"The Maiden in Love", known as "The "Maiden in Love is Strong" Deck!!" in the Japanese version, is the twentieth episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime. It first aired in Japan on February 16, 2005 and in the United States on November 21, 2005.
At the Slifer Red dorm during dinner, Professor Banner introduces Blair Flannigan, who has just been admitted after taking a late entrance exam. Jaden Yuki assumes that he was assigned to Slifer due to his grades, and tries to make Blair feel better. However, Banner reveals that transfer students are automatically placed in the Red dorm, with the opportunity to move up should they prove themselves. Furthermore, Blair had scored high enough on the exam, and so he'll likely be moved to Ra Yellow shortly. Due to a lack of available rooms, Banner assigns Blair to a room with Jaden, Syrus Truesdale and Chumley Huffington until he moves to Ra. The next morning, Chancellor Sheppard announces that Duel Academy's annual inter-school Duel with North Academy is approaching, and that last year, Zane Truesdale was the Academy's representative, and won the Duel. This year's representative has not yet been selected, and Sheppard urges all the students to study hard, stating that any of them could end up representing Duel Academy.
Outside, Jaden sees Blair run off, and follows him. They end up at the Obelisk Blue dorm, and Blair climbs a tree to enter through a window, with Jaden still secretly following him. Blair moves to a beside cabinet, and begins looking through it until he finds a deck holder. He opens it, revealing a "Cyber Dragon". He then holds the deck holder to his own face, as if kissing it. Jaden sees Zane and three other Obelisk Blue students approaching and enters the room to warn Blair in an attempt to save him from being punished for trespassing. Jaden attempts to pull him away, and his hat falls off, as well as a hair clip, revealing much longer hair. Jaden realizes that Blair is in fact female, and she runs away, climbing back down the tree. Zane and the Obelisk Blue students enter and catch Jaden, and are about to take him to Dr. Crowler's office. However, Zane notices the hair clip on the floor, and tells the other students to let Jaden go. That night, Blair calls Jaden outside, and asks why he didn't turn her in, while also requesting that he continue his silence in the matter. He asks why it needs to a be a secret in the first place, and she won't tell him. He suggest they Duel, with him agreeing to keep quiet should he lose.
The Duel begins, with Syrus, Chumley, Zane and Alexis Rhodes all watching. Blair Summons "Maiden in Love" in Attack Position, while Jaden Summons "Elemental HERO Avian" and attacks "Maiden in Love". She can't be destroyed by battle while in Attack Position, but Battle damage still occurs. Winged Kuriboh gives Jaden a look at what is happening in the spirit world, and "Avian" is kneeling beside "Maiden in Love", apologizing for harming her. Jaden tells "Avian" to pull himself together, perplexing the others as they cannot see monster spirits as Jaden can. Blair reveals that any monster who battles with "Maiden in Love" receives a Maiden Counter, which manifests itself on "Avian" as a heart symbol. Blair equips "Maiden in Love" with "Cupid Kiss" and attacks. Jaden sees "Maiden in Love's" spirit run towards "Avian", professing her love for him. She trips, and "Avian" attempts to help her. She tells him to attack Jaden, and he does. Blair reveals that if "Maiden in Love" attacks a monster that has a Maiden Counter while equipped with "Cupid Kiss", control of that monster switches to Blair. She Sets a card to end her turn, and Jaden Summons "Elemental HERO Sparkman" and attacks "Avian". Blair activates her face-down "Defense Maiden", switching the attack target to "Maiden in Love", so "Sparkman" gains a Maiden Counter. Jaden sees "Avian's" spirit scolding "Sparkman" for attacking the maiden.
