Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
Cover of the first DVD volume, featuring the protagonist Yugi Mutou and the Duelist Kingdom arc's antagonist, Maximillion Pegasus (Pegasus J. Crawford).
(Yūgiō Dyueru Monsutāzu)
|Genre||Action, Adventure, Fantasy|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kunihisa Sugishima|
|Written by||Kazuki Takahashi|
Nihon Ad Systems
|Original run||April 18, 2000 – September 29, 2004|
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 Moto 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.
The story follows Yugi Moto, a boy who managed to complete an ancient Egyptian artifact known as the Millenium Puzzle, which led to him to inherit another spirit known only as Yami Yugi. After defeating his rival, Seto Kaiba, in a game of Duel Monsters, Yugi is approached by a man named Maximillion Pegasus, who uses the power of another Millenium Item, the Millenium Eye, to kidnap the soul of his grandfather. Joined by his friends, Joey Wheeler, Tristan Taylor, and Téa Gardner, Yugi enters Pegasus' Duelist Kingdom tournament, battling against many opponents in order to reach Pegasus and defeat him, freeing his grandfather's soul. Later on, Yugi learns that the other Yugi dwelling within him is actually a nameless Pharaoh from Egyptian times, who must seek to remember who he is. As such, Yugi enters the Battle City tournament, held by Kaiba, in order to obtain the three Egyptian God cards and Millenium Items needed to unveil the Pharaoh's past. Along the way, Yugi comes against even stronger opponents, including the wielder of the Millenium Rod, Marik Ishtar, and also gets sucked into a virtual world run by Kaiba's adoptive father, Gozaburo. After obtaining all three Egyptian God cards, Yugi and his friends find themselves under attack by the order of Orichalcos, who seek to gather souls in order to revive the ancient dragon, Leviathan. Upon obtaining all the Millenium Items, the Pharaoh is sent back to Egyptian times to relive his past life, coming up against his nemesis, Ryo Bakura, who plots to rewrite history using the power of the evil Zorc. After the Pharaoh manages to defeat Bakura after his friends help him learn his true name, Atem, he and Yugi take part in one final duel so that Atem can return to the afterlife.
Differences with the manga and original anime series
Starting off from where the earlier anime left off 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.
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.
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. 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. 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.
The 4Kids dub has been marketed across several 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. 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.
Southeast Asia version
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
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 .
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
- 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)
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)
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)
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)
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) (includes Capsule Monsters episodes 1-12)
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season 5 Volume One (Episodes 185-198) (includes Capsule Monsters episodes 1-4)
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season 5 Volume Two (Episodes 199-212) (includes Capsule Monsters episodes 5-12)
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic: Season 5 Volume Three (Episodes 213-224)
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters Part One
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters Part Two
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time
- Yu-Gi-Oh! main characters
- List of Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga characters
- Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, manga or movie only characters
- "TV programs by age (2000)," Nihon Ad Systems
- "Kirk Up Your Ears". Anime News Network.
- "Official Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! Episodes Removed from YouTube, Never to Return Again". Word Press. 2009-08-21. Retrieved 2010-09-29.
- "Removal of Yu-Gi-Oh! Episodes was due to Nonrenewal of Japanese Voice Actor’s Contract by ADK". Word Press. 2009-08-24. Retrieved 2010-09-29.
- TV Tokyo Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters site (Japanese)
- NASinc. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters site (Japanese)
- Nicktoons US website
- Yu-Gi-Oh! on YTV
- Nickelodeon UK Yu-Gi-Oh! webpage
- Nickelodeon Australia Yu-Gi-Oh! webpage
- Yûgiô: Duel Monsters at the Internet Movie Database
- Yu-Gi-Oh! card - The official site of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game