Answered the latter three earlier. Thank you, anon :)
3. Dub or original?
Mmm, well, I mean, the dub is
legitimately terrible in some ways that I really can’t get over. Although I
retain a fondness for “Joey Wheeluh” and British-raised returnee Ryou, I think
relocating the canon to Amurica was definitely some white-washing creepiness.
And the censorship is another point – even if a lot of what they were censoring
was, I think, unsubtle enough that you could piece together the original
intention of a lot of it. And the characters are flanderised. And, although I like the humour they added in the dub, they added
so much other stupid filler dialogue. Let the characters not run their mouths
at least sometimes, please, please.
But… the dub is hammier and funnier,
and the sound quality of it is better, imo. Which ultimately means it holds my
attention better. Just a little bit. But, for me, who finds watching TV not all
that stimulating and hard to pay attention to and often dull even when we’re
not stuck in five episode card games – that little bit of difference kind of
makes or breaks me wanting to watch the thing.
So, idk, while I ultimately have
more problems with the dub, since I can actually bring myself to continue
watching it of my own initiative sometimes when the ambient temperature is
exactly right and the planets are properly aligned – something I can’t say of
the sub – I guess it’s the canon I prefer between the two of them.
4. Favorite season/story arc
The first arc of the ygo manga. I
don’t think any of the arcs since have been as overall character-focussed as
that first arc (or as silly edgy) which generally suits the kind of thing I’d
like to see. I really enjoyed the nuance in the dynamics between Yuugi and
Jounouchi and Anzu and Honda, and the glimpses into their lives that were kind
of front-and-centre in that part of the story. And, although they might hit the
peaks later, I still feel it was really solid in the information it delivered
about Seto and Atem. The unique resentment and self-destructive hatred we see pour out of Seto at his most unhinged are, I think, some of his most important facets. Having come out of that painful place, I think you can see why he finds some motivation to attempt to open his rigidly shut mind a little. Or, rather, not having come out of that place in the anime, it’s hard to see why he bothers(?) Or maybe not because it doesn’t seem like such a viscerally painful struggle for him there(?) idk(?) And, poor Atem, I don’t think he’s ever been as interesting for
me since he dropped his murder-vigilante schtick.
6. Favorite character
Ah, Jounouchi. Absolutely.
I really admire Jounouchi’s
resilience and determination. And I appreciate the energetic, comic exterior; I
don’t think you can really count on any of the other characters to be as gung-ho
and happy charging into their terrible decisions. Which, for me, makes him
uniquely fun to engage.
I think people tend to talk about
how the anime took away a lot of the sharp edges that made the serious aspects
of his character – which I agree with. I like the manga’s portrayal of him over
the anime’s by quite a bit. But, hmm, I feel like it doesn’t get brought up: I
sometimes feel like manga canon can be very dismissive of the ways Jounouchi is
flawed. I think he can be callous and petty and terribly aggressive in ways
that the narrative doesn’t seem to understand are, well, inappropriate or
cruel. And his reckless and brutal tenacity isn’t really treated like something
that is pathologically maladjusted… even when it is. I kind of wish we had had
more Jounouchi-centric internal conflict in the story following the first two
arcs but, alas~ A Jounouchi fan would say that.
This is some box art for a card game that’s coming out soon! All of the art just went off to the printer, in fact. Barring incident, it should be available next month. (This is a separate thing from the playing card deck).