"Riding Duel, that's the duel that evolved in the world of speed. There are those who risk their lives and bear legendary birthmarks. People called them... 5Ds!
—Opening narration from episode 104 onwards, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds
The third series under the mass-marketed, card game-oriented Yu-Gi-Oh! banner features a dystopian setting wherein the ubiquitous card game has become a way of life in the hierarchical society of Neo Domino City. With advances in technology, dueling has evolved into a popular spectator sport known as "Riding Duels/Turbo Duels". Such duels are conducted astride specially-equipped motorbikes known as "D-Wheels/Duel Runners". However, traditional-style standing duels are still conducted just as often.The show presents a juxtaposition between the technologically-advanced Neo Domino City and "Satellite" - the common name for the now-derelict location of the original series. Satellite is where all of Neo Domino's trash goes - both literal and human. Two years before the start of the series, protagonist and Satellite resident Yusei Fudo constructed his own white Duel Runner. In a flashback, Yusei lost a duel to his friend Jack Atlas, who took Yusei's Duel Runner and ace monster (Stardust Dragon) and escaped to Neo Domino City. Jack has subsequently been established as "King of Riding Duels/Master of Faster", with the help of his own ace monster (Red Demon's Dragon) as well as the backing of the mysterious Rex Go(o)dwin. After building a new red D-Wheel/Duel Runner, Yusei makes his way to Neo Domino to duel Jack and retrieve his ace monster. Meanwhile, other events bring Yusei to the enduring attention of Neo Domino Security officer, Tetsuo Ushio/Trudge. As the series goes on, there turns out to be much more at stake then realized, all tying to Yusei's past and how the city became the way it has.Depending on who you ask, there are either three to five seasons (Episodes 1-26, which include the Prison Arc and the Fortune Cup, as the first season; episodes 27-64, or the Dark Signer Arc, as the second; episodes 65 to 103 as season three, 104 to 137 as the fourth, and 138 to 154 counting as a fifth) or two seasons (consolidating the entire 1-64 stretch as the first Story Arc and 65 and beyond as a second.) There is merit to all definitions, but the most common on this page is the three/five-season model.See the Analysis page for most of the terminology of the series.The series also has an AU manga and several video games.Colloquial address in the fan community tends to differentiate the four series of the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise along this dimension: 5Ds, GX, Zexal and DM (or Duel Monsters, in reference to the original series).Yusei appears in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Tenth Anniversary Movie that teams him up with Yugi and Judai/Jaden.Watch the series on Hulu. Contains the dub episodes and about half of the Japanese series subtitled.Has a Drinking Game.Please remember to use the YMMV tab for subjective tropes.Please use the original (Japanese) names when adding or editing a Trope on this page. (Aki instead of Akiza, Kiryu instead of Kalin, Rua instead of Leo, etc), we have the Dub Name Change trope to cover changes in localization.
"Riding Duel, Acceleration!"note Said before the beginning of every Riding Duel, and at the end of any most all episode previews that feature a Riding Duel.:
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Aborted Arc: For the English dub. Thanks to the dub ending during the duel against Aporia, the outcome of the duel, the Ark Cradle and Z-one and Bruno's true identities are never explored.
Two early Season 2 episodes have Aki get her riding duel license and her own D-Wheel, while Rua and Ruka debuted the "Duel Board" which allowed them to Turbo Duel as well. After the initial episodes showing these developments, Aki got to Turbo Duel once in the WRGP, and was defeated in one episode. Rua and Ruka didn't get to Turbo Duel again ever.
Action Hero: Yusei briefly goes Streetfighter on a couple of guards in one episode. Jack also seems to have a penchant for beating people up.
Actor Allusion: Thinking back to when Yusei ordered milk at a bar, guess who else did the same in the music video of RUN&GUN's "Believe"?
Aerith and Bob: Philosophical concepts used as given names (Aporia, Antinomy)
All Bikers Are Hell's Angels: Ushio's deck in the third arc has a number of "Hellway"-themed cards in addition to his old feudal Japanese themed ones, which sport designs like a demonic rider on a motorcycle.
All There in the Manual: The official website revealed that the waitress who has a crush on Jack is named Stephanie before the show did.
One of the DVD sets reveals the names of some of the other characters' D-Wheels, such as Delta Eagle (Dark Glass/Bruno), Bloody Kiss (Aki), and Terrible Omens aka T-666 (Placido).
Additionally, the tenth anniversary book of the entire franchise says that Divine survived after being eaten alive by Ccarayhua and is now in jail.
ZONE's time is 200 years in the future... according to director Katsumi Ono's Twitter.
His Twitter account reveals other interesting tidbits, such as the fact that the canon names of Z-one and the other last survivors of mankind are actually just code names and to go along with that Bruno/Dark Glass/Antinomy's birth name is.... Johnny.
Elaborating: Yusei, having just broken through into space, receives the power of his friends' Birthmarks, summons four of their dragons with only one star (adding onto Life Stream's 8), turns freaking gold and summons the bad boy.
Almost Kiss: At least once with Carly during her Jack fantasies. She does actually get to kiss him, but it's during her Lotus-Eater Machine during their duel.
Alternate Universe: The manga version of Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds is set in an alternate universe from the anime.
The Speed World 2 card used in the WRGP Arc removes this function, sadly.
Ambiguously Brown: Rudger, who has no discernible ethnic background, is always depicted with a medium to dark brown skin tone. This may be an attempt to skirt Godwin's Law given Rudger's blond hair, blue eyes and decidedly German name, or simply to provide an interesting visual contrast with his younger brother and obscure his familial relationship until he reveals it himself in episode 46.
There's also the fact that human flesh discolours post-mortem as decomposition sets in. Considering Rudger is the first of the new Dark Signers, and he apparently continued to decay after reviving, this could explain it.
Amusement Park of Doom: Aki's Dark Signer battle with Misty takes place in one of those. Complete with creepy hall of mirrors.
It seems to be an abandoned Kaiba Land. And why would the Lizard control tower be built right near an amusement park (or vice-versa?)
And the Fandom Rejoiced: In-universe example: "Why are these Team Taiyou losers been wasting our time throwing out normal monster after normal monster? They've been at this for 18 turns already!note 9 turns each for both players... wait what? You serious? They're gonna summon Sleeping Giant Thud? But they only need another two turns!. I wanna see! I wanna see! Go Team Taiyou!"
In the original, Jack yells out to Carly that he "wants to save the woman he loves", which is the closest she's going to get to a love confession from him.
Animation Bump: A handful of episodes note (Specifically, episodes 1, 7, 14, 26, 33, 41, 49, 57, 64, 72, 93, 106, 118, 129, 137, 145, and 151) all have extra detail, polish, gleam, and are generally of higher quality than the rest of the series. All of these episodes were produced via an animation director named Kenichi Hara and even earning a Fan Nickname among the fandom; Haranimation.
Compare Savior Star Dragon and its summoning in 128 with every other episode featuring it. AWESOME.
No Bill Go joined the franchise with his animating epsiode 136. The animation wasn't half bad at all.
Shuuji Maruyama, the series's character designer, did not animate an episode until the final one. The result? Pure awesome.
Anime First: While the original Yu-Gi-Oh! (and now ZeXal too) had a manga before the anime, 5D's took the GX route and did not get one until over a year after the anime premiered.
Anime Hair: Yusei competes directly with Yugi for the weirdest hair out of the three series protagonists, earning him a Fan Nickname for it: "Crabhead".
Possibly lampshaded in 116 in which Jaeger has to use haircurlers to keep his hair upright.
Apathetic Citizens: Neo Domino Citizens display shades of this. They don't bat an eye at Yusei's Accel Synchro techniques for one. When the city is on the verge of destruction, they get distracted by Yusei's duel with Big Bad Z-ONE even though their lives are in danger. It's not until the MC starts commentating the match (endangering his life in the process) that everyone else continues evacuating the city.
Arc Welding: A first for the franchise, and done pretty well. The final story arc reveals that Paradox from the movie is a servant of Z-one along with Aporia and Bruno, and the four are the leaders of Yliaster and thus the ones responsible for Zero Reverse, the splitting of the cities, and (indirectly) the rise of the Dark Signers. And just with Aporia himself, the Diablo army, the WRGP, and the Jack Atlas clone, are all schemes to speed up the completion of their Infinity Circuit so Z-one can cross over into the past.
Artifact Title: In the anime, the "Five Dragons" have six members, with not that much of an explanation why.
Artificial Human: Bruno being the most obvious example since other then his Red Eyes, Take Warning form and the ability to call forth Delta Eagle from signals in his eyes he appears to be a fairly normal human. Turns out him, Placido, Luciano, Jose (actually all deriving from a single person, Aporia) and Paradox are all robots from the future created by Z-ONE after their human forms passed away.
Artificial Limbs: Rex and Rudger Godwin, Rex lost his arm after flying off the Daedalus Bridge (though the exact details remain unknown) and has an inhumanly-strong replacement. Rudger got a replacement after severing his own with the Head birthmark attached.They're also duel disks.
Zone's been shown to have one too when he met Aporia.
Art Shift: During the puzzle and simulated riding duel from episodes 80 and 115, respectively, everything becomes Super-Deformed for some reason. Cue Chibi renditions of Bruno, Jeager, Aki, Crow, Jack, and Yusei.
Ascended Extra: Ushio is the same Ushio who was Yami Yugi's very first opponent, making him around 30-40 years old in this series.
Ascended Meme: 4Kids put up a poll on Facebook to give the show a new slogan. Guess what they chose?
Yusei had been dubbed Crabhead by the fans ever since his character design was revealed. It finally came full circle in Tag Force 5 in which a certain shop owner asks the player how he feels about crustaceans.
The Tag Force 5 shop owner is full of Shout Outs to the fans. Highlighting a character's pack reveals the WMG and other things about them.
Jack: You don't think working makes a guy a loser, do you?
Aki: I've completely mellowed out, but it's okay!!
Rua and Ruka: I-I'm secretly hoping, but...
Crow: This one's a good pack. you can say it's overpowered, good or a fake, I don't care.
Many fans dubbed certain duels seen in episode 26 and 62~64 as rainbow road duels. Cue episode 138 in which the main cast rides up a literal rainbow road into the Ark Cradle.
There was also a number who guessed the next series would move into space as a joke. Yusei and Bruno duel in the Ark Cradle on a course set around a star in another 'rainbow road' duel.
Goes one step further when Yusei literally passes through the atmosphere during his duel with ZONE and into space.
Awesome, but Impractical: Several D-Wheels, namely Yusei, Crow, and Jack's. Yusei's throttle is a hand accelerator instead of a hand brake. Further, while Crow's bike can do awesome things like flying and auto-correcting, the wings are actually too short to keep him airborne as depicted in the show (It was also pointed out that Rex's D-Wheel had the same flaw when he tried to launch of the Daedalus Bridge). Meanwhile, although mono-wheels do actually exist, Jack's D-wheel does not appear to have a moving wheel that actually touches the ground - the entire thing is covered in the outer casing.
Dark Glass's D-Wheel is probably the worst in this regard. It's basically a thin talon with a large rear wheel with two smaller ones just below the seat, which aren't shown touching the road at all. Short of defying gravity, how on earth does that thing stay balanced?!
The gun duel disks in the Crashtown arc qualify, since they don't actually shoot bullets.
The Savior Dragons also count, because they can only be summoned if the Duelist who needs one has the power of the whole Crimson Dragon to summon the Savior Dragon tuner card. Not to mention they're useless in comparison to the new 'Clear Mind' and 'Burning Soul' synchro summons Yusei and Jack have obtained.
Here's an exceptionally cool one from the most recent episodes:
(Harald, to summon Polar God Sacred Emperor Odin) The all-seeing and all-powerful king who rules the heavens circling the North Star. Now, show your might that reigns over the Gods of Asgard! Synchro Summon! He who rules the world ordained by the Gods! The Highest God, Polar God Sacred Emperor Odin!
Jose has been laying low for most of the W.R.G.P. arc, but the fourth OP seems to indicate that he is, in fact, the most powerful member of the Infinity Trio. This trope is proven in episode 110. When Sherry tries to crush him with her D-Wheel, Jose easily catches it with one hand. The old guy then punches another one with enough force to send it flying and make it explode; and just in case anybody still doubted him, episode 132 saw Jose building upon Lucciano and Placido's strategies to quickly defeat and absorb Jack's Scar-Red Nova Dragon, one of the most powerful Synchro Monsters around, and take out Crow without too much trouble either.
Z-one is a wrinkled old man whose Temporal God cards are incredibly hax.
Jack is the requisite long-coat wearer for the series, though he also spends a good deal of time in his riding suit.
Kiryu acquired one prior to episode 86.
One of his monsters, Infernity Death Gunman, also qualifies for this trope.
Badass Normal: Rua somewhat qualifies, considering he pretty much did most of the work in defeating the first Dark Signer before his sister took over (using his deck). Unfortunately he loses his status as badass normal when he became a Signer.
Mizoguchi counts as this too.
Bad Future: Hoo boy, the future that ZONE, Bruno/Antinomy, Paradox and Aporia came from is a total apocalypse because of what Momentum did.
Bad-Guy Bar: The bar Yusei must go to in episode 11, and the bar Ramon is seen in 86 qualifies.
Bait-and-Switch Credits: Not as a whole, but there was one tiny bit in the 2nd version of the Dark Signer Arc opening, when it showed Jack and D-Carly facing off in a Ground Duel. As anyone who actually saw the Duel will know, this wasn't the case.
Despite being shown in silhouette alongside Wisel and Skiel in the third opening, Jose's Machine Emperor (Grannel) never shows up during the episodes it plays for. In addition, the last shot depicts Yusei, Crow and Jack wearing WRGP outfits, Aki and Ruka dressed in cheerleader uniforms and Rua with a blue outfit on. It noticeably doesn't acknowledge Aki learning how to drive a D-Wheel and temporarily substituting for Crow on the team, and Bruno showing up and joining the pit crew along with Aki, Ruka, and Ruka. And best of all, none of the main characters even wear the outfits pictured!
The fourth opening and ending songs depict Life Stream Dragon, Rua's Signer Dragon, along with the other Sgner Dragons although it wasn't entirely clear at the time. It doesn't appear at all during the fourth opening and ending songs' run, and only appears during the run of the fifth and final opening and ending songs, which actually switch back to showing Rua's Power Tool Dragon, the "armor" of Life Stream Dragon, so-to-speak, instead.
Barcode Tattoo: The yellow markers on a person's face, nicknamed Criminal Markers, indicate their arrest and incarceration by Security at some point.
Bare Your Midriff: Noticeable feature of Carly's Dark Signer outfit, as well as Kiryu's.
Bat Family Crossover: Yusei costars in a crossover special, a 10th anniversary movie for the whole franchise, that teams him up with Yugi and Judai/Jaden.
Beat Still, My Heart: When a Dark Signer summons their Jibakushin (or Earthbound God), a disembodied heart materializes, and starts to beat as it absorbs souls from the Geoglyph.
Some of the Jibakushin support in the TCG features this heart as well.
Beware the Nice Ones: Despite her mellowed attitude after making amends with her parents, Aki's subtle Yandere moments and the fact she can control her powers these days make for a terrifying prospect indeed. Episode 73, anyone?
Let's not forgot about Barbara.
Big Brother Instinct: Although Yusei's protective of all his friends, it's the death of eleven-year-old Rally in Episode 46 that makes him snap and start howling for bloody revenge. Slightly subverted in that they're not actually related.
