|“||Get your game on!||„|
|~ Judai Yuki|
Judai Yuki, known as Jaden Yuki in the 4Kids dub, is one of the main protagonists of the trading card game Yu-Gi-Oh!. He is a headstrong, fun-loving, and talented Duelist, who is the main protagonist of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX.
He was voiced by KENN, who also voiced Kouki Tsubasa in Digimon Data Squad, in the Japanese version and Matthew Charles in the English version.
Judai's character design was overseen by Kenichi Hara. Judai's usual outfit consists of the standard Osiris Red uniform, unbuttoned, and a black shirt underneath. In season four, the normal Osiris Red uniform pants were replaced by jeans. A deck box is strapped above his waistline, largely hidden beneath the lower rim of his jacket. In the first episode he is seen wearing a high school uniform similar to the one worn by Yugi Muto, though colored black instead of blue. His brown hair is sectioned in two layers, similar to that of Anna Kozuki's, and rather reminiscent of a Kuriboh. His brown eyes are positioned directly beneath the bangs of the layer closest to his face. He carries a Duel Academia-issued duel disk on his left arm.
In the Japanese version, Judai rarely uses honorifics, and his speech pattern could be considered rude as a result, similar to Katsuya Jonouchi's. He is voiced by KENN.
In the dub, Judai has several catchphrases associated with him. He begins almost every duel with the phrase "Get your game on!" and often says some variation of "I'll throw down a face-down" when setting cards. He also occasionally uses the phrase "Here goes something" when drawing in a desperate situation. Judai tends to speak in stereotypical '90s slang, calling people "bro" and advising opponents to "chill." He is also noted for saying "A Duel's not over till the last card is played!" which is likely Judai's way of expressing his belief in the Heart of the Cards. In the Japanese version, Judai sometimes says "Is that so?" when he is about to turn the tables and win the Duel. He often says "and that's game!" when he wins.
In both the English and Japanese versions, Judai will wink and point two fingers at a defeated opponent. In the dub, he says "That's game"; in the Japanese version Judai says "Gaccha! Tanoshii dyueru dattaze" ("Gotcha! That was a fun Duel"), or simply "Gaccha!".
Judai loves dueling and believes that all problems can ultimately be solved through it. He keeps going no matter how hard things get or how hopeless it seems, with a few exceptions (though it takes little encouragement for him to start fighting again), although he does sometimes doubt himself. He always shows respect towards his opponents, with a few exceptions, even complimenting them during a duel. Judai shows little interest in areas outside of dueling, which extends to his classes. When he chooses to attend them, he generally falls asleep. Despite his low grades, he is still regarded as one of Duel Academia's best duelists. However, this attitude eventually shows itself as one of his greatest flaws, and causes him to be targeted by Professor Kouji Satou. He shows a lack of knowledge in areas outside of dueling, even showing in one instance that is unaware of what the term "fiancee" means, and forgetting that the holographic water will not drown him in another. He also seems ignorant of the dislike that other individuals have for him, as despite the obvious tension between the two, he considers himself to be good friends with Jun Manjoume. His carefree attitude and lack of thought gets him into trouble on occasion, such as when he handed the SORA's Keys to Takuma Saiou and still expected the latter to duel him before using them. He occasionally shows signs of intellect, such as determining that Titan's Shadow Game was a fake.
A common trait with Judai is that he tends to make jokes or puns, even in some situations where it is not appropriate. Most of the jokes he makes are duel-related but on a few occasions he does make jokes at someone's expense. For example, he called Cronos "Cyclops" when the latter got struck in the eye with a tennis ball.
Judai has a close bond with his cards, to the point where he has no problem with an opponent insulting him, but is angered when they insult his cards. Judai is also fiercely loyal to his friends, which often results in his risking his life to save them. This is ultimately exploited by Yubel and Brron, who drive him to the brink of despair via the elimination of his loved ones, which weakens him enough to be possessed by the spirit of his past life. After being freed from the influence of the Supreme King, Judai shows many signs of depression, and constantly asks himself where he went wrong, and is horrified by what he has done while ruling the alternate dimension. Even after the sacrifice of Edo Phoenix, Judai is still unable to regain his resolve. When confronted by Guardian Baou, Judai even resigns himself to be killed at the same spot his friends were sacrificed. His resolve is stirred by the arrival of Daichi Misawa, who reveals that Yubel is responsible for everything that's transpired. Wanting revenge, Judai defeats Baou and moves on, witnessing what he believed to be the death of Ryo Marufuji, which stirs him to continue.
