Episode 16: Battle with the Black Rose

JP Title: Return of the Witch! The Dragon of Destruction, “Black Rose Dragon”
JP Key Card: Black Garden
Animation Director: Shinichirou Minami
US Adaptation: TBA

Posted Date: 12/22/15

The crowd in the Stadium roars.

Paint Edit: There’s two here. First, the sign we see at the beginning has its text deleted; it reads “shuffle your deck” in the Japanese version, and it’s replaced with the image of a deck in the US version–which is weird, considering they let that one scene from Kizuna get away with it in the background (the one with Yusei riding alongside Junk Warrior) during the Hyper Drive opening.  Then, for whatever reason, they decided to make the center visual sphere… thing even bigger and less see-through compared to the Japanese version. You’ll also notice that the US version has the Fortune Cup logo in it, while the Japanese version’s sphere reads “Duel of Fortune Cup;” it eventually changes to show the Fortune Cup logo, but it makes a “shing”-like sound effect as it glows, which is kept. A bit sloppy there.

Cut Footage (1 second): The pan down the center of the Stadium is a second longer in the Japanese version.

Luna, Dexter, and Leo are walking down a hallway, as Luna tells Leo to cheer up, since it’s not like everyone saw him lose. Dexter agrees, saying at most 15 million did, and Leo sarcastically thanks him. Yusei tells him it’s not a loss if he learned something, saying that he now knows more than he did before. “Shyeah,” Leo says, but more about losing–he can’t wait to use that in his next match. (In the Japanese version, Ruka’s telling Rua he can’t stay mopey forever just because he lost, Tenpei says he tried his hardest, and Rua agrees, but… Then Yusei says that all he needs to do is win his duels later on–the experience he got from losing will always be useful. Rua snaps out of it, telling Yusei to make sure he doesn’t lose, and that they’ll all be cheering him on from the stands.)

A sudden “Excuse me!” jolts everyone up, as Akiza steps through, locking glances with Yusei.

Side-Note: Aki generally isn’t so rude in the Japanese version: she keeps to herself most of the time, and her dubbed equivalent (as usual) unfortunately doesn’t (as will be evident later on). Her voice also doesn’t help this, since she’s voiced by Bella Hudson, aka Season 4!Mai and Mana back in DM, and it makes her sound stuck-up.  Luckily, it gets better–if you can stand most of the next 50 episodes.

Cut Footage (2 seconds): This close-up of Aki during the red-and-blue scene, after the shot of red!Yusei, is cut from the US version.

As Akiza walks away, Leo asks what her problem is, as Yusei just looks after her.

Moved Footage (1 minute, 7 seconds): The below scene with Ransborg, Rex, and Lazar was moved to before Hyper Drive in the US version, compared to after Kizuna in the Japanese version.

Sir Ransborg says he’s reporting for duty, as requested. Lazar laughs (with no audible laughter)–he told Rex he’d be perfect for this duel. The costume may be a little melodramatic, but he said he wouldn’t duel without it. Ransborg asks Rex if he is to duel an opponent of “thy female persuasion” (throughout the episode, Ransborg will be throwing in Old English to his sentences; most of the time, it isn’t used in the way it’s supposed to), saying that chivalry forbids this and that the fairest species is too weak. Rex asks how he’d feel if he told him she was the Black Rose, informing him that it is believed her cards wield a power so real, they’ve been known to come to life.

Added Footage (1 second): Added expository lip-flaps.

Ransborg understands, calling her a witch (the first time so far they’ve called her a witch).  Lazar asks if he’s scared, saying that if he doesn’t fulfill his obligations, he might find himself working at the Renaissance Fair. Ransborg says that his word is his bond, so he will engage this Black Rose in battle. He turns to look at Akiza walking on the screen there, as Lazar tells him not to go easy on her in the arena, and to push her to exhaustion. They must see if she has the Mark of the Dragon. Ransborg tells them not to fear, saying that their “she-creature” is no match for Sir Gill de Ransborg. Taking out his sword, he swears the Black Rose will taste defeat, walking out.

Dialogue Edit: When we first see Lancebow, he’s reacting in shock to being told that that young maiden (Aki) is a Signer. Yeager laughs (audibly, of course), saying that investigating that will be his job. They would appreciate it if he would act as their hound to corner that young miss and reveal her identity. Lancebow responds by saying that he, Gill de Lancebow–known to others as the Iron-Blooded Knight–refrains completely from hounding down young maidens. Rex asks how he’d feel if he told him that same miss’s secret persona is known as the Black Rose Witch, shocking Lancebow.  Yeager asks if he’s familiar about the masked woman with dreadful power wreaking havoc in the Daimon Area Duel Fields. Lancebow shockingly asks about the power to make damage in duels real, turning to see Aki onscreen, as Yeager tells him the duel will literally be a fight for one’s life, and that if he plans on withdrawing, now is his chance. “Plan on what?!”, he asks–it’s the duty of the knights to hunt down evil-doers. Taking out his sword, he implores them to leave the slaying of that witch to him; he exits stage center.

