TV Show Review – Yu-Gi-Oh!: Zexal, season 1

Yu-Gi-Oh!: Zexal, season 1
Courtesy of Cinedigm
Original Air Date: 2011
Release Date: May 5, 2015


I have to confess up front I’ve been collecting Yu-Gi-Oh! cards for several years now. I don’t play the game, but I am drawn to the cards because of the imaginative characters and creatures, as well as the impressive artwork. I’ve never watched any of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series before either, but I’ve been meaning to; for some reason, I’ve always had something else to watch instead. So when the fine folks at Cinedigm sent the press release for a recent Yu-Gi-Oh! series titled Zexal, I jumped at the chance to watch it. I’m glad I did, too. YU-GI-OH!: ZEXAL is a fun anime series that will appeal to both young and old.

If you are not familiar with YU-GI-OH!: ZEXAL, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Cinedigm:

When aspiring duelist Yuma meets Astral, a mysterious visitor from another world, it seems like the perfect match. While Yuma requires Astral’s dueling expertise, Astral needs Yuma to gather 99 Number Cards that contain his lost memories. They would be dueling’s greatest tag team…if they could only get along!

After watching Zexal, I think I might have to try my hand at actually playing the game. From what I’ve been told, I’ve amassed some pretty powerful cards, so I might be a formidable opponent someday. And if the game is half as fun as this show, then I’m in for a real treat!

YU-GI-OH!: ZEXAL is both vivid and intense, a cartoon series that is just as serious as it is campy. The characters are larger than life, particularly Yuma, who can’t decide if he’s a man in a boy’s body or a just a wannabe duelist who is trying to tread water in a sea of talented card-slingers. Yuma’s over-the-top antics are half of what make this show fun, although some of his inner dialogue can be painful at times.

The show itself looks great, with well drawn monsters straight from the game cards. I like the diversity of the cards/creatures used, as it really opens the eyes to those not initiated with the actual game. Likewise, the newer monsters are powerful and cool, welcome additions to an already impressive canon of beasties.

YU-GI-OH!: ZEXAL is a win for me, and fans of Saturday morning anime cartoons should love it. The 3-disc set of season one is packaged in a nice, albeit plain, box case, so it should look nice on any collector’s shelf. The series hits stores tomorrow, so make a note.


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