After his ordeal in season three, Judai develops a much more cynical outlook on life and is far more brooding and serious. He finds himself unable to enjoy dueling and attempts to end his duels as quickly as possible. He even ceases to use his catchphrases. Despite still caring deeply for his friends, he is much more distant towards them, not wanting them to be hurt by the danger his presence tends to attract. He begins to rediscover his love of dueling during the Pair Duel tournament and fully recovers it during his duel against the legendary Yugi Muto. In Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D Bonds Beyond Time, even when Judai was still fused with Yubel and The Supreme King, he still showed the same personality when he was in the first three seasons, showing that he in fact loves dueling again.
The word "Judai" means "teenager", while "Yuki" has multiple meanings, the most common being "Courage"; thus it can be inferred into the phrase "Courageous Teenager".
As a child, Judai loved Duel Monsters. His favorite card was "Yubel", which was a gift from his father. Both his parents were rarely at home, as they were busy working. As a result, Judai spent many of his days playing Duel Monsters with neighborhood children. However, whenever Judai played "Yubel," something horrible would happen to his opponent. One of them, Osamu, fell into a coma. The spirit of the "Yubel" card was overly protective of Judai, and punished his opponents. After that incident, no one wished to duel Judai, as they feared for their safety. Around this time, Judai entered a card design contest held by KaibaCorp, and won with his monster designs, which included the "Neo-Spacians" and "Dandylion." As part of the project, the cards he designed were launched into space, with the hopes that the cards would be imbued with space waves. Jaden requested that his "Yubel" card be sent up in a separate capsule, in the hopes that the space waves would pacify the malicious spirit of the card. Soon after, Jaden began having nightmares, where he would see Yubel burning in flames. Worried, his parents arranged for him to have a medical procedure performed on him, which rendered his memories of Yubel dormant.
Start of the School Year
Judai overslept on the morning that he is scheduled to take his entrance exam in order to enroll in the Duel Academia. As he rushed through the streets to make it to the test center in time, he bumped into the legendary duelist, Yugi Muto, dropping his cards in the process. Yugi asked Judai if he was a Duelist and gave him a "Winged Kuriboh" card, telling Jaden that he felt that "the card belongs with him". When he arrived, the head teacher at Duel Academia, Cronos de Medici, was hesitant to allow Jaden to take his exam, but a phone call from his superior Samejima changed his mind. Cronos dueled Judai himself, and disregarded the rule that he is to use an exam deck, instead using his personal deck. Jaden is impressed by Cronos' "Antique Gear Golem", but is able to hold off its attack with "Winged Kuriboh," whose spirit he is capable of seeing and communicating with, something that most people would not be able to do. He proceeds to win the Duel using "Elemental HERO Flame Wingman" and "Skyscraper", with him citing the former as his favorite card.
Jaden is accepted into Duel Academia and is placed in the Osiris Red dorm, which is the lowest-ranked of the three dorms. Judai's roommates were Sho Marufuji and Hayato Maeda. Judai would then get himself in a confrontation with Jun Manjoume, an Obelisk Blue student who had witnessed Judai's defeat of Cronos. Believing his victory to be a fluke, Manjoume challenged Judai to a duel, which is interrupted midway through. Though Chazz believed he would have won, Judai had just drawn a card that would win him the duel. Cronos, eager to exact his revenge on Judai, began plans to get him expelled. He placed a fake love note in Judai's gym locker, on which he had forged the signature of Asuka Tenjouin, one of the top female students. Sho found the note instead of Judai, and rowed across the lake to the girls dorm. Judai followed and saved Sho from expulsion by defeating Asuka in a duel. The owner of Duel Academia's card shop Tome gifted Judai with some rare cards after he helped her push her van up the hill when it stalled. In Duel Academia's promotion exams, Judai had his rematch with Manjoume, who had been supplied powerful cards by Cronos. Judai's use of "Evolving Wings" to evolve Winged Kuriboh to level ten won him the duel, and he is therefore allowed to move up to the Ra Yellow dorm. He declined the opportunity.
