Episode 17: Surprise, Surprise

JP Title: Flame Revenger! Speed King – Skull Flame
JP Key Card: Speed King – Skull Flame
Animation Director: Chi Man Park and Kyoung Soo Lee
US Adaptation: Barton Bishop, John Drdek, and Shane Guenego
Posted Date: 1/7/16

Fans are spread throughout the Stadium’s exterior, as the MC tells the audience that they may still be reeling from that incredible second match, but it’s almost time for the third: it’s Yusei VS Shira! (Japanese MC doesn’t speak until after we see the center display sphere, and he says that they’ve wrapped up the turbulent second match and hopes are hanging high on the ensuing third match.)

Paint Edit: First, in the Japanese version, the display sphere changes from the Fortune Cup logo to read “NEXT GAME;” the Fortune Cup logo is kept the entire time in the US version.  Then, when it changes to show Yusei and Shira, their names are digitized out from the US version.

Meanwhile, Yusei’s working on his D-Runner, turning to ask Tanner what he knows about Shira.  He says a few guys he knows had a run-in with Shira a few years back in the underground duels, and according to them, he wasn’t exactly a fan of playing nice.  As Yusei flashes back to Shira standing with him and the other competitors in episode 15, Tanner continues to say that back then, he was calling himself the “Shadow Reaper”.  Apparently, he never takes off those weird robes of his.  Yusei puts his deck into its holder, as Tanner asks him if he’s planning to use Stardust Dragon, and he says he’s saving Stardust Dragon for his duel against Jack, and when he faces him, he’ll wish he never gave it back to him. (Japanese Yusei asks, “The Reaper Reborn?” Himuro says that those who duel him are too afraid to ever duel again; he’s a cruel, professionally known D-Wheeler.  Yusei flashes back to the above scene, with no talking from Himuro, He puts his deck in its holder, as Himuro asks him if he’s going to use that card. “I’m not using Stardust–I’ll only use Stardust when it’s time to settle things with Jack,” he replies.)

As hologram projections of Jack and Yusei fill the sky, Hunter Pace sits in his D-Runner watching Jack’s.

Side-Note: Ironically, the text on the awning there was left intact. It reads “DUEL OF FORTUNE CUP”, and given that it’s just the Fortune Cup in the US version, it’s a surprise they left it.

Hunter can’t believe Jack didn’t invite him to his little party.  Then again, it’s going to be fun crashing it (Mukuro doesn’t talk until his face’s on the screen, saying, “King… The one who’ll beat you is yours truly.”).  Revving up his Runner, Hunter zips through the crowd, attracting the attention of Security, who try to make him stop.  Hunter just revs up over their heads, proceeding to ride up the stairs there, as they pursue.  He drives to the left of a crowd, as the officers pursue.  Another officer comes up, saying this corridor’s blocked off, telling them to get over to the east side, and they go off.  But it would turn out that the officer’s actually Hunter.  He starts to walk when he sees someone coming, jumping to hide in the corridor next to him.

The people are Lazar and Shira, as Lazar tells him they need him to get Yusei as worked up as possible so his Mark appears (Yeager doesn’t mention Yusei’s birthmark).  He tells him not to expect this to be easy, because that Satellite knows what he’s doing.  They walk past the hiding Hunter, as Lazar tells Shira that in an off-record duel, he defeated Jack Atlas.  “Someone defeated Jack Atlas?!”, Hunter exclaims in shock, which Shira hears–he fires a Dokuroyaiba (Death God Boomerang) card into the corridor, only succeeding in scaring a rat out.  He tells Lazar he’s got rats, turning to walk, as he turns to follow him, continuing their conversation, just as Hunter lets out a laugh (Yeager comments that he thinks the rat was a male).  “So Yusei defeated Jack?”, he says, laughing with the Dokuroyaiba card wedged into his helmet.

Meanwhile, the crowd roars as Leo suggests they get cotton candy or something, but Dexter says the duel’s about to start.  Yanagi can’t wait to see Yusei Turbo-Duel, as Tanner looks towards Rex’s booth, thinking about what Goodwin wants with Yusei; first, he lets him out of the Facility, then he invites him to this tournament? “It just seems fishy…” (Rua asks Tenpei if Yusei’s next, Tenpei hopes he does okay, and Yanagi says he ain’t gonna be losing; Himuro is silent.)

