Call of Darkness is a series of post-canon Yu-Gi-Oh!! 5Ds fanfiction. Complete as of 16 September 2013.Written by lalunaticscribe and posted in FF.net, Call of Darkness is technically the third and last of the series of fanfictions, beginning with Infernity Mirage, followed by Boss Rush, and now by Call Of Darkness, although the last is admittedly the one with the best work invested by the author. There is now a spin-off of all three, called Thousand Strings.Unlike the full first-person view of Infernity Mirage, which details the better part of two years in Duel Academia Kings, and Boss Rush, which takes on the eventful first year that led to the opening of Call Of Darkness two years later, Call Of Darkness is told in two points of view.One side is told by Seika Kannazuki, the Young And In Charge girl without powers that is the fourth head of the now-revamped Arcadia Movement of the 5Ds canon. The other side is told by Chase Princeton, an older Duelist who looks too much like his uncle Manjoume Jun and therefore has a complex regarding himself and his worth. His only power is to see and call Duel Spirits, and allow others to see them upon skin contact. Both of them work for (and with) the Arcadia Movement, which is an organisation of Psychic Duelists that usually act in the interests of Psychic Duelists but are relegated to the extra-legal police force of Neo Domino City against the spirits of Duel Monsters.Summary: Chase Princeton here. It's been a few years since my best friend and not-really-mortal-enemy disappeared. The Movement's run ragged chasing missing people, and the world's getting weirder. The only thing I can do... well, I can see spirits. It's a start.The entire thing is covered in arcs:Arc the First: Mythological Age, is starting from the prologue (Chapter 0) and covering up to Chapter 21, or XXI. It covers the disappearances of Psychics, attacking Duel Spirits, Weather Dissonance, weird activities, and The End of the World as We Know It brewing on the horizon.Arc the Second: Struggle of Chaos, covers Chapter XXII to XLI (22 to 41). Armageddon being averted and Ryuusei returned to the mortal plane, all is not well as the Movement is lured onto Duelist Kingdom Island under the guise of a tournament, and then literally found themselves Dueling for their lives with the cohorts of various Duel Academias, including Seika's classmates and Chase's alma mater. There is a castle siege, a jailbreak, and in the end someone dies. Though, the Movement rescues them!Arc the Third: Labyrinth of Nightmare (XLII to LXI, 42 to 61) has been concluded as of 30 June 2013. It starts off with a Batman Cold Open and gradually devolves to a rerun of the KC Grand Prix that led to the setting up of a Batman Gambit by Ryuusei to frame and ultimately kill an anti-Psychic attorney. Features a Face-Heel Turn, as Ryuusei faces the Moral Event Horizon and finally succumbs to the curse that follows the rulers of Summer and Winter.Arc the Fourth: Thousand-Eyes Bible is currently ongoing. It is the last arc, covering LXI to the Epilogue (62 to 76), and it looks like something else could open on its tail!
Action Girl: Most, if not all female members of the Arcadia Movement are this. Also consider that their most famous members include, but not limited to: (canonically) Izayoi Aki, or the formerly Ax-Crazy Black Rose Witch. Aki also gave birth to Ryuusei Fudo, who's a lot like her except more powerful. Plus:
Our protagonist, Seika Kannazuki, the fourth head of the Arcadia Movement and apparently able to throw a Death-match Duel Rope, aka a rope with a cuff attached, accurately enough to latch onto a Duel Disk. That's a really small target.
Setsuka Shimotsuki, the leader with the highest kill count next to the late Divine. Also being the Winter Queen. Two years later and mentioning her name can still terrify or infuriate some people.
Michiru Tenjouin, Setsuka's friend /minion and a Fabled Duelist. She managed to pull a draw with Rex Atlas, against Scar-Red Nova Dragon.
The Winter champion, Satsuki Kujaku. She won against her master and grandmaster, the Black Feather user Crow Hogan and her grandfather Katsuya Jounochi, who are both known ace Duelists.
The new Summer champion, Kaiba Kisara, who skydived from an airplane without a parachute and was rescued by three Blue-Eyes White Dragons that she summoned in mid-air. For a lark.
The minor character Vanessa Trent, who has come closer than any other Duelist to beating our protagonist Chase Princeton.
The two Himemiya sisters, Hazuki and Uzuki.
So far, there are a lot of strong female characters, despite Duel Monsters, by its nature being a testosterone-laden field.
Action Survivor: Chase and Seika could fall into this trope, Seika more than most. She was dropped into a position of responsibility that meant shepherding a bunch of attention-deficit combat-trained Psychic Duelists with little to no experience. In comparison, Chase can throw a punch, and can run away, and he's also the heir of the Manjoume Group, so he's relatively more experienced by virtue of being older and being connected, plus having a Psychic Duelist boyfriend who can train him up.
Adults Are Useless: Iemitsu Nakamura and Kaido Ariyashi are Class IV Psychics, and yet allow an underage girl, Seika, to helm the Arcadia Movement.
This is revealed to be somewhat farcical, because despite Seika helming the Movement, it's quite clear that both adults are the ones doing the actual work Behind The Scenes. The nature of the Arcadia Movement being what it was under Shimotsuki Setsuka, placing a child as head was probably a diversionary measure meant to pacify and divert as they did the real work.
Aki Izayoi is a doctor, on top of assisting Seika in her work (somewhat). Yet Yusei Fudo is noticeably absent (researching a way to 'recover' Ryuusei and Setsuka, during the time where the two were still presumed MIA. Afterwards, one guesses that he oversees technical matters of the Movement in between scientific research and his actual job at M.I.D.S.).
Chase is twenty years old or so, and so has actually reached his majority (Japan rules that majority is at twenty instead of twenty-one). He's legally an adult. Being in his majority and the heir of the Manjoume Group means that he can afford to devote his time to cases involving Duel Spirits. It's also implied that there's a payment plan between Chase and the Movement, and that Chase is officially listed as a consultant or employee, so we can presume that he gets a regular cheque and/or insurance for his injuries during downtime.
Or is this his form of philanthropy?
Anti-Hero: Chase Princeton. He tends to waver between Classical and Disney, although he could be pragmatic as well.
Yukio Yamada is also this, but more of an Unscrupulous Hero. He would kill the catatonic Kiyoshi just on the off chance that Kiyoshi could wake up, and to save the Arcadia Movement money from keeping Kiyoshi on life support. An element of revenge could also come up here.
Not so. The Central Movement themselves take tax breaks, receive a stipend from the governments as a result of being declared allied with the City Council of Neo Domino, own properties, and is assumed to supply extra security if paid to do so under the work-for-board scheme. And they also work with the law enforcements in the cities they are based in, or are assumed to. Chase even paraphrased part of the process as 'having sneaky ways to get paid more'.
Artistic License - Law: Happens a lot with the Movement. The Arcadia Rights Bill of 20XX, only in Neo Domino, apparently allows the Movement to commit summary execution on any rogue Psychic. Meaning that a Psychic could be killed without a trial. The Arcadia Rights Bill is also used to press Psychic Duelists in Neo Domino into service alongside law enforcement just by proximity, but this last one is barely ever used.
