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Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, TV Tokyo
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Okay, some years after the original Yu-Gi-Oh! series, there's a Duel Academy high school where students learn to duel. Or rather, hone their skills; they have to win a duel as an entrance exam before even being accepted into the Academy. Anyway, at the start of the series, a duelist named Jaden Yuki joins the Academy. He gets bad grades, but he's got alot of skill at dueling. One of the teachers at Duel Academy, a rather weird guy whose gender is often called into question, Dr. Vellian Crowler (who likes to expell weak students) doesn't seem to like him. But Jaden makes some friends, including one of the top duelists, Alexis Rhodes, and another new student, Syrus Truesdale. Oh, and I should probably mention that in the first episode, Jaden receives a Winged Kuriboh card from Yugi Muto (in a cameo appearance), and now Jaden can actually see and hear the spirit of that card.

Anyway, the Academy is divided up into three groups, each with their own dorms. The lowest-ranked dorm is Slifer Red, and that's the dorm Jaden gets into, along with Syrus and a sort of koala-looking guy named Chumley Huffington (who, btw, duels with mostly koala cards). At the end of the first season, Chumley leaves the Academy to work as a card designer for Industrial Illusions. Slifer students are often called "Slifer Slackers," and Crowler especially despises them. In the first season, the professor of Slifer dorm was Lyman Banner, who had a pet cat named Pharaoh. By the end of the season, however, Prof. Banner would be gone (for reasons I don't want to spoil here), but Pharaoh would stick around. The mid-level dorm is Ra Yellow, and Jaden eventually could have advanced to that dorm, but declined, to stay with his friends in Slifer Red. One of Jaden's new friends is Bastion Misawa, who is a Ra Yellow student. The top ranked dorm is Obelisk Blue, of which Crowler is the professor. Alexis is an Obelisk. So is Sy's older brother, Zane Truesdale, the top-ranked duelist at the Academy. In the second season, he leaves the Academy for the Pro League. Another Obelisk is Chazz Princeton, a rich and arrogant duelist who doesn't seem to like Jaden or the Slifers much. He obtains a few cards- Ojama Yellow, Black, and Green- whose spirits appear to him like Jaden's Winged Kuriboh, but they're really annoying. They like him, but he can't stand them. Anyway, in the second season, Chazz is in the Slifer Red dorm, for reasons that I must have missed.

Well, there are various other minor characters, both students and faculty. The Academy's chancellor is a fairly decent guy named Sheppard. And there's a woman named Ms. Dorothy who works in the Academy's card shop. And the supervisor of the female Obelisk dorm is Fonda Fontaine, who is also a gym instructor. And of course Alexis has a couple of roommates, Mindy and Jasmine. And occasionally Chazz's older brothers, Slade and Jagger, show up. They're each very important in their own fields, and bully Chazz to try to be the best duelist. And then there's a bunch of other characters of little or no importance....

Anyway, I think most of the series is fairly silly and pointless, but I still like it, more or less. And there are some story arcs that I guess have some kind of point to them, even if they never seem quite as important as those from the original series. The major story arc from season one was the Shadow Riders, an evil group who wanted to acquire some sacred beast cards that the Academy was guarding. One of the Shadow Riders was called Nightshroud, who turned out to be Alexis' long lost brother Atticus. Once freed from the influence of Shadow Riders, he became a good guy again. Another Shadow Rider was a vampire named Camula. And, well, there were five others (though the only one of them that much interested me was Amnael, for reasons I won't reveal). Plus their leader, Kagemaru, who the good guys had to defeat after the seven Shadow Riders. Of course, lots of other stuff happened in season one, too. Like one time, Dark Magician Girl showed up in person. That was odd, but cool. Possibly my favorite episode.

The second season introduces some new characters, including a famous pro-duelist named Aster Phoenix, and his manager, Sartorius, who is the head of the "Society of Light," though apparently Aster has no knowledge of the Society. But Sartorius recruits Chazz for the Society, as well as lots of other students, eventually taking over Obelisk Blue and turning it White. I guess. And um, then there's something called "Neo-Space," and I guess its inhabitants (Neo-Spacians) are enemies of the Society of Light, and a humanoid dolphin named Aquos recruits Jaden for their cause (which seems just ridiculous, to me, but whatever). Another new character is Tyranno Hassleberry, who's a new Ra Yellow student who becomes a friend of Jaden. He ends up staying in Jaden and Sy's room in Slifer Red, though, along with Chazz. Though later Sy advances to Ra Yellow, himself. I should also mention that while Chancellor Sheppard is away, Crowler is now serving as temporary chancellor of Duel Academy. And there's a vice-chancellor named Jean Louis Bonaparte, who wants to demolish the Slifer Red dorm. But eventually Sheppard returns.

Things don't exactly return to normal, though. Well, I'm sure I missed a number of episodes, so I didn't follow everything that happened. But more and more students join the Society, including Alexis. And we learn more about Aster's motivations; while at first he seemed to me to be a villain, perhaps mostly because of his association with Sartorius, eventually he turns out to be a good guy. And there's a brief arc where Solomon Muto shows up, while the students are on a field trip. The heroes also meet Sarina, who is Sartorius' sister. She says Sartorius has been possessed by an evil force and she wants them to help free her brother (which totally seems like a rip-off of the Ishizu/Marik plot from the original series). And later there's a GX Tournament at the Academy, I missed how that started, but... I dunno, lots of stuff happened. Stuff about Aster's father, stuff about Aster's guardian, a champion duelist called "The D," stuff about Zane, stuff about destiny, stuff about some prince named Ojin, stuff about a satellite that could be used to make everyone in the world "see the light," etc. Of course we learn the true nature of the being possessing Sartorius, and um... I dunno, everything turns out good in the end. And everything goes back to normal, pretty much.

In the third season, students from other duel academies come to the one from the show here, including Jesse Anderson, Adrian Gecko, Axel Brodie, Jim Cook (and his crocodile, Shirley). Jesse (who people remark is alot like Jaden in various ways, including his ability to see duel monster spirits) and Jim both become allies of our heroes. But there's also a professor named Thelonius Viper, who teaches at the same academy Axel is from. Viper institutes a series of "survival duels" at the academy, with all the students wearing "bio-bands" that drain their energy when they lose. Or um, I guess even when they win. Axel was working for Viper, but will eventually be betrayed and so turn against him. Adrian, meanwhile, is a rich kid (which obviously makes him a rival to Chazz), who seems to know what Viper is up to and wants to stop his evil plan. I guess. And of course all the regular main characters will also try to stop Viper. Most of the students at the academy, however, are being drained of their energy, which becomes a major medical crisis Crowler and Bonaparte will have to deal with, as Sheppard seems to be absent once again. Though Fonda will be the one most burdened with all the ailing students, and trying to force the reluctant Crowler to deal with the problem....

Um, eventually the show stopped airing. I may have missed some eps, I forget, but I really don't think the whole series even aired on any channel I get. I could be wrong, of course....


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