TV Tokyo, BS Japan
April 11, 2011 — March 23, 2014
|No. of episodes|
Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL (pronounced zay-al [IPA: zeɪal] in Japanese, pronounced zek-sul in English) is a Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga series and the successor to the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's series. It was followed by Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V on April 6, 2014.
The anime first aired on April 11, 2011 in popular evening slots in Japan on TV Tokyo. It introduces the Xyz Summon mechanic and Xyz Monsters. It also starts the use of the Series 7 card layout replacing the Series 3 layout used in later episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh!, and the majority of episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's.
Starting with the show's fourth arc, the show was advertised under the name Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL II (pronounced zay-al [IPA: zeɪal] sekando in Japanese, pronounced zek-sul second in English), but both NAS and TV Tokyo classify it as the same show, with the episode numbers continuing from where it was left off instead of returning to the start.
The first season of the English dubbed version premiered on October 15, 2011 on the CW4KIDS Toonzai. The second season was brought to CW4KIDS's second Cartoon Block, Vortexx. Official English subtitled episodes can be found on Hulu, though only available within the United States thus far.
In a city in the near future, Heartland City, kids and adults enjoy Augmented Reality Duels. Augmented Reality Duels are Duels that use Duel Gazers and D-Pads, which when the two are used together, whether on the ground or in the sky, cause monsters to erupt from buildings and fight each other. The hero is Yuma Tsukumo. At a beginner level, he's a champion at absolutely losing. Due to a chain of events, Yuma ends up challenging the number one delinquent at his school, Reginald. His destiny is changed by a bizarre door he's seen in his dreams. When Yuma unlocks this sealed door, countless lights fly from it and escape. And when Yuma comes to, he sees the mysterious entity, Astral, who came from a parallel universe, standing before him.
In order to regain Astral's lost memories, the flying lights from the door that have turned into the 99 "Numbers" cards, these two must work together. A series of mysterious and powerful rivals begin to appear before Yuma and Astral including a young boy named Kite Tenjo, revenge-seeking Vetrix and the maniacal Dr. Faker.Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL II takes place after the first season. The curtain falls on the World Duel Carnival, peace has finally returned to Heartland City. But now, emissaries from the Barian World, hostile to the Astral World, are aiming to steal the "Numbers" and Astral for themselves. In order to protect him, Yuma, Kite and Shark join together to combat the Barian menace, as they ultimately become involved in the Interdimensional War of two worlds.
These characters appear in both the anime and manga
- Yuma Tsukumo
- Tori Meadows
- Reginald Kastle
- Kite Tenjo
- Orbital 7
- Hart Tenjo
- Bronk Stone
- Caswell Francis
- Cathy Katherine
- Flip Turner
- Kari Tsukumo
- Haru Tsukumo
- Mr. Heartland
- Dr. Faker
- Kazuma Tsukumo
The Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL manga is written by Shin Yoshida, illustrated by Naoto Miyashi and published by Shueisha. Unlike Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, the Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL manga was released before the anime and follows the same story as the anime up until Rank 009.
Yu-Gi-Oh! D Team ZEXAL is a spin-off of the series made by Akihiro Tomonaga with the cooperation of Wedge Holdings. This spin-off is non-canon to the anime and manga series, and focuses on humor.
Just like in the anime and manga, the series is set in the near future. However, it has no relation to them. Here, Yuma already knows Astral since the beginning, and forms a Dueling Team with Kotori, Tetsuo and Takashi.
Japanese opening theme 1: Masterpiece
- Performer: Mihimaru GT
- Episodes: 001-025, 146
Japanese ending theme 1: My Quest
- Performer: Golden Bomber
- Episodes: 001-025
Japanese opening theme 2: BRAVING!
- Performer: KANAN
- Episodes: 026-049
Japanese ending theme 2: Longing Freesia
- Performer: DaizyStripper
- Episodes: 026-049
Japanese opening theme 3: Soul Drive
- Performer: Color Bottle
- Episodes: 050-073
Japanese ending theme 3: Wild Child
- Performer: moumoon
- Episodes: 050-073
Japanese opening theme 4: Unbreakable Heart
- Performer: Takatori Hideaki
- Episodes: 074-098
Japanese ending theme 4: Artist
- Performer: Vistlip
- Episodes: 074-098
Japanese opening theme 5: Dual-ism of Mirrors
- Performer: Petite Milady
- Episodes: 099-123
Japanese ending theme 5: GO WAY GO WAY
- Performer: FoZZtone
- Episodes: 099-123
Japanese opening theme 6: Wonder Wings
- Performer: DIAMOND✡YUKAI
- Episodes: 124-145
Japanese ending theme 6: Challenge the GAME
- Performer: REDMAN
- Episodes: 124-145
English theme: Take a Chance
English theme 2: Halfway to Forever
An encore screening of Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D Bonds Beyond Time on February 20, 2011 in Japan contained details on the production of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. The second 2011 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump included details of the screening a competition on how one hundred and ten readers can win passes to see it.
