Shining Friendship

In this Episode:

Finally! Amidst a sea of multi-part, plot-laden episodes, our hard work and perseverance is rewarded with a duel-heavy episode in which not much happens. Listen in as Jimmy recaps our first all-female duel, Tyler forgets what jokes are, we do some live foley work, and learn the hard way that the rules of Duel Monsters really are just made up on the spot.

Apologies for the delay leading up to this episode! As we talk about at the beginning, with life events happening all at once lately, it's sometimes tough to set aside time to watch Yu-Gi-Oh. If that's not proof of being an adult, I don't know what is. You're the real Shining Friendship, and look forward to watching what is sure to be a great rest of the season with you. <3 

Could Shining Friendship have shot that bow and arrow? Is there a Duel Monsters rule book somewhere that no one's talked about yet? Is Grandpa going to be okay?!?!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 25, "Shining Friendship" official synopsis:

After losing half of his star chips to Kaiba, Yugi becomes depressed. He is also worried by the fact that Yami had wanted him to win the duel, even though it meant killing Kaiba. In a bid to help him, Téa, despite her lack of experience in Duel Monsters, volunteers to duel Mai, who has more than enough star chips to qualify for the finals and is more than willing to give her extra star chips to Yugi if Téa is able to defeat her. After a bad start, Téa eventually manages to win via Mai forfeiting the duel after seeing Téa's strong resolve and determination to help Yugi out and through this, Yugi is able to regain enough star chips so that he can enter Pegasus' castle while personally vowing to face and defeat Pegasus with his own strong resolve and determination. 

BONUS: Yu-Gi-Oh "Season Zero", Episode 2!

In this Episode:

In preparation for our half-way-through-the-first-season celebration, we're taking a week off to bring you this bonus episode. Join us as we go back to our Yu-Gi-Roots, reveal the secrets of Tyler's dark past as a shitty teen, and discuss how great anime music is. 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Season Zero, Episode 2, "The Devil Gamer - The Trap of Hell" official synopsis:

A criminal escapes from jail, disguises himself and gets a job at the restaurant Burger World. When his true identity is exposed, he holds the restaurant and the people inside, Yugi, Honda, Jonouchi, and Miho hostage, while also taking Anzu as a prisoner. When Yugi reacts angrily to the criminal slapping Anzu, his other self in the Millennium Puzzle emerges and wastes no time in challenging the criminal to a Shadow Game in order to get her back. The game this time is that the two contestants are allowed to choose one finger to use, as soon as the game begins they can do whatever they wish with it, the criminal chooses his pointer to fire a gun, but is outsmarted when Yugi uses his to light a lighter to light his cigarette, but then puts it on his hand, so he may not fire, or allow the lighter to fall on the alcohol he is about to consume. But the prisoner does not fall for it and attempts to kill Yami Yugi. In revenge, Yugi subjects him to a Penalty Game, causing the criminal to believe he is on fire. As a result, Anzu develops a crush on the man who saved her, unaware that it was Yugi's alter-ego. 

Face Off, Part 3

In this Episode:

*slaps top of duel* This bad boy can fit so many Kuribohs in it.

This week, Jimmy talks about his side-gig! Tyler talks about something boring! Then, we get into discussing the final part of the duel between Kaiba and Yugi. Things get... surprisingly metal, and emotional? We talk mammoth chest-bursters, fusing zombies to non-zombies, infinite versions of tiny creatures, and brand new strategies that we're convinced Yugi pulled out of his ass.

Later, we wax poetic about Link, the Hero of Time, and remind you all to please please please stop touching Millennium Items. They WILL possess you.

