"The Shark Hunter", known as "The Emperor's Key Stolen! Clash, Kaito vs. Shark" in the Japanese version, is the twenty-second episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL anime. It first aired in Japan on September 5, 2011 and in the United States on May 5, 2012.
Hart Tenjo opens his eyes, as his brother, Kite, offers him a cup of hot chocolate. They are at a small cabin with a tree next to it in the middle of a lush grassland. Hart is in a bed, probably still recovering from his collapse during Kite and Yuma's first Duel. They talk, but the scenery they are in is revealed to be a hologram, as Mr. Heartland stops it and comes up. Heartland asks Hart if he's ready for another round, but Kite heavily replies he shouldn't. However, Hart himself gets up from his bed and goes with Mr. Heartland, who asks Kite to continue his Hunting.
Yuma Tsukumo, surprised, falls from his hammock, as Astral told him about the ship in the Emperor's Key. Astral tells Yuma that the ship looks like a giant puzzle that can only be solved by gathering the "Numbers". Meanwhile, Kite enters a room whose walls appear to be giant computer chips. He heads to the big computer frame in the middle, where Orbital 7 is. Kite calls Orbital's name, but the latter appears to be sleeping, being shocked when woken that he got caught sleeping on the job. Kite makes a comment about it, and then asks if Orbital knows a new Number. Orbital, panicked as usually, boots up the computer quickly. After another comment from Kite and another shocked expression from Orbital, the latter shows the former information about Yuma, and about his key. He then leaves on his Hunt.
At his school, Yuma appears to be late, quickly running through the hallways. Reginald Kastle sees it and is amused by it. Mr. Kay notices it, and mentions how much Shark changed after meeting Yuma. However, Shark keeps his cool. At the pool, Yuma and his classmate Caswell get into an argument, as Yuma is wearing his Key around his neck and Caswell doesn't agree with it, saying it's dangerous. Though Yuma says it isn't, Caswell insists. Tori tries to make Yuma realise why it's dangerous, saying Yuma hurt his own head with the pendant. However, since that never happened, Yuma asks who really hurt their head. Caswell takes his cap off, revealing a bandage on his head. Yuma decides to go to his locker and put the Key there, after all. He wonders if Astral will be fine, but he decides to leave.
At the school's roof, Shark looks at a card, but sees a trash can move underneath him. It's Orbital 7, who sneaks into the locker room. Inside the Emperor's Key, Astral looks at his collected Numbers, and remembers the vision he saw when "Number 96: Dark Mist" was defeated, wondering what it meant. Orbital uses an infrared ray to look through the lockers' doors, and spots the key, opening the locker. He takes, but Shark grabs it out of his claw. It immediately panics and Shark kicks Orbital against a wall. (In the dub, right before Shark kicks Orbital, it blacks out with some yellow lines until Orbital 7 is seen against the lockers.) Orbital, however, doesn't seem to be amused by it and transforms into a skull-like robot with a drill equipped. He attacks Shark, but he quickly ducks away and runs away from the lockers, with Orbital, who broke through a wall, pursuing him. Inside the key, the gears stop spinning, and the wall with the small pillars pointing out with the captured Numbers on it retracts, and Astral wonders what's happening outside.
Once outside, Orbital 7 surprises Shark, and is about to hit him with his drill. However, Kite orders him to stop, and asks Shark to hand over the key. They converse, and Shark reveals he knows about the Numbers. Shark makes Kite challenge him to a Duel, with Shark's "Numbers", which Kite thinks Shark has, and the Emperor's Key on stake. Flashing back to him and Yuma's Duel with Scorch and Chills, and Shark accepts. Shark tosses his D-Pad into the sky, and Kite performs Photon Transformation, changing his coat from dark to white. Shark readies his Duel disk, and Kite's disk lands on his arm (shot by Orbital 7). Shark puts on his D-Gazer, and Kite's left eye is surrounded by the blue lines, turning his iris red, and the two start their Duel.
The girls look frightened outside of the big hole in the wall, and the boys are in their ravaged lockers, where Yuma finds out his Key is gone. At the Duel Shark takes the first turn, drawing, and determining Kite's possible strategies, as he as a Numbers Hunter must have "Numbers". He activates "Shark Lair", discarding "Big Jaws", and using its effect to summon "Shocktopus", and ends his turn by setting a card. Kite makes his move, using "Polymerization". He explains the concept of monster fusion and fuses his two "Photon Lizards" to Fusion Summon "Twin Photon Lizard". As its ATK is higher than Shark's discarded "Big Jaws", "Shark Lair" is destroyed, and Kite declares battle between "Twin Photon" and "Shocktopus". Shark uses the effect of "Shocktopus", but Kite simply activates the effect of "Twin Photon" to Tribute it and summon the Fusion Material Monsters from the Graveyard. Shark smiles as he was waiting for an Xyz Summon.
