Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters | Episode 1: Getting Played Review

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Plot: Yugi and Téa are getting into a new game called Capsule Monsters – a spin-off (?) board game of Duel Monsters. Joey wins an all-expense paid trip to India and invites all of his friends to come along, but their plane suddenly crashes on a remote island. While everyone is okay, they’re stuck until help arrives. The group decides to explore the island while they wait, and they quickly stumble upon an unconscious man named Alex Brisbane. According to him, he was exploring a strange Egyptian-esque pyramid on the island with Yugi’s grandpa when he suddenly went missing.

Yugi and the others follow Alex into the pyramid to Solomon’s last location only to see a massive empty room with a strange map covering the floor. As he walks onto it, Joey vanishes in a flash of light. Realizing Yugi’s grandpa likely vanished the same way, Yugi, Téa and Tristan step on the map as well, following Joey and Solomon to find them and bring them home. Little do they realize that they’ve actually become trapped in the world of Capsule Monsters, and they’ll need to play the game in order to leave.

Breakdown: Ever since I did my 4Kids retrospective, I’ve wanted to completely review Capsule Monsters. I won’t be able to do an SDC on it since a Japanese version either doesn’t exist or simply isn’t available, so I thought I’d just do a simple episode-by-episode review on this…spin-off?….Season? Arc? I dunno. Whatever 4Kids intended for this to be.

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The first episode starts with Yugi having a nightmare about Yami, who is clad in gold armor for some reason, fighting a giant shadow creature, who winds up consuming him. Yugi jolts out of bed and reveals that this is a recurring nightmare. He then notices the Puzzle glowing and acting strangely.

Yugi heads out, but then remembers that his grandpa is still gone after suddenly leaving for a ‘secret’ week-long trip. He should have been home that morning, but there’s been no sign of him. Does he not have a phone or anything?

After the theme song, we get such a dramatic reveal of Joey that I really thought this was indeed meant to be a spin-off moment. There’s no reason whatsoever to reveal him so dramatically when nothing is going on. However, no one else gets such a dramatic reveal so I dunno.

Joey partakes in a street contest for a prize of some sort.

Back at school, Téa and Yugi are playing Capsule Monsters, and Téa, being the mostly stereotypical girl character she is, doesn’t bother learning how to play and only wants to play cute monsters like Happy Lover. She duels the same way, basically, but at least she roughly knows how Duel Monsters works and gives a crap about it.

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Téa: “I suppose that means your soldier guy is going to fight my flying guy?” Soldier gu—That’s Celtic Guardian. You know Celtic Guardian. You’ve seen that monster tons of times.

Tristan shows up followed soon after by a super excited Joey who explains that he won three tickets for a special trip for all of them…..All four of them. I guess it’s possible that he was showing off the tickets he was offering to the others and withholding his, but why would he do that?

As they walk along, Téa thinks to herself that she has a bad feeling about their trip because whenever they go places terrible and usually supernatural things tend to happen. Well, I mean….yeah, she has a point.

She’s snapped out of her concerns by the voice of Yami, and they oddly note his sudden appearance with a chime like “Oh who cares about all those supernatural threats that tend to follow us? I have my hunky pharaoh now!”

It’s only here, right before they’re about to get on the plane, that we learn this is a six-day trip to India. Before, all he said was they were “tickets to paradise” and literally all the tickets showed were vague images of fields with stone walls with a statue in the foreground.

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As they’re flying, the plane starts shaking violently and the first thing Tristan says in response to this is;

“Hey! You messed up my photo, man!”

Either he has nerves of steel, or he’s an idiot.

Their engines fail, and the plane crashes into the water below. We cut to the group, sans the pilots, on shore. Joey complains he lost all of his stuff, but uh…..how? He has a backpack, and it looks like you can still access the plane no problem. Go back and get it? I guess it’s possible that it’s all waterlogged, but if that’s the case then how were all of their backpacks left dry? Why do they even have backpacks? It sounded they were planning on a vacation not a backpacking trip.

Téa says that the pilot, who is never shown again, sent out a distress signal, but it could be hours before they’re rescued. Joey and Tristan immediately decide to leave and wander in the unknown wilderness so their trip won’t be wasted. You guys are going on a six day trip. They said it would take a few hours to get rescued. I’m sure they’d still take you to your destination. Just stay still. But of course they don’t, and I guess it’s made okay because they point out how stupid they’re being.

They stumble upon a man in black robes passed out on the ground. They give him some water and help him out when Yugi notices a black bandanna fall out of his pocket that looks identical to his grandpa’s.

Shocked, the man, Dr. Alex Brisbane, reveals that he was on an expedition with Yugi’s grandpa in the area, but he went missing….I just realized Yugi flippantly went on a six-day trip to India right after he became suspicious because his grandpa hadn’t returned home yet. He DOES have an off-screen mom, and he had to have gone home and packed. Didn’t he learn any more about grandpa’s trip or anything during that time? Was the trip literally immediately after Joey won the tickets?

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As they travel with Alex to help find Solomon, Yami tells Yugi that this all seems way too suspicious. They randomly win a trip, they randomly crash, they just so happen to stumble upon the last person to see Solomon before he went missing right in the area they ‘randomly’ crashed in – it’s all too weird. Very good point, Yami. Although it’s so obvious that you really wonder why no one else has gotten suspicious before now. I mean, yeah, weird things do tend to happen to them……I was going to continue, but then I started listing all of the weird things that happen to them in my head, and realized this is probably one of the easier things to accept.

They reach a pyramid, and Alex explains that they were exploring and analyzing this weird Egyptian pyramid that somehow is in India (I assume they’re in India) when Solomon went missing. According to him, this pyramid is the tomb of Alexander the Great who was briefly crowned a pharaoh in Egypt, which is why he supposedly has a pyramid, but the mystery is why the pyramid is in the middle of the jungle instead of in Egypt.

Alexander the Great was indeed a pharaoh, and the Egyptians even named Alexandria after him and hailed him as a god after he died. However, he was mummified and buried in a tomb in Alexandria. No one knows where exactly in Alexandria the tomb is as of now, but they’re fairly certain it’s in Alexandria because several people who claimed to have visited the pyramid in the past stated it was in Alexandria.

There was a recent report in 2021 claiming the tomb had been found in Siwa, Egypt, but it hasn’t been verified, and there hasn’t been any updates on that report as of this writing.

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Anyway, is anyone going to ask why two professional archaeologists went in the middle of nowhere to investigate an incredibly fascinating out-of-place pyramid that they’re theorizing is the resting place of one of the most famous historical figures ever whose tomb is so mysterious that people have referred to it as the ‘Holy grail’ of archaeological discoveries, should it be found, and went to this place entirely alone and without proper emergency equipment or communication with emergency services?

No? Okay. Moving on.

Actually, while I’m at it, why did none of them go back to the plane and notify the pilots who have radios and stuff? Yugi’s grandpa is missing and possibly hurt or worse. Can someone please make an intelligent decision?

As they wander the halls of the pyramid, Joey accidentally sets off a spike trap that nearly kills him, and Alex, whose name totally isn’t suspicious, by the way, just ignore that, remembers to mention that there are deadly traps around every corner in this place. To avoid them, they have to hang from ledges 50 feet above more spikes and scoot across the chasm as well as crawl in tunnels.

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Téa is only now getting suspicious, but not of anything I’ve mentioned. She gets suspicious because Alex seems to know an awful lot about a pyramid he’s only been in once before. Yes, the one thing that’s not all that suspicious is the thing she gets suspicious about.

They reach a fork in the path – one leading up and one leading down. Alex explains that he and Solomon, being the incredibly dumb people we’ve already established them as being, decided to split up at this point. Alex would explore upstairs while Solomon explored downstairs. It’s stupid enough to split up in an unexplored tomb in the middle of the jungle, but they already knew at this point that the place was covered in lethal traps. Why the hell did they split up?

Alex eventually reached a sealed door, so he went back, but Solomon wasn’t there. He took the path down and reached a dead end where only Solomon’s bandanna lay on the floor.

They’re all adamant that Solomon has to be there somewhere, so they all head downstairs. They reach a massive room with a giant map on the floor – a detail Alex omitted from his story. They all believe, for some reason, that the room is so big that Solomon probably got lost in it, so they head off to find him……*lip smack*….The room isn’t THAT big, guys. Is it big? Yes? Is it so big someone would get lost in it? No. There are no walls, and you can clearly see the other side of the room. It’s about as big as a hockey rink. Even if, for some reason and somehow, Solomon did get lost in this room, you’d be able to see him and vice versa.

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Joey rushes off to find him, but the instant his feet hit the map on the floor, it glows and Joey is sucked into it. Yugi, Téa and Tristan run off to investigate what happened, only slightly weirded out by the fact that their friend just vanished in a magical floor. Again, though, given their lives at the moment, it’s understandable that this doesn’t surprise them much. They realize that there’s an odd pattern to the map. It’s a mixture of multiple environments such as mountains, jungles and deserts. Yugi thinks that it looks familiar somehow. Alex mentions that this tomb is also said to house some sort of game. Yugi believes that it now makes perfect sense why his grandpa would come on this trip – he loves games. I think him just being an archaeologist would justify him being here, but okay.

Yugi proclaims that he’s going to enter the floor map and find his grandpa and Joey. Téa and Tristan offer to go as well, but Yugi tries to convince them not to go.

Yugi: “Thanks a lot. But I’ve been leading you guys into danger week after week for way too long.” Haha, it’s funny because Yu-Gi-Oh! used to air weekly.

Also, it’s not really your place to act like this is purely your responsibility anymore, Yugi. Joey’s lost too. Besides, if anything, it’s your grandpa’s fault. He’s a very bad archaeologist.

When they jump into the map, they wind up back in the forest, but now they have weird contraptions on their arms and belts that look like they’re meant to hold things.

They also notice strange stone pods around them, and Yugi tells Yami that he thinks something might be inside.

Before Yugi can investigate further, they’re suddenly attacked by three monsters.

Yugi: “I recognize those things!” Yeah, you should. They’re Gokibore, some of the most common monsters in Duel Mons– “They’re from the Capsule Monsters board game!”

Uh, well…yes, that is accurate, I guess. They are in that game too.

*Kamakiriman appears* “That looks familiar too!”

Yeah, it’s a very basic insect card from Duel Monsters. You know, that game you incessantly play every single day of your life?

….Uhm…anyway, Téa and Tristan wind up getting separated from Yugi. They’re being chased by the Gokibore while Yugi gets chased by Kamakiriman. Téa and Tristan manage to escape the Gokibore by sliding into a very small cave that leads down a deep hole and lands them onto a beach. Behind them, they see that a Happy Lover and Thunder Kid have followed them, but they’re posing no threat. If anything, they seem very friendly to them. Téa recognizes Happy Lover from the Capsule Monsters game. I’ll accept this because, as far as I remember, despite Tea having a fairy themed deck, I’ve never seen her use or witness the use of a Happy Lover card.

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Briefly back with Joey, who somehow got to the top of a cliff, he’s suddenly taken away by a giant crow-like monster I can’t really identify because I can’t see it very well.

Back with Yugi, he escapes the Kamakiriman by diving into the water, but it follows him when he reaches shore. Just as he’s about to be attacked, Yami shifts into action and jumps away, accidentally touching one of the weird pods. In response, it glows and reveals Celtic Guardian, who leaps into action against Kamakiriman.

Yami: “Why does this all seem so familiar?” Because it’s Celtic Guardian. He’s been in your Duel Monsters deck for age–

*flashback to Yugi and Téa playing Capsule Monsters*

Uh…..are you guys okay? You all collectively seem to have Duel Monsters amnesia. I mean, I get that he touched the capsule which summoned Celtic Guardian, but that is the only factor that would lead back to the board game. You can’t even argue for the map being strictly Capsule Monsters related because that’s just bumming off of Field Spells from Duel Monsters, particular in season one where Duelist Kingdom pre-made their field spells based off of the environment.

Also, I’d like to point out that this is the exact same shot they used earlier (the one I used as the header image), but the one they used in the flashback has an animation error where the capsule to the far right is on the wrong layer, so it looks like it’s floating beside the desk.

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Once Celtic Guardian defeats Kamakiriman, he speaks to Yami, which is trippy as hell, and tells him that, for the duration of the game, he shall protect his new master, Yami/Yugi. In a glow of light, he’s sucked into the device on Yami’s arm, which then ejects a capsule just like the ones from the Capsule Monsters board game. This would have been a much more appropriate time to make that connection. Like, have them think this is all Duel Monsters related like normal but then when they see the capsule that’s when they say “No….this is….Capsule Monsters!” But, hey, I’m not the director.

With his new Capsule in hand, Yami proclaims that they’ve found themselves in the world of Capsule Monsters. Just to really drive it home that it’s Capsule Monsters, when they do a big zoom out, they overlay grid lines and Celtic Guard to make the area look like a game board.

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And that was the first episode of Capsule Monsters…….it was bad.

The animation and art are noticeably jankier than the regular series is, and that’s already not that good. I kept getting distracted by how cheap it all looks. The story, which, again, is something you’d typically give leeway to anyway because it’s Yu-Gi-Oh!, is somehow even sloppier than the writing tends to be. No one is acting or thinking the way I’d think they would be or should be.

