Darren Dunstan to Attend the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier

June 16, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Darren Dunstan at the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions U.S. premiere on January 24, 2017
Photo by the Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Page

The 2017 Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier is getting another voice actor guest?! That’s right, Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament veteran Darren Dunstan will be attending this year’s event! Darren is best known as Maximillion Pegasus in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters and Jean Michel Roget in Yu-Gi-Oh ARC-V. He is also the voice director of every Yu-Gi-Oh! series since episode 60 of 5D’s.

Darren’s appearance could very well mean the return of the Ultimate Pegasus Challenge, a special tournament where Pegasus manipulates the game by announcing wacky rule changes while duels are taking place. This event has only ever been held three times — at the YCS Providence 2012, the NAWCQ 2013, and the NAWCQ 2015.

Now that there’s a third guest coming to the event, there simply must be a fourth. Let’s see an exciting two-versus-two tag team duel! C’mon, Konami, make it happen!

The 2017 Yu-Gi-Oh! NAWCQ will take place in Chicago, Illinois, on July 8 and 9.

Previously:
Ted Lewis to Attend the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier
Oliver Wyman to Attend the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier

Loot Anime Offers Yu-Gi-Oh! Prizes in Mini Kaiju Crate

June 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Posted in Other Stuff, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Loot Anime's July 2017 Mini Kaiju Crate Yu-Gi-Oh! Prize Pack

Yu-Gi-Oh! has returned to Loot Anime! This month, all subscribers of the anime- and manga-themed mystery box service will be entered to win one of ten Mini Kaiju Crate prize packs featuring some sweet Yu-Gi-Oh! merchandise. Up for grabs are:

Everyone who signs up for Loot Anime by June 27 will be automatically registered to win.

Loot Anime previously partnered with 4K Media to include exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh! socks in one of last year’s crates. Could more Loot Anime Yu-Gi-Oh! merch be on the way?

[YGO: TAS] Episode 75 – Valley of the Duels

June 16, 2017 at 6:00 am | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series | Leave a comment
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Yami Yugi facing off against Orichalcos Soldier in YGOTAS episode 75

Previously on Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series, a licensed spiritual therapist takes Yami Yugi to a mysterious valley to help him move beyond his pain. I really hope everything works out for him. Spoilers: it doesn’t. But Link summoning is not to blame for any of this! And neither are any of the judges. Sheesh! Grab a bowl of ice cream and tune into YGOTAS episode 75, “Valley of the Duels,” available now on TeamFourStar.com. This episode isn’t yet on YouTube because of a copyright strike, said LittleKuriboh.

LK previewed the first minute and a half of this episode during last month’s Patreon live stream, where he noted that he had trouble deciding on a funny name for the episode. Ultimately, he just decided on a title that describes what’s been happening. The title is a reference to Valley of the Dolls, he said.

“I wanted to call it ‘Beyond the Valley of the Duels’ but I thought that was pushing it too much,” he added. “But that’s the title I’m more familiar with ’cause I’m more into films than I am into books.”

And what about the line that LK’s really proud of? He finally tells all: it’s “How do you like them pomegranates?

Anime Con Update: Anime Expo 2017

LittleKuriboh confirmed on Twitter that he will once again be attending Anime Expo. Look for him selling his merch in the exhibit hall on July 1 through 4 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Update (June 20): YGOTAS episode 75 is now available on YouTube.

Ted Lewis to Attend the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier

June 13, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Posted in 5D's, ARC-V, English dubbed, Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Ted Lewis in August 2016
Photo by Ted Lewis

The 2017 Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier has announced its next voice actor guest! Making his grand return to the dueling stage is Ted Lewis, best known for playing Bakura in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, Chumley Huffington in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, and Jack Atlas in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s and ARC-V. This will be Ted’s first tournament appearance since 2012 when he and six other voice actors attended YCS Providence to raise money for Dan Green.

With an appearance by The King at this event, could this mean that the Western release of the hotly anticipated Red Rising Dragon is just up ahead? One thing’s for sure — a Synchro versus Fusion showdown between Jack Atlas and Aster Phoenix is perfect for getting the crowd all fired up.

This year’s Yu-Gi-Oh! NAWCQ will be held in Chicago, Illinois, on July 8 and 9. Be on the lookout for the schedule of the autograph signings, live duel, and public events, coming soon to the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG events page.

