Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters

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Yu-Gi-Oh! DVD vol 1.jpg
Cover of the first DVD volume, featuring the protagonist Yugi Mutou and the Duelist Kingdom arc's antagonist, Pegasus J. Crawford.
(Yūgiō Dyueru Monsutāzu)
Genre Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Supernatural
Anime television series
Directed by Kunihisa Sugishima
Written by Kazuki Takahashi
Studio Studio Gallop
Nihon Ad Systems
Licensed by
4Kids Entertainment (2001-2012)
Konami (2012-present)
Network TV Tokyo
English network
The WB (Kids WB) (2001–2006)
Cartoon Network (2002–2005)
FOX (4Kids TV) (2006–2007)
The CW (The CW4Kids) (2009–2010)
The CW (Toonzai) (2010–2012)
The CW (Vortexx) (2012–present)
Nicktoons (2013–2014)
Original run April 18, 2000[1]September 29, 2004
Episodes 224 (List of episodes)
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Yu-Gi-Oh!, known in Japan as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (遊☆戯☆王デュエルモンスターズ Yūgiō Dyueru Monsutāzu?), is a television anime series produced by Nihon Ad Systems and Studio Gallop, based on the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series written by Kazuki Takahashi. It is the second anime adaptation of the manga following the 1998 TV anime series produced by Toei Animation, adapting the manga from the Duelist Kingdom arc onwards. Like the manga and original anime, this series revolves around a boy named Yugi Mutou, who faces various opponents in various games, mostly a game known as Duel Monsters.

The series originally aired in Japan on TV Tokyo, replacing the timeslot originally occupied by Rerere no Tensai Bakabon, between April 2000 and September 2004, running for 224 episodes . An English-language adaptation by 4Kids Entertainment aired in North America between September 2001 and June 2006 on Kids' WB, also releasing the series in various countries outside of Japan. Based on the success of the series, 4Kids also commissioned an animated film, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light, and a mini-series, Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters. The series has spawned four main spin-off anime series; Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V.


Like the earlier series, Duel Monsters is mainly about the various battles of a high school freshman named Yugi Mutou. However, now it's through a card game known as Duel Monsters (Magic and Wizards in the original manga, although Duel Monsters is also used) instead of games in general. Duel Monsters features major differences to the manga's storyline, including some original story arcs. The plot of Duel Monsters is split up into several different storylines, or arcs.

Duelist Kingdom[edit]

Duelist Kingdom is the first arc in the Duel Monsters anime. Pegasus J. Crawford (Maximillion Pegasus in the English version), using the power of the Millennium Eye, manages to seal away the soul of Yugi's grandfather Sugoroku Mutou (Solomon Muto in the English version), and Yugi must save him by entering a Duel Monsters tournament on Pegasus' private island. Meanwhile, Katsuya Jonouchi (Joey Wheeler) enters the tournament in order to pay for his sister's eye surgery, and Pegasus and several top executives at Kaiba Corporation plot to remove Seto Kaiba from the head of his company. Because this series had skipped the first seven volumes of the original manga, this story arc features major differences from the manga in an attempt to merge the story development within those missing volumes with this arc.

Legendary Heroes[edit]

In a continued attempt to remove Seto Kaiba from his position as head of KaibaCorp, KaibaCorp's former executives trap Kaiba in a virtual reality game based on Duel Monsters. Yugi and his friends enter the game to save him. The video game Yu-Gi-Oh! The Falsebound Kingdom was loosely based on this storyline.

Dungeon Dice Monsters[edit]

After the anime-exclusive Legendary Heroes storyline is over, the show goes directly into the Dungeon Dice Monsters plot. When a new game shop opens to compete with Sugoroku's Kame game shop (Game shop in the English version), Yugi is challenged by its owner Ryuji Otogi (Duke Devlin in the English version) in a game of his creation, with the title of "King of Games" on the line. The Dungeon Dice Monsters arc has several differences from the manga version, one of them being the title change (the original game title was Dragons, Dice & Dungeons / DDD) and that Ryuji is actually trying to gain vengeance for the defeat and Penalty Game his father took from Yugi's grandfather in a Shadow Game called the Devil's Board Game, rather than challenging Yugi to regain Pegasus' honor as seen in the anime. As such, the Duel Monsters card game also makes an appearance (replacing the Four Aces game in the manga) and bears an influence on Ryuji Otogi's anime background story, despite the original arc in the manga having absolutely no relevance to the game of Duel Monsters. In contrast to the manga, the importance of this arc is reduced in the anime, one example being the stolen Millennium Puzzle story, which in happens a duel with a brainwashed Bandit Keith instead of the Dungeon Dice Monsters saga.