Téa is nervous about the trip before they even go, and for no other reason besides terrible shit just seems to follow them, but then she sees absolutely none of the major red flags raised by Alex. The one she does see is barely a red flag. Like “Hm, this archaeologist certainly does know a lot about this place he was researching and has explored before.”

Everyone has Duel Monsters amnesia, which, given how much of their lives revolve around that game, even if half of them don’t really play it, is really, really weird to the point where it’s kinda unsettling. It would be one thing if this was an entirely different game from the ground up. I wouldn’t be as preoccupied wondering why they’re not thinking of Duel Monsters. However, as far as I’ve seen, it’s just Duel Monsters in pods with a weird crystal involved.

In the manga, they had entirely different monsters than the Duel Monsters game so it felt more unique. This just feels like it’s piggy backing off of Duel Monsters.

What’s even worse is that they explain almost nothing about this new game besides you have to play strong monsters and you need to capture your opponent’s symbol thingy, if that ever comes into play. That is a pretty big sin for a gaming anime to commit. You can’t just throw your audience into this completely blind. They don’t even show them playing a full game. They just show Téa gushing about her cute monster while Yugi passively explains two facts about the game.

The only real hook I see from this series is that they have ‘real’ monsters in a ‘real’ environment, but that’s something they’ve already done before several times. Specifically, this feels awfully reminiscent of the Legendary Heroes and the Virtual World (Noah’s) arc. Hell, anytime they have a Shadow Game the monsters are technically real.

But let’s see how the story unfolds further next time.


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SSBS – Bakugan: Battle Brawlers | Episode 5: Runo Rules Review

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Plot: Dan learns that Runo lives in his town after bumping into her while running an errand. After accidentally leaving his BakuPod behind after their meeting, Runo intercepts a challenge message from Masquerade to Dan. Having lost Bakugan to Masquerade, she takes the challenge on herself. Dan rushes to the scene to get his BakuPod back, and they both learn that Masquerade isn’t there. In his place is the local bully, Tatsuya, who is working for Masquerade and was meant to challenge Dan.

Runo asks to take Dan’s place, however, itching for revenge against Masquerade. Dan agrees, and Runo and Tatsuya brawl. With some patience and strategy, Runo is able to defeat the hot-headed Tatsuya.

Breakdown: Alright, Bakugan…..Let’s just dispense with the niceties. Please don’t suck today.

We start with Dan talking with his friends online about him patching things up with Drago until his mom comes upstairs to get him to do an errand.

Dan: “WHAT?! Yeah, but can’t you see I’m busy with my boys right now, mom?”……Three of the four people you’re talking with right now are girls…..

His mom convinces him to do it by explaining she needs him to go to the supermarket since there’s a big sale on loin tips – his favorite dinner.

Meanwhile, at the park, enter asshole kid number, what are we on, six now? Anyway, his name’s Tatsuya. He’s bullying some other Bakugan players, and apparently this little twerp’s so scary that him merely yelling is enough to get all three of these kids to haul ass out of there screaming.

They’re doing some weird distortion thing to Masquerade’s voice this time around. I don’t know why. He challenges Tatsuya to a brawl. I’m not going to bother recapping it because it doesn’t matter.

The point is, Tatsuya….well, I would say ‘loses’ but he only lost two Bakugan, so I guess he conceded.

Meanwhile, Runo’s whining about her job waitressing at her parents’ restaurant, even though there’s literally no one there.

Her mom sends her out on an errand to get some meat for the restaurant. If she goes, she’ll make her favorite dinner – liver kabobs….ew.

Hey, wait. What are the odds that there’s a huge meat sale not going on in the exact place Dan is right now? I smell a mighty big coinky dink.

Runo assumes she’ll bump into Dan at the store. We see that they’re similar doofs because they get excited about their respective meatstuffs and even sing about it incessantly as they head to the store.

Runo: *to Dan* “Do you live around here?!” Why would you assume you’d bump into Dan at the store if you didn’t think he lived around where you live?

Runo challenges Dan to a Bakugan Brawl later in the park, he accepts and they part. Runo discovers that he dropped his watch thing, which we now learn, five friggin’ episodes in, that it’s called a BakuPod. Also, judging from your empty bags, neither of you have been to the store yet, so why are you guys separating right now?

Dan gets a message over it, and Runo, being ever so respectful of the privacy of others, opens it. It’s a challenge from Masquerade, and Runo’s going to take it.

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Meanwhile, Dan realizes his BakuPod is gone. I love how they flashback to Dan losing his BakuPod when he bumped into Runo because you can only barely tell it happened. I watched the shot three times – you can only just barely see it on the edge of the screen.

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He goes back to where he bumped into Runo, but finds nothing. He rightfully assumes Runo must’ve taken it.

Meanwhile, Runo meets with Tatsuya, who has taken Masquerade’s place in the challenge. I just learned that apparently you can enter the Bakugan dimension, or whatever this is, if you run fast enough to avoid being halted in time. Okie dokie.

Runo complains as she gives Dan’s BakuPod back to him even though she both read/watched his messages and stole his challenge. So when do I get likable characters? Sometime soon, I hope?

I guess, at the very least, Dan’s understanding about the situation, given that Runo has lost Bakugan to Masquerade (but….this isn’t Masquerade, so….) He even cheers her on.

They both throw out their gate cards, and Runo sends out Juggernoid first. Tatsuya sends out a Gargonoid. Being stronger than Juggernoid, Gargonoid attacks. Runo counters with the ability card, Lightning Shield, which lowers Juggernoid’s attack by 100. Despite being only 10gs stronger than Juggernoid, it still gets sent to the Doom Dimension….Still not sure why some attacks are strong enough to destroy other Bakugan but others are only strong enough to….send them back to ball form or whatever. Sure would be helpful if the show told us basically anything about the rules of this game the show is centered on. But I suppose that’s just asking too much.

Help me out – is Bakugan plural on its own? From the way the characters have been talking this whole series, I thought it was Bakugan singular and plural not Bakugans. I looked online, but all I found was an obviously incorrect answer on Answers.com that said it’s Bakugans like how Pokemon plural is Pokemons (it is not)…..I’m 99.99% certain it’s Bakugan, but Runo just said ‘Bakugans.’

I find it funny that Runo said several lines about how everything was riding on Gargonoid at the start, but it’s gone now and she is still brawling.

Runo throws out a Saurus, Tatsuya continues to be annoying and then sends Gargonoid out again. He uses the ability card, Fire Judge (really just adoring this never ending cascade of creative names) which increases its power to 430g.

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Runo: “I’m down to my last chance to win!” You’ve been saying that since literally before the match started. You still have one more Bakugan to go and a trump card in Tigrerra. Chill out.

Using an Ability Counter card, she neutralizes Fire Judge’s effects, bringing it back down to 330g, which is still higher than Saurus’ 290g.

Dan: “He’s right, Runo. That wasn’t much of a move. His Gargonoid’s got power. Loads of it.” Not much of a move? She got rid of 100g of his advantage. Now he only has 40g over her. I know I don’t understand this game very well (I wonder why) but that’s not THAT much more powerful. If it was, Tatsuya wouldn’t have felt the need to use Fire Judge in the first place.

Tatsuya attacks, but Runo uses her Gate Card to switch the attack of her Saurus with that of her strongest Bakugan, which is her Tigrerra. At 340g, he beats Gargonoid (I guess? The Wiki counts it as a win, but Gargonoid wasn’t destroyed because it didn’t get sent to the Doom Dimension, and they’re seemingly acting as if a 10g advantage shouldn’t be enough to destroy Bakugan….I dunno. Is it just three victories overall? Because that’s even more confusing.)

Runo sends Saurus back out and Tatsuya calls on a Griffon. He uses Fire Wall to lower Saurus’ attack by 50g, making it 360g vs. 240g. He attacks, but Runo uses her latest Gate Card, Pyrus, which swaps the attacks of each combating creature, giving Saurus the win.

Dan: “That was awesome! How did you figure out that counter move?” Using a card specifically meant to counter attacks by stronger opponents as you’re being attacked by a stronger opponent? Yeah, Runo, how did you come up with that one?

Runo sends out another Gate Card and Saurus again. Tatsuya sends out his last Bakugan, Fear Ripper, and calls for an attack. This guy’s whole strategy is nothing but blindly attacking. He uses ability cards, sure, but he doesn’t counter anything. Meanwhile, Runo’s whole strategy has been built on just waiting for him to attack because she keeps laying traps, which he always falls into because he’s an idiot. He’s terribly boring as an opponent.

Not like we should have expected much of him anyway if he surrendered to Masquerade after losing two Bakugan.

Runo uses some sort of wall card that stops Fear Ripper’s attack. Now she calls upon Tigrerra after she’s been spending the whole match begging to be put in the fight.

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Runo: “I figure with your power, we can finish off his Gargonoid and walk away with a win!” Yeah……except you beat Gargonoid two rounds ago and are currently fighting Fear Ripper…..

The wall goes down, and Tatsuya attacks Saurus with Fear Ripper….but it doesn’t defeat it? Then Tigrerra attacks, Fear Ripper counter attacks, but that also doesn’t defeat anyone? Saurus then grapples Fear Ripper, Tigrerra jumps on his back, Runo activates the ability card…or gate card Crystal Fang that….makes Tigrerra’s claws grow?……Fear Ripper is defeated, okay?

We’re robbed of seeing Tatsuya post-loss and instead immediately jump to Dan and Runo talking about it while lying in a field.

Dan: (About Tigrerra reacting to Runo calling her cute) “Hey look, she’s blushing!”

*they all laugh for a few seconds*

Runo: “I’m so funny, ya know?”……….You….didn’t make the joke…..Dan barely made a joke. What are you talking about?

The episode ends with Runo, Dan and their parents having a cookout so they can argue about meat.

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Well, that certainly was a thing I watched. What an utterly pointless episode. Granted, it’s a breath of fresh air to watch someone besides Dan brawl, and Runo’s a pretty good player, even if she, as a character, is annoying as hell. Her relationship with Tigrerra is also much more interesting to watch than Dan and Drago’s.

However, Tatsuya is a really boring and irritating opponent. He’s every little snot-nosed bully brat you’ve ever seen in shounen gaming anime. He laughs at every Bakugan the protagonist throws out and talks so much shit you’d think their mouth was a septic tank.

He’s focused purely on attack power with absolutely no strategy. Even though Runo wins time and again with traps, he just keeps attacking like an idiot.

Plus, it’s not the best writing choice in the world to have the big antagonist of the day get handily defeated in the first five minutes of the episode.

The only thing this episode really served to do was show that Dan and Runo can now hang out in real life, and we got to see Runo actually do things. She’s too annoying for me to really care, however.

Next time, more Runo. Dan and Runo enter the first team up match we’ve seen in the series, so that should at least be interesting.

…..Previous Episode


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh! Season Zero Episode 16 (Placeholder) Sudden Turnaround! Threat of the Doctor’s Gown Review

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Plot: Jonouchi visits his little sister, Shizuka, in the hospital on her birthday. He soon develops a crush on a nurse at the hospital, Miyuki. A slimy and extremely negligent doctor, Gouyuu, harasses Miyuki to try to get her to date him, much to her clear annoyance. When it gets so bad that Gouyuu gets her fired as a punishment for refusing to date him, Jonouchi takes matters into his own hands to protect the newfound target of his affections.

Breakdown: Something we never get in the manga, at least during the original run, is Jonouchi’s sister, Shizuka. Meaning this is technically where Shizuka originated and technically one of few things that originated exclusively from Season Zero and carried over into the 2000 series/Duelist manga. Their backstories are still roughly the same except in Season Zero she had typical girl-in-an-anime syndrome of having some vague weakness/sickness that keeps her in and out of hospitals for most of her life instead of her future ailment of having her vision slowly fail since childhood and requires surgery to fix it.

Jonouchi goes to buy a big pink stuffed bear for Shizuka’s birthday and bumps into Yugi, who had no idea Jonouchi had a sister until now. Yugi accidentally gets some ice cream on an evil thug because this is Yu-Gi-Oh Season Zero where everyone’s an evil thug. Jonouchi beats up the thug and his friends to protect Yugi, but the bear gets ruined as a result. He has no more money for a new gift, so he asks Yugi to come with him as he visits Shizuka.

They do a cute little comedy routine when they enter Shizuka’s hospital room as a means of a makeshift gift, which Shizuka enjoys. Soon enough, Jonouchi finds himself quickly infatuated with a kind nurse named Miyuki, who tends to his wounds from the fight.

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He must have such a bad hair wound.

A doctor at the hospital, Dr. Gouyuu, is an evil asshole because Season Zero. He has an inordinate amount of patients die in his care because he just doesn’t….well….care. He acts like he does and then later shows that he cares more about his golf game than anything. He can easily walk away from another lost patient and gleefully go on about his golf game, even swinging a golf club around the halls of the hospital almost every time he’s on screen.

If that’s not enough, he also sexually harasses Miyuki and low-key threatens to fire her if she doesn’t quit rejecting him. Lovely.

The next day, Jonouchi arrives at the hospital again to surprise Shizuka, this time with Yugi, Anzu, Miho and Honda in tow as well because Yugi couldn’t help but spill the beans about Shizuka to the others and they wanted to meet her. Soon enough, the others catch onto Jonouchi’s crush on Miyuki and encourage him to go after her.

