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Alternative Titles

Synonyms: King of Games, Yu-Gi-Oh! First Series, Yu-Gi-Oh! Serie Zero, Yugi-Oh, Yuugiou, Yu-Gi-Oh Season 0
Japanese: 遊☆戯☆王


Type: TV
Episodes: 27
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 4, 1998 to Oct 10, 1998
Premiered: Spring 1998
Broadcast: Saturdays at 18:00 (JST)
Producers: Nihon Ad Systems
Licensors: None found, add some
Studios: Toei Animation
Source: Manga
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older


Score: 7.291 (scored by 71,728 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
Ranked: #25092
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #748
Members: 125,171
Favorites: 785


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Jun 9, 2008
wowa (All reviews)
First of all, this series is a LOT different from "Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters". While the card game was certainly present in this series, it wasn't nearly as important.

There are a lot of changes from this to Duel Monsters. Mokuba's character is 100% different, Kaiba is somehow more of a jerk, Yugi is tinier and he gets beat up one per episode. And Yami challenges people to shadow games, which end in insanity or death.

The episodes are really predictable, for the most part. One of the main characters is picked on, Yami challenges them to a shadow game and wins, the episode ends. Even so, read more
Feb 7, 2007
OtakuFreak (All reviews)
Heck, I've been a big player of Yu-Gi-Oh! since the game came out. I never wanted to get hooked on it but I did anyways. Basically, Yu-Gi-Oh is one of those many animes that big named companies makes money off of with collectable cards, toys, and what nots. But before we all came to know the Yu-Gi-Oh! that 4Kids TV showed us on the WB channel every morning, there was a series that started it all way before the Cards were the all so important factor of the show. This was the Original Yu-Gi-Oh thread, to many it's known as the Zero Season.

In Yu-Gi-Oh! we read more
Aug 26, 2014
literaturenerd (All reviews)
Overview: That other Yugioh series, the one you probably didn't see.

First a little background,

If you grew up in the 1990s, you probably saw at least a few episodes of Yugioh, the anime about children playing a poor man's version of Magic the Gathering featuring holographic monsters and rules that seem to change every episode. Yugioh was localized in the US by the infamous and now thankfully defuct company 4kids. All dark plot points involving death and people getting sent to hell were removed, and replaced with references to the "shadow realm". This is similar to early US dubs of Dragonball Z where in every god read more
Oct 20, 2015
lawlmartz (All reviews)
Children's Card Games Saga Part I: A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Away, Where Everyone Has Crazy Hair

Well, it's been a long time since I did a nostalgia review, and it took me so long to finish this series due to being unable to find synced audio and video versions of the show, I feel like I can be nostalgic about this show now. (Seriously, I had to quit watching this show for 6 months)

Anyway- so back in 1998, Yugioh was born. Not the 4Kids Yugioh I grew up watching in the early 2000s, but the version that nobody in the US ever read more
Sep 13, 2008
Black-Hope (All reviews)
Many American Yu-Gi-Oh! fans were surprised when reading the first seven volumes of the manga, seeing how different the tone was compared to the dubbed TV series shown in the US (Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters) and how the stories that were shown in the manga weren't present in the anime. In truth, before the series that most countries outside of Asia would recognize, there was a series produced by Toei that was based on the game-centered first seven volumes of the manga.

Before I go into review-mode, I'd like to point out that this series IS NOT called "season zero", "The Shadow Games/Yami no Game", or read more
Aug 18, 2008
Makaiei (All reviews)
We've all seen Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters when it first came out, whether it be one episode or many; we all know the story of Yuugi and his friends playing card games against the bad guys. I loved Yu-Gi-Oh!: Duel Monsters, and I still do, so I decided to check out the series that started it all, which would be this one. I'll try to make this review simple and to the point.

Story - Unlike Duel Monsters, which focused on the concept of the card game, this series focused more on the Yami no Game. I enjoyed it at first, but then I just felt like read more
Sep 14, 2011
ktulu007 (All reviews)
The premise of Yugioh is that a young High School boy solves an ancient Egyptian puzzle that unleashes another self within his mind. This other self challenges those who do evil to karmic games and destroys their minds when they cheat. The story is laughably bad. The games are different in virtually every episode so they constantly have to take time out of the action to explain the rules for the episode. Add that to the fact that the other Yugi frequently wins through pure BS, I mean the power of friendship, and you get a story that's so stupid and cheesy it feels like read more
Jan 23, 2015
SailorStarrs (All reviews)
Although, Yu-Gi-Oh! (1998) was never released anywhere except Japan, I consider it to be the best Yu-Gi-Oh! series, and I am a fan of all the series. There aren't any overly drawn out action sequences, lasting only 1-3 episodes at most (and only on 1 or 2 occasions). Whereas, the other series of Yu-Gi-Oh! have very drawn out fights that can become slightly boring if you are not completely enjoying the main plot itself. Plus, it gives that wonderful nostalgic feeling that 90's kids get, when watching a show from that era, even if you had never seen it until now. Not to mention, that read more
Oct 5, 2017
Helios92 (All reviews)
Okay, let me just give my thoughts on Season Zero Yu-Gi-Oh! 1998.