Added Footage (2 seconds): The below shot of Himuro was extended to fit in his unneeded thoughts.

The MC asks everyone if they’re ready (Japanese MC does his signature “Everybody, listen!”), telling them it’s time for the Fortune Cup’s first Turbo Duel, sending the crowd into a roar.  The MC continues by introducing Yusei: “He’s the spunky punk trying to get from third to first-class! He’s the little Satellite who could! Dueling fans, I give you… Yusei!” (Japanese MC just says he’s the first D-Wheeler chosen for this prestigious Fortune Cup: Yusei Fudo!)

Yusei rides out into smoke and onto the racetrack, looking into the crowd.  The crowd sees him on the display sphere and they boo him.

Paint Edit: Yusei’s name is digitized out of the display sphere in the US version.

The crowd says he’s no good, and one guy says, “Go back to the Satellite, loser!”, while another says he’s way out of his league, calling him a slacker (I thought we left “slacker” back in GX… Originally, the first guy tells him to get out of here, calling him a “marked punk,” and the other tells him not to try and act cool).  Leo cheers Yusei on, while Jack watches on, thinking that they’ll see if he can even make it past his first duel (Jack is silent in the Japanese).

The MC says that dueling him is the always-mysterious Shadow Creeper himself, Shira! (Japanese MC calls him “Reaper Reborn”.) Hunter–disguised as Shira–rides out from a bit of shadowy smoke, taking his place next to Yusei.  The crowd tells him not to let them down, to show that punk he’s not welcome here by putting him in his place (originally, someone in the crowd tells him not to lose to that guy with the Marker, and another says to take him down a peg or two).  Leo doesn’t get why these jerks are putting down Yusei, since they don’t even know him.  And next to his D-Tector, Zigzix wants to see what the Satellite’s made of (Akutsu just says, “Now, just come ooon!”).

On the track, Yusei glances over at Shira, his expression questioning, while the MC says that with both duelists at the starting line, there’s just one thing left to do, telling them to start their Runners (Japanese MC says it’s almost time to duel, saying another of his phrases, “Set the Speed World Field Magic on!”). The Speed World Field Spell appears on their Runners, as the computerized voice says, “Duel mode, engaged. Autopilot standing by.”

Paint Edit: First off, the “Duel mode” that comes up after Speed World disappears is digitized out (per usual), as is the time, “DRIVE mode,” and “cou(r)se map”, in the case of Yusei’s D-Wheel.  Then, after the dueling field layout appears on the screens, “SPC” is, as usual, replaced with that arrow, and on Yusei’s D-Runner, “DUEL mode”, “turn”, “LP count”, and something I can’t make out under it is digitized out, while on Hunter’s, “DUEL mode” and “MAX” are digitized out.  Click each cap for a larger version.

Speed World engulfs the Stadium, as the MC says that this is the point of no return, as both duelists have activated their Speed World Field Spell. Now the only Spells they can use are Speed Spells! Shira-disguised Hunter revs up, as Jack sees something, and the countdown shows up, its computerized voice telling the Turbo Duelists that the countdown is initiated (Yusei’s LP/4000; Shira!Hunter’s LP/4000), and it says, “Ready, set… Duel!” (There’s no computer voice in the Japanese, just the MC saying that the fated starter has appeared to give the countdown; “Riding Duel! Acceleration!!”)

The two are off, when suddenly, a robe flies into the air. Yusei looks over, and the crowd gasps in shock as we see Hunter riding his D-Runner, laughing.  Giving us the episode’s title, he asks the crowd if they expected to see him here (Mukuro apologizes for the “wait,” saying that he‘s here).  The MC calls this the mother of all surprises–that’s not Shira, that’s the former champion! “The Mad Biker, the Phantom of Fire… It’s Hunter Pace!” (Japanese MC calls him the Flame D-Wheeler, and says he made it his life mission to defeat the King.)  Tanner wonders what happened to Shira, while in Rex’s booth, Lazar walks over to Rex, saying they’ve got a bit of a situation (Yeager says that Shira’s out of commission).  Rex looks at him, as we see Shira lying on the floor in his boxers, saying he just snuck up behind him (Japanese Shira calls him a flaming devil).

Cut Footage (3 seconds): This close-up of Shira’s beaten-up face–before we see him on the floor–is cut from the US version.

