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August 28, 2017

So Yu-Gi-Oh is basically JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.

And vice versa, maybe?  It’s possible.  But having put some time into Yu-Gi-Oh Arc-V (and Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged) recently -- and all four parts of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure months prior to that -- it’s getting harder and harder for me to ignore the similarities between the two.  I guess that’s to be expected when JoJo has been around for more than thirty years and had a massive influence on popular culture (in Japan for sure, but it’s seeping into the west).  Arguably, any given Joe Blow could make a post titled “So Pokémon is basically JoJo”, as an example.   Still…boy, there are some glaring similarities.

So let’s go over a few of them.  Maybe then, it won’t be as utterly mortifying for me anyone to admit that they’re watching a show built around a freaking card game.

Now then.  Here’s a list of things that Yu-Gi-Oh and JoJo have in common.

--In YGO, virtually all of the important characters have “ace monsters” in their decks.  These are analogous to Stands, least of all because they stand within arm’s reach of their players.

--Duels are basically Stand battles, only with ironclad turns in place.  Fights boil down to using crazy moves and strategies to outwit foes, not just raw power levels.  (Except when attack points are involved, but work with me here.)

--In JoJo, various Stand abilities -- and the power of Hamon versus vampires -- are such that battles are decided with one clean hit on a foe.  In YGO, even if there’s a 10,000-point difference in life points, it’s still possible to land a one-turn kill.

 --The willing suspension of disbelief is a must for both franchises.

--There is a distressingly high number of smug rival/enemy characters in both franchises that you want to see humiliated and/or beaten (violently if possible) immediately.

--In JoJo, each progressive part stars a lead with “Jo” worked into their name.  In YGO, each progressive part stars a lead with “Yu” worked into their name.

--Incidentally (and relatively speaking), both franchises’ third protagonist is a stoic badass.

--No matter where you look, the character designs are positively outlandish -- which is made progressively truer as each franchise ages.

--Coats in both franchises defy all conceivable laws of physics, and/or have basically been drenched in starch.

--Many poses will be struck in both.

--Engrish runs rampant, but is always appreciable whenever it appears.

--On average, the color palette in both could be summarized as “eclectic”.

--Lampshades will rarely, if ever, be hung on the absurdities of each franchise’s day-to-day lives and moment-to-moment plot developments.  Card games on motorcycles are generally left without comment, and the same applies for horned Aztec bodybuilders who double as evolved vampires.

--Despite the meme-worthy nature of both and goofy moments, both franchises will go out of their way to venture into darker territory -- to the point where murder itself is the least child-unfriendly element in their respective stories.

--Getting a proper education is not always a high priority for the characters, many of whom -- despite not even being out of high school -- will abandon their classrooms at the drop of a hat for adventure and/or high-stakes tournaments.

--Egypt and its mythology/culture play a big part in one of each franchise’s parts.

Is that everything?  Probably not.  But now it’s time for me to move on to the real reason why I made this post -- because surprise, surprise, this isn’t just a click-baiting shitpost.  Well, not entirely.

When I said I put time into Arc-V, I meant it.  As it stands, I’m about 110+ episodes in; typically the nature of the show makes it so that many encounters end up being two -parters.  (There’s another JoJo similarity for you.)  Because of that, I’m inclined to make more posts on the show in the future -- because boy is there a lot to talk about there.

In a nutshell, though?  Even if it is cringe-worthy to invest so much into a show that’s VERY easy to make fun of, I don’t regret the time I’ve sent with it.  I enjoyed it, and for the most part I’m continuing to enjoy it.  One of my biggest gripes about it is that, for a show built on action and movement, the animation consistently lets down on that front.  Are there times when it looks good?  You bet.  But more often than not, the show (designs aside) ranges from fine to not great.  Not QUALITY level, but damn close to it on occasion.  Then again, you could leverage the same complaint at JoJo.

There’s another one!  Also?  Both franchises make me pine for in-episode animation that ALWAYS matches the quality of the openings.  Yeah, I know it’s unfeasible given budget issues, but…just let me dream, please.

I do have other issues with the show besides something as superficial as looks -- and I get the feeling that pretty soon, things will get worse before they get better.  But by and large, I’m digging Arc-V.  It’s much stronger and deeper than it has any right to be, given that it’s at least partially-built on making sure Konami lines its pockets.  I’m intrigued by the prospects of the story, and I have fond memories of the stuff that’s happened so far.  You can’t begin to guess how many times I’ve gotten a huge smile on my face (matched only by the amount of times I’ve recoiled in horror).  By extension?  I’m a guy who only cares about spoilers when there’s something I really care about -- but the temptation to spoil the “truth” behind Arc-V gets stronger by the day…partially because YouTube video recommendations keep trying to screw me over.  I swear the same thing happened with JoJo.  (Ding!)

So on that note?  There’s a problem.  See, I’ve been heading over to Crunchyroll to watch the subtitled episodes, and it’s worked out for me.  The problem is that (as of this post) the well has been sucked dry.  There’s been a message in the sidebar for months now, saying that unforeseen issues have prevented the site from uploading more.  At first, I was like “Eh, it’s no big deal.  You guys say more episodes will show up in mid-July?  No problem.  You’ve given me plenty of episodes to act as a buffer.”  Now August is on its way out, and as far as I can tell, there’s only been one new episode added.  And no ETA on when the next one -- be it a batch or a single entry -- will show up.

That’s not a good situation to be in when you have so many questions about the show and you have no hope of getting an answer until the gods smile upon you.

I guess that means I’m stuck for now.  Relatively speaking; I have MORE than enough material to make a post on Arc-V as-is.  I would’ve guessed that I’d do more than just this hypothetical post, but head-scratching developments in the story have put the kibosh on that.  So the way things are looking, I’ll do one post soon(ish) on the show, and another finale/wrap up post(s) if and when the other episodes show up on Crunchyroll.  It doesn’t seem like there are many to go, at least if the folders on TV Tropes’ Nightmare Fuel page for the show is anything to go boy.

Speaking of which?  That page is distressingly long, yet utterly justified in its length.  A quick look at the other YGO Nightmare Fuel pages shows me stuff that’s not nearly as long.  So unless VRAINS comes from behind and swipes the crown -- which is entirely possible, given that it’s fresh on the circuit -- it looks like I chose a hell of a place to get reinvested in the franchise.

And that’s about all I’ve got for now.  I can’t say that this is going to become a YGO blog from here on -- I don’t own a single card, after all -- but there is more stuff to come.  Look forward to it.  Or don’t.  Wouldn’t blame you for it; there are some nerds who aren’t as willing as I to dive into the black depths of the rabbit hole.

I can handle it, though.  I’m getting amped up for Kamen Rider Build, after all.


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