Crow counts, too: in Episode 32 he tells Yusei he would die for the kids he takes care of, and in Episode 51, his own big motivation for revenge is that his kids have been eaten by Black Deathfog. Still unrelated by blood, but they call him "Crow-niichan," or "Big brother Crow," so it's close enough for government work.
In another odd example, Ruka actually asks for the protection of her twin brother Rua when they go to Satellite. Rua certainly delivers.
Rua's distrust of Luciano when he gets close to his sister is the impetus of episode 77.
Just prior to Zero Reverse, Rudger orders Rex to safety, making Rex the only adult to survive the epicenter of the event.
At the conclusion of the Crashtown arc, Kiryu appears to have adopted a couple of kids after their father falls tragically to his death to save their lives. Same children also refer to him using the honorific used for older brothers.
Big Damn Heroes: When a group of kids are about to be sacrificed to Rudger's Earthbound God and Yusei can't do anything about it, Jack comes barreling over a pile of debris to save them, belittling the Earthbound God all the while.
At the end of the Crashtown arc, just as the bad guys start saying Screw The Rules, I Have Hostages, Jack and Crow show up outta frickin' nowhere with the police in tow. The result is the (temporary) rebirth of Team Satisfaction.
Dark Glass in Episode 107, saving Yusei from the Diablo.
The MC pulls this in episode 148, staying behind in New Domino City as the Arc Cradle is in the middle of falling on it in order to commentate on the Card Games on FLYING Motorcycles so the civillians who understandably wanted to watch could continue running for their lives while still knowing what's going on.
Big "NO!": The scene in 39 after Carly defeats (and kills) Divine.
Blasphemous Boast: Rex who claimed to be the ultimate god, with both the Signer and Dark Signer powers within him.
Blessed with Suck: The Signers, who can and do summon a powerful plot device that destroys everything.
Aki's particular brand of suck, psychic materialization, actually comes in handy when she, Yusei and Sherry are in danger of being crushed by a falling truck, again when she's about to be run over by a marauding steamroller-cum-D-Wheel (What else is there to do but dragon-smash it?) and again when she saves herself, Crow, and Sherry from falling debris in the Ark Cradle.
Body Horror: Placido fusing with his D-Wheel in 107 definitely qualifies. Legs are not supposed to bend and fold like that!
Book Ends: The first opening shows Yusei and Jack in a riding duel with Junk Warrior opposing against Red Demon's Dragon. The final duel, final episode of the series is Yusei vs Jack in a riding duel with Junk Warrior defeating Red Demon's Dragon. Not only that Junk Warrior was the monster that gave Yusei victory in his first and last duels of the show (although the opponents were Ushio for the first and Jack in the last).
At some point, after Yusei and Jack drive into the tunnel, when the path splits in two paths, the area looks a bit like the area Yusei and Ushio drove through during their first duel.
Also, the end of that battle had the current Opening playing in the background.
Yusei having a long talk with Ushio also counts, as they previously exchanged ideologies in the first episode.
Family-Friendly Firearms: The sound of bullets being fired will often be changed to sound more like lasers. Sometimes bullets will be recolored as well.
Episode 25 recolors the Mook's guns green, which is at least better than making them invisible.
Never Say "Die" is in full effect, which makes watching the Dark Signer arc a real treat, especially since the villains are people who died with hate in their hearts. Episode 70 was an especially blatant case, as it has all the trappings of a "put long-dead spirits to rest" story, but 4Kids claims they've just gone to play with their forest spirit friends and can come back anytime they want. Episodes 94 and 95 are also pretty bad, upgrading a (non-supernatural) card's threat from reasonable in this series (the special effects are too realistic and cause actual, possibly lethal damage) to ridiculous (causes real damage and can send victims to the netherworld.)
Episode 1 rewrites the plot to have it so that Jack set Rally up in an elaborate plot to take a chip for Yusei's D-Wheel. It may seem like Jack is changed to be more malicious, but this was done all to simply ignore the fact that Rally just stole the chip in the Japanese version where Jack was not involved at all.
In the episode where they explain how Jack got Stardust Dragon from Yusei, the scene where in the Japanese version he knocks out Rally by Vulcan Neck Pinching him is changed so that he... kind of sticks something in his neck that makes a beeping sound, I guess. It looks he he pressed a button and turned him off somehow.
It's kind of subtle, but the dub doesn't make Satellite out to be as much of a gritty and depressing hellhole as the Japanese version does (including cutting out Ushio's "Satellite scum" slurs). But hey, this is a kid's show, right?
Several episodes edit out the blood when people get injured, no matter how little it is. Yusei's rather obvious injury in episode 35 with a large piece of sharpanel sticking out of his gut is also changed to him having an internal injury... or something.
Various forms of torture are cut out or downplayed, including Yusei receiving his criminal marker in episode 6 (from a laser causing him to collapse in pain is to a harmless spray instead that he asks if it's "supposed to tickle"), Takasu shocking Yusei to see if his Dragon Birthmark would reveal itself (omitted), and video of a kid in the Arcadia movement in episode 42 (from being electrocuted to generating the electricity itself - ignoring the fact that the kid is clearly in pain), and Kiryu receiving his criminal marker and getting beaten up in jail (episode 55, also omitted).
Aki's cleavage is erased. (Her skirt is lengthened and her garters are usually erased as well) Aside from the editing often being inconsistent between shots, it was poorly done at times (Why does Aki have shading from cleavage when she doesn't even have cleavage?!) This edit becomes especially Egregious after Aki dons her cleavage-errific riding suit for the first time in episode 75. Misty's (huge) and Angela's (not quite as huge) cleavage is likewise censored, and scantily-clad Duel Spirits like Ruka's Sunny Pixie are covered up.
The flames, (as in, on fire) that make up the geoglyphs where battles with Dark Signer battles are held are referred to as mist instead. Which seems kind of strange in episode 34 when Yusei is thrown in to the "mist" and starts howling in pain (I guess it's scalding like a steam geyser?). Of course, it helps these flames are already colored purple. The "purple mist" resurfaces much later, in the flashbacks from episodes 94 and 95, where Crow investigates a friend's murder disappearance.
On a related note, Episode 44 omits a scene where the Dark Signers' Fog of Doom vaporizes everyone in Satellite except Crow. This edit seems a little strange because it explains where the Satellite citizens sacrificed to the Earthbound Gods came from.
All the references to the Goodwins' severed arms in the Dark Signer arc are cut. Rudger only removed his Dragon Birthmark (the rest of the arm is digitally edited out), and Rex's mechanical arm is implied to only be a gauntlet over his real arm that helps transfer the mark. And of course, Rex never lost his own arm riding off the Daedalus Bridge.
Rudger's Taking You with Me moment with Yusei as the former dies is changed around for the dub. In the Japanese version, after his loss against Yusei, Rudger pulls a switch on his mechanchial left arm, blowing up the bridge he and Yusei are on and sending Yusei plummenting into the Old Momentum itself. In the English Dub, footage is awkwardly moved around so that the bridge blows up when Stardust Dragon attacks Earthbound God Uru. Which seems a little strange, becuase when, Uru, a friggin' giant, attacked Yusei directly earlier, the bridge didn't break or anything. And of course, it's unlikely that Stardut Dragon's attack would blow up the entire bridge.
Episode 59 removes Jack and Carly's mutual Love Confession to leave their relationship on a more platonic level. Then again, this may be because later episodes have a Running Gag of an estrogen brigade fighting over him, which wouldn't work so well if one of the girls was his official love interest.
The scene where Jack's robot double is destroyed (in Episode 84) is cut, so instead of watching the robot's "skin" graphically melt off, Yusei and crew figure out that the culprit was a robot because...it made a "robotic"-sounding scream when defeated.
The Crash Town arc, full-stop. Kiryu's Death Seeker attitude is replaced with a Because Destiny Says So one (somewhat, as he's still obsessed with punishing himself), the shock collars that electrocute the miners have their shocks removed (so it looks like the collars are ''strangling'' them), and the gun-themed monsters are of course edited to look different, and in Gatling Ogre's case, removed entirely (the footage of it attacking Ramon is obviously removed to the point of paining the viewer). And, in true Never Say "Die" fashion, the "graveyard" where the dead miners have their Duel Disks thrown is revised as memorials to their lost freedom, and the shot of Nicko and West's father falling to his death is cut entirely, replaced with him yelling for them to escape with the end of the arc stating he survived. Particularly bad is the climax of the duel with Lotten—in the original Japanese Kiryu turned Lotten's effect damage back at him and tricked him into destroying himself, while in the English version, due to the gun monsters present in said climax, the entire sequence is removed, and Kalin just hands Lotten over to security deciding he's too much of a coward to be defeated in a fair duel. The only thing that isn't edited in this arc, surprisingly, are the gun-shaped Duel Disks.
Episode 108 cuts out a few instances of falling glass, which considering no one is actually shown getting hurt, is somewhat silly, and 109 cuts out Placido making a tornado with Wisel, and Aki trying to save a little girl from the winds. Consequently, Shooting Star Dragon could not disperse the tornado, so the footage had to be cut. And what the hell happened to the song the Clear Mind!?!
Episode 110 cuts out Jose ripping Sherry's shirt slightly as she charges at him.
Oh, and did we mention this is after we condensed this section to save space?
Breather Episodes: The W.R.G.P. arc has often been lighter in tone than the Fortune Cup or Dark Signer arcs, even including a few Filler episodes.
Broken Aesop: The Team Unicorn duel, according to numerous disgruntled fans. The Aesop the writers were going for was probably something along the lines of "It's better to lose and have fun than win and be a stick-in-the-mud," but it came across as broken because a) Team Unicorn was in a major tournament, so you'd imagine winning would probably be a pretty high priority for them, b) the tournament was double-elimination, not single, so Team 5D's could still progress to the finals by beating two more preliminary opponents, and c) the Aesop itself was handled more like "You Can't FightPlot Armor" than anything else.
The moral of the Team Taiyou Duel is that even though you might start with nothing, if you think smart, fight together, and work hard to achieve the impossible, you will... still lose to people with better cards than you. But at least you'll be well-remembered.
Broken Pedestal: Crow spent much of his life idol-worshiping the Legendary D-Wheeler, only to find out that his hero is the man who's been fostering the prejudice and oppression against his hometown for years . . . not to mention the fact that the guy now wants to be a god and rule the world. Sorry about that, Crow.
Season 3 appears to have Bruno taking his place with the poor guy getting punched in the face multiple times by Jack, run over by a mob of police officers, knocked out by Placido, and attacked by a very angry Sherry in highheels.
Calling Your Attacks: This is Yu-Gi-Oh, so practically every monster attack has to be screamed to the heavens (for some monsters it ends up being different every time), and even a fair few EFFECTS have names. New to 5D's, it overlaps with Badass Creed and Catch Phrase with just about everyone spouting a short phrase for their Synchro Summoning. See the quote section for the list of chants.
Can't Catch Up: Aki and Ruka are the only Signers not to receive an upgrade of sorts during the series run. Yusei and Jack acquire THREE different upgrades of their respective dragons. note (However, if Sin Stardust Dragon and Shooting Quasar Dragon are counted, as well as Cosmic Blazar Dragon from the alternate timeline, then Yusei rockets up to six.)
Crow and Rua also get their own dragons once they become Signers, but considering Aki and Ruka already had their dragons at this point, the "upgrade" status is arguably not on the same tier.
Catch a Falling Star: In Episode 64, Jack and Crow, who have fallen from their bikes, begin to fall toward the sea when the magic road on which they were dueling disappears. Yusei, whose Saviour Star Dragon apparently also doubles as some kind of Signer aircraft, directs the SSD beneath his falling friends so that they fall into it (apparently it's part real and part hologram, too), and takes them to safety.
Character Development: Among the main cast, Jack and Aki are the most prominent, the former eventually seeing the error of his ways and going from a haughty jerk to a haughty Jerk with a Heart of Gold, while the latter managed to make peace with her two major sources of angst and mellowed out, though there is some debate over how well that was handled.
Special mention goes to Ushio. When he first appeared in the original manga he was a loser who was sure to get nowhere in life, and started out in 5Ds as a one-note, one-shot baddie. But after hanging around with the good guys and seeing life from the other side, he did a Heel-Face Turn, pledged to protect the reunited cities of Satellite and Neo Domino, and is now a permanent member of the supporting cast. The trope reaches it's natural conclusion when Ushio and Yusei end up having a very friendly heart to heart talk about what Yusei will do at the end of the series, a very stark contrast to the first episode where Ushio calls him trash and seeks to bring him down for riding a D-Wheel.
And Rua. He starts off an naive kid who admires Jack and cried whenever he lost a duel. Across the second season, he deluded himself with a want to be the final Signer, only for that to get smashed by Divine. He begins to grow up and realises the seriousness of the situation, going with the Signers although it pains him that he can't do anything to help his sister, then throws himself into a duel against Demak so she won't have to fight (despite numerous claims from Demak that a non-Signer can't win). Partway into the third season, he gets a chance to prove himself again, using himself as a shield to protect Ruka and almost dying. Then comes 142 when he literally sacrifices himself to get Ancient Fairy on Ruka's field and dies. All that leads to getting a new Birthmark and being revived. He even mourns the death of the guy who killed him. Did I mention he used to cry when he'd lose a duel?
Chekhov's Gun: The unnamed fifth dragon was referenced and seen a few times early in the Dark Signer arc, disappearing into obscurity. And that seemed to be cemented when Black Feather Dragon made its appearance and was thought to be the fifth dragon by other Signers. However, now scenes in the opening and ending sequences show six dragons, implying the original fifth dragon isn't forgotten yet. As of Episode 142, it turns out there are six signers, and Rua receives the original fifth dragon as Life Stream Dragon.
Additionally, 'Road of the King', the documentary made about Jack first seen back in episode 29 reappears in episode 124.
Up to the point that Z-One transforms himself into a Cyborg Copy of Yusei only to catch this syndrome, too. He fails though. Must have been due to only half of his face being a copy of Yusei's.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Jin Himuro and Tenzen Yanagi haven't been mentioned ever since the episode where the Signers all enter Satellite to battle the Dark Signers, and Rally, Blitz, Nervin, and Taka are never heard from again after Yusei saves them from the bowels of Rudger's Earthbound God. You'd think they'd stop existing once the series moved on. However, this was averted near the end of the series. In episode 150 and again in 151, during his final battle with the Big Bad Z-ONE, Yusei briefly remembers all the people depending on him, and all 6 of the people mentioned above are included. Rally, Blitz, Nervin, and Taka also make a quick cameo in the final episode, watching in awe as Yusei speeds by in his final Riding Duel with Jack. They even get a speaking role!
Combat Breakdown: In the dub version of the Crashtown finale. As has happened before, things have hit the fan and the violence started getting physical, but for once it didn't get the duel back on track. (This was because 4Kids wanted to feature Lotten's gun monsters as little as possible.)
Combat Commentator: Pretty much every episode with dueling has somebody commenting from the sidelines. Special mention goes to the entirely-played-straight Master of Ceremonies in the Fortune Cup and his "Everybody listen!"
In fact, the MC decides to stay behind and commentate Yusei's duel with ZONE rather than flee the impending Colony Drop!
Justified; their design allows Placido's feet to connect more easily to his D-Wheel when they combine.
Combining Mecha: The Machine Emperors. Wisel, Skiel, and Grannel are made up of five different monsters and can mix and match other monsters to gain new effects. It's not even limited to their own type, either, as Placido swipes a few of Skiel's cards from Luciano to power up Wisel.
Placido, Jose and Luciano themselves can count as this.
