Anime / Yu-Gi-Oh! (first anime series)

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Toei's version of the King of Games and his True Companions!

The first Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series (also misleadingly known as Season 0) was a 27-episode adaptation of the first seven volumes of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, produced by Toei Animation. It loosely covers the story of Yugi completing the Millennium Puzzle up to the Monster World RPG arc of the manga. However, it skips many chapters of the manga in favor of original scenarios and features a one-shot character from the manga, Miho Nosaka, as a main character. Many chapters were reworked to fit the length of an entire episode, and a number of the original games were either imported or replaced. It also borrows plot elements that aren't introduced until Duelist Kingdom, such as the early introduction of Shizuka, Jonouchi's sister. Because of its lack of success, this adaptation was cancelled before it got to Duelist Kingdom. It was replaced by the second anime series, which was made by Studio Gallop and dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment.

Because the second series was done by a different studio and re-imagined some of the manga chapters that this anime also covered, Toei's Yu-Gi-Oh! is considered an alternate adaptation of the manga rather than a prequel to the second-series anime. It's also for this reason that this series was never dubbed along with the second series anime, as it's a completely different license.

Some of this series' manga-to-anime alterations were carried over by Studio Gallop when producing the second series anime, such as calling the "Magic & Wizards" card game "Duel Monsters" and having Yami Yugi grow taller when he transforms. This series' incarnation of Seto Kaiba inspired the Big Bad from an arc of the second anime, Noah Kaiba, whose outfit was inspired by Kaiba's Death-T outfit from the manga and had green hair, a Shout-Out to this Kaiba's neon green hair.

It spawned a 30-minute movie, a few video games and a card game by Bandai, which would later be replaced as well by Konami's card game.


"Come... it's trope time!"

  • Abandoned Warehouse: The setting for confrontations with the yo-yo gang, Warashibe, and Kujirada.
  • Abusive Parents: Jonouchi's alcoholic father is implied to beat him.
  • Aborted Arc: Because this adaptation was canceled before it got to Duelist Kingdom, among other things we never see Toei's version of Kaiba put together the last pieces of his shattered heart and become nicer.
  • Adapted Out: Several manga characters, such as Hanasaki, Sozoji, and Yugi's mother, don't appear in this anime, nor do their respective stories.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Kaiba is depicted with bright green hair and gold eyes, in contrast to his dark brown hair and blue eyes in the manga. It's subverted in the movie where he has brown hair and light blue eyes, which is closer to his usual appearance.
    • The school uniforms for the girls are orange instead of pink, with green bows and skirts instead of blue.
    • Bakura's hair is blue and he has green eyes (purple when Dark Bakura takes over), as opposed to his white hair and blue or purple eyes in the manga.
    • Shadi's eyes are amber as opposed to the dull blue in the manga.
    • Yugi's purple eye color changes to red whenever he's taken over by Dark Yugi. While the colored manga covers and pages aren't consistent with their eye colors, Yugi and Dark Yugi's eyes stayed the same regardless.
    • Shizuka/Serenity's hair color was brown or blonde in the manga. In the anime, she has lavender hair.
    • Averted with the Blue-Eyes White Dragon as it is true to its description (being white with blue eyes) whereas the second anime gave it a blueish tint most of the time.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Some of the battles from the manga get stretched out to fill a thirty minute time slot.
    • The tenth episode with Ms. Chono. In the manga her story takes place entirely in the classroom and solely involves her solving the puzzle Honda left for Miho. In the anime, the puzzle aspect leads to Anzu formally protesting Chono's extreme rules and starts a petition, which Chono then sabotages by using some older students to steal it for her. The shadow game aspect turns into Dark Yugi challenging her to a jigsaw puzzle contest involving mirrors and blindfolds.
    • Seto Kaiba also makes more appearances than he does in the manga with an ongoing subplot to defeat Yugi through his Game Masters; it's only when they all fail that he decides to build Death-T and fight Yugi himself.
    • The rules of "Duel Monsters" have been expanded, resembling those used in the Duelist Kingdom arc of the manga.
  • Adaptation Induced Plothole:
    • Instead of bullying Yugi like his manga/second series counterpart, Honda was trying to help Yugi get his puzzle box back. For some reason, Ushio beats him up along with Jonouchi.
