Alright! Episode 56! The actual beginning of Battle City! WOOOOOO LET’S DO THIS!!! After my long absence, have a long post!
Yugi and Yami have been up literally all night deck-building and they doN’T EVEN TELL US WHAT MAGIC CARD IT WAS OR WHAT THEY DECIDED!
Please note: Yugi’s face.
Despite (because of?) the sleep deprivation, they’re extra puzzleshippy this morning, they practically make out, except using a conversation about their damn trading cards instead of their mouths.
Yami feels obliged to start telling Yugi his reasons for entering Battle City, but Yugi cuts him off; he says he knows Yami wouldn’t enter to win rare cards or gamble their own, and trusts he has a good reason, both to enter the contest and to keep his secrets from Yugi. Yugi doesn’t want him to tell his secrets before he’s ready. </3
Seriously these two are KILLING ME.
Meanwhile, speaking of people who stayed up all night for terrible card game related reasons:
What has he even been doing? Writing strategies down and crumpling them up? Reading the newspaper? Are the stacks of books like, dueling manuals or something? Or is this just what his house looks like?
Anyway he figures the thing to do is call Shizuka cause she always makes him feel better about himself, but…
… his phone call doesn’t go exactly how he’d planned. Honda’s gone to keep Shizuka company since he knows Jou’ll be busy at the tournament and apparently she has no other friends or family members? And Honda has decided he can DEFINITELY get away with telling her he’s a real Duel Monsters genius and taught Jou everything he knows and there’s no way those lies could ever come back to bite him in the shiny metal monkey ass…
Out on the streets, dozens of duelists are converging (and then diverging again, for some reason) in the middle of town, and the non-duelists are getting freaked out.
It’s card games.
Since they don’t know about the Shadow Games, the only way anyone _should_ get hurt is if they’re standing too close when Kaiba’s totally child-friendly holograph projectiles fire out of someone’s duel disk.
Yugi is, of course, among the duelists and he meets Mai, who is super excited about seeing Jounouchi!
^-^ Aww! I love that when she meets Yami she’s all srs duel bsns and gossip, and when she talks to Anzu she teases her, and with Yugi she’s friendly and sweet and excited about seeing Jou. She’s got a lot of emotional intelligence, does Ms Kujaku.
And a few other, um, “friends” show up too.
And engage in painfully lame deck-theme insults. I wonder if these guys ever figure out that strict adherence to a fluff theme for their decks might be the reason they never make the finals…
Mai and Yugi are bascially edging away and pretending they don’t know these colourful idiots.
The group is being watched by a Rare Hunter, who has access to Kaiba’s Duelist registry.
For those of us keeping track, Mai is level 7!
And her rarest card is Harpy’s Feather Duster which is damn useful. There’s split second glances of some of the other duelists too, but if you care that much about Haga or Ryuzaki, you can look ‘em up yourself, I try to spend as little time as possible dwelling on them and their dumb faces.
Having conveniently congregated in one location, everyone now splits up, for reasons that are not made apparent to me. Mako goes to The Ocean, Haga goes to like the park or some shit, Ryuzaki goes to a street, Mai goes to a different street, Yugi goes to a children’s playground on top of a building.
And await Kaiba’s Announcement.
It comes from his giant face on a giant screen hung from a giant blimp that overshadows the city because OF COURSE IT DOES.
Do you know, some people say that Seto Kaiba is “the sane one” in YGO, probably because he has sensible hair and a cynical attitude and because they’ve never actually noticed how he behaves.
So Kaiba starts explaining how the tournament will work. He NOW says the rare card offered on the Ante will be “a rare card of the winner’s choice”, not “the loser’s rarest card”. MAKE UP YOUR DAMN MIND SHOW. It’s like they wanted it to be “the most plot-relevant card” but couldn’t actually _say_ that.
He explains that there will be only eight finalists.
Yes, Yugi. The first eight people to collect eight Puzzle Cards (that were called Locator Cards in the dub) will be in the finals, and the Puzzle cards have a “special prismatic coating” that will allow the finalists to find the hidden location of the finals if six of them are stacked together.
Yes, Yugi. For some reason, the location of the finals is unknown to all the duelists, even Kaiba himself (presumably Isono chose it?) and there has to be some needlessly complicated way to find the location instead of just, you know, holding a normal fucking tournament. But no, we’re going with the unknown location plan.
YES, YUGI. Seriously, this kid is supposed to be smart! He stands on his damn roof and repeats key phrases for the whole damn announcement!
