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Yu-Gi-Oh!

is a Japanese manga created by Kazuki Takahashi, which has spawned a franchise including multiple anime series, a trading card game, and numerous video games. Most of the incarnations of the franchise involve the card game called Duel Monsters (originally known as Magic & Wizards), wherein each player uses cards in order to defeat one another.

Central plots

Yu-Gi-Oh! tells the tale of Yugi Mutou, a shorter-than-normal high school student who was given an ancient Egyptian artifact known as the Millennium Puzzle in pieces by his grandfather. Upon completing the Puzzle, he is possessed by another personality which is later discovered to be the spirit of a 3,000-year-old spirit (5,000-year-old in the English anime) who forgot everything from his time. As the story goes on, the two of them, together with Yugi's friends, try to find the secret of the Pharaoh's lost memories and his name by way of the card game Duel Monsters (Magic & Wizards in the original Japanese manga and Yu-Gi-Oh! R), which is mirrored in the Shadow Games (Yami no Game in Japanese).

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX follows the story of Jaden Yuki (Judai Yuki in the Japanese version), a young talented duelist who is given the card "Winged Kuriboh" by Yugi before Jaden's admission to Duel Academy (Duel Academia in the Japanese version), an elitist boarding school established by Seto Kaiba. Jaden, receiving low marks in his admission tests, is placed in the Slifer Red dormitory (Osiris Red) reserved for students with the lowest grades. The story goes on as Jaden faces challenges from different students in Duel Academy, and later finds himself entangled in a conflict related to the hidden secrets of the academy.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's is set in a distant future where the residents of poverty-stricken Satellite provide the manpower to sustain a utopia called New Domino City (Neo Domino City in the Japanese version), a futuristic version of the city of Domino where the events of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! took place. The story centers around five characters known as Signers, who have birthmarks bearing one part of a monster called the Crimson Dragon which devastated the world in the past.

Characters

The main character of Yu-Gi-Oh! (all anime, manga and movies except Yu-Gi-Oh! GX) is Yugi Mutou (Yugi Moto in the English anime), a shy, pure-hearted high school student and gaming expert who possesses an ancient Egyptian relic called the Millennium Puzzle, and the Nameless Pharaoh (Namonaki Pharaoh in Japanese) or Dark Yugi (Yami Yugi, also "the other Yugi" or, later on, "Atem", his real name, revealed only near the end of the series), a darker personality held in the Puzzle. Yugi's best friends, Katsuya Jounouchi (Joey Wheeler), Anzu Mazaki (Téa Gardner), and Hiroto Honda (Tristan Taylor) are also primary characters, as well as Dark Yugi's main rival, Seto Kaiba.

The main character of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is Jaden Yuki (Judai Yuki in the Japanese versions), an energetic boy who possesses great talents in Duel Monsters.

The main character of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds is Satellite resident Yusei Fudo, a genius duelist and Signer on whom the story centers. His rival is another Signer, Jack Atlas who betrayed Yusei and his friends in order to get out of Satellite. Other important characters are Rex Goodwin, who leads an organization seeking to revive the Crimson Dragon, and Akiza, another Signer and psychic duelist who suffers from a split personality.

The Duel Monsters themselves, as the primary battle agents in the series' card duels, come into play as characters from time to time, especially Kuriboh, Dark Magician, Dark Magician Girl, Jinzo, and the Ojama Trio. Duel Monsters like the Egyptian God Cards, The Legendary Dragons, the Sacred Beast Cards and the Five Dragons of 5D's are of much greater importance to the storyline.

Media

Manga

Yu-Gi-Oh!

Running from 1996 to March 8, 2004, the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga created by Kazuki Takahashi was one of the most popular titles featured in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump. The manga initially focuses on Yugi Mutou as he uses games designed by Pegasus, to fight various villains. Yugi also gets into misadventures with his friends Katsuya Jonouchi, Anzu Mazaki, and Hiroto Honda. The plot starts out as fairly episodic and there are only three instances of Magic and Wizards in the first seven volumes. Starting around the eighth volume, the Duelist Kingdom arc starts and the plot shifts to a Duel Monsters-centered universe.

The editors were Yoshihisa Heishi and Hisao Shimada. Kazuki Takahashi credits Toshimasa Takahashi in the "Special Thanks" column.

The English version of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga is released in the United States and Canada by VIZ Media in both the Shonen Jump magazine and in individual graphic novels. The original Japanese character names are kept for most of the characters (Yugi, Jonouchi, Anzu, and Honda, for instance), while the English names are used for a few characters (e.g. Maximillion Pegasus) and for the Duel Monsters cards. Published in its original right-to-left format, the manga is largely unedited, especially compared to the English anime. The translators of the English manga are (for Volumes 1-7, Duelist 1, and Millennium World) Anita Sengupta and (for Duelist! 2 and beyond) Joe Yamazaki. Some content was revised in later printings of earlier volumes (e.g. swear words were removed, a reference to Lucky Strikes was removed, an enjo kōsai reference was replaced with a "nightclub" reference in the reprinting of Volume 1, and Ms. Chono's line remarking "cigarettes, lipstick, condoms?" was revised to remove "condoms").