Compressed Hair: Pretty much everyone who ever wears a helmet in this show.
Conspicuous CG: Frequently, when a D-Wheel is used, it and its rider are CGI. This is really, really jarring, especially after you've just seen the low anime framerate cause the drawn D-Wheel to jerk onto the track in a rapid series of 1-metre hops. Jack's and Yusei's dragons are also frequently shown in CGI. Though as the series has gone on, this has gotten progressively less jarring.
Contest Winner Cameo: Yusei's Drill Synchron and Drill Warrior, Aki's Splendid Rose, Jack's borrowed Demon Chaos King, Ruka's Rose Bird, and Rua's Deformer Cleanen are all winning fan-created designs.
Continuity Nod: Familiar locations from the original series [especially the docks] are shown in a decrepit state as part of Satellite. The dub also makes several references to elements from past series.
Special mention goes to a shot of Yusei from the first ending, START, which was re-used in the English dub opening Hyper Drive.. In said shot, Yusei comes out of a side-street and rides down a wider street on his D-wheel. Why a special mention? Because not only is this street in the original series, Marik rides his own motorcycle down it.
The Ark Cradle has two of these that references past events of 5D's. One is Z-one sitting on top of pile of junk similar to Yusei in the first opening to drive home how similar they are, including Z-one becoming Yusei. And the other is the Tragic Keepsake from Bruno/Antinomy to Yusei, which happens to be broken glasses, mirroring what happened between Jack and Carly in season 2.
Surprisingly, episode 146 references and has scenes from the movie, with Z-one explaining Paradox and Yusei acknowledging that he had gone back in time to stop him.
Yusei's final duel with Jack retraces a number of locations from his early duels with Ushio. And there is an area that resembles where the first duel of the manga took place.
From episode 14 of the English dub: "Hey is that Joey Wheeler?" "Naw, man, it's his cousin Jesse Wheeler."
Monowheel Mayhem: Jack Atlas's Wheel of Fortune and Dark Glass's Delta Eagle to an extent.
Crow's can (briefly) fly, and Bommer's/Greiger's resembles a dragster more than a bike.
Cool, but Inefficient: Holographic phones look awesome, but let's get real: they'd make having private phone conversations absolutely impossible. An in-show example comes from the Crow-vs-Jaeger duel in 43/44: although Jaeger makes no secret of the fact that he's cheating by looking up information on Crow's deck during the duel, Crow gets a heads-up on what Jaeger thinks he will do because the holographic computer Jaeger is using has a screen that's also readable from the other side. Whoops.
The guns that turn into Duel Disks that Yusei and Kiryu use when they go to Crashtown. Looks awesome, but the system to determine who gets the first turn (the person who draws and puts on their disk first goes first) would be almost impossible to actually utilize, and in their "gun" form, the disks don't actually perform any of the tasks of a real gun.
Cool Sword: Placido's sword doubles as his Duel Disk, and can create some kind of inter-dimensional portal.
Costume Copycat: While not perfect, with minor details on his jacket, helmet, and motorcycle wrong, ZONE is this, complete with a helmet obscuring the half of his face that has the machine that gives him Yusei's skills and personality. The Fanbase has thus dubbed him affectionately as the 'Best Yusei Cosplayer Ever'
Credits Montage: Episode 151 has one of Aporia (and his three embodiments Lucciano, Placido, and Jose, as well as Antinomy and Z-one, just after the last of them dies.
Cut Short: In the same fashion as GX. The dub tried to create a satisfying ending with the Arc Cradle disappearing after Aporia was defeated. But by not airing season 5, it leaves an awful lot of questions unanswered.
Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Upon being reconstructed, Aporia decides to cast off his human emotions, believing them to be the cause of his earlier defeat, and embrace his identity as a machine. He acts much more stoic and monotone during his duel with Jack, Rua, and Ruka, though he still ends up with a Villainous Breakdown when things start to fall apart.
Darker and Edgier: Geez, what happened to lighthearted Kuriboh's and tournaments? Noo, you have frightening Earthbound Gods, Criminal Marks getting lasered onto your face painfully, the Dark Signers, dead people who came back to life because of hatred in their hearts, Dark Signers, and severed arms.
At the beginning of the series, everyone in the main cast is either an orphan or is estranged from their parents (This situation gets better by the end of the series, though.) The main character formerly lived in a friggin' slum, for Pete's sake.
Played with concerning Divine. What ends up looking like his death is quite dramatic, with him falling down the middle of a skyscraper and all, but it's subverted in that he turns out Not Quite Dead. His real death, however, is quite quick and averts the trope entirely.
When Rua dies during the battle with Aporia, it played very dramatically, despite him being revived via a combo of a card he left, Ancient Fairy Dragon, and the Crimson Dragon
Played straight with Antinomy, especially since he earlier made a name for himself in the series as Bruno.
Defeat Means Friendship: A little bit different from the norm, as the intial focus is repairing old, broken friendships. Played pretty straight with Himuro, though tweaked a bit with Aki in that it took two defeats and a bunch of Yusei's battle therapy to bring her around. Team Unicorn is an extreme example, as well as Team Ragnarok.
Aporia takes it even higher after his loss to Rua, Jack and Ruka, where he screams at ZONE about how 5Ds and Yusei are his hope.
Deus ex Machina: The Saviour Dragons (Yusei's Savior Star Dragon and Jack's Savior Demons' Dragon.) Mainly because they require a specific Tuner monster (Salvation Dragon - Savior Dragon) which the Crimson Dragon can add on top of a Signer's deck at its discretion. In other words, Yusei and Jack are using a card that they don't even have in their decks. It doesn't help that both monsters are very powerful... although the real life card game attempted to balance this out a bit by banishing them from the field at the end of every turn.
The end of Yusei's first duel with Kiryu. He is constantly outplayed and is about to lose with no hope of turning the duel around, but his D-Wheel gives out and thus the duel ends with his soul spared. Of course, if he died, the show would be overnote and Kiryu considered making him suffer a greater priority than killing him., but it's still ridiculous that he could escape a Shadow Duel that way.
Unintentional given the target audience but episode 145 brings us Bruno/Antinomy pushing Yusei out of the black 'hole' by ramming the long front thin tip of his D-Wheel behind Yusei.
Do Not Call Me Paul: When Dark Glass reveals his identity (as Bruno, although his code name is Antinomy), Yusei keeps calling him 'Bruno', even though he insists Yusei call him 'Antinomy'.
Doomed Hometown: The vision at the end of the Fortune Cup arc makes Satellite out to be this. Subverted. Satellite doesn't get destroyed, and the two parts of Neo Domino City finally unite at the end of Season 2.
Also Bommer's hometown, to a point.
The Dragon: Kiryu Kyosuke. Extra points for having the kana for "dragon," "ryu," actually in his name.
Dramatic Shattering: Happens during Aki's rematch with Misty when a couple of mirrors around her are smashed.
Tetu Ushio as well, when he's performing the final exams for the turbo dueling license.
Driving Test Smashers: When Aki goes to get her Turbo Duel license. Actually, outside of a bit of sabotage from the other testees, the "smashing" (a duel with Ushio) is part of the test.
Dual Wielding: Jack's Twin Breaker/Twin-Sword Maruader and Crimson Blader monsters.
Dub-Induced Plot Hole: There are two big ones, both of which, interestingly, work as foreshadowing: Rex Godwin calls himself the fifth Signer in dub episode 26, then (temporarily) becomes exactly that in episode 62, and Yusei says he has the Head of the Crimson Dragon in dub episode 27. Although at the time he actually has the Tail, he gains the Head in episode 64.
The dub bizarrely cuts out the intro scene of episode 26, leaving fans to wonder where Yusei's Junk Warrior went, how his LP got reduced to 1900 and where Jack's 3 facedown cards came from.
Crow says in a one-off joke from the English version of episode 44 that Jaeger's monsters remind him of his fifth birthday party. This is impossible, since episode 52 reveals that Crow grew up alone on the streets; orphaned because of Zero Reverse, and had no friends until he was pretty clearly older than five. Oops.
Speaking of Zero Reverse, WHO caused it, exactly? Dub seems to imply that Dr. Fudo did, but then contradicts itself and says it was Rudger, just like the Japanese version - before skipping back to it being Dr. Fudo again.
Because 4kids skipped the episodes after Placido and Yusei's all the way to Team Ragnarok's exposition episode, dub fans are left to wonder how did Jack acquire Red Nove Dragon and where did Sherry disappear off to. At least the Hulu subs are currently doing the missing episodes.
Skipping over the Ark Cradle, means that fans won't learn of Bruno's identity, history and everything that happens in the real Final Battle. Zone will just remain a mystery as well.
Dub Name Change: Almost everyone and everything. But like Yugi and Kaiba's in DM, Yusei and Jack's names were unchanged. (With the exception of one 'u' in Yusei being left out, much like Yugi.)
Aki Izayoi -> Akiza Izinski
Brave -> Brodor
Carly Nagisa -> Carly Carmine
Demak -> Devack
Divine -> Sayer
Harald -> Halldor
Jaeger -> Lazar
Jose -> Jakob
Kyosuke Kiryu -> Kalin Kessler
Lucciano -> Lester
Mizoguchi -> Elsworth
Misty Lola -> Misty Tredwell
Placido -> Primo
Rua -> Leo (not to be confused with Zora's son Leo from Season 3)
Ruka -> Luna
Rudger Godwin -> Roman Goodwin
Mikage Sakari -> Mina Simington
Tetsu Ushio -> Tetsu Trudge
Akutsu -> Zigzig | Bommer -> Greiger | Blitz -> Nervin | Mukuro Enjo -> Hunter Pace | Jill de Lancebeaux -> Randsborg | Jin Himuro -> Bolt Tanner | Leo -> Lyndon | Nerve -> Blitz | Saiga -> Blister | Taka -> Tank | Takasu -> Armstrong | Tenpei -> Dexter | Uryu > Lenny
and many more.
Monsters, though it's not really their fault as the TCG people at Konami changed the names officially for the Western release. Listed below are some examples, though the name changes are far too many to list.
Red Daemon's Dragon -> Red Dragon Archfiend
Savior Star Dragon -> Majestic Star Dragon
Road Runner -> Sonic Chick (Most likely done to avoid copyright infringements with Looney Tunes' Road Runner.)
Deformers -> Morphtronics
Black Feathers -> Blackwings
Earthbound God (Jibakushin) -> Earthbound Immortal
Machine Emperor (Kikoutei) -> Meklord Emperornote (The English dub intially called the Kikoutei by their translated Japanese name of "Machine Emperors" but once Konami released them in the TCG as "Meklord Emperors" the English dub started using the name "Meklord Emperors" as well.)
Polar Gods -> The Aesir
Road Warrior was called "Road Fighter" in its three English dub appearances (in epsiodes 45, 46 and 106) despite the fact that it retains its Japanese name of Road Warrior in the TCG. It is speculated that this was done was to avoid copyright troubles with the 1981 film Mad Max 2, released in America as The Road Warrior.
A weird inversion of this trope occured as well. The monster cards "Tuningware" and "Fortress Warrior" note (Both monsters appear in episode 21; Tuningware/Tuning Supporter also appears in episodes 45 and 122, the latter of which has yet to premiere in English) keep their Japanese names of "Tuning Supporter" and "Massive Warrior" (respectively) in the English dub, ignoring their TCG names.
D-Wheel -> Duel Runner
Riding Duel -> Turbo Duel
Momentum -> Ener-D
Duel of Fortune Cup -> shortened to "Fortune Cup"
M.I.D.S. -> R.D.D. (Reactor Research Divison)
Underworld -> Netherworld
Team Satisfaction -> The Enforcers
Public Security Maintenance Bureau -> Sector Security
Dragon Birthmark -> Mark of the Dragon
Duel of Darkness -> Shadow Duel
World Riding Duel Grand Prix -> World Racing Grand Prix (Notably, as the Japanese version often omits the 'Duel', both names have the same acronym)
Riding Roid -> Duelbot
Ark Cradle -> Divine Temple (unconfirmed, but episode 106 and related episodes appear to suggest this)
Dub Text: Perhaps most evident in Episode 31, where Carly tells Jack to "get back to the hotel" instead of telling him he can't be out on his own when he's barely healed.
Also from Episode 31: "You have any good ideas?" "Just one, but if this don't work out, maybe we should get a room in Security tonight!" (Yusei and Crow, respectively.) This line has absolutely nothing to do with the original Japanese, where Yusei simply asks Crow if he's all right after taking a direct hit from their opponents.
The dub of Episode 72 plays up Sherry's duel with Yusei as a kind of metaphor for sex. Aki's musings over Yusei's interactions with Sherry also sound like jealousy.
Episode 93 has Trudge ask "Yusei, would it be okay if [Bruno] shacked up at your place just a little bit longer?"
In episode 99, when Jack is being carted off to the hospital after his crash, Yusei tells Mikage, Carly, and Stephanie that Jack may need mouth-to-mouth, much to their delight. Please note that this was deifinitely not in the Japanese version, and that although Jack crashed, he was still talking just fine.
There are also many, many non-sexual examples of this trope, far too many to list.
Cute Kitten: Subverted. The first time around, Bruno/Antinomy/Dark Glass swerved out of his way to avoid a kitten, causing him to crash into the ocean and his lose his memeory. Later, said kitten become a Mind Rape triggers, as we see Bruno re-gaining his memory of and identity as Dark Glass.
Easy Amnesia: The English dub of episode 13, when Yusei meets Rua and Ruka. It only lasts for one episode. Guess how he gets it back.
Lampshaded for several episodes, with Rua nicknaming Yusei "Mr. Amnesia Man."
Electric Torture: The first part of Yusei's stay in Neo-Domino, starting with his imprisonment and ending when he breaks his D-wheel out of Security, is absolutely full of this. How did that kid not suffer permanent brain damage?
The dub DID give him amnesia as stated above, though. That counts, right?
Emergency Impersonation: Z-One takes this to the absolute maximum level, since Yusei had been dead for a good two centuries or so by his time period, he chose to impersonate Yusei by not only doing complete reconstructive surgery on himself to look like Yusei, but implanted a mental control device on himself that gave him Yusei's skills and personality.
Empathic Weapon: The duel spirits in Ruka's deck qualifies and possibly D-Wheels themselves as they are powered by Momentum, which responds to people's hearts.
After summoning the three polar gods in a non-duel Team Ragnorok activated the spell card "The Rainbow Bridge Bifrost" (not to be confused with with the card "Rainbow Bridge Bifrost", without the "The") to get Yusei and co up to the Arc Cradle. Unlike Z-ONE, this card actually has no other practical use.
In episode 76, Jack has one of these after he punches the guy whose life he just saved.
Episode 132 gives us a quick one from Jose.
Evil Pays Better: Subverted. Bolger killed his best friend and Crow's mentor, Pearson, for a D-Wheel investment. His company was successful for a while, but a few years later, it's basically hemorrhaging money, and needs the Blackfeather Dragon from Pearson's old deck as collateral for an investor.
Evil Twin: Jack briefly has one. Technically, it's an evil robot twin created by Yliaster.
Evolving Credits: After the group goes off to confront the Dark Signers, the intro sequence adds scenes of Jack and Aki facing off against their opponents, as well as reanimating Rua and Ruka simultaneously summoning their dragons, and replacing Yusei's Turret Warrior attacking one of Kiryu's monsters with another of his monsters attacking Rudger's Earthbound God.
In the third arc, after their respective introductions, Sherry and Dark Glass/Antinomy/Bruno are shown without their helmets in the opening.
