Mai Kujaku Voice Actress Receives Congratulatory Wedding, Birthday Illustration from Yu-Gi-Oh! Animator

February 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Japanese, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 3 Comments
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Artwork of Mai Kujaku wearing a wedding band by Takahiro Kagami
Mai Kujaku wearing a wedding band! See the whole illustration by Takahiro Kagami.

Happy birthday to Haruhi Nanao, the voice of Mai Kujaku (Mai Valentine) in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters! Today, Yu-Gi-Oh! animator Takahiro Kagami posted an original illustration on Twitter for Nanao featuring a cheerful Mai and a nervous, blushing Jonouchi. It’s been a long time since he last drew Mai, wrote Kagami, but he finally found the time to draw her. He congratulated Nanao on her marriage last December and wished her a happy birthday.

Aside from playing Mai Kujaku, Haruhi Nanao is a regular in Crayon Shin-Chan as the voice of Ms. Yoshinaga (Ms. Anderson), and has also played Rin Nohara in Naruto Shippuden and Sella in Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya. Follow her on Twitter, @nanaoharuhi.

Takahiro Kagami is best known among Yu-Gi-Oh! fans as a prolific animator, animation director, and character and monster designer for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, Bonds Beyond Time, and The Dark Side of Dimensions. He is also a prominent animator and animation director for Mushi-Shi, Death Note, and Banana Fish. Follow him on Twitter, @jetikariya50.

VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump Removes Yu-Gi-Oh! Transcend Game Manga

February 8, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Seto Kaiba taking a hit from an enemy attack in Yu-Gi-Oh! Transcend Game manga

Yu-Gi-Oh! Transcend Game abruptly disappeared today from VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump platform. The two-part manga by Kazuki Takahashi bridges the gap between the conclusion of Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World and the events in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions. All the other Yu-Gi-Oh! titles are still available to read.

I’ve reached out to VIZ Media to inquire about the removal and will post an update if I learn anything new.

VIZ Media originally published Yu-Gi-Oh! Transcend Game in two digital issues of Weekly Shonen Jump in late December 2016 and early January 2017. The title was also added to VIZ Media’s old free manga section, where it was available to read between January 16 and March 8, 2017. The first part of the manga received a print edition in Scholastic’s Weekly Shonen Jump Spring 2017 Jump Pack.

First 4 Figures January Roundup: Red-Eyes Black Dragon & Dark Magician Girl Confirmed, Blue-Eyes White Dragon Teased

January 31, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Yugi watching as Dark Magician Girl finishes attacking an opponent in episode 62

News about First 4 Figures’ upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! products continue to trickle out from its weekly Q&A live streams and the First 4 Figures Official Collectors Club on Facebook. Is a Yu-Gi-Oh! PVC figure confirmed yet? What will the first release be and when will pre-orders happen? Here is a roundup of this past month’s news featuring answers to these questions and more.

During the January 4 live stream, F4F’s CEO Alex Davis revealed that not only are Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Dark Magician in the works but also Red-Eyes Black Dragon and Dark Magician Girl. When asked about making more monsters or characters, Davis noted that these four monsters “were the ones that polled the best. And we’ll continue to go from there to see how that goes on.” A fan suggested adding Egyptian monster tablets as extras and Davis called them “nice ideas.”

Then, in the January 11 live stream, Davis stated that the first Yu-Gi-Oh! pre-order will either be for Blue-Eyes White Dragon or Dark Magician. Look for that to happen after March or April following F4F’s My Hero Academia launch, he said.

On January 16, Davis offered a sneak peek in the F4F OCC of part of Blue-Eyes White Dragon’s design:

A 3D computer model showing part of First 4 Figures' Blue-Eyes White Dragon

Many fans asked about its color and pointed out that, despite its name, Blue-Eyes White Dragon isn’t exactly pure white. Davis replied that its paint job will be “nice and metallic. When you see Meta Ridley — you’ll get it!”

