Many people who know me, will tell you that one of my favorite animes is Yugioh. I first discovered the manga published by Clamp before watching the English dubbed anime created by 4Kids. The show has two things it focuses on, teaching people how to play the card game and the strength to overcome the odds stacked against you. Fans of the show enjoy the card graphics and how the cards are tied into the characters daily lives.
Heart of The Cards
Yugioh means King of Games, the show focuses on Yugioh Muto and his friends as they compete in numerous card tournaments. The show adds in a connection to ancient Egypt, exploring where the cards and shadow games came from and how they were first created; adding a rich history to the series.
Many episodes in the series focuses on Yugi, Seto, and Joey being the ideal heroes sent to save the world from destruction, even if Yugi is the one who wins the duel in the end. In the first season, the gang is sent to an Island to take part in Duelist Kingdom. There Yugi is on a quest to save his Grandpa’s soul, Joey to gain enough money to save his sister’s eyesight, and Seto to rescue his little brother Mokuba.
Duelists and Allies
Yugi Muto is a shrimp that spent his free time solving puzzles and games. He is bullied by Joey and Tristan but becomes their friends after saving Yugi from another bully in the school. Yugi obtains the spirit of an ancient pharaoh after reassembling the Millennium Puzzle. This spirit takes over Yugi when dueling using the spellcaster deck Yugi was given as a gift from his Grandfather.
Yugi is the typical stereotype of a gamer, shy and unsure of himself preferring to be lost in his games. The pharaoh, on the other hand, is self-confident and sees himself as a person to defend those that have been wronged by others. In the manga, the pharaoh uses shadow duels to teach people lessons though these games were the loser were sent to death or the shadow realm in the anime version.
Seto Kaiba is the owner of Kaiba Corporation (Kaiba Corps) a gaming company that creates duel disks. Seto is seen as egotistic and arrogant using people as pawns to gain what he wants; caring little about hurting other people’s feelings. The only person he cares about is his little brother, Mokuba. Seto only enters Pegasus’ tournament after his brother is kidnapped. Seto loves his brother and will do anything to protect him even if that means causing himself harm in the process.
People refer to him as moneybags because they assume all he cares about is his company and making money. Seto is rich but only because he was adopted by Gozaboro Kaiba, after his parent’s death and their other relatives spending their inheritance before dumping the two siblings off at a local orphanage. Seto obtains the company only after years of abuse by his stepfather where he was taught that failure equals death.
Joey Wheeler is from Brooklyn, New York and moved to Domino City, Japan with his father after his parent’s divorce losing ties with his little sister, Serenity until he received a video tape from her asking for help with gaining money for an eye operation. In the manga, Joey belongs to a gang before it was disbanded. Joey is a loud mouth with a short temper who runs a pyro swordsman deck in his duels. Joey depends on luck when dueling and hates being referred to as a mutt by Seto Kaiba.
Tristan Taylor is a schoolmate of Yugi and is considered a close friend of Joey, Tea, and Yugi. He isn’t a duelist but is a close friend of Joey taking part in beating up other students with the blonde. Tristan is an airhead not known for thinking for himself and like Tea, is seen as a cheerleader to his friends while they duel.
Tea Gardner is the definition of a fan girl and cheerleader. She is the typical girl next girl and is in love with Yugi’s alternative form though also has a small crush on Yugi as well. Tea is an inspiring dancer hoping to gain a scholarship to attend a dance school in the United States. She uses a faery deck though is more content with standing on the sidelines and cheering her friends on, and is known for her speeches of friendships
Ryou Bakura is an outcast among his fellow classmates and is seen as a joke as a duelist. Ryou is shy yet caring being there for his friends even if they ignore him most of the time. Ryou owns a fiend deck though would rather bake then duel. Ryou is a transfer student from London, moving to Domino City, Japan with his father.
They moved after his mother passed away by childbirth and his little sister died a few years later from cancer. Ryou is the host to the Millennium Ring, which hosts the tomb thief Bakura. Bakura is the opposite of his host often calling Ryou landlord and is harsh to the albino teen taking over without permission or caring if his host gets hurt.
Mai Valentine is a rich diva that uses a harpy deck and looks to gain advantages in her duels. She grew up counting herself on being a card dealer on a cruise ship before becoming a duelist. Mai mocks Tea knowing that depending on others only leads to betrayal and heartache. Mai is condiment in herself and her dueling skills yet beneath the surface she is insecure and wishes to not be alone.
Maximillian Pegasus is the creator of Industrial Illusions and was the art designer and creator of duel cards. He launches the Duelist Kingdom Tournament as a front to gain popularity for his card game. His true intentions are to collect the Millennium items to bring his dead wife. Cecile back to life. His other plan is to gain control of Kaiba Corps through the adoption of Mokuba Kaiba. Pegasus is a bit flamboyant using a toon deck and his Millennium Eye to cheat being able to see the cards that the opponent is viewing while drawing it.
I became a fan due to the story and history behind the series. Like many of the fans, I have tried my hand at dueling even containing a few decks that were a gift from a friend. I would give the first season a six out of ten rating due to it being the start of the series and seen as an introduction of the characters. I enjoy the cards graphics and the story hidden behind the characters reasons for dueling. There is a running joke about them being masters of a children’s card game hinting at how simple the game is, yet I feel that the card game is merely a front in order to enhance the merchandise sold by the vendors.
Furthermore, it’s clear that the series became a huge success due to the multiple spin-offs from the original series. Fans still adore the original series either by watching the series repeatedly or by reconstructing the decks of their favorite duelists. What made the series a successful was the arrangement of characters and how they dealt with real life situations.
Despite the first season being a mere introduction, it makes the viewers excited for the next season wanting to learn more about them. For people create illusions to protect themselves revealing their true self to those they consider family.
Now, shush. I’m trying to read,