yu gi oh trading card game

I wanted to share this here because, as far as commissions go, this one was pretty unique. I got a request to make  realistic-looking/feeling  Yu-Gi-Oh cards in the 4-Kids anime style.

They feel like real trading cards in thickness and rigidity and are the same dimensions as regular Yu-Gi-Oh cards so they’ll fit into card sleeves too. The template and layout I used to make these were both made by me and I used references and screenshots from the anime to help me do this.

All card artwork was obtained from the Yu-Gi-Oh wiki

Wow, a new Yu-Gi-Oh book collecting TCG art is coming out soon! The best part is the book’s pun-based title. XD

The Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME allows kids, teenagers, and adults to relive the exciting duels that take place in the animated Yu-Gi-Oh! series.

Yu-Gi-Oh! THE ART OF THE CARDS collects the classic artwork of every real life playable card featured in the original Yu-Gi-Oh! DUEL MONSTERS animated series. Featuring over 800 cards, this prestigious hardcover tome is the ultimate archive of the cards used by Yugi Muto, Joey Wheeler, Seto Kaiba, Mai Valentine and more in their battles to prove who truly has “the Heart of the Cards”.


Wait, How Do I Start My Turn Again?: Learning to Play Trading Card Games Via Anime Adaptations

I love trading card game anime. There’s something really charming about how self-serious they are – trading card games dictate everything in their world, from social hierarchy to business deals to intergalactic war. If anybody wants to be somebody, they better learn how to play the game. And for the average viewer, it’s important that they can also learn how to play the game from the show itself. Nothing kills the intensity of a fight like the inability to follow the action, and the same goes for card games. If the viewer can’t follow the turn-to-turn actions, there’s no sense of tension, and the appeal of the game and show are lost.

One of my favorite things to do with these trading card games (or TCG) is to see how they play. TCG anime tend to present very punchy and streamlined versions of their games that really show off how fast and exciting they can be. Since this will likely be a viewer’s first time experiencing a particular game in action, I wanted to look at some of the bigger TCG series and see how they handle teaching their rules to the audience.


Yu-Gi-Oh! is weird. At the time the original Duel Monsters manga was being written, there was no card game and therefore no rules to follow. Hell, the game wasn’t even called Duel Monsters before the release of the trading card game. Originally, Yu-Gi-Oh! was about an ancient Egyptian spirit inhabiting a modern-day Japanese teen and playing games with life-size stakes, with stories about variants on tabletop RPGs, chess, and even Tamagotchi. One of these games was a card game called Magic & Wizards, and the fan response to the stories featuring this game was so positive that the author, Kazuki Takahashi, ended up making it the focus of the series, with an eventual name change to Duel Monsters.

For the first arc, Duel Monsters follows a core ruleset so that the very basics of the game can be understood, but there are a lot of added embellishments for the sake of dramatics. Still, characters constantly explain their moves and their card effects, sometimes to a memetic degree, to keep the viewer informed on everything going on. The statistics of each monster flash on the screen frequently to remind the audience of the current field state. There’s also running strategy commentary from whoever is deemed the protagonist of each duel, so even though the finer details hadn’t been figured out, it’s easy to follow the general flow of the game even without a proper introduction to the game.

After the card game was properly released, the manga updated its own version of the game with a worldwide tournament arc meant to redefine how Duel Monsters was played in-universe. A few rules were changed for the sake of presenting more concise duels, but otherwise it was a proper reflection of the actual game. At the beginning of this arc, the writers make sure to have several duels where characters talk about and run into trouble based on the new rules, so the audience can become familiar with them alongside the cast. It also helps that most of the rule changes focus on more consistent gameplay, so it does simplify what seemed like a very complicated and open-ended game in the first arc.

As the series branched off into new shows like 5D’s and ZeXal, it expects you to have a basic understanding of the rules because the focus is on the new mechanics that have been added to the card game. These shows help the viewer get familiar with how new rules work by making them the central point of every episode’s duel and demonstrating the added mechanics in different contexts multiple times. Some rules may have gotten out of hand as the game evolved, and modern cards frequently have paragraph-long effects, but Yu-Gi-Oh! goes out of its way to try and be as accessible as possible for viewers tuning in at the start of any given series.