Honda then does the worst thing I’ve ever seen him do. He offers Jonouchi a bag containing a gift he can give to Miyuki to ‘help her on the night shift.’ I was immediately suspicious, but I had no idea he would do what he was about to do.

Jonouchi gives her the gift, mentioning the part about how it will help her on the night shift, and it turns out to be a frickin’ bra. Miyuki is pissed off, Jonouchi is appalled and all Honda has to say is “Give it up. There’s no chance.”

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Honda, what the actual fuck? Jonouchi is visiting his sick sister and has an innocent crush on a nurse and you make him look like a harassing perv to her? Jonouchi did nothing to you. Why are you such an asshole right now?

The pervy doctor skeevs on Miyuki again, though this time Jonouchi confronts him. As he and Gouyuu argue, Miyuki slaps Gouyuu and chews him out for being so disrespectful and uncaring about his patients. She demands he never speak to her ever again and walks away while Jonouchi chases after her.

A woman standing up for herself to an evil incel with power? I only expect positive outcomes from this.

The next day at school, Jonouchi is extremely depressed over Miyuki. His friends are observing him from afar, but for some reason aren’t chastising Honda for clearly being responsible for this mess. Do I believe a nurse probably in her mid twenties at the very least would be interested in a 16-17 year old ex-bully? No. I love ya bunches, Jonouchi, but not only is that unlikely, it’s also pretty inappropriate. But that doesn’t mean he can’t still enjoy her company and have a simple crush – both of which Honda completely destroyed with his moronic prank. She liked Jonouchi just fine before this, and now she thinks he’s a juvenile pervert.

Yugi, being the superior Jonouchi best friend, confronts him and tells him something Jonouchi used to tell him all the time, “You’re not being manly!” Jonouchi laughs and agrees, stating he has a newfound resolve to do his best with Miyuki.

He buys some flowers for her, but when he gets to the hospital Shizuka tells him that Miyuki was fired. From what Gouyuu said, she put a patient in danger by ignoring or forgetting orders that he gave her, but Miyuki doesn’t remember getting the orders, and Shizuka doesn’t believe Miyuki would get such important orders and not fulfill them.

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As Jonouchi explores the halls of the hospital, he remembers what happened right after they walked away from Gouyuu. Jonouchi apologized to Miyuki, and she decided to forgive him and change his bandages. As we see Miyuki caring for Jonouchi, we also see Gouyuu outside the door with a smirk.

In present time, Jonouchi confronts Gouyuu, proclaiming that he was with Miyuki when he supposedly gave this order and didn’t hear a thing. He threatens to rat him out, but Gouyuu, being an evil slimeball, counters by saying, if Jonouchi rats him out, he’ll have Shizuka removed from the hospital’s care. The hospital has some of the best treatment in the area and it might be a huge problem if she’s sent away.

Jonouchi begrudgingly agrees to keep his mouth shut, but I don’t quite get why. Sure the hospital may be good, but if he has the power to kick her out, surely he’s her actual doctor, right? Why would Jonouchi want this disgusting negligent homiciding sack of lawsuits caring for his sister at all?

Outside with Yugi, Jonouchi is clearly hurting a lot by this. He has no choice but to protect Shizuka, but it means having to sacrifice saving Miyuki’s job. Seeing Jonouchi’s tears, Yugi immediately summons Yami complete with a foreboding massive shadow on the ground that has the Millennium symbol shining at the top and glowing eyes, which is just the sweetest thing. I know this is a serious and pretty badass moment too, but really the instant he sees Jonouchi crying, Yugi calls Yami out to kick ass in his name. I love these two (or three?) so much.

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…..Screw you, Honda.

Yami (and Yugi) are so colossally pissed that we don’t follow Yami through the hospital as he looks for Gouyuu – we follow his pissed off looking glowing eyed and Millennium symbol’d shadow as it rushes around the halls. The effects are, admittedly, kinda janky. They’re pulling some really low-budget old CGI work here or something, but who cares? Yami Yugi is out for blood to protect his baby boy—I mean Jonouchi, and I am HERE for that.

Gouyuu is talking on the phone with someone about putting off another surgery to go golfing (I get the stereotype, but what exactly is Gouyuu’s deal with golf? It’s all he thinks about besides perving on nurses.) and brags to this person about how they had Miyuki fired for turning him down and that’s a ‘natural penalty’ for that. Dude….tone it down. If Captain Planet had villains centered on sexual harassment and malpractice, you’d easily be one.

I really can’t understand how he’s in the position he is, let alone that he might get promoted to head of the hospital. Everyone comments about how he loses a lot of patients, notably way more than other doctors, he’s constantly pushing surgeries back, not caring for patients properly, ignoring them most of the time, harassing the nurses, and he doesn’t seem to be good at keeping his mouth shut about this shit – how is he even employed?

Yami records him saying those things on a tape recorder and plays it back for him in the doorway before challenging him to a game.

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Meanwhile, Shizuka tells Jonouchi that Miyuki is leaving the city, presumably to never return, so Shizuka tells him to go to the train station and talk to her. She doesn’t want Jonouchi to have any regrets about her.

Shadow Game

Yami sets up today’s Shadow Game to be Gouyuu’s beloved golf. The twist is that they’re playing in the empty halls of the hospital. The stakes are, if Yami loses, Gouyuu gets the incriminating tape. If Gouyuu loses, Yami keeps the tape and Gouyuu gets a punishment game.

Gouyuu chooses his club and asks what Yami will be using for a club. He grabs Gouyuu’s stethoscope and says he’ll use that. Gouyuu laughs at his choice of a ‘club’ and claims he’s won before the match even starts.

…..Is there no one in this hospital? Why are the halls all empty?

The goal is the Nurse’s Center on the floor directly below them. Gouyuu goes first and manages to cleanly hit the ball down the hall. Yami, using the stethoscope as a slingshot, whacks the ball, causing it to bounce around the walls of the hall before ending up in some room.

With a laugh, Gouyuu goes on ahead while Yami is supposedly left to figure out how to get his ball out of the room and down to the Nurse’s Center.

With a few more strokes, Gouyuu is able to get down to the Nurse’s Center quite easily. As he’s about to hit his ball into the room, Yami’s ball suddenly emerges. He explains that the room he hit his ball into has a neat system – a mail drop. He hit his ball into the chute, and it fell directly into the Nurse’s Center. Hole-in-one.

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Uhh…..Is it just me….or does this make no sense? I can understand having a chute system for mail, but why does the mail chute wind up in the Nurse’s Center? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the mail to go to an administration office or, I dunno, a mail room?

Yami smirks and mocks Gouyuu because he knows golf courses very well, but he obviously doesn’t know his own hospital.

Gouyuu tries to attack Yami, causing him to break his precious club and fall over. Yami opens the door to darkness, and Gouyuu is suddenly haunted by the frightening spirits of all the patients that he let die in his care. Yami walks away, leaving a screaming Gouyuu behind.

Meanwhile, Jonouchi finally reaches the train station with the flowers. He gives them to Miyuki only to find that all of the petals fell off as he was running. She smiles and thanks him for them anyway. Jonouchi begs her to come back to the hospital, but Miyuki reveals that she had been planning on leaving for a while. A man approaches, and Miyuki explains that she decided to go to work at a clinic on a small remote island with this man, the doctor who runs the place. It’s implied that they’re interested in each other romantically. She bids Jonouchi farewell, telling him to bring Shizuka by for a visit sometime.

Jonouchi is rightfully shocked and devastated.

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The next day, we see Gouyuu on the floor of the hospital surrounded by patients and doctors. He prattles on in a crazy state about how he cares more about golf than his patients while a boom box plays the tape of him confessing to his unethical behavior behind him.

At the hospital, Jonouchi is greeted by his friends who shoot confetti at him and try to make him feel better by openly sharing his pain with them. Honda approaches him and says he understands how he feels, which I thought might lead to a legitimately nice moment and redeem the shit he did earlier a little, because Honda does know how it feels to pine after someone he’ll never have. But no. He goes on telling Jonouchi that he can cry into his chest if he wants, and Jonouchi points out that Honda has a huge grin on his face, seemingly happy that Jonouchi got rejected and is taking delight in his pain.

Again, screw Honda. Please just write him out of this show and take Miho with him.

———————————–

This episode was pretty good. It was adorable seeing Jonouchi have a crush, even if I knew it was going to end in heartbreak. At least Miyuki was fairly nice about it instead of making her the villain or just a jerk or something. I wish we got more focus on Shizuka because, at the end of the day, we learned nothing about her besides she’s nice, loves her brother and is sick. Unlike in the 2000 anime, where we learn she’s……nice…..loves her brother….and is sick….

The Yugi and Jonouchi moments in this episode were sweet as pie, and that scene where Yami charges off in a shadow form to hunt down Gouyuu in vengeance because he saw Jonouchi crying is mwah perfect.

Gouyuu was as over-the-top as any Yu-Gi-Oh! villain, but he was built on a very real type of person. There are more sick misogynist guys in power who are more than willing to fire women for the horrific crime of turning them down for a date than I care to think about.

The one truly bad spot in this episode was Honda. What the heck was up with Honda today? Why was he so cruel to poor Jonouchi all because he had a crush on a nurse? The only good thing he did in this episode was loan Jonouchi the money to get Shizuka a teddy bear, which he didn’t even know was the intention of the money, but screw him entirely otherwise in this episode.

Next time, Kaiba’s third Shitennou shows up – a supermodel who can seemingly predict all of Yami’s moves.


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh Season Zero Episode 15: Scary Woman! Can’t Transform! (Placeholder)

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Plot: Yugi suddenly finds himself with an admirer when he receives a love letter from a girl named Risa, much to Anzu’s annoyance. While she is a very nice girl, Yugi isn’t interested in her, but he can’t get the nerve to turn her down. When she shows her true colors, Yugi won’t have to worry about turning her down – he’ll be too busy fighting for the Millennium Puzzle.

Breakdown: When I first saw the preview for this episode, I thought it would be boring and annoying because it focused on Anzu being jealous of a girl who was romantically interested in Yugi. And yup, it’s about as boring as this series can manage, and Anzu delivers plenty of annoying.

So…….witches.

Risa and her two triplet sisters are witches…..I…guess? They perform some sort of ritual thing in the start of the episode, and they identify with a trio of witch sister cards, but they never perform any magic….so…I dunno. Risa also has an adverse reaction to touching the Puzzle, but it only happened once. She touches it several times after this and it does nothing.

In a free booster pack she got from Sugoroku, Anzu obtains a very rare Violet Hekate card, which she gives to Yugi because he likes it so much. Overhearing this exchange, Risa decides to pretend to be romantically interested in Yugi so she can get the card from him.

Anzu is not happy about this, especially when Yugi falls ill and Risa takes it upon herself to nurse him back to health. Anzu spends a majority of the episode being a grouch about the whole thing, even prompting him to reject Risa, because she likes Yugi. However, bear in mind, Anzu doesn’t actually like Yugi, at least not in that way – she likes “strong Yugi” and yes that’s the term she used to describe him in this episode. She always sees Yugi as a little kid with toys. She wants her dark mysterious Yugi. So, she’s getting in the way of Yugi’s possible romance just because she’s in love…..with his alter-ego….That sure is fair.

Granted, her concerns are warranted, just not in the ways she first thinks. What I really don’t understand is why Risa and her sisters took the time out to psychologically mess with Anzu for so long. Why bother prompting her to go run errands just to hear that Risa already did them when Anzu returned? Why bother pushing her down the escalator at the mall? They don’t want or need anything from Anzu, and they’re only making her more suspicious by doing these things.

Yugi doesn’t want to give Risa the card because Anzu gave it to him. Frustrated, Risa, or one of her sisters, resorts to trashing his room to steal it……really makes you wonder why they didn’t just do that in the first place.

One of the sisters takes his Puzzle as a hostage for the Violet Hekate card. They’ll duel for it. Whomever wins gets both the card and the Puzzle. Yugi agrees.

Which brings us to the…

Not Shadow Game

Yeah, this isn’t a Shadow Game. The sisters are using a ‘machine’ that is somehow entirely hidden from view to show projections of the cards and their attacks, but that’s about it. It’s a normal duel otherwise.

Yugi defends first with a Sleeping Worm, but they blast it away with one of the three witch cards, Red Hekate.

Yugi then uses the Clocks card, which somehow not only brings the worm back from the dead, but it also EVOLVES IT?! Can someone find a way to wrap my head around that?

Anyway, it doesn’t matter, because the newly evolved form of the worm, Iron Beetle, is no match for their second witch card, Yellow Hekate.

Yugi starts succumbing to his fever again when Kaiba shows up. He explains that the triplets are well known in the world of Duel Monsters for using any means necessary to obtain cards that they desire. Since Yugi is ill, Kaiba offers to sub for him, offering an entire briefcase of cards if he loses. He even offers to let them put the Violet Hekate in their deck.

They agree, and the duel continues. Kaiba starts with a Cyclops card, which is blasted away by the Hekate witches.

Kaiba loses. The end.

