"Stalked by the Rare Hunters", known as "Ghouls Assault - The Targeted Red-Eyes Black Dragon" in the Japanese version, is the fifty-fifth episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. It first aired in Japan on May 15, 2001, and in the United States on December 14, 2002.
Joey learns about the upcoming Battle City tournament from Yugi and Téa. He decides to join in to help Yugi, despite their warning about Seto Kaiba having a grudge against him.
At the registration office, Yugi is well-qualified to enter the tournament, but when Joey tries to sign up, he finds out his ranking is too low. However, the clerk notices Joey's Rarest Card is the "Red-Eyes Black Dragon", something the Rare Hunters would like to get their hands on. The clerk then secretly changes Joey's ranking so that it is high enough to let him enter the Tournament and tells him he is qualified and that Joey's "incorrect" ranking was due to a computer glitch. The clerk then issues Yugi and Joey their Duel Disks. Shortly after Yugi and his friends leave, the shop clerk calls the Rare Hunters to tell them that he found a nice catch.
That evening, Joey separates from everyone else to go to the hospital to visit Serenity, who is about to get her eye operation. He is confronted by three Rare Hunters. One of them forces Joey into a Duel. The Rare Hunter states to Joey if he loses the duel, he must give up his "Red-Eyes Black Dragon". All the Rare Hunter does is Draw Cards and Set 'Wall' Monsters. Joey continuously Destroys his Monsters, but the Rare Hunter eventually Draws all five pieces of "Exodia" and wins. Joey questions the Rare Hunter how he was able to do all that. The Rare Hunter then reveals to Joey that the pieces of "Exodia" are very rare, but he has three complete sets of "Exodia" to insure him of his victories. The group of Rare Hunters then beat Joey up and take away his Red-Eyes as per the stakes of the duel, claiming that there's no Card they can't replicate.
The next morning, Joey's mother calls Yugi, to say that he never showed up at the hospital. Yugi, Tristan, and Téa search for him. Tristan, riding his cool motorcycle, finds him at a beach. After some words and blows are exchanged between the two, Tristan takes Joey to the hospital. Apparently after getting beat-up, Joey was angry with having lost his Card and thought he couldn't face his younger sister. He helps Serenity get the confidence she needs to go through with her operation. Joey is determined to get his "Red-Eyes Black Dragon" back from the Rare Hunters.
Turn 8: Rare Hunter
Rare Hunter draws the last piece of "Exodia". "Exodia" is then Special Summoned (∞/∞) in Attack Position. "Exodia" attacks and destroys every monster Joey controls and reduces his Life Points to 0 (Joey 4000 → 0).
Differences in adaptations
Cut from the dub is a scene of Yugi and his friends looking at cards through the shop window.
The original shows Yugi not knowing about the Egyptian exhibit but that Yami wants to find something, since he is willing to bet his Dark Magician due to the ante rule, while Yugi thanks Téa for taking Yami to the museum in the dub.
When the shopkeeper looks up Yugi on his computer, he it says he is a level-8 duelist. In the dub, it is changed to see Yugi as a a 5-Star Duelist. Also, when he looks up Joey, in the Japanese version it shows him as a level-2 duelist, whilst in the dub it shows him as a 1-Star Duelist.
"Exodia's" star is given five more points in the dub.
In the original Japanese version, Joey expresses shock that someone other than Yugi owns a complete Exodia set. This is an error, since Yugi lost three of his Exodia cards and was never shown acquiring new ones. In the dub, this error is fixed, with Joey simply stating that Exodia is the rarest card he knows of.
The dub cuts out the sounds of the Rare Hunters attacking Joey during the scene of the moon, but still leaves the scene of him falling to the ground with one of the Rare Hunters having his arm out in the causing punch.
After Joey loses his Red-Eyes Black Dragon, he lowers his arm and head in the dub, as if he is about to fall down in unconsciousness. However, the original shows him raising himself and his arm.
Cut from the dub, Tristan's driving along the causeway above the beach, when he spots Joey sitting on the sand. Joey's all dirty and beat up, saying, "I'm sorry, Serenity." Joey saying that he can't see his sister because he lost "Red-Eyes Black Dragon", Tristan punches and knocks him flat on the floor, hauls him up and gives him a ride on his motorcycle.
Seeker goes through 15 cards of his Deck before drawing all 5 pieces of "Exodia". With 3 copies of each piece in his Deck (normally illegal), the probability of getting a complete set in the first 15 cards is about 10.2%.
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.