I think the fact that YuGiOh (along with Pokemon) was the first anime I ever watched is enough to give this series a 10. That and the fact that this is one of the very few solid English dubs out there.
Great story, plot, ingenius card game (think about it, Kazuki pulled the entire YuGiOh ruleset out of his ass and it's incredible!), along with enjoyable dialogue make this series a 10/10. Honestly, if you've never seen YuGiOh and you're on MyAnimeList to decide if you should watch it, then go ahead and do it. You've been missing out.
I, probably like many others, watched Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series without ever watching much of the original show. Since TAS is hilarious, I assumed the original show was just another bad kid's show. Something made me decide to watch it a while ago. I then realized the error of my ways. This is not a kid's show by any means. It is a show for men.
While the story is not perfect by any means, it's about fucking card games what do you expect? I'd give it a 10/10 but only women care about stories so an 7/10 is
the highest score I can give here. To further explain, the only anime stories I would score above an 8 are Rainbow (10/10) and all Gundam series (9/10) except for G Gundam (it's for children.) So, do not be disheartened by the 7/10 story.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters has given us some of the best character designs in anime history. Beyond anime history, the history of the universe. Hell, before seeing this show my favorite fictional character design was George Washington. But even Washington's design pales in comparison to those of characters like Bandit Keith, Yami, Tristan, Mako Tsunami, Pegasus, Bakura, and last but not least, Chemo. Yes the guy with the huge hair's name is Chemo. As in chemotherapy. Unfortunately, I had to dock a point from the art score due to the fact that there are female characters in the show. I still have not been able to figure this one out. The only explanation I can think of is that they wanted a blond female with large breasts to appeal to terrible baka gaijins.
This literally has the best American voice track in any anime. Maybe you think Hellsing has a good dub. Maybe Baccano! Maybe Yu Yu Hakusho. If you think any of those dubs are good, you are wrong. It has been scientifically proven that the original Nippon voices are always superior except in the case of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters. Dan Green gives an Oscar-worthy performance as both Yugi and Yami. Yami's voice is the best though. I want to have sex with his voice and so does every other good American. Also, this does not make me gay. Wanting to have sex with Dan Green's voice is about as gay as Char Aznable and Garma Zabi showering together. AKA not gay at all. I had to subtract one point due to Marik sounding like a woman.
As for the music, it is by no means bad. The American opening theme is pretty good. In the end though, I had to take away two points since spoilers the Star Spangled Banner never plays. I literally shed manly tears upon finishing the last episode when I found this out.
Easy 10/10 here. Every character is well written and serves a purpose. Even the female characters serve the purpose of making the male characters look better. I thought Yugi was going to be lame at first but he's actually pretty badass. His alter ego, Yami, is the best character in the show. Seto Kaiba is arguably the deepest character in all of fiction. They made him even better in the dub too since he wasn't nearly as big of a douche in the original Nippon version. Joey Wheeler is great. Just try not crying manly tears as you see him struggle to save his sister. Bandit Keith... enough said. Tristan Taylor exists just to add another manly character to the cast. He never plays a card game (except in filler,) but he takes on bodyguards, hits on a blind chick, rides a motorcycle, and sneaks around a castle wearing a suit of armor. Oh yeah and he does all this when he's 10 FUCKING YEARS OLD.
I'm not even scratching the surface of the great cast. Just writing about them doesn't do them justice.
The most enjoyable part of the series is easily the card games. I was just on the edge of my seat waiting to see how Yami will cheat next. There are a few flaws, though. One of which are the awful duels with female characters. Thankfully, I don't think any of these are longer than one episode and spoilers Mai Valentine never wins a duel. Still, I had to dock one point for these. The other point lost was for the Yami backstory arc. This was so boring that I had to skip it. Upon finishing the series, a friend of mine told me I cheated since I didn't watch most of this arc. My response? "Yeah, just like Yami." This brings me to the end and true focus of this review.
This anime is by no means perfect. (It's not Rainbow.) It is still a great show. I laughed (at the females dueling,) I cried (manly tears,) and most importantly, I learned a lesson. That lesson is that cheating is good. I'd been raised to think that cheating was bad. Unfortunately for me, I didn't watch this until I was in college. If I had watched this when I was a kid, I could be cheating my way through an Ivy League school right now.
To expand on the last paragraph, achieving your goals through any means necessary is the way to go. When Yami dueled Panik, a guy who went around Duelist Kingdom bullying females at night, did he forgive him? Hell no, he bullied him right back and sent him to the Shadow Realm aka he fucking killed his ass.
Please, watch this show. If you ever have offspring, first, hang your head in shame. Raising children is not a man's job. Though, if you insist on raising a child, make them watch this show.
I hope you enjoyed reading my review and please say it was helpful because if you don't, Bro would be ashamed.
Yugioh is an anime about card games, that’s what most people see when they watch it. I’ve heard it called the best worst series ever. What people fail to see is the intense character development that happens over a course of 224 episodes. The series started out with no card games at all. The story is about a kid named Yugi who is shorter than average, insecure, geeky and picked on most of the time. For 8 years he works on a puzzle that his grandfather found in Egypt. Upon finishing it, He is possessed with an ancient spirit
who at first appears to have evil intentions. A main key to this story is that this spirit, “yugi’s other self” (yami in English) has no memory of his name or where he came from. Through these battles Yugi matures and becomes a strong, dependant person, gains friends and learns to stick up for himself. It’s amazing when you compare the very last episode yugi to the very first season 0 yugi. Because the series is 200 something episodes, this change is gradual and almost unnoticeable.
The characters are unique and easy to warm up to. You’ll end up liking a lot of them and hate to see them leave in the end.
The animation varies from episode to episode. While episodes directed by Takahiro Kagami (Death note’s lead animation director for most episodes) look smooth and beautifully drawn, others are complete crap. Also, each artist interprets the characters differently so they change style episode to episode.
The music is written by Shinkichi Mitsumune and is the thing I miss the most in the English version. Shinkichi uses a lot of violin in his songs giving the series a melancholic vibe. The soundtrack is memorable and I love listening to it by itself. Some songs are sad and forlorn while others are upbeat and jazzy. I could go on and on just talking about the music.
Even though I have a lot of good things to say about this show, it has its down-falls . The card game can get boring and over done and I end up skipping all of them. Sometimes that ends up being a whole episode. Sometimes it feels like it’s not worth it. There are a lot of filler episodes and two filler seasons.
The English adaption also leaves a LARGE gap between the uncut viewers and the ones that grew up on the 4kids edited version. I disliked the series when it was showing on TV but loved the Japanese. The changes are that drastic.
Some people view this series as childish and down right silly, but they are only looking on the outside. Yugioh has its deep and serious side about how the mind works, human nature and perhaps a bit of schizophrenia.
Over all, I never thought I would like yugioh and now it’s my favorite anime. Just look past the silly card game and you WILL love this series too.
And please oh please, I beg of you. If you still don't want to give this anime a chance, at least look up the sound duels. They are definitely worth your time.
Time for another highly nostalgic review! Today, I will be looking back on Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, which was very popular during the late 1990s and early 2000s. This was the first Yugioh anime to be widely released outside Japan, but was actually the 2nd anime adaptation of Kazuki Takahashi's original manga. The first anime adaptation actually followed the manga faithfully and was later released as "Season Zero" in the West. Is an anime worse when it doesn't follow the manga? Honestly, the answer depends on what anime you're talking about. The first Hellsing anime was vastly inferior to its manga counterpart, so it was very
fortunate that Hellsing Ultimate was made to correct that mistake. However, the Trigun anime was actually far better in my opinion than the original manga. In the case of Yugioh, I would argue that they REALLY should have stuck to the manga.
The plot of Yugioh begins by introducing us to our protagonist Yugi Muto. Yugi is a constantly bullied, awkward teen that lives with his grandfather, who owns a store selling various puzzles and games. One day, Yugi manages to solve an ancient Egyptian puzzle and is possessed by the spirit of an ancient Pharaoh, who shares Yugi's body for the rest of the anime. The phrase "Yugioh" means "Game King" so obviously the plot revolves around games, which Yugi happens to be VERY good at, since he grew up in a game store. However, here is where the first major difference occurs between the manga and Duel Monsters. In the manga and Season Zero, both Yugi and the Pharaoh are highly skilled at ALL games, not just the official Yugioh trading card game. The manga version of Yugi could kick your ass in Magic the Gathering, Chess, or Monopoly. It doesn't matter what kind of game because he is the freaking KING OF GAMES. In Duel Monsters, the only game even featured in the entire show is the official trading card game. Why? The manga and Season Zero were made before the existence of the trading card game. The purpose of the manga was to tell a coming of age story in which the power of friendship overcomes obstacles and helps Yugi mature into an adult. The point of Yugioh Duel Monsters however is first and foremost to sell merchandise to kids and act as a giant advertisement for the card game. One of the first cartoons I ever loved was Ninja Turtles in the early 1990s, which also existed primarily to advertise toys to children. However, despite its MANY flaws, Ninja Turtles actually had some things it did well. It had fun and goofy characters, silly but enjoyable voice acting, and was extremely entertaining to young audiences in the late 80s early 90s vs. other cartoons of that time. Blatant and shameless commercialism doesn't automatically make a show worthless, but it has to be something BEYOND just that. Duel Monsters sacrifices the quality of the plot, the development of the characters, and the presentation of the main message all to focus on advertisement.