Still riding, Hunter asks Yusei if he’s going to take his challenge, or back down in front of all these excited people; Yusei looks his way as Hunter laughs (Mukuro says he’ll be facing him, and he’ll show him what a real Riding Duel is all about; he doesn’t laugh as Yusei looks at him).  He asks Yusei what he thinks, asking if he’s game to duel Hunter Pace, telling him he didn’t want to duel Shira–he’s a real bore (Mukuro says that if he’s a D-Wheeler too, then he should accept his challenge).  Yusei smiles, saying, “Let’s do this!”, riding off, while Hunter says, “Alright, then!” (Japanese Yusei says, “All right. I’ll take you on!”).

Added Footage (2 seconds): An easing-out still shot of Rex’s booth from earlier, when Tanner was thinking about what he wanted with Yusei, was added to transition from the commercial break here in the US version.

Sweating, the MC says he isn’t sure about this, stammering a bit, when Rex appears in a visual next to him, asking if he’s waiting for his approval, which he shows by nodding (Japanese Rex says this should make for good entertainment).  Laughing in excitement, the MC announces that Goodwin has green-lighted Hunter’s challenge, that they are a-go, and that the duel is on, much to the crowd’s delight.

Paint Edit: The Japanese version of this screen has the word “GO” come up in a red background, turning blue, while the US version replaces it with a 3-to-1 countdown in an all-blue background.  After that shot, the screen shows an arrow, while the Japanese version’s still reads, “GO.”

Hunter takes the first turn, and from his hand, he summons Burning Skull Head (ATK/1000). Then he ends his turn by setting three cards down, as Yusei says he’s up.

Paint Edit: The duel’s scoreboard is edited to remove the two’s names and “DUELIST,” replacing “SPC” with their arrow.

Yusei draws and summons Speed Warrior in Attack Mode (ATK/900).  The MC sees it looks like Yusei won’t waste any time getting on the offensive, pointing out that Speed Warrior’s ATK doubles during its “summoning phase” (I’m betting he meant to say “turn”…), so he’d bet his pompadour we’re about to see an attack. Yusei tells Speed Warrior to attack him with “Hypersonic Slash (Japanese Yusei just says, “Battle,” and the MC says, “And there goes Speed Warrior!”), but Hunter says his Zero Guard Trap Card is putting the brakes on his Speed Warrior.  Hunter explains that by taking away all of his Burning Skull Head’s ATK (ATK/1000->0), he can make it invulnerable to attacks, so he can’t destroy it in battle (Mukuro points out how the effect’s for this turn, and Yusei then declares Speed Warrior’s “Sonic Edge” attack), but Speed Warrior’s attack still connects (Hunter’s LP/4000->2200).  The MC calls this a turn of events–he saved his monster, but he was still hit for 1800 points of damage.  Yanagi wonders why he’d willingly take a big hit, and Dexter says he must have some reason for keeping that monster around.  Leo looks at the scoreboard, saying that after taking that much damage at once, his Speed Counters should drop… So, why haven’t they gone down?

Hunter activates his Doom Accelerator (Death Accel) Trap, and thanks to this puppy, he gains one Speed Counter for every 500 points of damage he takes in battle, as Yusei’s Runner display shows the increase (Hunter’s SPC/1->4).

Paint Edit: The display is edited to digitize out “Other party” and “MAX”, along with the stuff to the right, and we get the SPC edit for good measure.

Yusei’s in shock, as the crowd says that was a good and unbelievable move (in the Japanese, one member just says his Speed Counters have risen by three).  Hunter says that’s his first taste of his new Speed Acceleration (Speed Accel) Deck, custom-engineered by him. A guy in the crowd says he never stopped being his fan (his Japanese self cheers him on, telling him to kick his ass), and Yusei admits it wasn’t a bad play (“move,” maybe?), but it’ll take more than that to shake him (Japanese Yusei asks if he wants to match Speed Spells, accepting the challenge).  He places two cards face-down, ending his turn.

