Dive into the World of Yu-Gi-Oh...
Are you a fan of Yu-Gi-Oh? Anime? Or do you just want to laugh at the stuff that makes it onto kid's TV shows these days? Well read on, as I take you through the top ten craziest episodes of one of the most delightfully strange and meta anime out there: Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. It's insane, it's funny, it's incredibly confusing, and for that it's one of my favorite anime of all time - any one who hasn't seen it should check it out right away!
Welcome to the world of Yu-Gi-Oh, a world with no police force, where all disputes from petty school yard bickering to the question of whether you should be allowed to murder someone in cold blood is settled using a children's card game - Duel Monsters. The economy is built around a children's card game. The education system is built about a children's card game. You can rule the world if you want...with a children's card game.
Oh, and the monsters inside the cards are real, but only certain people can talk to them. Did I mention that this world doesn't have psychiatrists either?
We follow Jaden Yuki, a new student at Duel Academy, the world's leading school for learning how to play Duel Monsters and occasionally being roped into saving the world. His best friends are Syrus (timid blue haired kid with confidence issues), Zane (Syrus' brother), Chumley (he's...fat. That's kinda it), Alexis (token female), Chazz (the rival), Bastion (vaguely British logic-freak) and Hassleberry (annoying Texan army-wannabe stereotype with a man-crush on Jaden).
In season three another group of clinically insane people are added to the mix, Jim (an australian guy with a live alligator strapped to his back), Axel (who sacrifices his life once an episode and always appears again at the end with no explanation of how he survived, like some sort of anime Kenny) and Jesse (Jaden-clone with blue hair and a southern accent).
Together they fight evil and save the world from those who would destroy it.
So what makes the show so much fun? Part of it is the pure barrel of insanity that is the setting itself, where playing Duel Monsters is serious business and losing a card game might mean losing your job, reputation or even your life.
But the biggest part comes from the Dub. The writers and voice actors in this show just don't take it seriously, and characters constantly comment on the absurdity of the plot, the oddly translated lines and make meta pop culture jokes at inappropriate moments.There's even an episode where the main villain is a guy doing a pretty good Christopher Walken impersonation.
The writers and cast are clearly having the time of their lives, and its their joy and humour that really brings the show to life. That's why I've decided to compile my top ten list of the most hilariously insane episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh GX.
In a world that apparently is able to function with no laws, it seems inevitable that havoc will ensue in the name of science. What wasn't inevitable was that someone would get the bright idea of hooking a monkey up to electronics and forcing it to play card games.
This unfortunate soul, Wheeler the duelling monkey, escapes from the high tech Laboratory of Evil Science Incorporated and onto Duel Academy Island. Unfortunately for him, shotgun wielding evil henchmen and the mad scientist responsible for his torment are in hot pursuit. So what does our monkey friend do? He takes a hostage and dangles her off a cliff. Hey, I'd do the same if I were him.
So how do our heroes save the girl? Call the police? Call a hostage negotiator? Challenge the monkey to a card game? If you guessed the third option, congratulations! Over the course of the duel Jaden figures out why Wheeler ran away. Aside from the horrible torture. He just wanted to get home to his family. Aw. And the horrible torture.
Jaden wins the duel, but the gang bands together to let Wheeler escape the scientists. No one calls the police though. I guess there's no card-game playing PETA in this universe.
Quote of the Episode
Jaden: Hey that monkey has a duel disk! That or a really weird looking banana.
Scientist: THAT'S. NO. BANANA! And that's no regular monkey. He's a trained duellist!
Scientist: Oh. Right. Top secret.
I'd boast about my dueling monkey too.
Every Friday at Duel Academy is apparently 'sandwich day', a bizarre ritual (which probably breaks the Geneva Convention on Cruel and Unusual Punishment) in which the students have to pick their lunch from a tub of unlabelled sandwiches.
Selections include, and I quote, ostrich burgers, sardines, grilled tongue sandwiches and the focus of this episode, the Golden Eggwich, a fried egg sandwich made from the egg of a chicken that lays golden eggs. Yes those exist in this universe. No it's never brought up again after this episode.
But for the past month someone has been stealing the Golden Eggwich, and our heroes make it their business to find out who. The culprit? That guy up there. Tarzan. I'm serious. They call him 'Damon', but he does the chest thumping cry, speaks in broken English and everything. The story is that this guy was a student, who was so sick of drawing horrible sandwiches that he went missing and trained Rocky Balboa-style until he could draw the good sandwiches without looking.
