And another thing...
The recent discussion about Mai’s portrayal in Doma reminded me of something else that bugs me about it:
At the end of the arc, Mai rides off with an unspoken promise to Jonouchi and Valon to come back when she’s learned to duel like they do. Okay, it’s part of the anime’s general approach to make everything about card games, so the basic idea works.
I’ll accept that she wants to change the way she plays, even though she seemed to enjoy the game just fine before this season. She’s been traumatised, and trying something new is a reasonable way to cope. Wanting to communicate through dueling is also fine and dandy; she does that in the manga too.
But the way this is presented implies that she wants to talk it out with the guys, but has decided to avoid them until she reaches some arbitrary qualification. She quietly slips away with the motivation that she doesn’t deserve to be there yet.
The last significant act of Mai Kujaku—originally written as a feminist—is to judge herself unworthy of facing the men in her life. Her character arc thus culminates in the realisation that she isn’t good enough, because she’s the wrong kind of card game nerd.
I’m all for characters wanting to keep improving, but there’s something iffy about this.