Written by Jonathan Wojcik
is neither a card game I've ever played nor an anime I've ever watched, but it's always had some fascinatingly preposterous and inventive monsters; monsters that aren't even actually real
in the animated series, and are given virtually no context or explanation whatsoever in the card game. Reviewing Yu-Gi-Oh monsters in general is a rather daunting task that I don't intend to invest the rest of my life in, but there's one interesting set of monsters that were pretty much destined to get their own Bogleech
review, and I'm kind of winging this year's Halloween articles even moreso than usual, so while it's no "Halloweenier" than what I'd put on this site any other time of year, we're gonna look at Yu-Gi-Oh's worms.
Don't worry, though. Some ultra-Halloweenery is on its way. We're only now hitting the middle of August, when the pumpkins really
start to flood the craft stores and dollar trees.
Now, when I say "worms," I don't mean any old monster that happens to be vermiform and have "worm" in its card name. No, these
worms were part of a 27-card series, one for each letter of the alphabet, representing some sort of...well, worm apocalypse,
just like the very first card in the line. I have to say, they kind of blow their load at the get-go, because there's very few things in our pop culture landscape that get any cooler than the freakazoids on this card. They've got elongated pill-shaped bodies, freaky vertical slots for eyes, little round mouths full of flesh-teeth, their lower bodies look like flayed humanoids
and it's all topped off with metal shoulder pads. Gorgeous. They're that perfect blend of nightmarishly surreal and cartoonishly silly that you probably think I have some sort of perverse fetish for, and while you would be incorrect, I do love that aesthetic enough to not even care
if that's what you want to believe.
After starting on such
a high note, Barses is more than a little disappointing, even for a grumpy, broken egg-man with yonic jaws. You will notice that nothing about him really screams "worm," and that's actually going to be true for a whole lot of these guys, but I honestly have no problem calling them "worms" whether or not they are actually worm-shaped. I like the idea of a set of monsters stretching the term "worm" as broadly as just "demon" or "alien." It's also entirely possible that they're wormier on the inside
, maybe filled with and controlled by slithering parasites of some sort, or only temporarily taking on different shapes for combat purposes. I mean, there are actual worms who spend some time in nearly spherical larval states.
A more moth-like monster, which at least visually communicates some
relationship with some of the things we like to call "worms." You will notice that a high number of these guys have that same exact mouth. Maybe that's the one holdover from a shared larval stage, or something. Incidentally, their actual card types are "reptile," so there's also that to wrap your head around.
At a distance, this one almost looks like a purple and silver Kitsune, but instead of someone's copy/paste Deviantart persona, it's actually just a mucus-coated reptiloid with a bunch of bladed tentacles erupting from welts on its back, so yeah, someone's Kitsune persone if they mistakenly commissioned me to draw it for them.
Things are definitely picking up with this rotund slimeball, armor plates and even raw muscle tissue visible under his oozing outer membrane. We still haven't returned to anything "worm" shaped, but Erokin is one of the cutest we've seen since Apocalypse. Look at that face! That's not even a threatening face. That is the face of an incredibly round baby who just saw you set down an entire cake and walk away from it. Me. It is me as a round baby when there's cake.
Okay, maybe things are getting a little silly now that a "worm" can just be a pink pterodactyl. At least it has the transparent tissues that seems to be a trend with these guys, though a lot subtler than its siblings. You can barely tell, but we're definitely seeing its musculature through very thin, crystal-clear skin. You think maybe these things are "worms" on a microscopic
level? Like the "slime" covering them is just billions of microbial nematodes or something? Maybe even their solid tissues are just built from different worms, all woven together to construct semblances of other creatures.
Gulse kind of just seems to be a heavier, more muscular Erokin. Erokin's super-ripped dad. Or mom. One
of Erokin's super ripped parents who are constantly giving their child entire cakes to compensate for the grueling fitness training forced upon them by their own cold and heartless parents.