Hell, this show is sweet and darker than anything we got afterwards. I like Atem doing shit and making people pay for huring his friends since episode 1. That was insane, but I don’t feel good about this anime knowing it’s probably a show writen by Yoshida and honestly, he did alright for his first ygo show. Pacing came from the manga ( whom i hardly care to even read it)
and animation is kinda like those late 90's show with vhs tapes to record it. Character development is trually awesome, even with filer i read more
May 8, 2015
AshitaNoJonas (All reviews)
Yugioh (also known as Yugioh Season 0) is pretty much a prequel to Yugioh Duel Monsters. It's about a shy little boy named Yugi who finds a mysterious Egyptian artifact, which is possesed by a Pharaoh spirit. He is kind of a geek and obsessed with games and toys. Eventually he and his friends will encouter many bad guys and the Pharaoh always takes over Yugi's body to challenge them to deadly games. Unlike later seasons of Yugioh (which concentrate 100% on the card game) the very first story arc has only very few card duells, but a lot of other interesting methods of battling read more
Oct 18, 2012
usaking (All reviews)
Yu-Gi-Oh is yet another anime that follows the same trend of Pokemon and Digimon. A boy uses fantasy monsters to fight evil and save the world. You know, the usual stuff. Of course, this series has a lot to other for those who are interested in TV shows similar to this.


The art style is a bit better than other anime shows from the 90's, but you can only do so much with the visuals until the flaws are seen. I think, though, despite this, that the show should be applauded for having as good of visuals as there are.

One thing I always look read more
Oct 20, 2017
roughentumble (All reviews)
(Breakdown of my ratings below)

Colloquially known as Yu-Gi-Oh! Season 0, this show loosely follows the plot of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, which was actually a horror series that focused on villain-of-the-week stories and all manner of games, not just Duel Monsters. Yami Yugi is a dark, imposing figure here, who doles out punishment games to anyone who wrongs him, shattering their psyche and leaving them a shadow of their former selves.

Your enjoyment of this show will almost entirely hinge on your feelings towards the rest of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. If you love Yu-Gi-Oh!, there's probably at least some entertainment to be gained from this read more
May 18, 2017
KillerSci-fi (All reviews)
Watch this show only for the novelty of it being the OG series for Yugioh. I wouldn't recommend this show for someone who isn't already a fan of Yugioh Duel Monsters because in all honesty if you are looking for a great story or great characters or amazing art and sound this isn't the show for you. I would recommend this show for anyone who likes Yugioh Duel monsters to basically see it all started and the inspiration for some of the fights in duel monsters such as the first duel with kaiba to even the final arc of the show. This show is worthwhile read more
Sep 28, 2015
K_Carnival (All reviews)
Yu Gi Oh

Let's clear up some confusion. This wasn't the version dubbed by 4kids that you look back on with nostalgic fondness. No, this was the anime BEFORE that. The one that was actually more concerned with adapting the manga source material than selling trading cards.
This Yu-Gi-Oh anime (often called Season 0 because it starts from the beginning) followed the sweet, often bullied Yugi Muto. However, after he solved the millennium puzzle against all odds, and became possessed by a dark entity. This more serious, more confident "Yami Yugi" surfaced whenever normal Yugi came into contact with a cruel human read more
Oct 29, 2018
Occupyingmyeyes (All reviews)
I've decided to nostalgia trip a little bit on Yu Gi Oh! duel monsters, a show I grew up watching after school and realized that I did not ever see the actual first season (King of Games otherwise known as Season Zero). Likely for good reason, if this "King of games" season was what I was first exposed to of the franchise, I'd have a hard time believing the Duel Monsters season would be worth watching because at times this show was laughable.

With all the censorship 4kids had done on the franchise I can't even imagine how they would even present this up to their read more
May 13, 2009
Umandsf (All reviews)
Now this is an interesting little endeavor I set upon. I originally began to watch Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters because a friend of mine directed me to a site which had download links to subbed episodes (of course, he’s not here at the moment and can’t find it again). Being the strange and organized completist I am, I noticed that the original series created by Toei Animation was only 27 episodes, so I decided to watch that first. Exactly two months to the day later, I finished it…and was left…well, just read on. Just note: I have not read the original manga that the show is read more
Jun 8, 2012
LegionIscariot (All reviews)
The original Yugioh.

The original stays true to its name YUGIOH= King of Games, Game King. It’s not only about duel monsters but about games.
The main problem is that I didn't understand the games at all.
It was basically advertisement to sell games.

Each episode is basically the same. Yugi or his friends get into trouble and it's up to Yami Yugi to save the day with a shadow game, not necessarily duel monsters, there's a wide variety of games.

All the characters are basically the same as YGO Duel Monsters, however Yugi is more timid, Yami is darker, there's a girl named Miho who is part read more
Jun 12, 2016
HeartlessPhantom (All reviews)
Uh-huh. An entirely different Yu-Gi-Oh! Altogether I see.

Yu-Gi-Oh! is an entirely different story than Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, it has an entirely different plot and doesn't focus on the trading card game that goes by the same name: "Yu-Gi-Oh!". Anyway, let's get into the review.

Story - 5

The story is quite average. You have Yugi Muto, a teenager at a high school that looks like that he should be in preschool. Who solves a magic puzzle from Egypt, and gains the power to curse everyone he meets by challenging them to various games... NEAT! By an extent, it's pretty average and repetitive at times, but it's read more