LittleKuriboh: Hey there, everyone! It's LittleKuriboh again. You know, a lot of people ask me, "LittleKuriboh, why don't you abridge Yu-Gi-Oh Season Zero? It would be so funny! Lol." Well, the answer is simple: It's because I can't find any high-quality raws anywhere. I know they must exist, because otherwise people wouldn't be able to subtitle those episodes, but trust me when I tell you they're impossible to find. So I figured, "Why not do the next best thing and review the original Yu-Gi-Oh manga?" That way I'd be giving you all a half-heart attempt at the videos you actually want me to do, and I can also rip off talented people like the Nostalgia Critic and Linkara in the process. Ha! Anyway, onto the review.
The manga opens with the image of some ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, accompanied by the narration explaining that there were once these things called the Shadow Games that allowed people to predict the future. They also allowed people's souls to be destroyed, but they conveniently leave out that little detail. It's not even written in small print. Those wacky Egyptians.
We then have this picture and—HOLY CRAP! YUGI'S HANDS ARE MASSIVE! Seriously, look, his index finger is thicker than his neck. That's terrifying! And why is he marching like a Nazi? What the hell is going on? Geez, two pages into this thing and I think I already need therapy.
So, it's a typical school day and Yugi's sitting by himself playing with a game of "Pop-a-Pirate". He's reluctant to join in with the other kids because it conflicts with his busy schedule of getting his ass handed to him by the infinite number of bullies that also attend class at Domino High. Actually, that's not the reason. The real reason is because he wants to try to solve the Millennium Puzzle, which he has kept hidden in his school bag. The Millennium Puzzle has a riddle inscribed upon it: "This treasure can be seen, but you haven't seen it." Well, I wish it was describing Land of the Lost. I saw that movie on the flight over to Detroit along with My Sister's Keeper, which is a film about a girl dying of cancer. Land of the Lost? Way more depressing.
We're then introduced to Joey and Tristan, or should I call them Jōnouchi and Honda. At this point in the manga, Honda looks like one of the hillbillies from Deliverance.
TRISTAN: You sure do gotta pretty mouth, Yugi.
They steal the Puzzle box from Yugi and begin to torment him. Yugi begs them to stop, while Honda does his impression of the sprite from Frogger. I swear, Jōnouchi here looks just like Tom Cruise's character from Magnolia. I half-expected him to start talking about how Yugi should respect the [bleep] and tame the... Well you know. Yugi is too busy being astounded by Jōnouchi's huge and apparently radioactive hand to care about any of that. Jōnouchi wants to teach Yugi how to act like a man.
YUGI: But I hate fighting and violence!
Kinda of a redundant statement. It's like saying "I hate Jello and pudding," or "I hate bad Adam Sandler movies." Okay, I know I keep mentioning this, but why the hell do the characters all have such HUGE hands? What? Did they all get stung by hornets? What gives? It's like that scene in the new Star Trek movie where Kirk's hands swell up to ridiculous proportions, proving once again that humor and science fiction don't mix. Unless, of course, it's Red Dwarf.
Honda continues to threaten Yugi with his rape face when Anzu shows up out of nowhere and comes to Yugi's defense. This is enough to frighten the two wicked bullies away. Yugi is grateful, but Anzu tells him:
TÉA: Don't flatter me, I just saw a nice guy being taken advantage of!
But enough about my Yaoi collection, How are you doing, Yugi? Anzu hates guys like Jōnouchi and Honda. Apparently, they once tried to perve on her during a basketball game.
TÉA: Basketball isn't meant for looking up girls' skirts!
Yeah, that's what cheerleading is for. At this point, Yugi starts to fantasize about seeing up Anzu's skirt. OUR PROTAGONIST, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! A MIDGET PERVERT WITH A GAMING FETISH AND HANDS TWICE THE SIZE OF HIS OWN TORSO! Anzu starts to question Yugi about his puzzle box. He lets her see inside it as long as she promises to keep it a secret. Inside the box, we see what looks like puzzle pieces. So it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect to see inside a puzzle box. Not sure what the big secret is here, Yugi.
