Yu-Gi-Oh!, known in Japan and the rest of East Asia as is an anime based on the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga. It is produced by Studio Gallop and Nihon Ad Systems, and the English-language adaptation is distributed by 4Kids Entertainment.
Duel Monsters is not to be confused with the earlier series of the same name.
The success of Duel Monsters was one of the main factors in creating a real-world version of the game that served as the focal point of the series, the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game.
The series began its 224-episode run in Japan on April 18, 2000 and ended on September 29, 2004. In the United States, it began airing on September 29, 2001 and ended on June 10, 2006. In Japan, the series aired on TV Tokyo. The English version is broadcast on many channels. In the United States it was originally broadcast on Kids' WB, and reruns were previously seen on 4Kids TV and Cartoon Network, and can still be viewed online at www.4Kids.TV. In Canada, Yu-Gi-Oh! is broadcast on YTV. In Latin America and Australia, it is broadcast on Nickelodeon, and formerly on Network Ten in Australia. In the United Kingdom it is broadcast on Nickelodeon and Sky One. In Hong Kong, it is broadcast on ATV from July 13, 2002
Like the earlier series, Duel Monsters
is mainly about the various battles of a high school freshman named Yugi Muto
through a card game known as Duel Monsters
(Magic and Wizards
in the original, although Duel Monsters
is also used). However, Duel Monsters
has a completely different plot. The plot of Duel Monsters
is split up into several different storylines, or arcs.
Duelist Kingdom is the first arc in the Duel Monsters
anime. Maximillion Pegasus
(Pegasus J. Crawford in the Japanese version), using the power of the Millennium Eye, manages to seal away the soul of Solomon Muto (Sugoroku Mutou
in the Japanese version), and Yugi must save him by entering a Duel Monsters tournament on Pegasus' private island. Meanwhile, Joey Wheeler (Katsuya Jonouchi
) enters the tournament in order to pay for his sister
's eye surgery, and Pegasus and several top executives at KaibaCorp plot to remove Seto Kaiba
from the head of his company.
Legendary Heroes/Dungeon Dice Monsters
In a continued attempt to remove Seto Kaiba from his position as head of KaibaCorp, KaibaCorp's former executives trap Kaiba in a virtual reality game based on Duel Monsters. Yugi and his friends enter the game to save him. The video game Yu-Gi-Oh! The Falsebound Kingdom
was loosely based on this storyline. After the Legendary Heroes storyline is over, the show goes directly into the Dungeon Dice Monsters plot. When a new game shop opens to compete with Solomon's game shop, Yugi is challenged by its owner Duke Devlin (Ryuji Otogi
in the Japanese version) in a game of his creation, with the title of "King of Games" on the line.
When Kaiba hears of the three legendary God Cards, Kaiba believes that with the three cards in his deck, he will be able to defeat Yugi. In order to obtain the God Cards, Kaiba hosts a tournament to take place in the streets of Domino, with the rule that each person that enters the tournament must ante up a card for the winners of the duels to keep. Meanwhile, Yugi hears of the three God Cards and how they are tied to an ancient Egyptian legend - one that involves the nameless Pharaoh. At the same time, Marik Ishtar
, guardian of the Pharaoh's Tomb, wants the Pharaoh's power for himself, and seeks to defeat Yugi. In the Japanese version, he actually wishes to torture and kill Yugi for revenge and to free his family from serving the Nameless Pharaoh.
Noah's Virtual World
As Yugi, Kaiba, Joey, and Marik are travelling to the destination of the Battle City finals, the airship they are riding in suddenly takes an unexpected turn. The main characters find themselves trapped in a virtual reality simulation, in which the former executives of KaibaCorp plan to take their revenge against Yugi and Kaiba.