Amongst fifty thousand Psychic Duelists, only about a thousand are active members that work for the Movement. Fifty or so have advanced combat training. Assuming that the population of Neo Domino is about five million, this means that about 1% of the population of Neo Domino is Psychic, but only 0.02% to police it for Psychic crimes, and 0.001% to have advanced combat training. Not too shabby, but also means that the Movement is quite stretched in Neo Domino. Although it's implied that the Castle has its own defence systems...
Firearms is included under the classes covered in advanced combat. This is rather strange with the fact that Japan's strict anti-gun law means that guns are somewhat extraneous.
Hardly extra when the concept of other branches is brought up. The reason for teaching guns in a country that doesn't allow civilians to have guns is so as to mitigate the extra training needed for those going to countries with guns.
Artistic License - Military: Somewhat researched upon, and therefore subverted. Archibald O'Brien is stated to be a Specialist, which meant that though enlisted, Archie isn't technically an officer. Austin O'Brien of GX fame is a Sergeant, which ain't that impressive either. Rafael de Santos, though assumed to be holding Misgarthian citizenship, is an enlisted Corporal. Although it doesn't change that the Arcadia Movement is liaising with US military when the central branch is set in Japan, and that North America has two perfectly serviceable branches of the Movement on its own.
Actually, it's been stated that when West Academia and West Point approached the North American branches to devise a special anti-Psychic curriculum, the Movements referred them to the Central Movement. Despite that each Movement branch is capable of implementing autonomous policy that would benefit the geographic region of its station, what ails one ails the others together. The North American Movements not only have noted bad history with the US military complex, but also don't want to be the guys responsible for arming them with the knowledge of taking Psychics down. Yet they can't give up this opportunity and don't know if the military is playing on the level, hence the whole guise of references to the Central Movement. The apparent reason why the US military didn't intervene sooner was accorded to Setsuka working something out. In short, the very reputation of Shimotsuki Setsuka kept the Movement out of military interference for two years even without her being around.
Asskicking Equals Authority: Subverted. The head of the Arcadia Movement, while usually depicted as the strongest or Class V Psychic Duelist, is headed by the powerless Seika Kannazuki in the fic.
Seika is the adopted daughter of the Fudo family, and taught by not only Fudo Yusei, but also implied to be taught somewhat by her predecessor, Setsuka. Despite her choice of a Fortune Lady deck, she's shown as winning more often than not.
Played straight for her predecessor, Setsuka Shimotsuki. Setsuka took over the Arcadia Movement and proceeded to rule it by a combination of making everyone play nice and being the Big Bad. At twelve years old. She's also the Winter Queen because of how terrifying she is. How does a twelve year old child scare the crap out of so many monsters we're not too keen to find out. Maybe because of the Ice Barrier Duel spirits?
The Summer and Winter rulers are this, by virtue of the fact that they stand at the top of vicious, fierce alliances of monster tribes and make everyone get along by sheer virtue of power.
Played straight in the case of Yukio. Although he and his twin brother Yuko founded the Knights of Arcadia support group, Yukio is arguably the more terrifying of the two. Maybe because he was the only student of Shimotsuki Setsuka. Yukio is also plenty terrifying on his own, but being trained by the villain really does wonders for his own reputation.
Axe Crazy: Chase summoned Setsuka. Setsuka appeared... with a giant two-bladed battleaxe in hand. Chase was suitably freaked out.
Little Miss Badass: Seika and Setsuka both carry this trope. Setsuka managed the Arcadia Movement with an iron fist from age twelve to eighteen, and even empowered it. Seika took over and then proceeded to charge into a battlefield of Duel Spirits despite having no Psychic powers and no weapons except for her Duel Disk.
Badass Bookworm: Kaido Ariyashi is a short bespectacled man who rarely leaves headquarters, since he mostly monitors the archives and the accounting departments of the Arcadia Movement. He's also a Class IV Psychic with the unique ability of sight-psychometry: i.e. reading your entire life history by looking at you. He can also fight if pressed, and once nearly burned the face off someone for not respecting Seika. While reciting the principles of the UN Declaration for the Rights of the Child, and pointing out that he could justifiably murder the guy and his comrades for that.
Although it's a bit hard to respect a child at first glance, and that murder is openly punished, but given the radical redefinition of general principles, Kaido may be Wrong Genre Savvy. Still can't blame him.
Badass Family: Diana Hunter, or Madam Seiran Shimotsuki, is a Psychic Duelist who is still respected ten years after her death. She also killed over 200 gang members in an event which would be known as the White Witch Massacre. Rafael is, canonically, the only guy who has ever managed to corner and defeat the Pharaoh. Both of them got married, and it resulted in Setsuka Shimotsuki.
Awesome Aussie: Jimmy Cook, or James Crocodile Cook II, is Australian. He is also badass enough to attempt to take Setsuka with him to the death. Granted, it was more of a fool-in-love sort of thing, and he failed, but you've got to give him points for effort. He tried, and arguably would have succeeded if Setsuka didn't jump in and stop him.
Badass in a Nice Suit: Happens quite a few times. Helps that the Arcadia Movement likes to dress its members up in undercover assignments that require socialisation. This is so important that in the first arc, there was serious debate as to what to wear to a war.
Played straight for the emotional impact. Apparently the Movement cares a lot about the impact imparted by nice apparel, and it goes all the way back to the Shimotsuki era, when Chase was commenting on Setsuka's choice of tailor and actually asking her outright who does her couture.
Badass Duo: Chase and Youkai meet an Evilswarm Thanatos running full speed at them. Chase distracts it by making like a bullfighter, and Youkai prepares to drive a knife into the side of the horse, instead of running away. Before that, they deal with a Grinder Golem and a Lava Golem.
Badass Army: Can be argued for the revamped Arcadia Movement. Archie O'Brien (son of Austin O'Brien, also GX fame) called them 'a small militia'. The entire Movement faced off against the attack of the Despair of the Dark, some members survived Duelist Kingdom, and all were very calm when Ryuusei began fighting his way out of the Arcadia Movement's Castle.
It gets overblown by people who don't know all the details. In the Duelist Kingdom, a team of elite Duel Corps from West Academia were defeated by the Winter Queen, but about ten Psychics led by Seika succeeded in gathering the remaining sixty Duelists still running around to charge the castle and rescue the hostages. Of course, they failed to discount that this was part of a Batman Gambit by Setsuka, and that Setsuka never intended to kill every Duelist on the island, but the fact that about ten people did what an entire contingent of about twenty hardened Duelist soldiers couldn't made the Arcadia Movement seem even more awesome to terrified plebeians more than it actually was.
Batman Gambit: The third head of the Arcadia Movement and the current Winter Queen, Setsuka Shimotsuki, is fond of this trope.