Does anyone actually know how Polymerization works? Did Kaiba get his evil groove back? Would Big Yugi duel a man in Reno, just to watch him die?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 24, "Face Off, Part 3" official synopsis:

Yugi plays a Kuriboh/Multiply combo to protect his Life Points and uses his Living Arrow and Polymerization magic cards to fuse his Mammoth Graveyard to Kaiba's Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon. This causes the Ultimate Dragon to decay and lose Attack points until it is weak enough for Yugi to attack. Refusing to lose from within a desperate state, Kaiba unexpectedly stands on a turret and warns Yugi that if he attacks, the impact force of the monsters battling will knock Kaiba off the castle and kill him. An internal conflict soon takes place between Yugi and Yami Yugi which causes the real Yugi to quickly stop his Celtic Guardian from attacking the Ultimate Dragon, enabling Kaiba to swiftly counterattack and win the duel so that he can gain the right to face Pegasus.  

Face Off, Part 2

In this Episode:

Well, they can't all be winners. Six months into making a show about a show about a card game, we discover that the worst part about the show actually is the card game. 

Join us as we dissect an episode so boring, even its official synopsis is only two sentences. We talk about winning at Stardew Valley, good anime, more things to do with a library card, and the extra-terrestrial origins of our card of the week. Then, much like the animators of this episode, we try desperately to stall for time. 

Will Kaiba ever find a different dueling strategy? Is Mokuba tournament-legal? Can we please, please, please get back to the interesting episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh again?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 23, "Face Off, Part 2" official synopsis:

The duel between Kaiba and Yugi continues. Kaiba tricks Yugi into releasing the Crush Card virus, rendering every Monster in Yugi's deck with more than 1500 Attack points unplayable. 

Face Off, Part 1

In this Episode:

Hot on the heels of a terrible three-parter, we endeavor into the gaping maw of yet another three-parter! Sadly, this one stars neither John Travolta nor Nicholas Cage, but we'll muddle through somehow. Join us in media res as we talk about Tyler's weird mouth sounds, our favorite non-Yu-Gi-Oh pastimes, Jimmy's new podcast, and an actually decent episode.

Have we uncovered further proof that Mokuba is color-blind? Has Kaiba actually just been making really big Beyblades? Can anything defeat the sheer naming power of our card of the week? 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 22, "Face Off, Part 1" official synopsis:

Arriving at Pegasus' castle, Yugi and the others are confronted by Kaiba, who challenges Yugi to a duel as a part of Pegasus' past ultimatum towards Kaiba. As the two duelists face off on the castle roof, Kaiba hatches a plan to fuse all three of his Blue-Eyes White Dragons and create the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon. 

Double Trouble Duel, Part 3

In this Episode:

Well, we did it. We finally got through this three-parter, and by golly, we got through it together. Join us for a wine-fueled roller coaster ride through the final chapter in "Double Trouble Duel". Listen as Pepper licks everything, Jimmy takes a phone call, and Tyler questions the logic of... well, everything. 

Did any of the Paradox Brothers' riddles even matter? Is Kaiba the world's best cat burglar, or the world's worst cat burglar? Does anyone actually know the rules for Duel Monsters?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 21, "Double Trouble Duel, Part 3" official synopsis:

In a bid to defeat the Gate Guardian, Yugi uses Polymerization to fuse his Summoned Skull to Joey's Red Eyes Black Dragon, creating the Black Skull Dragon. Through the combined effort of their unified teamwork, Yugi and Joey defeat the Paradox Brothers, winning enough star chips to allow them inside Pegasus' castle. Also, Yugi and his friends manage to escape the caves after solving a riddle posed to them by the Paradox Brothers. Meanwhile, Kaiba is able to find Mokuba from within his search, but Pegasus suddenly appears and uses his Millennium Eye to steal Mokuba's soul. After doing this, Pegasus then gives Kaiba an ultimatum: Kaiba must first defeat Yugi in a duel so that the former can gain the right to face Pegasus himself in an attempt to win back his brother's soul. 

BONUS: Yu-Gi-Oh "Season Zero", Episode 1!

In this Episode:

The Gate Guardian's lasers somehow pierced the dimensional barrier, messing up our schedules and preventing a full episode from being recorded this week! Never fear, Jimmy showed Tyler the first episode of the original 1998 run of Yu-Gi-Oh! and we're here to talk about it. And boy do we have feelings. 

