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Mai Valentine, aka Mai Kujaku in the manga, and Japanese version.
Mai-ep03-24-helloboys
She is a recurring, and supporting character in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Manga and the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters series.

Background

Mai was orphaned at a young age, and spent much of her time alone. (In the English version, she instead recounts that her parents were always busy and were away from home to work).

Mai once worked as a card dealer on a ship-board casino, where she first discovered the "Harpie Lady" cards. A lot of men, who she described as boring, would pay money to get with her. Using her "aroma tactics", she pretended she had psychic powers, as she could tell what her cards were without looking at them, since they were sprayed with different perfumes. With these tactics she defeated such men, winning their money. Although she made a lot of money, she got bored and quit.

She met Jean-Claude Magnum while working there. The two Dueled, ending in the actor's defeat. Magnum proposed to her, to which she refused and told him to come back when he became a good duelist.

Personality

At the beginning of the series, Mai is a self-absorbed woman who is only set out for prize money, personal satisfaction and power. She was also very arrogant and prideful of her dueling skills and looks.

At first, Mai often used her beauty to seduce men into giving her what she wants and making them her tools. She used her beauty to easily steal Rex Raptor's luxury room on the cruise to Duelist Kingdom by offering him a kiss if he could beat her in a duel, and later manipulated him into dueling Joey for her as revenge on Joey for defeating her in an earlier duel.

Mai is extremely lonely and at first, is convinced that she doesn't need friends. At one point, she believed her "Harpie Lady" cards were the closest she would ever have to friends.

Mai's selfish attitude and outlook on life continues until she meets and finds meaning with Yugi Muto and his three best friends. After she meets them and Yugi fought Panik for her to regain her Star Chips, Mai begins seeing Yugi, Joey, Tristan, and Tea as her friends. She even offered Yugi her extra Star Chips so he could enter the Duelist Kingdom's Finals and rescue his grandfather after Yugi lost to Kaiba, and gave Joey her entry fee card for the finals when his was stolen by Bandit Keith. From there, she continued meeting up with the four on occassions and helping them out from time to time on their adventures.

Mai's feelings of loneliness and emptiness return when she is forced to face Marik in the Battle City finals. Marik enters her into a Shadow Game, where with each of her monsters destroyed she begins losing the memory of a former friend. In the end, Marik defeats her and leaves her mind trapped in the Shadow Realm for a long time while she continues feeling more and more alone, miserable, and isolated every minute, until Yugi finally defeats Marik in the final round and frees her.

After being freed from the Shadow Realm and gone separate ways from her friends for a while, Mai's wins become empty to her and her feelings of loneliness return even more. Eventually, she is unable to cope with the mental anguish and turns against her friends, joining the evil Dartz to assist him in his quest for power. However, Joey seems to eventually bring her back to her old self and she regains her self-esteem and pride as a true duelist, but was unable to face her former friends again after what she had done to them. However during the KC Grand Championship arc, she came to see Yami Yugi battle Leon, showing that Mai still cared about her former friends.

In the Japanese version; Mai typically uses a quite informal manner of speech. She commonly omits honorifics when speaking with others, but addresses Tea and Serenity as "-chan." She uses the informal and potentially condescending "anta", a contraction of the more formal "anata" (similar to the English "honey"). She uses the personal pronoun "atakushi", which tends to be a more elegant, if not older, form of self-reference.

Appearance

Mai's character design was overseen by Kazuki Takahashi. In the anime during the Duelist Kingdom arc, Mai wore a short-sleeved purple coat over her white tube top, which shows her stomach, along with recurring purple high-heeled boots. From Battle City on, she changed to a sleeveless light purple vest and a white tank top and wore long white fingerless gloves. She wears a dark purple mini-skirt and a deck holder strapped to her thigh in the Duelist Kingdom and Battle City arcs, but in Waking the Dragons, she wears dark purple shorts and now wears purple gloves.

In the manga, during the Dueliset Kingdom arc, she largely wore the same outfit as the anime, but her top was open, revealing the middle of her chest and held together using strings, like a corset. In Battle City, she changed to wearing a black leather vest and mini-skirt, and wore a similar tube top as her Duelist Kingdom self, but with the front closed.

In the English version, her cleavage and lines of cleavage are digitally reduced or erased and her skirt is lengthened.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Manga

Mai was invited to the Duelist Kingdom tournament. She entered hoping to win the prize money, which she considered using to travel the world or live in Paris and buy all the cosmetics that she wanted, but also entered in the hope of finding the things that she once cherished.

The boat to the Duelist Kingdom island left from Domino Pier. Seeing the other competitors there, Mai laughed that it was like a pep rally for kids and she had not seen any real competition yet. However she soon spotted Yugi Muto who she knew had defeated Seto Kaiba. She was surprised that someone like Yugi could beat Kaiba and teased him for being a little kid, which infuriated Tea Gardner. She showed no interest in Joey Wheeler and Tristan Taylor, who sought her attention, telling her that they were friends of Yugi. She warned the boys that it did not matter in a Duel if her opponent was a little kid as any man who stepped in her way would get crushed.

On the boat, Mai complained to an official about having to sleep on the common room floor with the other contestants. She was interrupted by Rex Raptor, the runner-up of the Japanese nationals who had been given his own room. Rex offered to share his room with her and Mai saw an opportunity. She acted all giddy and pretended to be fond of Rex. Inside his room, she said that she liked strong men, as long as they were stronger than her and challenged him to a game of Duel Monsters. If he won, she said that she would do whatever he wanted all night long, while if she won she would get the room to herself. She threw off his concentration using her Aroma Tactics and easily won, after which she kicked him out of the room.

