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Manga / Yu-Gi-Oh! GX

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This page covers the manga. For the anime, see Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.

Judai Yuki is an ordinary student in Duel Academy, a school where aspiring duelists learn the secrets of Duel Monsters. Although he's a member of Osiris Red, the dorm lowest in the hierarchy, where students fear expulsion due to their low grades, Judai has a grand dream: to become the King of Duelists.

Published in Shueisha's V-Jump in Japan and Shonen Jump in the US, the manga is based on the anime that came before it. Although the main cast and setting remain largely the same, their development in the manga is quite different, as it covers none of the arcs the anime did. The manga also introduces a completely different set of antagonists and villains, following its own continuity.

The first two volumes of the manga cover everyday activities and spars within Duel Academy, exploring the relationships between cards that house spirits and their masters. However, as the series progresses, a darker presence seeking vengeance slowly reveals itself and attempts to infiltrate the school to obtain the spirits.

The manga is written by Naoyuki Kageyama and supervised by Kazuki Takahashi.

On June 21, 2014, a one-shot of the manga was released. Continuing where the original manga left off, the one-shot depicts the duel between Koyou Hibiki and Judai Yuki.

This work provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Manjoume often suffers from The Worf Effect in the anime. No such thing happens here. He even manages to defeat Judai in the finals of an official tournament.
    • Sho is a better duelist from the outset in this continuity, such as losing to Ryuga only because he cheated and actually putting Judai on the ropes during their duel. His brother doesn't lose faith in him because of a bad play, but because he threw a game to spare his opponent's feelings.
  • Adapted Out: Neither Hayato nor Kenzan appear in the manga.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Professor Chronos doesn't evolve into becoming a Jerk with a Heart of Gold like he does in the anime.
  • Aerith and Bob: An odd case in the translated version of the manga. All characters that originated in the anime version have their dub names (the Tenjonin siblings, Asuka and Fubuki, are Alexis and Atticus Rhodes, respectively), which not only is jarring with the presence of American duelists, but manga-exclusive characters (Ryuga, Seika Kohinata and Koyo and Midori Hibiki) keep their names.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Manjoume at first, in card games.
  • Badass Longcoat: Manjoume, most of all.
  • Beauty Contest: The Miss Academia contest, where a poll to determine the prettiest girl in Duel Academy is held. When Asuka and Seika Kohinata tie for first place, Asuka decides to duel Judai for his vote. She doesn't actually care to win the pageant, however.
  • Big Bad: Trageodia, the one who hospitalised Koyo, and the one behind the Planet Series.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Judai to Sho. The latter even calls the former "Aniki".
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: The head of the American Duel Academy has some truly magnificent ones.
  • Call-Back: The Battle City finals get a mention, when the school nurse studies David Rabb.
    • The main villain is also a spirit of an former inhabitant of Kul Elna.
  • Combining Mecha: Sho's 'Roid cards tend to have this as a common theme.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Asuka's duel with David lasts a total of two turns, spans less than a chapter in length, and the only damage David took in the duel was a part of his strategy to win.
    • Ryo OTKs Manjoume with no damage to his Life Points, right after Manjoume defeats Judai.
  • Dark Is Evil/Light Is Not Good: The Supremacy Sun manages to be both of these at the same time, a DARK Fiend-type monster that represents the sun. This was intentional by Tragoedia, who wanted to mock the sun-worshiping priests who sealed him away.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Judai inflicts this on Manjoume early on. Manjoume paid him back and did the same to him.
  • Denser and Wackier: The manga continuity is ultimately an inversion. The story is far more down-to-earth and the characters are treated with much more dignity instead of being parodied or having their quirks Played for Laughs. Situations such as Chronos' attempts to expel students on a whim are immediately dealt with, and the characters' motivations are more grounded and realistic, with many of the Space Opera traits of the anime being absent.
  • Deuteragonist: Manjoume. This even caused him to be much more competent in dueling than his anime counterpart.
  • Distant Finale: Some time in the future, after Judai's graduation.