Listen in as we discuss the origin of Shadow Games, Yugi's even weirder voice-acting choices, and imagine a world in which Yugi never played Duel Monsters. 

We'll be back next week with our regularly-scheduled content! Somebody's got to finish that god-awful three-parter, and it might as well be us.

Yu-Gi-Oh! "Season Zero" Episode 1, "Furious Battle - A Shadow Game" official synopsis:

A shy and meek young boy named Yugi Mutou is a student, who is bullied by his classmate Katsuya Jonouchi. The hall monitor, Tetsu Ushio, forcibly becomes Yugi's bodyguard, beating up Jonouchi and Hiroto Honda, and then says that Yugi owes him money. Ushio later beats up Yugi, but Jonouchi and Honda try to intervene, only to be beaten up as well. One day, Yugi solves the Millennium Puzzle after working on it for eight years, heralding the return of the Shadow Games. In the process, he unknowingly changes his own life forever by releasing an alter-ego, who is the "King of Games", and challenges Ushio to a Shadow Game. Ushio loses after a failed attempt to cheat, and Yugi enforces a Penalty Game upon him, which results in Ushio hallucinating that there were monsters coming out of a body of water that were about to eat him. After all of that, Yugi, Honda, and Jonouchi become life-long friends, with Yugi's childhood friend, Anzu Mazaki, and Honda's crush, Miho Nosaka, joining the group. 

Double Trouble Duel, Part 2

In this Episode:

They prepared for trouble, and made it double! And, against all odds, they also ended it on a cliffhanger! Listen in as Jimmy and Tyler get to the brink of throwing in the towel on this monotonous slog of a three-parter. We also discuss video games, Tyler and Lauren and Pepper's Big Move, LEGO sex acts (yep, that happened), and a narrative structure that will have you reaching for "Memento" in search of something more straightforward. 

Did we discover the identity of Dox? Is everyone finally done with being mean to Joey? Will Croquet ever be the first to learn anything? 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 20, "Double Trouble Duel, Part 2" official synopsis:

To get their monsters through the Paradox Brothers' maze, Yugi and Joey must work as a team, but the Paradox Brothers attempt to divide and conquer by changing the layout of the maze so that Yugi's Monsters become separated from Joey's own. From there, the brothers start assembling the pieces they need to form the powerful Gate Guardian in an attempt to defeat both Yugi and Joey. Meanwhile, Kaiba is able to get into Pegasus' castle and wastes no time in searching for Mokuba, but unknown to Kaiba, Pegasus is watching him with a sinister eye and decides to initiate a plan of his own in order to stop Kaiba. 

Double Trouble Duel, Part 1

In this Episode:

Jimmy has a normal, human face! Tyler makes words happen! We discuss the biblical implications of Beyblades, and give you the opportunity to listen to two grown men spend some time talking about dolls. Later, we discuss a real stinker of an episode, setting the bar real low for this three-parter. In it, we're introduced to the villainous Paradox Brothers, and their nefarious riddles! Except, are they real brothers? And are the riddles really riddles? 

No. They're definitely not. 

Who's making the rules for this fake card game? When will everyone stop being so mean to Joey? Which one's Para? Which one's Dox? 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 19, "Double Trouble Duel, Part 1" official synopsis:

Yugi and his friends are trapped in the caves by Bandit Keith and his gang, with the latter soon betraying his own henchmen afterwards and stealing their remaining star chips so that he can enter into Pegasus' castle. Lost in the caves, Bakura's Millennium Ring begins glowing again. Bakura uses its magic to guide them, eventually having to admit that the Shadow Game between him and Yugi, in which Joey, Téa, and Tristan thought was just a dream, had actually really happened. While searching for a way out of the caves, they come across a room guarded by the scheming Paradox Brothers. Before the gang can progress, Yugi and Joey must face the Paradox Brothers in a two-on-two duel where their Monsters must negotiate a trap-filled maze. Meanwhile, Kaiba is making his own way to Pegasus' castle, determined to find and save Mokuba.  

