Yu-Gi-Oh (Japanese:遊戯王, yűgiô, yuugiou in Romaji, Japanese word for the "King of Games") is a popular Japanese anime and manga franchise that involves characters who play a card game called "Duel Monsters," wherein each player purchases and assembles a deck of "monsters" in order to defeat one another.

The Yu-Gi-Oh manga, created in 1996 by Kazuki Takahashi, was one of the most popular titles featured in Japan's Weekly Shonen Jump and is still running today. The anime was first broadcast beginning in 1998 and still runs on Japanese TV Tokyo and is expected to reach the 200th episode barrier. In recent years, both the manga and anime have also been brought to the United States. The manga runs in Viz's Shonen Jump and the anime is broadcast as part of Kids WB, on Cartoon Network and in syndication in many other places.

The Yu-Gi-Oh franchise has since grown to incorporate the trading card game featured in the anime and manga, a series of video games by Konami, toys, and many other products.

Table of contents
1 Important Characters and Terms
2 Criticism of Yu-Gi-Oh
3 Yu-Gi-Oh card games
4 External links

Important Characters and Terms

(Japanese name listed first, English name listed second, when applicable.)

  • Yugi Mutou (Yugi Moto) - Yugi is the protagonist of the show and is an expert at playing all sorts of games ("Yugi" means "game" in Japanese). He is especially deft at playing Duel Monsters. He carries the Millennium Puzzle, one of the seven ancient Millennium Items, around his neck, which is an ancient Egyptian artifact that carries the spirit of the late pharaoh inside. When under stress or when playing a game, the spirit inside the Millennium Puzzle takes over and Yugi becomes "Yami Yugi" or "Dark Yugi" and is a very powerful opponent.

  • Katsuya Jonouchi (Joey Wheeler) - Jonouchi (or Joey) becomes Yugi's best friend. Jonouchi is initially nothing better than a street thug, but Yugi manages to melt some of his tough-guy exterior. He likes playing games too, but is nowhere near as good as Yugi. Something of a hothead, he lets his mouth get him in trouble, more often than not.

  • Hiroto Honda (Tristan Taylor) - Honda (or Tristan) is another thug who ends up coming around to be Yugi's friend. He doesn't really play Duel Monsters or any of the other games Yugi plays. He is not very important to the overall story.

  • Anzu Mazaki (Tea Gardner) - Anzu is Yugi's childhood friend. Also not a game-player, she's sweet and supportive for Yugi, Jonouchi and everyone else. She is not very important to the overall story. She and Hiroto are basically cheerleaders for Yugi and Jonouchi.

  • Seto Kaiba - Kaiba is one of the first "villains," of sorts, to appear in Yu-Gi-Oh. He considers himself the best gamer in the world and sees Yugi as a threat to his position. Despite his young age, he also is the President of Kaiba Corporation, the biggest game company in the world. He is not afraid to flaunt his wealth at all.

  • Mokuba Kaiba - Seto Kaiba's younger brother. In the original manga, he was something of a spoiled brat, he is always trying to trick Yugi to get back at him for defeating his older brother. He is another good game player, but not as good as his brother. In the TV show however, he is a kind-hearted boy who is naive to the ways of the world.

  • Pegasus J. Crawford (Maximillion Pegasus) - The creator of the game of Duel Monsters. He is another early antagonist. He posseses the Millennium Eye, and is trying to possess all seven items, because he believes they will be able to resurrect his lost love.

  • Lumis and Umbra

  • Malik Ishtar (Marik Ishtar) - He is a later antagonist. Marik's family has gaurded the tomb of the pharaoh for generations. Marik holds the Millennium Rod and wishes to steal the power of the pharaoh for himself. He is brother to Ishizu Ishtar.

  • Millennium Items - Seven magical items originating in ancient Egypt. The items include the Millennium Puzzle, Eye, Ring, Key, Rod, Necklace and Scales. Each one has its own special powers, but some (which are more important to the storyline) are known for one or two powers.

  • Egyptian God Cards - Three all-powerful Duel Monsters cards created by Maximillion Pegasus. They are the God of Obelisk (Obelisk the Tormenter), Saint Dragon - God of Osiris (Slifer the Sky Dragon) and the God of Divine Dragon - Ra (The Winged Dragon of Ra). These become a focal point later in the series.

Criticism of Yu-Gi-Oh

Yu-Gi-Oh runs into two distinct sets of criticism depending on the audience. The first concerns the changes that 4Kids, the American distributor, made to Yu-Gi-Oh for its American release. The names were changed, but there have also been many edits, some of which are obvious even without having seen the unedited version. These include removing all instances of weapons (like guns and knives, which are often prevalent) and assorted sexual innuendo. However, these changes are mostly attributed to the differences in sensibilities between the U.S. and Japan.

The second major criticism of Yu-Gi-Oh comes from adults and anime fans at large who see Yu-Gi-Oh as nothing more than a vehicle to sell their game cards and other products. However, this criticism is usually levelled by people who have not read the manga. In the original manga, Yu-Gi-Oh did not even include Duel Monsters as a regular plot vehicle for quite a long time (the American manga release in Shonen Jump is currently up to #26, which is half a year in the Japanese version - and there has only been one instance of the game Duel Monsters). Only after Yu-Gi-Oh become popular, was Kazuki Takahashi asked to modify Yu-Gi-Oh to feature more of Duel Monsters.

Yu-Gi-Oh card games

Yu-Gi Cards is a game based on the series involving the characters attempting to become the best at the card game. The main point of note, is that unlike other television shows, books, games and films which have spawned card games (such as Pokemon, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek and Star Wars), the Yu-Gi-Oh TV shows consist in the main of the characters playing the exact game which can be bought in shops. Related card games include Yugi Moto's Cards, Seto Kaiba's Cards, Pegasus' Cards and Joey's Cards.

External links

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