Yet another spinoff of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, specifically the original manga, Yu-Gi-Oh! R is written by Akira Ito, one of Kazuki Takahashi's assistants on the original manga. The story, taking place between the Battle City and Memory World arcs, kicks off with Yako Tenma, Pegasus' adopted son and protege, taking over Kaiba Corp and challenging Yugi to a duel. There, he reveals "The Wicked Avatar," one of three "Evil Gods" that Pegasus had designed before his death. After destroying Yugi's Osiris in one blow, Yako kidnaps Anzu and takes her to the Kaiba Corp building, where he intends to "sacrifice" her in "Project RA" as revenge for Yugi causing , what he thinks, Pegasus's death at the end of Duelist Kingdom. note Those whose know the story will remember it was Dark Bakura who did that.Yugi, Jonouchi, and Honda race to Kaiba Corp to rescue Anzu, only to find that Yako has commissioned the Card Professors—thirteen professional American duelists—to block their way. Our heroes must battle their way up the tower to stop Yako before he can carry out his plans. Meanwhile, Kaiba and Mokuba, not exactly thrilled with Kaiba Corp getting taken over again,storm the castle, er, skyscraper, to reclaim the company.Notable for its speedy pacing in comparison to the earlier series; duels usually only take up one or two chapters instead of dragging on and on. Oh, and throughout the whole series, nobody even tries to kidnap Mokuba.All five volumes have been released in the U.S. under Viz's Shonen Jump label.
This series provides examples of:
Aerith and Bob: The Card Professors' names range from perfectly normal (Kirk Dixon, Pete Coppermine, Ted Banias) to downright strange (Deschutes Lew, Klamath Osler, Willa Mette). See Theme Naming below.
Brainwashed and Crazy: Yako is possessed by the Wicked Avatar. Gekko could also qualify during the period he is controlled by Yako.
Brick Joke: After Yugi defeats Tilla in the first volume, Jonouchi asks if he can borrow her Duel Disk, since he hadn't brought his with him. At the very end of the series, he's seen repaying the favor by giving her the special black Duel Disk.
Cain and Abel: Inverted - Yako is the younger but evil brother, while Gekko is the older but good brother.
Calling Your Attacks: Like he did with Marik in the main series, Jonouchi parodies this - when Jonouchi summons Fiendish Engine Omega, after stealing it from Bandit Keith's hand, he names it's attack "Jonouchi Crusher!". Lampshaded by the comic itself, as it adds the helpful note "Name coined by Jonouchi" underneath.
Cheaters Never Prosper: Bandit Keith tries to sneak a Ring Of Destruction card into his hand from outside his deck during his duel against Jonouchi. Of course it doesn't work.
Chekhov's Gun: The anti-cheating feature of the Duel Disks had never been triggered before in the story- it was only mentioned as part of the summary of the special rules of the series at the end of the previous volume.
Cherry Tapping: The Wicked Avatar is always exactly ONE attack point stronger then the strongest monster on the field, but as Yakou points out, that one attack point makes all the difference.
Ryuji Otogi, the Sixth Ranger of the original manga, also doesn't appear.
Cloning Blues: Played with, as while Yakou and Gekko are natural identical twins, flashbacks reveal that Yakou always felt like an inferior copy of his twin brother.
Continuity Nod: At least in the Viz translation, Kaiba claims that the caliber of duelists at his company's latest sponsored tournament isn't quite to par and that perhaps he should think about opening up a school.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Near the end of Volume Four, Yami crushes a Card Professor in a single panel with Osiris.
Expy: Yako could qualify as Pegasus' Expy. Goes crazy after losing a loved one? Check. Wants to bring said loved one back regardless of what it takes? Check. Takes someone close to Yugi as hostage? Check. Even lampshaded by Gekko when he mentions Yako is just like Pegasus.
Grand Theft Me: Project RA's goal is to remove Anzu's soul from her body and put Pegasus' soul in her place.
Heroic BSOD: Yami has one after seeing what's become of Anzu's soul on top of how tired he was, and Kaiba has one after being defeated by Yako (or so Yako thought).
Kaiba had one too, after losing a duel.
Hoist by His Own Petard: A very mild and non-violent example of this happened to Kirk Dixon, who, after losing his duel to Yugi, became so distraught by his loss he stumbled upon a booby trap he had set up himself and was promptly sent downstairs into the basement.
Hope Spot: During Gekko's duel with Richie, just as Gekko is about to win with a devastating direct attack, there is a sudden flash of light and Richie has won. A quick flashback next chapter reveals what happened, and leads into a nasty Tear Jerker.
Jerk Ass: Not like this is any sort of surprise, but Bandit Keith pretty much started this whole mess by telling Yako that Yugi killed Pegasus. Of course, this is all untrue, but Keith couldn't care less either way, as long as he gets the chance to duel Jonouchi again.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: Bandit Keith gets to literally be both on the giving and the receiving end of this one. The former is when he suddenly starts beating Ted Banias up and increases the amount of debt he owes him, all for losing a duel against Gekko. The latter comes almost immediately afterwards, when Richie starts to kick Keith around for not following orders once they meet up.
Law of Chromatic Superiority: The black Duel Disk used by the highest-ranked member of the Card Professors guild. Gekko even compares it to a black belt in martial arts.
Mood Whiplash: Chapter 27 opens with Jonouchi and Honda beating up tons of Mooks, with a humorous Lampshade Hanging by Jonouchi about how long its been since he fought someone with his fists instead of cards. Then we shift back to Yuugi and Gekko, who has just lost and thus prevented Yuugi from being able to advance and rescue Anzu. Ouch.