Also, after Wisel and Skiel were used, they were shown in full-colour as opposed to being silhouettes. Grannel joined them in ep 110 (sadly spoiling its big reveal at the end of the episode).
Bommer is a good guy version of Bandit Keith. He tries to the kill the Big Bad, has a Machine deck and is later resurrected in a twisted way.
Heitmann is a throwback to Chronos De Medici, in both attitude and the deck he plays (Ancient/Antique Gears, which were used by Chronos against Juudai during his entrance exam duel). They're even played by the same voice actor in the dubs.
Bruno bears a rather stunning physical resemblance to Johan Andersen, also from GX, and develops a similar relationship with The Hero (that being, Ho YayLove at First Sight).
Jack's overall attitude and dress make him look like Kaiba given a blonde Anime Hair makeover. Funnily enough, Jack's main divergences from Kaiba are his hotbloodedness and shades of Idiot Hero... places where he also diverges from Yusei. Add in the fact that they both love their Dragons, and Yusei and Jack together a very close Expy of Kaiba.
False Start: Ushio is smitten with his lovely co-worker Mikage, but the moment he chose to make his feelings known to her unfortunately turned out to be the moment when she was having a rather intense conversation with Jack Atlas, which made it clear that she was in love with him. But in season three they are seen working together now as a pair.
Fiery Redhead: Aki. Sort of. Crow too, except he's male instead of female.
Fighting Your Friend: Yusei vs Kiryu (this happens three times in fact), Jack vs Dark Signer Carly, Yusei vs Dark Glass/Bruno/Antinomy, the second time and Z-One vs Aporia. Aporia does it to show off Z-One's deck to Yusei..
First Episode Spoiler: Jack originally coming from Satellite is revealed right off the bat in the series.
First Name Basis: During their second duel, Yusei calls Aki by her given name to grab her attention.
Which makes sense, as in Japan, you only ever refer to someone by their first name only(That is, without the suffixes such as -san, -chan, -kun, etc.) if you're an incredibly close personal friend or a lover. Doing so otherwise is usually considered disrespectful.
The Big Guy/The Sixth Ranger: Crow, although there is technically NOTHING BIG about Crow. In fact, he is the most vertically challenged among the members of Team 5D's, excluding the twins (who are only children). Unless you count his BIG Mouth. And his BIG Ego.
Foreshadowing: Though not particularly subtle or anything. In Episode 29, it is predicted that one of the main cast will die soon. Sure enough, 9 episodes later. Carly . . .
A slightly more subtle version appears in the second ending sequence, when Carly is inexplicably shown with the rest of the Dark Signers. At first it looks grossly out of place, but then...
Not to mention the completed bridge in the last shot of the second ending.
In the second OP and ED, Crow is routinely shown with the Signers.
In some places, Rua is also shown with the Signers, and as it turns out, Signers + Rua and Crow are the seven people to fight the Dark Signers.
Godwin's podium in Episode 15 (1st episode of the Fortune Cup).
When Godwin shows Jack the resting place of the Jibakushin, the Nazca Lines, is it any coincidence that the camera focuses on the Hummingbird Geoglyph?
When Godwin explains the Dark Signers to Yusei in Episode 30, there is a shot of the Condor Geoglyph.
Bruno's love of playing with cats where he was found because as Dark Glass/Antinomy, he moved away to avoid hitting a cat, and crashed into the ocean, losing his memories
Jose stated once in an early season 3 episode that Luciano reminded him of his younger self and that's because they are indeed the same person, as Aporia.
While it was stated that Paradox, the villain of the 10th anniversary film, would have his origins revealed in the series, nothing else was known about him. Then again, when you compare his outfit and motorcycle to the outfits of the Three Emperors and Primo's motorcycle, it was obvious that there was at least some connection between them. Lo and behold, The Reveal after the WRGP...
Freeze-Frame Bonus: Z-One's computer screen in 149 shows how Yusei's future would have turned out without Yliaster's interference. Among the things it mentioned is a card called Cosmic Blazar Dragon, the Delta Accel Synchro evolution of Stardust Dragon never shown in the actual story.
Other stuff mentioned is tournaments he won, and how he was actually the one who invented Accel and Delta Accel Synchro summoning. Much to Z-One's surprise though, when he skips Delta Accel Synchroing with what was suppose to be his ace monster and going even further then his alternate self by doing a Limit Over Accel Synchro to summon Shooting Quasar Dragon.
Friend or Idol Decision: Yusei had to make this one. Dueling Jack/stopping Jack from leaving on his D-Wheel or saving Rally's life. Guess what he choses?
Friendship Moment: Since friendship is one of its main themes, its no surprise this happens a lot.
The king of this trope is pretty much the entire last episode, where it's so heartwarming that you might burn up from the friendly love.
Gambit Roulette: Godwin's plan involves sending out the Signers to duel the Dark Signers and reseal the towers, and hoping that they will succeed at the former and fail at the latter, otherwise everything falls to pot. Textbook instance of planning for events that you can't control or anticipate, with an incredibly narrow margin of success.
Gatling Good: Lotten's deck theme, most prominent with Gatling Ogre, which is capable of dealing 4000 Life Points of damage at once with it's effect.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: This one shot◊ of Sherry's chest in episode 93 seems rather detailed for a show solely about a children's card game, but the conveniently placed buttons really are the icing on the cake...
In the dub
Rally: We've had enough of your BULL-ying tactics!
Bommer, Carly, and Misty, upon trying to defy their respective Jibakushin; their eyes glow purple when possessed.
Bruno demonstrates these too in episode 93 while being attacked by Sherry, displaying physical prowess not seen before.
Jack in 153. Epically so.
A God Am I: Rex Godwin. Z-One to a degree as well, as he feels being the last survivor of humanity and his suffering has pushed him to this, as well as his Temporal Machine God deck based on the Sephirot of Judaism.
Godwin's Law: Played for a joke in the fandom, then actually executed with Rex Godwin when he becomes a Dark Signer.
Heel-Face Turn: Ushio, after Martha taught him how to be nice and useful. Also Aki at the end of episode 41.
All of the Dark Signers by episode 64. As they have now come back to life, and Carly, at least, has reverted to her former personality.
After two violent defeats, Aporia has turned against Z-One by dueling him for the sake of Team 5Ds, because they gave him hope for the future for the first time in his life since the future was ruined.
Held Gaze: Aki and Yusei do this towards the end of Episode 154.
Hero Antagonist: All of the teams in the W.R.G.P. that Team 5D's has faced except for Catastrophe and New World. Team Ragnarok even shares the same goals as Team 5D's but refuses to work with them because Yusei's father created Momentum.
Heroes Prefer Motorcycles: The series has so many of the heroes on motorcycles you'd think that it's the only way to be a hero. Sadly, it's not.
Heroes Want Redheads: Not only is the closest thing Yusei has to a love interest a redhead (Aki), so is his best friend (Crow) . . . as well as the kid Yusei was kinda-sorta raising in the first two seasons (Rally).
Crow's a redhead who cares about a redhead - his littlest girl, with whom he seems to share a special bond, is redheaded in many shots.
Although she was more of a grudging heroine at the time, Aki seemed rather attached to her mentor, the redheaded character Divine.
It may be over now, but Ruka's first canon crush was on the redheaded villain Lucciano.
Heroic Sacrifice: Forced in episode 46, where Rally, had to either kill Yusei or sacrifice himself.
In episode 63, Crow shouts that "It doesn't matter how bad I'm hurt, as long as Yusei goes on!" before throwing himself and his bike headfirst into one of Godwin's monsters during a Shadow Duel, in which monsters are real and players take real damage.
The end of episode 59. Carly forces herself to lose the duel, killing herself, and foiling Jack's plan for them to die together.
Doesn't Yusei's father saving his son instead of himself count for anything?
Rua in episode 142, Summoning Power Tool Dragon and Ancient Fairy Dragon to give Ruka and Jack a fighting chance, knowing Aporia's "Level Cannon" Trap Card will deplete the rest of his LP (and kill him) for doing so.
Bruno/Antinomy might be the king of this trope for 5Ds when he chose to give up his life to give Yusei the boost he needed to get out of the Black Hole, and how their whole duel to the death was nothing but an attempt to show him how to overcome anything in his duel with Z-One.
He's Just Hiding: In-Universe. Crow is convinced that Yusei survived the fall into Old Momentum in Episode 58. Sure enough, only an episode later...
Heterosexual Life-Partners: Jack and Yusei; good buddies, and only that. Also, Crow and Yusei. And Kiryu and Yusei. Actually, every single male character and Yusei.
but mainly Team Satasfaction/The Enforcers
Special mention must go to the lampshading in episode 80, when Rua comments on the way Yusei and Bruno have taken to each other. Translations vary ("lovebirds," "married couple," etc.), but all agree that Ruka's response is to spazz on him and tell him the term he used should only be used for a man and woman. Clearly, they are just friends at first sight.
And Aki gets pissed off that scene becuase Yusei found a person that is as significantly important as her (or a D-Wheel upgrade more significantly important than her Physics homework). She even told off the twins (particularly Rua) for suggesting that she might be jealous of Bruno.
Hidden Eyes: While Yusei's in the Underworld, having fallen into Old Momentum, he's seen walking for a short distance with his eyes covered.
Honor Before Reason/Idiot Ball: After employing a strategy of Deck Destruction to reduce the size of Yusei's deck to 0, the last member of Team Unicorn loses because he allows Yusei to convince him that winning on such a technicality is dishonorable and attacks Yusei's monster, allowing Yusei to activate his Stronghold Guardian and increase his monster's defense points, reducing his opponent's life point's to 0. For those unfamiliar with the rules, all the opponent would have had to do was end his turn and Yusei would have lost due to the fact that he couldn't draw a card during his Draw Phase.
Hope Spot: When Yusei tries to Accel Synchro, but thanks to Placido's Hannibal Lecture, he loses his nerve, and the summoning fails. Thankfully said failure is only temporary.
A brutal one is when Z-One, after literally changing who he was to think, look, and act just like Yusei and managing to start saving the World bit by bit, has everyone he's ever saved or known die horribly or fall to their death because he couldn't do enough before a Zero Reverse happened.
Horned Hairdo: Andore of Team Unicorn has, what a shocker, a horn shaped bang of hair shooting up from his head.
I Am Not Pretty: During Yusei and Aki's first duel, Yusei calls Aki beautiful, but she denies it, though this only happens in the dub.
Idiot Ball: A minor example, from Yusei of all people. In his second battle with Andore, the latter has revived Thunder Unicorn during Yuesi's Battle Phase because of an [anime-only] special ability. It would have been Removed From Play at the end of the Battle Phase. So what does Yusei do? Waste his own monster, Max Warrior, in order to defeat Thunder Unicorn instead of simply not attacking and letting it suffer from its own effect.
Justified, as Andore's deck generally revovles around removing monsters from play and re-summoning them from the Removed From Play zone.
Instant Runes: Whenever a true Dark Signer duels, the Nazca Line geoglyph corresponding to their birthmark appears. When a possessed person ("Shadow Drone" in the English dub) duels, a generic circle of fire appears.
In Episode 14, Leo tells Tenpei that Yusei has "cusmatised" his Duel Disk. He repeatedly mispronounces it, in spite of being repeatedly told that the word he wants is "customised."
Crow's guilty, too: in Episode 32, while telling the story of the Daedalus Bridge, two of his orphaned boys start picking on one of his girls. To stop them, he tells them "you guys lack a little something called 'delivery' around a girl's feelings," only to have the wind taken out of his sails when Blitz points out that Crow means "delicacy."
And as of episode 86, "Wan Tahn, Sree Keel" is starting to gain popularity.
Invincible Hero: Subverted in that the Signers didn't get a fair victory against the Dark Signers until Yusei managed to defeat Kiryu. Then again, Yusei is The Ace and had the the full power of the Crimson Dragon behind him. Crow (not a Signer) and the Wonder Twins (both dueling at the same time) managed to pull out victories before this, but not on anyone important to the plot.
Worth noting that the first one to fall, Demak, is defeated about 25 episodes (the first season was 26 episodes long) after the Dark Signer arc actually began.
Crow has lost three duels onscreen, but in two cases he has chosen to lose, and it was a gigantic plot point that's lampshaded when the peanut gallery for the duel pretty much has a collective heart attack because WTF CROW LOST. It is now finally averted in that Crow lost fairly to Team Taiyou, completely and utterly without holding back. Though that's because he plays Black Feathers/Blackwings.
Played straight in season three, Yusei has taken apart of the majority of the duels and has yet to lose any of them. Most noticeable in Team Unicorn's duel.
Jack Atlas never lost a duel in the two or so years he was King, making it an in-universe example. But this is Fridge Brilliance as revealed much later in the series,that Godwin was actually paying off strong duelists who could actually be a threat to him, such as Dragan.
Invisible to Normals: Team Catastrophe was able to get away with their blatant cheating because Muggles can't see Hidden Knight Hook slashing at their opponents' tires.
The Ark Cradle was like this at first, until it appeared for real in episode 137. Before then, Carly, despite being a Muggle, could see it by touching Jack, a Signer.
It's All My Fault: In episode 57, a distressed and tearful Yusei blames his father, and ultimately himself, for causing Zero Reverse, and indirectly, the deaths of Jack's and Crow's parents. While it's true that his father was the head scientist on the Old Momentum projects, it was Rudger who lead a coup against Dr. Fudou and smashed the button that caused Zero Reverse.
Occurs in Episode 65 when Crow turns down Ushio's request for help in arresting Ghost. As a result, Ushio confronts Ghost himself and gets seriously injured. Crow is quite upset about this, but he perks up after Yusei decides that the three of them should hunt Ghost down.
It's Personal: In episode 78, Luciano finds out that when you mess with one of the twins, the other one will open a can on you. (Or, at least, attempt to, but considering he had them pretty much in a no-win situation...)
Jerkass Fašade: Ushio acts like his old asshole self during his Riding Duel with Aki in an attempt to show how unforgiving they can be.
Jesus Taboo: Savior Star Dragon is renamed Majestic Star Dragon in the English dub; likewise with Savior Daemons' Dragon becoming Majestic Red Dragon and the Earthbound Gods being re-named the Earthbound Immortals. Godwin also became Goodwin, which is rather silly considering that Godwin is a real Anglo-Saxon name that's been around for a thousand years.
The Polar Gods have been re-named "the Aesir" for the English-speaking World. However, this, like the Savior Dragons, this was a real life TCG name change that 4Kids mainly followed for consistency. The 4Kids preview of the Team 5Ds/Team Ragnarok battle does not stray away from addressing the Aesir as the Nordic Gods that they are. Although with 5Ds airing alongside the original Yu-Gi-Oh! and the Egyptian Gods, censorship at this point would be silly, to say the least.
Karmic Death: Divine. A shame they Never Found the Body. Afterwards Divine comes back only to be horrifically eaten by Misty's Earthbound God for killing her brother. He's one of the few characters to have two Karmic Deaths, only now he's Killed Off for Real.
In Episode 64 it's stated that all those killed, except the Godwin brothers, have returned to life. A promotional book for the 10th anniversary movie indicates that Divine was also revived and is in jail.
Keep Circulating the Tapes: For the dub version, since 4kids lost the license to it. Thanks in part to no DVD dubbed releases outside of a few Australian DVDs and the online streaming episodes at Toonzai and Hulu that may be removed.
Kick the Dog: Seriously, Jack. You could have just asked Yusei for Stardust Dragon. He would've certainly given it to you!
