This 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' Fan Project Reanimates Season One Like It Deserves
Yu-Gi-Oh! is one of the biggest franchises in the anime and manga industry, even branching out into trading card popularity and cards costing as much as a fancy new car, and fans wanted to pay tribute to the series in a big way.
Hence the Yu-Gi-Oh! REANIMATE project, a collaborative fan-project where over 200 artists spent the better part of a year recreating and parodying an episode from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! series in Japan before it came to the United States.
Brought together by artist Phui Jing Ling, these artists took an episode from Yu-Gi-Oh!'s original series run. Fans in the United States may not be aware with the episode's content since this was before the series became more focused around its central card game Duel Monsters. Dubbed as 'Season 0' by fans, this Pharoah often played deadlier games of chance with foes, such as the above game which sets the loser on fire.
In the United States, 4Kids dubbed over these death games as sending opponents to the Shadow Realm, and given how gruesome some of the penalties were in the first season and its darker situations, it's no wonder it wasn't brought over officially given the image the series has now.
For those unfamiliar with Yu-Gi-Oh!, the series was originally created by Kazuki Takahashi. It ran in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump from September 1996 to March 2004. The series follows Yugi Mutou, a young boy who solves an ancient puzzle and is possessed by the spirit of the Egyptian pharoah. Being skilled at deadly games, the Pharoah goes on to create and solve problems for Yugi based on deadly games of chance.
Two anime series were created for the series, but the one most fans will recognize is Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters was the first arc in the story to focus on the "Duel Monsters" card game and was the first season licensed for an English language release by 4Kids Entertainment. The first season of the series, which fans often dub as "Season 0," was more focuses on deadly games of chance with horrible consequences. It's a darker season of the series featuring many changes from the series' identity later on.
The currently running series, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, is the fifth version of the series following Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V and started airing in 2017. It takes place ten years into the future, where Duel Monsters is played through virtual reality tech as a young boy named Yusaku who is dueling to defeat a mysterious hacker group.