Monday, September 12, 2016

Yu-Gi-Oh! Volumes 13-18

Welcome back to The History of Yu-Gi-Oh! Today we're covering Volumes 13-18 of the original manga! (Or Volumes 6-11 of Duelist, but I don't count it that way) Let's go ahead and get back into the groove!
Kaiba takes five of Yugi's star-chips and proceeds to Pegasus's castle for his confrontation after a swift chastising from Yugi's friends for being a dick over a duel. For basically blackmailing Yugi into forfeiting.
Yugi and company spend the rest of the second day trying to accumulate five more star-chips, but to no avail. Eventually, they get back to the castle, and rather than let Yugi get disqualified, Joey wants to give Yugi five of his star-chips. However, Mai shows up at the castle too, and gives Yugi the five star-chips he needs to enter the finals as payback for him getting her star-chips back from PaniK. She herself has gotten ten on top of the ones she gave Yugi, and the three of them enter the finals.
Inside the castle they run into Bandit Keith, who's getting ready to watch the duel between Kaiba and Pegasus.
Kaiba tries to make Pegasus use the Duel Disk, but he wants to have Mokuba's lifeless shell use it if he does, so Kaiba agrees to a regular duel.
Pegasus plays dumb for a while, but then starts playing for real. He snatches one of Kaiba's Blue-Eyes with a trap-card, and from here the real dueling starts.
Pegasus goes all-out with the Toon-monsters, even pulling out his Toon-World field card. He knocks Kaiba's life-points down by half, so Kaiba discards his entire hand and plays cards off the top of his deck. This pays off, as he manages to get one of his other Blue-Eyes onto the field. He tries to wipe out Pegasus's toon-ified Blue-Eyes, but the thing stretches out of the way. This is when we find that toon-world operates on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? logic.
Kaiba blocks the Toon-Dragon's attack with a trap-card and then latches onto it with a spell-card to prevent it from moving and take down its Attack. He blasts it away with his own Blue-Eyes, but Pegasus pulls out the Dragon Capture Jar and eats Kaiba's dragon. Kaiba tries to kill Pegasus's Dragon Piper, but Pegasus duplicates Kaiba's Crush-Card Virus and infects his deck. Ths burns through most of Kaiba's deck, except for his spell-cards. He runs out, and Pegasus seals his soul inside a card alongside Mokuba's.
The realization that Kaiba was fighting for his brother brings out a feeling of sheer rage in Yugi, and this brings out Yami. He declares that he's going to demolish Pegasus.
In the dining-room where the duelists are being fed, Yugi and the gang see a painting of Shadi alongside a painting of a young woman.
They then find Millennium Eye replicas in their soup with letters in them. Yugi is paired with Mai, and Joey is paired with Bandit Keith.
Everyone goes to bed for the night, but Tristan decides to look around the castle and see where Seto and Mokuba are. Yami Bakura checks out the picture of Shadi before encountering a pair of guards and leaving his host to fend for himself. Tristan and Bakura meet up, and Bakura agrees to distract the guards while Tristan looks around for the Kaiba brothers. Tristan finds Mokuba, but one of Pegasus's men sneaks up on him with a gun.
Meanwhile, Bandit Keith breaks into Joey's room to steal his prize-card. Yugi catches him, but Keith beats him up. Joey then proceeds to beat Keith up, but they don't catch that he stole Joey's card.
Téa cleans the cuts on Yugi's face, and he expresses his frustrations at being so small and weak. He doesn't like not being able to protect anyone on his own, and declares that he'll make himself strong enough to stand up for himself, strong enough to take on his other self and win. Yeah, just you wait. This comes back in a big way later on.
Tristan gets tossed into a cell, but Bakura knocks out the guard and unlocks the cage.
The next morning, Yugi talks to Solomon through the video-camera before Joey asks him if he's ready.
Yugi begins his duel with Mai. She springs a trap on him, and the volume ends.
Being titled "The Terror of Toon World" is fairly accurate, since the volume really introduces the true terror of Toon World. Then there's the rest of the volume, which is mostly dedicated to building up to the rest of the tournament.
If anyone has ever seen a promotional shot for this franchise, if it has Yugi on it, he's most likely wearing his jacket as a cape. This is the volume that debuted in.
Yugi, preoccupied by his impending duel with Pegasus falls for a few of Mai's traps before engaging full dueling mode. He mind-controls Mai's dragon and uses it to destroy her mirrored wall. She falls for Yugi's bluff, giving him time to pull out Swords of Revealing Light to delay her attack. This gives him time to bring out the Black Luster Soldier and wipe out Mai's dragon. Mai sees no path for her to win, so she surrenders.