Battle City[edit]

When Kaiba learns of the Egyptian God Cards, a set of Duel Monsters cards that were purported to be based on three Egyptian Gods (and thus powerful enough to have never been put into circulation), Kaiba, at the request of Ishizu Ishtar holds an elite Tournament with the intention of winning and acquiring all 3 cards while defeating Yugi Mutou (Yugi Muto in the English version) in the process. The tournament would be held in the streets of Domino City, using a portable Duel Disk holographic projection system of his own design. For his efforts, Seto Kaiba is given 1 of the Egyptian God Cards, The Giant God Soldier of Obelisk (Obelisk the Tormentor in the English version of the anime, "The God of the Obelisk" in the English version of the manga).

Battle Ship[edit]

The Battle City finals are held on Kaiba's dirigible, with the finalists being Yugi, Kaiba, Jonouchi/Joey, Mai, Bakura, Namu, Marik, and Ishizu. However, things are not as they seem, as Bakura is possessed by his evil alter-ego, and Marik is actually Odion Ishtar, with Namu being, in fact, the real Marik. Furthermore, Odion's defeat causes Marik to be taken over by an even more evil alter-ego, who is intent on Yugi's total destruction.

Noah's Virtual World[edit]

This is an anime-exclusive story arc. As Yugi, Kaiba, Jonouchi/Joey, and Marik are travelling to the destination of the Battle City finals, the airship they are riding in suddenly takes an unexpected turn. The main characters find themselves trapped in a virtual reality simulation, in which the former executives of KaibaCorp plan to take their revenge against Yugi and Kaiba.

Alcatraz/Duel Tower[edit]

After the conclusion of the Noah story arc, the Battle City finals are resumed, starting with a battle royale to decide who will fight whom in the finals. The first duel, Jonouchi vs. Marik, Marik wins. The second duel, Yugi vs. Kaiba, ends with a win for Yugi. Yugi takes possession of Kaiba's God Card, Obelisk, and Kaiba is thrown out of his own tournament. This leaves only Yugi and Marik in the Battle City competition. Marik sets up a cruel Shadow Duel, and the real Marik's spirit is almost destroyed. Yugi manages to free the real Marik from his dark self, destroy the dark Marik, win the Battle City finals, and gain possession of the final God Card. All of Marik's victims are revived. Now that he has all three God Cards, the Pharaoh is told to present them to the ancient stone tablet that he encountered earlier. Kaiba reveals his plan to blow up the Duel Tower, and the group barely makes it off of the island on time. Season three concludes with a series of flashbacks of the entire Battle City experience, including Noah's virtual world.

Doma Orichalcos/Waking the Dragons[edit]

This is an anime-exclusive story arc. An ancient organization known as Doma (not named in the English version, although the name Paradius was used in both versions as a front for their operations) steals the Egyptian God cards and begins to steal the souls of people and duel monsters in an effort to revive a monster thought to have led to the destruction of Atlantis 10,000 years ago. To stop them, Yugi, Jonouchi, and Kaiba join forces with the three legendary dragons, Timaeus, Critias, and Hermos, and take on Doma's members: the three duelists Rafael, Valon and Alister, and their leader Dartz. Also, at certain points Mai, Ryuzaki/Rex, and Haga/Weevil were also a part of Doma, but Dark Yugi beat Haga, Jonouchi beat Rey, and during her duel with Jonouchi, Mai realized that she was doing wrong.

KC Grand Prix/Grand Championship[edit]

This is an anime-exclusive story arc. With Dartz's group defeated and no money to return home to Domino, Yugi and company enter a tournament hosted by Kaiba, in his new amusement park, in return for a ride home. With Kaiba Corporation crippled because of Doma's activities, one tournament entrant seeks to finish the job and take down KaibaCorp for good.

Millennium World/Dawn of the Duel[edit]

With three God Cards in his possession, Dark Yugi (Styled as "Yami Yugi" in the English version, in which "Yami" is Japanese for "Darkness") is ready to find all his lost memories. However, he's in for more than he bargains for when he is thrust into the World of Memory, an alternate reality inside the Millennium Puzzle based on the events that occurred in Egypt 5,000 years ago (3,000 years ago in the Japanese version of the anime). There, the Pharaoh must relive the last days of his previous life, fighting his old enemies and reuniting with his old friends. But his new friends have not forgotten about him, and Yugi and his friends travel inside the Millennium Puzzle to find the World of Memory and help the Pharaoh recover all his memories. However, Dark Bakura (known as "Yami Bakura" in the English version) plans on using the information gained in the World of Memory to gain the powers of the Millennium Items and reawaken an ancient evil that has remained dormant for the past 5,000 years.

