Actually... it's the other way around for the first one. It was a miracle that Jounouchi wasn't INSTANTLY killed by Ra. Yugi only survived because it was regular Ra. Pheonix Ra was the ultimate last form, the most powerful version of Ra. Jounouchi should have died on the spot, but because he was so strong, he was able to stay alive for another few seconds. Mai was, and I quote, going to "burn to ash" when Ra attacked her. Sure, she might've won if she had listened to their advice, but in that situation, if Yugi and Jou hadn't stepped in, she most likely would have died.
In the second one, Wayne Grayson just doesn't do a good job of convenying that Jou is really hurting after his duel with Varon. (That's probably what he was directed to do, though.) While the dub does mention that Joey was weak from his duel, you never really get the sense of he's-about-to-pass-out-from-exhaustion like you do in the original.
I never thought it was a question of whether Jounouchi was a true duelist or not, just if he beat Yugi or not. Mai even says something on the lines of "Jounouchi, you've become a true duelist" in episode 143. (I don't know the exact wording, but I did hear "Jounouchi" and "shin no duelist" in the same sentence.)
Joey might have endured all of those things which eventually shadowed his legacy as a great duelist, but could Joey have defeated Zigfried/Sieg? He didn't even have to cheat to defeat him while some others who defeated Joey had to use some sort of supernatural source to defeat him.
|Heres what really happened. Yugi: Now Dark Magican attack him directly and win me this duel. Joey: 0. (Both duelists go to shake hands) "That was a good duel joey" "Yeh it was yugi" (Pulls out gun) Now give me my red eyes you mother f*cker "but why joey?" "Sorry Yugi but 4kids can't save you know"|