Cut Footage (1 second): This shot of the crowd cheering was cut from the US version.

The MC welcomes everyone back, saying that the second duel’s about to start!

Paint Edit: Two here, again.  First, as usual (probably due to those same FCC advertising regulations), 4Kids changes the back of the cards on the screen to look more like they do in the anime, while also getting the word “DUEL!” out.  Then, they also repeat the big center-screen edit to wipe off the names of the competitors, and make the backscreen’s “Aki VS Jill” impossible to see. (You can’t see it in this cap, but it’s there. After the cards appear, they turn to show Aki and Jill, and a “VS” between them.)

And now, entering the arena: a knight in shining armor, it’s the one and only Gill de Ransborg! (Japanese MC says their hero is coming. “He’s the Virtuous Iron-Blooded Knight! The Battled-Hardened Hero! Just what kind of dueling will you show us all today?! Gill de Lancebow!”)

Ransborg emerges onto the arena, and taking out his sword, he tells the people of New Domino that they shall “knowest” his blade and his deck from the attacks they shall witness (Lancebow swears upon his sword that as a blood descendent of the knights of old, he will be sure to win this duel). The crowd cheers, as the MC says that while they wait for a Shakespearean scholar to translate what he said, they’ll get ready for his opponent (Japanese MC speaks after the crowd cheers, saying that Gill de Lancebow has already declared his victory). Yanagi says this guy can’t be serious, and Tanner says not to get him started on that big faker, adding that he wore that same costume last Halloween. (Japanese Yanagi sees he’s popular, and Himuro says the guy’s not easy on the stomach, acting like he’s all righteous, but he hears his skills are something else.)

The MC switches their attention to his opponent, now entering the arena. As Akiza rises to the arena, we get this gem from the MC: “With a record of… well, it appears we don’t have any records for her. But we can say that she’s, um… Uh… Are you saying we have no information for her? Uh… Heh… Well, New Domino City, let’s hear it for Ms. Akiza Izinski!” (Japanese MC is nowhere near that stupid-sounding, as he says that she’s a mysterious and beautiful girl whose background and merits are unknown, asking the audience if they’ll witness the coming of a new wave of talent: Aki Izayoi!)

Paint Edit: Aki’s cleavage, like Mai’s and Tanya’s before her, is reduced in the US version. But it leaves her chest looking a bit… uneven? They’ll soon start extending her top to cover it up instead.  Also, 4Kids lengthened her skirt and removed the two garters coming from under it.  I won’t screencap every instance, unless something special happens with the editing.

Leo and Dexter see Akiza, saying he has the strangest feeling he’s seen her before. Dexter asks if he means in the hallway, and he says he means before that, telling him to “get with it”. (…”Get with it?” Oh, 4Kids… Until that, accurate; Rua just says it was somewhere else before.)

Suddenly, Luna gasps in shock, looking at Akiza and her deck. Leo asks what’s up, and Luna says there’s something with her deck, and it’s like she can feel it in pain.

Side-Note: They already forgot to edit her cleavage in this shot, lol.

Meanwhile, a red-haired man in a coat is watching on, mentally telling Akiza to show them what she’s made of (the man’s Japanese counterpart is silent).

In the waiting room, Akiza appears on the TV screen (more inconsistency with her cleavage), as Yusei watches on, thinking, “Akiza, is it?” (Japanese Yusei is silent).

Akiza stands looking at Ransborg.

Paint Edit: Again, the garters coming out of Aki’s skirt are removed, and her skirt lengthened.

Ransborg sees that this is the opponent he is to battle (Lancebow wonders if that maiden is the Black Rose Witch), as Akiza just looks at him. He tells her she’ll find no mercy here, calling her a sorceress, but she will find defeat! (Lancebow says he won’t spare her mercy, be her maiden or not, adding that she’ll take view to the dueling of a knight.) The two shout “Let’s duel!”, and the duel begins.

Added Footage (3 seconds): The earlier pan from Aki to Ransborg, capped above, is repeated to transition from the break, as he asks her if she’s ready, calling her “fair maiden.”

Cut Footage (2 seconds): This close-up of Aki’s Disk’s Momentum thing glowing is removed from the US version.

Ransborg tells her to behold as he draws, and he “summoneth” the Level-3 Masked Knight (Masked Knight LV3; the difference is key if you consider that it’s a Level Monster) in Attack Mode (ATK/1500). As Akiza stands unfazed, Ransborg tells her she’ll suffer this: its ability most special (Lancebow calls it “Persona Blast”), and Masked Knight shoots a beam that hits Akiza (LP/4000->3600). Forthwith, he calls upon his Spell, Level Up, telling his Masked Knight he has served him well, but he is to be banished to “thy yard of graves”. Level Up summons its brother in arms, Masked Knight – Level the Fifth (Masked Knight LV5; I’m assuming the cards were translated properly, but it just sounds different because they try so hard to make him use Old English)!

