Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 27: ‘Reiji’s Goal!’

October 23, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Reiji Akaba and Isaac dueling in space in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 27
Card games in space!

With the power of the Transcendent Pendulum Summons, Reiji Akaba has called forth the card that his father left him: Super-Dimensional Sovereign Emperor Zero Paradox. He attempts to take down Isaac, but Isaac employs his Reflector combo to keep Akaba away.

Isaac again recollects his final moments with Adam. He could have saved Adam… But, he didn’t. Perhaps, thought Isaac, if Adam weren’t around, Eve might have eyes for him. But Eve never did forget the one man she loved. And so Isaac continues to live his life searching for that man, all the while carrying the burden of this secret that he’s unable to tell Eve.

It’s Isaac’s turn. He summons three Mirror Imagine Prism Coat 8 monsters, who steal Zero Paradox’s attack strength and neutralize Akaba’s spells and traps. Isaac powers up his Mirror Imagine Catadioptricker 7 and confidently attacks Zero Paradox.

“I will save Adam and Eve!!” howls Isaac. “This is the end, Reiji Akaba!!”

“I disagree,” Akaba replies calmly. He reveals that during the entire duel, he has been monitoring Isaac and tracing the location of his comrades. Akaba expressly selected the space colony as their duel stage knowing that it would give him the quiet environment he needs to keep an eye on all of the information Isaac was sending back to his team. Slowly, numerous floating cameras descend around Isaac. The researcher is furious.

“Sora!! Wipe out this colony!!” Isaac exclaims, startling the boy watching the duel from afar. Sora uses a Solid Vision trick to vaporize the colony. In a blink of an eye, the gargantuan mass disappears and Akaba and Isaac are floating in space, the cards of their decks now scattered high and low. The two duelists are kept alive by helmets that Sora materializes for them.

But Akaba reveals that he expected this to happen all along. He plays a trick of his own, the spell card Zero Gravitation. This allows him to treat both duelists’ decks as one. The cards that had been strewn all around them are suddenly pulled into the space between the two men, forming a neat pile. Akaba then activates a new effect of Zero Paradox, one that would allow him to use Isaac’s Pendulum cards as his own. Akaba uses Issac’s Mirror Imagine Secondary 9 to special summon a Mirror Imagine monster from their combined deck. He calls Mirror Imagine Reflector 1.

Isaac is mortified. He knows exactly what Akaba is about to do.

Akaba turns Isaac’s own Reflector combo against him before powering up Zero Paradox. Akaba’s ace demolishes Catadioptricker 7.

Thoughts

I admit that I’m far from being an expert of the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, but even I can tell when things are getting ridiculous during a duel. And this duel is ridiculous. Combining decks? C’mon! It makes dueling in space without spacesuits seem perfectly acceptable.

Isaac, don’t you know that jealousy never pays off? Pfft.

I was not expecting to read a Japanese parable in this manga! Yuya tells the tale of Mori Motonari, a real feudal lord who lived in the 1500s.

* * *

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 27: “Reiji’s Goal!” is available now in VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump No. 47 (October 23, 2017). Grab the issue from VIZ, Amazon, comiXology, and Google Play Books.

Previous chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 26: “The Transcendent Duel!!”

Next chapter:
Coming soon

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

Yu-Gi-Oh! Manga Editor Yoshihisa Heishi at NYCC 2017

October 12, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Japanese, Series 1, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Yoshihisa Heishi at the Weekly Shonen Jump panel at NYCC 2017

In Japan, manga editors are more than just people who know the nuts and bolts of the publishing industry. Editors work intimately with manga creators, exchanging story ideas and guiding the creators to success, and even look after the creators’ health and well-being. When Kazuki Takahashi’s Yu-Gi-Oh! manga was first serialized in Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan, its founding editor was Yoshihisa Heishi. Heishi eventually rose through the ranks to become the magazine’s editor in chief, and today still works at Shueisha’s shonen manga department as its director.

This past weekend, Heishi attended New York Comic Con where he was a guest at VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump panel. He offered some tidbits about Yu-Gi-Oh! and Takahashi during a brief Q&A.

“How did Egypt become such an important theme in the story?” asked Urian Brown, an editor at VIZ and the panel’s moderator.

