Monday, September 19, 2016

Yu-Gi-Oh! Volumes 19-24

Yugi accepts Arkana's challenge, but because the shop is so small, they go downstairs to a larger room. A place with shackles and hundred-tooth carbide-tipped saws. Loser of the duel gets their feet chopped off. Thanks to his cheating ways, Arkana gets one of his three Dark Magicians in his hand straight. Yugi anticipated this since Arkana shotgun-shuffles his cards, and plays card-destruction to put the Dark Magician into the graveyard. Yugi then activates Brain Control so he can sacrifice one of Arkana's monsters to summon his own Dark Magician. Yugi then attacks Arkana directly. Yugi summons another monster, which activates Arkana's trap, bringing his own Dark Magician to the field. This leaves them with a stalemate.
Arkana pulls out a guillotine to execute Yugi's Dark Magician, but Yugi plays Magical Hats. To get around this, Arkana activates Thousand Knives, but Yugi counters with De-Spell. Arkana then attacks Yugi's Dark Magician with his own and destroys it. The two of them activate Monster Reborn to bring them back. Arkana pulls out Beckon to the Dark to take out Yugi's Magician, but Yugi switches the effect with Mystical Rift. This was bait so Arkana could activate Nightmare Chains to nullify Yugi's Dark Magician and kill it. Arkana then uses Ectoplasmer to get around the rest of Yugi's defenses, sacrificing his own monsters in the process. Including his very own Dark Magician. However, Yugi's Dark Magician becomes ectoplasm itself to protect Yugi from the second, stronger attack. Arkana then uses Devil's Scales to break down Yugi's defenses and open him up to a forward assault. Arkana then pulls out Dark Magic Curtain to summon up a second Dark Magician.Yugi takes advantage of this to summon his Dark Magician Girl, the Dark Magicians apprentice. She is powered up by the Dark Magicians in both graveyards, allowing Yugi to defeat Arkana and win the duel. Arkana tries to escape from the shackles with a key hidden on his person, but Marik forces him to stop. Yugi uses his own key to get out and unlocks Arkana so he can not get his feet chopped off. Marik then takes control of Arkana to shout at Yugi for a bit about how he blames him for his wasted childhood and wants to gain control of the three Egyptian God Cards and the seven Millennium Items to free his people from their responsibility to guard the items. Marik then baits Yugi into looking for the guy in the city with Slifer, and Yugi accepts the challenge.
Meanwhile Téa and the rest of the gang are searching for Yugi and Joey. They run into a mime before the chapter cuts to Joey eating in a restaurant. He takes his duel-disk off to keep from constantly bumping into people, which leads to a kid taking it. Joey runs him down and gets his Disk back. The kid feeds Joey and the gang a line about his deck and Duel Disk being stolen. This leads to Joey encountering none other than Weevil Underwood. Meanwhile, Tristan and Duke go to bring Serenity from the hospital to Domino City.
Eventually, Joey draws a card that the kid who stole his disk planted in his deck, Parasite Paracide. The parasite infects Joey's monsters, turning them into insects. He also activates one of his own traps as well. This allows Weevil to power up his own monsters and prevents Joey from attacking or summoning any higher-level monsters. Weevil then uses a card to sacrifice his own monster and summon up his Insect Queen, paying off the parasite from earlier. Plus, every time she attacks and destroys a monster, she lays an insect egg which in turn buffs up her attack even further. Fortunately, Joey has a trap of his own up his sleeve, which redirects the Insect Queen's attack against the newly spawned larvae. This reduces Weevil's life-points significantly, and gives Joey a chance to summon Gearfried The Iron Knight. A metal construct immune to infection. Weevil tries to turn the tide, but Joey uses Graverobber to copy his insecticide card from earlier in the duel and wipe out the Insect Queen. Joey then attacks Weevil directly, ending the duel, the chapter, and the volume.
This is the very first time I'm actually going to bring up the cover of the volume. While it's not a bad cover, it kind of gives away certain aspects of the Arkana duel. First off, there's the Dark Magician Girl behind Yugi. Second is the appearance of Arkana's own Dark Magician. Personally speaking, I'd prefer to have Arkana's Dark Magician back-to-back with Yugi's. Put those two behind Yugi with the DMG silhouetted so vaguely behind them that you can only pick it out after knowing what she looks like.
Seto Kaiba has his people scan through the databanks of registered duelists to try and find the other god-cards to no avail.
Meanwhile, Marik Ishtar arrives in Domino City and activates his pawn who carries Slifer. He finds Yugi and challenges him to a duel.