Cardfight!! Vanguard

Cardfight!! Vanguard has easily the most robust game explanation out of any of the card game series included in this blog post. Its first episode has the main character, a complete newbie to the game, get tutorialized through his first match of Vanguard. Even though its introduction is a bit flowery thanks to the tutor’s enthusiasm, all of the core rules are described with examples, making it easy to follow along while still leaving space for dramatic fights later on. It helps that Vanguard is also a very simple game, with only a single card type (monsters) and a set of rules based around a small number of monster stats that the viewer is always aware of as long as they’re relevant in the course of a duel.

The first few duels don’t even feature monsters with involved special abilities, like forcing the opponent to discard or changing the field state. And when decks that feature these abilities pop up, they tend to start with a basic example of the effect before getting into some of the more synergistic strategies. Cardfight!! Vanguard seems interested in slowly teaching the game to viewers, even repeating the tutorial duel episode at the start of every season. It’s a smart move, since that means even new people joining in at a later season become fully acquainted with the basics of the game.

Future Card Buddyfight

Future Card Buddyfight, like Cardfight!! Vanguard, has an amateur-as-protagonist duel which gives the show a reason to explain all the basic rules. Unfortunately, it’s a much more complicated game than Vanguard, and the anime tends to forego showing some of the most important mechanics, like card statistics, unless it helps play up the dramatics. The viewer is told that each monster has specific stats like size, attack and defense so that they can follow the flow of the duel. However, the show never mentions these unless they’re particularly impressive numbers or it becomes a really important part of the duel. Fights sometimes look like a game of back-and-forth with no real sense of development, but that’s not too much of a problem since very few matches last longer than half an episode or so.

The series also introduces a secondary character who’s training to be a professional Buddyfight commentator/reporter, so each duel is given running commentary to help the viewer follow along and get hyped about the turn-by-turn action. Other secondary characters include people who study the game or are professional deck builders, so they provide more in-depth mechanics discussion, as well as talk about the differences in the deck archetypes. This helps fill out some of the stuff that the duelists gloss over, like individual card abilities or basic strategies, but not as much as I’d like. Still, Future Card Buddyfight is a series that’s not hard to jump into at any point, and it has some of the most vibrant action scenes out of any of the shows on this list.

Selector Infected WIXOSS

Selector Infected WIXOSS does not care if you understand how the game works. The actual focus of the series is so separated from the card game that the writers never bother with explaining the rules or putting more focus on the game than “this is a popular card game in this world”. If you’re familiar with other trading card games you can infer some of the basic rules, but that’s not enough to allow the viewer to follow along. The series never makes note of card statistics, so the actual turn-to-turn progression and development is completely invisible and impossible to follow, especially when it drops its rules for the sake of an out-of-place action scene between the card avatars.

Based on the small bits of gameplay from the series, it seems like it has quite a bit in common with something like Cardfight!! Vanguard and a little bit of Magic the Gathering, but hell if WIXOSS wants me to confirm that. It’s an odd decision to make a tie-in franchise be so flippant about the product it’s trying to sell, but WIXOSS also seems to be targeted at a very different audience than something like Yu-Gi-Oh! or Future Card Buddyfight, so the change in focus and tone makes sense in that way. Selector Infected WIXOSS wants to tell a story first and foremost, and the game is just a vehicle to make the plot happen.

One thing all these shows do well is that they make characters feel unique through decks that either play into their personal traits or their fashion sense. These character specific decks show off the series’ diverse gameplay, whether it be variations on offensive and defensive tactics, or alternate win conditions. It also gives the audience a chance to see different card aesthetics available, showing viewers that there’s something for everyone. TCG anime are just as much commercials as they are entertainment, so emphasizing the versatility and diversity of a game is important, and I think each show succeeds in this way.