Godwin refuses to evacuate Satellite, despite the whole prophetic vision that shows it blowing to bits, so that Yusei is forced to defeat the Dark Signers, if only to save everyone in town. Remember, this is our Mentor character.
To be fair: he also does it to protect the people of Neo Domino from also being killed. It's still hardly idealistic, but rather a choice of the lesser evil.
Oh yeah, and it's also part of his secret season-long Evil Plan to eliminate the other Dark Signers and consolidate the powers of the Earthbound Gods and Crimson Dragon for himself so he can become a god.
Hoo boy, between 36/37, Divine manages to lock up Himuro and Yanagi, beat up a ten year old kid, put him in a coma, then send an Intrepid Reporterfalling to her death by propelling her out a window. Then he convinces Aki that it's all good. Then there are the experiments he performed on individuals with psychic potential. He does get what's coming to him, though.
Rudger does Rex the dubious favour of failing to fill his younger brother in on any of the Signer vs. Dark Signer stuff until Rudger has forcibly taken over the Momentum project and presented Rex with his severed left arm and an edict to gather the Signers to come back and kill Rudger. This act is the basis for a lot of Rex's issues throughout the story.
Even the fourth wall isn't immune to a dog-kick: The ending credits (5th version) do this to Aki. Sure, she may not have been as prominent in the team as the others, but did they have to be so blunt as to slap "Benchwarmer" on her!?
Yusei would've had to do this with Rally, if he didn't kill himself first.
Large Ham: Most certainly Crow, who's just brimming with bravado. When he and Jaeger eventually duel, they spend most of it trying to out-ham the other.
Jack also qualifies for this trope - as he says in the very first episode, "The King's duels must be entertainment for all!"
These days, Jack basically is only Large Ham. He's always on the go, ATLAS PUNCHING people, poking his nose in all sorts of episode-filler crime, buying very expensive coffee and AVENGING CUPS OF RAMEN.
With his brief ascension to godhood, Rex Godwin's previous personality has gone out the window.
Akutsu/Zigzix definitely qualifies with all his shouting and... twirling.
Aki's father, Hideo, now qualifies after waving a giant flag back and forth in the stands of the WRGP.
Brave definitely qualifies, considering his '"Oh noes my life points!!!—just kidding lol" acts and that he rides his D-Wheel STANDING UP half the time, even through battle damage almost-wipeouts. Along with all his other dramatics.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Inflicted to the resurrected Dark Signers and the entire population of Neo Domino City (with a few expections) (much to Carly's annoyance).
Kiryu somehow avoids this, as does Bommer.
Also occurs to the students at Duel Academy after Luciano's duel with the twins.
Sherry at the very end Episode 71. and onward. Until the moment when she lets her hair out of her helmet, her duel with Yusei is deadly serious - but from that point forward, she's taken on a slightly playful air, but Sherry's default mode still seems to be deadly serious.
Lighter and Softer: Compared to the Dark Signer Arc, the W.R.G.P. Arc seems to be shaping up to be this.
Its been subverted more recently lately, as much of the lighter and softer elements were a facade for what might be disaster far worse than Old Momentum, or what Rex Godwin tried to accomplish. Episode 117 supports this.
Definitely Subverted with The Ark Cradle and the ruining future.
Limited Wardrobe: Yusei's the worst in this trope. To date, his core outfit (the black shirt with jeans) has not changed at all, and the only variations have been his Team Satisfaction vest, jacket, and poncho.
Jack however, subverts this and probably has more outfits than the rest of the main cast combined by now.
Crow also subverts in S3 by actually having clothing changes that make some moderate amount of sense (a work jacket, riding gloves, and helmet while he's delivering things; pajamas in the middle of the night, unlike the entire rest of the cast; a riding suit for the WRGP), although many of these are just accessory changes (e.g. swapping out his vest for a jacket while at work).
Yusei finally gets a brand new outfit in his riding suit for the WRGP...and it's based off of his normal outfit.
Yusei does get a new outfit, as do Aki, Crow, probably the twins after the Time Skip in the last 3 episodes. Although it looks like Jack doesn't.
Episode 64: Rex reveals that he acted as he did because his life since Zero Reverse has been one of complete loneliness, and that he believes loneliness is an inescapable part of life.
Loss of Identity: As part of Z-One's plan, Antinomy/Dark Glass loses his memory and joins Team 5Ds, having been found by the Public Security Maintenance Bureau and branded "Bruno".
Z-One does this to himself, to make himself into a perfect copy of Yusei
Lotus-Eater Machine: Carly does this to Jack during their duel, putting Jack in a world where they are the rulers of a world gone to hell, after he lost their duel and became a Dark Signer, but snapped out of it once he realized the Carly he knew would never be that evil.
Love Makes You Evil: The possibility of a future with Jack is what caused Carly to slip into her Dark Signer persona for a second time.
Made of Explodium: Aporia explodes magnificently after his first defeat and crashes into the ocean.
Made of Iron: Yusei has crashed, been tasered, stabbed, beaten with vines, slammed into the ground... the list goes on. And yet, he consistently shakes it off and keeps going.
How does one survives a close-range dynamite explosion AND a free-fall down a steep canyon?
In episode 12, Yusei and Ushio fall down an elevator shaft for over a minute and land safely at the bottom with no forward momentum.
Jack has taken several D-wheel spills that should have snapped his neck in two. Slightly subverted in that two instances of this land him in the hospital, and one puts him out of commission for the rest of a tag duel.
Crow claims to break a couple of ribs in Episode 52 after a nasty fall, but they healed pretty quick, seeing as he never mentions it again, nor does he appear to suffer any pain at all after the initial comment.
Averted though when he wipes out in episode 97 and actually breaks his arm. Although he is able to briefly battle Team Castrophoe in episodes 104 and 105, other than that, he is pretty much out of comission for over 15 episodes afterward. ** In episode 12, Yusei and Ushio fall down an elevator shaft for over a minute and land safely at the bottom with no forward momentum.
Completely averted with Aki; one bad spill on her D-Wheel puts her in a coma.
Magical Land: Ruka can travel to and fro there. In this case, it would be the Spirit World.
The Magic Goes Away: With the city permanently safe, and the main characters all having one last goodbye on the road, the Crimson Dragon removes the birthmarks and flies away, its duty fulfilled.
Magic Skirt: Sherry's skirt in episode 93. How this thing was able to cover anything during her fighting sequence, the world will never know.
Magikarp Power: Sleeping Giant Thud is an incredibly powerful monster, but his crippling summoning conditions turned him into an "useless card" as judged by the masses. In the anime, Team Taiyou are the only ones who ever managed to actually summon Thud.
Major Injury Underreaction: In the dubbed version of episode 6 Yusei is branded with a criminal marking, he only remarks with "Is this supposed to tickle?" While the original Japanese version had him screaming.
Although the English version makes the laser into a spray of sorts whereas the Japanese version had the laser burn the marker onto his face, plain and simple.
Manly Tears: Jack Atlas is the only character in fiction who can make crying over the beauty of Cup Ramen bringing people together through tough times,seem manly.
Mark of the Beast: Dark Signers, who are handily identified by their red facial markings and purple birthmarks. The Signers too, if you count the Crimson Dragon as a beast, except there are no facial markings and the birthmarks are red.
Marth Debuted in Smash Bros.: In America, Reverse of Arcadia, one of the video games that roughly follows the entire Dark Signer arc was released before the last four episodes of said arc were dubbed. This spoils Divine's second death, Rex becoming a dual Signer, and the entire DS finale for dub watchers. Oops.
Not to mention the Heart birthmark, which Rua would receive over a year later in Episode 142.
Master of Disguise: Luciano and Placido have demonstrated the ability to create illusions through unknown means in order to impersonate others or otherwise change their appearances.
Subverted by Carly in the second season; although she tries to disguise herself as both a nurse and a cleaning lady, she's easily recognizable. Her attempt at disguising Jack in Episode 31 is a hilarious failure, too.
The Masochism Tango: Although Yuusei and Aki are not officially in love/dating, there is an implied interest between them, and Aki spends most of her screentime prior to the third season kicking Yuusei's ass with tentacles, thorns, flying debris, and slams into the concrete worthy of a WWE wrestler.
Yusei's name is derived from the Planetary Particle (Yusei Ryushi) his father discovered. Like the Planetary Particle which connected every other particle, Professor Fudo wished his son to a person able to connect people through bonds - and that's exactly what he turned out to be.
Rex' full name, "Rex Godwin," means "the king who is the friend of gods." In Episode 62 Rex announces his intention to use the power of both the light and dark gods to become the "ultimate god" and bring an end to the Signer/Dark Signer war.
Every. Earthbound. God/Immortal. Is named after a figure in Peruvian myth or history (with the possible but not certain exception of Chacu Challhua).
Ready to have your mind blown? Godwin uses Sun Dragon Inti (Inti being the Incan god of the sun) and Moon Dragon Quilla (Quilla being the Incan goddess of the moon, and Inti's wife). They have a son named Manco Capac (Earthbound God Ccapac Apu). The TCG stretches this further with Apocatequil, the Incan god of Thunder, and Supay, the Incan god of Death.
What about Fire Ant Ascator?
Azcatl (the Japanese name of Ascator) is "ant" in Nahuatl.
The ultimate of the Earthbound God is Wiraqocha Rasca, considered the most important Incan deity. And Godwin uses it, keeping in line with his Inca theme.
In a case of Shown Their Work, chaku is the Quechua (traditional Andean language) word for "hunting" while challwa is the word for "fish". "Chaku Challwa" is literally "Hunting Fish" or, as a stretch, "Killer Whale". Chacu Challhua is the Earthbound God/Earthbound Immortal for the Killer Whale geoglyph.
Izayoi Aki roughly means '(the moon on) the sixteenth night of autumn'. This is the time during which the rites of power for the Sumerian Lady of Roses are carried out, and Aki's theme is roses.
Bommer's dub name, "Greiger" or, rather, "Krieger," means "Warrior" in German.
Many of the characters with Western names have names startlingly fit to their roles: Martha means "lady of the house," Jaeger is German for "hunter," and Jack is a diminutive of John, which means "God is gracious" - with his mentor's surname meaning "friend of God."
The name for "Jack" may stand for the classic playing card also known as a "knave", which is quite a clever choice, considering his title.
Jack's name has potentially up to three meanings, actually - it's also a medieval name meaning, simply, "man," with Carly's name meaning "woman."
The Emperors of Yliaster - Jose, Placido, and Luciano - are named after The Three Tenors. Is it too much to hope they'll sing?
Someone on Janime Forums pointed out that Crow's full name as given in the third season ending, "Crow Hogan," may be a play on words from the important Japanese historical figure Minamoto no Yoshitsune, who had a title that romanizes as "Hogan". According to legend, Yoshitsune was trained in swordmanship by a Tengu, a Japanese crow-demon.
Crow's orphans have names in the credits, and his girls' names (Hikari and Kokoro, "light" and "heart" in Japanese) fit the pattern as well - with "my heart" and "light of my life" being English phrases for the thing a person holds most dear, something that certainly holds true with Crow and his kids.
Sherry LeBlanc's name means "darling white one" in French. Sherry is French, has pale blonde hair and a white riding suit... and she's certainly caught Yusei's eye, with the poor boy having nightmares about her taunting him for having poor dueling skills.
Rua's English dub name (Leo) suddenly makes a lot more sense when he and the lion spirit Regulus simultaneously attack the Ape King in different planes. (Regulus is the brightest star of the constellation Leo the Lion.)
Bruno's real name Antinomy, means logical paradox, showing how he has to turn against his friends.
Melting Pot Nomenclature: Characters from the same city will have names ranging from Kyosuke Kiryu, Aki Izayoi, and Tetsu Ushio to Jack Atlas, Rex Godwin, and Martha. Perfect example is Carly Nagisa, with one Euro name and one Japanese name.
Mind Screw: The end of Episode 93. To elaborate: Yusei, Bruno (who's been revealed to the audience as being a Ridiculously Human Robot), and Sherry get sucked into some sort of electronic plane where they're scanned by Z-One (at the time, just a mysterious figure) before getting spat back out quite a distance from where they were originally.
More dub hilarity: In Episode 35, Yusei gets surgery after his D-Wheel turns over and part of it breaks off, lodging in his abdomen. In the dub this scene is not cut, but the metal fragment has been airbrushed out, and we are left with the sight of Martha and Dr. Schmidt in surgical masks while a bare-chested, untouched Yusei grimaces on a surgical table because of "heavy bruising on the left side."
One of the earliest examples, the end of episode 5. After all the Crimson Dragon disappears and Yusei and Jack come up from the wreckage. In the Japanese version, Yusei winces and looks at his arm, which is glowing with the Dragon Tail Birthmark. Silently, he pulls his glove up and his sleeve down to reveal that yes, it is coming from his arm. In the dub however, he's screaming his head off in pain from the burning on his arm. Completely opposite from the Major Injury Underreaction example in the following episode previously mentioned.
Mirror Match: Jack's duel against a robot clone of himself with the exact same deck, including three Red Daemons' Dragons
Monster Clown: Jaeger, assisted by his use of a clown-themed deck. Edge of the Uncanny Valley, indeed.
His wife and child have the exact same appearance as he does.
More Dakka: Shooting Star Dragon has an effect that falls along these lines, as Yusei proves when he uses said effect against Placido. By checking the top 5 cards of his deck, Shooting Star gets a number of attacks equal to the number of Tuners among them. The number of Tuners he reveals? FIVE. DAKKADAKKADAKKADAKKADEAD.
Mr. Exposition: Rex Godwin, to a point of his expositions gaining a Fan Nickname: Rexpositions. Averted later on when he becomes a Dark Signer.
Bommer fits this role during the Crimson Devil mini-arc.
Mr. Fixit: Yusei has built 3 D-Wheels comepletely out of salvaged parts from Satellite: The first one (White) was created after seeing one on TV. After Jack stole it in his bid at escaping Satellite, He created the second and current (Red) one (which is apprently named ''Yusei Go''). The third one was a prototype for Aki's Bloody Kiss, but Jack and Crow helped with that one. Not only that, but he also reverse engineered Rua's D-Board after being told about it overnight.
After the Dark Signers arc, this appears to be his trade.
Mukokuseki: Does anyone in this show actually look Japanese?
Mundane Made Awesome:The show has a hefty dosage of this trope, yet conducts all of the insanity that crops up in a completely straight-faced, almost deadpan manner. For example, in the World Championship games, you can set any card in your deck to be your "Key Card". Doing this does... Nothing, except add some nice effects when you use that card. Problem is, it can be ANY card. So, thunderbolts fall, and the whole field gets dark as you summon your ultimate card, the most destructive thing in the entire game: Kuriboh. Setting a card in your deck as a key card does have a small purpose: A small bonus in Dual Points whenever the card is used in a match.
You will either think that Aporia's introduction is either cool, or the most ridiculous fucking thing ever. Also his D-Wheel looks like a cat's face.
My Horse Is a Motorbike: Inverted in the manga, in which the Skeleton Knight uses a horse instead of the motorcycles that everyone else uses while dueling.
My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Every time a Signer is in danger/summoning his ace dragon/dueling against a Dark Signer, all the other Signers are able to feel it through their birthmarks.
The two main characters (Yusei and Jack) having ace monsters with 2500 ATK and 3000 ATK respectively (mirroring Yugi and Kaiba aces).
Yusei's name containing a "Yu" to go along with Yugi of the original series and Judai Yuki of GX.
Aki sharing a name that starts with the letter A like the other main female characters, Anzu and Asuka.
