Oh, and the monsters inside the cards are real, but only certain people can talk to them. We follow Jaden Yuri, a new student at Duel Academy, the world's leading school for learning how to play Duel Monsters and occasionally being roped into saving the world.
His best friends are Cyrus (timid blue haired kid with confidence issues), Zane (Cyrus' brother), Chimney (he's...fat. That's kinda it), Alexis (token female), Chain (the rival), Bastion (vaguely British logic-freak) and Hassle berry (annoying Texan army-wannabe stereotype with a man-crush on Jaden).
In season three another group of clinically insane people are added to the mix, Jim (an Australian guy with a live alligator strapped to his back), Axel (who sacrifices his life once an episode and always appears again at the end with no explanation of how he survived, like some sort of anime Kenny) and Jesse (Jaden-clone with blue hair and a southern accent). Part of it is the pure barrel of insanity that is the setting itself, where playing Duel Monsters is serious business and losing a card game might mean losing your job, reputation or even your life.
The writers and voice actors in this show just don't take it seriously, and characters constantly comment on the absurdity of the plot, the oddly translated lines and make meta pop culture jokes at inappropriate moments. There's even an episode where the main villain is a guy doing a pretty good Christopher Walker impersonation. The writers and cast are clearly having the time of their lives, and it's their joy and humor that really brings the show to life.
What wasn't inevitable was that someone would get the bright idea of hooking a monkey up to electronics and forcing it to play card games. This unfortunate soul, Wheeler the dwelling monkey, escapes from the high tech Laboratory of Evil Science Incorporated and onto Duel Academy Island.
Unfortunately for him, shotgun wielding evil henchmen and the mad scientist responsible for his torment are in hot pursuit. Jaden wins the duel, but the gang bands together to let Wheeler escape the scientists.
Every Friday at Duel Academy is apparently 'sandwich day', a bizarre ritual (which probably breaks the Geneva Convention on Cruel and Unusual Punishment) in which the students have to pick their lunch from a tub of unlabeled sandwiches. Selections include, and I quote, ostrich burgers, sardines, grilled tongue sandwiches and the focus of this episode, the Golden English, a fried egg sandwich made from the egg of a chicken that lays golden eggs.
But for the past month someone has been stealing the Golden English, and our heroes make it their business to find out whom. They call him 'Damon', but he does the chest thumping cry, speaks in broken English and everything.
The story is that this guy was a student, who was so sick of drawing horrible sandwiches that he went missing and trained Rocky Balboa-style until he could draw the good sandwiches without looking. 47 episodes in, Chain decides he is madly in love with Alexis.
And I do mean 'decides'; they'd barely shared any lines of dialogue and he'd never even acknowledged her as part of the group before. Then one day he woke up and decided he was going to commit grand larceny of the season's plot McMuffin (the Seven Spirit Keys) to get her attention and blackmail her (with a children's card game) into becoming his girlfriend.
I thought it was going to turn out that he was possessed by the Shadow Riders (the big bad sat the time), but no... Chazz is just crazy. What's even creepier is that Alexis' brother Atticus is totally down with all of this, and even gives Chain the idea to steal the keys and a few extra cards to help him in the duel.
The episode begins with a really...weird conversation about being sexually attracted to Duel Monster cards. Later on it's discovered that all the students have been bribed into building a giant Colosseum for the bad guy of the day, an Amazonian woman named Tania.
After she pays her loyal workers with children's trading cards, she declares that one of Jaden's gang must duel her, and if she wins the loser must marry her. Coming from a female-only tribe, the only way for Tania to find a husband is to win one in a duel.
Midway through the duel he randomly falls head over heels in love with her for no adequately explored reason (vaguely implied to be some sort of spell cast by Tania). He promptly loses the duel because he was distracted by his arc- burning infatuation.
The first part ends with the rest of the gang being chased out of the Colosseum to give Bastion and Tania some...alone time. The second part begins with the gang sat outside the Colosseum listening to Bastion...moaning.
But before you assume he's being molested against his will, Chain quickly explains that he's been 'dwelling' Tania all night. Bastion later emerges looking despondent and exhausted, stating that Tania dumped him because he 'wasn't enough of a man'.
Tania demands another duel, and Jaden steps up the plate and kicks the Amazonian's ass to next Sunday, breaking the spell over Bastion. When she loses to Jaden, she literally transforms back into a tiger and wanders off.
I have a theory that Duel Academy is actually an insane asylum for delusional and psychotic children, and that Duel Monsters is just some Shutter Island-esque way of letting them act out their delusions in the hopes of bringing them back to the real world. The episode opens up with Cyrus browsing an online Agony Aunt website.
Jaden spots the following message: “I have my sights set on someone who's out of my league. Because Jaden doesn't appear to have hit puberty yet/is completely obsessed, he assumes the question is referring to the card game, and posts a response that if he trusts in himself, he'll win any match.
Anyway, Bob has a crush on Alexis, as evidenced by the stalker pictures of her he has in his room. And the fact that he lurks outside her room spying on her with binoculars.
