Episode 55: Stalked by the Rare Hunters (Ghouls Attack: Take Aim at Red Eyes Black Dragon)
Yugi, Joey, Téa, and Tristan are in the schoolyard, talking about the big tournament Kaiba's putting on. Joey's furious that Kaiba didn't send him an invitiation. He was the runner-up at Duelist Kingdom! Tristan reminds Joey that Kaiba doesn't like him, and Joey says he'll give Kaiba something not to like. But when Tristan says this is exactly the way Kaiba wants Joey to react, Joey thinks maybe he doesn't need to enter snooty Kaiba's tournament. (In the Japanese, Honda asks Jounouchi how he can play in tournament when Shizuka's operation is tomorrow. Jounouchi says it won't take long. He'll come to the tournament right after.) He asks Yugi if he's going to enter, and Yugi says he has to! It's his destiny! He explains that some sort of evil force is threatening the world, and he has to enter the tournament in order to fight it. (In the Japanenese, Yugi says he'll certainly play in the tournament, then he goes on to explain to Jounouchi about the "ante rule" requiring the losers to give their rare card to the winner.)
So Joey says he'll enter the tournament, too, and pulls out his trusty Red Eyes Black Dragon, saying he'll fight right alongside of Yugi and kick Kaiba's butt. (Japanese Jounouchi says, "That means if I lose, someone can take away my card?") He kisses and baby-talks to his Red Eyes card (Japanese Jounouchi says the Red Eyes is his goddess of victory, and he'll just keep winning to get rare card after rare card), which makes everyone a little seasick, and Téa reminds him of what happened the last time he dueled Kaiba (Japanese Anzu tells him not to get greedy).Yugi says Joey'd better get used to using Kaiba's new Duel DIsk before the tournament, and Joey remembers getting creamed by Kaiba with his old Duel Disk. So what are they waiting for! Joey runs off to get himself a Duel Disk and sign up for the tournament, and everyone heaves long-suffering sighs.
Downtown (where everyone but Yugi has found the time to change out of their school uniforms), they find the registration office, and Joey dashes off, with Tristan right behind him. (In the Japanese, it's Anzu who says "It's right over there." When Yugi asks her how she knows where it is, she says she was there with the other Yugi.) Walking along together, Yugi thanks Téa for talking to Yami. They both find it hard to believe that Yami was once an Egyptian Pharaoh who saved the world! Téa's a little surprised Yugi's so unworried about it—if what Ishizu said is true, Yugi's in terrible danger! (In the Japanese, Anzu asks Yugi what Yami said about the other day, and Yugi says Battle City. Anzu realizes that Yami didn't tell Yugi about Ishizu or the stone carvings.) Yugi, on the other hand, is more worried about Kaiba's rule that the loser in a tournament duel has to give his rarest card to the winner. It's a great way to get a deck full of rare cards, but he put his heart into this deck! He doesn't want to risk his Dark Magician. But the fate of the world depends on it, so he'll play by whatever rules he has to. (Japanese Yugi says Yami doesn't like the ante rule. The individual cards aren't valuable, it's the way each player chooses from thousands of cards to build his deck. Yami doesn't think it's right to gamble on them. So it must be something else that Yami's after....)
(There's a tiny bit here that's cut out of the US version, with the boys drooling over the cards in the shop window.)
Téa thinks this tournament is going to be really risky, but they'll all get through it together! (Japanese Anzu reflects that Yugi will soon find out what Yami's desire is. "They are so close that nothing can be hidden between them.")
They go into the shop, and Yugi tells the shopkeeper they're there to register for the Battle City Tournament. (In the Japanese, they're don't go there to register for the tournament, just to buy the Duel Disks. They're surprised when the shopkeeper asks their names.) He looks Yugi up on his computer, and sees that he's listed as a five-star duelist—the highest rank. (In the Japanese, Yugi's listed as Duelist No. 007, and he's a Level 8, not five-star.)
Kaiba Corp has performed extensive research into duelists around the world, he says, including tournaments they've competed in and what cards they use, and compiled the results into a database. (In the Japanese, the shopkeeper says that duelists of Level 5 and above get a Duel Disk for free.) Yugi thinks it gives Kaiba an unfair advantage to know what cards the other duelists have in their decks, but he's distracted from that thought as soon as the shopkeeper tells him he's qualified for the tournament and hands him a shiny new Duel Disk.
Joey's next, but when the shopkeeper looks him up, he sees that Joey's only got one star—too low to enter the tournament. (In the Japanese, he's Duelist No. 579, Level 2 "Ume no Hone"—literally, it means "horse's bone," but idiomatically, it's a stranger or unknown person, a Joe Blow. Ah, Kaiba, that's low.)
