107+108 Double Slammy 8: Duel Masters and They Are My Noble Masters

Hello and welcome to the G-Views, where creativity is respected and Dokuro-chan is rejected. This latest edition of Double Slammy will be a unique one in the sense that, as most of my readers know, Double Slammy usually follows a formula where the two shows I review have either a similarity in genre or are related. This time however, I’m reviewing two shows that have absolutely nothing in common (Maybe they do but I’m too lazy to notice them). Let’s open up the notebook with Duel Masters, the English dubbed version…be very afraid.

Genres: action, adventure, comedy, tournament
Themes: cards, parody
Number of episodes: 65. Only 26 were broadcast in Latin America and that’s all I could take.
G-Rating: 5/10

Plot Summary: A mysterious organization is interested in fledging duelist Shobu Kirifuda’s ability to bring Duel Master creatures to life. With the support of his friends, Shobu duels with passion, discipline, and heart as he strives to be like his father and become the next Kaijudo master.

The OP pretty much speaks for itself on what kind of a vomit inducing thrill ride you’ll be in for should you be brave enough to pick this abomination up.

One word sentence to describe this show: Horrible Yu-Gi-Oh ripoff. That’s all I would like to say but this is a review so please forgive me if this comes off as more of a rant than a professional opinion, because it very well might be just that.

I have a confession to make. Back in my youth I actually liked this show’s choice of humor, which is primarily American media related. Recently that’s become a bad thing. Now that I’ve become older and wiser, I realize what a fool I was back then. Heck even EN Yu-Gi-Oh wasn’t as atrocious as EN Duel Masters. fortunately I was competent enough to realize that this show’s humor only works once. It fails to amuse the 2nd time you watch it.

As a joke, I came up with this gimmick of comparing Duel Master cards with grocery items. I called it, Food Masters.
-Shobu’s best card? Bollshat Dragon. My name for it: Pork Chop Dragon.
-Scarlet Sky Terror. My version: Tabasco Skyterror.
-Winged Skyterror. My version: Chicken-wing Skyterror. You get the idea.

The show blatantly contradicts the game’s original rules. Take my word for it.

The humor? Well…
“This is almost as tragic as Ben and J-Lo’s breakup.” “Wait, they broke up?”
“Wow. This temple’s almost as bis as P. Diddy’s place”
Mentioning any more quotes or jokes will damage some of my brain cells.

I should probably mention some pros shouldn’t I? Okie dokie.
-The actual Duel Masters game is fun, even to this day.
-Being a fan helps make the show more tolerable…to a certain degree at least.
-The EN dubs, though confusing in terms of who voices who, aren’t bad.

Animation: Horrible, just horrible and forgettable. Normal movements are terribly done and the character design is a disaster. You know? 10 years have passed before this show suddenly popped back into my head all of a sudden. How sad. Wait, there is some good animation. The 3D monster effects. They’re cool.

Music: Usual English music fare. Translation= Forgettable and uninspired compared to some other Dubbed shows.

-Spiky-haired moron with a heart of the cards ripoff ability.
-Some shrimp with glasses who “blasts off” a lot.
-Cheerleader girl who’s even more useless than Tea Gardner. I had a childhood crush on Tea. I admit that to this day she’s still a hottie.
-Some chick the show labels as sexy who’s a double agent with tai-chi powers. Her voice actress was amusing back then.
-Uninspired villains with your very own Pegasus and Kaiba ripoffs, except not as entertaining, cheesy or emo.
-Missing legendary father with the same spiky hair.
-A grandpa like character.
-Spiky haired boy’s mom was the only character I actually didn’t mind…mostly because her voice actress didn’t fit her at all. I also had a childhood crush on Delia Ketchum. I’m a very sad panda.

In conclusion: Do I really need to specify any further as to why this show sucks? The characters are insulting copycats, the plot is incredibly similar, the jokes rely way too heavily on 90’s celebrity gossip and pointless references that only a diehard 90’s kid such as I would get. Bottom line, watch Yu-Gi-Oh instead. It’ll cause you much less suffering.

P.S; I heard the JP version’s more serious but I’m not going to bother.

Let’s move on with They Are my Noble Masters before I break down from emotional stress.

Genres: comedy, drama, romance
Themes: ecchi, fanservice, harem, hot girls, maids, yuri
Number of episodes: 13
G-Rating: 7/10

Plot Summary: Due to family troubles, Ren Uesugi and his sister, Mihato, leave their home. They end up moving to the city but find themselves with a lack of money. Somehow they are able to find work in the form of the Kuonji family’s mansion, being employed as servants to the three sisters of the Kuonji family: Shinra, Miyu, and Yume. Being a servant also associates Ren with the mansion’s additional servants and the Kuonji sisters friends.