Joey and Bandit Keith go to duel, but since Keith took Joey's prize-card he has to find another so he can not be disqualified. He searches around for his, but doesn't find it since Keith took his. However, Mai gives him hers, and he goes back to the dueling room to face Keith.
Joey baits Keith into attacking, but the machine-monsters are immune to his magic-attacks. Keith plays a non-machine monster to lure Joey into attacking with his Flame Swordsman. One trap-card later the Flame Swordsman is destroyed and Joey loses 850 life-points.
Keith tries to finish off Joey with his other monsters, but Joey was waiting for his powerful monsters to attack so he could hit it with Chasm of Spikes and destroy it.
Keith keeps trying to kill Joey's monsters, but Joey keeps boosting them with spells and traps. Keith pulls out the Barrel Dragon, but Joey ages it to rust with the Time-Wizard and blasts it away with the Thousand-Dragon. Then Keith brings it back with a time-machine.
Joey manages to get his Red-Eyes out and copies one of Keith's cards to create the Red-Eyes Metal Dragon. Bigger and better than the Barrel Dragon, the Red-Eyes melts it to slag.
Joey then tries to wipe out Keith's last monster, but he pulls out Seven Completed and boosts the defense of the slot-machine monster to damage Joey. Keith then attaches an explosive monster to the Red-Eyes, and begins plotting to cheat to take out Joey. Joey then plays an equipment card on the Red-Eyes to boost it up to take the attack.
Keith uses Pillager to take a card, Sword and Shield from Joey's hand, which switches the attack and defense points of all monsters on the field. This takes the then-equal Red-Eyes and Slot Machine monsters points and leaves the Red-Eyes at a disadvantage. At the last second, Joey activates Grave-Robber, and steals the Time-Machine to bring the Red-Eyes back to full strength. This wipes out the rest of Keith's life-points, and wins Joey the duel.
As far as ways to close out a volume goes, that's brilliant. An underdog victory from so far behind you'd never think he could pull it off. Take your pick of Never Surrender, the Rocky theme, You're The Best, or better yet, the Yu-Gi-Oh! theme. That's what we're looking at here. That's the level of epic we're seeing.
Rather than waste time and further reveal strategies to Pegasus, Joey and Yugi agree to have Yugi be the one to face Pegasus.
Yugi gets the first turn in the duel, but Pegasus can still see into his mind and predict his strategies. Yugi tries to beat out the mind-scan, but he doesn't until he starts shuffling around his mind. From Yami to Yugi and back again. With the combination of their strategies, they wipe out Toon World, and knock him down to 800 life-points.
At this point, Pegasus starts the shadow-game. Yugi can't really handle it, but he wants to help anyways.
Pegasus manages to bait Yami into attacking so he can summon Relinquished, (One of my favorite monsters in the card-game) and uses it to further bait Yami into damaging his own life-points. Relinquished is a ritual-summon monster, which takes an enemy monster as a shield and takes its attack and defense. If it would be destroyed, the monster it took from is destroyed instead. It's a really cool monster if you can manage to summon it. I hope to have three in my deck at some point.
Yugi takes over so Yami can try and come up with a plan, but he passes out after playing two cards.
Yami takes over with a new vengeance, and the rest of the gang help prevent Pegasus from reading his mind. This gives Yami enough of an edge to sacrifice Pegasus's bomb monster, Jigen Bakuden and one of his own monsters to bring out the Magician of Black Chaos. He can't attack with it this turn, but Pegasus doesn't absorb it with Relinquished. Instead, he fuses it with the Thousand-Eyes Idol and creates Thousand-Eyes Restrict. He tries to absorb Kuriboh and the Magician of Black Chaos, but Yugi activates Multiply, which creates thousands of Kuribohs. This keeps Thousand-Eyes Restrict from absorbing the Magician, and Yami wipes out the rest of Pegasus' life-points with a single attack.
Pegasus holds up his promise and sets Solomon and the Kaiba brothers free. Pegasus then begins telling Yugi some of the secrets of The Millennium Items. He tells him about the death of his wife, and the state he was in when he found himself in Egypt. There, he ran into a thief trying to steal The Millennium Ring, and Shadi in the group trying to stop him. Shadi and the others take the thief back to the temple and see if he's able to wield the Ring, but it eats him alive. Pegasus tells Yugi of the Tablet of the Pharaoh's memories, with spots for four items empty and three items inside it.
