This is another story I’m sorry didn’t make it into Season Zero. It’s weird because this a two parter, so it easily could’ve been adapted into the show without needing to write anything new, but I guess they just didn’t like the story enough.
Hanasaki, the timid kid from chapter three, makes a reappearance. He is a huge fan of the American comic book hero, Zombire – which is literally a fusion of a zombie and a vampire. His father makes sure to get him some cool Zombire merch, like masks, model kits etc. every time he returns from a business trip from America.
His father feels bad for not being around much, especially considering Hanasaki has rather poor health and has spent a lot of time in the hospital. Hanasaki doesn’t have a lot of friends or self-confidence, so his father is happy whenever he can put a smile on his face by getting him Zombire stuff. He’s especially happy that Hanasaki has found some new friends in Yugi and the gang.
(Can I just point out how crazy rude it is to unbox something you find in someone’s room? Let alone if it’s a model kit and choosing to assemble it right there just because you assume the person doesn’t have the time to do it. Even if he didn’t just want to collect it and preserve the box, he still would have wanted to have the fun of putting it together himself. For god’s sake, Jonouchi. Get a clue.)
However, his father’s a bit of an idiot. A well-meaning idiot, but an idiot nonetheless.
To help boost Hanasaki’s confidence, he pretends to be a stranger getting attacked by some goons in the middle of the night. Hanasaki rushes out in his new Zombire costume that his father just bought him and ‘defeats’ the goons with ease.
This plan works wonderfully as Hanasaki pretty much believes he can do anything now. However, I really, really, really need to point out how misguided this plan is.
It’s great that his dad wants to boost his confidence. It’s great that he wants to give him a chance to be a hero like Zombire. But making your scrawny, physically weak, child who has a history of health problems believe he can easily beat up thugs twice his size, especially when he has a hero complex, is not the smartest thing in the world. He may gain confidence, but he may also gain overconfidence and a desire to continue challenging huge people who would wipe their asses with his mangled remains.
What’s even worse is that, 1) These jerks aren’t people Hanasaki’s dad knows well or is friends with – they’re just random thugs he found on the street and 2) when Hanasaki’s dad pays them off, they ask for Hanasaki’s full name and WHERE HE GOES TO SCHOOL so they can supposedly do this again…..And he just gives them that information. There’s a difference between being misguided and being an idiot. I know the 90s were a different time in regards to child safety, but this is too much even for then.
Predictably, the goons arrive at their school and they threaten Yugi, knowing he’s a friend of Hanasaki, so Hanasaki can come in to save him. They run off, and Hanasaki is once again emboldened by his heroism. However, the real reason they did that was so they’d know Hanasaki’s face too, since he was masked the first time they saw him….doesn’t really make a difference because knowing his face doesn’t mean you know where he lives, but either way, they find out where he lives, throw a rock through his window claiming they’ve kidnapped Yugi and to come face them if he ever wants to see him again.
Hanasaki dons his Zombire costume and heads out to save his friend.
Meanwhile, Yugi is getting into Zombire model kits thanks to Hanasaki, but he’s run out of spray paint and can’t color his newest creation. Since all the shops are closed, he runs to Hanasaki’s house to borrow some paint. However, all he finds is his father in a panic, holding the note the goons left for Hanasaki. They call him up and tell him they’ve got Hanasaki and are holding him hostage for 500,000 yen, which is about 4500 USD. If he doesn’t pay, they’ll hurt Hanasaki. And even though they haven’t given his father enough time to do anything, they’re still beating up Hanasaki and even spraying spray paint into his eyes. Yikes…
Yugi, who soon becomes Yami, rushes off to save him, vehement in saving the friend who was only trying to protect him in the first place. Hanasaki’s father is close behind and retrieves Hanasaki while Yugi takes care of the goons.
Before we head on to the Shadow Game portion, let me point out one final bit of idiocy in Hanasaki’s dad. He tells Hanasaki that they should just…go home. *lip smack* First of all, you’re just gonna leave poor Yugi alone with three thugs who have knives? Real nice. Why aren’t you helping him or calling the cops? Yugi’s a kid too. What are you thinking? Second, your child has been beaten and had spray paint shot directly into his eyes. Maybe take him to a hospital first? You’re a terrible parent.
It’s honestly not much of a game. The thugs chase Yami around as he draws lines on the ground with spray paint. Eventually, they realize he was drawing a maze around them and a discarded cigarette is set to ignite it. As the lines burst into flames, the thugs run away into the water of the dam.
That’s it. That’s all. They don’t even actually go through the maze, they just run away.
Hanasaki refuses to go home, sheds his Zombire mask and heads off to help Yugi fight the goons. He doesn’t get to actually do anything, but the fact that he rushed in either way proved to himself and his father that he doesn’t need some silly costume or some fake super strength to be a hero – he had it in him all along.
This is a pretty sweet couple of chapters. I really liked Hanasaki when we first met him in chapter three, so I’m glad we got more time with him and got to explore his character more. I really wish he was made into more of a regular character, to be honest. He’s very likable, brave and sweet. I think he’d make a great addition to the group – especially in this series loaded with jerks around every corner. The ending explaining that he had the heart of a hero and plenty of courage all along was predictable, but not as much as you’d might think. I was more worried they’d do worse damage to him than they did, just because so many people in this manga are ridiculously evil.
This plot is interesting, even if the choices made by the father are just stupid sometimes. It’s also weird that he decides to do this confidence boost plot thing right as he learns Hanasaki has a group of friends. Isn’t his confidence the highest it’s ever been right now?
Though I do have to say….isn’t he a tad old to be believing he’s randomly acquiring super powers? He’s meant to be the same age as Yugi and the others, which is at least 16, right? Yet he’s leaning into the make-believe so much it’s almost delusional.
The Shadow Game is boring too, but that’s not really the point. The point is, Hanasaki has found a strength within himself that has nothing to do with Zombire, and he has a big heart that allows him to fight for his friends no matter what, even if the enemy outnumbers him and are twice his size. That’s just as good, if not better, as any comic book hero.
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Plot: Kaiba has been spurned by his tie in Duel Monsters with Yugi, so he decides to send out his Game Shitennou (Four heavenly kings) to defeat him – Yami specifically. His first choice, Baron Ridley Sheldon, is obsessed with dolls and mannequins, especially a little girl doll called Fiona.
Meanwhile, Yugi is playing a game of Duel Monsters with Miho, who is playing for the first time, and he wins. He claims it’s his first victory (Which, I guess might be right since he tied with Kaiba.) She doesn’t take it well. In fact, she breaks down into tears and Honda goes on a tirade, chastising Yugi for beating Miho.
As fate would have it, he’s suddenly called into the infirmary where the nurse, having heard of his proficiency with games, decides to also challenge him to a game of Duel Monsters.
While Yugi does okay, he’s no match for the nurse. After a lengthy duel, Yugi has to get back to class, but not before the nurse takes his Neon Knight card as a prize for winning. If he wants to win it back, he’ll have to duel her again sometime.
Once Yugi leaves the room, it’s revealed that Kaiba and Sheldon were behind the whole duel – and they’re not done with him yet.
After school, Yugi runs off to an arcade to play a brand new fighting game. An employee seemingly directs him to a room where the new game is located, but it’s actually a trap set by Kaiba and Sheldon. They throw him into the back of a car and kidnap him – attempting to force him into a more proper duel of sorts and trigger Yami’s appearance.
After one attack, the baron is successful in triggering the appearance of Yami, but despite his best efforts, and using Yugi’s Neon Knight against him, he’s ultimately unable to defeat Yami. Kaiba stews in anger over the defeat, but he still has three more Shitennou to challenge Yami.
Breakdown: So uhm have I mentioned I hate Miho?
I think I have, but let me reiterate.
I fucking hate Miho.
And when Miho’s around, I fucking hate Honda.
For God’s sake, she is nothing but an annoying turd of a character. She loses at a card game, her first time playing, Yugi doesn’t rub it in her face or anything, in fact he’s incredibly humble about it (Even if Jonouchi jokes that Yugi’s cold when he’s gaming), yet she still cries and friggin’ sobs into Honda’s arms to get more sympathy.
Sympathy over losing one children’s card game.
Honda screams at him, so much that Yugi falls over in his seat, acting like he should have just let her win. And all Yugi can do is apologize, but even after saying sorry a couple times, Honda still berates the poor kid.
At the very least Anzu sticks up for him. She tells Honda it’s not Yugi’s fault and tells Yugi to not apologize for simply winning a game, which, of course, he shouldn’t. Miho, how crappy of a female protagonist do you have to be when Anzu of all people consistently looks eons better at every turn?
Onto the topic at hand, Yugi has two duels in this episode, and just like before both duels have their confusing moments. For instance, in the duel against the nurse, she summons a monster to destroy his monster on their respective first turns, but then she acts like it’s her turn again and summons another monster.
Also, when she summons a monster with 800 attack points, Yugi summons a monster with 600 attack points, but it’s on the forest field so it gains 50% more attack, making 900. Her Chimera monster had the ability to turn forest into wastelands, which is what it thrived on, giving it a 50% power boost and removing the 50% boost Yugi’s creature had – making it 1200 vs. 600, which means Yugi should have taken a 600 Life Point hit in the ensuing battle, but he didn’t. For some strange reason, his LP went down to 1700, as if the forest boost never came off of his creature.
And then they just decide to say ‘screw it’ anyway and have a nonsensical….err…I would ‘montage’ but you can literally understand nothing of what’s actually happening except cards are being played and Yugi’s losing.
When we cut back, she lures Yugi into a trap, but it’s hard to follow because they’re acting like we know what cards are already in play when we’d obviously have no idea.
Either Yugi concedes because class is back in session (….What time is it? First he’s playing with Miho, then he plays a seemingly insanely long match with the nurse, and now class is back in session? Were they having a two hour long recess or something?) and the nurse takes his Neon Knight card, even though they hadn’t established an ante rule.
Anyway, it’s a normal day in the neighborhood, ladeeda, the students are hard at work, the sun is shining, the nurse was a friggin’ marionette the whole time, the birds are chirping, the squirrels are—What? Oh oh, yeah, the nurse was a marionette controlled by the aforementioned doll dude….this entire time.
An entirely realistic adult human woman marionette with such precise control that he can naturally walk her all over the room and even easily handle playing cards, all from the simple two-pieces-of-wood-nailed-together-with-strings-attached controls of a regular marionette, controlled from….I dunno, behind a curtain (???) because Sheldon just comes right the hell out of nowhere, and gruff-voiced old man Sheldon can, somehow, perfectly emulate a young woman’s voice without any voice modulator or anything.
Sometimes, there are scenes that really remind me of why I love anime.
And all of that for…..absolutely no reason. Kaiba already knows Yugi has two personalities and that default Yugi, despite being good at games, is nowhere near as good as Yami. There’s no reason for little Yugi to have a trial duel with Sheldon, besides maybe taking his Neon Knight? But there’s also no reason for that. Kaiba just kidnaps Yugi anyway, so there’s no need to bait him with the card (and they don’t – he just brings it up AS he’s kidnapping him) and, spoiler, they don’t show him taking back his Neon Knight card in the end either. It’s a complete waste of time.
You could maybe argue it’s so Sheldon could use the card, but he seems to have plenty of awesome cards himself, and he has Kaiba, the guy who practically has literally every card in existence, backing him up.
I thought that, once Yugi was out of school, he’d go back to the infirmary to challenge the nurse and get the card back….but nope. He’s not even thinking about the card. He just wants to go play a new fighting game at the arcade, but then gets kidnapped into playing Duel Monsters again.
And the employee who kidnapped Yugi was Kaiba wearing some sort of ultra-realistic Scooby-Doo-esque rubber mask? This episode is insane and I love it.
Kaiba: “I will bring you to your knees in the mansion of dolls!”
Also, holy shit the mansion of dolls is creepy. I mean, it’s to be expected, it’s a mansion of dolls, but all of the dolls faces have black empty eyes and circular, open, empty black mouths….
The game starts, and Sheldon immediately uses Neon Knight, who is way too strong for Yugi at the moment, so he defends with a dragon. Apparently, when on mountain areas, Neon Knight can use the lightning gathered there to…..uhmmmm…..uh….err…I actually have no idea what it’s meant to do. Neon Knight was already more than enough to take out the dragon. It was 1800 attack versus 800 defense.
The only thing the lightning seems to have done….is manifest itself in the real world and also shock Yugi?
I’m referencing an episode guide as I do this comparison, and it says that Yugi was slapped by Sheldon, but…no…no he wasn’t. There’s no indication that Sheldon slapped him at all. He called for the lightning ability, Neon Knight used it and it was like it struck both the dragon and Yugi. He even has smoke emanating from his back as he lay on the ground. Keep in mind this is little Yugi, and this isn’t a shadow game.
Sheldon says it’s the mansion of dolls doing this, but uhm….how and why? He just says ‘Remember, this is the mansion of dolls, so if you lose life points, even when your monsters are in defense mode.’ And that’s it. He starts a completely different statement after that.
Also, he didn’t lose life points, did he? Even if we say the chairs or surrounding dolls or something are rigged to shock them when they lose life points, his life point counter didn’t pop up nor did Sheldon say the lightning would cause him to lose life points.
