With all due respect to the great Mako Tsunami, this is probably one of the most inconsequential episodes in the entire series. Well into the first arc's "Pokemon phase" of meeting the foe of the day while hiking around Pegasus' island, there's virtually no character development, or plot progression to be found here. It's the show at its most harmless and it's no wonder that Little Kuriboh never did a full parody of this episode, as it does a fine job of parodying itself as it is.
Therefore, to try and analyze this episode would really be a case of grasping at the straws (or seaweed). Luckily, that's exactly what we're focused on doing here. So, lets do just that, and kick off another little over-analysis of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters.
The Story Leading Up to the Duel: A Letter of Complaint to Pegasus
As one would expect, not a lot ground to cover here this time. The gang get hungry, and eat certain freaky fish guy's fish. Then Yugi has to duel him. Well, actually, there is one thing: what kind of a game is Pegasus running here exactly? Is he really throwing the biggest tournament ever seen, where competitors literally have to catch their own meals with no housing or anything? I mean, granted, this tournament was probably gobbled together at the last minute so he could steal a necklace from a small child, but you would expect at least some class and standards from the Maximillion Pegasus.
The Duel: Still on the Baby Steps
So, this one's ocean themed. And, well, that's pretty much it. It's brief, simplistic, hasn't got much to do with the actual rules of the game, and is another reminder on just what an early phase of the show we still are in. Although, it did introduce the strategic element of dueling against monsters you can't see, which will be used to a much greater effect in the future. So there's that.
The Themes and Story within the Duel: Mako's Purpose
As there are virtually no themes to speak of in this one, we might as well talk about Mako: one of the most likably, archetypical supporting characters in the franchise. In short, he's a chipper, kind hearted guy who likes taking long swims in the ocean, and is always down for a card game. Did I mention that he likes the ocean? He doesn't like to be called a "Freaky Fish Guy," and is not above throwing a harpoon at you to make his point. When he gets enough money, he plans to buy a boat to search the Seven Seas for his long lost father and become the greatest fisherman ever to honor him.
Now about these future plans. One has got to assume that his father either really was taken by the sea, or survived and does not want to have anything to do with Mako for some reason. Otherwise the two must have had found each other by that point. So, his plan to go looking for him on the seven seas is probably just Mako's way of giving himself an incentive to go out in the world, and establish himself as a person (and play a card game or two along the way).
The Highlight of the Duel
Not too many here, but Atem's line, "Stone Soilder, destroy the moon," is one of these many lovely sentences you could literally only hear in this show.
Today's Card Trivia
- Gigant Soilder of Stone: At the time of this card's release, it was one of the most powerful Level three monsters in terms of ATK and DEF. Also, it's actually holding two swords. One is slightly hidden under his right arm, with only the tip of sword visible. So, you know, he's got layers.
- Fiend Kraken: Inspired by the legendary sea monster from Scandinavian, and Pirates of the Caribbean folklore (who in turn was most probably inspired by the sightings of giant squids), it's made doubly as awesome by the fact that it's not just your ordinary run-of-the-mill kraken, but a fiend one.
- Great White Terror: The artwork of this card resembles the theater poster for Jaws. As for the creature itself, the great white shark is notable for its size, with larger female individuals growing to 6.1 m (20 ft) in length. Their lifespan is estimated to be +70 years, and they are able to swim at speeds of over 56 km/h (35 mph) and to depths of 1,200 m (3,900 ft). The great white shark has no known natural predators other than on very rare occasions, the killer whale.
Changes in the Dub
- The text on Tristan's survival book is erased in the dub. Yup, that sounds like a survival book Tristan would use.
- A close up of a fish wriggling on Mako's harpoon is cut from the dub, because young impressionable viewers would be scarred for life by seeing the simple act of fishing.
- In the Japanese version, Mako's dad was indeed taken by the sea, while in the dub we have to analyse how on earth he has not found his father after all these years (see above).
- In the original, when Atem comes out of the puzzle, he is seen in the cone of light. In the dub, the whole transformation sequence is added. Well, of course it's added.
- Yugi has more land in the dub during the duel, because as we all know, the more high ground you have, the better.
'Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series' Quote of the Day
Yugi: Did you just throw a harpoon at me!?
Mako: I didn't want you to leave, and I wasn't sure how else I could get your attention.
Yugi: Just ask! Just say: Hey Yugi, could you stay a little longer? Don't lob a freaking harpoon at me. Seriously, that's like the rudest thing ever.
Mako: Hey Yugi, could you stay a little longer?
Yugi: Well, it isn't going to work now.
Mako might not have tact, but his heart is in the right place. I think.
Keeping the Score
- Number of major duels in the show: 5
- Number of major friendship speeches: 0 (show's overall count: 5)
- Monologues on the heart of the cards: 0 (show's overall count: 3)
- Yugi's overall victory count: 3
- Yugi's overall losing count: 1
- Mako's overall victory count: 0
- Mako's overall losing count: 1
- Main character drawing just the right card at the last second trope: 1 (show's overall count 4)
About the Creator
So, to put it simply (and slightly cheesily) I'm fascinated with life. And, well, writing about films, TV shows, video games, music, travelling, philosophy and Formula 1 among other is a fun way to explore it.