    • In the manga, Yami Yugi's first duel with Kaiba ends with the latter losing and being subjected to the Experience of Death Penalty Game. In the anime, it was a draw, and Kaiba didn't get a Penalty Game, making it a mystery how he came up with the idea for Death-T (in the manga Yugi inspired him to recreate it as a form of revenge).
    • Nothing of what Gozaburo put Kaiba through from the manga is shown aside from 'losing equals death' being the former's catchphrase, and he's even shown having fun as a child after being adopted. The only conclusion is that Kaiba changed on his own rather than from suffering abuse.
  • Adaptation Name Change: While not the focus of the show, the card game is referred to as "Duel Monsters" rather than its early manga title of "Magic and Wizards".
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • In the manga Honda was a tough guy who was Vitriolic Best Buds with Jonouchi, while here he's a dorky hall monitor with a hopeless crush on Miho.
    • In the manga Miho was a shy, quiet librarian, while here she's an extroverted, shallow girly girl.
    • Kaiba's butler Daimon was a sadistic torturer in the original manga, but here he is a kind yet loyal Parental Substitute for Kaiba as well as the final Game Master.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Mokuba got all the high scores in every arcade game, while Seto did in the manga.
    • In the manga Jonouchi and Honda defeat the Death-T shooters, while in the anime they wound them both and lose because of Miho panicking.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance:
    • Ryou Bakura appears before Monster World, where he was introduced in the manga.
    • In the manga, Shizuka didn't appear until Duelist Kingdom, which this anime never got around to. Here, she appears in episode 16 where she's in the care of a negligent doctor.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Mokuba is more tame in comparison to his manga counterpart. He doesn't poison Joey or duel Yugi in Capsule Monsters with the threat to cut his fingers off beforehand, and carries no grudge against Yugi or his friends.
    • In the water park chapter of the manga, Anzu pretends to be in danger all day to no avail, hears about the bomber's warning, and goes on the Ferris wheel deliberately to make Yami Yugi come out. In the anime she pretends to be in danger to no avail, goes to the Ferris wheel before the warning's put out to sulk over not seeing Yami Yugi, and is targeted by happenstance.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the manga, Imori was a devious student who sought to usurp the power of Yugi's puzzle using the Soul Jar but in the anime, Imori is portrayed as a victim who has been corrupted by the Dragon Block. In the manga, his soul ends up being taken by the jar as punishment effectively killing him, whereas here the Dragon Block only absorbs his dark side thus bringing him back to normal.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • In the manga Ms. Chono was only interested in humiliation, but in the Toei series she's a sadistic control freak willing to go to extreme lengths to break Anzu's spirit just for questioning her authority.
    • In the manga, Kujirada's mean behavior was a result of him being hounded by his virtual pet. In the anime, he becomes a bully after Haiyama pays him to take orders, enjoying the idea of Bribing Your Way to Victory.
    • In the manga, Mr. Karita threatened to cut Bakura's hair. In the anime, he teases him about his friends from other schools going into comas and warns Yugi and his friends away from him.
    • Seto Kaiba here is even worse than his manga counterpart. After tying a game with Yugi and not suffering a Penalty Game, he sends his Game Masters to kill or defeat Yugi and goes on to build Death-T for the purpose of killing Yugi and his friends. The flashbacks in episode 20 of him as a child further this, as nothing of what Gozaburo put him through from the manga is shown. While Daimon's tutelage in games could be taken as Kaiba going to the logical extreme to surpass everybody, it implies that Kaiba changed on his own rather than from suffering abuse.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Honda went from a tough guy in the manga to a rules-posturing student council member.
    • In the manga, Jonouchi did very well in fights and was instrumental in winning Death-T. In this anime, he was the only one injured during Death-T 1 and Miho saved the day, was beaten up by Kaiba's guards, Ryuichi Fuwa, the model Aileen Rao, and the Kageyama Sisters, and rolled a 99 in Monster World out of fear that he'd be turned into a figurine.
    • Yugi is worse at gaming than in the manga, only beating Miho in Duel Monsters in episode 8, losing to a puppet of the school nurse and being mocked for his lack of strategy, and even Dark Yugi saying the one move he played in his duel with Ridley Sheldon was dumb. He's also on the losing end of a duel against the Kageyama Sisters in episode 15, though there he was sick and separated from the Puzzle. He also loses to Daimon in episode 20, and though the consequences aren't as drastic he's chided for playing too straightforwardly.