Blair activates "Happy Marriage", equipping it to "Maiden in Love", causing her attack to rise by that of "Avian". She then attacks "Sparkman" with "Maiden in Love", and the former is put under Blair's control due to the Maiden Counter and the effect of "Cupid Kiss". Both "Avian" and "Sparkman" attack directly, reducing Jaden to 400 LP. Believing a female monster might prove effective, Jaden Summons "Elemental HERO Burstinatrix". She calls both of the male Heroes pathetic, and Jaden plays "Burst Return", with "Burstinatrix" commanding both "Avian" and "Sparkman" to come back (in the dub, she also threatens them that she will tell the entire Deck about them falling in love with the "Maiden"), enabling Jaden to place both of his male "Heroes" back into his hand. He then plays "Polymerization", fusing "Burstinatrix" with "Avian" to Fusion Summon "Elemental HERO Flame Wingman". He attacks, reducing Blair's Life Points to 0.
Jaden tells Blair to talk to Zane. She admits that she was the one who snuck into Zane's dorm room, and she confesses her love for Zane. Alexis attempts to convince Blair that it's not really love, and she assumes that she wants Zane for herself and that they will be rivals for his affections. Zane lets Blair down gently and states that although he's flattered, he's only in love with Dueling at the moment. He gives her her hair clip back and tells her that she has to go home. Jaden objects, thinking she could simply stay at the Obelisk Blue dorm with the other female students, and Zane reveals that she's an elementary school student, and simply too young to attend Duel Academy. Jaden is shocked that he nearly lost to someone so young. Blair apologizes and imitates Jaden by saying his catchphrase (in the dub, she states she claims that her age is 8 1/2 if it will make Jaden feel better). Jaden falls on his back and notes this is why Duels are fun. The next morning, Blair is sent home on the next ferry. She waves goodbye to Jaden as she leaves, while referring to him with the honorific 'sama' (in the dub, she calls Jaden her "sweet prince"), revealing that she now loves Jaden instead of Zane, much to Jaden's shock and dismay.
Featured Duel: Jaden Yuki vs. Blair Flannigan
Turn 2: Jaden
Jaden's hand contains "Elemental HERO Burstinatrix", "Burst Return", "Kishido Spirit", "De-Fusion", and "Elemental HERO Bladedge". Jaden draws "Elemental HERO Avian" and subsequently Normal Summons it in (1000/1000) in Attack Position. "Avian" attacks "Maiden in Love", but due to the latter's effect, it can't be destroyed in battle while it's in Attack Position (Blair: 4000 → 3400 LP). Since "Maiden in Love" battled a monster, its effect activates, letting Blair place a Maiden Counter on "Avian" at the end of the Damage Step.
Turn 3: Blair
Blair draws "Defense Maiden". Blair's hand contains "Cupid Kiss", "Outstanding Dog Marron", "Monster Reincarnation", "Pikeru's Circle of Enchantment", and "Beckoning Light". Blair then activates "Cupid Kiss" and equips it onto "Maiden in Love". Now if the equipped monster battles a monster with a Maiden Counter and Blair takes Battle Damage, Blair can take control of that monster at the end of the Damage Step. "Maiden in Love" attacks "Avian". Due to the effect of "Maiden in Love", it is not destroyed (Blair: 3400 → 2800 LP). The effect of "Cupid Kiss" then activates, allowing Blair to take control of "Avian" at the end of the Damage Step. "Avian" attacks directly (Jaden: 4000 → 3000 LP). Blair Sets a card.
Turn 4: Jaden
Jaden draws "Elemental HERO Sparkman" and subsequently Normal Summons it (1600/1400) in Attack Position. "Sparkman" attacks "Avian", but Blair activates her face-down "Defense Maiden". Now all of Jaden's attacks will be redirected to "Maiden in Love" while "Maiden in Love" is face-up. The attack made by "Sparkman" is then redirected to "Maiden in Love", but due to the latter's effect, it is not destroyed (Blair: 2800 → 1600 LP). Due to the second effect of "Maiden in Love", "Sparkman" has a Maiden Counter placed on it at the end of the Damage Step.
Turn 5: Blair
Blair draws "Happy Marriage" and subsequently activates it, equipping it to "Maiden in Love" and selecting "Avian" as the target of "Happy Marriage". Due to the second effect of "Happy Marraige", the ATK of "Maiden in Love" increases by the ATK of "Avian" ("Maiden in Love": 400 → 1400 ATK). "Maiden in Love" attacks "Sparkman". Due to the effect of "Maiden in Love", it is not destroyed (Blair: 1600 → 1400 LP). The effect of "Cupid Kiss" then activates, allowing Blair to take control of "Sparkman" at the end of the Damage Step. "Sparkman" and "Avian" attack directly (Jaden: 3000 → 1400 → 400 LP).