“Before the manga started, Takahashi-sensei was really interested in Egypt and Egyptian culture,” explained Heishi through his translator, English WSJ Editor in Chief Andy Nakatani. “The Millennium Puzzle was originally not supposed to be used. It was going to be a different item. But since he ended up using the Millennium Puzzle, Egypt became a more important part of the story.”

“What was it supposed to be originally?” asked Brown.

“I can’t say,” Heishi laughed.

“What was it like working with Takahashi-sensei?” Brown continued. “Can you give us any details about his creative process?”

“When Takahashi-sensei was making the manga, I didn’t really see him having trouble or questioning himself when he was creating the manga,” replied Heishi. “He would go through the struggle unseen, not out in the forefront. Every week, they’d be playing card games and video games and things. He would play every week with his assistants. […] The ideas came from that.”

“Did you try out any of the dangerous Shadow Games in the manga, like yo-yos on the roof or the nitroglycerin air hockey?” asked Brown.

“No! Kids, please don’t do this at home.”

* * *

Check out video of the full panel for discussions and insights about even more Shonen Jump titles, like Rurouni Kenshin and My Hero Academia.

Related posts:
‘Spotlight on Yu-Gi-Oh! & Creator Kazuki Takahashi’ Panel at SDCC 2015

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 26: ‘The Transcendent Duel!!’

September 25, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Close-ups of Isaac and Reiji Akaba in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 26

Reiji Akaba and Isaac are locked in combat. Isaac has unveiled to Akaba his perplexing Mirror Imagine monsters, who work together to neutralize Akaba’s monster effects and attacks. Now, Isaac goes on the offensive, using his monsters’ effects to power up his ace, Mirror Imagine Catadioptricker 7, to an overwhelming 7000 attack!

As Akaba is about to bear the brunt of Isaac’s game-ending energy beam assault, Akaba bets his life on his next draw. Isaac is amused.

“Hmm… Entrusting yourself to fate now?” Isaac asks the president.

“No, not at all! Fate isn’t what I call my predictions for the future!!” Akaba retorts.

As Reiji Akaba dauntlessly draws from his deck, Isaac sees a shadowy figure materialize behind Akaba. It’s Adam! Akaba draws the card he needs, vaporizing Catadioptricker 7’s attack and saving him from defeat. As the smoke from the attack clears, Adam’s image fades away with it. Isaac wonders if Adam blames him for not stopping the experiment that led to his disappearance all those years ago…

Isaac is mystified by the card Akaba has drawn. Akaba doesn’t wait to demonstrate its power. It’s a new monster that can only be summoned when the total of his Pendulum scales exceeds its level.

“Come!! Transcendent Pendulum Summons!!” Akaba cries out. “Come forth, D/D/D/D Super-Dimensional Sovereign Emperor Zero Paradox!!”

Thoughts

After two chapters with plenty of exposition and flashbacks, it’s back to a chapter of intense dueling. So many monsters in this manga look creepy, Reiji Akaba’s especially. The cool but creepy category gets a new addition this month with Zero Paradox. What is that thing?! We’ve seen this monster before — in Scale 18, just as Ren interrupts Yuya and Reiji’s duel. Back then, its identity was still a mystery since only its hand was shown. And, as the flashback in this month’s chapter reveals, Zero Paradox was shown even before that in card form; it’s the card that Reiji picked up at the end of Scale 13.

Reiji Akaba summoning D/D/D/D Super-Dimensional Sovereign Emperor Zero Paradox

It’s clever that these two scientists both use monsters whose names and designs reference measurements, lenses, and mirrors. Reiji’s actions here make me wonder what he has “seen” of the future.

If Adam is helping Reiji because he blames Isaac for what happened to him, does this mean Adam doesn’t want to be found by Eve and her organization? Have they been wasting their efforts all these years? They must know something about Adam that’s yet to be revealed…

* * *

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 26: “The Transcendent Duel!!” is available now in VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump No. 43 (September 25, 2017). Grab the issue from VIZ, Amazon, comiXology, and Google Play Books.

Previous chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 25: “Adam and Eve!”

