We’ve all seen at least one of these. A shot of a character’s hand is shown for a split second. You might get a preview of what they’ll be playing soon. Other times, they don’t play those cards – but the cards shown still make sense for that character’s Deck theme… most of the time. Here, I’ve listed some such examples from the first NAS Yu-Gi-Oh! anime.
This is something that the dub is notorious for changing, leading to the infamous “Yugi and Arkana both have Ra in their hands” incident. From something that major to Monster Reborn suddenly becoming Monster Reincarnation, such changes are everywhere. This article is strictly talking about the Japanese version though. Keep in that mind when we get to some of the odder examples.
We all recall the early weirdness in Duelist Kingdom. Let’s add some more to it, shall we? In episode 11, Jonouchi (Joey) has what appears to be Kuriboh in his hand – long before Kuriboh’s official anime debut. Now fast forward to Yugi’s defeat of Pegasus at the end of the arc. Pegasus drops his Deck at this point. One of the cards is Killer Needle. Sure, why not?!
Dartz, the man responsible for every bad thing ever (except for those things that Vector is responsible for instead, apparently). His Ritual Monster, Mirror Knight Calling was Summoned by Tributing a Timeater he had in his hand. Seems a bit odd with the rest of his Deck being Orichalcos monsters, but think of about Dartz’s origins – over 10,000 years old and still kicking.
The Virtual World arc. Remembered fondly by some for the Deck Master concept while also derided for stopping Battle City in its tracks. What was its stand-out moment for me? Jonouchi and Kaiba both having Double Snare in their hands for no reason, of course (episodes 111 and 108 respectively). Speaking of Kaiba, he also had Magic Reflector there as well. Too bad he had no Spell Cards that stay face-up in that entire arc, though…
Valon also has some interesting cards. Though most of his deck was Armor monsters and their support cards, he has Kishido Spirit and My Body as a Shield in his hand after Jonouchi attacks him with Lord of the Red. The former’s effect would certainly be helpful in his deck and also represents his desire to beat Jonouchi. My Body as a Shield also fits quite well.
The KC Grand Prix featured the return of Rebecca. Here, she uses an Anti-Cure Deck of sorts, while also abusing Graceful Charity like last time. Her discards here are interesting – among them are Cure Mermaid in episode 189 (which makes sense with her Deck) and Ring of Magnetism in episode 192 (no doubt a reference to her previous Duel). However, also among the cards in her hand is Polymerization in episode 192, which sort of teases us into thinking about what kind of fusions she’d use. Too bad she never does.
In Rafael’s first duel, he several of these shots. Episode 158 shows him with My Body as a Shield, Rod of the Mind’s Eye and Wicked Breaking Flamberge – Baou. The first card is perfectly in line with his “protect my monsters” philosophy. Rod of the Mind’s Eye stumps me here; not sure what it as doing there. Baou offers the implication that he did have the other Guardian monster that was released around this time but simply never got around to playing it.
I’ve saved my favorite for last. Let’s take a look at Rafael’s hand in episode 176. This shot is from just after Yugi Summons Dark Magician Girl. You can see Purity of the Cemetery, The Seal of Orichalcos and Soul Hunting. He later plays all of those. Now let’s check the other cards. First we have Kishido Spirit, which is representative of Rafael’s desire to never let his precious monsters hit the Graveyard. Next is Dimension Distortion, which naturally fits in just as Kishido Spirit does – he often removes his monsters from play. Finally, we have Spell of Pain. This one may not be immediately apparent, but remember when Marik used that card? In the anime, it also works on battle damage. Rafael is often taking more damage than most Duelists to protect his monsters. As such, Spell of Pain would help mitigate that.
So there are some of the more interesting examples of Yu-Gi-Oh! Each of the four series has a number of these, so we’ll cover those soon enough!
A big thank you to WinterNightmare, a fellow editor of the Yu-Gi-Oh! wiki for the Rafael and Rebecca shots!