Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (遊☆戯☆王デュエルモンスターズGX Yūgiō Dyueru Monsutāzu Jī Ekkusu?, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX in the original Japanese language version) is an anime spin-off of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. It first premiered in Japan on October 6, 2004.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX follows the exploits of Jaden Yuki (Judai Yuki in the original Japanese version) and his companions as he attends Duel Academy.
In the fictional universe of Yu-Gi-Oh!, a popular Duel Monsters card game created by Pegasus J. Crawford is widely enjoyed. Referred to as a "duelist," a player of the game summons monsters and activates Spell and Trap Cards through Duel Disk technology to evoke various strategies to defeat his/her opponent in battle. A Duel typically begins with each contestant being given a life total of 4000 or 8000 Life Points, which can be decreased as opposing players "attack" him/her with their monsters or trigger the abilities of individual cards. The objective is to reduce an opponent's Life Points to zero, and therefore be declared the winner. Although conceived as a mere card game, Duel Monsters' roots are mythological in nature, and many exploit its unworldly secrets for their own purposes.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX begins 10 years after the events of Yu-Gi-Oh! with the lead character Jaden Yuki obtaining a Winged Kuriboh card from Yuugi Mutou, the renowned Duel Monsters champion, while on his way to a Duel Academy (Duel Academia (デュエル・アカデミア Dyueru Akademia?) in the original Japanese language version) entrance exam.
The Academy was created by Seto Kaiba on a remote island in the Southern Seas, with its dormitories named after the three Egyptian God Cards, and is run by Chancellor Sheppard and his staff. The most elaborate dormitory, Obelisk Blue (オベリスク・ブルー Oberisuku Burū?), is named after Obelisk the Tormentor. The Obelisk Blue dormitory can be graduated to, but the only way to enter the dormitory in the first year is to attend and do well at an affiliated junior school (English version only). As the highest ranked dormitory, Obelisk Blue's facilities are of the highest quality, on the level of the world's classiest hotels and restaurants. The center dorm, Ra Yellow (ラー・イェロー Rā Ierō?), is named after The Winged Dragon of Ra. Those who were given the highest scores in the entrance exam, or who only did mediocrely in the junior school enter this dormitory, which, while not as extravagant as Obelisk Blue, still has incredibly clean and well-kept facilities and meals of a quality far above the lifestyle of the average salaryman. The lowest dormitory, Slifer Red (Osiris Red (オシリス・レッド Oshirisu Reddo?) in the original Japanese language version), is named after Slifer the Sky Dragon. Those who failed completely or scored poorly are put into the shoddy quarters of Slifer Red.
There are four other branches of Duel Academy worldwide, in the North, East, South, and West.
For the first two years at Duel Academy, the main cast faces major threats including the Shadow Riders, who intend to revive the Sacred Beasts by creating a strong dueling presence on the island,as well as the Society of Light, which intends to enslave humanity with the mind control satellite of Misgarth.During the third year, Duel Academy is transported to another world–a desert plane with three suns and resident Duel Monster spirits–right into the hands of the Martin Empire.Upon returning home, Jaden and a select group of his partners dive into the rift left in their escape to recover their missing companions, and embark through second and third worlds where failure in duels could result in fatality.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX sports many personalities. The principal cast is composed of the series' hero Jaden Yuki (Judai Yuuki), the passionate Alexis Rhodes (Asuka Tenjoin) and her brother Atticus (Fubuki Tenjoin), the easily discouraged but determined Syrus Truesdale (Sho Marufuji), elitist Chazz Princeton (Jun Manjoume), the analytic Bastion Misawa (Daichi Misawa), the strong-willed Tyranno Hassleberry (Tyranno Kenzan), and the love-struck Blair Flannigan (Rei Saotome). Supporting characters often have connections to the educative or professional dueling worlds, and include Obelisk Blue professor Vellian Crowler, duelist-turned-Industrial Illusions designer Chumley Huffington, and Pro League powerhouses Zane Truesdale (Ryo Marufuji) and Aster Phoenix (Edo Phoenix). A group of foreign duelist champions, consisting of Jesse Anderson, Axel Brodie, Adrian Gecko and Jim Crocodile Cook, along with the new professor, Thelonius Viper, would also find a place in Duel Academy's student body in the third year. In the fourth season a mysterious student named Yusuke Fujiwara appeared at the Duel Academy.
