Oh Netflix you cruel mistress. Why must you take so many hours of my life away with promises of long forgotten nostalgia? I had forgotten about the original Yu-Gi-Oh years ago and the cards of which have been left to rot in a box in my closet. But man when I saw that image did the memories come flooding back to me. Yu-Gi-Oh was never as popular as Pokemon or Magic the Gathering. But it did fit into that category of collectibles that middle schoolers, teenagers, and nerds would collect until the next new shiny object came rolling on to shelves. I did enjoy playing Yu-Gi-Oh when I was younger and playing the card games but after a while the novelty did where off on me and I moved on to other interests on my journey to the grave. But after seeing this on Netflix, the question did spurn my mind… What do I think of the series after giving it a second watch? Well why don’t we just find that out.
Yu-Gi-Oh is set in a fictional world where a card game called Duel Monsters has taken the world by storm. Everyone is attempting to get their hands on these cards and build decks out of them to compete in tournaments and win fame and fortune. The story follows a young man named Yugi Muto (Dan Green). He is a student and along with his friends Joey Wheeler (Wayne Grayson), Tea (Amy Birnbaum), and Tristan (Sam Riegel) travel to the island of the creator of Duel Monsters Maximillian Pegasus (Darren Dunstan) where they will compete for fabulous prizes. However they are lured there for another reason, so that Pegasus can obtain all the millennium items which are known to contain unlimited power. Together the kids along with Yugi’s rival Seto Kaiba (Eric Stuart) need to challenge Pegasus and beat him at his own game.
An anime about a card game is a brilliant and unique concept. Not only is it a cash cow as you can have a card game to go along with the series, but it is pretty cool to see a card game like Duel Monsters take the world by storm. I imagine it as a Magic the Gathering tournament on steroids. Granted there are some funky plot points that go flying off into ‘what the fuck’ land and we will get to that soon. But the idea of a cool card game with monsters and intense strategy is a great sight to behold.
Good Way to Sell Product without Shoving it Down our Throats
All things considered for a Saturday morning cartoon… It was one of the shows that I didn’t feel like they were forcibly trying to sell me their product and I know that sounds strange considering the premise of the series is the product, but hear me out. Most Saturday morning shows feature some cast of characters doing things that spurn you to buy toys. In this instance it is a TV show about a card game, do you like this card game, well here are the cards, and you can get as cooky as you would like to with it.
I feel like it was one show that was able to take a product and present it to people in a clever way that did not seem like a forceful hamfisted way of getting us to buy some shit. Kudos for good marketing by using the plot to hide the message.
They Take This Shit Far Too Seriously
Jesus Christ! These people need to be reminded that this game of Duel Monsters is just a fucking game! This show takes the idea of cards far too seriously. There are moments in this show where they are dueling for their vary lives and not just their lives, but their damn souls as well. There comes a time when you have to look at yourself and say, is this game of cards really worth me losing my soul to some fruity dude with a fake eye? No!
The series jumps off the rails later when they introduce zombie duelists into the equation who become that way when they duel and are zapped of their life energy, which begs the question if you duel you get zapped, so just stop playing, but I digress.
I understand that you need to make a show to keep children entertained. But come on, their comes a time when common sense and that of a small child kicks in and says… You know maybe I’ll just go and play a gameboy or something, thanks.
Voice Acting is Hilariously Bad
I’m sorry if anyone has a hard on for any of the voice actors who worked on the English version of Yu-Gi-Oh but they are all consistently terrible across the board. There is not one person who makes me cringe every time they open their mouth to talk during this show. Joey Wheeler voice by Wayne Grayson has to be one of the most grating voices that I have ever heard in a television show and Maximillian Pegasus sounds like Michael Sheen if he did a little too much ecstasy. Others range from bad to mediocre such as Kaiba and Yugi who both sound mediocre at best.
The voice acting is terrible… But in a strange way I would almost say that it has made it somewhat endearing. If you can get past the nails on a chalk board voice of some of the characters, you can see some relatively funny unintentionally comedy throughout the series, which is a good thing in all the wrong ways.
Overall Yu-Gi-Oh is relatively harmless. It isn’t a terrible television show and the concept of the Duel Monsters and introducing a card game as the primary premise of a series is a decent concept. However the voice acting just isn’t up to snuff and the way these people treat card games they act as if their life is at stake… And in some cases they are!!! And that is just insanity.
If you were a fan of the card game as a kid it is at least worth a watch for nostalgia sake, but any newcomers just stay clear of it.
Final Score 2.5/5
Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoyed this review then please like and subscribe for more from me. Wish me luck everyone, in a couple of days I will be played the much hyped Five Nights at Freddy’s. Look for that review Tuesday night.