The end

What? I know how to do math. They started with 2000 LP. Yugi lost 800 LP when they killed his Iron Beetle (in attack mode) with Yellow Hekate. Then he lost 1300 when Kaiba’s Cyclops (1200 attack) fell to the Hekate sisters (Both were attacking it at the same time, but I’m only counting one because that’s illegal) with 2500 attack.

Kaiba was subbing for Yugi, not starting an entirely new duel. This much is shown when we see that both of the Hekate sisters are still on the field when Kaiba comes in.

Yugi/Kaiba lost. The end.

But, oh, silly me. I can’t math. Nor can I pay attention. I am but a mere viewer of Yu-Gi-Oh Season Zero, and apparently the writers can’t dig up an ounce of respect for my intelligence.

The duel continues once more – Kaiba summons a Blue Eyes, because of course he had one immediately, but they counter by summoning Violet Hekate, which is bullshit. Did ‘put Violet Hekate in your deck’ translate to ‘place Violet Hekate on the top of your deck so you can totally cheat’?

Anyhoo, the three Hekate cards automatically merge into Gorgon whose attack strength matches Blue Eyes. However, since it’s on a forest field, where witches thrive apparently (But…Gorgons aren’t witches….???) it won’t be destroyed if it’s in a stalemate attack. For some reason, she doesn’t choose to attack Blue Eyes right then to prove her point, leaving Kaiba open to summon his second Blue Eyes, because of course he got a second Blue Eyes on his third turn. And then, somehow, both Blue Eyes attack Gorgon, which….somehow defeats it? That shouldn’t have happened. They all have 3000 attack power, and the sisters said the Gorgon wouldn’t die in a stalemate while on forest land. Unless they somehow got a power boost from being together or something, there’s no reason this should be working like this.

With Gorgon gone, the sisters…..just….lose I guess.

Kaiba gathers his things and says he’d never let someone like the witch sisters defeat Yugi, especially in such a dishonorable manner. He’ll ensure that he’ll be the only one to defeat Yugi.

…..Then the episode just ends.

What a bunch of malarkey.

Boring plot, boring conflict, boring duel, boring enemies. You introduced witches to Yu-Gi-Oh and you give us nothing but jealous Anzu and a milquetoast duel that makes so little sense that, logically, the good guys should have lost? Also, it’s like they knew the duel was boring because they really shoehorned in that mysterious invisible ‘machine’ that makes holograms….oh excuse me – they call them ‘hallucinations.’ *eyeroll*

Not to mention Yami wasn’t even in this episode. And now I sound like Anzu, and that makes me pissed off. And being pissed off only makes me sound more like Anzu. 😐

Next time, more purely anime stories when we’re introduced to Shizuka, Jonouchi flirts with a nurse and the third Game Shitennou shows up.

..Previous Episode


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh! Season Zero Episode 10: The Approaching Beautiful Teacher’s Secret Mask/Manga Chapter 7

(Normally I would custom-make a header image, but this chapter title card was way too cool.)

This is our first instance of a plot revolving around Honda in the anime (and…pretty much ever, manga-wise) and the only instance of Miho existing in the manga. Why she was specifically chosen to be main girl character #2 in the anime is beyond me, but just be thankful she’s not in the 2000 anime.

I suppose it might have simply been because she is really the only other female student that is ever given even a modicum of focus in the manga, which is pathetic to say the least. Usually, the main girl in a group of mostly guys in an anime will have one or two girls who are barely-there side friends just to prove that the girl doesn’t only hang out with guys or something. But nope. Manga!Anzu’s in a sausage fest.

Jonouchi brings Honda to Yugi to help him with a problem – Honda is love sick for a girl named Miho, whom he’s nicknamed Ribbon-chan because she wears a ribbon (the amount of cleverness is high.) He needs advice on a gift to get her attention. Honda doesn’t want Yugi’s help at first and is quite rude and threatening to him about it, even strangling him a few times. However, Yugi, being a precious cupcake, decides to help him anyway. And, again, being Yugi, they go to his grandpa’s game shop to find a present.

Sugoroku hears his plight and grabs a blank puzzle, citing it as the gift he used to woo Yugi’s grandma. It’s weird, I never once thought about Sugoroku’s wife before. I wonder why they never bother talking about her….then again this show really doesn’t like explaining where anyone’s parents are or who they are, so it’s probably asking too much to think they’d include information on grandparents. Though, oddly, the one person on Yugi’s family tree that we do get the most info on is Sugoroku.

Anyhoo, the blank puzzle is used for messages. You write a love note on the puzzle and break it into pieces. Your loved one will complete the puzzle, see the message and, if all goes well, return your feelings. It’s a bit convoluted, especially if the person doesn’t want to do the puzzle or doesn’t return the confessor’s feelings, but it is fairly romantic.

Honda gets Yugi to write the note for him, which takes him all night, and they put the puzzle in Miho’s desk.

You might be wondering why I haven’t so much as mentioned episode ten yet. That’s because the adaptation of this episode had to be drastically changed since Honda and Miho’s dynamic is so different in the anime, and she’s an actual main character there. They could have had an episode like this where Honda decides to confess his love for Miho through a puzzle. It’s not that difficult to change up a few things and make that plotline work.

Maybe if he was actually shot down he’d stop being such a pathetic doofus around her. But why bother trying to think about how you could adapt the story properly and maybe even develop Honda’s character a little when you can pretty much just cheat in a manner we’ll talk about shortly.

The next scene in the manga is basically adapted just fine, though. Chouno-sensei is an incredibly beautiful teacher at their school, fawned over by many of the boys, but she’s also an incredibly strict devil woman. In the anime, she merely takes some girl’s charm off of her bag since it was against the rules, but in the manga she’s known as The Expelling Witch, having expelled 15 students in six months. She’s also very egotistical and wears gobs of makeup. In the anime, she’s so strict that she is trying to coerce (Read: seduce) the vice-principal into banning all personal items from school and increasing penalties for rule breakers.

Can I take the time to point out that the show is trying to torment my eyes again? What the hell is Chouno wearing? For someone who supposedly puts so much time and effort into their appearance, she chose a butt-ugly skirt suit.

The main plot starts here in the anime, and it’s pretty much the same plot as the Honda/Miho plot from the manga with the main difference being that the one with the crush is a completely new girl named Mayumi, who has hair that matches Chouno’s gross green skirt suit, yay. She likes Jonouchi and wants to confess to him. Anzu and Miho recruit Yugi to help her confess to Jonouchi, and he suggests going to the game shop where they get the same type of message puzzle.

There is a small running gag in the anime episode where, whenever someone asks what Jonouchi would like for a gift, they respond by saying he likes lewd videos. I thought that was pretty funny.

Believe it or not, even though they didn’t really have to change this plot so much, the anime’s arrangement makes more sense. At least it’s canon that Jonouchi likes games. Who’s to say Miho would like the puzzle or even try to complete it? This would make the most sense if Yugi was the recipient, but no one his age ever seems to have an actual crush on him – and that includes Anzu….

In the anime, Mayumi is the one who writes on the puzzle, not Yugi. I guess this makes more sense because she barely knows Yugi. (Then again, Honda barely knows him in the manga too…)

In the manga, we only hear about Chouno’s marriage interview when she’s discussing it with the vice principal. She says he didn’t deserve her and walks away.

In the anime, we actually see her marriage interview, and she mostly seems to use it to fish for compliments on her appearance. A little boy is playing around the area where they’re having their interview and accidentally runs into her. Chouno knocks the boy down and chastises him for dirtying her kimono, calling him a brat. He runs off crying, and Chouno laments on how terribly kids are brought up these days. Then her date dumps her after the spectacle – understandably so.

The thing about this change is that it’s not just adding the marriage interview, it’s also changing her character a tiny bit. In the manga, she’s a pure cold-hearted bitch who is toying with men and punishing them for no reason.

In the anime, while she’s still just a bitch, they inadvertently make her a little sympathetic. Fishing for compliments makes her seem like she has severe self-esteem issues, and having her be the one who got dumped leaves the door open for sympathy.

The conversation later when the vice principal asks her how her date went is kept the same as the one at the start of the manga chapter, but it’s made different because they showed the interview. Likewise, the following scene where she smashes the bathroom mirror and goes off about how she was planning on dumping the guy anyway and that she only uses marriage interviews to toy with men is also kept the same, but they add in a slight bit of her being extra insulted because the guy dumped her.

In the manga, for all we know, she did just toy with the guy and dumped his ass like old mop water so she could relish in his humiliation. But in the anime we know she was dumped, and nothing in inner monologue suggested she was going to dump him, though she was obviously using him for an ego boost. Now it just seems like she’s embarrassed and she’s trying to make excuses to save face….hehe, save face…That joke will sense a bit later.

Bear in mind that I’m not saying anything the anime is adding is making her someone to root for or feel sorry for, especially when you consider the later events, but they did add a slight bit more depth to her character by making subtle changes. It’s not big change or anything, but it’s better than just making her fully two-dimensional.

In the manga, Chouno, being pissed off, decides to calm herself by springing a surprise inspection on the class. She wants them to empty their bags and their desks and will be thoroughly punished if she finds anything out of line. Funnily enough, when she’s listing off items that are against the rules, she mentions condoms – and they’re the most prominently displayed word in the text. I never thought I’d ever see the word ‘condoms’ in anything Yu-Gi-Oh related, but here I am.

To make this even funnier, she thinks this with such a creepy look on her face, and she’s yelling it.

Miho brings out the present, and Chouno takes it away, shocking everyone and embarrassing Miho.

In the anime, Chouno just tells them to get out their textbooks. Jonouchi finds the present on accident while trying to get his book.

In both versions, Chouno rips the wrapping paper off of the gift and starts slowly trying to humiliate Miho/Jonouchi by putting the puzzle together and revealing the message.

In the manga, Yugi and Jonouchi stand up and try to claim the puzzle as their own to prevent Honda from being embarrassed or getting punished. Touched by their gesture, Honda decides to take the rap anyway and admits that it was his message and puzzle. Chouno can’t know for certain which boy is actually telling the truth, so she decides to complete the puzzle to see who signed it. She’s very close to revealing the name when Yami emerges and turns the puzzle into a Shadow Game.

In the anime, Anzu decides to take the heat for it, believing she can merely tell Jonouchi it was a prank. She’s told to go to the advisor’s office later. She debates with Chouno on the ethical nature of the strict rules that she loves to enforce, particularly those of ‘distractions’ like a harmless puzzle or a part-time job. She tells Chouno that she believes many other students are on her side on this issue, so Chouno tells her to prove it by gathering the signatures of other students.

As Anzu prepares to do that, Chouno lies to the other teachers acting as if Anzu is a threatening troublemaker who is looking to appeal all the rules in the school.

Anzu starts putting up posters and gathering signatures. She admits that doing this is both for the sake of the students’ happiness and for allowing her to work her part-time jobs without worrying about getting caught.

Apparently, Chouno was able to convince the other teachers of Anzu’s misdeeds, especially with her posters up everywhere, so they start harassing her. Her posters get vandalized, and she starts getting unfairly targeted by her teachers in class. Despite this, Anzu keeps trying her best, though apparently she has zero signatures? I thought Jonouchi was going to sign it, and wouldn’t Miho, Yugi and Mayumi sign it immediately? Maybe Honda wouldn’t because he’s all about school rules, even if he doesn’t support Chouno’s behavior, but he’s pretty loyal to his friends. Surely he’d do it if Miho asked him, anyway.

Miho explains that there’s a rumor going around school that anyone who has signed has been targeted by Chouno and her fellow teacher cronies, which either isn’t true because she has no signatures or isn’t true because it hasn’t happened, as Anzu attests.

Anyway, pre-soft-reboot Yu-Gi-Oh being what it is, of course Anzu and Yugi get bullied. Three assholes mock her and take her sign-up sheets. They push Yugi to the ground and tear up the papers. Jonouchi comes over to confront the guys, one of them ironically calling him a rule-breaker. Jonouchi, unable to stomach this abuse to his friends, tackles the guy to the ground and punches him to face.

Obviously, this a big no-no, so Chouno brings them all to the advisor office for punishment. Anzu tries to take the full blame again, and Chouno threatens her with expulsion. She releases them all, explaining that the staff will decide Anzu’s fate tomorrow. She brings the three assholes into the room for their ‘punishment’ next.

They all leave, barring Yugi, who listens in at the door. Not surprisingly, Chouno was the one pulling the strings behind the three assholes. In exchange for expunging their records, they were told to harass Anzu and Yugi and get them to break the rules.

Shocked at this revelation, Yugi triggers Yami’s emergence.

Shadow Game

So, here’s the deal. In the manga, the Shadow Game really isn’t a Shadow Game so much as Yami utilizing the power of the Puzzle to warp Chouno’s face into a crumbling jigsaw puzzle (Though, oddly, we never get to see her ‘ugly’ face) and never allowing her to complete the puzzle to find out the confessor’s name. Chouno runs off in terror and uh….that’s it. The end. Of the Shadow Game anyway. Chouno is never seen again, either.

In the anime, Yami confronts Chouno in the hall and offers to play a game. If he wins, Anzu and her friends don’t get any punishment. If he loses, he’ll keep quiet about her using the students to further her own twisted plans, and he’ll willingly be her pawn. She accepts.

