Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Chapter 37: "The Shadow Game Ends!!"
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX episode 53: "Back to Duel"
|Video game debut|
|Tag Force 2||
Aster Phoenix, known as Edo Phoenix in the Japanese version, and commonly romanized as Ed Phoenix, is a child prodigy who makes his first appearance in the second season of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. An intelligent vigilante, he is considered an anti-hero to Jaden. Although his unorthodox and illegal methods of attaining justice makes him practically an enemy to Jaden, he later joins Jaden's side after realizing that he was being manipulated by Sartorius, and later becomes a good friend of Jaden. He's also a pro-athlete, and excels at skiing, skydiving, skysurfing, and surfing. While no mention of it is made in the English dub, the Japanese version further indicates that he has a Ph.D. in two undisclosed subjects.
Aster's character design was overseen by Kenichi Hara. His usual outfit consists of silver formal wear with button-up sleeves, a black shirt underneath with matching shoes, and a loosely-fitting necktie. His grey hair is sectioned in two layers, his bangs forming one layer and the rest the other. His blue eyes are positioned between the layers closest to his face. He carries an Academy-issued Duel Disk on his left arm.
In the dub, Aster's speech is riddled with slang such as "dude" and "rocking". However, he is also very arrogant. His original series counterpart replaces certain Japanese words with anglicisms, the most common being his substitutions of numbers for their English equivalents, and replacing "bochi" 「墓地」 with its English equivalent, "cemetery", and "kouka" 「効果」 with "effect". In addition, he yells "Come on!" when Summoning his monsters in the Japanese version.
His name is meant to be a pun in Japanese, as phoenixes were commonly depicted in art during the Edo period of Japan.
Aster is a professional Duelist whose belief in destiny draws him into confrontations with the most skilled of opponents. He first meets Jaden at Duel Academy at the beginning of the second year, enrolling as a new student. At that time, he opened several packs of cards in order to quickly build a Deck for use against Jaden Yuki. As his manager, Sartorius predicted, he loses the match, but goes on to defeat Zane Truesdale in the Duel Pro League using his own "Elemental Hero" monsters.
Challenging Jaden to another Duel, a battle between "Heroes" erupts as the two mirror each other with their respective "Elemental Hero" monsters. Although Jaden manages to remove his opponent's "Elemental Hero Shining Phoenix Enforcer" from the field, Aster unleashes the true monsters of his Deck, the Destiny HERO cards (also known as the D-Series, and abbreviated as "Ｄ－ＨＥＲＯ" in the Japanese version).
Before Jaden is defeated, Aster reveals that he wishes to become the greatest Duelist in order to rid the world of crime, as his father who was a card designer for Industrial Illusions was murdered (kidnapped in the English version) when he was young, and a card was stolen from him, known only as "The Ultimate D-Card". After that, Jaden is blinded and claims the cards in his Deck are blank. Unbeknownst to Aster, Sartorius snuck a portion of his spiritual energy into his Deck prior to the Duel in order to claim Jaden's fate, but ended up temporarily blinding him to his cards instead due to the boy's power to defy his prediction.
At this point it's clear that Aster is well-mannered (much more so in the Japanese version) with good intentions, but can often be blinded to the reality of a given situation due to his stubborn attitude and pessimistic outlook. He pursues his goals despite risks and overwhelming odds, and feels that the burden of avenging his father and reclaiming the "Destiny Hero" stolen from him is one that he must shoulder alone. Because his father was taken from him while he was still young, he has a dependency on father figures, such as Sartorius, or his legal guardian, The D. This has, in some instances, proven to be a weakness of Aster's, as the two men have been known to exploit him with mere words. Since his father's disappearance, Aster has also held a fear of the state of his "time," afraid that he has not truly advanced anywhere as a person following the life-changing event. As such, the trust he places in his "Destiny Heroes" is symbolic of his desire to control his own future.
After a subsequent conversation with the converted Chazz Princeton, and a third Duel with Jaden, in which he is defeated, Aster begins to question whether or not Sartorius is in fact using him for his own gain, as he had no knowledge of the Society of Light. Later conquering Sarina in a tag Duel with Jaden, he learned of a "Hero" card shown to Sartorius years prior that made him start acting with evil intentions. Aster believes that it is the "Destiny Hero" stolen from his father, and his suspicions are later confirmed, as the Ultimate D-Card surfaces as a carrier of The Light of Destruction that caused both Sartorius and The D to develop split personalities, and the former to plot world destruction.
Aster decides to participate in the Genex Tournament with the goal of finding his father's assailant and Ultimate-D, but does not concern himself with the material rewards of the competition as seen when he gives Tyranno Hassleberry a handful of medals without so much as a thought.
In episode 98, Aster discovers The D is the culprit behind his father's disappearance, and Duels him aboard his yacht. The D tells him that he targeted his father because he was certain that obtaining the Ultimate D-Card would make him a successful Duelist in the unforgiving Pro League. The night of the murder, The D broke into the Phoenix household, but was caught by Aster's father. The corrupted Ultimate-D, sensing the evil in his heart, overpowered him and had him dispose of its creator. After the incident, The D took the role of Aster's legal guardian to avoid suspicion. This confession comes as a shock to the boy, who vows to take his former mentor down even at the cost of his own life. He is, however, faced with the very card that he sought to recover: "Destiny Hero - Plasma".
