Yu-Gi-Oh! (遊☆戯☆王Yūgiō, trans. "King of Games", occasionally subtitled "A Game of Darkness" or "The Shadow Games", or unofficially referred to as "First Series" or "Season Zero" by fans, is the first anime adaptation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series. The 27-episode series was produced by Toei Animation and aired on TV Asahi from April 4 to October 10, 1998.
Manga plots were re-written so that they could take up an entire episode's worth of time. Also, the level of violence was reduced between the manga and the anime. Finally, a minor character in the manga, Miho Nosaka, became a main character in the first series along with Yugi Mutou, Katsuya Jonouchi, Anzu Mazaki, and Hiroto Honda. Characterization was slightly modified. For instance, Miho is a "ditz" in the anime while in the manga she is a shy student librarian. Also, Honda is Jonouchi's verbal sparring partner instead of his crony in Toei's anime.
New characters and plots, such as those relating to the four game masters, were added, and there are more occurrences of Seto Kaiba and Duel Monsters (Magic and Wizards in the original Japanese manga) than in the corresponding manga. Unlike the second series, the card game (Duel Monsters) is not the sole focus of the show. However, the Duel Monsters rules have been updated, becoming more like those used in the Duelist Kingdom, even though this anime never gets to that point. The last episodes of the series focus on the battle between Yugi and Dark Bakura. This series had different voice actors and different character designs than the second series (e.g. Seto Kaiba's hair is green in Toei's anime). The series has not been licensed for an English-language release.
In this series, Yami Yugi doesn't challenge people to a duel of Duel Monsters. Instead, he would challenge them to a Shadow Game, or Yami no Game, a dangerous challenge where he would then explain the rules. However, the person in question would cheat and the Doors of Darkness will open, thus Yami Yugi would enact a Penalty Game upon the person, and usually whatever they obsess over the most would be their nightmare, such as their makeup falling off and showing their true face or wristwatches fusing to their being. Duel Monsters was not the main point of the show but was played a few times, and due to popular demand it subsequently became the main focus of the series.
The ending credits of each episode features three pages of voice roles.
Characters appearing on the first page are listed below as "main".
Characters appearing on the second page, at least once, are listed below as supporting.
Characters only appearing on the third page are listed below as minor.
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