I was five years old when Yu-Gi-Oh premiered on WB! Kids and I was hooked. I remember in first grade running around with my friends pretending to be monsters from the show. I remember going over to my friend’s house after school and watching Yu-Gi-Oh on Cartoon Network. I had the cards and I had the CD of the show’s soundtrack, so it’s pretty fair to say I was a huge fan.
The most memorable parts of the show were the villains. Before Avatar: The Last Airbender had Zuko, there was Yu-Gi-Oh with Maximillion Pegasus. They both even have a messed up eye. I remember being so enthralled by Pegasus’ backstory with his long lost love Cecelia, that I still remember it scene for scene to this day. Yu-Gi-Oh had other really great villains. Seto Kaiba, the bad boy millionaire who lusts for power, and Arkana - the magician who’s also obsessed with a woman who left him. All the episodes with Arkana were my personal favorites because I loved seeing Dark Magician Girl for the first time (aka my favorite monster).
Anyway, I just feel like Yu-Gi-Oh was a great introduction for me to the world of anime and also prepared American audiences for deeper kids shows. Though Yu-Gi-Oh has child messages of “believe in the heart of the cards” and “friendship”, there are also really scary and creepy elements for adults. As well as some ancient Egyptian “history”. Yu-Gi-Oh showed me as a child that kids shows can be grown up. Yu-Gi-Oh walked so Avatar: The Last Airbender could run.
24 year old English major and ESL Teacher. Currently living in Fortaleza, Brazil. Feminist and kill joy with a cause.