Yu-Gi-Oh’s second season officially aired in 2002 (same year Coldplay’s second album A Rush of Blood to the Head came out) on Kids WB. It received praise from critics, fans and viewers alike. I already posted an article about Duelist Kingdom. Don’t forget to check it out.
This review contains no SPOILERS. I’m giving newcomers a chance to see the original series. Due to a ridiculous number of episodes spanning 48, I’ll do my best to recall as much as I can. So, bear with me.
Victory & Defeat
Victory: Dan Green & Eric Stuart reprise their roles as Yugi/Yami & Seto Kaiba. They both did an excellent job for their respective voiceover performances.
Chemistry between Yami, Yugi and their friends serve as the main highlight. As a result of Character Development, the duo work as a team.
Primary Themes are Teamwork, Friendship, Trust & Destiny. Each one’s handled carefully.
Each duelist’s deck reflects his/her advantages/disadvantages.
A few Funny Moments made me chuckle.
Grandpa’s philosophy, “The Heart of the Cards” plays a huge role. It represents a duelist playing with honor and believing in yourself with your friends giving you full support.
A specific character has a motivation. Yami & Yugi must defeat Marik to save the world. Kaiba seeks revenge towards the duo and obtain all three Egyptian God Cards Marik wants the millennium puzzle and the Egyptian God Cards. Joey enlists in the tournament to help Yami & Yugi’s mission.
Battle City Tournament has new rules. You can only summon a strong monster by sacrificing two weak monsters. If a player wins, he/she can gain a rare card and a piece of a map. If a player loses all rare cards, he/she is disqualified. Meaning, the stakes are higher than Duelist Kingdom.
Kaiba is my favorite character. Yami’s the runner-up. Their decks really come in handy. I’m definitely on Team Kaiba.
Season 1 Recap
- Yami & Yugi defeat Pegasus together freeing the souls of Grandpa, Kaiba & Mokuba. Afterwards, they form a partnership.
- Joey wins second place earning $3 million to pay for his sister, Serenity’s eye surgery.
- Bakura steals Peagusus’ millennium eye and kills him offscreen.
- Yami & Yugi earn Mai & Duke Devlin’s respect as worthy duelists.
Opening Credits never gets old. You can’t skip “It’s time to d-d-d-d-duel!!!!!”
Yami, Yugi and their allies face off against old and new duelists like Mako, Wevil, Espa Roba, Marik & his Rare Hunters.
The Thief using Bakura via millennium ring factors in, he forms an alliance with Marik.
My favorite duels from various episodes are “Double Trouble,” “Friends Til The End” & “Mind Control,” “The Dark Spirit Revealed,” Awakening of Evil,” “Mind Game” & A Duel with Destiny.”
Friends Til The Episode is named after Chucky’s line from “Child’s Play.”
During a duel with Yugi, Marik (controlling a mime) says this line. “I’m something of a collector.” Coincidentally, Norman Osborn said one of his famous line from “Spider-Man.” “You know, I’m something of a scientist myself.” Spider-Man came out before Yu-Gi-Oh’s second season aired.
Yugi’s first duel with Marik brainwashing Bandit Keith, indicates Battle City Part 1’s storyline is harder than Duelist Kingdom. Yami & Yugi discard most of the old cards from their deck in exchage for new ones they’ll need in their journey to duel Marik and his henchmen.
Defeat: After Yugi’s duel with Marik using Bandit Keith’s body, the latter didn’t appear afterwards.
4Kids was notorious for heavily edits. For instance whenever somebody is punched or pushed, it’s immediately cut.
At times, Animation lacks bright colors. As if Zack Snyder added a desaturated filter.
The Final Verdict: B-
Yu-Gi-Oh’s second season is an average story arc. If there’s an unedited remastered version in English, I would’ve given Battle City Part 1 an A- the equivalent of a 9/10. If you wanna introduce your kids to Yu-Gi-Oh. Start with the original anime.