Akiza still stands unfazed, as Ransborg tells it that, like its comrade in abilities most special, she’ll feel the sharp sting as forces align against her. She’s hit with a similar beam, as Ransborg says, “Life points most foul, be gone!” (LP/3600->2600). Then, holding Sakuretsu Armor (Reactive Armor), he sets it face-down, ending his turn. The MC asks if their mystery duelist can come back from this, if she has a chance, and if he’ll understand anything Sir Ransborg says in this duel (doubtful; Japanese MC says that these persistent attacks have caused Izayoi to take 1400 points of damage before even getting to her turn.)

Cut Footage (3 seconds): This impact (rapid zoom) shot of the arena, as Yeager laughs and says, “Look at Jill go”, is cut from the US version.

Lazar tells Rex it’s all going according to their plan–Ransborg will push her to her limits, and then they’ll know for certain if she’s a Signer (Yeager continues to say that he’s been making a vicious onslaught from the start of the bout, hasn’t he? Given this, it is but a matter of time before the Witch’s identity is revealed).  Rex turns to look at Jack, who looks back.

Ransborg tells the “maiden of the darkness” not to fear, saying that defeat is soon (Lancebow says it seems as though the ferociousness of his evolved knight has pierced her to the bone) Akiza just looks at him, as Ransborg asks if she has a silent tongue, or “hath” the viper taken hold of her.  But Akiza says that she’s just getting tired of hearing his bad accent, drawing her card.  A monster appears in Defense Mode (DEF/1200), as Tanner says she just played Wall of Ivy (Ivy Wall), and Dexter says it’s a great card if you’re looking for some defense. (Of course, since it’s only 1200 DEF… well, Aki just says she’s drawing and summoning Ivy Wall in Defense Mode, as Himuro sees she’s defending, and Tenpei says she plans to stick to the defensive right off the bat.)

Ransborg smiles, as Akiza then activates the Seed of Deception (Pseudo Seed) Spell. With its power, she can summon a Level-2 Plant Monster from her hand.  She translates this into words he can understand by saying, “Thou art about to be royally played!” (Like I said before, Aki is never this insulting; here, she’s saying that she’s Special-Summoning the Level-1 Tuner Monster, Copy Plant, in Defense Mode.). A plant appears in Defense Mode (DEF/0).

Akiza says that with Copy Plant on her field, it gets to power up to the Level of a monster on Ransborg’s field, and she can’t think of anything more perfect than his Level-5 Knight. Copy Plant makes itself a clone of Masked Knight LV5, as Akiza says that this “fair maiden” would like to thank him for all his help. Ransborg looks at the Copy Plant’s Masked Knight form, as Yanagi tells Tanner he’s not sure what she’s doing. Then Leo and Dexter chime in, saying she’s going to Synchro-Summon! (Japanese Yanagi asks what she’d be aiming for in increasing its Level, and Rua and Tenpei ask him if it isn’t obvious.)

Ransborg says he fears her not (Lancebow sees she’s going to Synchro-Summon), and Akiza tells him he should, because she’s Tuning her Copy Plant with her Wall of Ivy (Aki says Copy Plant is a Level-5 and Ivy Wall a Level-2). During the Tuning, she tells him it’s time he stopped playing with plastic swords and dice (…where did dice come into play? Meanwhile, Aki is doing her *gasp* Synchro-Summon Chant: “Chilling flames engulf the whole world. Pitch-dark flower, set into bloom!”).

A purple beam of light shoots behind Akiza, as she says that she now summons to the field Black Rose Dragon (Aki also declares her Synchro-Summon). Yusei’s arm starts to pulse, as Tanner asks what’s up with all the wind, as the crowd screams. Ransborg watches as Black Rose Dragon lets its wings loose (ATK/2400). As it stares onto the field, and the red-haired man watches, Ransborg exclaims that it must be true that she’s the Black Rose (Lancebow also calls her a vile witch), telling her to stay back. A girl in the crowd mutters, “Black Rose?”, and the guy in front of her says it is! Only Black Rose can summon Black Rose Dragon! (There’s a script error in here somewhere…)

Lazar laughs, saying she didn’t waste any time. Yusei winces in pain, remembering when he saw the Black Rose in her forcefield, seeing that he also has a Mark, upon which she tells him to stay away from her (the Japanese Black Rose Witch is silent in the flashback at first, then it’s her “wretched mark” line). Present Yusei says he’s seen that dragon before (Japanese Yusei just says, “Black Rose Dragon…”), and Grieger comes along, congratulating him–most who face that dragon never duel again. It has been said that the Black Rose Dragon’s wrath can bring true destruction. (Bommer tells him it’s a dragon of ill omen that brings forth destruction, and it seems he’s familiar with it.)