While on the island, she heard Pegasus's rules of the tournament.

Mai watched Yami Yugi Dueling Weevil Underwood, hoping to learn some of Yami Yugi's strategies. She complimented one of his comebacks, but said he had only taken a small lead and annoyed Tea by calling him "Yugi-chan". Mai explained that Weevil was the Japanese champion and a master planner, so the real Duel was only just beginning. To Tea's further annoyance, Joey and Tristan agreed with Mai. She also mocked Tea, Joey, Tristan and Bakura's cheering, saying it was of no help to Yami Yugi.

Wagering her two Star Chips in her first Duel, Mai easily beat her opponent using her Aroma Tactics. He claimed to have went easy on her because she was a girl and that he could not pay attention because of how she was reading her face-down cards without looking.

Mai went over to Yami Yugi and his friends. Much to their surprise, she challenged Joey to a Duel. She explained that Dueling Yami Yugi this soon would be a bad strategy, so she needs to take out the weaker Duelists first. Tea, Tristan and Bakura tried to talk Joey out of accepting, thinking Mai was out of his league. However Joey did not want to be a coward, and Yami Yugi agreed. Before the Duel, each player bet one Star Chip and Joey asked Mai why she entered the tournament. She replied by saying how she wanted the prize money to live in luxury and got furious when Joey said it was a weak reason. She asked why he entered, to which he replied he was there to save a life.

Using her Aroma Tactics, Mai put Joey off guard and took an early lead. After Joey closed his eyes, he smelled her perfumes and figured out the Aroma Tactics. Even with that knowledge, Mai said that Joey could not beat her in a hundred years. With a mental reminder from Yami Yugi, Joey used "Time Wizard" to age "Baby Dragon" into "Thousand Dragon" and weaken Mai's "Harpy Lady Sisters". Mai lost the Duel as "Thousand Dragon" destroyed the "Harpy" cards. Before leaving Joey told Mai that there is one thing that does not change in a hundred years and it is "something you can show, but can't see".

Mai went on to win more Duels, bringing her up to eight Star Chips. She found her last few opponents boring and was still bothered by Joey's riddle which she could not figure out. While she sat around trying to figure it out, she was challenged to a rematch by Rex. However Mai had no interest in facing someone she had already beaten and told him to go away. Rex tried to boast about having five Star Chips, but Mai showed him her eight and said she only needed two more to get to Pegasus Castle for the finals and had already decided the person she was going to win them from. However before doing that, she still wanted to take out Joey. She then agreed to Duel Rex under the condition that he defeated Joey first. She thought it would be immature to challenge Joey again, but if she beat Rex after he beat Joey, it would be like beating both of them. Rex was unhappy with taking Mai's orders, but agreed to do it. Mai then added the condition that Rex was her slave until he defeated Joey. She also asked him the riddle, but regretted it after he suggested it was the octopus in a piece of takoyaki.

Mai located Joey again and ridiculed him and his friends for always being together, comparing them to ducklings. She asked Yami Yugi to admit that it was a nuisance having them follow him and said that he would probably be in the castle already if he was alone. She laid off after realizing she was making him mad, as she was not ready to Duel him yet. She then introduced Rex as her slave, saying Joey had to Duel him. Joey accepted and was determined to prove her "duckling" comment wrong, while Anzu got mad over Mai repeatedly targeting Joey.

Mai mocked Joey's failed attempt to age "Baby Dragon" and later warned Rex when Joey set "Time Wizard", although he had already figured it out. She was surprised when Joey made a comeback, but credited it to beginner's luck and said there was no way Joey could beat Rex. Tea reminded her that Joey had beaten her, but Mai said that he cheated, as anyone could win if Yugi helped them. The two girls then exchanged intense glares. Mai got mad at Rex as he let Joey take more of a lead and again when he added the ante where the winner would take both "Red-Eyes Black Dragon" and "Time Wizard", as she worried about Dueling Rex with "Time Wizard" in his Deck. However Joey won and Mai accidentally cheered for him. However she say oops as Tea angrily stares at her.

During the night, Mai spotted Yugi, Tristan and Bakura trying to stop Joey from eating a wild mushroom. She teased them by eating a walnut chocolate bar and jokingly offered to trade Joey a bite for a Star Chip, before proposing a ceasefire for the night. Yugi was happy to accept, but Joey suspected she was up to something. Mai emptied her provisions out of her bag and offered to share. Having brought the food herself, she ordered to boys to do the cooking. Bakura was happy to cook and Yugi gathered firewood. However Joey did not like taking Mai's orders, but Tristan advised him to suck it up, so they could eat.

While the boys prepared the food, Mai noticed how different Yugi was acting, since Yami Yugi was not in control. She mentioned this to Tea, who pointed out that Mai was similar and asked why she was being nice all of a sudden. Mai lied that it was because she was a woman, whose Duelist makeup did not last 24 hours. In reality, she did not understand why she was being nice to them either. Mai then allowed Tea to use her portable shower, while she stood guard. During their meal, Mai mentioned that although they were friends for the night, they would be enemies again tomorrow.

After the meal, Mai offered to share her tent with Tea. When Joey, Tristan and Bakura had fallen asleep, she told Yugi that Tea wanted to talk to him by the cliff and then went back to her tent. Inside she told Tea about when she worked as a casino dealer and pointed out that Tea had a crush on Yugi. Tea blushed and tried to deny it, but Mai was unconvinced. She then told Tea that she had arranged for Yugi to meet her and sent her to the cliff.

While Mai was alone in her tent, she was shock when Panik intruded and forced her into a Duel. By hiding his monsters in darkness, Panik easily won the Duel and took Mai's eight Star Chips. Tea and Yugi then arrived at the scene of the Duel afterwards, after having to heard Mai scream. Yugi then switched to Yami Yugi and Dueled Panik, by winning back her Star Chips.

When Yami Yugi tried to return the Star Chips to Mai, she said that she could not take them. She accepted that she had been eliminated and said goodbye. However Joey, Tristan and Bakura appeared and called her back. Tristan reminded Mai that she had said they would be enemies tomorrow, meaning until midnight, she was their friend. Yami Yugi said that he, she and Joey had come to the island to fight fair and square, while the Duelists Pegasus hire fought for the sake of destruction. As he did not want them disgracing the honor of their battles, he told her to take back the Star Chips. Mai was still reluctant, so Joey grabbed the Star Chips and said that if she did not want them, he would take them and celebrated that he would be the first to Pegasus Castle. Without thinking, she angrily demanded that he give them back to her. He complied and said that if her pride would not let her take the Star Chips, she should throw them in the ocean, but he would not do that himself as her dreams were attached to the Star Chips. Mai conceded that she would borrow the Star Chips, but considered herself to be unworthy of Dueling Yami Yugi until she repaid her debt.

Later that night, Mai, Tea, Yugi, Joey, Tristan and Bakura were woken by the sound of Kaiba landing nearby in his helicopter. She watched Joey pick a fight with Kaiba, which resulted in the two of them Dueling with Kaiba's Duel Disk prototypes. As Joey put up a poor fight, without thinking Mai ordered him to stand up and fight as she did not want to see him like that. After the Duel, she overheard that Joey was fighting for something to do with his sister's eyes. Some time later, Tea explained how Joey was participating for the prize money for an operation to save her eyesight.

The next morning Mai woke up before the others, and left without saying anything. She left them some supplies, and a note saying that she owed Yugi eight Star Chips.

Mai won another eight Star Chips from other participants, bringing her total up to sixteen, six more than was required to enter the finals. When she arrived at the Castle, she informed Kemo that she was leaving to collect another finalist. However, when she found Yugi, he only had five Star Chips. To pay him back, she gave him her access six Star Chips, saying that in return he must Duel her in the castle. However Yugi was unwilling to accept them, as it was not the type of thing Yami Yugi would do. Joey and Mai tried to convince him that what he was fighting for was more important than his Duelist pride, and he should not feel inferior to Yami Yugi. Mai admitted that she had collected the extra Star Chips not only to restore her pride, but also to see Yugi and his friends again. She had been happy after they called her their friend after all the mean things she had said to them and told them that this was the first time anybody said something like that to her. Yugi then accepted the Star Chips as a token of her appreciation.

Mai, Yugi and Joey entered the castle as the last three finalists after Bandit Keith. Inside they witnessed the Duel between Kaiba and Maximillion J. Pegasus. Here she first heard of Pegasus' mind reading powers, but did not believe they were real. She also learned that Pegasus had created the powerful card, "Toon World", for himself.

With the finals the next day, Mai told Yami Yugi and Joey that they were back to being enemies for the tournament, but wished the two of them luck. The finalists and their friends were then invited to a dinner party. However the meal only consisted of soup, in which the finalists were horrified to find Millennium Eye replicas. Mai even accidentally put her replica in her mouth. Pegasus then appeared on a screen and explained that there were letters inside the eyes used to determine the pairings for semi finals; Mai was to face Yugi, while Joey was to face Keith.

Yami Yugi and Mai's Duel was the first of the two semi finals. Initially Yami Yugi showed little interest, as he was confident he would win and was only focused on facing Pegasus. His lack of concentration allowed Mai to easily take an early lead. He fell twice for her "Mirror Wall", and she lowered his Life Points to 1350. By easily disposing his Trap Card with "Harpy's Feather Duster", this brought her "Harpy Lady" up to 2100 ATK and she Summoned "Harpies' Pet Dragon".

She asked Yami Yugi the "something you can show, but can't see" riddle and said he could not win unless he figured it out. Joey said that he asked Mai that before and asked if she even knew the answer. Mai replied that she came up with her own answer. However Joey claimed that the answer was friendship. But Mai said he was incorrect and her answer was not such a cliché, but thought that Joey should know, since he taught her. Mai used "Shadow of Eyes" to force Yami Yugi's monsters into attacking her "Mirror Wall" and her second "Harpy's Feather Duster" to stop his counterattacks, bringing his Life Points down to 300.

Joey began to think that he was lucky to have beaten Mai before, but Mai stated that luck had nothing to do with it. She had fought her hardest against Joey and was devastated when she lost, she explained and said that she had went into denial, but on facing her true self, she understood the meaning of the riddle. She asked Joey if he knew how he had gotten so far in the tournament. Joey regarded himself as a bad player and credited his success to his friends' support. Mai replied that he was correct; he understood his weakness, accepted it and became stronger to overcome it. She understood this to be the courage of a true Duelist, and that such courage is tested when the Duelist loses, rather than when they win. She exclaimed that a strong heart is born when one is ready to lose and asked if Yami Yugi had that courage. Yami Yugi reflected on his recent Duel with Kaiba, in which he had been afraid to lose, while Yugi was not. Yugi's strength had made up for his weakness, and that was what he could show but could not see. Yami Yugi said that he was proud to have fought Mai, and that the real Duel began at that point.

