It looks like I wasn’t quite right. Death-T is on hold for another episode. Although this one /is/ part of the buildup. It’s basically an adaptation of that one time Jounouchi got into a knife fight. Or, well, the time we saw him get into a knife fight on panel.
Anyhow, Seto and Mokuba deliver a really corny announcement by interrupting the feed on the arcade screens for this racing game.
AND THEY HAVE GRANDPA!!
Yuugi is scared. But Jounouchi is here to make light of his problems.
Yuugi says that defeating Kaiba in a game won’t be easy though. And, more importantly-
Kaiba has promised a punishment game on Sugoroku if Yuugi loses.
I should say that although this kind of lack of confidence is pretty typical for Yuugi regardless of the canon, it makes extra sense here. I think in the manga the only person Yuugi loses a game to before Atem steps in is Imori. Seazon Zero has made a trend of that, though. Yuugi often loses at Duel Monsters and other games, to then have Atem challenge them to a rematch. Hmm, as much as I think Yuugi (and Atem) not infallible in any version of canon, and there are problems with the narrative treating them as such in a practical sense, I think this canon kind of implies a divide in their skill that kind of misses the mark - especially when you start considering where the story goes once Yuugi and Atem truly team up, hmmm. In any case, Yuugi’s not exactly worried for nothing. But, uh, someone disagrees with me-
“I understand what you’re saying Yuugi. But, also, fuck what you’re saying Yuugi.” Heh, no but- Jounouchi is pretty pushy here, but I do like how he calms down for a second and tries to be softer with Yuugi. He’s sympathetic, if not very good at being empathetic.
Yuugi lays down some hard truths, lol.
Anzu steps in to save him from the fallout though. She’s kind of fearless, getting in the way of Jou roughing someone up, lol.
She then proceeds to explain that Yuugi is upset. Don’t you realise he’s upset, Jounouchi? Did you know he’s upset? After finding out his grandfather was taken hostage and will be hurt if he doesn’t win a game.
…He is upset, right?
And Jounouchi’s like, yeah, duh, he’s fucking upset. I would have punched him if he wasn’t upset.
Okay, I’m exaggerating but-
(And also ignoring Jounouchi’s willingness to use casual violence on his friends as a persuasive tactic-)
Honestly, I know she does it to herself, but feel kind of bad that Anzu always gets stuck in the role of trying to play the emotionally supportive one because she’s honestly not very good at reading people. And I don’t think Jounouchi helps with the way he uses obfuscation to his advantage. Jounouchi wants to prove himself, and for Yuugi to trust in his abilities and rely on him. Yuugi doesn’t want endanger others. This is a conflict of interests - not a misunderstanding.
Anyhow, so Jounouchi and Anzu go off to buy drinks, give Yuugi some space, and talk past each other.
It’s actually a pretty great conversation.
And, bonus, one of the many things Jounouchi has carried over from his mobster days. If you’re not willing to get your ass kicked for the sake of the group, you ain’t part of the group.
Yuugi, in the meantime, has gotten his ass kicked and his puzzle stolen by the villain of the week. A guy who’s obsessed with hokey kung fu movies.
Jounouchi’s like ‘imma get the puzzle back!’
Yuugi’s like, ‘no, you fucking won’t!’
And then Jounouchi’s like ‘shut up’
And so he goes and gets the puzzle back. And endangers his life in the process but WHATEVER.
This is kind of good stuff that you also see carried through to Duellist Kingdom. Mmm, it’s maybe a little unbelievable that Yuugi’s that worried about Jounouchi getting decked in a fist fight. But Yuugi’s kind of subtle disbelief in Jounouchi’s abilities, at gaming in particular, kind of becomes the centre of Atem stepping in to stop Yuugi from interfering with Jounouchi’s duels during DK, as well as the source for a few passive aggressive quips.
Anyhow, Jounouchi gives Yuugi the puzzle back, and reiterates that he’s coming along for Death-T. And this makes Yuugi happy. And then he says that he’s going to find a way to get better at games.
And this makes Yuugi SUPER MEGA ULTRA HAPPY.
Jounouchi-kun, you’re finally going to make something of yourself and your sorry little life and GIT GUD AT GAMING!!
Yuugi has his priorities in order.
Jounouchi goes home and studies the art of becoming a better nerd.
And then the next day he and the rest of their friends meet up to go to Death-T together. There’s a sequence where they all appear one by one walking through this fog.
Humiliating Kaiba is up there with saving Grandpa on the list of goals for today.
Jounouchi also has his priorities in order.
appeasing the fashion police is not one of them. Suspenders, Jou? I can only assume Japan looks at these things differently, because my immediate reaction was ‘you’re supposed to be a gangster, Jou. not a suspenders and pocket protector nerdy twit.’ But, whatever, let’s leave the bad 80s school life movies stereotypes for another time, and continue with Death-T shortly.
“And commanding them would be red-faced Bowen Marsh, the plump Lord Steward who had been made castellan in Lord Mormont’s absence. Dolorous Edd sometimes called Marsh, “the Old Pomegranate”, which fit him just as well as "the Old Bear” fit Mormont. “He’s the man you want in front when the foes are in the field,” Edd would say in his usual dour voice. “He’ll count them right up for you. A regular demon for counting, that one.” - Jon, A Storm Of Swords
“Petyr cut a pomegranate in two with his dagger, offering half to Sansa. “You should try and eat, my Lady.” “Thank you, my Lord.” Pomegranate seeds were so messy ; Sansa chose a pear instead, and took a small delicate bite.” - Sansa, A Storm Of Swords