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Story Lines

Unlike the dub, Yu-Gi-Oh! is not so clearly split into seasons in Japan. That said, the opening and ending themes do change about once a year, however often not in sync with the changes in storyline (arcs). So far there have been five seasons in Japan, designated by change in the opening and ending song/sequence, but many more arcs.

Duelist Kingdom

Season: 1
Episodes: 1 – 40
Opening Song/Sequence: voice by CLOUD
Ending Song/Sequence: Genki no SHAWAA by AiM (Ai Maeda)

In this arc, we are first introduced to Yugi and this game called Duel Monsters. It becomes obvious early on that Yugi is no ordinary boy. His Millennium Puzzle houses a spirit that is possibly over thousands of years old. We join them as they fight their way through foes in Duelist Kingdom, both real and fantastical, to rescue the ones they love.

Theme/Mindset: Discovery

Characters Introduced: Mutou Yugi, Yami Yugi, Jounouchi Katsuya, Mazaki Anzu, Honda Hiroto, Kaiba Seto, Kaiba Mokuba, Bakura Ryou, Yami Bakura, Pegasus J. Crawford, Mutou Sugoroku, Kujaku Mai, Other Duelists, Kawai Shizuka, Shadii

Angry Little Rebecca

Season: 1
Episodes: 41 – 42
Opening Song/Sequence: voice by CLOUD
Ending Song/Sequence: Genki no SHAWAA by AiM (Ai Maeda)

One would think that upon returning from an adventure like Duelist Kingdom, one would finally get a break. It doesn’t seem possible for Yugi. When he arrives home at the Game Shop, he finds a little girl sitting on their doorsteps. She has come to demand that Yugi return the Blue Eyes White Dragon her grandfather had given Yugi’s grandfather. Yugi would gladly do so if it wasn’t for the fact that Kaiba had already ripped the card to pieces some time ago. Rebecca is not satisfied and challenges Yugi to a duel. Who would have thought should a bratty child could be such a prodigy?

Theme/Mindset: Affirmation

Characters Introduced: Rebecca Hopkins, Arthur Hopkins

Duel Monsters RPG

Season: 1
Episodes: 43 – 45
Opening Song/Sequence: voice by CLOUD
Ending Song/Sequence: Genki no SHAWAA by AiM (Ai Maeda)

Kaiba is not happy with the bout of back-stabbing that the entire Duelist Kingdom entrailed. He would stop at nothing to rid his company of the Big 5. They, however, will not leave peacefully unless Kaiba can beat a virtual reality game they created, called Duel Monsters Quest. Kaiba takes this task upon himself and sees little to fear. The Big 5 are not willing to play fair though. They immediately lock down the game and trap Kaiba’s mind within the virtual world. With nobody else to turn to, Mokuba seeks Yugi’s help, no matter how mad his brother will be at him later.

Theme/Mindset: Finished Business

Characters Introduced: The Big 5

Dungeon Dice Monsters

Season: 2
Episodes: 46 – 49
Opening Song/Sequence: SHUFFLE by Okui Masami
Ending Song/Sequence: Ano Hi no Gogo by Okui Masami

A new transfer student by the name of Otogi Ryuuji has just arrived at Domino High School. He is instantly becomes popular among the female population of the school. Under that femmy Goth look, he harbors a deep hate for Yugi. He will stop at nothing to humiliate and defeat Yugi through means of a game he created, Dungeon Dice Monsters.

Theme/Mindset: Reaffirmation

Characters Introduced: Otogi Ryuuji

Battle City

Season: 2
Episodes: 50 – 80
Opening Song/Sequence: SHUFFLE by Okui Masami
Ending Song/Sequence: Ano Hi no Gogo by Okui Masami

Just when everything was about to settle down, the arrival of a young woman to Domino will be the catalyst to catastrophic events. Isis Ishtar brings with her one of the Legendary God Cards, which she entrusts to Kaiba’s safekeeping, and the buried past of a Pharaoh with no name. Kaiba creates a tournament to retrieve the other two God Cards and to showcase his newly modified Duel Disk. A secret underground organization, GHOUL, is the source of all troubles both in and out of the tournament. Their enigmatic leader appears to hold a heavy vendetta against Yami. Most of all, he wields the power of the Millennium Rod. With little clue as to where their path will lead them, Yugi and Yami fight to take back the God Cards and regain the Pharaoh’s memories.

Theme/Mindset: Self-Growth

Characters Introduced: Isis Ishtar, Malik Ishtar, Rishid

Battle Ship

Season: 3
Episodes: 81 – 97
Opening Song/Sequence: WILD DRIVE by Nagai Masato
Ending Song/Sequence: Rakuen by CAVE

Yugi and Yami have made their way into the Semi-Finals along with Jounouchi and Mai. The road ahead of them is still long and hard as Malik infiltrates into their little group. Yami must place his trust into the God Card he has earned. The Semi-Finals are to take place on a blimp in flight. After a horrible accident that takes Rishid out of commission, Malik’s dark character frees itself of its years-long bonds. He is worse then Malik, who was driven by hate and revenge. Yami Malik seeks only the darkness and the destruction of life itself. Mai is just the first to fall victim to his senseless malice.

