anklecuff

2

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Episode 75, part 1: grim….

So Yami is rushing with Seto and Mokuba to the docks, hoping that Jounouchi et al are safe, but Malik’s actually orchestrated the whole thing, knowing that Yami (and/or Yugi) will come rushing…

Jou looks EXTREMELY tired. 

You know who probably is extremely tired? Rishid.

Shit, man! That’s some good going!

You know, I know Yami keeps getting targeted by mid- to high-level Ghouls and Kaiba gets very distracted and decides to follow a certain outrageously-haired hot-piece-of-ass around town, but literally every other finalist gets their final entry cards faster than Yami and Kaiba do. Rishid might’ve gotten his last one (of TWELVE) after Yami and Kaiba already qualified but that’s still a higher Puzzle-card-per-minute rate. Jou gets all his first, he might be the first qualified finalist. Bakura gets all his last, but in about twenty minutes. Ishizu picks hers up off-screen while holding a full-time job as a cultural ambassador and a part-time job as a plot-heavy medium. CAN YOU IMAGINE if Kaiba had spent too much time trailing after Yami and accidentally didn’t qualify for his own tournament finals?! 

Malik is appreciative but a little dismissive of Rishid’s amazing tournament-qualifying prowess. He says it’s “just like him” to have qualified twice-over before even approaching the deadline. And then says…

Ouch. “I’m only not mind-controlling you, my dearest brother, because I know you’ll obey me anyway so it’s not worth the effort.”

(Although I think he’s bluffing because he doesn’t seem to try mind-controlling Ishizu and she definitely doesn’t go along with Marik’s shit. But then, maybe he can’t because she has the Necklace?)

Anyway, speaking of dickishness; back on the helicopter, Seto has decided to abandon his skepticism in favour of … dickishness.

“I thought you didn’t believe in mind control, Seto, you absolute dick,” Yami tragically doesn’t say. Which is a shame because in the absence of someone shutting him down, Seto just keeps pushing…

Earning some massive side-eye there Seto.

“I’m just saying, if I could mind-control people, I’d make close friends fight each other for my amusement.”

Yami immediately jumps to the one thing he knows best; staking his life on the outcome of a card game, even before a villain makes it necessary.

Jeez, Yami, yes, we’re already awa–

EVEN KAIBA KNOWS. EVEN KAIBA KNOWS YAMI’LL THROW HIS LIFE AT ANY DUEL GOING. SETO “people are the worst” KAIBA. That’s either evidence for Seto paying a lot of attention to Yami or Yami being way too blatant with his mild case of deathwish and I’m going for C) ALL OF THE ABOVE.

So then Seto is like “so you just showed me the power of unity, and now you have to fight Jounouchi, who is your friend, so…”

Seto: “WHAT IS FRIENDSHIP EVEN WORTH IF A MEGALOMANIACAL CULT-LEADER CAN USE MAGIC TO MAKE YOUR FRIEND PLAY A CARD GAME AGAINST YOU, NOT THAT I BELIEVE IN MAGIC OBVIOUSLY” 

Yami: *sigh*

Seto is so smug about landing this inarguable logical challenge that he just straight-up stops having eyes

And yes, Mokuba, you’re right, it’s…

JOUNOUCHI! Being mind-controlled by Marik who is just being so fucking original right now, playing like we haven’t had literally FOUR “duels with our very lives on the line” TODAY ALONE.

Seto actually gets really invested in seeing how Yami is going to deal with what Seto perceives to be a threat to Yami’s philosophy. 

I suppose he’s more invested than he would otherwise be because Yami just showed him that Yami’s “maybe try not to be a dick and work with people” system can work better than Seto’s “be as much of a dick as possible all the time” system. Seto’s much too careful to immediately switch life philosophies like that (also, you know, old habits die hard etc), so obviously this new idea needs to be tested and here’s Malik forcing Yami into a situation where “maybe try not to be a dick and work with people” is very hard to pull off.

