• General information•
Mangaka Kazuki Takahashi
No. of Chapters 343
No. of Volumes 38
Original Run September 30 1996 – March 8 2004
Genre Adventure, fantasy, science fiction
Official Wiki Yu-Gi-Oh! Wiki

Yu-Gi-Oh! (遊☆戯☆王 Yūgiō?, lit. Game King) is a Japanese manga series about games created by Kazuki Takahashi (Studio Dice). It was serialised in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine between September 30, 1996 and June 2004. The plot follows the story of a boy named Yugi Mutou, who solves the ancient Millennium Puzzle, and awakens a gambling alter-ego within his body that solves his conflicts using various games.

Two anime adaptations were produced; one by Toei Animation which aired in 1998 and another produced by Nihon Ad Systems which aired between April 2000 and September 2004. The manga series has spawned a franchise that includes multiple spinoff manga and anime series, a trading card game and numerous video games. Most of the incarnations of the franchise involve the fictional trading card game called Duel Monsters (originally known as Magic & Wizards), where each player uses cards to "duel" each other in a mock battle of fantasy "monsters". The Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game is the real world counterpart to this fictional game on which it is loosely based.


Yu-Gi-Oh! tells the tale of Yugi Mutou, a timid young boy who loves all sorts of games, but is often bullied around. One day, he solves an ancient artifact known as the Millennium Puzzle (千年パズル Sennen Pazuru?), causing his body to play host to a mysterious spirit with the personality of a gambler. From that moment onwards, whenever Yugi or one of his friends is threatened by those with darkness in their hearts, this "Dark Yugi" shows himself and challenges them to dangerous "Shadow Games" (闇のゲーム Yami no Gēmu?, lit. Games of Darkness) which reveal the true nature of someone's heart, the losers of these contests often being subjected to a dark punishment called a "Penalty Game" (罰ゲーム lit. Batsu Gēmu?). Whether it be cards, dice or role-playing board games, Dark Yugi is the king of them all and will take on all competition. As the series progresses, Yugi and his friends learn that this other Yugi inside of his puzzle is actually the spirit of a nameless Pharaoh from Egyptian times who had lost his memories. As Yugi and his companions attempt to help the Pharaoh regain his memories, they find themselves going through many trials as they wager their lives facing off against gamers that wield the mysterious Millennium Items (千年アイテム Sennen Aitemu?) and the dark power of the Shadow Games.

The plot of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga is split into several major arcs.

Trial of the Mind

A mysterious man named Shadi arrives in Domino City to pass judgement on those who trespassed and pilfered from an Egyptian tomb, targeting the Domino City Museum. He meets Yugi and finds out that he has completed the Millennium Puzzle and has awakened a second personality within himself. Desiring to discover the Millennium Puzzle's true power, with the Millennium Scales and the Millennium Key, Shadi summons deadly Shadow Game trials that, if Dark Yugi can't successfully pass them, will kill his best friends.


One of the early villains that Dark Yugi faced, Seto Kaiba, comes back with a vengeance. The young president of Kaiba Corporation, who lost a Shadow Game of Duel Monsters (Magic & Wizards in the Japanese manga) to Dark Yugi for stealing his grandfather's precious Blue-Eyes White Dragon card, suffered a Penalty Game in which he experienced a sensation similar to death, and suffered nightmares from it thereafter. Begrudged over the loss and humiliation, he decided to build a deranged theme park called Death-T, designed to enact revenge on Yugi by killing him with deadly games. Luring Yugi's grandfather, Sugoroku Mutou, into a virtual Duel Monsters game, he defeats the old game master with three Blue-Eyes White Dragons and tears up his precious card. When Kaiba tortures Sugoroku with an artificial Penalty Game and threatens his life, Yugi and his friends are forced to partake in Kaiba's deadly games in order to save him. However, Yugi also has to overcome the fear of his new-found "other self" and reveal his secret to his friends in order to survive.

Monster World

Ryo Bakura, a fan of tabletop role-playing games, is a new transfer student at Domino City High, and quickly befriends Yugi Mutou and the rest of his friends. However, Bakura has a dark secret, he is also the owner of a Millennium Item, the Millennium Ring, and like Yugi, has another personality dwelling within him called Dark Bakura, who has been turning every game he plays into Shadow Games and putting Ryo's friends in a coma by putting their souls within miniature figures using Penalty Games; causing Ryo to constantly transfer schools and lose friends. Fearing for the safety of his new friends, he insists that they shouldn't play games together. Despite his plea, Yugi and his other pals come to Bakura's house to play his favorite Monster World game in order to cheer him up. Desiring to take Yugi's Millennium Puzzle, Dark Bakura turns this friendly tabletop RPG into a Shadow Game, trapping the souls of Yugi and his friends into their RPG miniatures. However, Dark Yugi takes over Yugi's body at the last second and the battle to free their new friend and their souls commence as they adventure into the Monster World campaign.

