Yu-Gi-Oh! (遊☆戯☆王 Yūgiō?, lit. "Game King") is a Japanese manga created by Kazuki Takahashi. It has spawned a franchise that includes multiple anime shows, a trading card game and numerous video games. Most of the incarnations of the franchise involve the fictional trading card game called Duel Monsters (originally known as Magic & Wizards), where each player uses cards to "duel" each other in a mock battle of fantasy "monsters". The Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game is the real world counterpart to this fictional game on which it is loosely based.
- 1 Story
- 2 Characters
- 3 Media
- 3.1 Manga
- 3.2 Anime
- 3.3 Movies
- 3.4 Trading Card Game
- 3.5 Media and release information
- 3.6 Games
- 4 Production
- 5 Reception
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Yu-Gi-Oh! tells the tale of Yugi Mutou, a shorter-than-average high school student who was given the fragmented pieces of an ancient Egyptian artifact, the Millennium Puzzle, by his grandfather. Upon reassembling the Puzzle, he is possessed by another personality who is later revealed to be the spirit of a 3,000-year-old Pharaoh (5,000-years-old in the English anime) called Atem, with no memory of his own 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, with the Duel Monsters card game being an ever prevalent backdrop or plot device.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is set 10 years after the first series. It 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 (who receives low marks in his admission tests), is placed in the Slifer Red dormitory (Osiris Red), which is reserved for students with the lowest grades. The story goes on as Jaden faces challenges from different students in Duel Academy. He later finds himself entangled in a conflict related to the hidden secrets of the academy.
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds is set in a distant future where the residents of the poverty-stricken town called 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 some of 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 saved the world in the past,from the Earthbound Immortals). The main character, named Yusei Fudo, is a Signer. Each Signer has a dragon monster. In later episodes, they fight Dark Signers—duelists who try to revive the Earthbound cards.
The early chapters of Yu-Gi-Oh! feature a variety of different games; but from the Duelist Kingdom arc onwards, the focus is shifted to a card game called Duel Monsters. Duel Monsters is played using a holographic image system created by Seto Kaiba (following his first match with Yugi). In the manga and first series anime, these were initially performed on tables, using holographic tubes, while the second series anime uses huge holographic fields. Starting with the Battle City arc, (as well as the series that followed), duels are performed using portable Duel Disks, invented by Seto Kaiba, which allows duels to happen anywhere.
The main characters of Yu-Gi-Oh! (all anime, manga and movies except Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's) are Yugi Mutou (spelled Yugi Muto in the English anime), a shy, pure-hearted high school student and gaming expert who possesses an ancient Egyptian relic called the Millennium Puzzle. Another character is named the Nameless Pharaoh (Namonaki Pharaoh in Japanese) or Dark Yugi (also known as Yami, "the other Yugi" and eventually "Atem"; the latter is his real name, revealed only near the end of the series), a darker personality held in the Millennium Puzzle. Yugi's best friends, Katsuya Jonouchi (Joey Wheeler), Anzu Mazaki (Téa Gardner) and Hiroto Honda (Tristan Taylor) are also primary characters, as well as 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. He can also communicate with the spirits of certain cards.
The main character of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's is Satellite resident Yusei Fudo, a genius duelist and Signer (this is whom the story centers around). His rival is another Signer named 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, Akiza, another Signer and psychic duelist who suffers from a split personality, and the twin siblings Luna and Leo, the former of which is also a Signer.
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. Generally, 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 various storylines rather than other Duel Monsters.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! (遊☆戯☆王 Yūgiō?) manga ran from 1996 to March 8, 2004. It was created by Kazuki Takahashi, and 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 fairly episodic and includes only three instances of Magic and Wizards in the first seven volumes. In the eighth volume, the Duelist Kingdom arc starts, making the plot shift 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 minor number of characters (e.g. Maximillion Pegasus) and for the Duel Monsters cards. Although it is published in its original right-to-left format, the manga is largely unedited.
The translators of the English manga are Anita Sengupta (for volumes 1-7, and Duelist 1) and Joe Yamazaki (for Duelist 2-24 and Millennium World). Some content was revised in later printings of earlier volumes.