So Jou demands that Yami duel him and Yami refuses…

… but actually immediately goes along with the whole duel thing anyway because, I have to presume, he literally doesn’t have a script for any life circumstance that doesn’t involve dueling.

Seriously. 

I mean, Marik DOESN’T EVEN EXPLICITLY THREATEN ANYONE, he just says…

And Yami, out of social awkwardness or kinkiness, just goes along with it, like he literally doesn’t even raise an objection.

Also surely they would be anklecuffs? Anyway.

Then Yami is shocked - SHOCKED - to discover that actually the chains are part of the death trap that was explicitly flagged several times.

Anklecuffs!

An obviously there’s a very convoluted life-points-counter-hits-0 setup, in this case, a box at their feet linked to their opponent’s life points.

ANKLECUFFS FFS!!

Oh and you know what we can have? A massively complicated electronic system that must involve hacking into KaibaCorp signals and building fairly complex digitally controlled boxes.

You know what we can’t have? A mechanism that will open at a designated time. The system for dropping the anchor is a FUCKING BOMB

WHY SO MANY BOMBS, MALIK? WHY SO MANY BOMBS AND WHY NOT JUST HAVE THE FUCKING BOMB KILL THEM?! THE SAME THING HAPPENED LAST DUEL, AT THE SKYSCRAPER, WHERE THERE WERE FOUR BOMBS TO FACILITATE FALLING TO THEIR DEATHS. YOU’RE OVERTHINKING THINGS, MALIK YOU-ABSOLUTE-LUNATIC ISHTAR. JUST FUCKING. BLOW THEM UP. YOU HAVE SO. MANY. BOMBS. 

jfc.

Episode 78: PART 3: That’s Not How Anything Works

(Part 1, that’s not how things work, is here, and part 2, thaT’S NOT HOW TIME WORKS, is here)

Having established the rate at which the YGO universe is traveling relative to our own (read part 2), we resume Jounouchi’s thrilling but ultimately futile race against death

#wompwomp

(Yes, this moment is played for laughs. Yes, it is a jarring tonal shift back and forth between “these kids may legitimately tragically drown” and “lol Jou fell in the sea!” #not-how-suspense-works)

Luckily, once the anchor is IN the sea, it slows to a nice dramatic ebb towards the seabed rather than a chaotic drag through churning brine that would prevent untrained teenagers from holding onto tiny slippery metal objects or performing feats of manual dexterity. #not-how-anchors-work #not-how-the-sea-works

Meanwhile, on land, after a brief abortive attempt by Honda to break Jounouchi’s fucking arm by trying to grab his fragile human wrist and hoist up an anchor with it, #not-how-human-bones-work, everyone just gives the fuck up.

“Welp, it’s been seconds, they’re probably both dead. Best not to dwell on the past.”

But that swell is YUGI! Who miraculously floats to the surface despite being in all his clothes (including studded boots) and apparently being unconscious

and floats there with his head above water #not-how-drowning-works

It is AT THIS MOMENT that Honda and Mokuba are like, shit wait, someone could dive down with Jou’s key, preferably someone strong enough to drag an unconscious teenage boy back to the surface and who can definitely safely open their eyes underwater 

…. wait no #not-how-post-op-recovery-works

(I did legit get emotional at this moment, though, she’s SO BRAVE and so DETERMINED look at her little FACE and in fairness no one else was doing anything to fucking help.) 

(I still think it makes more sense that Kaiba would drop the key in, but otoh it doesn’t make more sense that Jou would be able to unlock his own anklecuff at that point, so I’d have had Honda dive down to try to save him and Kaiba throw the key in after Honda.)

Jou (after some more HiLaRiOuS slapstick of him ~not being able to breathe underwater~ srsly the tonal shifts are out of control) sees someone swimming down to him and assUMES IT’S YUGI COMING BACK

<3!!

I mean, rude, but <3!!