Yami throws two mirrors up into the air. Each falls on their respective sides of the table and shatter into pieces, which was a really sick move. Yami always knows how to do these games in style. Whomever puts the mirror back together first wins. However, there’s a catch. They each have to be wearing blindfolds.

Chouno accepts, and the game starts. Before they actually get into it, however, Yami offers Chouno a pair of gloves to keep her from getting cut. How kind.

They start putting the mirror back together, but of course Chouno just takes the blindfold off because she knows Yami won’t see her. As they work, Yami reveals that this is actually a Shadow Game – if she cheats, there will be dire consequences. Chouno doesn’t think anything of it, but keeps up her blindness act as they continue to work. He’s halfway done, but she only has one more piece. She completes the puzzle, but Yami knows she has cheated.

He calls her out on her misdeeds and starts her penalty game. Her face turns into a crumbling puzzle, and beneath the pieces lies an old ugly sagging face. Chouno runs off in horror, but that’s, surprisingly, not the full end for her. Later, we see that she’s still preoccupied with her looks and vehemently supports stern rule enforcement, but now, whenever she goes too far with it, she hallucinates her face cracking away and excuses herself. Apparently, she’s even caking on more makeup than usual because she’s trying to cover the cracks and it won’t stick.

Meanwhile, at the end of the manga chapter, Honda formally confesses to Miho and gets shot down. However, Yugi points out that his friendship with Jonouchi and Honda has grown as a result of their ordeal.

At the end of the anime version, Chouno’s plans seemingly fall apart, but it’s very unclear if Anzu got her wish to lighten up the rule on part-time jobs. Jonouchi asks Anzu what was up with the puzzle message, and, like she claimed she’d do earlier, she just says it was a prank and he brushes it off. Miho tells Anzu it’s all okay because, get this, during this whole fiasco, Mayumi fell for an upperclassman and confessed to HIM, so they’re dating now.

……Mayumi, you were barely a character…but FUCK OFF. Anzu, Yugi and Jonouchi went through all of this bullshit because of you, and not only do you not help Anzu with her goal, but in the two days this was all going down you just decide you don’t like Jonouchi anymore, fall for someone else, confess to them and start dating them? What a bitch. The only reason they wrote this in is because they didn’t want this character to return and they were too lazy to write a proper resolution to that plotline.

———————————-

The anime definitely has the edge over the manga in pretty much every respect this time. In both scenarios, there’s a one-off character I couldn’t care less about (Though Mayumi is more of a bitch than Manga!Miho. At least she let Honda down gently), but the story is much more fleshed out in the anime version.

By the end, even though they added a layer or two to Chouno’s character, she was still extremely hateable. That guy who dumped her might as well be named Neo because he dodged a bullet.

I like how they showed that, even though she technically escaped the Shadow Game illusion, she’s still trapped seemingly forever, and it’s forcing her to keep changing her ways. It makes me think that this might be the case for everyone else, though considering Manga!Kaiba and Mokuba, probably not.

Having Anzu take the stage with this story was also a lot better than focusing on Honda. She’s a more interesting character, she already has a bone to pick with Chouno in regards to the rules being a hindrance on her, and I felt really bad for her when she was being harassed.

They obviously greatly improved on the manga’s Shadow Game, which wasn’t even really a game. And, like I mentioned, despite the punishment being the same between versions, we never see the ‘ugly’ face everyone, including Chouno, hallucinated at the end. Considering how scary this art can be when it’s just trying to be normal, they could have had a field day trying to make a purposefully ugly face, but Takahashi couldn’t be bothered. I get that there’s a certain advantage in not showing us her face because, like in horror stories, what you imagine tends to be worse than what’s shown to you, making the impact stronger, but I felt like that wasn’t the intention. I could be wrong, though.

The game itself was really cool. Yami even broke the mirrors in a cool way and put on his uniform in that badass manner where he uses his jacket as a cape. The broken mirrors also had symbolism in reflecting her ugly insides and being a sendup to her breaking the mirror earlier.

It’s subtle, but there are some cute little hints of Yugi’s crush on Anzu peppered throughout the episode. This was a good way to keep the theme of romance throughout, even if it was just slightly. However, it does bother me a little because, even in the soft-rebooted series, Anzu is definitely more romantically attracted to Yami than Yugi, if she even has an iota of feelings for Yugi at all. It’s just sad. The only reason they’d ever get together is if she waited about ten years when Yugi magically becomes a carbon copy of Yami, as far as we were able to tell from that one shot in GX anyway.

That’d be an uncomfortable situation. Imagine them in bed and her being like ‘Can I call you Yami or Atem?’

Overall, a decent story on the manga side and a pretty good episode on the anime side.

Winner: Anime

Next time, Miho and Yugi enter the world of Capsule Monsters.


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AniManga Clash! Yu-Gi-Oh! Season Zero Episode 9: Explosion! Yo-Yo Ultimate Technique/Manga Chapters 48-49 (Notes on 11-12)

Plot: Jonouchi is showing off his awesome yoyo skills, but he’s halted when a boy named Nezumi rains on his parade. He hates yoyos because a group of thugs with yoyos attacked him the previous day. Jonouchi and Yugi declare that they’ll help him get revenge on the yoyo-ing thugs, but quickly find out that it’s a trap laid by Jonouchi’s old comrade turned enemy, Hirutani.

He wants Jonouchi back on his side, and he’s willing to do anything to achieve his goals, including trying to kill Yugi.

Breakdown: In typical fashion, anything involving Miho is 100% anime exclusive. This week, she expresses interest in yoyoing, but Honda tells her not to do it because he’s afraid she’ll…get hurt and die?

However, Honda is actually in the manga’s first scene where Jonouchi is messing around with his yoyo. Like always, manga-wise, though, he’s just kinda there. In the anime, he catches Jonouchi’s yoyo to make him stop. In the manga, Nezumi made him stop by yelling at him and explaining his story.

Nezumi doesn’t seem to exist in Season Zero, unless he’s that guy who gets attacked in the cold open, but he doesn’t look a thing like he does in the manga if it is meant to be him.

Let me get this out of the way, yes, the concept of this story is super goofy even for Yu-Gi-Oh. The concept of a yoyo gang is about as silly as the bicycle gang in Pokemon, but at least they were plausible, especially since they were on a stretch of road that was meant only for bikes. A gang that mainly uses yoyos as a weapon? I mean, yeah they’d hurt if they hit you, but they’re certainly not the most efficient weapons in existence – most notably because once they hit their target they usually stop spinning, meaning you have to manually yank them back and manually wind the string back up to throw it again.

Can someone please explain to me why they live in a world where elementary school students are whipping out switchblades and uzis but one of the most feared near adult age gangs in town wields a bunch of yoyos?

Since Nezumi doesn’t exist in this version, the reason Jonouchi wants to go out to challenge the yoyo gang is because they’ve been harassing people in general and he wants to put a stop to it. I kinda don’t mind this change because Nezumi gets away at the end of this arc in the manga and ultimately vanishes entirely. It’s clear that he was a willing participant in this, not threatened or blackmailed into luring them down there, so it’s a little disappointing that he never got comeuppance.

A very short scene of Yugi at home worrying about Jonouchi is not present in the manga.

From this point until the commercial break, pretty much everything is adapted from chapters 11-12, which I covered in the review of that arc. If you haven’t already, please go read that review. Not a ton is changed between versions, but it’s still a good idea to read that and check back here afterward.

This is still technically in regards to chapters 11-12, but Honda interrogates one of the Rintama gang members outside of the bar before going in. That’s not present in the anime. Additionally, when Yugi and the gang entered the bar, they found the gang member that hit Yugi on the ground, but Jonouchi is nowhere to be found. Fearing the worst, they all split up, but Yugi finds Jonouchi by asking the Puzzle to help him.

In the anime, they ask the bartender what’s up. He tells them that, if the gang is not at the bar, they’re likely either in a fight on the streets or in the warehouses, since that seems to be their base. The bartender notices that they’re Domino High students and tells them to avoid the Rintama gang because they recently coerced a Domino High student into joining them.

Yugi proclaims, out loud, that the bartender must be talking about Jonouchi and that he really was forced into joining back up with the gang.

Then possibly one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen happens. Honda lies to the girls…again…and says Jonouchi is probably just hanging out with old friends. Miho happily agrees and says he’ll probably be back in school tomorrow. Anzu also agrees and says he’ll be back to swing around his silly yoyo like he was before. Then they leave.

……Are Anzu and Miho braindead? Are they deaf? They’ve been right next to Honda and Yugi during this whole conversation. They just heard the bartender say that the gang coerced a Domino High student to join them and Yugi proclaiming Jonouchi was forced into being a gang member….but Honda brushes it off like he’s just hanging around with old buddies and Miho and Anzu are like ‘Oh phew, that’s a relief. Let’s go home!’

Even if they, for reason, ate up this excuse without question, are they also forgetting that they saw Jonouchi being entirely complacent with the gang beating up some poor guy, the fact that Jonouchi said he didn’t know Yugi and the others and that he both said and did nothing when one of the gang punched Yugi in the face? You’re either ignoring or forgetting ALL of that and are just expecting him to be at school tomorrow like nothing happened? What the hell is wrong with you two?

The only reason I can see for them doing this is that they wanted the girls out of the picture so they could head to the warehouses and get Jonouchi back, but it was entirely unnecessary. What was wrong with the manga version where they split up to find Jonouchi and Yugi manages to find them with the Puzzle? If you need Honda to be there in the anime, just have them split up in teams of two and tell them to not engage with Hirutani and the gang without getting the others first, as they did in the manga.

This scene just serves to make Anzu and Miho look like oblivious idiots and all for the purpose of ‘gurlz kant b envolvd n sumthing soooo danguriss!!’ Even though they have been involved in a multitude of dangerous things, so this just seems pointless even in canon.

When Honda and Yugi arrive at the warehouse, they try to convince Jonouchi to come with them, explaining that they know he was forced to join the gang. However, Jonouchi stands firm against their claim. He says he’s with them by choice and is sick of his life adhering to rules and pretending to be their friend.

Honda presents a band to Jonouchi, pleading with him to remember their friendship. In a flashback, we learn that he passed off a band to Jonouchi in a track meet, Jonouchi won and they’ve been buddies ever since. Jonouchi drops the band on the floor, steps on it and punches Honda in the stomach.

The next day, Honda and Yugi head to Rintama High. Honda challenges Hirutani to a fight – if he wins, Jonouchi goes free. Hirutani agrees and whips out his yoyo….his yoyo with retractable spikes…. Ya know, between this episode’s gimmick and the last episode with the fully realistic adult woman marionette being controlled by a dude behind a curtain with two pieces of wood, I’m really just finding my footing in the marvelous insanity of this series. I’m not kidding, it’s a hilariously fun ride when it’s not being miserable.

By the way, Hirutani doesn’t even have his own yoyo in the manga.

Honda gets felled rather quickly, and when Hirutani throws his yoyo for a final blow, Yugi steps in the way. His Puzzle deflects the yoyo back at Hirutani, cutting his face.

Hirutani is not happy about this, so he ties up Yugi in the warehouse and has his goons relentlessly wail on Yugi. In the manga, both Jonouchi and Yugi (With Nezumi) had entered the warehouse, and when Yugi got jumped they literally hung him by his Puzzle. Jonouchi had to concede to Hirutani or else Yugi would die.

Jonouchi enters the warehouse and tells Yugi once more that he shouldn’t keep pursuing him. With a flick of his yoyo (….That sounded dirty) he seemingly tries to attack Yugi, but ends up hitting one of the guys who was beating him up instead. Jonouchi challenges Hirutani for going back on their deal. He said if Jonouchi joined their gang, he’d leave his friends alone, but now that he’s broken that promise, Jonouchi wants to take Hirutani down.

The other gang members surround Jonouchi with their yoyos, which is also what happens in the manga. I assume all of their yoyos are metal and not plastic, so they’d definitely hurt being hit by them, but in each version Hirutani’s acting like it’d be absolute torture to walk through the hail of yoyos. Yeah, it’d hurt, but again, once they’d hit their target, they’d fall. And, really, how insulting would that be to their friendship? “Yeah, I love ya, Yug, but I ain’t getting smacked with a few yoyos to save yer life. Deuces!”

Admittedly, it is extremely sweet when, in both versions, Jonouchi braves the yoyo storm and tries to protect Yugi, but you really have to focus on the fact that he’s being nearly beaten to death and ignoring the fact that the weapon of choice is a bunch of yoyos. The manga is more dramatic and sweet, in my opinion, though.

In the manga, Jonouchi saves Yugi by giving him a boost and allowing the Puzzle’s rope to gain enough slack to be removed from the hook. Jonouchi then asks to borrow the Puzzle and spins it in front of the yoyos, getting the strings tangled up with the Puzzle and stopping their assault. He then takes their yoyo strings and hooks them up to the hanging hook, lifting them up in the air by their fingers, which is insanely dangerous, but also quite easy to get out of.

In the anime, Hirutani tries to shoot his spiked yoyo at Jonouchi, which gives Jonouchi the opening he needs to throw his own yoyo, deflecting Hirutani’s yoyo and….somehow…Jonouchi’s yoyo slices the rope and frees Yugi.

