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Manga / Yu-Gi-Oh! R

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A spinoff of the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, specifically the manga, Yu-Gi-Oh! R is written by Akira Ito, one of Kazuki Takahashi's assistants on the 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 Pegasus's death at the end of Duelist Kingdom, unaware that it was Dark Bakura that killed him.

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 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.

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.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Jonouchi and Honda avoid some Mooks this way. Lampshaded by Jou, who complains about how claustrophobic it is and keeps getting accidentally kicked in the face by Honda.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Kaiba Corp gets taken over yet again.
  • Avenging the Villain: Yako's trying to get revenge for Pegasus, but on the wrong person. Other than defeating him at the end of Duelist Kingdom, Yugi didn't have a thing to do with Pegasus' death. The real culprit, Dark Bakura, never even makes an appearance.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Depres Scott's theme deck plays with this; monsters in space are assigned a number of "life stars" based on their level and lose one at the end of each turn. Once they run out, they're automatically destroyed.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Two of the Card Professors run these as the theme of their respective decks.
    • Klamath Osler, whose main monster is the Antlion.
    • The theme deck of Mendo Cino consists of mantises. The Dreadscythe Harvester, Cino's ace monster, is larger than even the duelist who uses it.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Yugi lets one out when he believes that he's failed to save Anzu in time.
    • Kaiba lets one out when he loses his Duel to Yako and his Wicked Gods.
    • Yako too, after Kaiba's program stops the summoning of Pegasus.
  • Blank White Eyes: A Running Gag in this series involves this happening to Jonouchi when he's overwhelmed with indignation.
  • 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 its 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. The anti-cheating feature of the Duel Disks, previously only mentioned in a summary, activate to prevent it.
  • Cherry Tapping: The Wicked Avatar is always exactly one attack point stronger then the strongest monster on the field, but as Yako points out, that one attack point makes all the difference.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Divine Evolution card that can work on Gods is used by Yako when he possessed Gekko. Yugi gets it at some point, and returns the favor by using it on Obelisk, upgrading its divine rank to destroy the previously higher-ranked Avatar. Note that this ranking up ability wasn't referred to earlier.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Ryou Bakura is nowhere to be seen, despite accompanying Yugi and his other friends fairly often in the manga.
    • Ryuji Otogi, the Sixth Ranger of the original manga, also doesn't appear.
  • Comically Small Bribe: Yako's initially offered bounty for defeating Jonouchi, a Duelist Kingdom finalist and Battle City semi-finalist, is a paltry $10. Jonouchi isn't happy when Tilla informs him of this. Downplayed in later chapters, where its revealed that any Card Professor who beats him would get to duel Yugi, so while the bounty is still incredibly low (the last time its given any value is right before his duel against Mendo Cino, in which he laments Jonuchi is only worth 500), it's still enough for them to bother.
    Jonouchi: *thinking to himself* I hate you, Yako...
  • Continuity Nod: 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.
  • Damsel in Distress: Anzu is in danger of having her soul removed to revive Pegasus.
  • Double Entendre: One of Mendo's cards forces each player to pay 1000 Life Points to normal summon any monsters. It's called "Labor Pain."
  • Dungeon Bypass: Kaiba handily defeats one of the Card Professors, who prepares to hand over the key card needed to get into the building... only for Mokuba to cheerfully announce that he's finished hacking through Yako's changes to the security system. Kaiba's sole reason for bothering with the duel in the first place was that he wanted a "warmup".
  • Eagleland: Not only are the Card Professors Americans, but guess who's back...
  • Evil Counterparts: The Wicked Gods for the God Cards.
  • Evil Laugh: Depres indulges in this when he has Yugi against the ropes. Even Richie thinks he sounds over the top.
  • Exact Words: A lighthearted example. When Yugi meets Mrs. Maico Kato in his search for the next Card Professor, Yugi asks her if she's seen anyone wearing a duel disk around the wrist under the assumption that she was merely a random bystander due to not seeing one on her, with her saying "no" in response. She's actually being technically honest: While she IS a Card Professor, her duel disk is hidden away in her motorized wheelchair, not worn around her wrist, and so Yugi is in for a shock when she presents her duel disk in preparation for a card duel.
