YMMV / Yu-Gi-Oh! GX

  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • In the original Japanese, Aster (having the D-HERO deck), often says things like "the power of the D" or similar in reference to destiny. When "the D" is taken to be the OTHER one, some really hilarious accidents occur. Which puts an interesting spin on his search for "the Ultimate D"...
    • And then there's his caretaker whose name is changed from "DD" to "The D" in English...
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • Yubel gets shunted off to the side a lot in the English-speaking fandom, but they (and their relationship with Jaden) appear fairly popular in Japanese fan art. Part of this is likely because their motivation was degraded from a sadomasochistic view of love to just being a Psychopathic Manchild.
    • The GX anime in general was a lot better received in Japan than in English-speaking fandom, especially when it was first airing.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Despite having a prior episode of build-up as "the ultimate D card" and being a fusion of his two strongest monsters, Aster's Destiny End Dragoon hits the field at the end of the turn, does nothing, and is KO'd the next turn and Chazz then KO'd Aster.
    • Despite having a very powerful deck, Darkness/Nightshroud has a rather poor showing against Jaden in his final Duel with him.
  • Awesome Music: The dub's guitar soundtrack.
  • Ass Pull: In true series tradition. Jaden's deck focuses on Fusion, so count on him constantly fusing his E-HEROES in different ways never seen before, and the new one will do exactly what is needed to do to help him win. Not to mention all the E-HERO support cards that are not too useful in real life due to how situational they are, but in the show Jaden pulls them out in instances that always let him win.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Season 3 gave most of Jaden's friends fairly unflattering treatment, with most either becoming a Duel Zombie in the first alternate dimension or "dying" in the second, while Jesse received so much attention even when he wasn't around. Season 4 gave many of them more development and established their goals in life, while Jesse was shipped off back to his own school for most of the season.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Chazz in Season 3; he's worfed by Adrian, turned into a Duel Ghoul early on (admittedly after an impressive Last Stand) and beaten by Jaden in a few turns during this point, and like many of the old characters, is sent to the stars halfway through the season.
    • Bastion in the second season, to the point he pulls a Face–Heel Turn, only to be even more mocked.
    • In their first appearance, the Phantom Demons/Sacred Beasts were cards of mass destruction that drain the life of lesser cards just by being summoned and have much stronger effects than their real-life cards to boot. When they reappear in Season 3, they're demoted to simply powerful cards, use their weaker real-life effects, and it takes Armityle, a Fusion Dance of the three, to restore them to their previous status. Later on, Adrian brushes even Armityle aside.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Jesse Anderson. The fans seem to be divided on whether he's the best character in the entire show who deserves his own spin-off or a bland, spotlight-stealing Marty Stu, with not much middle ground.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In Episode 20, while Jaden, Syrus, and Chumley are scrubbing each other's backs, Jaden would then realize that he's scrubbing a bear's back while the bear scrubs a seal. That hilarious incident was never mentioned since, and it was also cut from the dub due to partial nudity.
  • Broken Base:
    • Yubel being Put on a Bus for most of Season 4. Some say good riddance to them, others want to explore their and Jaden's relationship with each other more.
    • Jaden's new personality in Season 4. Is his new attitude too dark and unpleasant, and inferior to his big-hearted and energetic personality from before? Or did it make him much more impressive and provide a lot of character development?
    • Season 4 in general. Either the best season of GX (or of YGO in general), or the worst.
    • The series itself. Fans of it cited the Deconstructor Fleet and Affectionate Parody route it took, well-rounded characters and a tone that progressively got Darker and Edgier. Detractors cited the poor pacing, rushed storylines, large filler at the beginning (the first major antagonist only made an appearance in Episode 29), underused cast, and controversial Season 4.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Anime: Brron, Mad King of Dark World, is demented and sadistic, ruling the Spirit World as its vile dictator and being responsible for its deplorable state and the oppression of its denizens. His right-hand man, Zure, oversaw Brron's will, detaining anyone who defied him in internment camps while killing Duelists who could be threats to him. The executions occurred at his fortress and involved releasing monsters at disarmed Duelists while Brron himself and his minions watched the spectacle. After learning of Jaden's presence in his domain, Brron orchestrated a plot that involved turning Jaden evil by sacrificing all of his friends one by one with his set of "Wicked Doctrine" cards to create the "Super Fusion" card. After his defeat, Brron, before dying, mocked Jaden by saying that he would never see his friends again before dying.