Davis fielded more fan questions in the January 18 live stream. Blue-Eyes White Dragon is “most likely” going to be F4F’s first Yu-Gi-Oh! product, he said. In addition to a resin statue, a “PVC [figure] is possible and it’s very — 90 percent — gonna happen,” he added. One fan wondered if adding a card display and card stand with the statues would be possible. “It’s a great question. We haven’t figured that bit out yet,” replied Davis. “Once we look at getting it nailed down, then we can think about what possible extras — but I’ll keep that in the back of my mind.” Another fan asked about Blue-Eyes White Dragon’s dimensions and Davis responded with some gestures:

First 4 Figures CEO Alex Davis making hand gestures to describe the size of a PVC figure (on the left) and a resin statue

The PVC figure will be small, while the resin statue will be enormous. That’s awfully large for a statue, isn’t it? But given the size of Meta Ridley, I don’t think he’s exaggerating.

Finally, in the January 25 live stream, a fan asked about how hard it would be to include an exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh! card with the statues, to which Davis replied “I don’t know, let’s talk about it.”

To stay up to date with the latest developments, contribute ideas to F4F’s Yu-Gi-Oh! products, and ask questions, be sure to join the First 4 Figures Official Collectors Club on Facebook.

Previously:
First 4 Figures Announces Yu-Gi-Oh! Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Dark Magician Products

‘MANGA Plus by SHUEISHA’ Service Offers Free Manga Globally

January 28, 2019 at 12:00 am | Posted in ARC-V, Other Stuff, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Advertisement for MANGA Plus by Shueisha

Shueisha, the Japanese publisher of Weekly Shonen Jump and one of the owners of the Yu-Gi-Oh! property, has entered the direct global manga distribution scene with MANGA Plus, a new manga website and Android and iOS app.

MANGA Plus by SHUEISHA offers free English-language simulpubs of numerous series from Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump, Jump SQ, V Jump, and Shonen Jump+ publications, including Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V. Many of the available titles have never been released in English before! At launch, MANGA Plus offers over 30 simulpubs. Readers will also be able to buy graphic novel volumes of certain titles.

Unlike VIZ Media’s new Shonen Jump initiative, Shueisha’s MANGA Plus platform does not include a back catalog. However, Shueisha plans to serialize completed series, one chapter at a time, through MANGA Plus. There is no word yet whether Yu-Gi-Oh! or its many spin-offs will be included in this line-up.

But the biggest difference is in its availability. MANGA Plus is accessible in every country in the world, except Japan, China, and South Korea. This differs from VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump, which only serves English-speaking markets. For now, MANGA Plus is available just in English, but a Spanish version is forthcoming.

There is truly no better time to be a manga fan than today!

(News from ANN 1, 2)

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 42: ‘Two G.O.D.s!!’

January 20, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Divine Go-D/D/D Zero King Zero God Reiji's attack name in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 42
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: the most godly card effects, monster names, and attack names

It’s God-Eyes versus Go-D/D/D with the fate of G.O.D. on the line! Making good on his promise to become a god, Reiji Akaba summons Divine Go-D/D/D Zero King Zero God Reiji. He uses its special ability, which renders all of Yuya’s monsters on his field, his spells and traps, and the cards in his hand and graveyard as nonexistent. Worse yet, after Zero God attacks, Yuya’s life points will immediately drop to zero! Yuya’s friends look on helplessly as the monster hurls its fist at Yuya.

As Yuya braces for the impact, he tributes ClassiKuriboh from his Pendulum zone to negate the attack. Zero God’s fist pauses an inch away from Yuya’s face. Yuya is safe for now, but Akaba boasts about his monster’s strength and proclaims that he will still win the duel and inherit the power of G.O.D. that his father left him. Yuya wonders if they are dealing with too much power here. Nevertheless, Akaba’s dueltaining gets him all fired up to continue.

