Yu-Gi-Oh! Volume 2

Almost all people are hypnotics. The proper authority saw to it that the proper belief should be induced, and the people believed properly.” – Charles Fort

This second season of the anime which itself is intertwined with the world’s best-selling trading card is pretty substantial. To be precise, this collection contains 48 episodes, and it still does not cover the entire storyline. Mind you, it would have been quicker if the battles that take place did not go on so bloody long.

Having finished their games in the Duellist Kingdom, Yugi Mutou and his friends return home. However, on the way to school, Yugi bumps into a fortune teller. As the fortune teller does his job, he steals Yugi’s Millennium Puzzle. Yugi gives chase and is forced to battle the thief, who turns out to be someone he first met in the Duellist Kingdom but under the power of hypnosis. The hypnotist in question is a man called Marik, who has control of the Millennium Rod and desires to gain all seven of the Millennium Items. Yugi wins his battle, thanks to some help from old friend Bakura, but under the influence of his Millennium Ring he transfers part of his soul into a piece of the Millennium Puzzle.

Later on both Yugi and Seto Kaiba meet an Egyptian woman named Ishizu Ishtar, who reveals to them the origins of Duel Monsters, the Shadow Games, and their own origins in these events. Ishizu gives Seto a special Duel Monsters card, which is one of the three “Egyptian God cards”, the most powerful cards of all. Seto however desires all three to prove that he is the world’s greatest duellist.

To get these cards, Seto creates his own tournament: the Battle City Tournament, for which all the participants need to use his “Duel Disk” equipment, which is a large disk with two folded-up playing areas attached to their wrist. One of the rules of the tournament is that the loser of any duel must hand over their strongest card to the winner. Yugi and his friend Joey Wheeler are amongst those taking part, but they soon discover that many of the competitors are already under the influence of Marik. 

As with the first collection of episodes, this collection has a fair number of issues: there is only the English dub, which is not acted brilliantly and is heavily Americanised; there are no subtitles at all; the chapter selection is negligible; and there are no extras available.

Another problem however is that the length of the episodes are too long for what they are. Some of the duels last for four episodes. This is way too long for any card game, and when you add on all the overacting you have to get through, it just becomes tiresome. At least other anime which feature battles tend to depict the characters fighting with each other. Cards and any representation of them are much duller, and no attempt to bring the “Shadow Realm” into it makes it more exciting. 

It is not totally bad however: you certainly get lots more episodes than most DVD box sets, and some of the plot development such as the history behind the games themselves is interesting. The problem is that all this development is pushed aside for more promoting of the card game. That, and the fact that there are worse anime adaptations of trading card games (Cardfight!! Vanguard springs to mind).

While these box sets are high in quantity of material, they are lacking in quality.

4 / 10

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and was also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. Outside of anime, he is data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, has written questions for both The Wall and Richard Osman's House of Games, and has been a contestant on Mastermind.

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