Sooo….is Jonouchi’s yoyo super sharp or is this just stupid?

Once Yugi is freed, Jonouchi is knocked down by a swift strike to the back of his head via one of the bigger gang members. This finally prompts Yugi to transform into Yami. Jesus, Yami, what took you so long? It took him the same amount of time to transform in the manga, but still, why did it take so long?

In both the anime and the manga, the other gang members chase after Yami, who has escaped to the roof. Yami reveals that he also, for some reason, has a yoyo, and he has some rad skillz with it.

Shadow Game (Kinda)

Yami challenges the thugs to a game. Whoever is the last one on the roof wins. Yami runs from the gang, simply grazing the roof with his yoyo as he runs around and dodges the strikes of the gang, who are also frequently hitting the roof when they miss Yami. They corner Yami on the roof and proclaim that they’ve won. However, Yami turns the tables on them and directs their attention to the roof below their feet. It’s rusted and old metal, easily punctured with a yoyo, but it will soon crumble beneath their weight. Yami is supported on the corner beam of the warehouse, but the thugs aren’t so lucky and fall through the roof.

This game is exactly the same as it is in the manga….and yes, it’s just as silly. I mean, if the roof were THAT weak, they never should have been able to stand on it in the first place, let alone run around like it’s a basketball court.

Meanwhile, Jonouchi challenges Hirutani to a fist fight. Jonouchi is getting the better of Hirutani, but he plays dirty and throws BROKEN GLASS INTO JONOUCHI’S EYES. Geez. You’d think that would leave Jonouchi with lasting vision problems and maybe even blindness, but nope. He’s temporarily blinded but perfectly fine by the end of the chapter/episode…

In the manga, after Jonouchi struck Hirutani, causing him to hang from the ledge, Jonouchi was just fine. However, in the anime, he also falls for some reason. Honda saves him by throwing him the band, which he used to hang from the hook and return to the ledge.

In both versions, Jonouchi uses ‘Walk the dog’ (Or Jonouchi’s version “Let the Dog Out.”) on Hirutani’s fingers, causing him to fall. By the way, in Season Zero, you can clearly see that Jonouchi’s yoyo has ‘Made in USE’ written on it. Quality products always come from the United States of ‘Erica. (In the manga, it says ‘Made in the USA’)

In the manga, Jonouchi reunites with Yugi and proclaims that he’ll kick Nezumi’s ass if he ever sees him again and that’s the end of the chapter. In the anime, he thanks Honda for saving his life and Yugi happily returns affirming that Jonouchi would never change like that.

Meanwhile, back in school, Jonouchi tries his variant on ‘Around the World’ again, but this time he does it so fast that the wind causes Anzu and Miho’s skirts to fly up. They get pissed and Jonouchi runs off. The end.

—————————————-

Well, that was a bit complicated to compare, but as a whole….The manga does both stories better than the anime’s combination of the two. It’s to be expected. They’re not only merging four chapters but two stories into one episode, but it’s not just that. The little changes that they made that didn’t need to happen just made the story worse off, if you ask me.

That scene with Anzu and Miho is still irking me, and, overall, I feel like Honda’s presence was poorly written in this entire episode. It’s like they’re having Honda and Yugi struggle for the spot of Jonouchi’s best friend but no one will point out that Yugi’s obviously winning. It’s like they adapted the manga chapter pretty well and then the anime writers wrote on the script ‘Oh yeah, and Honda’s there too.’

The backstory they made for Jonouchi and Honda was just stupid. I mean, really? They became good buddies because he passed a band in a track meet? That’s what he’s supposed to do. That’s so boring and makes so little sense. What did they bond over? Because they don’t have much in common in the anime. Honda may fight people if need be, but he’s not a fellow ex-bully like Jonouchi. He’s a rule-abiding, strict goodie-two-shoes. The only thing we really know about Honda’s past in the anime is that he aimed to be class president but didn’t get the role. Those two would never hang out pre-Jonouchi’s attitude change, but yeah, I totally believe that pink track band is a huge emotional symbol of their friendship. Also, in both versions, isn’t he supposed to have known Jonouchi for numerous years before Yugi, Anzu and Miho? They look about the same age in this track meet flashback.

In the manga, it makes more sense because Honda is an ex-thug like Jonouchi and hung around with him because he liked picking fights. He’s still a superfluous character, if you ask me, but his story makes more sense. In neither story does Honda play a big role outside of explaining Jonouchi’s family situation, for the most part, and Jonouchi’s past with Hirutani, and that’s all he really needs to do.

Instead, he’s jammed in here like broken glass in Jonouchi’s non-blind eyes. Reading the manga alongside watching the anime really makes that moment when Honda saves Jonouchi stick out like a sore thumb as something that felt like it was tacked on. Did he even need that band? Wouldn’t it have been easier and more realistic to just grab the hook itself? How did he have time to both catch it and loop it on the hook without having time to just grab the hook? Would the band even support his weight? How did Honda even throw it up that high? It’s a frickin’ band of fabric.

In addition, the more emotional moments were better in the manga, and I liked that it was moreso a great moment for Jonouchi and Yugi’s friendship instead of having Honda butt his nose into it. Like I said before, Honda can exist and Jonouchi can have more than Yugi as a friend, but Honda doesn’t have any purpose being as prominent as he is in the anime.

I know this tirade seems contradictory given my statement in the review of chapters 11-12 where I praise them for giving Manga!Honda more story to work with, but that’s mostly because his presence so far in the manga has been to be set dressing. It’s nice to see him get a bit of an actual role in their dynamic, but as I’ve pointed out here, he doesn’t need to be anymore prominent than that. If Hanasaki, an objectively much better character, has to be dumped almost entirely, Honda can be mostly in the background too. Either that or give him more independence and agency as a character. Stop making him entirely reliant on those around him.

The yoyos make this whole story rather goofy, of course. I do think yoyos are a fun weapon idea, and I’ve seen this before in Yu Yu Hakusho and HunterxHunter, but in those examples they were enhanced/created with supernatural abilities, not bought at Target in a three-pack for $9.99. They really easily could have just adapted the first story and been all the better off for it. It’s a much more dramatic story, and it’s pretty much the one they adapted outside of all the yoyo stuff and the psuedo-Shadow Game.

Or, here’s a thought, maybe try keeping both stories. Hirutani’s return, barring the silly yoyos, was well done. We needed a reprise for this storyline where Jonouchi actually comes out on top over his former comrade. The first story provided the backbone and the last story provided the payoff. It’s not like they don’t have filler episodes they can lose to squeeze it in there.

Another thing I didn’t care for was the way Jonouchi acted. In the manga, he has to struggle to restrain himself when Yugi is punched. He doesn’t even make it more than 10-15 minutes before he punches the guy who did it. That punch was more than enough to break their deal, and Jonouchi knew that.

In the anime, Yugi gets punched by the same gang member and he deals with it, even though that should have broken their deal. He socks Honda in the stomach, sending him to the ground and thinks nothing of it, which makes no sense. I get that he’s trying to convince them that he’s bad and to leave him alone, but he’s trying to save his friends from getting hurt and here he is punching one of them.

Winner: Manga

Next time, a vain teacher makes the entire Yugi gang suffer when they try to help a friend confess their feelings.

Final Notes: Hirutani never once makes an appearance in the 2000 anime, nor is he referenced, but he does make an appearance in one of the video games. And when I found this out, I was kinda floored.

Hirutani is in the Dungeon Dice Monsters video game for the Game Boy Advance, only his name in that version, in the American release, is Diesel Kane. I love the Dungeon Dice Monsters video game, and I actually remembered that dude. It’s really cool that he’s not just some generic thug made for the game, but I wish they had explored this dynamic more in the actual game. All I remember and all the Wiki says is that the guy has a vendetta against Jonouchi, but you never find out what it is.

All of his gang members, both from the taser story and the yoyo story, are also in the game but they’re never given names.

Coincidentally, Nezumi also exists in the DDM game……..And his name is changed to…..Nibbles. Look, I get that both names are a reference to West Side Story, but that name is just as silly as a gang using yoyos as weapons.

Apparently, a ton of manga-exclusive characters are in DDM with funny names. For example, the escaped convict from the Burger World story is Jackpot, the old bald guy who owned the store Mokuba stole a Capsule Monsters machine from is Egger Baldwin, Kokurano (fortune-telling character we’ll meet later) is named Fortuno, Kujirada is named Beluga (Get it?! Because whale! He’s fat!….Again!) Sozoji is named Fender Shrill, and Hanasaki is named Lint Greendale…….LINT. His name is LINT! Hasn’t this kid been through enough without naming him Lint?

….Also, Yugi’s mother’s in DDM, which I didn’t remember at all. She doesn’t get a goofy name, but she is merely called ‘Yugi’s Mother.’ Like, guys, I assume she has a real name. At the very least, she’s Mrs. Muto…..


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Yu-Gi-Oh GX Episode 4: A Quintuple Combination! VWXYZ | Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: It’s the monthly exams, and advancement to the next rank is possible for our boys in red if they do well enough. In an effort to get rid of Judai (again…) Chronos snakes the new shipment of rare cards that just came in for the sake of giving them to Jun so he can make him face off against Judai in his practical test and wipe him out. However, Judai’s not going down so easily.

————————————-

The original doesn’t say that the ship has been fighting off attack subs or anything since they left. They just said they need to protect that case at all costs…..Wow, with several battleships and helicopters, that briefcase must hold something incredibly valuable and not something silly.

Oh they’re rare Duel Monsters cards….yeah, that’s worth tens maybe hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment and manpower to secure during a journey. Then again, Kaiba owns this place, so I can’t be too surprised that he’d burn this much money for cards.

Also, the captain says to prepare for landing not to speed up. Hope you like crashing, dub.

While I’m shocked that they left in Shou praying to Osiris for help, they leave out the reason why he has Monster Reborn cards everywhere. He’s being symbolic because passing the monthly exam and possibly advancing him to Ra Yellow will be like resurrecting him from the dead. Also, Shou doesn’t imply that not passing this test will leave him in Osiris Red forever like Syrus does.

Speaking of the test, why exactly are they having an advancement test so soon? I can’t imagine much real time has gone by in the series. They only just enrolled.

They remove a sweatdrop from Hayato as Shou leaves.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Judai just keeps repeating that he’s late whereas Jaden says that Chumley made him a five course breakfast presumably to make him miss the test. This was slightly poked at during a dub line insertion where Chumley said he’d go to plan B, however, this plan doesn’t make sense to me. If he’s partaking in the exam too (which he shows no indication of doing over the course of the rest of the episode. In fact, I’d be hard pressed to say that he ever leaves the dorm), cooking him all of that food and supposedly eating with him would make him just as late as Jaden.

The lady recognizes Judai as a duelist and points out that he’ll be late since he has a test today. He replies by saying it’s no matter because he can’t ignore an old lady in trouble. In the dub, the lady believes Jaden’s from the auto club, and Jaden says to not let the red jacket fool her because he’s just a person doing a good deed……Wait, red jacket? What does that have to do with an auto club? Am I missing something?

Daitokuji says nothing while Banner points out that they have 45 minutes left in the test.

As Shou sleeps, he keeps saying “Big bro, sorry.” I guess because he feels guilty for leaving instead of ensuring that Judai got up even though he did try several times. Judai walks up to him and whisper-yells “Unforgivable!” Shou wakes up, and Judai says that studying to the bone has no point if he’s just going to sleep through the test.

In the dub, Syrus keeps saying stuff about dueling in his sleep. Jaden walks up and says he didn’t know this was an oral exam. Syrus wakes up and Jaden says maybe Syrus should focus more on sleep instead of staying up all night holding Slifer séances…Oh, we’re passing that off as a séance and not prayer? I honestly don’t know how to respond to that because saying that’s skirting religion sounds incredibly dumb when he was praying to a poster of a Duel Monster.

Also, how did Jaden know he was doing that at all? He was asleep that entire time.

I don’t get it. If this exam is an advancement exam, why are the Obelisk Blues there? They can’t increase in rank anymore besides seniority or graduating. Is it just mandatory testing for them?

Asuka thinks to herself that Judai’s a half hour late and that shows lack of respect/concern over the importance of the written exam. Alexis thinks to herself that Jaden’s 15 minutes late, and he better hurry if he wants any chance at finishing.

Daichi’s inner monologue is roughly the same, but he also states that it’s weird how Judai has such poor studying skills and manner in the classroom yet he’s still such a skillful duelist. The dub basically says that his lack of studying skills and poor classroom manner are keeping him from being a great duelist. I kinda prefer the dub line even if evidence shows the contrary. It’s just that Judai’s not really setting a good example for any kids in the audience if he slacks off, doesn’t think anything technical or studious is important but still ends up being the best.

They cut out a shot of an Osiris Red as he asks himself how a guy like Judai could beat Chronos.

Judai says that the practical test is what really matters, not the written exam, while Jaden says if there were a test in melodrama, Syrus would get an A. This seems so dumb to me. Why even have the written part if it can be offset at all times by practical duels? Judai/Jaden gets crappy grades, is a crappy student and he fails constantly in his written schoolwork, yet because he’s good in duels he constantly skates by, even supposedly being the closest one to advancement in Osiris Red since he beat Chronos in the entrance exams despite getting abysmal marks on the written portion of that too. I know practical skills do count for a lot, but you can’t make the written parts practically moot in exchange.