The scoreboard shows the start of Hunter’s turn (Yusei’s SPC/1->2; Hunter’s SPC/4->5).  He draws, saying he’s going to kick this duel up a notch with the Summon Speeder Spell (Mukuro says it’s a Speed Spell); since he has four Speed Counters (he actually has five right now, but it was probably a wrongly-worded way of stating Summon Speeder’s “four or more” requirement), he can use it to bust out a new monster, summoning Skull Base (Mukuro says it has to be a Level-4 or below monster; ATK/800).  Next, by kicking Skull Base and Burning Skull Head to the curb, he can Advance-Summon Skull Flame (ATK/2600)! He apologizes to Yusei, saying he’s here to duel Jack Atlas again and regain his title; drawing a card, he says he’s blocking his way, so he’s gotta fall (in case you’re wondering why he draws, Mukuro explains that when Skull Base is used for an Advance-Summoning, he can draw one card, but we haven’t trash-talking quota filled yet!).

Skull Flame attacks Speed Warrior, as Hunter tells him to burn up Yusei’s LP (LP/4000->2300).  The MC says that Yusei kickstarted the duel with a powerful attack, but the former champion has just unleashed a blistering combo, and instantly almost evened up the score! Someone in the crowd says Hunter’s on fire, and he says he’s just getting warmed up, telling them to prepare for the big heat as he activates his Speed Booster Trap Card.

Card Showcase Interruption 1 (8 seconds added): “Speed Booster allows you to deal damage equal to the difference between you and your opponent’s Speed Counters, multiplied by 100.”

Speed Boosters appear on Hunter’s Runner, as Leo comments that he’s quick (Rua asks what it is), while Yusei, for some reason, yells in shock. Hunter welcomes Yusei to the real world of Turbo Dueling: if he can’t keep up, he’ll get left behind! (Mukuro says this is the best thing about his Speed Accel Deck, but the best is yet to come.)

Eyecatch: Never worry about being left behind here–I’m always patient.  Go do some stretches!

Hunter says he came here to burn rubber and take names, and nobody’s going to stop him from winning his chance to reclaim his title. See, when he was the #1-ranked Turbo Duelist in the world, he learned to defend his title by repeatedly deflecting attacks from all directions, just like his monster. But he also learned that to stay at the top, you have to dish out damage hard and fast, telling Yusei to get ready to feel the heat! Yanagi comments he talks a lot, and Tanner says that he’s unfortunately able to put his money where his mouth is in this case, because he’s earned a big advantage.

Dialogue Edit: I agree with dub!Yanagi… In the Japanese version, Mukuro repeats that this is the best thing about his Speed Accel Deck, explaining that Speed Booster is a Permanent Trap which can activate if he has more Speed Counters than his opponent does; it can negate any opposing monster’s attack during his opponent’s turn–as his monster did (which is why we see it in the split-screen here)–as many times as the difference in Speed Counters, and once per turn, it can inflict damage equal to the difference in Speed Counters multiplied by 100 (which is why we see Yusei getting hit).  Yanagi asks what he means, and Himuro says it means that the wider the gap in their Speed Counters, the more it works in Mukuro’s favor.  Who needs to know what a card’s effect is when we have a trash-talk quota to fill?

Yusei cracks a smile, as Leo sees, and Yanagi says he didn’t see that, that he didn’t see him smile, and he asks Tanner if he saw him smile, asking why Yusei would smile. Tanner smiles himself as he looks towards Yusei, Yanagi asking why he’s smiling. (…Rua sees he’s enjoying himself, and Yanagi sees that this is a bad situation, so why would he have that joyful look on his face? Himuro smiles, and Yanagi’s silent.)

Hunter says he’s turning up the heat (Mukuro tells Yusei to stop all that smiling), “initiating Speed Booster’s special attack” (this isn’t an attack, of course–it’s an effect). The Speed Boosters on Hunter’s Runner shoot missiles towards Yusei (LP/2300->1900), and while Leo and co. are in shock, the MC says that this is a whole different Hunter Pace they’re seeing; he’s totally reinvented himself! (Japanese MC says that his last attack has flipped around the Life Points, so now Mukuro’s are higher; guess I can’t blame them for calling it an attack now, after this… Mukuro’s LP/2200; Yusei’s LP/1900)

Hunter says he’s on the fast track to glory and nobody can stop him, telling him to not blink or he’ll miss him; he’s bringing a whole new intensity to Turbo Dueling, and he’s going to leave the whole world in his dust! He stops in the middle of his next declaration to gasp in shock as he sees Yusei right behind him. (Mukuro says that nobody can keep up with his speed, and declares his setting a card face-down to end his turn.  Asking Yusei how he liked that, he says he must be so far in the lead that Yusei probably can’t even see him anymore! Which is why he reacts so shockingly to Yusei being right behind him…) Yusei asks what he’ll do, drawing…

Card Error: The card Yusei draws is apparently the same one activating below–Slip-Stream! It’s actually supposed to be Scrap-Iron Scarecrow.