Ceremonial Battle[edit]

Pharaoh Atem has obtained all seven millennium items, acquired all three Egyptian God Cards, defeated Zorc Necrophades in the Memory World, and has found out all about his past, including his name. Now, the pharaoh can quietly leave the mortal world, and join his faithful priests in the afterlife. However, the doorway to the afterlife can only be opened if the pharaoh is defeated in a duel. Yugi takes on the challenge, dueling Atem to let him go. Even though Atem would very much want to go to the afterlife, he has a good pride in his skills, and will never let anybody beat him easily. Another reason is that Atem wants to see if Yugi is independent and can win a duel without his help. However, Atem is defeated by Yugi and proceeds to enter the afterlife, much to his new friends' dismay.

Differences with the manga and original anime series[edit]

Starting off from where the earlier anime left of at in terms of the manga's story, Duel Monsters at first appears to serve as a continuation of the earlier series, but there are differences between the two adaptations which causes them to overlap. In particular, the Death-T fight (which is held by Yugi and his rival Seto Kaiba) and the entire Monster World RPG arc are both redone as single games of Duel Monsters, and Miho Nosaka, a main character in the original anime series (a one-shot in the manga), does not appear in Duel Monsters. Whereas the earlier series introduces the characters (by virtue of being adapted from earlier volumes of the manga), Duel Monsters assumes that the viewers are familiar with the characters from the onset (skipping the first fifty-nine chapters/seven volumes), and several scenes and plot points from chronologically earlier events in the manga are redone.

One of the other most notable changes is that, unlike the manga, the Duel Monsters anime, as the title suggest, focuses on the Duel Monsters card-game more than the manga, and adds many Duel Monsters scenes that were not in the original manga itself, often changing parts of the plot to fit around addition of the card duels. The Duelist Kingdom, Dungeon Dice Monsters, and the Millennium World arcs of the anime feature very heavy differences to their manga counterparts, often to the point where details within both mediums are unable to be interchangeable, for the most point. Certain aspects of the plot that were considered disturbing in the manga were also toned down for Japanese television.

Because of the relative speed between the manga and anime releases, three extra story arcs that are not found in later volumes have been added for Duel Monsters: Virtual World, Waking the Dragons, and Grand Championship, which all focus heavily on the Duel Monsters card game itself.


The English Yu-Gi-Oh! logo.

There are two adaptations of the second series in English; a United States adaptation by 4Kids Entertainment aired in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and a Southeast Asia version by Odex for Singapore and the Philippines. Both versions have edits, most of which are content edits.

4Kids version[edit]

Edited version of the second Yu-Gi-Oh! series (left) and the unedited version of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters containing a hexagram (used in occultism; right).

The pilot airdate for Yu-Gi-Oh! was originally September 15, 2001 but was switched to September 29, 2001 because of the September 11 attacks.

In the 4Kids Entertainment adaption, names such as Hiroto Honda, Katsuya Jonouchi, and Anzu Mazaki were Americanized into Tristan Taylor, Joey Wheeler, and Téa Gardner respectively. Though originally taking place in Japan, the setting was changed to take place in the United States. All the characters that are originally Japanese in the original, have their nationalities and ethnic origins changed to American. The Japanese sound effects, background music, and opening and closing sequences were also changed. The sound effects being replaced with familiar American and newly created effects and background music to melodramatic synth music compared to the slightly more upbeat Japanese soundtrack. The opening and ending themes were changed from J-Rock and J-Pop songs from various artists to an instrumental song done with a synthesizer.

Most of the dialogue and several elements of the plot were changed for offensive content, time constraints, and marketing reasons, and visual edits contain removal of blood and reduction of violence in some scenes, change of some monster designs due to occult or sexual themes, and rearranging scenes to make previous content edits make more sense. Several continuity errors occur in the English version due to edits such as these. Due to U.S. TV regulations, the appearance of the cards has been changed from those resembling the real life product, to a new design only featuring the card art, attribute, level, and stats (ATK/DEF). In an interview with Anime News Network, Senior Vice President of Digital Media for 4Kids Entertainment, Mark Kirk, claimed that the reason for editing the appearance of the cards was because U.S. TV broadcast laws dictated that the cards were not allowed to look exactly like the real cards that are sold. This is because if the cards in the anime looked exactly like the real cards on retail, then the show would legally be considered a commercial rather than a cartoon, and the cost for airing commercials is exponentially higher than the cost for airing a cartoon.[2] Because this law does not apply to motion pictures, however, in the Pyramid of Light movie, all cards played in duel scenes look identical to the cards of the real-world trading card game.