She wants to kill the otherwise useless champion of Summer Yuuki Ayame without starting a war with Summer. She wants to train Seika to handle chaos and trouble better. She wants to drive Ryuusei crazy and make him take his responsibilities as Summer King seriously, without causing trouble between Summer and Winter after the fiasco of the first arc. And, she wants to get rid of her debt to Seto Kaiba quickly, by healing his sick niece Kisara. Her solution involves throwing most Duelists and a select team of Psychics, including Seika and Ryuusei, onto the Duelist Kingdom island in the guise of a tournament to drain everyone of their energy to heal Kisara and toss them about in the chaos, and then allowing them to contact the mainland for help. This is with the idea that Captain Yuuko Kaname, a friend of the two girls, would brave hell and high water for Seika. Since police forces in Japan are allowed guns, including Captain Kaname, Setsuka then, over a series of steps, deliberately baited Yuuko to shoot at her before directing the bullet to Ayame. So Ayame died by an accident, Seika is traumatised by that her childhood friend could carry off such a cold-blooded plan while also pulling off the Action Survivor part of what Setsuka intended, and Ryuusei had his first champion killed right in front of him as a direct consequence of allowing his employees so much leeway when he needed the champion to serve him. It could be averted should anyone realise that the angry mob thing was what she had intended to form all along, and Chase nearly did realise it, but was overridden by the mob mentality surrounding the other Duelists on the island, including a cadre of military-trained West Academia third-years.
Also applied in the first arc. Kiyoshi knew that Ayame, the then-champion of Summer, was dissatisfied with serving Summer while he was under the Lotus-Eater Machine. After gathering a few minions of his own, he antagonised the Summer King, Ryuusei, into punishing Ayame after the latter's attempted revolt by turning Ayame to stone. The mantle of the Summer champion therefore sealed temporarily, he then arranged for his minions to steal the Ayame-statue and so take Summer's power away, therefore forcing Summer and Winter to prepare for war. He got the Arcadia Movement's protection by making himself out to be a target for assassination via Duel Spirit by getting one minion to attack him in the company of four other Psychic Duelists, and diverted their attention by sending the Despair of the Dark. It would have worked, if Kiyoshi had remembered to plan for someone who could see spirits, i.e. Chase Princeton. With someone else who could see spirits around, his plan came crashing down.
Most every arc comes with a Batman Gambit itself. It can be fair to say that interaction between spirits thrive on them.
Battle Butler: Nakamura Iemitsu is a Class IV Psychic and also one of the most respected Psychic Duelists in the whole Movement, no matter in the Oceanic, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic or Antarctic regions, and also the administrative in-charge of the Central Movement. Yet he seems content to keep serving his former young lady Setsuka Shimotsuki and now Seika.
Blessed with Suck: On the surface, having Psychic powers tend to be fantastic. You can summon monsters, you can destroy objects with holograms, you're a living weapon by yourself... until you realise that, not only do Psychics still face fear and hate and discrimination in some ways, and that 30% of all abandonment and abuse cases in Neo Domino itself stem from Psychic Duelists being involved one way or another. It's explained as a misunderstanding that Psychics hurt everyone and destroy everything around them, but the Movement has proven that there is an inherent choice in Psychic Dueling. So it's really a lot of misplaced hate and fear. The Arcadia Rights Bill does something to help, but it also effectively places all Psychics under the debt of the Movement and Neo Domino City itself. See Cursed with Awesome below too.
Ryuusei Fudo seems to have it really bad. Not only is he a powerful Psychic and a good Duelist of his own right, but his mother's shadow falls over every action he takes. Also that he's the Summer King, and so has With Great Power Comes Great Insanity due to the cognitive dementia the mantles of power seem to give their bearers. His looks had also plagued him in his life before being spirited away.
Setsuka. Though she's the Winter Queen, you have to consider what this means to a girl who's still essentially eighteen. She's been isolated all her life because of her incredible power and intelligence, which makes her a capable ruler, but also hardly sociable. Or normal for any given value of the word. It becomes something like The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask when we compare Seika and Setsuka and realise that, where Seika had to face the current challenges of the Movement but wwith adult help, Setsuka had to battle discrimination for ten years without family support, dissent from her own family, assassination attempts, and at a time far worse than what Seika could ever face. Though we give her points for being a Determinator about the whole thing.
Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Hazuki and Uzuki are redheads, Setsuka and Seika are brunettes. Satsuki is blonde, by virtue of having Katsuya Jounochi and Mai Kujaku as her grandparents. Michiru has brown-black hair, when she doesn't bother to dye it.
Interesting note: Ryuusei is described as having red bangs, due to his mother. So since Chase is a brunet and Rex is blond, therefore having Ryuusei fulfill the redhead aspect would give us the Spear Counterpart of this.
Blue and Orange Morality: Direct quote: "Good and evil are human concepts, and so cannot apply to those who are not human."
Ryuusei and Setsuka tend to end up as this. Two years living with non-human Duel Spirits would do that to anyone.
Dreigoon, or Rei, Chase's spirit partner, exhibits this. Being a Duel Spirit with no concept of mortal life, Rei's confusion is evident when a minor character starts on the With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility spiel, not due to megalomania, but because Rei had truly never considered the concept of responsibility prior to being stuck with Chase.
Brit Pick: Call Of Darkness is written entirely in British English with great influence by Japanese media. Just call it a mishmash of languages. After all, the author is Singaporean.
Central Theme: Aside from the fate vs free will thing going on with Summer and Winter, Call Of Darkness also looks at power vs accountability in a more general sense centralised around the Arcadia Movement. The arcs themselves each have a theme:
Mythological Age covers what does it mean to hold power, or to be powerless in a world where to be powerful could mean all the difference as a powerless person heading a powerful organisation.
Struggle of Chaos is duty vs desire, whether personal desires should interfere in carrying out duties, and the results thereof amongst the powerful.
Labyrinth of Nightmare is family: what does it mean for a family due to power imbalances, or the conflicts between members of a family with/without special abilities.
A sub-plot is the Yamada twins, thrown out of their house by their phobic father for having Psychic powers. Chase had observed their father to be "a proud man". Although Yukio and Yuko are characters created by a reader rather than the author, they fit this theme as the consequence of their father being unable to accept that his sons have the power he hates, and also throws in a Green-Eyed Monster approach at the situation rather than outright phobia. Likewise, the Misawa family is one, albeit much softer and more sympathetic overall.
Thousand-Eyes Bible is slated to be beliefs: what kind of beliefs should influence policy and how those beliefs come into play upon politics. Also has a sort of ends-justify-means debate, which led to its tragic conclusion.
Chekhov's Classroom: In the third arc, there was a lecture on the Arcadia Movement's policy with regards to the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention. It seems like extraneous information until Chapter 59, where it's revealed that one of the antagonists of that arc did what he did as revenge for his twin sister, who suffered under the laws written in by Attorney Yamada Yuuta because the Hague Convention wasn't signed by Japan, and so he was separated from his sister for about five years (since Japan is not a signatory, and so his sister wasn't returned to the father after the divorce and Mummy running off to Japan with the baby sister).
All the way from the first arc, Ichimonji being trapped by Marguerite led to his death in the first arc which was a major point in the investigation of the burglary of the Chaos Emperor Dragon case, because if Chase didn't know about Ichimonji's unwitting placement into Summer, the gambit could never have been concretely traced backed to Ryuusei.
There was a mention of the most recent tiff between Yukio and his father as well in relation to the Hague Convention: a Peruvian Psychic Duelist smuggled a Raigeki (explicitly stated to be banned in tournament use in here) back to Peru and killed his abusers and passers-by. So the trouble between Yukio and Attorney Yamada wasn't just fear on the side of the father; it was having to face his son in a legal tussle that had been hinted to be brutal. This comes into play in the last chapter of the third arc, where Yukio and Yuko had repaired relations with their mother but are still cool with their father; the bad blood is now a matter of business.
In the first arc, Seika received Number 39: King of Wishes, Hope (or Utopia, for those playing TCG). It soon became one of her most-seen aces. This card is slated to be important in the future, what with Setsuka relating a story about the Numbers and their relation to Pandora's Box.
Cold-Blooded Torture: What Setsuka did to Kiyoshi. Also to Yuuki. Le's just say that in anything involving torture, she's responsible one way or another.
Comes Great Responsibility: One of the core ideals is that all Psychics have a duty to train their own powers to within good control, if not absolute powers. Also used as a cover for the lack of rotation though there are stated to be fifty thousand Psychics in Neo Domino alone: Most Psychics just train until they can control themselves and lead a normal life, after which the responsibility of the Movement is concluded towards that individual member. Those who choose to undergo further training would usually end up with one of the combat-oriented groups or fall into obscurity. See Earn Your Happy Ending below.
Comes Great Perks: Debatable. The perk of powers don't seem to be really worth the number of enemies you seem to make in this universe, or the trouble you'll get into. Either you're looked down on society, or you have to fight off psychic-haters, or a Duel Spirit might enslave you and make you do morally questionable stuff, and might even outright kill you For the Evulz. Then again, you could have a cool job in quasi-legal law enforcement and bridging the various Arcadia Movements worldwide.
Combat Pragmatist: Nearly all Psychic Duelists are this. Although just owning a Duel Disk places them at a comparative advantage and gives them access to monsters, several of them are armed with knives and also keep spare cards on their person. And that's in Japan. Other Psychics presumably keep guns around. They teach camps on how to inflict burn damage, in the middle of the desert around Satisfaction Town. The camp is called Camp Kaboom, and they turn acres of sand into glass every year. That's just in Neo Domino. Imagine how the other Movements must train their Psychics.
Commander Contrarian: Yukio Yamada held the Conflict Ball for the start of the entire story. His rationale was that a powerless minor had no truck running an organisation of Psychics where there were others. He arguably has a point.
Though his stance had relaxed somewhat when Seika proved herself Weak, but Skilled recently, and he did keep his protests to within earshot of Seika rather than declaring public revolt or splitting the Movement to two different ideals. Yukio is savvy enough to understand the consequences of dividing the Central Movement to do so, and Seika knows that not courting his opinion is akin to causing a rift in the Movement. It still doesn't stop Yukio's presence from scaring her; Yukio is the only person Seika refers to as "Yamada-san" in her thoughts, but twin brother Yuko gets "Yuko-kun" or "Yuko" and cousin Yuuki gets "Yuuki-san" or "Yuuki-kun" or just Yuuki. This from the girl with balls enough to call Setsuka "Setsu-chan" to her face.
Conveniently an Orphan: Both Chase and Seika. Chase still has his estranged uncle, but is otherwise adopted into the extended Team 5Ds family. Setsuka is an orphan as well, her parent figure being the Battle Butler Iemitsu Nakamura, but she still has a cousin, Orion Hunter, that she does not speak to. Seika is adopted as the daughter of the Fudo family, and was nearly adopted by the Shimotsuki family after her father's death.
Seika's mother is not usually referred to, although there is good evidence to show that Seika's mother is alive, and is a Duel Spirit. See Parental Abandonment below.
Averted with Ryuusei; his parents are still alive.
Cool and Unusual Punishment: What Setsuka wrecked on Kiyoshi. The details weren't written, but by the end of it, Kiyoshi was a living scrimshaw and tattoo exhibit, his body wasted, and already insane, having lost all higher-order capabilities. The third arc showed that he had to be left in a medically induced coma to relieve his pain. Yukio might actually have been on to something there...
Cruel and Unusual Death: If you thought the death scene for Ayame was bad, just see what Ryuusei wrecked upon a pair of abusive guardians. He brought death by freak virus plagues down upon them. Literally 'a pox upon their houses', but plural. To get an idea of how bad it was, the pox killed both the abusers in a space of less than twenty-four hours. When Chase broke into the apartment for an investigation, the only clue of unusual (Duel Spirit) activity other than seeing Ryuusei do a vague motion, was black stuff left by one of them having clawed into the plaster walls. It was said to be necrotic tissue. To be left in so much pain as to claw the walls, leaving behind bits of yourself and not even caring asyou try to crawl out and can't, and necrosis being induced in less than twenty-four hours... yes, though considerably warmer, in no way can Summer be considered nice.
Even before that, in the first arc we had a random victim, ascribed to Kiyoshi. The victim's description was Lamp Shaded to having died grand mort after petit mort. The only reference to grand mort we've found is having a fatal stroke right in the middle of- you know what? We'll just save you the hurling.
And Seika, to some degree. I mean, how many can claim to be the leader of what is effectively fifty thousand WM Ds or tanks across a whole city, and even more across the globe? Of course, there's also that pesky matter of being in charge as a minor...
Cuteness Overload: Himemiya Uzuki uses a Madolche deck. They look like cute little buggers until you realise that being clobbered by a giant fork, a teapot or the Puddingcess's shoes hurts. And, Uzuki fights dirty.
A minor character acknowledges this by saying that while the Madolche may look cute, a weapon is a weapon, and a ton of plush soldiers beating you to death with candy-cane swords is not a dignified way to go. He also said that the Puddingcess has a nasty habit of stomping nuts. We presume he didn't mean things like walnuts.
Dark Is Not Evil: Setsuka is the queen of wicked monsters, and yet she's relatively Affably Evil and a Noble Demon. She's been shown in a rather favorable light more than once, expressing reluctance to kill Ayame or love for Jimmy or regret, and yet shouldering the blame. She manipulated all events so that Ayame would die in an accident by misfired bullet, and yet the shooter was absolved of all responsibility because the shooter was threatened by Setsuka's deliberate movements.
Surprisingly, Evilswarm Ouroboros in the first arc. He expresses regret for killing his brothers, the Eldritch Abominations Bahamut and Ophion, and that they must face each other across the battlefield. He is also relatively accepting of the way they died in Seika's Duel against Kiyoshi, and even supplied Seika with a replacement for himself after the Summer-Winter war. Also, Evilswarm Ouroboros is one of the characters who have yet to seek vengeance or show any inclination towards violence.
Likewise, the Infernity clan of Duel Spirits, alongside the Apes, the Spiders, the Fortune Ladies, the Reptilianne, the Inca, and the Reactors, serves as guards to protect a maximum-security prison in another dimension that currently holds their former masters, the Earthbound Gods, with a lot more prisoners. The Earthbound Gods are minimum security.
Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: Ryuusei tried to set something up involving this. the plan hinged on no human second-guessing that Yamada Yuuta did anything more than have hatred for the Arcadia Movement. At that time, the new Summer champion Kisara Kaiba was terrified of meeting a similar fate to Ayame. The plan took five months to set up. It went like this: Kisara provided her family heirloom as a giant target, and arranged the KC Grand Prix. During the five months of training, Ryuusei also prepared a second agent and member of the Arcadia Movement, Vanessa Trent, to infiltrate the Movement again, while her twin brother, Leo Sterling, worked as an intermediary between a pair of orphaned siblings, the Sakumo family, where the younger sister Serena was an extremely powerful Psychic to isolate them from the Arcadia Movement's help. The KC Grand Prix worked as a pretext to dump the Chaos Emperor Dragon to anyone except an agent of Winter, and then sending one agent to steal it in an extremely public manner to lure the police investigation to Yamada Yuuta, who would be set up to be killed and therefore publicly discredited when the planted Chaos Emperor Dragon was revealed.
The plan was nearly derailed due to the presence of Satsuki and Setsuka at the KC Grand Prix, where Ryuusei made use of a scapegoat to provide a distraction too the Winter side. It would also have been derailed should Vanessa's guardians be brought up on charges of abuse and have to confess their story, which would reveal Vanessa' prior disappearance suspicious in the eyes of the Movement investigators, hence the freak virus plague that killed them so soon after Vanessa's infiltration. In the end, the aim was for everyone to walk away, and the mastermind went free. Justice is served, the Movement gets its prize and minus one public enemy, and Kaiba Corp's blunder is overshadowed by the so-called abuse of Serena Sakumo and the whole scandal with Yamada Yuuta. Yamada Yuuta wouldn't be there to protest his innocence, as he would have died alone and unmourned.
It became a Spanner in the Works when Chase exposed his gambit in front of the Yamada twins, Seika, Rex and a few others.
The Dragon: Each Court, on top of having a monarch, must also have a champion that's explicitly mortal, i.e. human. Summer had Ayame Yuuki, now Kisara Kaiba. Winter has been represented by Satsuki Kujaku since the beginning.
Earn Your Happy Ending: The Arcadia Movement seems to be of this mind. Despite taking in many of its members in dormitories with free room and board, members that live in are still made to study and, on occasion, work in a limited capacity while they remain with the Movement. The same applies to criminal cases taken in by the Movement.
The idea being that while they remain in Sanctuary, or the Arcadia Movement, they work and decide the next steps of their lives, since some time is needed to recover from any Traumatic Backstory. Despite providing sanctuary, the idea is mostly understood that there is no free lunch in the world, so members of the Arcadia Movement are obliged to work for room and board. Usually it becomes a small office job or administrative capacity within the Castle, but occasionally powerful Psychics ends up with the Knights of Arcadia, where they undergo urban combat training and a host of other modules to work with the Neo Domino Police Department, or as bouncers. The Movement also owns real estate, as evidenced by the deserted training ground near Satisfaction Town, and the headquarters itself. Setsuka has also been stated to own clubs, and that one of the Movement's more prolific enterprises lie in security. One presumes they can get enough funds. It can be assumed that each member working pays a set fee for room and board, and added to the tax stipend doing government work and being a charity can prove gain tax breaks. It can also be interpreted as a form of community service, albeit one with the potential to get violent.
Since Setsuka left, it seems that quite a few Psychics are jumping ship because they don't see Seika as a suitable leader, or for other reasons.
The Summer and Winter rulers seem to share this as well. Despite being dealt heavy responsibilities, they certainly try to fulfill those to their fullest ability, which may or may not give them a happy ending.
Eldritch Abomination: Played for straight. The Despair of the Dark is certainly horrific enough to merit this.
Elemental Powers: Usually follows Psychics with one main Attribute in their deck.
Blow You Away: Youkai runs a Wind Psycho-Gusto deck, and on a bad day Neo Domino's storms could be blamed on him. Satsuki is this as well, by virtue of being a Harpie and/or Black Feather user.
Making a Splash: Yukio Yamada runs a Gishki deck, and Setsuka uses an Ice Barrier deck. Setsuka also Kills It With Ice. Setsuka is implied to have taught the latter.
Playing with Fire: Played straight. Ryuusei and Ayame has been shown as having mastery over fire. Given that Black Rose Dragon is a Fire-Attribute...
Jimmy Cook, a Jurrac Duelist, also does this. The antagonist of the first arc also demonstrated capability with this. It's canonically proven that ay Psychic Duelist with a burn-damage card can do this, to a degree.
An Ice Person: Setsuka. 'Nuff said. Probably Yukio to some degree, given that Setsuka is his teacher and that he was stated to have frozen part of a mountain to allow for the siege of Pegasus Castle on Duelist Kingdom.
Green Thumb: Ryuusei, and Hazuki. Ryuusei turned a desert into an oasis within ten minutes. By accident.
Shock and Awe: Any Psychic with a Raigeki or a Lightning Vortex is proven to do this. The former is Canonically banned, but the latter is not. More than one massacre by Psychic happened due to this. So far, no electricity-using Duelist has appeared... yet.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite everything she has done, Setsuka still loves James Cook II, or Jimmy Cook. This is evident when she is implied to have thrown herself into an explosion to shield Jimmy from his own explosion by Psychic power.
Even though the Summer mantle is messing with his morals, Ryuusei is still shown to truly care for his adopted sister and his friends.
Michiru Tenjouin, a proven violent psychopath, seems to have Daddy Issues.
Exact Words: Duel Spirits are bound to the letter of their promises. This can lead to gratuitous Loophole Abuse amongst them. Sure, they must fulfil their promises, but what they actually promised, and what you thought they promised, can be vastly different.
Yukio walked around, studying the really small window.
Yukio: He came in through the window, and Ichimonji was up. They talked. They had an argument. He was tall. Size eleven. He stabbed Ichimonji and tore the heart out, and watched while Ichimonji died. The blood spray must have gotten onto him as well, and walking out with a heart? Why didn't the doorman see him?
Chase: Old age? Different guy?
Yukio: No, the doorman would have raised the alarm. The murderer, he was tall, size eleven. Acrobatic enough, since this is the second floor and he came in through the window. But there's no way to lock a window from outside, so how did he lock it?
Police Officer: Maybe he didn't. Maybe Ichimonji locked it.
Yukio: *pause* Oh. He didn't. Ichimonji did. Meaning the perp is still right here.
Female Gaze: or Gay Man Gaze. Chase is Canonically Gay, so you read it and you notice that, aside from really hot/terrifying girls, he tends to laver more description onto guys. Even though he's attached... and his boyfriend approves of this.
Jimmy: After you. *untucking his shirt. It rode up to show his abs*
I eyed him. So did Youkai. So did Seika.
Jimmy: The club has an image they strive to maintain.
He might have been just a little bit smug, the bastard. His abs look like they were added in with CGI.
Friendly Enemy: Seems like that between Ryuusei and Setsuka, also between Setsuka and Seika. In fact, Setsuka is barely enemy-ish until you realise that she manipulated her childhood friend to fire a bullet to deliberately kill the Summer champion, a girl who wanted no part of the Summer-Winter conflict and was thus shirking her responsibilities.
Good Is Not Nice: Fudo Ryuusei is the Summer King, Setsuka's counterpart and the only one with the power to take a stand against her. He certainly doesn't seem keen on stopping her when she's about to kill Kiyoshi. He also threw a knife hard enough to slice through a skull into Setsuka's brain once, and no one called him out on that.
On Duelist Kingdom, there were a series of stone statues arranged outside of the combined Duel Academia+Arcadia Movement camp. We have Word of God that they used to be Duelists before they met Ryuusei.
The entire first arc had a chance to start because Ryuusei turned his champion into stone. Granted, there were calls to have her torn apart, or drawn and quartered, so he might have good reasons.
