Humor crams into abridged ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’
There are thousands of young people out there who have made "Yu-Gi-Oh!" a certifiable phenomenon nationwide. There are thousands more people who look at those thousands of young people and wonder how they can possibly stand watching episode after episode about ... a card game.
The latter group might have a point. As far as I can tell, this is the typical content of a "Yu-Gi-Oh!" episode ... at least, the part I actually had the patience to watch:
Kaiba: "I throw down DARK SORCERER! Not only does it cast Twilight Star Power on your Twin Golem, it also CALLS FORTH the most powerful monster in my deck! And that would be ... (dramatic pause) ... the BLUE EYES WHITE DRAGON!"
Yugi: "Forsooth and anon! I then throw down my SPIRITUAL SIPHON card, which REVERSES the effects of Twilight Star Power AND drains your Blue Eyes White Dragon by 1,500 HIT POINTS!"
The whole process can get rather tiring after being stretched out for several episodes.
Fortunately, there's "Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series," the Internet creation of a Briton who goes by the user name of LittleKuriboh. He re-edited large chunks of "Yu-Gi-Oh!" into six- to seven-minute episodes, did all the voices himself, added in a healthy serving of pop culture references and served it up as a parody of the original series for older viewers to enjoy.
And it works. The parody version riffs on 4Kids' dub of the series, "Neon Genesis Evangelion," "Beavis and Butt-Head" and "Time Warp" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," among many references.
Characters also develop rather unique personalities. For instance, Mai Valentine, one of the more ... curvy characters, keeps acknowledging that she's hot in the parody version. A character with a stars-and-stripes bandanna, Bandit Keith, becomes a flag-waving patriot who always ends his sentences with "... in America."
The abbreviated version also makes for some humorous exchanges:
Kaiba: "I'm here for your Blue Eyes, old man, and I won't take 'no' for an answer."
Kaiba: "Curses, foiled again."
"YGO: The Abridged Series" was a YouTube sensation before YouTube started pulling episodes, possibly out of copyright infringement concerns, possibly because of another user's complaint. (This is a children's show being turned into a romp for older audiences, after all.)
In response, a new Web site was created; find 22 episodes, the Abridged Movie and the Christmas special at www.yugiohtheabridgedseries.com ...
Meeting roll call
» Oahu Anime Explorer: 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday. This month, the group will be shifting from its usual meeting place at HMC Academy; visit www.oahuanimeexplorer.com
for site details, as well as the monthly trivia question and anime that will be screened ...
Cel Shaded, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. Reach Jason S. Yadao