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Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal (Japanese: 遊☆戯☆王ZEXAL(ゼアル), Hepburn: Yū-Gi-Ō Zearu, pronounced "Ze-al") is a Japanese manga and anime series and the third spin-off of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, after the preceding Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. The manga began serialization in Shueisha's V Jump magazine from December 2010 and is licensed in North America by Viz Media.[2]

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal
Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal vol 1.jpg
Japanese cover of the first manga volume featuring the main characters, Astral (left) and Yuma Tsukumo (right)
遊☆戯☆王ZEXAL(ゼアル)
(Yū-Gi-Ō Zearu)
GenreAdventure, fantasy[1]
Manga
Written byShin Yoshida
Illustrated byNaohito Miyoshi
Published byShueisha
English publisher
DemographicShōnen
MagazineV Jump
English magazine
Original runDecember 18, 2010June 21, 2015
Volumes9 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed bySatoshi Kuwahara
Written byShin Yoshida
Music byConisch
StudioGallop
Licensed by
4Kids Entertainment (2011–2012)
Konami Cross Media NY (2012–present)
Original networkTXN (TV Tokyo)
English network
Original run April 11, 2011 September 24, 2012
Episodes73 + 1 special (List of episodes)
Manga
Yu-Gi-Oh! D-Team Zexal
Written byAkihiro Tomonaga
Illustrated byWedge Holdings
Published byShueisha
DemographicShōnen
MagazineSaikyō Jump
Original runApril 3, 2012April 3, 2014
Anime television series
Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal II
Directed bySatoshi Kuwahara
Written byShin Yoshida
Music byConisch
Yasufumi Fukuda
Yutaka Minobe
StudioGallop
Licensed by
Original networkTV Tokyo
English network
Original run October 7, 2012 March 23, 2014
Episodes73 + 1 special (List of episodes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

The anime series, animated by Gallop, aired on TV Tokyo between April 2011 and March 2014, with an English-language version airing in North America between October 2011 and August 2013. A second series, titled Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal II (遊☆戯☆王ZEXAL II(ゼアル セカンド), Yū-Gi-Ō Zearu Sekando, pronounced "Ze-al Second"), aired in Japan between October 2012 and March 2014 and in North America between August 2013 and February 2015. The series was succeeded by Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V.

The series aired on The CW's Saturday morning cartoon block, Toonzai, and continued to air on its successor, Vortexx. The series was later broadcast on Nicktoons starting April 12, 2013. After Vortexx ended, new episodes were streamed to Hulu beginning July 14, 2014. In Canada, the series aired on YTV starting June 2, 2012, while new episodes of Zexal II moved to Teletoon on May 4, 2014.[3]

Contents

Plot and settingEdit

Taking place in the near future in a place called Heartland City, the story focuses on Yuma Tsukumo, a young duelist who strives to become the Duel Monsters champion, despite being an amateur. One day, during a duel with a rival named Shark, a mysterious spirit called Astral appears before him, and helps him to win. Astral explains to Yuma he is searching for his lost memories, which have been transformed into 99 Xyz Monster (エクシーズ モンスター, Ekushīzu Monsutā) cards called Numbers (ナンバーズ, Nanbāzu), which have been scattered across the globe. The Numbers have the ability to possess the duelists who own them, and bring out their darkest desires. In order to recover his memories, Astral teams up with Yuma in order to recover the Number cards. After coming up against a boy named Kite Tenjo, who is hunting after Numbers, Yuma and Astral gain the ability to combine their forces using the power of ZEXAL (ゼアル, Zearu). Entering the World Duel Carnival tournament, Yuma finds himself up against various rivals, including the vengeance-seeking Vetrix and the maniacal Dr. Faker, who seek the Numbers for their own gain.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal II takes place right after the end of the first series. In this new story, as the curtain falls on the World Duel Carnival, peace has finally returned to Heartland City. But now, forces from Barian World, a world hostile to Astral's World, are aiming at taking the "Numbers" and Astral for themselves. In order to protect Astral, Yuma, Kite, and Shark stand together to combat the Barian threat.

ThemesEdit

Similar to how the original series utilized elements of Egyptian mythology, Zexal loosely used bits of Christian and Greek Mythology for its motif. Examples include Yuma and Astral's signature card, Number 39: Hope (Number 39: Utopia in the English Dub), representing a role akin to a Guardian Angel, the Seven Barian Warlords (final antagonists of Zexal II) are very much based on the named stars of the Big Dipper, and the inspiration for Heartland City (the setting) and World Duel Carnival being Carnivals; which are festivities that coincidentally originate from Christian and Greek cultures. Just like all other Yu-Gi-Oh! series, Zexal also places a major emphasis on bonds and friendship.

