Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (遊☆戯☆王デュエルモンスターズGX Yūgiō Dyueru Monsutāzu Jī Ekkusu?, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX in the Japanese language version) is an anime spin-off and sequel of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. It first premiered in Japan on October 6, 2004. Yu-Gi-Oh! GX follows the exploits of Jaden Yuki (Judai Yūki in the original Japanese version) and his companions as he attends Duel Academy.
In the fictional universe of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Duel Monsters, a popular card game created by Maximillion Pegasus (Pegasus J. Crawford) is widely enjoyed. Referred to as a "duelist," a player of the game summons monsters and activates Spell and Trap Cards through Duel Disk technology to evoke various strategies to defeat his/her opponent in battle. A Duel typically begins with each contestant being given a life total of 4,000 Life Points, which can be decreased as opposing players "attack" him/her with their monsters or trigger the abilities of individual cards. The objective is to reduce an opponent's Life Points to zero, and therefore be declared the winner. Although conceived solely as a card game, Duel Monsters' roots are mythological in nature, and many exploit its otherworldly secrets for their own personal gain.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX begins 10 years after the events of Yu-Gi-Oh! with the lead character Jaden Yuki obtaining a Winged Kuriboh card from Yugi Muto, the renowned Duel Monsters champion, while on his way to a Duel Academy (Duel Academia (デュエル・アカデミア Dyueru Akademia?) in the original Japanese language version) entrance exam.
The Academy was founded by Seto Kaiba on a remote island in the Southern Seas, with its dormitories named after the three Egyptian God Cards, and is run by Chancellor Sheppard and his staff. The most elaborate dormitory, Obelisk Blue (オベリスク・ブルー Oberisuku Burū?), is named after Obelisk the Tormentor. The Obelisk Blue dormitory can be graduated to, but the only way to enter the dormitory in the first year is to attend and do well at an affiliated junior school (English version only). As the highest ranked dormitory, Obelisk Blue's facilities are of the highest quality, on the level of the world's classiest hotels and restaurants. The center dorm, Ra Yellow (ラー・イェロー Rā Ierō?), is named after The Winged Dragon of Ra. Those who were given the highest scores in the entrance exam, or who only did mediocrely in the junior school enter this dormitory, which, while not as extravagant as Obelisk Blue, still has incredibly clean and well-kept facilities and meals of a quality far above the lifestyle of the average salaried man. The lowest dormitory, Slifer Red (Osiris Red (オシリス・レッド Oshirisu Reddo?) in the original Japanese language version), is named after Slifer the Sky Dragon. Those who failed completely or scored poorly are put into the shoddy quarters of Slifer Red.
There are four other branches of Duel Academy worldwide, in the North, East, South, and West. Only the North Academy was shown.
For the first two years at Duel Academy, the main cast faces major threats including the Shadow Riders, who intend to revive the Sacred Beasts by creating a strong dueling presence on the island and obtaining the Seven Spirit Keys (held by Jaden Yuki, Zane Truesdale, Alexis Rhodes, Bastion Misawa, Chazz Princeton, Dr Vellian Crowler and Lyman Banner) , as well as the Society of Light, which intends to enslave humanity with the mind control satellite of Misgarth. During the third year, Duel Academy is transported to another world–a desert plane with three suns and resident Duel Monster spirits–right into the hands of the Martin Empire. Upon returning home, Jaden and a select group of his partners dive into the rift left in their escape to recover their missing companion, and embark through second and third worlds where failure in duels sends losers to the stars ("killed" in the Japanese version, though they were actually sent to another dimension); in very dark times, they find themselves face to face with the vindictive Yubel. When Jaden realizes the connection between Yubel and his past self, he fuses her soul with his, giving him certain powers.