A new Action Card appears overhead and the young president is already in flight to snag it. Yuya uses his Solid Vision skills to craft a cannon and launches himself toward the card, passing Akaba and snagging it with his teeth. But his unwieldy speed causes him to crash face first into a rock wall and knock himself out.

Lying on his back and facing the sky, Yuya slowly comes to. He sees the G.O.D. card floating high above the field. He reminisces about his father and why he stopped his work as a Solid Vision researcher to pursue Dueltaining instead. It was all to make another person smile — the brilliant but far-too-serious father of Reiji Akaba.

Just as Reiji Akaba’s father left something for Reiji, Yuya’s father entrusted something to Yuya. Yuya now understands that he must inherit this power. With his father and brothers’ support, Yuya knows he is able to keep moving forward.

Yuya stands up. With renewed energy in his eyes, he knows what he must do in this duel…

Thoughts

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is truly pushing the boundaries for what is considered a reasonable ability within the game. I guess that’s to be expected when the entire story is about “gods.” But just when you think card effects can’t get any more outrageous, they do.

This chapter is all about Reiji Akaba’s monster. And this was pretty much my reaction the whole time seeing it in play:

Yuya Sakaki's you-gotta-be-kidding-me face in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 42

There is a point where a situation changes from being suspenseful to being downright unfair and I do think Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V frequently pushes this boundary, perhaps in more intense ways than any other previous series.

With that in mind, the ending of this chapter — with Yuya deciding to make the duel about himself and Reiji and not about the gods — feels like the right way to go. Let’s see what these two can do when they aren’t being overshadowed by larger-than-life monsters. Let’s bring back the emotions that shape these characters and fuel their motivations.

Speaking of which, I enjoyed seeing Yugo, Yuto, and Yuri again this chapter. This served as a nice breather amid the harsh dueling.

* * *

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 42: “Two G.O.D.s!!” is available now for free in VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump. You can read it on the web or using the Shonen Jump Android or iOS app.

Previous chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 41: “Reiji’s Power!!”

Next chapter:
Coming soon

Also available now:
– Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4

More Places to Watch Yu-Gi-Oh! (December 2018): Amazon Prime, Tubi TV, YouTube

December 31, 2018 at 9:00 am | Posted in 5D's, ARC-V, Duel Monsters, English dubbed, GX, Yu-Gi-Oh!, ZEXAL | Leave a comment
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Yuma and Astral, surrounded by the legendary monsters from Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters and GX, in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL episode 16

The Yu-Gi-Oh! anime continue to thrive, with 4K Media adding more and more English-dubbed series and episodes to more and more platforms to watch for free. Here are the newest updates!

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (seasons 1, 2, 3) is the latest addition to Amazon Prime Video. On Facebook, 4K Media reminds fans that Amazon Prime now has all of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, GX, 5D’s, and ZEXAL streaming for free.

Tubi TV includes several updates as well. The free-to-watch ad-supported network now carries all seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. Furthermore, it has added Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V season 2. Earlier this year, you may have seen Tubi add a handful of random GX and ZEXAL episodes, likely in error because those have long since been removed. But this latest update containing the full seasons looks like it’s legit and here to stay.

Since my last update, 4K Media’s YouTube channel has finished posting Yu-Gi-Oh! GX season 3. All this month, the company has continually been uploading more episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL season 1, with episode 31 being the latest addition.

Happy watching, and Happy New Year’s Eve!

Previously:
More Places to Watch Yu-Gi-Oh! (May 2018): Amazon Prime, YouTube, Ultra Kidz

First 4 Figures Announces Yu-Gi-Oh! Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Dark Magician Products

December 28, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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First 4 Figures' Yu-Gi-Oh! announcement poster featuring Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Dark Magician

Back in September, 4K Media announced that it had partnered with high-end collectibles maker First 4 Figures to produce a Yu-Gi-Oh! resin statue, leading to a lot of buzz about what monsters might get the company’s special treatment. Since then, F4F has remained tight-lipped, not even acknowledging that it has acquired the Yu-Gi-Oh! license. But all that changed today during its weekly Q&A live stream, with F4F confirming that it has multiple Yu-Gi-Oh! products in the works!

