-> ''GET IN THE BATTLE ZONE!''

[[quoteright:320:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/duel_masters_9351.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:320:''[[LampshadeHanging Who's the kid with]] the [[SpikyHair spiky hair]]?'']]

Loosely following the original ''Franchise/DuelMasters'' manga, which used cards from ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' instead of the ''Duel Masters'' cards (which were created for this series, thus explaining the similarities), the anime is what helped the Duel Masters franchise to hit the main stream.

As explained on Duel Masters main article, the anime is completely different whether you are looking at it from the Japanese version or the North American version. While the former is a serious series about a children card game ([[Franchise/YuGiOh not unlike the series which inspired it]]), the latter is the UrExample of TheAbridgedSeries in all but longevity.

The story revolves around Shobu Kirifuda, an enthusiast of the titular card game who is exposed for the first time to a higher level of play (referred to in the North American release as Kaijudo, literally "the way of monsters"; it wasn't given a name in Japan), in which actual monsters serve the will of their summoners. As his father had mastered the game before him, Shobu [[ToBeAMaster feels a certain need to live up to his family's reputation]].

There is one America-exclusive season which revolves around our protagonist fighting against a GoldfishPoopGang. The Japanese version, instead, continued to run for 8 seasons with ToBeAMaster as a central point. Shobu was later exchanged as a protagonist with his smaller brother.

Please note that most (though not all) of these tropes are either common to both versions or are otherwise based on the North American version. The original Japanese, while still having comedy, played it straight for the most part.

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'''List of tropes used in the anime:'''

