Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Yu-Gi-Oh!, Vol. 2: The Cards with Teeth by Takahashi Kazuki

Phew, it's hot here. Right now it's about 90 degrees, but it feels closer to 100. It's one of those days I'm glad to have off so I can be inside not doing anything other than catching up on my blogging. 

The first entry of today deals with the first continuation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga. I'm sure the previous volume made fans of the show wonder where all those duel monsters that are so popular originated since they weren't in the first volume of the series. Well, I suppose everyone can breathe a sigh of relief with the knowledge that the second volume actually features a duel with the monster cards and even the famous Blue Eyes White Dragon. And, yeah, you get to meet Kaiba for the first time, too. 

That's not to say that this series is consumed by the card games, though. Aside from the single duel between Kaiba and Yami Yugi, there is not another duel with the cards to be found. The anime really did focus on the card game much more than the manga. At least that certainly seems to be the case so far. 

What is more fascinating about this volume is the backstory of Yami Yugi and the introduction of Shadi, the Egyptian trying to understand the mystery of the Millenium Puzzle. At this point we can only assume the Yami Yugi is somehow connected with Ancient Egypt, but we don't really know how or why. The one thing we do know is that Yami Yugi is the ultimate badass. 

I'm just not quite sure if he is a good guy or a bad guy yet. At this point I'm throwing the anime out the window and starting this story with a clear head. Yami Yugi is certainly mysterious and even though he seems to protect Yugi and Yugi's friends, his methods are certainly brutal. The Shadow Games he plays with his enemies are pretty disturbing. Burning people alive, causing them to go insane, or electrocuting them almost to death... You really don't want to make an enemy of Yugi or his friends because that will send Yami Yugi after you. 

And you don't want that. 

While I really liked the introduction of the duel monsters in this volume, I hope this manga does not become strictly about the duels like the anime. The duel monsters were cool and fun when I was younger, but I much prefer the morality tale of the Shadow Games that Yami Yugi plays over the "Heart of the Cards" schtick that the anime repeated endlessly. I already own most of the cards and I don't want to feel like I'm being asked to buy them again. 

This is a fairly solid volume that gives us a bit more of a glimpse of the world introduced to us in the anime, but the manga is a much different beast. Like the room to Yami Yugi's soul, the manga is a lot more twisted. 

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