I find it funny, in a weird way, that the only students piling on top of each other and going crazy for the shipment of rare cards are the boys. I don’t even see any girls in the room.

The Group of Students Pounding the Door (dub): *robotically* “Guards! Guards! Guards!”

………….WHAT THE UNHOLY HELL WAS THAT!? Why were they talking like that?! What were they repeating “guards” in unison!? Why weren’t they raising their voices?! What the hell did I just witness?!

In the original, the students just ask what’s going on….

The envelope originally said ‘Sold’ in kanji whereas the dub envelope is predictably blank.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

The girl at the counter looks mad when Judai runs up to them because he calls her ‘old lady’ (maybe mistaking her for the lady from earlier) before correcting himself and saying ‘miss’. In the dub, Jaden does call her ‘counter girl’ which could be kinda offensive I guess, but it really just looks like she’s bitchy for no reason.

“SP-Pack” is removed from the booster pack.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Judai looks sad during the conversation about the booster pack because Shou accidentally calls Judai a mutual enemy, which is from his conversation with Hayato earlier. In the dub, he looks sad because Syrus implicates that without the booster pack Jaden may fail….I don’t see why. Jaden’s beat Crowler, I think he can beat other Slifer Reds…

Finishing off that conversation, Judai just tells Shou to take the deck so that they can use the time they have until the practical exam to perfect their decks together. In the dub, he says he may fail sometimes but he never fails.

The old lady, Tome, introduces herself properly to Judai and Shou while she doesn’t do that yet in the dub and instead calls Jaden ‘Auto-club’ while telling him that she owns the card shop.

Syrus: “How do you know her, Jay?”

Jaden: “Uhh, I think it was the carburetor.”

What the? That doesn’t answer his question at all.

You’re seriously telling me no one in the school recognized Crowler? I know he had on a hat and coat as a disguise, but he wasn’t changing his voice in the slightest, and you could still see his trademark long blonde hair.

Jun’s friends don’t clamor over Chronos’ ‘style’ with having a bunch of cards in his coat like the dub does.

Jun points out that it’s Chronos and includes that “It’s the guy who got beat by Judai.” In the dub, he says “You look better all covered up.” Yeah, make fun of your teachers. That’ll get you ahead.

Daichi originally thinks to himself that if Judai wins they’ll be in the same dorm, and it seems incredible that a first year rose up in rank so quickly. In the dub, he thinks the duel is a trap and only a fool would accept.

They insert shots of the characters talking to extend the scene.

Judai calls Jun ‘Manjoume’ while Jun corrects him and says ‘Manjoume-SAN’. This can’t be mirrored in the dub, really, so Chazz just says ‘Bring it!’

I guess the whole thing of calling Winged Kuriboh ‘partner/aibou’ like Yami and Yugi used to do to each other is never going to be included like it really never was in dub Yu-Gi-Oh either.

The duel is one turn in (just Judai/Jaden making a play) and all he did was summon Elemental Hero Clayman and we get those overly dramatic splitscreens with other characters gasping. *Gasp* ‘He made a very basic first move with an otherwise unimpressive monster! My heart can’t handle this excitement!’ I think they just wanted to pretend it was a really epic move or something since we were cutting to commercial, but come on, that’s just unreasonably lame.

Eyecatches:

A zoom in on Daichi as he’s talking and a far away shot of the duel is removed.

A kinda far shot of Jun talking is removed.

Jun has already explained the other special ability (Switching one of Judai’s creatures into attack mode) but this time we get the splitscreen on Shou, and the shot of Shou is him reacting to the fact that Clayman has such low attack and is now in attack mode. In the dub, since they removed the shot of Chazz talking, he had no time to explain the card before the splitscreen. Instead, the splitscreen basically interrupts Chazz, and Syrus just wishes his turn would end already before Chazz finally explains.

VW-Tiger Missile is changed to Heat-Seeker Blitz, which actually sounds better.

Chronos clamors over Jun’s skills while Crowler basically says Jaden’s not as impressive as everyone thought.

Shou says playing in defense mode isn’t like Judai. This line is omitted in the dub, and we just cut straight to Bastion explaining that this could be all he can do right now. I should mention that Syrus also says that it’s not fair, and I would fault this on 4Kids since that’s not the same line Shou had (he just said ‘B-but’ there) but Shou has also had a slight habit of saying certain legit moves weren’t fair and even said so earlier when Jun showcased the abilities of Frontline Base.

Asuka thinks to herself that this can’t be all Judai can do right now. In contrast, Alexis says the duel is a complete mismatch and asks “How can he duel when he doesn’t know what he’s fighting?” What does that line even mean? Cards are played in concealed manners (face down) all the time. It’s hardly a newly conceived tactic. Plus he only has one card face down right now.

Unless she’s talking about the fact that Chazz seems to have plenty of new cards in which case boo-friggety-hoo. Like anyone really shows their opponents their entire decks before dueling. Jaden also has new cards and has fought Chazz before, so I can’t make heads or tails about what she means by this.

They cut a shot of Chronos gushing over the battle and how Judai will lose soon.

Another mention of ‘Manjoume’ ‘Manjoume-SAN’ is omitted.

Eh…this next one is a change, but technically it’s hard to call it wrong. A Hero Emerges allows the opponent to select a card from the opponent’s hand to summon at random if it’s a monster. Jun chose the card on the far left while Chazz chose the far right. The shot of Judai grabbing the card is kept the same. The thing is, neither version indicates which perspective is supposed to be used here; Jun’s or Judai’s. The original chooses Judai’s (Judai’s left) while the dub chooses Chazz’s (Chazz’s right) yet both can be correct. I’m still going to fault 4Kids here though because they have the original script, and there’s really no need to change the line since it can make sense from both angles.

Another one I’m uncertain about noting, but here goes. Judai says he trusts his deck, and as long as he has monsters willing to fight by his side in his deck, he’ll never stop fighting. In the dub, Jaden says he’s not done because he has all sorts of ‘vicious monsters’ waiting to get at Chazz. The original instills loyalty and trust in his monsters and his deck as a whole while the dub is just macho “I’m gonna kick your ass with my scary monsters!” stuff.

Well, this is weird. Before, the SP-Pack text was the only text removed from the booster pack. The logo was left alone. In the dubbed flashback, the logo and text are both removed now. Guess they got digital paint happy.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Not TOO happy, though, because, before, the little white oval where ‘SP-Pack’ was written was also removed, but this time it’s not. Consistency is fun.

The dub omits mentioning that Winged Kuriboh can reduce an opponent’s attack to zero with its special ability with V-Z’s own special ability (I really hate cards that have a laundry list of special abilities. It’s understandable when the card is insanely difficult to summon, but seeing as how cards that are insanely difficult to summon constantly get miraculously summoned in this franchise, it’s hard to not get annoyed by it.)

Judai: “Our life points are the same at 1000 now. Wouldn’t it be funny if I drew a monster that had 1000 or more attack points right now?”

Jun: “What kind of crap are you spewing!? As if it’d be that easy!”

….It’d be pretty damn easy, really. It’s like…one of the easiest things ever if you have a well-balanced deck. It’s definitely a lot more believable than achieving the crap you’ve done in the span of two turns, Jun. This also isn’t present in the dub, it’s just Jaden gloating more or less.

Love the stock crowd gasp sound effects, 4Kids. You’re really amping up the quality.

I love how the other duels in the arena already concluded and absolutely no one was interested in watching them.

Samejima says the trust in Judai’s deck, the loyalty to his cards and his passionate dueling soul are the reasons that Judai is being promoted to Ra Yellow. In the dub, Sheppard just says that a Slifer Red has never fought an Obelisk Blue in the tests, and showing great courage to not only take the challenge but also to win is inspiring, thus he’s being promoted. But, again, he beat a PROFESSOR in Obelisk Blue for his entrance exam but was booted to Slifer. Why is beating a student of Obelisk Blue so much more impressive?

Both versions, nice CGI confetti. Hey, did none of the other duelists advance? Is this like a one spot kinda deal? Because, if it’s not, then that means the other duelists got no confetti for their advancement. Nice.

Hayato talks about how insane it is that an Osiris Red advanced so quickly whereas Chumley is talking about making an ad for a new roommate and tells Syrus to make him a grilled cheese.

Judai talks about how he loves red more than the other colors for the reasons mentioned in episode two. In the dub, he talks about how much better yellow seems compared to red, but it’s nothing without Syrus. I should also mention that Jaden says “Congrats on passing your practical exam” which means, yes, we completely skipped over Shou’s duel.

Judai says, in response to Shou’s emotional outburst, that this must be ‘passion red’. Jaden says it’s a good thing red doesn’t stain as bad as yellow……..wait, what? Tears don’t stain, do they? Also, even if they did, why would the stain be more apparent on yellow than red? Unless tears were red colored or—oh nevermind.

Next up, the group heads to a forbidden dorm to face a shadow duelist.

….Previous Episode


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Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 13: Trap of the Metamorph Pot! Flame Swordsman in Danger | Sub/Dub Comparison

Plot: Bakura, suddenly appearing from nowhere, challenges Yugi to a duel using his friends’ favorite cards shuffled into his deck. He accepts, but not before Bakura reveals something shocking – he has his own Millennium Item – the Millennium Ring. He uses its powers to separate the group’s souls from their bodies and inject them into their favorite cards.

What’s more is that Bakura is not really Bakura. He’s an evil spirit inhabiting Bakura’s Millennium Ring who forcibly takes over Bakura’s body whenever he pleases in order to collect the Millennium Items for himself. He believed he could easily steal the Puzzle if he removed Yugi’s soul, but he was wrong. Yami takes over Yugi’s body after Yugi’s soul vanishes and vows to win back his friends’ souls during a Shadow Game.

———————————————

Honda is actually a gun buff in the original series, which explains why his favorite card is the Cyber Commander. However, I’m shocked they let Tristan actually have a gun. He’s a CYBER Commander, so it’s probably a laser gun or something, but still. Maybe 4Kids was still in that weird phase where they would allow guns on screen but only under certain circumstances, like with Pokemon.

Tristan: “According to this tombstone, I’M DEAD!“ First a gun now a reference to death? Walking on the wild side today, eh 4Kids?

Also, the tombstone is edited to show Tristan’s name instead of Honda’s.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

When a duelist suffers a loss of life points in this Shadow Game, they suffer physical pain. When Jonouchi beats Bakura’s White Magical Hat, Bakura clutches his chest and groans in pain. In the dub, he suffers no pain and only scowls.

Regular Yugi doesn’t have any inner monologue running during the duel because his soul is supposed to be in the deck. Only Yami is in Yugi’s body during the duel. In the dub, Yugi’s talking in his head like nothing is different.

Fairly minor, but in the original, Yugi and Yami have been keeping the spirit a secret from the group. Yugi knows that there’s a spirit in the Puzzle in the Japanese version. In the dub, he just says he doesn’t really know about the spirit, but that he feels a voice calling out to him when he duels sometimes. Nice try, Yugi. Trying to cover up your cheating ways.

Yugi: “Wait a minute, Joey, I was just played so I have to move.” Just because you summon a monster doesn’t mean they’re obligated to move at all during that turn. Any monster currently on the field, unless otherwise restricted by spells, traps or effects, can act. This is true even in Duelist Kingdom. Yugi really, seriously should’ve known that….In addition, Bakura also had a face-down spell or trap card out, so it would’ve been really dangerous to attack right then….No wonder Yugi always needs to use Yami. He sucks at this.

The Just Desserts card is way overpowered in this season. Since the duelists only have 2000 LP each, you could easily end a duel in a few turns if your opponent has four monsters out.

Yugi attacks a face down monster AGAIN just because Joey said Yami was cooler than him.

Not only does 4Kids get the card information wrong on T’ea’s card when she activates her effect (I think they used the template for the Dark Magician) but they also made the card upside down…Which is weird, because they had it the right way when she started to glow….It was still the wrong CARD, but it was at least facing the right way.

Subbed:

Dubbed:

Also, uhm….Huh?….The Magician of Faith’s card effect activates when it’s flipped face-up. She may have come out of hiding, but her card was never flipped face up/put in attack mode. Unless Yami did this without announcing his move.

In the original, Bakura said the merchant also sold his father a Duel Monsters card. In the dub, Bakura just says the merchant said the Millennium Item had something to do with the game.

——————————-

I like this duel arc. Seeing the group as Duel Monsters is a lot of fun even if their lives are on the line because of it. Isn’t it so coincidental that all of the group’s favorite cards have human traits? Yami Bakura was always the best enemy in Yu-Gi-Oh to me, even if I feel really bad for poor Bakura. I don’t know why he was destined to have such an awful Millennium Item when he’s so kind.

Next time, the Shadow Game ends. Can Yami keep his friends out of the graveyard until the last life point depletes?

….Previous Episode


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Yu-Gi-Oh! (Manga) Chapter 24 Review (AniManga Clash! Season Zero Placeholder)

Hey guys, who remembers that short Yu-Gi-Oh! Spin-off thinger – Capsule Monsters? I sure do!….Kinda!…I remember it existing. I remember watching some of it and being rather bored.