Oliver Wyman to Attend the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG North American World Championship Qualifier

June 7, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, English dubbed, GX, Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 2 Comments
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Darren Dunstan, Joe Shalack, and Oliver Wyman in January 2017
Darren Dunstan (left), Joe Shalack, and Oliver Wyman
Photo by jmsvegas

This year’s Yu-Gi-Oh! North American World Championship Qualifier is welcoming a brand new voice actor guest! Making his tournament debut is Oliver Wyman, the voice of Zigfried von Schroeder in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters and Aster Phoenix in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and ARC-V. Outside of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Oliver is a prolific audiobook narrator, having worked in the industry for over 17 years and recorded more than 250 books.

With the release of new Destiny HERO monsters just around the corner, attendees are sure to get some dynamite dueling from the stylish and ingenious Aster Phoenix in a scripted live duel. Who would you like to see Aster battle at the event?

The Yu-Gi-Oh! NAWCQ will take place on July 8 and 9 in Chicago, Illinois. Keep an eye on the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG events page for more details about this tournament coming soon.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Simulcast Begins: Everything You Need to Know

June 7, 2017 at 8:00 am | Posted in Japanese, Konami, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 8 Comments
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Close-up of Playmaker in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 5

The first-ever Yu-Gi-Oh! simulcast is here! 4K Media and Crunchyroll’s Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS simulcast kicked off today with episode 5. Whether you are new to simulcasts, to Crunchyroll, or even to anime in general, here is everything that you need to know about this new streaming initiative.

New episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS premiere on Crunchyroll every Wednesday at 6:55 am ET/3:55 am PT. That’s exactly one hour after the broadcast of the new episode in Japan on TV Tokyo. Crunchyroll’s other simulcasts follow this same release time frame.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is uncut and unedited, in Japanese with English subtitles. You are watching the same video that Japanese viewers watched. This really should go without saying, but 4K Media isn’t editing the video before it goes live on Crunchyroll. There’s no time for that anyway!

Yu-Gi-Oh! viewers in the West who watch their episodes on TV and home video are probably used to seeing a polished final product. But in Japan, TV anime are produced under tight deadlines; new episodes are sometimes completed and delivered to broadcasters mere hours before they air. In the rush to meet their deadlines, sometimes the production staff don’t have the time to do everything that they want to do. Animated sequences might be incomplete. Designs might look a little off model. Mistakes might slip through. What viewers see on TV and in a simulcast often isn’t the final version of the episode. So don’t fret if things don’t look as good as you expect. The animators will clean up the episodes for their reruns and home video releases.

Speaking of incompleteness, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS has the distinction of having some rather special subtitles. Because of how far ahead of the Western Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG market this show is airing, there are cards present that don’t yet have official English names when the episodes are first picked up. The subtitles mark such cards by italicizing their translated (but unofficial) names. One example is Go Onizuka’s monster Gouki Headbutt (Gouki Heddobatto in Japanese), which saw its name in italics when it first appears in episode 4. By the time episode 5 came around, its official English name is revealed to be Gouki Headbatt. Look for these new cards and their official English names beginning this summer when they roll out in the West.

The newest episode is available exclusively to Crunchyroll premium members for one week. This is true not only for Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, but for the vast majority of CR’s simulcasts. Non-premium members can still watch simulcast episodes after the exclusivity period for free with ads. If you’re not a premium member, why not consider joining? For the price of a cup of coffee and a dessert, you get to watch simulcasts the day they premiere in HD, indulge in CR’s library of manga and simulpubs, and enjoy discounts on anime goods in CR’s store. The anime and manga industries and their content creators thank you for your support!

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is available worldwide, except to viewers in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, and most of Asia. 4K Media’s Yu-Gi-Oh! license doesn’t include Asia, so that’s to be expected. As for the other countries, many astute fans have noted that these are also the countries where Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has or had a television presence. Perhaps a licensing deal is already in the works with broadcasters in these countries that would nix a stream on Crunchyroll. Ah, the joys of international licensing.

