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Yu-gi-oh 5D’s Vol. #02 Manga Review

4 min read

The D1 Grand Prix is kicking off and revving into high gear.

Creative Staff
Story: Masahiro Hikokubo
Art: Masashi Sato
Translation/English Adaptation: Taylor Engel, Ian Reid

What They Say:
In New Domino City, the hottest game in town is the Turbo Duel, fought from blazingly fast motorcycles called Duel Runners. On the outskirts of New Domino City, in a district known as Satellite, a new Turbo Duel hero emerges–Yusei Fudo! On his custom-built Duel Runner, Yusei takes on all challengers, fighting for his friends and the future of Satellite!
Yusei enters the D1 Grand Prix, hoping for a chance to duel Jack Atlas. There are new rivals and new duels to fight and the competition will be fierce. Can Yusei battle his way to the top, or is he destined to crash and burn?

The Review!
It’s finally time for the D1 Grand Prix, and the contestants soon gather at the starting line of this exciting tournament. Just to rub in how awesome he is, Jack rides in on his giant hamster wheel and calls all of the other duelists losers before proclaiming his supremacy. After Jack’s ego is satisfied, the first pairing is announced: Yusei versus the American giant Greiger. Yusei makes sure to cut things bafflingly close, and arrives at the last possible second before he would be disqualified, starting the duel. As expected the two trade off equally ridiculous moves to perfectly counter their opponent, with Yusei even being forced to stop Greiger from pulling off a one turn kill. This continues till Greiger summons out his ultimate monster and begins bombarding the field with his “sense.” Just when it looks like Yusei is doomed, he flips over a few handy trap cards and crushes Greiger, destroying his opponent’s duel runner with his powerful new “cross sense” in the process.

The next duel is between Akiza and her former classmate and fellow psychic duelist Sherry Leblanc. Though Akiza starts strong and summons a powerful monster right away, Sherry soon shows that psychic powers are actually real for once in this series by seeing what Akiza sees and as such reading Akiza’s hand with her abilities. This allows her to use cards that force Akiza to discard her entire hand constantly and take damage in the process, which is for some reason considered “skill” instead of bafflingly broken cheating. Akiza on the other hand gets the totally useful psychic power to see what cards she draws without looking at them. Fortunately, this means she can use her useless power to actually use one of the cards she draws instead of instantly discarding it, but to do so she has to close her eyes and drive her duel runner blind. It all somehow works out and Akiza is able to pull off a win.

Next, we see the cocky duelist Crow Hogan try to befriend Yusei, and then win his first duel in a single turn. Finally, Yusei ends up in a duel against the gangster Hunter Pace. Continuing with the proud tradition of cheating, Hunter tampers with Yusei’s duel runner before the match, making it so that he can’t accelerate properly. Hunter decides to make matter worse for Yusei by playing a massively defensive deck, making it difficult for Yusei to win before losing the racing part of the duel. Things look hopeless for our hero, but fortunately he is able to breach his opponent’s defenses and pull off a win in the process. The volume ends by revealing that Sect is in possession of the mysterious and presumably evil Shadow Card, for which the tournament organizers are searching.

In Summary:
As with the first volume, this book remains an absolutely ridiculous take on the Yu-gi-oh franchise. Jack’s pompousness reaches high enough heights here that it becomes unintentionally hilarious, and while the book tries to give Akiza’s character depth, it comes off silly as it roots her background in yet another ridiculous concept. Fortunately, there are more duels here than in the last volume, and at least two of them actually play out in a somewhat logical manner (for Yu-gi-oh at least.) On the flip side, half the duels in this volume are centered squarely on opponents whose entire “strategy” is to blatantly cheat, which kind of throws off the dynamic of things. Akiza’s duel in particular may just be the most cheating ever seen in the series (an impressive feat to be sure), made all the more frustrating by the characters in series playing this off as completely fair. Still, if you’re in for some insane duels and don’t mind some cheating, there’s plenty to be had here.

Content Grade: C+
Art Grade: B
Package Rating: B+
Text/Translation Rating: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released by: Viz Media
Release Date: February 7th, 2012
MSRP: $9.99