High school student Yuugi Mutou spends his days being bullied between classes and his nights playing board games and solving puzzles in his bedroom. Yuugi's penchant for gameplay comes from his grandfather, whose game shop also serves as a house for the two.
One night, Yuugi manages to solve the Millennium Puzzle, a seemingly impossible challenge that awakens his inner darkness and converts it into an alternate persona: Yami Yuugi. Transforming into the more bold and dangerous persona against his will in moments of great distress, Yuugi begins to moonlight as a vengeful vigilante, challenging bullies and evil-doers to risky games where failure results in fates worse than death.
Yuugi and his alter ego befriend some of the very students who once bullied him, forming unbreakable companionships with them. But the group must contend with villains far deadlier than the high school punks they originally rallied against, enemies who use games for nefarious purposes and threaten Yuugi and his friends' very lives.
Yu☆Gi☆Oh! spawned the Trading Card Game of the same name, which is one of the most popular card games in the world and has sold over 25 billion cards since 1999.
The series was published in English by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump imprint. The publishing is divided into three parts: 7 volumes of Yu-Gi-Oh were published from May 7, 2003 to December 7, 2004, 24-volumes of Yu-Gi-Oh!: Duelist from February 1, 2005 to December 4, 2007 and 7 volumes of Yu-Gi-Oh!: Millenium World from August 2, 2005 to February 5, 2008. A special hardcover collector's edition first volume was released on September 16, 2008. A 3-in-1 omnibus edition was published from February 3, 2015 to February 6, 2018, with the final omnibus containing volumes 37 & 38.
I finally finished reading this masterpiece... All I must say is this manga is not just a must-read or must-rate, but a MUST-FAVORITE! You can't run into another masterpiece like this in many decades. This one surpasses all other manga series in my fav-list, even though its anime adaptions are not so great.
-The only thing it lacks is ROMANCE. This was a pain at first for me but I quickly forgot that, being completely enthralled by the duels. Also, there are times when the motives behind the duels were not so reasonable and convincing. Nevertheless, the author did a great great job.
first volumes, our two Yugis and companions started off building friendship with their ex-enemies and admonishing guys beyond cure, by playing a lot of bizarre and EXTREMELY INNOVATIVE games. These games require both physical and brain power and often concluded CONVINCINGLY with Yugi's victories.
-Most and main parts of the manga comprise of only duels of Monster Card Game, which is mostly agreed to be the best and most intelligent MEDIUM to settle things. Even though there are MIRACLES happening from time to time to the protagonists' favor but, given the countless number of battles throughout 343 chapters, these DRAMATIZED events are completely OK! There's completely nothing to complain about the perfect flow and ending.
-In conclusion, the plot is very well planned and carried out CONSISTENTLY from beginning to end even with all the ad-lib/improvisation, weaving together characters' relations and even the cards in Yugi's deck.
-At first the tone was very hard and dark. The characters looked short and bold. But later on when the Card Duel Games got more and more serious and intense, the character design improved gradually. The determined look of Yugi II and the atrocious look of all antagonists are perfect. FEMALE characters are notably lovable most of the time! Besides, monster designs are perfect and consistent - the author successfully created a distinguishable universe for his monsters - just like in Pokemon - they are not just a bunch of random shits like in Berserk or D.Gray-man and other common lots.
-The character development/growth of protagonists - Yugi I, Yugi II, Kaiba, Jonuochi - can be observed easily. They became more and more mature, determined, and strong in many ways. However, all supporting characters are overshadowed right after their debuts.
-My enjoyment is absolute during the first volumes when Yugi played games other than the Duel Monster Card. Even though it waned a bit towards the end, no matter how many times I read this work, no matter how times I think about this manga, it always should stand out to be loved the most!
-Despite all the tiny faults and misses, as I said, you canNOT read anything like this any time soon so you should OVERRATE it and encourage mangaka's to draw great things like this!
Yu-Gi-Oh, it is actually not a really good manga, but the innovation inside it which makes the manga interesting.
Before Yu-Gi-Oh appeared, trading card game is not so popular, then, the appearance of Yu-Gi-Oh makes the trading card game popular.
However, the comics is not as awesome as the game nowadays. The game still expanding faster and faster, yet the comics is so lame.
So, my suggestion is, if you like the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game or you want to at least know how to do the game, you can read the book
The YuGiOh manga is a work I wish I could convince more people to read. Most people I know have some experience with the franchise, whether it be through various anime series/movies, video games, or the card game – but very few are familiar with the starting point. This is entirely understandable, given that manga tends to be less accessible for many people. Even though the series is extraordinarily successful, many people seem to have forgotten its roots – this magnificent work by Kazuki Takahashi, which I am very grateful having finally had the opportunity to read myself. Having experienced the level of enjoyment I
did, I feel compelled to express some thoughts on this manga in the hopes that it will kindle someone’s interest.
I have found that due to people’s association of YuGiOh with the English dub of the Duel Monsters anime (amazing for wholly different reasons), they tend to not treat the story or characters very seriously. I will be the first to admit that YuGiOh relishes in certain shounen tropes – character archetypes, relationships, motivations, etc., as well as plot elements and progressions – but I also find that the execution is good enough within the context of the series that this does not bother me so much. One of the more popular criticisms of the writing is the ever recycled power of friendship and so-called “heart of the cards” antics that allow Yugi and co. to overcome whatever hardship they may face. This is a valid viewpoint to have, but I personally feel that this convenient writing actually functions well within this story.
One overlooked aspect of YuGiOh, in my opinion, is the absolute ridiculousness of it all. I do not mean this as a criticism of the writing, but rather that I find it hilarious that all of the events of the series are dictated by the results of trading card game matches. Even the villains, evil as they are, are just as invested in this game as Yugi himself. Even though he is not exactly villainous himself, Seto Kaiba – certainly an antagonistic force to Yugi – is probably the most perfect example for this. He is an ultra-rich, self-absorbed tech tycoon with dreams of power and influence. But above all, he just wants to be the king of games. The fate of the world comes to hinge on the outcomes of these matches, and it is for that reason that I can excuse some of the outrageous ways in which Yugi comes to seize his victories.
I should note that a crucial difference in the manga is that the first part is not exclusively dedicated to the game we know as “Duel Monsters.” There is an entire arc of Yami Yugi playing random “shadow games” with different people, which typically involves punishing bullies. It is quite sadistic and brutal at times, and is a sharp departure from the YuGiOh that most people are familiar with. However, this portion is important for developing the bonds of friendship between our main cast, particularly Yugi and Jonouchi, which I feel is the most important character relationship besides Yugi and Yami Yugi. There is absolutely a disconnect between some characters and overall atmosphere from this first part to the Duelist Kingdom Arc and onwards, but this can be explained simply as Takahashi being fluid and flexible with his work. Since his readers were so enthralled with the game of Duel Monsters, he decided to use that game as the core of the series going forward. This first portion is by no means bad, but is admittedly a bit of a slow start for those excited to get into the duels it is so famous for. Once this aspect takes over as the main drama, YuGiOh truly begins to shine.
Having hit this stride of creating a niche in which Takahashi could thrive, the manga really takes off once the part known as “Duelist” begins. This is the bulk of the series, and contains its most iconic characters and duels. I find Takahashi’s sense of style to be absolutely brilliant. The anime does not do his art justice in my opinion, and through this manga you can really appreciate his talent for drawing. However, I should mention that there was certainly a strong sense of nostalgia for me as I was reading this series, which would come to affect my engagement with it on many levels. Since I have been interested in YuGiOh for such a long time I have a strong appreciation for the characters and artwork – but that being said, such a long term investment is absolutely not required in order to cultivate your own personal appreciation.
The duels themselves are certainly among the high points of action and drama in this series, as well as some of the best showcases of his art style – though many of my favorite panels were simply different characters standing around in cool clothing. As with any shounen series’ battles, some hit and some miss; which is bound to happen. I did not find any of the duels to be “bad,” however, and just felt that they were either duller or had less implications than others. Each reader will have their own favorites depending on their preference of characters, but they are still all expressive and unique. Every duelist employs a deck that is both reflective of their personality and overall aesthetic – which works so well with a game that has so many diverse archetypes and designs. I am still impressed at just how consistently good Takahashi’s card designs are, both in originality and memorability. This also goes for his character designs, which I have already mentioned as being iconic not just within shounen, but the entire medium.
This work is difficult to discuss in a concise manner because there is so much to appreciate. I doubt that Takahashi could have predicted the success of his series, as well as how profoundly influential it would come to be in the future. Although this could be said about many artists before their breakthrough work, I find it important to note with regards to Takahashi, because YuGiOh is such a personal series for him. He is a gamer at heart and expresses his love for it within these pages. Before every volume he writes a brief author’s note that contains various observations or explanations of his influences – small pieces of information that I came to cherish due to his down to earth personality and disarming sense of humor. YuGiOh has been a part of my life for a long time, and I am to have finally had my own experience with its foundation. I have been moved by this work, and hope that others will continue to find their own enjoyment with it in the future. The YuGiOh manga is by no means perfect, but it is one of the most enjoyable pieces of fiction I have ever encountered.
This is going to be really long, because I'm going to divide it into three sections, corresponding to each of the arcs present in the manga.
Original Yu-Gi-Oh! was meant to start off as a horror story, which Takahashi mentioned himself. The art corresponds to that - author tried to draw more realistic characters, which resulted in a eerie feeling at times. It's not done well though, I'm glad he moved on from that later.
It serves as a great introduction to the main story. On its own its main flaw is the episodic construction, much like the duels later on. Its also the part where the
characters have the most depth to them, over time they seem to lose it and focus of the manga turns completely onto dueling.
The original idea behind "The King of Games" seems like a prototype for "The Saw", I think it was the best part of the story, when the card game is introduced it becomes kind of dull.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist (Battlecity arc) is the longest and most tedious to read part of the series, same themes of friendship are repeated too often, the rules of matches are too poorly woven. Sometimes they even change chapter after chapter, leaving the reader with some kind of dissapointment. Duelist was what drove me to remove the manga from my favourites and leave it on-hold for over a year. Its end though, is satisfying and reveals depth to both the story and the characters, especially Kaiba.
I was pleasantly suprised finishing mentioned Duelist and starting Millenium World, where the horror elements are introduced again. There's no hardcore gore, but I was caught off guard when people suddenly started dying in the panels, the exact opposite of how everyone was somehow saved during the Battlecity arc. Takahashi didn't revert to his semi-realistic, eerie style, but adapted his current one to give off a surrealistic vibe just when needed to. I think this is also when the monster designs get the most attention and detail, and I just can't help but stare in awe at some panels.
The game of Duel Monsters is removed completely (thank god) for the sake of its ancient equivalent. The way its executed is a bit too similar to the modern counterpart, but its bearable and leaves much of the reading time for an actual development of the story and disclosure of characters motifs.
Summary: The series oscillates between being extremely cheesy and well thought-out, it has some plot holes and some unneeded characters. It's not a masterpiece nor a total trash. I read it mostly due to my childhood sentiment but I still managed to enjoy it immensely.