The gameplay gimmick introduced in Zexal is AR Duels (Alternate Reality Duels), in which both players utilize a high-tech monocle known as a Duel Gazer to observe a virtual reality where the Duel Monsters interact with the environment, as if they exist in a parallel world of their own.

MediaEdit

MangaEdit

A manga series written by Shin Yoshida and illustrated by Naohito Miyoshi began serialization in the extended February 2011 issue of Shueisha's V Jump magazine, released on December 18, 2010.[4] The first bound volume was released in Japan on June 3, 2011.[5] Viz Media licensed the manga in North America and began releasing the series from June 5, 2012.[6][7] The manga also began serialization on the digital Shonen Jump Alpha from July 9, 2012.[8] A spin-off manga written by Akihiro Tomonaga and illustrated by Wedge Holdings, titled Yu-Gi-Oh! D-Team Zexal (遊☆戯☆王 Dチーム・ゼアル, Yūgiō Dyueru Chīmu Zearu), was serialized in Shueisha's Saikyō Jump magazine from April 2012 to April 2014.

AnimeEdit

The anime was first teased on December 9, 2010, revealing details would be unveiled at the Japanese encore screening of Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time on February 20, 2011.[9] The series' name was revealed on December 13, 2010, via a leak from the February 2011 issue of V Jump. It was revealed that Satoshi Kuwahara would be the director, that scripts would be supervised by Shin Yoshida, that Masahiro Hikokubo would choreograph the duels, and that Hirotoshi Takaya would adapt the character designs for the anime.[2] A one-minute promotional video was released on December 17, 2010.[4] The anime aired on TV Tokyo between April 11, 2011 and September 24, 2012.[10] A second series titled Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal II aired between October 7, 2012 and March 23, 2014 in a different time slot.[11] Overall with both seasons, the total number of episodes are 146, plus 2 specials.

An English adaptation by 4Kids Entertainment premiered on October 15, 2011 on Toonzai.[12] Although, TV Tokyo and Nihon Ad Systems filed a lawsuit against 4Kids Entertainment and demanded the termination of the Yu-Gi-Oh! licensing agreement with them in March 2011,[13] a stay of proceedings was ordered preventing the termination of the contract or the resale of the franchise until a ruling is decided.[14] Following the bankruptcy of 4Kids, all Yu-Gi-Oh! assets were acquired by Konami's 4K Media Inc.. The series aired on Saban's Vortexx block until it dissolved on September 27, 2014 and aired on Nicktoons from April 12, 2013.[15] Episodes from #114 onwards were streamed on Hulu.[16] Ultra Kidz premiered the series in the United States with Latin American Spanish dubbing on June 1, 2018.[17]

MusicEdit

There are five official soundtrack CDs, all released by Marvelous Entertainment.

  • The first, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Sound Duel 1, was released on September 28, 2011.[18]
  • The second, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Sound Duel 2, was released on September 19, 2012.
  • The third, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Sound Duel 3, was released on May 15, 2013.
  • The fourth, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Sound Duel 4, was released on November 13, 2013.
  • The fifth, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Sound Duel 5, was released on November 19, 2014.
Opening Themes
  • "Masterpiece" (マスターピース, Masutāpīsu) by mihimaru GT (Eps 1–25, Ep 146 ending)
  • "Braving!" (ブレイビング!, Bureibingu!) by Kanan (Eps 26–49)
  • "Soul Drive" (魂ドライブ, Tamashii Doraibu) by Color Bottle (Eps 50–73)
Second season
  • "Unbreakable Heart" (折れないハート, Arenai Hāto) by Hideaki Takatori (Eps 74–98)
  • "Dualism of Mirrors" (鏡のデュアルイズム, Kagami no Duaruizumu) by Petit Milady (Aoi Yuki and Ayana Taketatsu) (Eps 99–123)[19]
  • "Wonder Wings" (ワンダーウィングス, Wandā Wingusu) by Diamond☆Yukai (Eps 124–145)
Ending Themes
  • "My Quest" (僕クエスト, Boku Kuesuto) by Golden Bomber (Eps 1–25)
  • "Longing Freesia" (切望のフリージア, Setsubō no Furījia) by DaizyStripper (Eps 26–49)
  • "Wild Child" (ワイルドチャイルド, Wairudo Chairudo) by Moumoon (Eps 50–73)
Second season
  • "Artist" (アーティスト, Ātisuto) by Vistlip (Eps 74–98)
  • "Go Way Go Way" (ゴーウェイゴーウェイ, Gō Wei Gō Wei) by FoZZtone (Eps 99–123)
  • "Challenge the GAME" (チャレンジザゲーム, Charenji za Gēmu) by REDMAN (Eps 124–145)
English Opening Theme
  • "Take a Chance" by Michael Brady, Shane Guenego, Arthur Murakami, & Surefire Music Group (Eps 1–73)
  • "Halfway to Forever" by Michael Brady, Shane Guenego, Arthur Murakami, Jonathan Lattif, & Surefire Music Group (Eps 74–146)