    • In the manga's Monster World arc, to stop the spiked ceiling trap Yami Yugi's last roll was 33, the correct number. In the Toei anime he rolls 66 on his last turn when the correct number was 99, which would have ended with everyone dead if Miho's fairy merchant powers hadn't changed it to the right number.
  • Admiring the Abomination: During Kaiba's first duel with Dark Yugi, the latter turns the match into a Shadow Game where the monsters appear to be real and the losing cards are completely destroyed. Rather than be intimidated like most of Yugi's foes, Kaiba instead becomes more excited than ever stating it's "the ultimate game" he'd been searching for.
  • Adult Fear: Episode 11 has Miho deal with a creepy stalker who wants to imprison her inside a giant Capmon capsule. Miho is about 15 and her stalker is at least 18.
  • Agent Scully: In the fortune-telling episode, Yugi's skepticism from the manga at Kokurano's predictions is given to Anzu, but eventually she gives in after thinking she can meet the other Yugi.
  • Alpha Bitch: Kaoruko Himekoji is a spoiled beauty who tries to sabotage Anzu and Miho in a popularity contest by sabotaging Anzu's acts, destroying Miho's clothes. When that doesn't work she drugs Miho, tears up her clothing, and leaves her unconscious in an alley.
  • Animation Bump:
    • Shadi's episodes boast some of the best animation in the series, particularly when he calls Shadow Games.
    • The movie boasts even better quality than the main series, especially when Yugi and Kaiba duel.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Shotaro Akaboshi the watch collector.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: Death-T is a theme park solely designed to kill Yugi and his friends.
  • Artifact Title:
    • The cards have "MW" on the back standing for "Magic and Wizards," the manga title of the game, even though the card game is consistently named "Duel Monsters" throughout the show.
    • Averted with the show title of "Yu-Gi-Oh," meaning "King of Games," as Dark Yugi is shown to be very skilled at a wide variety of games besides Duel Monsters.
  • Ascended Extra: Miho Nosaka was only used in one chapter in the manga as a love interest to Honda, and she promptly shot him down when he asked to be her boyfriend. She was used more in the anime to help fill out the girl quota, though at best she's a Satellite Character.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Dark Yugi can become this if you make him mad enough.
    • Dark Bakura is also this, especially when he starts losing.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening animation shows Yugi playing the Dark Magician against Kaiba but he never actually uses it in this series (with the exception of The Movie).
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Daimon's immense loyalty to Kaiba stems from the fact that Kaiba was nice to him as a child. Even though he does not like what Kaiba has become, he continues to serve him in the hopes that he will some day make a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Kokurano, a Phony Psychic, starts to believe he does have powers when having them would be the only way to win a Shadow Game.
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Ryou Bakura is a very sweet, shy, quiet, polite guy with a Superpowered Evil Side that he's only vaguely aware exists.
    • Yugi is kind, trusting, and shy, until his psychotic side wakes up.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: This plot point is used a lot, even in manga-adapted episodes where it didn't happen originally.
    • Kaiba pretends to befriend Yugi and has Yugi's grandfather's Blue Eyes White Dragon switched with a copy. When Yugi figures this out and calls out Kaiba on the switch, Kaiba loses the facade and whacks Yugi in the face with a briefcase.
    • Haiyama acts timid and easily scared, but it's revealed he's an even worse bully than Kujirada and uses a whip to punish him.
    • Ryuichi Fuwa acts personable around Yugi and his friends and uses his luck for their benefit initially, but he turns out to be a superstitious, cocky jerk who only cares about himself and winning.
    • Risa Kageyama pretends to befriend Yugi in order to get her hands on the rare Violet Hecate card he had.
    • Aileen Rao befriends Yugi and Anzu and invites them to her apartment, where she hypnotizes Anzu and threatens her with a tiger to force Yugi to play a game with her.