    • Manga: Tragoedia was formerly a human from the village of Kul Ena. After the village was annihilated, Tragoedia was trialed by the malice inside of his heart, resulting into him becoming a ka, or Egyptian Spirit Monster. After trying and failing to kill the priests, he's sealed away for thousands of years. Once released, Tragoedia has his spirit either possess or corrupt Duelists to Duel others in pain-inducing shadow games where the loser will be trapped in a dimension of darkness for eternity. Just for the sheer fun of Koyo being harmed by what he loves doing, Tragoedia gives Koyou Hibiki a special punishment, where his life will slowly and painfully deplete with every passing Duel Koyo has. While possessing Principal MacKenzie, Tragoedia manipulates the American students into draining the energy of other students through Duels to restore his body, only to drain their life energy when they've fulfilled their purpose. Once Judai/Jaden and Manjoume/Chazz confront him, he reveals that the only reason he sent hundreds of people into the dimension of darkness was to kill his boredom, throwing away any possible sympathy for him about his village being massacred. He then Duels the two for the sole reason of seeing them in pain during their Shadow Duel. Willing to inflict Penalty Games on his own minions if they fail him, Tragoedia is a sadist who only takes pleasure in causing people suffering.
  • Creator's Pet: Jesse. He is The Chosen One for the Crystal Beasts, having a Fairy Companion like Jaden. Said Crystal Beasts' Duel Spirits are far more interactive with him than even Jaden's. Before we've even seen his first duel all the way through, we learn through Aster's flashback that Pegasus considers him the 5th best duelist that he's ever seen, behind Yugi, Kaiba, Joey and Aster himself (whose skill we'd actually seen beforehand), and Zane would later designate Jesse as worthy of his final opponent. When Jaden starts to falter during his duel against Viper, it's Jesse who restores his resolve by giving him a speech about all the previous challenges that he's overcome, even though other friends of Jaden who've actually known him much longer were around and could have given the same speech more meaning. His ace monster, Rainbow Dragon, is what allows everyone to ultimately escape from the first alternate dimension of Season 3. Jaden becomes utterly obsessed with finding him in the second alternate dimension, at the expense of his other friends. His track record is impressive, losing only to Jaden in his first duel and to Fujiwara in a Tag Duel with Jaden, and the latter loss strangely doesn't result in him disappearing like everyone else who loses during Season 4.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: The second half of Season 3 elicited this reaction from some viewers. The protagonists are thrown into a hopelessly bleak dimension in which losing duels equals death. Several of them start displaying uncharacteristically unpleasant behavior before dying right and left. The only characters that remain unequivocally "good" are Ojama Yellow, Jim, Axel, and Syrus (after the latter overcomes his doubt and anger toward Jaden).
  • Die for Our Ship: Alexis's crush on Jaden makes her a target for some shippers (mostly Yaoi Fangirls) who pair Jaden with anyone other than her.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Zane Truesdale for many of his fans after he freaks out and adopts the "Hell Kaiser" persona (featuring actual leather pants) in Episode 65. It's at its worst in Season 2, wherein he doesn't seem to have a single redeeming quality beyond being hot; he's still a very dark Anti-Hero in Season 3, but at least the "hero" part of that label fits again.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Professor Banner appears to have a small following, given that he was the most prominent teacher aside from Jerkass Crowler and an unfailing Nice Guy. The reveals about him being another Shadow Rider added to this, and he stuck around after death as a result.
    • Jim "Crocodile" Cook, for being an Awesome Aussie Expy of Steve Irwin who uses the very creative Fossil deck. The deck is an Ensemble Darkhorse in its own right, as is Shirley, the enormous crocodile who rides around on Jim's back.