Later on, Mokuba wakes up, and so does Kaiba. One of Pegasus's men gives Yugi the prize-money and Kaiba's duel-disks. This was why Pegasus wanted Kaibacorp. So he could use the solid light technology to create a permanent vision of his beloved.
Before they leave the island, Yami Bakura plays a Shadow-Game with Pegasus, and as a penalty for loss, rips the Millennium Eye out of Pegasus' face.
Kaiba flies everyone else off the island on his helicopter, and the arc as well as the volume concludes.
The volume contains some amazing moments. Even reading it over for the third time for this review, I had chills running down my spine throughout. Yugi's final showdown with Pegasus, the mind-shuffle, Yugi's friends intervening against Pegasus. It's all amazing to read. Speaking as mainly a fan of the Duelist series, the events just popped off the page to me.
Not only do the eight volumes of the Pegasus arc work incredibly well as a standalone arc, they set up future events and pay off storylines started back in the beginning of the series. As the mystery of The Pharaoh's powers and the Millennium Items begins to unravel, the story and stakes start amping up.
After all the times people stole Yugi's puzzle by breaking or cutting the cord, he replaces it with a chain. We see Yugi's mother one more time in two short panels as Yugi rushes to meet Téa on their walk to school. Téa notices Solomon isn't too happy right now, and he shows them why. A new, high-end game shop has opened up across the way, and there's a huge amount of interest in it. So much so that he fears going out of business sometime soon. The shop, Black Clown has exclusive contracts, they make and sell their own games. Sort of like console-exclusivity turned up to eleven. Yugi's naturally interested, but he and Téa have to go to school, so they leave.
Looking on is Duke Devlin and his father, the titular Black Clown.
At school, Yugi and the gang run into Duke doing dice-tricks in the classroom. Duke tricks Joey into a bet over a rigged magic-trick. He then tricks Joey into a shell-game. When he loses, Duke forces him to be his servant for four weeks, before Yugi intervenes and challenges Duke. He changes the shell-game from four aces to four aces and a joker. You get two aces of the same color, you win. You get an ace of both colors, it's a tie. You pick the joker, you lose. Duke loses three hands of the game, and accuses Yugi of rigging it. Yugi then explains the rules, and Duke realizes the game was completely fair.
The next day, Black Clown's new game, Dungeon Dice Monsters, goes on sale. Yugi and the gang try to get a copy, but Yugi gets separated frm them, and Duke's security team plants stolen bags of DDM on Yugi's person. They haul him away and throw him into a room with Duke to play Dungeon Dice Monsters. Each player picks twelve dice from their pool (Duke gives Yugi access to all five-hundred different dice) and then the machine shuffles them. There's a dungeon floor to explore and targets with life to attack. Get to the target, destroy the target, boom. Roll two summon-crests and you can summon a monster. This plants out six squares for the summoned creature to roam about on. Built a path to your target, and attack it.
Duke gets the first summon, and then it's Yugi's turn. Yugi finds that his dice are all higher levels, and don't have many summoning crests on them. For several turns, Duke summons and moves more monsters. Duke even manages to get them to Yugi's target, his Dungeon Master, and attack it. Finally, at the eleventh hour Yugi summons a high-level monster and stops Duke's advance in its track. Yugi sacrifices one of his Dungeon Masters life to destroy two more of Duke's monsters.
Duke explains that his father challenged Solomon for control of The Millennium Puzzle, but the game aged him horribly. Duke wants to beat Yugi and take the puzzle from him to become the new heir to the legend.
Duke summons a special Rare Black monster with a teleporter pad inside the dice, but Yugi summons his own Rare Black monster and kills it. Yugi manages to make his way to and attack Duke's Dungeon Master. He knocks it down to a single point, which enrages Duke's father to no end. He comes out through a secret door and starts berating Duke for letting Yugi get this far, and then takes apart The Millennium Puzzle.
After the gang has some difficulty finding Yugi, Yami Bakura decides to track him with The Millennium Puzzle, when his needles detect something happening to the Puzzle. Here we find out some more about Yami Bakura's motives. He wants Yugi alive and needs the puzzle intact for his master plan to come together.
Duke manages to take out Yugi's best monster and teleports into his territory, and destroys several of Yugi's other monsters.
Yami Bakura then shows up to taunt Duke overt his idiotic assumption that he could wield the Puzzle without being burned alive.
Earlier, Tristan saw Bakura entering the game store wearing The Millennium Ring, and they rush in to see what's going on.
Within the shop, Yugi manages to summon one last monster and manage to find a spot to place it. Thus the volume ends with Yugi triumphant, and Duke aghast.