“[We are] already deep in the works, concept-wise. Not in the physical yet, but deep in terms of having the concept there,” said Alex Davis, the owner of F4F.

“Getting the approval to go to the next stage is–” Davis paused, then pointed at his UNIQLO Dark Magician shirt. “Blue-Eyes White Dragon as well. Some others in the works.”

Chocks with Alex Davis, who is pointing at his Dark Magician shirt
First 4 Figures’ head of marketing Tsoek “Chockles” Cheung (left) and CEO Alex Davis

With Yu-Gi-Oh! being a phenomenon that spans the gaming, anime, manga, and movie worlds, Davis hopes that the property’s mass appeal will introduce more people to First 4 Figures and bring in more anime fans as the company continues to expand its anime products.

“And I can say it won’t just be resins,” added Davis. “At least that’s the plan. Don’t quote me on that. If everything goes according to plan. And also because our strategy of bringing in more and more TFs [true form PVC figures], SDs [super deformed PVC figures], PVCs in general, as something that’s developed over time — and actually, the time that we went for the Yu-Gi-Oh! license, [PVCs weren’t] really on our radar. But as we move forward into new licenses, we’re looking at trying to do both [PVCs and resins].”

Davis says he wants to create an ecosystem where F4F can bring in new customers with its lower-cost PVC figures and eventually convert them into buyers of high-end resin statues.

To get in on the Yu-Gi-Oh! hype, chat with Alex Davis, and get the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! development news, head over to Facebook and join the First 4 Figures Official Collectors Club.

Previously:
Yu-Gi-Oh! Resin Statue by First 4 Figures Confirmed

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 41: ‘Reiji’s Power!!’

December 20, 2018 at 10:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Reiji Akaba and his scarf take to the skies in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 41
“Pretty much” is an understatement

It’s one power play after another as Yuya Sakaki faces off against Reiji Akaba in their final duel, with the future of the G.O.D. card hanging in the balance.

Yuya summons Clearwing Fast Dragon, but Akaba’s D/D Dog negates its effect and prevents it from attacking, rendering it useless. Undeterred, Yuya surprises Akaba with a Fusion summon using Clearwing as a material, calling forth Starving Venemy Dragon. But when Akaba is able to counter with another D/D Dog, Yuya uses Starving Venemy to help pave the way for Dark Anthelion Dragon. Akaba is ready for him again, summoning a third D/D Dog to stop Dark Anthelion in its tracks. Yuya Pendulum summons Clearwing and Starving Venemy back to the field, but Akaba negates their effects and ability to attack as well.

In spite of the president’s frustrating plays, Yuya reveals that he anticipated all of that. He tributes all three of his monsters to call God-Eyes Phantom Dragon. But Yuya’s ability to attack is a no-go when Akaba again seals it away, this time by using a spell that transforms all of his D/D monsters into Go-D/D monsters.

Reiji Akaba has one more trick hidden in his scarf. Using the Pendulum effect of Go-D/D Ark, he is able to summon one Pendulum monster while ignoring his Pendulum scales. A massive portal appears overhead. God-Eyes cries out while Eve’s companions grab their heads as they feel a painful, pulsating sensation.

Akaba points to the heavens, unveiling his Adam Factor powers as his ultimate monster descends: Divine Go-D/D/D Zero King Zero God Reiji!

Thoughts

This duel is so intense. It’s one summoning and effect after another, offering practically no time to breathe. It’s also really discouraging. Reiji Akaba really doesn’t want Yuya to make any plays. Thank goodness the president and his scarf are there to lighten the mood with their antics.