You're probably asking: what's any of this got to do with children's card games? Well apparently your ability to detect egg sandwiches is tied to your ability to always be able to draw the right card from your randomly shuffled deck. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?
Quote of the Episode
Damon: Only waves go back and forth, back and forth, always back and forth, then...HIT ME!
Jaden: Um...you want me to hit you?
Damon: No, it hit me!
Well why didn't you say so? No seriously, what is wrong with your grammar?
47 episodes in, Chazz decides he is madly in love with Alexis. And I do mean 'decides'; they'd barely shared any lines of dialogue and he'd never even acknowledged her as part of the group before.
Then one day he woke up and decided he was going to commit grand larceny of the season's plot MacGuffin (the Seven Spirit Keys) to get her attention and blackmail her (with a children's card game) into becoming his girlfriend. I thought it was going to turn out that he was possessed by the Shadow Riders (the big bads at the time), but no...Chazz is just crazy.
What's even creepier is that Alexis' brother Atticus is totally down with all of this, and even gives Chazz the idea to steal the keys and a few extra cards to help him in the duel. His justification? He's kind of a dick.
The weirdest thing about the Yu-Gi-Oh shows is that in situations like these, the protagonists never take the easy route - you know, taking advantage of the fact that there's like 8 of you and dog-piling him until he stops being a moron. Hell, Zane even suggests they just tackle him at one point, but Alexis agrees to duel anyway. She wins of course, because the implications would be majorly unpleasant if she didn't.
Speaking of unpleasant implications, check out the next craziest episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX...
Quote of the Episode
Chazz: "When Alexis and I were trapped in that weird vortex, I felt her heart! There, in the blackness of space! The eternity of time! Her soul told me she loved me! That we were destined to be together! ...O...Ok, maybe it didn't exactly tell me, but it was in the air, I felt it!"
Did I mention there are no psychiatrists on Duel Academy Island? Yeah I think I did.
The episode begins with a really...weird conversation about being sexually attracted to Duel Monster cards. What is this I don't even. Later on it's discovered that all of the students have been bribed into building a giant colosseum for the bad guy of the day, an Amazonian woman named Tania.
After she pays her loyal workers with children's trading cards, she declares that one of Jaden's gang must duel her, and if she wins the loser must marry her. Coming from a female-only tribe, the only way for Tania to find a husband is to win one in a duel.
You didn't read that wrong. And apparently it's impossible to refuse a duel in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe, so that makes forced marriages perfectly legal. Card games are the law after all. She chooses to duel Bastion, our delightful and very oddly voiced British logic-freak.
Mid way through the duel he randomly falls head over heels in love with her for no adequately explored reason (vaguely implied to be some sort of spell cast by Tania). He promptly loses the duel because he was distracted by his erec- burning infatuation. The first part ends with the rest of the gang being chased out of the colosseum to give Bastion and Tania some...alone time.
Here's where it starts getting weird. The second part begins with the gang sat outside of the colosseum listening to Bastion...moaning. And shouting. And screaming. But before you assume he's being molested against his will, Chazz quickly explains that he's been 'duelling' Tania all night. Riiiight...
Bastion later emerges looking despondent and exhausted, stating that Tania dumped him because he 'wasn't enough of a man'. Still talking about duelling. Definitely still a kids show. Tania demands another duel, and Jaden steps up the plate and kicks the Amazonian's ass to next Sunday, breaking the spell over Bastion.
The twist to the episode? Tania is a tiger. No, not metaphorically. When she loses to Jaden, she literally transforms back into a tiger and wanders off.
Quote of the Episode
Bastion: She says she wants a...champion. Some one who can give her a...[long pause] match that she'll always remember...
Bastion: I can't duel...not without my Tania.
Jaden: I hate to say it, but she's probably duelling without you.
Bastion: No! She would never...
Chazz: Oh gag me.
Bastion: You don't understand! We had PASSION! When I first duelled Tania, there were fireworks between us! You saw how our cards danced that dangerous duel monsters dance together!
See? Definitely still talking about card games.
5) Lets Make a Duel!
I have a theory that Duel Academy is actually an insane asylum for delusional and psychotic children, and that Duel Monsters is just some Shutter Island-esque way of letting them act out their delusions in the hopes of bringing them back to the real world. Why do I think that? Because everyone on the Island is completely. Insane.