I'm left to wonder if the introduction of Dungeon Dice Monsters was intended to be a standalone arc or if it was supposed to try and get the series away from Duel Monsters. Considering it went into a lengthy Duel Monsters-related arc afterwards I'd bet on the former.
While this volume is titled "The Egyptian God Cards" the first three volumes are dedicated to wrapping up the Dungeon Dice Monsters arc. Another case where they could have and should have re-arranged the chapter selection. You don't start a volume named after the plot-devices from one arc with the last three chapters of what otherwise could have been a largely self-contained volume. The Dungeon Dice Monsters arc was small enough that it could fit into one decently-sized book, but they spread it across two volumes, and thus took away from both the end of that arc and the beginning of the Battle City arc to follow. Punctuating your collections is as important as punctuating each chapter in a multi-part arc. It ain't a series-killing error by any means, just a pace-killing one when you're not reading multiple volumes at a time.
Within the Black Clown store, the gang find it empty save for the possibly unconscious, probably dead guards.
Yugi uses some stored crests to activate his new monsters special-power and block Duke's assault on his Dungeon Master. He then activates its second ability to slay Duke's best monster. There's no way for Duke to win, since he's got nothing that can stand up to it.
Yugi gets the puzzle, and Yami Bakura seals a bit of his soul inside a piece of it. Duke attempts to reconcile with Yugi, but his dad yanks Yugi into a room with the game he played with Solomon twenty years ago. He nails the puzzle to the table and tries to solve it, but Yami's spirit screws with his head. This causes Duke's dad (I don't think we've learned his name) to freak out and knock candles off the table. This catches the building on fire.
Duke and Bakura run into the rest of the gang when they notice smoke coming through the secret door.
Yugi tries to get the rest of the puzzle off the table, but the nail won't come out of the table so he can get the last piece.
Joey and Tristan break the door down and Duke rescues his father at Yugi's behest.
Even with the help of Joey and Tristan, Yugi can't wrest the nail from the table. Yugi wants to try and build the puzzle again for fear it will melt, and Joey decides to stay with him. Eventually, Yugi passes out from the heat and the smoke, so Joey braves the flames and tries to get him out. He finally manages to leverage the nail out of the table since Yugi won't let go of the chain. As the building goes up in flame, Joey exits the building with Yugi in his arms.
The next chapter starts off with Yugi in the hospital recovering from the smoke inhalation, overheating, and possibly burns as well. He's playing Duel Monsters with Joey when the man n the bed next to his points out that there's a woman with an eye on her necklace that's similar to the one on Yugi's puzzle.
The woman is Ishizu Ishtar, who invites Seto Kaiba to the Domino City Museum to show him the new exhibit early. There he finds the origin of the Duel Monsters game. Exodia, The Blue-Eyes White Dragon, the Dark Magician, Summoned Skull, Kuriboh, everything. As well as a carving depicting the unnamed pharaoh who looks distinctly like Yugi squaring off against a priest who looks a lot like Kaiba himself. Everything is there, right down to their preferred monsters of the Dark Magician and Blue-Eyes White Dragon respectively. Kaiba disbelieves that this is legit, but Ishizu bribes him into sticking around in exchange for Obelisk The Tormentor, one of the three rare-cards Maximilian Pegasus drew up during the creation of Duel Monsters. Three powerful cards that if wielded improperly could legitimately kill someone. They're that tied to the actual powers that govern the Shadow Games. He tried to destroy them, but he couldn't. As an alternative, he gave them to the Egyptian government to deal with, and they hid them in three places in The Valley of The Kings. Then the Ghouls, a group of treasure-hunters led by Ishizu's brother, Marik Ishtar, stole two of them. If there's a high-profile theft of Duel Monsters cards, you can bet The Ghouls are behind it. Ishizu wants Kaiba to hold an ante-tournament to lure out the Ghouls so they can recover Slifer The Sky Dragon and The Winged Dragon of Ra. Plus, Kaiba sees this as an opportunity to show his dominance as a duelist and collect the other two cards.
At the Kaiba Corporation R&R headquarters, Seto tests out the card and his new and improved Duel-Disks. He goes up against his Duelist Kingdom deck, complete with the three Blue-Eyes. He negates the Blue-Eyes attack, summons Obelisk, and wipes them out in one go, along with the dueling-bot.
Meanwhile, Yami goes on a date with Téa. They sit at a while in a coffee-shop talking before roaming around. They stop in at a card-shop to pick up some newer cards and later at an arcade to play some games. There, a guy named Johnny Steps challenges Téa to a game of Dance Dance Revolution (Or something like that) and she accepts. She beats him, and she and Yugi go to the museum to learn what Kaiba did after some conversation. There they run into Ishizu, who tells them of a great battle approaching. She also mentions that Yugi needs to find all seven Millennium Items to regain the Pharaoh's memories.