Near Villain Victory: Yakou has just defeated Seto Kaiba, Bandit Keith successfully summoned The Wicked Eraser, and now Anzu's soul is being consumed to revive Pegasus...wait, why is it stopping? Well, thanks to Keith's Revenge duel against Richie just a moment ago, the Kaiba brothers were able to force the program to stop!
No Fair Cheating: The duel disks sound an alarm if you try to make an illegal move.
Not So Different: Lampshaded by Richie after Yuugi defeats Depre, noting that Yuugi's desire to save Anzu is very much the same as their desire to revive Pegasus.
Not So Stoic: Depres Scott. Normally he shows little emotion, but during his duel with Yugi he lets loose with an Evil Laugh when he has Yugi near defeat, and then breaks down in tears (after losing to Yugi) so much Richie has to get someone to take care of him.
People Jars: Subverted. Not only are all the Duel Monster "specimens" simply holograms, but the one human among them put himself in there so he could prank anyone who came by.
Phantom Zone Picture: Anzu's soul gets placed in a playing card the same way Pegasus used to imprison his victims. Yugi can actually communicate with her by placing the card in his Duel Disk.
Punch Clock Villain: Most of the Card Professors don't have anything personal against Yugi or his friends—they're just in it for the pay, and they don't even try to cheat. Then again, they don't seem to have any problem with the idea of an innocent girl getting sacrificed, either...
Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: During the final showdown against Yako, The Wicked Avatar takes Yugi's form. Yako says it's a manifestation of Yugi's hatred for his other self for being the true Game King and preventing Yugi from earning that glory himself. Yami almost falls for it, until Yugi briefly takes over and insists that he would never have been able to make so many new friends or broaden his horizons if it hadn't been for his other self.
Shrinking Violet: Reiko, whose first instinct upon encountering another Duelist is to run away, and is described as having no fighting spirit when she does duel. Ironically, she would have beaten Jonouchi if she had stuck to her passive deck destruction strategy instead of gaining the confidence to straight-out attack him.
Her whole approach to dueling was passive-aggressive, really, and was effective since her deck was so broken. Jonouchi even lampshades this. See Underestimating Badassery for more.
Spanner in the Works: Keith, when you consider that Yakko would've succeeded if Keith hadn't decided to get revenge on Richie
At the same time, Keith's duel with Richie was actually necessary for Yako to summon Pegasus' soul, since he needed the energy generated from summoning the Wicked Eraser. The REAL spanner was Seto and Mokuba Kaiba - Yako hadn't realised that Mokuba was in a place where he could do any significant damage, nor did he think that Mokuba could have used Keith's duel to shut down his program.
Symbol Swearing: Bandit Keith, lovable evil foreigner that he is, gets his speech liberally peppered with this in the Viz translation.
Theme Naming: The Card Professors are all named after Intel project code names, which are in turn named after the places where Intel labs are located, according to The Other Wiki.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Played with in Seto's duel with Yakou, as while Seto's gratuitous summoning of the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon is ultimately his downfall, Yakou's similarly gratuitous summoning of two Evil Gods works just fine for him.
The Three Faces of Eve: The three female Card Professors. Reiko Kitamori, who is shy and new to dueling, is the child. Tilla Mook, who dresses in black and builds her deck around the Kiss of the Vampire, is the seductress. And Mrs. Maico Kato, who is calm, mature, and amiable even as she's whupping you at card games, is the wife.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Honda, who spends a good portion of Jonouchi's duels chastising him for loosing rather than try and support him and Assumes Jonouchi goading Reiko into attacking was just so he could win rather than to help her grow as a duelist.
Underestimating Badassery: When Jonouchi first encounters Reiko Kitamori, he thinks she doesn't look too tough. And indeed, while Reiko is easily intimidated, She is in fact one of the most powerful duelists in the series, using a deck-destruction strategy that would put Seto Kaiba and Isis Ishtar to shame. Oh, and she only started playing Duel Monsters a month ago.
To be fair, Reiko was playing a Game Breaker of a mill deck. Not only in that one of her key cards, Battlefield Tragedy, is a Continuous Spell Card that forces the opponent to mill 5 cards every time they attack, making it 5 times more potent than the similar real-life card Gravekeeper's Servant, but she uses two copies at the same time for a total of 10 cards every time the opponent attacks, and even worse, combines it with cards that force the opponent's monsters into attacking each other, clearing the opponent's monsters and their deck to boot. Leave it up to the manga to come up with broken cards that can be counted on to be nerfed if they make it into the actual game. On the flipside, it is possible that Jonouchi could have won without having to goad her into attacking, had he the chance to attack on his own with the cards he had on field during the last turn, since a duelist loses only if they have to draw when their deck is empty.
The Un Favourite: Yako believed he was the worse duelist out of the two. Pegasus described Gekko as a perfect duelist, while Yako was "an unfinished rough diamond." Subverted by the end of the series, where it is revealed that Pegasus saw the potential in Yako to be a great duelist, hence the "rough diamond" metaphor, while Gekko had "perfected" himself and was incapable of growing any stronger.
Weak, but Skilled: Gekko Tenma, who uses hordes of low attack monsters with potent effects, supplemented with spells and traps.
Yugi's Toy-themed deck is like this as well.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Yako used to be a quiet, withdrawn young man. That all changed once he started creating the Evil Gods, which warped his grief over Pegasus' death into homicidal rage toward Yugi.