on January 20, 2013
So here is the thing, I am something of a purist wherein if something was in multiple formats I would lend more consideration to the earliest format in which it was available. Yu-Gi-Oh GX causes a slight wrinkle in that formula... the manga was inspired by the existing TV show and has since gone in a different direction. On the whole I actually prefer the manga to the anime despite the anime's nature as the pre-existing material. Especially in the English dub the show seemed exceedingly juveniel and more like a plug for the TCG merchandise than an original creative work. The manga is definitely original and seems to hearken to the original Yu-Gi-Oh in that it seems to bend the internal rules of the card-game when convenient and create a slew of deus ex machina cards that will never be seen to players of the card game in the real world.
That being said what can I say about volume 8? At this point things have really heated up as Jaden is tussling with Aster Phoenix. There are some interesting and intense duels in this volume but a striking problem remais: this series has been rushed! While the first couple volumes took their time telling the exposition, the infinitely more interesting arcs that have followed have been strained. It honestly seems as though the publishers made a snap decision that the series wasn't profitable and that they had to wrap it up quickly. This is sad to hear as this is a fairly well done piece of work and definitely one of the better volumes of the series. The big downside is that with 1 volume to go it is hard to not feel deflated as you realize that the manga is being cut short of its potential. So if you follow the series this is a great addition, despite the fact that after volume 9 the series abruptly stops.