10th grader Yugi spent most of his time alone playing games…until he solved the Millennium Puzzle, a mysterious Egyptian artifact! Possessed by the puzzle, Yugi becomes Yu-Gi-Oh, the King of Games, and challenges evildoers to the Shadow Games…weird games with high stakes and high risks! These graphic novels contain new stories not seen in the anime, including the origin of Yugi and his friends!
By: Kazuki Takahashi
Before you jump in and say “this story will be about card games” let me just say this: yes and no. Yes because this was the beginning of duel monsters but that was not the center role; in volume 2, it was actually called Magic and Wizards. The names were also different compared to the 4kids version, the manga used their Japanese names but the books also mentioned that their translated names.
Katsuya Jonouchi- Joey Wheeler
Anzu Mazaki- Tea Gardner
Hiroto Honda- Tristan Taylor
Speaking of characters, the manga also introduces to other Yu-Gi-Oh! characters that you may know and become part of the adventure like Seto Kaiba, Mokuba, Ryo Bakura, and Shadi. Remember what I said that this story was about card games? This introduces the game but it doesn’t show up in the first chapter, more like later in the story. Yugi deals with these evil people that hurt him and his friends by making them play these dangerous games. For example, in the first chapter, Yugi challenges a bully to play a knife game where he and the bully must stab the money placed on their hand without losing the money and hurting their hand. Another chapter, is where Yugi challenges an escaped murderer to a game where they have to kill each other with only one finger. Sounds weird at first but once you read it, it’s disturbing. Would you play a game where you stick you hand in a shoe filled with coins and a scorpion? The story also demonstrates the power of friendship where Yugi’s friends take part of the journey. From participating to a deadly theme park to playing a “dungeon and dragon” death game board, these are the kind of friends you would want to have: friends that will stick by you to the end.
On the topic of duel monsters, the card game does not appear until volume 2 and later returns in volume 4 and 5; this is where Seto Kaiba is introduced. This maniac is willing to do anything to win and obtain power even if he has to steal the Blue-Eyes White Dragon or almost kill Yugi’s grandpa. His little was also evil too. His brother, Mokuba challenges Yugi to a Capsule Monster game (short like a chess game) in order to get revenge for defeating Yugi the first time. As mentioned before, Bakura joins in the story and becomes important for the series, including his evil self who is also the owner of the Millennium Ring. No card games involved but he forces Yugi’s group to participate an RPG gameboard adventure called “Monster World” and tries to kill them.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! manga was the first ever manga I have ever owned and read. This manga really changed the way I see Yu-Gi-Oh! and surprisingly enough, I would rather see this rather card games. I know that there is an anime based off of this called Season 0 but I don’t have the time to check it out.
This version of Yu-Gi-Oh! is really dark and not kid friendly. If you were expecting the story to be focused on duel monsters, then this is just the introduction and the series continues on to Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelists. If you don’t mind the dark atmosphere, I recommend getting this because it shows how Yugi met his friends and rival from the series. This story is quite different than playing with cards.