Jack wearing a jacket with huge coatails like Kaiba's post Duelist Kingdom wear.
A duelist that appears in episode 14 looks suspiciously like Jounouchi Katsuya/Joey Wheeler of the original series. Lampshaded in the dub, where the duelist is Jonouchi's cousin and has the same voice.
A random screen in the first episode list duelists that Jack defeated during his reign as King, and their names are all parodies of characters' names from the original series.
Jack's seiyuu voiced Honest in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Jack's "Savior Demon Dragon" card has an effect similar to Honest's card form.
Like Yugi, Yusei has an alternative self but it's inverted. His alternative self is from the distant future and is the Big Bad. Until said Big Bad turns out not to be Yusei, but you know....
Yusei calling out Z-ONE for not caring about his friends, and Z-ONE reminding him that Aporia and Antinomy (as well as Paradox) were only Androids with their memories, but not the real ones, who had already died is very similar to Yami Bakura and Yami Yugi's discussion during the Memory Arc, where Yami Bakura reminds him that the characters in the game aren't the real people (who had, obviously, died several centuries prior to the begining of the series, only given form due to Yami's memories.
Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Although Rex Godwin has gray hair throughout most of the show, flashbacks that show him as a young man depict him with dark brown/black hair and pale skin.
Near Villain Victory: It's Yu-Gi-Oh, what did you expect? Subverted when Crow wipes the floor with a handful of Security Officers in about one turn.
Later, Crow nearly loses to Dark Signer Bommer in a Shadow Duel.
This gets infuriating when Yusei manages to win against Rudger in a duel when he was reduced to 50 lifepoints not long after the begining.
To be fair, he's won many of his duels like that. Mostly in the first few episodes.
Season Two finale. Rex first takes Crow's LP down to one and disables his bike, then does the same to Jack. He proceeds to take Yusei down to one without disabling his bike, and his victory appears imminent until Yusei summons Deus ex Machina - excuse me, I mean Savior Star Dragon, and does some fancy trap-activation with his friends' remaining cards on the field.
Quite a few season three's duels are turning out this way. But special mention to Lotten's duel against both Yusei and Kiryu. Seriously, he wipes out ALL of Kiryu's life points on the first turn, with but one card keeping him alive. After that Kiryu and Yusei struggle to so much as defend themselves against him, before finally getting the upper hand using not only the all-too-common epic draws (not that Lotten was immune, see Gatling Ogre), but actually bluffing a few times and taking advantage of Lotten's dislike of gambling.
The all-time franchise champion of this has to go to the Team Unicorn duel. First Jack gets flattened by Andre after Team 5D's falls victim to a Gambit Roulette, Aki puts up a better fight, but ends up being cornered into a loss, leaving Yusei with the task of defeating all three duelists, his deck being reduced to only three cards towards the end. He finally pulls through thanks to the large amount of effect monsters in his Graveyard, as well as some Worthy Opponent induced rashness on Jean's part. In fact, Yusei didn't have any cards left to draw after his last turn, and only won because Jean decided to try to win via defeating his monster instead of ending his turn instead of winning because of deck depletion.
She has them back when she talks with Jack for the last time and when she's revived, though.
Nerfed: Wiraqocha Rasca, titled as the strongest Earthbound God is actually one of the most useless Eartbounds cards in real life and part of this is due to its signature HP to One effect removed.
The TCG does this to many cards whose anime effects might be construed as "over powered", such as Black Rose Dragon, Scar-Red Nova Dragon, or Polar God Thor, although rarely it will be inverted, such as with Blue Rose Dragon.
Never Found the Body: Divine. He returns in episode 60, briefly, then dies again. Maybe. No body that time, either.
A 10th anniversary movie tie-in book seems to indicate he was revived after the Dark Signers' defeat and is in jail.
Never Trust a Trailer: The preview for episode 151 shows Yusei removing Stardust Dragon/Buster from his graveyard. That card previously only appeared in the non-canon OVA. When 151 aired, the card was nowhere to be seen.
Dub only, their preview for 123 makes the episode appear action packed, when in fact its a exposition episode to explain the backstories of Team Ragnarok.
New Neo City: Literally subverted as both the "new" and the "old" city are inhabited locations in the show.
No Body Left Behind: Happens to anyone defeated in a Shadow Duel. And the Jack Robot too while being incinerated.
No Export for You: All episodes which haven't yet aired in English, thanks to 4Kids losing the rights. The OVA as well, but since it only shows off the buster/assault modes of Stardust and Red Demon's and is not plot or character important we aren't missing much.
Season 5 has been cancelled, and some episodes of season 4 are only available subbed for Americans.
Divine survives his fall from the top floor of the Arcadia Movement headquarters
After Lotten explodes the mine, prematurely ending his duel with Yusei, Kiryu and Yusei's falling bodies smack the walls of the canyon, tumbling like ragdolls to the dark pit below. Barely a moment later they get back up on their feet as if nothing happened.
Norse Mythology: Ep 117 introduces 3 new synchro God monsters that are based on the 3 strongest gods of Norse mythology, Thor, Loki, and Odin, repectively. In ep 118 when Dragan of Team Ragnarok's Thor and Jacks Red Demons Dragon are summoned at the same time, the God's and Crimson Dragon's power resonate with each other, and is so strong, A massive storm appears outside the duel arena they were at, and an earthquake is caused just by Thor and The Red Demons Dragon clashing with each other, forcing the duel to be stopped before said earthquake destroys the arena and everyone in it.
Not a Date: Rua and Ruka discuss whether Yusei and Aki's trip to the rollerblading rink counts as one or not, but by the end both decide that it is indeed a date.
Not Distracted by the Sexy: When Breo's girlfriend dumped him and hit on Jean, he tells her to get lost, being Genre Savvy enough to know that she'll just dump him when he loses a duel.
Official Couple: Jack and Carly's relationship gets sufficiently fleshed out to be considered canon - especially during Jack's duel with D-Carly
Unfortunately after she's been revived, she has no memories of her time as a Dark Signer, and thus does not remember Jack's "confession."
Even more unfortunately, the writers pretend their relationship never happened after the Dark Signer Arc and relegated Carly to comic relief, much to the annoyance of the Scoopshippers.
Off Model: Rua's duel with Divine definitely qualifies as this. Not only lacking major quality (which 5Ds is generally praised for), but the off models of Divine's Psychic-Type cards, which were considered much lower quality, and only passingly resemble their card counterparts. The main whiplash to this episode comes from the fact it immediately follows the gorgeous eye-feast fans were treated to during the first Kiryu vs Yusei duel.
Episodes 43 and 44. Crow's markers . . . kind of . . . resemble his actual character design. Sort of. It doesn't help that his eyebrows are the wrong colour and that his under-eye markers are occasionally drawn in a single piece in these episodes. (Yusei gets scary caterpillar eyebrows and chipmunk cheeks in these episodes, too.)
The Crashtown Arc has block-headed background people, among other off-model contingencies.
The third ending had a scrolling shot that was redrawn after several episodes. While this is usually done to improve the art and correct instances of Off Model, the characters actually looked worse post-redraw, and Yusei even inexplicably lost his Duel Disk, leaving his bare arm cocked at an odd angle.
That version of the third ending came in just one episode after it debuted. As far as the animation is concerned, the only character that came out of the sequence better looking is Ancient Fairy Dragon, who was redrawn completly so she didn't look scary. Luca on the other hand... A comparison of both versions can be found here.
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Every single freaking duel Sherry had in the WRGP. Namely beating teams of three with only two riders, and heavily implied to beat all of them on her own.
One of the off-screen duels during the Fortune Cup was a dueling psychologist with a Freudian Complex Deck against a profiler who specifically creates his Decks to play with the minds of his opponents. Granted, the former was required to lose on purpose as part of Goodwin's plan, but it still would have been cool to see..
Oh Crap: Whenever an Earthbound God is summoned, particularly if the character is on the receiving end.
Yusei gets one when he realizes that Breo is using a Deck Destruction Deck.
Placido gets one after Yusei activates Shooting Star Dragon's effect that allows it to attack a number of times equal to the number of Tuners among the top 5 cards of his deck...AND ALL FIVE OF THEM ARE.
Doesn't help any that he has this◊ coming after him!
Team 5D's all suffer this when they told that the Big Bad's Doom Fortress is about to crash onto the city, killing everything within 30 miles.
Then another (and it wouldn't be surprising the entire population watching joined in) when Zone's mask breaks away to show the left side of an aged Yusei's face.
Ominous Floating Castle: The Arc Cradle, an Ominous Floating City made up of the ruins of the future neo domino city, and is slowly falling, but will kill everything once it hits the earth within 30 miles in TWELVE HOURS!
One-Winged Angel:A questionable villain throughout most of the first two seasons, Rex Godwin discards any notion of pretext when he endures a physical transformation in episode 62 and expands to 3x his normal size, becoming monstrous enough in both body and intention to make it okay for the protagonists to kill him in the end.
Another one in episode 107 when Placido merges with his D-Wheel.
Otaku: Carly, glasses-wearing stereotype aside, when it's shown that she collects Duel Monsters figures. She pulls a figure of the Black Magician Girl from her bag and trades it (to the otaku owner of an otaku-oriented shop) for documents about the Arcadia Movement.
Our Dragons Are Different: To the extent that the title logo dragon is the physical embodiment of a pre-Incan pseudo-pagan star god.
Out of Focus: Rather unfortunate, but since Yusei has a large number of friends, they can't all feature at once. A lot of his friends from Season 1 (Yanagi, Himuro, Rally, Nerve, and Blitz, etc) haven't turned up at all in Season 3.
Out of Order: In the dub's airing on the CW, the CW skipped over the episodes 36-41. Therefore the dub watchers missed out on Yusei's recovery, Carly's death, Carly becoming a Dark Signer, Divine disppearing and thought to be dead, Misty's first appearance, the Aracadia Movement building getting wrecked, and Aki's Heel-Face Turn. Since they skipped over many important plot twists and details, many viewers were left confused.
Of course, anyone with access to Youtube could easily watch them, and 4Kids did air these episodes on their website.
They did it again by skipping over episodes 111-122 straight to Team 5D's duel with Ragnarok, leaving confusion as to how Team 5D's made it to the semi finals, how Jack obtained Red Nova Dragon and Sherry's disappearance.
Pass the Popcorn: In the English dub of episode 23, Jack and Godwin watch Yusei get pounded by Aki when Jeager/Lazar makes the comment "I'll get the popcorn" during the Fortune Cup. Doubles as Lull Destruction because he didn't speak during that scene in the Japanese version
Occurs when Crow tells the legend of the Daedalus Bridge, and during a flashback to Rex's past.
Also near the end of season two. Who IS that guy Jaeger keeps talking to, anyway?
In the third-season opening, there are three monsters shown in silhouette. Two of those monsters have been used to date in the show, and after each is used, it becomes full-colour.
The third one is still shadowed out when the OPs change halfway into the season. About six episode or so later, it's revealed in full color.
In another slight subversion, Sherry's helmet is on for the first seven or so episodes, until it's "removed" for Episode 72 onward.
Plot Armor: Yusei and Kiryu must have been wearing a heavy set of them when dynamite exploded near them and they fell about three stories into a steep canyon... only to get up and stand within minutes.
Plot-Driven Breakdown: if Yusei's D-Wheel hadn't broken down when it did, the series would have come to a premature end.
Power Incontinence: Shown with Aki, as she is unable to control her psychic duelist powers until a bit of Duelist Therapy with Yusei and her father getting in the way. She has much more control in Season 3.
Power Limiter: Aki's hairband supposedly holds back her psychic powers.
and that ridiculous-looking thing really needed an explanation
The Power of Friendship: It's all over this show. It's also Yusei's ability to join people together and make them friends that creates one of the biggest plot points in the first two seasons.
Power Tattoo: Each of the Signers has a part of the Crimson Dragon sealed within them as a Dragon's Birthmark on their arm. The Dark Signers have a mark corresponding to their respective Nazca geoglyph.
Power Trio: Yusei, Jack, and Aki, according to Godwin. As well as Yusei, Jack, and Crow, as not only the remaining members of Team Satisfaction, but also when they play a 3 vs 1 duel against the last Dark Signer.
Yusei, Jack, and Crow also fit in that following Episode 64, they are the three male Signers, as well as being the Signers with the most important birthmarks thus far.
The third opening focuses heavily on Yusei, Jack, and Crow in a pair of three, as well as Aki and the twins as another three.
Power-Up Full Color Change: Occurs when Yusei summons Shooting Quasar Dragon, he himself turns gold during the summoning sequence.
Protagonist Power Up Privileges: Yusei and Jack have no less than three alternate forms of their Signer Dragons, while only one other signer (Rua/Leo) has one, and then only one. Yusei eventually fuses the other five Signer Dragons into "Shooting Quasar Dragon", an evolution of his own Signer Dragon.
Psychic Powers: Possessed by psychic duelists, the Signers (particularly Aki and Ruka), and the Dark Signers.
Put on a Bus: Seems to have happened to most of the Dark Signers following their resurrection, barring Carly. Kiyru came back for his own arc, before being put back on the bus.
Bommer and his younger siblings return for a few episodes.
Many of the reoccuring characters from the past two seasons have yet to make an appearance in season three.
Railing Kill: The boss of the final team in Satellite tried to get rid of Yuusei using this method.
Rainbow Motif: The Dark Signers: Kiryu is blue, Carly is orange, Misty is green, Rudger is red, Demak (Jibakushin Cusillu) was yellow, and Bommer (Jibakushin Chacu Challhua) was indigo, and Rex (Jibakushin Wiraquocha Rasca) was violet.
Ramming Always Works: How the Saviors and the Cosmic Synchro Monsters attack, and how Savior Star Dragon uses its secondary effect (field destruction).
Rapunzel Hair: Sherry's hair is this in one scene of the fifth ending.
Red Baron: Several. The King of Riding Duels for Jack, The Shooting Star of Satellite for Yusei, Black Rose Witch for Aki's season one persona, Crow the Bullet for Crow and Shinigami for Kiryu.
Redemption Demotion: Aporia goes from being able to almost beat three of the best duelist in the series at once to smashed around by ZONE the second he changes sides.This is justified by the fact that his Machine Emperors were specifically designed to be Synchro Killers, so it's only natural he'd fare better against our Synchro-happy protagonists than against ZONE. ZONE even lampshaded this by saying Aporia would be at a huge disadvantage against his deck.
Redemption Equals Death: Kiryu is made out to be completely insane, but by the end of his final duel with Yusei, it becomes clear that his hatred for Yusei is due to a series of unfortunate misunderstandings. Of course, he still has to die.
Rex and Rudger Godwin. In Episode 64, following Rex' defeat, he and Rudger meet Yusei in starspace, at which point Rex tells his brother they have "chosen the wrong path" and, instead of being revived with the other Dark Signers, they walk together into the afterlife.
Antinomy or rather, Bruno, reconciled with and saved Yusei's life while a Black Hole was sucking up everything, and told Yusei that his time with Team 5Ds was not only the best time of his life, but how it gave him hope that they would do the impossible and save the future right before he died.
Red Eyes, Take Warning: Actually inverted; the first time Yusei and Jack duel in Episode 5; when the Crimson Dragon appears, both Yusei's and Jack's eyes turn red and glowy. Of course, nothing of the sort ever happens again.
Red-Headed Hero: Crow and Aki. Subverted in Aki's case in that she's female, not male.
Red Herring Twist: A lot of next-episode previews are guilty of this, for example Dark Signer Jack.