TÉA: Wow! So pretty! They glitter like gold! What are they parts of? They're disconnected.
Much like those random-ass statements you're spouting, Anzu. Yugi explains that he doesn't know what the finished puzzle will look like. It's a thing that "can be seen, but you haven't seen it." So it's shaped like David Caruso's acting talent? He tells her that he lives in a Game Shop with his grandpa, where there are all sorts of rare and unusual and exotic games. Like Zack and Wiki 2! Hey, a guy can dream. He keeps the puzzle around as a memento of his grandpa. Anzu hears the word "memento" and automatically assumes Yugi's grandpa is dead. Also, she decides to tattoo the words "John G. raped and murdered my wife," backwards across her chest. Not sure why.
Yugi tells her that the puzzle was found in some Egyptian ruins. Yes, apparently the pharaohs were all buried alongside their favorite party games. I believe Tutankhamun was buried along with his copy of Naked Jenga.
YUGI: The person who solves this puzzle will have one wish granted. Like Dragonball!
Oh, please don't tell me he's going to wish for Bulma's panties. Apparently, the puzzle is very difficult. Yugi's been trying to solve it for... wait for it... 8 years. 8 years! That's a heck of a long time to try to solve a friggin' puzzle! Geez-louise, Yugi, did you at least check gamefaqs.com?! Also, what the hell happened to your nose?! Anzu asks him what his wish is going to be, but it's a secret. Personally, I'd wish for hands that aren't quite so disproportionate to the rest of my body.
Meanwhile, Jōnouchi and Honda bump into a character called Ushio, whose eyebrows would make Martin Scorsese feel small and inadequate. He antagonizes them a little, so Jōnouchi tries standing up to him. But Tristan slaps his enormous sausagey fingers over his mouth and quickly silences his brash declarations. For those of you who don't know, Ushio went on to appear in the spin-off series Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's. Only in the English dub, his character is known as Officer Trudge. Given that 5D's is set many years into the future, we can either assume that Trudge is one of Ushio's children—and after all, who wouldn't want to start a family with this guy? -- or, he simply doesn't age. Wow, so Ushio's a (film)|highlander]. That explains everything. NOW THAT I HAVE SAID IT, IT MUST BE CANON!
Jōnouchi reveals that he has stolen part of Yugi's puzzle in an attempt to stop him from ever learning the secrets of the mystical item. This must be some strange parallel universe where nerds bully other nerds. He then explains:
Jōnouchi: Without this piece, his riddle becomes: "It is a treasure, but now the treasure is lost."
Yeah, that made about as much sense as any given Youtube comment. And then he throws the piece out of the window, where it lands at the bottom of the swimming pool in a scene that echos the part in Advent Children with Cloud's cell-phone, except this scene doesn't drag on for about 5 minutes and it isn't absolutely ridiculous. Later, Ushio confronts Yugi and offers to become his bodyguard, just like Kevin Costner in that one movie with Whitney Houston... I forget what it was called. Once again, Ushio's hands are roughly the size of the pyrotechnics budget on a Michael Bay movie. WAY TOO BIG! Yugi just walks away, wondering what his problem is. This is from the kid who sits alone in class and dicks around with a puzzle that he hasn't managed to solve in 8 frickin' years while fantasizing about girls' asses! OUR PROTAGONIST, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!
Yugi gets home and apparently Anzu has been waiting outside the Game Shop for him all day. Yugi practically climaxes upon realizing that he's actually going to spend time with a girl outside of school—staring at her crotch the whole time. Then we meet Grandpa Sugoroku, who looks like a Fraggle and sounds like a Pokémon.
GRANDPA: SUGOROKU! SUGOROKU!
Anzu sees him and immediately starts freaking out. Can you really blame her? And it's at this point that I notice Yugi's grandpa has apparently got a severed hand just sitting there amongst all the game merchandise. That explains everything. Grandpa has obviously been systematically slicing off everybody else's hands and replacing them with much larger appendages in an attempt to make his own appearance seem less horrifying. NOW THAT I HAVE SAID IT, IT MUST BE CANON! Anzu gets all up in Yugi's face about the fact that he told her the puzzle was a keepsake, to which he responds that he meant it would SOMEDAY be a keepsake. Oh ho! You Japanese people and your jokes that nobody else understands. Meanwhile, Grandpa starts having a Vietnam flashback or something. Then, he comments on Anzu's breasts being much larger since the last time he saw her. Moving right along...