  • Dub Name Change: The English version keeps the dub names, but averts this in the case of new characters.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Judai places second in a school wide Duel Academy tournament (in which only the top eight even advance to the finals), but Chronos treats him with the same disdain as always, due to a combination of resentment over losing to him earlier, and him being in Osiris Red.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: During the final turn of the Duel with Tragoedia, Judai summons Ma'at herself to end it by fusing Winged Kuriboh with Light and Darkness Dragon.
  • Expy: Tragoedia has almost identical background and motivations with Dark Bakura.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Pun not intended, Judai's Masked HERO deck has a pretty bad track record. Despite wanting to make a deck that was all his own, he loses two out of the three duels he uses them in. Compared to one loss out of eight important on-screen duels (nine counting his offscreen victory over Chronos, even more counting his briefly shown duels versus nameless students) he has with his modified version of Koyo's deck. Although one of them was to Edo Phoenix and his Vision HERO deck (which had a card that turned his LP from 0 to 100); and the other to a possessed Fubuki (who, like Manjoume, fares a lot better in this adaption. He doesn't even use his Masked HERO cards in the final duel with Tragoedia. He does use them in the special chapter against an awakened Koyo (but we don't know how that ended up).
  • Foil: Judai's Terra Firma for Edo's The Grand Jupiter. Both have 2500/2000 attack and defense, and are level 8 warrior-type monsters. However Terra Firma absorbs his own allies to power himself up with no other, while The Grand Jupiter steals the enemy monsters to do the same by discarding two cards. Oddly, the two cards are never used against each other. The two dueled once, and it was a Masked HERO vs. Vision HERO affair with neither planet card in their owners deck (Judai no longer using Koyo's cards, and Edo only being given Jupiter the next day).
  • Gratuitous English: The Legendary Planets are all spelled in English in the Japanese version of the manga and the card game.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The female characters are much bustier than in the anime, and of course they all wear skirts. Even Asuka/Alexis, who was already very shapely, has her features exaggerated.
  • How We Got Here: The eighth chapter of the manga starts with Sho and Judai dueling against each other. It's revealed to the readers Sho will be expelled from Duel Academia if he loses and Judai will lose his cards if he loses. Then it's revealed how it happened; Sho got a 0 on a test, and was told that he had to duel Judai to stay, with Judai's condition largely being put in to keep him from throwing the duel.
  • An Ice Person: Asuka's deck is full of monsters themed around hail, snow and ice.
    • Judai uses both Elemental HERO Ice Edge and (what appears to be a thematic evolution) Absolute Zero. Manjoume even referred to Zero as Koyo's mightiest HERO card in a mental monologue.
  • I Let You Win: Reggie threw her fight against Misawa, being impressed with his tenacity and not wanting Tragoedia to enter her body just yet.
  • Invincible Hero: Averted, where Juudai actually loses the first major tournament he enters.
  • Irony: The role of The Grand Jupiter card. Edo Phoenix gets it from Principal MacKenzie. It looks like and has a similar effect to Destiny Hero - Plasma, which in the anime was one of his aces. Both cards were made by his father before he died, and were stolen by the villain; but here the villain gives it to Edo to further his plans. It also looks and functions like the Sphere cards that Fubuki uses, who Edo beats (with some unwanted cheating/help from Tragoedia) the night before getting it. Fubuki himself, who gets possessed, is given a completely different Planet card.
  • Not-So-Innocent Whistle: Judai does this when suggesting that Asuka and Misawa should exchange numbers, saving Misawa the embarassment of asking her himself.
  • Mythology Gag: The final chapter of the manga contains many references to the anime continuity. Johan appears in his possessed outfit, Kaiser in his Hell Kaiser garb, Manjoume in his "Black Thunder" coat, Fubuki in his Hawaiian shirt, and Judai in his Season 4 look. None of these had previously been shown in the manga.
    • Judai, once again, loses to Edo Phoenix, who uses another HERO sub-archtype (here it's Judai's Masked HERO cards vs. Edo's Vision HERO cards). Edo also has the unfortunate fate of having his father die and growing up with said murderer being his father figure (in this case the Tragoedia-possessed Principal MacKenzie). And in this version, he doesn't get to be the one to bring him to justice.
    • Fubuki gets possessed by a shadowy figure in this version too. To be fair, Tragoedia does this to a lot more people than Nightshroud/Darkness does in the anime.