Cronos' crusade against Judai continued, with him sending Titan, a self-proclaimed "Duelist of Darkness" to defeat Judai. Titan used illusions to make it appear he had the ability to start Duels of Darkness. Judai was skeptical throughout the whole duel, and is proven correct - it was a sham. They dueled in the old Blue Dorm, and the spirits of the dorm are angered by Titan. A real Duel of Darkness actually did begin - with Judai still refusing to believe in it until the duel's end, when he is saved by Winged Kuriboh. Due to their trespass at the old Blue Dorm, both Judai and Sho were nearly expelled. They got a chance to stay by participating in a Tag Duel. Should they win, their records would be cleared. Judai dueled Sho as practice for the latter, and Judai defeated him. Finding that Sho had confidence problems, he is then told by Asuka that they stem from Sho's relationship with his older brother Ryo who is known as the best duelist at the academy. Determined to help Sho and to see how he ranks against the best, Judai challenged Ryo to a duel. Though the latter compliments Judai's abilities, Judai suffers his first loss since arriving at the academy, losing to Ryo's "Cyber End Dragon." Despite this, it is enough to spur Sho's confidence. The two were unable to function as a team in their duel against the Meikyu Brothers at first, but pulled things together in the end, allowing them to stay at the academy.
Judai developed a friendship and rivalry with Daichi Misawa. Both had expressed desire to duel one another since witnessing their respective entrance exams. Cronos wished to secretly use Daichi as his next weapon against Judai, after both Manjoume and the Meikyu Brothers failed. Wishing to promote Daichi to Obelisk Blue, Cronos set up a duel between Daichi and Manjoume. Despite Daichi's victory, he declined entry into Obelisk Blue, stating he will not enter it until he becomes the best student in the freshman class. To do so, he believes he needs to defeat Judai. However, he does not wish to duel him right away, as he wished to develop a Deck specifically to counter Jaden's. As a result of his loss, Jun departed Duel Academia rather than be demoted to Ra Yellow. Judai stayed at Duel Academia during winter break, finding himself in a life-threatening duel with the spirit of the "Jinzo" card. Judai felt real pain as his Life Points decreased, and his body parts fade as he is attacked. Though he wins, he gets his first taste of a Shadow Duel, though he does not realize this until a later date. Judai then found himself in a duel over the affections of Asuka against the captain of Duel Academia's tennis team, Mitsuru Ayanokouji. Ayanokouji gets an early lead during the duel with his "Ace" cards. After Judai deals major damage to him via direct attacks, he then activates "Deuce" and almost wins with its effect, but Judai was able to save himself. Judai won the duel by getting through Ayanokouji's almost unstoppable defensive combo through "Feather Shot," becoming Asuka's fiancee as per the terms that Ayanokouji set. However, he has no clue what fiancee means. Asuka calls him an idiot in response (in the English version, she tells that it means they're just friends, "for now").
Judai got an opportunity to Duel against the Deck of Yugi Muto when said Deck went on tour at Duel Academia. A copycat Duelist named Kagurazaka stole the Deck and Judai dueled him to get it back. He found himself in awe of Yugi's monsters, and was excited when he defeated "Black Magician" with "Elemental Hero Edgeman". However, Kagurazaka summoned "Black Magician of Chaos", which devastates Judai. He hung on, and successfully defeated Kagurazaka, with "Flame Wingman" recovering the deck. Judai is nominated by Ryo to be Duel Academia's representative against the Arctic Academy, with Samejima accepting it. Cronos nominated Daichi in turn, and proposed the two of them duel in order to decide who the representative would be. Daichi claims that he is nearly finished his Deck that will counter Judai's strategy. Judai gained an early advantage in the duel, but is set back when Daichi negated "Fusion" with "Cursed Seal of the Forbidden Spell", preventing Judai from Fusion Summoning in the usual way. Judai is forced to play defensively as Bastion's "Water Dragon" and "Hyozanryu" destroyed his monsters. Judai unveiled a new "Elemental HERO - "Wildman." Using it and and "Cyclone Boomerang," Judai won the Duel via Effect damage. Daichi then promised to create another deck to challenge Judai again someday. Judai found his rivalry with Jun renewed when the latter returned to Duel Academia as the representative of North Academy. Judai overheard an outburst of Manjoume's, in which he expressed dislike for the burden his brothers put on him to win. Jun unveils new "Armed Dragon" cards which prove to be more effective against Judai than his previous decks had been. Judai is surprised to discover that Jun has gained a Spirit Partner in Ojama Yellow and that Jun can see Duel Spirits as well. Judai won using a strategy involving "Hero Kids." Manjoume's brothers berate him after the duel, and Judai steps in to defend him. Jun decided to remain at Duel Academia afterward.
