Yugi Mutou was a boy who was constantly bullied – until one day he managed to put together an ancient and mysterious puzzle that no one has been able to solve for two hundred years. Now, whenever Yugi's friends are threatened, a strange transformation occurs, and Yugi seems to become an entirely different person. This transformed Yugi is a master of games, and uses these spontaneously-invented games to trap and to punish the bad guys. At the end of each game, his opponent appears to suffer a painful death; but it is soon revealed that this was all in their minds – or was it?
Ahh yes, this is Yu-Gi-Oh! this is what Yu-Gi-Oh! was meant to be. This is the King of Games. Yu-Gi-Oh! the original Manga is everything the later Manga series isn't, dark, moody, character based, intriguing in it's own mythology and not all about Card Games. Story: The story basically follows Yugi's adventures as he tries to live a normal life, the first chapter is about him first completing the puzzle and, unbeknownst to him, gaining the power to get possessed by an ancient spirit who smites anyone who dares to harm him or his friends. It starts out very episodically, Yugi encounters a villain who does harm to him or his friends, Yugi gets angry and is possessed by the Spirit of the Millenium Puzzle, who then proceeds to challenge them to a Shadow Game, in which when the villain loses, they are subjected to a "Punishment Game", keep in mind, that they play several different games and not just the Card Game the later series focuses on, even though the Card Game does show up in only 2-4 chapters. The story is formulaic, but enjoyable, it kind of has the same thrill that One Piece has, you always look forward to when Yugi punishes the villains and dishes out their just-desserts. Overall really well done for the first 7 Volumes, and it adds up to 2 very intriguing Story Arcs, called the Death T Arc and The Monster World Arc. Even if it does leave you a bit unfulfilled at the end (the series is then conitinued into the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist Manga and trust me it's pretty lackluster, when compared to the first Manga series) you still won't regret reading it. 8/10 Art: The Art style, by Kazuki Takahashi is very traditional Manga-esque, but it has it's own breadth and feel to it. It as a very Tim Burton feel in it's style, even though the character designs look rathe off-putting to some i.e. Yugi's hair, the many monster and demon designs are fun and cool to look at and are very detailed and well thought out. 9/10 Characters: This is kinda the weakest point of the series for me, don't get me wrong, Yugi and Jounochi have great chemistry together and Kaiba is a ver thrilling, almost scary villain, but it's the supporting cast that's the problem, Anzu is just a typical Shounen love interest and Honda is just comic relief and also, Yami Bakura is less intresting in this series he's just 'the bad guy', although Ryou Bakura is a lot more interesting in this series. 6/10 Overall: Some great Art Work, mixed with an intriguing plot and has an interesting mythology to it, only let down by some lackluster characters. 8/10
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