"Hope" looks nothing at all like any of the other worms. It's just sort of a silver guy with a featureless anvil-face. It didn't forget to have a layer of jelly all over it, though, and overall, I kind of like it. It's creepy, especially with the name, kind of carrying an "angelic" feel, and angels are damn
creepy. They're even creepier in real religious lore than they were in that Neon Genies Something Something
This is another kind of uninspired one, but at least its eyes look even more freaked out than usual. Its head also reminds me a lot of Battra
in its larval stage, even though they're really not that much alike at all. It took me a while to notice Illidan's booty. He's got a massive
ass back there, like a big fat insect abdomen.
We're right back in business with J...Jetleple...Jeklepsers...Jek...Jimmy. I like Jimmy. He has a giant swollen torso and apparently little turkey wings and one of his arms is really little for whatever reason, but more important is how about 87% of him is covered in completely black sludge. He has the "generic" worm face, but it looks particularly fashionable in angry hornet colors, peering out of a big wad of tar.
Overall, this guy's really not my style, just kind of a golden liontaur-devil-man, but you have to admire the positioning of that mouth. Worm King is not ashamed of his body. He's so not ashamed of his body that he leaves his humongous, toothed vagina exposed so you can more easily hear its constant screeching before it sucks all the soft tissues off of your entire body and spits your skeleton back out. Worm King is sexy like that.
I guess it's "linx" as in "things linked together," and if you're going to link things together, there are few better choices than pink, dripping mosquito people. I like how they also give the impression of wings, but those are just metal horn dealies, probably to make it harder for giant frogs to swallow them from behind, like mine are for.
Now we've got just sort of a crab-spider-beetle deal here, but I like the quad-beak directly on its underbelly, especially with acidic slime just constantly streaming out of it. That slime has such a pleasant color, and it looks like it has a really fine, runny consistency to it, like uncooked egg white. Speaking of Ninja Generation Evangeline, this thing reminds me a lot of that one Angel that's just a spider-legged eye and cries acid all the time. I think I'd like to see it and Millidith as an item. And see them make out, beak-to-eyeball, slopping their acid pus together. Still not a pervert!
of stuff is going on with the Worm "Noble" here. Bone plates, giant blue veins, bug-skull-face, all fairly nice but not nearly as fascinating as whatever's going on behind him. Now those
are worm monster designs. Love the little needly-teeth and freaky pink eyeballs on those things. Or are they, in fact, part of the worm noble? Does he just have a whole orgy of cooler worms growing out of his spine, like I do?
This is one of the best in the set, on par with Apocalypse. It sort of combines aspects of a sea anemone and a comb jelly, but the coolest part is the smaller, more grotesque, almost human mouth within its bigger, gaping trap. A grotesque little mouth that apparently sings opera
. Opera for WORMS!!!!! OPERA FOR WORMS!!! WORMS!!!!
Worm Prince wouldn't be interesting if not for his "you want a piece of this?" body language, and whether it is a combative or sexual gesture is up to you. It can, of course, be both. The best thing about this card, though, is getting to see the Apocalypse worms again, and they're excited!!!
They're gonna watch
and cheer him on!
The queen, of course, closely matches the king, but significantly cooler with her spider legs, pallid coloration and rock-hard, pointed termite-head crotch, perfectly shaped to fill her husband's gaping multi-lipped throat. I don't know why these write ups are getting so raunchy, I guess I can't find many other things to say about these guys. What's she doing,
anyway? Who's getting grounded? She's all "You wanna tell me what this
is about? Why I had to help Dimikles down off the roof again?
I'm not angry, I'm just really, really disappointed. Look at him. You know
he can't take care of himself. GULSE, mommy is speaking.
Here's another of the great
ones, the ones that make putting all these damn "worms" up actually worth
it. Rakuyeh is pretty simple, another one with the standard worm face and slime coating, but his overall shape, proportions and more amorphous appearance make a world of difference. He looks like a big, surging, furiously grouchy cross between grape jelly and a planarian, which has always
been a winning combination, hasn't it? All those times?
Huh. So this one's just kind of a multi-eyed blob sealed in a pyramid. Alrighty. I'm not sure what Worm Solid is capable of doing exactly; you would think perhaps it can withstand a lot of punishment and maybe hibernate for extended periods of time before breaking out of its crystalline shell, but then it would stop being solid
, which is its name.
I don't think I can accept that.