…as Hunter asks how he’s keeping up with him (Japanese Yusei declares his turn, and Mukuro says he only has one Speed Counter, asking how he managed it), turning to look at his Runner’s display and seeing Yusei’s Slip-Stream Trap.

Side-Note: Heh, 4Kids apparently forgot to edit the display during the above scene, since, aside from the edited Slip Stream card, “SPC”, “MAX”, and “DUEL mode” are visible (click for a larger version).

Paint Edit: The edited card is enlarged to cover up the “CEMETERY” under the original card in the display’s close-up.

Hunter yells about Slip-Stream, saying he’s gotta be kidding him (just a minor note, Mukuro doesn’t mention Slip-Stream until he’s onscreen–before that, he’s gasping in shock).  Yanagi asks if that’s why he was smiling, and Tanner says it sure is, saying that with this card in play, Yusei might be smiling all the way to the finish line. He explains to Yanagi that since Hunter played a Speed Spell last round, and Yusei had fewer Speed Counters than him, Yusei’s Counters catch up to where Hunter’s are (Himuro also mentions it happens during the following Standby Phase). Leo yells, “Yusei rules!”, and Dexter hopes he can make use of this position (Tenpei asks when he activated that Trap).

Hunter asks he thinks he’s slicker than slick, flashing back to when he activated Summon Speeder, and Yusei stops him, using Slip Stream (Mukuro realizes when it happened, which is the reason for the flashback. Also, the flashback is sepia-toned in the US version.) At the moment, Hunter says he heard from some people that he was good, but he’s afraid he’s not good enough to keep up with him (in the first part, Mukuro says this is pretty fun), activating Acceleration Zone (Accel Zone), and telling him to just try and catch him now. He revs up his Runner. accelerating through his Acceleration Zone Trap, and rides about half a lap around the top of the track.

As he laughs (Mukuro yells), the MC says this is incredible, saying that his Speed Counter is rockin’ it all the way to eleven! (I’m sure that was supposed to be plural.)

Paint Edit/Side Note: In this shot of Yusei’s D-Wheel display, we have the typical “SPC”, “MAX”, and “other party” edits, as well as the digitizing-out of the three blue readouts on the top right.  Hunter’s cards are also reversed in the US version.

Yusei grunts, as Hunter whoops it up, saying he may think he outsmarted him by using his Slip-Stream last round, but his deck is so fast that no matter what card he plays or what kind of move he makes, he’ll always be a step behind.  But he says that it’s something Satellites have come to expect, isn’t it? (Mukuro explains that, when the opposing player adds to his Speed Counters in a way other than Speed World’s effects, Accel Zone can add on five more to him, adding that he won’t be able to keep up with this speed.  C’mon, 4Kids…)

Yusei wonders if he was expecting him to play this–a Summon Speeder Spell Card (again, Japanese Yusei mentions it’s a Speed Spell).  The MC says Yusei met Hunter’s challenge with a direct counter, and Hunter laughs as Yusei says that with the power of Summon Speeder, he summons Quillbolt Hedgehog (Bolt Hedgehog; DEF/800) in Defense Mode, and Junk Synchron in Attack Mode (Japanese Yusei says he’s Normal-Summoning Junk Synchron, since Summon Speeder only gets you one Special-Summon; ATK/1300).  And thanks to Junk Synchron’s special ability, he can summon another monster from his Graveyard, so he’s bringing back Speed Warrior (DEF/400).  Then, he Tunes Junk Synchron with Speed Warrior to Synchro-Summon Junk Warrior, shouting, “Let’s rev it up!” (“Rev it up” count: 10). (Japanese Yusei mentions their Levels: the Level-3 Junk Synchron and Level-2 Speed Warrior; there’s also his Summoning Chant: “Clustering stars will call upon a new force! Become the path that lights the way! I Synchro-Summon! Come out, Junk Warrior!”; ATK/2300).