Arena of Lost Souls, Part 2

In this Episode:

We discover Pepper's true podcast calling! Join us as we look up Yu-Gi-Oh videogame speedruns, bring the conversation back to Beyblade (again, somehow), and dive back into the zombie horde. Joey finally finishes his duel against Bonz, and we're reminded that being a bad guy isn't about what you look like on the outside-- it's about whether or not your name is Bandit Keith. 

Meanwhile, Tristan punches a rock! Bakura is bad at dungeoneering! Yugi plays the friendship card! If you were looking for any episode to jump into season 1 with, boy howdy do they spend a lot of this one re-summarizing the plot. Welcome to Yu-Gi-Oh!

Did Pegasus have a past life as an Imagineer? Will Tristan's string of great one-liners ever end? Hey kid, wanna buy some cards?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 18, "Arena of Lost Souls, Part 2" official synopsis:

Joey is fighting a losing battle against Bonz's Zombie Monsters, who have the ability to come back to life and become much stronger whenever they're destroyed. Yugi and the others are determined to find Joey and soon reunites with him in due time. Despite the odds stacked against him, Joey manages to win the duel against Bonz. 

Arena of Lost Souls, Part 1

In this Episode:

Jimmy does an offensive accent! Tyler gets excited about speedrunning, and proves that he knows nothing about video games! Later, we discuss the first of two very spoOoOoOoky parts! Join us as we get introduced to Bandit Keith, Bonz, Sid, and Zigor-- four characters that we will definitely remember the names of in the future. Who could forget our old friends Zlid, BonBon, and Ichor? 

Is Bonz okay? Did Bandit Keith build an unlicensed arena on Duelist Kingdom? Is Joey maybe a cat person? Seriously though, is Bonz okay?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 17, "Arena of Lost Souls, Part 1" official synopsis:

Still smarting from his defeat by Kaiba, Joey vows to prove that he isn't a "whimpering dog" and ends up being forced into a duel with Bonz, one of a gang of duelists led by the ruthless Bandit Keith. 

The Scars of Defeat

In this Episode:

We wish Jimmy a happy early/late birthday! Kaiba returns! Joey continues to be a disappointment. LOL SAME, amirite? Join us as we reunite best frenemies, rekindle our love for Pegasus, and introduce the world to the man, the myth, the bandana: Bandit Keith. 

Is Sam the current King of Games? Will Kaiba get his groove back? Was developing a new mobile holographic system that cost millions of dollars really necessary, or is that just how he winds down? When Smash Bros. Ultimate comes out will our productivity drop to zero?

Well yes, the answer to that last question is yes. Definitely.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 16, "The Scars of Defeat" official synopsis:

When Kaiba turns up in Duelist Kingdom (intent on confronting Pegasus and rescuing Mokuba), Joey rashly challenges him to a duel but loses. Afterwards, Yugi and Bakura notice that Bakura's Millennium Ring is glowing and pointing straight towards Pegasus' Castle. 

Winning Through Intimidation

In this Episode:

Tyler tries changing a segment, and talks about anime other than Yu-Gi-Oh! Jimmy got lost in the woods? Tyler can't remember the word "prolific", and we talk about the conclusion to Yugi's two-part duel with the eliminator "PaniK". It's one of those where a lot of time is spent not accomplishing much, you know the drill.

What is that danged fortress called? Do the same rules apply to all sky-based structures in this world? Is there anything on Pharaoh's great green earth that can bring us more joy than Catapult Turtle?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 15, "Winning Through Intimidation" official synopsis:

Yugi unleashes his trump card, the Swords of Revealing Light, which illuminate Panik's side of the field and unmask his monsters. Yugi eventually wins the duel (and by extension, Mai's star chips back) and soon dispatches Panik with his "Mind Crush" after the latter had tried to burn Yugi alive with the use of his flamethrowers. The American version was combined into one episode called "Panik Attack". All other countries received the episode in its two-part form, which was also released on VHS and DVD in the US, but it eventually aired on 4Kids TV on January 13, 2007. 