The episode opens up with Syrus browsing an online Agony Aunt website. Jaden spots the following message: "I have my sights set on someone who's out of my league. When we're face to face, I back down. What should I do?". Because Jaden doesn't appear to have hit puberty yet/is completely obsessed, he assumes the question is referring to the card game, and posts a response that if he trusts in himself, he'll win any match. We are then introduced to our love-struck antagonist. Bob. Real original naming right there.
Anyway, Bob has a crush on Alexis, as evidenced by the stalker pictures of her he has in his room. And the fact that he lurks outside her room spying on her with binoculars. And sends her anonymous sonnets. Very healthy. During one of his spying sessions, he is caught by Jaden and the gang, and their arguing attracts the attention of Alexis, who accuses Jaden of spying on her...despite the fact that he is stood on the ground outside the white dorm, nowhere near her room and facing in the wrong direction. Makes perfect sense.
By a convoluted series of events, Bob intends to prove his love to the woman he has never spoken to by jumping out of a bush while she is manhandling Jaden and defending her honour in a duel. Jaden understandably doesn't know what on earth is going on, but Alexis threatens to have him expelled if he doesn't duel.
What ensues is possibly the weirdest duel in the whole show. Bob uses a game-show themed deck. And by game-show themed deck, I mean an actual quiz game-show breaks out which is only tenuously linked to actual duelling.
Jaden eventually wins and inadvertently reveals that he was the one who gave Bob the advice at the beginning of the episode, causing Bob to instantly start fan-girling over him and chasing his around the ring, believing him to be some kind of love-god.
See what I mean?
Quote of the Episode
Alexis: spying on me? That is so immature, even for you. You are so busted.
Jaden: Spy on you? Why would anyone wanna do that?
Alexis: Gee, thanks a lot. I’m sure plenty of people want to spy on me.
This episode gives you a good idea of just how completely warped the values of the Yu Gi Oh universe are. It is a running plot on the show that several students have gone missing at the Academy's Abandoned Dorm, including Alexis' brother. This episode revolves around an undercover reporter who infiltrates the school hoping to investigate the rumours of missing kids and sell the story for a huge profit, of course ruining Duel Academy's reputation in the first place.
Here's where the problems start piling up.
Firstly, it is revealed that the school has actually been covering up the disappearances, faking records that show them going on vacations or special programmes. And these are our good guys folks. Did the parents not find it strange when their kids failed to come home after two years? Why hasn't Alexis gone to the press about this yet? Or, you know, told her parents that her brother isn't actually on vacation? Are we seriously meant to root for an institution that actually tried to cover this up?
Secondly, the reporter's motivation for investigating the story? No, it's not because what the school is doing is truly heinous. It's because he is greedy, hates children's card games and wants to ruin everyone's fun. At the end of the episode he is inspired by Jaden's duelling and realises that duelling is the greatest thing ever, destroys the evidence he found, and leaves.
Thirdly, why is no one aside from Alexis even remotely suspicious about this guy not being who he says he is? He's like twenty years older than everyone else. Come on.
Quote of the Episode
Reporter: You see, I came here looking for a story, but what I found was something very, very different! I found the duellist inside me, the duellist I thought was long gone.
You also found a conspiracy involving covering up kidnapped children. Remember that? No?
The new villain, Professor Viper, has been forcing everyone to wear wristbands that drain their energy while they duel, and issued a mandate that everyone must duel once a day. Though the gang have only just begun to suspect this plot, a new student named Adrian Gecko has uncovered it for certain. Viper wants him out of the picture, and so reminds him he must duel once a day or be expelled, and turns up the energy draining power to 11 so that when Adrian duels, he'll be killed. You know. For kids!
Adrian is smart though, and organises a tournament at his dorm so that when he duels, half the school will be duelling at the same time, reasoning that Viper wont slaughter hundreds of people. He goes out looking for an opponent, and is challenged by our favourite restraining order waiting to happen, Chazz Princeton. You see, Chazz has recently learned that Adrian is richer and more popular than he is, and he isn't going to stand for it. So he challenges Adrian to a duel...by summoning two helicopters to air-lift them off the ground onto floating platforms. Did I mention Chazz is insane?
This one isn't nearly as insane in the content of it as the others, but it is a good demonstration of the writers getting bored and just deciding to mock the show relentlessly. That's why I'm gonna give you the highlights...
Quotes of the Episode
Jesse: Remember what Jim said? About the weird energy? And how its being caused by our bio bands?
Syrus: I've been saying that all along!
Alexis: You know Jim brings up a good point. I never thought of that.
Syrus: I did. But no one listens to me. I'm just the wimpy side-kick who's here for everyone's amusement. I'd never actually have an idea that could help move the plot along.
