Yu-Gi-Oh! (manga)

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Manga Series

Authored by

Kazuki Takahashi


Flag of Japan Shueisha

Serialized in
Original run

September 30, 1996 – March 8, 2004

No. of volumes

Yu-Gi-Oh! is a manga series about games by Kazuki Takahashi, which the entire Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise originated from.

It was serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump from September 30, 1996 to March 8, 2004. 343 chapters were published. These were reprinted in 38 volumes in the tankoban and 22 in the bunkoban.

The story was initially episodic, with a few exceptions. It focused on the adventures of Yugi Mutou, who would unknowingly become possessed by Dark Yugi and defeat bullies and evildoers in dangerous Shadow Games. The story later focuses more on the card game Duel Monsters as a plot device in two tournament arcs and stories spanning over many more chapters. In the final arc, Dark Yugi relives his past life as a Pharaoh through a role-playing game, the Shadow RPG.

The English version is subdivided into three series; Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist and Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World. A number of minor changes are made, but significantly less than in other English adaptions of Yu-Gi-Oh! media.


In the tankoban, the following are credited as main characters. The "Count" column indicates the number of volumes where they were classed as a main character. The first volume of the tankoban does not contain a main characters section.

Name Count
Yugi Mutou 37
Dark Yugi 37
Katsuya Jonouchi 37
Hiroto Honda 37
Anzu Mazaki 37
Seto Kaiba 19
Sugoroku Mutou 19
Ishizu Ishtar 14
Marik Ishtar and Dark Marik 13
Ryo Bakura and Dark Bakura 12
Maximillion J. Pegasus 8
Akhenaden 6
Mai Kujaku 6
Seto 6
Bakura, King of Thieves 5
Isis 5
Kalim 5
Mahado 5
Shada 5
Bobasa 4
Shadi 3
Siamun Muran 3
Mokuba Kaiba 2
Zorc Necrophades 2
Ryuji Otogi 2



The hall monitor Ushio learns that Yugi Mutou is being bullied by Katsuya Jonouchi and Hiroto Honda. Despite Yugi's wishes, Ushio proceeds to beat them up and demands bodyguard fees from Yugi. While under the pressure of what to do, Yugi solves the Millennium Puzzle, causing him to share his body with the spirit Dark Yugi, initially without Yugi's knowledge. When Yugi and his friends, Jonouchi, Honda and Anzu Mazaki are faced with bullies and evildoers, Dark Yugi will often take control and challenge the offenders to Shadow Games he sets up with nearby objects.

Notable opponents Dark Yugi faces, include Shadi, Seto Kaiba and Dark Bakura. Shadi, the owner of the Millennium Key and Scales, sets up the Trial of the Mind Shadow Game, endangering Yugi's friends, to test if Yugi is worthy of the Millennium Puzzle. Seto Kaiba sets up the Death-T theme park to try and kill to Yugis in vengeance for an earlier defeat. It is during Death-T, that Yugi becomes fully aware of Dark Yugi's existence. Dark Bakura possess the body of Yugi's friend Ryo Bakura through the Millennium Ring and faces Dark Yugi in a tabletop role-playing game, Monster World, where the souls of Yugi and his friends are trapped in the characters Dark Yugi uses.

Duelist Kingdom

Maximillion J. Pegasus, the creator of Duel Monsters and owner of the Millennium Eye, forces the Yugis to participate in his Duelist Kingdom tournament, by trapping the soul of Sugoroku Mutou in a videotape. Yugi splits his Star Chip entry items with Jonouchi, allowing him to participate too to win the prize money to save his sister, Shizuka Kawai, from going blind. Their friends Anzu, Honda and Bakura accompany them too.

In the preliminary stages of the tournament, Dark Yugi and Jonouchi face a number of high-ranking players, dishonest players and the Player Killers, hired by Pegasus. Despite being a beginner, Jonouchi pulls through with support from his friends and coaching from Dark Yugi. They befriend Mai Kujaku, who is initially perceived as their enemy.

Seto Kaiba comes to the Duelist Kingdom island to rescue his brother, Mokuba, who was kidnapped by Pegasus, as part of a plan to takeover KaibaCorp. Pegasus forces Kaiba to Duel Dark Yugi. Kaiba endangers his life, causing Yugi to throw the Duel before Dark Yugi does harm. Pegasus then defeats Kaiba and traps his soul in a "Soul Prison" card.

Mai, Yugi, Jonouchi and Keith Howard become the four finalists. Dark Yugi defeats Mai and Jonouchi defeats Keith in the semi finals. Dark Yugi, Jonouchi and Pegasus all consider a final Duel between Dark Yugi and Jonouchi to be unnecessary, so Pegasus and Dark Yugi immediately begin their Duel. Yugi comes up with the Mind Shuffle strategy, allowing him and Dark Yugi to defeat Pegasus.

Keeping his word, Pegasus freed the souls he had trapped and gave Dark Yugi the prize money, which he gave to Jonouchi. Pegasus and Croquet explained how Pegasus had come into possession of the Millennium Eye and how the tournament had been an attempt for Pegasus to reunite with his deceased lover Cyndia. Before leaving the island, Pegasus is murdered by Dark Bakura, who steals his Millennium Eye.

Dungeon Dice Monsters

Ryuji Otogi, the creator of Dungeon Dice Monsters transfers to Yugi's school, Domino High. His father, Mr. Clown, had previously lost a game to Yugi's grandfather, Sugoroku. In revenge, he forces Yugi into a game of Dungeon Dice Monsters with Ryuji, with ownership of the Millennium Puzzle on the line. Without help from Dark Yugi, Yugi manages to win with some encouragement from Dark Bakura. Following the game, Yugi reconstructs the Millennium Puzzle inside the burning building, in fear of losing Dark Yugi.

Battle City

When Kaiba hears of the three legendary God Cards, Kaiba believes that with the three cards in his deck, he will be able to defeat Yugi. In order to obtain the God Cards, Kaiba hosts a tournament to take place in the streets of Domino, with the rule that each person that enters the tournament must ante up a card for the winners of the duels to keep. Meanwhile, Yugi hears of the three God Cards and how they are tied to an ancient Egyptian legend - one that involves the nameless Pharaoh. At the same time, Marik Ishtar, guardian of the Pharaoh's Tomb and wielder of the Millennium Rod, which has the power to control people's minds, wishes to torture and kill Dark Yugi for revenge and to free his family from serving the Nameless Pharaoh. During the tournament, Jonouchi wants to be a true Duelist, and defeated several opponents, making him qualify for the finals, and Yugi Dueling several of Marik's men, the Rare Hunters, including a possessed Rare Hunter, and gained gained "Slifer the Sky Dragon", one of the God Cards, through defeating him, and qualified for the finals later on, before having to face a brainwashed Jonouchi in a deadly Duel, but were saved later on.

Battle City Finals

As Marik's evil grows, the quarterfinals for Battle City starts, with the participants being Yugi Mutou, Katsuya Jonouchi, Seto Kaiba, Dark Bakura, with the intentions of taking "Slifer the Sky Dragon" from Yugi Mutou, so Marik can give him the Millennium Rod, Marik Ishtar, under the guise of Namu, Rishid, posing as Marik, Mai Kujaku, and Ishizu Ishtar, Marik's sister, who has the intentions of saving Marik. Dark Bakura and Dark Yugi Dueled Dark Bakura and defeated him, and Jonouchi Dueled and defeated Rishid. However, he revealed his identity as a servant of Marik, and exposed the true Marik, and fell unconscious. Due to this, Marik's alter ego, Dark Marik emerged. Dark Marik then defeated Mai, and Kaiba defeated Ishizu. However, Marik redeemed himself and turned to Dark Bakura for help against Dark Marik, only for both of them to be defeated. After the quarterfinal rounds, the four finalists, Yugi, Jonouchi, Kaiba, and Dark Marik arrive at Alcatraz. Jonouchi Dueled Marik, and got defeated, and Yugi defeated Kaiba. Then, for the final, with the good Marik's help, Dark Yugi defeated and killed Dark Marik.

Pharaoh's Memory

Ceremonial Battle


English edition

The manga's first English print was in the Shonen Jump magazine. This published chapters 1 to 59, the entire story before Duelist Kingdom. A while later, it published chapters 279 to 343, the Pharaoh's Memory arc, labeling it Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World and resetting the numbering to 1. The entire series was released in tankōbon format as Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist and Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World.

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! contains volumes 1 to 7, chapters 1 to 59.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist contains volumes 8 to 31, chapters 60 to 278, but renumbers them as volumes 1 to 24 and chapters 1 to 219.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World contains volumes 32 to 38, chapters 279 to 343, but renumbers them as volumes 1 to 7 and chapters 1 to 65.

Unlike most English adaptions of Yu-Gi-Oh! media, the English version uses the Japanese names for the majority of human characters and features significantly less censoring.

Some changes that are made include:

  • A few names are changed; some to suit the English card game or English anime and some due to censorship.
    • The name Magic & Wizards is changed to Duel Monsters in the tankōbon, despite being called Magic & Wizards when it was printed in Shonen Jump.
  • Some cards have their real life Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game effect printed on them, rather than a translation of their Japanese manga effect.
  • Mokuba Kaiba sometimes calls his brother Seto Kaiba, by his surname.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist tankōbon features a "Master of the Cards" section at the end of most volumes. This includes a cross-referencing of English and Japanese names for cards appearing in the volume. It also mentions the first page that the card appears on and states if the card does not exist in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game. This section, does however contain a few errors.
  • A scene where Jonouchi sticks his middle finger up at Keith is edited to show Jonouchi holding up his fist.
  • Profanity is lessened or removed (including sparse instances of Keith using English profanity in the original Japanese version).


The Japanese series has been reprinted in bunkoban format. Each volume contains more chapters, hence condensing it into 22 volumes. Each volume contains an afterword by Kazuki Takahashi, a Yu-Gi-Oh! character version of a Tarot card from the Major Arcana and an explanation of the included Tarot cards.

Some dialogue is cleaned up and made less contradictory. Some scenes are edited, including changing early Egyptian flashbacks to visually match the later Pharaoh's Memory arc and altering Zorc Necrophades' dragon head to wrap around his body instead of point out suggestively.


Name Role
Kazuki Takahashi Story and art
Elizabeth Kawasaki Managing editor
Noboru Watanabe Director of production
Alvin Lu Vice president of publishing
Yumi Hoashi Vice president, Vice president of strategic development and editor in chief
Rika Inouye Senior director of licensing and acquisitions
Liza Coppola Vice president of sales and marketing
Joe Morici Vice president of sales
Hyoe Narita Publisher, executive vice president, editor in chief
Seiji Horibuchi Publisher
Anita Sengupta Translation and English adaption
Joe Yamazaki Translation and English adaption
Kelle Han Touch-up art and lettering
Izumi Evers Initial cover design
Sean Lee Final cover design, graphics and layout
Jason Thompson Senior editor
Sue Michenwicz UK cover adaptation

Volume listings

Chapter listings

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