“All right!”, Leo, Luna, and Dexter shout, and Yanagi says he’s “keeping pace” with Hunter (“Hunter Pace?” GET IT?! Japanese Yanagi points out it’s his key card).  But before he attacks, since the Quillbolt on his field is a Level-2, Junk Warrior can absorb its ATK (ATK/2300->3100).  He shouts, “It’s go time!” (Japanese Yusei shouts, “Battle!”), and Hunter chuckles, asking if he already forgot his Speed Booster Trap; Junk Warrior attacks Skull Flame to no avail.  Leo asks how he stopped Junk Warrior’s attack like that, and Tanner reminds him that, with the Speed Booster Trap Card, Hunter can block the same number of attacks as their difference in Speed Counters.  Leo realizes it, looking over at the scoreboard; since Hunter’s at eleven and Yusei’s at six, he can block five of Yusei’s attacks! Yusei says he has to find a way through this (Japanese Yusei says he has to make due for now), placing a card face-down to end his turn.

Hunter says that’s what he thought, drawing (Yusei’s SPC/6->7; Hunter’s SPC/11->12), and the MC notes that Hunter has maxed out, telling the crowd it doesn’t get faster than twelve Speed Counters.  Riding faster, Hunter says that after he lost his title to Jack, he went into hiding to undergo some serious re-training, and he realized that if he was going to again rule the Turbo Duels, he had to put speed first.  Flashing back to his training, he says that you’re as good as done in a Turbo Duel if you can’t fearlessly harness the power of true speed. Riding off, he says it’s not what you do–it’s how fast you do it, which he will now demonstrate by activating the Acceleration Draw (Accel Draw) Speed Spell. (Mukuro says that he who wins in speed wins in a Riding Duel, saying that this speed will be his path toward the King, and that he’s gone through training with that belief in mind.  Flashing back, he says it’s all to attain this Kinglike speed! And in the present, he says he activates the Accel Draw Speed Spell.)

Acceleration Draw lets him draw two cards from his deck, and he celebrates by activating one of the cards he just drew and added to his hand: the End of Storm Spell Card (End of Storm; it’s a Speed Spell).  Jack and Yusei are in shock, as Hunter rides around Rex’s Skybooth, telling Yusei he should’ve stayed indoors–his local forecast calls for some hardcore schooling and a whole lot of letdown, with a slight chance of annihilation (I’d like to see his Meteorology degree), but it’s too late for him now (Mukuro mentions this is the King’s card, saying he’ll show him how to use The End of Storm, and how a King battles).  He activates it, and as they become surrounded by flaming smoke, Hunter says he understands Yusei and Jack Atlas have some history, so he’s sure he knows what this means.  The Storm destroys every monster on the field, and they both take 300 points of damage for every monster they had (Mukuro also explains that it can be activated when his Speed Counters are twelve or more, Hunter’s LP/2200->1900; Yusei’s LP/1900->1300).  The MC announces how Hunter nailed Yusei for 600 points of damage, but in doing so, he had to obliterate his own monster.  “He can’t attack now!”, he says, asking what he’ll do.  

Now that the storm has blown over, Hunter removes one Skull Flame in his Graveyard from play.  By doing so, he can summon the incredible Speed King – Skull Flame to the field in Attack Mode, 3000 ATK and all. Yusei reacts in shock, as Tanner does so over its 3000 ATK, and the MC notes that not only did Hunter destroy all the monsters on the field and deal damage, but he’s managed to summon an incredibly-powerful monster in a stupendous string of moves.  This could be the end of the duel right here! Hunter Pace could be moving onto the finals, and Jack Atlas–as we see him grunt–may be getting a bit scared right about now (Japanese MC says his Speed Accel Deck is fearsome indeed; silence as Jack grunts).

Added Footage (4 seconds): The shot of Jack grunting was extended to lead to a commercial break.

Hunter declares this duel over because Speed King – Skull Flame is attacking him directly. But Yusei counters with Scrap-Iron Scarecrow.

Paint Edit: Although it’s hard to see in this cap, Scrap-Iron Scarecrow’s arms are again shortened.