Trading Card GameEdit

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal added new gameplay elements to the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game by introducing the black Xyz monsters to the game. Xyz Monsters do not have levels, but instead are categorized by Ranks, which are located on the left side of the Card as opposed to the right. To Xyz Summon, the player must have a number of monsters on the field whose individual levels are equal to the Rank of the desired Xyz Monster. The monsters then become "Xyz Materials" by stacking together and the Xyz Monster is placed on top of the stack, which the Xyz Monster can use to trigger its effects. The removed Xyz Materials are sent to the graveyard. In the future when Pendulum Monsters would be released three years later, they would be sent to the Extra Deck instead.

Video gameEdit

A video game based on the series titled Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal: Gekitotsu! Duel Carnival (遊戯王ZEXAL 激突!デュエルカーニバル, Yūgiō Zearu: Gekitotsu! Dueru Kānibaru) was developed by Konami and released in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS on December 5, 2013.[20] It was released as Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal: World Duel Carnival in North America on September 25, 2014.[21][22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Read a Free Preview of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, Vol. 1". Viz Media. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Anime, Manga Revealed". Anime News Network. December 13, 2010.
  3. ^ "Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal premieres on Teletoon on Sunday". Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal TV Anime's Promo Video Streamed". Anime News Network. December 17, 2010.
  5. ^ "遊・戯・王ZEXAL 1" [Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal 1] (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  6. ^ Yu-Gi-Oh ZEXAL Volume 1. Viz Media. ISBN 978-1421549026.
  7. ^ Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal, Vol. 2 (Yu-Gi-Oh! (Graphic Novels)). Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal,Vol. 2 (Yu-Gi-Oh! (Graphic Novels)): Kazuki Takahashi,Shin Yoshida,Naohito Miyoshi: 9781421549804: Amazon.com: Books. Amazon.com. ISBN 978-1421549804.
  8. ^ "NEW SERIES: YU-GI-OH! ZEXAL". Viz Media. July 2, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2012.
  9. ^ "New Yu-Gi-Oh! Series to Be Announced in February". Anime News Network. December 9, 2010.
  10. ^ "Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal TV Anime Scheduled for April 11". Anime News Network. February 21, 2011. Retrieved March 11, 2011.
  11. ^ "Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal II to Debut on October 7 in New Timeslot". Anime News Network. September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  12. ^ "Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal to Premiere on Toonzai on October 15". Anime News Network. September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 27, 2011.
  13. ^ Eriq Gardner (March 29, 2011). "'Yu-Gi-Oh!' Creator Terminates U.S. Deal and Sues for Millions of Dollars (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 23, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
  14. ^ "Judge Orders Hold on U.S. Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime License (Updated)". Anime News Network. June 2, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
  15. ^ "The 4Kids 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' Transition". ICv2. July 30, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  16. ^ "Watch Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Online - at Hulu". Hulu. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  17. ^ "Ultra Kidz Gets Decked with the Premiere of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL". MultiChannel. May 31, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  18. ^ "遊☆戯☆王 Zexal Sound Duel 1" (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
  19. ^ "Aoi Yuki & Ayana Taketatsu Form petit milady Singing Unit". Anime News Network. March 22, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  20. ^ "Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Gekitotsu! Duel Carnival 3DS Game Revealed". Anime News Network. July 16, 2013. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  21. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-06-09/yu-gi-oh-zexal-world-duel-carnival-english-3ds-trailer-posted/.75374
  22. ^ "Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal World Duel Carnival's English 3DS Trailer Posted". Anime News Network. June 9, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2017.

External linksEdit