You know, I figured people would do this (there were already posts about it before we even knew if Atem was coming back for real or not) but it still annoys me so much.
I mean I get some people didnt want him to come back for whatever reason, that’s fine but saying that it robbed Yugi of his rightful place is just… so wrong??? in my opinion. Like yes, that could have happened. Like I even made a post about it last year I think, about how it’s possible to handle Atem’s return in a way that overshadows Yugi but it’s also possible to not do that and we should give the movie a chance to see which road they decide to take. And honestly, I dont see how what happened could be considered as the first option at all.
For one thing, looking at the most practical physical aspect - Yugi fought three duels in a row, the last of which was a shadow game sapping him of his life force/energy. And he got knocked around so much in the first duel alone, let alone facing Kaiba afterwards who is not an easy opponent to deal with on a good day (and that was definitely not one of his good days). The kid isnt made of stone. I imagine even Atem would have been having diffuclties by that point. Hell, he did have difficulties - when he was in his own body in the Memory World and was fighting Bakura constantly, he too needed Yugi and co and all his priests dying/giving him their ba/ka to help him restore his energy (which actually now that I’m thinking about it, is an amazing parallel and I need to make a seperate post to properly express how it makes me feel, goddamn this ship will be the death of me). So Yugi passing out after all that? Seems a pretty logical thing to do. Especially since he wasnt even using any additional magical powers or anyone else’s energy to keep going.
Secondly, from a character development perspective - Yugi was the boss. This is the kid who couldnt stand in front of crowds without doing an awkward robot walk, stammering and blushing like crazy - and this same kid now not only has no problem dueling in a high-stakes duel in front of the whole city but also has no problem telling the guy who bascially owns said city to back the fuck off. Honestly, how many characters do you think would have the balls to look Seto Kaiba in the eye and say what Yugi said with the full intention of following through on those words? And to have Kaiba actually listen to them?
Not to mention that he’s also doing the speech at their graduation and he looks perfectly at ease with it.
Yugi has grown so much as a character and the movie showed that so well. He’s living his life, he has plans for the future, he’s confident and still sweet, he can now freely and easily stand up for the things and people he cares about, he believes in himself, he’s willing to fight to the end and not give up even when things look doomed… like how does Atem coming at the literal last second to help out ruin any of that? Or take away from Yugi’s spotlight? Because Yugi was supposed to save the world alone? Does that even make sense when the entire core theme of the show is that you should rely on your friends and let them give you strength and that the power of unity and togetherness and friendship is what saves the world in the end and makes the impossible possible? Did Atem save the world on his own or did all his friends and family support him with all their power?
So for me that was the perfect way to handle both Atem’s return and showcasing Yugi’s growth and strength as his own person/duelist.
Kaiba being faced with a failure or inability to do something he WANTS to do and forced to accept it
Or just being able to continue to overcome and reach for victory, doing the impossible out of sheer force of will and determination
Part of me wants to know what would happen if he were to be forced to accept a failure, or to be placed in a situation where there is truly nothing HE can do. Or a situation that makes him tackle the problem in an un-Kaiba like way. The duels where he has to work with another duelist are a taste of this but not as challenging to his methods of solving problems as they could be. Would Kaiba EVER accept that he cant do something?
But part of me also loves that hes a freight train of innovation and persistence that cannot be contained. Its hard not to cheer on a character that can break the rules of the universe to get what he wants. Not EASILY, but because he wants it enough.
Again with the makeup artist headcanon! AU where that's how they meet - Yugi is Kaiba's top game developer and drags him to a house party one night where he introduces him to "how could you not know your BEST employee" Atem who's already a content humming drunk 3rd glass of dirt cheap wine. Too cute Kaiba Can't with this.
Atem is Too Darn Adorable when he drinks. Very friendly, kind of chatty, and super prone to smiling and laughing.
Arrival at Alcatraz - Kaiba and the Risks of Reaching Out: Kaiba is sharply criticized by both the characters and by the narrative itself for his continued distrustfulness, his stubborn self-reliance and his refusal to recognize, much less acknowledge, any emotion beyond anger. That’s why I find this scene is a bit of a heart-breaker. For Kaiba, Battle City’s emotional stakes are enormous. He’s convinced that the only way for him to move forward with his life and to break free of Gozaburo’s influence is through dueling and winning. Kaiba’s desperately hoping that the tournament will provide the answers he can’t find within himself. And under that pressure, Kaiba does something uncharacteristic here: he shows the depth of his emotional pain; he reveals just what he’s fighting against and for at Battle City; he talks about the changes he’s made. Kaiba deliberately exposes his vulnerabilities to a group of people who will soon be his opponents.
That’s why the response he gets, cuts so deeply. By this point in the manga, Kaiba has both tried to kill Jounouchi and has saved his life. It’s clear which action carries more weight with Jounouchi. I understand that Jounouchi is under no obligation to be charitable to someone who has constantly belittled him, why Jounouchi takes what both he and Kaiba see as a rare moment of weakness and uses it to attack. But at the same time, it seems like a Catch-22 to blame a character for being too closed off and guarded only to attack him the moment he opens up.
I also find Yugi’s reaction fascinating. I think it’s significant that he remembers Mokuba telling him that they were adopted – but has pushed aside the memory of Mokuba also revealing that their adoptive father was abusive to Kaiba. And here, when Kaiba abruptly reveals something incredibly personal, Yugi automatically – and probably unconsciously – switches his focus from the teenager shouting that his adoptive father sold his soul to the duel disk that he designed. I think that says a lot about Yugi’s own state of mind and the stress he’s under.
Yugi has proven that he considers Kaiba a friend many times. He visited when Kaiba when he was in a coma, he restored Kaiba’s deck at duelists Kingdom, he even saved Kaiba’s life. But that doesn’t mean Yugi is able, at this moment, with everything else going on in his life, to cope with the sudden unleashing of Kaiba’s internal turmoil. Yugi retreats from this emotional maelstrom; the history of Kaiba’s duel disk is safer than the history of the man who created it; duel disks don’t have emotions and can’t feel pain.
Jounouchi and Yugi’s actions are completely understandable. Like Kaiba, Jounouchi and Yugi are teenagers caught in the pressure cooker that Battle City has become. Like Kaiba, each has hideously high emotional stakes riding on the tournament and its outcome. But throughout Battle City, Kaiba has been taking his first tentative steps towards understanding trust and friendship, trying to determine if they are real, if they can be relied on, if they have a power beyond his own brand of self-reliance. And I have to think this scene can only have confirmed his most bitter beliefs: that exposing vulnerability only invites attack and that they’ll be no one to listen, much less help, anyway.
It also shows how unexpectedly on target Kaiba’s instincts were when he kept demanding a duel with Yami no Yugi with increasing desperation throughout Battle City. Because it isn’t until he and Yami no Yugi meet atop of his Battle Tower that Kaiba finally faces someone who is ready to listen and respond, someone who believes, along with Kaiba, that duels are a way to grow, to test personal philosophies, to defeat inner demons and ultimately, to forge future paths. Kaiba assumes he needs a victory at Battle City. He ends up getting something even more valuable: the help he needs to find a way to move forward with his life.
Sore wa dou ka na? - ep 67 through 146 + Pyramid of Light
So I noticed that my original post of this was being reblogged the other day and that reminded me that I still hadn’t done a follow up to it yet. So here we go, more “Is that so” for your viewing pleasure.
For the record, he’s said it 26 times so far in 146 episodes plus the movie. I was surprised at first that it wasn’t more than that, but he obviously doesn’t duel in every episode or even always say it during his duels. Pointing is still by far his favorite thing to do. ^^;