Joey throws a fit, protesting that he came in second at Duelist Kingdom, and Tristan has to restrain him. But then the shopkeeper notices that Joey's rare card is the Red Eyes Black Dragon. His master will surely be interested! He surreptitiously changes Joey's rating to four stars (Level 5 in the Japanese), and tells him that there was a computer glitch. Joey happily receives his Duel Disk, while congratulating himself on keeping his cool while the computer problem was straightened out.
As the kids leave the shop, the shopkeeper makes a call to the Rare Hunters....
Joey takes off, telling the gang that his sister Serenity's operation is tomorrow, and he told her he'd stay at the hospital tonight. (Japanese Yugi says he'll pray for Shizuka.) As Joey disappears down the street, Tristan tells the others he hopes Joey will be all right—Joey's mother will be at the hospital too, and ever since she separated Joey from his sister seven years ago, Joey hasn't spoken to his mother. Tristan vows to see that the Wheeler family reunites! But Yugi knows Tristan's just trying to be a hero to impress Serenity.
Meanwhile, Joey's hurrying to the hospital, when he's stopped by three robed men, who insist that he duel for his Red Eyes Black Dragon. Joey puts his Duel Disk on, and prepares to duel the Rare Hunter.
In the hospital, Serenity tells her mother how frightened she is about getting the eye operation. But she knows once Joey gets there, she'll feel a lot better. "Joseph's coming?" her mother says. (In the Japanese, Jounouchi's mother calls him "Katsuya," which is his given name. She's the only one on the show who calls him that.)
Joey and the Rare Hunter face off. Joey plays Panther Warrior in attack mode. The Rare Hunter plays one monster in defense. Then Joey plays the magic card Scapegoat, which puts four little goat monsters on the field. Panther Warrior can't attack unless a monster is sacrificed first, so Joey sacrifices one of the goats and attacks the Rare Hunter's face-down monster and destroys it.
The Rare Hunter plays Graceful Charity to draw three more cards, then discards two and plays another monster face down in defense.
Serenity sits alone on her hospital bed in the dark, wondering where Joey is. He's never let her down before. She hopes he's all right. (Japanese Shizuka says, "Brother, please come soon.")
Joey says there's someone out there who needs his help, so he's going to end this duel once and for all! He plays Alligator Sword (Wyvern Warrior) in attack mode, then sacrifices another goat so Panther Warrior can attack the Rare Hunter's defense monster and destroy it. Now, according to the new Battle City rules, when a player has no monsters on the field, the other player can attack his life points directly, so Alligator Sword attacks the Rare Hunter, reducing his life points to 2500.
The Rare Hunter plays another Graceful Charity, drawing three more cards, discarding two, and playing yet another monster in defense. "Boring!" Joey says. (Japanese Jounouchi says he's so good, the Rare Hunter can only defend.) Then he remembers another new Battle City rule—sacrificing monsters in order to summon a stronger monster. He sacrifices Panther Warrior and Alligator Sword to summon his Red Eyes Black Dragon! (In the Japanese, he can't remember exactly how the sacrifice rule works. He knows he has to sacrifice at least one monster to summon the Red Eyes, and the Scapegoats can't be used. Finally, he just throws the Red Eyes down, and sees what happens. The Duel Disk sacrifices his two monsters.)
The Red Eyes Black Dragon attacks and destroys the Rare Hunter's defense monster. Joey thinks he's got this duel in the bag, but the Rare Hunter says he's been leading Joey on all the time, and now he's about to finish him off! The Rare Hunter lays down all five pieces of Exodia the Forbidden One, which destroys the Red Eyes Black Dragon, throwing Joey to the ground, and wins the duel. (He says he summons Exodia, but that's not really how it works. If a player can get all five pieces of Exodia in his hand, it's an automatic win. Exodia doesn't ever get summoned to the field, nor does it attack. It wins by being in your hand.)
(They've put some extra points on Exodia's star in the US so it won't be five-pointed.)
Joey says Exodia's the rarest card he knows! How did the Rare Hunter get all five pieces? The Rare Hunter shows off three complete sets of Exodia, saying that Rare Hunters thrive on relieving players of their rarest cards! (In the real game, the Exodia pieces are restricted to one each per deck.)
The Rare Hunters then move on Joey, hitting him and knocking him to the ground to take his Red Eyes Black Dragon. Joey slumps to the ground in pain, calling after his Red Eyes, as the Rare Hunters walk away, laughing.