Red Right Hand: Jack's doppelganger is identifiable by its gray outfit and D-Wheel, purple "Red" Demon's Dragon, and red eyes.
Red Shirt: Demak. Even though he wears yellow, he's given little to no Backstory, and is only there so that Ruka and Rua can duel him and reclaim Ancient Fairy Dragon.
Reincarnation: Not only is Jack Atlas a badass on his own, he's the reincarnation of the warrior with a 'Burning Soul' power that defeated the Scar-Red Nova 10,000 years prior. No wonder he's always so Hot-Blooded.
Jose, Placido and Luciano are reincarnations of the same human, Aphoria
Remember the New Guy: Crow and Kiyru started as this. Kiryu got a lot of development and, until recently, Crow had little to none until the third season.
Reset Button: All of the Dark Signers in the season two finale, excluding Rex and Rudger, as they were resurrected and brought back with no memories of their time as Dark Signers.
Or maybe not, since Kiryu still remembers...
Revision: Crow, Kiryu and Team Satisfaction. They aren't mentioned in season one at all, yet it doesn't contradict Yusei and Jack's backstories.
Ridiculously Human Robots: Bruno/Antinomy is capable of sleeping, eating, emotions even bleeding at one point and you wouldn't think he is a robot until you saw his focus episodes and backstory.
It's also subverted with Aporia. He doesn't look human at all, but he's displayed quite human emotions. He reverts back to a stoic voice and stance in his duel with Jack, Rua and Ruka only to go back to being emotional in the middle of the duel.
Rival Turned Evil: Kiryu Kyosuke was the Yusei's best friend as the leader of Team Satisfaction, but he got too excited by the whole conquering-Satellite deal. When he tried to duel all of Security and ended up killing one of them, leading to a situation where he believed that Yusei had turned him into the police, Yusei's and Kiryu's friendship got shot to hell. Kiryu died in prison bearing thoughts of revenge toward Yusei for supposedly turning him in, becoming a Dark Signer.
This actually happens to Jack a few times. He first drifted apart from Yusei and then going as far as to put Rally's life in danger so that he could steal Stardust Dragon and Yusei's D-Wheel to become King and forgot about his life in Satellite. Then he turns into a Dark Signer during Carly's Lotus-Eater Machine but quickly snaps out of it. And then there's a variation with a Jack robot in season three. To top it all off, his manga counterpart may or may not qualify depending on how much Yusei and Jack's relationship has changed in the Alternate Universe.
Robotic Reveal: First occured with Rex after he caught a spike that flew off Bommer's D-Wheel, showing his robot arm
Later on, after Ghost crashes, Crow touches its shoulder, causing its arm to fall off.
Jack's twin in his mini-arc.
Placido. D-Wheel. They combine. That is all.
Unrobotic Reveal: Underneath its Machine-Type exterior, Power Tool Dragon is really Life Stream Dragon, a true Dragon-Type.
Rollerblade Good: It's pretty hard to notice, but Luciano is actually wearing blue rollerblades on his feet. He also introduces the D-Board, a special kind of skateboard that allows children to partake in watered-down, presumably (in theory) safer versions of Riding Duels.
In episode 75, Yusei takes Aki to a roller-skating rink to teach her to find her center of balance. According to Yusei, learning to skate will somehow help Aki learn to ride a D-wheel.
Might be justified, since motorcycle riding and rollerblading both require a lot of balance to do well.
Rule of Symbolism: Aporia summons Jose's, Placido, and Luciano's Machine Emperors in the reverse order of how he experienced the despairs of his life, symbolizing his letting go of each despair and going back to the hope he had before the world was ruined.
And then the final despair (Granel) catches up to him and makes him lose.
The most heartbreaking use of this trope in 5Ds might be when Yusei starts screaming Bruno's name after he dies saving Yusei.
It doesn't help that Bruno used his last breath to do the same to Yusei, the last he hears is Yusei calling the name he's always known him by rather than the name he demand to be known as for the last two episodes, all with the most heartwrenching music happening during it all. It's the most powerful example, but by far the only; Aki did the same to Divine when Arcadia began to collapse, Rua to Ruka while he duelled Demak (and visa versa in 142), Yusei to Kiryu (twice in one episode) during their second duel and Jack to Carly as she sacrificed herself to save him. And against in 151 when ZONE sacrifices himself to do what Yusei was planning to stop the Arc Cradle. There are also several occasions with lower volumes.
Screw Destiny: Jack doesn't believe in destiny, and this is lampshaded by his card Change Destiny.
In Episode 58, Crow's statement to Yusei that he doesn't believe destiny is responsible for all that's happened, and that "if I had any destiny, it was in meeting you!" (an alternate translation of this line is "my only destiny was meeting you.")
Screwed By Network Collapse: While the original Japanese airings avoid this, getting the same timeslot and never going on hiatus currently in its run, the dubbed American airings aren't so lucky. First appearing on the CW Saturday morning block, it's timeslots constantly changed around, airing as early as 7am or as late as almost noon. It also went on hiatuses often, and refusing to air certain episodes due to content. Finally CW stopped airing it since DM proved to get better ratings. 5D's did a Channel Hop to Cartoon Network, but its problems haven't ended yet. Now episodes air at 8am on weekdays, a time when most of target audience is attending school. New episodes update randomly and one must check the 4kids website to find the latest episodes. Oh and streaming episodes are only available for Americans.
Now that 8AM timeslot is reserved for reruns for PokÚmon. Back to the CW.
Due to a major lawsuit filed by TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems for a debt exceeding $4.5 million, 4Kids had to stop the dubbing process in its tracks and file bankruptcy. It's a rare, wild case where a network didn't exactly screw the program- they lost the rights and resources to air it.
Serial Escalation: This can be said for the whole franchise but 5Ds in particular regularly escalates to make the other series look positively dull in comparison. Card Games on Motorcycles aside, that is the least interesting thing when compared to evil Nazca Lines deities rampaging through the city, Old Western standoffs with guns that turn into Duel Disks, robots playing card games on Motorcycles and proceeding to fuse with their motorcycles, card games on motorcycles IN A SIMULATION OF SPACE around a sun which explodes into a supernova, creating a Black Hole, or a giant flying machine man with a huge deck and detached Robot Hands playing a children's card game with a man riding a FLYING motorcycle with red phoenix wings and performing a technique that doesn't exist (not even 200 years later in an advanced future) and actually flying into outer space (and still breathing) to summon his greatest ace monster while a giant, floating citadel from the future drops slowly towards the ground. That's not even a quarter of the over the top stuff that this series has to offer.
At the end of the series, in a 'normal' Riding Duel like the last duel between Yusei and Jack, a friendly duel with no one's life on the line, Yusei rides alongside walls, dodges huge air fans, and jumps an incredibly large pool of liquid magma without missing a beat or fear of death when he didn't even have to. The very last shot of the series is of Yusei riding his motorcycle into the sky (except now it CAN'T fly.) Even when the show tries to be tame, it's still wildly over the top
Serious Business: As per the course, though there are a good number of characters who don't play the game to somewhat offset this.
Shaggy Dog Story: Let's face it: While the second season at least sort of solved its problems via quick-sketch conclusions, the end of the first season left a lot of major questions never answered.
Also, after all the huffing and puffing of stopping the Yliaster Trio, the circuit is still completed after they defeat Aporia.
She Is All Grown Up: Ruka in the final episode's flash-forward opening. When she takes off the motorcycle helmet, four guys stop, stare, and blush.
Ship Tease: Episode 75 is an exercise in this between Yusei and Aki, culminating in the scene at the rollerblading rink — which is blatant enough for Rua and Ruka to hang lampshades the whole way through.
Another example is a certain shot, sporting Yusei and Aki holding hands amidst a forest looking up to a shiny dragon flying above them, from the recent ending "Future Colors".
Episode 154, full stop. The night before everyone leaves, Aki attempts to confess her feelings to Yusei, but stops herself. Yusei walks up to her and holds her hand and they stare into each other's eyes, hinting that Yusei feels the same way.
The producers love being ambiguous. With that whole "stare in each others' eyes" thing, and the fact right after Aki closes her eyes, the scene transitions, one has to wonder if this was a Kissing Discretion Shot. Prepare for an onslaught of Die for Our Ship enthusiasts to make heads or tails of this.
Shonen Hair: Crabhead, I mean Yusei being the most obvious example.
and even though he's an adult, Jin/Bolt gives him a run for his money with his thorny, Statue of Liberty sea urchin look.
Rua's Deformer cards are pretty blatant shout-outs to Transformers.
Rua uses alot of cards with references to popular childrens anime as a base. Deformer Chakkan is pretty obviously a reference to "Golden Warrior Gold Lightan".
In an interesting example, there have been several one-shot characters whose designs are clearly taken from the Toei Yu-Gi-Oh! series, the 1998, 27-episode "Yu-Gi-Oh: Shadow Games" (commonly known in fandom as "Season Zero").
Heck, there's even a reference to Mobile Suit Gundam 00. The design of Seven Swords Warrior is very similar to the 00 Raiser's design, except without the main-section of the 0 Raiser (the part where Saji usually sits with the Red Haro). Its name alone is a reference to both Exia and 00 Raiser's upgrades (though the latter only appeared in the manga sidestories): the Seven Swords System. Seven Swords Warrior seems, however, to be using a mix between Exia's swords and 00 Raiser's swords, most notably Exia's two extra physical swords and the 00 Raiser's GN Buster Sword II.
Speaking of Gundam, Katsumi Ono (the director of 5D's) has said that Yusei turning gold during the Delta Accel Synchro summon came from G-Gundam's hyper mode.
Showdown at High Noon: A variation of version B for this trope is present in episode 86. Instead of high noon, it's held at sunset and this being a Card Games show, they play Duel Monsters instead.
Sixth Ranger: Crow becomes the sixth (or fifth, depending on how you count) Signer following the duel with Rex in 62-64.Leo/Rua becomes the official Sixth Ranger with the sixth Signer Dragon and sixth birthmark in Episode 142.
Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: Bruno/Antimony manages to blow out a freaking sun with his Delta Accel Synchro. But since its only a powerful Summon Magic Yusei remains unharmed.
Smooch of Victory: An... interesting variation occurs with old man Yanagi and main character Yusei.
Smug Snake: Jean of Team Unicorn, constantly smirking about how Team 5D's is playing right into their hands.
However, seeing how the anime has been hyping up his skills (Mostly how highly Breo thinks of him and his flashback in episode 100), maybe he does have a reason for being smug.
Crow cries during his duel with Bommer. Said tears are so significant there is actually time spent on one of them flying off his face and hitting Yusei's visor as he rides alongside.
Yusei in the climax of his duel with Rudger during his It's All My Fault moment in Episode 57, wondering how his True Companions could possibly see him as a friend after what his father's research had led to.
Carly, in Episode 39. After she snaps out of her Dark Signer-created persona, she begins to cry and call for help.
Crow in Episode 83. This time, it's over Jack.
Zola and Leo in Episode 85.
It's heartbreaking when Yusei does this at end of episode 145 and screaming Bruno's name after he sacrificed his life to save him
Spell My Name with an S: The vast majority of the cast is subjected to this, though the twins (Rua and Ruka, Lua and Luka, Leo and Luna, etc.) get it by far the worst. In-show spellings don't help, seeing as some of them are inconsistent (Bommer/Bomber) and others take real names and make gibberish of them (Luciano's name, in-show, is incorrectly spelled as "Lucciano").
It doesn't help at all with the twins case that 4kids was going to rename Rua with his sister's name for the English dub.
An interesting example: in-show, Crow's name is pronounced and spelled as "Crow," and the katakana used romanize as "kurou." However, on the TvTokyo website, his name is shown in URLs as "Claw" (which, oddly enough, has a nearly identical katakana representation to "Crow" despite being pronounced totally differently in English)
Spirit World: Ruka's power allows her to communicate with various Duel Monster spirits, most notably the lion Regulus, her signature dragon, and her cute fluffy pet Kurribon.
Spoiler Opening: The first opening and ending spoils Yusei getting a marker and hinting his imprisonment and him getting Stardust back. Averted in the second and third opening and endings, but the fourth opening spoilers Yusei learning Accel Synchro and Jack's new power. The fifth opening reveals There's still one more member of the Illiaster crew - and one more Infinity monster to be revealed. The fourth opening does it again by revealing Granel in the episode it appears, before it actually shows up
The Animation for Ending 4 ("Close to You") ends with a shot of Jack, Crow and Yusei on their D-Wheels with the Signer Dragons flying behind them. All six of them, that is. Including Rua's Life Stream Dragon, which didn't appear until halfway through the time Opening 5 ran for. And then Opening 5 also reveals Life Stream Dragon before it even appears in the anime, yet Ending 5 only shows Power Tool Dragon.
Stars Are Souls: Greiger seems to become a falling star when he disappears.
The Stoic: Yusei has about four or five facial expressions, and about three different tones of voice.
And as of episode 86, Kiryu has become this.
Stop Having Fun Guys: Team Unicorn in the WRGP, mostly intentional as they seem to be a Take That to the "always win" attitude of many tourney-going Real Life players and the concept of the metagame in general. Ironically though, it's when Jean starts having fun that they end up losing.
Talking to the Dead: Crow does this apparently often, as he visits the grave of his mentor, Pearson, who was the original owner of his D-Wheel, the Black Bird, and his Black Feather deck as well the previous owner of Black Feather Dragon.
The Signer Dragons, counting Life Stream Dragon, formed an incomplete rainbow in season 2 (in a flashback, each one shoots a beam of a different color except orange). Blackfeather Dragon, the sixth Signer Dragon, was represented by an orange energy when Yusei was against Z-one.
Team Hand Stack: More of a Team Hand Bump, but Team 5Ds does this, especially in the last episode when they're affirming they'll always be connected, despite being apart from one another.
Played straight in episode 96, and again in episode 134, in a flashback depicting Yusei, Jack, and Crow.
Team Satisfaction also went down the Team Hand Bump way.
Technician Versus Performer: Jack vs. Yusei. Except that Jack, while being the perfectionist, is also a natural crowd-pleaser, and the two are arguably of equal skill.
Teleporters and Transporters: The three Yliaster members can teleport from point A to point B It was implied when Dark Glass teleported ahead very quickly with Accel Synchro, and was later shown to be true when Yusei achieved it, suddenly sending him from the highway to the crash site of another odd object from space
Jack gets tangled up - pardon the pun - in a virtual-reality simulation of them.
Theme Music Power-Up: This applies to any main character. Usually the themes are either techno or hard rock.
Special mention goes to Shooting Star Dragon's theme, Clear Mind, sung by none other than Masaaki Endoh.
This Is Unforgivable: Played straight quite a few times, the first major instance being Yusei saying it after his foster parent, Martha, is sacrificed to Uru.
In a more comedic example: JACK ATLAS WILL AVENGE HIS CUP RAMEN!
Three Plus Two: Yusei, Jack, Aki, and the twins. Except the twins actually get their own character development.
Throwing the Fight: Rex Godwin paid off people who could possibly beat Jack while he was King to take a dive. Dragan of Team Ragnarok was one of these people, who revealed to Jack a good while after Godwin had already died, holding a grudge against both of them as he had to throw away his duelist pride for money.
Time Skip: Season three takes place six months after the final duel with Godwin.
A second one occurs in the last few episodes, and it takes place another six months after the final battle with show. Another one is is shown at the beginning of the final episode and this time its definetely years down the road.
Time Travel: The Infinity Device, which is capable of creating wormholes, useable for time travel. Illiaster intends to use the device to further their own schemes in guiding history on the correct path.
