Johnny Steps, known as Step Johnny (ステップ・ジョニー Suteppu Jonī) in the Japanese version and Dreadlock Johnny in the Singaporean dub, is a character in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. He is a handsome dancer, who challenged Téa Gardner to a dance battle game, similar to Dance Dance Revolution.
Probably still traumatized from failing his dance audition, Johnny had an inner compulsion to be successful no matter what, even if it meant cheating, as evident when he started to push and shove Téa during their dance game when she gained the upper hand and won the audience’s attention from him. He is also quite stubborn and refuses to admit defeat, as when he starts to mess up during the dance game, he blames it on the game, calling it broken, and also blames his loss to his leg cramping up, and during the duel with Yugi, he refuses to admit that he misplayed and accuses him of cheating until he finds out who his opponent is.
He has an ego and is quite arrogant and vain, probably from his undefeated winning streak in the arcade game, as shown when he constantly mocks and disrespects his opponents Téa and Yugi during each of their games, though he becomes more humble when Téa gives him an inspiring pep talk after he forfeits the duel to Yugi.
Johnny aspired to be a professional dancer, but gave up the dream after failing an audition. He still played the dance battle game at the arcade, where he achieved the high score. However, despite his air of being popular, he had no real friends. He had some experience playing Duel Monsters with a deck of his own (in the anime only; he doesn’t duel in the manga), and knew about Yugi Muto and his victory over Maximillion Pegasus at Duelist Kingdom. Despite this, he doesn’t consider himself to be a professional duelist (evident in his actual dueling skills) as he is instead passionate about dancing, mirroring Téa as she is more passionate about dancing rather than dueling.
Johnny challenged Téa to the dance battle game. Although Yami Yugi said to ignore him, Téa accepted the challenge. Johnny said she would have to spend the evening with him if she loses and that that was probably why she was playing the game with him in the first place. Téa called him a jerk and the two start the game. After it became clear Téa was going to win, Johnny deliberately tripped and elbowed Téa, but she still managed to win.
Afterwards, Johnny followed Yami Yugi and Téa and confronts them. He demanded a rematch, where if he loses, he will leave her alone, but if he wins, Téa must become his girlfriend. Téa told him to give it up, but Yami instead challenged Johnny to a Duel.
At first, Johnny's Deck seemed to have no overall strategy as he Summons monsters to the field randomly and forgot basic things such as switching his monsters' battle positions. Johnny however, managed to Summon "Musician King" and equipped it with "Metalmorph", forming "Heavy Metal King". After Yami's "Dark Magician" defeated "Heavy Metal King", he becomes confused as to why "Metalmorph" did not add half of the ATK of "Dark Magician" to "Heavy Metal King". Yami then explains the reason which is that "Metalmorph" only works when the equipped monster attacks and not when it is attacked. Johnny recognized Yami as the King of Games and the one who defeated Pegasus and fled, knowing he was up against a powerful opponent.
Before he escaped, Téa confronted him about running away. She asked how many friends he has. Johnny lied that he has one, but Téa did not believe him. She found out about how he failed an audition and consoled with him, saying she had failed over a dozen and that he should not give-up so easily (this is cut out in the dub). She sent him off with more self-confidence than he had before.
Voice and mannierisms
In the English dub he uses music jargon when Dueling.
Johnny plays a Music Deck consisting of monsters associated with music and dancing. However he isn't a very good Duelist, and Yami Yugi refers to his Deck as consisting of "fan cards" with no real theme or balance. As it was evident that he was an amateur duelist, he even made several mistakes during the Duel such as forgetting to switch "Water Omotics" to Defense Position to benefit from "Chorus of Sanctuary", forgetting to use the search effect of his “Witch of the Black Forest”, and forgetting the rulings of "Metalmorph". His signature card is "Musician King", which he equips with "Metalmorph" and begins calling "Heavy Metal King". Despite his novice dueling skills, he is somewhat competent as he at least knew basic mechanics like fusion summoning, and at the very least, gained the upper hand very briefly when he summoned his Musician King, shocking Tèa and Yugi. Most of his cards are from Metal Raiders and, unusual for a male Duelist, all of his monsters are female except for "Musician King" and "Battle Warrior".
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