Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Time for another Transmedia Retrospective! We looked into Slayers last time and now it’s time for a series that we all knew and loved and even loved it for the abridged version and that is Yu-Gi-Oh!
It has been an anime, a manga, and even had a card game for it, Yu-Gi-Oh has been a very long running series and has been a popular one at that! Let’s see what this series brought!
Behind the Plot: We all know the series was pretty much started with Yugi Mutou solves the Millennium Puzzle with the spirit of the pharaoh, Yami, in it and gets called on whenever he needs his knowledge of games, especially Duel Monsters. This work was made by Kazuki Takahashi and the manga was published in Weekly Shonen Jump, see the parallel with Shonen Jump, from September of 1996 through March 2004 and of course had two different anime series, which you know as the Duel Monsters series and Japan knows as the Forbidden Season, well that is what’s it’s called here anyways.
Season 0 pretty much tells how Yugi got his hands on the Milennium Puzzle and well the spirit was more of a gambler that lives inside him that comes out whenever his friends are in danger and challenge the villain of the day to shadow games. Oh yeah, some of these games are pretty sadistic, especially if you read volume two of the manga. These games are pretty much a way to show the person’s true heart and how dark they are as they play and punished if they lose. It does link into the Duel Monsters part which Yugi does find out the spirit was a pharaoh that lost his memories which leads into the series that every kid and adult knew for years along with the popular card game. As the series goes on, Yugi along with his buddies, Joey, Tea, and Tristan help the spirit regain his memories and meet people that possess similar items to the Milennium Puzzle known as the Milennium Items. Now I can see how it existed for over 200 episodes since they go through different variations of the card game and put their lives at risk to help the spirit get back what he lost.
What does Duel Monsters have to do with it? Well, in the manga from volume seven on, the story mostly talked about the card game known as “Magic and Wizards” and it helped drive the story throughout Duelist Kingdom and Battle City within the anime, of course we have other games appear in the earlier story and later on with Dungeon Dice Monsters and Capsule Monster Colliseum which I played the video game and was good, the card game was still focused on throughout the entire anime. It does go into detail on Wikipedia that how the episode that Seto Kaiba had his shadow game expanded by making it more like how made the virtual technology for playing the card game by making the monsters come alive on the field. First it was virtual disks on the ground and then it went portable with the Duel Disks in Battle City and you know the rest by watching the series.
Did You Know? When the series was in development, Kazuki Takahashi originally wanted to make Yu-Gi-Oh a horror series than a gaming series? Even though he did make it as a game themed story, it does have horror elements in it to drive the story.On top of that, since he tried making a story with battle and there has been a lot of manga with fighting and couldn’t come up with anything except for the gaming concept in battle. In an interview, he did mention how he did help create the game in real life.
We already know about the anime, well the early adaptations, as in Season Zero, which is the 27 episode arc that wasn’t brought to America due to the violence in it. The actual series took off from Chapter 60 and revolved more around the Duel Monsters card game and so on. As said above, the story does revolve around the Milennium Puzzle and the pharaoh and how he lost his memories and regains them as he meets other people that possess similar objects with the similar powers and finds out that the card game that everyone plays is similar to the one that sorcerers played in his time, which the final season, Pharaoh’s Memory, which I seen the final episode in the Japanese version, does end with him regaining everything and returning to Egypt to play one last game with Yugi.
The different seasons do include Duelist Kingdom, Battle City, Orichalcos/Atlantis Arc by what I seen, Kaiba Corp Grand Prix, and of course the Memory arc. I didn’t mention the Virtual Arc because it was blending into Battle City and I felt that was a filler arc out of left field when I saw it on Kids WB. There was a spin off known as Capsule Monsters which is a 12 episode series that put everyone into a world that lets them summon monsters in capsules, which is like the Virtual Arc, except this was more of a chess game than a card game. It was pretty much an original story that wasn’t a series released in Japan but was known as “Duel Monsters Alex” since there was actual game sets in stores based on this series, I even found them once at Books-A-Million when they had the trading pins at the time.
