Friday, 26 August 2016

Top 10 Favourite Moments in Yu-Gi-Oh Anime

There is no mistaking or denying the success of the anime for Yu-Gi-Oh. I believe that even in non-players, Yugioh probably played a part in their childhood memories. It was just so popular and successful. Two decades later, with that many episodes and duels being animated, which of those were your favourites?

Today, I, Ken Sir, shall introduce you my Top 10 picks.
Shall we?

 10) Kaiba & Yugi VS Dartz

 

It was nice seeing Kaiba and Yugi fighting side by side for once, and this battle was way cooler than the battle against the Big Five. Things escalated quickly and Dragon Master Knight was brought out quickly, faster than I expected. Although it didn't last too long on the field, lol.

Kaiba's defeat and final words, carried the respect he had for Atem to avenge him. Despite his hatred and constant rivalry with him, one cannot deny the respect for Kaiba has for Yugi. His final action in transferring lifepoints to Yugi, was also meaningful, seeing how prideful a character Kaiba i

9)  The summoning of God Neos


The final arc of GX many awesome duels, at least to me. This one is debatable. To many, it felt cliche. But to me, I was pondering about the possibility of more Neos fusion since they already had double contact fusions and individual contact fusions.
And then seconds later, boom: All Spacians + Neos. :O


Jaden's pep talk to his classmates before he summoned God Neos is also a heartfelt one, which contributed to this moment making it to the list.
Reminding his friends that the future is unknown, and one shouldn't dwell too much on fearing the unknown, and should instead believe, & bravely embrace it.

"I didn't have the will to fight." said Judai, quoting the change and obstacles he went through, to become the matured duelist he is currently. 

"All we can do is believe." " We have no reason to fear the future."
Pretty deep lessons to learn from a children's show about children's card game, if you ask me.
And as the many main characters get over their obstacles, reminding themselves of their purpose with their key card, Jaden successfully called them out of the darkness, and drew into Polymerisation during the final Draw Phase of the duel. Talk about iconic and symbolic.

8) Gratitude Duel.

I re-watched this plenty of times. The nostalgia factor was real, as they ended the duel the same way as the first time. It was also the second and last time the teacher student duo battled. And how cool, although typical, for Jaden to turn the tables with a single draw.
"With my next draw, I will show you my evolution throughout the years."
All along the duel I was hoping for skyscraper to make an appearance, and when both of their ace appeared finally, I thought my prayers have been answered. And as if Judai has heard me: "Warrior from the wasteland"
He activated the field spell RIGHT FROM HIS DECK!
Demise of the Land 
It was an eye-opener witnessing Crowler using Polymerisation himself. I always wondered why he doesn't have a fusion card when pretty much everyone else in the school did. This episode also served as Crowler's character development, as the cranky teacher acknowledges that he has grown fond of his students.

Let me teach you Sensei, all heroes need a suitable battlefield.
 Field Magic, Skyscraper.
And in a similar fashion to the debut episode, the duel ended with Jaden's trademark tics and catchphrase: ' GOTCHA~!"

7) CHO-YUGO

 "Darkness, you will never understand, the bond I share between me and Yubel."


The activation of Super Polymerisation, the symbolic card responsible for his change of character and attitude, Judai managed to call forth Neos-Wiseman. Awesomely enough, he discarded Kuriboh as the cost, making Wiseman's summon a combination of all three of his spirit monsters' efforts.
The guitar OST, which was Haoh's main theme, also fitted in nicely into the climatic moment, making the fanboy in me scream in excitement EVERY SINGLE TIME I watch this scene. I am not sure how other fans felt, but to me, this was the moment when I felt Judai really accepted both sides to himself, be it the Darkness that Yubel represents, or the Light that Neos portrays.


