Ever since Yugi Mutou completed the Millennium Puzzle his life has changed; he's made friends, learned how to play the card game Duel Monsters and has gained more confidence in himself. After his grandfather is beaten in a duel he is challenged by Seto Kaiba, ranked number two in the world, but Yugi beats him regardless. Now, as a result of his victory, Yugi has attracted the attention of the game's creator, Pegasus. Yugi is then challenged to a dual in an alternate reality where magic brings the monsters to life, but is beaten and his grandfather's soul is taken. In order to retrieve it Yugi must now participate in a tournament against the best duelists in the world, defeat the game's creator, and learn more about the secrets within his Millennium Puzzle!
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!
I am scoring this based on it being for children and being a childrens anime, not as a anime for all ages or anime in general! Okay, so I know I watched at least some of this because I recognize the story but I don't recall watching over 200 episodes. When I rewatched I watched 40 episodes but that doesn't make any sense either. Anyway, I will just put my review here. I Liked Yu-gi-oh when I was young, and I still say it's better than Pokemon. I quite after the main character was no longer Yugi though and the new stuff is no good to me. Rewatching it now, I find it slightly annoying. Heart of the cards, friendship blah blah blah, etc is a bit much for me now but I guess it isn't as annoying when you are a kid. At least there weren't a bunch of characters that looked the same and had the same name playing the same role everywhere he went (like pokemon) and it does get kind of dark at times more so than Pokemon. (I'm comparing it to pokemon because Yugioh and Pokemon were the two main series for card games and stuff of a similar nature when I was a kid). The pokemon may have been cuter, but that was about it. I personally think Yu-gi-oh is a bit more mature than pokemon or digimon. Of course, at 22, they all seem silly. Where I lived as a kid, Pokemon was the thing. If someone played a card game or collected cards, it was Pokemon. I support Yu-gi-oh. I don't get pokemon being a card game. At least in Yu-gi-oh, they actually use cards IN THE ANIME. In pokemon they use living creatures. If one of those shows should sell actual cards it's Yu-gi-oh. Anyway, I think it's a good show for younger people. It is mature but still fun and easy to understand for children, plus the cards are cheaper. It has some good lessons in it unlike a lot of junk on tv now days. For adults, I won't recomend it. For children 12 and under, I would recomend it. The characters do develop and are not completely one dimensional. They teach some good lessons about friendship, believing, power isn't everything, etc. It can be comical and serious, light and dark. The characters are likable and somewhat realistic. While it is about card games, the situations can relate to real life. It is directed towards both genders. The story doesn't repeat itself repetively without making any real progress like pokemon. You might get a tiny bit of Egyptian history out of it. Overall, I give it a 8.5 for children.
Story: 9/10 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. Animation: 8/10 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. Sound: 8/10 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. Characters: 9/10 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: 9.5/10 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.
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