The MC says Yusei has shielded himself from Skull Flame, as Hunter says they’ll see what he does when he uses Speed Booster, which shoots the missiles at Yusei again (LP/1300->800).  “Oh, no! Yusei!” Dexter shouts, and Leo urges him to stay strong, as Hunter now activates Speed King – Skull Flame’s special ability; for every Burning Skull Head in his Graveyard, Yusei takes 400 points of damage (LP/800->400).  The MC says he’s barely hanging on with 400 measly Life Points, asking if he can survive, while Rex mentally urges Yusei to show his Mark of the Dragon (Japanese Rex urges him to use Stardust), and Lazar asks if they should bring him to him if they can manage to confirm Yusei is a Signer.  Jack watches on.

Back on the track, Yusei declares his turn (Yusei’s SPC/7->8; Hunter’s SPC/12).  First, he’s going to slow this duel down a bit with Shift Down (Japanese Yusei says he’s using the Speed Spell, Shift Down), and he slows down (SPC/8->2), and the MC says that, in a questionable move, Yusei has intentionally reduced his Speed Counters, asking what he could be thinking.  Yanagi thinks he might not be thinking, and Tanner thinks he must be banking on his deck right now.  Dexter asks what he means, and Tanner explains that Shift Down may forcibly lower your Speed Counters by six, but the upside is, it lets you draw two cards from the top of your deck.  Leo gets the idea, saying he’s hoping to bust out a game-changer (Leo gets it, saying he’s trusting in his deck), and Tanner agrees, saying that their friend Yusei never stops believing in his cards (Himuro calls it his strong suit).

Yusei, adjusting to the slow-down, says that because of it, he can draw two cards; he then summons Nitro Synchron (ATK/300).  Now that he has a Tuner Monster on his field, he says he can bring Quillbolt Hedgehog back from the Graveyard (DEF/800).  And then, he activates the Give & Take Trap Card.

Card Showcase Interruption 2 (8 seconds added): “The Give & Take Trap Card summons a monster from your Graveyard to your opponent’s field, and the Level of that monster is then added to a monster on your field.”

Cut Footage (2 seconds): The shot of Yusei about to activate Give-and-Take cuts away before the card actually appears on the field.

So now, Yusei’s going to give his defense a boost, and take advantage of the power that beast possesses (as usual, Japanese Yusei explains that this Special-Summons a monster from his Graveyard to his opponent’s field in Defense Mode).  Junk Synchron comes out on Hunter’s field in Defense Mode (DEF/500), and Yusei says he may have been at the top of the ranks back in the day, but that’s because he never faced beasts with abilities like these! (Japanese Yusei says that a monster on his field now increases its Level by that of the Special-Summoned monster.) Quillbolt Hedgehog’s Level increases (LV/2->5), and Dexter sees that with it bumped up to Level 5 and Nitro Synchron at Level 2, then… Leo finishes for him, excitedly saying that he can Synchro-Summon a Level-7 monster!

Yusei tunes his Nitro Synchron and Quillbolt Hedgehog to Synchro-Summon Nitro Warrior. “Revvin’ it up” (“Rev it up” count: 11) one more time, Nitro Warrior comes out (again, without its Summon Chant in the US version: “Clustering minds will now become a new force! Become the path that lights the way! I Synchro-Summon! Blaze on, Nitro Warrior!”; ATK/2800).  Hunter admits it’s a pretty cool monster, but he can block his attack with Speed Booster, so there was no point in summoning that thing.  But Tanner wonders if he knows that Synchro-Summoning Nitro Warrior has enabled Yusei to draw another card from the top of his deck.  Leo asks if that’s why he summoned it, and Tanner says he got it–he’s trying to get to a certain card (Himuro says it all rides on this next card).  Yusei looks towards Hunter as he says that he’s going so fast, he’ll lap Yusei (Mukuro says he’ll outstrip him with his speed).  Placing his hand on his deck and closing his eyes, he thinks he can do this (Japanese Yusei is silent), as he takes his Destiny Draw (a phrase used in the PSP Tag Force games for a game-influencing draw).

Side-Note: And a neat little thing happens here in the Japanese version: the current BGM, a down-pitched “Yusei Fudo,” fades out as soon as Yusei closes his eyes and draws.  They don’t catch onto this in the US version, where the music continues.

Everyone in the group gasps as they watch (silently in the Japanese version) Yusei see he drew a Spell–just what he needed.  He activates the Speed Spell, Gap Storm, explaining to the questioning Hunter that he can only use it when the difference in their Speed Counters is ten or more, saying that it’s why he slowed down–now he can destroy every Trap and Spell Card on the field.  As his set card is destroyed, Hunter’s in shock, and Yusei tells him to say goodbye to his Speed Booster (Mukuro realizes it includes his Speed Booster).  It’s wiped out, and Leo says it was a big-time risk paying off, Dexter saying it’s ironic that he’ll win a game of speed by slowing down.