Alexis: Anyway, getting back to Jim's idea...
Jaden: [referring to Adrian's Duel For Jewels Tournament] Big deal. I'm way too cool to duel for jewels.
Syrus [giggles] I think rhyming is funny!
Chazz: [After reading Adrian's internet profile] ENOUGH! Who cares if he's richer than me. And so what if he's more powerful! I'm really good at playing card games! And that's what life is really all about anyway!!
Ojama Yellow: Take it easy boss, you'll pop a blood vessel!
Chazz: WHO CARES! I'll just buy a new one! Do you hear me Adrian Gecko?! What kind of a stupid name is that anyway. I've got a much cooler name. And unlike you, I also have my own catchphrase! CHAZZ IT UP!
[Chazz strikes a pose and lightning hits his computer]
Ojama Yellow: Not again! I hate it when he conjures lightning.
Adrian: I like your style bro.
Chazz: What do you know about style. You've got purple hair and you're wrapped in my mom's old living room curtain. Well guess what? It's time for a makeover.
Adrian: What's that supposed to mean?
Chazz: ...I'm not sure. Can we just get on with this?
Adrian: Sure. The sooner I beat you the less bad dialogue I have to hear.
Adrian: I reveal two of my face-downs!
Chazz: But how?!
Adrian: Easy. I just call out their names dramatically and they pop up. Haven't you played this game before? 'Cause it's a pretty common occurrence.
About as common as helicopter duels.
There isn't much to say about this episode. It's an episode done entirely in rhyme. Very. Very AWFUL. Rhyme.
As punishment for breaking school rules in an earlier episode, Jaden and Syrus are forced to duel the paradox brothers, a cameo from the first Yu Gi Oh series who are incapable of speaking in a normal rhythm and force every sentence into a torturous rhyme.
Suffice it to say, they were annoying as hell then, and they are as annoying as hell now.
Quote of the Episode
Jaden: I’m starting to wish they’d called our dorm Slifer Orange so we wouldn’t have to put up with all this terrible rhyming.
Me too Jaden, me too.
9) A Greater Porpoise
Through a long and convoluted series of events, Jaden ends up stranded on a boat out at sea, having resolved to quit duelling forever. Despondent, he asks for a sign...and then gets hit by a meteor. The gods in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe have never been the most subtle lot, I'll admit.
He wakes up washed up on a beach, on a completely different planet, in a completely different dimension, where talking, walking nightmare abomination dolphins give him a pep talk about why he needs to keep playing cards because he is the only one who can save the world from the monster of the week, yadda yadda.
Then a robot shows up and challenges him to a card game. WHY.
Having previously been forced to abandon his cards, Nightmare-Dolphin-Man leads Jaden to a new deck, hidden inside a space probe. It turns out these cards were actually created by Jaden himself, designed when he was a child as part of a competition. The winning cards would be shot into space (WHY), and apparently Jaden had completely forgotten this, despite it being something as high-profile and impressive as shooting cards into space (WHY). And to top it all off, he has a card with Nightmare-Dolphin-Man on it.
This episode would have made a lot more sense if it had turned out to be a hallucination induced by dehydration, but at the end of the episode, Jaden wakes up mysteriously back on Duel Academy Island, holding the deck of cards that had been shot into space.
Aside from the whole scenario being a complete barrel of 'what the hell', it also gets the prize for making absolutely no sense. How did the cards get into a different dimension? Why are there a race of dolphin men living on the planet in another dimension when they are supposedly figments of an eight year old's imagination? Coincidence? Where did the duelling robot come from, and how did it know Jaden would be there? What were the creators smoking?
WHY WOULD YOU SHOOT CARDS INTO SPACE?!
Quote of the Episode
Seto Kaiba: "Attention all duelists, my company will be hosting a global competition. Anyone who thinks they've got what it takes can enter. Just create a design for a new card, then mail your design to the Kaiba Corporation. Winners will be hand-picked by me. Then your cards will be launched into space on a KaibaCorp satalite. Because I figure, if there *is* intelligent life out there, let's teach them how to duel! "
No, I will not get over this whole shooting cards into space business. The show and I are having this out, right here right now.
The story arc leading up to this episode is already fantastically weird, with the school being transported into another dimension, and the students being taken over by a curse which turns them into 'duel ghouls'. These are basically creepy zombies that force you to duel them over and over until you collapse from exhaustion and become one of them. Yeah. Eat your heart out Romero.