While using "Brain Control" and "Catapult Turtle", Yami Yugi destroyed "Mirror Wall" using the dragon as a missile. He retreated "Catapult Turtle" from Mai's "Harpy Lady Sisters" with "Monster Recovery", replacing it with "Mystical Elf", who was unaffected by the pheromones from "Shadow of Eyes". Mai revived "Harpies' Pet Dragon" with "Monster Reborn", but Yami Yugi held off her attacks with "Swords of Revealing Light", while he gathered the components to Summon "Black Luster Soldier". Initially unaware what he was doing, Mai laughed at his use of the weak card "Kuriboh". However Yami Yugi got "Black Luster Soldier" to attack and destroy the dragon, after which Mai surrendered, while not wanting her harpies to be harmed. As she parted, Mai promised to get stronger from her defeat. While Yami Yugi thanked Mai, as that Duel had taught him something he was on the verge of losing.

Later on Mai found Joey weeping in a corridor before he was due to Duel Keith. He was on the brink of being disqualified as he had lost his "The Honor of the King's Right" card. Mai ordered him to save his tears for if he lost and gave him the handkerchief she had been crying in. Wrapped inside was her "The Honor of the King's Right", which she no longer needed. Before he had time to thank her, she reminded him that he was running out of time. As Joey ran back to the arena he wondered why Mai was doing this for him. Mai called him an idiot, as she thought to herself that she did it because they were friends.

Soon after Mai went outside afterwards, and found that all the boats were gone, leaving her stranded. As she threw rocks into the sea out of frustration, she heard Kaiba's helicopter leaving the island after the tournament had ended. Kaiba, Mokuba, Yugi, Joey, Tea, Tristan and Bakura were all inside. She ran after them, and had the ladder thrown down for her to climb on. Mai then stay on the ladder as the helicopter departed from the island.

Mai heard rumors of a massive Duel Monsters tournament online and in magazines, accompanied by a clue which led her and Duelists from across Japan to Domino City at a specified time and date. Here she met Yami Yugi and Tea and teased them about being on a date. She was surprised that Yami Yugi had not heard about the tournament about to be announced and told him what she knew about it. Seto Kaiba then arrived and explained that the Battle City tournament was to take place there in two days time.

Mai won six Puzzle Cards in the preliminaries, qualifying her for the final rounds. She met Tristan after winning her last preliminary Duel and asked him how Joey was doing. Tristan explained that he was taking a girl to see Joey. She was initially taken aback to hear that there was another girl looking for Joey, but then realized that it was his sister, Serenity, judging by her similar hair. Mai had heard that Serenity's eye operation was a success, but noticed that she was still wearing eye bandages. She told Serenity that her brother was a great guy and was probably thinking of her while fighting an awesome battle. She then invited Tristan, Serenity and their friend Duke Devlin into her car to find Joey. Mai drove somewhat recklessly, causing Tristan and Duke to fall around in the backseat.

Mai eventually found Joey at Domino Pier, where he had just Dueled Yugi while brainwashed by Marik Ishtar. Mai got annoyed by Joey's self-deprecating. She apologized to Serenity in advance before slapping Joey, telling him not to act like a baby. She told him off for throwing away his pride as a Duelist and everything he had fought for over something because of something he could not control. After she and the others talked sense into Joey, Serenity removed the bandages from her eyes to see him.

As Mai and her friends prepared to go the finals, Mai interrupted Joey telling Serenity that he was aiming for gold. She teasingly said that reality can be cruel and Serenity was not to look the other way should Joey lose to her in the finals. She also warned Yugi not to underestimate her, as she was not the same as before. To Mai's annoyance, Serenity, Tristan, Joey, Tea, Yugi and Duke all squeezed into her car to get the finals. She warned them that they would have to pay if she received a ticket.

The group arrived at Domino Stadium for the finals. The finalists were Mai, Yugi, Joey, Kaiba, Yami Bakura, Marik, Odion and Ishizu Ishtar. They and their companions boarded the blimp, the Battle Ship, for the finals. Yami Bakura pretended Ryo Bakura was actually in control, Marik used the alias "Namu", Odion pretended to be Marik and Ishizu arrived late and boarded the blimp last, with her identity originally unknown to the other finalists.

On the top of the blimp, Mai watched the first of the quarterfinals between Yami Bakura and Yami Yugi.

She also watched the second quarterfinal between Joey and Odion, posing as Marik. She deduced from Odion's presence that he was a powerful Duelist and hoped Joey would be careful. She was embarrassed by Joey's declaration that he would win in exactly eleven turns and yelled at him to pay attention when his cards nearly blew overboard. As the Duel entered its climax, Mai was ready to accept that Joey was unable to win this Duel. It seemed to her that the Duel was over when Joey passed a turn, leaving no way of blocking Odion's next attack. However Joey's accusations that Odion was not Marik, caused Odion to change his strategy and attempt to Summon "The Sun Dragon Ra". Due to the card being a counterfeit, both players were struck down in Ra's anger. As the only player able to stand up, Joey was declared the winner.

Joey told his friends that he was able to stand up in his Duel because they had appeared to him in a dream and gave him the strength he needed. Mai was pleased to be regarded as one of Joey's friends. However when she asked him if she was in the dream, he explained that the dream had taken place in his classroom and she was too old for school. He joked that she could play the teacher next time. Upset by Joey's response, Mai reverted to her old beliefs that she could only rely on herself.

At the pairings for the third quarterfinal, Mai noticed that Yami Marik and the eighth finalist, Ishizu, were not present and wondered if the Duel meant nothing to them. When it was announced that she would be in the Duel, she went to the arena before her opponent was announced. She told Joey and the others not to come, as she did not need them cheering for her. Mai's opponent was Yami Marik and her friends watched the Duel to support her despite her orders. As Yami Marik turned the Duel into a Shadow Game, Yami Yugi advised Mai to walk away as she could die if she lost, but her pride overcame her, so she refused to back down and vowed to win no matter what.

The nature of the Shadow Game caused the players to see life lines connecting them to their monsters. This caused the players to feel the same pain as their monsters. The damage to the players' bodies was an illusion, but the pain was real and would kill them when their Life Points reached 0. As Mai's "Amazoness Swords Woman" backed with "Amazoness Archers" decapitated Dark Marik's "Makyura the Destructor", Mai saw Yami Marik's head fall off and screamed out loud. While Yami Marik put his head back on, he revived "Makyura" stronger using by its effect to play "Rope of Life". "Makyura" destroyed "Amazoness Swords Woman" causing Mai to also feel like she had been cut in the chest. Mai's friends could not see the illusions created by the Shadow Game, but noticed Mai was acting strange. Yami Yugi informed her that what she was seeing was just an illusion fueled by her fear and could be overcome with her own willpower. Mai took his advice and the blood she was seeing disappeared.

Yami Marik tortured "Amazoness Chain Master" with "Viser Des" causing Mai to experience excruciating pain. Mai used "Grave Arm" to send "Chain Master" to the Graveyard freeing her from the torture and activating her effect, letting Mai take "The Sun Dragon Ra" from Dark Marik's Deck and add it to her hand. Yami Marik tortured "Amazoness Fighter" with "Nightmare Wheel", but Mai freed her with "Dramatic Rescue" exchanging her for "Harpy Lady". She used "Kaleidoscope" to create two duplicates of the "Harpy Lady" and sacrificed them to Summon "The Sun Dragon Ra".

"Ra" was Summoned in its Sphere Mode and the light it emitted made the Hieratic text on the card visible. Unable to read the text, Mai could not change the card to Battle Mode, so she Set "Mirror Wall" and ended her turn. Yami Marik Summoned "Viser Shock", returning "Mirror Wall" to her hand. His two "Viser" cards then attacked Mai directly by clasping onto and torturing her. Yami Marik then recited the Hieratic passage, allowing him to control "Ra" in its Battle Mode. Still restrained by the "Viser" cards, Mai was unable to move as "Ra" prepared to attack her. Joey got onto the Dueling platform and unsuccessfully tried to release Mai. Yami Yugi then stood between them and took the hit from the attack.

Marik was declared the winner of the Duel. He went over to Mai afterwards to take back "The Sun Dragon Ra". Since Yami Yugi had interfered, Mai had not been killed in the Shadow Game, so instead Yami Marik inflicted a Penalty Game on her. He went inside her mind to find a suitable punishment. Mai's mind consisted of a beach resort and casino equipment. Yami Marik trapped her inside the bottom of a sandglass that had its top half filled with insects which would gradually fall into Mai's half. The insects would devour her flesh and kill her after about twenty four hours. The neck was blocked by the card, "The Sun Dragon Ra", which Marik removed as he left. In reality Mai's body fell unconscious and Yami Marik said that unless he was killed in the next twenty four hours, Mai would not wake up. Joey vowed to defeat Yami Marik in that time, while Tristan and Duke took Mai's body to the infirmary.

After Kaiba and Ishizu's Duel, Mai was visited by Yugi, Joey, Tea, Tristan, Duke, Serenity and Ishizu.

When Yami Yugi defeated Yami Marik in the the final, Mai woke up and was soon visited by Bakura. Before her other friends arrived, she told Bakura to pretend she had stopped breathing. This caused Joey to weep over her body and beg for her not to die. Mai then revealed that they had been joking and teased Joey for worrying about her. She also complimented Joey Yugi on winning the tournament. She and most of the other competitors returned to Japan on the Battle Ship after the tournament.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (Anime)

Duelist Kingdom Saga

Mai was invited to participate in the Duelist Kingdom tournament. On the boat to the tournament, she meets Yugi Muto and Joey Wheeler and challenges Rex Raptor to a Duel. She wins using her aroma tactics, and banishes Rex from his luxury room.

At the Duelist Kingdom island, Mai watches Yugi's Duel with Weevil Underwood and comments on how Yugi doesn't stand a chance - criticism that was clearly in contrast with Yugi's friends' encouragement. She later duels Joey, psyching him out with her aroma tactics while powering up her "Harpie Lady". Joey wins after exposing her "psychic powers" as a fraud.

She wins a few off-screen Duels, and is later challenged to a rematch by Rex Raptor. She didn't want to face Rex since she had already defeated him, but still wanted to beat Joey. She thought it would be immature to challenge Joey again, so she offered Joey to duel Rex, provided if he defeated Joey first. she could beat Rex after he beat Joey, that would be like beating both of them, In which she thought.

She caught up with Joey and his friends and got Joey to face Rex. She got mad when Rex made a bet to try to win Joey's "Time Wizar", as he would be able to use it against her later. However, Joey managed to win.

She shared her food with Yugi, Joey and their friends, saying they could be friends tonight, but they are enemies tomorrow.

That night, she was targeted by Pegasus' eliminator, PaniK. Yugi and his friends heard her scream and rushed to help her, finding that she had lost all her Star Chips to PaniK. Yugi switched to Yami Yugi and defeated PaniK. he then return her Star Chips to her, in which she thanked him for. She then tells Yugi that she wants to duel him , in an honorable duel, and he tells her that he will look forward to it as well. She then wrote a note to Yugi in lipstick, saying that she owes him 10 Star Chips. She then gave Tea her bag, and asks her to look after it. She then gave Tea the note she wrote for Yugi, and told Tea to give it to Yugi.