Yusei rides on with his Nitro Warrior at his side, Hunter clearing past the smoke as he says that this isn’t over (“Dammit… Yusei…” from Mukuro), but Yusei says it will be once Nitro Warrior’s special ability kicks in.  He glows as Yusei explains that, because he activated a Spell Card on his own turn, his Nitro Warrior gets hooked up with 1000 ATK (ATK/2800->3800).  Hunter screams, and Yusei tells Nitro to attack with “Dynamite Crunch” (“Dynamite Knuckle;” Japanese Yusei shouts “Battle!” where US!Yusei shouts, “Nitro!”).  Speed King – Skull Flame tries to defend itself, but Nitro Warrior destroys it (Hunter’s LP/1900->1100); Hunter says he’s still ahead, but Yusei says he won’t be for long–even though he had the lead for most of the duel, his LP are about to run out of gas, and it’s all because of his Nitro Warrior’s special ability, making Hunter ask if Junk Synchron switches to Attack Mode (Japanese Yusei’s explaining Nitro Warrior’s effect, which switches an opponent’s Defense-Mode monster to Attack Mode after it battles, making them both battle; Mukuro essentially says the same thing).  Which it does (DEF/900->ATK/1300), Hunter seeing that it can’t protect him (Mukuro’s silent once Junk Synchron switches Modes), and Yusei commands Nitro to attack (another “Battle!” from Japanese Yusei).  As he dives towards Junk Synchron, the MC says he’s about to pull off a major come-from-behind victory (Japanese MC says the difference in their ATK is as clear as day), and Junk Synchron gets destroyed while Hunter desperately asks if he and Nitro Warrior can be friends (Mukuro just says, “Dammit!”; LP/1100->0).

The MC exclaims that it’s over, saying that there’s just no love for the former champion these days, and as Hunter’s Runner crashes, he adds that his dream goes up in smoke again (Japanese MC says he scored a come-from-behind victory with his beautifully executed combo).  Leo exclaims that Yusei did it, and that he always knew he could (Rua: “All right! Yusei won!”), and Yanagi says it was incredible.  

Jack, in the Skybooth, just grunts.

Hunter’s down laughing, turning up to look at Yusei, as he says, “Oh, yeah!” (“Yo” from Mukuro).  Yusei tells him it was a really great duel, and Hunter tells him not to expect him to take this loss sitting down, but then says he probably should’ve stood up before he said that.  As Yusei nods, he says he thought he had him (Mukuro’s silent as we see Yusei), laughing it up.

Elsewhere, the D-Sensor is in the blue, as Zigzix thinks that he got nothing (Akutsu is just gasping in disappointment).

Back with Rex and Lazar, Rex says Hunter was too weak to bring out Yusei’s Mark, and Lazar says his next opponent should try breaking him instead of bending him, laughing.  Jack stands up, asking them if this tournament is about more than winning a chance to duel him, asking Rex what’s really going on here, and what he needs Yusei to do for him anyway.

Added Footage (4 seconds): This shot of Rex as Jack asks what’s really going on is extended in the US version to fit the unnecessarily added dialogue.

As Jack stares, Rex says it’ll all be in good time… All in good time. (Japanese Rex is silent.)

Added Footage/Cut Footage (each about 2 seconds): This shot of Jack as Rex speaks is extended in the US version to cover the footage cut by removing the following shot of Yusei looking towards Rex, before the final shot of the episode with Goodwin looking down at Yusei.

Final Thoughts: This is one of my favorites in the Japanese version; it ends up as just a fun duel which gives more insight into Mukuro’s character, considering the few times he appeared was only to be entertainment for Jack.  I could do without all the trashtalking and unnecessary dialogue in the dubbed episode, but at least the spirit of things is kept.  The loss of the Japanese BGM is a shame, as always, since it was really good here; I still love hearing “Speed World” as they get started, and the aforementioned fade-out on “Yusei Fudo” for the big draw before bringing in “Yusei Battle” was fun.

Overall, decently handled.  Now, for some mind games!

Previous Episode                    Season 1                        Next Episode

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