Duel Tower (Alcatraz)
After the conclusion of the Noah arc, the Battle City finals are resumed, starting with a battle royale to decide who will fight who in the finals. The first duel, Joey v Marik, is never actually resolved. Joey's mind goes into shock because of the sheer pressure of the Shadow Duel that Marik has set up, and he faints before the duel finishes. Marik is declared the winner. The second duel, Yugi v Kaiba, ends with a win for Yugi. Yugi takes possession of Kaiba's God Card, Obelisk, and Kaiba is thrown out of his own tournament. This leaves only Yugi and Marik in the Battle City competition. Marik sets up a cruel Shadow Duel, and the real Marik's spirit is almost destroyed. Yugi manages to free the real Marik from his dark self, destroy the dark Marik, win the Battle City finals, and gain possession of the final God Card. All of Marik's victims are revived. Now that he has all three God Cards, the Pharaoh is told to present them to the ancient stone tablet that he encountered earlier. Kaiba reveals his plan to blow up the Duel Tower, and the group barely makes it off of the island on time. Season three concludes with a series of flashbacks of the entire Battle City experience, including Noah's virtual world.
Waking the Dragons (Doma Orikalkos)
An ancient organization known as Doma
(not named in the English anime, although the name Paradius
was used in both versions as a front for their operations) steals the God cards and begins to steal the souls of people and duel monsters in an effort to revive a monster thought to have led to the destruction of Atlantis
10,000 years ago. To stop them, Yugi, Joey, and Kaiba join forces with the three legendary dragons, Timaeus, Critias, and Hermos, and take on Doma's members: the three swordsmen Rafael
, and their leader Dartz
Grand Championship (KC Grand Prix)
With Dartz's group defeated and no money to return home to Domino, Yugi and company enter a tournament hosted by Kaiba, in his new amusement park, in return for a ride home. With Kaiba Corporation crippled because of Doma's activities, one tournament entrant seeks to finish the job and take down KaibaCorp for good.
Dawn of the Duel (Millennium World)
With all three God Cards in his possession, Yami Yugi
(Dark Yugi in the original Japanese, "yami" being the Japanese word for "darkness") is ready to find all his lost memories. However, he's in for more than he bargains for when he is thrust into the World of Memory, an alternate reality inside the Millennium Puzzle based on the events that occurred in Egypt 5,000 years ago (3,000 years ago in the Japanese anime). There, the Pharaoh must relive the last days of his previous life, fighting his old enemies and reuniting with his old friends. But his new friends have not forgotten about him, and Yugi and his friends travel inside the Millennium Puzzle to find the World of Memory and help the Pharaoh recover all his memories. However, Yami Bakura
(Dark Bakura in the Japanese anime) plans on using the information gained in the World of Memory to gain the powers of the Millennium Items and reawaken an ancient evil that has remained dormant for the past 5,000 years.
Pharaoh Atem has obtained all seven millennium items, acquired all three Egyptian God Cards, defeated Zorc Necrophades in the Memory World, and has found out all about his past, including his name. Now, the pharaoh can quietly leave the mortal world, and join his faithful priests in the afterlife. However, the doorway to the afterlife can only be opened if the pharaoh is defeated in a duel. Yugi takes on the challenge, dueling Atem to let him go. Even though Atem would very much want to go to the afterlife, he has a good pride in his skills, and will never let anybody beat him easily. However, Atem is defeated by Yugi and proceeds to enter the afterlife, much to his new friends' dismay.
Differences between the versions
serves as a continuation of the earlier series in terms of the story, yet there are differences in the two series where they overlap. In particular, the Death-T fight which is held by Yugi and rival Seto Kaiba
, is redone, and Miho Nosaka
, a supporting character in the manga and the earlier series, does not appear in Duel Monsters
. Whereas the earlier series introduces the characters (by virtue of being adapted from earlier volumes of the manga), Duel Monsters
assumes that the viewers are familiar with the characters from the onset, and scenes referring to chronologically earlier events are redone.
Because of the relative speed between the manga and anime releases, three extra story arcs that are not found in later volumes have been added for Duel Monsters
: Virtual World, Waking the Dragons, and Grand Championship.
One of the other most notable changes is that, unlike the manga, the Duel Monsters
anime, as the title suggest focuses on the Duel Monsters
card-game more than the manga, and adds many Duel scenes that were not in the original manga itself, often changing parts of the plot to fit around addition of the duels.
There are two adaptations of the second series in English; a United States
adaptation by 4Kids Entertainment
aired in the U.S., Canada
, United Kingdom
, and New Zealand
, and a Southeast Asia
version by A.S.N. for Singapore
and the Philippines
. Both versions have edits, most of which are content edits.