Yugi takes the puzzle up to his room, leaving Anzu alone with Grandpa. And this, my friends, is why he will always remain a virgin. Sugoroku explains the history of the Millennium Puzzle, telling us that it was found in the early 1900s by an English archeological team. Afterwards, they all died in mysterious circumstances. The last one screamed something about a "shadow game". (cuts to image of Shadow the Hedgehog) Yeah...I probably would have died too if I'd foreseen this being made. Yugi examines the puzzle box and reads aloud the words: "To the one who controls me, I will give dark wisdom and strength." Upon seeing this, Yugi shouts:
YUGI: I knew it! My wish will come true!
So I guess Yugi's always wanted to have the powers of Hell at his fingertips... OUR PROTAGONIST, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!
The next day, Ushio comes to Yugi and tells him that he has something to show him. It turns out that he's done Yugi the favor of kicking the ever-loving crap out of the two guys who have been making his high-school experience a living nightmare. Rather than do what any other kid would do in his situation, that being revel in the suffering of his tormentors, or maybe that's just me, Yugi instead opts to defend Honda and Jōnouchi, proclaiming them to be his friends. Well, since they're the only people who actually talk to him on a daily basis, I guess that kinda qualifies them to be his pals. But the whole stealing his most prized possessions thing makes it kinda iffy. Ushio then demands payment for a job well done. He wants ¥200,000! Oh man, that must be at least... 10 dollars! How is Yugi ever going to afford it? Yugi looks decidedly flustered and Ushio asks if it's because he didn't hit them enough. I can't speak for Yugi, but in my case, yes, I was severely disappointed by the lack of pummeling. I DEMAND MORE PUMMELS! Dissatisfied, Ushio proceeds to try and break every bone in Yugi's tiny body. This, folks, is one of the running themes in the Yu-Gi-Oh manga. Everybody tries to beat the crap out of Yugi. It's like his body is a fist magnet or something. While he's being decimated, Yugi thinks to himself:
YUGI: I said I would wish for friends! Friends who would never betray me, no matter what... and friends whom I would never betray!
Yeah, but you also wished to see Anzu's underwear, so in a way, you kinda had this coming, bucko. Ushio then pulls out a f**king knife and proceeds to lick it while telling Yugi he could teach him the real meaning of pain. How the hell did this guy become a motorcycle-riding officer of the law? Yugi is downtrodden, thinking:
YUGI: I couldn't beat him in a hundred years.
And since Ushio is a highlander, it would probably take him that long to do it, too. That evening, Yugi counts his hard-earned cash. He has well under ¥2000, which means he has only one option left: sell his body on the street. Well, either that or he can pawn the rare Egyptian artifact he has sitting right there in front of him. But no, rather than do the obvious and way more logical thing, Yugi spends the rest of the night trying to finish it. And to his surprise, it's suddenly ridiculously easy to solve. Wow, next time I get stuck in Professor Layton, I'm just going to walk up to the nearest school bully and ask him to beat me within an inch of my life. To his elation, Yugi is just one piece away from finishing the puzzle, but the last piece isn't there! Upon learning this, he immediately starts freaking out like a kid whose World of Warcraft privileges were just revoked.
(Audio clip from "Greatest freak out ever (ORIGINAL VIDEO)" plays)
But all is not lost, for at the last moments Sugoroku shows up and reveals that he has the final piece to the puzzle in his moist clammy fingers. Do I even need to mention his enormous hand at this point? Yugi dry-humps his grandpa out of sheer gratitude, but Sugoroku explains that Jōnouchi delivered this puzzle piece by himself, having retrieved it from the bottom of the pool. Yugi gives this barely a moment's thought before returning to his obsessive puzzle-solving habits. So yeah, he finishes the Millennium Puzzle, and he is immediately consumed by dark energies that threaten to tear his soul apart. Fluid's leaking from his ears as he chants bizarre nonsense words, and his eyes roll back into their sockets! It's like something from The Exorcist, only not nearly as funny.
Later, Ushio is standing on the school grounds, apparently having been called there at midnight by Yugi. Wait a minute... midnight? At school? Is this going to turn into Persona 3? Is Yugi going to show up holding an evoker? Then Ushio turns around and-- (Psycho theme plays as sharp close-ups of Yami repeat until the camera is at a close-up his eye)
YAMI: Good of you to come, Ushio-san. I'm selling Girl Scout cookies! Would you like to try some?
Ushio is bemused, saying he's glad Yugi decided to pay up, but he's not sure why he's wearing a costume. Wait, what costume? He's in his school uniform. I don't get it. Anyway, Yugi takes out the money, saying that he appears to have brought ¥400,000 by mistake. Yeah, that happens to me all the time. I get possessed by evil demons and I accidentally carry twice the amount of money I actually need. It's really annoying.
YAMI: But there's a catch! (explains Yugi) We're going to play a game!
Oh God, here we go. Get ready for a long drawn-out Children's Card Game. But wait, what's this? No, it seems Yugi wants to play a different kind of game. In this game, you place money on top of your hand and use a knife to stab through it as far as you can. You get to keep however many bills you pierce and then the opponent takes turns with the remainder. Little does Yugi know, Ushio is a highlander and the knife will only affect him if he accidentally slices off his own hand. You know, maybe this is why the characters in this manga have such enormous appendages. All of their party games involve severely injuring their own hands! Ushio does pretty well in the game for the first few turns, but he quickly discovers that his greed has begun to control his hand, and he won't be able to use the knife without stabbing himself. So he does what any rational human being would do in this situation: attempt to commit first-degree murder! Yugi jumps about 50 feet in the air to avoid the knife. Wait, what?! Has he been collecting all the agility orbs in Crackdown or something? What gives here?! Yugi grins wildly.
YAMI: Just as I thought! You couldn't follow the rules!
Meanwhile, Ushio is spazzing out at the fact that Yugi now has a third eye, though it's not quite as impressive as the girl with 3 breasts in Total Recall, but I guess it's kinda cool.
YAMI: PENALTY GAME!!
Yugi points at Ushio and he immediately starts to see money everywhere. I believe this is the same reaction Shigeru Miyamoto had when they first released the Nintendo Wii. The next day, Yugi shows up to school with the Millennium Puzzle clasped tightly between his ENORMOUS FINGERS while Ushio sits in a pile of leaves and garbage and sings about how rich he is. And then he starts to hallucinate that he's a police officer in the distant future... Oh wait, that's supposed to actually happen. Yugi hooks up with Jōnouchi, who is still sporting his injuries, but he's relatively happy. He tells Yugi that he also brought a treasure with him, that his is in plain sight, but you can't see it. ...Pedobear? Oh, it turns out that it's friendship.
JŌNOUCHI: Yugi and Jōnouchi are visible, but our friendship is invisible.
Invisible? Does that mean it's going to go crazy and try to rape everyone like Kevin Bacon in Hollow Man? Jōnouchi is suddenly embarrassed by their bromance and he rushes off to class, followed closely by Yugi, and thus begins the epic tale of Yu-Gi-Oh! Yeah, I know what you're thinking: "Where were all the card games?!" Well, would it surprise you to learn that card games don't even feature in the Yu-Gi-Oh manga for around 7 chapters? I know! It's insane! Yu-Gi-Oh without the card games? It's almost as though the story had substance or something. Anyway, that about wraps up this review, I hope you all enjoyed it, and remember--
(cuts to animated LittleKuriboh with Yugi's hair) -THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!
(Ending: "Princes of the Universe" by Queen plays)
CAPTION: [I only wish I had that much hair...]
[Yu-Gi-Oh belongs to Kazuki Takahashi]
[Visit thatguywiththeglasses.com to see this sort of thing done better by funnier people than I]