    Maico Kato: You've found me. I'm the duelist you seek! Mrs. Maico Kato, Card Professor.
    Yugi: You're a Card Professor?!
    Maico Kato: Why so surprised?
  • Expy: Yako, to Pegasus. 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.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Two of them:
    • Though he never appears, Dark Bakura counts as he killed Pegasus in the Duelist Kingdom arc, which fuels Yako's motivation.
    • The Wicked Avatar corrupted Yako, and caused him to lose it and try to bring back Pegasus.
  • 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.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
  • 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.
    • A minor one in the duel against Yako where the Wicked Dreadroot had center stage and Yugi tries to bring out Ra. Yako negates the summoning, and then in the next turn, proceeds to make Dreadroot even stronger.
  • I Have Your Wife: Yako kidnapping Anzu drives the entire plot.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: Yako waits for Yugi on the top floor of the Kaiba Corp building, forcing him to scale the tower. Jonouchi and Honda have it even worse, since they fell through a Trap Door early on and ended up in the basement. Subverted with Kaiba and Mokuba, who came in through the roof.
  • Jerkass: Bandit Keith started the 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.
  • 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.
  • Mad Eye: Yako has this as an indicator of his sanity slippage.
  • Manipulating the Opponent's Deck: Reiko Kitamori has a deck which centers around the use of Battlefield Tragedy, which forces her opponent to send five cards from the top of their deck to the Graveyard when they attack. By using it multiple times, she's able to quickly force her opponents to deplete their decks.
  • Meaningful Name: One of the Card Professors is named Tilla Mook.
  • Mission Control: Mokuba takes on this role, deactivating Yako's security measures, monitoring the Duel Server's status, and keeping the others filled in on the current situation.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chapter 27 opens with Jonouchi and Honda beating up tons of Mooks, with a humorous Lampshade Hanging by Jonouchi about how long it's been since he fought someone with his fists instead of cards. Then we shift back to Yugi and Gekko, who has just lost and thus prevented Yugi from being able to advance and rescue Anzu.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Yako has just defeated Seto Kaiba, Bandit Keith successfully summoned The Wicked Eraser, and now Anzu's soul is being consumed to revive Pegasus... then the Kaiba brothers are able to force the program to stop.
  • Necromantic: Yako.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Tilla, who refers to her Vampire's Curse card as her "master" and allows it to suck her blood to grow stronger. (The holographic vampire actually bites her. You can see the bite marks in her neck if you look closely.) Honda and Jonouchi both think it's quite nasty.
  • No Fair Cheating: The duel disks sound an alarm if you try to make an illegal move.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Lampshaded by Richie after Yugi defeats Depre, noting that Yugi's desire to save Anzu is very much the same as their desire to revive Pegasus.
    • He zigzags this all over the place with Gekko, though, commenting that their dueling styles are similar, yet Richie was winning for most of the duel and won, and they were fighting for similar reasons, Gekko was fighting to protect Yako, who he still had, while Richie didn't have Pegasus, making him more desperate to save him.
  • 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.
    • Yami Yugi is uncharacteristically rattled when he finally gets to see Anzu again.
  • Oh, Crap!: The general reaction when a God shows up, but special mention has to go to when Kaiba summons Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon and Yako nicks the fusion materials for sacrifices to summon the Wicked Avatar. Then it transforms into the Ultimate Dragon, and its effect is finally revealed, and it is just as powerful as all of Ra's effects put together.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Upon seeing Kaiba on his knees, Yami asks him if he's all right. Kaiba takes it as a sign that he's losing his touch and proceeds to force himself to stand up.
    Yami: Kaiba... are you all right?
    Kaiba: You're actually worried about me? I must be really losing my touch.
  • 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.
  • Pretender Diss: Seto Kaiba mocks the Wicked God Cards and says they are nothing but cheap knockoffs of the Egyptian God Cards.