In the 4Kids Entertainment adaption, names such as Hiroto Honda, Katsuya Jonouchi, and Anzu Mazaki were Americanized into Tristan Taylor, Joey Wheeler, and Téa Gardner respectively. Though originally taking place in Japan, the setting was changed to take place in the United States. The Japanese sound effects, background music, and opening and closing sequences were also changed. The sound effects being replaced with familiar American effects and background music to melodramatic synth music compared to the slightly more upbeat Japanese soundtrack. The opening and ending themes were changed from J-Rock and J-Pop songs from various artists to an instrumental song done with a synthesizer.
Along with Americanization and edits to music, content was also changed due to differing cultural opinions of what is appropriate for an animated program. Darker and mature themes such as weapons, religion references, death, death threats, violence, obscene gestures, nudity, revealing outfits, profanity, and sexual innuendo were all censored to make the series suitable for young children in America, as the show is originally a Japanese teen's cartoon show and is originally targeted at late teens in Japan as like the other Shonen Jump anime. The dub makes it an American kid's cartoon TV show. Plot points were also changed, for censorship or unknown reasons. Even all Japanese and English writing are digitally airbrushed out or replaced with unreadable symbols, as are the major usual standard 4Kids text edits, just to make the show less foreign and more American, as well as to make the show more marketable in non-English countries. Because of those text edits, the duel cards's Japanese and English writing was removed and to get around FCC rules concerning advertising in shows, as well as to make the show more marketable in non-English countries, all the cards in the show have been painted over to feature only the card illustration, card element and the attack/defense of the card if it is a monster card. In the movie, however, all cards played in the game look exactly like the cards used in the real life trading card came; the Japanese version has Japanese text, while the international version has English text.
A separate "uncut" DVD release was commissioned between 4Kids Entertainment and FUNimation, with a new adaptation that is more consistent with the original. The uncut DVDs were pulled from solicitation after Volume 3 "Stolen - Blue-Eyes White Dragon" for no apparent reason, with a variety of explanations including legal issues and poor sales, with limited elaboration. Lance Heiskell, a FUNimation representative, has noted legal rights as the reason for cancellation, although he was unable to expand on it.
Kids' WB! also edited episodes 4 and 5, and later episodes 14 and 15, fusing these episodes that were originally two-part episodes into half-hour episodes. 4Kids dubbed the episodes separately; the separate episodes appeared in other countries and on DVDs. During the rebroadcast of the series on 4Kids TV, the episodes were shown in their full form.
The 4Kids dub has been marketed across lots of English speaking countries, and the movie and special Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters have been made for the American market. This supported Yu-Gi-Oh's impression as a kids' cartoon show in America, and prevents the release of uncut DVDs, and only allows edited DVDs to be released.
Southeast Asia version
As with the 4Kids adaption, names of characters were Americanized
and the setting takes place in the United States
instead of Japan
. However, original background music and opening and ending music is kept. There is also mild profanity
, unlike the 4Kids version.
Card game mechanics
is heavily centered around the card game, with plot details frequently added between game turns. However, there are several main differences between the rules found therein and the rules of the real-world card game
The real-world rules essentially correspond to the "new rules for experts" set out by Kaiba at the start of the Battle City story arc. Prior to this, a simplified version of the rules is utilized, with several differences including the summoning of monsters without the use of tributes, the inability to attack a player's life points directly, the restriction that only one monster could attack per turn, and certain types of monsters being stronger or weaker against other monsters of a logical type (similar to the often compared Pokémon).
These earlier rules take considerable artistic liberty in their depiction - for example, allowing monsters to be "partially destroyed", or to be played as magic cards. At times, some duels feature particularly unusual events which only "work" because the field and monsters are represented by holograms, allowing for exciting or dynamic visuals that accompany events which could never be realistically employed in the real-life card game. A prime example of this is Yugi's two-part duel against Panik, in which, among other things, the light from the manifestation of the Swords of Revealing Light dispels the darkness obscuring Panik's monsters, and the Castle of Dark Illusions has its flotation ring destroyed, causing it to fall on and destroy those monsters.
