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The 1990s saw a high volume of Weekly Shonen Jump manga adapted into anime series. Most, if not all, had a large amount of success. If there’s one franchise that stands out, though, it’s definitely Kazuki Takahashi’s Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. Celebrating more than twenty years, the franchise is still going strong with no end in sight. But, just how much Yu-Gi-Oh! anime exists?

We’re here to help you out.

This guide is split into seven sections, one for each of the main TV series. Related movies, TV specials, OVAs (original video animations), and miscellaneous properties will follow their respective TV series in the order in which they were made. This isn’t necessarily the best viewing order.

[This guide contains minor spoilers about the setting of each show.]


Yu-Gi-Oh!

Yu-Gi-Oh!
TV Series, 1998
27 Episodes

Produced by Toei Animation, this is the first Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series. Yugi Muto is a high school boy who loves games and puzzles. One day he completes the mystical Ancient Egyptian puzzle called the Millennium Puzzle, which releases Yugi’s alter ego Dark Yugi. To protect himself and his friend from bad people, Dark Yugi challenges them to the mysterious Shadow Games. The loser of these Games suffers a harsh penalty.

Yu-Gi-Oh! is unavailable outside of Japan.

Yu-Gi-Oh!
Movie, 1999

The first Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise movie, Yu-Gi-Oh! was released during the “’99 Toei Haru Anime Fair.” A young boy named Shougo Aoyama has found a rare and powerful card from the popular card game Magic & Wizards called the “Red Eyes Black Dragon.” Unhappy with Shougo’s find, Yugi’s classmate Seto Kaiba plans a Magic & Wizards tournament and “invites” both Yugi and Shougo.

Yu-Gi-Oh! is unavailable outside of Japan.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters

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Yu-Gi-Oh!
TV Series, 2000 – 2004
224 Episodes

Yu-Gi-Oh!, known in Japan as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, completely ignores the 1998 series and was produced by Nihon Ad Systems. The name of the card game featured in Yu-Gi-Oh! was changed from “Magic & Wizards” to “Duel Monsters “and has remained this way for every following series.

Yugi Muto and his alter ego Dark Yugi are avid players of children’s card game Duel Monsters. Over the course of the series Yugi, his friends, and rivals (Téa Gardner, Joey Wheeler, Tristan Taylor, Bakura, and Seto Kaiba) are invited to numerous Duel Monsters tournaments, including the Duelist Kingdom held by Maximillion Pegasus and Battle City held by Kaiba. As Yugi and Dark Yugi Duel their way through the tournaments they discover the secrets of Dark Yugi’s past.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters is streaming on 4Kids Entertainment, Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Netflix.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Battle City
TV Special, 2002

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Battle City is a 30-minute TV special that aired between the 88th and 89th episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! in Japan. The special highlights the major events of the Battle City tournament before the finals.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Battle City is unavailable outside of Japan.


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Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light
Movie, 2004

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light is a United States produced Yu-Gi-Oh! movie. After the Battle City Duel Monsters tournament, Kaiba seeks to defeat Dark Yugi once and for all. Kaiba challenges Dark Yugi to a Duel at the KaibaCorp Duel Dome. But, dark forces are out interrupt their Duel.

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light is available on DVD.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters
TV Series, 2006

Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters is a 12 episode American produced series. Yugi, Téa, Joey, Tristan, and Yugi’s grandfather, Solomon Muto, are sent to a world where the creatures from the Duel Monsters card game are real. Now, the five must use the creatures’ power to return to their own world.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters is available on DVD.

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions
Movie, 2016

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions is the fourth Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise movie and celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. One year after the events of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Kaiba is looking to challenge Dark Yugi to a Duel Monsters Duel once again. However, a boy named Diva soon interrupts Kaiba’s plans as he has his own nefarious schemes for Dark Yugi.

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions is available on Amazon Anime Strike.


Yu-Gi-Oh! GX

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Yu-Gi-Oh! GX
TV Series, 2004 – 2008
180 Episodes

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, known as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX in Japan, takes place ten years after the events of previous Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series. Jaden Yuki enters the Duel Academy—a school made by Seto Kaiba to train young Duelists in Duel Monsters. Over the course of his academic career at the Academy, Jaden faces many threats including the Shadow Riders, the Society of Light, and the most terrifying menace, what he’ll do after he graduates.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX is streaming on 4Kids Entertainment, Crunchyroll, and Hulu.


Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s

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Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s
TV Series, 2008 – 2011
154 Episodes

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s takes place in New Domino City and follows the young man Yusei Fudo. Jack Atlas, Yusie’s friend, steals Yusei’s prized Duel Monster card “Stardust Dragon.” Determined to get his card back, Yusei goes to New Domino City and challenges Jack to a “Turbo Duel“—a new form of Dueling that requires a motorcycle called “Duel Runners.” But, Yusei and Jack are soon pulled into a battle against the evil Dark Signers and must save the world from their evil plans.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s is streaming on 4Kids Entertainment and Crunchyroll.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Shinka Suru Ketto! Stardust VS. Red Demons
Event Special, 2008

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Shinka Suru Ketto! Stardust VS. Red Demons is a special episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s shown during the 2008 Jump Festa. The story follows Yusei and Jack as they engage in a Turbo Duel with their star monster cards “Stardust Dragon” and “Red Dragon Archfiend.”

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Shinka Suru Ketto! Stardust VS. Red Demons is unavailable outside of Japan.

10th Anniversary Yu-Gi-Oh!: Chō Yūgō! Toki wo Koeta Kizuna Yokoku Eizō
Event Special, 2009

10th Anniversary Yu-Gi-Oh!: Chō Yūgō! Toki wo Koeta Kizuna Yokoku Eizō is a special compilation episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise shown during the 2009 Jump Festa. It features a digest compilation of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s, and a preview of the movie Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time.

10th Anniversary Yu-Gi-Oh!: Chō Yūgō! Toki wo Koeta Kizuna Yokoku Eizō is unavailable outside of Japan.


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Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time
Movie, 2010

The movie Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise. An evil time traveling being called Paradox steals Duel Monster cards from Yusei Fudo, Jaden Yuki, and Yugi Muto in order to erase the card game Duel Monsters from history. The three protagonists team up to duel Paradox and restore history.

Yu-Gi-Oh!: Bonds Beyond Time is streaming on Amazon Anime Strike.


Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL

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Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL
TV Series, 2011 – 2014
146 Episodes

Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL is the fifth (and technically sixth) entry in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise. The series title changed to Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL II in 2012 in Japan, but was released as one single series outside of Japan.

13-year-old boy Yuma Tsukumo, who lives in Heartland City, wants to become a world-class Duelist. Unfortunately, he has very bad luck and often loses the Duels he in. In order to change his fortunes, Yuma makes a deal with a being from another dimension called Astral. Now, Yuma must help Astral recover all the “Numbers” cards, which also hold the secret to Astral’s past.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL is streaming on 4Kids Entertainment, Crunchyroll, and Hulu.

Mezase Sekai Ichi Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Uchimura Kōhie Senshu mo Deruyo Special
TV Special, 2012

Mezase Sekai Ichi Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Uchimura Kōhie Senshu mo Deruyo Special is an hour long special that documents the 2012 Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game World Championship tournament. In the anime section of the episode, Yuma and his friends try to cheer up their gymnast friend Taiki through a Duel. The episode also features an appearance by the 2012 London Olympics Men’s Gymnastics gold medalist Kōhie Uchimura.

Mezase Sekai Ichi Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Uchimura Kōhie Senshu mo Deruyo Special is unavailable outside of Japan.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V
TV Series, 2014 – 2017
148 Episodes

The young boy named Yuya Sakaki trains to become a professional Duel Monsters Dueltainer (Duelist Entertainer) in Paradise City. As Yuya is practicing he meets three Duelists who look like him: Yuto, Yugo, Yuri. After the four characters meet they are pulled into a dimension jumping adventure where they must defeat the mad Duelist Zarc.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V Mosugu Housou Special
TV Special, 2014

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V Mosugu Housou Special is a Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V special that aired before the series began. It features the Japanese comedy duo Hi-Hi (Kojiro Ueda and Kazunori Iwazaki) and the magician Maggy Shinji as they explore the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Mosugu Housou Special is unavailable outside of Japan.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains
TV Series, 2017 – Present

Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains is the latest iteration of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime franchise. Yusaku Fujiki is a high school boy who is secretly the duelist-hacker Playmaker. But, Yusaku keeps it hidden he’s missing some of his memories. One day when Yusaku in the virtual space called Link Vrains he comes across a strange AI named Ignis. But, a mysterious group called the Knights of Hanoi and the company SOL Technologies want to capture Ignis. Now, Yusaku has to keep Ignis safe while he learns about Ignis and his own past.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Vrains is streaming on Crunchyroll.


