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FUNimation Productions presents
Yu-Gi-Oh! #6: The Scars of Defeat (1996)

"Go look for an opponent you might actually beat, like an infant. Or a monkey."
- Kaiba (Eric Stuart)

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: April 24, 2003

Stars: Dan Green, Tara Jayne, Megan Hollingshead
Other Stars: Ted Lewis, Amy Birnbaum, Darren Dunstan, Wayne Grayson
Director: Various

Manufacturer: Newstyle
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (some cartoon violence)
Run Time: 01h:03m:48s
Release Date: January 14, 2003
UPC: 704400055027
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B B-B+B D+

DVD Review

This volume of Yu-Gi-Oh! goes a lot more into the mythology behind the cartoon, and I maintain my stance that kids enjoy the show because they like immersing themselves in a world totally foreign to their parents. This may explain Pokemon's decline in popularity—everyone and his mother knows what a "Pikachu" is these days (even if that guy on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? didn't know that Frodo wasn't a Pokemon), and it has lost its allure for the kiddies.

If that's true, Yu-Gi-Oh! will stay popular for much longer, as it is about twice as convoluted. It seems that thousands of years ago, the world was almost destroyed by Egyptian kings playing "Shadow Games," monster battles that eventually threatened to destroy the world. The power of the games was sealed in seven mysterious objects (Millennium Items). 5000 years later, Yu-Gi-Oh discovers one of these objects, and is entrusted with protecting it. I'm not quite sure where the actual games—duelers use cards to summon monsters that battle—fits in. Anyway, it seems there is more at stake than just winning the match. Yu-Gi-Oh is battling to save not only the world, but his grandfather, who was kidnapped or trapped in a card or something.

The plot-heavy episodes in this volume allow for more character moments, as when Yu-Gi faces a former opponent, Kaiba, who is also trying to save someone—his sister, trapped in a card. There is also the two-parter, Arena of Lost Souls, that takes our heroes into an alternate dimension, where all the rules of the game have changed, and where losing a duel can mean turning into a zombie. Not that I really have any idea what is going on. Most of the episodes are simply long duels, during which the characters spout rules and summon creatures, and since I don't know how to play the game, it's all as meaningless as my degree in Communications.

What I do like about this show is the animation and character designs. The monsters are a little bland, but the characters themselves have a unique look to them (particularly Yu-Gi, who has a stick-figure body and really cool hair). There is also a lot more movement than you might expect from a daily animated series, and the battles employ a lot of action and special effects. Now I just need a ten-year-old to explain the plot.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: This low-budget children's series looks fairly good on DVD. Colors are rich and show no bleeding or blooming. Detail is fairly good, as is black level. The source material looks fairly clean, and I noticed no intrusive grain or artifacting.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Audio is serviceable but simplistic. Dialogue is always clear, and is, along with the music and effects, evenly mixed across the front soundstage. There is no directionality, and the surrounds are mute throughout, but this stereo mix gets the job done.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
9 Other Trailer(s) featuring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shonen Jump, Kid Buu, Ultimate Muscle, Ultraman Tiga, Cubix, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Yu-Gi-Oh! #6: The Scars of Defeat, Yu-Gi-Oh! #7: Double Trouble Duel
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Monster Stats
  2. Your Move Music Video
  3. Music to Duel By Song Sampler
Extras Review: Note that, aside from a few small differences, this is the same set of extras that appears on Volume 5.There are a few extras specific to Yu-Gi-Oh!, including a music video for the song Your Move, a song sampler with a few minutes of music from the series, and a few pages of "monster stats" that I'm sure will be more meaningful to kids who know how to play the card game.

The bulk of the extra material, though, is an impressive array of promotional material advertising programming and toys from Fox and 4Kids! Home Video. There are clips for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shonen Jump, Kid Buu, Ultimate Muscle, Ultraman Tiga, Cubix, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Yu-Gi-Oh! #6: The Scars of Defeat, and Yu-Gi-Oh! #7: Double Trouble Duel. A surprise was the "sneak preview" of the new Ninja Turtles show hidden within one of the commercials; the five minute piece provides a nice look at the new series.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

Yu-Gi-Oh! is a serviceable anime aimed at children, one that will keep them entertained while not entirely boring parents. The stories are formulaic, but there is some continuity, and the characters are appealing. The DVD feels a bit lightweight with only three episodes, and I can't say I'm amused by all the blatant cross-promotion.


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