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|“||Facing yourself no matter how tough things get, and keeping up the fight, that's what games are really about!||„|
|“||The game?! Yugi may have lost one lousy Duel Monsters game, but at least he hasn't lost his heart! Not like you, Seto Kaiba. You've spent so much time with your machines, you've forgotten what being human is about! Yugi has a heart, Kaiba. Yugi has us. Friends that will stand with him to the end, no matter whether he wins or loses some lousy game. And what do you have, Seto Kaiba? What do you have at the end of the day? Tell me. Tell me!||„|
|~ Tea to Kaiba, scorning him for mocking Yugi, despite the latter sparing the former's life.|
Tea Gardner (known as Anzu Mazaki in Japan) is one of the two tritagonists (alongside Tristan Taylor) of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. She is a close friend of Yugi Muto and harbours a secret crush on both him and the spirit living inside his millenium puzzle. She is a duelist like her other friends though prefers doing it casually.
However, she is rarely seen dueling anyone in the manga, as she seems to be more of an escort. She's often by Yugi's side along with Joey Wheeler, Tristan Taylor and Ryou Bakura as part of his regular group of friends and alongside Joey and sometimes Kaiba, the assistant of the group.
Though Téa has only ever participated in a grand total of seven duels, she has in fact won all of them though the risky ones were close calls. She has had a crush on Yugi Muto and Yami Yugi ever since.
In the English dub, she was voiced by famous voice actress Amy Birnbaum, who also voiced Melody (second film of Pokémon), Molly Hale (third film of Pokémon), Max on Pokémon during the three seasons of its Hoenn saga as well as Chip on Cubix: Robots for Everyone. She also voiced by Alison Lester, who also voiced Mai Valentine, Serenity Wheeler, Rebecca Hawkins and Ishizu Ishtar in the same series and Nami in One Piece. In the Japanese dub, she was voiced by Maki Saito.
Tea was first introduced when she confronts Joey and Tristan over stealing Yugi's Millenium puzzle. She was Yugi's elementary and only friend for years til shortly post series start.
Throughout the manga she deals with numerous delinquents at school and tries to help Yugi avoid the wrong sorts of students. Tea has been taught about how to play the Duel Monsters game by Yugi however she has less skill for it than he does and similar to her friend Bakura views it as little more than an amusing hobby at first.
Over time, Tea comes to the conclusion that the duels Yugi and Joey play are not just games, tests of skill or even mystically importance as much as they are vital tests of character based on the choices one can make and how quickly things can shift.
Téa spends her spare time watching her friends practice Duel Monsters at Solomon Muto's game shop and has picked-up a little just from the experiences. Though at first, Tea's primary concern was to figure out the identity and nature of Yami Yugi she has long since become primarily focused on Yugi's safety instead.
As the story progresses and Yugi's adventures take him to more far-out locations such as around the city, to private islands and even to Egypt, Tea always make's sure to remain by Yugi's side to watch-out for him.
Tea is near medium height lean young woman with white skin, blue eyes and thick brown hair that almost extends to her shoulders. On occasions she wore the school uniform colored in the same manner as in the manga. Her brown shoulder-length hair is sectioned into two layers, consisting of a darker shade of brown inner layer, with the outer layer of a lighter shade.
During the first season of the anime, her usual outfit is comprised of a yellow shirt, which flows like a skirt at her thighs, with a pink waistcoat over it, and a blue miniskirt. A pair of brown knee-high boots completed her ensemble.
In the second and third season, her clothes consists of a light green buttoned tank top with yellow collar, pink and blue bracelets, jean short shorts with a light blue belt, white thigh-high socks and blue platform sandals. During season 3, she also acquired a small cut under her left eye when she was attacked by a group of Hitotsu-Me Giants. Thankfully however, the wound disappeared overtime. She also wears a yellow tank-top with the word "SPIRIT" on it (which was removed from the dub) and a red skirt on occasion in the second season.