  • Bowdlerise: Many of the death-related Penalty Games from the manga were turned into illusions, and several storylines were made less violent and disturbing. The most notable altered storyline is Death-T, which replaces the guillotine trap with a huge robot and excises the rest of level 2 completely. Kaiba's butler dying from electrocution is also removed, as was Honda's breast-grabbing perverted baby nephew.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Aileen Rao is Canadian-Indian but she speaks perfect Japanese with no Gratuitous English.
  • The Cameo: Dinosaur Ryuzaki makes a brief cameo in the movie as one of the duelists Kaiba defeats.
  • Canon Foreigner: Three of Kaiba's "Game Masters" were created exclusively for this version of the anime, including Ridley Sheldon, Aileen Rao and Ryuichi Fuwa. Many other characters are also Toei-exclusive, such as Risa Kageyama, the school nurse, and Kaoruko Himekoji.
  • Catch-Phrase: Dark Yugi usually makes his presence known by stating "It's game time." And when he punishes the loser of a Shadow Game he states "The door of darkness has been opened."
  • Character Exaggeration: Since the anime was made before early character traits were downplayed, many of the characters' personalities are exaggerated compared to later on in the manga and the second-series anime.
    • Jonouchi is much more focused on manly things and being a real man, which in the manga was only in early chapters.
    • Yugi's childishness is more overt, especially when it comes to games, leading to annoyance from Anzu at times.
    • Anzu in this series is a full-on Type B Tsundere. While Anzu in the manga could have quite a temper, it was never so frequent.
  • Cherry Tapping: Dark Yugi tends to win his Shadow Games this way, even making a hole in one with a stethoscope against a Jerkass doctor in episode 16.
  • Clark Kenting: Aileen Rao is a world-famous model, but when she comes into the game store wearing sunglasses nobody recognizes her until she takes them off.
  • Clock Punk: The Shadow Game between Yugi and Shotaro Akaboshi, a collector/thief of rare watches, takes place around a huge clock pendulum.
  • Color Wash: Toei's anime has an incredibly supersaturated neon palette.
  • Compelling Voice: Aileen uses a hypnotic suggestion to freeze Anzu solid, and it's revealed that she also hypnotized anyone who lost to her to make them think they lost whatever's important to them.
  • Compressed Adaptation:
    • Only a handful of chapters from the first seven volumes of the manga were animated. In comparison, a lot more chapters from the manga were left out than there were animated, making the anime significantly shorter than the manga even if you don't count Volume 8 onwards.
    • Death-T is shorter than in the manga, particularly level 2, and Yugi and Kaiba's duel at the end is trimmed down slightly.
  • Continuity Nod: Ms. Chono makes a cameo appearance in the episode dealing with Ryuichi. Upon trying to scold him her makeup crumbles away again, a consequence she received from losing a Shadow Game to Yugi in a previous episode.
  • Conspicuous CG: The first series had this a few times, such as in the opening, or in episode 6 with the stairs.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Hirutani blackmails Jonouchi into rejoining his gang by threatening to hurt Jonouchi's friends. For their own safety, Jonouchi acts coldly towards them in the hopes that they would stay away. When Hirutani goes back on his word, Jonouchi decides to settle things using Good Old Fisticuffs.
  • Darker and Edgier: While it's not as dark as the manga, it's darker than the second anime in terms of Dark Yugi's Penalty Games. The virtual pet chapter is also darker than in the manga, with Kujirada's pet's role being taken by Haiyama, who treats other humans as pets and whips them when they disobey.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Kaiba's elderly butler Daimon, who is kept alive through KaibaCorp's advanced technology. He can only leave the "Kaiba Medical Castle" for short periods of time but he finds playing games for Kaiba Worth Living For.
  • Death Trap: Kaiba's sadistic amusement park, Death-T, is a long series of increasingly difficult death traps designed to defeat and kill Yugi.
  • Decomposite Character: The role of Prisoner 777 from the manga is split up between two characters: Tetsuo Sasaki and Jiro the Jorogumo.
  • Decoy Protagonist: In the movie, while Yugi duels Kaiba again, most of the focus and character development is given to Shougo Aoyama, an original character.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • The Dark Magician only appears in the opening, in episode 3 as a card Kaiba steals but doesn't use, and briefly in the 30-minute movie.
    • In the movie, aside from Jonouchi none of Yugi's friends have a big role or do much of anything.