At the hospital the next morning, Mrs. Wheeler pounds on Serenity's door, telling Serenity to come out, but Serenity refuses. She's not going to have the operation until Joey gets there!
Sleepy Yugi gets a phone call from Mrs. Wheeler, still in his blue pajamas with the stars on them, rubbing his eyes. But he's wide awake when Joey's mom tells him Joey never showed at the hospital. (If she hasn't talked to Joey in seven years, how does she know whom to call?) Yugi tells her not to worry, and quickly gathers the gang to search for Joey. They meet, and Tristan drives up on a motorcycle, saying he's checked all of Joey's usual spots. (In the Japanese, Anzu asks Honda about the motorcycle, and Honda says he borrowed it from his "sempai," which is an older student who's sort of like a mentor.) They agree to split up and search the whole city. It just isn't like Joey to miss his sister's operation—something must have happened to him. (In the Japanese, Yugi says the surgeon has to be in America tonight for another operation, so Shizuka's operation has to be done by this afternoon.)
They continue the search. Yugi runs through the streets, calling out to Joey, while Tristan drives slowly, looking right and left, and Téa searches the warehouse district. Tristan goes out to the ocean and drives along the beach.
(And here an entire important scene is cut out of the US version. Honda's driving along the causeway above the beach, when he spots Jounouchi sitting on the sand. Jounouchi's all dirty and beat up, saying, "I'm sorry, Shizuka."
(Honda leaps down at him, yelling, "Hey, Jounouchi!" Jounouchi scrambles to get out of the way, saying, "Honda! What is it?"
("What do you mean, what is it?" Honda says, grabbing Jounouchi by the lapels and pulling him to his feet. "What are you doing here? You should be at the hospital!" Jounouchi falls to his knees, fingers digging in the sand, choking back sobs. Honda backs off, saying, "Jounouchi, what happened?"
("Yesterday on the way to the hospital, I was stopped by Ghouls," Jounouchi says. "Rare Hunters who grab other players' rare cards in the dark. I lost the game, and they took my Red Eyes." Honda kneels in front of Jounouchi, and gently tells him a card is minor. "You should go to the hospital." Jounouchi rears up, angrily telling Honda to back off. "To me, the Red Eyes is the key to victory!" Honda tells him to forget it. "If you don't go to the hospital, Shizuka won't have the operation." Jounouchi has to be there to encourage her.
("No, I can't comfort her right now," Jounouchi says.
(So Honda punches him a good one.
(And knocks Jounouchi flat on his back.
("I like you and Yugi in the game," Honda says. "I see how you're connected through playing the cards." He hauls Jounouchi up off the ground, right up off his feet. "But you give up your sister for a card!" Jounouchi gets a clue, and he and Honda ride off together.
(Why, why, why was this whole scene cut? I suppose they didn't want to show Honda making his point by hitting Jounouchi, but did that mean they had to cut the entire thing? It's the pivotal scene in the whole episode! Aargh! Instead, we just get everyone running off to look for Joey, then Tristan showing up with Joey on the back of his bike, with no explanation of what happened in between.)
Yugi and Téa have met up at their starting place, neither one having spotted Joey, when Tristan speeds by, honking his horn, with Joey on the back of his bike! He's been found! And he can still make it in time for Serenity's operation!
At the hospital, Mrs. Wheeler is still knocking on Serenity's door. The surgeon says he has other patients and can't wait any longer, and is about to leave, when Joey finally arrives."Let me take care of this one, Ma," he says, and goes to the door, asking Serenity to open it so they can talk. But she's too upset to let him in. He apologizes, saying he knows he let her down. He explains about being cornered by the Rare Hunters and forced to duel, and losing his best card. "I can't do anything right!" he berates himself, leaning on the door, tears in his eyes. "I must be the worst brother in the whole world!" But he'd never do anything to hurt her, he says. Nothing can break the bond between them. (In the Japanese, he says, "I met something terrible yesterday on my way here. I got my mind messed up; I thought only of myself. I'm a horrible person. But my friends helped me. They told me about your situation. They let me know whenever I'm in trouble, sad and lost, I should never forget about the people I love and care about. The love between us is the most important thing. I'm sorry, Shizuka. I hope you can forgive me.")
Finally, Serenity comes out, and gives Joey a hug. Joey hesitantly tells his mother it's nice to see her, and she says it's nice to see him, too.
At home, Yugi gets a call from Joey telling him that the operation went well. Yugi and Téa cheer, and Yugi asks Joey who those guys were last night. Joey doesn't know, but he's going to find those guys and get his card back! This isn't over until Joey gets back his Red Eyes Black Dragon!