Down on the street below, as Kaiba wraps up his announcement to riotous ego-boosting cheers, Jou finds and confronts the Rare Hunter that was watching the gang, who is apparently the Rare Hunter who took his Red Eyes. I say “apparently” because he was wearing a big cloak and hood and I don’t know how I’m supposed to recognise him. Or how Jounouchi is supposed to recognise him either. Duelist’s intuition, probably. #thisshow
… So… I have to ask… Is it some vibe Jounouchi’s putting off…? Like… it’s a pretty specific insult, and that’s three different people who don’t associate with one another (Kaiba, Otogi and Mr Rare Hunter) who have looked at Jou and gone “this person is definitely a loser and a dog, I should make a big thing about that”. Like…? At a certain point, questions must be asked about the impression Jounouchi makes on other humans…
Mr Rare Hunter is no longer interested in dueling Jounouchi since he was only ever interested in the Red Eyes, but he’s verrrrrry interested when Yugi shows up to see what’s up with Jou.
… Really. “Rules” the “Gaming Underworld”? #suchdrama
Yugi is REALLY ANGRY about Jou’s card getting - as far as he is aware - rightfully forfeited in a fair duel. Because Yugi and Yami are nothing if not overly indignant on Jounouchi’s behalf when Jounouchi has made a terrible bet. #dungeondicemonsters
But in this case, he _was_ cornered and the Rare Hunter _did_ cheat and he and his buddies _did_ beat Jou up and physically steal the card for no reason but Yugi doesn’t know any of that.
But he’s REALLY ANGRY and his magical transformation is particularly sparkly.
Also Yugi starts a sentence and Yami finishes it and that is just the BEST ^_^
Jounouchi tries to warn Yami that the Rare Hunter has Exodia and is going to blatantly cheat and Yami gets REALLY WEIRD ABOUT IT
… What! No! That’s NOT A THING. That hasn’t been a thing this WHOLE TIME. Kaiba LOVES telling people about his Blue-Eyes. Yugi himself warned Kaiba about Pegasus’s Dragon Capture Jar. Haga and Mako and Ryuzaki just got done telling us all about their deck themes. LIKE?!?! Get over yourself?!?!
Generous explanation: This is supposed to show us that Yami is noble, but also prideful.
Likely explanation: It’s too easy to avoid Exodia if you know it’s coming and you’re Yami Yugi. The writers needed Jou there to set this duel up but couldn’t have Jou tell Yami about Exodia because that doesn’t let them show just how clever Yami is by letting him figure it out on his own and snatch the victory at the last moment. This was the easiest/laziest way to avoid Jou telling him.
Meanwhile, in A RIDICULOUS SCI-FI CAVERN:
Kaiba is getting a duel-boner from the idea that the very first duel in his tournament is Yami. And maybe also an actual boner. He seems pretty fucking excited.
So yeah, predictably for the audience and Jounouchi, but not for Yami, Kaiba, the onlookers or Kaiba’s army of android-women (gyndroids?), Mr Rare Hunter spends his duel dropping out defensive monsters and cycling his hand as fast as possible to collect Exodia cards.
You know what the chances of drawing one of each Exodia card is instead of drawing at least one duplicate (like, two Right Arms, or two Left Legs) when you’ve got 4 cards out of 40? Outrageously low. OUTRAGEOUSLY.
Yami and Kaiba are simultaneously trying to solve the puzzle at opposite sides of the city (Kaiba can’t see what cards are in the Rare Hunter’s deck because they’re mostly forgeries which makes one wonder how the forgeries are able to interface with the hologram system if they aren’t being read by the Kaiba Corp satellite properly but that’s a question I know I’ll never get answered so let’s just say there’s probably a really good reason and it’s not because the writers just didn’t fucking care.)
I like when they do the same thing at the same time without knowing it because it really underlines how well matched they are as boyfriends rivals.
Kaiba, btw, in case anyone was wondering, is very attractive.
… Sort of wicked-looking, but pretty.
Mokuba is all set to jump in and stop the duel when they figure out he’s using false cards, but Kaiba says to let it continue. I truly believe only because he’s 100% confident that Yami will win; if he thought that the cheating might work and Yami might lose, he’d never let it happen. But he knows Yami can do it, or he wouldn’t be worth having as a rival.
Because things weren’t ridiculously “because the writers needed it” contrived already, it turns out at this point that yer man is wearing SPECIAL CONTACT LENSES that allow him to SEE THROUGH the top card on his own deck.
…. Because the writers want us to know that he’ll draw the fifth piece of Exodia (OUTRAGEOUSLY) at the start of his next turn.
Jounouchi once again tries to get Yami to let him warn him, but Yami tells him he remembers when Jounouchi jumped in the sea for his cards and this is his chance to repay him which OKAY.
“And now I will repay you for risking your life, which I can only do by stubbornly refusing to listen to you while I duel this cheating douchebag.”
Maybe it’s thinking about his lost Exodia cards that triggers it, but Yami figures out why the Rare Hunter is cycling his deck.
What a face. Especially since he immediately goes, “Well it doesn’t matter anyway I’m totally going to win on my next turn lol”
But Yami and Jounouchi are confident Yami can weather the storm
despite their tragically misshapen hands