Together in Death: When he is forced to defeat a possessed Carly, Jack intends to use a Trap (Shockwave) to end the Dark Duel in a tie, so they will both go down together. However before he can use it, Carly uses her own Trap (Earthbound Release) to ensure only she dies.
In episode 64 Rex meets up with his brother Rudger after his death so they can go to the afterlife together.
Misty and Carly get brief ones. Also the Yliaster Trio gets one each for combining with their D-Wheels or Skateboards and for combining together as Aporia. Finally Bruno gets one to transform into Dark Glass.
Triang Relations: Type III, Mikage loves Jack, Carly loves Jack, Jack loves dueling.
Jack did love Carly later on...but they hadn´┐Żt much time to cherish it.
They have the time now.
Except they don't cherish it.
Dueling and ramen could be tied in Jack's case.
Trigger Phrase: What Divine uses on Aki to have her duel Misty without guilt or hesitation when she believed she was responsible for killing Misty's brother.
Unnamed Parent: Common as it is, this actually isn't the case with Hideo, Setsuko and Tetsuzo. Yusei's father, however, is known only as Hakase/Doctor/Professor Fudo.
The Unpronounceable: The Earthbound Gods/Immortals: Uru, Cusillu, Ccapac Apu, Aslla Piscu, Ccarayhua, Chacu Challhua and Wiraqocha Rasca.
Unrealistic Black Hole: The black hole Antionmy/Bruno creates during his duel with Yusei by blowing up the sun.
The Unreveal: The "original" timeline of the series that Z-one comes from before he began messing with history apparently had Yusei pioneering Accel Synchro and Delta Accel Synchro with Shooting Star Dragon and "Cosmic Blazar Dragon", with no mention of Shooting Quasar Dragon. The actual card/monster was never seen, only a brief mention was made, but the speculation and rumors over it were rampant.
Urban Segregation: Played straight, with Neo Domino being the ritzy, upper class half of the city and Satellite a slum and a Dystopia.
Vitriolic Best Buds: Jack and Crow appear to be this in times of peace, with Jack's "holier than thou" attitude and Crow's loud sharp tongue, but it when comes down to it, they're the best of friends along with Yusei, who plays the middleman in their antics.
Also, Mikage, Carly, and Stephanie become this throughout Season Three.
We Have Reserves: Subverted. Rudger is very shocked and furious after realizing that Demak has been defeated by Rua and Ruka, but still has a Plan B, in the form of Bommer] .
Crow first agrees to lead Yusei to Old Momentum, then duels Bommer, then duels Rex, leading some in fandom to jokingly - or maybe not-so-jokingly - call him "the sixth Signer" - a title he earns in canon in Episode 64, when he gains the tail birthmark.
Iliaster fits this even better. They've killed so many people (including their own members) throughout the many times of correcting history that they can't even remember specific persons anymore. They've also destroyed cities and even made minor revisions in hundreds of years to keep humanity from destroying itself.
(25+ 26) First full-colour flashback revealing Jack's and Yusei's past, summoning of the Crimson Dragon using all of the Signers, and Jack is violently dethroned.
(34+ 35) Flashbacks of Team Satisfaction and Kiryu's murder. First appearance of an Earthbound God and Yusei is nearly killed by it. He escapes, but not without getting a piece of shrapnel stuck in his abdomen.
(38+ 39) Carly becomes a Dark Signer. Two Earthbound Gods are summoned at the same time (causing hundreds of people to be sacrificed). Bommer apparently joins the Dark Signers. The city inside the lines is demolished. Divine is killed.
(57) We get to see exactly what happened with Zero Reverse. The severed arm with the Dragon's Head turns out to be Rudger's. Iliaster is revealed to have more than a hand in prior (and likely current) events. Yusei falls into Old Momentum after Rudger blows up the bridge the two of them were standing on.
(62 through 64) King of the Underworld appears from Old Momentum. Rex becomes both a Signer and a Dark Signer and starts a 1 vs 3 duel with Yusei, Jack and Crow above the city on a massive geogyph. He uses his temple and transforms it into a massive duel disk. Crow becomes a Signer when the Signer marks are switched around. When Rex is defeated, he leaves into the afterlife with his brother, and the rest of the Dark Signers are brought back to life.
(107) Bruno's true identity is revealed and he regains his memories back. Yusei goes through an alternate dimension world to obtain Shooting Star Dragon and talk to the ZONE entity. Bruno is also said to come from another world and his mission is to help Yusei and stop the Yliaster trio. Momentum is also stated to respond to people's hearts as Yusei learns how to obtain a "Clear Mind" in order to accel synchro. Then Placido fuses with his D-Wheel to duel Yusei.
(134 through 135) Jose reveals to the Signers the future, where Synchro Summons literally destroy the world. It also shows an army of the three Machine Emperors nuking the world, and the fact that the Tenors were once in fact human. The episode ends with the Tenors fusing into one entity, Aporia. Then its revealed that an aged human Aporia met with also human and aged Bruno and Paradox along with ZONE. The four of them performed experiments in hope to save the earth but Bruno and Paradox died of old age. Aporia requests ZONE at his last moments to split himself into three entities representing the three points of despair in his life (losing parents, love and everyone). It is revealed that ZONE created Luciano, Placido and Jose along with a young robotic versions of Bruno and Paradox to send into the past to correct itself.
(137) Yusei defeats Aporia and thinks the Ark Cradle is no longer a threat. Cue everyone's celebration cut short by the sky literally shittering and the Ark Cradle descending on Neo Domino City. Everyone is told that the Ark Cradle will collide with Neo Domino City in twelve hours and destroy it, causing massive panic and evacuation. The Ark Cradle is revealed to be the destroyed Neo Domino City turned upside down. Sherry contacts Yusei and is shown to have an Evil Costume Switch.
(144/5) Most of the Ark Cradle fits here, but these especially when Bruno finally gets the rest of his memories back and recalls his real name. He promptly challenges Yusei to a Riding Duel around a star. It doesn't last long when he pulls off a new Delta Accel Synchro which causes a supernova and results in a black hole behind the two. Yusei pulls enough Tuners for Shooting Star's effect to finish off Bruno/Antinomy, but not quickly enough to get out of the black hole's path and both are swallowed. Yusei reassures Bruno that no matter what, he's a friend and Bruno sacrifices himself to give enough power to blast Yusei out the black hole and back to the Ark Cradle. Yusei gets back only to find Bruno's broken visor and breaks down.
(148-150) Yusei and ZONE get their duel, flying between the Ark Cradle and Neo-Domino. As soon as either takes damage, they go flying and face crashing into buildings of either. As soon as this happens to ZONE, half his mask cracks and falls away, revealing the left side of his face is identical to Yusei's. Turns out then, that he isn't, but someone who recreated himself as Yusei to give people hope and failed. Then he summons a monster that guarantees 4000 points of damage. All the while, Yusei summons his friends' dragons one after another, ZONE takes them all out in the same manner, knocking Yusei down to a low number of life points and out of his D-Wheel. Falling towards Neo-Domino, the spirit of his father appears to him and bitchslaps him into fighting back. Yusei manages to get back into his D-Wheel and resume the duel, summoning Life Stream, rides into SPACE and then calling out every one of his other friends' dragons at once, (becomine Godsei gold in the process) and combines them into Shooting Quaser Dragon.
Also Mukuro Enjo, who apparently was a teammate of Yusei and Aki and won the Pegasus J. Crawford Cup Trinidad Riding Duel Grand Prix with them in Z-One's original timeline!
In-universe. Z-one's computer terminal in Episode 149 lists information about Yusei and his friends that tease before he messed with the timeline, things went quite differently. Significant changes include only five Dark Signers, Yusei and Aki teaming with Mukuro Enjo/Hunting Pace to win a tournament, and Yusei having a new ace monster, "Cosmic Blazar Dragon".
What Happened to the Mouse?: All of Yusei's non-Signer/main character friends from the beginning disappear before Season 3. Himuro and Yanagi were last seen waving the gang off as they made their way to Satellite, while Rally, Nerve, Taka and Blitz woke up after being released from Uru. Since then... they've appeared briefly in a flashback to Yusei's rematch with Rudger.
Then there's Sly, who had possible plotline going of stealing Stardust Dragon... only to be dropped after one episode.
Where It All Began: In the last major duel of the series, Yusei and Jack start their duel at the exact same spot Jack stole Yusei's bike and Stardust Dragon, which started the whole plot of 5Ds into motion some three years prior. It's fitting as both a sort of Book Ends to the series, and a nice contrast to see how far both Yusei and Jack have come as people, friends, and as Duelists.
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: In episode 2 of the dub, Yusei is said to have a fear of bugs. Ironic in that he later has to face a spider-based deck (to its credit, the dub actually shows a bit of continuity by having him afraid of the giant spiders Roman is summoning to the field).
Wordof God: Lots of interesting details never shown in canon are only talked about in staff blogs and twitters. Here is a list of some of them.
The Worf Effect: Has happened to almost everyone at some point or another, main character or no.
Rua is an odd example, in that he isn't exceptionally strong. However, he did lose to Yusei, Bommer, Divine, and Luciano, and wth the exception of Yusei, everyone he lost to had their first on-screen duel against him.
Writing Around The Trademarks: An unusual example. The original name of Jack's duel runner was "Wheel of Fortune." Obviously, this was not legal to broadcast in America, so it was changed for the dub.
It could be applied to Yusei's drive to defeat Rudger responsible for not only the death of Yusei's parents, but Jack's, Crow's, countless hundreds/thousands, Rally and Martha which pushes him over the edge and has him chasing Rudger blindly after their first duel, desperate to duel him again in a very un-Yusei fashion.
The AI in Tag Force 5 is intelligent, but it is too strict in the priority of the moves they make, and they may walk into a knowingly bad move just because it's programmed to do something. For example, if your opponent adds Marshmallon to their hands the turn before, and the enemy sets that monster on your ally's turn, they will hit the Marshmallon, not thinking it's a Marshmallon.
Ditto for the World Championship games, where the AI will forgo a chance to win the duel with a monster effect in favor of just attacking.
Bad Export for You: Present in the Tag Force games, which removes the voiced content and has glitches not present in the Japanese version (such as in Tag Force 5 the Machine Emperor's summoning cinematics won't register in the photo gallery).
Boss in Mook Clothing : Starting from World Championship 2010 theres one Character usually stand out for being very tough to beat due to having a deck that is better than what you can get normally in the current state(since you face them usually early in the game). Mimi in 2010(have a card that cant be destroyed by battle, easily summoned, and have 4000 attack and relatively good Spell/Trap/Monster Line-up) and Minegishi in 2011(A Chaos DAD deck with good spell Trap Line-up that quality is on par of Tournament level deck)
Demoted to Extra: Crow in World Championship. In 2010, He was suposed to be the fifth Signer, but was scrapped so the Player can become it instead. And in 2011, he is injured through most of the final chapter (Alongside everyone else, minus you, Yusei and Jack), forcing you to take his place.
Also, Bruno, who is replaced by Misaki
Dub Name Change: Inverted/Averted in WC 2011, who keeps Team Satisfaction and Team Ragnarok's names as is. The former were called by their dub name (The Enforcers) in WC 2010, and the latter hadn't appeared in the dub at the time of the game's release.
Yusei falls victim to the same thing in that episode. The card he used in the last turn, Summon Tax, had been in his hand for some time. If he had set it when he set Cosmic Blast, he was guaranteed a win. If Jean's external piece destroyed it and not Cosmic Blast, Yusei can use Stardust for a Heroic Sacrifice and win. If it's still Cosmic Blast destroyed, he can activate it after summoning Dragoequites, and if Jean summons Voltic Bicorn he loses, so he wouldn't and thus would have to take a lethal direct hit. But no... they had to drag it out as much as possible...
Gameplay and Story Segregation: It's supposed to be extremely difficult to construct a deck full of cards with any sort of power for those who live in the Satellite, but when you're actually playing not only does every person have a full deck, but they tend to be extremely powerful ones at that.
Marth Debuted in Smash Bros.: Dark Signer Godwin appeared in WC 2010 months before he did for the english anime, as well as a few minor characters in early season 3. The same goes for Crashtown!Kiryu and Tag Force 5.
Literal example, the Heart Birthmark appears in the completed symbol of the Crimson Dragon around Godwin's temple in WC 2010, which was released in Japan on February 18, the day after Episode 97 aired over there. Rua gained the Heart Birthmark in Episode 142, which aired in Japan on January 5, 2011, 44 days short of a full year after WC 2010 was released in Japan.
New Game+: Present in World Championship. After clearing the main storyline, you can start the game over with the same cards, recipes and character that you used in your previous playthrough.
Nintendo Hard: Its often difficult for those who aren't well versed in the game or without cheating devices, to get off the ground as the starting decks are crap and you must progress in the game a fair bit in order to unlock the packs with decent cards.
2010 got better in that regards, in that you start the game with packs containing some useful synchros, and you can get a structure deck after the first few duels.
No Export for You: Tag Force 6 debuted waaay back in 2011. Neither hide nor hair has been seen of an english release.
Old Save Bonus: You can port in recipes from Tag Force 3 to Tag Force 4 and the same goes for 4 to 5. And use UMD recognition for both games using the old Tag Forces to unlock cards and characters.
Pragmatic Adaptation: WC 2009 and WC 2010 are simplified versions of the first two seasons of 5Ds, though the Dark Signer arc had a lot of twists and turns and the game still manages to include most of them. WC 2011 is even more pragmatic; most of the third season of 5Ds was a bunch of personal growth stories for side characters before Yliaster showed up, so instead they made up their own group of unique characters for the video game's protagonist.
Self-Insert Fic: The entire game plot of both World Championship games is essentially the same as the anime with your character inserted. Mostly averted with the WC 2011 game, which has you as a totally unrelated character from Crash Town with his/her own friends unique to the game.
Sequential Boss: The four clones of yourself in 2009. Four back to back duels and your Life Points carry over. Carried over in similar fashion for 2010 but thankfully they are Bonus Bosses.
The entire final chapter of 2011 is built on this.
Ship Tease: The ending of pretty much every single female character's storyline in the Tag Force games.
Stalker with a Crush: In Tag Force 5, Sherry mentions that she was living in your own apartment for quite some time, and that she can't sleep well at night because "She has no one to hold her".
Stealth-Based Mission: At certain point in WC 2009, both your deck and D-Wheel are taken by Securities, so you have to sneak in the Securities Impound to get them back. Possibly doubles as That One Level. Carried over to 2010, but this time, it's only your deck.
Stupidity Is the Only Option: Chapter 2 of WC 11 is all about this. No, you can't refuse to help Lilie, and duel Crow because he mistakes you for a kidnapper. And no, You can't avoid being lured into a fake D-Wheel shop, buying fake D-Wheel parts and getting said parts stolen by the same person who took you there in the first place.
Those Two Guys: Okita and Liquid in Reverse of Arcadia, West and Nico in Over the Nexus.
Video Games Always Spoil: In the English release, WC 2010 spoils the conclusion of the Dark Signer arc Minus Crow getting the tail birthmark and Aki learning how to ride a D-Wheel. It also (for both the Japanese and Americans) shows the heart birthmark almost a full year before the anime. Tag Force 5 manages to spoil a lot of things in season three for English players as well.
Tag Force 6 will reveal to dub watchers Zone's identity or at least who he appears to be. It'll be the only way they learn due to the anime ending prematurely just before the Ark Cradle appears. That is, assuming dub watchers can even get their hands on and play Tag Force 6 (see No Export For You above).