  • Designated Victim: Many villains will either beat Yugi up or put Anzu or Miho in danger, which brings out Dark Yugi.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Kaiba and Yugi's first duel is changed into a draw, so neither side wins and he doesn't get a penalty game. Kaiba becomes so furious at the duel ending in a draw that he sends his Game Masters to kill/defeat Yugi and his friends, stalks Yugi to see if anyone else is trying to beat him in a duel first, and builds Death-T for the purpose of killing Yugi and his friends.
    • In the movie, Shougo is too scared to go to Kaiba's tournament and Yugi also refuses, so Kaiba's goons beat them up and steal the Red-Eyes card and Puzzle.
    • Shotaro Akaboshi beats a guy unconscious just for bumping into him while stating that if his watches had gotten damaged the man would be dead.
  • The Ditz: Miho is very spacey most of the time and usually is the last to realize things are dangerous.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • The Blue-Eyes White Dragon is called the Blue-Eyes Dragon in its first appearance, and Dark Yugi's eyes are purple and red in his first appearance when afterward they're usually just red.
    • This series uses the manga's early explanation of how the Puzzle was found by a team of British archaeologists who all died mysteriously before passing the Puzzle to Yugi's grandpa, rather than Yugi's grandpa himself conquering a series of Shadow Games to find the Puzzle.
  • Electronic Music: Unlike the orchestrated tracks of the second adaptation, this anime used synthesized tracks for background music.
  • Evasive Fight-Thread Episode: Yugi and Kaiba's first duel is reworked into a draw, so neither side wins.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Yami Yugi isn't evil, but he's not a pure hero either. He does put his foot down when something doesn't sit right with him.
    • Yami Yugi may have rigged his mind so that Shadi wouldn't find his true room, but he wasn't about to let the man die.
    • When Mokuba is put through Kaiba's penalty game, Yami Yugi pulls him out before the illusions take full effect on his fragile mind.
  • Evil Counterpart: Aileen Rao is one to Anzu and Dark Yugi. Like Anzu, she's a dancer and achieved her dream of being an idol, and like Yugi, she prefers reading her opponents and psyching them out over luck-based games.
  • Exact Words:
    • During his Shadow Game with Kaoruko, Dark Yugi states whomever draws the last rose in her possession would lose the game. Just when Kaoruko thinks she has won with only one flower left in her bouquet, Dark Yugi plucks the rose embedded in her hair, as he never explicitly stated they could only draw from the bouquet.
    • When Jonouchi confronts "Mr Impostor Dragon" the latter challenges him to a fight atop a steel pipe across a river where whoever falls first loses. When he realizes Jonouchi is stronger than he thought, he pulls out a pair of nunchaku stating he never forbade the use of weapons. As such Jonouchi defeats the guy using his soda can as an Improvised Weapon.
  • Excited Title! Two-Part Episode Name!: "Desperate Situation! Passionate Battle for Friendship" and its ilk are very common. The format varies, but titles usually follow the Excited Exclamation! More Calm Description of Events format.
  • Game of Nim: Dark Yugi challenges Kaoruko to one, using flowers as matchsticks.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Subverted when Miho talks about collecting Capsule Monsters, but Yugi's Grandpa says that Capsule Monsters is not a collection game, but the epitome of a fighting game. Dark Yugi later echoes this in delivering a Penalty Game to the obsessive collector Warashibe.
  • Graceful Loser: Aileen Rao accepts defeat well, releasing Anzu as promised.
  • Gratuitous English: "Unguard Magic" (the Toei equivalent of "Stop Defense") is the only card written in English.
  • Hard Light: Kaiba's Solid Vision is truly solid here, as it can form solid boxes around opponents that vanish in an instant, project realistic monsters with attacks that damage the surroundings, and also create battle suits.
  • Healing Factor: Played with. When Yugi transforms to Dark Yugi any injuries he received disappear, but when he transforms back the injuries are still there, and anything Dark Yugi suffers also remains.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Aileen seems to turn good after Yugi defeats her, but come Death-T she's working for Kaiba again and is even worse than before.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Yugi can't even go to the arcade with his friends for a good time without being beaten up by some random asshole who rages over the fact he lost a video game, and blames innocent bystander Yugi for the loss.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Jonouchi plays a live-action fighting game during Death-T using battle suits. Since the controls are like an arcade fighting game, Miho is able to execute a special attack from her experience with games.
