Maybe I’m being unreasonable, buuuut….. I’m really, really tired of YGO fandom’s habit of treating Takahashi’s concepts and ideas as being 'sacrosanct' and thinking that he intended the spin-off series to follow the same path as DM, as far as their underlying mythology, world-building and overall fantasy concepts are concerned.
I mean, there is a case to be made for inconsistency if you insist that world-ending shit should only be going down when Millennium Items are concerned…. but that, honestly, is incredibly boring. One, what do you do when there are no more such items in play? Two, the ancient Egyptians were not the be-all-and-end-all where mysticism, creation myths and concepts of humanity-communicating-with-what-lies beyond are concerned. What of the early medieval hermetic scholars who established the basis of alchemy as both the precursor to modern chemistry and a philosophical system concerned with the change in the individual? What of the native South American cultures, from Aztec to Quechua, which are still alive and vibrant to this day? What of ancient Babylon? Ur? Uruk? Akkad? What of ancient Rome and its cutthroat society games, or the principalities of the Holy Roman Empire? What of the Atlantis of legends?
Elements from most of the cultures listed above appear throughout YGO, from DM to Zexal. GX introduced tarot and hermetic alchemy as both aspects of the game and more subtle systems of symbolism woven through the narrative, along with elements of South American mythologies. 5Ds picked up where the other left off and was suffused with the marks of Quechua/Peruvian culture, whereas Zexal is more of a melange of various ancient civilizations that influence the present, one way or the other. All of this without even getting into the Atlantis-themed DOMA arc.
Most of the additions only served to enrich the world of YGO, to make it apparent that this is a place where the theory of multiple worlds/universes is in play, where mythology is real, where gods exist, albeit not in forms we’re used to, when they can act through humans, can mark them with their power and change them, for good or ill (see Crimson Dragon and the Earthbound Gods as very good examples for this, though the Light of Destruction and its habit of using thralls fits the bill as well. The very same for Don Thousand). In YGO, dueling is ritual, even in the most casual of circumstances. Through Duel Monsters, the narrative tells us, one can see the heart of another, their worries and fears, their aspirations and ambitions. Dueling in YGO is a focus for power, an ancient way of communing with otherworldly energies, of opening doors that were shut and paying homage to the gods, just as much as it is a sport and a fun past-time for the vast majority of the people who never get tossed in end-of-the-world shenanigans.
Thus the question naturally rises — if humanity can interact with the divine. with other planes of existence and other beings, why limit the narrative to only one people, one culture, one pantheon and one way of wielding power? There are mythologies that see spirits in animals, plants and even places tied to very strong memories. There are creation myths where the act of imagining something, shaping its image and speaking its name makes it as real as flesh and blood.
Isn’t that such a waste, limiting yourself, in a world so diverse?
This is an amazing post. Wonderfully written and pointing out everything I love about all the different series, which kind of ties in to the answer to your last question.
The reason some people choose to write down that one straight and narrow path in regards to the Items and powers, is simply due to the fact that DM is the only series they’ve given a chance to. The other three series aren’t to their taste or interest, so they brush them entirely.
GX is goofy and silly looking and full of rap. 5D’s boils down to card games on motorcycles. And Zexal is just plain ridiculous looking.
Those three examples right there, as much as I detest them, are reasons why people won’t give those series a chance. It’s ironic, actually, to think that if they actually did give them a chance, and look past those fandom stereotypes, they’d actually see a series that was possibly deeper and darker than their view of DM was.
I love that each of the series went in different directions when it comes to mythology and power, and how everyone uses and abuses it. It opens the doors to so many possibilities when it comes to interpretation or exploration of surrounding myths. GX used hermetic alchemy? What else was similar to that field in the era that it became famous? 5D’s dug into Peruvian culture? Surely there’s got to be a SLEW of extra myths and legends that extends past the etchings on the Nazca Plains. And hell, Zexal touches on everything, which is basically inviting everything else to come play.
Don’t try and limit yourself to a world that’s so rich and varied. It’s a beautiful collection of imagery and heart once you start digging through the layers of each of them, and the myths and legends they use to enhance each series only makes them more incredibly gorgeous.
Kotori’s fashion wardrobe appreciation post
I just absolutely love Kotori’s adorable clothes omg i rEALLY WANT HER CLOSET
Under the understanding that certain characters - often the female ones - get not as much development as their main and/or male counterparts, I have to admit something.
I. Don’t. Care.
I will GIVE those female characters the development they need in order to be fully believable as characters. So that people can believe in them. So that it’s not as though this guy the fandom loves suddenly cares for someone who has a ‘flat’ character.
There aren’t enough female characters in anime in the first place. I’m not going to ignore the ones we ARE given, just because the writers - or even the animators - did a potentially bad job on them.
Remember to celebrate the little victories.
If you managed not to pick for a few minutes,
If you only picked at one spot instead of all of them,
If you picked at all except one,
If you put on some ointment and a bandage instead,
If you went out regardless of how bad you felt about your skin,
If you got out of bed,
If you only made it to the door,
If you spent one less minute in front of the mirror,
If you walked around your house without makeup or covering up,
If you opened up to someone even a little bit,
Even if you end up picking yourself to pieces later, if you had any sort of moment of reprieve,
No matter what the little victory is, it’s important to celebrate those moments because even the slightest change in routine can lead to something more. And even the smallest break from this madness is amazing.