The New Dragonball?
we introduced you to the new rising star of Japanese animated
cartoons, Yu-Gi-Oh!. Today we want to tell you
a little more about this challenger to the Dragonball
Yu-Gi-Oh! (yes, the exclamation point
is part of the title) was introduced as a Japanese comic
book in 1996 before becoming an animated TV show in 2000.
The show arrived in the U.S. in September on the WB Kids
network, Saturday mornings. It was so popular that the
network recently expanded the show from one day to six
days a week.
move had a lot to do with the recent explosion in Yu-Gi-Oh!
interest online, but there's more. Video games and action
figures based on the show finally hit U.S. toy store shelves
this month. The searches for Yu-Gi-Oh! had been slowly
rising for months but in the last two weeks they have
more than doubled, with the topic entering the Lycos 50
this week at #47.
most popular part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! media juggernaut is
the collectible card game, similar to Pokemon or the earlier
craze Magic: The Gathering. That's because the card game
is so much a part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! sales pitch: the TV
show is about kids playing the card game. Except on the
show, when the kids play, the monsters actually appear
to fight based on what the cards say.
is the logical conclusion of kids' television, I suppose.
Instead of kids playing a card game so they can identify
with kids who fight monsters, kids now play a card game
so they can identify with kids playing a card game that
simulates fighting monsters.
According to the story, the lead
character Yugi and his friends share a love for the newest
card game fad, Duel Monsters. Little do they know that
five thousand years ago, ancient Egyptian Pharaoahs used
to play a similar game that could magically divine the
future (and clear out your allowance lickety-split). Somehow,
in a complicated story involving Yugi's grandfather, an
ancient Egyptian puzzle, and spiky hair, Yugi receives
magical powers and begins to play the game in the fantastical
ancient Egyptian fashion.
brings up three fundamental questions.
What kind of a name for a boy is "Yugi"?
Monsters -- will they ever just get along?
Can Yu-Gi-Oh! become a fad of Dragonball/Pokemon proportions?
Or will it flame out like other Japanese anime runners-up?
(Outlaw Star and Escaflowne, for example.)