Kite then overlays the "Lizards" to Xyz Summon "Number 30: Acid Golem of Destruction". Shark is surprised by the 3000 ATK, which is a lot for a Rank 3 Xyz Monster with only 2 materials. Grabbing his chance, Shark uses "Splash Capture" to take "Acid Golem" away. Orbital 7 panics, but Kite tells him to quiet down. Kite uses "Forced Release" to take away Overlay Units from "Acid Golem". Shark says that even without Overlay Units, the "Golem" still has 3000 ATK. Shark now understands he made mistake to take "Acid Golem" away, as he takes 2000 points of damage as he doesn't have any Overlay Units on "Acid Golem" to remove, as explained by Kite. Shark doesn't give up and tries to declare battle, but Kite explains "Acid Golem" can't attack without Overlay Units either. Shark looks discouraged, as the card he took is causing him to lose. However, looking at the Emperor's Key, he's reminded that he's fighting for Yuma.
Kite draws, and using a combo of "Photon Sublimation", and "Photon Thrasher" and "Photon Crusher", he surprises Shark by Special Summoning his "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon", which attacks "Acid Golem". Yuma and his friends are looking for Astral and the Key, but inside the Key, Astral's "Numbers" circle around him and he hears a voice, mentioning the ZEXAL power. Because "Acid Golem" doesn't have any Overlay Units, it destroys itself and takes away 2000 of its controller's LP, knocking Shark from 1200 down to 0, making him lose.
Shark gets knocked over, and apologizes to Yuma, as he couldn't save the Key, and Kite proceeds to use his Photon Hand to steal Shark's soul, and "Numbers" he might have. Kite attempts to take a "Number" from Shark's soul, but there is none. Yuma and his friends arrive, with Yuma recognizing Kite. Orbtial 7 informs Kite that Photon Transformation is already at 85%, meaning he can't Duel again right now. Kite takes the Key, and flies away with Orbital who transformed into his glider-like form. Yuma rushes to the edge of the building, and screams out, "Astral". (In the dub, Yuma calls for Kite to come back with his key.)
Featured Duel: Reginald "Shark" Kastle vs. Kite Tenjo
|This Duel uses Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL anime gameplay. Rules and card effects may differ from that of the TCG/OCG. See the individual card articles for more information.|
Turn 1: Shark
Shark draws. He then activates "Shark Lair", letting him send a Fish-Type monster from his hand to the Graveyard to prevent monsters Kite controls with less than or equal ATK to the sent monster from attacking. He sends "Big Jaws" (1800/300). Shark Normal Summons "Shocktopus" (1600/800) and Sets a card.
Turn 2: Kite
Turn 3: Shark
Shark draws. During the Standby Phase, Shark must detach an Overlay Unit from "Acid Golem" or take 2000 damage. Since "Acid Golem" has no Overlay Units to detach, he must take 2000 damage (Shark: 3200 → 1200 LP). He attempts to attack directly, but "Acid Golem" may not attack if it has no Overlay Units. Shark Sets a card ("Life Regeneration").
Turn 4: Kite
Kite draws. He then activates "Photon Sublimation", letting him banish two "Photon" monsters from his Graveyard to draw two cards. He banishes his two "Photon Lizards". As he controls no monsters, Kite Special Summons "Photon Thrasher" (2100/0) from his his hand in Attack Position via its own effect. He then Normal Summons "Photon Crusher" (2000/0). Kite Tributes his two monsters with 2000 or more ATK to Special Summon "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon" (3000/2500) from his hand in Attack Position via its own effect. "Galaxy-Eyes" attacks "Acid Golem", with the effect of "Acid Golem" activating. As it was attacked when it had no Overlay Units, it is destroyed and Shark takes 2000 damage (Shark: 1200 → 0 LP).
The following cards appeared in this episode. Cards in italics debuted here.
- During Yuma and Caswell's dispute, two girls resembling Alexis Rhodes and Akiza Izinski from the previous series are seen in the background.
- When the dub comes back from commercial just before Kite activates "Forced Release", Kite says "It's my move", making it sound like it was the beginning of his turn again, even though it was merely the continuation of his turn.
- In the dub, when Kite Summons "Photon Crusher", the card for "Photon Thrasher" is shown instead.