She also wears another outfit: a yellow tube-top, red choker, light pink shorts, black thigh-high socks, red platform sandals and a pink jacket. In the fourth season she mainly wears an unzipped Yellow denim jacket over an unknown light blue shirt and short shorts. In the fifth season she wears a black sleeveless shirt that reveals her belly button, a red skirt and a pair of white high-heeled boots. During the trip to Industrial Illusions, she wears a white jacket over a red tank top, a pleated yellow skirt, and tan boots and she also wears the same outfit at the KC Grand Championship.
In the 4th episode of season 4, she wears a black tank top which slightly covers her belly button, navy short shorts with a gray belt and yellow wristbands.
Like Ryo Bakura, Tea is often the voice of reason and councils her friends to approach a situation with great care so as not to put themselves in unnecessary danger. Despite her usual trepidation, Tea will throw caution to the wind if one of her friends is in trouble which at point, she's all too glad to endorse a decisive course of action even if it means with all her courage risking her life. She is a firm believer in the power of friendship, believing that any challenge can be overcome and any evil can be defeated when friends join together. Because of this philosophy, Tea cares about her friends more than anything and always wants to support them in any way she can. When her friends are in danger she is greatly worried for them and greatly saddened when they are hurt and depressed. Her empathetic character extends not only to her friends, but to others as well as she takes pity on all those who suffer and go through hardships. She abhors violence and cruelty and is frequently disgusted by the pettiness, sadism and utter evil of the series villains. Despite this, she isn't weak-willed. In truth, Tea possess a very strong will and is not afraid to voice her opinions and call others out for their actions. She can also be pushy with her all-male friends and often berates them for their frequent immaturity. Despite this, she does indeed love her friends and looks out for them. This makes her something of a sister-figure to them. This was especially the case with Serenity Wheeler, whom she treated like a younger sibling and in turn, treated her like an older sibling.
Tea possesses a number of likings typical of a girl her age such as interest in fashion, shopping, dancing and visiting exquisite stores and restaurants. Her favorite of these activities is dancing for which she is extremely talented at. As noted by Joey, Tea is somewhat of a “party girl” enjoying large celebrations and parties at her friends’ houses. Her life’s dream is to one day attend a famous dancing school in New York City in order to be a professional dancer.
Tea has a crush on Yami Yugi but it appears to have some-what shifted to Yugi Muto instead. This crush for the both of them is a source of internal conflict for her throughout the series, with her struggling with which one to be with. Eventually however, by the end of series it seems she has chosen Yugi Muto over Yami Yugi, accepting that they are just not meant to be.
Téa Defeats Joey in Duel Monsters five times at school, with four of the Duels being offscreen.
Téa draws symbols on her, Yugi, Joey and Tristan's hands to symbolize their friendship before Yugi faces Kaiba, after Kaiba tears up Solomon Muto's "Blue-Eyes White Dragon".
Téa and Tristan sneak onto the boat to Duelist Kingdom to support Yugi and Joey in the tournament. Téa mostly stands on the sidelines giving the boys encouraging speeches.
Yugi and his friends faced Yami Bakura in a Shadow Game of Duel Monsters, where the players are trapped in cards similar to their Monster World pieces. Téa becomes the card "Magician of Faith" in the Duel. As she is upset over Joey's sacrifice, she uses her effect to return "Monster Reborn" to Yami Yugi's hand, which allows him to revive Joey.
As they approached Pegasus Castle, Tea wonders if there really are two Yugi's. She thinks back to when she first meets Yugi and Joey at Burgerpalooza. She then wonders what they are doing there and thinks they could get her in trouble since she had to be 18 to work at the restaurant and if they let it slip she is still in school, she'll get fired and won't have enough money to pay for her dance lessons. As she serves Joey and Yugi their food she gives a sinister glare and pours ketchup all over their food. She reveals she wants to study dance in New York but instead of laughing, Yugi and Joey support Téa. The next day Tea gets a letter from Yugi saying they found a warehouse in Spring St. for Téa to use as a dance studio. When she arrives a mugger holds her hostage and Yami Yugi saves her when she blacked out.