* ActionGirl: Mimi. Sometimes even PlayedForLaughs, see CharlesAtlasSuperpower.
* AntiHero: Kokujo is a Type V.
* AnimeHair: Referenced in the dub's theme song and the subject of many a LampshadeHanging, though Shobu's hair could probably support an ''actual'' lampshade. Hair is SeriousBusiness second only to the card game itself, especially among Shobu, Hakuoh and Kokujo.
* BackToBackBadasses: Shobu and Kokujo; in a children's card game, no less.
* BadAss: Kokujo, Mimi, Knight, Hakuou and Shobu.
* BadassLongcoat: Kokujo.
* BecomingTheMask: [[spoiler:Mimi is TheMole, don't you know.]]
* {{Brainwashed}}: Mimi during her first duel.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Being a GagDub, it comes with the territory.
* BreastExpansion: Mimi's breasts get larger from episode to episode in the first season. The American first season actually ''toned this down''. By the way, she's underage. Though the dub did make reference to it in a late first season episode when, as the girls were expressing relief that [[BreakingTheFourthWall a possible cancellation of the series]] had been averted, Mimi commented that she was enjoying her new curves. To a lesser extent, Sayuki also gets noticably bigger as the series progresses.
* CardCarryingVillain: Pardoning the pun, Kokujo is a self proclaimed "Evil Genius".
* CardGames
* {{Catchphrase}}: Anything about "owning the zone", as well as a number of overused traditional Japanese phrases.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: Mimi demonstrates on several occasions that she is quite proficient in martial arts and far stronger than she looks.
* CombinedEnergyAttack: In the American-only second season, the five creatures Shobu recovers are invoked by his friends to defeat the PLOOP.
* CulturalTranslation: The GagDub, as well as the North American-only second season. Eventually, later card game expansions started using flavor text based on said GagDub.
* CrossOver: The Duel Masters movie (''Curse of the Death Phoenix'') saw a release in tandem with the MegaManNTWarrior movie (''The Program of Light and Darkness'') ([[NoExportForYou only in Japan]]). In ''Program'', Netto and company are at an expo, where they catch Shoubu summoning the Bolmeteus Steel Dragon; in ''Curse'' the same crew are in the tournament stadium, cheering him on more directly. While in the movies themselves only contained brief snippets of the other's footage, both Shobu and Netto (as Rockman R) worked together in the opening cinema. Also, MegaManBattleNetwork 5 saw a set of Giga Chips with the powers of the Eternal Phoenix (just named "Phoenix" in game) and the Death Phoenix, whereas [=Forte.EXE=] got a pair of cards in the [[http://duelmasters.wikia.com/wiki/Forte,_Brave_Fear_Lord DM game]]. (Same card, different artwork, technically).
** Here, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ojmRCBvwOY educate yerself]].
* DeadpanSnarker: Knight and Kokujo.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Every protagonist except Sayuki and Mimi. Rekuta's been defeated enough times to be Shobu's best friend.
** Averted hilariously by Kokujo in episode 20
* {{Defictionalization}}: The card game.
** In Kintaro's introduction episode in the dub, a reference is made to a "www.noveltyflyingcapes.com", which sells, well, novelty flying capes. During the shows run, there was actually a page at that address, featuring a picture of Hakuoh with his cape, and information on where to get the capes--for 50% off, you can tell them Fritz the Bitter Goblin sent you. Unfortunately, the page is long gone. An [[http://web.archive.org/web/20050202062203/http://noveltyflyingcapes.com/ archived version]] still exists, but all that's visible is the aforementioned information.
* DidYouDie: In a flashback, Shobu loses a [[strike:Kaijudo]] duel, and possibly dies. In the dub, the person listening to his story wonders if he might be a zombie.
-->'''Shobu''': What do you want me to do? Not eat a brain?
* DisappearedDad: Shori Kirifuda. It turns out [[spoiler:he's the guardian of the Fire Civilization]].
* DoorRoulette: A sequence with Mimi walking through the temple became this type of scene in the dub.
* EvilTwin: Subverted and lampshaded; both twins are evil, and both try to convince Shobu that the other is their evil twin.
* FigureItOutYourself: Lampshaded by Knight in the dub. "That'll keep him guessing."
* FollowTheLeader
* GagDub: It's hard to tell sometimes, as it does try to tell a story, but still.
* GamingAndSportsAnimeAndManga
* GratuitousJapanese: The dub keeps some actual Japanese phrases in the script, presumably because they sounds cool.
* HeroicBSOD: After [[spoiler:Dr. Root defeats Shobu]]).
* HotBloodedSideburns: Mikuni, later renamed Johnny Coolburns in the dub's third season.
* HumongousMecha: Used by Benny.
* IAmNotWeasel: In the dub, Fritz the bitter goblin is not a squirrel.
* IconicItem: No matter how many times Shobu changes his deck, he is always associated with the Bolshack Dragon.
* InNameOnly: The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT7nl1jXIdY trailer for the new American show]] seems to reveal that it will have nothing to do with the card game, as there are no cards, and summoning is done with gloves.
* KeepCirculatingTheTapes
* KnightOfCerebus: Kokujou and Hakuou.
* LightheartedRematch: After Shobu defeats Hakuoh.
* LittlestCancerPatient: Parodied ([[GagDub like everything else]]); Benny uses this as an excuse to trick Shobu into forfeiting.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: Mimi is a Hakuoh fangirl.
* LuckyTranslation: The English dub had Benny claim that Mimi was his little sister, completely unaware that they would actually show his sister (possibly unrelated in the original) in a (fake) flashback. As chance would have it, Benny's sister looked exactly like a young Mimi. WordOfGod from a post on the Toon Zone Forums.
** The shades-wearing pajama-clad baby is named Jouji in Japan. This was easy to translate to George for the dub, and plenty of Boy George references quickly followed.
* MeaningfulName: Shobu (勝負) means "challenge" or "game"; Kirifuda (切り札) means "trump card".
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Shobu often draws his big final card with a "flaming hand up in the air".
* MusicalEpisode: Dub-specific. Kokujo is nonplussed.
* MusicalSpoiler: The dub is the source of the page quote.
* TheMusicMeister: Remarkably for a Japanese work (where {{Musical Episode}}s are uncommon in the first place), ''Duel Masters Victory V3'' has an episode about a wannabe singer whose magical companion causes others to break out into spontaneous shouts, and eventually, singing and dancing. The main characters even sing the jingles during the eyecatches.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Mimi.
* TheOneWith: Where Shobu duels Hakuoh, specifically.
* OurDragonsAreDifferent: And since Shobu specializes in the Fire civilization, we get to see most of them.
* ParentalAbandonment: Again, parodied in the dub:
--> '''Mimi:''' We have parents?
** Despite the heavy use of DisappearedDad, Shobu's mom and Rekuta's dad are regular characters.
* ThePowerOfFriendship
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: In the dub, Fritz's choice of karaoke. Lampshaded in a few episodes, including one instance where he couldn't get the rights to a song he wanted to do.
* RapunzelHair: Oddly enough, it's ''guys'' who seem to have this. Both Hakuoh and Kokujo let their hair grow ''crazy'' long.
* TheRival: Redeemed rival Hakuoh, dark rival Kokujo, and wannabe rival Jamira.
* SeriousBusiness: Especially once the PLOOP organization gets involved in the American season.
* ShoutOut: Even in a GagDub, no one expected ''Greg The Bunny'' to cameo. ''Ever''.
* SoLastSeason: Shobu is a chronic deck changer. Also lampshaded in the dub when an antagonist mocks Mimi's new voice.
* TakeThat: From the dub: "That show with that Egyptian guy is so lame!"
* ToBeAMaster
* ATwinkleInTheSky: A running gag with Rekuta. Plastic Cow's [[GagDub localization]] also takes this to some illogical conclusions.
* WhiteHairBlackHeart: During his tenure as the temple champion in the first season, Hakuoh sports bluish-white hair and a very sour attitude. Once he undergoes a HeelFaceTurn, his hair shifts to blond.
* WildTake: Babylike George actually has to change his diaper after every surprising twist. Several dub seasons edited this character quirk out.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Hakuoh.
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