A spin-off of he Is My Master, which I’ll review sometime in the future.

I’ll make this as simple as possible. The show’s pretty much a harem disguised as a family-ish convention. To its credit, the girls are entertaining and the male lead isn’t half bad. The cast’s seiyuus, especially the male lead’s make me laugh.

Harem material aside, what makes this show work is the fact that the cast is entertaining…most of them anyway and they won’t exactly make you want to gouge your eyes or slap yourself silly.

Of course there’s the usual serious or tense moments where character development is involved and that’s also fun to watch. Expect a showdown near the show’s climax. Harem shows must at LEAST give the viewers a reason to care for the ladies/competitors, since harem male leads usually suck. This guy surprisingly doesn’t.

The animation…well the girls are hot. There’s really not much to praise or complain about. It’s straightforward and I’ll leave it to the viewers to see for themselves.

The music: The OP and ED are cool and the anime’s soundtrack fits it well with a mixture of nobility and fun. No complaints here.

Ren Uesugi: Energetic, devoted, victim to classic ecchi harem cliches, competent for the most part.

Shinra Kuonji: Eldest sister of the Kuonji siblings; she has a habit of teasing the people she likes and a fondness for cute things (especially her younger sister Miyu). In public she works as a famous orchestral conductor. She loves to tease people that she finds cute, particularly Ren (whom she taunts by subtly hinting at the prospect of sexual activity, only to coyly shift away from that course of action at the last second) and Miyu (whom she regularly molests, or at least so it is assumed; what really happens is not explained). Her favorite animal is a panda because she finds how they are black and white “cute”.

Her seiyuu is what makes this bisexual mastermind more interesting.

Miyu Kuonji
Second oldest of the Kuonji and referred to as “loli” by her older sister due to her being short and maintaining a childish appearance. She constantly protests against being treated or mistaken as child, but she always ends up giving in when the treatment has a small plus side to it (candy, presents, games, hugs, etc.). Ironically, it seems like Miyu is a shotacon though she also seems attracted to Ren as well. She also is the smartest of the sisters, already having graduated college. Miyu claims to have an I.Q. of 240. She is constantly teased by her older sister, Shinra. She created De Niro, an egg shaped robot. Despite her size and figure, she is actually in her twenties. She earns millions by selling her patented inventions through the hour, thus she has a lot of free time to idle around. Miyu was the first of the Kuonji sisters Ren meets when Miyu passes out in the street.

She’s entertaining both when she’s in control and when she’s “suffering”.

Mihato Uesugi:
Ren’s older half sister who ran away with him. She is said to hide items in forty-nine different places on her body and has admitted to having a “Brother Complex”. After she and Ren became part of the servant staff, she has shown signs of being lonely without him. She works as Miyu’s personal maid. She sometimes gets so jealous that Ren is not giving her attention she tries to think of ways of killing the person that is taking his attention, but usually stopped before anything happens. Despite it sounding morbid it is made in situations to be comical. She has a need for glasses. Mihato is called Hato-nee by Ren who she calls Ren-chan.

Catchphrase: Kuruppo. Nuff said. That’s all I need.

Yume Kuonji
The youngest of the Kuonji siblings and probably the most stereotypically average one among them as far as personality and personal problems go. Referring to herself with her own name and is usually overlooked by the other sisters. She also seems to show signs of being envious with Shinra’s fondness towards Miyu. Her hobbies are repairing radio antennas, reading manga, writing silly imaginative stories and collecting seashells. Only Natose and Ren show notice of her. Her most noticeable feature is her shockingly pink hair.

My favorite girl on the show. Adorable and simple, with awesome hobbies.

Natose: Yume’s maid, whom I affectionately call pirate puppy.

Colonel: Classic veteran butler. Insert badass origin here. He’s just there I guess.

Chiharu Kiyohara: Trap who suffers from “ignored” syndrome, which means he’s a character who’s intentionally rarely noticed and becomes ecstatic when someone does notice him. Is often confused for being a girl for obvious reasons.

Ageha Kuki: Kung-Fu noble with an X-scar on her forehead. Origin explained…somewhat. She has a butler of her own named Kojūrō whom she often hits regardless of whether he has failed a task or done a good deed. Rewards people with food…except one who gets…a special reward.

Kojuro: devoted butler to “Ageha-sama” who is willing to put his life on the line for his mistress. Poor guy rarely catches a break. Oh well.

There are other minor support characters. Take them for what their worth I suppose.

In conclusion: Not exactly a work of art or anything unique to the harem genre, but compared to Duel Masters this show is watchable. The characters are decent, the serious moments are interesting and the pacing is just fine for what the show’s trying to convey. Give it a try when you’re in the mood for lighthearted ecchiness.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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