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When my brother started watching this show and I heard bits of it in the
background I thought it sounded like the stupidest thing ever--I heard
of dialogue along the lines of "Oh, yeah! Well I attack with my dark
magician!" or "Now I shall harness the power of all millennium items and
rule the world!" or "Ha ha, with the power of our friendship we will
you!" However, after I had been forced to actually watch several episodes
and began to actually follow the plot and character development, I
discovered to my surprise that this show, while it is basically just a
marketing ploy to sell trading cards, is actually a complex and
story with well-developed and multi-dimensional characters and
Now, granted, you have to have certain tolerances to enjoy this show: you have to accept the world in which the characters live, in which for some reason everything seems to ride on this certain card game, Duel Monsters, and in which there exist ancient items with various spirits trapped inside them. If you're inclined to dismiss the premises of the plot as stupid, then this show is not for you. Secondly, you have to tolerate the fact that much of the show consists of duels, in which the characters themselves compete in the card game that the show is designed to market. It helps if you're a 6 to 12-year-old boy (or anyone else, I suppose) and are actually into playing the card game yourself. Or, like me, you can simply realize that the game actually is quite interesting and complex, and in the show is used to advance the plot and character development, and just accept it. Finally, you have to tolerate a certain amount of sappiness--the main characters do often take the time to go on and on about the importance of friendship and courage and standing up for yourself, etc etc...however, I personally find this somewhat refreshing after watching my brother play countless video games where the main message seemed to be Kill Anything in Your Path if It Will Give You Energy Points or some such advantage. And the character relationships are complex enough that these speeches, when they occur, are actually meaningful and sometimes (at least to me!) quite touching.
The point is, don't dismiss this show. The animation is crisp and nuanced (except for occasionally when they decide for some reason to switch to exaggerated, cartoon-like animation, particularly with Joey--those moments are probably my least favorite aspect of the show!), and the characters are real, touching, and very entertaining. Suspend your cynicism and just let yourself enjoy the show--it's actually quite worth it!!
Bear with me on this first, okay? I think Yugiô, or Yu-Gi-Oh, is great.
It's fun to watch. The story can be engaging at times, and even the
voices of the dub can be enjoyable from time to time as well...
...but then in comes snake in the grass 4Kids. It thwarts the nature and goals of the series' baddies and censures countless scenes out of the original version. It is true that you can expect nothing less from a broadcast for kids, but these guys have taken the renewal of this series to unpleasant heights. Where in Japan you saw once-up antagonists get drunk in a bar, enticing clothing, semi-revealed body parts, several cases of nudity, wicked tongue action from... you know who if you are a fan, and some mild harsh language, 4Kids removes scenes, dresses the 'Black Magician Girl' up in a dumb pair of pink trunks, digitally embellishes the 'horrors of combat', dumbs down some dialogue, digitally removes some female characters' cleavages and simply makes the entire experience of watching this a lot more bland.
I dare any of you to watch the very first dubbed episode, and then watch a dubbed episode from season two and three and you see how 4Kids struggled with this show. Where they started out using phrases like 'super awesome rare' and with a character representation about as shallow as those in Toddler oriented Nick Toons, they 'got their game on' in order to show a slightly more grown up struggle along the way. It is commendable that 4Kids have kept it from becoming a total farce, but that brings one to the real problem.
It is sometimes hard to confide in a series like Yu-gi-oh, because almost every single conflict from beginning to end plays out in a children's card game. Subliminal messages throughout the series, or at least the dub, entitle the gamer's philosophy, that is to say the 'Heart of the Cards'. Of course, if they were just playing a friendly game all the time, this premise and the continuous and sometimes absolutely nauseating friendship skits would all be meaningless. But then, after having wagered one's soul over a dozen time in perilous 'shadow games', these guys do need a philosophy to survive the onslaught of all these card games.