Some differences, however, are not just limited to the Duelist Kingdom arc. Throughout the series, some cards are in different classifications in Duel Monsters as compared to the real-world game - for example, Flame Swordsman is a normal monster in the series, but is a fusion monster in the real-world game. Spellbinding Circle was notably entirely redone as a "trap with magic card properties", complete with a different function. Also, duelists are shown normal summoning their monster cards in face-up defense position, while this is only possible in the real card game when permitted by the effects of certain magic or trap cards. Additionally, duelists constantly place their cards face down in their graveyard, as opposed to face up. In the Battle City story arc, the "advanced rules" also prevent Fusion monsters from immediately attacking, where there is no such provision in the real game. To avoid this rule in the anime, the magic card Quick-Attack was created. From the Doma story arc onwards, no such provision exists. By that point, the only difference is the starting amount of life points, which is reduced for purposes of brevity.
Several cards were created exclusively for the anime, including unique cards that are tied to story elements, such as the Legendary Dragons in the Doma arc. A few other anime-exclusive cards were created, but typically, these are seen only for one duel.
- Volume 1: The Heart of the Cards (Episodes 1-3)
- Volume 2: Into the Hornet's Nest (Episodes 4-6)
- Volume 3: Attack From the Deep (Episodes 7-9)
- Volume 4: Give Up the Ghost (Episodes 10-12)
- Volume 5: Evil Spirit of the Ring (Episodes 13-15)
- Volume 6: The Scars of Defeat (Episodes 16-18)
- Volume 7: Double Trouble Duel (Episodes 19-21)
- Volume 8: Face Off (Episodes 22-24)
- Volume 9: Champion Vs. Creator (Episodes 25-27)
- Volume 10: Duel Identity (Episodes 28-30)
- Volume 11: Best of Friends, Best of Duelists (Episodes 31-34)
- Volume 12: Match of the Millennium Part One (Episodes 35-37)
- Volume 13: Match of the Millennium Part Two (Episodes 38-40)
- Volume 14: Ties of Friendship (Episodes 41-43)
- Volume 15: Legendary Heroes (Episodes 44-46)
- Volume 16: Dungeon Dice Monsters (Episodes 46-49)
- Uncut Volume 1: The Shadow Games (Episodes 1-3)
- Uncut Volume 2: The Insector Combo (Episodes 4-6)
- Uncut Volume 3: Stolen: Blue Eyes White Dragon (Episodes 7-9)
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Complete First Season (Tin Set) (Episodes 1-49)
Each volume in this series has the subtitle "Battle City Duels."
- Volume 1: The Mystery Duelist (Episodes 50-53)
- Volume 2: Obelisk the Tormentor (Episodes 54-56)
- Volume 3: The ESP Duelist (Episodes 57-60)
- Volume 4: The Master of Magicians (Episodes 61-64)
- Volume 5: Mime Control (Episodes 65-69)
- Volume 6: Double Duel (Episodes 70-74)
- Volume 7: Friends Til' the End (Episodes 75-79)
- Volume 8: The Dark Spirit Revealed (Episodes 80-84)
- Volume 9: Awakening the Evil (Episodes 85-89)
- Volume 10: Mind Game (Episodes 90-93)
- Volume 11: Showdown in the Shadows (Episodes 94-97)
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Complete Second Season (Episodes 50-97)
Each volume in this series has the subtitle "Enter the Shadow Realm."
- Volume 1: Back to Battle City (Episodes 122-125)
- Volume 2: Darkness Returns (Episodes 126-130)
- Volume 3: Clash in the Coliseum (Episodes 131-134)
- Volume 4: Battle for the Bronze (Episodes 135-139)
- Volume 5: The Final Face-Off (Episodes 140-144)
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Complete Third Season (Episodes 98-144)
Each volume in this series has the subtitle "Waking the Dragons."
- Volume 1: A New Evil (Episodes 145-151)
- Volume 2: My Freaky Valentine (Episodes 152-159)
- Volume 3: Flight of Fear (Episodes 160-168)
- Volume 1: Grand Championship (Episodes 185-198)
- Volume 2: Dawn of the Duel, Part One (Episodes 199-212)
- Volume 3: Dawn of the Duel, Part Two (Episodes 213-224)
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters Part One
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters Part Two
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie