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Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL logo

Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL遊☆戯☆王 ZEXAL(ゼアル)Yūgiō Zearu

Anime series
Directed by

Satoshi Kuwabara


Studio Gallop[1]


Flag of Japan TV Tokyo, BS Japan[2]

Original run

April 11, 2011[3]

No. of episodes

66 as of July 30, 2012

Manga Series

Authored by

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, set in the near future as the successor to the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's series.

The anime first aired on April 11, 2011 in popular evening slots in Japan on TV Tokyo.[4] 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.

The English dubbed version premiered on October 15, 2011 on the CW4KIDS Toonzai. Official English subtitled episodes can be found on Hulu, though only available within the United States thus far.


See: Category:Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL characters


Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL logo

Japanese series logo.

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.

4Kids English Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL intro screen

Dubbed version title screen.

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, slowly unraveling the mystery of the "Numbers" and of Yuma's family.


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.

The series is set in the near future. Something unexpected happens as Reginald Kastle challenges Yuma Tsukumo to a Duel. When the mysterious entity Astral appears before them a new legend begins.[5]


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 Tori, Bronk and Caswell.


Japanese opening theme 1: Masterpiece

  • Performer: Mihimaru GT
  • Episodes: 001-025

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-

Japanese ending theme 3: Wild Child

  • Performer: moumoon
  • Episodes: 050-

English theme: Take a Chance

The first official soundtrack CD, Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Sound Duel 1, was released by Marvelous Entertainment on September 28, 2011.[6]




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.[7]

4Kids confirmed that an English-language dub would premiere on October 15th at 9:30 AM.

Differences in adaptations

  • Some names are Americanized.
  • The names on the Duelist's picture are removed.
  • Skirts are lengthened.
  • Astral's lower body appears to be blurred.
  • While closer to the original than most English adaptations of Yu-Gi-Oh!, dialogue is altered to include more jokes.
  • 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 reaired, the backings are changed.
  • The scenes depicting Numbers users aging from "Photon Hand" is cut.
  • Screams heard from the Astral World when it's being attacked are removed.
  • When an overlay unit is used, the sound effect is replaced with a new one.
  • The Life Points sound effects is replaced with a different one than the original.


The following staff are credited.[1]

Original character draft Kazuki Takahashi, Studio Dice (Weekly Shōnen Jump)
Planning Yukio Kawasaki (TV Tokyo)
Masanori Miyake
Director Satoshi Kuwabara
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
Editor Kajino Masafumi
Sound director Hiroaki Matsuoka
Sound production cooperation Jinnan Studio
Music Conisch
Yutaka Minobe
Yasufumi Fukuda
Music Production Marvelous Entertainment
Music collaboration TV Tokyo Music
Casting cooperation Ai Ninuma (Neruke Planning)
Anime producer Furuya Daisuke
Producer Ryo Sasaki
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. Most of these allusions have to do with characters or monsters, but there are some aspects of gameplay that bear allusions as well. Although Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's allude to previous series as well, there are more allusions in ZEXAL than in either series, though this is to be expected.


Yu-Gi-Oh! GX

  • Anna Kozuki, first seen in episode 29, bears a slight resemblance to Jaden Yuki.
  • Shark's personality early on in the series is similar to that of Chazz Princeton.
    • Shark and Chazz have both donned blue attire at some point in their respective series.
    • Also, both Shark and Chazz are seen Dueling professionally and being banned from their respective leagues for breaking the rules.
  • 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.
  • Both GX and ZEXAL include schools as an important setting.
  • Yuma by the same token as Jaden, is a "slacker" in school. They also both sport red attire (Jaden's Slifer Red trenchcoat and Yuma's red jacket as well as red hair highlights.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's


External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL staff, cast and music information
  2. onair
  3. Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL
  4. News: Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Anime, Manga Revealed
  5. V Jump scan.
  6. "遊☆戯☆王 Zexal Sound Duel 1" (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  7. New Yu-Gi-Oh! Series to Be Announced in February
  8. Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL episode 13: "The Number Hunter, Part 1"
  9. Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL episode 41: "Losing Hart"
Facts about "Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL"RDF feed
Series nameYu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL +

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