Against the Seven Stars Assassins
The Osiris Red dorm head and alchemy professor Daitokuji held a hike and picnic to the ruins that exist on the island. Judai, Sho, Hayato, and Asuka attended. While there, they appear to be transported to the past, to a time when the ruins were still in use. Judai's friends were captured, but Judai himself is saved by Sara. He eventually ends up in a duel against Gravekeeper's Chief, in which he and his friends will be buried alive if he loses. He found that the pain he experiences from losing life points to be real. Judai narrowly defeated the Chief by using the effect of his "Elemental Hero Necrodarkman" to summon "Elemental Hero Edgeman." The Chief gifted Judai with one half of a Dark Item pendant after the duel, stating that it should help protect him in any further Shadow Duels he may participate in. The group is returned to their own time.
Tamejima selected Judai as one of the seven Duelists to hold the Spirit Keys. These keys unseal the Spirit Gates, behind which the Three Phantom Demon cards are sealed. The legend goes that if the cards are released, a catastrophe will occur. A group of individuals known as the Seven Stars Assassins will arrive and attempt to steal the keys. Judai believed that he would be targeted first, believing himself to be the strongest target. Asuka also believed Judai will be first, as his Osiris Red uniform marks him as a weaker Duelist. In attempting to warn Judai of this, she is transported to the volcano with Judai, where the first Seven Stars Assassin, Darkness, awaits. As it turns out, he targeted Judai for neither of the previously given reasons - he did so because he owns the other half of the Dark Item pendant, which pointed Judai in his direction. Sho and Hayato are taken hostage, so Judai accepted the Shadow Duel, in which the loser's soul will be sealed in a card. Darkness gained an early advantage by combining "Red-Eyes Black Dragon" and "Black Flame Bullet." Judai made a comeback, but Darkness unveils "Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon." Judai narrowly avoided defeat by summoning "Elemental HERO Edgeman". Darkness' soul was sealed in the card, but he remains barely conscious, as Darkness was controlling someone else - the brother of Asuka, Fubuki.
Left weak from his duel with Darkness, Judai watched from the sidelines as Cronos is defeated by the second Seven Stars Assassin, the vampire known as Camula, having his soul sealed in a doll in the process. When Camula insulted Cronos' dueling skills, Judai defended him, saying that he knows Cronos is not weak as he has dueled him himself. This spurred Cronos to continue, but he ultimately fell before Camula. Ryo meets the same fate when Camula threatens Sho's soul. Enraged by the fall of his friends, Judai challenged Camula after Fubuki informed him that his complete Dark Item may be able to negate the power of Camula's and prevent souls from being stolen during the duel. This turned out to be true, as Camula is forced to use her own soul as a cost in the activation of "Phantom Demon's Gate," rather than a spectator's as she had against Zane. Judai was able to defeat her with "Elemental Hero Shining Flare Wingman," who gains ATK for each fallen "Elemental Hero" in the Graveyard. With this, Camula's soul was taken by "Illusion Gate" and the souls of Cronos and Ryo were restored.
Judai began having nightmares regarding losing Duels of Darkness, knowing that great harm could come to his friends. While trying to relax at the hot springs, he, Sho, Hayato and Jun are pulled through a portal to an underground cave. They are confronted by Kaibaman, causing Judai to question if the latter is a Seven Stars Assassin. He refused to answer, instead wishing to duel, stating that Judai seemed to have lost his fighting spirit. Kaibaman used the same deck as Seto Kaiba, and Judai is ultimately defeated. However, he realized that he still had fun during the duel and Kaibaman taught him that if he is scared of defeat, he will cease to grow as a Duelist. Judai is present when Bastion is defeated by the third Seven Stars Assasin Tania, who takes him as her "husband" afterwards. Judai overcame her "Amazoness" monsters using "Wildman" and the effect of her own Field Spell Card, "Amazoness Death Ring." Judai ends up mistaking a submarine captain named Admiral for the next Seven Stars Assassin and though Judai defeats him, Anacis kidnapped him, hoping to make him the top student at his planned underwater Duel Academia. Judai stole an escape boat in order to get away, but did not make it back to Duel Academia until three days later.
Judai's next opponent was Abidos the Third, an ancient pharaoh revived by the Seven Stars Assassins who was once known as the "God of Duels." Judai defeated him with fewer problems than expected, and Abidos realized that his servants had always let him win. Abidos is impressed by Judai's dueling and returns to the afterlife, with Judai promising to meet him there when he dies so that they can Duel again. Asuka and Jun successfully defeated Seven Star Assassins, Titan and Don Zaloog, respectively. This left only one Shadow Rider remaining. During this time, Daitokuji disappeared, and both Jun and Asuka are defeated by the final Seven Star Assassin. Judai confronts him in the basement of the Abandoned Dorm. He eventually revealed himself as Daitokuji. He stated that Judai must prove himself as the "ultimate alchemist," comparing Judai's process of using "Fusion" to fuse monsters to be similar to alchemic processes. Daitokuji explained that he came down with an illness after traveling the world in the name of alchemy, and was forced to entrust his soul to a homunculus n order to survive. Wishing to pay back the one who funded his research, he aimed to obtain the Sacred Beasts. Daitokuji is eventually defeated when Judai countered the latter's removed from play strategy with "Elemental Hero Elixerer". Daitokuji left his Emerald Tablet Dark Item to Judai, warning him of the impending disaster that the Three Phantasms will bring about.
After Manjoume's duel against Asuka, Judai witnessed the Spirit Gates open, without the aide of the Spirit Keys, which Manjoume currently had. The keys led them to the gates, at which point the keys disappeared into the seven pillars surrounding the area. The ground quaked, and a black box rose from the center of the gates, inside of which was a smaller, box that contains the Three Phantasms. The true mastermind of the ploy revealed himself - Kagemaru, the elderly chairman of Duel Academia. He intends to use the powers of the Phantasms to restore his own youth. He specifically challenged Judai to a duel in favor of rest of the gathered students and teachers. Judai found "Philosopher's Stone - Sabatier" inside the Emerald Tablet, and places it in his Deck. From within a life support tube supported by a spider-walker, Kagemaru duels Judai. Kagemaru Summoned "Uria, Emperor of Divine Flames" and "Hamon, Emperor of Descending Thunder," which drove Judai into a corner. With two Beasts present, they began to absorb energy from card spirits around the world, which was then used to restore Kagemaru's youth. He appears a young man once more, and continued the duel. Using a series of Spell and Trap Cards, Judai destroyed both of the Demons with "Elemental HERO Bubbleman NEO." Kagemaru was able to revive them, however, and further Summoned the third Demon - "Raviel, Emperor of Phantasmal Demons." Judai used the Sabatier card to his advantage, and was able to pentuple the ATK of Elixerer to win the duel. The power absorbed is returned to the Duel Spirits, and Kagemaru became elderly once more. He begged for forgiveness, and Judai easily gave it to him, while motivating him to try to stand on his own. Judai proceeded to accidentally injure the old man with a hug.
Judai was present at Hayato's duel with Cronos, and supported his friend before he departed to become a card designer for Industrial Illusions. Judai is then chosen by Ryo to be the latter's final opponent before his graduation, in a match that the whole school will attend. Judai accepted the fuel. Knowing that Ryo was a powerful opponent, Judai attempted to think his way through the duel, which backfired as he misplayed his cards and failed to enjoy himself as he usually would. Ryo gains an advantage by constantly fusing and splitting his "Cyber End Dragon." Ryo snapped Judai out of his rut, and the latter began to duel with his heart once more, rather than his head. In this way, Judai became the opponent that Ryo had wanted him to be. Both Duelists were able to counter the strategies of the other, and the duel ultimately ends in a draw as the crowd applauds the spectacle.
Society of Light
During the second year, Judai meets Tyranno Kenzan and ventures into Neo Space after being defeated in his second duel with Edo Phoenix. There, he learns of the ongoing battle between the forces of darkness and light. With the help of the "Neo-Spacians," Judai adopts the role of the universe's defender wielding the "darkness of justice" against Takuma Saiou and the Society of Light. The task of rescuing most of his converted friends from the organization's clutches also falls on him.
To prevent his evil side from activating the satellite of Misgarth, Saiou entrusts Judai with one of the keys to its control switch. The diviner's evil personality sends numerous Duelists after the boy to win it back, but to no avail. He ultimately confronts Judai himself, demanding the key in exchange for Edo, from whom he had already regained the other key in battle. Judai agreed, and although Edo was rescued shortly thereafter, both keys were put into the possession of Prince Ojin, who went on to fire the satellite, SORA. It is, however, destroyed during the course of their duel. Saiou is then defeated, and the Light of Destruction purged from his body.