I’ll come right out and admit that ever since the trading card game and animated television series, Yu-Gi-Oh, afrrived in the U.S. several years ago, I have been as fanatical about both as any grown man could be.
My now, 15-year-old son, Eric Jr. initially introduced the entire family to Yu-Gi-Oh, but sicne that time, both my wife, Theresa and nine-year-old daughte, Tia have become avid fans of both the television show and the trading card game.
Having said that, we were all upset when we found out that the animated series was entering its final season this year and would not release any new episodes in the future.
However, our hopes were renewed with the release of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, an anime spinoff of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! Franchise that started airing on TV Tokyo in Japan in October of 2004. Here in the U.S. Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, which began airing last year, is distributed by Warner Bros. Television Animation and 4Kids Entertainment and airs daily on The Cartoon Network.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX begins with the lead character, Jaden Yuki obtaining a card, Winged Kuriboh, from Yugi Muto, the renowned Duel Monsters champion. Yu-Gi-Oh! GX follows the exploits of Jaden and his companions as he attends the Duelist Academy that was created by Seto Kaiba on a remote island, with its dormitories named after the three Egyptian God Cards.
The most elaborate dormitory, Obelisk Blue, is named after Obelisk the Tormentor.
The Obelisk Blue dormitory can be graduated to, but the only way to enter the dorm in the first year is to attend and do well at an affiliated junior school. As the highest ranked dormitory, Obelisk Blue’s facilities are of the highest quality, on the level of the world’s classiest hotels and restaurants.
The center dorm, Ra Yellow, is named after The Winged Dragon of Ra.. Those who were given the highest scores in the entrance exam, or who only did mediocrely in the junior school enter this dormitory, which, while not as extravagant as Obelisk Blue, still has incredibly clean and well-kept facilities and meals of a quality far above the lifestyle of the average salaryman.
The lowest dorm, Slifer Red is named after Slifer the Sky Dragon. Those who failed completely or scored poorly are put into the shoddy dorms of Slifer Red. The naming choices reflect Kaiba’s bias over the God Cards.
Here is a brief description of the show’s main characters.
Jaden Yuki – Jaden Yuki is the main character of the series, who lives in the worst dormitory of Duel Academy, Slifer Red. 15-year old Jaden receives the rare Winged Kuriboh, which becomes his spirit partner, from Yugi Muto (Yugi Mutou), the famous duelist from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! series. In the first season, he plays an Elemental Hero deck, but by the second, he loses the ability to see his cards temporarily, and is given a Neos deck with cards he created when he was young.
Alexis Rhodes – 15-year old Alexis is a strong female duelist from the Obelisk Blue dormitory. She plays a Cyber Girl deck. In the second season, she protects Obelisk Blue from being converted by the Society of Light, only to become one of its leading members herself.
Syrus Truesdale – 15-year old Syrus is the weaker younger brother of Zane Truesdale and a friend of Jaden’s, and initially a student of Slifer Red. Syrus looks to Jaden as an older brother since (he feels) his true older brother Zane is ashamed of having a weakling for a brother
Zane Truesdale – 17-year old Zane is Syrus’s stronger older brother, who resides in the Obelisk Blue dormitory. Nicknamed “Kaiser”, Zane is (at least his brother assumes) ashamed of having a weaker younger brother. In reality, he loves his younger brother, and only wants him to improve.
Chazz Princeton – 15-year old Chazz is a strong duelist from the Obelisk Blue dormitory, who has a crush on Alexis. He greatly dislikes Jaden, though as the series continues, they come to a shakey truce. Chazz’s family pressures him to do his best, as his two brothers are famous in both the financial and political worlds. Chazz, after losing to Bastion, left the school and later returned, only to be put in Slifer Red dormitory with Jaden. Chazz is constantly altering his deck, but none of his changes go without his spirit partners, the Ojama Trio.
Dr. Vellian Crowle – 35-year old Vellian Crowler is the leader of the Obelisk dormitory. At first, he holds a grudge against Jaden who he believes to be a slacker and tries to get rid of him on many occasions, but by the second season, protects Slifer Red from demolition multiple times. He plays an Ancient Gear deck.
Bastion Misawa – An analytical 15-year old of Ra Yellow who plays seven different decks.
No, Yu-Gi-Oh isn’t the original series – and doesn’t even come close to reminding anyone of it since it has more an an anime feel than the original Yu-Gi-Oh, but this series is a fine show to watch if you’re a Yu-Gi-Oh fan – and there is certainly an immense following across the globe of both, the trading card game and the television show.