A separate "uncut" DVD release was commissioned between 4Kids Entertainment and FUNimation, with a new adaptation that is more consistent with the original, using the original music and sound effects, no edits, and a script following closer to the original.[citation needed] Each uncut DVD contained 3 episodes available both in an uncut English dub and the original Japanese format English subbed, and a total of 3 DVDs were made for a total of 9 episodes. A fourth DVD containing episodes 10-12 was made (and finished), and ready to be released, but after a series of constant delays the DVD was listed as unavailable by sites and that it was not known if or when it would be available again. 4Kids later said in an interview that the uncut DVDs were 'competing' with the edited ones and they wanted to take out the competition, so they decided to 'indefinitely delay' the uncut DVDs. But to this day even after all the edited DVDs were released they have yet to restart the project or even release the last DVD done, and the current status of the uncut project is unknown. Lance Heiskell, a FUNimation representative, has noted legal rights as the reason for cancellation.[citation needed]

The 4Kids dub has been marketed across lots of English speaking countries, and the movie and special Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters have been made for the American market.

In March 2009, 4Kids started adding episodes to its official YouTube channel. The company was both showing the US episodes, as well as the original Japanese episodes with English subtitles. Viewing was initially restricted to the United States, but in April it became viewable everywhere except Asia. Subtitled episodes became available in April 2009, although some titles were mislabeled and everyone is still referred to by Americanized names for legal reasons.

In July 2009, 4Kids had stated that they would be uploading the entire first season subtitled, and added that they planned to release the entire series subtitled on their YouTube channel in the near future, but an announcement in August 2009 stated that all the Japanese episodes were to be removed due to legal issues with ADK (one of the primary producers of the anime) and Shunsuke Kazama, the original Japanese voice of Yugi.[3] However, the English dub is still available, and 4Kids still plans to release subtitled versions of Yu-Gi-Oh! (Duel Monsters) GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, along with their English counterparts. However, due to the legal issues with Kazama, 4Kids has stated that they may have to drop all of the audio for Yugi's lines.[4]

Southeast Asia version[edit]

As with the 4Kids adaption, names of characters were Americanized. However, like the Japanese version, the series is set in Japan. The original background music, opening music and ending music are kept intact as well. There is also mild profanity, unlike the 4Kids version.

Card game mechanics[edit]

Duel Monsters is heavily centered around the card game, with plot details frequently added between game turns. However, there are several main differences between the rules found therein and the rules of the real-world card game.

The real-world rules essentially correspond to the "new rules for experts" set out by Kaiba at the start of the Battle City story arc. Prior to this, a simplified version of the rules, reflecting that of the manga, is utilized, with several differences including the summoning of monsters without the use of tributes, the inability to attack a player's life points directly, the restriction that only one monster could attack per turn, and certain types of monsters being stronger or weaker against other monsters of a logical type (similar to the often compared Pocket Monsters/Pokémon).

These earlier rules take considerable artistic liberty in their depiction - for example, allowing monsters to be "partially destroyed", or to be played as magic cards. At times, some duels feature particularly unusual events which only "work" because the field and monsters are represented by holograms, allowing for exciting or dynamic visuals that accompany events which could never be realistically employed in the real-life card game. A prime example of this is Yugi's two-part duel against Panik, in which, among other things, the light from the manifestation of the Swords of Revealing Light dispels the darkness obscuring Panik's monsters, and the Castle of Dark Illusions has its floatation ring destroyed, causing it to fall on and destroy those monsters.

Some differences, however, are not just limited to the Duelist Kingdom arc. Throughout the series, some cards are in different classifications in Duel Monsters as compared to the real-world game - for example, Flame Swordsman is a normal monster in the series, but is a fusion monster in the real-world game. Spellbinding Circle was notably entirely redone as a "trap with spell card properties", complete with a different function. Also, duelists are shown normal summoning their monster cards in face-up defense position, while this is only possible in the real-world card game when permitted by the effects of certain spell or trap cards. Additionally, duelists constantly place their cards face down in their graveyard, as opposed to face up. In the Battle City story arc, the "advanced rules" also prevent Fusion monsters from immediately attacking, where there is no such provision in the real game. To avoid this rule in the anime, the spell card Quick-Attack was created. From the Doma story arc onwards, no such provision exists. By that point, the only difference is the starting amount of life points, which is reduced for purposes of brevity. These rules are carried forward into the follow-up series, Yu-Gi-Oh! (Duel Monsters) GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal.

