Before I begin with I would like to take a moment for Kazuki Takahashi, the Creator of Yu-Gi-Oh! who has recently passed. Thank you for creating such an awesome series that I have so many memories of from childhood! Thank you for all of the wonderful works you have shared with us all these years! Rest in Peace…
At last, it’s time for Yusei to have his fateful rematch against Kiryuu, and we finally get to see the whole story of how Team Satisfaction fell apart. What I found the most interesting however was how surprisingly unreliable Yusei’s view of Kiryuu’s character was. Sure, there was a time when he was a good friend, but after they conquered the entirety of Satellite, Kiryuu had changed. And for that reason, I honestly find it both interesting and perplexing how Yusei talks about how Kiryuu “never like this” and how he “cared about them more than anyone else”. Instead, what I see Kiryuu as someone who evolved into selfish, ruthless and cruel duelist who he personally chose to hunt and seek to destroy his “enemies” for his own satisfaction. In fact, it is actually chilling to see just how much Kiryuu had descended into this mad obsession.
Meanwhile, we have Yusei, Jack and Crow all ready to move onto something else and head their separate ways. Ultimately, the catalyst to the beginning of the disbandment was when Kiryuu went off the rails, exhibiting much of the ruthless and cruel behavior much like how he is now as a Dark Signer. Eventually it got to a point where Crow was the first to snap, and his departure was imeaditely followed by Jack. Yusei decided to stay by Kiryuu’s side, but his last straw was when Kiryuu suggested they fight the Security as ‘Team Satisfaction Final Opponent’. It was a suicide mission he did not want to be a part of, and left the team hoping that his departure would dissuade Kiryuu from pursuing it. Unfortunately for him, Kiryuu has evolved into a full blown maniac who decided to provoke Security into fighting him by bombing their headquarters.
Hell, Kiryuu was so unhinged at this point, that even when Yusei, Jack and Crow had returned to his side in attempt to help him escape from Security who were out to arrest him, it fell deaf to his ears. Instead he couldn’t even fathom the idea of them not fighting with him. And then when he came to facing Security, Kiryuu ended up contributing to getting an officer into an accidentally, and went as far as attempting to finish him off. If it weren’t for Yusei, he would have murdered the guy right then and there, and his punishment would have certainly been even worse than what he had already described to have gone through in prison.
Which leads me to the next point: Kiryuu sure loved blaming everyone for betraying/leaving him when he has nobody to blame but himself. For god’s sake, Yusei claims he failed putting enough trust in their bonds to save him and it was a mistake to try and take the fall for him– but I call bullshit on that. Out of the three, it was Yusei who tried his hardest to save him. After-all, he was the one who stuck around when the other two left, and he was also the one tried to get Kiryuu to call off his plans to attack Security, going as far as choosing to leave because he felt like that was the only way left to get him to stop him from doing something so stupid. On top of that, what the fuck did Kiryuu expect to happen by attacking security? Clearly he was so blinded for battle that he didn’t stop to think of the consequences he would face regardless whether he wins or lose. So when he started going on about how retaliation he faced in prison and how he lost his deck, I rolled my eyes so hard because maybe… gee I don’t know… MAYBE IF HE DIDN’T DECIDE TO BOMB SECURITY HEADQUARTERS HE WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN IN THIS POSITION IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?!
With that said, it is precisely why it it quite tragic how Yusei was willing to go as far as taking the fall for Kiryuu’s heinous crimes. Unfortunately his attempt only lead to an unfortunate misunderstanding that brewed when the Security arrested Kiryuu, the head had patted Yusei on the shoulder and Kiryuu saw this as a sign of being sold out by him.
In the end, Kiryuu never owned up for his own actions, not even during his dying breath. He said ‘he couldn’t hate him enough’, which I don’t count as an apology if it was supposed to be one, and expressing his embarrassment of how this battle/revenge left him unsatisfied. And frankly, that’s the only fitting conclusion to this battle because he certainly doesn’t deserve the gratification of satisfaction.
That said, I must say my reaction to this episode twelve years later is quite jarring if you were to compare to how I first felt about it during my first time watching the series back in 2009. You can see the difference in reaction here in my first edition of the coverage I did in the entry of this episode back in 2010. (Quick Note for New Readers: The blog entry had only been written in 2010 when I decided I wanted to cover it and tried catching up to the latest episode ASAP. Unfortunately the coverage back then was forced to be dropped due to being crippled by Tendonitis for 9 months). I think the most distinctive difference this time round is noting how Kiryuu’s behavior turned into something that wasn’t all that different from how he behaved as a Dark Signer. As result, it sort of changed the degree of my emotional response to the scene. However while I didn’t cry this time round (though perhaps it’s also because I have watched this series a number of times already so it doesn’t quite hit the same way the first and second viewing), just seeing Kiryuu cradled in Yusei’s arms did pull my heart-strings a bit. Only this time I was still mostly sad on Yusei’s behalf. He wanted to save Kiryuu, but like every other Dark Signer (with the exception of Carly who was murdered by Divine), because they have traded their lives for power, when they disappear.
Finally to wrap things up, this entry would be incomplete if I didn’t take a moment to talk about Stardust Dragon’s alter form into Majestic Star Dragon. The power of friendship enacted the Crimson Dragon’s powers and pulled everyone’s mark together to become united and whole again to bring forward a special new tuner card: Majestic Dragon. Such a cute little thing to come out of it, hahaha!
Now with Kiryuu out of the picture, Yusei will be confronting Rudger. I do hope the episode aged well because it was among some of my favourite episodes of the Dark Signer Arc.
Next Entry: Wednesday, August 31, 2022!
08.31.2022 Update: I’ve been really burned out this month, so I decided it would be in my best interest to give myself another month and push the next release for September 28th, 2022 instead.
Thanks for understanding.