Despite being pushed into a corner by The D's formidable skills, Aster draws "Destiny Hero - The Dark Angel", a card specifically designed to combat "Plasma", which was left to him by his father. Finally understanding its purpose, the Duelist turns the tables on The D, but not before his opponent reveals one last terrifying fact: the souls of his victims remain trapped within Plasma’s body. Aster's father emerges from the beast's wing and begs his son to pursue the Light of Destruction's true avatar, Sartorius, as the entity that dwells within Plasma is no more than a "husk." Winning the Duel, his father's spirit at rest, Aster escapes via helicopter with the purified Ultimate D-Card, while The D is consumed by the flames of the resulting explosion.
In episode 100, Aster breaks into Obelisk Blue and corners Sartorius in the Society of Light's private Duel field. As a child, he promised his friend that he would save him from his destiny of becoming a destroyer, but he was not certain how he would do so when the time came. He considers giving up the key to the laser satellite that was handed to him by Sartorius’ good personality, but Jaden intervenes and tells him its true purpose. Recognizing the present Sartorius as an impostor posing as his lost companion, Aster wagers the key in a Duel. Fate within the battle is no longer under his control, however, as Sartorius' Arcana Force monsters stop their own rotations to put Aster in a difficult situation. Eventually, the good-hearted Sartorius appears before him, and the two offer one another support, but even their destiny-surpassing friendship is not enough to prevent their loss. Following his defeat, Aster is kidnapped by the corrupted Sartorius, who ransoms him in return for Jaden's remaining key.
At the beginning of the third year, Aster stops by Duel Academy to relay information he learned from Pegasus regarding the Crystal Beast cards of newcomer Jesse Anderson. In the past, after winning a tournament sponsored by Industrial Illusions, Aster was told by Pegasus that the Crystal Beasts had chosen Jesse as their master while he was attending the European competition in which the boy was a participant. The awarding of the cards to him at the end of the tournament was thus unavoidable, regardless of how rare and valuable they were.
Along with Dr. Eisenstein, Aster makes contact with Jaden and company, telling them that the "Rainbow Dragon" card is needed in order to transport Duel Academy back to its original place. After Duel Academy returns he and Zane find Jaden and the others trying to open the fourth dimension to search for Jesse, who is stuck in the alternate dimension. However, they get too close and are sucked into the dimension as well. He and Zane are separated from the others and travel on their own. They re-unite with Syrus (who is in danger at that time), Zane Summons his "Cyber End Dragon" and save Syrus but they are forced to split up again. After Jaden's descent into darkness, they work against The Supreme King by defeating the Supreme King's minions and buying Axel Brodie time to confront the king himself. When Adrian Gecko teleports him and the others to another alternate dimension, he Duels Adrian after seeing him cruelly treat Echo, but is defeated when Adrian releases "Exodia the Forbidden One".
He is later discovered to be alive, and held prisoner with everyone else who died in the Duel Spirit world in an alternate dimension by Yubel. Doctor Crowler then arranges for Chazz Princeton to train under Aster as an apprentice for the Pro League. Despite being an excellent assistant, Chazz loses the Final D-Card (later revealed to be "Destiny End Dragoon") guarded by Aster, and thus Aster is forced to retire. However, during a Duel with Chazz to determine which of them retires, it is revealed that Aster's manager Mike stole the card, and Aster is thus allowed to remain in the league, though he ultimately loses the Duel to Chazz.
Later, during Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Blister describes to Yusei (English dub only) how he was offered a contract from KaibaCorp to go into Professional Dueling. The deal would have given him chances to Duel with Jack Atlas, Aster Phoenix and Truesdale (It is not stated if this meant Zane Truesdale or Syrus Truesdale).
Aster's photo appeared on a file in the hands of Principal MacKenzie. Though he is still a student at the American Duel Academy, he also competes professionally. Later, as Jim Crocodile Cook, Jesse Anderson, Adrian Gecko and Axel are being introduced to Chancellor Sheppard, Aster is revealed to be participating in a tournament in Korea.
After Adrian, Jesse, Jim and Axel are defeated by Duel Academy's top students, Jaden asks which one of them is his next opponent. Aster arrives via helicopter and begins the Duel. Jaden manages to take the early advantage with his "Masked Heroes", Aster then suddenly turns the tide and defeats Jaden with his "Vision Heroes".
That night, Aster is confronted by Atticus Rhodes, and the history between the two of them is revealed. They had all competed in the Junior League at the same time as Zane Truesdale, Aster had been unable to defeat either of them. Atticus is jealous that Aster seems to be quite close to Reggie MacKenzie, and the two renew their rivalry in a Duel. Even with the help of "The Atmosphere", Atticus is defeated, and Aster feels he's avenged his losses to Atticus when they were young. However, unbeknowst to Aster, Tragoedia interfered to stop Atticus from activating his face-down card, which would have saved him. Principal MacKenzie later gifts Aster with what he describes as the last remaining "Legendary Planet" card, later revealed to be "The Grand Jupiter".
Aster plays a "Hero" Deck. In the anime, he plays an "Elemental Hero" Deck, which he would later use in combination with his "Destiny Heroes". He would eventually phase out the former series entirely.