Alternative Character Interpretation: Done so with the Swordsmen of the Orichalcos as May points out that they are more ruthless to the protagonists. Points definitely go out to Raphael: while he is still loyal to Dartz, He also becomes increasingly obsessed with grabbing May for his own deeds, believing her to be someone he met with on the island.
Fridge Brilliance: This may seem like a unlikely event but May being saved by a Swablu evolved into Altaria isn't coincidence. It's been said in the Pokemon series that Pokemon are closer to nature than humans, and thus can sense when bad weather is coming. Two days after May's fall, there's news spreading all over the world of unexplained weather patterns. Plus, May and Max's dreams about Manaphy and Jirachi missing must've affected the world in a matter. The Altaria and Swablu arriving in Domino could justify them trying to get to safety before bad weather struck.
Why is May written so well as a duelist? It's because she's adapting from her days as a Pokemon Coordinator. Coordinators are shown to be creative, analytical and quick on their feet; traits that duelists need to carry. This is how she's able to win and use effect moves in her duels.
When one re-reads the punishments the Swordsmen received, Alister got off a little too easy...until you remember what he told May back at chapter 17. His punishment: Shadow gave him an illusion of his brother along with a complicated plot to get him to break down completely is to pay back what he told May: if she didn't give them what they were looking for (in this case, the Winged Dragon of Ra) whatever they would do to her WOULD BE PLACED ON HER BROTHER. Now Max is at most 7 years old, so this would cross Moral Event Horizon status.
May and Mokuba hit it off very well, that's because of their ancestors right? Well Moka was a Vessel for Khonsu, the Moon God and Hara had relations to the Nile. When you recall that a Moon controls the tides of the ocean (water) it makes more sense!
May can somewhat understand the problems of the Swordsmen, why can't she do it to Mai? Because she has nothing about her. It was never stated in the story that May learned about Mai's past, and since Mai is trying to forget it, it couldn't be that much of a stress that she has no idea how to react.
Valon was stabbed in the heart by Shadow's Fear Dagger. His fear is being burned by fire. Seems fine right? Well, this happened in the hot, blazing desert. Valon's body would've burned to a crisp while he was in a world of fear and fire.
Remember the whole 'deck reflects soul' thing? While Max's spellcasters could represent his innocence and genius, and Mokuba's Celestial Spirits are related to his Chosen Title, May is ten years old, the Goddess of Joy, but duels with Dark Monsters in her deck. Just think about it.
Alister implies in chapter 17 that whatever punishment May is enduring from them would be set on her brother. Think about it: he's only 7 years old at most, and Pokemon are known not to do any harm to Orichalcos empowered duelists. Then factor in all of the attacks that his sister received (slices to the arms, cracked ribs, choking, thrown to a wall) and realize that they are going to BREAK a little kid into pieces.
Remember that monsters are real if combined with the Orichalcos, meaning their attacks are painful. Sure an attack from a Kuriboh's okay... But facing a monster with 11,000 attack points that has guns, missiles and lasers...NOT OKAY.
Moral Event Horizon: First off, the Swordsmen deciding that killing a little girl is a good idea, definitely bring out the best in them. Then let's take them out one by one. Raphael stalks a girl who's at least 8-10 years younger than him, Alister doesn't mind using missiles, bombs and lasers—from a single Duel Monster card—to destroy a little boy, and Valon has no qualms in breaking a girl's ribs. Yet, ironically, one of the morals of the story is about forgiveness and having the ability to forgive.