Next chapter:
Coming soon

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

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Manga Volume 2 Available Now

September 5, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Cover of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Volume 2, from VIZ Media, digital edition

Yuya “The Phantom” Sakaki’s adventures continue today in the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V graphic novel! Available now from VIZ Media is Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Volume 2, which compiles chapters 7 through 13 of the manga. Grab it in print format for $9.99 at your favorite bookstore, or download the digital version for $6.99.

In this volume, we are introduced to Yuya’s other two personalities — the handsome and cunning Yuri, and the confident Turbo Duelist Yugo. As Yuya continues his quest to find Genesis Omega Dragon, he is lured into a duel by the Leo Corporation’s third assassin, Sora Shiunin. Don’t be fooled by this boy’s playful Duel Field and friendly face. Things aren’t quite what they seem! Then, when the mysterious masked hacker Ren infiltrates Yuya’s Duel Disk and mind, it’s up to Yugo to fend off the intruder. But Ren seems to know a whole lot about Yugo and Yuya…

Extras in this volume include early character design sketches from illustrator Naohito Miyoshi of Shun Kurosaki, Sora Shiunin, Yuri, Yugo, and Ren. The print edition of this book also includes an Ultra Rare Clear Wing Fast Dragon card, Yugo’s ace monster seen on the cover — available while supplies last.

Previously:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Manga Volume 1 Available Now

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 25: ‘Adam and Eve!’

August 21, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Adam and Eve in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 25

In a futuristic era, a young Solid Vision researcher named Isaac encounters two brilliant minds at a top university. The fellow researchers, having fled from a war zone, believed in helping humanity achieve peace using the power of science. Their names were Adam and Eve. Almost immediately, Isaac takes a liking to them and their dedication. He joins them in their quest to tap into the potential of the Solid Vision technology for the good of mankind.

One seemingly ordinary day, the trio discovers a door to another world filled with boundless energy — enough to even allow for travel through space-time. Oh the possibilities that this discovery could bring about! They attempt to harness that energy by sealing it within a card, but find it to be uncontrollable. That is, until Adam realizes that a human body is needed to utilize that energy.

Adam offers his own self in the name of science, grasping at the “forbidden fruit” while his colleagues look on, not knowing what to expect. The experiment sends Adam’s body and mind through time, from the prehistoric world, through the Iron Age and the modern era.

“This energy has a will of its own,” says Adam as he is released from what appeared to be a trance. “And that is what sent me across time.”

Eve is distressed by the results, imploring Adam to stop the experiment. But Adam wishes to press forward, believing that their endeavors hold “the answer.” And so they continue.

Young Isaac watching Adam's experiment nervously and wondering if he should stop it in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 25

Many a time, Isaac wonders if he should end the experiment, knowing that they are dealing with powers far beyond them. But he never does. And eventually, the experiment spirals out of control, radiating immense quantities of energy.

Adam realizes that he alone would be the only one who could stop it, so he merges with that energy and vanishes, leaving only a dormant G.O.D. card behind.

…Or so Isaac recites to Reiji Akaba. Ultimately, he and Eve hope to use the power of the dormant G.O.D. card to travel through time and find their lost friend and colleague…an act of love.

Thoughts

So the mysterious Adam is finally revealed. And he looks like an ordinary person. I guess I didn’t really know what to expect, but with all of the prattle about the majestic Adam Factor, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see…more. But no, neither he nor Eve physically standout, quite unexpected of important Yu-Gi-Oh! characters.

Furthermore, they are both good, ethical people, which provides a contrast to the world-destroying powers of G.O.D. that revolve around them and that have been fueling the story thus far.

* * *

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 25: “Adam and Eve!” is available now in VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump No. 38 (August 21, 2017). Grab the issue from VIZ, Amazon, comiXology, and Google Play Books.

Previous chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 24: “The Reason They’re After Us!”

Next chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 26: “The Transcendent Duel!!”

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

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 24: ‘The Reason They’re After Us!’

July 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Reiji Akaba enjoying his duel against Isaac in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 24

Yuya Sakaki has defeated Ren! The force of Yuya’s attack flips Ren’s Duel Runner forward, sending Ren tumbling to the ground. He lies on his back, exhausted. The stress that he’s put on his body and loss of this duel are too much for him. Slowly but surely, his body is destroying itself.