Kaiba Cheats to defeat Yugi in the tournament by standing on the edge of the castle, so Yugi's last attack would knock him off. Yugi relinquishes the Duel to Kaiba. Téa Then argues with Kaiba over his strategy. Kaiba explains how Duelists are given one chip and must use it in whatever way allows them to win. Téa argues back that Kaiba only won because he couldn't live without the chip and insists that Yugi won the Duel.
After losing to Kaiba, Yugi no longer has enough Star Chips to enter the tournament finals. Mai offers Yugi her excessive Star Chips. Yugi initially refuses, feeling unworthy. Téa Duels Mai for the Star Chips. Using a combination of Magic Cards, Téa makes her "Shining Friendship" card defeat Mai's "Harpie Lady". Though Mai is able to turn the Duel around, using "Harpie's Feather Duster", she is impressed by Téa's performance and wants to give Yugi the Chips, so she surrenders saying "Harpie Lady" was her best monster and Téa defeated it.
Kemo doesn't allow Téa, Tristan or Bakura to enter the castle, where the finals are held, as they are not finalists but Mai distracts him long enough for them to sneak in.
Inside they witness Kaiba and Pegasus Dueling, Pegasus was able to predict Kaiba's moves and easily win. Tristan Suspects Pegasus cheated, so that night he talks with Téa and Bakura on the subject. The three inspect the Duel arena and find a hole that shines moonlight directly at the Duel arena. Tristan spots a tower and the three head towards it. In the tower, they are confronted by Pegasus, who uses his Millennium Eye to transport them to another dimension. They wake up and enter a room, where a Shadow Game between two robed men is taking place while others are chanting. The winning man, Pegasus confronts the three and tries to take Bakura's Millennium Ring. Yami Bakura takes over Bakura's body and sends Téa and Tristan back to their rooms and erases their memories.
During the final rounds, Téa cheers on Yugi and Joey in their Duels. She is unable to watch the end of Yugi's Duel with Pegasus, as Pegasus takes the Duel to the Shadow Realm. Despite this Yugi feels his friends are with him in spirit and manages to defeat Pegasus.
Pegasus disappears after the Duel. The gang proceed to a tower, where they find Pegasus' diary, which Téa reads. She learns that Pegasus had a wife Cecelia, who died and Pegasus was trying to revive her using the Millennium Items and Kaiba Corporation technology.
Téa and her friends are taken home by Seto Kaiba in his helicopter.
Yugi asks Téa to go out with Yami. After visiting many shops and attractions, they enter an arcade. Inside Téa beats Johnny Steps in a dance game. Not taking his loss too well, Johnny later catches up with Yami and Téa, and challenges Téa to another game with a condition: if she loses, she must become his girlfriend. Yami instead challenges Johnny to a game of Duel Monsters. If he wins, Johnny must leave Téa alone. If Johnny wins, Téa must go on a date with him. Yami reveals himself to be Yugi Muto, towards the end of the Duel Johnny recognizes Yugi Muto as the one who beat Pegasus, causing Johnny to surrender and run. Téa stops him to tell him how quitting isn't going to get him far, and he must keep trying to achieve his goals.
Afterwards Téa and Yami go to an Ancient Egyptian exhibition to find clues to Yami's past. Here they meet Ishizu Ishtar, who shows Yami some information about his past as a pharaoh and tells him he must enter the Battle City tournament to learn more.
During the preliminary rounds, Téa encourages Joey along the side lines for his Duels, before being captured by the Rare Hunters along with Joey. Téa is possessed by Marik, who turns her into one of his mind slaves to lure the Pharaoh into a Duel with Joey, who is also possessed by Marik Ishtar. The Duel is set up, so the loser would drown. In the anime, Téa is made to sit on a chair under a large crate. A push of a button would kill her, should anyone else interfere. Téa is then released from Marik's control after she explains the provisions to the Duel and helplessly tries to help Joey break free of Marik's control several times while also doing her best to remain brave and cheer Yugi on, despite the fact that her own life was in danger. Mokuba frees her after Joey and Yugi end the Duel in a Draw.