After Yugi loses to Kaiba, Mai offers him some of her extra Star Chips claiming she owed him them. Yugi cannot accept them, so Téa duels Mai for the Star Chips. Mai begins to greatly outplay Téa. But after Téa makes a comeback, Mai, impressed by Téa's spirit and eager to repay her debt to Yugi, surrenders so Yugi can take the Star Chips.

In the finals, she is paired against Yugi in the first match. Yami Yugi was distracted by the prospect of Dueling Pegasus to win back the souls of Yugi's grandfather and the Kaiba brothers, and was not taking Mai seriously as an opponent, forcing Yugi and Mai to help convince him to face Mai out of principle. In the English version, Yugi was afraid of what happened in his Duel with Kaiba and wouldn't let Yami Yugi Duel. Mai initially dominates Yugi, but helps him face his own fears, allowing Yami Yugi to make a comeback that leaves Mai at a complete disadvantage. With her strongest monster destroyed, Mai chooses to surrender rather than see the rest of her "Harpie" monsters destroyed as well. With Bandit Keith's disqualification from the tournament, Mai's final performance in the Duelist Kingdom Tournament is 3rd Place.

After her loss, she gives Joey one of her entry cards, to prevent him being disqualified. She then left the Island though boat, but in the manga she in Kaiba's helicopter.

Legendary Heroes Saga

Shortly after Duelist Kingdom tournament, Mai Valentine was invited by The Big 5 to test out the new, reprogrammed version of the Virtual Game that Seto Kaiba has built. Yugi, Joey and Mokuba searched for Kaiba. On the way, Joey was forced to duel Mai. When she finds out her opponent is Joey (as they were both masked), she joins in the search for Kaiba. On the way, they were attacked by a "Sand Stone" monster, trapped in a Maze, fought an army of Winged Beasts and Insect monsters and fought the Big Five's "Mythic Dragon". Each of the five Legendary Heroes had to summon a Dragon-type monster in order to defeat the Big 5. Mai Summoned her "Harpie's Pet Dragon</u>]". Mai sacrificed her Dragon so that Yugi's "Black Luster Soldier" could stay on the field, therefore losing all her Life Points. She was later revived by the "Mystical Elf". She then returned to the real world with Yami Yugi,Joey,Kaiba and Mokuba. To Mokuba and everyone else's surpirise. Mai came out of the next room, revealing that she was in the building the whole time.

Mokuba tells Kemo that Seto is looking for him. Which make Kemo and the other run, not wanting to see Seto getting angry with them. Mokuba then thank Yugi and his friends for helping him get Seto back. Then Mokuba runs to find Seto in the building. (In the English version, Yugi and his friends say goodbye to Mokuba.) But in Japanese version, Yugi and friends yell that they are going to eat Ramen Noodles.

Battle City Saga

During Battle City, Mai wins enough Duels off-screen to qualify to the quarter finals. She assists Yugi and Joey's friends (Serenity, Tristan, and Duke) by driving them to Yugi and Joey's Duel at the pier. She explains how she knows about the Rare Hunters as a group who lie, cheat, and steal rare cards. She also wonders what is going on in the piers.

Before proceeding to the quarter finals she meets Jean-Claude Magnum. She does not recognize him at first, but comes to remember him proposing and her telling him to come back when he became a better duelist. Magnum holds her to that and Duels her again. This time if he wins, she marries him. Mai wins and Magnum tries to kidnap her in desperation using a hang glider. Mai nearly falls to her death but is saved by Joey.

After Joey becomes unconscious in his Duel with Odion, he has a dream involving his friends which helps him regain consciousness. When Mai asks if she was in his dream, Joey lies and says that she wasn't. This infuriates Mai and she proceeds to duel Marik Ishtar in the next round, ignoring any help or support her friends try to give. Mai takes a clear advantage in the Duel, outplaying Marik and even stealing his Egyptian God Card, "The Winged Dragon of Ra" with "Amazoness Chain Master". However, Marik uses the powers of his Millennium Rod to take the Duel to the Shadow Realm (or make the duel a Yami no Game in the Japanese version), where whenever one of Mai's Monsters is destroyed, she loses the memory of one of her friends. Toward the end of the Duel, Mai has 3 copies of "Cyber Harpie" and is in a position to win, however she tries to summon "Ra", only to have it appear in Sphere mode, as she isn't one of the chosen ones with the power to control it. Since she couldn't read the Hieratic text to unlock Ra, Marik does so, using its ability to swap the card back over to his side.

Her feelings of loneliness and emptiness return, despite encouragement from Yami Yugi. Just as she is about to lose, Joey rushes onto the field, trying to stop the Duel. After Joey talks to Mai, he eventually manages to break through to her and her memory of Joey is restored, much to the shock and upset of Marik, who comments in the Japanese version that he is surprised their bond of genuine and strong friendship is actually strong enough to break though his powers. She then loses to Marik. In the English version, she is sent to the Shadow Realm after she loses to Marik. Whereas in the Japanese version, she is trapped within her own mind, subjected to brutal mental assaults.

Battle City Finals Saga

After the touranment is over. Mai pulls a prank on Joey, and everyone knew that she woke up from the shadow realm. Joey is angry at the prank, but everyone is told to get off the island quick before it self destructed. Everyone gets on a huge helicoper jet, but no could find Mokuba and Kaiba. Mokuba and Kaiba reveal themselves to be in a Blue Eyes White Dragon Jet, which shockes Joey the most. Mokuba tells everybody that he, and Seto have to work on Kaibaland In America right away. Then Mokuba, and Seto flie off in a distance.

