Yu-Gi-Oh!: 10 Ways Mai Was Done Dirty

Mai Valentine was a major character on the original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. She first appeared in the Duelist Kingdom arc and continued to participate in different tournaments. However, things took a turn in one of the show’s filler arcs, Waking the Dragons.

She turned on the group and became a villain out of absolutely nowhere, and from there, things only got worse for Mai. She was done dirty several times throughout the show at just about every turn. It all started in Duelist Kingdom where she lost to Joey of all people.

She Lost To Joey As A Rookie

Mai and Joey first dueled with each other in Duelist Kingdom, when Joey was just a rookie. This man had absolutely no good cards in his deck and only had one combo in the form of Time Wizard. And Mai lost to it. The writing up to this point simply doesn’t make sense, Joey has no idea what he’s doing. But Mai lost. As a matter of fact, though, she barely wins any duels that she participates in.

She Never Won Many Duels At All

Mai Yu-Gi-Oh! Shocked and Happy

Mai never wins any duels that she participates in. She loses to PaniK and has to have Yugi win her Star Chips back, she lost to Joey, and then she loses to Yugi. She just loses to every duelist she faces off again. One of the only characters that she won against was Jean Claude Magnum, a filler character who showed up on the way to the Battle City finals. Mai’s only real wins are just sort of implied.

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The Wins Were Only Off-Screen

Mai Valentine in Yu-Gi-Oh! season 1

Mai wins duels, of course, but only off-screen. She wins enough Star Chips to make it to the Duelist Kingdom finals off-screen, and she does the same in Battle City. She is also shown winning previous tournaments through flashbacks in season four.

The second she comes on-screen, though, she loses. She serves as motivation for other people a lot of the time, but she never gets her own wins. As one of the only female duelists in the entire series, it’s really sad to watch. She even loses duels that she clearly should have won.

She Lost To Marik

Mai with the Winged Dragon of Ra in Yu-Gi-Oh!

Mai actually dueled circles around Marik in their duel during the Battle City finals. Despite him messing with her mind and making it a shadow game, she was doing much better than him. But then, because a paper card magically had words appear on it and she can’t read ancient Egyptian, she lost. This is such a shame. She had him beat in every single way, but she can’t actually win because she isn’t the main character.

She Became Evil

Mai Valentine During season four of Yu-Gi-Oh!

And then, of course, she becomes evil. During season four of the show, she becomes affiliated with Dartz and tries to take the group down. She had a great arc in seasons two and three when she learns to overcome the loneliness that she had faced all of her life. And then it’s all thrown away in season four. However, perhaps she could have managed to avoid becoming evil if all of her friends actually talked to her.

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The Group Never Checked In On Her After Marik

The entire gang together

Perhaps if everyone that she considers her friends had checked in on her, this wouldn’t have happened. She was clearly in a lot of pain and needed an ally, and none of the crew were there to check in.

She was also tortured by Marik in the Shadow Realm. No one thought that she might have a bit of PTSD after something as awful as that? All-in-all, she was done dirty by her friends for never checking in on her. Instead, The Seal of Orichalcos took over.

Even The Orichalcos Didn’t Get Her Wins


Still, even with the power of the Seal on her side, she wasn’t able to win a duel. The only duel that we saw her win besides against Pegasus (which was, surprise, off-screen) was a duel with Joey that he passed out during because he was already exhausted from his duel with Valon. The writers couldn’t have even given her a win against Rafael? How sad.

Her Arc Got Cut Off

The Harpie Lady Sisters together in the anime

Mai had a great arc before Waking the Dragons ruined it all. It sent her in a downward spiral that she wasn’t able to recover from. She actually never got the chance to do so, however, as she was thrown off the show by the writers after she had such a horrible season for some strange reason.

She Was Never Seen Again

Mai battles Merik in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime.

After Waking the Dragons, she was just gone. She showed up for a few seconds here and there with no spoken lines of dialogue, and that was it. She never got to apologize, she never got to atone for her ways, she never even spoke with the group again. She couldn’t have at least had a cameo in Dark Side of Dimensions to show fans that she was okay and that everyone was still friends?

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Her Para And Dox Duel

Para and Dox standing back to back in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime

In the final moments of the original anime (not in the dub), we see that Mai Valentine and Vivian Wong are on top of the Great Wall of China dueling with the Paradox brothers. How did this happen? How did all of these duelists come together? Was it a Shadow Game, or recreational? Did Mai win? Why didn’t the writers show us more of this?

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