Téa, along with Tristan, Serenity and Duke Devlin proceed to the KaibaCorp blimp to cheer for Yugi, Joey and Mai in the finals. Roland initially refuses to let them board, as they aren't finalists, but Mokuba talks him into letting them on. Despite Joey's objections, all of them take residence in Joey's room for the finals.
Téa cheers for Yugi and Joey, during their quarter-final Duels. When Joey tells Mai, she wasn't in his dream, which his friends appeared in and jokes about it, Téa seizes him after Mai leaves and tells him off.
During this time, Téa is sometimes being controlled by Marik, since Yami Marik took over his body and he uses her to try to talk to Yami Marik and Ishizu.
As the blimp traveled to the Duel Tower, it was sucked into an underground lair, by Noah Kaiba. Téa along with Yugi, Joey, Tristan, Duke Devlin, Serenity, Mokuba and Seto Kaiba emerge from the blimp to investigate. Here they are sucked into the Virtual World.
The gang encounter Noah and the Big Five, all of whom seek revenge on Seto Kaiba and require a body to return to the real world. They then get separated, and Téa ends up being transported to a large canyon in the middle of a desert. She wanders deeper into the canyon hoping to her friends, but finds no-one even when she calls out for answers. Eventually Tea is ambushed and surrounded by a pack of Hitotsu-Me Giants bearing cavemen-like weapons and clothing. During this attack she sustains a small cut on her left cheek, due to a sharp rock hitting her after it was dispersed off the ground by one of the giants’ weapons impacting it. Tea attempts to flee from the giants but her attempts are futile when one of them blocks her escape and then incapacitates her. Draped over their leader’s shoulder, the giants carry her off to their lair, where they lay her on top of a large rock while they rest in the bottom of the cave. When she finally wakes up, she finds herself not only as the giants’ captive but also their soon to be dinner as well.
Luckily she manages to escape, though the giants quickly pursue her. They chase her to a rickety old rope-bridge over a gorge with a running river below. The giants soon follow Tea over it, but their combined wait causes it to collapse. Fortunately, while the giants fall to their deaths, Tea is able to hold on to the remaining part of bridge and climbs to safety but she passes out soon afterword. While she's unconscious, Téa has a dream where she and Yugi went to see a show about Dark Magician Girl, where she is chosen as a member of the audience and gets dressed up in Dark Magician Girl's outfit. She is woken up by a penguin, who leads her across the Virtual World to a temple. Inside she meets Crump of the Big Five, who has taken the form of Nightmare Penguin.
Crump imposes a Duel and takes her to an icy region, where both players stand on opposite icebergs in freezing water. Téa is made to assemble a Deck, by selecting from a monitor of cards appearing before her. Remembering her dream she chooses "Dark Magician Girl" as her own Deck Master, while "Nightmare Penguin" is Crump's.
As Téa's Life Points lower, she becomes engulfed in ice. Dark Magician Girl helps her during the Duel. Towards the end of the Duel, Téa was almost completely engulfed in ice. Using her Deck Master's effect and "Sage's Stone" to Special Summon "Dark Magician" from Yugi's Deck, Téa is able to defeat Crump as she attacks him with both Magicians.
After the Duel, Téa is released from the ice and passes out. Yugi, who had witnessed the last few moments of the Duel, helps her to regain consciousness and after Téa hugs him out of relief offers her his coat to keep her warm. The two proceed to the courtroom, where Joey is Dueling Johnson.
Afterwards, everyone meets up with each other, while Tristan is trapped as a robot monkey because he lost a Duel. A few Duels happens between Kaiba and Lector, Yugi (Yami) and Joey between all the Big 5 members, Kaiba and Noah which changes to Yugi (Yami) and Noah. After this Duel Gozaburo shows up. Then, they all try to escape with Noah's help but he tricks them eventually taking over Mokuba's body and getting out into the real world, first wanting to trap their minds in the virtual world. However he then had a change of heart and realized he was wrong and helped them out instead. When they were all out, they got back to Battle City.
