Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / Skin

Go To

A fanfic by UsagiSquared of, Skin originally began as an attempt to prove to a fellow fanfic authoress that it was in fact possible to write a good gender-bent fanfic. She arguably succeeded, though the fanfic has more reputation for its character focus and accurate characterization than as a genderswap fanfic as a whole.

Skin is what you get when you decide to re-write the entire Yu-Gi-Oh! series as though Seto Kaiba was a woman disguised as a man, with otherwise little difference to anything else to start off.


Of course, as soon as Jonouchi Katsuya, whose point of view takes up a majority of the fiction itself found out about this little fact, things began to spiral into something else. Including Cosmic Horror, Dreaming of Things to Come (Among things) with Power Incontinence, intensive shows of Darker and Edgier, and that's all before we finish off with the Duelist Kingdom. Needless to say, it's far more than a 'puppyshipping' fanfic, and definitely more than a re-write of the series.

The fanfic itself can be found here. IT'S LONG, and is likely going to get much longer before it's done; Word of God says it isn't even half-way yet. Can also be found at Archive of Our Own here, under the name Skein.

Review responses and author's notes don't really count towards the story. Remove those and the word count drops quite a lot.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: It's even worse here if that's possible.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Legendary Heroes, by far given that what was originally only three episodes of anime ended up taking seven chapters to complete. Even more so when you consider that the author makes it a personal rule for all duels to last a maximum two chapters, meaning that she crams five episodes into two chapters at times. It's fairly evident how much expanding there was to be done.
    • And then she did it again with an already full season arc…
  • All Girls Like Ponies: Averted- When Gozaburo tried to give Noa's old one to a younger Seto in fact, it attempted to trample her.
    • Strangely enough, the horse lover in the family is Mokuba.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: It doesn't help that Seto was comatose/soulless at the time Jonouchi attempted to invert this.
    • As of chapter NINETY NINE, it finally is.
  • All There in the Manual: The author's comments provide a good deal of information on not only the canon points of the manga used (Which is a lot), but also on the cultural aspects of Japan and even other countries involved.
    • Hilariously subverted when a reviewer comments on something the author hadn't actually considered, that was still written in.
  • Alternate Character Reading: Though Seto is a unisex name, Seto's 'female name' was originally Seri, which uses the same kanji. Word of Dante/God, AKA UsagiSquared herself, states that she never knew that Seto was a unisex name to begin with. But that's okay. It's later a major plot point in Noa's Virtual World.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Death-T, of course.
  • And I Must Scream: Each and every penalty game Dark Yugi inflicts (that Jonouchi or another whose point of view is accessed knows of) is described in detail worthy of nightmares, but this has nothing on Pegasus.
    • Noa's own existence in the Virtual World qualifies as well especially with the added plot.
      • The fate of the Big Five moreso; rather than be killed, Noa leaves them to the program's whims. It's implied that the programs in turn left them floating as scrambled data in cyberspace rather than destroy them.
  • And This Is for...: Kaiba does this in an eerily calm manner to the Big Five at the end of the Legendary Heroes, calmly unplugging each cable hooked up to their VR pods and leaving their bodies to rot
    • They had it coming.
  • Artistic License – Medicine: Averted completely in that not only is every injury described as healing in the time it would take in reality, even to the point where it effects canon events. But that injuries formerly played off are given even more detail to seem rightfully realistic. Helps that the author has a doctor in the family to ask when she needs help.
  • Author Avatar: Besides this already being a trend in her other fanfics, the author makes a cameo as the Mayor of the Domino District.
  • Berserk Button: Whatever you do. Don't call Jonouchi a dog, unless your name is Seto-chan.
    • And the more obvious example for Seto: Don't touch Mokuba. Or the cards. Or really, anything that belongs/is related to her.
