad yo-yo skillz.
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