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Yu-Gi-Oh!: Season 1, Volume 2

Score: 88%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Flatiron Film Company
Region: 1
Media: DVD/3
Running Time: 8 Hrs., 39 Mins.
Genre: Anime/Fantasy/TV Series
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: English

Yu-Gi-Oh!: Season 1, Volume 2 starts off just after Yugi and Kaiba face off at Pegasus' castle. The duel was tough and both were determined to win in order to saved loved ones, but the shocking ending leaves Yugi in a state of doubt. Kaiba, knowing he would lose, stepped onto one of the castle ramparts. Yugi's finishing move would produce enough force to cause Kaiba to fall off the building's roof. While little Yugi Moto, wouldn't sacrifice anyone to save his grandfather, the spirit in his Millennium Puzzle that joins with Yugi seems to have no such reservation. It took all of Yugi's will to stop the finishing move and forfeit the game.

While Yugi lost half of his star chips and could not go into the castle, the more powerful effect was Yugi's inability to trust the Millennium Spirit anymore. Of course, the story doesn't end there. Volume 2 not only finishes off the Duelist Kingdom story arc, but it also covers the three-part "Legendary Heroes" and four-part "Dungeon Dice Monsters" stories.

Yugi doesn't stay on the outside of Pegasus' castle for long, but going into it, he isn't sure how well he will perform. Yugi, Joey, and Mai head in with Bakura, Tristen and Tea in tow, but it isn't quite time for them to face off in the finals just yet. First, everyone, including Bandit Keith (who already gained entry) get treated to a match between Kaiba and Pegasus. If Kaiba wins, then his brother's soul will be freed, but if if not, then Kaiba will lose his own soul and Pegasus is another step closer to taking over the other man's company.

Unfortunately for Kaiba, he isn't much of a match against Pegasus' unique Toon World deck, and now Yugi and Joey must fight their way through the last matches of the competition in order to get what they each desire. The first match pits Yugi against Mai. As this is Yugi's first match since restraining his spirit from hurting Kaiba, Yugi isn't exactly on his game. Mai ends up running circles around him, all the while trying to convince Yugi that he needs to get over whatever is holding him back. Eventually, she knocks some sense in him and Yugi has to make an amazing comeback if he is going to get past Mai and not only save his grandfather, but also the Kaiba brothers as well.

Next up is Joey against Bandit Keith and his machine deck. It's in this duel that Joey first shows that he isn't the rank amateur he was at the start of the series. At first, Joey doesn't know how to handle the powerful enemy creatures, but he is able to prevail, despite the underhanded tactics that Keith uses.

What follows is a two-episode duel in the tournament's championship round. Yugi and Joey must face off and find out which one is the better duelist. The winner of the match gets a three million dollar reward and the opportunity to challenge Pegasus himself. If the challenger wins, then Pegasus will grant any wish in his power. Joey wants to win in order to get the money for his sister's surgery and Yugi needs to beat Pegasus in order to free his grandfather, Seto and Mokuba.

Well, the show isn't called Jo-Ey-Oh, so of course, Yugi ends up besting his friend and finally facing off against Pegasus in a lengthy five-episode match that starts off in Pegasus' castle, but quickly goes into the Shadow Realm. At first, Yugi has no way to counter Pegasus' Millennium Eye's ability to read his opponent's mind, but Yugi and the puzzle's spirit soon form a strategy that helps. Just when Yugi starts to get a handle on the game, Pegasus sucks them into a Shadow Game and Yugi's mind might not be up to the strain.

This match is the climax of the season and while Yugi does win and the souls are freed, Yugi has a few more trials to go through before the volume and season wrap up. Upon returning home, Yugi, his grandfather, and his friends are confronted by a little girl who claims to be the true owner of Yugi's grandfather's Blue-Eyes White Dragon. It seems that, while they were away, this girl has been running around defeating all of the best duelists and when Yugi accepts the challenge, his grandfather starts to realize just where the girl learned how to duel. In these three episodes, we get a good glimpse into Gramps' past and where he got the Blue-Eyes card that started off the entire series.

From there, Yugi and friends go into a virtual world to save Kaiba who was trapped in there by his Board of Directors as a way to get Kaiba out of the way. Afterwards, Yugi must defend his new title of King of Games when a new dice-based game shows up in town. It seems the game's champion and creator has set up a shop across the street from Gramps' shop, and has some kind of grudge against Yugi. Now, he has to defeat the new character in a game that he has never played before.

This collection of episodes does a great job of finishing what Volume 1 started. It's interesting that there is a good 9 episodes in this season after Yugi defeats Pegasus and seems to have a few somewhat out of place story arcs at the tail end, but that's how the seasons are broken up.

Yu-Gi-Oh!: Season 1, Volume 2 compliments the first volume perfectly, but it seems odd that these individual volumes are released at the same time as the combined Official First Season set that is just the two volumes in one package. Unless you are buying the pair in two batches in order to split the cost across some time, it seems like a fan who would grab this set would go ahead and buy the pair together.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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