In their final adventure, Jaden and his friends deal with the mysterious Trueman, a dark agent who copies the identity of his defeated opponents and seemingly wipes out their existence then. When a solar eclipse draws near, Trueman is revealed to be working for the real mastermind behind the vicious plot around the entire season - the former Shadow Rider, Nightshroud. Using Yusuke Fujiwara as an avatar, Nightshroud explains that Trueman's adversaries were trapped in the hell-like World of Darkness, where they will ultimately give up on their own lives because while in the dark world they would be mentally tortured by visions of failing at their hopes and dreams. Jaden and Jesse form a tag team to defeat Fujiwara and later Nightshroud himself in order to save the rest of the humanity from his World. This concludes the Duel Academy senior's reign as students, and before the seniors graduate and go on their own separate paths, a farewell party is thrown. However, Jaden is not present because he dislikes sad events, and attempts to leave before anyone can notice he's gone. Before he leaves, Winged Kuriboh leads him to the room that holds Yugi Moto's legendary dueling deck, and he is encountered by none other than Yugi himself. They both are transported to the past, where Jaden duels a younger Yugi and in the process recovers what he had lost, his passion for dueling. The outcome of this duel is not known, but it's assumed Yugi is the winner given Jaden's promise to become stronger and duel Yugi again. As Jaden leaves, he discovers a note from his friends, who knew that he would probably attempt to leave early. The show concludes with Jaden, with Banner's spirit and Pharaoh running into the distance, awaiting their next adventure.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX sports many different characters. The principal cast is composed of the series' hero Jaden Yuki (Judai Yūki), the passionate Alexis Rhodes (Asuka Tenjōin) and her brother Atticus (Fubuki Tenjōin), the easily discouraged but determined Syrus Truesdale (Shō Marufuji), elitist Chazz Princeton (Jun Manjōme), the analytic Bastion Misawa (Daichi Misawa), the strong-willed Tyranno Hassleberry (Tyranno Kenzan), and the love-struck Blair Flannigan (Rei Saotome). Supporting characters often have connections to the educative or professional dueling worlds, and include Obelisk Blue professor Vellian Crowler (Chronos de Medici), duelist-turned-Industrial Illusions designer Chumley Huffington (Hayato Maeda), and professional duelists Zane Truesdale (Ryo Marufuji) and Aster Phoenix (Edo Phoenix). A group of foreign duelist champions, consisting of Jesse Anderson (Johan Andersen), Axel Brodie (Austin O'Brien), Adrian Gecko (Amon Garam) and Jim Crocodile Cook, along with the new professor, Thelonius Viper (Professor Cobra), would also find a place in Duel Academy's student body in the third year. In the fourth season a mysterious student named Yusuke Fujiwara appeared at the Duel Academy. The vast majority of said characters are either friends, rivals or enemies of Jaden Yuki, who seems to attract both friendship and trouble.
Antagonists of the series range from elderly Kagemaru and the enslaved Shadow Riders (Seven Stars Assassins), the manipulative Sartorius (Takuma Saiou), the deranged Yubel and the vicious Nightshroud (Darkness).
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is produced by Nihon Ad Systems, Inc., and directed by Hatsuki Tsuji. Scripts are prepared by an alternating lineup of writers–Shin Yoshida, Jun Maekawa, Akemi Omode, Yasuyuki Suzuki–with music arrangements by Yutaka Minobe. Takuya Hiramitsu is in charge of sound direction, supervised by Yūji Mitsuya. Character and monster designs are overseen by Kenichi Hara, while Duel layout is overseen by Masahiro Hikokubo.
The "GX" in the series' title is short for the term "Generation neXt". "GENEX" was conceived as the series' original title, as can be evidenced in early promotional artwork. It also refers to the GX tournament that takes place between episodes 84 and 104.
The program is divided into episodes classified as "turns". The title sequence and closing credits are accompanied by lyrics varying over the course of the series, with the former immediately followed by an individual episode's number and title. Eyecatches begin and end commercial breaks halfway through each episode; in the first season, there were two eyecatches per episode, usually showcasing the opponents and their key monsters for a given episode while in later seasons, a single eyecatch appears with only the duelists. After the credits, a preview of the next episode, narrated most frequently by KENN and Masami Suzuki, is made, followed by a brief "Today's Strongest Card" segment.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX anime aired October 6, 2004 on TV Tokyo. The anime ended on March 26, 2008. It was subsequently licensed by 4Kids Entertainment and adapted into English with the title Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, picked up by Cartoon Network and 4KidsTV in the United States YTV in Canada, CITV, ITV2, ITV4 and Nicktoons UK in the United Kingdom, Canal J and M6 in France, RTL II in Germany, Italia 1 in Italy, Nickelodeon Australia, Network Ten and Cartoon Network in Australia, TV2 in New Zealand, ABS-CBN and Hero TV in the Philippines, TV3 in Lithuania, CTS in Taiwan, RTÉ Two in Ireland, MBC 3 in UAE, Cartoon Network and TV2 in Denmark, MTV3 and Subtv Juniori in Finland, Nickelodeon in Brazil and Mexico, Animax in Hungary, Romania and Republic of Moldova. In North America, the program is distributed by Warner Bros. Television Animation in addition to 4Kids Entertainment.