Marik's avatar summons up a couple of monsters and fuses them into one. He then plays a card to make it attack immediately, catching Yugi off-guard. Yugi however pulls out De-Fusion to break the two apart. This was just Marik's way of testing the waters however, and he summons up Revival Jam and activates his Jam Breeding Machine. Yugi pulls out Buster Blader to take out Marik's monsters, but he pulls out Nightmare Steel Cage, which keeps Yugi from attacking for three turns. This gives Marik time to summon up Slifer The Sky Dragon. Since Slifer's attack goes up by a thousand for every card in Marik's hand, he plays Infinite Cards, which allows him to have as many cards as he wishes in hand. On the next turn, Slifer is up to 4000 attack, but Yugi plays Life-Force Sword to knock it down to 3000 just as it attacks Buster Blader. Marik then activates a trap of his own to turn Revival Jam into a permanent shield for Slifer. Then he pulls out Cards Safe Return to add cards to his hand whenever his Jam revives itself. This gives him enough power to kill Buster Blader.
Kaiba's men inform him of the appearance of Slifer, meanwhile Yugi tries to summon his Dark Magician Girl to take out Slifer, but the dragons special ability almost kills her before Yugi pulls out Magical Hats to keep her safe. This barely helps him enough to pull out Spellbinding Circle and Magic Cylinder. Somehow the Revival Jam manages to get in the way and block the reversed attack. Slifer breaks the Spellbinding Circle, and wipes the DMG off the map. Yugi can't figure out a way to get around this until Kaiba shouts at him for a bit. Yugi summons Buster Blader back from the dead and uses it to attack Slifer. Jam Defender intercepts, and Yugi uses Brain Control to take command of the Revival Jam. This puts Marik in an infinite feedback loop until all of the cards are farmed out of his deck and he loses the duel. Marik informs Yugi that he has people watching Joey and the gang, so Yugi rushes off to find him. Yugi runs into a couple of douchebags who may or may not be rare-hunters, but he and Kaiba burn them to the ground with god-cards and run off to check on Joey and the gang.
Meanwhile, Joey is tracking down more duels. Eagerly looking for competition, Joey and the gang don't notice Bakura slipping off to search for Marik with his Millennium Ring. Figuring (Rightly so) that the Millennium Item wielder has something to do with the tournament, Yami Bakura knocks out a duelist in an alleyway and takes his Duel Disc.
Joey runs into Mako Tsunami at the aquarium and challenges him to a duel. It doesn't go all that well to start.
Meanwhile elsewhere, Bakura confronts Marik over his Millennium Rod.
Bakura and Marik come to an agreement and form an alliance. Bakura helps Marik achieve his goals, Marik gives him The Millennium Rod and directions on how to unseal The Door of Darkness once Yugi's been defeated. Yeah, like that's gonna happen.
Meanwhile at the aquarium, Mako tries to overwhelm Joey with his ocean creatures, but Joey manages to survive through brute force. Joey manages to fly his monsters over Mako's ocean and attack him directly. Mako then blocks the next attack with a trap, and begins killing Joey's monsters from the depths. Mako brings Joey down to the wire, but Joey manages to pull out a win from behind with his Magic Arm Shield and Kunai With Chain, managing to strike his opponents Fortress Whale with a bolt of lightening. He then takes out Mako's Legendary Fisherman with his Panther Warrior, ending the duel.
Marik then uses a wounded Bakura to bait Joey and the gang into allowing him to accompany them under the pseudonym of Namu. Marik also activates a pair of rare-hunters, Umbra and Lumis to take the god-cards away from Kaiba and Yugi. Yugi and Kaiba run into those two while on the way to find Joey and the others. Umbra and Lumis force the two of them into dueling under threat of Joey being killed and threat of Kaiba not getting the key to unlock his Duel Disc.
The duel takes place up at the top of a nearby building, on a skylight with explosives planted beneath. Life points hit zero, explosives go off, player falls to a horrible death.
Lumis puts out masks that prevent Yugi and Kaiba from sacrificing any of their monsters, as well as preventing one of Yugi's monsters from attacking. Kaiba tries to bait and trap Umbra, but Lumis transfers the trap onto Kaiba and he takes the damage. Umbra then almost wipes out Kaiba's life-points, but Yugi pulls out a Kuriboh shield with Multiply. Next turn Lumis dispels the Multiply, leaving both of them wide-open to attack. Kaiba then signals Yugi that he should use Card Destruction so they can special-summon higher-level monsters from their graveyards. This also weakens Umbra's Masked Beast so Kaiba's Blue-Eyes can destroy it.
