Yu-Gi-Oh was one of my first anime and also one of the first manga series I read, while it may sound embarrassing, I am not afraid to admit that I still read the manga to this day. But this is a review of the anime so I should probably focus on that. Upon rewatching the first series over the past couple of months, I can say that the cracks are showing in one of my favourite series. The story is nothing special, the animation for all but the monsters (Which were animated well for their time) was somewhat minimal with downright careless mistakes and the characters were one-dimentional stereotypes.
The story of Yu-Gi-Oh exists for one purpose and one purpose only; giving the protagonists fights that have increasingly rediculous consequences for the rest of humanity. (Destroying the world over a TCG? Worst I have ever seen was nerd wrestling as a result of a Magic the Gathering game) So, instead of talking about the near non-existant story, I thought it would be a better idea to use this space to talk about the cardgames played in Yu-Gi-Oh. Personally, I really like these cardgame sections of the show, I find the creative (Deus Ex Machina is in full effect) ways that Yugi wins his fights really entertaining. I may be biased, given that I love that style of action, one could say that it is almost reminicent of Death Note, in that it is about two minds trying to outwit one another.
Score: 2/10 (Battles: 8/10 if you like that style of action)
Reasonably compatent, did not see anything remarkable.
Score: 5/10 it does its job.
First, let me note that I will be referring to the dub of this show, all sub-elitists can deal with the fact that sometimes a show can have a better dub than a sub.
The music of Yu-Gi-Oh is surprisingly memorable and surprisingly good, inspiring much more tension and drama from a series that desperately needs it. The point where I get distracted from how stupid the idea the Shadow Relm is because of the well written orchestral pieces, is the point were I know this is a well written OST. (No, Yu-Gi-Oh theme is not part of the well writen comment, but it does tie into my next point)
The voice acting in this series is either going to annoy the piss out of you, or it is going to entertain you to no end. The actors chew more scenery than one would imagine possible in a fully serious dub and Dan Green seems to be having an insane amount of fun with the character of Yami, he is like the Nicolas Cage of the voice acting world. If you can sit back and enjoy the camp value of this dub, I cannot see you not having some fun with this.
Score: 7/10 good music but the camp nature of the dub may put some people off.
There are very few character motivations in this series and no character development. Really there is nothing to these characters.
This is a fun series that has some major flaws, if you can look past how shallow the whole experience is and just have fun with how over the top it can be, you will enjoy this series.
7/10 Worth at least trying.
Yugioh! Duel Monsters is one of my very first animes that I had watched. It's hard for me to say negative things about it.
But I have to be perfectly honest, I loved the show, but it had it's moments where it went down the gutter.
This is a review for the Dub:
It was enough to keep me interested.
I liked Season 5 more than anything though, because Atem had priests, just like in the real past, and it was like a mini-history class that I didn't fall asleep in.
But the world being destroyed by a CARD GAME. Really? It was entertaining, but unrealistic.
Enough to portray what the characters were going through. The duels had good animation too.
4Kids KILLED the show's good moments because of "child-friendly" issues.
It gets an 8/10 because of that.
The dub scripts were EPIC FAIL.
Yugi and Yami Yugi had my only favorite voice actor, Dan Green, and most of the others I really didn't care for.
At some points, the diolouge they gave the characters was so cheesy, I said to my friend who was sitting next to me, "Kill me now."
5/10 because of the scripts 4Kids wrote.
The only characters I felt weren't needed were Tristan, Tea, and Rebecca. They are Yugi's friggen posse.
I have to say I liked Yami Yugi the most (and I still do). He was always serious, and had his moments where he got embarassed, angry, or sad.
9.5/10 because the .5 of the 10 was killed by Yugi's "cheerleaders".
Overall, it was a series I'd watch again. It had it's bad and great moments, and if you get attached to a character, it can move you. For example, I cried when the Pharaoh went into the afterlife.
It gets an 8/10. It was good enough to keep me in my room for hours watching it.
Although it is by no means the greatest anime ever, I have to pay homage to Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters as the anime that got me into anime. It's up there with Sailor Moon, although it came slightly later. I can remember watching badly dubbed episodes of Sailor Moon as a very small child, which eventually drew me back to anime as a teenager, but it was Yu-Gi-Oh! that was on pretty much constantly between the ages of 6 and 12, by which time I had turned off the kiddie channels it played on. I watched them all as a kid; Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Avatar: The Last Airbender (though technically not anime), Sailor Moon. If it was on Cartoon Network, Boomerang or Jetix, I watched it. And the score was boosted by two just for Yugi's hair.