That’s all for now! I hope you support and enjoy 4K Media and Crunchyroll’s Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS simulcast.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Simulcast on Crunchyroll

June 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Japanese, Konami, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 10 Comments
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4K Media's Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS promo image on Crunchyroll

Into the VRAINS we go! Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is getting a simulcast on Crunchyroll in Japanese with English subtitles! Episodes 1 through 3 of this newest Yu-Gi-Oh! anime are available now to everyone for free. Episode 4 is available exclusively to premium subscribers until next Wednesday. New episodes will be uploaded every Wednesday. The series is available worldwide except for Australia, Canada, France, Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, and most of Asia.

Congratulations to 4K Media (Konami) and Crunchyroll for making Yu-Gi-Oh! history once again!

Coincidentally or not, the official Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! anime Twitter @yugioh_anime has also announced that fans in Japan will be getting their own VRAINS stream beginning June 6.

(News from Crunchyroll, h/t Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Page)

4K Media Wants to Know: What Do You Think of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS So Far?

May 25, 2017 at 6:00 am | Posted in English dubbed, Konami, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 20 Comments

Two shots of Yusaku Fujiki's alter ego Playmaker in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS

4K Media’s long-time music producer and editor Mike Brady announced on Twitter that he is heading into the VRAINS! Brady will be watching Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS for the very first time today and he wants to hear from anyone who has seen this new series before he begins working on it.

What do you think of this anime so far? What kind of character is Yusaku? How do these early episodes compare to those of the previous series? What style of music do you think would fit the setting and characters of this story? If you’ve already seen this new anime, let @bacondevil know your thoughts. Maybe your comments will end up being incorporated into 4K Media’s English production down the line. Who knows!

Digital Manga Sale: Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, 5D’s, ZEXAL

May 23, 2017 at 6:00 am | Posted in 5D's, GX, Yu-Gi-Oh!, ZEXAL | 1 Comment
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Kotori and Cathy screaming in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL manga chapter 15

VIZ Media has launched a sale of some superb Yu-Gi-Oh! manga this week. From now through May 29, all digital volumes of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, 5D’s, and ZEXAL are on sale on almost every platform* for $4.99 each. That’s nearly 30 percent off the digital cover price of $6.99 and 50 percent off the print cover price of $9.99. Check these original Yu-Gi-Oh! stories out! The first chapter of each volume can be previewed for free.

*VIZ’s Yu-Gi-Oh! manga sale applies to e-books sold on the VIZ app, comiXology, Google Play Books, iBooks, Kindle, and Nook platforms.

If you’re more of a borrower than a buyer, don’t forget to check your local library for these and other great manga.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 22: ‘Immortal Beings!!’

May 22, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 1 Comment
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Eve speaking to Ren as a butterfly lands on her card in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 22

Ren’s menacing two-headed dragon White Aura Biphamet is dominating the field. Not only has it destroyed Yugo’s ace, Clearwing Fast Dragon, it can attack twice in one turn. Yuya is in quite the bind. Yuya sets up a combo and lowers Biphamet’s attack power, giving him the opening to fight back with his own monster. But just when he thinks he’s destroyed it, Biphamet’s damaged head regenerates. Ren laughs it off.

“Gods rise again and again, just like us,” Ren proclaims. “I have lived a long time that was not part of my original life.” Yuya is puzzled by the comment.

“Even if you defeat me here, a harder trial awaits you in the future,” continues Ren. “Someday, you will understand. There is something I must obtain, no matter the cost. And the power to obtain that thing is the power of G.O.D.”

Ren begins to tell his story to Yuya. He recalls his days as a young man, racing for a smattering of spectators in a near-empty stadium. He rides a shoddy, outdated Duel Runner that barely holds together.

Ren’s father often told him the story of a legendary Turbo Dueling genius. Although that duelist was someone Ren would never be able to battle, Ren still idolized him and pushed himself in hopes of becoming a champion like him. But in the entertainment world, it isn’t enough just to have a drive to succeed, Ren says. You also need the right resources. And he wasn’t that fortunate.

One day, Ren receives the opportunity to participate in the Memorial Race, a major event with competitors coming from far and wide. But no matter how skilled he is, without a more powerful Duel Runner, he won’t stand a chance against them. Things take a turn for the better when the newest Duel Runner shows up at Ren’s garage. But where did it come from? A phone call leads Ren to the heartbreaking truth.