So if the entire show is watching characters play a trading card game, does it at least advertise the card game effectively? Does it teach young Yugioh players how to build good decks, use good strategy, etc.? HELL NO! Duel Monsters doesn't give a FUCK about the rules or actually teaching kids how to play. Instead it just focuses on shiny explosions and dramatic facial expressions interspersed with pan shots of minor characters doing nothing! Basically like a poor man's version of DBZ. Imagine I wrote my own anime based off a card game I used to play obsessively and was pretty damn good at, Magic the Gathering. The entire show revolves around characters playing Magic, but the MC has the ability to cheat his ass off and summon a creature like Akroma Angel of Wrath on turn 2 without the requisite mana...simply because fuck you! Would anyone watch that? I wouldn't.
The character designs were pretty cool in the late 1990s if you had never seen an anime before. That was actually one of the main reasons why the show got popular on Kids WB. Anime was a rare novelty for most American viewers when Yugioh came out, so people watched it simply because it looked different and cool. The animation is pretty mediocre since virtually the entire show is characters standing still and contemplating their next move in dramatic fashion. When there IS an explosion or some form of actual movement the animation is OK for its time, but hasn't really aged that well. This is made worse in the US version thanks to 4kids and their ludicrously stupid and often EXTREMELY lazy edits and censorship, which simply make the anime look like crap!
Yugioh is a nostalgic anime for plenty of us that grew up in the late 1990s along with Pokemon and Digimon, but honestly this show isn't very good and it never was. If you LOVE the trading card game, you will probably just be frustrated by how badly this show butchers it. If you love anime about friendship and overcoming your awkward teenage years, you are way better off watching Season Zero or reading the original manga. This anime is basically a giant children's advertisement that isn't even a good advertisement! In summary, if you aren't old enough to remember this anime, don't bother digging it up. It isn't worth it.
Not another card driven game! That is what I thought going into this. I had just gotten over my Pokemon and Digimon phase. So upon seeing this I quirked an eyebrow. However I gave it a whirl and watched it, and by god I actually enjoyed it. The characters are so much more dynamic than most of these genre of shows. There is a plot behind all the games (read the manga for more). The most interesting twist to me was the Egyptian background. That intrigued me to no end to see how exactly that would play out. Surprisingly to me it played out nicely,
tying the characters together from their pasts to the here and now.
There are a few arcs that also stand out above the rest. The first being the Battle City arc, where we first meet Malik Ishtar who is a young Egpytian boy. The Doma (Doom in the dub) arc that present to us Dartz, the King of Atlantis and his ragtag henchmen. The last arc, that deals with the origins of Yami Yuugi is also the best, and the one I am most fond of.
Art and animation quality actually go up as the series goes on. The beginning characters didn't always look their best, but as it progressed the characters started to look good as well. So if you are trying to get someone into a card game based show, dip their feet into anime show them this. However, if you want the more serious and true nature of the show watch it subbed.
Now, when I say ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the opening – with Yugi saying ‘It’s time to Duel’ and the D in Duel just echoes off into infinity… After all, silly little card games is all the show’s about right?
Sixteen year-old Yugi Mutou (I’ll use their Japanese names if you don’t mind) inherits a golden box from his grandfather, inside are pieces that form a puzzle.
After eight years of struggle and determination, Yugi finally finishes this puzzle, but unknown to him are the deep secrets locked within it. Including a 3000 year old spirit, who looks just
like him, may I add!
With the help of his friends – and sometimes even his bitter rivals, Yugi and his spirit friend, who he at the beginning dubs ‘The Other Me’, (Mou Hitori no Boku) go on many journeys, fight many duels and meet countless people that in the end all return back to the place that these fights began. The place that ‘The Other Yugi’ came from.
Now now… don’t start twitching when I say that. I mean it. When ‘The Other Yugi’ figures out his past life with the help of his friends, it brings them to Egypt.
But don’t let me spoil anymore of it for you! You’ll have to watch to find out all the details that happen.
I have one thing to say for anybody who has watched the show in English, or who hasn't watched the show at all: please, please, please, please watch the Japanese version.
The differences are astronomical. When I first starting watching Yugioh as a kid, I loved the American version - as I got more into my teenage years and more and more into anime, I started to watch the show in Japanese. That's when I truly fell in love with it!
I love the complexities in the characters and the niches in their relationship. While the story is really very good, it's the characters
that make the show outstanding.
First off this was one of the first animes i ever watched.Back then i didn't even know what anime was but it didn't matter to me the only thing i cared about was how it looked and how people at school were playing the card game.So the reasons for liking this anime is because the characters are well developed throughout the show and you get to see different views of the characters and i mean EVERY character for example Yugi (Yami or Atem) is the heroine of the story but we really don't know about his past until later on...
Anyway you eventually figure out how
his mind (soul) got trapped inside the puzzle and how darker secrets are revealed...Anyway people should watch the Japanese version of this anime because there's alot of content that 4kids took out to show to a younger audience and even the anime has alot of content that the manga doesn't for example...Pegasus actually dies because Bakura pulls out his Millenium Eye and then Bakura licks the blood off the eye.....yeah it's pretty gross i know but it portrays the kind of character Bakura would be like in the future evil and not trustworthy except that his counter part is quite the opposite of him.
The art is well made because of the artwork of the monsters and how their attacks reflect the monster.The main characters are well drawn and you got to like Yugi's hair! xD
The sound is of a good quality and the voices in the english dubbed version actually match the mouth movement o.o.The voices also sound matched to the character and their personality...even the insane villains. But since it's an english dubbed version from 4kids some voices may seem familiar to you from other shows or animes.For example Kaiba's voice is one of the annoucer guys that says which anime is up next on the 4kids channel..i was loled at that because he says Yugioh is up next... and then his voice is heard a few minutes into the anime xD.
So overall the enjoyment is great which is why it is one of the more popular animes in North America. So while you are watching this anime you could get so into it that you might want to try and buy that rare legendary card you see in the show.
So overall i'm going to rate this anime an 8/10 because there are too many times when they develop the chracters over and over again...they usually do this during a duel so it gets very annoying because you want to see what cards they are going to play not how sad Tea is because she's afraid that Yugi will lose the duel -_-. So yeah you should also check out the sequels to this anime like Yu-Gi-Oh GX and Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's because it gives a whole different twist to the kinds of characters that the anime Yu-Gi-Oh can develop as well as fantastic artwork to the monsters.
"This card has 1500 attack power"
"That means whenever I attack the enemy player with this card, they will lose 1500 life points."
"And thats a good thing because if the enemy player runs out of life points, I win the game!"
"Wow thats amazing, I guess that means that the enemy player will have to try his hardest to not get hit by your card."
"Thats right. It just comes to show how powerful this 1500 attack power card is."
"Oh no, I'm about to get hit by that 1500 attack power creature."
"Aaaaahh, I've was hit and I'm pretending that being hit by a virtual creature in a
virtual card game has somehow caused me physical pain"
"Haha yes I got him, now I just need to do that for a few more turns, and I'll have won thanks to my powerful 1500 attack power creature."
When I first heard of "Yu-Gi-Oh!", I wasn't that interested about it, but when I finally a few episodes, I wanted to know what happened next. Sooner or later, I became a fan.
The characters are very driven in their strengths and abilities and it doesn't center around the card game all the time. It centers around the themes of fate vs. destiny and mysteries of one's past. I found most of them quite intriguing and enjoyable to hear and watch.
The antagonists are the most interesting since they have their own motives and agendas, so it's a mystery to what their true objective is. The voice
actors are amazing and have a lot of talent. I've watched both the English and Japanese versions and have enjoyed both. So, if you want a anime with characters and action, I'd recommend Yu-Gi-Oh!
Yu-Gi-Oh! was one of the very first ever anime titles I watched and I’m currently re-watching it. I have to say I’m surprised to find that it’s more enjoyable now than when I was eight years old probably seeing as I have a much better attention span now. This is my review.