The reason I have rated Yu-Gi-Oh! so highly is because I can't not like it. Although it is extremely generic, every single episode is pretty lame, and it's a show about a children's trading card game with added evil spirits from Ancient Egypt, I found the plot compelling at the time. I was never a trading card fan and I never owned my own deck, but I loved the anime passionately. I must have watched the series at least five times over. The tales of friendship and loyalty stuck with me to this day, and although it is incredibly cheesy to admit, I still watch it sometimes. I even tried watching Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal recently, but I can't bare the raping of the franchise any more.
Of course, half the 'modern' allure to Yu-Gi-Oh! is from LittleKuriboh's fantastic Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged, possibly my favourite thing to grace the internet since it's creation. If you haven't seen it, go watch it now. Of course, it was great to realise that I wasn't the only person over the age of eight who likes Yu-Gi-Oh!
It's hard to critique this anime's storyline, not because it doesn't have one, which it does, but because throughout the five seasons, there are several different plots. However, the underlying story is that the Pharaoh Yami Yugi/Atem is trying to recover his memories.
Though it may take a little while in getting to explanations of what exactly is going on, the creators made sure to explain it through the characters.
I find the story interesting because it has links to Ancient Egypt--something that interests anyone, if only a little.
In the first season, the animation seems a bit old. Almost as if it were from the 80's. However as time passes and we get into the last four seasons, the animation improves dramatically. Though it could have still been better, the fluidity of each detail of every monster being destroyed and the flowing of water made it seem more realistic.
In the original Japanese version of the opening theme, the songs are almost perfect. In the English version, the theme always stays the same, almost in an annoying way. The sound effects were very realistic and the background music during an episode was always fitting for the situation. Whether it was soft music for times of relaxing or intense music for times of action, it always increased the experience of watching the anime to exciting heights.
One of the best things for an anime to do for its characters is to provide backstory on them. It really helps to relate to a character. Though we don't get much backstory and most of our characters, we get plenty of character development during the first season and the third seasons, the former being for "the gang" and the latter being for Seto and Mokuba Kaiba. I really liked the mixture of different personalities.
Overall, this is an enjoyable anime that may or may not pull at the heartstrings. We all love games and this anime combines, card games with adventure and fighting evil. It's the perfect anime if you want to watch rivalries between friends and foes, fighting evil, ancient mythology (Ancient Egypt, Atlantis), alter egos, and fighting monsters.
All I can say is by the time you reach the end, you'll be looking for more...
...and you will find it in GX and 5D's.
Yu-Gi-Oh! is a about a boy name Yugi who solved an Egyptian artefact call the Millennium Puzzle and by doing so melded his spirit with a 5000 year old Egyptian pharaoh. This pharaoh cannot remember anything about his past, not even his name. Yugi plays a popular card game, called duel monsters, which players build a deck then battle each other until the opposition’s life points are depleted. After defeating the current world champion, Seto Kaiba, in an unofficial duel the card game’s creator, Pegasus, forces Yugi to enter this tournament by capturing his grandpa’s soul. Yugi must enter the tournament and defeat Pegasus to save his grandpa soul.
As you can tell the story is quite complicated and it spans over 224 episodes. There are plenty of side stories and diversion to the main goal however the main group of characters stay constant throughout the entire anime. The main change is that when one enemy is defeated another new more powerful opponent appears to take over the world.
The surprising thing is that I have actually watched all 224 episodes at least twice. Never in wildest dreams did I think that watch other people play a card game could be so interesting. The battle can be intense, surprising and thrilling. They are well paced and thoroughly a joy to watch. The main themes in this anime is friendship, courage and bravely.
The mix of characters is just right. There is a little romance tension in this anime which common for shounen anime which is a nice touch. The characters are very well developed and their back stories are told in a nice and informative way adding great depth to them. You really feel for the characters and want them to succeed.
Overall I have to say I loved this anime. It is gem and defiantly worth watching the whole 224 episodes. Do not be discouraged by the length because once you start they will fly by in a flash and then you will want to rewatch them just to compare to the beginning because over the span of the anime the characters go through wonder transformations.