Side-Note: As big a stickler for cleavage and skirts as 4Kids is, I find it amusing that they leave the “B” for “Bommer” on Grieger’s belt.

Eyecatch: Know what else can bring about true destruction? Reading this page for too long without a break! To your eyes! So, give ’em a breather.

Moved Footage (1 minute, 12 seconds): While the Japanese version goes to commercial here, the US version has the below scene moved to before its second commercial break.

Black Rose Dragon roars, as members of the audience think it’s so cool, that this is the best Fortune Cup ever (more like, the only one… I mean, we’re never given any indication that there’s ever been more than one, anyway), and that this one guy’s friends back home are going to be so jealous he’s here. (Seems 4Kids completely reversed how the crowd was feeling here; given that someone who’s caused destruction is currently dueling, who would be excited about it? Originally, one member exclaims that it’s the Witch, another sees that the Black Rose Witch has shown herself [while having his gender switched in the US version, too…], another exclaims that it’s the Witch, and yet another exclaims the Witch is here.)

Holding up his shield-like Disk, he says not to fear, and that his Knight will do battle with “thine” great beast, and “thy” dark maiden shall be made to pay for this! (Lancebow tells the Witch that no matter what trump card she may play, his heart of steel will stand firm.) Thinking, he says that unless his eyes deceive him, she knows not of his facedown Sakuretsu Armor (and he pronounces it “Sakuretu…”).

Akiza looks at him intently, as he tells her those eyes do vex, and she says she’ll take that as a compliment. But in case it wasn’t, she should let him know something: Black Rose Dragon takes out all of his cards! (Lancebow asks her why she’s looking at him like that, and Aki says she activates its Monster Effect: when she Special-Summons Black Rose Dragon, it destroys all cards on the field.) Ransborg reacts with a “Curses!”, as Akiza declares its “Black Rose Gale” effect, which causes a big gust of wind. The MC says he can’t believe it: a tornado has struck inside the arena! (Japanese MC asks what’s going on, saying that gale-force winds have engulfed the tournament grounds.)

Ransborg’s Sakuretsu Armor and Masked Knight LV5, and Akiza’s Black Rose Dragon, are wiped out, as Ransborg sees she can command the wind (Lancebow asks if this is her witchly power), and she answers, “Among other things,” setting a card face-down (though she doesn’t say so; Aki does), then telling him to watch as she plays the Field Spell, Black Garden.

Vines start to surround them, as Ransborg asks what evil this is (Lancebow asks if this is a beast-dwelling garden). The vines eventually encase them, as Akiza tells him it’s his turn (after the break here in the US version), and someone in the audience sees she really does have magic powers (his Japanese counterpart warns Lancebow to watch out for the Witch’s trap).

Cut Footage (4 seconds): This shot of the arena, as Lancebow tells him he appreciates his good will but it needn’t be necessary, is cut from the US version.

Ransborg declares his turn, drawing a Trap, and smiling. He shall activateth his Spell, The Warrior “Returneth” Alive (Warrior’s Return). It has the power to returneth his monster from the dark veil of the Grave. He chooses Masked Knight LV3, and summons it back to the field in Attack Mode (ATK/1500; Lancebow says a proud knight never dies.).

Suddenly, vines come towards it, ensnaring it, as Ransborg asks what “be this,” and Akiza replies that this “be” the power of her Black Garden: as long as they’re inside this greenhouse, his monsters’ ATK is cut in half, and a Rose Token blossoms on her field, adding that she’s sure a knight like him can handle a few thorns (Aki says it’ll be on the opponent’s field in Attack Mode, implying that, should she summon a monster, Lancebow would get a Token).  She tells him to watch its beauty grow, as the Rose Token is summoned, suggesting that he makes sure to take in the smell of her success as she smells a rose (Aki says that this is the Black Garden, a demon realm garden which blossoms by using life as nourishment).  The MC says that with Masked Knight’s ATK sliced in half (ATK/1500->750; Rose Token’s ATK/800), Sir Ransborg can’t get close to the Black Rose.

But Ransborg thinks his points attacketh matter not (I had a hard time making this one out, and it still makes no sense; he just has to speak Old English…)–her monsters will still fall to his Knight’s ability most special (and that line is getting most annoying…), declaring that vengeance is his (Lancebow shouts, “Persona Blast!!”) as the Knight’s Ability hits Akiza for 400 more LP (LP/2200).

Ransborg asks if she yields, and Akiza says not with her Doppleganger (Dopple-Gainer) Trap Card in play.