4Kids confirmed that an English-language dub would premiere on October 15th 2011 at 9:30 AM.
Differences in adaptations
- Some names are Americanized.
- The names on the Duelist's picture are removed.
- The Win Sound Effect is changed in the English Dub.
- Skirts and socks on female characters are lengthened to avoid any sexual implications.
- Astral's lower body is blurred out to avoid references to nudity.
- The backs of the cards have been edited to become the standard backing seen in the other series, with an exception in the first 8 episodes, when they re-aired, the backings are changed. In episode 26 and onward, the backing of the cards changed to how they appear in the World Duel Carnival arc, just like the Japanese version.
- The scenes depicting Numbers users aging from "Photon Hand" is cut. Although this isn't the case when Kite takes Reginald Kastle's soul.
- When an Overlay Unit is used, the sound effect has been replaced with a new one.
- The Life Point sound effect is replaced with a different one than the original.
The following staff are credited.
|Original character draft||Kazuki Takahashi, Studio Dice (Weekly Shōnen Jump)|
|Planning|| Yukio Kawasaki (TV Tokyo)|
|Series composition||Shin Yoshida|
|Duel composition||Masahiro Hikokubo|
|Character design||Hirotoshi Takaya|
|Monster design||Seiji Handa|
|Mecha accessory design||Mitsuru Owa|
|Art director||Takashi Nakamura|
|Color scheme||Ayami Minowa|
|CG producer||Futoshi Nagara|
|CG direction||Tomita Kazunori|
|Photography director||Kendi Akazawa|
|Sound director||Hiroaki Matsuoka|
|Sound production cooperation||Jinnan Studio|
|Music Production||Marvelous Entertainment|
|Music collaboration||TV Tokyo Music|
|Casting cooperation||Ai Ninuma (Neruke Planning)|
|Anime producer||Furuya Daisuke|
|Anime production||Studio Gallop|
|Production||TV Tokyo / NAS|
Allusions to previous Yu-Gi-Oh! series
There are a lot of allusions to various other Yu-Gi-Oh! series within several episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. Despite this, there are no actual plot points in ZEXAL relating to the other three shows, which differs from them (as the other three shows had clear points of continuity and direct references with each other).
- Episode 15 features a Deck of Statue monsters that are based on monsters from the original series, like "Dark Magician" and "Blue-Eyes White Dragon".
- Astral and Yuma's relationship shares many similarities with Pharaoh Atem and Yugi Muto's relationship, with the Emperor's Key taking the place of the Millenium Puzzle.
- Don Thousand, the God of the Barian World, was defeated by Astral thousands of years ago and sealed away, much like Zorc Necrophades was sealed away thousands of years ago by Atem.
- The Millenium Puzzle, much like the Emperor's Key, was also purloined or taken away from the main protagonist on several occasions.
- Kite Tenjo's will to protect his younger brother Hart is similar to Seto Kaiba's desire to protect his brother Mokuba.
- Kite Tenjo signature card, "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon", has a lot of similarities with Seto Kaiba's signature card, "Blue-Eyes White Dragon". They have same name structure, both cards are Dragon-Type, LIGHT Attribute monsters with 3000 ATK and 2500 DEF and both cards have, in addition, an Extra Deck monster upgraded counterpart: a three-headed version with 4500 ATK (the "Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon" and "Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon"). Both also have similar attack names ("Burst Stream of Destruction" for "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" and "Photon Stream of Destruction" for "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon"). Additionally, they both have a ritual monster that can be used to summon them (Both have been used in the series at a certain point): "Knight of Photon Dragon" for "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon" and "Paladin of White Dragon" for "Blue-Eyes White Dragon".
- Shark has a lot in common with Joey Wheeler, wherein both bully their respective series' protagonists, Yuma and Yugi, early on in the series, but then later become good friends.
- Rio Kastle has had bandages on her eyes, similar to Serenity Wheeler.
- Flip Turner shares many personality traits with Weevil Underwood. Also, both cheat when they Duel by messing with their opponent's Decks beforehand.
- "Gagaga Magician" and "Gagaga Girl" are similar in appearance to "Dark Magician" and "Dark Magician Girl", respectively.
