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.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Yu-Gi-Oh!, Vol. 3: Capsule Monster Chess by Takahashi Kazuki

The third entry in the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series continues to reinforce the fact that the anime (the one readily available internationally, anyway) and manga are not very alike. And it just occured to me that this kind of thing is exactly what isn't in vogue today, too. As far as the anime is concerned, anyway. What does that mean?

Well, it used to be that anime would get adapted all the time and if it didn't exactly resemble the manga so much then oh, well, tough titty. This is certainly true for Trigun, Claymore, and the original Fullmetal Alchemist series. Sometimes the outcry of fans causes those projects to be redone, though. At other times, not so much. While I'd love for another Trigun series to be done, the original Trigun anime series is actually one of my favorites and largely eclipses the source material as far as popularity is concerned. It just doesn't resemble the manga. 

Yu-Gi-Oh!'s original anime incarnation actually followed the beginning manga volumes fairly well. So why that version never crossed over internationally is a bit of a mystery. Maybe because there wasn't a mention of the fabled Dark Magician.

Here is something very odd, though. I think I read about it somewhere earlier, but it never really clicked with me until now. The original anime series only covered the first seven volumes of the manga whereas the second anime series picks up at volume eight. So, plot-wise, I suppose you could say that the version that is so well known worldwide is actually a semi-sequel to the more obscure first series, but the characters are given a complete overhaul for the second anime series in order to make it completely independent from the first series. Talk about odd. And, of course, the emphasis placed on card game duels is given an even greater priority in the second anime.

I just hope that someday someone decides to do another anime that actually goes by the manga. Of course, that would mean changing the target audience because the manga is quite a bit more mature. That would also mean downplaying the card game. 

Volume three of the manga starts off with Shadi having placed a professor friend of Yugi's grandfather under a spell to make him into a brainless zombie. Shadi does this because he wants to confront Yami Yugi and he hopes that putting an emotional strain on Yugi will cause him to call forth his stronger-willed alter ego. 

This confrontation takes up five chapters of this volume, but that's a good thing because the duel with Shadi is really good. It'd take a lot to follow it up and the subsequent chapters in this volume choose not to do any real heavy lifting and just go back to telling one-shot (for the most part) duel stories. The only real noteworthy thing to happen after the duel with Shadi ends is that Yugi meets Seto's younger brother Mokuba for a game of capsule monster chess. I don't recall Mokuba being that much of a dick in the anime. 

Not a single card game duel is to be found in this volume.

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