Anyway, the rest of the duel is complete nonsense.
Yugi summons a Death Wolf and a Shadowman, which he shouldn’t be able to do.
…Damn, I used up my “Screw the rules” joke already so I can’t make the reference about summoning more than one monster per turn being against the rules. Hm, what other YGOA references can I make?
Mmmm….Inaccurate to this version, but that’ll work.
Once Yami pops up, Sheldon summons a beetle thing, which he says is more than a match for the wolf and Shadowman, but Yami has a trick up his sleeve – and it’s covered in bullshit, so he should probably get his sleeve washed.
Shadowman has the ability to cloak the entire field in darkness, making Neon Knight and the beetle blind. Death Wolf thrives in darkness and isn’t affected.
I want to note that it’s especially weird that the monster they chose to be a highlight in this episode (hehe, highlight) is Neon Knight…..a monster who can wield the massively illuminating lightning…..and who has a sword….that shines at all times. Even his name is indicative of being a shining light. But yeah, Neon Knight sure seems like a monster that would be crippled in darkness. Yup yup. Nothing strange about that.
Death Wolf takes out both Neon Knight and the beetle…on Sheldon’s turn….So either Sheldon doesn’t realize Death Wolf is somehow more powerful than both of his creatures, so he’s killing them by calling them to attack…………or this is stupid.
Also, Sheldon gets caught up in the explosion that ensues because of it? I don’t know what the hell’s going on. He’s got smoke coming off of him too, but he wasn’t shocked. Does this room emulate fire too?
No idea of the life point counts at this juncture because they’re not showing them to us at all.
Why show us a constantly updating life point counter in the match against the nurse….which was a pointless duel….and also she was a marionette the whole time….but not show us the life point counts in the duel that actually matters?
Yami starts suspecting something odd is going on because, not only could Death Wolf not destroy the beetle’s horn in one try (but…why did it get get two tries? It wasn’t even his turn) but his Knight Soldier couldn’t defeat Sheldon’s Gargoyle when he seemingly had the ability to do so. Knight Soldier got destroyed instead.
Using his powers of deduction and the dart board writing method used in this show, Yami figures out that Sheldon is using a doll field with doll monsters. What’s a doll field or a doll monster, and why is it seemingly something invisible, isn’t a card in play or doesn’t actually exist because it’s not like any of the monsters look or act like dolls nor do they have “doll” in their names or anything but Yami is making this shit up as he goes along?
Time for Yami’s magic powers of “I win no matter what,” Yami uses, and I quote, a “magic card” (It’s never given a name nor is there a clear explanation what it does, it’s just a magic card.) on Death Wolf that makes it howl super destructive or something.
Sheldon tries to combat this with a Salamander monster, but that’s not enough. Both the Gargoyle and Salamander are destroyed by the howl and uh…Yami wins. I guess.
Sheldon saunters home in the rain, telling his damaged doll, Fiona, that he’ll fix her right up, Kaiba swears his vengeance once more and Yugi goes back to playing Duel Monsters with Miho, who keeps losing. But this time she says, if she loses (I think this is a mistranslation and it’s meant to say ‘Win’ because why would she be manipulating the boys into defeating her?), she’ll give the winner a kiss, which makes the guys start fighting over who will duel her, resulting in them just all making kissy faces at her without even starting a game. Anzu shoves the cards into Yugi’s face. Womp womp.
Well….that sure was a nice, frosty glass of “Huh?”
Seriously, did any part of this episode make any sense in the slightest? Why would Kaiba hire other people to duel Yugi/Yami in his stead? What qualifications did this doll-obsessed dude have to warrant recruiting him? What the hell was the point of the duel with the nurse? Why do they insist on having Duel Monsters keep popping up as a game in this series if they never bother actually having it make sense or allow the viewer to follow along?
I actually did enjoy this episode just for going off the rails so much. I laughed out loud for several seconds when they revealed the nurse was a marionette, and showing that the arcade employee was Kaiba in a rubber mask was the cherry on top. How did they even know he was going there?
There were no stakes whatsoever in this entire episode. If Yugi won, he’d get back his Neon Knight card, though he doesn’t really seem to give too much of a crap about it (we never see him retrieving it or talking about/looking at it after the duel is over.) and we as an audience don’t either because it’s our first time seeing it.
If he lost….??? He might get a bit hurt by the….whatever things are causing harm when they lose life points, and Kaiba would be cocky about it, even though he didn’t earn it, but that’s it. It’s not even an actual shadow game, despite the depictions. Sheldon didn’t suffer a penalty game. He just got a bit roughed up, as did his doll. And the monster depictions were…I can only assume they were figments of their imagination put on display for us, like in Cardfight!! Vanguard.
Despite the insane levels of bullshit in both duels that we had no choice but to swallow, the only thing that actually makes me irritated and not entertained on grade A WTFery is the fact that the nurse duel was done so much better than the duel with Sheldon.
Why was the entirely pointless duel not only seemingly longer and more tense than the duel with the baron, but also more well done on a technical level because they were showing LP, making clear the attack and defense points and even explaining precisely what the magic cards and effects did (For the most part, anyway)? Granted, they did a cheap montage where they skipped over numerous turns and revealed a continuous magic card to us that we didn’t know was in play, but overall the duel still made eons more sense and had more effort put into it than the duel with the baron.
….Oh and, of course, the part with Miho pissed me off, but those were also pointless bookends to the episode.
I just feel like this entire episode was a waste of time. It was entertaining, sure, and had enough confusion to make a Psychic Pokemon jealous, but there was no point to anything here. Absolutely none. I haven’t seen an episode so pointless in a long time, and it’s a shame because there are so many stories that the anime skips over that could have been adapted and filled this spot, but they choose to give us this instead.
It’s like what a kid would write up if the assignment was to write a YGO Season Zero episode and the deadline to hand it in was in two minutes.
I know I’ve said this before, but say all you want about the 2000 anime being annoying with how they blather on explaining the effects of each and every card they play, but that’s much more preferable than just making shit up and explaining nothing. I almost feel like the writers can’t be bothered to write a duel that actually makes sense, so they just decide to pull whatever they can out of their asses and scotch tape it together until they decide it’s over.
Next time, anime-wise anyway, Jonouchi shows off some mad yo-yo skillz.
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Breakdown: So this story is really….strange, even for Season Zero. Today’s episode centers around digital keychain pets – more commonly known as Gigapets, Tamagotchi and Nanopets. They’re the latest craze in school. Everyone has them – even the Yu-Gi-Oh gang.
All this talk about the digital pets is truly nostalgic, and boy does it make me feel old. The rough pixel animations, the LCD screen, the 8-bit sounds. It’s just so….outdated. I can bet any kid watching this today would laugh at it. Granted, these pets are a little cooler than the ones we had in real life in that they, somehow, take on the characteristics and physical traits of their owners.
It’s actually even weirder than you might think. In the Yu-Gi-Oh world, they’ll soon develop a holographic system meant to create projections so real that you can feel air pressure and even smell them (And stand on them sometimes….) This technology is designed for use with a trading card game. And yet these little pixel-y games are popular in the same couple of years.
Originally, our very clear antagonist was a boy named Kujirada. Kujira means ‘whale’ and just guess why he’s named that. Yes, he’s fat. But he’s not just fat – he’s ridiculous in his design too. His face is about ten sizes too small for his head and he has ears that could easily cover his entire face.
In the anime, they add in that he’s also rich and literally throws money at any problem that he usually creates.
The manga chapter is actually pretty uneventful, so a lot of the anime episode is loaded with subplot and an extension of the original plot. Honda is bummed because Miho missed first period, and he shows extra grumpiness about it by going on about how much of a waste of time the digital pets are. He’s not going to waste time cleaning up digital pet poop when he is dedicated to cleaning up the real world. I’m not gonna say he doesn’t have a point, but he’s being a real ass about it. Digital pets are no more a ‘waste of time’ than any other game. It’s called fun, Honda.
Miho shows up before second period starts, and she explains that she missed first period because she was so busy taking care of her digital pet last night that she slept late. She’s been trying really hard to raise a good pet because the company that makes them is having a pet competition. The owner of the best pet will win a trip to Australia.
Miho shows her manipulative bitch ways again by oh so subtly wishing that someone could take care of her pet for her so she could win the trip without having to…ya know…do the work herself. Just like in that episode where she manipulated Honda into standing in line for an unreasonable amount of time so she could get some fancy watch.
They act like she’s an airhead, but she knows exactly what’s she’s doing to poor, pathetic Honda – especially when she mentions that the trip is for two. And, for God’s sake, Honda. You may be boring in the 2000 show, and you may have a similar patheti-sad puppy love for Shizuka there too, but this is just upsetting.
At this point, I really don’t know why Honda or Miho exist. I mentioned last time that I thought Honda having a past with Jonouchi was at least interesting, but the focus was still purely on Jonouchi and Yugi’s friendship above all else. You could’ve made it so Yugi used to be friends with Jonouchi at a young age, but then he fell in with a bad crowd when his parents started getting divorced and then he just turned into an asshole until he made up with Yugi.
Even in the 2000 anime, I find it hard to justify Honda’s presence. He doesn’t do anything on his own, and if his role is simply ‘Jonouchi’s good friend’ Yugi already takes that role in an exemplary fashion. Their friendship is legendary. Not saying Honda has no right to exist at all or that Jonouchi can’t have more than one friend, but he should’ve been a much more minor character if they weren’t going to bother trying to make him interesting.
Honda then has to be two-faced when Jonouchi calls him out for accepting the task by explaining that he suddenly realized the digital world and reality are the same….Uh huh.
He even takes the next day off at school so he can care for the digital pet. Also, Honda’s definitely not a pure puppy dog about this, because he clearly shouts that he’s thinking about having sex with Miho (Though feels he can’t as he and Miho aren’t married yet. He’s enjoying the thought of her in a swimsuit, though. Guess that will have to tide him over.)
At least Anzu kinda calls out Miho’s manipulation later, especially when she shows her hypocrisy in saying Kujirada is wrong for using pets other people have raised to win the contest….
Another addition to the anime version is a new character called Haiyama. He’s a very shy and lonely boy who reminds Yugi a lot of himself before he made friends with the others. Yugi’s worried about him since he’s very reserved and seems to be paying off Kujirada for something in private. He tries to make friends with him and tells him he can always talk with him whenever he wants. Yugi also gives Haiyama a spare digital pet he has in order for him to join in on the fun.
I said that Kujirada was originally the obvious main antagonist of the manga chapter of which this episode’s story derived from because, in the anime version, while he is the antagonist for a while, it’s eventually revealed that the main enemy all along was Haiyama.
But before we get to Haiyama, let’s talk about Kujirada’s role in the manga. Originally, he was just a big brute who used his limited edition ‘hidden character’ pet (and you know it’s limited edition because it has a star on it) to bully the pets of Jonouchi and Yugi through the linking capability (They call it dating/mating, but it’s really just linking) Outside of the star, nothing else makes the pet special besides that it has a longer life span than other pets.
Apparently, all digital pets die after 20 days, which is reasonable considering, from what I’ve read, the average lifespan of a real-life digital pet was around 12 days with the maximum being 25 days. Apparently, the world record is 89 days, which kinda confuses me because these pets are designed to die by old age, so I have no clue how they managed to work around that to keep one alive for 89 days, but that’s cool anyway.
When Kujirada went home, he realized his pet had become sentient and evil. The pet demanded more food, but he wasn’t satisfied with the pittance that the game itself offered so he demanded to be fed other people’s pets.
The next day at school, Kujirada fed his pet Jonouchi and Anzu’s pets. His pet was was about to eat Yugi’s pet, Yuu-2, but it suddenly evolved (thanks to the data exchange from Jonouchi’s pet from earlier) and just…kicked the evil sentient digital pet’s ass and….that’s it. The end.
You see what I meant by this chapter being strange? Yugi never turns into Yami, there’s no shadow game nor is there any explanation as to why and how this digital pet became sentient and evil, and after his pet is defeated, Kujirada just walks away literally going ‘Oh well, at least I can sleep now.’ The chapter ends with Yugi watching Yuu-2 eating because he knows he’ll vanish the next day due to the life span limit.
What is even this story?
In the anime, as I mentioned before, Kujirada is super rich now. They make it a point a few times to say he used to be a kind kid but then his family fell into money and he suddenly became a massive asshole. He smashes the window to some shop selling an incredibly rare golden digital pet device for 50,000 yen (Around 500 USD) and takes it from the display, then he rains a bunch of cash on the owner to cover the cost of the pet and the window….He could’ve just walked in and bought the thing, but this is Season Zero where 99% of people who aren’t the main characters are cartoonishly evil super villains.
Also, there’s no reason this dude is so happy right now. Kujirada said that was enough money to cover the pet and the damage, meaning he’s breaking even right now. Plus, he has the headache of having to cover the window, clean up all the broken glass, looking bad in front of customers and having to get a repair service down to replace the window….
The pet is apparently not sentient or evil in this version, it’s just a monster because its owner is a dick. And it’s only eating pets because that will make it more impressive, which will make Kujirada a shoe-in to win the contest.