Contains Minor Spoilers
Yu-Gi-Oh! revolves around a game called Duel Monsters which is a card game where players summon mythical monsters and duel against each other. The plot is simple but the more you watch the show the more interesting the games become. The
rules are never spoon fed to you but after viewing a few episodes you’ll understand everything you need to know about Duel Monsters. There are a whole lot of unexpected turns, great gaming strategies and life or death situations when playing the game. The story as a whole is great. It takes place in the present but focuses on ancient Egypt from time to time and the villains that try to get their hands on the millennium items. Even though the story is really great, the duels themselves are much more enjoyable and interesting.
Characters have crazy hair styles and huge eyes but the design is great, especially the different monsters played throughout the series.
Yu-Gi-Oh! has a fantastic dub. Some characters have cartoony voices but it fits the sometimes over the top nature of the show. The music sounds like a score from an epic movie, especially when it plays during matches. I just have to say, the loop in the opening is awesome and never gets old.
Yu-Gi-Oh! has a great cast of characters. The Pharaoh has a Shakespearian quality about him, his voice and the way he talks. His respect for the game makes him seem like a noble samurai playing cards. He cares for his friends and watching him play is always a joy to take in. The supporting cast is fantastic, from Joey who sounds like a Brooklyn resident to bad ass anti-hero Kaiba.
Yu-Gi-Oh! is just plain fun. The story is gripping, the voice acting is fantastic and the cast is really likeable. If you’re looking for a long fun anime to watch, look no further.
There are some shows that are clearly meant for a younger audience, shows that are clearly made with people with a specific demographic in mind. However, I am of the mind that a show that can only be enjoyed by that demographic is not a good show. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters could’ve so easily been one of those shows, yet, it wasn’t… I mean, it’s flawed as hell, but none of that has to do with narrowing down to a certain demographic.
Since this is my first review of a long-running Shounen, I should note that the format for these reviews will be a bit different from
my usual reviews. The story and characters sections will disappear and instead I’ll analyze every story arc independently while also giving my thoughts on the characters introduced in them. So, without wasting any more time, it’s game time!
1st arc: Duelist Kingdom Arc (Episodes 1-40):
Already, the anime kinda runs into a bit of a problem. Since the Card game didn’t become the focus of the manga until around Volume 8, the Anime basically decides to skip everything else… which literally means they skipped 7 Volumes, which wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that they also skipped 3 STORY ARCS!!
I just… why? Those three storylines are very important, so why did they do this!? Yare Yare Daze…
So the first Episode is a hyper-condensed version of the final chapters of the Manga’s Death-T arc (The manga’s second story arc) only with none of the build-up. I don’t know why they started here instead of just adapting the first chapter (I mean, it wouldn’t be too hard to add in the Card game to its plot) but they didn’t.
The most important mini-arc of the first Manga arc (The Domino City arc) and the final chapters of the Manga’s third arc (The Monster World Arc) are eventually adapted… though both were extremely shortened. The Domino City part only adapts the first chapter of that mini-arc and the Monster World arc reduces over a Volume of plot into only one Episode. The first Chapter is also used as a flashback in Episode 3.
Again, this only means that the anime needs to play the catch up game (Pun not intended) and it’s just baffling. It also causes a few plot holes. Like… how does no one notice when Dark Yuugi takes over the regular Yuugi? In the manga, they’ve already known this for 4 or so Volumes; and I initially thought they also knew here… but they don’t so what the hell?
That aside, it is a pretty straightforward adaptation of the Duelist Kingdom arc. Some stuff is censored (Like Bandit Keith simply being thrown out instead of being forced to commit suicide) but nothing major. The pacing is thankfully decent enough, not too fast, but not too slow.
My only major issue is that there’s a massive use of Deus Ex Machina in this arc. I’m guessing Takahashi still had RPG rules in mind while writing this arc (I mean, the previous Manga arc was a tribute to Dungeons And Dragons) because for whatever reason characters would do stuff that’d make sense in an RPG… but not so much in a Card Game. Again, this made a bit more sense in the Manga, but that’s beside the point.
As far as characters introduced, let’s start with the main group.
Mutou Yuugi is a good main character, his character development takes a while to start off (Mostly because a decent bit of it happens in the first seven Volumes which this Anime removed) but when it does, it’s great. Dark Yuugi gets a lot more screen time and amateurs would think he’s the main character instead. Again, they kinda removed a good bunch of his character arc early on (He got some of his biggest moments of development in the Manga’s Duelist Kingdom arc, finally coming to terms with how much of a prideful, merciless bastard he had been for so long by having all of those things bite him in the ass) but it doesn’t hurt him as much as Yuugi.
Jonouchi Katsuya ended up being my favorite. Not only did most of his character arc make it out intact, but he’s just a fun character in general. Really, we all need a Jonouchi in our lives. Mazaki Anzu gets a lot of hate, but I don’t really see it. Yeah, she doesn’t do much, but at least she gets some development concerning her feelings for Dark Yuugi and her desire to become a dancer. If anything, Honda Hiroto deserves more hate. This is mostly because, in the manga, all of his major contributions to the plot happened in the first seven volumes, so aside from an out of nowhere crush on Shizuka (Jonouchi’s little sister) he gets next to no character.
And then we have Kaiba Seto… oh boy. Since he was such a popular character in the manga, he takes over Jonouchi’s spot as the show’s deuteragonist. While it does cut out some of his more heinous acts (Like forcing his adoptive father to commit suicide or nearly killing his little brother) his character makes it mostly unscratched with the exception that he’s more of a straight up Anti-Hero than his manga counterpart’s straight up Anti-Villain. I do like him and he is a good character, but my issue with him is that he does nothing in the final arc… likely because he wasn’t even meant to be there to begin with. More on that later.
As for side characters, we have Yuugi’s grandfather Mutou Sugoroku, who’s just a cool grandpa and I can see why Yuugi loves him so much. Slightly more important is Kaiba Mokuba, Kaiba’s little brother. He’s a bit annoying, but he does serve as Kaiba’s morality pet and you do see that Kaiba does care about his younger sibling. Kujaku Mai (Jonouchi’s maybe sorta love interest) is also a good character, and I’m glad the anime gave her some extra focus.
Pegasus J. Crawford serves as this arc’s main antagonist, and I just love this guy. He’s delightfully campy and unassuming yet so entertaining that it’s surprising just how threatening he can just be. Combine this with a damn good motivation and it’s clear to see why he was such a memorable antagonist.
The rest are D-list characters, so they don’t matter much.
2nd Arc: Domino City Filler (Episodes 41-49):
The word filler is not an exaggeration, folks. This arc is mostly comprised of filler. And the one bit of it that isn’t filler is so altered from its manga counterpart it’s unrecognizable.
The arc itself is split into three mini arcs. None of them are awful or anything, but you can tell they just added them in so that they wouldn’t catch up to the manga. The second mini-arc in particular is basically just the Duelist Kingdom Arc except in VIRTUAL REALITY… yeah, I didn’t care for it.
As for characters introduced, only two matter. The first is Rebecca Hopkins, She’s really whiny here, but thankfully she gets better in one of the later arcs. The second is Otogi Ryuji, who, much like his arc, has been altered so much from his manga counterpart that he’s unrecognizable. The fact that he’s mostly useless doesn’t help at all.
3rd and 5th Arc: Battle City Arc (Episodes 50-97; 122-144):
This is the longest arc in the whole show and also easily the best. The rules were more fleshed out by this point, so characters were actually using strategies that you would have to use even in real life.
Also, the cast all get some development in some way. Jonouchi easily gets the most; he suffers a nasty loss at the beginning that completely shatters his pride, believing himself to not even being a worthy older brother. Most of the arc is him trying to fix that, and it is completely worth it.
Even some of the D-List characters from Duelist Kingdom come back, with Kajiki Ryota in particular getting some much needed expansion to his backstory. Much of the same can be said about Mai, who gets the “Honor” to go through a lot of psychological damage in the final stretch of the arc.
Of course, the real highlight is Kaiba. This is effectively the end of his character arc, with him showcasing his beliefs and why he ultimately believes Yuugi’s existence is one he simply cannot accept. It’s really engaging. Yuugi also gets a bit of a boost in confidence, which does eventually pay off.
As far as characters introduced, the only ones that matter are the Ishtars, the sorta antagonists of the arc. The first of them introduced, Ishizu (Or maybe it’s Isis? I honestly have no idea) is one who serves as a decent enough foil to Kaiba in the first half of the arc, and it’s ironic that her confidence in her visions became her own undoing. The second, Rishid (Who’s actually adopted) is the standard Noble Demon you see in this kind of stories. He does have a pretty decent motivation though and a very creative deck.