The voice actor for Cronos de Medici (Vellian Crowler), Hiroshi Shimizu, announced that the anime series was not renewed for its April-October season, meaning that the fourth season of the anime had to be shortened, compared to its 52 episodes per season. A new spin-off entitled Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's debuted after the series' end. The fourth season is currently yet to be aired in North America, its timeslot also replaced with the English release of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. The future of the fourth season of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX in North America is still being discussed.
Like many 4Kids adaptations of other anime series, some have felt that Yu-Gi-Oh! GX was edited due to Americanization and the shifting of the target demographic toward a younger audience. The names of many characters and cards underwent alteration, and card faces and text are edited to only include ATK/DEF statistics and Attribute for monsters, and card type for Spells and Traps. Spell Cards in particular are referred to as such to reflect the revised printing format that surfaced in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from Magician's Force onward, though the original term "Magic Card" has been used on several occasions, either due to scripting error or for very specific reasons. Furthermore monster stat displays and Life Point counters, previously in blue and gold print, become digital readouts with color-coded energy bars. The original music score is replaced with a guitar heavy rock style soundtrack, and the sound effects are changed. Darker and more controversial themes such as death, murder (and mass murder), and religion – which were incorporated into the Japanese version – are virtually absent in the English interpretation. The title sequence is accompanied by the song "Get Your Game On!", as are the end credits (in a shortened form). Eyecatches, previews, and the "Today's Strongest Card" featurette are removed entirely.
A manga spin-off of the series supervised by Kazuki Takahashi and written and illustrated by Naoyuki Kageyama began serialization in V-Jump on December 17, 2005. The chapters so far have been collected and published in four tankōbon volumes by Shueisha starting on February 8, 2007. The manga is licensed for English language release by Viz Media, which is serializing the individual chapters in its Shonen Jump manga anthology. It published the first two volumes on November 6, 2007 and November 4, 2008, respectively. The plot of the manga is more of a continuation to the original Yu-Gi-Oh! series with Shadow Games and the Millennium Items playing a major role within the story. There are also new monsters and changes to some of the characters' personalities. Unlike the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, all the names used in the English version of the manga are taken from the dubbed anime.
Several videogames based on Yu-Gi-Oh! GX have been developed and published by Konami.
Two games were released for Game Boy Advance; Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Duel Academy and Yu-Gi-Oh! Ultimate Masters: World Championship Tournament 2006.
Three games have been released for Nintendo DS; Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Spirit Caller, Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2007 and Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2008. A fourth title, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX Card Almanac, is not actually a game, but a catalogue of cards up to 2007.
The Tag Force series has appeared on the Playstation Portable, which adds the ability to form tag team duels. The titles are Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Tag Force, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Tag Force 2 and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Tag Force 3. The first game was also ported to Playstation 2 as Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Tag Force Evolution. So far, Tag Force 3 has not been released in North America (possibly due to the fourth season of the anime not airing over there yet). It was however, released in Europe, and its follow up, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tag Force 4, has been released in all regions including North America.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Episode #1. October 6, 2004.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Episode #55. October 19, 2005.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Episode #48. August 31, 2005.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Episode #84. May 10, 2006.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Episode #120. January 24, 2007.
- "Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX Televising Data". Retrieved 2007-03-15.
- "UK Airing". CITV. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
- "UK Airing 2" (PDF). GMTV. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
- "Australian Airings". Cartoon Network Australia. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
- "Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Game Anime Sequel Confirmed". Anime News Network.
- V-Jump. February 2006 issue. December 17, 2005. ISBN 11323-02.
- "YU-GI-OH! GX Volume 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
- "Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Vol. 2". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
- V-Jump. June 25, 2009. 237-243
- TV Tokyo Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX page (Japanese)
- NASinc. (Japanese)
- 4Kids Yu-Gi-Oh! GX page
- 4Kids and Upper Deck Entertainment Yu-Gi-Oh! GX page
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
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