And the third arc. Dear god, the third arc. Labyrinth of Nightmare was actually one big brother (Ryuusei) trying to do his sister (Seika) right by getting rid of her enemy, Attorney Yamada. To that end, he set up a Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit to kill and publicly discredit Yamada Yuuta, which ended in a body count of three confirmed and two more possible murders by weird methods such as freak virus plague or exsanguination by plucking the heart out of the chest.
Green-Eyed Monster: Michiru. In the second arc, she finds Seika's affectionate nickname of the Winter Queen 'Setsu-chan' offensive, because she herself has never gotten close to her acknowledged friend Setsuka.
Hero with Bad Publicity: The Arcadia Movement. Several of Attorney Yamada's issues with the Movement stem from their heavy involvement with the police, their stance on child abuse and rights of the child versus family law of Japan (explored a bit in the third arc), and the occasional Psychic that actually loses their shit and blow up a building or two. Also that their former leader was a child with a kill count second to Divine, but the good lawyer never brings it up.
Averted with Setsuka. She did kill people, she did torture people, but there is no evidence because she always disappeared the body. Her bad publicity is used by Arcadia Movements to cow members into submission, mostly because no one wants to die via tiny-girl death. It appears to be carefully cultivated publicity.
Heroic BSOD: Happens in the last part of the Duelist Kingdom siege, where Ayame dies in front of Chase and Seika, and Setsuka shows no regret and only announces that it was All According to Plan.
Heroic Sacrifice: Dante Swartzvauld was a Changeling born between a Witty Phantom and a human woman. An Invader of Darkness, a Jinzo and a Kozaky who were later involved in the first arc as mooks killed his parents. He was present when Jinzo was killed by the Winter Queen, he helped to kill Kozaky, his part played a role in killing the Invader of Darkness, and his Heroic BSOD followed the embracing of his Spirit side and charging armed with an Amulet of Ambition towards the Despair of the Dark and finally killing the Eldritch Abomination. His sacrifice also helped save the world.
Ryuusei gives off flashes of this in the second arc, what with trying to avoid conflict with Winter. So did his late champion, Ayame.
Subverted with Chase and Youkai. Chase and Youkai discussed the possibility of this together in the first arc. As a couple. One of the first couple-y things we see them do (aside from kicking the ass of an Evilswarm Thanatos together) is deciding that they like the adrenaline and risk far more than they like having a routine.
There are probably members of the Movement who want this.
Improbable Aiming Skills: Ryuusei can throw a knife hard enough to pierce through Setsuka's skull. From more than three or four metres away.
Iron Lady: A lot of female figures written in, but mainly Setsuka. The very mention of her name, even two years after her disappearance, is enough to terrify Psychics into submission, and it's openly stated that her disappearance served as the Elephant in the Room for a good two years.
Knight Templar Big Brother: Played with. Chase, Rex and Ryuusei all show signs of being protective of Seika, but none so much as Ryuusei. Even when he was trapped in the Spirit World, the mere threat of a Summer King angry at her for offending his little sister Seika was enough to cause Marguerite to back down.
Also the case with Yukio Yamada. His primary concern for demanding to kill Kiyoshi is because Kiyoshi tried to kill his twin and his cousin. Later, Chase has insight into Yukio's motivations to protect his twin brother and cousin, but find Seika lacking because he doesn't know if she can measure up to provide adequately for all three of the Yamada cousins.
Lady of Black Magic: Marguerite, the Summer Lady, and acknowledged right hand of the Summer King.
Lady of War: Setsuka and Michiru are these. Setsuka led the Winter army in the ancient battlefield against Summer in the first arc, and Michiru is shown to have led an assault as well.
Lamarck Was Right: It's revealed that Psychic power follows inheritance through matrilineal patterns, i.e. mothers who are Psychic Duelists are likely to produce Psychic Duelists as well, but no guarantees for fathers. So far it's ascribed to the size of the X chromosome.
The Arcadia Movement headquarters, also known as the Castle, or La Castle, had been rebuilt since its canonical destruction by a giant hummingbird. Seika described it as : 'placed between the rich Tops district and the rather run-down Daimon Area, exactly where the original was established. It is barely a skyscraper. The outside of the building was black stone, some panels polished smooth as mirrors, some panels craggy as cliffs, some etched with symbols and esoteric art. The main entrance itself was dominated by an arch of black marble, which, if you looked at it right you would see the mica gleaming from reflected light like so many stars in the night sky'.
The purpose of the black outer surface is quickly revealed in the first arc: They are all solar panels that are meant to convert sunlight into power. Not for everyday use, but to power the emergency defence system in the case of the Arcadia Movement being under attack. The placement of the Movement also makes sense, because it places the Movement itself at a site of social divide and therefore bridges the gap between rich and poor by making itself accessible by the upper-middle and lower-middle classes.
Location Theme Naming: The Arcadia Movement, or La Castle. Setsuka's stronghold is Lia Fáil, for the coronation stone at Tara. The castle on Duelist Kingdom, named Pegasus Castle, is clearly stated to be a mirror image of Edinburgh Castle.
Loophole Abuse: The rulers of the two Courts of Summer and Winter cannot directly kill any mortal unconnected to either Court, nor can they interfere directly with mortal affairs. Their champions can. Therefore the disappearances of Psychics is a way for the Courts to gather pawns to employ in such business as extremely violent diplomacy and means of interfering in the human world. "Oh, I'm supporting this candidate by giving him freaky magical powers because he's my employee" goes over a lot better than "I'm supporting this candidate with freaky magical powers because (I want to/I find it funny/I'm just screwing around with humanity)".
The rulers of the Courts are not allowed to handle things directly, so they must approach a lot of things indirectly unless called upon by mortals or repaying a personal debt.
Lotus-Eater Machine: It is implied as early as the first arc that the Summer and Winter Courts have been spiriting away Psychic Duelists from the Movement worldwide. They do this by spreading word-of-mouth the fact that the Courts can take away "pain of the heart". Since a majority of the Arcadia Movement suffers a modicum of PTSD and also has no confidence in Seika as a competent leader, this is the main reason why Psychics defect from the Movement or choose to side with the Courts.
And it's the Summer Court that mostly does this, for reasons yet to be explained.
The Winter Court is known to keep about sixty-plus of these Psychics. One of them, Suiren Yukina, certainly seems happy to stay with the Winter Court.
MacGuffin: In the third arc, the main thing that keeps it running is the theft of the Chaos Emperor Dragon, because of the sheer destruction possible should rogue Psychics get their hands upon it.
Also Marguerite, the Sorciere de Fleur. Marguerite is allied with Summer, the acknowledged Warmer court. It doesn't stop her from tempting mercenaries as her personal pets, giving away power and taking it back at whim, and making Exact Words deals that happened with an unsuspecting victim.
Meaningful Name: Often appears in the case of author-created characters. 'Kannazuki' is taken from the old Japanese name of October, and means 'month without gods' or 'month of the gods' depending on who's translating, and Seika means 'star flower' in the Kanji. Ryuusei means 'meteor'. Shimotsuki Setsuka basically means 'snow flower of the month of frost', and Shimotsuki is the old name for November. Rex and Reina, names for the Atlas kids, are different words for 'king' and 'queen' respectively. Chase Princeton: 'Chase' is Old French Chacier meaning "to catch / seize", which is a reference to his ability to call spirits, and Princeton is a reference to the dub name of Jun Manjoume, and so highlights his relationship to the Pro Duelist. His boyfriend, Nowaki Misawa, better known as Youkai, has the meaning of 'typhoon' in his name and also resembles a Japanese Youkai, what with his scarlet eyes, pale skin and long white hair. Satsuki is the old name for June, and Kujaku means 'peacock'. Even minor characters such as the Himemiya sisters have meaningful names such as Uzuki (April) and Hazuki (August). Orion is obviously the hunter or the constellation, and Hunter... well, yes.
Code-names in the Arcadia Movement have a meaning. Ryuusei's was Regulus, which is a reference to Alpha Leonis, the main star of the Leo constellation. Setsuka's is, depending on the time of writing, either Polaris (for stella polaris or the North Star) or Winter (as the Winter Queen). Satsuki's codename while she was part of the Movement is Aquila, the old Eagle Constellation. Youkai's is Slyph, the spirit of the air. Hazuki's is Titania, a reference to both her status as one of the four Queens of Queens, and as a Plant-Type Duelist. Her sister, Uzuki, holds the code-name Kraehe, a reference to Princess Tutu and The Nutcracker, which covers the general theme of the Madolche deck she plays. So far, we know that within the walls Chase is code-named Zero, and Rex's is King. Seika's code-name is Polaris, having taken over from Setsuka as the implied navigational centre of the Movement. Orion Hunter has Goldenrod (word was that he was [[Franchise/Pokemon fourteen]]).
Previously, Seika was referred to as Pandora.
Yukio Yamada is code-named Cold Wolf. This is stylistically incorrect, because orcas, and not sharks, are the 'wolves of the sea' (Yukio plays a Shark-Gishki deck). It Makes Sense in Context, since Yukio runs the team of Psychics responsible for hunting down rogue Psychics, and was taught personally by the Cold Queen Setsuka. His brother is code-named Hercules, for the beetle, as Yuko runs a Steelswarm deck.
Duel Spirits, unless already named, have meaningful names as well. Dreigoon, or Rei as he's nicknamed, has the meaning of 'zero'. Marguerite is French for the daisy flower. A minor Duel Spirit, Chaos Hunter, was conferred the name Nemesis, for the spirit of vengeance.
Motifs: Abound in Call Of Darkness. Most significant are the storms that spring up before, during and after any major altercation. Not very significant until you realise that one of the core tenets of the Movement is: Let the Storm come. Our will shall shine when the storm has died.
Tarot Motifs: The symbol of the revamped Movement is the lightning-struck tower. Before breaking out the Harry Potter reference, it means an explosive change.
Parental Abandonment: The series bring up the subject of Changelings, who are born between a Duel Spirit and a human being. Spirit parents (with one notable exception) tend to abandon their children for the human parent to raise, or outright treat them as slaves, until the child comes of age and Chooses to be human or to become a Duel Spirit. Since Duel Spirits, by all definitions aren't human, this also ups the Squick Factor a fair bit.
Subverted in the case of the rulers: both of them are the reincarnation of former Duel Spirits.
Although considering the most recent interlude, we can conclude that Setsuka received this from Madame Shimotsuki from a young age.
Some Psychics are this as well. Yukio and Yuko were disowned and chased out of their house for having Psychic powers. Their cousin had it better; Yamada Yuuki's father actually encouraged him to seek help in controlling his powers.
Papa Wolf: Mr Shimotsuki, or Rafael, Setsuka's father. He was a man with only a criminal record and the ability to see spirits with him, and yet he faced down his wife, a dangerous Psychic Duelist capable of killing 200 people in a night to give her a The Reason You Suck speech to make the Madame treat Setsuka better. If he had lived, perhaps the Winter Queen would have grown up a lot nicer.
He also pulls a Batman speech when faced with assassins while holding his daughter:
Rafael: You all know who I am. You know what I can do. But I'm holding a small child here. Make me do anything that could endanger her, and you will regret it. Forever.
Pragmatic Villain: Shion tried to pull one. Seika killed him. Yes, you read that right.
Psychic Powers: Most of the Arcadia Movement. The other part usually can see spirits, or have some other talent that makes them useful in the Movement. Like admin work. Social movement doesn't run just on superpowers.
It just appeared that in the Winter Court, that the punishment for being a lousy host is execution. According to Deadpan Snarker General Raiho, this was custom ratified by law, and that Summer has similar, if rather more lax, punishments. The reason for this is cited to be that most of the tribes that make up the Winter Court are nomadic, and so need to count on sacred hospitality by tradition and necessity. One way to guarantee a Cruel and Unusual Death by spirit ruler was to break sacred hospitality by harming any agent of either Court, whether you know it or not. This loophole was exploited by Ryuusei.
Shoot the Dog: Hayato Ichimonji was the poor sucker who got suckered into a Duel with a disguised Marguerite, where he unwittingly bet his life and lost in the first arc. In the first arc, we see that he's treated little better than a slave or a toy by Marguerite, and accorded zero rights to live by, and has to follow every command given. We find out his ultimate fate in the third arc: He was turned over to Ryuusei, who used him as an intermediary between Ryuusei and Leo Sterling and a few other agents of Summer to steal the Chaos Emperor Dragon, and then murdered with false evidence planted on his bloody body to lead the trail to Attorney Yamada Yuuta.
So Beautiful, It's a Curse: On top of being a Class V Psychic Duelist, the Prince Charming Ryuusei Fudo is also written as incredibly hot, until everyone who sees him falls for him. This might sound nice until you find out that when he was young, he was nearly targeted by a pedophile masquerading as his kindergarten teacher, in middle school two girls stabbed each other over him, and in high school his stalker tried to off his friendly senior and his own best friend in a fit to draw Ryuusei's attention, and that later a woman killed herself over being perceived as ugly by him. He has an aura that draws almost everyone to him, but their very obsession over him drives them insane. It's been referred to as je nais sais quoi by Setsuka before.
This was commented upon by an interlude written by his own mother, who noted all of the accidents that seemed to follow her son throughout his life.
Chase tried it once or twice, and he summoned the Winter Queen and the Summer King. They weren't amused. So far, Chase has been shown to be able to summon the actual Duel Spirit by stating their name thrice. The problem is that the summoned spirit might think nothing of crushing him once they have come.
Shout-Out: Given the author's a fan of The Dresden Files as well, this fic seems to borrow heavy influence from it, especially from certain books and characters in the series. I mean, The Table? The Unravelling? It practically follows the plot of a certain book. The prologue opens with parts adapted from Dead Beat and Blood Rites. Word of God places the series as a homage.
Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate: In the end, Call Of Darkness has this at the heart of it. The rulers of Summer and Winter cannot change their essential nature, but they can choose where and when to act. Seika can choose whether to give up the Movement, or remain as the head of the organization. Chase can choose to be actively involved or not. The very nature of the Arcadia Movement's structure and running basically reinforces that, no matter what its members choose, they will always have a choice to make, and the very structure of the Movement reinforces that belief in choice. Sure, choices may be limited, but it is present.
Straight Gay: Chase is canonically gay. He just doesn't play it up. This probably places him and his boyfriend in Badass Gay territory.
Although there are certain points in the fic where his incredibly close relationship with Youkai is called in.
The author frankly has no comment about human sexuality in general, but the gay is hardly ever played up, though there is only one canonically straight couple right now: Jimmy and Setsuka.
Ryuusei has been chased by both guys and girls, and they've all died horrible deaths by being near him. We assume that for now he's sworn off dating.
Unexplained Recovery: The rulers of Summer and Winter seem to share this. Setsuka recovered from being caught in an explosion and a knife to the skull with barely anything to show for it. Ryuusei sliced his throat open and it recovered.
Exceptions applies at Halloween, since Setsuka was defeated (her one and only defeat) by Ryuusei on Halloween night in Boss Rush. They also apply at any place with a large concentration of Duel energy, i.e. Duelist Kingdom in the middle of a tournament.
Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: The first arc seems to demonstrate so. Seika is still in Duel Academia when she has to charge with a team of Psychics directly into a battle of Duel Spirits in the skies above the Neo Domino Harbour.
Warrior Prince: Ryuusei. He did take the field against Setsuka with his own army, after all.
The Wise Prince: Arguably, Ryuusei. In the last part of the third arc, it's clear that he did all the morally questionable things he did out of a misplaced love and misguided good intentions, and in the end he not only has to face off against both of his parents, he also lost both his friends and his adopted beloved younger sister. Setsuka also took the oppportunity to drive the stake deeper into his heart by manipulating him to believe that it was all his fault.
Though it could be said that he wasn't very wise, since Chase pointed out that he could have avoided all of this trouble by not doing anything.
The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: Setsuka and Seika. Setsuka turned into what she was because of essentially eight years or so of the Arcadia Movement, and even more with the Winter Court. Seika tries, but her own emotions are noted to be very expressive and that Yukio, one of the people within the Movement with the greatest grassroots backing, has open doubts about her ability to lead. Part of the subplot of Call Of Darkness is basically Seika and the Movement struggling along in the wake of Setsuka's disappearance.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Kiyoshi, the villain for the first arc, tried this as he reasoned that humanity would be better off if Duel Spirits weren't around to abuse them.
Setsuka, the Winter Queen. Considering the restrictions placed upon her by a bizarre set of rules, it might be justified, but she really could have found a less painful way to go about her schemes. In an interlude, Setsuka is shown to have cut herself off from her near-sister Seika and throw her to another family to protect Seika while Setsuka revamped the Movement. She was twelve, so youth might have cut her some slack, and she was partially justified when we consider her actions: Setsuka would become the Cold Queen, and the head of the Arcadia Movement with one of the highest estimated kill-counts in the history of the whole Movement, including Divine (who, in canon, was a child kidnapper and torturer who may be responsible for more than his fair share), and that she was alone with only one parental figure who was also broken and incapable of standing up to her. Considering that she chose to leave Seika with the Fudo family, who has a caring patriarch, a mother figure and a Knight Templar Big Brother sort of person, Setsuka was focused not only on Seika's material well-being but also her psychological health by leaving her with a loving family. It's also known that she left money to pay for Seika's schooling and family upkeep, so Setsuka isn't shirking her responsibility as much as distancing Seika from her clandestine work as much as possible.
Recently, we've seen Seika's view of the events on which Setsuka cast Seika off to the Fudo family, and it reads a lot like the real daughter of the household finally throwing out the pitiful adopted one who usurped the parents' affections away. Knowing the multiple aims by which Setsuka's plans are marked with, we can probably assume that her aims weren't purely altruistic when she was about ten years old.
In one of the side stories, we have the butler Nakamura's view of the Shimotsuki murders which made Setsuka an orphan, plus aftermath. We see that Nakamura was really trying to take the headstrong Setsuka down a peg, and that despite his loyalties he was already trying to exercise some parental guidance and control over his current charge over the decision to cut Seika off, ignore her older cousin, and basically take over the Arcadia Movement, not to mention trying to defend an eight-year-old girl who just saw her guardians gunned down in front of her and mostly likely has traumatic memories from being discarded by the only other person she has in her life. Setsuka screwed that up by whistling up the Duel Spirit Dewloren and making a contract for all of the power of the Ice Barrier tribe at her command, in exchange for herself. That contract was the catalyst which served to release the rest of Setsuka's power, turning her into the Winter Queen, and where there was Winter, Summer had to follow, so Ryuusei followed suit. Really Nice Job Breaking It, Hero. Even so, Nakamura tried to save her by going to her older cousin, Orion Hunter, and telling him the entire story. Orion tried to get Setsuka taken off of the Movement's leadership. Setsuka defeated him in a Duel, landed him in hospital for two weeks, and we can assume cut him off afterwards that Orion left Neo Domino to find a way to defeat her, after which she had him declared dead. Is it no wonder that the remains of the Hunter-Shimotsuki family is dysfunctional when the cousins refuse to even speak together? In the second arc, she disembowelled him with her bare hands after beating him again in a Duel. This was revealed later as a ploy to ensure that he never got to Duelist Kingdom and so couldn't stop her gambit. And she did it in front of Seika.
The Madame frankly wasn't any better. The Madame was implied to have favoured Seika over her own daughter (whom she probably knew was going to be taken away by Duel Spirits) and specifically pointed Seika to be the next head of the Movement, even though it was unclear by that stage if Seika would even be a Psychic. To that end, the Madame placed several psychological triggers into Seika's mind. The situation was so bad that Kaido, the resident psychometrer, was forced to recommend therapy for Seika. That's right, the guy who could read a person's entire past by looking at them couldn't stomach the damage from looking at Seika. It was universally agreed that the Madame was nice only if the receiver of her kindness fulfilled a purpose relative to herself and the Movement. In comparison, Setsuka is rather more altruistic.
Wicked Cultured: Chase makes references to a host of media. Ryuusei protests his laptop being called Calcifer. Seika ponders about the colloquialisms made by Americans. Setsuka is canonically proven to be a reader of Terry Pratchett, and even emulates a certain benevolent dictator. Her office was even referred to as the Oblong Office by Chase, and she quotes that benevolent dictator sometimes.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The mantles of power of the Summer and Winter rulers are this. Apparently, the mantles of power forces their wearers to take on certain personality changes which can drive them insane. Ryuusei himself struggled with rage, passion and the need to stop other people hurting, even if it meant drugging them on the rough equivalent of opium. Setsuka is the complete opposite; she is even more vicious, uncaring, and capable of mathematically plotting. Despite everything, Setsuka is shown to have her warm moments, doubtlessly an effect of living with the power of Winter for over ten years. Ryuusei had only had the rest of his power activated for roughly two years.
Young And In Charge: Word of God says that Seika is technically eighteen, and so still a minor - indeed, there are some scenes which show her in Duel Academia Queens. Yet, she is in charge of fifty thousand Psychic Duelists in Neo Domino itself and of upwards of one million across the globe, the Central Movement in Neo Domino City, Japan being the flagship of the Arcadia Movements in Louisiana, New York, Europe, Peru, Brazil, Tel Aviv, Jordan, the UAE, Russian, Indian, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Polynesian and Oceanic Movements.
The same applies to Setsuka Shimotsuki, her predecessor and the third head of the Arcadia Movement. This Mafia Princess made the Arcadia Movement what it was in less than ten years, and she did it starting from twelve year old until she was eighteen, as Word of God says.
Heck, Ryuusei Fudo started his gig on the Summer King (not by choice) at eighteen, and had yet to graduate then.