Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
遊☆戯☆王デュエル モンスターズ
Original Creator Kazuki Takahashi (高橋 和希)
Studio Studo Gallop, Nihon Ad Systems
Network TV Tokyo, various
Demographic Shōnen
Genre Adventure, Fantasy
Director Kunihisa Sugishima (杉島邦久)
Character Design Michi Himeno (姫野美智)
Shingo Araki (荒木伸吾)
Soundtrack Shinkichi Mitsumune (光宗信吉)
Original Run April 18, 2000 - September 29, 2004 (Japan)
September 29, 2001 - June 10, 2006 (USA)
Episodes 224
Movies 1

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (遊☆戯☆王デュエル モンスターズ Yūgiō Dyueru Monsutāzu) is the second anime adaptation of the original manga produced by Nihon Ad Systems and Studio Gallop. It started its 224 episode run on TV Tokyo in the spring of 2000 and ended in autumn of 2004. The heavily edited English adaptation of the anime was distributed by 4Kids Entertainment and broadcast on many channels worldwide.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters is based on Volumes 8-38 of the original manga. Despite the fact that it picks up approximately where Toei Animation's Yu-Gi-Oh! adaptation left off, the two series are not connected and have different interpretations of the same events, such as the introduction of Seto Kaiba and the first RPG Game of Darkness between Dark Yugi and Dark Bakura.

Plot OverviewEdit

In the spirit of the original manga, the plot of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters is a coming-of-age story revolving around the adventures of a game-obsessed high school freshmen Yugi Mutou and his friends. Even though the story occasionally features some rather dark motifs, the overall mood of the show is optimistic, with friendship, hope and courage being prominent and recurring themes, typical of shonen anime.

Due to the weekly broadcasting schedule and the fact that often, several chapters of the manga would be adapted into a single episode, the Duel Monsters anime quickly caught up with the manga and was occasionally left with no source material to work with. This caused the writing staff to produce several filler arcs in order to keep the show on the air as new manga chapters were being written.

File:Virtual World Princess.jpg

Duelist KingdomEdit

Main Article: Duelist Kingdom Arc

  • episodes 001-040

The first major arc of the anime involving a Duel Monsters tournament called Duelist Kingdom. Yugi is blackmailed into participating in the tournament after the organizer, Pegasus J. Crawford, seals Sugoroku Mutou’s soul into a card.

Virtual WorldEdit

Main Article: Virtual World Arc

  • episodes 043-045

A filler arc centered around the Big 5’s attempt to take over Kaiba Corporation by trapping Seto Kaiba in a virtual reality game based on Duel Monsters.

File:Otogi Fangirls.jpg

Dungeon Dice MonstersEdit

Main Article: Dungeon Dice Monsters Arc

  • episodes 046-049

A very loose adaptation of the Dragon Dice and Dungeons manga arc that introduces Otogi Ryuji, a young genius game inventor who challenges Yugi to a game of DDM in an attempt to settle the score for the defeat and disappearance of his mentor Pegasus J Crawford.

Battle City/Battle ShipEdit

Main Article: Battle City Arc

  • episodes 050-097

The adapted first chunk of the longest manga arc that sees Dark Yugi entering the Battle City tournament in order to
win the Egyptian God Cards and unlock to door to his lost memories.

File:Monkey Honda.jpg

Noa’s Virtual WorldEdit

Main Article: Noah’s Virtual World Arc

  • episodes 098-121

Another filler arc featuring Noa Kaiba, Seto’s adopted brother, and his scheme to trap the Battle City finalists in a virtual world.

Alcatraz IslandEdit

Main Article: Battle City Arc

  • episodes 122-144

The continuation of the Battle City manga adaptation depicting the events of the tournament finals.



Main Article: Doma Arc

  • episodes 145-184

The longest filler arc that introduces a new enemy – a ten thousand year old king of Atlantis, Dartz and his quest to reset human history through the mystical powers of the Orichalchos stones, the God Cards are stolen and in order to combat Dartz and the rest of Doma, Yugi and his comrades must turn to an even more ancient power, the Three Legendary Dragons

Kaiba Corporation Grand PrixEdit

Main Article: KC Grand Prix Arc

  • episodes 185-198

The last filler arc revolving around a short Duel Monsters tournament in America.

Memory WorldEdit

File:Malik laugh.jpg

Main Article: Memory World Arc

  • episodes 199-219

The adaptation of the dark RPG between Dark Yugi and Dark Bakura that takes place inside Yugi’s memories of his time as ruler of Egypt.

Ceremonial DuelEdit

Main Article: Ceremonial Duel Arc

  • episodes 220-224

The adaptation of the manga conclusion where Yugi and Dark Yugi perform a ceremonial battle that decides the fate of Dark Yugi.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters The Movie: Pyramid of LightEdit

Main Article: Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters The Movie: The Pyramid of Light
The concept of a Yu-Gi-Oh! Movie was presented by 4Kids entertainment, NAS acted on such, and The Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Movie, Pyramid of Light, was concieved. It was first aired in America, shortly afterward a Japanese Dub was released.

Differences From the MangaEdit

File:Manga Differences 01.jpg
Main article: Differences Between the Orginal Manga and the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Anime

Overall, the plot of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (fillers excluded) follows the manga closely in terms of major events, even though some rather dubious changes were occasionally made in the transition from manga to anime. Perhaps the best way to put it is that the mood of the manga is different to that of the anime, even though the key protagonists and events remain the same, at least for the most part.


File:Animation Errors.gif

Like many weekly shows, Duel Monsters suffers from great variations in animation quality, ranging from fluid movement and a style that closely resembles the manga, to episodes that have the barest minimum of secondary action and character designs that hardly resemble the original material in terms of detail and complexity. There are several distinctive drawing styles throughout the show’s 224 episode run and little consistency between episodes, with the Memory World arc universally hailed as the worst in terms of animation quality. Perhaps the biggest paradox is in the fact that some episodes feature very lacking character animation, while having high quality backgrounds and monster animation at the same time. Presumably, this is all due to the rushed schedule and the fact that animation was handled by different studios from week to week, and sometimes even having two different studios in charge of different aspects of the same episode.


File:Genki No Shower Cover.gif

See also: Sound Duel Tracklisting

The Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters score is a combination of orchestral themes and up-beat electronic tunes composed by Shinkichi Mitsumune. New music has been introduced with every season, although some of the more emotional themes like After the Battle have been used throughout the entire show.

The opening and ending themes are pop-rock songs by various artists, with Yuichi Ikuzawa contributing as many as 3 of the 10 songs. The longest running opening and ending was Warriors/ Afureru Kanjyou Ga Tomaranai ranging 58 episodes and 3 arcs.


  • Episodes 1-38
    • OP: Cloud - VOICE
    • ED: Aki Maeda - Genki No Shower
  • Episodes 49-81
    • OP: Masami Okui - SHUFFLE
    • ED: Masami Okui - Ano Hi No Gogo
  • Episodes 82-131:
    • OP: Masato Nagai - WILD DRIVE
    • ED: CAVE - Rakuen
  • Episodes 131-190
    • OP: Yuichi Ikusawa - WARRIORS
    • ED: Yuichi Ikusawa - Afureru Yuujyoo Ga Tomaranai
  • Episodes 191-224
    • OP: Kimeru - OVERLAP
    • ED: Yuichi Ikusawa - EYE'S

Related ArticlesEdit