Theme/Mindset: Independence Yet Interdependence

Characters Introduced: Yami Malik

Noa’s Arc

Season: 3
Episodes: 98 – 121
Opening Song/Sequence: WILD DRIVE by Nagai Masato
Ending Song/Sequence: Rakuen by CAVE

On their way to the final destination for the Finals, they are hijacked by a strange mobile fortress that emerges from the sea. Here, the Big 5 make their reappearance, still trapped in the VR world. Yugi, Kaiba, and the rest are soon trapped within the same world. Their only way out is to duel and win over the Big 5, utilizing an interesting new Deck Master rule. The mastermind behind all of this is a deceptively young boy named Noa. Noa, himself, targets Kaiba specifically but why? The truth is shocking and the final ending heart-breaking.

Theme/Mindset: Repentance

Characters Introduced: Kaiba Noa and Kaiba Gozaburo

Duel Tower – The Four Finalists

Season: 3 – 4
Episodes: 122 – 144
Opening Song/Sequence: WILD DRIVE by Nagai Masato – WARRIORS by Yuichi Ikusawa
Ending Song/Sequence: Rakuen by CAVE – Afureru Yuujou ga Tomachinai by Yuichi Ikusawa

The four finalists have finally arrived on the island of Alcatraz with its desolate landscape of endless debris. Yami must defeat Yami Malik for the sake of everyone. Jounouchi must defeat Yami Malik if he hopes to save Mai. Kaiba wants nothing more than to win over all of them. Underneath the current tensions, the sins and darkness of Kaiba’s past have yet to be laid to rest.

Theme/Mindset: Laying the Past to Rest

Characters Introduced: None

DOMA

Season: 4
Episodes: 145 – 184
Opening Song/Sequence: WARRIORS by Yuichi Ikusawa
Ending Song/Sequence: Afureru Yuujou ga Tomachinai by Yuichi Ikusawa

It all starts with a female voice that said, “Save me.” No one but Yugi and Yami seems to hear her. They are taken to a lush land of forest where a castle sits at the epicenter. The girl asking for their help is none other than Black Magician Girl. This is the world of the Duel Monsters, in which they have resided for the longest time. A sinister eye has appeared in the sky and is absorbing the monsters. Their guardians, the three Nameless Dragons, will not awake from their slumber to defend their land. Only one with the heart and the soul of a true Duelist will be able to revive them. Yugi and Yami do exactly that, freeing the dragon named Timaeus. After they return to their world and defeat the same eye that materialized in their world, Duel Monsters being to materialize all over the world. The cause is unknown. Pegasus sends Yugi a video message. The man is alarmed by a unfortunate discovery he has made. He also wishes to discuss the current situation with Yugi in person. He cannot leave because he suspects he is being watched closely. Yugi and the others have no choice but to go to Pegasus in America.

Theme/Mindset: History Repeats Itself

Characters Introduced: Dartz, Amelda, Raphael, Varon

Kaiba Grand Prix

Season: 4 – 5
Episodes: 185 – 198
Opening Song/Sequence: WARRIORS by Yuichi Ikuzawa – OVERLAP by Kimeru
Ending Song/Sequence: Afureru Yuujou ga Tomachinai by Yuichi Ikuzawa – Eye’s by Yuichi Ikuzawa

The problems of DOMA and Atlantis may be over for Yugi and the others, but still in America they lack the funds needed to make the trip home. Kaiba Seto also faces problems as KaibaCorp’s reputation has been seriously damaged by the belief that they were responsible for the appearance of Duel Monsters in the real world. With KaibaLand USA preparing for its grand opening, Kaiba decides to invite Yugi, Jounouchi and Rebecca, along with a number of other skilled duelists from around the world, to compete in a new tournament, the KC Grand Prix. However while Kaiba hopes to use the tournament as a way to generate good publicity for KaibaCorp it seems that one of the contestants has other plans, wishing to shut down KaibaCorp once and for all.

Theme/Mindset: Revenge

Characters Introduced: Leon Wilson, Fortune Siam, Exter Johnson, Sergei Ivanov, Paul McGregor, Abe, Dr. Richard Goat, Barry Ginger, Theodore Euroth, Ethan Shark, Jafar Singh, Vivian Wong, Sieg Lloyd

Pharoah’s Lost Memories

Season: 5
Episodes: 199 – 219
Opening Song/Sequence: OVERLAP by Kimeru
Ending Song/Sequence: Eye’s by Yuichi Ikuzawa

With all three God Cards in his posession, and all other problems seemingly resolved, the time may finally have arrived for Yami Yugi to regain his lost memories. However the road is not going to be an easy one, especially when Yami Bakura returns with the intention of claiming the Pharaoh’s power for himself.

Theme/Mindset: Believe in the Light of Hope

Characters Introduced: Shimon Mura, Set, Mahaado, Akunadin, Isis, Karim, Shada, Mana, Babosa, Kisara, Hasan, Thief King Bakura, Zork

The Ceremonial Duel

Season: 5
Episodes: 220 – 224
Opening Song/Sequence: OVERLAP by Kimeru
Ending Song/Sequence: Eye’s by Yuichi Ikuzawa

This is the Last Trial. This will determine Atemu’s ultimate Fate.

Theme/Mindset: The Dead Cannot Return to Life and Should Not Remain Among the Living

Characters Introduced: None