6) Yusei vs the Gods

Enough about GX, time for 5D's. 5D's is also one of my favs, placed after GX. But I really like Yusei. He is portrayed as cool and composed, and who doesn't like his combo plays?
Everyone expected Yusei to win in this battle. He is after-all. the main protagonist. However, to call forth both Shooting Star Dragon and Majestic Star Dragon in the same duel is indeed a remarkable achievement. The only thing I disliked was perhaps the fact that most damage dealt to Yusei's LP was paid by Yusei, as cost for Stay Force or other cards.
It was interesting, if not hilarious that he managed to turn the synchro Divine Beast's attacks all to zero, with a single trap card.

Well, Yusei being Yusei, there isn't much to comment about the duel. Actually, I really enjoyed many of Yusei's riding duels, as to me, he never fails to impress.

5) Sho

"Kiteroid? That isn't in my deck."
 "Sho, since when have you surpassed me?"

Enough of the main characters. In a scene full of feels, Hell Kaiser admitted that his younger brother has not just finally caught up with him, but has surpassed him in skills as well. This duel left me thinking deep as a kid, as to how one can always improve and limits doesn't exist. The limit is as high as the sky, doesn't the saying go that way?
And in a badass moment of revelation, Sho proudly and confidently stated "Dragonroid is treated as a dragon in the grave". And pulling off a original and new combo, which Kaiser didn't thought was possible, Sho finished off with a fusion summon achieved by Power Bond, the symbolic icon of his change and growth, from a shy, meek youngster to the confident man he is now. 

The episode ended on a heartfelt note, with Kaiser stating that he would build a new deck from scratch, and it would now be his turn, to chase after Sho. With that, the Tuesdale brothers embark on their future journey into the Pro League.


4) Yusei vs Zone


It was real cool seeing Yusei do all the chants and summoning his teammates' Signer Dragons, and his teammates chant alongside him as well. Summon chants were also part of the reason why 5D's became my favourite anime in the first place.

Perhaps the most amazing part was the summoning of Quasar (nah the turning gold part was lame. Lol) and I was impressed with Quasar's nose. xD.
It was the perfect way of summoning out his evolution-ised ace with the help of his friend's monster. I was also taken aback by the fact that Life Stream Dragon turned out to be a Synchro-tuner. Looking back, that felt like a convenient trick to pull out from the animator's hat.
For the record: not a fan of the flying motorcyle.

Friendship magic!
Zone being the real future Yusei would have thickened the plot further,
but instead he is just a fan trying to be Yusei. Talk about dedication.

3) Pride Shout!

Chazz made it to the list by proudly declaring a direct attack with his ace monster - not his armed dragons, nor his Union machines, but Ojama Yellow.
I always felt this character had a good development from his obnoxious and elitist character to one who values weak cards.
"You are the true ace of my deck."



Susaga Manjome Thunder!

2) Yusei vs Jack


A fitting end to the 5D's series.
Yusei's combo and one-card reversal plays never ceased to amaze me. Like how he managed to top-draw Sneak Giant and achieve a synchro-summon into Turbo Warrior. The whole duel was written well, with the summoning of each of their respective ace monsters. 

And if the various counter-plays and table turning wasn't enough, the final episode introduced the climax of the duel as each duelist evolved their ace monsters.


The battle between CLEAR MIND & BURNING SOUL


A peek into the future lives of the main characters were also heartwarming, seeing how everyone is separated but hasn't forgotten each other, even though Yusei's one wasn't witnessed. Makes me wonder if such friends in life can truly exist.


Two great singular moments defined this duel, in my opinion. Yusei's bold decision to use High and Low 's effect for the third time, and his declaration that he will be staying in the city.
What a great battle. Pity those who never knew of this climatic ending duel since the dubbed version never finished the entire series.

