Episode 73, part 1: shit’s getting PRIDESHIPPY (getting, she says)
Okay we’re still on top of the skyscraper in the double duel between Yami and Kaiba, and Tol and Smol Ghoul. I know, I know. I’ve been doing these recaps for almost a year and a half and it feels like at least a year of that time has been spent on this duel.
Things are looking tight for our
heroes hero and his incredibly petulant boyfriend rival-turned-duel-partner, but because this is Yu-Gi-Oh!…
The surprising part here is the One Card That Might Work is already in his damn hand so we don’t go through the Everything Comes Down To This Last Draw phase of the duel. Very unusual. Kaiba should get his Duel Scientists to take a look, clearly something’s gone very wrong somewhere.
Oh and HAD YOU FORGOTTEN?! The big monster they’re up against is a triple-headed masked monstrosity with a BONDAGE JELLYBABY attached to it’s front-spine.
A disturbingly well-endowed bondage jellybaby. :/
Yami’s running low on life points and if anyone’s life points hit zero the BOMB attached to the PANE OF GLASS that they’re STANDING ON will explode, sending them plummeting to their death.
(This was a very well-animated perspective-shift that I’ve chopped up and slapped together you’re welcome. I’ll do a gif next time.)
Smol Ghoul can wipe Yami out, but…
(This is one of the few shots where you can see Smol’s expression without his happy mask distracting)
Kaibe enjoys being thought of as a problem, and also he’s just really rude ALL THE TIME so he comes out with…
Playing the (very convincing) “I’m arrogant enough to think I’m better off on my own outnumbered” part but because Yami gets him, instead of being like “wow rude, asshole”, he’s like…
Yami did everything he could to help Seto summon that Blue Eyes and he still wasn’t sure that Seto would choose Yami over the holographic dragon, but he does!
And he’s really smug about it.
Oh and before we lose Blue Eyes, may I just point out…
Seto’s gambit works and the Ghouls attack and destroy his dragon instead of his boyfriend #sophieschoice
Seto copes well, she lied.
And Yami comforts Seto the only way that works; dramatically declaring poetic nonsense about dragons while aggressively playing Duel Monsters.
“will be inherited by this card!”
“Turned ur dragon into a lego robot ur welcome”
Kaiba’s actually pretty supportive of the lego robot.
Well we all know Kaiba would be the biggest lego nerd on the face of the earth if lego exists in YGO!verse which who knows if it does or not they literally only ever talk about card games.
That’s actually Kaiba saying that, surprisingly. He’s come around to “cooperation for power’s sake might be okay I guess”
Emphasis on power.
And Kaiba needs only one thing from this newfound source of power…
But Yami hesitates, because he has a suspicion that no one would willingly play the Bondage Jellybaby Monster unless it had some damn good abilities.
But Kaiba is outraged - OUTRAGED - that Yami would consider his options before just vengefully attacking.
Probably because Kaiba’s used to people only “working with him” to use him. Since the day his parents died pretty much everyone who wasn’t Mokuba has only wanted to work with Seto to benefit themselves - his relatives who took him in to get his inheritance money, Gozaburo who took him in to use and abuse him as a heir to suit himself, the Big Five who turned on him as soon as he made a “mistake” that cost them money, Pegasus who loved KaibaCorp technology so much he stole Kaiba’s brother to get his hands on more of it - but Yami doesn’t want to use Kaiba, he genuinely wants to work with him. And Kaiba’s a TOTAL DICK ABOUT IT but why wouldn’t he be? He expects Yami to use Kaiba’s sacrifice for his own gain - and he still does it, I might add - but he thinks he needs to shout at Yami to get Yami to take that sacrifice seriously.
And Yami, instead of doing what he thinks is best in the duel, turns to Kaiba, who is literally shouting angrily at him, and offers Seto control.
And Seto’s reaction is very telling.
He’s completely taken aback. He stops shouting and just reacts with surprise and mild disbelief. It seems pretty likely that no one has given Seto his way without a fight unless they’re directly employed by him, or they’re Mokuba, maybe ever. No one’s recognised his emotional needs, let alone taken them seriously. And Yami is willing to risk his life for them.
(Which is crazy, like, he maybe could have started with a “Seriously, though, how are you doing? Do you need someone to talk to?” but honestly Yami is just really cavalier about the fall-to-your-death thing throughout the entire duel so…)
Anyway, Seto demanded Yami attack “to ease my anger” and Yami responds by asking if it will “ease your emotions”. Because Yami knows that it’s not just anger that Seto’s boiling over with, it’s fear and hurt as well. Seto can probably admit to anger - that’s strong, powerful, male-coded - but framing it as “emotions” is a lot more honest. Seto’s saying he’s just angry, and…
And Yami’s trying to get him to see that he’s letting himself get overwhelmed and his emotional reactions are clouding his instincts as an amazing duelist. And Yami knows he doesn’t have to talk Kaiba through this or labour the point - Kaiba’s smart and Yami respects him too much to hold his hand through a conversation about making good choices - so he just asks him to calm down for a minute…
And Kaiba actually fucking listens! Ask anyone (Anyone in universe, I mean. Not, like, your mam. It’s a rhetorical device) and I bet if you said “Someone’s going to tell Kaiba that he’s getting too emotional and he needs to calm down and think things through, what would Kaiba do?” and they’d laugh nervously in your face. But Yami does it and…
Kaiba does it.
I would say “Somewhere, Kaiba’s therapist is crying happy tears” but we all know Kaiba doesn’t have a fucking therapist. He only has the amnesiac pyromaniac ghost-boy he has a crush on. And amazingly, that’s enough.
And just to round out how well they understand each other, this started because Kaiba told Yami to attack. Yami told him to think about it, and he does. And he comes back with the same answer; attack, but this time he says it because he has a plan, not just because he wants pointless revenge for his imaginary dragon. And Yami knows it. He doesn’t go “are you sure?” or wonder if Kaiba’s just forced his voice to be calm to get what he irrationally wants, he immediately trusts that Seto’s made the right choice and agrees to do as Seto wants.
Because they’re PERFECT FOR EACH OTHER.
[recap will resume when I’m finished rolling around in these feelings]