      • The Mokuba effect applies to Jonouchi as well, though it's best to avoid touching anyone he knows period.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Probably the only reason why Mokuba didn't completely lose it after his own sister tried to kill him in Death-T After which she had her soul shattered by Dark Yugi's mind crush. Thank you, Jonouchi.
  • Big Fancy House: The Kaiba Mansion. Not only does it have three floors with countless bedrooms, it also has its own stables, a ballroom with size comparable to a football field, a rec. room of comparable size, and four acres of land to spare. Recall that this is in a shore-line district of Tokyo Japan.
  • Blessed With Suck: Cropping up fairly early-on fic wise, Jonouchi 'sixth sense' is great for giving him a heads up when certain things happen, but causes all duels he witnesses or participates in to be on the level of an actual shadow game- from his side only, of course.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Played with. To be fair, Jonouchi was technically hired by Mokuba, and against Seto's wishes for security in general.
    • Straightened out before Battle City, when Seto's recently flushed staff list makes Jonouchi the only trusted back up.
    Jonouchi: I'm th' only one?
    Seto: That wasn't a compliment.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: While sex in general is something that the author already said she would avoid, particularly with the main relationship, it's quite likely given that one is cross dressing permanently.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Ryuzaki mentions being a part of the kendo club shortly after leaving for lunch with Jonouchi after his and Roba's duel. He later goes on to challenge Yami Malik using his duel disk in the place of a sword, fighting and WINNING with those very techniques.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Since the majority of the fanfiction is from either Kaiba or Jonouchi's point of view, it's very rare that anything that only affects Yugi is written in full. This is lampshaded during the Anzu-Yami date, when the boys follow them to the arcade and sit outside… Missing the entire scene involving Anzu and the DDR machine.
    'Hey, do you feel like we just missed something important?'
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Jonouchi does this a fair number of times with Kaiba, during her half-year 'soul-repairing' gig. Mostly because it's literally his job to sit there, and there isn't much else for him to do.
    • Seto later returns the favor before her fight with Yugi, and even screams at him for getting himself comatose in the first place. Yugi sees this. He also saw her crying.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Dark Yugi early on. Topped by Yakou in the Yu-Gi-Oh R arc; turns out he knew Yugi didn't kill Pegasus the entire time.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: When Jonouchi attempts 'True Love's Kiss'… And it fails.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The 'evil influence' of the Millennium Eye was given a physical form for the fanfic and we don't like it.
    • Topped off by the form of the Millennium Rod, along with a good reason why the items should never have access to human emotion. Ever.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: The habit of calling Jonouchi 'Mutt' (as is common to the ship) stuck rather firm here, to the point that even the names that were never intended to mention dogs were altered in the fanfiction.
    • According to the author, this is a case of melting as opposed to actual flanderization of the pairing.
      • Thankfully the term 'puppy' is avoided.
  • Feel No Pain: From Kaiba, the woman sets her own arm on fire to free herself from a virtual prison in the Legendary Heroes. Her logic in doing this? The flames vanish once the battle finishes; all she had to do was kill the monster who took her hostage and the flames died out… Leaving a burned arm behind.
    • It doesn't heal either; in fact, after waking up, she actually ends up with a relapse when her body suddenly realizes her arm has nerves again. (They burned off in the game)
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Doesn't happen as often as actual visions do later on, but it certainly shuts Seto up for a few moments.
    Seto: It suits you to crawl on the ground! You're-
    Jonouchi: -Too much of a loser to stand on his own two legs.
    • As the story progresses, the frequency increases.
  • Genre Savvy: Jonouchi appears to have surpassed his formerly 'functional' level of savvy from the anime thanks to his bizarre ability to see the duels as reality. In fact, the only reason why it isn't working is because he's so aware of the tropes flying his way that he's unable to accept that things would possibly be that obvious.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: During the Legendary Heroes Arc, Yugi's 'archer' costume upgrade includes goggles in the place of what was some sort of headband.