You are not an opponent I can defeat without taking such risks. - Yusei

The decision to make Junk Warrior end the duel instead of Stardust Warrior was a bold, and appropriate decision, in my opinion. The summoning of Junk Synchron also made it the first and last tuner to be summoned in the 5D's anime.
"Scrap Fist", eventually made into a card, was Junk Warrior's attack name. And gathering the attacks of his other minor monsters to push it to 5500ATK, is indeed a symbolic reference to Yusei's playing style and his role in securing the bonds among his friends. Junk Warrior kinda got overshadowed by the other synchro Warrior monsters, and Stardust Dragon and its various evolutions, as time passed by. I am glad that unlike Bastion Misawa, it wasn't forgotten. 




Atlas be like: NOW!? YOU STILL HAVE TRICKS UP YOUR SLEEVES!? AND JUNK WARRIOR!? NOW~? I AM SO DONE.

The duel served as a perfect goodbye to the series and characters, which I had grown to love. And it also taught me that, friends are bound to go separate ways one day, and it is what happens after that that matters. ;') I really did appreciate and learn a lot from Yusei's conversation with Trudge after the duel. It is a nice conversation layered with meaning and quotes, which I revisit from time to time, reminding myself about the true meaning of bonds and friendship.

(I wont say goodbye, because we will meet again)

And damn, they really planned these final episodes well. The soundtracks and OST were so appropriate, it only added onto the awesomeness of the duel. Also, once again, another girl fails to confess to our protagonist.

Also, featuring the power of Photoshop:

The final clapping of hands had me teared up like a child. This scene almost made it to the first place, if it were not for the nostalgia factor.



Speaking of first place....

1) The ceremonial duel


Nothing could top this. 

"Mahase Mahad!"

"I summon Big Shield Gardna!"

The ups and downs, the summoning of both Yugi's key monsters. Be it Iconic ones like Dark Magician or secondary lineup like Gaia and Summoned Skull.

The taking down of the the Gods didn't seem realistic though. Sure, use their power against them. But as a kid I was like "hey how did their attack get reversed in the first place?" Weren't they supposed to be untouchable god cards.

Also, Kuriboh didnt make an appearance, which was disappointing. Nevertheless, it served as a nostalgic closure to the iconic first anime series of Yugioh, and successfully portrayed the maturity and independance of Yugi Muto.

1) TIE-GAME!!!!


Making it also into first place is the final battle between Yugi and Jaden.
The setting was terrible, with a time travel element being thrown in, to allow Jaden to battle Yami Yugi/Atem instead of the currently aged Yugi Muto. However, with the ups and downs, and the many Elemental Hero making a reappearance, it is indeed a sight to behold.


The summoning of Slifer, should some not have noticed, was pretty symbolic as well, since it was the namesake of the dorm Jaden spent residing in for three years, and the first God card which Yugi obtained.

The final duel, or as Jaden puts it, the "true Graduation Duel" was a perfect method to remind Jaden of the fun and exciting element of the card battle. Throughout the countless battles for life and death, there wasn't much room to witness fun-casual Jaden again. It partially surfaced during the Tag Duel with Alexis, but I guess he was properly reminded of it during this thrilling battle against the King of Games.

If anything, I am disappointed with the ending to the duel. It felt rushed and incomplete. I, however, do not buy the theory that Jaden attacked into Slifer with Neos in a suicide attempt. lol. I think the finals scenes was just a closing iconic moment for the battle between the symbols of both decks. The attack probably commenced few turns after the special summon of Slifer in a separated Battle Phase.

Once again, both Kuriboh appeared only in spirits. And even though Winged Kuriboh was drawn, it wasn't played into the game on-screen.

Notable mentions

Chazz's battle with his brother also showcased his growth as a duelist, something which I appreciated and enjoyed. Securing victory with his deck of weak monsters was an amazing feat.

Joey & Yugi VS Big Five duel was one which I also enjoyed, partly because I bought the DVD for it and it was one of the few duels which I could finish watching as a kid. 