During one of his spying sessions, he is caught by Jaden and the gang, and their arguing attracts the attention of Alexis, who accuses Jaden of spying on her...despite the fact that he is stood on the ground outside the white dorm, nowhere near her room and facing in the wrong direction. By a convoluted series of events, Bob intends to prove his love to the woman he has never spoken to by jumping out of a bush while she is manhandling Jaden and defending her honor in a duel.
Jaden understandably doesn't know what on earth is going on, but Alexis threatens to have him expelled if he doesn't duel. Jaden eventually wins and inadvertently reveals that he was the one who gave Bob the advice at the beginning of the episode, causing Bob to instantly start fangirling over him and chasing his around the ring, believing him to be some kind of love-god.
Episode 21 and 22: The One Where Card Games are More Important that Missing Kids This episode gives you a good idea of just how completely warped the values of the Yugo universe are.
It is a running plot on the show that several students have gone missing at the Academy's Abandoned Dorm, including Alexis' brother. This episode revolves around an undercover reporter who infiltrates the school hoping to investigate the rumors of missing kids and sell the story for a huge profit, of course ruining Duel Academy's reputation in the first place.
It's because he is greedy, hates children's card games and wants to ruin everyone's fun. At the end of the episode he is inspired by Jaden's dwelling and realizes that dwelling is the greatest thing ever, destroys the evidence he found, and leaves.
You also found a conspiracy involving covering up kidnapped children. The new villain, Professor Viper, has been forcing everyone to wear wristbands that drain their energy while they duel, and issued a mandate that everyone must duel once a day.
Though the gang have only just begun to suspect this plot, a new student named Adrian Gecko has uncovered it for certain. Viper wants him out of the picture, and so reminds him he must duel once a day or be expelled, and turns up the energy draining power to 11 so that when Adrian duels, he'll be killed.
Adrian is smart though, and organizes a tournament at his dorm so that when he duels, half the school will be dwelling at the same time, reasoning that Viper won't slaughter hundreds of people. He goes out looking for an opponent, and is challenged by our favorite restraining order waiting to happen, Chain Princeton.
You see, Chain has recently learned that Adrian is richer and more popular than he is, and he isn't going to stand for it. So he challenges Adrian to a duel...by summoning two helicopters to air-lift them off the ground onto floating platforms.
This one isn't nearly as insane in the content of it as the others, but it is a good demonstration of the writers getting bored and just deciding to mock the show relentlessly. Alexis : You know Jim brings up a good point.
The sooner I beat you the less bad dialogue I have to hear. As punishment for breaking school rules in an earlier episode, Jaden and Cyrus are forced to duel the paradox brothers, a cameo from the first Yugo series who are incapable of speaking in a normal rhythm and force every sentence into a torturous rhyme.
He wakes up washed on a beach, on a completely different planet, in a completely different dimension, where talking, walking nightmare abomination dolphins give him a pep talk about why he needs to keep playing cards because he is the only one who can save the world from the monster of the week, add add. Having previously been forced to abandon his cards, Nightmare-Dolphin-Man leads Jaden to a new deck, hidden inside a space probe.
It turns out these cards were actually created by Jaden himself, designed when he was a child as part of a competition. The winning cards would be shot into space (WHY), and apparently Jaden had completely forgotten this, despite it being something as high-profile and impressive as shooting cards into space (WHY).
This episode would have made a lot more sense if it had turned out to be a hallucination induced by dehydration, but at the end of the episode, Jaden wakes up mysteriously back on Duel Academy Island, holding the deck of cards that had been shot into space. Aside from the whole scenario being a complete barrel of 'what the hell', it also gets the prize for making absolutely no sense.
Why are there a race of dolphin men living on the planet in another dimension when they are supposedly figments of an eight-year-old's imagination? Set Kaaba : “Attention all duelists, my company will be hosting a global competition.
Because I figure, if their *is* intelligent life out there, let's teach them how to duel! “ The story arc leading up to this episode is already fantastically weird, with the school being transported into another dimension, and the students being taken over by a curse which turns them into 'duel ghouls'.
These are basically creepy zombies that force you to duel them over and over until you collapse from exhaustion and become one of them. The creature responsible for all of this is possessing a boy with a stereotypical French accent, and Jaden has finally cornered him in a duel.
But whenever Jaden quelled with Label, his opponents would have horrible seizures and fall into a coma. When Jaden discovered he'd won a competition to have his card designs shot into space, he asked Albacore if they would shoot Label into the cosmos as well, and they agreed.
I mean, ok, shooting a kids card's into space could be a cool (if absurdly over-the-top) prize for a competition. He could have eaten it, or dissolved it in acid, or Morris danced on it until it was trampled to pieces, anything would have made more sense than shooting Label into space.
Got back into the show after LittleKuriboh started reviewing it and I just love how absurd it is. I used to watch this show eight years ago, and I'm rewatching it, and it's still amazing.
Also, no one on the entire staff noticed in season 2 that majority of the student population is being inducted into a cult? Great educators, but then again every single teacher in the academy looks like a pedophile.
I love the quotes you added to each episode 'cause that made this article all the better. The episode where they are looking for Banner in his home has an AMAZING bit about trees.
Watching the show now I actually see the humerus vs when I was younger. Only a select few episodes were interesting the school for training duelists just threw me off from what I was used to seeing in the past.