    • Austin O'Brien/Axel Brodie, who was his companion for most of the third season, is similarly well-liked for his cool attitude, actual Character Development, and decent Deck, as well as being one of the few non-Egyptian black characters in the franchise (and a consistently positively-portrayed one, at that).
    • Crowler is well-loved in the fandom for having a cool deck, consistently great Duels, and going through some of the most significant Character Development in the series, gradually from a petty Sadist Teacher to a genuine hero. True to form, his Ancient Gears have proved one of the most well-supported and popular archetypes of the entire GX era.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Hell Kaiser/Zane, Possessed Jesse, Darkness/Nightshroud Atticus and The Supreme King.
    • The ladies have less to offer, but there's still the Shadow Rider vampire Camula.
    • Yubel is in a category all on their own.
  • Epileptic Trees: Since quite a lot of things were hinted at but never filled in, this should come as no surprise.
  • Faux Symbolism: All three Sacred Beasts are named after Judeo-Christian angels.
  • Fanon: The Supreme King is often called "Haou" by the fandom...which is "Supreme King" in Japanese.
  • Friendly Fandoms: 5Ds and GX fans typically like each other a lot more then they would like ZEXAL and the original series fans, largely due to how they had entire seasons not dubbed by 4Kids. It's also likely because the people who quit after DM probably didn't get back in with 5Ds, while people who stuck through GX probably stuck through 5Ds as well.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Remember the fun Jaden and the gang had about Syrus' card crush on Dark Magician Girl? Flip it around, add in Stalker With a Crush tendencies, and throw in a pinch of Nightmare Fuel, and you have the premise for Season 3.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • For those attentive enough, the series is full of references to alchemy and tarot, including a Foreshadowing to the antagonist of the final season.
    • The Duel in Episodes 153-155 appears to have been structured to mirror or strongly resemble a Jewish wedding, beginning with Magic Chronicle as Yubel's dowry and the ketubah (Jewish wedding contract) and ending with a "cracked glass" when Jaden manages to take back Super Fusion and join his soul to Yubel's, something he reveals only after the worlds start shaking apart and the window in Sheppard's office cracks and shatters. With the exception of a couple of Jaden's more convoluted turns, it's actually possible to trace every single turn back to the ceremony, in perfect sequence. The resemblance even continues after the Duel—in a Jewish ceremony, the ceremony is complete when the bride and groom retire together, away from the guests (represented in this case by Syrus and Ojama Yellow). The German dub even adds a touch of its own, with Syrus commenting that "[Jaden] and Yubel are united among the stars".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the dub, Atticus attempts to get Alexis to form a singing duo with him, and suggests "Bro-bro and Sissy" for the group's name. He also happens to be wearing, at the time, a rather fabulous purple jacket covered in sequins and frills. Quoth Chazz, "So which one's he?"
  • Growing the Beard: Season 3 for Jaden's Character Development, better pacing, and an overall darker tone.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Informed Wrongness:
    • A Season 1 episode features the one-shot character Mitsuo/Pierre, a gambler who uses cards that rely on coin tosses to trigger their effects, and uses Second Coin Toss to redo the toss if he fails to get the needed result. Alexis declares that the only reason he's winning the Duel with her is that he relies on Second Coin Toss to win his coin throws and without it he would have lost them all, and proceeds to destroy it and then attack for the win when he gets his last toss wrong. We're supposed to see him as a cheater and a coward, but his strategy is perfectly valid and worked very well. The only reason he lost is that he didn't use his monster's effect to try and inflict 1000 damage to Alexis, if he had taken the risk and got it right, he would have just won in two turns.
    • Dimitri in his Yugi impersonation. Despite Jaden's claim that he can't be favored by the heart of the cards, he did manage to draw and use all of Yugi's ace monsters, including one of the envoys, and while Jaden wins for a lucky draw we don't see an actually unlucky draw from Dimitri, making the claims that the heart of the cards can't be with him quite hard to believe.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Viper. All he wanted was to reunite with his dead adopted son, and he would no longer have any reason to be an antagonist if he met his goal.