Speaking of Joey, I never found him as a competent duelist, much like Kaiba. Lol. However, there were few instances which I was pleasantly impressed.
A) His duel with Marik when he still stood up after the god's attack , surprising everyone including me.
AND IT IS GONE. However, that was sufficient to impress Kaiba, which had always been looking down on the lucky gambler. But damn it Joey, one more word (ATTACK!) and you would have won, and meet Yugi in the finals like you promised!
B) His duel with JudgeMan in the filler arc, where he won despite his opponent cheating. Living up to his name as a gambler, making it count when situation calls for it.
Kaiba Vs Yugi duels were always a fun game to watch. Although it was always so long. It never made to top 10 because I always expected Yugi to win, and he always did. Lol
And what is a post about the anime top duels, without a millionaire threatening to commit suicide over a children's card game?
I greatly enjoyed Season 4 of GX, and the many duels that were fought during the season. Apart from those that didn't make it to the list, Alexis&Jaden's tag duel was another favourite episode of mine. It is more of a personal thing since I ship them both. #OTP.
Strangely, other climatic duels such as Jaden Vs Yubel, or Jaden Vs Fujiwara, or Supreme King - Haoh's duels never gave me the climatic vibe. But the second duel with Satorious felt more satisfying than his first, as the plot saw Jaden single-handedly defy destiny itself. And when he shone his colorful eyes and declared: " I don't succumb to the seduction of power.", that was pretty badass to me. (Yes, shone his eyes. I use the word shine to describe this feature. lol)

If you are complaining about the lack of GX duels from previous seasons, I am afraid to say I have none. As the duels in the previous seasons were more happy-go-lucky type, and weren't really my cup of tea. However, another worthy mention would be Hell Kaiser's battle with the Yubel-possessed Jesse, where Kaiser managed to re-establish Cyber Dragon as his iconic symbol, raising its attack to 16000ATK points, despite losing the duel.

And speaking of large numbers, nothing could beat the graduation duel between Zane and Jaden. The numbers were astronomical, but the startup of the duel was uninteresting, with Jaden reverted back to his usual playing style only mid-way during the duel. A tie seems like a lazy way by the creators to wrap things up too.


Yusei vs Zushin was also one where he fought and won due to the help of his friends. Having combined the forces of both Jack and Crow is indeed clap-worthy. Similarly, the summon of his teammates ace and Signer dragons during the battle with Aporia was also amazing. Yusei seemingly defeated Aporia before the match even concluded, showing the time traveler that hope always exist. Aporia could only murmur after witnessing the feat Yusei has achieved "Is this the power of a Signer?"

Finally, as a fan of Antinomy, you can imagine how hyped I am about the duel between Yusei and him. Coming up with an endless loop to win, that sounds very Yusei to me.

Conclusion

Evidently, ZeXal & Arc-V isn't on the list. I skipped ZeXal and only rush through a few arcs. Not a fan. The only time I paid attention was when Shark was revealed to be one of the seven knights, which made me felt that shit-just-got-real. But the conclusion to that arc was kinda disappointing.
Astral & Yuma's relationship felt like a rip-off from the mentor-disciple partnership of Atem & Yugi.
I do appreciate Vector/Shingestu's final redeeming moments, as he thanks Yuma before perishing from existence.
Arc-V has yet to be completed, but I enjoy the storyline plot, Easter-egg throwbacks and reference, more than individual moments.

I think like me, many player's love for the game started from the anime. And gradually, you enjoy how the game makes you feel more than the game itself. Nostalgia. And for me, it brought me priceless friends too.
Time to time, I find myself rewatching my favourite scenes from the anime. Either to pass time, or remind myself of the love I have for the game, despite how cancerous it can be. lol.
On a related note about epic duels, Kaiba and Yugi's live voice duel at WCQ was indeed well scripted and I believe it lived up to fan's expectations.

That's all for now and I hope it was a pleasant read for everyone. 
What's your favourite scene/duel/moment from the anime?
Care to share?

Brought to you by: Ken Sir

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