The 4Kids dub of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise has many flaws, but perhaps the most egregious of them is that they didn’t adapt a duel that fans most wanted to see: Yugi vs Jaden. This duel comes at the end of the second series Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and features an epic battle between the first two protagonists Yugi and Jaden. However, 4Kids never actually dubbed this final season into English, depriving fans of this epic moment.
What makes this especially tragic was how the show had built up this confrontation from the very start. At the beginning of the very first episode, Jaden bumps into Yugi, who gives him the Winged Kuriboh that will become one of Jaden’s signature cards. Later in the series, Jaden faces a Yugi impersonator who steals the King of Games’ deck. And of course over the course of GX Jaden grows to become a protagonist powerful enough to rival Yugi himself just like many of the Yu-Gi-Oh! protagonists who would follow him. All of this naturally culminates in a final duel between Jaden and Yugi in the series finale.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX‘s Dub Didn’t Adapt Jaden and Yugi’s Epic Duel
In the final two-part episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX‘s fourth season, this duel finally happens with Jaden being transported back in time to duel Yugi right after the Battle City tournament ended. The duel itself is incredibly cool with both players bringing out their ace monsters and constantly countering the other’s plays. The duel is so intense that near the end Yami Yugi joins in on the action, taking over in time to bring out the Egyptian God Slifer the Sky Dragon. Unfortunately at this point the show cuts away from the game, leaving the final victor ambiguous. However, it is clear that both protagonists gained a great deal of respect for each other and had a great time dueling. This makes the duel incredibly fun and satisfying to watch, which makes it a shame that 4Kids never adapted it.
Most censorship in the 4Kids dubs of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime consisted of toning down violence and removing particularly dark moments. But when it came to Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, they didn’t adapt the entire final season, ending the series on a very awkward note. They similarly cut the ending of the next Yu-Gi-Oh! series 5D’s, but the duels left out there, while important, were nowhere near as awesome as this duel between Yugi and Jaden. Fans often speculate how the various Yu-Gi-Oh! protagonists would stack up against each other in a duel and this is one of the few moments in the entire franchise that hints at an answer. While American fans did get to see a crossover between Pokemon‘s Ash and Yugi that Japanese fans never got to see, this was unofficial and doesn’t make up for the loss of GX‘s finale.
Of course, dub fans would eventually get to see Yugi and Jaden meet in the crossover movie Yu-Gi-Oh! Bonds Beyond Time, but they don’t actually duel each other in that film. Even later, the fifth series Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V would feature crossovers between the side characters of different series, but this again didn’t feature any protagonists dueling each other. So fans of the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX dub who missed the original ending need to watch Yugi and Jaden’s final duel to see how cool two protagonists dueling each other can be.