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The first Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series (also known as Season 0) was an anime Series created by Toei Animated based on the first 7 chapters of the YuGiOh manga. It tells the story from a time before the card game had any importance, and a little bit afterwards.
It was eventually replaced by the second anime series, which preferred to skip all the first parts of the manga in favor of focusing only on the card Game arcs. Nevertheless, the second series does make some nods to this one which can only be fully understood if you've watched it.
The second anime series explains very little of this series' plots, with a good reason: before Duel Monsters entered in, this series was completely different, bordering more a G-Rated Saw than Yu-Gi-Oh. For this reason, both series can complement quite well without feeling you are watching the same thing twice (at least, until it gets to the card games).
It's also worth noticing that many things created by this series were later used as inspiration for later chapters, like the more common presence of Seto Kaiba as a villain. It's also worth noticing that this incarnation of Seto Kaiba is what inspired Noa(h), the Big Bad from the third series of the second anime.
This Series Provides Examples Of:
- Abandoned Warehouse: The Toei Yu-Gi-Oh! series gave a warehouse to the yoyo gang, the Capumon guy and the guy who plays with 'digital pets'.
- Abusive Parents: Jounouchi's alcoholic father.
- Adaptation Dye Job: GREEN HAIR
- Amusement Park Of Doom: Death-T.
- Ascended Extra: Miho Nosaka.
- To elaborate, she was only used in one chapter in the manga as a love interest to Tristan (who promptly shot him down when he asked to be her boyfriend). She was used more in the anime to help fill out the girl quota though at best she mostly a Satellite Character. Yu-Gi-Oh! Abridged (when it focuses on the Season 0 series) hilariously lampshades this by hardly having her speak and when she does it a very over the top voice that the other characters bluntly ignore.
- Ax Crazy: Yami Yugi can become Axe Crazy if you get him mad enough.
- Believing Their Own Lies: An early Phony Psychic enemy of the week.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Ryou Bakura is a very sweet, shy, quiet, polite guy. With a Super-Powered Evil Side that he's only vaguely aware exists.
- The same goes for Yugi. He is nice and weak, until his psychotic side wakes up.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Kaiba, he pretends to befriend Yugi and has Yugi's grandfather's Blue Eyes White Dragon switched with a copy. When Yugi figures this out and calls out Kaiba on the switch, Kaiba loses the facade and whacks Yugi in the face with a briefcase.
- Breakout Villain: Kaiba and the card game were meant to be seen twice... plans changed.
- Captain Ersatz: Zombire, a fairly transparent takeoff on Spawn, and the favorite superhero of a minor character.
- Card Games: Plays a large part in all arcs concerning Kaiba.
- Chainsaw Good: The "Chopman" from Death-T.
- Character Development: Mostly for the two Yugis, but everyone gets a decent amount at the least.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Cruelly averted in the Zombire story.
- Color Wash: The first anime has an incredibly supersaturated neon palette.
- Conspicuous CGI: The first series had this a few times (such as in the opening, or in episode 6 with the stairs) and it was quite obvious.
- Cooking Duel: Figuratively speaking. The series often stakes the lives of its characters, or even the fate of the world, on a game of Duel Monsters.
- Cosmic Role-Playing Game: Season 5
- Covert Pervert: Yugi -- he is shown imagining someone's panties after hearing what Tea has to say about boys peeking up girls' skirts while playing basketball. Even in the Millennium World Arc they're still exchanging videos... Manga link
- The Corruption: Multiple instances with various characters. The entire Doma arc works on this.
- The Dark Side: Many characters in Yu-Gi-Oh! fall into some Dark Side's trap, usually by trying to use an Artifact of Doom (e.g., Marik, Bakura, Pegasus, Aknadin). Yami Yugi is not immune to this effect.
- Death Trap: Kaiba's sadistic "amusement park," "Death-T," is basically a long series of increasingly difficult death traps designed to defeat and kill Yugi.
- The Ditz: Miho in the first anime series.
- Duels Decide Everything: If you have a conflict, battle with cards!
- Fan Nickname: 'Series 0' or 'Season 0' for the Toei anime.
- Fighting Series: Using a children's card game.
- Early Installment Weirdness: A dark series about a weak and pathethic boy whose darker side wakes up to brutally punish those who inflicted pain to him by using demonic magic (which requires a victory in an unspecific game to activate) ... it totally sounds like a series about a children's card game.
- Plot Tumor: the card game grows in importance in later chapters, until practically consuming all of the script.