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

In this Episode:

Jimmy played a bootlegged Yu-Gi-Oh game! We talk about Duel Monsters appearing in other movies (and vice-versa), recursive podcasting ideas, the viability of dog-podcasts, and '90s children's board games! Join us as we discuss the introduction of PaniK, the frightening ratio of mouth-to-pupil size in this episode, and what happens when you run out of ideas for new Yu-Gi-Oh cards.

What is PaniK's hat made out of? Where did he get his jacket embroidered? Does the Reaper of Cards have a brother? Will Yugi's mouth just keep getting smaller? 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 14, "The Light at the End of the Tunnel" official synopsis:

Yugi and the others learn that Mai has been defeated by Panik, one of the Duelist Kingdom Eliminators, and faces being axed from the tournament for losing all her star chips. Yugi volunteers to duel Panik and win back Mai's star chips. The American version was combined into one episode called "Panik Attack". All other countries received the episode in its two-part form, which was also released on VHS and DVD in the US, but it eventually aired on 4Kids TV on January 6, 2007. 

Evil Spirit of the Ring

In this Episode:

This week, we spend far too long discussing art on our audio podcast! Later, we recap an incredibly dense episode filled with magic! Feelings! Big Yugis! Bad-Kuras! and increasingly complex shadow realm rules. Join us as we discuss the implications of "attacking the electric lizard", variant Yugi sizes, new Duel Monsters mythology, and Guy Fieri, Magician of Flavor.

Do Blue Eyes White Dragons go to Heaven? Have we completely forgotten about Grandpa? Did Jimmy tell a joke so good that Tyler completely forgot about the card of the week?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 13, "Evil Spirit of the Ring" official synopsis:

Yami Bakura lures Yami Yugi into a Shadow Game, where the gang (including Yugi himself) have had their souls sealed into their favourite cards. When a "soul card" is put into play, the person whose soul was sealed within it emerges from the card. Although the gang manages to save each other, they lose life points rapidly. Yami Bakura draws the Change of Heart magic card and plans on using it to possess Yugi, but the real Bakura unexpectedly emerges from the card and quickly possesses one of his own monsters instead. He then tells Yugi to destroy him in order to save the others, but Yami Yugi uses the Millennium Puzzle to simultaneously put the real Bakura's soul back into his body while also transferring Yami Bakura into the possessed monster, enabling Yugi to defeat Yami Bakura and send him to the card graveyard while also enabling the gang to escape the Shadow Game, with Joey, Téa, and Tristan being convinced that the entire duel was nothing more than a dream. 

Trial by Red Eyes

In this Episode:

In honor of Mother's Day, this week we're bringing in our first guest... a father. Friend of the show and ex-Yu-Gi-Oh!-expert Mac joins us to discuss the meta-physics of time wizards and dragons. Later on, we reminisce about the good old times (when this show was about a normal card game played by normal humans), discuss desert-island packing strategies, and imagine Joey Wheeler as a game show host.

Does anyone in the world of Yu-Gi-Oh understand what food is? Did the Time Wizard simulate the evolution of man? Is Bakura actually the Geico gecko? 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 12, "Trial by Red Eyes" official synopsis:

When Rex plays his powerful Red-Eyes Black Dragon, Joey has to figure out a way to counter it without Yugi's help. Joey's Time Wizard helps him defeat and eliminate Rex from the tournament, earning not only his star chips, but also his Red-Eyes as well via a bet that Rex had made with Joey during their duel. After the duel's conclusion, the group runs into their old friend Bakura and decide to have a friendly duel just for fun. However, Bakura reveals that he possess his own Millennium Item, the Millennium Ring, and an evil spirit within the Ring steals their souls so that he can take the Millennium Puzzle from Yugi. 

The Dueling Monkey

In this Episode:

Tyler is starting to legitimately enjoy Duel Links! Jimmy calls the season 0 anime "Actually Good"! Later, we discuss an episode in which some choices were made, re: voice acting. Join us as we explore the psyche of the man known as the Dino Duelist, speculate about the dramatic timing of dueling arenas, and can't seem to remember that this episode is about Joey. And, look! Up in the sky! Who is that slithery beast? It's ya boi, Serpent Night Dragon. 