Outside the museum, they run into a ton of duelists. Mai Valentine, Weevil Underwood, Rex Raptor, Mako Tsunami, and new faces. Then the Kaiba brothers show up to explain what's going on. Seto tells them that a Duel-Monsters tournament starts tomorrow, and that they need a forty-card deck and a next-generation Duel Disk to enter. Players bet their rarest card on the duel, and everyone at the finals will have a deck full of rare cards.
Marik gets wind of the tournament, and mobilizes the Rare Hunters.
Yugi explains that Yami doesn't really want to play for ante, but the stakes of the tournament and the chance to face Kaiba again is too good to pass up.
Yugi and Joey have to go to a specialty gaming store to get their duel-disks. Joey is almost not admitted to the tournament (Despite being the runner-up in the Duelist Kingdom tournament.) but one of Marik's men has infiltrated the shop and notices Joey's Red-Eyes. He gives him a duel-disk and inform's Marik. On the way back from Yugi's, one of Marik's men ambushes him and challenges him to a duel. He farms out cards until he draws out Exodia and trounces him.
The Ghouls beat up Joey and take his Red-Eyes, leaving him unconscious in the alleyway.
The next day, the duelists gather together, and Kaiba explains the new rules. Collect puzzle-cards to create a map of the city, stack six and a location lights up. Same as Duelist Kingdom, you bet these puzzle cards on duels as well as your rarest card. Four-thousand life-points, closer to standard rules. Then even closer to standard rules, sacrifices for summoning higher-level monsters.
Meanwhile, Joey has been trying to find the guy who stole his Red-Eyes and finally tracks him down. Yugi challenges the guy to a duel for the Red-Eyes. Yami Yugi don't care who the guy is or what cards he uses, he's gonna beat his ass.
The rare-hunter starts farming out Exodia, but Yugi figures out his strategy and nails one of the pieces with Light-Force Sword. He then activates Chain Destruction to wipe out all copies of the one piece of Exodia his hand and deck. Boom. No more Exodia. Marik then takes over and expresses his disdain for the mans weakness before handing the Red-Eyes and the puzzle-card to Yugi. Joey however refuses to take the card back until he's more worthy of it, and goes to find a duel of his own.
While looking for his duel, Joey runs into Rex Raptor getting beaten by Esper Roba. After having faced off with Mai, Joey is confident that he can take down psychics. Plus, he beat Rex Raptor himself, so there's no real reason to be afraid.
Roba's brothers feed him information about his opponents. Joey finds this out when they feed their brother a false piece of information based on the partial obscuration of a single card. However, this doesn't prevent Roba from summoning Jinzo, the Psycho Shocker destroying Joey's trap-cards and attacking him directly. On his turn, Joey manages to protect his life-points with a bunch of scape-goats in defense mode. Joey then plays Roulette Spider, making Jinzo attack one of Roba's monsters and wipe out most of his life-points. On his next turn, Joey plays Baby Dragon and wins the game. He gains himself a puzzle-card and Jinzo for his troubles.
Meanwhile, Mokuba and Seto bust a guy trying to blackmail another player into giving up more cards or being beaten up. Seto then challenges the dude to a duel and wipes him out with Obelisk.
Yugi and Yami have a talk about how the Ghouls knew Joey had the Red-Eyes, and they conclude that it must have been the guy from the shop who told them. They rush to the store and find the computer with the duelist data on it, and a recolored Dark Magician pops out of the screen. There he meets the illusionist Arkana, who also uses The Dark Magician card that Yugi is fond of. Arkana challenges Yugi to a duel, and he accepts, wrapping up the volume on an epic cliffhanger.
For some reason, despite properly translating Pegasus's name in previous volumes (With small errors here and there) this volume calls Pegasus Pegasus J. Crawford instead of Maximilian J. Pegasus despite the character introducing himself as Maximilian J. Pegasus. I'll break this down at the very end of this feature in further depth when I break down the localization of these comics.

Well, I'm a little bit late, but that couldn't really be helped. This has been a ragged week for me.
We've been trying to straighten out our financial situation as best we can, plus I had to take a small break on Sunday so I wouldn't be working myself into oblivion.
If you like this series so far, please consider supporting me on Patreon. Every dollar makes it easier to do what I do here. And I love doing what I do here. If you love reading what I write, I'd appreciate knowing, either through the comments, or through Patreon. It doesn't matter to me.