Many people already start to get me wrong here. I like this show, even the dub, but where it really sets off is in the last two seasons, where characters really start developing, and the world really starts turning. Where the still ever-present pep talks and friendship speeches blot out the ever-mounting stakes in the dub, the original version can be very touching at times, and some duels in this late stage of the show do seem very meaningful (My favorites: Both duels between Mou hitori no (Yami) Yugi vs. Raferu (Raphael)). And that is why I think it has the potential to be this good; because while being fully aware that good guy and bad guy are resolving their disputes by playing a children's card game, one can forget that they are actually playing a children's card game at times.
Of course, the card games are just the means to every end and the story does not necessarily revolve around the duels per se. The storyline of the ancient Pharaoh sealing himself and his memory away in order to stop (at first rather generic) evil, as well as some of the Egyptian themes within the series are quite engaging and interesting, although it must be admitted that after all the time that this mystery remains sealed (the first four seasons, in fact), its resolution can be really underwhelming. Also undeniable; the fourth season, where the cast takes on an ancient free mason like organization called Damu (Doom in the dub, I think) is one of the, if not the best and most introspective story arcs. It is a shame that it destroys the pace, and is the main reason why the conclusion is slightly underwhelming and detached.
Do yourself a favor. If you go and watch this series, watch the Japanese version. The dub is okay (I give it a 5 thumbs up out of 10), but the Japanese version is great (9 kawaiis out of 10). Plus, the Japanese soundtrack is much more better.
Yu-Gi-Oh! can be confusing to those with slower mind-speeds. The duels
all plot devises, are used to progress the plot and even develop the
characters, and in an effort to do so, may annoy, frustrate, or even
some members of the audience unfamiliar with the game strategy and
cards(effects). However, the these duels are essentially not difficult to
The overall plot of the series is complex and very entertaining. Of the main characters, and aside from Yami Yugi, the villains are often the most compelling. The most interesting, and charismatic of these "villainous" characters being Seto Kaiba(thanks to the paragon voice-work of Eric Stuart), with Ryu Bakura, Maximillion Pegasus, and Marik Ishtar following close behind.
This series, unlike many others, requires the audience to possess functioning memories in order to recall the mythology. The plot is intriguing for those who enjoy mysteries and suspense(although watching YU-GI-OH! one need never fear the hero will be anything other than victorious).
Yu-Gi-Oh! is an excellent choice for children in order to instill morals and values; most importantly honor, courage, loyalty, and confidence in oneself.
...I have some nagging thoughts I just have to write down for the whole
world to see! Okay, so lately the whole Kidnapped-Grandfather plot has been
ditched in favor of a story with this mind-absorbing villain who wants three
Egyptian God Cards. These cards are supposedly unstoppable, although
according to this show the hero can't lose so that statement is up for
debate. And it's become increasingly noticeable that the show spends 50% of
its running time explaining things THAT'S IT ALREADY DISCUSSED AT LENGTH.
Villain: With this card, I'll be able to add 1000 Attack Points to my dragon with every turn! My monster will soon become invincible, as its Attack Points will eventually surpass those of your puny magician!
Villain: Why don't you give up, Yu-Gi? There is no way you can beat my dragon, as with each turn it gains an additional 1000 Attack Points, making it utterly unbeatable! Bwa ha ha! You might as well turn in your (insert name of mystical object here) right now and save yourself the embarrasment! HOW CAN YOUR MINISCULE MAGICIAN POSSIBLE CONTEND WITH THE MIGHT OF MY MIGHTY DRAGON, SINCE MY CREATURE BECOMES MORE AND MORE POWERFUL WITH EACH PROGRESSIVE TURN? It's madness to pursue this battle! Bwa ha ha!
Hero: (looks perplexed)
Villain: Make your move, fool! For this battle will soon be over!!!
And it goes on like that until someone actually does do something. I love how the villains just KNOW they can win, but Yu-Gi always manages to yank the right card out of his deck by believing in "the heart of the cards." Yeah, you know what? I call it luck, Yu-Gi m'boy. Seriously, if it weren't for the cool character designs and my morbid sense of curiosity, I would have given up on this show a while back. But darn me if I don't tune in every blasted afternoon!!!
Sigh...pray for me, my friends.