What is Tea doing here? Is Rex Raptor's voice actor okay? Are Yu-Gi-Oh duels just rap battles for people who can't rap? Is Tristan ever going to get his card back?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 11, "The Dueling Monkey" official synopsis:

Ever since Joey had defeated her from a while back, Mai realizes that she no longer enjoys dueling as much as she used to and vows to get revenge against Joey. When Rex Raptor challenges her to a duel, she says that she'll take him on, but only if he beats Joey first. 

Give up the Ghost

In this Episode:

We get some real-life news and corrections: is Elon Musk building his own Blue Eyes White Jet? How much time did the 4Kids spend painting guns out of this season? Later on, we discuss the true nature of "ghost" Kaiba, the inexplicable layout of Kaiba's hackerspace, and an incredible dense episode full of nonsense.

Can we make any sense of this duel? Is the only way to defeat Blue Eyes White Dragon a combination of hacking and/or magic? Has Kaiba finally learned the way of the Heart of the Cards? Will Pegasus ever stop being so fancy?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 10, "Give up the Ghost" official synopsis:

Through both luck and faith, Yugi is able to defeat the Blue-Eyes White Dragon with his Dark Magician, but his victory is soon cut short when Kaiba's "ghost" quickly unleashes a second Blue-Eyes and annihilates the Dark Magician with ease. Despite this, Yugi manages to win the duel in the end and uses his "Mind Crush" to send the fake ghost back to the Shadow Realm. 

Duel with a Ghoul

In this Episode:

We've survived 9 episodes and a movie, and we're here to celebrate! We wish a happy belated birthday to everyone's favorite dueling dunce Tristan Taylor, check out merch from the official Yu-Gi-Oh! store, and look at the careers of voice actors on various versions of the show.

Later on, we discuss the true nature of Duelist Kingdom's virtual reality network, Kemo's ghoul puns, and the validity of a plan that includes crashing a satellite into a major metropolitan area. As the saying goes: when in doubt, hack the planet. 

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 9, "Duel with a Ghoul" official synopsis:

In order to save Mokuba from the current danger, Yami Yugi must duel a person claiming to be the ghost of Kaiba, betting his last three star chips on the match. Meanwhile, the real Kaiba, who is revealed to have survived his dangerous fall into the ocean after a sudden and unexpected confrontation with two of Pegasus' henchmen, enters into one of his secret labs to gather information. Kaiba hacks into Pegasus' computer mainframe to find Yugi so that he can make sure he doesn't lose after learning and knowing that Yugi's potential loss to Pegasus would enable Pegasus to gain control over KaibaCorp. 

Everything's Relative

In this Episode:

It's a late episode this week! Apologies for the delay, but we're back and better than ever. This week, Jimmy discusses the final arc of the manga's "Season 0", we discuss classic two-soul gambits, how Good-Kura got his groove back, and get into a plot-heavy/duel-light episode. 

Has Kaiba lost it? Can Yugi see other people's flashbacks? Who are Pegasus' other prisoners? Where do these comic artists get their hilarious ideas? Plus, a new segment appears!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Episode 8, "Everything's Relative" official synopsis:

A masked boy escapes from Pegasus' North tower and into the forest, determined to find Yugi for unknown purposes. Within time, Yugi and his friends run into a young kid who had his star chips and duel deck stolen by the same masked boy. Determined to return the stolen property to the young kid, who is in danger of being forced to leave the island, Yugi and his friends head back to the scene of the crime and run into the masked boy. The masked boy wants to duel Yugi, who accepts. Yugi transforms into Yami Yugi and wager all five of his star chips to start the duel. It is soon revealed that the masked boy is in fact Mokuba, Kaiba's little brother, who seeks revenge against Yugi for his brother's past defeat, but Yugi is able to convince Mokuba into letting go of his personal hatred towards him so that the two of them can work together into stopping Pegasus.