Finally is the main antagonist, Malik. He’s a bastard to be sure, but given all the crap he had to go through, I honestly can’t blame him. Though I kinda lied when I said he was the big bad, as he’s hijacked by his super-powered evil side (Whom I’ll refer to as Marik from now on) who comes kinda out of nowhere, but makes up for it by being absolutely despicable.
Best of all? Aside from some censorship, this arc made it out almost untouched from the manga, with the differences ultimately not amounting to much in the long run.
That said, you know how there’s two stretches of episodes? Well…
4th Arc: Virtual World Arc (Episodes 98-121):
There’s a filler arc stuck right in the middle of it. To be fair, they did include it in the best possible moment (Right after the qualifier matches) but it only helps so much.
To be fair, they did use this arc to give us the beats of Kaiba’s backstory they skipped (Including most of the stuff with his abusive step-father) and even add some extra mythos to said family.
Unfortunately, the positives clearly outweigh the negatives here. First of all, they introduce some out of nowhere rules to the Card game that pretty much serve only to create some Deus Ex Machinas. Secondly, it’s way too long. Battle City is already a long arc, so adding 30 episodes of filler won’t exactly help matters. Thirdly, while I am glad the side characters got more to do, it ultimately doesn’t amount to much.
Finally are the villains. Most of them are generic to be honest, so I’ll just mention the two big ones. The first is Kaiba Noah, whose design is a deliberate call back to Toei Kaiba (Which, I’ll admit, is kinda cute). Aside from that though, the guy is but a petty, petulant child, even if he does have a sympathetic backstory. I am fonder of his father, Kaiba Gozaburo, who, despite being introduced very late into the arc, is a legitimate threat, even if he is sorta bland in comparison to most other villains.
So overall, not the worst filler arc in the world, but far from the best.
6th Arc: Doma Arc (Episodes 145-184):
Yup, there’s another filler arc. But honestly guys… I don’t think this arc is that bad. Let me explain before you kill me.
For starters, they used this as a chance to include Dark Yuugi’s character arc they forgot back in Duelist Kingdom, and actually add a bit of an arc exclusive to the anime to the mix. It’s all very engaging, and Kazama Shunshuke’s performance is at its absolute best here, but more on that later.
Secondly, they actually made use of one of the changes to the Battle City arc made in the Anime to add a bit of a character arc for Mai. It’s not all great as there are some rather sexist overtones to it all, but given that it was Yoshida Shin who wrote this, the fact he did anything with her is a feat.
Finally, I do like most of the villains introduced here. This arc would essentially become a blueprint for GX’s Society of Light arc, namely in the way the antagonists join the big bad. None of them are really evil, they just have had their perspective on the world twisted. Also, the big bad, Dartz, is legitimately threatning with a very well told backstory.
The one bad thing about this arc though is that it’s way too long. This is 39 episodes of nothing but filler, entertaining filler, yes, but filler nonetheless. Also, most of the lore expansion comes right the fuck out of nowhere. Like, what the hell does Atlantis have to do with Ancient Egypt!?
Either way, it’s not a bad filler arc, and I do enjoy it.
7th Arc: KC Grand Prix Arc (Episodes 185-199):
That said; we didn’t need another filler arc right after it!
This is also the most… filler-y of the lot. You can tell they just did this to stall for time so that Takahashi could finish the Manga. It’s also not very interesting. It’s just a tournament arc, with no personal stakes whatsoever. The only thing to note is that Kaiba gets a pretty badass scene towards the end.
The villains are equally bland so I’m not even gonna bother with them. Overall, this is probably the worst arc in the whole show.
Final Arc: Pharaoh’s Memories Arc (Episodes 200-224):
We finally reach the finale… and there are some problems.
First of all, this is by far the arc with the most manga alterations. I won’t list the differences as there are just far too many, but the two arcs are almost nothing alike.
And honestly, most of the differences were for the worse.
First of all, the rules of all of the new stuff introduced are very badly explained. I barely understood what was going on half the time.
Secondly is Kaiba. Why is he here? He wasn’t here in the Manga because he didn’t care about this kind of crap, and his characterization in the anime should be much of the same, so why add him in? Worse yet, it’s not like if he does anything of substance.
Thirdly, this arc sucks at world-building. The world of Ancient Egypt is barely fleshed out, and they don’t really give me a reason to care about the new characters.
Finally, the pacing is way too freaking fast. This is 7 Volumes of Manga crammed into 24 episodes and it shows. Half the damn time, I just don’t even know what’s going on.
Now, is there anything good about this arc? Yes, 1 thing: Bakura is a fantastic villain. While I don’t like that King Thief Bakura was basically written out of the plot, the present day one is a ruthless manipulator. He has been controlling everyone since his debut and all of his manipulations finally pay off. He’s sadistic, twisted, and an overall bastard. It says a lot when he’s still probably the best main villain in the franchise behind Z-ONE.
Also, while this has been said before, the final Duel is truly great. I don’t like how the Anime changed some things to make it more epic when it really just made it dumber, but the feelings that were originally there carry on, and the finale is just as climatic as I remember it being. It’s a good conclusion to an otherwise mediocre arc.
It’s a mixed bag to say the least. The first 50 or so episodes are nothing special, but it’s not awful either. Then it gets pretty good and hits its absolute best in the Doma Arc (Seriously, that arc is so freaking pretty!). Sadly, the show’s best animators all left after the Doma arc, and the animation regresses to what it was in the early 40’, sometimes even worse.
The Soundtrack, however, is consistently excellent. The orchestral tracks really do add a lot to the experience, and it can make you feel a wide range of emotions. As far as the Openings, I didn’t care much for either “Voice” or “WILD DRIVE”, but they aren’t terrible. I really liked “Warriors” and adored both “Shuffle” and “Overlap”. As far as the Endings go, I didn’t care for any of them except for the last one “EYES”, which is fantastic.
The cast is… unique, to say the least. For whatever reason, Yu-Gi-Oh animes tend to stray away from big name actors for the main cast. I’m not entirely fond of this idea (And it’s not like if it’s because of an artistic decision like in Wolf’s Rain… which I should probably watch at some point) as the fact that they don’t have much experience really shows. And when a voice actor sucks, he really sucks, Kikuchi Hidehiro in particular flat out sucks as Honda.
That said, this is one of the benefits of long running Shounen. While the Voice Actors are inexperienced, the longer length gives them more time to get used to their roles and improve. And for the most part, they do. Kazama Shunsuke isn’t even a Seiyuu (He’s a singer) and it shows as in the early episodes, his performance as Yuugi was really shaky; however he got better around the early 50’ and, as mentioned before, was at his absolute best in the Doma Arc, though his performance in the later arcs was also great.
But of course, what’s better is when a Seiyuu is great from the get-go. Another of the beauty of this kind of casts is that it becomes funny when you see a famous VA nowadays being an unknown back then. In this case, Tsuda Kenjiro and Takahashi Hiroki were both fantastic as Jonouchi and Kaiba since Episode 1, and only got better as time went along.
That’s not to say there aren’t some big name Seiyuus, however, even if some only got popular after this show ended. In this case, we have talents like Nakamura Yuuichi, Nanao Haruhi, Iwanaga Tetsuya and the Late Great Ishizuka Unsho. However the best of them all is Bakura’s second VA: Matsumoto Rica, who took over the late Inoue You. Unlike Inoue, Matsumoto went all out with the crazy factor, leaving an absolutely delicious performance, easily the best performance in the whole show.
Yu-Gi-Oh isn’t perfect, but I do like it overall. It may go on for longer than needed and it may indeed just be a glorified card game commercial, but damn if it ain’t the best card game commercial ever… well, the franchsie overall is, not this show.
It's time to d-d-d-d—d-d-d-d-d-d-do a review! *checks that off the overdone memetic references list*
Every dubbing company has their golden goose: FUNimation has Dragon Ball Z. ADV Films had Evangelion. Animaze had Cowboy Bebop. 4KIDS had two: Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh!, although it was the latter that defined their dubs.
Yu-Gi-Oh! is most well-known for being about card games, although the series originally was just a dark shounen that used games in place of the typical shounen battles. Indeed, “Yu-Gi-Oh!” directly translates to “King of Games!”, and arguably it's kept that title, at least when it comes to game-related anime. The franchise as a whole had been in
Japan for a few years before the second anime was brought over by 4KIDS, the first episode airing on Kids' WB just mere weeks after 9/11. What does this have to do with this show? Nothing, really, but I thought the timing was oddly interesting. Kids take comfort in their favorite things, cartoons being one of them, and it was a scary, confusing time for children; I know it was for nine-year-old me, and Kids' WB was one of my escapes. The voice actors had to have at least known of this, so perhaps this could explain the influx in performances, in how this was the best we've heard from them at the time. So tuning in that one Saturday morning and watching the premiere had to be mesmerizing to children from how over-the-top everything was next to the cool monster designs and the Egyptian themes (at least in the beginning), and big hair. Not to mention the friendship and “heart of the cards!” speeches, which had some actual meaning at that time in the anime.
And then, with a cry of “Yu-Gi-OHHHHHHHHHH!”, Dan Green climbed his way to stardom, and Yu-Gi-Oh! quickly became a smash hit—while not to the same worldwide phenomenon as it was with Pokémon, it was just as a big name on the playground, even more-so once the merchandise (e.g. the actual card game) was released. It enjoyed that luxury for a few years, but it made the rest of my elementary school years a little bit interesting.
STORY: The first episode begins with a narration about how 5,000 years ago (from the original 3,000), a pharaoh sealing away dangerous “shadow games” using Millennium Items, and how a boy named Yugi Muto (well, Moto in the dub) solved the Millennium Puzzle that houses a spirit that now shares his body. But outside of that, it's... hard to pinpoint a story for Duel Monsters as it goes through different changes in narrative with each new arc.
The anime picks up where Toei's anime leaves off—somewhat—meaning it completely ignores it ever happened, forcing Yugi's story to be shoved into condensed flashbacks throughout the Duelist Kingdom arc. It's also why Seto Kaiba has a bland brown mullet instead of his vibrant green in the original, though his psychotic nature carried over in the beginning because he still had a hate-boner for Yugi, but since the Death-T arc wasn't included, no one who hasn't read the manga noticed it. Besides, all everyone remembers from the first episode is “Exodia, OBLITERATE!” and Kaiba screaming as his three signature Blue-Eyes White Dragons explode and he gets a mind crush which allowed him to heal his heart over time—somehow, since the anime didn't bother explaining it.
But basically, the bare bones of the story is about Yugi Moto and his friends, the delinquents Joey Wheeler and Tristan Taylor, and his best friend and crush Téa Gardner, playing a card game called Duel Monsters in such seriousness against other duelists who range from just wanting to be the best duelist in the Duelist Kingdom or the entire world, to those who legit want to take over the world (or even destroy it in severe cases). They sometimes befriend these duelists such as Mai Valentine, Duke Devlin and Maximillion Pegasus (oops, “spoilers” I guess), or become enemies like with Rex Raptor and Weevil Underwood, two characters who honestly don't have much importance after the Battle City arc, but the Waking the Dragons filler arc tried to give them something.
Anyhoo, moving on, the main catalyst for why these duels keep happening, however, is because of the Millennium Items, such as the Millennium Puzzle Yugi has. At first, he was unaware of the spirit, later to be known as Yami Yugi, possessing him in times of need, but eventually, Yugi and his friends come to terms with and get to know Yami more. Duelist Kingdom puts more emphasis on the Duel Monsters card game than with the Millennium Items, but it gradually brings them into the plot and sheds more light on their secrets, what happened in ancient Egypt, and Yami himself. It just takes a good 200 episodes and lots more characters and monsters (such as the Egyptian God cards) to get to that reveal.
Needless to say, as interesting as the plot can be, and some arcs are better than others, be prepared to go through some silly bullshit with some occasional good twists (if you call them that nowadays). Hope you like holographic card games and endless prattling on of how cards work in play, because there's enough to drive you mad.
CHARACTERS: For a show about card games that was an advertisement for merchandise, the large cast of characters are surprisingly diverse (mostly in design as this show practically popularized anime hair—intentional on the creator's part, funnily enough) and well-remembered, for better or for worse. The main cast seemingly have one-note personalities, but they show hidden sides of themselves through backstory or when they're pushed into a corner during a duel. Yugi, as the main character, has motives and developmental growth as the plot was essentially kicked off (via backstory) because he wanted to make friends, and also to become independent. Yami was essentially his “alter ego”, a way for Yugi to be someone he could never be, but could strive to be (once he stopped using the mind crush penalty game as a direct result from being influenced by Yugi's compassion). However, Kaiba is the one who changes the most. Compare from when he literally hospitalized Yugi's grandfather just to get revenge on Yugi to when he had to team up with Yugi to save the world from destruction (at least twice, but fillers “don't count”)—although this was the result of Yami's mind crush taking effect.
Joey gets his fair share of character development, particularly when it comes to being a duelist as he was one of the worst from the start. But with Yugi's help in learning how to make a good deck and strategies, he becomes one of the best duelists in the show, and his duels have the most emotional—to an extent—and meaningful impact as a character. This is due to his determination and eagerness to learn so he could climb to the top in Duelist Kingdom for the sole purpose of getting the prize money to pay for his little sister's eye surgery. As for Tristan and Téa, they can duel, but they're delegated to being cheerleaders instead and they don't get out of that role. Outside of Yugi's circle of friends, we get recurring characters such as Bakura Ryou, Duke, and Mai, though their roles are different depending on the arc.
The antagonists are some of the most popular of the series, starting with Maximillion Pegasus who has remained the most well-known to this day, even if it was only because of how charismatic and foppish he is. Each has their own motives for why they went after Yugi, but they all stem from wanting possession of the Millennium Items. Marik Ishtar was the first in which a villain was legitimately threatening (Yami Bakura would take his place later, though he was basically the driving antagonistic force throughout the series), although his presence also was what changed the tone of the series and foreshadowed what was to come.
(The Virtual World/Noah filler arc interrupted the dark tone—and the Battle City arc in general—to put space between the anime and manga, but did so by bringing back the Big Five, the executives of KaibaCorp who were defeated in a small anime-only arc called “Legendary Heroes”. At the end of it all, it just gave the other characters such as Téa and Tristan one last chance to show them in a duel before they were pushed to the sidelines for the rest of the series. The Waking the Dragons filler arc had a more interesting villain in Dartz and brought in the Orichalcos to keep things tense, but it was dragging itself through the mud at this point.)
But of all the characters in the show, the real stars (let's call them what they are: promoters) are the Duel Monsters themselves, even though they rarely talk. More and more selections are created as the series goes along that there's literally hundreds of monster designs to choose from, many of them unique, and some play actual roles in the plot. Characters have their own signature monsters such as Yugi's Dark Magician and Kuriboh, Kaiba's Blue-Eyes and Battle Ox, Joey's Flaming Swordsman and Red Eyes Black Dragon, and Mai's Harpy Ladies, while Pegasus has a one-of-a-kind deck of toons you don't see anywhere else. In a similar vein, some duelists have themed decks such as Weevil's bug deck, Rex Raptor's dinosaur deck, and one minor but recurring duelist named Mako Tsunami with a water-based deck. If the human characters don't do it for you, perhaps the monsters will, though some monsters do show up less overtime such as Summoned Skull.
ART/ANIMATION: Duel Monsters aired alongside shows like “Love Hina”, “Sakura Wars”, and “Ceres, Celestial Legend”, and it definitely looks like it came from the 2000s. The show became digitally-colored as the series went on without losing its style, even when the designs were updated to the creator's own evolved style where appropriate. Studio Gallop was fresh off of previous projects such as “Kodocha” and “Rurouni Kenshin”, which from a glance, makes sense as to why the style looked the way it did.
Even so, the 2000s was an awkward transition period from cel to digital, and Duel Monsters is a poster child for 2000s anime. Animation bumps did happen in later seasons, but there's honestly nothing special about it. The stilted, oft-times recycled animation and off-model moments have made it an easy target for mockery from just a single screencap, which isn't a positive by any means, but it can entertain the easily-amused. At the very least, I liked the attention to the hair and eyes; again, nothing special.
SOUND: I'm willing to bet you were thinking of the abridged series at this point—if not, you are now. LittleKuriboh may have done a fantastic job, but this isn't about the abridged series. Think back and remember the iconic 4KIDS dub. Where Ash defined Veronica Taylor's career, Yugi defined Dan Green's career, though Eric Stuart has the best of both worlds for having been cast as Kaiba, and he hits it out of the ballpark from the very beginning. The other voice actors can't be left out, either: Wayne Grayson as Joey, Amy Birnbaum as Téa, Frank Frankson as Tristan, Ted Lewis as both Bakuras, Tara Sands as Mokuba, Maddie Blaustein as Yugi's grandpa, Darren Dunstan as Pegasus, and Jonathan Todd Ross as Marik to name a few. Regardless of opinions, they grew into their roles and made them as iconic as they are in the States.
Dan Green in particular is pretty much the voice of the show, it's hard for English-speakers to envision Yugi without him. The magic of editing/different takes be damned, the way he could go from being a young, timid boy to having powerful vocals at the drop of a hat was like whiplash, but only because the deep voice can always turn heads. The first few episodes don't really prove this (this goes for most of the cast regardless), but as it went on, the more in control and iconic he then became. He is solely he reason why Yami Yugi was my first anime crush.
The music gets a brief mention at the end here because yes, the dub replaced the music—but this is where it manages to stand on its own, thanks to being composed by Joel Douek, and the unreleased scores can be heard on YouTube. The opening theme is as iconic to the dub as it gets, though the scores “Transformation”, “Kaiba Hacker” (which became Kaiba's theme music in the dub), “Arise! Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon!”, and the aptly-named “Orichalcos” are up there as well.
ENJOYMENT/OVERALL: Let's be honest here: this show has not aged well. In hindsight, with the rise of the Internet and forums and availability of original footage, 4KIDS' dub of Duel Monsters was what brought attention to their infamous editing before One Piece came to the States. It didn't hurt the popularity, however, and if anything, all the attention that was brought to it was what got people interested in it. At the very least, it was 4KIDS who made it the powerhouse it became in the States, and that can't be taken away from them—except by legal force.
It still doesn't make the show easier to watch, however. While I can't speak for the original Japanese, as the series went on, despite the voice-acting becoming more tolerable (with a few exceptions such as Weevil), the script got... wordy. As episodes dragged, the less fun the duels became, and explaining how the cards worked each and every time in between “You just activated my trap card!” or a “Not so fast, I activate this card to counteract your card!” took up too much time that could've been spent on just seeing the cards in action. This could just be the fault of the filler arcs, but character motives didn't have meaningful impact on who they were and why they had to duel—even with the main cast. Though I don't know why I'm complaining about the lack of proper character development in an anime about card games that was designed to sell merchandise. Probably because the characters are some of the more interesting characters in any merchandise-driven show and I hated seeing them going to waste at times.
The nostalgia might just be strong with this one, but even when it was about to crawl to a stop, Duel Monsters still found a way to pick things back up and make duels fun again. Sometimes, an entire episode would go by without a single duel, or at least not with Duel Monsters, and it was just about the characters being themselves. They have a life outside of games, and it's easy to forget Domino City is just a regular, bustling city that HAPPENS to have residents interested in seeing duels and partaking in it themselves for the fun of it. Although we see less and less of Domino High as the series went on, but when you're saving the world with the heart of the cards, school's just not high on the priority list.
It was a long time coming (even after knowing of the ending for a number of years before seeing it for myself), but I'm glad Yu-Gi-Oh! left an impact on me as a child, silly as it may be. The characters make me think of old friends, and I feel welcome in Yugi's own circle of friends, I do have a lot of fun watching them. The outcome of many of these duels are so obvious it's eye-rolling, yet I still like seeing how they turned out. The victories don't feel cheap, and the losses feel like a punishment for not taking the stakes seriously. Some of the monsters are cool, and some of the strategies are clever. Makes me wish I still had kept my deck so I could've learned how to better at being strategic and planning ahead.
It's easy to get into Yu-Gi-Oh! for sure, just like it's easy to fall out of it, but the journey is worth it if you're willingly determined to stick with it to the end, if only to get some closure. Or you can watch it for the memes, whichever works best for you.
I absolutely adore this anime. I remember being 8 years old and rushing home from school to watch my VHS Yu-Gi-Oh! episodes that my mother borrowed for me from the library. I got teased for being a girl and liking this show. Actually, I still do! :)
Story - A teenage boy named Yugi Mutou solves the Millennium Puzzle, which is an ancient Egyptian artifact. The puzzle is possessed by the spirit of an ancient pharaoh (Atem, Yu-Gi-Oh!, King of Games, etc.) The pharaoh remembers nothing of his past, besides the fact that he previously resided in Egypt. Yugi's grandfather owns a game shop, so he
gets his deck of cards from him. The show is basically about a card game (or Duel Monsters). Yugi wants to help the spirit figure out the truth of his past, so he goes on a quest to find all 7 Millennium items and 3 very powerful cards called the Egyptian God Cards.
Along the way, he travels with his group of best friends, defeats great duelists, and even makes some enemies too.
Art - I really like the art in this anime. I think it fits very well with the series. The character designs are very unique, particularly Yugi's. You couldn't mistake that crazy, spiky, multicolored hair for any other anime character, after all. The monster designs are pretty cool, especially the dragon ones. They look pretty awesome, but a lot of others are cool too. The God Cards look pretty badass, even if the Winged Dragon of Ra is a mega ultra chicken (YGOTAS reference! :P)
Sound - I love all of the openings and endings for YGO. Even the 4Kids one is good. The voice acting is awesome too, and this goes for the English dubbed version as well! It's pretty rare that I actually like the dub as much as the original Japanese version. The background music fits very well with the scenes as well.
Character - The characters in this show are great. Yugi's friends are awesome. I think one of the best characters is Seto Kaiba; he's a really cool rival. He may act like a total douche, but I think on the inside he knows that he and Yugi are friends. Anzu/Tea is kind of pathetic, and I think she was only added so that there would be a female in the main cast. But still, it wouldn't be the same without her. Jonouchi/Joey pretty much won most of the time because of sheer luck, but he still developed a lot throughout the series and by the end of the series he learned a lot. Honda/Tristan? Well, I have no idea what his purpose was. I guess to make Yugi look better. But still, like Anzu, it wouldn't be the same without him. As feminine as they were, Pegasus, Marik/Malik, Dartz, and Yami Bakura were badass villains. Of course, I'm sure you could tell by my username, but Mai is my personal favorite character. :P Even if she didn't win a single card game on screen.
Enjoyment - I enjoyed every last second of this anime. Sure, you could argue that there's too many card games and not enough character development, but it is for a younger audience. When I was little, I didn't notice anything wrong besides the fact that Yugi always wins. I enjoyed this anime so much, that I teared up when I watched the last episode. Luckily, I soon discovered GX so I wasn't as depressed. Basically, this is a very fun anime and I highly recommend it to anyone.
Overall - As you've probably gathered from my review, this is one of my favorite anime of all time and I love it to bits and pieces. It may be just because of nostalgia, but still, it's definitely worth your time.
I actually started watching Yu-Gi-Oh! After having seen the GX edition to the series. The reason for this was actually, Yu-Gi-Oh! didn't air on tv here exept for GX.. But I loved it anyways and that made me check out this anime.
And I Must say I am rather pleased and glad I took my time to watch this.
What's mere fun turns into a nightmare in this classic Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime.
A Cardgame unidentical to any others..
Duel Monsters is the new cardgame created and probably the most popular one ever as there are held contests and tournaments about it.
Yugi Muto is just your average boy, Until one
day he recieves a puzzle from his grandpa whom contained something noone would have expected.. The soul of the ancient egyptian pharaoh. But what's more, He can't seem to have any memories or recall anything about his past. Dreams turn into nightmares as this tale about Friendship, Heartbreak and Monsters unfolds..
As the show goes on it will come with new twists and ordeals along the way, Yu-Gi-Oh! Is one of that kind of anime who can keep you watching all night.
It pulls you inn so you won't be able to stop watching.
New friends, New Enemies and New Places to go..
The show will build out in ways noone would have seen coming as you get longer into the show. Not to much romance but there are some mildly..
I found the show rather addicting and I was almost too fond of it as the show left me crying my eyes out more than once in the show.
Do you think its time to watch an anime about a cardgame like no other?
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters is the anime for you..
I don't know how anyone can watch this show unless they are little boys. This is a sad excuse of an anime. When I realized that they were playing with cards and acting very serious, I just had to turn off my TV. I went outside and read a book and spent my time on better things. This anime is horrible. The art is ugly too. Not recommended at all.
Despite it being an anime about games, it has one of the most compelling stories, and some of the best character development I've ever seen in an anime. I mean seriously, watching the series again, and having a taste of what their lives where like before the series (Toei's version), I've found that each character has so much significance in the story, and every little detail, like the decks they use, reflect both their character's personality, and the overall arch of the story. And aside from saving the world from ancient magic and supernatural like that, The series invokes a quest for self-actualization, inspired by
Yugi's wish for friends.
It's almost criminal that 4Kids dubbed this series, because they delivered such beautiful moments between characters so poorly that it ruins the emotion displayed in it. And Yugi's voice cracks where pretty hilarious. Dan Green, what happened in those Episodes?
The actual animation can range from being really great, to being... really, really poor. Some episodes actually gave
This is one of the few that actually made me cry a bit when it got closer to the end. And that's saying something, coming from me. And if you watched from beginning to end, I think you would, too.
The only thing I truly disliked was that the main villain of the series (SPOILERS) didn't have a lot of build up, despite him being there throughout the whole series. I knew Bakura's ring was evil, but somehow he felt so minor until right at the end. That being said, he has grown to be the most intimidating villain I have ever seen in an anime.
Overall, Yu-Gi-Oh! is a fantastically solid series, and even though the english OPs are fun to watch, I wish I could have watched the original Japanese. But either way, the fantastic story overpowers the cheesiness.
Since I saw Dragon Ball for the first time in year 1993 on TV, I never had seen a better anime than that; besides I have watched Sailor Moon too during the same time. Nevertheless, Dragon Ball was my favourite anime for years until 1999/2000. Why? Well I saw Digimon, I don't know why, but this series, especially Digimon Adventures (Season 1), impressed me a little bit more than Dragon Ball. But then, then I saw the best anime ever. Yes I'm talking about Yuu gi oh (I write it "Yuu gi oh", isn`t wrong). I admit before I saw it, I thought it would
be something like Pokemon, nothing special in that way. But when I saw episode 1 ("4 Kids" Version) I thought "not bad" so I actually continued watching episode 2, 3, 4, and so on. At the end of "Duelist Kingdom" I was impressed, really and I thought it couldn`t be better. But "Battle City" begins and like many people (maybe) I ran quickly from school home only becuase of Yuu gi oh.
A story better bthan the one in Yuu gi oh? Can you find it? I say "No, you can't". The story is very impressive even from the beginning. I'm not talking since "Duelist Kingdom", no, I'm talking since "A shadow game", yes the really first series, knowed as "Season 0". I`m not going to tell what the story about, that's not necessary. But the story tells about rivalry specially between Atemu and Seto Kaiba, ancient old Egypt rootage which Yuugi and his friends are confronted with since the beginning, of course one of the main themes, the Duel Monsters Card Game and the most important is the friendship especially between Atemu/Yuugi Mutou and Katsuya Jyonouchi. A world with conflicts between "the hero" and people who were fightning with the wrong proud reasons. THIS all IS Yuu gi oh, and in all this themes Yuu gi oh fits all perfectly together which makes for me Yuu gi oh the best anime ever.
I don't have any favourite art so I didn't gave Yuu gi oh a 10. A 9 is my personaL highest rating for art ever. So I didn't discuss which art is better. But I think Yuu gi oh's art is very good and fits perfectly with the series, darkness, light, characters, locations, items, cards, monsters, everything is very well drawn and displayed.
I only need to think in songs like "Overlap", "Shuffle", "Eyes" to change a worst day into a good day. If i think in "Warriors" (for me not only the best Yuu gi oh song but too the best anime song ever) then the day is rescued, such an energy that song has. The background sounds fits perfectly in the different more and less emotional scenes.
If you watch my nickname then you see a familiar name comes from Yuu gi oh. Yes it is "Mahado", my favourite anime character ever since I saw him in "Pharaoh's Ancient Memories". But I'll talk about Yuugi and his friends first. Basically you just have to like every character in the anime. Isn't important if it's Yuugi and his friends (pratically the good side) or the enemies like Dartz, Malikku, Pegasus or Siegfried (the dark side). On the one side because all are perfectlly designed and displayed and on the other side because ONE character, nevertheless which one if good or bad, IS nearly you. Different from the real life, which the decks are built only to become strong, in the anime the decks fit the characters' personallities. Another point that makes Yuu gi oh more than interesting.
If you don't watch it, you miss a excellent anime. I must say I was sad when I saw the ending of episode 224. Sadly its true that every anime must come to an end, especially Yuu gi oh's ending was a sad moment, it makes me happy to think of the things I learned all the time from Yuu gi oh that changes my life. The emotional moments of the series, most of them gaves me energy. An Anime that writes history and will be stay by me as a part of my life until the end. You could say I ADORE Yuu gi oh really.
Yes, like I said before, Yuu gi oh is my favourite anime and it will be for the next...80 years. All the time I was talking about Yuu gi oh, yes, but the Japanese, the original and the perfect version of Yuu gi oh. I don't know what the hell 4 Kids had drunk, but their version is the worst, the ugliest, the bleeping version that I ever seen. Neither Yuu gi oh or Takahashi Kazuki-dono ears the rubbish that 4 kids have done. So people, watch Yuu gi oh but only the Japanese version to take access to the REAL Yuu gi oh. Do it. ;)
Here's my review of Yu-Gi-Oh, hopefully you have a sense of humor. If not OH well... here's my review anyway!
So let's just recap what Yu-Gi-Oh is, this entire series is a show based on a kid with personality disorder and seems to like talking to himself. Will apparently save the word playing a children's card game!
Story - Good story I guess, save the world by skipping class to go play card games, Yugi gets into Duel Monsters, when his grandfather gets robbed by a rich kid with daddy issues, yes the rival Seto Kaiba! Throughout the whole show Yu-Gi battles other
people with split personalities, more rich kids, and psycho paths. Did I almost forget, Friendship!
Art - Even though this review isn't to be taken serious, I still love the art of Yu-Gi-Oh, except Yugi's hair (how is that even possible?!). Is what I cried myself to sleep asking myself, but anyway the art is substantial and well done.
Characters - Easily broken down like this, Spilt personalities, Emo, Happy Losers, and Physco Paths.
Sound - It's well done, I mean I love hearing gigantic monsters yell instead of epic battle music! The openings are pretty good with everything aside and the endings as well.
Enjoyment - I LOVE YU-GI-OH! I had the cards, the duel disk,....and yeah... anyway all in all a great show. Great series to kill time, and nice to grow up watching it, (and if you don't want to read the rulebooks) when you play the game itself.
Like many others of my generation, I've been on a nostalgic Yugioh craze since learning about the new movie that was just released in April this year. While Yugioh will always hold a special place in my heart due to the impact it had on my childhood years, I have purposefully re-watched all 224 episodes of this show with a critical eye and sadly cannot bring myself to give it a higher score.
Unfortunately, Yugioh is a prime example of an amazing premise that suffers from poor execution.
(Also of note, my review will refer to the dub names/situations- although I am aware of the
changes that 4kids made to the original sub...)
Warning, this WILL be a LONG REVIEW for a LONG anime
It hurts me to give a score this low to an anime that could have easily deserved a 9 or 10 for its ingenious premise: incorporating ancient Egypt (when do we ever see this?!) into our modern-day 21st century society. Additionally, the whole system of the Duel Monsters card game is incredibly creative! It's hard to believe that one guy is behind all the different monster, spell, and trap cards. *It's important to remember that, in this original Yugioh series, the mangaka Kazuki Takahashi was still trying to figure out the exact rules of the card game that he was essentially creating from scratch at this point in time...so of course it would seem like the characters are cheating because the rules of the actual TCG changed only AFTER the story of Yugioh was complete.*
Also of note, while the dub contains egregious amounts of censoring out violence, I do think that 4kids made a smart move by including the shadow realm. Others may disagree with me, but having to spend an eternity with your mind trapped in a terrifying place sounds like a much harsher punishment than just *death*.
Despite all these promising plot devices, it's impossible to overlook the many facets of the story that are underdeveloped due to much of the background development of our two main characters getting skipped over. This development is extremely important because this particular story only works well if it ultimately centers around both Yuugi and his alter-ego, Yami's, character development. Because this is an adaptation, I wish to look at what the story could have been if it had stayed truer to the manga.
*SPOILERS IN THIS NEXT SECTION*
I do recognize that this adaptation bears no connection to the Toei Yugioh adaptation (also known as season 0) and that the subtitle of the title is DUEL MONSTERS...so of course it would center on the Duel Monsters card game..but I still honestly believe Studio Pierrot missed out because of the decision to leave out the early "school" days arc in which Yuugi was still a timid boy who was bullied at school and the spirit inside the puzzle was a psychopathic sadist akin to a serial killer. Instead the whole anime starts off with Yuugi already surrounded by friends with no signs of a troubled social life.
Also, it would have added so much to the overall plotline if just ONE EPISODE was included early on that explained exactly how Yuugi met his two best bros, Joey and Tristan, in the manga. Studio Pierrot tried to hide bits and pieces of this in the middle of the series (like episode 70ish) of how Yuugi stood up for Joey and Tristan, his two most prominent bullies, when they were getting pummeled by an even bigger bully. Unfortunately many viewers probably won't even reach this point of the show because, due to the way this studio handles this adaptation, the overall premise of Yugioh seems like your typical shounen show in which the main protagonist starts off as a confident kid who is more than ready to accept the call to save the world. Yuugi is supposed to be set apart from the typical shounen genre hero! I will expand on this and pacing more under the character section.
*END OF SPOILERS*
Finally, the pacing of the show varies from good to extremely poor.