OK, I'll admit it...I am a sucker for the "30 min. commercials". I have
been ever since I was a kid back in the, uh, 80's. I would go out and buy
all the brand-new cool Transformers featured in the cartoon. Teenage
Ninja Turtles?...I was there. I am every toy manufacturers' ... dream.
Yu-Gi-Oh is the continuation of my bizarre fascination with
What's so great about this cartoon. Honestly, I can't say what it is I like. OK, I lied. I absolutely love the duels! I'm not a huge Anime fan, so that really does nothing for me. The constant babbling about "friendship" and "love" I can certainly do without. Not that those are bad things, and it's good that kids are taught these values while being brainwashed into buying the game, but it can be *awfully* sugary-sweet, especially when you're, um, <mumble> twenty-eight </mumble>. But I really enjoy the duels and it makes me want to go out and buy the cards and play with other people. Unfortunately, I have no friends, and my wife doesn't have any interest in dueling me. Fortunately, there's Game Boy Advance. I was given Dark Duel Stories for Christmas and recently bought Eternal Duelist Soul...both great games, though EDS is definitely closer to the original game than DDS. The point being, this tv show is really nothing more than an avenue for advertising their games...and I love it!
Now, what I'd like to see is how well Yugi fairs against someone who has some really nasty cards in their deck....how would he handle having Raigeki and Dark Hole being smacked down on his Dark Magician and Summoned Skull????
I don't know why so many people doesn't like this show, it's got
everything you can wish from a good cartoon show. The excitement, humor
and the fight against good and evil. And when they are taking most of
the story from agent Egypt It's get more and more exited.
I had never enjoyed a Manga series this much, except from Sailor Moon. But this series is the best when it comes down from it's category. But it's too bad that the cards you can buy from the series is to expensive, but that doesn't stop me. I got almost a hundred, and more is going to be.
Yu-Gi-Oh is the best cartoon show I had ever seen and the movie is so god that I can watch it over and over again. THIS IS ABSOLUTE GREAT!!!
Yu-Gi-Oh! not only entertains with a wide range of animated monsters and clever strategies but also takes us into a world where those who battle for for the ones they love and for honor DO stand a chance against the powerful and corrupt. As the series continues so does the story gain in depth and interest dispelling any scepticism that can be experienced watching the first few episodes alone (which are really a gentle introduction into how the duel monsters realm works).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I love this anime like no other. I absolutely love the monsters and the characters are just so life like in personality. The plot is this. Long ago monsters were used in combat games but grew too powerful and got out of control and nearly destroyed the world. I won't spoil it but a boy named Yugi gets an item of magic power that imprisoned the monsters along with several others in stone slabs. The game is discovered by a man named Maximillion Pegasaus who got an item to find it out and made a card game with the same monsters and spells. The plot goes on and it would take too long to explain it all. 10/10
It took me a while, but I finally got my hands on originals! All that was cut out; all the unanswered questions, all the cute sight gags and jokes! Why?! Okay, maybe a little mature for the American standard of what a cartoon is supposed to be, but... all they did to it here is turn it into a 20 minute commercial for the game! Come on people! There is so much more to the story! How Yugi met Joun... (cringe) Joey, and Hon... (double cringe) Tristan. How he got the puzzle. How Joey got the Red Eyes in the first place. Where Mai really comes from, why she _really_ duels... I'm not going to answer any of these for you, you just have to find it yourself. I don't know the policy for leaving urls here, otherwise I would tell you >
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't intend on giving any spoilers, but if i do i'm sorry. I watch Yu-Gi-Oh with as much regulatory faith as i can. I think it's a really good show, I also loved Digimon, Pokemon, Cardcaptors, and all of the Japanese Anime that the US has shown, I adore it all. Yu-Gi-OH has very good animation, Yugi, is very well drawn, he'd be " hot " if he were a true realistic guy with spikey hair, and violet eyes. *sigh* Ok, back to what i was saying. Yu-gi-oh is an amazing action packed show, i happened upon it while waiting for the power puff show, Yu-Gi-Oh had like 10 minutes left, and i've just adored it since then. It's a good show, give it a chance.
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