  • 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. Richie later clarifies that he simply considers Pegasus to be more important, and makes it clear he doesn't care about the others.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Yako targets Yugi by turning Anzu into a Human Sacrifice so he can resurrect Pegasus.
  • Rousing Speech: The speech Gekko delivers to Yako near the end of the series, after Yami manages to have the Wicked Avatar destroyed and Yako is on the verge of forfeiting the duel, basically boils down to Gekko telling Yako to Dare to Be Badass. Gekko argues that, while Gekko himself is incapable of growing any stronger, Yako, as the "rough diamond", still has a lot of space for improvement, and, given enough time and experience to hone his skills, his own potential will shine forth, as Pegasus saw through the Millennium Eye. The speech inspires Yako to continue his duel against Yami. After the duel ends, Yako thanks Gekko, claiming that he would have regretted it had he gone through with the forfeit.
  • 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.
  • Ship Tease: Between Yami and Anzu. He swears to save her and she tries to touch his shoulder to reassure him, but can't because she's a hologram. She comments it feels lonely they can't touch, and there's a shot of them dejectedly standing close together. Later Yako accuses Yami of intending to take Anzu away from Yugi.
  • 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.
  • Sixth Ranger: Gekko joins Yugi's group later on.
  • So Last Season: A running theme in this story is the Power Creep beginning to settle in for Duel Monsters as a whole. The Poker Knight combo is derided by Yako, who uses cards like Summoner Monk for quicker and easier swarming, and Willie taunts Kaiba for using Blue-Eyes due to it lacking any special abilities.
  • Spanner in the Works: Seto and Mokuba Kaiba. Yako hadn't realized that Mokuba was in a place where he could do any significant damage, nor did he think that they could have used Yugi's duel to shut down his program.
  • Symbol Swearing: Bandit Keith gets his speech liberally peppered with this in the Viz translation.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Kaiba says this to Yugi almost word for word when they meet up.
  • 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.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill:
    • Played with in Seto's duel with Yako, as while Seto's gratuitous summoning of the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon is ultimately his downfall, Yako's similarly gratuitous summoning of two Evil Gods works just fine for him. Justified though, given that they're God cards, and Kaiba was really playing for time at that point.
    • Played straight at the end of the duel between Ted Banias and Gekko. note 
  • 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 losing 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.
  • Twin Switch: Yako pulls a Grand Theft Me on his twin brother, Gekko, in order to test his new deck against Yugi.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Yako gives Jonouchi, a Duelist Kingdom finalist and Battle City semi-finalist, a ten dollar bounty to start, and it takes a while to go up to anything considerable. The same Jonochi who proceeds to wipe the floor with at least half his card professors.
    • Yugi initially assumes Maico Kato to be an ordinary old woman due to the combination of her gentle demeanor and the lack of duel disk on her (she has it hidden in her motorized wheelchair). Once she reveals herself as a Card Professor, she proves to be a capable duelist who manages to make Yami struggle a bit.
    • Mendo Cino considers Jonouchi paltry due to his bounty being only $500. When Jonouchi beat him, he was shocked that such a skilled duelist would be so undervalued.
    • When Jonouchi first encounters Reiko Kitamori, he thinks she doesn't look too tough. While Reiko is easily intimidated, she uses a solely defensive deck-destruction strategy that leaves him helpless until he convinces her to attack him. And she only started playing Duel Monsters a month ago.
    • Dupre Scott assumes regular Yugi is no match for him and insists Yami come out and deal with him personally. Yami lampshades this, only coming out to talk up his partner with Yugi then managing to turn things around.
  • The Un Favourite: Yako believed he was the worst 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.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Bandit Keith in the final volume, during his duel with Jonouchi.
    • Yako as well, after Kaiba foils his plan the first time.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • Gekko Tenma, who uses hordes of low attack monsters with potent effects, supplemented with spells and traps. Richie uses a similar strategy, and lampshades the similarities.
    • 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.
  • White Gloves: Yako wears them.