Again, I seriously question Shizuka’s ability to swim all the way down, without losing hold of the key, unlock the cuff, and drag a larger human back to the surface #not-how-swimming-works

And after all that, Jounouchi’s more excited to see Yugi!

#rude

Everyone’s delighted, and even Kaiba gets sentimental.

He upgrades Jounouchi to “deadbeat, average Duelist”. Which I’m pretty sure is supposed to be a compliment from Kaiba. #not-how-compliments-work

Jounouchi and Yugi have a weirdly awkward reunion

during which I’m pretty sure he blurts out “sorry” in English?! Did anyone else catch that?! WHY?! Or is there a Japanese word/phrase for “sorry” that sounds like the English word “sorry”? Someone please explain, because Jounouchi canonically does not speak English and has no reason to slip into it here. #not-how-language-works

Jounouchi blames himself for not being able to throw off Malik’s eeeeevil influence sooner. He feels terrible, but luckily he has good friends who’ll support him through his emotional recovery.

Or that. :/

#not-how-supporting-someone-through-an-emotional-moment-works

Then he’s like,

“I got brainwashed into playing a dangerous card game, I am a faiLURE AS A SIBLING” #not-how-family-relationships-work

I mean, if you’d thrown a tantrum instead of going to the hospital when she was having surgery because you lost a card game, that would be a brotherly failure. Oh wait. Or if you’d then prioritised your card games over going to the hospital AGAIN when she was being discharged. Oh, wait. Or if you kinda ignored her in favour of your boyfriend after she saved you from drowning. Oh. Wait. 

But Shizuka gives him a big hug and tells him shit about courage and the inspiring thereof in each other.

Then, weirdly, Jounouchi thanks Yugi, but only in his head. 

Yugi tells Yami that everything turned out okay, but only in his head (unclear if Yami can hear or not). 

And Yami tells Yugi he learned something from him, but only in his head. #not-how-conversation-works

Oh look, it’s the moral of the story as a whole. It’s important to have your characters explicitly state your moral, and indeed, explicitly state moral lessons they’ve learned. #not-how-writing-works

T______T

#not-how-foreshadowing-works but I’m still cry

AND THEN

KAIBA KNOWS!! KAIBA KNOOOOOOOWS!! KAIBA BELIEVED YAMI!! Kaiba also accepts the answer that “both Yugis” showed him, and wants Yugi to tell Yami that he does. He’s not saying he would give the same answer, only that he accepts Yami and Yugi’s teamwork/cooperation answer as valid. Baby steps! 

And so!

… Wait what. #not-how-that-works

Yami: The FUCK you think I been doing only battling for God Cards when you bailed on me for ten fucking episodes, shortass?!

Episosde 75, part two: EVEN GRIMMER

(part 1 is here)

I’m not over the bomb thing but I’m letting it sit

Yami and Jounouchi are both chained to an anchor which will plunge into the ocean, drowning them both, unless one of them wins a CARD GAME against the other, in which case, the winner will get a key to the anklecuff chaining them to the anchor and only the loser will be dragged to a watery death

You know, Malik went in really hard for water as a metaphor in the definitively-on-land Strings duel but doesn’t muster any of that here, even though it would make WAY MORE SENSE here. But Malik isn’t here for “sense”. 

Malik Ishtar: the opposite of “this makes sense”

Okay so Seto was all “you know, Malik’s probably going to force you into a death match with your friend, Yami, how’re you gonna deal with that? hmm? Yami? are you listening? if I was Malik, I’d be all over a death match right about now. think you can deal with a death match, Yami, do you? do you? hey. do you?”

And now that it’s happening EXACTLY AS HE PREDICTED…

It is Seto who cannot deal with the death match. Look at him, he’s really spooked by the idea, when he actually sees it! He’s all talk; he wanted Yami to be challenged, but not like this.