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 under the title; Yu-Gi-Oh!: Duelist, while the Egypt arc is released as Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World. 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 (遊☆戯☆王 R Yūgiō Āru?) is illustrated by Akira Ito, one of the artists who illustrated the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, and supervised by Takahashi. Yu-Gi-Oh! 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.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (遊☆戯☆王 GX Yūgiō Jī Ekkusu?) manga series is a manga adaptation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX television series. The comic is illustrated by Naoyuki Kageyama and differs from the anime, featuring new storylines and monsters, as well as some personality changes in some of the characters.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! GX manga series was released in North America by VIZ Media. It has been serialized in the manga magazine Shonen Jump, beginning in January 2007. 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. The GX episodes are rated 11+.
A Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's (遊☆戯☆王 5D's Yūgiō Daibu Dīzu?) manga began serialization in V-Jump Monthly Magazine from August 2009. It is written by Masahiro Hikokubo and Satou Masashi and, like the GX manga, will feature different storylines and monsters.
Yu-Gi-Oh is produced by Toei Animation, as a 27-episode anime, based on Yu-Gi-Oh! manga volumes 1-7, volumes which do not focus much on Magic & Wizards, nor is it 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.) The show first aired on TV Asahi on April 4, 1998, and ended its run on October 10, 1998. This show was never shown outside Japan.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
Although it is 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 Yūgiō Dyueru Monsutāzu?) is the series that introduced Yu-Gi-Oh! to the Western world. It was produced by NAS, and was first aired on TV Tokyo on April 18, 2000. It was later translated into more than 20 languages, airing in more than 60 countries. The series is mainly based on Yu-Gi-Oh! manga volume 8 and onward, and ended its 224-episode run in Japan on September 29, 2004.
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 through 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 72, ITV2, ITV4, 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. 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, these DVDs were discontinued and there were no additional releases.
In May 2009, 4Kids Entertainment began to release full, uncut, English-subtitled Japanese-language Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes through their YouTube account. Many fans were very happy with this recent development, but those subtitled episodes were criticized for using the English dub character names in the subtitles as opposed to the Japanese names. 4Kids stated that they planned to release the entire series subtitled on their YouTube channel in the near future, but a more recent announcement states that all the Japanese episodes were removed due to a legal issues with ADK (one of the primary producers of the anime) and Shunsuke Kazama, the original Japanese voice of Yugi Fanoozle.com Wordpress.com. However, the English dub is still available, and 4Kids still plans to release subtitled versions of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, along with their English counterparts. However, due to the legal issues with Kazama, 4Kids has stated that they may have to drop all of the audio for Yugi's lines Wordpress.com.
Set a few years following the events of the previous series, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (known as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX in Japan) follows a boy named Judai Yuki (Jaden Yuki in the English version) as he attends Duel Academy in the hopes of becoming the new Duel King. The series ran for 180 episodes between October 6, 2004 and March 26, 2008. Like the previous series, 4kids handled western distribution and made several edits.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters
Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters (遊☆戯☆王 カプセルモンスターズ Yūgiō: Kapuseru Monsutāzu?) is a twelve-episode anime commissioned, produced and edited by 4Kids (much like Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie - Pyramid of Light). It is 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 (Yūgi), Joey (Jōnouchi), 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. It is currently the only animated Yu-Gi-Oh! media not to be released in Japan.
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's (遊☆戯☆王 5D's Yūgiō Faibu Dīzu?), 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, will revive a beast called the Crimson Dragon. The main difference between this and other "Yu-Gi-Oh!" shows is that they duel on motorcycles in stadiums using duel disks, and a new breed of monsters called Synchro Monsters are introduced. It started airing on TV Tokyo on April 2, 2008, and started airing in the United States on September 13, 2008, once again licensed by 4Kids and featuring similar edits.
The first movie of the series was simply titled Yu-Gi-Oh! and was released only in Japan. A thirty-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 United States. Warner Bros. distributed the film in most English-speaking countries. Its characters are from the second series Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. In the movie, Atem faces Anubis, the Egyptian God of the Dead.
The extended uncut Japanese version of the movie premiered in special screenings in Japan on November 3, 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 in 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. Two fans managed to steal a box of 2,400 cards in California. Disguised as Warner Bros. workers, they made off with the cards, claiming that wrong cards were sent, and promising a new shipment.
Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time , known in Japan as Yu-Gi-Oh! Movie: Super Fusion! Bonds that Transcend Time (劇場版 遊☆戯☆王 ～超融合！時空を越えた絆～ Gekijō-ban Yūgiō ~Chō-Yūgō! Jikū o Koeta Kizuna~?), also known as Yu-Gi-Oh! 10th (遊☆戯☆王 10th?) is a 3-D film released on January 23, 2010 in Japan, with a North American release in Spring 2011. It celebrates the 10th anniversary of the first NAS series (as opposed to the anniversary of the manga) and features an original storyline involving Yugi Muto, Jaden Yuki (Judai Yuki) from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yusei Fudo from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, fighting against a new enemy named Paradox. It was first teased with short animations featured at the start of episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's during the third season.
Trading Card Game
Media and release information
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 he played and enjoyed", and that it 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 playing 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 him/herself and in his/her friends. Takahashi added that this is "a pretty consistent theme."
The editor of the English version, Jason Thompson, said that the licensing of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga had not been entirely coordinated, so Viz decided to use many of the original character names and to "keep it more or less violent and gory." Thomspon said that the manga "was almost unchanged from the Japanese original." Because the core fanbase of the series was, according to Thompson, "8-year-old boys (and a few incredible fangirls)," and because the series had little interest from "hardcore, Japanese-speaking fans, the kind who run scanlation sites and post on messageboards" as the series was perceived to be "too mainstream," the Viz editors allowed Thompson "a surprising amount of leeway with the translation." Thompson said that he did not "abuse" the leeway he was given. In a 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]"
John Jakala of Anime News Network reviewed the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga in 2003 as part of reviewing the U.S. Shonen Jump. Jakala said that while the commercials for the second series anime made the anime appear "completely uninteresting," the comic "is unexpectedly dark and moody." Jakala added that at one moment the series "reminded me of Neil Gaiman's work: Yugi finds himself drawn into a magical world of ancient forces where there are definite rules that must be obeyed." Jakala concluded that the fact the series uses games as plot devices "opens up a lot of story possibilities" and that he feared that the series had the potential to "simply devolve into a tie-in for the popular card game." In December 2002, Shonen Jump received the ICv2 Award for "Comic Product of the Year" due to its unprecedented sales numbers and its successfully connecting comics to both the television medium and the Yu-Gi-Oh! collectible card game; one of the top CCG games of the year. In August 2008, TV Tokyo reported that card game series has sold over $18 billion worldwide. Jason Thompson, the editor of the English manga, ranked Yu-Gi-Oh! as number three of his five personal favorite series to edit.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World Volume 7. VIZ Media. 218.
- Takahashi, Kazuki. Yu-Gi-Oh! Volume 1. VIZ Media. Fourth Printing. September 2004. 30, 107, 116, and 186.
- Takahashi, Kazuki. Yu-Gi-Oh! Volume 1 Collector's Edition. VIZ Media. 30, 107, 116, and 186.
- In volume 1 of the Yu-Gi-Oh! R manga, Akira Ito explains the manga, which describes a hidden story that does not appear in the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, as a "reverse" (リバース ribāsu?) of the original one, in an effort to expand the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise.
- "Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds preview".
- Shonen Jump. Volume 2, Issue 9. September 2004. VIZ Media. 8.
- Shonen Jump. Volume 2, Issue 8. August 2004. VIZ Media. 140.
- "To All the Manga I've Edited Before." Comixology. May 22, 2008. Retrieved on July 8, 2010.
- Jakala, John. "Shonen Jump Volume 1 Review." Anime News Network. January 2, 2003.
- "ICv2 2002 Comic Awards, Part 1". ICv2. 2002-12-29. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
- "18.1 Billion 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' Cards". ICv2. 2008-08-14. Retrieved 2008-11-26.
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- Yu-Gi-Oh! Dotcom (Japanese website) (遊☆戯☆王ドットコム Yūgiō Dottokomu)
- Official website of Yu-Gi-Oh! first series anime
- Official website of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
- Yu-Gi-Oh! at Konami
- Yu-Gi-Oh! at Weekly Shōnen Jump
- Official website of English Yu-Gi-Oh! at 4Kids TV
- Shonen Jump Yu-Gi-Oh! page
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Wikia, a wiki devoted to Yu-Gi-Oh!
- Yu-Gi-Oh! (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
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