    • Adrian wanted to create an idealistic world, and though he kills two people in the process (Echo and Aster), the former willingly sacrificed herself and the latter started a Duel to protect the former, knowing the consequences of losing. Both are presumably killed by the far less sympathetic Yubel.
    • Camula may count, She's the last of a race of vampires that were wiped out hundreds of years ago by humans who attacked them unprovoked and she sealed herself in a coffin to survive and waited for eons to be freed. She seeks to restore her race but she sacrifices The Souls of those she defeats in Duels to do so.
    • Zane/Hell Kaiser. He's vicious and sadistic in Season 2, and his actions (especially the duel against Syrus) absolutely cannot be excused. On the other hand, he's eighteen and was tortured into insanity in the Underground, having been lured into that environment during a serious mental breakdown that resulted from a bad losing streak and no support system. He wasn't even told what the collars did until after the first time they zapped him. And by Season 3, he's dying of a heart condition. He becomes a regular Woobie in Season 4, because by then he's dropped the Jerkass behavior and is an Ill Boy who spends the majority of his screen time in a hospital bed or wheelchair.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Jaden. Also Alexis, being the only major, non-jailbait female protagonist. This is the guy who doesn't know what a fiancée is, let alone know how to have sex. Ironically, Jaden/Alexis lemons tend to be exceptionally graphic.
  • Memetic Badass: A lot of jokes are made around a) how unnaturally good Jaden is at Duel Monsters, or b) How he, depending on the persona, had a really high death count. Generally, outsiders to the show might only know him as "the guy who killed all his friends."
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • From the manga, Jesse's 'It was a happy Duel'.
    • Taking innocuous or cute scenes and pictures of Jaden, then adding how he "killed millions" and other unspeakably bad deeds. Sometimes he's depicted as being Obliviously Evil with these.
    • Chazz it up! Chazz it up! Chazz it up!
    • This tumblr post for summing up just how different the GX anime became as it went on.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Alexis is a Deconstruction of Ms. Fanservice. She is annoyed by the fact that people see her only as an attractive girl, and wants to be a strong duelist instead of using her looks to get ahead. Some viewers seem to deliberately disregard this — haters bash her and call her a slut due to her appearance and outfit (despite the fact that it's a uniform), while others ignore her personality because it's counter-productive to Shipping and porn.
  • Moe:
  • Mondegreen: Oh 4Kids... their dub of Episode 154 will forever haunt them. The filter voice they put on Yubel distorted her voice so oddly that, at one point, she ended up sounding like she dropped an F-bomb when she says fight.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Zane Truesdale in the second season crosses the line after donning his Hell Kaiser persona when he electrocutes and almost kills his little brother Syrus in a Duel, never giving a damn about doing that, only about winning.
    • Adrian when he sacrifices Echo and apparently kills Aster to obtain Exodia.
    • Yubel at every attempt in the third season with Jaden.
  • Narm:
    • 4Kids' attempts to invoke Never Say "Die" reach truly ludicrous levels in Season 3, when defeated Duelists are "sent to the stars", and characters repeatedly use the phrase verbatim as a threat. There are any number of other things they could have gone with, including the old stand-by "send them to the Shadow Realm," but they chose that one.
    • Many dramatic episodes and scenes get utterly ruined by the dub's voices and dialogue, but Episode 65 may be the worst. An absolutely nightmarish duel full of Electric Torture, Zane's Despair Event Horizon, the resulting Freak Out!... and an opponent with a ridiculous "Mike Tyson" caricature for a voice.
  • Nightmare Fuel: It's still Yu-Gi-Oh!
    • Yubel, period. Even creepier when the dub gave it the voice of a spoiled 5-year-old girl.
    • Brron, who is... some kind of semi-human-only-not-really skeleton... thing.
    • Titan's fate when he abuses the power of Shadow Games.
