This episode was Yu-Gi-Oh!‘s official anime debut, based on chapter one of the manga, “The Puzzle of the Gods.” As you can guess, it shows Yuugi completing the Sennen Puzzle and awakening his other half “Dark Yuugi”, befriending Jonouchi, and starting his spree of mindraping just about anyone that messes with him or his friends/family through Games of Darkness.
Appropriately, the first episode is one of the more faithful episodes of this anime, despite some characterization changes and the Game of Darkness between Yuugi and Ushio (no, not the cute one from CLANNAD xD) being completely different, as well as his Penalty Game.
Yuugi is no longer playing Kurohige Kiki Ippatsu (Pop-Up Pirate) as he was in the manga. Instead, he was building a house of cards, hinting at the big anime change that’s about to occur in this episode.
Yuugi is voiced by Megumi Ogata in Toei’s anime. Yes, the same one that voiced Shinji Ikari and Kenshin from the drama CDs. She does a great Dark Yuugi, but her Yuugi is WAY too high pitched. Better than Dan Green’s SUPER DEEP Dark Yuugi voice, though (although it does indeed fit Yami from the dub, who has an hilarious sense of JUSTICE and DOING LAUNDRY)
Miho Nosaka, a one-shot manga character who doesn’t appear until chapter seven of the manga, gets promoted to a main character in the anime.
I have no idea why Toei did this. Maybe they thought there weren’t enough females in the group. You’d think they would realize that after Bakura arrives, it would have still been a sausage fest overall. The only good thing about Miho is that she’s voiced by Yukana.
Notice how the school uniforms go from being pink in the manga to being orange in the anime.
Also, note to self: Manga!Yuugi is apparently more of a normal teenage boy than both of his anime counterparts combined. xD
At the beginning of the manga, Jonouchi and Honda begin as two punks who like to tease and torment Yuugi, allegedly “turning him into a real man.”
However, Honda goes from being Jonouchi’s right-hand-man as a fellow punk to a junior custodian in the anime, obsessed with cleaniless, orderly conduct, and is lovestruck with Miho 24/7 (in the manga, it’s only for one chapter and his love letter to her has something to do with him and Yuugi becoming friends).
…leading to Honda getting beat up by Ushio for no real reason in the anime. First the guy gets emasculated in the anime and now he gets his ass kicked for no apparent reason. What the hell, Toei?
Yuugi standing up for Jonouchi and Honda is the same, but several things after that is rearranged. Yuugi gets beat up while protecting them, and Ushio tells him his “bodyguard fee”. Jonouchi, feeling like a huge dick, fetches the Sennen Puzzle piece out of the swimming pool and returns it to Yuugi in the middle of the night. Yuugi completes the Sennen Puzzle at home and his dark side is awakened.
In the anime, Yuugi doesn’t get beat up and Ushio tells him his “bodyguard fee. ” Yuugi finds out he’s missing a piece of the Sennen Puzzle and goes back to school to look for it. Yuugi gets beat up one more time by Ushio for not having his bodyguard fee on him, Jounochi and Honda show up, Jonouchi puts the piece of the puzzle into Yuugi’s unconscious hand, Yuugi wakes up to a heart-wrenching scene of Jonouchi/Honda getting beaten up to a state of unconsciousness for his sake, and THEN it was time to kick ass as Dark Yuugi.
Admittedly, I kind of liked the anime’s take on this scene better than the manga. Though, unlike the anime, Manga!Honda wouldn’t become friends with Yuugi right away.
Unfortunately, Toei makes me forget about that little instance of getting something right by doing something completely absurd by giving Dark Yuugi dimension-altering powers. Powers that his Puzzle DON’T HAVE.
Not only that, but apparently Dark Yuugi gets a growth spurt in this anime as well. In the manga, Yuugi and his alter ego are the same height.
IT SUDDENLY BECOMES NIGHT TIME, USHIO AND DARK YUGI ARE TELEPORTED TO SOME RANDOM TOWER THAT APPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE TIED TO A ROPE THAT ALSO APPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE, AND YUUGI HAS THE POWER TO MAKE PLAYING CARDS FLOAT IN MID-AIR.
HOW DO THE CARDS STAY THERE? IT MAKES NO SENSE
In the manga, Dark Yuugi simply played a game with Ushio involving a knife and placing a stack of money that he “owed” him on top of their hands. Whoever got the greatest amount of bills without stabbing their hands wins. Ushio, of course, cheats out of greed by attempting to stab Yuugi with the knife.
Now, a quirk that Dark Yuugi has throughout the mnaga is the fact that his Penalty Games served as poetic justice to the victim. Since Ushio was a greedy person, his Penalty Game involved…
…thinking that piles of garbage and leaves were money, and appearing to be a lunatic to the general public.
While in the anime…
Yeah.… that’s actually the only instance where Dark Yuugi is more brutal in the anime. Go figure.
Despite how much I loathe this anime adaptation, I adore the voice actors and the ending theme.
What in the name of… KONAMI! ヽ(ｏ‘皿′ｏ)ﾉ
Tetsu Ushio reappears in the terribad CARD GAMES ON MOTORCYLES spin-off. Somehow. Don’t ask me. I don’t think it makes sense either.