  • Ill Girl: Shizuka, but rather than going blind she has a generic illness.
  • Innocuously Important Episode: While episode 19's main plot is unrelated to the overarching story, Ryou Bakura appears, causing Yugi to wonder about himself and his other self, and Mokuba cameos at the end to signal preparation for the Death-T arc.
  • In-Series Nickname: Dark Yugi is usually referred to as "Other Yugi".
  • Killer Game Master: Dark Bakura. Tabletop Role Playing Games are supposed to be adventurous, not scary.
  • King of Games: This is the title Yugi has for his mastery of gaming.
  • Left Hanging:
    • The anime ends after the Monster World arc and never got around to doing any other chapters, so among other things, Kaiba never wakes from his coma and we never see other Millennium Item users besides Yugi, Shadi, and Bakura.
    • Individual episodes tend to end this way due to a rushed climax, such as the Kageyama sisters never getting punished since the episode ends right after Kaiba defeats them or Yami Yugi just leaving after explaining the Mind Crush to Mokuba.
  • Leitmotif: Dark Yugi has one to signify his arrival. It is also the only music track featured in both the series and the movie.
  • Lighter and Softer: It's noticeably toned down compared to the manga. Any death-related Penalty Games that occurred in the manga are changed to hallucinating or being knocked out, and there's little blood.
  • The Man Behind the Man: In the virtual pet episode, it's revealed that the timid Haiyama that Yugi befriended before was controlling the larger Kujirada. What's worse is that he was treating him like a pet.
  • Manchild:
    • Warashibe does not handle setbacks well, and even throws a tantrum when Yugi is unsure about helping him. He's also scared of the dark. To drive it home, his name means "child."
    • While not as bad as Warashibe, Shotaro's fairly immature and asks for a do-over during his Shadow Game. He doesn't take losing a second time well.
  • Mind Rape: Most of the manga's death Penalty Games were replaced with illusions.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Hirutani and his gang's weaponry revolves exclusively around yo-yos.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The kung-fu champion was named Dragon One in the anime, and Kaiba's butler was named Daimon.
  • New Rules as the Plot Demands: In regards to Duel Monsters. Many cards and their effects were made for the anime, including a doll-themed dueling field, the Hecate Sisters and Gorgon, and the Evil Chains card from the movie.
  • Non-Serial Movie: Toei made a 30 minute movie after the cancellation of the anime. It features the same voice actors that appeared in this series and features the same songs, but the character designs are more accurate to the manga. The plot is contradictory to the Toei anime as well. Bakura and Mokuba aren't present, Kaiba only seems to remember Yugi tying him when he lost to him at Death-T and got Mind Crushed, Yugi and Kaiba use the first version of the Duel Disks, etc. It could take place before this anime's equivalent of Duelist Kingdom that never aired, because Jonouchi doesn't recognize the Red-Eyes Black Dragon (but is aware of Dark Yugi's presence) and Saruwatari is still working for Kaiba.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: While Daimon lies unconscious in a hospital bed, a doctor remarks to Yugi how Daimon should technically have died years ago yet somehow he still manages to cling on to life with his artificial organs. Daimon wakes up and indifferently admits "So I'm a zombie then?"
  • Offscreen Inertia: Since the show was canceled before making it to Duelist Kingdom, if you don't count the 30-minute movie Seto Kaiba has been in a coma since 1998.
  • Oh, Crap!: The default reaction to Dark Yugi's Shadow Game victims. Dark Bakura has an Oh, Crap! moment when he realizes the real Bakura regained control of his left hand.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Kaiba stalks Yugi for an entire episode because he suspects someone else is trying to defeat him in a duel and refers to his rival as bound by the red string of fate.
  • Ordered to Cheat: Kaiba secretly gives Daimon the ability to see his opponents card hand during his duel with Yugi but Daimon refuses to use it stating he would rather beat Yugi fair and square.
  • Plot Hole: In episode 13, Anzu notices that Yugi has the same cut on his hand as her rescuer does, but from the angle Yami Yugi was carrying her it should have been impossible for her to see it.
  • Potty Emergency: In episode four, after waiting in line all morning for a rare watch, Honda asks Yugi to fill in for him because he needs to pee.
