So I was talking to one of my close friends the other night, he asked what I was doing, I informed him that I was watching YuGiOh. Well once I related to him that it was a spinoff, he then sent one of those texts. You know the ones, the texts where you can hear the disdain from the moment the text appears. So I started thinking to myself, which YuGiOh spinoff is the better of the group? Which spinoff needs a little help. I’ve watched every spinoff. Each spin off is different. Each seemingly occupying its own universe.(I say seeimingly because certain things happen to make you think they are either connected or influencing the other). Each series starts well, yet half way thru something happens that makes me just give up. Currently I am on the 5th YuGiOh series, 4th spinoff, YuGiOh Arc-V. This list I have will list each one and why I think they are what they are on the list. Now I do wanna say I’m including the main spinoffs, so anything after Duel Monsters is included. So check out the list. Also tell me your opinions on the various YuGiOh series.
Number 4- YuGiOh Zexal-
This series was a pretty good series starting out. It had the formula that YuGi had set up for years. We had our lead character whose name started with a Y. We have a close best friend whose a girl, who even so often comes off as a love interest yet nothing happens. Few other best friends and a few antagonist who become allies to stop a bigger evil. What was great about the other series was the way Kaiba would come across. No matter what he never lost his edge. Granted Kaiba could be considered kinda airhead, being that all these supernatural things were happening and he just acted as if it was nothing. Zexal takes place in a futuristic world where you can duel in real time in the real world. Each series has its own version of this and what they call it. In these duels to get the full feeling, those who want to watch and participate would wear eyewear to fully realize this. Yuma the main character has a key left by his father.(what is it with parents in this series of shows not being present, does that say something about the creator?). The key has an inhabitant from another dimension or plain of existence inside. Astral has no idea who he is or what has happened to him. This is where we get into the meat and potatoes of the show. Yuma fights duels and collects the 100 xyz monsters(different then the ones Kaiba used to use). These number cards hold Astral’s memories and what happened. The series started well with the learning about the cards, mystery of the cards possessing people, and the classic tournament arc. The issue with this series started with the whole reincarnation arc, traveling to another dimension to fight a devil like being, and the outrageous moments(there’s a duel on the moon where there is no oxygen just for the due lists to determine whose the best dragon user. Why can’t you both use dragons. Not that serious. Just saying.) I got through the series until about the moon duel point. Each time I attempted to jump back in, it was more outlandish then before. So this is the lowest rated spinoff in my opinion.
Number 3- YuGiOh 5Ds-
So this series stars Yusei. Again, Yusei is an orphan. This series differs on the antagonist part because Yusei and his counter part Jack were orphans together. Jack got out and made it big. Yusei stayed in the lower class. Yusei like all the other leads was a good duelist in the series. He even went toe to toe with Jack and one. (Don’t know why Inmade that sound like you couldn’t guess) the series introduced to us another form of dueling, “Turbo Duels”. Also Syncho Monsters/Summoning, duel runners, and tuner monsters were introduced. The series was slightly darker then any other series before it. This show was the second spinoff after GX. They went back to a lot of the things that made the original good yet at the same time branched. Big thing noticed in this series was the team aspect. The characters in the show banded together slowly thru the first part of the series. Each having a mark on their arms, they also had a monster that you could say was their avatar. Another thing is this is the first series where none of the original monsters make an appearance. It’s the first series to also be based in seemingly an alternate world. When a duel is enacted the city changes to accommodate. Something else that’s different is the fact that in this world everyone duels. When the authorities of the series come to apprehend you, you are able to duel your way out of trouble. This series was one I had high hopes in. It came off as a more true to form and realistic. It’s setback was major though. When the series came into the arc where the “signers” became one group, they quickly separated. It wasn’t as disjointed as Zexal. But it was close. I mean the man who helped them get together was the bad guy or was it his brother or was he crazy. Honestly I’m lost on exactly what happened halfway thru. I stuck with it for quiet some time. Big note, the new series Arc-V seems to be combining the universes and Crow just appeared along with Jack is n the recent episodes. So here’s hoping they make more showings.