    • In the anime, Judai had a few cards that let him send an Elemental HERO or a Neo-Spacian to the grave in order to summon a monster from the hand or fusion deck that was basically a stronger version of the monster he send. The Masked HERO cards and Transformation Summoning are basically a whole sub-archetype devoted to that concept, and were far better implemented both here and in the actual card game.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Judai's defeating Chronos in a duel to gain admission to the academy is never shown, unlike in the Anime.
  • One Turn Kill:
    • David Rabb pulls this against Asuka.
    • Also Ryo on Manjoume.
  • Out of Focus: Half of the Legendary Planet cards, believe it or not. Judai and Koyo use Terra Firma multiple times throughout the manga, David and Reggie both summoned theirs three times, Jim summons Neptune twice, but the remaining five Planets only get one duel each in the last ten chapters. Worse yet, the duels in which the non-Sun cards appear are mostly offscreen.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Judai gives one in the first chapter to Ryuga, who forces his students to surrender their cards if they lose against him, and says he doesn't consider him a duelist.
  • The Rival: Manjoume.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Chronos forces Judai to duel Sho. If he wins, Sho will be expelled, and if he loses, his deck will be confiscated. He decides to win, and it turns out that Sho's 0 on the last test, the reason he was in trouble, was not his final grade.
    • Midori is given the choice between defeating Reggie in a duel, or trying to find out what she knows about Shadow Games (her brother is the victim of one). She goes for the latter after noticing that Reggie will duel Judai next, but is defeated and finds out that Reggie knew nothing.
  • School Uniforms are the New Black: Misawa and Asuka make fun of Judai wearing his school uniform to his duel with the awakened Koyo after graduating, but Sho thinks this suits him.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Manjoume has to prove to his peers that he wasn't only admitted to the academy because of his family's wealth.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Manjoume, as a result of the above motivation, buries his Light and Darkness Dragon card to prove he can win alone, and vows to leave the academy if he loses even once. However, his loss against Judai brings on Character Development, and he resolves to fight alongside Light and Darkness Dragon again.
  • Sexy Mentor: Midori Hibiki.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Sho's Solidroid monsters are Getter Robo.
    • Juudai's Defender Hero Trap Card features a figure that looks identical to MegaMan.EXE, protecting a figure that resembles Iris.
    • Two characters who are usually just referred to as "Rabb" and "MacKenzie" (or just "Mac"). The fact that they're both pretty good at what they do just makes the reference even more obvious! Albeit their first names are different, and they don't have quite the same personalities either.
    • The Masked HERO cards are inspired by the various Kamen Riders.
  • Smug Snake: Ryuga.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": All of the Planet Cards are formatted as "The (adjective) (planet name in all caps)" in the OCG (the only exception being Elemental HERO The Earth). In the TCG, The Earth is changed to Elemental HERO Terra Firma, and The Spendid Venus was just made Splendid Venus because of an oversight.
  • The Stoic: Manjoume, as opposed to his anime self.
  • To Be a Master: Judai aspires to duel professionally like his mentor, Koyo Hibiki. The American students are fighting for the chance to go pro.
  • Tournament Arc: Two. First, there's the academy-wide tournament, then the tournament with the American students.
  • The Worf Effect: Terra Firma, one of Judai's strongest cards, frequently gets disabled with Trap or Spell Cards, or destroyed. Relatively few of his duels are won with the help of that card. He does destroy The Supremacy Sun with it though, after absorbing Gaia who in turn absorbed half of The Supremacy Sun's power.
    • Asuka has the unfortunate fate of losing to four duelists who own planet cards. Judai's Terra Firma, Reggie's Splendid Venus, David's The Big Saturn, and Edo's The Grand Jupiter. Of the four, only Judai won without Terra Firma dealing the finishing blow.
  • Worf Had the Flu: The two times Judai defeats world champion Koyo (out of around 70 matches), Koyo was not using his standard deck. Additionally, Midori would have defeated Reggie if Reggie had not manipulated her into holding back for the sake of finding out information to help her brother.
    • Fubuki lost because Tragoedia stopped him from playing his trap card.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: Manjoume's ace card, "Light and Darkness Dragon". It's even in his name!
  • You Monster!: Manjoume calls Tragoedia this after the latter refers to humans as insects. He states he'd rather be an insect than a monster.