4K Media’s Yu-Gi-Oh! November 2017 Sweepstakes

November 21, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Konami | Leave a comment
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Yu-Gi-Oh! November 2017 Sweepstakes banner from YUGIOH.com

4K Media’s latest giveaway is live! In the Yu-Gi-Oh! November Sweepstakes, one lucky winner will take home a prize package that includes the following:

The entry period for this sweepstakes begins today and runs through November 27. Anyone who is at least 6 years of age and a resident of the 50 U.S. states or Washington, D.C., is eligible to win. As usual, check the official rules for more details.

[YGO: TAS] Counseling Evil – 3

November 16, 2017 at 7:00 am | Posted in Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series | Leave a comment
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Marik sitting in front of a table of Bandit Keith's hamburgers in LittleKuriboh's Counseling Evil, part 3

What happens when Marik turns to prominent American self-help guru Bandit Keith for advice on becoming more evil? Well for one thing, he doesn’t get his money’s worth. But he does discover a bunch of Bandit Keith’s backstory, the names of all 68 American states, and where all of the American localized anime has gone. What will you take away from Bandit Keith in part 3 of LittleKuriboh’s “Counseling Evil” series? Check out the new episode today!

With Zombie Boy now in control of Dartz’s organization, Marik set to return to his old friends, and the evil teddy bear ready to kill Bakura, it looks like the groups will soon clash in an epic showdown of most evil proportions. Be afraid, for the end is nigh! The end of Marik’s Evil Council, that is.

Counseling Evil – 2

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links PC Steam Version Coming November 17

November 15, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 2 Comments

Blue-Eyes White Dragon summoned in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, PC Steam version

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links is coming to the PC! Konami announced today that the popular mobile game will arrive on Steam this Friday, November 17. Whether duelists decide play on mobile or the PC, all their progress is retained between the two platforms.

Sample screenshots of the Steam version show that the game takes full advantage of the larger screen real estate by offering a three-column display. In the overworld, the global chat appears in the right column. And during a duel, card details are listed in the left column while a log of the duel is shown in the right.

Download for free at: http://store.steampowered.com/app/601510/YuGiOh_Duel_Links/

Select Mode screen in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, PC Steam version

Duel World overworld screen in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, PC Steam version

Deck editing mode in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, PC Steam version

Screenshot of a duel in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, PC Steam version

Good Smile Company’s figma Seto Kaiba

November 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Konami, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 3 Comments
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Good Smile Company's figma Seto Kaiba figure

How long has it been since Good Smile Company first announced a figma Seto Kaiba? Over a year? Well, the wait is over! figma Seto Kaiba is coming and 4K Media has formally announced that the figure is available for sale in the West.

Seto Kaiba is a non-scale figure that stands about 6.5 inches tall with figma’s quality posable joints. He includes a Duel Disk, cards, briefcase, two face plates, and figma stand. He also includes a shouting face plate for figma Yami Yugi (sold separately).

Pre-order directly from Good Smile for ¥7,800 (approximately $70) and you’ll also get an exclusive Enemy Controller bonus.

figma Seto Kaiba is scheduled to be released in May 2018.

(h/t Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Page)

Good Smile Company’s figma Dark Magician Girl

Yu-Gi-Oh! Animator Junichi Hayama at Youmacon 2017

November 9, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Japanese, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Junichi Hayama at a live-drawing panel at Youmacon on November 4, 2017

Junichi Hayama, one of the most popular Yu-Gi-Oh! animators and animation directors among fans, was a special guest at Youmacon in Detroit, Michigan, this past weekend. Not only is Hayama a veteran of the Japanese anime industry with over 30 years of experience, he is also a gifted artist in his own right and has published some famous books cataloging his acclaimed brush illustrations.

Junichi Hayama served as the animation director for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters episodes 94, 124, 161, 167, 173, and 179. He also worked as one of the key animators in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions. Outside of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Hayama is probably best known for the 13-episode JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure OVA from 1993, where he served as the series’ character designer and one of its animation directors.

At Youmacon, Hayama shared the stage with Mamoru Yokota, a younger animator who has worked on series like Death Note, Naruto, and Gatchaman Crowds. Together, the pair held one Q&A panel and two live-drawing panels where they offered a rare look at their creation process and fielded numerous questions about their careers and the anime industry.

This post compiles all of the Yu-Gi-Oh!-related questions that the audience asked Hayama during his panels and highlights some of his more interesting opinions and responses about his background.

Katsuya Jonouchi, by Junichi Hayama, dated October 4, 2013
By @hayama11 (October 4, 2013)

Meet Junichi Hayama

How did you get started in your career as an animator?

I used to draw a lot of manga and show them to many producers to try to see if I could get them sold. But reading my own manga, I felt like they weren’t interesting or funny enough. So, I felt that I couldn’t become a manga artist myself, that I wasn’t good enough for it. When I graduated high school, I wanted to do something similar so I went into the anime industry instead.

Did you go to school for animation?

No, I went directly to an animation company.

How much freelance work did you do before you entered the animation industry?

I’m still classified as a freelancer, even now. I’m not tethered to any one company.

What was your first job?

Gu-Gu Ganmo.

What has been your most cherished and favorite thing you’ve worked on thus far?

Fist of the North Star. It’s not the project that I like the most but rather is the one that has left the strongest impression on me. This was where I learned a lot of the basics and standard kinds of jobs. It was kind of my stepping stone in a sense.

Is there a person who has been a major inspiration for you?

Masami Suda, from Fist of the North Star, when I first started working in the industry. Suda was an animator who worked on the characters in that project. He was a great animator and had a very cool way of drawing that was very inspirational for me and that led me to where I am today. His work is the standard on which I base my own work today.

Are there any anime or manga that you enjoyed when you were young that inspires your work today?

On the anime side, something that I felt was kind of cool and awesome was Combattler V. The character designs by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko still inspire me today. A lot of my drawings are very much related to his. On the manga side, there’s Chojin Rokku. It’s one of the manga that I used to read. Yuki Hijiri, who worked on that, is someone who’s still inspirational today.

What has been the most challenging project that you’ve worked on so far?

Shonan Bakusozoku. I worked on one of the OVA episodes. This series features a lot of motorcycles and bikes, and there are a lot of fight scenes and gangs in the episodes. In particular, I didn’t know how the structure of motorcycles worked. I never rode one myself and I never really understood how they worked. I spent about two weeks all like, “I don’t know how to draw this. I don’t understand this.” I spent a very long time scratching my head over this. I decided one day I was going to buy a classic model motorcycle to understand the structure. So I bought two plastic models from my part-time job. One of them was a full-fairing version and another one was a very popular version at the time. So, from building these, I was able to finally understand the structure and felt like I was able to fulfill that job. But while I was struggling with that job, I felt like I was never going to finish it and felt a little bit hopeless at the time.

What’s the hardest thing for you to draw?

Things that look like Pretty Cure.

What’s your favorite thing to draw?

The design process of the characters. Drawing them from different angles. That’s the most fun to draw.

When you were a young animator, did you ever think about becoming an animation director?

Yes, I definitely wanted to try it.

How did you feel the first time you worked as an animation director?

I was really nervous. It’s a lot of responsibility because there isn’t anybody else who is checking things over or fixing them for you. You’re the final word, so I was nervous. I was looking forward to it and it was fun, but still nerve-wracking.

Yami Yugi, by Junichi Hayama, dated October 17, 2014
By @hayama11 (October 17, 2014)

Junichi Hayama Talks Yu-Gi-Oh!

Are you enjoying Youmacon so far?

Yes, it’s very interesting. [Hayama points at a couple cosplaying Kaiba and Mokuba sitting in the audience.] They’re one of the interesting parts.

How did you first get to work for Studio Gallop?

I kind of happened to be in between jobs. I got a hold of my friend’s company and kind of asked, “Do you have any jobs or anything that I can work on?” And he’s like, “Well, we have this Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series that we are working on. So why don’t you work as an animation director for it?” And that’s how I got involved with it.

What was your favorite character or scene to draw for Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions?

I actually haven’t seen the finished project. I really liked the first half of the movie when Kaiba and Yugi duel each other. Process-wise, I was kind of only involved in the first stage or so, so I wasn’t able to complete the project with them. It’s a little bit of a sensitive subject.

In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, did you get to draw Aigami?

Who’s Aigami?

[Hayama is taking requests during a live-drawing session.] Can you draw Marik?

[Hayama puts his face in his hands then pretends to cry. He won’t do it. It’s too difficult.]

[Hayama is still taking requests during a live-drawing session.] Can you draw Dark Magician Girl?

Ehh?! No, I can’t!

Who is your favorite Yu-Gi-Oh! character to draw?

Hmm, it’s tough to say.

Seto Kaiba, by Junichi Hayama, dated October 17, 2014
By @hayama11 (October 17, 2014)

Junichi Hayama Talks Art and the Anime Industry

What art supplies do you currently use?

Mechanical pencils. Pentel Art Brush pens. I think there are around 16 colors.

How do you decide which colors to use to accent your art?

I don’t use too many colors. Using just a few colors has more impact.

Do you ever do any digital work? Have you felt any differences with the shift to doing more digital work in the industry?

Yes, I’ve used it. About ten years ago, there was a remake of Gaiking and I had to use digital back then too. So I’ve been using it for quite a while now. [Hayama searches for video of the first Gaiking ending to show some of the digital art he did there.]

What do you think of artists who only know how to draw digitally?

They can do as they want. I don’t have a strong opinion about that.

Is it possible for Americans to work in the Japanese animation industry?

Yes, it’s possible, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it because the work-life balance isn’t great and you don’t really have any free time.

Some of the productions you have worked on are based on manga. How often do you interact with the creator?

It’s not impossible to get to meet with creators and manga artists. There are a few occasions. But the majority of the time, I’m usually working with the director. So working with the director and having meetings and such where we can talk together.

What tips would you give to artists who are just starting off?

Just draw what you like. When you’re doing it as a job, you can’t just draw whatever you want so it becomes a little bit more difficult. So when you’re a beginner, just enjoy it.

Are there any changes you would like to see in the anime industry?

The animation industry is known for its very, very long hours and its poor life balance without a lot of free time. I wish that everybody could have an easier time with a more balanced life and enjoy themselves more.

Katsuya Jonouchi, by Junichi Hayama, dated October 17, 2014
By @hayama11 (October 17, 2014)

Junichi Hayama’s Likes

How much do you know about Western animation?

My knowledge isn’t super extensive, but I do like some American animation, in particular The Simpsons.

Are there any current shows that you like?

The American shows Arrow and The Flash. [Hayama searches for illustrations of Green Arrow and the Flash on his phone that he previously made and shows the audience.]

What’s your favorite anime, in general?

Ashita no Joe 2.

What’s your favorite food and drink?

My favorite food is tofu. My favorite drink is Wild Turkey.

What’s your favorite sake?

Wild Turkey.

What kind of hobbies do you have?


What’s your favorite genre?


What’s your favorite color?


What’s your favorite movie?

Back to the Future.

Mai Kujaku, by Junichi Hayama, dated October 17, 2014
By @hayama11 (October 17, 2014)

Junichi Hayama Draws Live

Junichi Hayama draws with brush pens. These pens have a reservoir that holds ink, like a fountain pen, but have a tip that emulates the look of traditional Japanese brushes. Hayama’s artwork is so well known that he has published some books focusing solely on his brush techniques and illustrations. At Youmacon, he showed off artwork from two such books: Brush Work and Animation and Design Techniques for Anime Characters.

There are said to be two different types of artists in Japan: method drawers and talent drawers. Method drawers are artists who can consistently draw the same thing over and over again for everyone. If they practice their method, they can draw very fast. Hayama is a talent drawer. He has an image in his mind, which he translates directly to pen and paper.

This talent of Hayama’s was on full display throughout the live-drawing panels. Not once did Hayama ever sketch out his drawings with a pencil first. Instead, he drew completely freehand. He began each piece by waving his pen over his paper, creating an invisible outline of the image he has visualized in his mind, then immediately started inking. This process makes his illustrations all the more incredible.