Several cards were created exclusively for the anime, including unique cards that are tied to story elements, such as the Legendary Dragons in the Doma arc. A few other anime-exclusive cards were created, but typically, these are seen only for one duel. Also, certain cards like "Black/Dark Magician" and "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" are not nearly as rare as they are in the anime. Sometimes only in one duel, a rule will seemingly be changed or ignored, usually for plot, dramatic, and in a few cases comedic effect.

North American DVD releases[edit]

Season One[edit]

  • Volume 1: The Heart of the Cards (Episodes 1-3)
  • Volume 2: Into the Hornet's Nest (Episodes 4-6)
  • Volume 3: Attack From the Deep (Episodes 7-9)
  • Volume 4: Give Up the Ghost (Episodes 10-12)
  • Volume 5: Evil Spirit of the Ring (Episodes 13-15)
  • Volume 6: The Scars of Defeat (Episodes 16-18)
  • Volume 7: Double Trouble Duel (Episodes 19-21)
  • Volume 8: Face Off (Episodes 22-24)
  • Volume 9: Champion Vs. Creator (Episodes 25-27)
  • Volume 10: Duel Identity (Episodes 28-30)
  • Volume 11: Best of Friends, Best of Duelists (Episodes 31-34)
  • Volume 12: Match of the Millennium Part One (Episodes 35-37)
  • Volume 13: Match of the Millennium Part Two (Episodes 38-40)
  • Volume 14: Ties of Friendship (Episodes 41-42)
  • Volume 15: Legendary Heroes (Episodes 43-46)
  • Volume 16: Dungeon Dice Monsters (Episodes 46-49)
  • Uncut Volume 1: The Shadow Games (Episodes 1-3)
  • Uncut Volume 2: The Insector Combo (Episodes 4-6)
  • Uncut Volume 3: Stolen: Blue Eyes White Dragon (Episodes 7-9)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Complete First Season (Tin Set) (Episodes 1-49)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Complete First Season (Wallet Set) (Episodes 1-49)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season One (Episodes 1-49)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season One Volume One (Episodes 1-24)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season One Volume Two (Episodes 25-49)

Season Two[edit]

Each volume in this series has the subtitle "Rulers of the Duel."

  • Volume 1: The Mystery Duelist (Episodes 50-53)
  • Volume 2: Obelisk the Tormentor (Episodes 54-56)
  • Volume 3: The ESP Duelist (Episodes 57-59)
  • Volume 4: The Master of Magicians (Episodes 60-64)
  • Volume 5: Mime Control (Episodes 65-69)
  • Volume 6: Double Duel (Episodes 70-74)
  • Volume 7: Friends Til' the End (Episodes 75-79)
  • Volume 8: The Dark Spirit Revealed (Episodes 80-84)
  • Volume 9: Awakening of Evil (Episodes 85-89)
  • Volume 10: Mind Game (Episodes 90-93)
  • Volume 11: Showdown in the Shadows (Episodes 94-97)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Complete Second Season (Episodes 50-97)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season Two (Episodes 50-97)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season Two Volume One (Episodes 50-73)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season Two Volume Two (Episodes 74-97)

Season Three[edit]

Each volume in this series has the subtitle "Enter the Shadow Realm."

  • Volume 1: Back to Battle City (Episodes 122-125)
  • Volume 2: Darkness Returns (Episodes 126-130)
  • Volume 3: Clash in the Coliseum (Episodes 131-134)
  • Volume 4: Battle for the Bronze (Episodes 135-139)
  • Volume 5: The Final Face-Off (Episodes 140-144)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Complete Third Season (Episodes 98-144)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season Three (Episodes 98-144)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season Three Volume One (Episodes 98-121)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season Three Volume Two (Episodes 122-144)

Season Four[edit]

Each volume in this series has the subtitle "Waking the Dragons."

  • Volume 1: A New Evil (Episodes 145-151)
  • Volume 2: My Freaky Valentine (Episodes 152-159)
  • Volume 3: Flight of Fear (Episodes 160-168)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season Four (Episodes 145- 184)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season Four Volume One (Episodes 145-162)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season Four Volume Two (Episodes 163 -184)

Season Five[edit]

The first volume in this series has the subtitle "Grand Championship," while the other volumes have the subtitle "Dawn of the Duel."

  • Volume 1: Grand Championship (Episodes 185-198)
  • Volume 2: Dawn of the Duel, Part One (Episodes 199-212)
  • Volume 3: Dawn of the Duel, Part Two (Episodes 213-224)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season 5 (Episodes 185-224)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season 5 Volume One (Episodes 185-198)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season 5 Volume Two (Episodes 199-212)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season 5 Volume Three (Episodes 213-224)

Other releases[edit]


Japanese Cast[edit]

English Cast[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]