Themes and structure
Although the first half of the anime's first season began on a whimsical note, the latter half established a noticeably darker atmosphere by introducing supernatural elements similar to those present in the original Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, such as magic, the Shadow Games, and various myths, along with Judeo-Christian and alchemy related subtext. The second season had a strong thematic presence built on destiny, with ties to the Cthulhu Mythos of H. P. Lovecraft and associated horror fiction authors writing in the Lovecraftian milieu, and drew on space opera as a plot device (see also Space opera in Scientology scripture). The third season continued this trend, but with much greater emphasis on emotional torment, alternate dimensions serving as its primary settings. The third season is also by far the darkest, with a large number of the main characters "dying" in the middle and later parts, and the genocidal march of the Supreme King/Tyrant (Haou) upon his arrival in the Dark World.
The program is divided into episodes classified as "Turns". The title sequence and closing credits are accompanied by lyrics varying over the course of the series, with the former immediately followed by an individual episode's number and title. Eyecatches begin and end commercial breaks halfway through each episode; in the first season, there were two eyecatches per episode, usually showcasing the opponents and their key monsters for a given episode while in later seasons, a single eyecatch appears with only the duelists. After the credits, a preview of the next episode, narrated most frequently by KENN and Masami Suzuki, is made, followed by a brief "Today's Strongest Card" segment.
In the English version, the title sequence is accompanied by the song "Get Your Game On!", as are the end credits (in a shortened form). Eyecatches, previews, and the "Today's Strongest Card" featurette are removed entirely.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX anime aired October 6, 2004 on TV Tokyo. It was subsequently licensed by 4Kids Entertainment and adapted into English with the title Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, picked up by Cartoon Network in the United States.
A manga spin-off of the series written by Kazuki Takahashi, illustrated by Naoyuki Kageyama, and published by Shueisha's Jump Comics division's V-Jump, began serialization on December 17, 2005. The manga was later adapted into English and made its debut in the United States Shonen Jump magazine December 2006.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is produced by Nihon Ad Systems, Inc., and directed by Hatsuki Tsuji. Scripts are prepared by an alternating lineup of writers–Shin Yoshida, Jun Maekawa, Akemi Omode, Yasuyuki Suzuki–with music arrangements by Yutaka Minobe. Takuya Hiramitsu is in charge of sound direction, supervised by Yūji Mitsuya. Character and monster designs are overseen by Kenichi Hara, while Duel layout is overseen by Masahiro Hikokubo.
The "GX" in the series' title is short for the term "Generation neXt". "GENEX" was also the tentative title of the series as evidenced in early promotional work, and also refers to the GX tournament that takes place between episodes 84 and 104.
Like many English adaptations of other anime series, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is edited due to Americanization and the shifting of the target demographic toward a younger audience. The names of many characters and cards underwent alteration, and card faces and text are edited to only include ATK/DEF statistics and Attribute for monsters, and card type for Spells and Traps. Spell Cards in particular are referred to as such to reflect the revised printing format that surfaced in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game from Magician's Force onwards, though the original term "Magic Card" has been used on several occasions, either due to scripting error or for very specific reasons. Furthermore monster stat displays and Life Point counters, previously in blue and gold print, become digital readouts with color-coded energy bars. The original music score is replaced with a guitar heavy rock style soundtrack. Darker and more controversial themes such as death, murder (and mass murder), and religion–which were incorporated into the Japanese version–are virtually absent in the English interpretation.