Card Showcase Interruption 1 (8 seconds added): “With the Trap Card, Doppelganger, when you take damage from the special ability of your opponent’s monster, your opponent takes the same amount of damage.”

As flowers aim for Ransborg, she tells him to take that, “ya big tin can!” (Ransborg’s LP/4000->3600).

Side-Note: It really seems like they added these Card Interruptions just to have the players trash-talk each other more than necessary… Aki explains its effect while the flowers hit Lancebow and reduce his LP. None of that trash-talk there. Not to mention, it screws with her original personality even more.

The MC worries that Sir Ransborg took his first hit of the duel, and it is a major one! (It was just 400 LP…) Suddenly, a cut appears on Ransborg’s face, as Leo notices, and Dexter says she gave him a scar. Tanner guesses her powers are real, and Yanagi worriedly says they should go home–if she can do that to him, what’ll she do to them? (Rua exclaims, “A scratch!”, and Tenpei agrees, saying he was hurt. Himuro is shocked that dueling wounded him, and Yanagi is scared. People in the crowd shout, “You damn witch!”, “How dare she do that!”, and “Get out of here!”)

“‘Tis but a flesh wound scratch,” Ransborg says as he wipes at it, saying her powers scare not this brave warrior, but ‘er witch shall pay! But Akiza tells him to be careful who he calls a “witch” (Lancebow asks the witch, who can inflict actual harm upon others with her powers, exactly who she is. Aki says she’s not the same as any of them).

Sound FX Edit: The little “intimidation” SFX plays earlier in the US version than it did in the Japanese version, right when Akiza’s face is onscreen.

“A threat?!”, Ransborg asks, saying she’ll pay for that! (Lancebow asks the Witch what she’s scheming with that look in her eyes.) Ransborg “casteth” two cards face-down, telling her it’s her turn. She says she knows, drawing.

Paint Edit: Well, here, her cleavage is kept, and surprisingly, her skirt is left alone. They just removed the two suspenders from her dress.

For starters, she’ll play her Spell, Mark of the Rose (Rose Mark), which lets her select one monster on his side of the field and control it. She asks Masked Knight what it thinks of joining her, as the card glows.

Side-Note: While Aki’s mouth stays open in the Japanese version as she lifts her arm into the air, Akiza’s is closed once she’s done speaking.

A black rose insignia is placed onto Masked Knight LV3’s forehead, as it moves over to her field, and Akiza chuckles as she gives it her hand.

Side-Note: Like with Yusei’s “spoken” thought last episode, Akiza’s chuckling has the thought echo effect added to it. Aki’s chuckling is normal.

Masked Knight takes her hand into his own, as Yanagi comments that he appears quite smitten with her (Japanese Yanagi: “Well, I’ll be… His monster went ‘n backstabbed him!). Ransborg growls angrily, as Akiza says it looks as though his monster has sworn allegiance to her, saying she thinks it’s time for Sir Ransborg to feel the sting of his betrayal. (Aki says he’ll feel the pain of the blade of betrayal), as she declares Masked Knight LV3’s direct attack.)

Masked Knight LV3 jumps to attack Ransborg directly, as he winces. Masked Knight does a fancy little attack, and Ransborg bears the brunt of it with his shield, bouncing back (LP/3600->2850). He’s angry that she bewitched the heart of his noble knight, and says she’ll suffer for such insolence (Lancebow says that making his monster’s loyalty waver is indeed the insidious fighting style of a witch).

Side-Note: On Ransborg’s Disk, the Masked Knight LV3 card is reversed. Click each for a larger view.

But Akiza says not before this, as Masked Knight returns to her field. She equips the Spell Vengeful Servant (Hostile Vassal) onto her new Masked Knight.

So now, when it goes back to his field at the end of her turn, he loses even more LP: one for each of his ATK points! (Aki isn’t so specific about when it goes back, saying that when the equipped monster switches control, it inflicts damage to its player equal to its original ATK; the card’s text does mention control reverting during the End Phase, and regaining it during the card’s controller’s Standby Phase.) Ransborg says she dares not, and Akiza says, “Oh, no, I do dare!”, adding that it looks like it’s the end of her turn (Aki just says it’s her End Phase, and Masked Knight goes back under Lancebow’s control).  Akiza tells Masked Knight to go back home and unleash the true fury of her Vengeful Servant, commanding it to strike down his LP (Aki talks when her face is onscreen, telling Lancebow to have a firsthand taste of that double-dealer’s strike).

Side-Note: For just a frame, you can see that Mark of the Rose is left in its unaltered form behind Masked Knight. It quickly switches back to its US look.

Masked Knight strikes Ransborg (LP/2850->1350), and the MC says that this rose has thorns–in just one turn, she’s pulled out Ransborg’s lead like it was a weed infestation! (Japanese MC says Izayoi is ruthless, adding that her combo using Rose Mark and Hostile Vassal has inflicted massive damage on their knight.)

Ransborg reels, saying she’ll suffer his wrath. He uses his Level Change Trap Card, saying her turn hasn’t finished as of yet (Lancebow tells her it activates during the End Phase of his opponent’s turn). His traitorous Masked Knight LV3 will be sacrificed to the yard of graves, in turn destroying its two Equip Cards, so that a far nobler warrior takes its place (Lancebow explains that it sends a Level Monster to the Cemetery to summon the monster written on the card, ignoring its Summoning Requirements, from the Cemetery).

He chooses Masked Knight LV5, telling it to return to battle (ATK/2300). The MC says he’s broken the Black Rose’s combo, and that this is anyone’s duel now (Japanese MC says this looks promising, as his Special-Summoning has dismantled her permanent combo).  But Akiza says he forgot about Black Garden, as the vines ensnare Masked Knight LV5.  She explains that for every monster he summons, his ATK is cut in half (the effect actually just happens once; Aki is silent; ATK/2300->1150).  And not only that, but she’ll be getting another Rose Token (ATK/ 800), now ending her turn.  Ransborg says, “Sorceress! You dare enchant my monster with your Spells?! Thy garden may be no Eden, but it will fall the same!” (compared to Lancebow saying, “Witch! There is no use concealing yourself in your grim garden! The blade of righteousness will pursue you, no matter where you go!”)

He grunts as he draws (as he has the entire duel; Lancebow has actually declared his draws), and tells his Knight he’s earned promotion for his brave service against its most wicked opponent, and the MC says he’s right: with Masked Knight’s special ability, it upgrades from Level 5 all the way to Level 7! (Lancebow explains that, and the MC says the same as he does in the US version, but he also says it happens during the Standby Phase.) He commands it to join his side (Lancebow calls out Masked Knight LV7 here), placing a monster onto his Disk, as Masked Knight undergoes a little metamorphosis, evolving into Masked Knight LV7 (ATK/2900). The crowd cheers, as Akiza tells Black Garden to do its thing. The vines ensnare it (ATK/2900->1450), and another Rose Token blooms onto Akiza’s field (ATK/ 800).

Watching, Grieger says it’s impressive, since her Rose Tokens can’t be destroyed in battle. She’s got an impenetrable wall, so now the question is: can she hold out? Not even a pretty garden can stop Sir Ransborg, he adds, saying it’s only a matter of time before that Black Rose gets clipped. (Bommer wonders if her strategy is to hide herself in her grove and do nothing but guard, saying that her opponent’s attacks are very sharp; will she be able to completely dodge them?)

Ransborg calls Akiza a “foul she-creature” (I kid you not), saying she “hath” draped the arena in dark foliage, and she’s seduced her knights, but her dark deck will fall before his might! He tells her to behold his Glory Shield. (Lancebow says that, judging from the look in her eyes, she’s planning to counterattack with Dopple-Gainer’s effect once his monster’s effect activates, but he came prepared!) With the Glory Shield (an Equip Magic, as explained by Lancebow), Masked Knight LV7 becomes impervious to her bewitching Spells. As Masked Knight LV7 gets the Shield equipped, Tanner calls it a nice move, and now, when Ransborg decides to “bring in the big blades” and attack the Black Rose, she can’t use her Spell Cards or Traps. Dexter adds that if it does damage, it destroys a card, suggesting that the Black Rose isn’t that strong after all (Tenpei specifies that it can destroy one Magic or Trap).

Ransborg commands him to unleash “thine powers on my darkest of monsters: the Tokens of Rose!” He tells him to cry havoc and strike down “thy” maiden’s LP (here, Lancebow shouts, “Persona Big Slash!!”), as the MC says he’s bringing the hammer down–or should he say sword–as Akiza takes a big hit (Japanese MC says it’s a hit as Masked Knight’s attack has just exploded onto Izayoi; Akiza’s LP/2200->1550). The MC says the Black Rose is starting to wilt–a few more attacks like that, and she’ll be checking the want ads, asking if anyone needs a gardener (Japanese MC says the Rose Tokens are null to being destroyed in battle, but Damage Calculations are still applied).  The crowd chants, “Beat the Black Rose!”. 

And now, Glory Shield’s effect takes out her Doppleganger. And with her cursed Spell lost to her, he commands Masked Knight to unleash its “effect most special.”

Side-Note: As a line most annoying as it is, I’d say this is the first time in a while that they call it an effect, instead of a special ability or “superpower”. It’s a rarity.

Masked Knight LV7 lets loose a beam (“Persona Big Blast,” as Lancebow calls it), striking Akiza as Ransborg chuckles, the smoke clearing soon after (Akiza’s LP/1550->50).

Paint Edit: Return of the erased-cleavage edit.

As Leo and Dexter cheer, the MC sees she only has 50 LP left, saying that this duel’s all but over, that it’s a fourth encore, that it’s a party with no music, it’s the closing credits! (Japanese MC says she’s hanging in by the skin of her teeth. Plus, she only has three Rose Tokens left on her field, so she can’t fight now!) And Ransborg ends his turn (Japanese MC is still talking when Lancebow moves; we don’t hear him speak, but safe to assume he does).

Grieger asks Yusei if he thinks it’s over, and he says not a chance; she’s just getting warmed up. And Grieger asks why he thinks that, wondering if he knows her, suggesting some ancient mystical bond. (Bommer says it looks like it’s over, and Yusei says the match isn’t over yet. Bommer says he’s completely in her corner, it seems.)

Paint Edit: Insert reduced-cleavage and removed-suspenders edits.

Ransborg tells her it’s her turn, asking if she has any last words, for she will not see another. Akiza says she does: this duel’s over. Ransborg calls her a liar. (Lancebow says, “Witch! This is the last turn for you! There is nowhere for you to flee!”. Aki responds, “Yes, on this turn… it all ends,” shocking Lancebow.)

Akiza draws, as Ransborg thinks that she’s already lost. He “see-eth” her cards as if they were his, thinking that she’ll release her Tokens of Rose, hoping against hope to summon a creature, and that shall be her undoing. For, once summoned, her Black Garden will afford him a Token of Rose. She’ll attack, and she’ll fail, for she has no idea what lies beyond his “card most face-down.” Like all duelists who battled before him, she has no mind for strategy! Waiting for her is his Martyr Flag (Flag of the Martyr), a Spell most simple, true, but it will double the ATK of his Masked Knight.

Script Error: Martyr Flag is a Trap Card, not a Spell.

Still thinking, he says she’ll taste the agony of defeat, and learn not to tread here in his arena!

Dialogue Edit: “Do not falter! This is her witchly scheme! I have an overwhelming lead… The Witch could possibly be after releasing her Rose Tokens for an Advance Summon, and then use that summoned monster to strike the Rose Token that appears on my field due to Black Garden’s effect… Wouldn’t that be the gist of it? However, the moment you do so will be your doom! For my face-down card is Flag of the Martyr. If I activate this card, my Masked Knight LV7’s ATK will double! Come! I will hoist you by your own pitard!”)

Akiza sarcastically wonders what to do, saying she’ll destroy her Black Garden. The arena shakes and the Garden turns brown, as Ransborg asks if this is some trick. Akiza replies, “Trick, no. Strategy, yes. See, you’ve got to learn to look beyond the beauty of my roses! By destroying my Black Garden and my Rose Tokens, I get to summon a new monster: one that’s in my Graveyard!”. Ransborg says she wouldn’t, and Grieger says, “Oh, boy.” Yanagi, Leo, and Dexter say it can’t be, as Luna watches on, as the MC says that if his math is right, and it always is, she sacrificed enough ATK points to summon the Black Rose Dragon! (For any dub-only viewers who don’t have the card, you’re probably wondering why the MC mentioned ATK points; Aki explains that by destroying this card, along with all Plant-Type monsters on the field, she’ll Special-Summon a monster with an ATK equal to their combined ATK from the Cemetery. The others react the same, as the MC specifies that by destroying three 800-ATK Rose Tokens, their total ATK would be 2400, which means the monster she’ll summon out will, of course, be…)

A member in the audience says that thing is dangerous (his Japanese counterpart calls it a nightmare), as Akiza tells Ransborg to say “hello” to her Black Rose Dragon (ATK/2400)!

Card Showcase Interruption 2 (8 seconds added): “Black Rose Dragon is a Level-7, Fire-Attribute Synchro Monster that has 2400 ATK points and 1800 DEF points.” Now, why didn’t they do this the first time it was played? And a useless Interruption, to boot…

The MC exclaims that Akiza did it, but is it too late? With Black Garden gone, Masked Knight’s ATK go back to their maximum (though monsters never really have a maximum ATK… ATK/1450->2900), and if you know anything about fairy tales, when it comes to knights versus dragons, it never ends well for the dragon! Tanner says that with this, Black Rose can’t win this! Too bad, too, since he thought she had it. (Japanese MC exclaims that it’s out, but the price is pretty hefty; Masked Knight LV7, free from Black Garden’s Spell, has had its ATK restored to 2900! Himuro notes Black Rose Dragon’s 2400 ATK, saying the odds are stacked against it.)

Ransborg says she truly is a fool, suggesting she put her cards down and attend to her garden, since “a green thumb you have not” when it comes to dueling (Lancebow asks why she cast her Black Garden aside, saying it’s almost as if she’s personally ruining her chances of winning. “Vile witch, are you cornered so bad you’ve gone daft?!”).

Grieger sure hates to admit it, but it looks like this duel’s over. Yusei agrees, but says it won’t play out like he thinks; Grieger’s surprised.

Wall of Ivy comes out of her Disk’s Graveyard, as she says that due to her dragon’s special ability, if she removes a Plant-Type monster in her Graveyard from play, his Masked Knight’s ATK goes to zero! Black Rose Dragon then lets loose its Black Binding Bloom (“Rose Restriction”) to ensnare him (ATK/2900->0).

In shock, Ransborg says she can’t do that to him–it’s not fair! His voice loses the Olde English in it (finally), and he says he spent all year making this costume for this special tournament–he’s not supposed to lose! (If you notice, his Martyr Flag Trap is flying behind him; why? Lancebow’s saying that since his ATK is zero, even if he does activate Flag of the Martyr and double his ATK, it’ll stay at zero!)

“Well, too bad!”, Akiza says (Aki just says, “Battle.”), adding that next time he decides to wear a costume, he should realize that it’s not what he wears on the outside that makes you who you are, but what’s on the inside. Tanner and co, as well as the audience, look on with worry. (Not sure how that’s the lesson here, but okay; Aki: “You, knight who hoists such fabricated righteousness…take the cold flames of sorrow upon your form.” It’s a chilling moment; no music, and no other sounds but her voice.)

Ransborg says he wants to go home, urging her to take it easy (Lancebow tries to beg her to stop), as Akiza says she is taking it easy, commanding Black Rose Dragon to attack (Aki just declares Black Rose Dragon’s “Black Rose Flare” attack).  The flames engulf Ransborg’s side of the field as he and the audience scream (Japanese MC also comments that this is just as good as a direct attack).

Side-Note: Again, I blame Julie Rath, the voice director, for the unconvincing screams that he and the audience produce.

Rex and Lazar watch on, as Lazar laughs, saying he thinks Ransborg worked well, checking in with Zigzix, asking him to tell them what his D-Tector saw.  But Zigzix tells him it didn’t pick up any Signer energy, so they got nothing.  Lazar looks over to Rex, who says to keep looking, as Jack clutches his right arm. (Yeager says they were allowed to witness the power of a psychic duelist, asking Akutsu about their main issue; he tells them that, unfortunately, there was no response, and Rex asks if that’s so.)

Yusei’s also clutching his arm, saying he knew she’d win that duel.  Grieger asks what he means, asking if they’re connected.  As we see Akiza and Ransborg reeling, he replies that he doesn’t know, but there’s something between them. (Japanese Yusei repeats Aki’s “wretched mark” words, and Bommer asks what’s wrong, asking if he’s not feeling well.)

Ransborg falls back (LP/1350->0), and someone in the audience exclaims that her monsters are real! A girl boos, yelling to get her out of here.

Cut Footage (5 seconds): Cut from the US version is this short bit after the above.  They cut away as the girl holding her face screams, then there’s a long shot of the arena from above as someone in the audience yells, “Run! This is no duel!”.

Leo, Dexter, and Yanagi look around as the crowd boos (they’re shouting, “Damned witch!” and “Nab that witch!” in the Japanese version), as the red-haired man says it wasn’t a bad win for Akiza, but he’s got a feeling that her real fight is just about to get started, wishing her luck (Japanese redhead says she shouldn’t let victory go to her head).

Cut Footage (about 2 seconds): Another shot of the audience yelling at her is cut from the US version. They yell, “Get out of here! Get out of here, you witch!”

Akiza stands victorious. (In the Japanese version, the yelling continues, as they say, “Hurry and beat it!”)

Cut Footage (7 seconds): This last shot of the episode, with Aki standing across from Lancebow’s unconscious body, as the crowd continues to chant, “Get lost, you witch! Scram! Get out of this city!”, is cut from the US version. So it ends on that shot of Akiza standing victorious.

Final Thoughts: So… I hated Akiza’s voice in these early episodes.  It’s just really off-putting when you’re coming off of Ayumi Kinoshita’s performance for Aki, with her low-pitched voice, the slight chill in her tone, how well it all works with music like Izayoi Battle… And Bella Hudson conveys none of that, nor does the voice really match a lot of her expressions; like I said earlier, she sounds more stuck-up than anything (not helped by the lines she’s given), which is a huge detriment to her character.  Not that it’s the biggest thing that’ll happen to her character as the series in general goes on. Funny thing is, though, she does really well in the role come Season 3/episodes 65+; it sounds so much smoother and actually fits her more.  Darren Dunstan took over Voice-Direction after episode 64, so I’d say that’s his doing.  If only Julie was that wise… And Eric Stuart as Ransborg was fine; I could’ve done without Ye Olde English overload, but things there crumbled after his voice did.

Otherwise, standard 4Kids fare; nothing really stood out.  Onward to 17 next time!

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Comparing the English Dub to the Japanese Version (So You Don't Have To)