Hayama created seven illustrations during his two live-drawing panels. Only one was a Yu-Gi-Oh! piece, but it was a particularly outstanding one featuring Yami Yugi and Seto Kaiba:

Illustration of Yami Yugi and Seto Kaiba, drawn live by Junichi Hayama at Youmacon on November 3, 2017

Close-up of Seto Kaiba in an illustration drawn live by Junichi Hayama at Youmacon on November 3, 2017

Close-up of Yami Yugi in an illustration drawn live by Junichi Hayama at Youmacon on November 3, 2017

Fellow animator Mamoru Yokota, who has not worked on Yu-Gi-Oh! before, showed that he has the skills to be hired for the next Yu-Gi-Oh! project by offering his own take on Yami Yugi:

Illustration of Yami Yugi, drawn live by Mamoru Yokota at Youmacon on November 4, 2017

In Japan, animators normally only sell their works in books. But at Youmacon’s Artists’ Alley, Hayama offered attendees something that Japanese fans never get: the chance to commission a piece of art. Not only that, he was willing to draw anything, not just characters from series that he has worked on. Asking animators to draw for them is considered a faux pas in Japan. There aren’t really events like the ones he participated in at Youmacon, said Hayama.

Yami Yugi and Yugi Muto, by Junichi Hayama, dated May 31, 2015
By @hayama11 (May 31, 2015)

Follow Junichi Hayama on Twitter, @hayama11.

And follow Mamoru Yokota on Twitter, @yokotamamoru.

(Questions and answers have been edited for clarity and readability.)

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V in VIZ’s Fall 2017 WSJ Jump Pack

October 30, 2017 at 10:00 am | Posted in ARC-V, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 2 Comments

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V manga panel in the Weekly Shonen Jump Fall 2017 Jump Pack and a Slifer the Sky Dragon promo card
An Egyptian God, but not the G.O.D. Yuya seeks

VIZ Media’s biannual Weekly Shonen Jump print magazine is back with another 96 pages of manga previews, and once again Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V is included alongside three other hot titles. The Fall 2017 Jump Pack includes:

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, chapter 3
  • Dragon Ball Super, chapter 1
  • Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, chapter 2
  • My Hero Academia, chapter 4

Like previous Jump Packs, this one includes plenty of goodies for the manga enthusiast and the Yu-Gi-Oh! beginner and collector:

  • An Ultra Rare Slifer the Sky Dragon Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG card (JMPS-EN005), illustrated and signed by Kazuki Takahashi. This is a reprint of an immensely popular WSJ subscriber-exclusive promo card from 2012.
  • A Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG fold-out paper playmat with beginner’s guide.
  • A 20-card Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG demo deck that accompanies the guide.
  • A coupon for one free Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Starter Deck, redeemable at your local Official Tournament Store (OTS).
  • A promo code for $5 off a one-year subscription of VIZ’s digital Weekly Shonen Jump magazine, normally priced at $25.99. Read your Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V simulpubs here!

The WSJ Fall 2017 Jump Pack is available now for $10.99 exclusively at Scholastic book fairs in schools throughout the United States. Anyone can buy from these book fairs; you don’t need to be affiliated with the school. All purchases made at Scholastic book fairs help financially support the host school, so not only are you getting some great manga and Yu-Gi-Oh! stuff, you are also improving the education of young minds. Don’t miss it!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Transcend Game (Part 1) Printed in Spring 2017 WSJ Jump Pack

Cover of VIZ Media's Weekly Shonen Jump Fall 2017 Jump Pack

Table of Contents of the Weekly Shonen Jump Fall 2017 Jump Pack

Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG cards and extras included with the Weekly Shonen Jump Fall 2017 Jump Pack

Close-up of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Slifer the Sky Dragon card included with the Weekly Shonen Jump Spring 2017 Jump Pack

Crossing The GODS: Yu-Gi-Oh! Voice Actors Launch Original Illustrated Audio Drama

October 28, 2017 at 7:00 am | Posted in Other Stuff | 2 Comments

Crossing The G.O.D.S. logo from the teaser

If you’ve ever wanted to hear more of Dan Green (the voice of Yugi), Eric Stuart (the voice of Kaiba), and the many other Yu-Gi-Oh! voice actors that you remember from yesteryear, get ready because they’re coming back together for something new! At MCM London Comic Con yesterday, Dan and Eric announced that they are producing a new project — an original illustrated audio drama debuting in early 2018. Titled Crossing The G.O.D.S., the story will be an episodic web series starring Dan, Eric, and several more familiar actors from their circle of friends. It will be structured like an audio comic strip — panel-driven as if the viewer is reading a comic book, but with voice acting, music, and sound effects.

Crossing The G.O.D.S. is produced by Audramada Productions, a new company helmed by Dan, Eric, and Anthony Haden Salerno (the voice of Chazz Princeton). Dan is writing, directing, and illustrating the piece; Eric is working the audio post-production; and Anthony is composing the music and editing the video.

Check out a teaser on Audramada Productions’ website and follow the project on Facebook!

The announced cast of characters:

Crossing The G.O.D.S. cast of characters

Protective Soul Ailin: The Heart Behind the Card

October 27, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Konami, Other Stuff | 1 Comment

Protective Soul Ailin card artwork from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tag Force 4, Japanese version

Of all the Yu-Gi-Oh! cards named after real people, Protective Soul Ailin probably has the most heartrending story behind it. Yesterday, Konami’s Leighton Kurashima shared a very personal story behind the card’s creation in 2005:

Thirteen years ago our son Ailin was born (just about this time) he passed away just over two hours later in our arms. It was a crushing life changing event for which I have little words, I immersed myself in work. The team made a Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG card for Ailin and presented it to me before the release of the upcoming booster set (CRV). I was speechless, people wonder why I do so much for Yu-Gi-Oh!, this is one of the reasons why.

Protective Soul Ailin is a card that has the ability to equip itself to another monster card, a powerful warrior named Indomitable Fighter Lei Lei. Normally, after Lei Lei attacks, he must change to defense position. But when Lei Lei is equipped with Ailin, he gets to stay in attack position, allowing him to keep fighting onward.

And who is Lei Lei?

…That’s the nickname of Leighton Kurashima.

(h/t Jason “MisprintPrince” Knapp)

4K Media’s Yu-Gi-Oh! October 2017 Sweepstakes / Duel Links Loot Crate

October 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Konami | Leave a comment
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Yu-Gi-Oh! October 2017 Sweepstakes banner from YUGIOH.com

It’s that time again — a new monthly sweepstakes from 4K Media! Now live is the Yu-Gi-Oh! October 2017 Sweepstakes, where one lucky fan will take home the following prizes:

  • One Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Circuit Break booster box. This latest set includes the newest cards from Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, like Revolver’s Rokket monsters and Ghost Girl’s Altergeist monsters. Each box contains 24 booster packs, with 9 cards per pack.
  • One Yu-Gi-Oh! Monopoly board game from USAopoly.

The entry period for this giveaway begins today and runs through November 2 and is open to residents of the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. ages 6 and up. Check the official rules for more information.

Konami UK's Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links loot crate giveaway

Plus — for Yu-Gi-Oh! fans in the United Kingdom only — Konami is giving away one Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links loot crate. It’s literally a wooden crate branded with the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links logo and filled with loot! It includes:

  • One Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links playmat
  • One Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Starter Deck: Link Strike
  • One Yu-Gi-Oh! red double deck case
  • One Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links puzzle
  • Five Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Legendary Duelists booster packs
  • One Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links postcard flyer
  • One pack of Yu-Gi-Oh! Legendary card sleeves

To enter, follow @KonamiUK on Twitter and retweet the giveaway tweet. Or, Like the Konami UK Facebook page and Like the giveaway post. This competition ends November 5.

Twitch Offers Yu-Gi-Oh! Emotes

October 23, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Capsule Monsters, Duel Monsters, English dubbed, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 1 Comment

Twitch's Kuriboh emote, enlarged

Are you watching the Yu-Gi-Oh! marathon on Twitch? The event kicked off today, and tens of thousands of people are tuned in right now!

From now until the end of the marathon, the TwitchPresents channel is offering a special set of exclusive emotes for its subscribers that includes eighteen Yu-Gi-Oh! emotes, seen below. You know you want Joey’s chin face and Pot of Greed at your fingertips! These emotes are yours to keep forever, but you won’t be able to get them after November 7. Add these to your collection today for $4.99!

“Proceeds from channel subscriptions, Bits, and ads will support future marathons and content initiatives on Twitch,” says TwitchPresents.

All 18 of Twitch's Yu-Gi-Oh! marathon emotes

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