The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise has been through many iterations over the years, and many characters and designs have appeared over its 20 year life-span. But it turns out some anime cameos have been slipped in under fans' noses.
As one Reddit user points out, the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime once had a clever shout-out to Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto series with a small cameo tucked away in a packed crowd.
During Episode 187 of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series, Joey Wheeler is dueling a disguised Grandpa Muto (who is dueling under the psuedonym "Apdnarg Otum") during a brand new tournament, and hidden in the crowd of onlookers are Naruto's famous Ino-Shika-Cho trio: Shikamaru Nara, Choji Akimichi, and Ino Yamanaka.
Along with this, fans have also noticed a hidden Kuribo along with a shoutout to another shonen anime series, The Prince of Tennis, as its main character Ryoma Echizen is watching along right next to the famous ninja trio. The series is full of all sorts of references, especially in its card art, so this is a hilarious find but no surprise.
Episode 187 of the series first premiered in Japan in 2004, during the peak of Naruto's popularity. So it's cool to see one anime series lovingly acknowledge another one. Especially when Ino-Shika-Cho would definitely be watching these high risk duels if they were in the Duel Monsters world themselves.
Yu-Gi-Oh! was originally created by Kazuki Takahashi for Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, and ran 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 adaptations were created for the series, but the one most fans will recognize is Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters. 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," has such deadly games of chance with horrible consequences that fans could not believe it was a part of this series at first.
Originally created by Masashi Kishimoto, Naruto ran in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump for 700 chapters. The story follows a young ninja, with a sealed demon within him, that wishes to become the leader of his home village. The sequel, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is set several years after the events of the original Naruto story and features the children of many of its key characters such as Naruto and Hinata.