Ren’s father had invested all of his money into Ren’s future, buying him the latest Duel Runner just so he could achieve his dream. Overworked and broke, his father had collapsed and now lay dying in a hospital bed. Ren realizes that he must win the race. Otherwise, his father’s sacrifices would all be for naught.

At the Memorial Race, Ren proceeds to crush his veteran opponents one by one. With victory within arm’s reach, Ren prepares to launch his final attack. It was not to be, however. As Ren rounds the turn of the track, the wheel of his Duel Runner crushes a butterfly idling on the blacktop, causing him to skid out of control and crash into a wall. Ren, lying bloody and disoriented on the ground, looks up to see his bike burst into flames.

“I can’t die now… Not here, like this…” he says. “If I do, then what was the point of living?! I… I must live!”

Ren seemingly has a vision. He’s floating above a pool of water and two gigantic eyes are looking back at him…

“Battle phase!!” Ren cries out. He’s back on his Duel Runner in the stadium and has just defeated his final opponent. Out of the corner of his eye, he sees a butterfly fluttering away. He begins to sweat nervously. Ren follows the butterfly, which flies back to his garage. His team is there cheering his victory but Ren just ignores the clamor, his eyes following the butterfly. In the corner of the garage, a woman stands holding up a card. It’s Eve. The butterfly lands on her card and she calls out him.

“G.O.D. has chosen you,” says Eve.

Ren goes on to live a fulfilling life. He becomes wealthy and successful. And it’s all because he was granted that second chance. About sixty years later, Ren is living his final days at his lavish mansion when he is approached by Eve. She has come to take him away, for it is now his time to repay G.O.D. for giving him the chance to live his life over again…

“It was all beyond the limits of imagination,” Ren tells Yuya. “When people encounter events that surpass human understanding, they stop being rational and find belief in God. I am one of those people.”

Ren removes his mask. The right side of his face has the same disfigurement as Eve. He brushes his hair upward with his fingers. Yuya’s pupils narrow and he gasps.

“Yugo?!”

Thoughts

Wow, this chapter. Oh my goodness, there’s so much to say about it. First, when Ren says to Yuya, “Gods rise again and again, just like us,” who is he talking about? Who is “us”? Initially, it seems like he’s talking about Eve and his other companions, but Yuya hasn’t met them before and wouldn’t know who they are. So why would he feel the need to say such a thing to Yuya? Could he actually be referring to himself and Yuya?

And then, the big revelation: Ren appears to have some kind of intimate or familial connection to Yugo. Is he a descendant of Yugo? Is he himself Yugo?! Yuya seems to think that he looks an awful lot like Yugo…

There’s an interesting nod to the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime in Ren’s flashback. Although Yugo has yet to be seen wearing a helmet in this manga, Ren does wear one in his past life…and it’s the same one that Yugo wears in the anime.

Ren's helmet from his past life in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 22

Who is the legendary Turbo Dueling genius that Ren idolized? He is only seen from behind in one panel in Ren’s flashback. Since it’s someone who Ren says that he will never be able to duel, it seems like it could be his father…or Yugo.

Now that it’s been revealed that Yugo has ties to this mysterious immortal character, it wouldn’t be a stretch to consider that maybe Yuya, Yuto, and Yuri have connections to other such characters as well. Yuya seems to be special, with Ren noting that he will undergo a difficult trial in the future. And what about Yuzu and Eve? As two of the few female characters in the story, are they connected too?

The appearance of the butterfly is rather significant. According to The Continuum Encyclopedia of Animal Symbolism in World Art, white butterflies in Japanese art symbolize immortality and are believed to be the spirits of the living and the dead and aren’t supposed to be captured. It seems, then, that when Ren accidentally kills that butterfly during his race, he committed a grievous act.

Even though I previously said I didn’t want to draw comparisons between this series and the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s anime, the similarities seem inescapable. First there’s the revelation in chapter 14 that time travel is playing a role in the story. And now there are parallels to the story of Yusei and Z-One, at least superficially…

* * *

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 22: “Immortal Beings!!” is available now in VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump No. 25 (May 22, 2017). Grab the issue from VIZ, Amazon, comiXology, and Google Play Books.

Previous chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 21: “Yuya’s Memories!!”

Next chapter:
Coming soon

Also available now:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Volume 1

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