Yu Gi Oh! has been a popular media franchise since its origin in 1996. The Japanese franchise encompasses a manga comic, televised series and trading card game.
Yu Gi Oh! is one of the world’s top-grossing media franchises, estimated to be worth $19.8 billion.
With enthusiasts travelling far and wide to compete in and spectate the big event, it’s worth taking a look at what Yu Gi Oh! is all about. Read on to learn all about the craze and how it took the world by storm.
In 1996, Yu Gi Oh! was first introduced as a Japanese manga series in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine. The story followed the life of a boy named Yugi Matou who solves the ancient Millennium Puzzle.
In the plot, a gambling alter-ego is awakened inside of the character.
As a result, the manga is all about gaming.
The writer, Kazuki Takahashi, reported always being interested in games both as a child and adult. Takahashi was inspired to write a manga that was different, where the ‘battles’ between characters were not physical combat but games, where an introverted gamer could be a hero too.
In Japanese, 遊戯王 (yugiō), which is stylized 遊☆戯☆王, means ‘king of games.’
Yu Gi Oh! Anime
In 1998 the manga became a 27 episode long anime series directed by Hiroyuki Kakudo and written by Toshiki Inoue. The series was produced by Toei Animation.
Yet another adaptation of Takahashi’s now very popular Yu Gi Oh! story was animated by Studio Gallop in 2000. The show, which was titled Yu Gi Oh! Duel Monsters, ran for 4 years until 2004. In this adaptation the main game played was the Duel Monsters card game.
Yu Gi Oh! Duel Monsters produced 224 episodes and spawned many spin-off series. Meanwhile, 4 animated films were produced.
Yu Gi Oh! Trading Card Game
After the huge popularity of the manga comic and anime television show, the Yu Gi Oh! Trading Card Game appeared in 1999. The card game was developed and published by Konami and was based on the fictional ‘Duel Monsters’ game which recurred throughout Takahashi’s plot.
In 2009 the Guinness Book of World Records named the Yu Gi Oh! Trading Card Game the top selling trading card game in the world. By this point it had sold a whopping 22 billion cards worldwide.
It is a complex game, with its basic aim being to defeat your opponent by summoning monsters and reducing their life points to zero. For full rules visit the Yu Gi Oh! website.
Most people just play the game casually with friends, but there are many conventions and highly-competitive events to attend all around the world if you are a real fanatic!
European Championship 2019
This June, the Yu Gi Oh European championships took place in Utrecht, The Netherlands. This event was a two-day tournament in which the best players from countries across the whole of Europe competed to qualify for the world championship later this summer.
This year’s European Championship was reported to have been the biggest one on record, with 1,900 players attending the event.
The contest involved 11 rounds of Swiss and 6 more knock-out rounds. In the end an all-French final was held between Gabriel Soussi and Samir Bachar, with Gabriel taking home the title of European Champion.
While one winner was crowned, the runner-up and two semi-finalists were qualified to attend the world championship in August. After Samir Bachar, this included Herman Hansson from Sweden and Jake Quinsee from the United Kingdom.
World Championship 2019
The Yu Gi Oh! World Championship was held in Berlin, Germany on the 11th and 12th of August. Duelists from all around the globe competed for the title of King of Games, however, the event was invitational. In order to receive an official invitation, the players must usually have won a National tournament in their respective country.
The world championship thus brings together the best of the best from around the world.
It is a highly-competitive event which crowns a winner in three different categories: the Trading Card Game Main Event (won by Japanese Kouki Kousaka), the Duel Links competition (won by Japanese Shuhei Kobayashi) and the Dragon Duel competition for children (won by Taiwan’s Shang En Sun).
Winners receive special one-of-a-kind cards which collectors would pay a lot of money for.
Overall, Yu Gi Oh! is one of the world’s top-grossing media franchises, estimated to be worth $19.8 billion. Despite the fact it was established decades ago, Yu Gi Oh! is still very popular, with so many people around the world collecting the cards and competing with them in both casual games and tense tournaments.
Plus, with the creation of a new online Yu Gi Oh! computer game recently, it looks like things aren’t stopping any time soon for the well-loved Japanese franchise!
Hey, I’m Miranda! I’m the Men’s Health writer for iTHINK. I just graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in English Literature. In my spare time I love reading, writing and visiting new places.
Image respects to - yugioh.com, WorthPoint, Teen Underground Blog, yugioh-card.com, konami.com