If we throw out WIXOSS as an outlier, we see similar but distinct ways in which trading card anime handle teaching the viewer their rules. The remaining three shows are labeled as shonen, but that doesn’t mean they’re all intended for the exact same audience. Something for younger audiences, like Future Card Buddyfight, isn’t as interested in the minutiae of the game, like the card statistics, and more interesting in loud colors and dynamic action like a hip-hop demon suplexing a pegasus. The shows that seem more targeted towards the older side of shonen, like Cardfight!! Vanguard and Yu-Gi-Oh!, focus more on story and dramatics and therefore put more work into keeping the turn-by-turn action and field state parseable and intense. However they handle it, these anime work to engage their viewer and get them interested in the product they’re selling. The easier a person is able engage with a game right out of the box, the better chance there is at player retention.

Now if you don’t mind, just thinking about trading cards has made me want to go out and buy a hot handful. Wish me luck on those odds!


- Nullify one of the win conditions by making it impossible to mill out your deck, massively drawing out the length of play and trivialising the danger of the discard pile

- Force your opponent to lose all of their usable Pokemon in one turn

- Losing a ruling in the English release, making practically any of your opponent’s strategies stillborn

- Being able to knock out practically anything within two turns of play, with no weakness, no retreat cost, and appreciable health for a basic Pokemon of the time

- Having a bonus effect that relies on impractical-to-verify data (that is to say, if it’s your birthday or not)


- Being able to draw two cards

I just love them too much

uno headcanons: seijou vs datekou
  • iwaizumi: sucks at UNO, cause everyone cheats him.
  • matsuhana: gang up and trade cards in the middle of the game. blatantly. what are rules. everyone calls them out on it.
  • matsukawa: sneaks a Yu-Gi-Oh! card into the UNO deck, just for meme's sake
  • hanamaki: does the same, but with a Pokemon card.
  • oikawa: signs a card with his number on it and give it to someone. someone being... kamasaki or aone, maybe? for the heck of it.
  • futakuchi: gets so mad at oikawa for flirting with kamasaki and aone that he flirts with iwaizumi as revenge
  • onagawa: wins because everyone else is just stupid
  • yutaka and watari: bond over their absolute messes of a team
  • moniwa: tries to do damage control
  • iwaizumi: tries to assist moniwa (the success rate of their attempts, however, is up for debate)
  • kyoutani and sakunami: are already in their own world...
  • sakunami: is helping kyoutani with the game because kyoutani's never played it before, and they look so cute nobody bears to call them out on breaking the rules. unlike the case for matsuhana.
  • matsuhana: complain about everyone's double standards for kyousaku but they don't do anything, either.
  • yahaba: is so done and just complains about everything
  • koganegawa: keeps saying "GO FISH!"
  • sasaya: kogane.... my child... this is uno
Yu-Gi-Oh! At San Diego Comic-Con 2015

This year the staff of False Memories made the trek to San Diego to see sensei, Mr. Kazuki Takahashi, the creator of Yu-Gi-Oh! to promote the new movie for 2016.

Many lucky fans woke up super early in the morning to claim their ticket for a rare autograph session at the convention center.

This is closest information I was able to transcribe in terms of getting them answered in first person.

At the panel guests included:

Konami Digital Entertainment Corporation Officer: Soji Dewa
V-Junp Editor: Takahiko Aikawa
4K Media Inc. Producer: Arthur “Sam” Murakami
NAS Yu-Gi-Oh! Movie Producer: Teruki Jitsumatsu
4K Media Inc. Producer: Shane Guenego
Yu-Gi-Oh! Creator: Kazuki Takahashi

Recently, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX was announced that Japanese audio and English subtitles are available online streaming on yugioh.com, Hulu, crunchyroll , and others starting on August 1, 2015.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Will be streamed online with Japanese audio and English subtitles available on yugioh.com. The first five episodes are available now, and new episodes will be uploaded at the beginning of each month.

More merchandise will be available including Heroclix and Dice Monsters.

Social media Q&A:

What is his inspiration for creating manga?
Loves American comics like fighting comics.