Number 2- YuGiOh Arc-V-
This series brings back the humor of the franchise. The series introduces to Action Duels. These are duels that bring the experience into the real world. Thru a technology called Solid Vision, you are able to duel with monsters that have form and weight. The series introduces us to our main character Yuya. First thing you notice is that the main character has only lost one parent. In this series he still has his mother in the picture (granted she doesn’t really do much since she is either mostly off screen, in the crowd sitting, or fawning after a high school boy) but she’s there. Another thing you will notice that the characters dueling style is similar to series 2, YuGiOh GX main character Jaden Yuuki. Another thing that is introduced(or reintroduced) is the idea of going to a duel school in hopes of becoming a Por-Duelist. Alot of things in this series harkens back to the original. The closeness of the friends. The fact that at one point Yuya was bullied and his close friends saved him. Another thing that was introduced in this series was Pendulum Summoning. This summoning invloves using Pendulum Cards to summon a certain number of monsters falling within certain perameters. The series is full of comical characters. Also one thing I started to notice when begining the series is the fact that all previous summonings are also included in the series. So you get Fusion, XYZ, and Synchro in the series. This ends up playing a huge roll. Partially thru the begining of the series we are introduced to characters who look similar(this is something you have to believe from the characters. You can blantantly see that NONE of these people look alike. But just go with it). Eventually we learn that these alternate versions come from an alternate dimension where Yuya and his best friend Yuzu have counterparts.Each summoning style has its own dimension. Have you jumped ahead yet? Cause then you’ve probably guessed right. Synchro Dimension is the 5Ds universe, XYZ is the Zexal Universe. In this series the Fusion Dimension is crossing over into other dimensions and defeating duelists along with taking control. Another noticeable thing is that they kidnap the various female characters that lookalike. There seems to be a connection between Yuya, the other dimensions, and the disapearence of his father.(at least thats what the feeling of all of this is). Eventually more characters learn Pendulum Summoning and Yuya and the main good duelists of the show(also a few randoms, like some Ninja guy who literally was on the show 2 episodes and is now a main character) join together to form a group named Lancers. The Lancers have the ability to bring both Actrion Duels and traverse the dimensions. The series is the most current series to launch. The series I would say is at the halfway point. Yuya and his groupd have recently formed and recently entered into the first of the dimensions, Synchro. We have seen both Jack and Crow from 5Ds. So i’m guessing we are going to get a definitive answer as to how these various series fit into the franchise itself. I do have high hopes for this series, it has kept me watching. I do have a feeling that it’s starting to slow down or bite off more then it can chew. I will still keep watching for a bit, so we shall see.
And the Number 1 spinoff is…..YuGiOh GX–
This is the seriesthat relates the closest to the original. The setup is about a character named Jaden Yuki. The character has a personality closer to Joey then Yugi, yet cares for his friends like Yugi. The series is based at Duel Academy. Duel Academy created by Seto Kaiba(one connection to the old series) where the dorms are named after the three Egyptian God Cards. You can tell that Kaiba still has feelings against Yugi. Slyfer is considered the lowest dorm, Ra the middle dorm, and Obelisk the best dorm. Thru the series we learn of a new ability, the ability to see Duel Spirits. Not everyone has this particular ability. The Kaiba of this series, Chazz Princeton, goes from antagonist to friend in the series. As the series progress characters switch dorms, new characters are added, and new journeys(granted odd) are taken. This series shares alot with the previous series. Jaden recieved Winged Kuriboh from Yugi himself as a kid. The series also relies on the past and flashbacks. One arc has Jaden encountering a Duel Monster that he forgot and a deck he sent away as a kid as a part of a contest for Kaiba Corp.
The biggest thing you will see as far as a difference between GX and Duel Monsters is this begins the trend of having a name for your specific deck. Jaden uses the Elemental Hero Deck and Neo Spatian Deck. The series also steps away from the original by introducing us to some pretty dark elements(some more than the original). The series deals with being trapped in an alternate dimensions, ghosts, possesion, death, and a character(Jaden) becoming the villain for a time. The main reason I feel this series is the better of the spinoffs is due to the fact that it feels like the original. Jaden has a good relationship with friends and learns a great deal from those above him. This series still ahs the issue of the main character being automatically better then everyone else(like how are you in the worse dorm but your the schools best duelist). Also the show doesn’t have any mention of Shadow Games except for one or two duels. There is also no mention of Millenuim items. The series showed that there were things that were going to change. The series has a lot of heart. I can say that like all the other spinoffs the series hits a huge lag at the end. These spinoffs all seem like when it gets to the end they jam a last arc or cut out too much, seems rushed at the end and anticlimatic. GX stays consistent pretty much to the last arc, where it starts to lose steam.
So these are the 4 spinoffs of YuGiOh. What are your favorites? Have you watched them all the way thru? Who’s your favorite character? Of course the original is the best. From Duelist Kingdom,Shadow Games, and Battle City, the series had elements that can’t be beat. The series helped launch series that today are based on card games. Series like Cardfight Vanguard, BuddyFight, and Battle Spirits can thank YuGiOh for bringing the card game anime into current. Of course there were series before, yet YuGiOh was the modern master of what these shows could be. So thanx for reading my thoughts. Let me know your fave or what card series you like. Tweet me @PaOfKalEl or facebook.com/westborneastbred.