Comments (6)
  1. I used to watch everything YGO related but honestly I just gave up after Arc-V. I just became tired of it (even though I really enjoyed Arc-V) Arc-V was a perfect place to end- they all of the Sumoning methods from the previous series and even old characters showed up to help the main cast! But no they just had to keep on going!
    No matter how good VRAINS is, I propably won’t watch it for next couple years

    • ARC-V is a sad place to stop. I personally think it’s shaping up to be much better than Arc-V, but the important thing is the rules on extra deck monsters have changed and Link Summoning completely fixes all the balance issues that the per-series summoning types introduced.

  2. Holy crap! Can you change that plot summary of Arc-V, which is a big spoiler. The same goes for Duel Monsters, GX, and 5D’s. The only one you didn’t spoil was ZeXal since that is revealed in the early episodes. Why didn’t you just use the plot summary from Anime News Network?

    • I have added a spoiler warning to the beginning of the article (which should have been there from the start). Thanks for the heads up.

      However, I believe the level of spoilers in this article is appropriate for an introduction to the various series. Saying the heroes fight “X person” or “Y organization” really means nothing unless you already have already watched the show. People who want to be totally spoiled can click the links in those summaries. People who want to watch the show after reading the summary only know “more bad guys are coming.”

      As for your second question, we didn’t use the Anime News Network summaries for various reasons—a big one being that that’d be plagiarism.

      • Thank you for replying, Richard. Regarding Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters and GX, due to those series being aired in the early 2000’s, it is understandable that one cannot find an official plot summary from Japan so making an original summary makes sense (You can word it a non-spoilery way). DM has narration that explains the story in the beginning of the early episodes. There’s no need to go beyond what is there. The GX summary in the article was fine until it went into the arcs.

        Regarding the series after GX, the same cannot be said. You can find the official plot summary from Japan on 5D’s, ZeXal, Arc-V, and VRAINS easily (if you search on ANN) because they have news articles. That’s what I meant to say the first time.

        Ken went beyond what the official sources advertised as if he really didn’t care if he spoiled each series for newcomers. Example, Look at the link in The Dark Side of Dimensions summary. That name (****) was not advertised by official sources when the movie was coming out. Inside the link, you see the advertised name. You were suppose to LEARN (the point) about the not advertised name when watching. This is some simple common sense that is being ignored. I really believed this page was hacked.

  3. Regarding The Dark Side of Dimensions: The movie is a manga canon sequel (or After story, which Yu-Gi-Oh! creator, Kazuki Takahashi, puts it. Back when the manga ended in 2004, the ending had a lot of meaning so as time passed, he felt he could create this story.) that takes place 6 months after the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga called Yu-Gi-Oh!. The movie has a two chapter manga prequel called Transcend Game.

    What is the reason for me explaining this? The Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime is its own canon and it heavily contradicts the events of the manga (and the movie), which is the source material. Another thing is that 4K Media changed the canon of the movie to be after the English dub. So whatever changes they did in English dub will not make sense if you know the true story as told in the manga.

    If you plan to watch the movie, the order is: Yu-Gi-Oh! manga > Transcend Game > The Dark Side of Dimensions.

    The Yu-Gi-Oh! anime canon is: Duel Monsters > GX > 5D’s. Followed by ZeXal. Then Arc-V. Finally, VRAINS.

    Yu-Gi-Oh! (1998) and its movie are treated as separate canons from Duel Monsters due to different studios and Konami focusing on the card game.

    What not to watch is the American produced series: Pyramid of Light and Capsule Monsters. While Pyramid of Light was released on Japanese TV, it is not canon to Duel Monsters. It is canon to the English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! (It is mentioned in the show).

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