Viz released volumes 1 through 7 of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga under its original title. The Duelist Kingdom and Battle City arcs are released as Yu-Gi-Oh!: Duelist, while the Egypt arc is released as Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World. As of the January 2007 issue, the Egypt arc can still be found in Shonen Jump. As of the December 2007 issue, the series has come to a close, after a long five year run in the pages of Shonen Jump, America.

Yu-Gi-Oh! R

Illustrated by Akira Ito, one of the artists who illustrated the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, and supervised by Takahashi, Yu-Gi-Oh! R (遊☆戯☆王R) is a spin-off of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, with most of the same characters in a new plotline, which takes place between the Battle City arc and the Egypt arc. The manga was first published in Shueisha's monthly magazine V-Jump on April 21, 2004.

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX

The Yu-Gi-Oh! GX manga series is actually a manga adaptation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX (Yu-Gi-Oh! GX in English speaking countries) television. The comic is illustrated by Naoyuki Kageyama.

The Yu-Gi-Oh! GX manga series was released in North America by VIZ starting in August. It is serialized in the manga magazine Shonen Jump. Unlike the other manga serialized in the magazine, one chapter of the manga is printed per issue. Unlike the English-language editions of the original manga series, the English-language Yu-Gi-Oh! GX manga uses the English-language anime names created by 4Kids Entertainment.

Anime

Yu-Gi-Oh!

Produced by Toei Animation, this 27-episode anime is based on Yu-Gi-Oh! manga volumes 1-7, which do not focus much on Magic & Wizards. It is not connected in any way to Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, another Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series made by Nihon Ad Systems (NAS), but is often referred to as the "first series" to distinguish it from the latter (or, erroneously, as Yu-Gi-Oh! Season/Series 0.) First aired on TV Asahi on April 4, 1998, the series ended its run on October 10, 1998.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters

Often referred to as simply "Yu-Gi-Oh!" or the "second series" of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (遊戯王デュエルモンスターズ) is the series that introduced Yu-Gi-Oh! to the Western world. Produced by NAS, it was first aired on TV Tokyo on April 18, 2000, and later translated into more than 20 languages and aired in more than 60 countries. Mainly based on Yu-Gi-Oh! manga volume 8 and onward, the series ended its 224-episode run in Japan on September 29, 2004.

There are two English-language versions of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime: a United States version by 4Kids Entertainment and a South-East Asian version by A.S.N.

On May 8, 2001, 4Kids obtained the U.S. merchandising and television rights to Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters from Konami. They partnered up with Warner Bros. and released their dubbed version of the anime on Kids' WB! on September 29, 2001, under the title of Yu-Gi-Oh!. The English Yu-Gi-Oh! anime is divided into a number of seasons. The show aired from September 29, 2001 to June 10, 2006.

The 4Kids English Yu-Gi-Oh! anime is broadcast on many channels. In the United States it is broadcast on Kids' WB!; in Canada, it is broadcast on YTV; in the United Kingdom it is broadcast on Nickelodeon, CITV (Children's ITV) on Freeview Channel 75, ITV2 and in Australia on Network Ten and Nickelodeon. Like many anime originally created for the Japanese market, a number of changes (including the names of most of the characters) were made when the English Yu-Gi-Oh! anime was released.

During the dubbing process, the broadcast version of Yu-Gi-Oh! was edited and adapted to suit US cultural tastes. On October 19, 2004, 4Kids, in association with FUNimation, released uncut Yu-Gi-Oh! DVDs after years of petitions from Yu-Gi-Oh! fans. These DVDs include the original, unedited Japanese animation and Japanese dialogue tracks with English subtitles, as well as all-new English dubs with translations closer to the original dialogues. Both language tracks use the original Japanese music. Each DVD contains three episodes. After three volumes were released the DVD line was pulled.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX (遊戯王デュエルモンスターズGX), often known as "Yu-Gi-Oh! GX", is an anime spin-off of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, with a new protagonist, Judai Yuki (renamed Jaden Yuki in the U.S. version), and a new plotline that is not based on the original manga, although Yugi made a brief appearance in the first episode. The "GX" in the title stands for "Generation neXt". The series mainly focuses on the life in a school known as Duel Academy. Also produced by NAS, it was first aired on TV Tokyo on October 6, 2004. The series ended its 180-episode run in Japan on March 26, 2008.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX has an English version, titled Yu-Gi-Oh! GX in North America. Like the second series, it is licensed by 4Kids and has many of the same edits as the second series anime. The names of the main characters and many of the minor characters were changed. Yu-Gi-Oh! GX premiered on Cartoon Network in October 2005.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds (遊戯王5Ds), is another anime spin-off of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, with a new protagonist, Yusei Fudo, and a new plotline revolving on five dragon cards which when brought together revive a beast called the Crimson Dragon. It started airing on TV Tokyo on April 2, 2008, and started airing in the United States on September 13, 2008.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters

is a twelve-episode mini-series commissioned, produced, and edited by 4Kids (much like Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie - Pyramid of Light). Set before the end of the second Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series (Yu-Gi-Oh: Duel Monsters) - apparently somewhere in season 5 - Capsule Monsters involves Yugi, Joey (Jonouchi), Téa (Anzu), Tristan (Honda), and Yugi's grandfather Solomon (Sugoroku) being pulled into a world where Duel Monsters are real. They find monster capsules that they can use to summon monsters. It is similar to the Virtual RPG arc in many respects, but it does not seem to have anything to do with the early Capsule Monster Chess game featured in early volumes of the original manga.

The first mention of Capsule Monsters came on the retailer website, Talkin' Sports in December 2005, but this information was not widespread, and the existence of the project remained unknown to almost the entire fanbase until 30 January - 2 February 2006, when the Irish children's television strand The Den aired the first four episodes on RTÉ Two. Historically, it was not unusual for RTÉ Two to première episodes of the Yu-Gi-Oh! dub some time ahead of other markets, but their lack of any kind of promotion or fanfare in doing so meant that Capsule Monsters was unknown right up until (what is believed to be) the third episode was accidentally stumbled across by LiveJournal user Angryhamster, who posted the news and screencaps to a LiveJournal community, Play the Damn Card.

Capsule Monsters aired on the British digital television channel, Sky One and later on Nicktoons. It has been tentatively announced that 4KidsTV will acquire the license to the Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters series for the 2006 US Fall Saturday morning lineup. No further details have been released about the US version of the series.

A full length movie entitled "Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters" was released on DVD in America on May 23, 2006. It is in fact a compilation of the first six episodes of the series, edited together to form a more seamless storyline. A second disc with the remaining six episodes was released later that year. 4Kids had hosted a free "screening" of the first disc on May 22, 2006 on the official Yu-Gi-Oh! website. During the preview the movie in its entirety was shown, when all 6 episodes were shown together, it lasted approximately 90 minutes. The DVD not only includes the episodes, but also seven deleted scenes.

Movies

Known simply as Yu-Gi-Oh! , this first movie of Yu-Gi-Oh! has been released only in Japan. A 30-minute movie produced by Toei Animation, it was first shown in theaters on March 6, 1999. Its characters are from the first series Yu-Gi-Oh! anime.

The movie is about a boy named Shōgo who is too timid to duel even after he got a powerful rare card, the legendary Red-Eyes Black Dragon, in his Deck. Yugi tries to bring Shōgo's courage out in a duel with Seto Kaiba, who has his eyes on Shōgo's rare card.

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light , often referred to as simply Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie, was first released in North America on August 13, 2004. The movie was developed specifically for Western audiences by 4Kids based on the overwhelming success of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise in the U.S. Its characters are from the second series Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. In the movie, Yugi faces Anubis, his arch-rival from his time.

The extended uncut Japanese version of the movie premiered in special screenings in Japan on November 3, 2004 and normal theaters on Christmas Eve, 2004, under the title Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Pyramid of Light. The movie was then aired on TV Tokyo on January 2, 2005.

Attendees of the movie during its premiere (U.S. or Japan) got 1 of 4 free Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game cards. The cards were Pyramid of Light, Sorcerer of Dark Magic, Blue Eyes Shining Dragon, and Watapon. The Home Video Release also gave out one of the Free Cards with an offer to get all 4 by mail, though the promotion ended December 2004. In Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the United Kingdom free promotional cards were also given out, however they were given out at all screenings of the movie, and not just the premiere.

Trading Card Game

Media and release information

Games

Production

Takahashi said that the card game held the strongest influence in the manga because it "happened to evoke the most response" from readers. Prior to that point Takahashi did not plan to make the series about a card game.

When an interviewer asked Takahashi if he tried to introduce younger readers to real life gaming culture referenced in the series, Takahashi responded by saying that he simply included "stuff I played and enjoyed" and that may have introduced readers to role-playing games and other games; Takahashi added that he created some of the games seen in the series. The author stressed the importance of "communication between people," often present in tabletop role plating games and not present in solitary video games. Takahashi added that he feels that quality communication is not possible over the internet.

Takahashi said that the "positive message" for readers of the series is that each person has a "strong hidden part" (like "human potential") within himself or herself, and when one finds hardship, the "hidden part" can emerge if one believes in himself or herself and his or her friends. Takahashi added that this is "a pretty consistent theme."

In 2004 interview the editors of the United States Shonen Jump mentioned that Americans were surprised when reading the stories in Volumes 1 through 7, as they had not appeared on television as a part of the second anime series. Takahashi added "The story is quite violent, isn't it? [laughs]"

References

External links

Japanese

English

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