In the anime, before Kujirada’s pet, DevilMaster can try to eat Yuu-2, Honda shows up with Miho’s new and improved pet that he’s been slaving over called Ichigo. Since he’s been so attentive of the pet, it adopts Honda’s traits and becomes a cleaning fiend. Honda challenges DevilMaster with it and I don’t understand why he’s doing this.
He’s just spent two straight days tirelessly raising this thing for Miho, the girl he’s obsessed with and would do anything for. Why would he see pets being destroyed by Kujirada’s pet and then openly declare a challenge to him with Miho’s pet? Even if he didn’t have a thing for her, he’s still risking her pet on a gamble.
…..Honda actually wins.
He has trained Ichigo to be the ultimate beautification club member, and it eliminates all trash. DevilMaster’s evilness, I guess, makes it constitute as trash, so it was deleted. I actually don’t care about this change because, in all honesty, it’s not much better or worse than what the manga gave us.
Later, Kujirada supposedly kidnaps Miho and writes a ransom note to Honda telling him to meet him in a warehouse. When Honda arrives, however, he finds Kujirada unconscious with his back covered in whiplashes. Out from the shadows emerges Haiyama, who looks 1000% different than he did in the last scene he was in. His eyes are now crazy and about 500x bigger than they were before, his mouth is equally enlarged, and his hair went from black and blunt to purple and spiky. He actually reminds me of a weird version of Weevil.
Haiyama reveals that Kujirada was his real-life pet this whole time. Like they feed digital pets to make them stronger, he ‘fed’ the weak-willed Kujirada loads of money to make him stronger. Haiyama’s abuse is what made Kujirada have such a change in character from the kind, timid boy he supposedly was before.
Also, apparently, before Haiyama got to him, Kujirada wasn’t overweight at all. I don’t know if they’re making some sort of symbolism here in regards to the fact he was ‘feeding’ Kujirada a lot of money, and he overdid it, which made him fat. (Also, it seems to have changed his hair color too?)
Yugi arrives, having followed Haiyama because he was worried about him coming across Kujirada again. Haiyama throws the digital pet Yugi gave him on Kujirada’s back and calls Yugi a fool before whipping him aside. Honda tries to fight him, dodging his whip strikes, but his all-nighter starts getting to him so he just passes out.
Haiyama reveals the real reason he called Honda there – he wants Honda as his newest pet. Kujirada has proven a failure since he couldn’t even win at a digital pet game. Honda’s ‘feed’ will be…I guess….holding Miho captive and stripping her in front of him? What the hell?
Yugi transforms into Yami who challenges Haiyama to a shadow game.
There’s nothing to compare here since the manga chapter didn’t have a shadow game, but the shadow game is, more or less, exactly the same as Yuu-2’s battle against Kujirada’s pet in the manga. Yuu-2 evolves because of the data exchange with Jounouchi’s pet from earlier and he wins. Here, it’s a little unfair, at least by logic in the writing, because Haiyama has clearly not been using that digital pet so Yuu-2 would obviously be, by default, stronger than Haiyama’s pet.
At the end of the match, Haiyama’s pet “eats” him, but it’s soon revealed that it was just an illusion and Haiyama is freaking out on the floor.
The last scene of the episode shows Miho and Honda passed out on the floor and Miho says ‘Let’s go to Australia…Mama’….So yeah, Miho wasn’t even going to go to Australia with Honda in the end if she won – after all of that. Manipulative. Bitch.
While this story as a whole is pretty strange, I will say this much – the anime is much better than the manga in this circumstance. The manga just feels so incomplete. Why was the digital pet sentient? Why was it evil? I guess it could’ve just been because Kujirada was evil, but that still doesn’t explain its sentience. How was the evil sentient pet defeated by a regular digital pet without any interference by the Millennium Puzzle? Why was there no shadow game? Why did Yami not appear? Why did Kujirada just give up after his pet was defeated? It’s a confusing mess.
The anime shifting focus to Honda and Miho while introducing a new antagonist in Haiyama was actually quite genius to help extend the episode. While I disagree with Honda bending over backwards for Miho and I hate Miho more with every new episode, their story did create an interesting new structure to expound upon what was there.
Haiyama was actually a pretty interesting antagonist. I was a little shocked to see that this little timid kid was managing to control such a huge brute like Kujirada, and his influence was so powerful he drastically changed Kujirada’s personality and basically turned him into a monster. I think the visible transformation of Haiyama into evil super villain Haiyama was a bit much though. The huge whip did not help. It would’ve been a bit more intimidating if he kept his regular design and mannerisms because there is certainly something very haunting about someone who seems innocent and reserved turning into a psychopath.
The shadow game was a little short and uninteresting, but hey….at least the anime had one. Although, maybe I should take points off anyway because the shadow game was really just the match Yugi had with Kujirada just with an added bit where he gets ‘eaten’ in the end.
I should also bring up that this episode certainly has a Digimon vibe to it. However, I’m not entirely certain I can say it had any influence on the story in the manga. Digimon as a brand started out in 1997. Yu-Gi-Oh’s manga run originally started in 1996, but the volume that contains this chapter was released in mid-1997. It’s a little too close for me to say it had any influence on this story, but it’s kinda interesting to think about.
Next time, we got some anime-exclusive stuff going down. Kaiba sends his Shitennou after Yugi for revenge.
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Plot: Shadi is desperate to draw out Yugi’s other personality from the Millennium Puzzle. Still having unfinished business with Yoshimori, who excavated the artifacts Shadi believes should have stayed in their resting places, Shadi decides to use him as a puppet to corner Yugi. Also utilizing Anzu as a puppet and risking her life in a twisted Shadow Game, Shadi gets his wish and Yami emerges. Will Shadi regret what he has wished for, or will Yami pay the price?
Breakdown: This lone episode covers SIX chapters of the manga, so prepare for a lot of cuts.
In the manga, Kanekura was murdered by Shadi. In the anime, he just loses consciousness. They’re attributing that to the pharaoh’s curse, but that’s hardly newsworthy.
In the manga, Shadi entered Yoshimori’s mind room and found it full of artifacts and other items connected to archaeology. He also has a photo of his family collecting dust off to the side, symbolizing his neglected family due to his work. The mind room at the moment is dark and gloomy, symbolizing anxiety and dread. However, there’s a spark of light amongst the darkness – Yugi and the others, who are coming to visit him to help comfort him after Kanekura’s death. (Likewise, there’s a scene at school where the kids read about Kanekura’s death and they all decide to visit Yoshimori to comfort him, though Yugi has a bad feeling about it.)
Shadi takes this opportunity to draw out Yugi’s other self and challenge him on a more level playing field than last time. Using the power of his Millennium Ankh, he reorganizes Yoshimori’s mind room to make him into a puppet. When Yugi and the others arrive, they’re tricked by the INSANELY CREEPILY DRAWN Yoshimori (I swear to god, the way Yoshimori is drawn here is scarier than a good chunk of horror manga) who claims he killed Kanekura and tries to attack them.
He starts by strangling Jonouchi. However, Anzu knocks Yoshimori over the head with a globe, freeing Jonouchi from his grasp, and she leads him away from the others. Yoshimori will not stop no matter what, per Shadi’s orders and powers, so Jonouchi tries to lead Yoshimori away while everyone else scrambles. Realizing he needs more than one puppet, he targets Anzu’s mind next. Her mind room is filled with mirrors and items relating to dancing and New York, symbolizing her confidence and her dreams of becoming a dancer in New York.
Oh and there’s also this picture….
I have no idea what the hell that is. It’s a faceless ripoff of Superman? What does the G stand for?
Also, take a look at Anzu’s interpretation of the Statue of Liberty. It’s holding a dancing shoe, has ribbons around it and is holding a drink.
Shadi feels more guilty screwing around with Anzu’s mind room since it’s so innocent and full of light, so he decides to make Anzu into a silent puppet instead of a crazed zombie like Kanekura.
Did you guys get all that? Because hardly any of it is in the anime. In that version, all we see is Shadi approaching Yoshimori, him freaking out, the Millennium Ankh glowing and then, as Sugoroku arrives to visit his friend, he sees Yoshimori busting through the window and falling to the ground below.
His injuries aren’t fatal, but we never see his mind room (which means we lose out on learning more about him, even if it is small. It also makes the point to show that, while Yoshimori is obsessed, he’s not greedy and uncaring like Kanekura was) he never turns into a crazed zombie or has a really long chase scene with Jonouchi, and he spends the rest of the episode in the hospital. Yugi and the others visit him in the hospital when they find out what happened, which is when Shadi catches onto Yugi’s presence again.
The group’s talk on the way back from the hospital might as well be a replacement for the discussion at school in the manga, I suppose.
As they walk home, Shadi plans his rematch with Yugi by targeting Anzu, who has split off from the group to head home. Shadi enters Anzu’s mind room to turn her into a puppet. They actually mirror (hehe, get it?) her mind room pretty well, even if I think the room should be much brighter. They don’t make the same alterations to the picture of lady liberty, however, yet they nearly perfectly match the very confusing picture of the G-man with no face.
In the manga, Anzu doesn’t really do much as Shadi’s puppet. She follows him to where he needs to place her and puts her in the Shadow Game trap almost immediately, after telling Yugi about it to prod Yami to come out, of course. He does trigger the shift by claiming that he can make Anzu do anything, even die, if he so wills it.
In the anime, Shadi doesn’t make himself known to Yugi for quite some time. He has secretly taken over Anzu and is using her as a silent puppet at school to try and trick Yugi into shifting into Yami by putting his life at risk – nearly causing a bunch of pipes to fall on him, making him fall down the stairs by dropping a basketball down them as he ascends (??????) and finally trying to strangle him in the infirmary.
Yugi is saved by Jonouchi and the rest of the group, and Anzu runs off. Everyone tries to find her, though they’re concerned she’s affected by the pharaoh’s curse and that any one of them could be next. They split up, and Yugi manages to spot Anzu. He follows her to the roof and we get the Shadow Game portion here.
(Side Note: Throughout all of this, Honda is taken over by Shadi and he basically takes Yoshimori’s place in the long chase scene. The only real difference is that now Miho is here. We also didn’t get to see Honda’s mind room, which is a shame….but I worry it might have been filled with pictures of Miho and rulebooks or something. Zombie!Honda is actually pretty frightening, but not as creepy as Yoshimori was. Miho is the one who sprays the zombie with the fire extinguisher whereas it was Jonouchi in the manga.)
Anzu is on a plank over the edge of the roof. It is being held up by five ropes connected to the fence. Shadi holds her life and mind in his hands, and he will kill her if Yami doesn’t show up and play his game.
(The only real difference here is that the plank had a bunch of ancient Egyptian designs on it in the manga, but this didn’t transfer to the anime.)
Shadi’s ploy works – Yami emerges from the Puzzle to confront Shadi. Before he explains the rules, Shadi tells Yami that the Millennium Puzzle did not end up in his hands and was not solved by him through pure coincidence. He was chosen by the Puzzle after 3000 years of waiting. Shadi’s family was chosen by the Millennium Items as well. Yami doesn’t want to hear anymore, though, and just wants to know the rules. Shadi points out, however, that the game is well since underway.
The ropes connected to Anzu’s ‘bridge of life’ are connected to the fence through six items – five ushabti or ‘answerer’ figurines, four belonging to Yami and one belonging to Shadi, and Shadi’s Millennium Ankh.
One of the figurines suddenly breaks – this was due to Yami showing his inner fright over the powers of the Puzzle. Each ushabti will break whenever he has a weakness of heart. If all four of his statues break, Anzu will fall to her death.
However, if Yami can somehow break Shadi’s lone ushabti, it will cause the Ankh to slide down the rope and into Anzu’s hands. The only thing that can break her trance without Shadi’s interference is by Anzu holding the Ankh.
The first proper trial starts. The ground breaks apart under Yami’s feet, revealing a slue of zombies grabbing for him. Shadi presents a riddle to Yami – “It crawls out of the earth and clings to a pillar – what am I?” After calming himself down, Yami correctly answers that it’s his shadow.
Yami passes the first test, which, logically, would mean he wins the whole thing because all three of those ushabti need to break in order for the platform to fall, but whatever.
In the anime, they skip ahead to the second test for the first test and completely omit the manga’s first test.
Everything about this test is kept the same, but the anime omits that the monster holding Yami, Amemit, might still be full from eating the soul of Kanekura since, in the anime, he was only left unconscious not killed.
This game has Yami being held in place by an alligator-like monster named Amemit. Before him is a shinkei suijaku game – a game where you turn over one tile at a time and try to find matches. However, this one is different. There are nine tiles, not eight, meaning the middle tile stands alone. Yugi only has one opportunity to guess at what the slates show. The only clue he gets is that the slates are mirrors that reflect Amemit.
Yami eventually figures it out – The slates reflect Amemit’s appearance, meaning it has several pairs on its body: eyes, nostrils, hands, ears, which account for eight slates, but the lone feature, the middle slate, reflects its mouth.
He passes this test, and we move onto the final round, which, of course, puts all three ushabti at risk of breaking because Shadi’s a cheating dick.
The final round, which is only the second but still final round in the anime, involves an illusion of Bully!Jonouchi from Yugi’s memories. Shadi is pitting Yami against the illusion in a game to the death. The floor falls around them, leaving only a small section to stand on. Using the Millennium Puzzle as a pointer, each person will roll the Puzzle like a die. Whichever direction it points to is the direction in which the other will have to take two steps. If Yugi can make Jonouchi fall first, he wins the game. If Jonouchi makes Yugi fall, he loses the entire Shadow Game and Anzu will fall to her death.
Yugi, not Yami, is the one being more harshly tested here because not only does Yami/Yugi not really know for absolute certain that this is not the real Jonouchi under a spell, possibly putting his best friend in mortal danger, but the memory of his friend as his old bully is revealing weaknesses in Yugi.
Just one line of mocking from the fake Jonouchi is enough to make two of Yami/Yugi’s sshabti’s shatter, leaving one to hold Anzu.
Also, for some reason, the Puzzle sounds like it’s made of hollow plastic in the anime.
Jonouchi rolls the Puzzle, making Yami step forward. It’s Yami/Yugi’s turn, but he refuses to play this game with Jonouchi. Taking Yami’s turn as passed, the fake Jonouchi rolls the Puzzle again, making Yami take two more steps. Once again, Yami refuses to take his turn.
Shadi asks him if he’s forfeiting the game. Afterall, this challenge is about facing his past, the bully Jonouchi, and overcoming it by destroying it. Refusing to play and letting this memory push him over the edge must be a declaration of defeat. Yami, however, corrects him. He’s not conceding defeat – he just believes in his friends too much. He trusts Jonouchi, whether he be real or not, to not kill him like this.
Scoffing at this ideal, Shadi points out that such a mindset is what makes him weak. In order to truly show strength in this ordeal, he needs to only believe in himself. However, he’s not giving Yami any leeway either way and commands the fake Jonouchi to roll the Puzzle one more time, which would surely send Yami over the edge and end the game.
The illusion, however, refuses and eventually smiles and fades away. Yami/Yugi’s faith in his friend and his trust that Jonouchi has become a changed man since his days as a bully showed Yami/Yugi’s true strength and allowed him to win the game.
Another problem arises when the lone rope holding Anzu starts breaking. Yami panics, but finds Jonouchi, the real one, holding up the plank Anzu is standing on.
Shadi watches in confusion. He’s shocked that Yami/Yugi’s friends are supporting each other. Yami declares that true strength doesn’t come from standing on your own – it comes from believing in your friends.
This actually shatters Shadi’s ushabti, sending the Ankh down to Anzu’s hand and freeing her from the trance. Jonouchi and Yugi help Anzu back up, though Honda is climbing up Jonouchi. In the manga, Yami is still the dominant one in Yugi’s body through the rest of this finale, but in the anime he switches back to Yugi when Anzu starts falling.
In the manga, Yami directs Jonouchi to touch Yoshimori’s hand to the Ankh to free him. In the anime, the plank holding the Ankh just conveniently smacks Honda on the back of the head, freeing him.
Yami has one last confrontation with Shadi before he leaves in the manga. He says he finally understands the power of the Puzzle. It’s the power of unity. He was able to connect with his friends and overcome these illusions and challenges because his friends were connected with him through it. Suddenly, all of Yugi’s friends, Yoshimori and his grandpa appear beside him. Then Jonouchi tells Shadi to stay out of their territory, which in this case is Yugi/Yami’s heart and mind, though I’m not sure how Jonouchi knows Shadi was responsible for all of this.
Shadi grabs his Ankh and leaves, telling Yami he’s happy to have found people like him in possession of more Millennium Items and even asks if he can ‘Open the door.’
Jonouchi and Anzu wonder why Yugi looked so different, but when he turns around he’s back to normal so they just brush it off. Yoshimori’s fine, barring some soreness and loss of teeth thanks to Anzu, and they all go off to get something to eat, which is silly to do considering the teeth thing.
In the anime, Shadi leaves without confronting Yami again, though he does explain in voiceover that they’ll meet again and now Yugi has the mission to draw out the true power of the Puzzle.
Overall, I really liked this arc and episode, even if the finale was a tad on the cheesy side. The rematch with Shadi was really unfair since the odds were so highly stacked against Yami, but the challenges were pretty good and the stakes were high.
I’m not quite sure how much I care about Yoshimori literally being thrown out of this episode. Though, given the narrative they’ve made in the anime, I suppose it is more impacting to have Honda be the crazy zombie here. They pretty much left Yoshimori’s fate up in the air, though. For all we know, at this point, the poor guy will be in a coma forever like Kanekura.
They did match the creepiness factor of Zombie!Yoshimori pretty well, though. Not perfectly, but they did a good job.
I understand why they erased the first game, but at the same time I kinda don’t. If they had removed all of those parts with Anzu trying, in a really pathetic fashion barring the strangulation, to assault Yugi, they probably would have had time to include it. They were already pushing it, trying to include six chapters worth of material into one episode, why add filler?
Next chapter/episode, hey guys, remember Gigapets/Nanopets/Tamogotchi? Time to fly down a nostalgia hole within a nostalgia hole!
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Plot: The gang wants to head to an Egyptian exhibit at the Domino art museum where a friend of Yugi’s grandpa, Professor Yoshimori, is revealing some artifacts he found.
Before they enter the exhibit, they, along with Yugi’s grandpa, meet Yoshimori and the financial backer of the expedition that heralded many of the artifacts being presented today, Kanekura. In awe of Yugi’s Millennium Puzzle, he asks if he can put it in the exhibit, to which Yugi hesitantly agrees.
The gang goes to see the rest of the exhibit when Yoshimori explains that archaeologists don’t get to keep the items they discover since it’s illegal in Egypt. This surprises Yugi and the others since they believed archaeologists got rich off of the artifacts that they found and were typically greedy individuals.
Yugi spots an Egyptian man (Shadi) crying at the exhibit and asks him what’s wrong. He states that these tears are not his own – they’re those of the pharaoh who is mummified before them, unable to find rest in this state. Shadi pats his head and calls him a nice boy, which irritates Yugi. He also notes that the man carries around a scale, so he might be crazy.
Surprisingly absolutely no one, Kanekura is secretly a bad dude who wants to sell the Millennium Puzzle behind Yugi’s back, but not before Shadi targets him for a shadow game for his role in excavating all of these artifacts and looking to profit off of it.
Kanekura loses his shadow game, and, ultimately, his mind.
He grabs the Puzzle and leaves, bumping into Yugi, who notices the Puzzle in his hand and remarks on it. Upon learning that Yugi is the one who solved the Millennium Puzzle, he enters Yugi’s mind, which actually contains two rooms – one that is so innocent and child-like it almost seems like a baby’s room, and another that is frighteningly ominous. He meets Yami at the door, and he allows him into his room, which is a massive maze filled with hundreds of doors.
Yami posits a game, if Shadi can find the ‘true room’ in his mind’s room, then he can obtain the ‘treasure’ that awaits there. If not, he’ll be lost in his mind forever. Shadi’s is pretty confident he can do it because his Ankh/Key/Cross allows him to also alter the mind rooms of others, but the massive maze of Yami’s mind is too much to allow him to do this, so he opts to just visit each room individually, resulting in him finding a plethora of traps.
Yami saves Shadi from falling to his death (Or…mind death?) in one room, finally allowing him to leave. Shadi returns the Puzzle to Yugi and warns him of the power of the Puzzle as well as his other personality. Shadi reveals his name to Yugi before departing, aiming to test Yoshimori next.
Breakdown: Oh good. Anime!Honda wants to go to the Egyptian exhibit to scare Miho so she’ll fall into his arms. Nice…
Wait a second, so in 1922 the Egyptian government passed a legislation that made it so whatever ancient Egyptian artifacts were found in the country stayed in the country and did not belong to the person who discovered them (This isn’t something I researched independently – this was said in the manga and the anime.)
….But….Sugoroku found the Millennium Puzzle in the Valley of the Kings in the 1960s. Doesn’t that mean that, technically, the Puzzle doesn’t belong to him and he’s had an ancient Egyptian artifact illegally for over 40 years? How did he even get that out of the country?
Also……..Excuse me…..What?! Miho finds this mummy…this…dead person….CUTE? Because it has a bald head so it looks like a baby to her? Someone please get this increasingly difficult to watch character off of my screen.
They omit a small part in the manga where Kanekura goes off to display the Millennium Puzzle and Yugi thinks to himself that he feels like a worried parent. I’m not sure why, but the parent comment seemed very intriguing. It could be general unease at being away from something that is precious to him, but it could also be an anxiety brought on by his connection to the Puzzle, telling him something’s wrong.
Considering the bond between owner and item seems to stay intact no matter if the item isn’t on their person, this is very possible.
Both Manga and Anime!Yugi yell that he’s a high school student when Shadi calls him a ‘nice boy’ and pats his head, and he follows that up with calling him a weird Egyptian. The main change here is that Manga!Yugi says all of this in his head (thought balloon) whereas Anime!Yugi yells all of this out loud. The reason I bring this up is because that’s a really rude thing to yell and an even ruder and somewhat racist thing to say out loud, even if Shadi was already walking away by then. He didn’t yell out either of those things in the manga because Yugi’s not such a rude person, even if it is still in poor taste for him to think that ‘weird Egyptian’ comment.
Also, yeah Yugi, he must be insane because he carries around a scale. Now go walk around with a giant golden upside-down pyramid hanging from your neck you sane boy, you.
Why is that even seen as odd? He’s carrying around an Egyptian artifact in an Egyptian exhibit. For all Yugi knew, he was just moving the thing.
Speaking of which, the owner of the Millennium Scale kinda gets the raw end of the deal in regards to convenience, doesn’t he? Every other item can easily be carried on your person – the Puzzle, Ring, Key and Necklace are all worn around the neck, and the Rod can be holstered easily. However, the Scale has to be carried around by hand. The Eye is carried around in the user’s head, but I think we can all agree that the Eye is the worst item to actually obtain or have taken from you because it needs to be jammed into your eye and then plucked out.
This Shadow Game is based entirely on the functions of the Millennium Scale. Shadi asks Kanekura questions, and the scale tips one way or another depending on how much sin he’s revealing, which is technically how much he’s lying in his responses.
Shadi’s first question is kept mostly the same, but the manga says the girl dropped money on the ground before she fell into the well, not a gold ring. Truth be told, though, I prefer the anime version because a gold ring is more valuable and more realistic to covet than ‘Oh yeah, I would let a girl die for whatever cash she just got from her piggy bank.’
In the end, Kanekura is ‘eaten’ by a demonic representation of the greed and evil in his mind’s room, as seen by Shadi’s Millennium Key/Cross/Ankh.
Manga!Yugi doesn’t think Shadi would know where his Puzzle would be, but in the anime, he noticed Shadi carrying the Puzzle and remarks on it. Small change, honestly, but the anime makes him look a little better because in the manga he’s, again, thinking Shadi is crazy for really no reason this time.
There are many more traps in the anime version of Yami’s mind than there are in the manga, which is fine, in my opinion.
This episode covered two chapters this time, and I think it did a really good job reflecting the manga material. I like how we technically got two Shadow Games in this episode as a result – one run by Shadi and the other by Yami. The initial Shadow Game was a great intro to Shadi, and the second was a very interesting and intense start of the conflict between Shadi and Yami. It was also a really intriguing way of depicting Yami’s mind’s inner secrets.
Also, this panel:
Final Notes: The 2000 anime did basically keep in the entirety of chapter 14/the second half of episode 5. The sequence in Yami’s mind room is almost exactly the same except three crucial details.
First, in the manga and Season Zero, Shadi and Yugi meet by chance at this Egyptian artifact exhibit. In the 2000 anime, they meet when Shadi comes to Pegasus’ castle looking to investigate a criminal who stole the Millennium Eye. (2000Anime!Shadi can also use portals because reasons.) Yugi happened to be there after the events of Duelist Kingdom concluded.
Second, the one who saves Shadi from Yami’s room is Yugi – not Yami. The reason for this, supposedly, is that Yugi recently realized and acknowledged that he had another spirit living within him and was able to save him. He was thereby able to learn more about the history of the items whereas in the manga and Season Zero he wasn’t all too aware of this for most of the run. However, the 2000 anime really makes Yami look like a dick who was going to let an innocent man lose his mind forever.
Finally, the 2000 anime adds an entirely new sequence. Yami supposedly lets both Yugi and Shadi out of his room, but it leads to a mysterious new room that seemingly showcases more things related to the backstory. They’re attacked by Yami’s mind’s guardian, Dark Magician, which is weird because Yami should have control over this place, despite not having his memories, and Dark Magician should instinctively know not to attack Yugi, but whatever.
Shadi tries to summon Blue-Eyes from a tablet on the floor, claiming it’s the only monster who can beat Dark Magician, but Yugi stops Dark Magician by merely talking to him, which shocks Shadi. (I’m fuzzy on the details of this arrangement, if it’s ever explained. If Seto always lost to Yami, then why is Blue-Eyes an instant win over Dark Magician even in the card game?) Dark Magician then releases them both from the mind room.
Next time, continuing on with the Shadi plot – we got a lot to cover in the next episode.
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Plot: Miho convinces Honda to stand in line for a limited edition D-Shock watch that she desperately wants. Honda, needing to use the restroom, asks Yugi if he’ll stand in his place. Yugi manages to snag the last watch, but he’s suddenly harassed by a teenager named Shotaro. He’s an avid watch collector and he wants the D-Shock for himself. He tries to steal it from Yugi right in the store, but Honda manages to fend him off.
Miho is extremely happy with her new D-Shock and Honda, but quickly becomes furious when Honda reveals that he lost the watch somewhere in an arcade.
Yugi notices that Shotaro is in the arcade and instantly becomes suspicious that he stole it. While the others are trying to control Honda in his watch-searching rampage, Yugi goes to confront Shotaro. He receives a vicious beating in return. Before Shotaro can leave, Yugi transforms into Yami and challenges Shotaro to a shadow game.
Yami is victorious and returns the watch to Honda, who can now face Miho again.
While Miho is happy about her watch, she tells Honda of a new perfume they’re coming out with and convinces him to stand in line for that as well. Some things never change….
Breakdown: This is our first anime-exclusive filler episode and it’s….really goddamn annoying.
At face value, the story is really no different from what we’ve come to expect. Douchebag has a run-in with Yugi and the gang, shadow game happens, douchebag loses, all sunshine and roses for everyone but douchebag.
However, there are two things about this episode that really rub me the wrong way. First of all, can we please just get rid of Miho altogether? We’ve established that she’s stupid, immature and annoying, but now we can add lazy and manipulative to that list. It’s not like Miho has a pressing engagement and can’t stand in line herself. She just doesn’t want to do it so she gets Honda to do it, at the ass crack of dawn, mind you.
Then, when he loses it and is clearly upset at this ACCIDENT, Miho slaps Honda and runs away yelling that she hates him. (Granted, he did strip down to his skivvies to search for it, so maybe that’s why she slapped him, but it was clearly more about finding the watch. Also, her animation when running away was literally nonexistent. They didn’t want to actually animate her leaving, so they showed her running animation for about three seconds then just fade transitioned the character’s layer away.)
Then when he gets it back, she implies that she wants him to wait in line for something else…….Does Miho have any redeeming traits?
Second, Honda is equally annoying in this episode. Between his pathetic behavior around Miho and his yelling for 90% of his screentime, he was insufferable. At least he protected Yugi from Shotaro that one time, but still.
He’s also incredibly stupid. Like, “Golly, the guy who was super obsessed with watches at the watch store, to the point where both of his forearms were covered in watches, and tried to steal the D-Shock from Yugi is not only in the same arcade as I am, but he also stepped on my hand and purposely tried to confront me after the watch mysteriously went missing…….Well, back to looking around on the floor for the watch. “
The only two redeemable aspects of this episode are that the interactions with Jonouchi and Anzu are kinda funny, mostly in regards to the facial expressions they gave them, and the shadow game was good.
Yami was really digging the clock motif because the shadow game is all about clock gears, coo-coo clocks and pendulums. A coo-coo clock bird steals the watch from Shotaro and locks itself in its little room. Upon the game start, the bird will emerge and the stopwatch will start. The goal is to reach out and stop the timer as close to ten seconds as possible without going over. If they stop it too late, the giant pendulum will swing by and smash the player’s hand.
If Yami wins, he gets the watch. If Shotaro wins, Yami will acknowledge him as the watch’s rightful owner and he can leave.
Shotaro agrees and he loses, but he claims it was a practice run. Believing Yami has the better angle to make a quick escape, he demands they switch sides. He’s ready to go again, more confident that he can last longer, but the pendulum also switches sides and he smashes his hand. Yami proclaims himself winner, but Shotaro won’t let that go.
Sporting an incredibly freaky and scary look, Yami forces a penalty game on him.
His smashed hand is revealed to be filled with clock gears. His watches have all merged with his skin and even his eyes have turned into clocks.
In an odd turn of events, they even decide to followup on what happened to Shotaro later, after Yugi returned the watch that night to Honda and they returned it to Miho the next morning at school. Shotaro went home in a complete daze and viciously smashed his watch collection while his mother yelled for him to snap out of his trance. The end…..
Despite the shadow game and punishment being pretty good, I don’t think it makes up for all of the annoyingness that is the first half of this episode. Shotaro’s a confusing bad guy to start with. He’s so obsessed with watches but he wasn’t first in line to get this D-shock watch that even Miho technically got up early to get? (She got up early to meet with Honda to ask HIM to do it…) He loves his watches so much he wears as many watches as he can on his forearms, but the instant anyone even brushes them or annoys him, he comes out swinging. That’s obviously putting your precious watches at risk of damage.
I’m surprised he even agreed to the shadow game without removing his watches first, to be honest. He beat up some dude for nudging one of his watches while walking by, but he’s fine putting his arm in the way of a massive metal pendulum when he has all those watches on?
And, of course, this is yet another story where Yugi has to get beaten up because why not?
Next time, it’s back to the adaptation – Shadi appears and we learn more about the Millennium Puzzle!
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Plot: Duel Monsters is a trading card game that is quickly gaining popularity across Japan. Kaiba, heir to the powerful and massively successful Kaiba Corp., is a champion of the game and is always looking to ‘acquire’ rare cards. He sets his sights on Sugoroku’s extremely rare Blue-Eyes White Dragon card, but his means of acquiring it lead him into the clutches of Yami and a shadow game.
Breakdown: The manga did not include a scene where Kaiba has his goons viciously beat up a student at a school for the sake of getting his Dark Magician card, which he was vehement in not handing over because it was a memento of his father. Kaiba has apparently been doing this or similar things to everyone else at this school that has rare Duel Monster cards and has possibly wiped out other schools in the same manner.
I don’t think there are enough super-special-awesome cards out there rare enough to warrant this. Considering, in the 2000 anime, Yugi has a Dark Magician card by default, there is a duelist who specializes explicitly in Dark Magician cards, Dark Magician has several variations and is one of the easiest to get strong cards ever, I sincerely doubt that card is worth strong-arming from someone, especially when Kaiba’s one of the richest mothereffers in the world.
In the manga, the story starts out with Yugi, Jonouchi and Anzu talking about the upcoming craze, Duel Monsters, at the game shop with Sugoroku. It has been popular in America for a while, but is just gaining traction in Japan. Sugoroku shows the kids his precious Blue-Eyes White Dragon card. It’s extremely rare because they stopped production on the card since it was deemed too powerful to use in the game.
Kaiba suddenly enters the card shop, and he makes no effort to hide his assholery as he looks at the cards Jonouchi just bought and calls them garbage before flippantly chucking them back at him. He also makes it clear that he’s a champion Duel Monsters player and wouldn’t sully his good name to play with an amateur, but gracefully offers to have Jonouchi duel him when he’s collected at least 10,000 cards.
If you know of the 2000 anime, you likely know how the rest goes in the manga. He sees Blue-Eyes, desperately wants it, offers Sugoroku an entire briefcase filled with rare cards for it, but Sugoroku refuses because it was a gift from a treasured friend, so Kaiba begrudgingly leaves. A very similar scene does happen a bit later on, but in Season Zero Kaiba makes a clear effort to get on Yugi’s good side first, believing he might have rare cards.
Jonouchi was originally extremely interested in Duel Monsters. In Season Zero, he spends a little time brushing it off as a childish game.
Honda is not in this chapter at all. In the anime, he goes on a tangent about protecting the students from unlawful card maniacs who will obtain Duel Monsters cards through illicit means.
Even though we’ve never seen him before this chapter, Yugi and the others act as if Kaiba has been a classmate for quite a while. In the anime, Kaiba just now transfers to their school for the sake of finding kids with rare cards and stealing them.
If you know Season Zero, you know it takes quite a bit for me to say this – This episode’s animation quality is noticeably worse than usual….and that’s just upsetting.
The anime is setup rather poorly, if you ask me. While the manga doesn’t make it a secret that Kaiba’s a douche, the anime goes to the trouble of establishing that he’s an even bigger douche than his manga counterpart, and then they try to pull off the ol’ ‘Forget what my clearly evil character design implies – I’m a good guy! Hey protagonist, let’s be pals! Wanna come to my really cool house? Invite your friends! I’m a good guy!’ to ‘Psych, I was really a bad guy! Muahahaha!’ switcheroo. In the anime, all you’re doing is waiting for the other boot to fall because we know Kaiba’s a bad guy who steals cards.
They could’ve pulled this off cleanly if they simply didn’t have the opening scene with Kaiba stealing the Dark Magician card, which is a scene that turns out to be entirely pointless outside of showing us prematurely that Kaiba’s a jerk.
Speaking of him pretending to be Kindba (hahah, I make the puns. They are funny) anime!Kaiba invites Yugi over to his house to check out his Duel Monster card collection. Yugi brings everyone else along, and Kaiba basically says ‘the more the merrier.’ Jonouchi hates him because he’s rich but also super nice because he translates that as being snobby. Honda later hates him because Miho starts fawning over him for giving them free tickets to his amusement park.
Kaiba conveys his Duel Monsters Champion status when he reveals his card collection room which also displays several of his trophies from Duel Monsters tournaments.
Kaiba asks Yugi if he has any rare cards, and Anzu remembers that Yugi said his grandpa has a really rare card. Kaiba asks if he could see it and Yugi agrees. Despite the other setup being poor, I like this particular setup because at least now Kaiba has a reason to visit the card shop. In the 2000 anime, Kaiba overhears Yugi talking about his grandpa’s rare card when they’re in class, which he just assumes might be the Blue-Eyes. The manga just has him randomly arrive.
I find it even weirder that Kaiba would do all of this without the belief that Yugi has a rare card. Kaiba is a complete ass. He wouldn’t play Mr. Nice Guy unless he knew he’d be able to get something out of it.
Somewhat minor, but the anime neglects to mention that, supposedly, people have killed each other over Duel Monsters cards before. Yikes.
Miho: “What!? I thought it would have diamonds or jewels attached to it!”……You thought a rare trading card for a children’s card game would have diamonds and jewels on it……Miho, please go be stupid somewhere else.
Also fairly minor, but the anime calls it Blue-Eyes Dragon not Blue-Eyes White Dragon. It’s not an issue with the subs either, I can hear it.
They point out that this next bit doesn’t make sense, but still—Honda claims it’s too dangerous to hold such a rare card and that Sugoroku should hand it over to the beautification club. Sugoroku asks why a beautification club member would care and Honda doesn’t have any response to that.
The beautification club stuff was silly enough at school, mostly because Honda keeps equating being a beautification club member to being a school prefect or something, but even if the beautification club had any say in these matters, why would he ask to confiscate a card that someone off school grounds is holding?….That an elderly man off school grounds is holding?……That an elderly man who owns a game shop off school grounds is holding?
I don’t think it’s a matter of him wanting to take the card for himself because Honda’s such a goodie-two shoes (well…kinda. He beats people up in the name of justice with Jonouchi sometimes) and I don’t think he even plays the game in the first place (His first match seems like it’s in the next scene). This whole sequence is just strange.
While the scene at the game shop plays out basically the same outside of those Honda and Miho moments, Kaiba continues to play the nice guy when he gets shot down. In the manga, he basically has a big huff and leaves.
The next scene in the manga has Yugi playing a friendly game of Duel Monsters with Jonouchi. In the anime, Jonouchi’s playing with Honda. The duel is changed up slightly, though. Honda plays the card manga!Jonouchi originally played, Zombie, and places it in the graveyard zone. The manga doesn’t have any sort of field advantage mat like the anime does, so the card just gets played regularly. Anime!Jonouchi plays the Dark Dragon card – the same one manga!Yugi played. It’s 1500 vs. 800, so Jonouchi proclaims himself as the winner, as manga!Yugi did, but anime!Yugi stops him. Since Honda played Zombie in the graveyard field, its attack points double, making it 1600, so Honda wins.
I find this increasing entertaining the more I think about it, because it’s almost like Yugi is retroactively cheating between versions for the sake of not letting Jonouchi win.
Also, DOUBLE ATTACK POWER for undead creatures in the graveyard? Are you insane? I know Zombie only had 800 attack points, but even slightly stronger creatures would be ridiculously overpowered in there.
Honda and Jonouchi both get into Duel Monsters for the sake of beating Kaiba. I find this disappointing because manga!Jonouchi was genuinely excited about the game itself and even challenged Kaiba before he started thinking he was a jackass. Having his one drive be defeating Kaiba, and pawning off that same drive on Honda, just feels lazy and uninteresting. Granted, they never play the game again after this, in this continuity anyway.
In the manga, Yugi randomly brings Blue-Eyes to school for the day after asking his grandpa if he could borrow it….for…some reason. In the anime, Kaiba specifically calls Yugi the previous night and asks if he can borrow the card from his grandpa so he can see it up close again.
I have problems with both versions. In the manga, why would he take such a rare card with him to school? His friends have already seen the card, and carrying around such a rarity just makes him a target for ‘maniacs.’
In the anime, why wouldn’t Yugi find it odd that Kaiba would ask him to do such a thing? His grandpa’s a reasonable guy. Surely he’d let Kaiba keep seeing it. Maybe not hold it again, but he’d be able to see it. Yugi’s a bit naive to believe Kaiba would ask something like that without having ulterior motives.
By the way, why is Kaiba allowed to wear such a drastically different school uniform? Every other boy has a blue uniform, but Kaiba is allowed to wear a pure white one in the anime. Is it just because he’s rich? (Just for the sake of noting this, he only wears his school uniform in a few episodes of the 2000 version, but his uniform is the proper color there.)
The manga only goes so far as to show Kaiba pulling the fake Blue-Eyes out of his pocket to make the switch while the anime decides to show him dropping the card to make the switch too. I like this change because it bugged me a little that we don’t see how Kaiba swapped the cards right in front of Yugi’s face.
In the manga, Yugi is the only one who notices that Kaiba swapped the cards. In the anime, Jonouchi and Honda notice and take action against Kaiba after school without telling Yugi, which promptly gets their asses kicked by Kaiba’s guards.
I can’t really decide how much this bothers me. Anime!Yugi does later reveal that he noticed Kaiba take his card, but he thought he’d reconsider and give him the chance to return it. He was heading home with the fake and I guess hoped Kaiba would come to the shop later and own up or something. Manga!Yugi, on the other hand, confronted Kaiba after school about it, begged him to give him the card back since it’s so precious to his grandfather and got beat up by Kaiba who refused to cater to his wishes.
I prefer the manga side in that regard because, while it is realistic that Yugi would give Kaiba the chance to own up to what he did and make things right, I don’t think Yugi would return home with the fake Blue-Eyes card and possibly have to break the bad news to his grandpa, who may notice it’s a fake.
Also, I’m a tad annoyed because so many episodes/chapters include the main characters getting beaten up. It starts to wear thin.
After school, Yugi walks home and is confronted by Anzu who tells him she thought he’d be with Honda and Jonouchi because they decided to challenge Kaiba. Yugi somehow puts it together that Honda and Jonouchi are back at school, on the roof no less, physically confronting Kaiba.
The rest of the exchange goes the same, essentially, but since the guards are in the picture in the anime, Yami has to beat them up before going to confront Kaiba.
The manga and Season Zero share the 2000 anime’s original default life point count of 2000, which will later get bumped up to 4000, though rarely, if ever, do they mirror the real life TCG’s default life point count of 8000.
Make fun of the game in later days all you want, it is a million times more complex and entertaining than the game in the manga and Season Zero. I would’ve been really bored playing the game like this. Most of the moves are drawing and playing whatever you’ve just drawn then attacking with whatever monster you summoned. Also, there’s only magic cards, no traps, though you can put magic cards face down and have them act like traps, I think?
Oh my god, the animation for the Dark Dragon falling! That is too hilarious. It was literally like someone knocked down a cardboard cutout. Is this a rough draft version of the episode? Wow.
It’s interesting seeing the beta versions of some of the more well-known Yu-Gi-Oh cards like Holy Elf/Mystical Elf and Minotaurus/Battle Ox.
Apparently Season Zero wants to channel Bakugan in the future for a minute here as they play a magic card, but only say it makes the monster stronger. They don’t explain how much stronger or for how long. In the manga, they explain that Growth increases Minotaurus’ attack by 20%.
In the manga, once Minotaurus is powered up, Yugi suffers several losses in a slight montage where his life points are eventually whittled down to 500. His next card has to be strong or else there’s a high chance he’ll lose, which is where Demon Summon/Summoned Skull comes into play a la heart of the cards.
What’s that? You say you thought the heart of the cards was some 2000 version bullshit? Haha, you’re silly, reader.
In the anime, Yugi only suffers the loss of Holy Elf. His life points stay the same, since she was in defense mode, and he instantly draws Demon Summon.
I don’t really mind this too much because the manga makes Yugi out to be a complete idiot who keeps throwing out weak monsters in attack mode instead of defense.
Also, have another aged chuckle, because Kaiba notes that Demon Summon is one of the five strongest monsters in the game. Wow.
Here’s where Kaiba really differs from manga and Season Zero to the 2000 anime. In the manga and Season Zero, Kaiba cheats by pulling a Blue-Eyes out of his jacket pocket, palming it and pretending to draw it on his next turn.
2000!Kaiba, as much of a jackass as he is, would never sully his good name or his honor as a duelist and cheat (The ‘summoning a bunch of monsters on one turn’ thing doesn’t really count because that was technically in the Duelist Kingdom days where half the moves were technically cheating or making shit up.) The closest he ever got was threatening to commit suicide if Yugi chose to defeat him, but that was only because Mokuba’s life/soul was on the line. If he lost that match, he’d have lost his only chance to challenge Pegasus and save his last remaining family and one of the only beings he loved.
Either Kaiba loses another monster off-panel in the manga or they did some bad math. Kaiba went down to 1500 LP when his Gargoyle was defeated. His 2040 Attack Minotaurus was his next monster to be downed, and it was by a 2500 Attack monster, which means he should be at 1040 LP. However, the next time we see his LP counter, it’s at 800.
I want to believe the anime did this wrong as well because Kaiba’s LP only go to 1200 when Minotaurus is defeated there. However, since the anime didn’t tell us Minotaurus’ exact power boost with Growth, I can only assume it’s wrong. It’s not either 800 or 1040, so unless they changed the card effect, it has to be wrong.
A small bit of text above Kaiba’s head in the manga implies that he also cheated to win those aforementioned tournaments, so this isn’t a new thing for him.
Oh, oh….oh retro Blue-Eyes and its animation…..Wow….just..wow.
What the…? Blue-Eyes isn’t even attacking and is, in fact, in the process of destroying itself, but anime!Yami’s life points are going down to 50? Whaaa?????
I would call BS on Blue-Eyes not attacking because he’s not Kaiba’s card, thus he doesn’t have his heart in it, his grandfather does, but I think this is just the embodiment of Kaiba’s cheating so I’ll give it a pass.
I get that it’s poetic justice for Yami to revive Blue-Eyes to fight for him, but he could’ve just attacked Kaiba’s life points directly with Demon Summon. Or are direct attacks not allowed in this version, like it wasn’t in the first season of YGO? Also, when anime!Yami revived Blue-Eyes, why did he not attack with either?
Now when it’s anime!Kaiba’s turn, like Yami, his life points start going down for absolutely no reason. What the hell is happening?
Even more weirdness because, in the manga, Kaiba loses this duel, and the subsequent penalty game has a lasting effect on him that will herald in the biggest arc of the manga. Yami attacks with Blue-Eyes and wins.
In the anime….I have no clue what the hell happened. Kaiba draws a Gremlin, which, even with 2000 attack, isn’t enough to defeat either Demon Summon or Blue-Eyes. However…Kaiba summons him on a mountain range, I think, which, I guess, grants the card the ability called Split the Land….which automatically ends the duel in a draw…I suppose?
…..HUH!? Why did Kaiba not get defeated here? He not only should’ve lost, he should’ve got a well-deserved penalty game for cheating. But the anime decides, nah, let’s have it end in a draw? Even 2000 anime Kaiba lost. And where did Kaiba vanish to after the duel ended? What is going on!?!?
It also makes th setup for the Kaiba arc so much weaker than the manga. Instead of Kaiba, the champion, being pissed about being defeated and basically being forced to go through hell, instead he’s just butthurt that he got a tie.
I’m a bit surprised that manga!Yami was lenient on Kaiba in his penalty game. It’s horrible to be trapped in a card and experiencing something ‘close to death’ as all of the fallen creatures torment him, but he clearly says it’s only for one night whereas we’re left to assume most of the other people who got penalty games were punished indefinitely.
If they weren’t, then why haven’t people like Ushio come back to get their revenge on Yugi? Are they just too scared of him now? Have they changed their ways because of their punishment? Tetsu got straight-up killed for sure, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think most of the other penalty games stuck unless stated otherwise so…..??
Kaiba beat up numerous people, stole god knows how many Duel Monsters cards and tried to steal Yugi’s grandfather’s precious treasure. I’m not saying all of that is worth eternal torment or death, I’m saying Yami’s done worse to some people for much less. Why is Yami so inconsistent with how he punishes people?
Also, the anime ends with a few tags – Kaiba trashing his trophy room in anger at getting a mere draw in a duel, Yugi, Anzu and Jonouchi being glad Yugi got Blue-Eyes back (somehow) and an overly long really stupid sequence of Miho riding on the back of Honda’s bike and them spending a ridiculous amount of time on the ground in a daze after crashing.
I thought this was a good introduction to Duel Monsters, for the most part. I don’t think they do an adequate enough job explaining the rules (The manga does a lot more than the anime, but they have an advantage in being able to display fairly detailed text boxes that convey that type of info. Still, a good anime would be able to convey the information naturally), and both versions have a serious problem with keeping track of life points, but the anime moreso because both of their life points went down so far for literally no reason. Nothing was happening at the time, but they were losing points. I feel like they only did that so it would be more viable for the duel to end in a draw.
I already expressed how I also didn’t care much for the nice guy act they put on Kaiba in the anime. Like I said, that would’ve been perfectly fine if they didn’t ruin the act in the first place by showing Kaiba’s guards beating up a kid for a Duel Monsters card and establishing that he does that stuff all the time.
Kaiba’s design has been noted throughout the years as being the funniest manga/Season Zero design of all of our well-known characters because, while the Kaiba we know and love has brown hair, manga/Season Zero Kaiba…well.
Again, what is up with the screwed up colors in this show?
Do I even need to bring up the janky animation in this episode? This series has always been poorly animated, but this is lower than shoestring budget. It’s like…..off-brand floss budget. It reminded me of those old Filmmation cartoons from the 70s on occasion.
Kaiba is a good antagonist, of course, and I’m glad they left the door open for him to return in the future, but that draw wasn’t earned in the anime. He may not have been able to do anything with Blue-Eyes once he was on the field, but he still cheated. He deserved to lose. There’s honestly no reason he shouldn’t have lost either. It’s like the writers were cheating FOR them. What was wrong with the manga’s ending that they felt the need to change it? Just wanted it to seem more like Kaiba and Yugi/Yami were on the same level? That’s just silly.
Next time, some filler on the anime’s part and some not really filler but never adapted chapters in the manga.
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Plot: Jonouchi mysteriously goes missing. When his friends find him, he’s hanging out with a gang of thugs from Rintama High, lead by Jonouchi’s old partner in crime, Hirutani. Yugi and the others confront him about what he’s doing with these guys, but Jonouchi pretends he doesn’t know them and is even complacent when one of the gang socks Yugi in the stomach.
Yugi refuses to lose faith in his best friend, however, and believes there must be a good reason for his behavior. He’s right – Jonouchi was coerced into joining Hirutani’s gang by threatening to hurt his friends if he didn’t. Unable to keep a lid on his rage for too long from one of the thugs hitting Yugi, Jonouchi attacks the gang member. Having shown insubordination, Hirutani aims to ‘educate’ Jonouchi on who’s top dog. Can Yugi, Honda and Anzu save him from this gang before it’s too late?
Episode 9 Notes:This is a bit complicated. Season Zero never fully adapted the story that this arc is focusing on. However, they did take the first half of this arc and staple it onto the anime’s adaptation of Jonouchi’s second encounter with Hirutani, which is way down the line in the manga in chapters 48 and 49, and episode nine in Season Zero.
Namely, they realize that Jonouchi is absent, which is strange for him, go to his house to investigate and find his drunken pile of crap of a dad (The first and only time we ever see him, though we never see his face) yelling about Jonouchi being missing all night, not even realizing Honda, Yugi, Miho and Anzu are at the door. We learn that Honda and Jonouchi have known each other since middle school, longer than Anzu and Yugi have known him. His dad is a loud, obnoxious, possibly abusive drunk, which is why he doesn’t invite friends over to his house. Since his father mentioned Jonouchi never came home last night, Yugi, Honda, Anzu and Miho search all over town for him.
The anime also adapts the parts where Jonouchi initially joins up with Hirutani’s gang, Yugi tries to talk to Jonouchi, he pretends he doesn’t know him, one of the gang punches Yugi, but they add the yoyo aspect of the seconds story arc to it (For a second. They don’t even hit the guy with the yoyos.) They don’t put Jonouchi in the Rintama uniform as they do here (Which I’m okay with because, what, did he get a transfer overnight?) and they remove the fact that the Rintama gang were all smoking in the manga.
Also, they changed Hirutani’s design a little. His hair is meant to be blond, and he’s thinner in the manga. In the anime, he’s taller, bulkier and his hair is a murky blue/purple color.
They also adapt Jonouchi’s backstory with Hirutani, but they kinda had to in order for the second story to make sense.
In the manga, since Honda was basically Jonouchi Lite, he also used to brawl a lot in middle school, but he didn’t like Hirutani and his gang because they’d pick on weaklings a lot (Which actually creates a bit of a contradiction because the first time we met Honda in the manga he was helping Jonouchi pick on Yugi….)
Yugi has very strong faith in Jonouchi, however, so he proclaims that he hasn’t changed. Whereas Honda immediately chose to believe Yugi’s words and believe in Jonouchi in the manga, Honda denounces Jonouchi entirely and claims that he’s always been rotten and always will be in the anime. He then leaves and tells the others to not associate themselves with Jonouchi anymore.
Meanwhile, in an anime exclusive scene, Hirutani and his gang clash with the gang of some other school. He specifically sends out Jonouchi to fight alone since he stated that fights should be done with fists, not yoyos. Jonouchi actually does manage to fight off every single one of their gang, alone, and off-screen.
Later, Anzu, Miho and Yugi head to J’z (which is the same bar they visit in the manga) to see if they can spot Jonouchi, but Honda shows up wearing some pink band across his torso. He’s about to go into J’z to confront the gang and Jonouchi when the trio spots him and point out that he was lying about what he said earlier about Jonouchi….Why he said that at all, I don’t know. Does he not want to seem like he cares about Jonouchi?
In the manga, Anzu, Yugi and Honda go to J’z together, and Honda confronts one of the Rintama gang members leaving the bar.
The anime also adds in Honda explaining what the band means. When he was in middle school, they had a track meet. The band was used as a baton, basically, and Honda, in second place, passed it off to Jonouchi, who won them the meet. Ever since that day, they’ve been friends, and that band is a sign of their friendship. While Yugi and Miho love the story, Anzu says it sounds fishy.
Since the commercial break hits there and the rest of the episode is not really related to this arc, I’ll stop there for now and continue when we get to episode nine’s review.
Jonouchi has gone missing, and Yugi, Honda and Anzu are very concerned about him. They go to his house to see if he’s there, but only catch a glimpse of his irate drunk father lazing about on the couch. He throws a beer bottle at the door as it opens, complaining about Jonouchi being gone all night, not even realizing the three are at the door.
As the group investigates Jonouchi’s disappearance further, they spot a gang of thugs from Rintama High School beating on some guy. The gang from Rintama, particularly their leader, Hirutani, are known for being some of the most ruthless thugs in the area; Honda showing a particular distaste for them. They decide to move on, but then they notice Jonouchi with the thugs, wearing Rintama High’s uniform.
He pretends to not know the group and blows them off, which angers Honda. Yugi tries desperately to get him to come back, only to have one of the other thugs punch him in the face. Jonouchi and the Rintama gang then leave.
As Honda and Anzu tend to Yugi, Honda expresses his disappointment in Jonouchi for joining up with those jerks, especially his old partner in crime, Hirutani. But Yugi proclaims that he’s sure there’s a logical reason. He’d never believe Jonouchi would turn into someone like that. Honda happily agrees and they go off once more. They overhear the gang wanting to head to an American-style dive bar called J’z so they head there next.
They catch one of the gang members outside, and Honda threatens him into telling them what they’ve done to Jonouchi. The thug explains that Hirutani wants to expand his gang’s influence, and for that he needed Jonouchi. However, Jonouchi had been reformed, so Hirutani threatened him by saying he’d attack his friends from Domino High if he didn’t comply.
Meanwhile, Jonouchi finds he can’t restrain himself for long after the attack on Yugi, so he punches the gang member who delivered the punch and knocks him out cold. Hirutani likes Jonouchi’s spirit, but doesn’t accept his rebellious attitude. He calls on all of his thugs to beat the hell out of Jonouchi. He manages to stand his ground for only a few seconds before being felled. Hirutani then demands that they take him to the Execution Grounds.
Sooo….yeah, another group of people so evil they’re literal murderers without a care in the world.
They tie up Jonouchi in some warehouse or hangar and give him a thorough beating. Hirutani explains their relationship in middle school. Jonouchi was his underling, but he also called him his partner and they thought exactly the same way. However, as his underling, Hirutani made the mistake of not properly ‘educating’ Jonouchi, which I take to mean he never put him in his place to make him always remember that he was the underling, not an equal.
He plans to rectify that by having his whole gang relentlessly assault him with stun guns. Before they’re able to do so, however, Jonouchi manages to knock one of them out by kicking them in the head. This doesn’t stop the others from assaulting him, and Jonouchi’s eventually brought to a state of catatonia from all the shocks. But it’s still not enough for Hirutani. He commands his thugs to shock him until he dies.
Back with Honda, Anzu and Yugi, they rush into J’z only to find the place wrecked because of the fight. Only the gang member that Jonouchi knocked out is still in the room. They decide to split up and look for Jonouchi and the remaining gang members. Honda tells Yugi and Anzu to not confront the gang if they find them and get him first.
Yugi, left all alone worrying in the rain and seemingly able to sense Jonouchi crying out in pain at the stun guns, asks the Millennium Puzzle if it will show him where Jonouchi is. It hears his plea and shows him where to go. He finds Jonouchi in his near-death state and gets so upset he turns into Yami.
The gang notices Yami outside and go punch him in the face, knocking him to the ground next to the thug who was knocked out by Jonouchi.
When he stands up, Yami proclaims that it’s now his turn. He challenges the group to a game. He claims that he’s surrounded the group with land mines, but they seemingly can’t see them. If they can find the switch for the land mines, they win and they can kill Yami if they want. If they lose, they’ll suffer the penalty game and be at the mercy of the land mines.
One of the thugs doesn’t want to play Yami’s game and just wants to shock him with his stun gun, but Hirutani stops him in a panic. He seemingly realizes Yami’s game. He lured them outside where it’s pouring rain. They’re all soaked and so is the ground. If they use their stun guns, they’ll all get a massive shock.
Seemingly having found the trigger, Hirutani declares himself the winner, but Yami just smirks and says he lost. He points to the actual trigger – the unconscious thug Jonouchi knocked out. While he was on the ground after being punched, Yami propped up the thug’s arm with a metal bar and put the stun gun in his hand…seemingly being triggered this whole time I suppose (I’d imagine the battery would die fairly quickly).
The thug is waking up, meaning he’ll soon knock his arm off the bar and put the active stun gun into the water. Hirutani and his gang look on in terror as the thug wakes up, the stun gun hits the water and they’re all electrocuted……and….disintegrated? They literally go from them being shocked to Yugi tending to Jonouchi and Honda and Anzu reuniting with them. No bodies on the floor or anything, they’re all just gone.
However, as I already mentioned earlier, Hirutani and his gang returns, soooo….I dunno where they went at all.
Yugi and Jonouchi have a very touching reunion, though. You could really feel the emotion jump right off the page – it was so sweet.
I am going to nitpick the shadow game a little here. While the basic concept is good, the fact that they used stun guns really damages it, in my opinion. They act like stun guns have such massive voltage or amperage that there’s no doubt they’d all be seriously injured or killed if they were shocked by a stun gun hitting water, but that’s really not the case.
As far as my research led me, if a stun gun was used on someone who was wet, it might amplify the effects a little, but that’s about it. If you shock a body of water with a taser and you’re standing in it, there’s a chance you’d feel tingly, but, again, that’s about it. You certainly wouldn’t get such a massive jolt of electricity that you’d severely injure or kill yourself, even though stun guns, by default, have the risk of death simply due to heart issues.
What electricity it is dispersing through the nodes would be dissipated over the wide area, so the effects would be minimal. This isn’t like lightning striking a lake you’re swimming in where it might seek you out as an outlet and you’d get a lot of the shock, if you’re close enough, or like a downed power line sitting in a puddle – it’s a taser in the rain.
I would usually just chalk things up to typical Yu-Gi-Oh exaggeration, but this one felt like one of those times I had to go investigate since the entire shadow game was dependent on it. I did like the little detail that Yami was standing on a tire that entire time, though.
Overall, despite some odd details in the shadow game, this was a great two-parter. It gave strong focus to Yugi, Jonouchi and even Honda, which is welcome since this entire time he’s been little more than a goofy brutish side character. It’s cool to see his dedication to Jonouchi is on the same level as the Honda we get in the 2000 anime.
Jonouchi was willing to suffer for his friends, and Yugi showed that he’d never give up on Jonouchi. He’s a true friend, and he deserved the benefit of the doubt.
I feel really bad that Jonouchi has such a bad home life, but at least he has real friends now to help him through.
I do feel awkward that four chapters worth of manga, two different Jonouchi arcs, are mushed into one episode of Season Zero, however. They don’t technically do a bad job combining the two, but I’d much rather the series have adapted both stories separately instead of taking the first half of this arc and the second half of the other arc and making one episode.
Next time, we talk about the first filler the anime has that has no manga basis.
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Chapter Five’s plot was adapted in episode 13 so we won’t be going over it here. This post will be updated when we reach episode 13.
Chapter 6 – Burning Struggle to the Death
Anzu is organizing a festival for school and is asking the class for suggestions on a stand they can put up.
Hanasaki makes another appearance briefly which is nice. He suggests making a manga table, which everyone mostly gets confused by, but no one makes fun of him.
A lot of suggestions are thrown out, and Yugi’s the last one to comment. He suggests a stand with carnival games and everyone gets really jazzed about the idea. He’s so happy about everyone liking his carnival game idea. It’s really sweet
Later, everyone works really hard to make some cool carnival games – a simple stack of bottles, a shooting gallery and a life-sized version of those pop-up pirate toys where you put swords into the barrel and try to make the pirate pop up.
Gorou and his gang of….cooking brutes knock all of their stuff out of the spot, even knocking Jonouchi and Yugi over and destroying some things, to take over the spot themselves. Their stand is a giant iron plate they plan to use for an okonomiyaki stand.
Yugi is taken over by Yami and meets Gorou later that night to challenge him to a very messed up shadow game.
It’s a game of air hockey, basically, but the puck is a chunk of ice and the arena is the iron plate, now superheated. Inside the ice is a vial of gunpower. When the ice melts enough, it will hit the plate and explode, so the aim is to ensure the puck is not near you when that happens. Gorou accepts.
This is a rare moment of Yami actually struggling in a shadow game. In every game before this, he has been ridiculously confident in his abilities, almost to the point where you think he’s cheating sometimes. However, this time he’s actually sweating and conceding that Gorou’s strength gives him an advantage in this game. Yugi’s body can’t keep up very well. He needs to calm himself and find a way to use Gorou’s speed and strength against him.
He makes the clever play of smacking the puck at an angle to create a small crack in it. When Gorou realizes how much the ice has melted, he puts all of his strength into hitting the puck one more time. He fails to notice the crack until it’s too late and the puck breaks open in front of him, causing the vial to fall and explode.
This is seemingly another instance of someone actually dying in a shadow game because Gorou never reappears after he gets caught in the explosion. I gotta say….he was a jerk but he didn’t deserve to go out like that. All he did was push Yugi and Jonouchi down and steal a festival spot, possibly wrecking some of the things they built there (The art makes it hard to tell.)
Granted, him accepting this shadow game is basically him attempting murder, but still. People get away with much worse in this series and still retain their lives.
Chapter 7 in the manga is somewhat adapted in episode 10 of the anime, but the story had to be drastically altered since Honda and Miho are so different in the anime. This post will be updated when I reach episode 10.
Chapter 8 – The Venomous Man
This chapter is both heartwarming and a little dumb. Jonouchi needs a new pair of sneakers and falls in love with an awesome pair he spots in a shoe shop in a bad part of town. The owner is a straight up crazy person who initially refuses to sell the sneakers to him because they’re rare. He won’t sell them to just anyone, so he posits a challenge. He’ll put a scorpion in the shoe. If Jonouchi is brave/stupid enough to put his foot into the shoe with the scorpion in it, he’ll sell him the shoes.
Jonouchi does so and is ‘rewarded’ for his ‘courage’ by the owner revealing that he never actually put the scorpion in the shoe. He faked it. But he’s impressed enough to sell them, at a half-off discount even. However, he warns Jonouchi of ‘hunters’ in the area who target people who have such nice shoes.
And right here is where you realize exactly where this is going, and it goes there. Jonouchi walks all of half a mile before he, Honda and Jonouchi are attacked by a group of thugs wielding a tire (Not a tire iron – a tire) and various tools. They beat the group up and steal Jonouchi’s shoes.
The thugs were obviously hired by the shop owner who seems to make a habit out of playing this trick so he can get a constant stream of money out of schmucks who want nice sneakers. I can’t imagine there are that many people who would do that, but I guess this is the world of original version YGO, where everyone’s a crazy asshole.
He screwed with the wrong reformed school bullies, however, because the group, even Yugi, decide to find the thugs and beat them down. They quickly reveal that they were working for the shop owner, and Yugi transforms into Yami to challenge the owner to a shadow game.
The owner kinda triggers the game himself by issuing the same challenge he gave Jonouchi, only this time there’s an actual scorpion in the shoe. However, Yami changes it up by dropping a handful of coins into the shoe. They each have to reach into the shoe one at a time and get as many coins as they feel comfortable nabbing. Whoever gets the most coins without getting stung is the winner. The owner adds on a stipulation that each coin is worth 100,000 yen, which Yami will pay him if he wins.
The game starts and after a few grabs, the owner starts getting nervous about his chances of winning the game, so he decides to fudge the rules by stabbing the shoe, effectively killing the scorpion, and nabbing all of the coins left in the shoe.
Yami reveals, however, that he not only broke the rules and betrayed his pet, but the scorpion is still very much alive. It stings him, and Yami takes the shoes to return to Jonouchi. We learn that the shop owner didn’t die of the sting, which surprised me a little. Jonouchi is so touched by Yugi going to the shop to confront to the owner that he gladly takes the shoes that now have a stab mark in them and cherishes them, which is so sweet I can’t stand it.
