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English Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL logo

Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL遊☆戯☆王 (YU-GI-OH!) ZEXAL (ゼアル) Yūgiō Zearu

Anime series
Directed by

Satoshi Kuwabara


Studio Gallop[1]


Japan TV Tokyo, BS Japan[2]

Original run

April 11, 2011 — March 23, 2014

No. of episodes


Manga Series

Authored by

Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL (pronounced /zeaɾɯ/ in Japanese, mimicking the English word "zeal"; pronounced /ˈzek.səl/ "ZECK-sul" in English) is a Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga series and the successor to the Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's series. It was followed by Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V on April 6, 2014.

The anime first aired on April 11, 2011 in popular evening slots in Japan on TV Tokyo.[3] It introduces the Xyz Summon mechanic and Xyz Monsters. It also starts the use of the Series 7 card layout replacing the Series 3 layout used in later episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh!, and the majority of episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's.

Starting with the show's fourth arc, the show was advertised under the name Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL II (pronounced zay-al [IPA: zeɪal] sekando in Japanese, pronounced zek-sul second in English), but both NAS and TV Tokyo classify it as the same show, with the episode numbers continuing from where it was left off instead of returning to the start.[4][5]

The first season of the English dubbed version premiered on October 15, 2011 on the CW4KIDS Toonzai. The second season was brought to CW4KIDS's second Cartoon Block, Vortexx. Official English subtitled episodes can be found on Hulu, though only available within the United States thus far.

Vortexx came to an end on September 27, 2014, and was replaced with a live-action E/I block from Litton Entertainment named One Magnificent Morning.[6][7] On July 11, 2014, it was announced that new episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL would premiere on yugioh.com each week up until the conclusion of Season 3.[8]


Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL[]

Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Japanese Logo

Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL (遊☆戯☆王 (YU-GI-OH!) ZEXAL (ゼアル) ) logo

4Kids English Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL intro screen

Dubbed version title screen

The series is set in a city in the near future, Heartland City. In this era, children and adults enjoy Augmented Reality Duels. Augmented Reality Duels are Duels that use Duel Gazers and D-Pads, which when the two are used together, whether on the ground or in the sky, cause monsters to erupt from buildings and fight each other. The hero is Yuma Tsukumo. At a beginner level, he's a champion at absolutely losing. Due to a chain of events, Yuma ends up challenging the number one delinquent at his school, Reginald. His destiny is changed by a bizarre door he's seen in his dreams. When Yuma unlocks this sealed door, countless lights fly from it and escape. And when Yuma comes to, he sees the mysterious entity, Astral, who came from a parallel universe, standing before him.

In order to regain Astral's lost memories, the flying lights from the door that have turned into the 99 "Numbers" cards, these two must work together. A series of mysterious and powerful rivals begin to appear before Yuma and Astral including a young boy named Kite Tenjo, revenge-seeking Vetrix and the maniacal Dr. Faker.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL II[]


Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL II ( (ゆう) () (おう) ZEXAL (ゼアル) (セカンド) ) logo


Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL II subseries artwork

Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL II takes place after the first season, starting with the episode "Attack of the Barians: Part 1". The curtain falls on the World Duel Carnival, peace has finally returned to Heartland City. But now, emissaries from the Barian World, hostile to the Astral World, are aiming to steal the "Numbers" and Astral for themselves. In order to protect him, Yuma, Kite and Shark join together to combat the Barian menace, as they ultimately become involved in the Interdimensional War of two worlds.

When the memories of Shark's past life, Nash, are awakened, he decides to lead the Barians against Astral World. With Nash restored to the throne and Earth fusing with the Barian World, the Seven Barian Emperors decide to invade Earth for the final battle. When Yuma and Nash finally confront each other, their duel will end the Interdimensional War in the most unexpected way...


These characters appear in both the anime and manga

Anime Characters[]

Manga Characters[]


The Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL manga is written by Shin Yoshida, illustrated by Naoto Miyashi and published by Shueisha. Unlike Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, the Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL manga was released before the anime and follows the same story as the anime up until Rank 009.

The series is set in the near future. Something unexpected happens as Ryoga Kamishiro challenges Yuma Tsukumo to a Duel. When the mysterious entity Astral appears before them a new legend begins.[9]


Yu-Gi-Oh! D Team ZEXAL is a spin-off of the series made by Akihiro Tomonaga with the cooperation of Wedge Holdings. This spin-off is non-canon to the anime and manga series, and focuses on humor.

Just like in the anime and manga, the series is set in the near future. However, it has no relation to them. Here, Yuma already knows Astral since the beginning, and forms a Dueling Team with Kotori, Tetsuo and Takashi.


Opening Themes[]

Japanese opening theme 1: Masterpiece

  • Performer: Mihimaru GT
  • Episodes: 001-025, 146

Japanese opening theme 2: BRAVING!