    • Later inverted, when those who participated in the Legendary Heroes ( Except for Jonouchi) wore the same costumes they left the game with for Noa's Virtual World Arc; Yugi's initial battle takes place completely underwater at one point, and he needs the goggles to see his opponent.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Inverted interestingly enough, with a simultaneous twist on A Form You Are Comfortable With; when Ishizu's own creepy 'millennium spirit' appears in his mind, even it is surprised to see that it appeared in it's true form; apparently it normally appears as something that the person it's 'scrying' is comfortable with… And Jonouchi is so lax that it's true and incomprehensible form is what he's most comfortable with, much to his own horror.
  • Heroic BSoD: Jonouchi has them fairy often- enough that they've become plot devices.
  • Horsing Around: Noa's old horse Kuma refuses the company of anyone after his master dies… And even attacks a younger Seto when he's almost pawned off to her.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: The Author (who's aiming for character design as a career it seems) had fun with this during the Legendary Heroes arc. Examples included, but certainly weren't limited to, Ninja-Mokuba, Miko-Mai… And even a steam-punk worthy Yugi/Yami Yugi duo.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the Virtual World Arc with the addition of costumes and additional variants for each deckmaster- including the Big Five versions of Honda.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite the 'ripple effect' occuring, the cannon is still nearly identical. A solid, glaring example is that although Jonouchi was suddenly a secondary target of Pegasus' actions in the Duelist Kingdom, the events concerning duels still happened in exactly the same fashion as in the manga and anime. Jonouchi was just being shot at during the final one.
  • Interesting Situation Duel: The entire 'storming the Black Castle' scene in the Legendary Heroes arc. Jumping from monster to monster through the sky, killing other monsters as you go? YESSSSSSSSS.
  • Just a Flesh Wound: Jonouchi says this when struck by Zorc after having his figurine self immobilized by a spike trap in Dark Bakura's monster world..
    • Lampshaded in the same instance by Mokuba, who tells him that he's never letting him watch Monty Python movies again.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Ryuzaki is very good at this later on.
  • Love at First Sight: Without clothes.
  • Mind Screw: Pegasus' actions during the re-done Duelist Kingdom arc pretty much sum this trope up.
    • Most Villains follow suit- Noa particularly so, taking full advantage of his 'God' status in the Virtual World.
  • Mood Whiplash: The humoured scene of Jonouchi and Mokuba rushing for the line up at the Black Clown is immediately followed by a scene where Otogi is struck across the face with a cane by his father, after which the teen vows to get vengeance on Yugi's family for his father's sake.
    • Also the absolutely ridiculous measures that Otogi Jonouchi and Honda followed with to stalk Yugi and Anzu on their date… Right before Jonouchi witnesses literal mind rape, learns of a village exterminating massacre, and then dreams it.
    • Dinosaur Ryuzaki discussing the absurdity of the Millennium Rod's power… Right before receiving one of the darkest beatdowns in the fanfic from it.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Jonouchi takes this to a type 5, possibly type 4 level, and only tells Yugi about his sister because he knows about his crush on Anzu.
  • Never Trust a Title: The only reason why it's called 'Skin' is because the story's beta-reader had become so used to its Beta Name that it was too difficult to bother changing. To add insult to injury, the furthest the story will apparently get in terms of romance is W.A.F.F.; it's quite likely that aside from the fourth chapter, there won't be any more skin seen.
  • No Periods, Period: Inverted many, many times. First when Jonouchi tells Yugi to mention high levels of estrogen to Kaiba during Death-T, and then again when he throws a box of tampons at the woman.
    • Even better- The reason why Kaiba wanted Jonouchi to get her briefcase was because it had pads inside.
  • Not So Stoic: There are a number of times hinting at this concerning Kaiba, such as her reaction to the christmas present from Jonouchi, the entire Valentines day arc… But the most blatant one is right in her soul, when she finally snaps from being unable to speak to the others while literally piecing her mind and soul back together.
    • And later after Jonouchi enters his coma from the duel against Yami Malik, an entire scene is made up of her screaming at his body while seemingly alone in the room.