The creature responsible for all of this is possessing a boy with a stereotypical French accent, and Jaden has finally cornered him in a duel. Over the course of this duel, the creature reveals itself to be Yubel. Who is Yubel? When Jaden was a child, his favourite card was one his father bought him, a card named Yubel. But whenever Jaden duelled with Yubel, his opponents would have horrible seizures and fall into a coma. Soon, the connection between Yubel and the incidents was made. When Jaden discovered he'd won a competition to have his card designs shot into space, he asked KaibaCorp if they would shoot Yubel into the cosmos as well, and they agreed.
Dear goodness, WHY. I mean, ok, shooting a kids card's into space could be a cool (if absurdly over-the-top) prize for a competition. But why would you dispose of a dangerous card by shooting it into space? Did Jaden not have access to a lighter? Were his hands non-functional and incapable of just tearing the card up? He could have eaten it, or dissolved it in acid, or Morris danced on it until it was trampled to pieces, anything would have made more sense than shooting Yubel into space.
Hang on, I hear you say; if Yubel is actually alive, then wouldn't that be murder? Ok, but 1) Jaden didn't know that and 2) how is shooting a living thing into space more helpful or any kinder? I mean, it's not like it will go insane from the isolation and be warped by space radiation into some all powerful super beast- oh wait that's exactly what happened.
Quote of the Episode
Yubel: Took you long enough to remember. I never forgot. How could I. You let them send me away. You decided to alienate me. But now we’re face to face again...and you and I have some catching up to do.
That's All Folks
So those are my personal top ten most insane episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh GX. If you've never seen the show but are a fan of anime, you should give it a watch; it's a ton of fun and even adults will get a laugh out of it's pure insane goodness.
Drop By and Say Hi...
Gx on April 03, 2020:
I was thinking the episode where Jaden becomes the supreme king was going to be in here
Priyal on March 10, 2020:
Amazing. Can't get over how funny this is
Sacredfire on October 18, 2019:
I mean Jaden ends the series as a half-Duel-Spirit, half-God Hybrid capable of shooting physical, explosive beams from his hands, seeing in the dark, jumping through dimensions, and generally being an overall cryptid so. Misawa being a furry isn't too weird.
TheEmotiveUmbreon on December 16, 2018:
In some retrospect I have about 100 favorite episodes of yugioh gx but one of them introduces aster Phoenix!
AJ on November 29, 2018:
Fantastic review. I especially love the quotes. Got back into the show after LittleKuriboh started reviewing it and I just love how absurd it is.
Selma on May 29, 2018:
l love yugiohs its so funny
Podai Yedermon on May 07, 2018:
Neat review of some of the weirder episodes. The tarzan one was satirical though. You should do one for the other particularly Arc-V for the plot making about as much sense as GX's 4th season (the fanbase is split on whether it's the best or worst season.).
Priyal on March 21, 2018:
Haha this is amazing. I used to watch this show eight years ago and I'm rewatching it and it's still amazing . This post is extremely funny and makes perfect sense rationalizing how crazy the yugioh universe is
Ilian on July 23, 2017:
I suspect that in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe everything is decided by a due, pizza or chinese for dinner, lets duel, or imagine this scenario - "We are sorry that we left the murder go but he won a duel against the judge and now you have to pay him for the trouble and emotional distress". Also no one on the entire staff noticed in season 2 that majority of the studnt population is being inducted into a cult? Great educators, but then again every single teacher in the academy looks like a pedofile.
Grace on February 18, 2017:
Oh my gosh! I haven't had a good laugh like this in awhile. I love the quotes you added to each episode 'cause that made this article all the better. Plus, I should've suspected Kaiba would be card-crazy enough to blast them into space.
Dustin on July 18, 2016:
The episode where they are looking for Banner in his home has an AMAZING bit about trees.
Watching the show now I actually see the humerus vs when I was younger.
CalobrenaOmai on June 13, 2013:
Wonder if this was the reason why I couldn't get into the show? Only a select few episodes were interesting the school for training duelests just threw me off from what I was use to seeing in the past. Hilarious lens by the way.
DesignSpace (author) on June 11, 2013:
@JennyRowling: Haha, thanks!
Jenny Rowling from London, UK on June 11, 2013:
I find this lens way more interesting than YGO GX :D
orange3 lm on September 03, 2012:
Great information :)
Carol Fisher from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK on August 23, 2012:
Lovely page, full of striking images.
AmandaTWaH on August 22, 2012:
Great looking lens! I always loved the original show most.