With Yu-Gi-Oh: The Darkside of Dimensions finally getting a U.S. release today, I thought I would talk about how the franchise has positively impacted my life.
I’ve enjoyed Yu-Gi-Oh ever since it first started airing on Kids WB in 2001. This was coincidentally around the same time I met my childhood best friend. We were both into a lot of the same TV shows but we for some reason were amazed by Yu-Gi-Oh . I suppose it could have been Dan Green’s deep voice that had us so intrigued.
From Yu-Gi-Oh, we learned about the cheesiness and importance of friendship. We always compared our relationship to that of Yugi and Joey, the main character and his best friend. My friend always thought of me as Yugi/Yami and of himself as Joey. I found this to be ironic because I didn’t really think I was strong or brave like Yami but apparently my friend did and he really looked up to me, possibly because I was a year older, or maybe it was because I beat him in duels a lot until later on. Dueling each other was one of our favorite things to do, despite not really understanding the rules at first.
When Yu-Gi-Oh was first getting popular in the U.S., we didn’t use life points, thinking it would be to hard to keep track of, thought that decks were limited to only 40 cards, didn’t tribute summon for higher level monsters, gave normal monsters effects they didn’t actually have, and didn’t fully understand many spell & trap cards. As time passed, we learned the actual rules, and were playing the proper way around the time the Battle City arc of the classic series started. I played Yu-Gi-Oh with my small group of friends at school as well, and for one of their birthdays we even went to see Yu-Gi-Oh The Movie in theaters.
Over time I had even obtained several Yu-Gi-Oh video games(and a few toys as well, including a duel disk) , usually for the rare promotional cards they came with rather than for the actual games themselves. My two favorites are Yu-Gi-Oh Forbidden Memories, which uses a beta set of rules for the game, which is very different, and has it’s own story, combining battle city with a Millenium world/Dawn of the Duel type of story, and Yu-Gi-Oh Worldwide Edition: Stairway to the Destined Duel, which follows the battle city arc more closely, albeit with a couple of differences. I stopped playing Yu-Gi-Oh video games after Reshef of Destruction for the Gameboy Advance, but it’s clear that the franchise had an influence on my other hobbies.
I stopped playing Yu-Gi-Oh around seventh grade, around when Yu-Gi-Oh GX started airing, and fully quit by ninth grade because I (regrettably) wanted to be one of the cool kids. Occasionally, I would still watch classic Yu-Gi-Oh and Yu-Gi-Oh GX though, if they were on.
Years later, during my first year of college, I unexpectedly started playing again. One night, I was talking to my roommate about my childhood memories of Yu-Gi-Oh, and he took out the big blue container from under his bed. I assumed it was just an extra storage container for miscellaneous items, but when he opened it, there was a plethora of Yu-Gi-Oh cards, some of which I was familiar with, and others not so much. This is when my love for the franchise started coming back. Not too soon after, most of our friend group even made accounts on the now defunct Dueling Network, so we could play each other without having to buy cards. We even taught a couple of them how to play, or at least play correctly. At one point, I was even thinking about asking out a girl I liked (also a Yu-Gi-Oh fan) by using Dueling Network, unfortunately I was never able to formulate a complete plan for it.
Back home, I started playing Yu-Gi-Oh again with my other friends, although it felt weird to have to catch up with all of the new cards. I got comfortable with it again eventually and today I still play Yu-Gi-Oh every once in awhile with some of my friends, and it still is an enjoyable source of entertainment.