    • Darkness/Nightshroud, with his Mind Rape and Grim Reaper-esque form.
    • The Underground is less supernatural, but still incredibly disturbing.
  • No Yay: Camula makes some extremely creepy comments about Zane. Note that she is several hundred years old and he is seventeen. Surprisingly, quite a bit of her suggestive tone and dialogue (including the scene of her in the bathtub while stalking him via spy bats) makes it into the dub.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Dimitri, especially in the dub. He may only have two episodes and is a minor character who never appears again, but the usage of the original series themes and cards, the genuinely good Duel he gave Jaden, and of course Marc Thompson's Narm Charm impersonation of Dan Green's Large Ham voice acting, make Dimitri far more memorable than a lot of other characters with larger roles.
    • Franz, a rogue card designer from Industrial Illusions that uses a counterfeit copy of The Winged Dragon of Ra, and is very good with it; he summons it on his first turn, uses a Field Spell to force it to obey him, and is able to fully utilize all of its abilities. He's only around for one episode but his schtick sounds like he could be the main villain of a season.
    • In the manga, Zane only gets one duel, but it is an absolutely awesome one-turn Curb-Stomp Battle against Chazz, who is much more formidable than his anime counterpart and has just beaten Jaden.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Judai is an Americans Hate Tingle case in the first half, mainly for his speech mannerisms in the dub and being Yugi and Dark Yugi's replacement as well as his Elemental HERO and Neo-Spacian cards getting too much focus and being not very good. However, he gets less and less flak as a result of his Character Development in the second half and his manga counterpart receives a LOT of praise for his characterization and master-student relationship with Koyo. It also helps that Judai's manga Elemental HERO cards fixes the flaws of its anime counterpart.
    • Yubel too. She was originally a mix between a Base-Breaking Character and The Scrappy in America since her introduction but after the release of ZEXAL and ARC-V, many fans are starting gain interest at her character and relationship with Judai. She also gets a slow but steady popularity boost over the years ever since, as the fanarts of her in pixiv is anything to go by. Being an Official Couple with Judai doesn't hurt a bit.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Yeah, Chazz is technically the "bad guy" whenever he's dueling Jaden, but by God, so many people just want to see him come out on top for once!
  • The Scrappy: Samejima. He was SUPPOSED to be the Reasonable Authority Figure of Academia but his uselessness, Horrible Judge of Character, and potentially disastrous (and stupid) actions has made him the worst character in GX. Even some fans outright admitted that the likes of Cronos and Napoleon are more popular than him.
  • Superlative Dubbing:
    • Episode 18 and 19 with Dimitri, the copycat Duelist. In the original, Dimitri was just himself and only decided he was Yugi towards the end of the Duel, but in the dub Dimitri acts like he's Yugi all along. What really sells the episode though is the absolutely Narmtastic impersonation of Dan Green's Yami Yugi that Marc Thompson delivers, taking Green's Large Ham, cranking it up, and giving a few lighthearted jabs at his mannerisms and catchphrases. The dub also re-uses parts of the original dub soundtrack as further nostalgia fuel when Dimitri makes his moves.
    • In Season 2, the dub keeps Aster's father's fate a mystery until the final confrontation between Aster and his stepfather. In the original, Aster knows he's dead from the beginning, but in the dub he disappears the same night he was robbed of his best card, and Aster searches for him for the majority of the season. This ultimately adds to the horror when it's revealed his soul has been swallowed by D-HERO Plasma, and the nightmarish sequence that results is completely unedited.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Episode 20 with that Maiden in Love deck is absolutely sickening.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: One of the more prominent issues with the series is that ultimately, Jaden has to solve all the conflicts on his own. His friends will generally at best do nothing against the antagonists and at worst get worfed so Jaden can beat the antagonist later.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Jesse is The Chosen One, but of what?
    • Where was Yubel during the twenty episode absence after possessing Jesse but before confronting Jaden?
    • Rogue card designer with a counterfeit Egyptian God? The whole thing resolves in one episode.
    • What were Jaden and Yubel off doing after they fused? It's implied that Jaden was gone for quite a while, enough for most people to think that he was gone for good, so what were they doing?
      • It's implied that they were going to go and kick the Light of Destruction's ectoplasmic patuckus, making this closer to Offscreen Moment of Awesome given that it wasn't actually shown.
    • While the concept wasn't really wasted, the history of the Phantom Demons/Sacred Beasts is not explored at all, such as how evil versions of the God Cards were created and how they got sealed under the island.
    • It's mostly based on the video games but a lot of people would prefer if Blair used Lightsworns instead of her current deck considering how much better the deck is.
  • Ugly Cute: The Ojamas.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Jaden's friends who suffer from the Hate Plague (Tyranno, Chazz, Alexis, Atticus and Syrus) during the Dark World arc of Season 3. While it's certainly true that Jaden had an unhealthy obsession with finding Jesse, the way they keep blaming him for everything bad that happens to them can end up more grating than saddening, especially after they had ignored Jaden's protests to their following him into the Dark World. We're supposed to think that Jaden is at fault for them getting captured to be sacrificed for Super Polymerization, as they apparently can't take responsibility for themselves. When Jaden realizes that they'll die each time he damages Brron, he isn't willing to surrender (which would kill him, and leave them at Brron's mercy anyway), but avoids attacking. Then Brron uses a Spell Card that forces Jaden's monsters to attack Brron against his will, and his dying friends and Syrus claim that he sacrificed them to win even though, again, his monsters were forced to attack against his will. Ultimately, with the exception of Syrus, their sole purpose in the arc was to throw Jaden into a Heroic B.S.O.D. with unfair accusations over their inability to look after themselves.
  • Vindicated by History: Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL and Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V's issues put this series in a much better light, and people in the west look at it much more fondly than they used to. Jaden has also been looked more favorably on, especially with his relationships with Yubel and Jesse, whom he both loves dearly. It got to the point that most players of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links were excited rather than annoyed by the update that added the GX characters alongside the original series characters.
    • The third and fourth season were given a rather mixed reception when they were first airing, mostly for being such a massive tonal shift from the prior seasons and making a number of characters Demoted to Extra (not helped by the dub really having no idea how to handle them). Today, they're regarded as the series's Growing the Beard moment, and the thing to watch the series for.
    • Yubel was often loathed, especially in America, partly due to the schizophrenic 4kids dub, partly due to being involved in the third season, and partly due to getting in the way of popular pairings. But the years have been kind to them, and today, Yubel's usually considered one of the best villains in the entire franchise, with their competence, well-developed personality, creepiness, and interesting relationship with Judai/Jaden often being cited, along with the potential inherent in their Heel–Face Turn.
  • Woolseyism: Yes, the dub did manage a few.
    • The Bio Bands and Survival Duels in the dub were known as Death Belts and Disclosure Duels originally. God knows why the faculty weren't tipped off to the true nature of Viper's actions when he pitched the idea in that version.
    • Banner's German accent.
    • In Season 2, the dub keeps Aster's father's fate a mystery until the final confrontation between Aster and his stepfather. In the original, Aster knows he's dead from the beginning, but in the dub he disappears the same night he was robbed of his best card, and Aster searches for him for the majority of the season. This ultimately adds to the horror when it's revealed his soul has been swallowed by D-HERO Plasma, and the nightmarish sequence that results is completely unedited.
    • While the symbolism of the name is lost, it could be argued that Nightshroud is a more impressive name for a villain than simply "Darkness".
    • The D, in the Japanese named "DD" for "Destiny Duelist". The dub established "The D" was an alias and gave him the proper name "Kyle Jables", take from Kyle Gass and Jack Black of Tenacious D.
    • A bit of a mean one that nonetheless works — the monkey Duelist being trained by Kaiba Corp in Season 1 was named "Sal" in the Japanese version, meaning "Super Animal Learning". The dub renamed it "Wheeler", after one of Kaiba's favorite insults for Joey, "Dueling monkey".

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/YuGiOhGX