Next time, we’ll be heading back to the anime with episode three, which covers chapters nine and ten.
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Plot: Anzu secretly gets a job at the local restaurant, Burger World. She doesn’t want Yugi or Jounouchi to find out because they might blab to the school and get her fired. Anzu needs this job to save money for her to live in New York to learn dance once she graduates.
However, there are more pressing matters to attend to – such as the escaped death row convict who has decided to pay Burger World a little visit.
Breakdown: The anime starts with a scene where Sugoroku reacts to the news that Yugi completed the Millennium Puzzle. He wonders why Yugi hasn’t changed at all when the glyphs on the box explained that the person who completed the puzzle would get dark knowledge and power. This scene isn’t present in the manga.
Seems a little messed up for Sugoroku to give this thing that is imbued with dark magic to his grandson. It would be a different story if he didn’t actually believe it, but he does, so he pretty much wanted his grandson to be the host of ancient dark magicks without his consent or knowledge….
The escaped prisoner in the manga is known only as prisoner 777, which matches his 777 tattoo and the guy’s heavy belief in superstition and luck. In the anime, he not only gets a name, Tetsu Tasaki, but he also gets a nickname, Tetsu the Hedgehog, presumably because of his extremely spiky hair.
Miho is obviously not part of the discussion about Burger World in the manga since she’s only in the manga for one chapter (and this isn’t it). Honda also wasn’t there in the manga. He takes the time out to remind Jounouchi and Yugi that stopping anywhere on your way home from school is against the rules.
I find it kinda stupid that Miho believes Jounouchi when he theorizes that Anzu became a prostitute for old men for extra cash, especially to the point where she starts stalking Anzu to ‘save’ her.
The anime adds in a failed burglary attempt from Tetsu as well as him getting pissed while eating at a ramen shop. The news report is claiming he’s the prime suspect in a string of bank robberies when he didn’t steal anything.
I can’t help but get a fanfiction vibe off of Miho. Her personality’s not perfect or bland enough to be a Mary Sue, and she certainly doesn’t have the plot impact for that either, unless you have a thing for Honda or Jounouchi, so she comes off as a very inserted character when you read the manga alongside the anime. She’s always just kinda there or doing something other characters are doing. Hopefully that’ll change as the show goes on, but that would just mean we’d deviate more from the manga.
Also, they assume Miho is now Anzu’s fellow prostitute.
Do I have a dirty mind if I laughed when Jounouchi pointed out that Anzu bought a bentou meant for stamina….when they’re theorizing that she’s a prostitute now?
For the record, he was pointing out that they’re pricey and delicious.
And so Honda’s also so stupid as to believe that, just because they had a nice lunch, Miho’s also a prostitute that needs ‘saving.’ *sigh*
They insert another botched robbery from Tetsu. This time he did steal something – Marie Antoinette’s jeweled necklace, but he later hears over the car radio that it was fake. However, thirty jewels did go missing from the same store that weren’t fake. Despite not getting the real jewels, Tetsu gets suspected yet again.
Now Honda’s leaving with the girls and acting suspicious, leading Jounouchi to think he’s probably dating some old rich lady.
They finally decide to follow all of them to get to the Burger World plot. As you guessed, since Honda and Miho weren’t part of anything in chapter four, them getting hired at Burger World is anime-exclusive.
The detective investigating Tetsu’s escape is not present in the manga. Also, this guy could easily pass as Honda’s dad.
Tetsu’s anime design doesn’t include his facial tattoos. From all I’ve seen, I assume he also doesn’t retain his brief personality trait of believing in luck or superstition either. It is very possible that Tetsu isn’t meant to be the guy from the manga given these changes and that his name is never given in the manga, but they kept his face and hair basically the same, so I’m left to assume he is.
In the manga, Tetsu just enters Burger World and holds up the joint, which is kinda dumb for an escaped prisoner, if you ask me. Why don’t you just plaster a giant sign on your face that says ‘ARREST ME!’?…..Oh wait, he kinda already did that with the easily recognizable facial tats.
I think for the sake of extending the run time, they decided to make Tetsu a master of disguise instead, so it’s a mystery trying to figure out who in the restaurant might be him.
The manager (Shown to the left of the detective depicted above) is not in the manga, but I’m sure he’s just an innocent extra. Please ignore his character design, which looks like he just shivved a guy in the alleyway before his shift. He has a sad/worried expression so he’s obviously a good guy.
I really don’t think any detective worth his salt would put civilians in danger, especially teenagers, by making them look for the ARMED ESCAPED CONVICT WHO WAS ON DEATH ROW. And, in the end, he just flashes his badge and asks everyone to show him their legs (Tetsu’s leg was injured upon escaping) anyway, so this was all pointless.
They don’t obey him, but he made the request AFTER the kids looked for themselves by pretending they were retrieving toys.
To extend this even more, they include the fact that the cops lost another escaped prisoner not too long ago and that they never found him – Jirou the Yellow Spider. And, oh my god, guys, he was the creepy as shit restaurant manager. Wow. Color me surprised.
He was the one robbing the places before Tetsu could, based on his in-depth knowledge of Tetsu and being employed at Burger World. He knew what places he was going to rob, but Tetsu had a habit of getting a burger before going out to do the deed, which gave Jirou the opportunity to rob the places before him. Lots of conveniences needed to fall into place for that to work.
Jirou, by the way, becomes the main baddie of the episode, not Tetsu as it was in the manga. I guess I’m okay with this alteration.
Tetsu originally explains that he’s going to blindfold Anzu instead of mute her with the cloth because people are more scared when they’re blindfolded, not muted. That’s why they blindfold convicts when they’re getting executed, not mute them. (That’s not really the reason. Depending on the method of execution, it’s either to prevent any innocent people watching from seeing the executed’s eyes pop out, or to help the executioner and any viewing parties to further detach from the event because the prisoner might look them in the eye.) He takes that opportunity to tell Anzu that he was on death row, which indicates that he almost certainly murdered someone in the past. In the anime, the only line that’s kept is about blindfolding being frightening, and they don’t even keep the comparison with muting there.
By the way, the colors in this episode are the worst I’ve ever seen in the entire series…or anime…or life. I don’t know how anyone greenlit this or slept at night knowing there wasn’t a warning on screen about possibly going blind. Yu-Gi-Oh Season Zero doesn’t exactly have an appealing color palette to begin with, but my god this is horrendous.
Look at this – orange on darker orange striped walls, orange booths, lime green shirts, forest green pants/skirts, red and yellow ties, salmon colored hair – and then there’s Tetsu and his outfit.
Wine colored jacket with a blue and white striped shirt, apple green pants, and his bright yellow on dark swamp green hair. And look, the floor is purple. Fucking PURPLE. It’s like they beat this episode to death with a washed out rainbow.
Just so we’re clear on the situation right now – Jirou escaped prison several months before Tetsu did, altered his face to be unrecognizable as Jirou but still very clearly criminal-y, decided to live an unassuming life for a while then suddenly reverted back to crime once he knew he could pin the robberies on the recently escaped Tetsu.
Here’s what I don’t get, though. There was a report of Tetsu getting hit on the leg by a prison guard, but that didn’t happen to Tetsu, it happened to Jirou. However, this was several months ago, presumably. Why has the bruise not faded yet? And why would Jirou go to the trouble of surgically altering his face to cover his identity but not remove the giant spider tattoo from his back?
Outside of the opponent being Jirou not Tetsu, the game is exactly the same barring the very end. They each agree to only use one finger of their choosing during the entire game. Whoever uses a finger that is not the declared one, loses.
Jirou/Tetsu chooses his right index finger, the one on the trigger of the gun. Yami chooses his right thumb. Upon the game’s start, Jirou/Tetsu instantly decides he’s going to pull the trigger. However, Yami uses his thumb to ignite a lighter. Jirou/Tetsu’s cigarette has yet to be lit, so he lets Yami’s last gesture be lighting it for him.
He lights the cigarette then drops the still-lit lighter on Jirou/Tetsu’s left hand, which happens to be pouring Russian senowolf vodka, which is 90% alcohol. I initially thought this had to be made up because 90% alcohol is a ridiculous amount, but after some research, there are alcoholic beverages that go even higher, up to 192 proof, which is 96% alcohol. Wow.
Jirou can’t move his hand without the lighter falling, nor can he shoot the gun without the recoil causing the same result. He’s now pouring so much alcohol that it’s getting all over him, meaning he’ll quickly go up in flames if the lighter is dropped.
Here’s where the two versions shift. In the manga, Yami gets Anzu away from the danger and Tetsu remains still. However, he opens his mouth long enough to say ‘But….I’m lucky….’ which causes the cigarette to fall out of his mouth, igniting the flames. It’s confirmed that Tetsu burns to death in the inferno. (Also, Jounouchi is bummed he didn’t get to see the guy self-immolate………)
In the anime, Yami gets Anzu away from the danger, but Jirou realizes he can just put down the gun and grab the lighter, which is…..cheating, yes, but Yami kinda cheated first as he had to move some of his other fingers to both drop the lighter and get Anzu away (It should be noted that, technically, Yami cheated in the manga too, he even makes a finger-gun hand gesture when he was still playing – and there it’s kinda worse because Tetsu got a penalty game when he should have won. He deserved it, of course, but it wasn’t really fair.)
Jirou decides to shoot Yami for what he did, but Yami declares a punishment game since Jirou cheated. He’s trapped in an illusion of burning forever instead of it actually happening. It can be argued that this is actually worse because at least Tetsu’s pain ended in the manga.
There’s an anime-exclusive ending with Anzu quitting her job in order to spend time with Yugi, and Miho and Honda getting jobs at the new beef noodle joint because Miho wants to buy clothes and Honda wants to get her out of her clothes.
Overall, I really like this manga chapter because of how badass and vicious the shadow game is (even if Yami cheated), but I can’t deny that the anime pulled off the overall story much better.
The concept of having two criminals on the loose with one framing the other for their crimes while simultaneously screwing the other out of loot is really interesting. I think it’s a bit unfair that the actual culprit makes his first appearance 2/3 of the way into the episode, but that’s not a dealbreaker. Also, even though Tetsu was a thief and probably an ass, I think we spent too much time with him in the anime for me to want to see him burn to death, so shifting to the other guy is fine with me.
In the manga, Tetsu escapes prison, then the next time we see him he’s holding up Burger World. He murdered a guard while escaping, and we know he was on death row, so he was likely a murderer to start with. That’s why no one’s really shedding any tears for the guy once he dies (though it is insanely odd that Yugi, Jounouchi and Anzu just….don’t react. Or, if they do, react poorly. Yugi doesn’t acknowledge it and says he’s hungry, Anzu thinks about sexy Yami, and Jounouchi, as I mentioned, was just disappointed he didn’t get to watch a guy burn to death….)
With Jirou, it’s a bit odd because we only know him as a thief to this point. Guards did fall in the escape, but it’s unclear if they died, and if they did that would be Tetsu’s doing not Jirou’s. He does attempt to kill Yami at least, but I still think the perpetual hell of constantly being trapped in an illusion of being set ablaze is a bit harsh for the guy who actually did fewer terrible things than his manga counterpart who, in my opinion, got off a tad lighter.
The only part of the anime that I think gives it marks in the negative category is the added stuff with Miho and Honda. I already don’t care for Miho, and Honda following her like a puppy is just pathetic. The fact that so much of the runtime is dedicated to them stalking Anzu and later Miho and going through the same motions three times was trying my patience. They do a similar thing at the very end, and that almost made me want to give this one to the manga, but I’m choosing to be above that.
Final Notes: If you’ll recall, this story was briefly touched upon in the 2000 version of the anime. In a flashback as the group was climbing the stairs to get to Pegasus’ castle, Yugi and Anzu reminisce. She remembers Jounouchi and Yugi randomly coming to Burger World and discovering she worked there. She angrily dumped ketchup all over their meal, as she does here (Though, in the manga and Season Zero she writes ‘I won’t forgive you if you blab’ in the ketchup. And that’s pretty impressive, to be honest) However, there’s no escaped prisoner plot or anything like that.
In the 2000 anime, she later gets a card in her locker telling her to meet someone in the gym after school. If she doesn’t, the person will tell her secrets. She instantly believes it’s Jounouchi or Yugi because they’re the only ones who know her secret.
She goes to confront them but finds a creeper lying in the shadows instead. He attacks her and is about to film a dirty video and/or rape her, but Yugi, somehow knowing about the situation, intervenes. Yugi gets knocked out, as does Anzu, and Yami comes out to play. He challenges the creep to a shadow game, which is a simple ‘draw to see who gets the better card’ deal. Yami wins and mind crushes the creep, saving Anzu.
It’s a far cry from the badassery of the original story. I get that it was probably too dark for this version, but Yami practically needed sick guitar licks during this shadow game. The 2000’s version is pure luck or heart of the cards schmaltz.
Also, as an added bonus, the colors on the uniforms in the 2000 version didn’t make my corneas commit seppuku.
Next time, we’ll catch up with some stuff in the manga that isn’t covered in the anime up to chapters 9 and 10 (Which is covered in episode 3.)