  • Performer: KANAN
  • Episodes: 026-049

Japanese opening theme 3: Soul Drive

  • Performer: Color Bottle
  • Episodes: 050-073

Japanese opening theme 4: Unbreakable Heart

  • Performer: Takatori Hideaki
  • Episodes: 074-098

Japanese opening theme 5: Dual-ism of Mirrors

  • Performer: Petite Milady
  • Episodes: 099-123

Japanese opening theme 6: Wonder Wings

  • Performer: DIAMOND✡YUKAI
  • Episodes: 124-145

Ending Themes[]

Japanese ending theme 1: My Quest

  • Performer: Golden Bomber
  • Episodes: 001-025

Japanese ending theme 2: Longing Freesia

  • Performer: DaizyStripper
  • Episodes: 026-049

Japanese ending theme 3: Wild Child

  • Performer: moumoon
  • Episodes: 050-073

Japanese ending theme 4: Artist

  • Performer: Vistlip
  • Episodes: 074-098

Japanese ending theme 5: GO WAY GO WAY

  • Performer: FoZZtone
  • Episodes: 099-123

Japanese ending theme 6: Challenge the GAME

  • Performer: REDMAN
  • Episodes: 124-145

English Themes[]

English theme 1: Take a Chance

English theme 2: Halfway to Forever (song)


All soundtracks were released by Marvelous Entertainment.




An encore screening of Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D Bonds Beyond Time on February 20, 2011 in Japan contained details on the production of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. The second 2011 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump included details of the screening a competition on how one hundred and ten readers can win passes to see it.[11]

4Kids confirmed that an English-language dub would premiere on October 15th, 2011 at 9:30 AM.

Differences in adaptations[]

  • Some names are Americanized.
  • The names on the Duelist's picture are removed.
  • The Win Sound Effect is changed in the English dub.
  • Skirts and socks on female characters are lengthened to avoid any sexual implications.
  • Astral's lower body is blurred out to avoid references to nudity.
  • The backs of the cards have been edited to become the standard backing seen in the other series, with an exception in the first 8 episodes, when they re-aired, the backings are changed. In episode 26 and onward, the backing of the cards changed to how they appear in the World Duel Carnival arc, just like the Japanese version.
  • The scenes depicting Numbers users aging from "Photon Hand" is cut. Although this isn't the case when Kite takes Reginald Kastle's soul.
  • When an Overlay Unit is used, the sound effect has been replaced with a new one.
  • The Life Point sound effect is replaced with a different one than the original.
  • There are 3 seasons in the dub.
  • References to death or killing of characters are toned down, worded indirectly, or removed.


The following staff are credited.[1]

Original character draft Kazuki Takahashi, Studio Dice (Weekly Shōnen Jump)
Planning Yukio Kawasaki (TV Tokyo)
Masanori Miyake
Director Satoshi Kuwabara
Series composition Shin Yoshida
Duel composition Masahiro Hikokubo
Character design Hirotoshi Takaya
Monster design Seiji Handa
Mecha accessory design Mitsuru Owa
Art director Takashi Nakamura
Color scheme Ayami Minowa
CG producer Futoshi Nagara
CG direction Tomita Kazunori
Photography director Kendi Akazawa
Editor Kajino Masafumi
Sound director Hiroaki Matsuoka
Sound production cooperation Jinnan Studio
Music Conisch
Yutaka Minobe
Yasufumi Fukuda
Music Production Marvelous Entertainment
Music collaboration TV Tokyo Music
Casting cooperation Ai Ninuma (Neruke Planning)
Anime producer Furuya Daisuke
Producer Ryo Sasaki
Anime production Studio Gallop
Production TV Tokyo / NAS


  • Despite the fact it's implied the holograms are only viewable through D-Gazers and therefore not actually there, characters have been thrown by explosions during the Duels not involving power from either Astral or Barian world.
  • ZEXAL is the first spin-off series where the main protagonist never has any in-person encounter with the main protagonist of its predecessor series throughout its canonical plotline. (In 5D's, Yusei and Jaden did meet in the movie Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D Bonds Beyond Time which follows 5D's canonical plotline, thus making ZEXAL the first series where the current main protagonist does not interact personally with the main protagonist of its predecessor series.)
    • It is also the first series where the new type of monster introduced (in this case, Xyz Monsters) does not have a Level (instead, they have a Rank).
  • ZEXAL is the first series to be completely dubbed since the original series.
  • In the dub, this series has a two-part episode with the same name as a two-part episode from the original series, making this the first series to have a two-part episode with the same name as one from another series.
  • This is the last Filipino-dubbed series aired in the Philippines.

See also[]

External links[]