She parts ways with Joey and the others after the tournament, realizing that they indeed were her true and closest friends, including that she must ultimately moved on.

Waking the Dragons Saga

Mai continues her Duel Monsters career by herself and wins several minor tournaments, but is overshadowed by Yugi, Kaiba, and Joey, and without her friends to show her the way again, her fear of defeat still persists. She also suffers recurring nightmares of Yami Marik. (In the English version, Mai dreams of Yami Marik trapping her permanently in the Shadow Realm, while in the Japanese version she dreams that she's trapped again and Marik is trying to kill her while she helplessly calls on her friends to save her but to no avail.)

After winning one particular tournament she shatters the trophy after hearing the runner-up and his friends say how embarrassing it is to lose to someone like her. They say that she isn't a strong duelist like Yugi, Seto and Joey are, and believe those three, unlike her, are still eons above them in strength. Afterwards she meets Valon, who recognizes her as a fellow duelist who wants nothing more than to always win (in the dub he sees her as a loner). He wants her to stand by his side and he'll keep on winning, just for her, against anyone she wants. He says that she is "his" reason to keep on winning (in the dub he encourages her to forget about her friends and gain the power of "The Seal of Orichalcos" by joining Dartz's henchmen).

On Dartz's orders, Mai ambushes and defeats Pegasus, trapping his soul. Under Dartz's influence, Mai believes that it was Yugi, Joey, and her other friends that abandoned her. She particularly despises Joey and wants to defeat him for herself. Valon, who has developed feelings for Mai, believes Joey to be the source of Mai's suffering and aims to take out Joey himself, although Mai doesn't agree to this.

Mai saves Joey and his friends from a gang of bikers by throwing cards at them. Although the gang does not get a clear view of their rescuer, Joey gets a glimpse of one of her "Harpie Lady" cards as well as a glimpse of her in her helmet visor and begins to suspect that it is her.

Yugi, Joey and their friends arrive at the Industrial Illusions headquarters to meet Pegasus but instead find Mai and are locked in. Mai faces Joey in a Duel, using "The Seal of Orichalcos", putting both players' souls at stake. Although Mai dominates most of the Duel, Joey makes a comeback after acquiring his Legendary Dragon. When it becomes apparent that Joey is about to win (when he actually is trying to end it in a draw to save them both), Valon intervenes, using his fragment of the Orichalcos to break the seal, saving Mai. This greatly angers Mai as she claims to have had the Duel under control.

Valon takes matters into his own hands and tries to defeat Joey before Mai can face him again. Joey manages to win and change Valon's attitude. Mai catches the end of the Duel and Valon tries telling her that Joey is a good guy. Regardless, Mai gets possessed by the powers of the Orichalchos again and faces Joey again. Joey accepts, realizing that he can never truly get through to her until she is freed from Dartz's control. Joey tries to convince Mai that Dartz has deceived her. Exhausted from both Duels, Joey nearly passes out as Mai is about to win. Mai finally sees through all of the deception and remembers everything that they went through, and as a result, doesn't declare her final attack and rushes over to catch Joey. The Seal, however, proceeds to take Joey's spirit because he no longer has the strength to continue, and therefore, loses the Duel. Devastated, she holds Joey close in her arms and tearfully tells him she won't let the Orichalchos take him away, as the Seal closes in. Before losing his soul, Joey pushes Mai away and throws her fragment of the Orichalchos in the air. She screams in agony as Joey loses his soul, breaking the fragment, her strong emotions finally freeing her from Dartz's influence.

In an attempt to pay back Joey and Valon, she tries to take on Dartz to beat him and win back their souls. However she is confronted and defeated by Rafael at their headquarters, resulting in the loss of her own soul. Her unconscious body was later inside the elevator, in which Yami Yugi encounter before his duel with Rafael. Rafael later saves her life by pulling her unconscious body from the wreckage of the collapsing headquarters.

After Yugi, Kaiba, and Joey defeat Dartz, Mai's soul is freed alongside Valon's, as well as all others who were victim to the Orichalchos.

Mai spends the rest of the series alone and out of the picture, reevaluating her life, and trying to rediscover her passion for Dueling. In the English version, Mai claims she cannot face Joey and the others until she can "face up" to what she's done. Mai leaves one of her "Harpie Lady" cards with Valon (in this case, "Cyber Harpie Lady"); she also promises to return one day to both Joey and Valon. However, in the English version, Mai and Valon's relationship seems to end, and she doesn't say whether she will go back to Joey.

Grand Championship Saga

She is on the invitation list to participate in the KC Grand Prix. However she only attends the final Duel as a spectator to witness Yugi defeat Leon von Schroeder.

Ceremonial Battle Saga

Though not a part of the action of the final season, she is seen in passing a few times, such as being shown as one of the Duelists destined to be a part of the Pharaoh's journey according to Pegasus (when Mai is shown, she is sitting alone in her car looking up to the clear skies). The ending credits in the Japanese version shows her dueling alongside Vivian Wong against the Meikyu Brothers (Paradox Brothers in the English version) on top of the Great Wall of China.

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (Anime)

However in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, there is no record of this Duel, as it was said that the Paradox Brothers' had only ever lost once, which was in their last Duel, before facing Jaden and Syrus. This referred to their Duel with Yugi and Joey, so it is unclear whether the brothers were lying as per usual, or whether they defeated or tied Mai and Vivian.