- Number 96: Dark Mist shares a similar role to that of Yami Bakura, an evil entity that dwells within an artifact which is important to the plot. Also Number 96: Dark Mist is a part of Don Thousand just like Yami Bakura is a part of Zorc Necrophades.
- The World Duel Carnival shares a lot in common with the tournaments of the Yu-Gi-Oh! second series anime.
- It is the first tournament in Yu-Gi-Oh! anime history since Battle City to require participants to collect what are essentially pieces of a puzzle (in the WDC, Heart Pieces; in Battle City, Locator Cards, which contain pieces of a map) in order to enter the final round.
- Furthermore, during the second round of the World Duel Carnival finals, each Duel is held on a different field with its own unique characteristics, similar to the KC Grand Championship, and somewhat antithetical to Duelist Kingdom, where the finals were held in the castle on a normal field and the remaining Duels were on special fields.
- Yuma and Kite's tag duel against Trey and Quattro is similar to Yugi and Kaiba's tag duel against Lumis and Umbra.
- Mr. Heartland's group of Number Hunters is similar the Rare Hunters who appeared during the Battle City arc.
- "Rank-Up-Magic Barian's Force" is similar to "The Seal of Orichalcos" by how the the logo on the cards appear on the foreheads of the people who use it, make monsters stronger by dark magic, used by the main antagonists and appear in season 4 of their respective eras.
- Vector using an alternative name to gain the trust of Yuma and his friends is similar to how Marik Ishtar used "Namu" to deceive Yugi Muto and his friends and how Yami Bakura used Ryo Bakura as a masquerade to hide his true goals.
- Astral being controlled by the power of Chaos is similar to how Yami Yugi was corrupted by darkness when he played the "The Seal of Orichalcos".
- The way Vetrix used Hart as a shield against Kite is similar to the way Noah used Mokuba as a shield against Kaiba.
- The way Astral took the hit from Dark Mist for Yuma and later Eliphas sacrificing himself to destroy Numeron Network is similar to how Yugi pushed Yami out of the way when Yami's soul was going to be taken by "The Seal of Orichalcos."
- Don Thousand orchestrating the death of the Seven Barian Emperors for his sake is somewhat similar to how Dartz manipulated some events just to recruit Raphael, Valon and Alister.
- Yuma using Number 54 to free Alito from Don Thousand, Alito using Number 64 to free Girag from Don Thousand, and Kite using Number 46 to restore Mizar's true memories is a lot like how Yugi used "Red Eyes Black Dragon" to free Joey from Marik.
- Eliphas sacrificing himself to save Astral from the Numeron Network is similar to Shadi sacrificing himself to save the Pharaoh from Zorc Necrophades.
- Before Dumon was absorbed by Barian World, he used "Saint Shield" card to boost "Number C103", having trust in Marin. This was a similar scene when Kaiba activated "Wish of Final Effort" to boost Yami Yugi's Life Points before his soul was taken to the "Seal of Orichalcos".
- Thief King Bakura sacrificing himself to summon Zorc is similar to Vector releasing Don Thousand.
- The Final Duel between Astral and Yuma has many similarities with the Final Duel between Yugi Muto & Pharaoh Atem.
- Both of the protagonists, Yuma Tsukumo and Jaden Yuki have energetic, cheerful and easy-going personalities but become very furious and serious when their friends are put in danger.
- Both characters also sport red attire and are known to not do so well in school.
- Astral and Kite's rivalry, at least prior to the WDC, is similar to Jaden's rivalry with Zane Truesdale, in that the protagonist loses the first Duel (almost loses, in Astral's case, as the Duel is interrupted) and ties the second Duel.
- In episode 1, Yuma was rushing for being late for school at the start of the series is similar to Jaden rushing to the entrance exam, due to being late for it.
- In episode 17, Fortuno kidnaps some of Yuma's friends; they are then put atop a pillar where Fortuno casts an illusion that they are standing atop lava; this is very akin to when Jaden first dueled Nightshroud in a volcano by which beforehand, Nightshroud abducted two of Jaden’s friends, Syrus Truesdale and Chumley Huffington, whom are subsequently plunked in a protective globe in the vicinity around actual lava.
- Yuma and his friends going to the Barian World to save Ray and later Yuma going to the Astral World to save Astral is similar to how Jaden and his friends go to the Duel Monsters Spirit World to save Jesse Anderson.
- Yuma and Shark's Duel in episodes 61 and 62 has many things in common with Jaden's Duel with Chazz in GX episodes 87 and 88. Both Jaden and Yuma Dueled Chazz and Shark, respectively to snap them out of brainwashing and succeeded. Also both Chazz and Shark used a card that made their life points drop to zero so that Jaden and Yuma could win.
- How Girag brainwashed multiple students and sent them to attack Yuma in episode 85 is similar how the Yubel-possessed Marcel transformed most students of Duel Academy into Duel Ghouls.
- The way that Dr. Faker making an agreement with Vector for the sake of healing his son, Hart Tenjo is very similar to Professor Viper desperately helping Yubel who promised to raise his son, Pierce from the dead.
- Dumon giving power to Vetrix for getting revenge on Dr. Faker is similar to Yubel giving the power of "Exodia" to Adrian while trapped in the alternate dimension.
- The Seven Barian Emperors trying to obtain the Legendary Numbers is somewhat similar to the Shadow Riders trying to obtain the Spirit Keys.
- Astral being corrupted by Number 96 is similar to how Jaden was corrupted by Yubel, turning him into the Supreme King.
- In episode 76, a boy is seen in the background that resembles Chazz Princeton.
- How Quattro and other people before him being absorbed into the Barian World is similar to how a Duelist who lost a Duel in the Dimension World was "sent to the stars" (killed in the original version).
- Yuma getting the Duel Sanctuary deck and combining it with his own is a lot like how Zane took the "Underworld deck" and combined it with his.
- Both Yuma and Jaden, at the end of the series, had been through so many duels where lives and worlds were at stake that they stopped enjoying dueling at the end of their respective series.
- They both reacquired their love for dueling during the final duel of their respective series.
- In addition, both protagonist's respective fathers are lost in a different way (Dr. Fudo died after the Zero Reverse incident and Kazuma Tsukumo was trapped in Astral World).
- When Kite is Dueling, after his outfit changes color, he bears a striking resemblance to Jack Atlas.
- The first stage of the Duel Coaster and Girag sending many brainwashed students to get Yuma and Shark's numbers is similar to the Battle Royal that Primo conducted in 106.
- Mr. Heartland's group of Number Hunters is similar the Dueling Assassins who were sent by Yliaster.
- Yuma, Kite and Shark Duel Dr. Faker in similar conditions to Yusei Fudo, Jack Atlas and Crow Hogan's Duel with Rex Goodwin.
- Rio Kastle and Luna share common traits with each other; they both have older twin brothers and they have connections to two different worlds: the Barian World and the Duel Monsters Spirit World.
- Ray Shadows is similar to Vizor
- The main antagonists of the second season of ZEXAL are the Seven Barian Emperors, similar to the antagonists of the second arc of 5Ds being the seven Dark Signers.
- Both groups' members undergo a death and resurrection to become said antagonists.
- The way the Heartland City citizens were sacrificed to the Barian World for Don Thousand's ambitions is similar to how residents of Satellite, New Domino City and Grieger's village were sacrificed to summon the "Earthbound Immortals"
- Their Number 10X cards are similar to the "Earthbound Immortals"
- The Fortune Cup is held to gather the Signers, in a similar way that the World Duel Carnival is held to gather the "Numbers".
- Don Thousand's duel against Mizar is similar to Z-one's duel against Aporia.
- Nash's appearing along with the spirits of his fallen comrades when using the effects of the Over Hundred Chaos Numbers is a bit similar with Z-one's duel with Yusei where the latter would recite the summoning chant for each Signer Dragon along with its correspondent owner.
- Also how Nash used each of the Chaos Over-Hundred Numbers to play CXyz Dystopic Barian is similar to how Yusei used his friend's Signer Dragons to play Shooting Quasar Dragon.
- How Number 96: Dark Mist stole Yuma's Number 69: Heraldry Crest and Number 92: Heart-eartH Dragon from his Extra Deck and ranked up them into their respective "Number C" form with Chaos Field is similar to how Paradox stole cards throughout time and corrupting them into "Malefic" monsters.
- tv-tokyo.co.jp Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL official site
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 tv-tokyo.co.jp Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL staff, cast and music information
- ↑ tv-tokyo.co.jp onair
- ↑ animenewsnetwork.com News: Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Anime, Manga Revealed
- ↑ NAS "Works Time List". Nihon Ad Systems. http://www.nasinc.co.jp/jp/index.php?action=USER.WORKS.TIME.LIST&master_id=112&mm_category NAS.
- ↑ "Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL episode listing". TV Tokyo. http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/yugioh-zexal/episodes/episodes7/index.html.
- ↑ V Jump scan.
- ↑ "遊☆戯☆王 ＺＥＸＡＬ ＳＯＵＮＤ ＤＵＥＬ Ⅰ" (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/626RKXycK. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- ↑ animenewsnetwork.com New Yu-Gi-Oh! Series to Be Announced in February
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Episode 13: "The Number Hunter, Part 1"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Episode 41: "Losing Hart"