  • The Power of Friendship: A recurring theme of the anime. As Yugi explains to Shadi "True strength does not come from oneself but from believing in one's friends."
  • The Punishment: Dark Yugi subjects those who lose or cheat during a Shadow Game to a fitting punishment.
  • The Real Remington Steele: In episode 8, Count Sheldon impersonates the school nurse using a life-size puppet. In episode 11, the nurse appears for real when treating Yugi's friends.
  • Reality Warper: A major difference between this and the manga/second series anime is that the Puzzle seems to give Dark Yugi reality-warping powers. In contrast to the manga where Dark Yugi challenges Ushio to a knife game on the spot, Dark Yugi in this anime transports Ushio to a tower, tied to a rope which appears out of nowhere. Dark Yugi also seems to make the playing cards stay in place on the wall. And in the "watch thief" episode, he transports the watch to a dimension of clock gears and in general can conjure up anything needed for his Shadow Games.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Dark Yugi has red eyes in this series, and this is played straight for anyone who harms Yugi.
  • Safety in Indifference: In the movie, Shougo is terrible at card games so when he obtains the rare "Red Eyes Black Dragon" he prefers to just brag about it because he's scared he will lose even if he does use it in a duel.
  • Satellite Character: Miho doesn't get a lot to do in manga-adapted arcs, usually only doing things in original episodes. When she does do things it's usually at the expense of someone else who did what she does in the manga events.
  • Schmuck Bait: During the Monster World game, Yugi and friends find a painfully obvious trap inside a tower. When Dark Yugi realizes it's a trap he tells them to get out... and finds they're already inside the tower.
  • Shadow Archetype: Imori represents how Yugi would have turned out had he not made any friends and used the dark powers of the puzzle for his own gain.
  • Shout-Out: The Kageyama sisters and the Hecate cards they are attempting to gather are a rather blatant reference to Macbeth.
  • Smug Smiler: This incarnation of Seto Kaiba is seen smiling quite often, even compared to his manga self.
  • Snap Back: Aileen Rao, despite parting on good terms with Yugi and admitting he is a better gamer than Kaiba, returns to battle Jonouchi in the Death-T finale expecting Yugi to lose.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Most of the characters in the anime are spared from their particularly nasty demises, especially Prisoner 777 who was burned alive in the manga and was given a Mind Rape Penalty Game in the anime.
    • Gozaburo Kaiba is alive in the present day, though it's implied he dies via heart attack when Kaiba cements control over KaibaCorp in episode 20.
  • Stalker With a Crush: Warashibe is this for Miho. His obsession with Capumon and her merge and he becomes a Yandere, determined to claim her by any means necessary.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Kaiba is so determined to beat Yugi that he follows him around town, waiting to jump him.
  • Straw Hypocrite: Kaiba in regards to the Kageyama sisters. Kaiba criticizes the sisters for obtaining rare cards "by any means necessary" which includes deception or flat out stealing. Yet at the same time, Kaiba employs the exact same approach to obtaining rare cards as shown in his debut episode.
  • Third-Person Person: Miho often refers to herself in third person.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Due to Miho being upgraded to a main character from her one-off status in the manga, she and Anzu are the main female characters.
  • Villainous Rescue: In episode 15, Yugi has had the Puzzle stolen so he can't transform, has a cold, and is on the losing end of a duel with three witch sisters. Kaiba intervenes and defeats them so that he can beat Yugi later down the road.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Yugi can't even walk down the street eating ice cream without getting threatened. He gets beaten up almost Once an Episode.
  • Widget Series: Even by Yu-Gi-Oh standards this series can get bizarre at times, including episodes about an English count who collects dolls, can change his voice, and can control life-size puppets, a trio of witch sisters who play Duel Monsters and wield whips, and a supermodel with hypnotic powers and a pet tiger.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Jonouchi is generally a tough fighter, so antagonists—usually in anime-original episodes—will beat him up to show how dangerous they are.
    • Yugi loses or almost loses duels more often in this anime, with Dark Yugi (and Kaiba in one instance) defeating his opponent later.

Alternative Title(s): Yu Gi Oh Season 0, Yu Gi Oh 1998

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Anime/YuGiOhFirstAnimeSeries