Turn 6: Jaden
Jaden draws "Polymerization". He then Normal Summons "Elemental HERO Burstinatrix" (1200/800) in Attack Position. Jaden then activates "Burst Return" to return "Avian" and "Sparkman" to his hand. He then activates "Polymerization" to fuse "Burstinatrix" and "Avian" to Fusion Summon "Elemental HERO Flame Wingman" (2100/1200) in Attack Position. "Flame Wingman" attacks "Maiden in Love". Due to the effect of "Maiden in Love", it is not destroyed (Blair: 1400 → 0 LP).
Differences in adaptations
- The dub cuts a scene early in the episode in which Judai asks if Rei wants to take a bath with the rest of them. He claims he has a cold and declines. Judai, Sho and Hayato discuss the situation as they wash each others backs, and Judai doesn't question that his back is being washed when no one is sitting behind him. They switch, and it's shown that a bear was washing Judai's back, and even more illogically, a dugong was washing the bear's.
- In the Japanese version, Judai warns Rei that if he's caught, students may assume he is a spy from North Academy. When the Obelisk Blue students catch Jaden, they accuse him of being a spy. In the dub, Jaden simply says Blair will be expelled if he's caught.
- When Blair drops Zane Truesdale's Deck, the "Cyber Twin Dragon" and "Cyber End Dragon" that were present in the Japanese version are changed to "Amorphous Barrier" and another Trap Card in the dub In a separate shot, the same copy of "Cyber Twin Dragon" is changed to "Steam Gyroid".
- The whole dialogue between Syrus, Zane, Alexis and Chumley has been rewritten to be less deep and more humorous in the dubbed version. In the original Japanese version, Alexis talked about how love changes a woman, how Jaden seems oblivious to this feeling's nature, and showed a hint of teasing towards Zane, saying "the kaiser" has met his match. Syrus and Chumley's dialogue was mostly commenting about how the duel was turning out. Zane mentioned that duels reveal one's true self, and how history taught that a single woman's beauty can cause entire nations to fall. However, in the English version, Syrus and Chumley's dialogue revolved mostly around them being fully infatuated with the Maiden card, Zane telling Alexis (who was reminding the 2 Slifer Red students that it's a card they're drooling over) how Syrus used to say when growing up that he'll go steady with the "Dark Magician Girl", with Alexis teasing Syrus about the outcome. In addition, in the original Japanese version, after Blair took control of Sparkman, Zane noted that Jaden was having a hard time against Blair, with Alexis replying that with Blair coming to Duel Academy for the sake of love, having monsters fall in love was a simple matter for her. In the dub, Zane was confused by what Blair meant when she said "I'm dueling for love", leading Alexis to explain to him that Blair's in love with Zane.
- In the Japanese version, when Zane told Blair that she can't stay in the Obelisk Blue Girls Dorm, Jaden thinks the reason for this is Blair being actually a guy to begin with. In the dub, Jaden jokingly says that Zane and Blair can have their Wedding Honeymoon in the cafeteria, and that Dr. Crowler would give Blair away as the bride, and then thinking the reason Zane doesn't want her to stay was because she might dethrone him with her skills. The dialogue at the end had Alexis telling Chumley and Syrus to stay away from the Female cards of her deck, and Jaden wishing there was a card to get him out of his situation as Blair's new Love interest.
- Before "Avian" and "Sparkman" return to Jaden's hand with the effect of "Burst Return," in addition to both "Elemental Heroes" exclaiming their guilt over what they had done, "Sparkman" also says how "Sparkwoman" would be unhappy about this.
- In the Japanese version, Rei's age is not stated and she was revealed to be a fifth-grade student. In the dub, Blair is stated to be only eight years old, and in second grade.
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.