EXCITING YU-GI-OH WORM UPDATE:
actually it turns out (thanks for the commentary!) that worm solid is just a thing that gains more and more defense the more dead worms you have, so it's actually ultra-condensed worm corpses. Good.
Surprisingly, an evil alien worm accidentally shaped like an octopus kind of comes out really underwhelming, like just any old octopus-shaped monster. It's interesting how the tentacles have more vertebrate-like muscle tissue under their skin, though, I guess.
Who gave this sweet babyface such a rude name? Why? Just because it looks like a big round wad of spit with little wads of snot wiped on it? That's not even half as unpleasant as the average actual child, and how can you not fall in love with this little face? It even has little nub-arms. Little wiggling Kirby arms. I can't even rip on it for having a mouth that looks even more than usual like the end of a fleshlight or anything.
All these armored, humanoid lizard-man Worms would be so incredibly forgettable without their amusing poses. This is totally one of those stock poses Japanese schoolgirls default to in photo booths. That, or he's threatening to fingerbang six people at once. I am so sorry. I never normally joke like this. I don't know why these are bringing this out of me. Am I just this bored?
I think this might be the very least worm-like worm of them all. I mean, it's a sphere with muscle arms and legs. It doesn't really get less wormly than that. Even all the others at least had nematode fangs or bug arms or something. This guy's just some sort of crazy golden wrecking-ball sumo demon. Nice face,though, I like how its anatomy has no clear top and bottom, completely asymmetrical whichever two limbs it tries to stand on.
Here we go, this is a little bit wormy
again. I'm not sure if we're just seeing the tip of something buried underground, or if it's just a flat, radiating organism like a sea star. I think I prefer the latter interpretation. So it's like a giant anus that walks around on four dild-no, no, I'll stop. I'll go back to my regular family friendly commentary. And not talk about how the butthole dildo starfish is even self-lubricating. Not me.
GOD DAMN IT YAGAN IS JUST A STRAIGHT-UPTWO-HEADED ANEMONE DICK. LOOK AT HIM. HE'S A COCK MONSTER WITH A BARFING ASSMOUTH. I NEVER EVEN INTENDED THE DIRECTION THIS WENT AND THEN THEY THROW A TWO HEADED DILDO HYDRA AT ME. XEX IS EVEN ON ITS WAY OVER FOR FOR GOD ONLY KNOWS WHAT AND OH YEAH, SAY "WORM XEX" OUT LOUD.
Okay, okay. Let's settle down here and talk about how completely freaking amazing and nightmarish "Worm Zero" is. This is why I even bothered reviewing these greasy hentai extras at all. You will notice that every single worm thus far has been shown on some sort of craterous moonscape, right? And now "Worm Zero," the final and ultimate worm, is literally the whole freaking moon,
completely covered in squirming worm bodies and worm slime in the shape of a damn skull.
What the hell is happening. Is that worm slime flooding that entire city?
The place looks like hell, too, like what we're seeing here is indeed the tail end of wormkind's reign of terror. Did they just hatch out of the moon, drip on down to our planet, eat everybody, then slide right back on up for some eternal wormy moon-orgy?
See, this is why I can't get into the Yu-Gi-Oh anime, abridged or otherwise. I'm just too disappointed that it's about a bunch of dweebs playing a card game instead of showing us the epic, insane universe within that card game.
The worms alone could have been the antagonists of an entire horror series. Thousands
of other weird monsters and characters populate the game's art. There are infinite stories to be told from Yu-Gi-Oh cards and the only story they decide to tell is that of nerds with ridiculous hair and a cardboard fetish. I'm so mad, I'm gonna go see if anybody drew any kinky worm fan-art in the Internet's seedy back alleys, and if they didn't, this is officially a request.
One more: Evilking Azzathoth
...Wait, never mind that last remark. It turns out I actually missed a worm card when I first published this. It is called "EVILKING AZZATHOTH," as in Lovecraft's "nuclear chaos" or "blind idiot god" at the center of creation, and it is a ball of all the worms intertwining their gooey limbs, drenched in one another's fluids. Good. I'm glad. It wasn't just me. See?
The English versions of these cards even completely paint over Worm King's vajaws. Everyone can tell what's up with the worms.
Halloween 2014 Archive: