As one of the most popular and recognizable anime out there, it’s only natural that Yu-Gi-Oh! leans into the genre a bit too much at times.
It’s a pretty fair statement to say that the original Yu-Gi-Oh! is one of the most recognizable anime of all time. It is hugely popular and has managed to stay relevant for years after going off the air. It’s a beloved classic that has a spot in people’s hearts around the world.
With that said, every now and then Yu-Gi-Oh! leans into its anime roots a bit too hard and comes up with some moments that are just silly. Peak anime Yu-Gi-Oh! is certainly fun, but is ridiculous at the same time, too.
10 Every Duel In Season One
Season one of Yu-Gi-Oh! is known for a lot of things, including how it just blatantly throws the rules out of basically every single duel featured.
The real-life card game wasn’t formed at the time that this aired, so rules could be made up for all sorts of plot twists and shocking turns. There are plenty of examples of this, but the next entry on the list really takes the crown in terms of shockingness.
9 The Flotation Device
Yugi’s duel against PaniK ended in a way that was really just a sight to see. Yugi launched one of his monsters specifically at the Castle of Dark Illusions’ floatation device.
Once Yugi’s Swords of Revealing Light had vanished, the castle fell directly onto his own monsters, and he lost the duel. How Yugi came up with that plan is questionable at best, if not downright cheating. Either way, it’s peak anime.
8 Mai Almost Having A Good Character Arc
Mai really almost had a good character arc on this show. She learned to really have friends and let people in, and became a better duelist and person because of it. And then all of her development was thrown to the side so that the men could have their character arcs.
She lost a duel to Marik that she should have won and then went from damsel in distress to villain and then right back to damsel in distress. They had a chance to make a great character out of Mai, and all that potential flew right out the window.
7 Joey’s Constant Plot Armor
Joey’s deck was straight up not very good on this show. It gets a bit better depending on the season, sure, but it is not all that great in general. The only reason that he won the duels that he did comes down to plot armor.
All of his luck cards worked out on his side, his lack of combos never mattered, things always worked out for Joey no matter what. If that’s not plot armor, what is?
6 Yugi’s Constant Very Specific Cards
Ragnarok is a card that requires two Dark Magician monsters on the field in order to be activated. Once used, the player must remove all monsters from their field, deck, and graveyard from play.
All monsters on the opponent’s side of the field are then destroyed. Why on earth did Yugi have this card in his deck? It’s horrible. The only reason he had it was that it worked to defeat Marik. Otherwise, this card would never be used. And it was never seen again.
5 Kaiba & Yugi’s Battle City Duel
Yugi’s duel with Kaiba during Battle City is hilariously wonderful in all of the best ways. Throughout the duel, the two are basically just throwing their Egyptian God Cards back and forth at one another over and over. Just as one has a strategy that will win them the game, the entire duel is flipped on its head by the opponent.
This is a ton of fun to watch because it just keeps going for episode after episode, the tension never lets up. Eventually, Yugi does take the win though, because, well, he’s the main character.
4 Dartz Summoning An Infinite Attack Monster
In Yugi’s duel with Dartz, his ultimate challenge is to overcome a monster that has infinite attack points. This, of course, is absolutely wild and seems like there would be no way for Yugi to win, right?
Well, Yugi destroys this monster in what is basically the exact same second that it was summoned.
3 Yugi Destroying It Instantly
Yugi has his Legendary Knights bounce their attacks off of one another in order to increase their strength to infinity, something that everyone knows just isn’t possible.
Yugi straight up just invents a new rule here and defeats Dartz with it. Why Dartz allows this to happen is anyone’s guess, but it truly is as anime as it gets.
2 Friendship Solving Everything
Whether it’s Mai being a bad person until she has friends, Yugi’s friends protecting him from ancient magic somehow, Joey finding the strength to carry on because of his friends, or anything that Tea says throughout the entire show, friendship rules all.
Any and all problems that the characters have can be solved through friendship and friendship alone. It’s the heart of the show, really.
1 The Heart Of The Cards
The Heart of the Cards is literally just a phrase used in order to allow Yugi to draw any card that he needs in order to win a duel at any time.
That is the sole reason that it exists. It is simply an anime plot device used to ensure that no matter what is happening in the show, Yugi can and will win. The Heart of the Cards will make sure of it.
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