Back to Battle City
Battle City continues right after the Virtual World. They arrive at KaibaCorp Island where the Battle City finals begin at Duel Tower. Téa supports Yugi and Joey in the battle royal to determine who faces who in the semi-finals.
Téa cheers for Joey in his semi-final against Marik and rushes to his aid after he collapses.
As Yugi prepares to face Kaiba, Téa informs Yami that she would rather he didn't Duel, as she is afraid of what might happen to him, but Yami tells her he need to Duel Kaiba to Duel Marik so he can save the world and she understands and lets him go. She stays back with everyone to try and help Joey but is still cheering Yugi on.
Near the end of Yugi and Kaiba's Duel Joey wakes up and at first doesn't remember anything but slowly does. Then he asks Téa if Yugi started the Duel yet.She tells him he did and Joey wants to go immediately. Just then the doctors show up,but Joey demands to go and Téa tells him not to because so many people got hurt and he was just in critical condition. Joey says he made a promise to Yugi and he has to be there for him which reminds her of what Yami told her before his Duel. Then Joey, Téa, Duke and Tristan go to the Duel Tower just in time to see the ending of Yugi's Duel.
Since Yugi won he moves onto the finals to Duel Yami Marik but first Joey challenges Kaiba to a Duel to see who gets third place. Before the Duel starts Marik takes over Téa's body so he can go talk to Ishizu. He then tells Ishizu that he needs to confront Yami Marik and runs off to the Duel Tower to do so. Yami Marik is already up there trying to figure out what happened during Yugi and Kaiba's Duel then he gets annoyed and throws the rod, which lands near Téa. She picks it up and is holding it up at Yami Marik while Marik is talking to him. Yami Marik ends up getting the rod back, and he tries to get rid of Marik with the rod. Then Ishizu comes up just in time to stop him. Marik then tells Ishizu to forget about him and stops taking control of Téa. She is knocked out for a while, and Yami comes up to find out what happened to Téa and starts talking to Yami Marik, and he eventually leaves. Yami then talks to Ishizu about what was going on, and Téa wakes up, not knowing what happened. Yugi decides not to tell her about how Marik was taking control of her. They go back down to see how Joey's Duel was going, and they tell her that he lost, so they get ready for Yugi's Duel with Marik.
Yami's Duel with Yami Marik begins, and everyone is worried about how this Duel will turn out. Téa is cheering Yugi on the whole time but is worried because Yami Marik was able to stop Slifer the Sky Dragon and make a copy of Obelisk the Tormentor. Also, every time Yami loses life points Yugi is slowly being sent to the Shadow Realm and the same with the good Marik every time Yami Marik loses life points. During the Duel, Marik took over Téa again, this time so he could try and help Yami win the Duel, but he eventually went back into his own body, leaving Téa confused about what just happened, although she quickly got over that and focused on the Duel. Then Odion shows up, which gives Marik the strength to take over Yami Marik for a little while so Yami could win the Duel. Even though the Duel was finally over, Kaiba said they should get off the island because he was going to blow it up. Everyone went on the blimp, Mai was awake and they found Bakura but they noticed Kaiba and Mokuba weren't there so they went to go look for them but couldn't find them. So all of them went on the helicopter to go, and they all see Kaiba and Mokuba leave on a jet of their own.
They got back to Domino City and said goodbye to Marik, Ishizu, Odion, Duke, and Mai. The following day Téa was showing Serenity around town and remembering everything that happened during Battle City. Serenity eventually has to leave. Téa is sad at first, but Serenity tells her that it's ok and that they will always be friends. After Serenity leaves Téa is thinking about how she's not ready to say goodbye to Yugi and realizes that she should just enjoy the time she has left with him. Then she catches up with Yami.
Waking the Dragons
Téa is on the roof of the school wondering why Yugi left early. Joey and Tristan come up; they're wondering the same thing. They end up finding Yugi at the museum. Later they find out that someone stole the Egyptian God Cards. Yugi has a Duel with Gurimo, which is where they learn about the Seal of Orichalcos.
The next day they run into Rebecca and she calls Yugi her boyfriend, which Téa doesn't like. She takes them to see Professor Hawkins,who starts talking about how the monsters coming to life could have something to do with Atlantis. After that, everyone heads home.
Later they're all at Yugi's house. Yugi gets a package from Pegasus with a video. Pegasus Asks Yugi to come see him right away. The next day they go on a private jet then in a limo. The limo breaks down so they have to walk for a while, Téa is able to get a driver to stop and give them a ride to Industrial Illusions.
Later on, they are on a train to Florida, but the train splits apart, separating Téa and Yami from Joey and Tristan. Most of the time Téa is trying to help Pharaoh from being upset about Yugi while she herself is also upset. After a while they just focus on finding Joey and Tristan. They are reunited later when Kaiba's plane crashes and then they are all taken back by Kaiba's helicopter to try and stop Dartz.
Kaiba's company was taken over by Dartz. Joey runs off to Duel Valon and Mai. While Joey Duels, Tristan, Téa and the Pharaoh go to look for him, but when they find him he lost his soul.
After the Pharaoh's Duel with Rafael the gang goes to Dartz in Kaiba's helicopter. Kaiba and the Pharaoh Duel Dartz; after Kaiba loses the Duel the Pharaoh continues while Téa, Tristan and Mokuba are unconscious.
The Duel is won by the Pharaoh. Yugi, Kaiba, and Joey come back and Mokuba, Tristan and Téa wake up. Seeing Yugi back they have a group hug. Then they're off to finish off Dartz. Téa wishes Yugi good luck as he, along with Joey and Kaiba have their final battle with Dartz.
Téa doesn't have a prominent role in the Grand Championship arc, but as always she's Yugi and Joey's cheerleader throughout their Duels.
Téa also meets and despises Vivian, because of her feelings for Yugi and personality. She also develops a habit of saying the line "I need some female friends" whenever the others start getting on her nerves.
Dawn of the Duel
Téa, Tristan and Joey accompanied Yugi to Egypt so they could help the Pharaoh figured out his memories. She also had noticeably had a change in clothing and was now wearing white heels, a red skirt and a black sleeveless top. The Pharaoh presented the Egyptian God cards to the Tablet of Lost Memories and was pulled into the Shadow RPG, where he would find out his memories. However, after discovering that Yami Bakura followed him, the gang went after Yami.
Later, Téa figured out that the key to stopping Bakura was to tell the Pharaoh his real name, as it was also the key to unlocking his memory. The gang was betrayed by Tristan, who was possessed by Bakura and almost killed, but jumped to a cliff and saved themselves. Téa pulled Yugi up, who was hanging onto Joey and then both her and Yugi saved Joey. When they found Tristan, he revealed that he had been possessed by Bakura and Dueled Yugi.
Téa noted that Yugi had to Duel without Yami. Yugi still won. Once they found Yami, they gave him his name by thinking of the symbols and putting them on a necklace-like item. Yami then remembered who he was and revealed that his true name was Atem. Atem was then able to Summon The Creator of Light to destroy Zorc Necrophades. The gang then returned to the real world.
Téa is mostly seen torn with the idea of Atem passing on the spirit world. As she believes that, though he deserves to reunite with those in his past and finally achieve peace, she also doesn't want him to leave because of the feelings she has for him. Thus, she usually appears having this mental debate within herself, with the outcome ending in her crying. However while dealing with this emotional turmoil, she displays a happy facade to the rest of the group, especially around Yugi and Atem. During the beginning of the Duel, she outwardly supports Yugi to win but inwardly wishes Atem to be victorious so that he can't leave. However as the Duel progresses she increasingly cheers on Yugi to the point where she shocks herself on how she changed sides of who she wanted to win.
However though Yugi won the Duel in the end, her feelings for Atem had not weakened and she is saddened to such an extent of the possibility of him leaving, that just as the spirit of the Pharaoh is about to pass through the gates of the afterlife, she tries to run after him however her attempt is stopped by Joey, also tearful alongside most of the Pharaoh's friends. All witnesses of said last match then run narrowly in time to escape, look up at the sky in Egypt ending the anime once the last words are spoken.