And his Battle City Steering Committee Chairman isn’t going to stand for such blatant disrespect for the KaibaCorp Battle City tournament.

I am SO HERE for Seto taking moral cues from his surprisingly-well-adjusted baby brother YES

But before Seto can intervene– Wait. No. Before Seto DOES intervene because wow, Malik-as-Anzu must have had to walk from the back of the pier past Jou or Yami, PAST SETO, up onto the concrete pier next door and sit down in the murder-chair to get there.

Where’s “there”, you ask? Look behind you, Yami!

Yami is too cute I can’t

So yeah, if Seto hadn’t had to actually work through “is killing a man who can’t defend himself wrong, if it’s because of a card game?” he would have had time to at least force Malik to fall back on Plan B.

Meanwhile, in case you were wondering, the Real Malik Ishtar TM is hiding in a nearby boathouse

being very cool and not at all a creep

also holy shit the animators just didn’t bother to give him hands I am so doing this from now on drawing hands is the worst I don’t even care that it looks ridiculous when you notice at least I won’t have to draw hands

So evil!Jounouchi rightly points out that if Yami is dragged to the bottom of the harbour by an anchor, so will all his cards be.

Writer #1: Shit Yami has Osiris now, that’ll have a massive impact on his duels.

Writer #2: Eh, just have him literally toss it aside at the start of the duel.

Writer #1: Brilliant.

Writer #2: Also he takes his whole belt off to do that obviously.

#dramaking

Interestingly, he had two and only two cards in his belt that weren’t in his deck.

He hasn’t been using Red Eyes, just keeping it safe. And he hasn’t been using Osiris. I like the way the serious God Card users are serious about their God Cards. Yami doesn’t immediately add Osiris to his deck, presumably because he trusts his deck as he and Yugi built it, and he’s not about to start rearranging his strategies on the fly just because he’s won something flashy, even if it’s not so much “flashy” as “gleaming with the terrifying light of the gods themselves”.

And as for Red Eyes, I like that he doesn’t want to use Jounouchi’s card; all Jou asked was for him to hang on to it and he does just that until now. Now Yami (not Yugi, who is incidentally STILL missing and has been completely absent for 9 full episodes WHAT THE FUCK) makes the deliberate choice here to try to reach Jounouchi via this card and the promise they made each other. Yugi’s the one who follows through on that, but Yami’s the one who puts it in place. Which is a mirror to how they usually work, with often Yugi deciding things and Yami following through in the actual duel.

Anyway so the duel starts and Jounouchi immediately starts hacking enthusiastically at Yami’s life points while Yami just tries to block and defend until he can come up with a plan.

And by “hacking enthusiastically” I mean LITERAL FIREBALL that is so powerful it bypasses his Monsters to land on him directly

also so powerful, Yami’s ankle is chained to his jacket now

And Seto is OUTRAGED

This has literally never been mentioned before but okay! 

Malik is like, I CARE NOT FOR YOUR ~RULES~ but I’m really wondering how the fucking holograms work? How did Malik make all these illegal cards compliant with a Duel Disk system that Kaiba released - as far as I can tell - literally yesterday?!

If they’re even holograms?!

Do the holograms hurt?! I thought that only the Shadow Game games actually hurt, but Yami’s legit in pain from the Fireball?! THIS SHOW IS SO UNCLEAR ABOUT JUST FUCKING EVERYTHING?!

Right, so, Jounouchi is ~evil~.

Seto is OUTRAGED.

Malik is gleefully incorrect.

He’s about to be DROWNED jfc Malik you spent long enough explaining it I thought you’d know your own fucking overcomplicated deathtrap ffs

Anzu is SLAYING IT

She shouts, at the adult criminal holding her life in his hands and threatening to end it. You fucking GO, girl.

Yami is playing card games so hard his clothes are coming off and sadly no, not in the sexy Strip Duel Monsters way

wheee!

Oh, and …. Shizuka and Honda are lost

#HondaISthedisaster