The pacing of each episode can seem a little slow/drawn out. Generally the duels could have finished about 10-20 minutes earlier if the characters cut out all their trash-talking...but it's something that can be overlooked when remembering that these characters are competing in tournaments akin to your typical video game or sports match that can't be complete without the trash talk.
The pacing for each season and the series as a whole does a pretty good job for your typical shounen series of building up the suspense to the last big villain duels. The pacing within the seasons of Duelist Kingdom and Battle City grabbed the viewers' attention well. My only gripe is that the Virtual World filler arc occurred right between the Battle City semi-finals and finals which totally threw off the pacing and suspense of the main plotline.
I'll cover the good first: the character designs are outstanding! Kazuki Takahashi, the mangaka, did an excellent job making these characters STAND OUT from the rest of the anime/manga crowd, and I appreciate the fact that the animation studio chose to stay as close to his original designs as possible. Additionally, the overall bright color palette highlights all the different monster designs and the "shounen-ness" well...
BUT, THIS DOES NOT EXCUSE THE INCONSISTENCIES BETWEEN EPISODES. Yes, I do realize that this aired from 2000 to 2004. Yes, I do realize that this is a long-running show which leaves more room for error/inconsistencies between the animation quality of episodes. BUT, the character designs should not change as often as they do!! In many episodes, the characters look much more bishie, the heights of characters fall all over the place, and OHGAWD, can we talk about Yuugi's hair?!? His hair, by nature, is incredibly extravagant... but it's not that huge! In many episodes it makes up HALF OF HIS ALREADY SHORT HEIGHT. -.-
The lack of communication and accountability on Studio Pierrot's part regarding consistency when they asked other studios to animate certain episodes turned out to be an unfortunate oversight. Some episodes look excellent and could fit in right with the shows that are currently airing. Others are animated so poorly that the faces in the background look like sad little blobs with horribly deformed eyes.
In regards to the dub: while cheesy with the stuttering (D-x9-Duels!), the opening theme is pretty epic. The ominous melody does prepare viewers to watch a pretty dark (children's) show. The motif within the last 10 seconds of the opening reappears often in the show as the "heroic" theme and becomes very memorable. In general, the American soundtrack really likes to utilize horns, the typical heroic instrument. In all honesty, many songs of the OST sound pretty generic on their own, but they do highlight the characters/certain situations well (i.e. Pegasus' theme, the theme of the Egyptian god cards, Seal of Orichalcos, etc.)
In regards to the sub: the pretty upbeat openings and endings highlight the positivity of Yuugi, our true main character, and his coming-of-age journey with his friends incredibly well. The heavy use of strings in this OST successfully highlights the much more melancholic vibe/atmosphere of the original Japanese characterizations of Yuugi and Yami. Unfortunately, many of the songs do end up sounding quite similar to each other because of the heavy-use of strings.
Overall though, the soundtracks of both the dub and sub fit the respective tone of the series they hope to portray- American: heroic and Japanese more humanistic, melancholic.
The characters of Yugioh make the show truly memorable.
I appreciate that Yuugi's group of friends really breaks the typical high school stereotype. Unlike other shounen shows that don't even take place in a setting similar to our mundane real world lives, the friendship dynamic of Yuugi, Joey, Tristan, and Tea are a breath of fresh air. Yuugi begins as your typical geeky/nerdy kid who loves games, and somehow becomes best friends with the class thug (Joey) and the typical cool/jock guy (Tristan).
Both Joey and his sister Serenity receive a lot of character development and it's great to see how their unfortunate life situations begin to turn around due to Yuugi's influence.
Tristan doesn't get nearly as much development, but we do get to see him as a cool guy with a heart of gold that will do anything for his friends.
Finally, Tea. While she doesn't get a lot of development per se...(due to the fact that the entire first "school" arc of the manga was not adapated so we never get to see her staring personality) She does help push Yuugi and his friends forward when duels get rough. In the sub she is nearly not as cheesy with her friendship speeches. Instead she actually mixes her encouragement up with perseverance and "fighting spirit" words. Unfortunately, Tea lucked out on her development from more selfish to selfless love for her friends in both the sub and dub...but more so in the dub.
Seto Kaiba's personality also suffers like Tea's when going from sub to dub. In the sub Kaiba is a little-more openminded (which is saying a lot compared to the dub!) to all the "supernatural" events that surround Yuugi and the duels he plays. Kaiba also becomes a little less of a jerk throughout season 4 and 5. In the dub he only comes across as an asinine skeptic who still doesn't believe in what is right in front of his eyes no matter how many times it is shown or explained to him. His skepticism adds to his asshole-ness...but he does play an important role in becoming a pretty stark character foil to both Yuugi and Joey.
Due to two whole filler seasons dedicated to the character development of Kaiba and his brother Mokuba, their characters remain interesting because of the focus on explaining their harsh childhood backgrounds. It still remains pretty inexcusable to me that Kaiba remains such a jerk when Yuugi and Joey have also come from harsh backgrounds but grew to become much more empathetic people...but I guess everyone grows at their own pace. Overall I appreciate how the personalities of Kaiba, Yuugi, and Joey all differ yet complement each other really well throughout the anime.
The rest of the characters all have pretty interesting personalities that differ enough from each other. They are all memorable and add enough to the plot without overshadowing our main gang. I especially enjoyed watching Mai, Rebecca, and Duke grow a bit.
The villains may all seem pretty generic but they play their part well. I do think season 4/Orichalcos arc should get a special mention though for having some pretty well-developed lackeys who remain pretty interesting throughout the season.
Finally, the main reason why I can't give this section a 9 or 10 is because of what we miss out on regarding Yuugi's growth. We never see him as the timid shy boy who started off friendless, grows up to standing up to all those who hurt his friends even if it meant that he would get beaten to a pulp. This is where Yami's dark sadistic games would take over. The anime fails to portray the stark contrast between Yuugi's forgiveness, compassion, and pacifism and Yami's arrogance and cruelty.
Instead, the anime starts off with the portrayal that Yami is already a pretty benevolent spirit who only wants to do what's best for his "family" and ultimately the world. Yami ends up completely overshadowing Yuugi throughout the entire show because they both possess the "heroic" character traits. Yami just has more assertiveness/confidence that allows him to pull ahead of Yuugi in screentime.
Even with the Orichalcos arc, the adaptation still falls flat in showing how Yuugi and Yami slowly complement and learn from each other since they start off as complete opposites. This is especially obvious in the last couple episodes of the show.
*POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN THIS SECTION*
This is especially disappointing because the Kaiba brothers get essentially more screentime on their character growth than the main character himself. YES I AM GOING TO SAY IT. YUUGI IS THE MAIN CHARACTER. Not Yami. Yami is someone who helps Yuugi along the way but ultimately it is Yuugi who enriches the plot. As the anime shows, Yuugi is the exceptional boy who solved the millenium puzzle, made friends with his enemies, and had the courage to stand with Yami during shadow games even if it could cost him his soul.
Because the anime loves to hype up Yami's character so much, Yuugi's coming-of-age journey falls flat at the end of the series. For a series that is well known for it's "ass-pulls" when it comes to winning the duel in the exact right way at the exact right time, the ending of this show seems like a literal ass-pull in trying to tie up Yuugi's character growth...
*END OF SPOILERS*
I truly enjoyed Yugioh. I realize that shows that I tend to be more critical of, I tend to enjoy more because my "constructive...heheh" criticism is just a way for me to show how much I truly loved a show.
The variety of cards in the duels always astounded me and I looked forward to what kind of deck and strategy the next opponent would have. *(Reminder, the rules for duel monsters were still being developed by Kazuki Takahashi while the show was airing so not every move is cheating).*
The characters in Yugioh stood out to me when I was a child, and they stood out even more 10 years later as I rewatched the series as an adult. It was refreshing to watch the characters adventure through the "real-world," not some fantasy land- this allowed me to actually delve into the storyline because I felt like, as cheesy as it sounds, that a duel monsters tournament could be taking place in a big city like San Francisco right in present day.
Of important note: coming from someone who tends to avoid all English dubs, I have been surprisingly impressed with the voice acting of 4kids. Even if there is lots of censorship...I would have to say that the dub is worth it just for the voices...the sub is not bad though. Either way Yugioh was extremely enjoyable.
The anime takes a pretty typical shounen route in regards to themes and villains, so it's definitely not perfect...but somehow it still stands out from the rest. Watching someone play card games and draw a hand has never seemed as impressive or entertaining as Yugioh makes it. If you can sit through characters voicing off their strategies for their card games, then you're in for a journey about the true meaning of friendship- friends that are always there for each other no matter how dangerous their journey gets.