Lumis then activates Mask of Weakness, cutting the Blue-Eyes attack in half, making it weaker than Umbra's monster. Yugi then switches the effect of the mask to Lumis's monster, allowing Kaiba to damage Umbra's life-points.
Lumis and Umbra start bickering over their tactics, letting Kaiba drive the wedge further with an attack for Umbra, and some words for Lumis. Lumis uses Chosen One to summon Masked Beast of Guardius. He wants to use it to take out Yugi, but Kaiba goads him into wiping out his Blue-Eyes instead. This lets Yugi summon up the last of the three Magnet Warriors and fuse them into Valkyrion. This finally gets rid of the cursed mask on Beta, stopping the constant drain of Yugi's life-points. Yugi uses Valkyrion to attack Guardius, but a piece of the creature attaches itself as a Mask of Possession. Yugi uses De-Fusion to split them into component monsters, and Kaiba uses Soul Exchange to sacrifice the three Magnet Warriors to summon Obelisk. Obelisk wipes Umbra's life-points out, and the explosives blast the window to smithereens. Umbra pulls out a parachute to keep him from falling to his death, much to the disgust of Yugi and Kaiba. Lumis can't believe this. He can't figure out how to win the duel, so Marik takes over and taunts them about how he's gotten to Joey and the gang and wants Yugi to face Joey head-on. Mokuba arrive in a helicopter and they fly Yugi to Joey's location for the showdown.
Meanwhile, Duke and Tristan are accompanying Serenity Wheeler back to Domino City when Tristan calls the mind-controlled Téa to try and figure out what's up. They figure out from the background noise that she and most likely the other members of the gang are at the Domino City Pier. Marik forces Yugi and the mind-controlled Joey to handcuff themselves to a six-hundred pound anchor. Fifteen seconds after one of them drops to zero life-points the bomb goes off and the anchor drags the one who doesn't get to the handcuff key in the box at their feet first to a watery grave. Kaiba attempts to intervene, but Marik's men nab Mokuba and stop him.
While Marik forces Yugi to remove Slifer from his deck, he adds the Red-Eyes Black Dragon into it in the hopes it might be able to shake Joey out of Marik's control.
The Marik-controlled Joey pulls out direct damage card after direct damage card, something which Kaiba banned from the tournament. This eventually brings Yugi down below two-thousand life-points.
Yugi decides to take full control of the duel, letting Yami have a break and allowing Yugi to try and get through to Joey. Yugi plays Card Exchange to see what Joey would do. He doesn't take the dragon despite Marik's urging, allowing Yugi to sacrifice two of his monsters to summon the Red-Eyes.
On the way from the train-station, Tristan, Duke and Serenity run into Mai as she's finishing up her last duel to enter the finals. She offers them a lift to the pier in her car and they accept.
Joey pulls out Rocket Warrior and tears one of the wings off his Red-Eyes, but Yugi doesn't pay it any mind. Instead, he hangs his Millennium Puzzle around Joey's neck so Yami won't take over, and in an attempt to jog his memory. Marik tries to make him take the puzzle apart and toss it in the ocean, but his memories of all the things he's been through with Yugi keep that from happening.
Yugi uses Magic Arm Shield to redirect Joey's Rocket Warrior back at his Panther Warrior, and then uses Archfiend of Gilfer to kill the Rocket Warrior.
With only a few minutes left before the bomb goes off and their life-points equal, Yugi hatches a plan to bring their life-points to zero simultaneously. Kaiba decides to take a gamble and save his brother from Marik's man with the knife with a Duel-Monsters card flicked into his hand.
Marik makes Joey play Meteor of Destruction, but Yugi plays Mystical Rift Panel to buy himself some time. This breaks Joey out of Marik's spell, and Yugi takes off his Duel Disc, then directs the fireball towards himself so Joey can live. This opens up the box at Joey's feet with the key in it. Joey's panicked that his best friend is about to die, so he orders his Red-Eyes to reduce his life-points to zero so he can swing over on his chain and unchain Yugi. He takes off the Millennium Puzzle and his Duel Disc beforehand. Unfortunately, the bomb explodes and drags them into the water. Joey manages to unlock Yugi's cuff, but his key was left at the surface in his haste and Yugi's doesn't work for him. However, Kaiba drops they key down to him and Joey manages to get free.
Mai arrives with Duke, Tristan and Serenity. Serenity removes her bandages finally, and reunites with her brother.
With six puzzle-cards apiece for Kaiba, Mai, Yugi and Joey, they head off to the finals. The other finalists are Marik Ishtar (Under the guise of Namu) his stepbrother Odion disguised as Marik, their sister Ishizu, and Bakura. Kaiba's dueling blimp descends from the air and they board. The first duel will be Yugi vs Bakura.
Yami Bakura lets Yugi destroy three of his monsters so he can special-summon Dark Necrofear. He doesn't attack though. This lets Yugi summon his Dark Magician Girl, and he equips her with Magic Formula to boost her attack points. He kills Dark Necrofear, and Yami Bakura reveals that this was his plan all along. Dark Necrofear's death activates its special power and possesses one of Yugi's monsters. When Yugi attacks with a possessed monster, his life-points are reduced by half of that monsters attack, and those points are added to Bakura's. Bakura then pulls out Destiny Board, a permanent trap. And another permanent trap, The Dark Door, which limits Yugi to only one attack per round. Yugi tries to attack with his Dark Magician Girl, but the ghost assaults him. Thus ends the volume.
The first four chapters of this volume are entirely dedicated to wrapping up the Joey vs Yugi duel. Yet again I must take umbrage with the placement of the chapters in each of these volumes. Move the climax of Yugi vs Joey back into the previous volume, then move the climax of Double Duel into the volume before that, and add a few chapters from the next volume into this one and boom, it all flows better. This is why I didn't have a volume breakdown in the last two sixths of the review.
Yugi correctly guesses which of his monsters isn't possessed by the spirit, but Bakura forces him to attack with the Dark Magician Girl through use of another permanent trap, Dark Spirit of the Silent. Yugi manages to figure out how to counter that combo and beat Bakura's Destiny Board. Yugi uses Monster Recovery to clear his field, and shuffles his hand back into his deck. He then summons Kuriboh in attack mode so the spirit would possess it. He then activates Chain Destruction to destroy Kuriboh and the spirit alike. Marik, who remains in contact with Yami Bakura through possession of his host, tells him what Yugi's plan is. To resurrect Dark Necrofear with a face-down Monster Reborn. Bakura tries to get around this to no avail, but his secondary plan works. He uses Deja Vu to reset the monsters positions so Dark Necrofear can keep moving the lens on the Destiny Board.
Yugi uses his three monsters Bakura gave him back to summon up Slifer The Sky Dragon. Bakura believes the spirit of Necrofear would possess Slifer and end the duel for him, but it's too weak to control a god. Marik uses Odion to undo his possession of Bakura in an attempt to make Yugi lose the duel to keep his friend from possibly dying when Slifer attacks, but Yami Bakura takes over and Yugi finishes the duel with a direct attack from Slifer. Bakura is left weakened and in pain from Yami Bakura stabbing himself earlier, but he's alive. Mokuba orders the security team to set up the first-aid station and they haul him off, while a Marik-possessed Téa grabs the Millennium Ring.
The next duel is between Joey and Odion, who everyone still thinks is Marik. Odion puts out a bunch of trap-cards, and Joey sees fit to wipe them out with Giant Trunade. However, Odion anticipated this and pulls out Judgement of Anubis.
Joey then activates one of Odion's traps on purpose so he can run out Odion's deck. However, this was also anticipated by Odion, who activates Embodiment of Apophis. Correction. Three Embodiments of Apophis. Apophis is a trap-monster akin to some of the ones featured earlier in the series. It gets special-summoned to the field when an enemy attacks.
Joey tries to protect his life-points with Scape-Goat, but Odion De-Spells it with... De-Spell. Joey is about to seriously give up, but his sister's voice spurs him on to finish the duel. Joey activates Foolish Burial and Graverobber, to place Jinzo in Odion's graveyard and bring it back to his side of the field. This allows him to destroy all of the Embodiments of Apophis and attack Odion directly. Odion then activates Swords of Revealing Light to protect himself for a while. Joey and Odion use these turns to boost up their defenses. Odion even manages to summon Selket, a devastating scorpion that eats Joey's monsters alive to bolster its own attack points. It is also revealed that Odion has been given a counterfeit copy of The Winged Dragon of Ra.
For the last few pages of this chapter, we get a brief insight into Odion and Marik's origins. It's interesting, but I personally prefer the way the second animated series handled it. We'll get to that in time. It just feels somewhat redundant when we get a far more in-depth look at their origins later on.

So yeah, I haven't forgotten about this series, I was just a bit delayed by time. The series will continue until I've finished reviewing the manga, which will hopefully be before the start of October. I've only got fourteen volumes left, so if I can keep up the pace I was working at in this review, I can easily get that done. Then I've got The 31 Days of Evil 3 after that, so hopefully I can manage to not work myself to death over the next month and a half between school, this and all my side-projects.

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