Episode 58, the episode I mislabelled half my frigging screenshots for and had to go back and relabel them and ugh! The things I do for card game anime giggles.
Have an establishing shot of Domino City, wherein these battles take place. The Battle City, if you will.
Is that one really really tall building Kaiba Corp? Is KC HQ to normal buildings what Seto Kaiba is to normal humans; much taller, and disdainful?
So, Jounouchi is roaming around looking for someone to duel so he can prove he’s a True Duelist and Yami is wandering around some fucking alley (for real) and Anzu is ambling about trying to find either of them, and Mokuba is roving around looking for cheaters and now I’m out of synonyms for “walking around in an area”.
Jounouchi: okay… that sounds fake, but okay.
But, Jounouchi being Jounouchi…
Yeah that sounds about right. Sigh.
You know, it seems like the main characters end up in duels against a lot of people who cheat. Because they do end up in a lot of duels against people who cheat, often quite blatantly. And you might be forgiven for thinking they’re unlucky, or they’re a few honourable souls in a cut-throat card-game world. But actually, they more or less GO OUT OF THEIR WAY to duel cheaters. There are legit 5 other visible duelists here, including Ryuzaki who’s a tournament winner and shit. Like, duel someone else, Jou. Just. Just fucking duel someone else.
But no. So now we have to deal with this bullshit…
… Fucking teenagers, man.
Meanwhile, in the hospital, Honda has a treat for Shizuka!
“Watch the contest? Watch the contest? I’m fucking blind, idiot.”
Anyway, Jounouchi sets to dueling, refusing to be thrown off by cheap tricks, the way he always refuses to be thrown off by cheap tricks, before being thrown off by cheap tricks but ultimately overcoming the cheap tricks.
Yeah so when Espa Roba uses his ~psychic powers~ he makes little “pip pip” sounds. Because why the hell not, I guess!
The duel gets off to an auspicious start!
Because he diDN’T SACRIFICE TO SUMMON IT.
… Look. I like Jounouchi as a person. He’s brave and loyal and a great friend. And it’s important to have a character who’s a little more fallible than the King of Games, whose arc is learning to play the game and shit. But the story fails to convince me that he’s actually a great duelist who deserves to be counted among Yami, Yugi, Kaiba, etc. You can’t keep using someone as the “dur, how does game work?!” character to teach the audience the game, AND as the “what an excellent duelist, he’s really impressed us all and earned a place in the finals!” character to show the value of effort. I thought they did it well in Jou’s first Battle City duel, where he wasn’t sure of the rules but he figured them out, but here he just makes a really stupid error, apparently so the writers can remind us of how summoning works?
Meanwhile, on top of a very tall building (obvs nowhere near as tall as the building Kaiba is on)…
… What’s even the point? Yami appears, for the rest of the duel, to follow what’s going on, but how could he possibly see or hear enough?!
See, even Roba’s cheating little brothers have binoculars! That’s how the psychic powers work, btw, Espa has four near-identical younger brothers, and they’re watching Jounouchi’s hand and telling him through an earpiece what they see.
Unfortunately for Espa, they are also colourblind. I presume.
They see this, and tell him “two Angel Dice” even though the dice and card backgrounds are clearly different colours.
This lets Jounouchi take the lead, by playing them both. Espa thinks he can only increase his own Monster’s attack, once, since Angel Dice can only be used once per turn. But actually, Jounouchi raises his own Monster’s attack and uses Devil Dice to reduce Espa’s.
Espa takes it well.
This is where it all goes downhill for him because there’s cheating afoot and MOKUBA IS ON THE CASE.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget Mokuba is a Kaiba, because he’s so friendly and his reactions to things are mostly reasonable. But then he reminds you that he has those Action Hero genes!
He insists that he has to call the duel off, and presumably disqualify Espa, but those cunning little clone-children know just where to hit him.
Yes, Mokuba. Because kids whose big brothers pretend to be psychic while playing trading card games never get bullied.
Mokuba obviously can’t help but be reminded of when his big brother protected him by becoming a TCG dork.
“Stand back! I warn you, I can shuffle my cards three different ways!”
Mokuba notices Yami is watching and glances up to him, wavering between enforcing the rules and letting the kids watch their big brother finish the duel.
Yami’s distant glance has SUPER CHASTENING POWERS.
LOOK AT HOW CHASTENED HE IS. HE LOOKS LIKE A FUCKING BUNNY RABBIT WHO JUST GOT CAUGHT TAKING AN EXTRA COOKIE BY HIS DISAPPOINTED BUNNY MOTHER.
Despite Yami’s stern look, Mokuba decides to let the duel continue (Yami gives him a nod, so Mokuba doesn’t have to feel guilty).
Jounouchi, unaware of the rooftop drama, is determined to win because, as he tells Espa, “someone is waiting for me out in the city”.
… Out of context, this shot makes it look like Yami is “waiting for him” for some good old-fashioned Season 0 murder games, but okay.
But Espa’s not done yet! He summons his Janky Ass Bullshit Guy to the field!
Jinzo / Android Psycho Shocker can just destroy traps. All traps. Just by existing. smh
Tune in next time, to find out if either of these geeks can actually play this damn card game!