Society & Culture & Entertainment Games

The History of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game

    A Short History of Manga

    • Yu-Gi-Oh! is a game from a fictional manga, or illustrated story. Japanese pop art and culture has a long tradition of manga created for every purpose, from explaining religious doctrine to describing the horrors of atomic warfare and its aftermath. Some common themes from manga that have found their way into the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game are monsters, ancient mythology, futuristic scenarios and youthful heroes with the power to transform their reality.

    From Manga to Card Game

    • Kazuki Takahashi created the "Yu-Gi-Oh!" manga in 1996. The manga was so successful in Japan that it spawned a card game called "Magic and Wizards" based on the card game featured as a plot device in the manga. Takahashi never intended for future manga (after the first two chapters) to feature the card game. The original manga was episodic, with each chapter featuring a game. However, due to fan demand, the "Magic and Wizards" card game was featured in every chapter and became an actual card game published by game publisher Konami.

    From Card Game to Sensation

    • Fans in Japan loved the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and wanted to be more involved with the story. Hence the creation in real life of the card game "Duel Monsters" also known as "Magic and Wizards." In the card game, players duel each other with cards representing different fantastic monsters. The card game gained the attention of Western audiences when the manga became an anime (animation) series broadcast worldwide on channels for children. Since the initial card game's popularity, subsequent anime series, "Yu-Gi-Oh! R," "Yu-Gi-Oh! GX" and "Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's," have spawned subsequent trading-card games.

    From Sensation to Franchise

    • The animated Yu-Gi-Oh! series that spawned the card game is called "Duel Monsters." The game is first featured in chapter eight of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga. All characters and their actions in the card game are consistent with those in the manga series. Yet, the game manufacturer Konami created specific game rules that are more consistent than those in the fictional context that serve the story's plot lines. Modern Yu-Gi-Oh! card game players can compete in regional, national or international tournaments to win rare cards and other prizes. Additionally, players can host casual card games among friends adjusting and creating rules as they go along.

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