She is mentioned only once in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. When Professor Banner</u>] teaches the students about Dueling legends like Yugi Muto and Seto Kaiba, a Slifer Red shouts from the crowd, "I like Mai Valentine!" However, that line is not present in the Japanese version.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's (Anime)

In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, a parody of her named Maizuru Kujyaku is listed as one the duelists defeated by Hunter Pace.

Film Appearance

Yu-Gi-Oh! movie 1

Mai was seen in a restruanment driking juice,and sees kids outside trying to find Yugi in order to duel him.

Video Games

Mai Valentine appears in the following video games:

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links

Quotes

Relationships

Yugi Muto

Yami Yugi

Joey Wheeler

She is often paired up with her dearest and closest friend, Joey Wheeler. There is no clear cut indicator that they are deeply romantically interested in one another throughout the manga or anime. The creator of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Kazuki himself, has said before on numerous occasions the two are 'close friends', and refuses to reveal whether or not any of his characters are in a romantic relationship. Mai is viewed as a role model by Serenity Wheeler. However at the end of episode 80, after Mai beat Jean-Claude Magnum in a duel Magnum still tried to kidnap Mai and make her his wife. He failed because Joey Wheeler saved her. After she was saved, Magnum offered her his hand to help her get on her feet. She refused the offer and said that he is a fraud and can't even do his stunts on his own. Then she looked at Joey Wheeler and said,"The real action hero is resting over there."

Tea Gardner

Tristan Taylor

Mokuba Kaiba

Seto Kaiba

Serenity Wheeler

Duke Devlin

Rebecca Hawkins

Mako Tsunami

Weevil Underwood

Rex Raptor

Ishizu Ishtar

Odion

Marik Ishtar

Yami Marik

Valon

Rafael

Alister

Dartz

Knownable Relatives

Trivia

  • "Kujaku Mai" means "peacock dance" in Japanese. Her name in the English version is a pun of "My Valentine".
  • Her birthday is November 20, and her bloodtype is O.
  • Her favorite food is Penne Arrabiata. While her least favorite food is Durian.

Mai has many similarities with Haruno Sakura from Naruto/Naruto Shippuuden.

  • Both have long hair.
  • Both are smart, and are the non fighting type.
  • Both have a monsterous temper.
  • Both care about their appearance.
  • Both prefer brains over non thinking.
  • Both give their friend support on telling the main character how they feel.
  • Both hit preverts that try to look at them unchanged their clothes. (For Mai : Joey and Tristan. Whereas for Sakura : Naruto and Lee)
  • Both have a troubled past that they wish to forget. (For Mai : being an orphan. Whereas for Sakura : being bullied)
  • Both can't stand guys who have a crush on them. (For Mai : Jean-Claude Magnum. Whereas for Sakura : Lee)
  • Both can't stand a female crushing on the main character, however they become friends with her in the end. (For Mai : she couldn't stand Tea cheering for Yugi, therefore she becomes friends with her by asking her if she likes Yugi. Whereas for Sakura : she wonders why Hinata never shunned Naruto for being an orphan, therefore she becomes friends with after realizing that Hinata is in love with Naruto)
  • Both felt like they were in two people's shadows. (For Mai : Joey and Yugi. Whereas for Sakura : Sasuke and Naruto)
  • Both can't stand someone's attitude and ego. (For Mai : Kaiba, because he thinks he is better than everyone. Whereas for Sakura : Ino, because she thinks she is better than her)
  • Both prefer to not form a friendship with someone, but considers him a ally later. (For Mai : Yugi, because he wants to help change her self as a duelist. Whereas for Sakura : Naruto, because he likes having friends)
  • Both have feelings for someone. (For Mai : Joey. Whereas Sakura : Sasuke)
  • Both can get angry at someone that annoys them. (For Mai : Joey, because he is hot headed. Whereas for Sakura : Naruto, because he is cheerful)
  • Both look out for someone that is younger than them. (For Mai : Tea. Whereas for Sakura : Hinata)
  • Both try to use their good looks to distract someone. (For Mai : Kemo, because he is a body guard. Whereas for Sakura : Sasuke, because he is good looking)
  • Both try to surpass someone so they can be their equal. (For Mai : Joey, since he defeated her in their first battle. Whereas for Sakura : Ino, because she also likes Sasuke)
  • Both try to kill their true love but couldn't bring themselves to do it. (For Mai : Joey, due to him surpassing her in duel monsters. Whereas for Sakura : Sasuke, due to him being a crininal)
  • Both became a burden to someone and decides not to face him yet. (For Mai : Joey, due to him bringing her out of hatred. Whereas for Sakura : Naruto, due to him not bringing Sasuke back home)
  • Both are fall unconscious after they face someone that is stronger than them. (For Mai : Yami Marik, who traps her in a genjutsu by making her see her friends not helping her. Whereas for Sakura : Sasuke, who thanked her for everything before he defects from Konoha)
  • Both cheer and watch the main character fight in the finals of a tournament. (For Mai : she watches Yugi duel during the finals of the KC Grand Championship, and quietly cheers for him as he fights Leon. Whereas for Sakura : she watches Naruto battle during the Chunin exam finals, and cheers for him as he fights Neji)

Voice Actresses

  • Japanese : Haruhi Nanao (all media)
  • English : Megan Hollingshead (Episode 1 – 144), Bella Hudson (Episode 145 – 224), Kathleen Delaney (FUNimation Uncut version)

all information on Mai Valentine came from http://yugioh.wikia.com/wiki/Mai_Valentine

Gallery

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