It’s amazing to see all of the Sakaki brothers’ signature dragons summoned one after the other. Even when things look bad for them, Yuya makes sure a monster is never wasted by using it to help summon the others. There’s just one error in all of this: Yuya performs an Xyz summon using tokens. Doh! Even I know that’s not allowed.

New Kuriboh monsters! Yay! And they’re musically themed. I can’t wait for ClassiKuriboh and BaroKuriboh to be joined by ElectrofunKuriboh, Honky-TonKuriboh, and K[uriboh]-Pop.

However, none of this holds a candle to the insane ending. Reiji Akaba manages to summon a divine monster version of himself! Scarf and all. What?! I have no words for this.

The arrival of Divine Go-D/D/D Zero King Zero God Reiji in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 41

Is this the first time that a character has summoned a monster that looks like, and shares the same name as, himself?

* * *

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 41: “Reiji’s Power!!” is available now for free in VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump. You can read it on the web or using the Shonen Jump Android or iOS app.

Previous chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 40: “The Adam Factors!!”

Next chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 42: “Two G.O.D.s!!”

Also available now:
– Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4

How to Read Every Yu-Gi-Oh! Manga Ever for Only $1.99

December 17, 2018 at 9:00 pm | Posted in 5D's, ARC-V, Duel Monsters, GX, Series 1, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh!, ZEXAL | 7 Comments
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Pegasus enjoying gorgonzola cheese, wine, and a comic in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist chapter 14

How much Yu-Gi-Oh! manga can you read in a month? With the arrival of VIZ Media’s new Shonen Jump today, it is now possible to read every Yu-Gi-Oh! and Yu-Gi-Oh! spin-off manga ever — that’s over 600 chapters and counting! — for just $1.99.

Yu-Gi-Oh! is only one series available in Shonen Jump’s vault of over 10,000 chapters, which is accessible for $1.99 per month. Almost all of the biggest Jump titles — Yu-Gi-Oh!, Bleach, Dragon Ball, My Hero Academia, Naruto, One Piece — are there. At launch, there are almost 90 titles, but more are on their way. How is VIZ making money on this?!

New users can receive a free seven-day trial to the vault by signing up on the web or using the Shonen Jump iOS or Android app. Current WSJ magazine subscribers, your membership already gives you access to the vault.

Here are the links to the Yu-Gi-Oh! series:

If there is a Jump imprint title that you want to read but it’s not available right at launch, rest assured that VIZ is fully aware of it. “We are working on it,” said Shonen Jump Editor in Chief Andy Nakatani in last week’s SJ podcast.

And if you enjoy a series and want to support it even more, please consider buying the graphic novel volumes, which contain additional content not seen with these individual chapters.

Happy reading!

Update (February 8, 2019): Yu-Gi-Oh! Transcend Game is no longer available.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Rings, Bracelets, Necklaces by Tioneer Jewelry

December 12, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Kaiba Corporation KC logo rings by Tioneer Jewelry

Stylish and affordable Yu-Gi-Oh! jewelry can be yours this holiday season thanks to 4K Media’s new Yu-Gi-Oh! collaboration with Tioneer Jewelry. The Los Angeles-based jewelry company today announced its Yu-Gi-Oh! x Tioneer collection, which offers designs like the Kaiba Corporation logo, Yugi’s silhouette, monster attribute kanji, and more on its products.

Tioneer Jewelry sells a variety of rings, necklaces, bracelets, keychains, and other items that would make perfect gifts for you and your Yu-Gi-Oh!-loving friends. Tioneer is accepting orders right now on its website.

(News from Tioneer Jewelry, shared by Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Page)

Blue-Eyes White Dragon bottle opener dog tag necklace by Tioneer Jewelry

Kuriboh oval charm keychain by Tioneer Jewelry

Millennium Puzzle bracelet and necklace by Tioneer Jewelry

Kaiba Corporation KC logo money clip by Tioneer Jewelry

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