“When we gave ourselves to G.O.D. and surpassed the boundaries of lives within time and space, we stopped aging,” Ren explains to Yuya. “However, the burden of having repeatedly crossed space and time is eating away at our bodies.”

Yuya, perhaps sensing that Ren is about to escape, anxiously presses him for answers about the Adam Factor. Ren gazes straight up into the distance.

“It’s an illusion that Eve is chasing,” he says.

Ren describes Adam as a brilliant magician and scientist, one with even more astonishing skills than Yuya. Adam was romantically involved with Eve, and when G.O.D. appeared, Adam’s soul “scattered beyond the dimensional horizon.” It now exists within Yuya and Reiji Akaba. Yuya is dumbfounded by this revelation.

G.O.D. will awaken when the Adam Factor and Eve Factor come together, Ren continues, and when it does, it will want to control time. Ren warns Yuya that its power controls people without their knowing.

A portal opens on the ground behind Ren’s back. Ren wonders wearily if Yuya might be able to resist G.O.D.’s temptations and live out his own destiny. He then closes his eyes and disappears in a flash of light.

Yuzu approaches Yuya, elated that he has won his duel. She’s puzzled about Ren’s statement that he’s a descendant of Yugo. Yuya remembers seeing the glowing orbs containing his real memories hidden in the deepest parts of his mind. But he only smiles and says to Yuzu that it’ll probably all make sense when the time comes.

Yuya and Yuzu head to the control room where they discover that Reiji Akaba has suddenly begun broadcasting a video of himself to the pair. They see the Leo Corporation president standing, straight and impassive as always, with a blanket of stars and a blue sphere behind him. That’s Earth! Which means that he’s in space?! Why is he showing them this?

Leo Corporation's space research facilities in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 24

Sure enough, Akaba looks to be standing inside a gargantuan space colony, one lined with a vast network of buildings. A figure appears out of the shadows and approaches him. It’s Isaac, who extols the view of the planet and Akaba’s creation.

“In my hands, the Solid Vision system has unlimited potential,” Akaba tells the intruder.

“Ahh, and those are test facilities?” asks Isaac, pointing at the buildings all around them. “With this much space off-planet, you can do many experiments of use to humanity. The contributions you could make through your inventions are incalculable.”

“Yes, that is what this place is for,” replies Akaba. “But now I must use it to fight you.”

Isaac introduces himself as a fellow scientist and confirms Akaba’s suspicions that he’s an assassin for the group known as Eve. They’re hunting down Yuya and Akaba, he explains, because the two possess the Adam Factor, something that limits G.O.D.’s powers. Adam was the first person to discover G.O.D. and he used Solid Vision to manifest it. That’s why they can only extract the Adam Factor from Yuya and Akaba by defeating them in a duel.

Despite what Yuya and Akaba believe, continues Isaac, their fathers did not discover G.O.D. Rather, they were merely manipulated by G.O.D. into reviving it in their own time. Their achievements were all a lie.

Reiji Akaba furrows his brow. Isaac’s comment has incensed him, leading him to lash out uncharacteristically at the intruder.

“Shut up!!” Akaba barks, his clenched fists now trembling. He accepts Isaac’s challenge, but Isaac cautions the tough-minded young president.

“If you lose, G.O.D. will most likely incorporate you.”

Thoughts

Hmm, very interesting. This chapter reveals so much more about the Adam Factor but still leaves us with many questions. If it really is Adam’s soul, I wonder how it’s possible that Yuya and Reiji both possess it. Maybe the Adam Factor isn’t the soul itself but rather is made up of the pieces of the soul that must all be brought together. That could fit with Ren’s explanation that Adam’s soul “scattered” when G.O.D. appeared.

Isaac says the Adam Factor is something “that is limiting G.O.D.’s power” and is “Adam’s curse.” I can understand how it might be limiting; G.O.D. can’t awaken without it. But in what way is a soul like a curse?

With all this talk about the Adam Factor, why isn’t anyone asking about the Eve Factor? Who has the Eve Factor?

What’s the significance is of Adam and Eve’s romantic relationship? Do they have children? That’s gotta be it. With all this talk about time travel and descendants and such, there must be something going on with Adam and Eve’s children and the characters in this story.