Duelist Kingdom

Following Seto Kaiba's defeat during the Death-T arc and Dark Yugi's Mind Crush Penalty Game, which puts him in a coma, Maximillion J. Pegasus (Pegasus J. Crawford in the Japanese manga), the creator of the Duel Monsters card game and president of the gaming company I2, kidnaps Mokuba Kaiba and plans to usurp control of Kaiba Corporation. In order to do this, he must solidify his status as number one gamer among all the duelists in Japan and prove himself worthy by beating Yugi Mutou, the gamer who defeated Seto Kaiba, in an official Duel Monsters match. In order to do this, he organizes the Duelist Kingdom tournament and invites Yugi Mutou. The wielder of the Millennium Eye, Pegasus beats Dark Yugi on a technicality during a timed Shadow Game through a video tape, and takes his grandpa's soul as a Penalty Game, sealing it in inside the video tape, and forces Yugi to partake in his contest. Not long after, Jonouchi receives a video tape from his sister, Shizuka Kawai, informing him that she will soon go blind. Yugi, along with Jonouchi, Honda, Anzu, and Bakura must travel to Duelist Kingdom in order to free Yugi's grandfather and win the prize money to pay for Shizuka's eye operation.


A new game shop called the Black Clown opens across the street from Yugi's house, the Kame Game shop. Advertising a new game abbreviated "DDM" ("DDD" in the Japanese manga), Yugi and his friends decide to try out the new game on their free time. But unbeknownst to Yugi, Jonouchi, Anzu, Honda, and Bakura, the owner of the new shop is Mr. Clown, who lost a Shadow Game called the Devil's Board Game to Sugoroku Mutou long ago, losing his youth and becoming disfigured as a Penalty Game in a competition for the Millennium Puzzle. Raising his son to be a master gamer in order to enact revenge by beating Sugoroku's grandson, new classmate Ryuji Otogi starts causing trouble for Yugi and his friends with his bar bet games as he plans to take revenge for his father using a game of his own creation, Dungeon Dice Monsters (Dragons, Dice & Dungeons in the Japanese manga), in order to take the title of "Game King" as well as the Millennium Puzzle.

Battle City

One day, Seto Kaiba meets Ishizu Ishtar, holder of the Millennium Tauk, at the Domino City Museum and learns that the game of Duel Monsters was based on a Shadow Game played long ago by an Egyptian Dynasty ruled over by a nameless Pharaoh who resembled his rival Yugi Mutou, and that an organization of thieves and bootleggers ("the Ghouls of the gaming underworld") robbed Ishizu of two of three God Cards that were made to be the strongest monsters in the game by Pegasus, based on the gods depicted on the stone tablet. In order to lure them out, Ishizu gives Kaiba the "God of Obelisk" and manipulates him into opening the Battle City tournament to lure them out. At the same time, Dark Yugi finally learns of his true origins, that he is the spirit of an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh trapped in the Millennium Puzzle for thousands of years, and that the key to regaining his lost memory is to fight in the Battle City tournament. However, the owner of the last Millennium Item, the Millennium Rod, is the leader of the Ghouls, and has a vendetta against the nameless king and plans to kill him.

Millennium World

After conquering Battle City, Dark Yugi has obtained all three God Cards and now requires all seven Millennium Items to unlock his lost memories. Dark Bakura once again feigns allegiance with Yugi and relinquishes the Millennium Eye which he took from Pegasus before his death, promising the Millennium Ring later. A mysterious man named Bobasa offers to act as a guide for Dark Yugi under orders from their old enemy Shadi, promising him Shadi's Millennium Key and Scales. When Dark Yugi and his friends arrive at the museum to present the God Cards in front of the Memory Tablet, Dark Yugi seems to disappear into the Memory World, where Yugi and his other friends (sans Ryo Bakura, who is excluded because Bobasa had sensed an evil presence in his heart) decide to enter the Millennium Puzzle to find the true room to the Memory World using the Millennium Key, guided by Bobasa, in order to find the other Yugi. However, Dark Yugi was actually transported to the back of the Domino City Museum to play against Dark Bakura in the Shadow RPG, a tabletop role-playing reenactment of history powered by the Millennium Puzzle's memories, with his player character being his past self, the young Pharaoh aided by his six priests. In order to stop Dark Bakura from resurrecting the evil god Zorc and save the souls of his friends who are trapped in the game world, he must defeat Dark Bakura in the RPG. At the same time, Yugi and his friends must search for Dark Yugi's true name as NPCs in the Ancient Egyptian game world that resembles the past, ravaged by the vengeful Thief King.

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