I was fired from working part time at a game store, so l tried again to work on a manga again because I didn’t think I could beat Dragonball. At first, I wanted to do fighting manga, but wanted to create something different, fighting but with games. I wanted to create a new genre.

What do you have to consider when creating manga?
I must create 20 new pieces every week. It’s important to have good ideas, lively characters , and have cool monsters scenes.

How did he feel when Yu-Gi-Oh! it turned into an anime?
Very excited, what I created on paper is now moving on screen, hearing voices, sound, and color. I am always seeing black and white [working on the manga], when the anime aired, “oh so that’s what he looks like in color”.

What’s next for ygo?
Of course the movie. (Mr. Takahashi is the executive producer for the movie.

[The screen shows new art for the movie.]

Thoughts when he created the image: I created the next story after the manga ended. Story takes place 6 months after the original manga ended. Kaiba is the center of the story. I wrote what I couldn’t write, I wrote now.

The sponsors asked him to evolve Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and he said “I can’t, I can’t,” with the new movie, things became like “this”. (No one knows, no art shown)

More about the movie:  Mr. Takahashi wrote the script, did the character design and monsters, checked all story boards.

New designs for Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Dark Magician will appear in the Trading Card Game.

[Shows top secret drawings from the movie: Yuugi Motou, Seto Kaiba,  Anzu (Tea), and Jounouchi (Joey)]

Comments in the character designs:
Yuugi: a more mature character.
Kaiba: he has more of a villainous look.
Anzu: she’s mature and “powered” up.
Jou: not much has changed, but his hair is slightly different to make it animate better on screen.

A trailer of the movie reveals the title of the film. “Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Darkside Of Dimensions”.

Kaiba and Yuugi have scoters!!! New Duel Disks!

[Story boards from movie, teaser of movie the new movie. There are disortions in dimensions… A new enemy appears!]

The movie is slated to show spring of 2016 in Japan. Show date will vary for other countries.

Last message to fans about the movie? Yugi and kaiba, are coming to screen.

How is your work progress, how has it changed from then to now? What does your desk look like now? (FM submitted question)
My desk is not clean. When I worked with staff, in the past, I used pens but I have gone digital and work mostly by myself now.

How do you draw Yuugi? (He begins to show the audience how he draws Yami Yuugi)
I start with the eyes. If I mess up the eyes, I start over. I have to be careful otherwise his hair runs off the page.

Why is Yuugi’s his hair like that?
I wanted and impactful character.  And you can tell with the character by silhouette.

Favorite characters to draw?
Yami Yuugi.

What do you prefer to draw the most? The Blue-Eyes White Dragon or the Dark Magician?

Favourite manga story arc?
DEATH-T. The reason why it’s my favorite because it is when Yuugi and Kaiba duel. The use Exodia for the first time sets everything in motion.

Which characters do you relate the most?
I really love Yuugi, but wishes to be like Jounouchi (Joey). As he’s older, he is like Grandpa.

How long did it take you to create the manga?
It took a year and story editor to come up with YGO. Through of allot of work, manga first then card game.

How he had to research on Egypt before writing?
History of gaming surfaced in Egypt 5,000 years ago. I went to Egypt twice, but once before the manga.

(The Ink Pot is awarded to Kazuki Takahashi from SDCC)

A special YGO movie poster is given to all panel attendee!

Thanks for reading!

Popular Anime/Manga Explained Quickly and Explicitly
  • Dragon Ball Z: Fucking Aliens!
  • Madoka Magica: Fucking Witches!
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Fucking CCG!
  • Ouran High School Host Club: Fucking Rich People
  • Yu-Gi-Oh: Fucking Trading Cards!
  • Pandora Hearts: Fucking Baskervilles!
  • Hellsing: Fucking Nazis!
  • Fairy Tail: Fucking Dark Guilds!
  • Sword Art Online: Fucking Video Games!
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Fucking Law of Equivalent Exchange!
  • Soul Eater: Fucking Kishin!
  • Naruto: Fucking Sasuke!