There were other series made later that took off from where the series ended and that included, of course, GX which deals with teens going to a school that was built by Kaiba later on in life to teach them how to duel and strategize. This series did take on the horror and suspense elements with different spirits showing up at the school and bringing the danger on, but it did kind of gone whack. Heck, you even have a dueling monkey! I do admit I liked the Japanese version over the English since the comedy flowed better in my opinion and what I heard, the end didn’t get brought to the United States. 5D’s was another series I only saw two episodes of and it deals with…”CARD GAMES ON MOTORCYCLES!” for one bit! This series, unlike GX, deals with more of a dystopian scene where Domino is way different because of how it was set in the future where people that are more aristocratic live in New Domino while people who aren’t so much live on an island called Sattelite. The duels take on the idea of battling on motorcycle-like vehicles called Duel Runners, kind of feels like Utena for a moment. This series also deals with people who bare marks known as the Five Signers who possess signs of dragons have to take on the Dark Signers and the Three Emperors of Yilester. Now I can see where the whole “Card Games on Motorcycles” officially came from when it came to the abridged episode. And finally, Zexal was the most recent series, which was shown on Nicktoons, and that feels like it went back to the old storyline where in this one it does take place in another future and this time in a place called Heartland City. Our hero, Yuma, wants to be Duel Monsters champion and while dueling someone a spirit named Astral shows up in front of him and guess what he says? “I lost memories and need to find them and they are inside monster cards with numbers which possess the duelists to show their dark hearts.” I didn’t watch this version since now I know why, I did like the original and GX when I saw it in its original language, this one seems to have the same plot to Season Zero and the original with the whole entire dark hearts get revealed but this time with cards that are scatterd over the world. There was a second series to this and was on Nicktoons as well. I just saw another series of Yu-Gi-Oh which also succeeded this thing which is known as Arc V. This one deals with duelists to interact with monsters with the dueling technology being more advanced from Zexal and also puts the people playing traverse environments for action cards that would help them in a duel. This story focuses around a student at You Show Duel School (Seriously?) named Yaya Sakaki who has to solve a mystery after unlocking Pendulum Summoning with his pendant during a duel with the current champion. This series will be getting its English adaptation premiering this year.
And of course, can’t be a Transmedia Retrospective without mentioning the Abridged Series! This series was made by Little Kuriboh as a spoof to the long running original by making jokes that everyone knows and loves, including, “My voice gives me super strength!” Of course this has become a huge hit with Team FourStar’s DBZ Abridged, which he also played Frieza in, but this has been something that shows his vocal range from female to male! I haven’t been keeping up since the last episode I caught was at MythiCon 2013 and it was the start of the Battle City Finals. You can catch Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged on YouTube and Little Kuriboh in DBZ Abridged and now his Naruto Spoof which is his own take on Naruto as well.
Like many series, Yu-Gi-Oh has video games that spanned across the many series that were brought over to the US, including the newest Arc V. There were some on the DS, the PS2, which I have played and my fave is of course Capsule Monster Collisseum due to the chess idea, and even later released on the WII and 3DS. There aren’t much to say about the 5D games since the one for the WII takes on a racing aspect where speed tokens are used for battle while the DS games take on the World Championship idea and the second one takes on the Dark Signers arc for those. One game that was a major pain was Duelists of the Roses which was released on the PS2 and takes on a Historical Fiction aspect of the War of the Roses with a bit of Risk! Involved, which you have a board where you move cards to different positions to try and take your opponent out with traps, spells, and monsters and of course, you choose to play on either Yugi’s and his friends’ side or play on Kaiba’s and the enemies of the series side. If you’re a collector of games, especially with this series, I would say Capsule Monsters would be the better from the original run since it had an interesting and fun plot, plus you get the voice acting from the show.
Card Game: And finally, can’t be a post without the card game! The card game has been popular for years and has taken on many changes in the rules and layout as the series went on. From Egyptian Gods to fusion monsters from GX and now the Synchronized monsters from 5D this has been a huge thing for years. I even still have my spellcaster deck and need to fix some of the braille on them. I don’t know what the Zexal cards are like since I haven’t kept up during my days in Daytona, but knowing the story it will take on the Number Monsters minus the possessing you while dueling and knowing with it coming this year, the card game will probably take on whatever Arc 5 does due to how much it evolved over time, especially with the real life duel disks back during the Battle City arc.
Well, that is it for this TransMedia Retrospective! It was pretty long due to how much of a TV Series Yu-Gi-Oh has grown over the years! I still remembering reading the first interview about it in Shonen Jump with Eric Stuart back in 2003 or 2004? Still, it has evolved and will keep on evolving. What is next in this series? Pokemon and how much it keeps growing! I would say go back and read my Pokemon Black Review since I haven’t started playing White 2 yet, but will also work on this newer Retrospective. And for the Beauty Shiquers, will be doing a nice beauty debate, so stay tuned!