Fun fact: The Capsule Monsters anime, despite being based on an actual game in this old-ass version of the manga (No idea if it’s played the same way, though), wasn’t something the original anime creators wanted to make. In fact, the series never released in Japan.

Also, apparently, according to the Fandom Wiki anyway (I really question whether this is true), despite never once airing in Japan, there is a Japanese version of it. Why they dubbed it and never released it is beyond me.

Who was actually behind this spin-off no one asked for, no one paid much attention to and amounted to nothing but basically being a money sink? Why, who else but the donut bakers themselves, 4Kids?

Yup, 4Kids, for some inexplicable reason, ‘commissioned, produced and editedCapsule Monsters when Yu-Gi-Oh’s original run was reaching its final season. They also did the kinda skeevy thing of re-editing the series into a movie (Two movies, I guess, technically?) and treating it like it was a new movie based on the series. Because that’s never sketchy or annoying, especially when you’re dealing with something aimed towards kids.

At least they released the movie for free for one day on their website for some reason so some people could be made aware that it wasn’t new content….No idea why they did that, but they did.

I really have to review Capsule Monsters at some point, but back to the topic at hand….Uh…well, more Capsule Monsters.

I brought up the anime because, even when that aired, I didn’t really understand how the game was played nor did I feel very compelled to learn because the anime, to my recollection, was quite boring.

Capsule Monsters, otherwise known as Capsule Monster Chess/Capmon in the manga (sometimes) is Mokuba’s niche game in the manga. I could’ve sworn he was also a player of the game in the anime. I would have bet a substantial amount of money on that….but he’s not. Mokuba not only isn’t an avid Capsule Monster player in the Capsule Monsters anime – he’s not even in the anime. Poor Mokuba. Were you too busy being kidnapped to be in the anime?

What of the first depiction of Capsule Monsters in the manga? Let’s find out.

——————————————-

The manga actually explains fairly well how this version of the game is played. Capsule Monsters are dispensed in gashapon machines, which I just learned are supposed to be called ‘blind boxes’ in America, but I have never once heard that ever. They’re also called ‘gacha’ machines, and if you play pretty much any MMO or mobile game in existence, that word awakens something visceral in you.

Yugi explains how the game is played, for the most part. The capsules all have one number between one and five on them – this indicates their attack power. Within the capsules are….the uh…well, the monsters, of course. Each player unleashes five monsters onto an 8×8 game board, of which there are 50 different types. This game area mimics the planet of ganastar….I’m not sure why that matters, but okay.

All of the monsters stay within the capsules when they’re setting the game up, so each side starts the game mostly blind to the monsters the opponent is playing, outside of their attack strength. Monsters all have their own ranges, types of attacks and effects, so strategy comes into play when moving the pieces and battling the monsters. Whoever destroys all of the opponent’s monsters wins.

Yugi’s in line to get some capsules when, in typical Yu-Gi-Oh manga fashion, he comes across an asshole. This asshole kid cuts in front of him in line then says Yugi’s too old to play the game, being in high school. This game is equated to chess and yet it’s aimed squarely at middle school and younger?

He lets Yugi get his capsules eventually, but Yugi’s money gets lost in the machine. He, strangely, loses his shit and starts swearing at the machine, shaking it violently. Bit of an OOC moment for him. I know he’s passionate about games, but he’s never one to have a temper like that. The old man who owns the candy store that the machines are in starts screaming at him.

Suddenly, Mokuba Kaiba makes his debut appearance, looking just as frightening and creepy as you’d expect in this manga’s art. Apparently he’s such a Capsule Monsters baller that the other kids go silent in his presence. Like Seto is a champion in Duel Monsters, Mokuba is a champion in Capsule Monsters.

So, did you guys forget that you’re reading Yu-Gi-Oh’s early manga days? You did? Oh, let me remind you by showing you this scene where Mokuba, the small child, orders these small child children of the kid nature to attack Yugi. They have a taser………..a switchblade……………..And….I’m not kidding…..A fucking Uzi.

What kind of world does this manga take place in?! Not even the chapter with an actual murderer involved a fucking UZI.

Mokuba wants to fight for his big brother’s honor, so he’s kidnapping Yugi and taking the candy shop’s gashapon machine (After throwing the owner a stack of money to pay for it.)

They bring Yugi to their secret base, which is just a warehouse, so they can play. Beforehand, though, Mokuba’s little goons try to intimidate him some more, saying stuff like he’s wimpy and they’ll burn down his house. Ya know, typical schoolyard stuff.

They cross the line when they try to touch Yugi’s Puzzle, however, because, under threat of smashing it and trying to grab it from him, Yugi instantly shifts to Yami, who flips his shit and screams at them to let go of his Puzzle. Wow, both of you are quite touchy today.

The goons are shocked at this change, but, surprisingly, Mokuba’s not because apparently Seto told him about Yugi’s ability to transform. *shrug*

Mokuba says he stole the gashapon machine to make the capsule picks completely blind so he wouldn’t have an unfair advantage using his own capsules…..then he reveals in inner monologue that he rigged the machine, paid off the candy shop owner before Yugi even got there, and rigged the machine to give him the better capsules anyway.

Also, again with making the Kaibas cheaters. Granted, in the 2000 anime, the one and only time you see Mokuba duel, against Yugi, he cheats by trying to steal some of Yugi’s star chips in the middle of the duel, but that was in desperation to keep Kaiba Corp from being sold to Pegasus.

Yugi’s capsules result in attack strengths of 1-1-1-2-4 while Mokuba’s are 4-4-5-5-5….I think anyone with a single brain cell could have deduced that Mokuba rigged the machine just on this result alone without him immediately telling us, but okay.

Before they start, Mokuba lays a bet down. Now, you’d imagine that, considering he’s playing for his older brother’s honor, his wager would be something like Yugi would have to kiss Kaiba’s feet or give him all of his Duel Monster cards or something, right?

……His wager is, if he wins, he’ll CUT OFF ONE OF YUGI’S FINGERS! He’s even holding a folding knife as he says it. What the hell is wrong with this manga?!

Yugi says, if he wins, Mokuba will suffer a penalty game.

Anyway, as expected, even though they laid out the rules at the beginning, much like with the part with Duel Monsters, they just pretty much do whatever without explaining anything. Like, what determines which piece moves how far and when? Why do formations matter all that much if you can move freely? If attack level is all that matters in battles, then doesn’t that mean the match can be decided before they even get on the board? If monsters have effects or abilities, like Duel Monster cards, where is this information held? In some sort of book or something? Because there’s no text on the capsules or in them.

Yami gets pummeled, only managing to kill one of Mokuba’s creatures on a stalemated attack, meaning he had to sacrifice his most powerful creature for that.

He’s down to his last monster, and it seems all is lost until, luck of all lucks, Yugi reveals that he was luring all of Mokuba’s monsters into a diagonal line. His last monster, which is level two, just so happens to have the ability to literally insta-kill any monster with its attack, even if it’s level five. And it shoots this ability in a diagonal pattern, meaning all of Mokuba’s monsters are defeated in one shot.

If you think this situation stinks at all, it’s because Yugi totally pulled this win out of his ass.

Mokuba may be a cheat, but he’s still a Capsule Monsters champion. Even if he cheated in those championships (We don’t know that, but he cheated here and it’s suggested that Seto cheated in his championships, so it’s not a far cry to say Mokuba did too) he definitely knows the game well enough to play the part. He’s making observations about strategy and formation as if he’s a veteran, so he has to be pretty skilled. All of the monsters get revealed at the start of the game, meaning he had to know what that monster was and what ability it had, so he should have been very careful to not do anything dumb like line up literally all of his monsters in a perfect diagonal line right in front of him.

How does this low-level creature have such an awesome ability anyway? If it’s a simple straight diagonal line of insta-kill damage, he could kill a monster from the other side of the board if he aimed carefully. And it insta-kills even the strongest monsters, too?

Granted, they did set this up visually. As you’ll note in the first shot of the game board when they’re done setting up, the bird thing that has this ability is off on its own, further back than his other four creatures, which were meant to cut off Mokuba’s creatures on the way there and set up this line.

The problem is, though, he gambled a hell of a lot here. I know the Heart of the Cards thing has basically become a meme by now, but come on – this isn’t even Duel Monsters. Is there a Heart of the Capsules? The luck in play here is insane. What if Mokuba caught on to his game and avoided the diagonal line? What if he sent one monster off to approach from directly ahead or off to either side? Or what if he spread out his monsters even a tiny bit more? If he didn’t get all of those monsters in one shot, he definitely would have lost. And Yami never once seemed the slightest bit concerned that his plan wouldn’t work. He was sporting a cocky smirk the whole time like his plan was foolproof when it was about as airtight as a moth’s nylon stocking.

I feel like this is the manga version of the duel with Seto in Season Zero where Seto just pulled a sudden ‘It’s a draw lol’ card out of nowhere at the last minute, right as he was about to lose.

Anyhoo, Yami sentences Mokuba to a penalty game, which is being trapped in an illusion of being sealed in a Capsule Monster capsule (and it has a level one mark on it – nice shade, Yami.) But before it’s closed, Mokuba teases that this isn’t over. Seto is setting up for his revenge against Yugi with something called Death T.

Also, this chapter ends with a pretty cool illustration of a little dice game you can play to try and beat Kaiba. I might try it for myself sometime. It’s a neat little addition.

——————————

So, uh, this chapter was pretty messed up, wouldn’t ya say? Uzis and switchblades and threatening to cut off people’s fingers – all brought to you by elementary school students. Fun fun.

The story is alright. I still think that ending was complete bullshit, but it’s not like this series is a stranger to bullshit wins. Mokuba’s a friggin’ psychopath in this version, and I can’t really tell if I love that or hate it. In the 2000 anime, he’s kinda Seto’s morality pet more or less, but, on his own, he’s really not all that interesting. He’s basically Tristan just with more of a purpose (behind the scenes anyway) and 10000% more kidnappings. He’s a nice little kid with a good sense of justice and very strong loyalty to Seto, and he’s very forgiving, but he’s just not that interesting.

Can I even say this version of Mokuba is more interesting, though? Because he’s just a nutcase. There’s nothing likable about this future mob boss besides his desire to avenge his brother’s honor, and that’s kinda watered down by the fact that he doesn’t even try to face Yugi/Yami properly before cheating. The little prick cheated before he even MET Yugi.

I actually like the concept of Capsule Monsters here, even if I’m still kinda confused about it. I hope it becomes a little clearer when we revisit the game later (at least in Season Zero. We might revisit it again in the manga, I’m not sure. The manga and anime will stray away from each other quite a bit in the future.) I’m not holding my breath though, because even the Wiki page for it says some concepts are just flatout poorly explained, like abilities.

I thought I remembered Capsule Monster toys being a thing when I was younger and turns out I was right. It was very shortlived, obviously, and didn’t get a lot of distribution in stores, but apparently they pushed it enough for me to remember it being in my local Walmart for probably a month before it faded in obscurity.

Also, it seems like this version of the game is played differently from both the manga and anime versions.

Not only that, but apparently there was a video game version of Capsule Monsters made for the Playstation in 1998 called Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule: Breed and Battle that was only released in Japan. Golly, a video game released in 1998 where you collect monsters in small balls and raise them to help them evolve into stronger monsters that you will use to battle other monsters. How did that not immediately take off?

To my surprise, there was another video game that came out in 2004 based on Capsule Monsters for the PS2 titled Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum. I had followed the Yu-Gi-Oh video games pretty well when I was a kid, but I didn’t have much money to buy many of them, and I never once remembered seeing this game in stores. Maybe I did – the box art is just the slightest bit familiar – but, again, they didn’t seem to push this game very well. I remember them pushing the Dungeon Dice Monsters game, and I bought that, but the Capsule Monsters game is a blur at best.

Also, it’s weird that they spelled ‘coliseum’ like that, isn’t it? You don’t typically see it spelled that way. It’s usually spelled ‘Colosseum.’ Ya know….like, uh, hm what’s a good example?…..Uhm….Oh, how about Pokemon Colosseum….the game that was also released in 2004?

I’m just poking fun at the Pokemon connection, really, because Capsule Monsters does seem like a fun game and honestly isn’t a ripoff of Pokemon, given the board game aspect and chess-like strategies. I just think it doesn’t do a good job of explaining how different it is out the gate. You hear ‘capsule monsters’ and see that the blurb is just ‘collect, raise and battle monsters in small balls’ and you can’t help but think ‘Pokemon rip-off.’

And, to be completely fair….the concept name of Pokemon was literally Capsule Monsters, so they’re kinda asking for it.

I think if it had taken off more I would’ve gotten into it. Maybe not so much because I was spending enough money on Yu-Gi-Oh cards without buying packs of small toys that probably cost even more. It just seems like, no matter how much they tried, they couldn’t get this game off the ground. They really hit their stride with Yu-Gi-Oh/Duel Monsters, but I think you could still make something great with Capsule Monsters. It’s a shame, really. Seems like a missed opportunity. Maybe the timing wasn’t right or something.

Final Notes: This episode is only extremely lightly referenced in episode 11, and that’s because the Capsule Monsters game played there is basically a mirror of the one played here. Literally everything else is different, including there being a different opponent.

Next time…..


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