Adam was someone who was both a magician and a scientist. He sounds a lot like Yuya and Reiji, or like their fathers.

Reiji Akaba has built a giant space colony thing. Of course he has. It’s like Number 9: Dyson Sphere-esque levels of amazing. Or like something out of a Gundam series that could sustain mankind indefinitely. And in the true spirit of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Reiji will now use this glorious and unfathomably powerful technological facility to help him win a duel. Of course.

* * *

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 24: “The Reason They’re After Us!” is available now in VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump No. 34 (July 24, 2017). Grab the issue from VIZ, Amazon, comiXology, and Google Play Books.

Previous chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 23: “The Trick Revealed!”

Next chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 25: “Adam and Eve!”

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

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 23: ‘The Trick Revealed!’

June 26, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Yuya's Duel Runner with a Booster Unit in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 23

Ren removes his mask and throws it to the ground, shattering it. Yuya gasps upon the sight of a familiar face and haircut. It’s Yugo?! No. Ren reveals himself to be a descendant of Yugo, the duelist whom he idolized when he was younger.

“I do not understand the mind of God,” tells Ren, “But I struck a deal with God and received recompense. In return, I must serve God. That is the fate God gave to me.”

With that, Ren continues his assault on Yuya and vows to complete his “mission.” He uses his spell cards to continually return monsters from his graveyard back to his hand and to strengthen his White Aura Biphamet. It attacks, whittling down Yuya’s life points. Yuya knows that to even stand a chance against Ren, he will need to solve the mystery of Biphamet’s two heads and its ability to seemingly resurrect itself without end. But Yuya can’t overtake Ren and his technologically superior Duel Runner…at least not without some help.

Yuya draws the card Booster Unit. He thinks back to the time when he was preparing for this duel with Yugo. Yuya chose the particle accelerator as the stage because it allows him to pull off a magic trick, he tells Yugo. He had tweaked the particle accelerator so that it shoots Solid Vision mass particles. He can then use his creation — the Booster Unit Solid Vision item — to catch the particles and accelerate.

Back at the duel, Yuzu watches on anxiously from the control room when Yuya suddenly radios in.

“Push the button!!” Yuya says. Yuzu slams a comically large button taped to the center of the control panel in front of her.

Behind Yuya, a Solid Vision beam fires and whizzes toward the duelists. Yuya activates his Booster, catching the beam, and rockets up and over Biphamet. For the first time, Yuya is ahead of Ren, blocking Ren from snagging the Action Cards ahead of him. No longer does Ren have the advantage.

Yuya fills in his open Pendulum zone with Performapal Pendulum Conductor, then Pendulum summons Clearwing Fast Dragon and Odd-Eyes Phantasma Dragon. Yuya uses Clearwing’s effect to drop Biphamet’s attack to zero and prepares to attack. But Ren is unconcerned, proclaiming that his spell makes him immune to damage as long as he has another White monster on the field. This is exactly the information Yuya was hoping for.

White Aura Biphamet’s two heads are actually two separate monsters. As long as one head lives, it can revive the other. Yuya activates Pendulum Conductor’s effect, allowing his monsters to attack both heads simultaneously. Ren is finished for sure this time!

Thoughts

So Ren is Yugo’s descendant after all. As expected. This only leads to more questions of who Yugo actually is, and what type of duelist he grows up to become.

And what is Ren’s mission? Why has he been selected by G.O.D. to be reborn again, only to owe G.O.D. a favor for his additional lives? Ren seems like an ordinary person who died before fulfilling his dreams, just like countless other people throughout history. What makes him special? The answer probably lies with Yugo.

Yuya and Ren’s duel plays out kind of anticlimactically. Yet again, we see a duel introduce elements that are impossible in the actual Yu-Gi-Oh! card game — not once, but twice. Ren’s two-monsters-in-one scenario doesn’t exist in the game, and neither does Yuya’s simultaneous attack strategy. The story doesn’t need these fantastical elements; the already very complex game can play out in other ways. Ren’s previous Reincarnation Synchro strategy with White Aura Whale seems more threatening than this one because that is at least plausible, and is rightfully overpowered to demonstrate Ren’s strength and importance.

But at least this duel introduces something very worthwhile: a new Kuriboh card, Kuriborder!

Kuriborder in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga chapter 23

So cuuute!

* * *

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 23: “The Trick Revealed!” is available now in VIZ Media’s Weekly Shonen Jump No. 30 (June 26, 2017). Grab the issue from VIZ, Amazon, comiXology, and Google Play Books.

Previous chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 22: “Immortal Beings!!”

Next chapter:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 24: “The Reason They’re After Us!”

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

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:
Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Scale 23: “The Trick Revealed!”

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

OverDrive: Free Yu-Gi-Oh! Manga E-Books from Your Local Library

May 19, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Posted in 5D's, Duel Monsters, GX, Series 1, Yu-Gi-Oh!, ZEXAL | 4 Comments
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Plenty of libraries already own VIZ Media’s many Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series on their shelves. And now, there’s a new option for Yu-Gi-Oh! and manga fans to borrow and read the series for free from their local library. VIZ Media announced last week that it has increased the number its titles available on OverDrive, a digital platform that distributes books, videos, and music to libraries across the globe. VIZ’s latest update makes 99 new series available to participating public and school libraries in the United States and Canada, including the following Yu-Gi-Oh! titles:

So what is OverDrive and how do you use it?

OverDrive is a digital reading platform; its app is available everywhere — on Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, the web, and more.

The first step to using OverDrive is to search for your local library and see if it is subscribed to OverDrive’s services. OverDrive is available in 90 percent of public libraries in the U.S.

Find a library on OverDrive

Once you locate a library, visit its website and search for a title. Let’s say you want to read volume 1 of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist.

Search for a title on OverDrive

It’s available! Click “Borrow” on the search results page…

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Volume 1 available in the OverDrive search results

…or on the book’s details page.

A listing for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Volume 1 on OverDrive

To borrow a book from OverDrive, you have to sign in with your library card. You do have one of these, right? If not, take a trip to your local library and apply for one. It’s free. (Or rather, you’ve already helped fund your local library with your tax dollars, so you might as well use it. Don’t underestimate the value of having a library’s services at your fingertips in this internet age!)

Sign in with a library card on OverDrive

Then, start reading.

Pages from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Volume 1 manga on OverDrive

Good stuff!

Placing a Hold

On OverDrive, VIZ’s Yu-Gi-Oh! e-books are available to libraries under the “one copy, one user” lending model. The library pays for a certain number of copies of a title and can only lend out that many copies at one time, exactly like a physical book on a shelf. So, there might be situations where an e-book you want to read isn’t available.

But don’t worry, you can place a hold on unavailable books. This option is available in the search results…

Wait-listed and available Yu-Gi-Oh! books in the OverDrive search results

…and on the book’s details page.

A listing for Yu-Gi-Oh! Volume 1 on OverDrive

When the book becomes available, it will automatically be checked out to your account and you’ll receive an email alert about it.

Recommend Yu-Gi-Oh! to Your Library

Libraries want to get books that people want to read, so even if your local library doesn’t offer any Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, it’s absolutely worth it to recommend it to them.

“The way that librarians find out if you want manga is to petition the libraries,” explained Laura Dooley, ‎digital publishing production manager at VIZ Media, in episode 198 of the Weekly Shonen Jump podcast. “But they may not know about it until you request it. That’s been really successful for us. People finding out about that and then contacting their local library.”

“It’s not like the library needs like a hundred people to request it before they do it,” added Jeff Ruberg, a software engineer at VIZ. “It probably needs just a couple.”

“Yeah, and they’re more willing to take a chance on e-books because it isn’t the same as physically taking up space in their catalog,” said Dooley.

OverDrive makes it easy to recommend books. The option is available on the search results page…

Unavailable Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World books in the OverDrive search results

…and on a title’s details page.

A listing for Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World Volume 1 on OverDrive

While you’re at it, check out the list of all of VIZ’s manga titles available on OverDrive and see if there’s anything else you want to read. As of the end of February, about half of VIZ’s digital catalog is available to libraries, said Dooley, including a large selection of Jump series.

Read and support manga at your local library! You’re helping support the manga creators and industry when you do!

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