  • Original Character: Kyouko, the maid, who is ironically an Expy of the initial appearance Anzu held in the manga. 'Odoru', one of the Security Guards, also qualifies, as he appears whenever a faceless mook guard would normally appear. Oddly enough, he's a physical expy of Jonouchi himself; specifically, his initial manga appearance, with brown hair.
    • There are quite a lot of OC's actually; mostly relatives or employees for the sake of plot, and often attaining Ensemble Dark Horse status.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Jonouchi dies in the Legendary Heroes Arc, Mai takes out three out of five of the Five-God-Dragon's heads before biting the dust in a Mama-Bear-like Last Stand.
  • Reality Ensues: The author seems to have a lot of fun with this.
    • So does everyone else; the phrase ThisIsReality is almost amusingly common.
  • Red String of Fate: Played with early on- though it has yet to return.
    • Played for laughs when lines from actual cannon referencing the implied relationship between Yugi and Kaiba appear and are spoken by Pegasus.
      • Even better when Seto herself uses one of those lines.
  • Shipper on Deck: Yugi very, very openly supports the crush Jonouchi has toward Kaiba once he finds out about the latter being female. Despite both himself and his 'other' being horribly confused about it (the latter more so than the other).
  • Shown Their Work: The author's notes are full of these, to the point where they take up a quarter of the already lengthy chapter.
    • Humorously subverted when a little known character trait Jonouchi has was recognised by a reader; after being congratulated on putting in the fact, the author embarrassingly admited that she had completely forgotten about the canon involved and given the trait to Jonouchi because 'It suited him'.
  • Side-Story Bonus Art: The author makes her own fanart, which, while mostly sketches, are often linked out from the chapters.
  • Staring Down Cthulhu: Done with Jonouchi in regards to the 'Evil Influence' of the Millennium Eye, and again when Yugi, who just finished getting slammed into his own head by Pegasus' shadow game, wakes up to find the same 'Eye' hovering in front of he and his friends. This of course leads to:
    • Did You Just Scam Cthulhu?: When Jonouchi decides to jump through the eye with Seto Kaiba's 'last piece' of her soul in order to escape it and succeeds.
      • It's even implied that he knows how he whittled the Eye down to that point, as he does the same thing without even blinking upon a second encounter.
    • Of course, in Yugi's case it becomes Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu? when he destroys the beast by commanding it to leave his head.
  • Survival Mantra: Jonouchi tends to do this often, mentally or otherwise.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Seto Kaiba first started crossdressing because 4 year old Mokuba was afraid of being alone in the gender-segregated orphanage, and continued for fear of Gozaburo taking the anger of being lied to out on Mokuba. She's fairly stuck now, not to mention rather used to it.
  • The Matchmaker: It's implied by means of an Inner Monologue that this is the reason why Mokuba hired Jonouchi in the first place. (When you think about it, he is the only one who knows Seto's gender. For a while at least. )
  • True Love's Kiss: Jonouchi tried this during Seto's penalty-game coma. It didn't work.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Subverted. Though there's no thank-you of course, Kaiba is legitimately unable to feel ungrateful while pulling Jonouchi out of Pegasus' castle thanks to a meaningful echo of her own insult… To the point where she can't even glare properly.
    • Still played straight to the point of seeming almost tsundere with Yugi though. Even when the plot pushes the two in the same room more often than not.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Jonouchi finds out Seto's a woman by attempting to break into her house to find out what was in her briefcase that was so important she asked him to get it for her. She was naked by the way.
  • World of Badass: If one of the protagonists hasn't had a badass moment, they will soon.
    • Case in point, Ryuzaki.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Rather, what the hell does Jonouchi see in Seto?
  • You Can Barely Stand: Seto during the Duelist Kingdom; thanks to the subversion of below, it's made rather clear that she's been awake for almost over 30 hours, moving without rest to save her brother. Oh yea, she didn't eat during that time either.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: