Kazuki Takahashi at MAGIC 2019, Part 3: Interview

April 10, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Japanese, Konami, Series 1, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 2 Comments
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Sahé Cibot and Kazuki Takahashi at MAGIC 2019 at Takahashi's Q&A panel

Kazuki Takahashi did more than judge a manga contest and sign autographs at MAGIC 2019. He also participated in a question-and-answer session where, for 25 minutes, he entertained the audience with candid insights about himself and his creations. Takahashi spoke about his start as an artist, the importance of creating dramatic cards and moments, the origin of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and even about a game he invented that failed to take off.

At MAGIC, all panels were conducted on stage in French. For attendees who only speak English, this wasn’t a problem if the guests were also English speakers. But for a panel like Takahashi’s, which was conducted in French and Japanese, the convention’s technology came to the rescue. Attendees could rent a pair of earphones and a receiver that allowed them to listen to an English interpretation of all the French dialogue spoken on stage.

Takahashi’s panel was the last one of the day, scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Sadly, it started very late and the auditorium, which could seat 400 people, was only about a quarter full. Nevertheless, the true fans in the room were all very enthusiastic. They made sure Takahashi could hear their cheers when he arrived on stage, even as the French Yu-Gi-Oh! theme song thundered from the loudspeakers as he entered.

Takahashi was accompanied on stage by his interpreter, Sahé Cibot, the general manager of Shibuya International and one of the manga contest’s judges. They were joined by Naoki Kawashima, deputy editor in chief of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump and fellow manga contest judge, although Kawashima did not speak during the panel. The moderator was Matthieu Pinon, a journalist and author who specializes in manga and anime topics.

This post contains a full transcript of Kazuki Takahashi’s Q&A panel.

Matthieu Pinon, Sahé Cibot, Kazuki Takahashi, and Naoki Kawashima at Takahashi's Q&A panel at MAGIC 2019
Left to right: Matthieu Pinon, Sahé Cibot, Kazuki Takahashi, and Naoki Kawashima

Matthieu Pinon: Good evening, everyone. Thank you for waiting for this grand moment, this extraordinary meeting with Mr. Takahashi, the author of the manga Yu-Gi-Oh!, whom you all know because you are all passionate about manga and Japanese pop culture. To begin this conference, we will first ask Mr. Takahashi, what manga did you read when you were a child? What manga did you like to read?

Kazuki Takakashi: Honestly, I liked to watch Japanese tokusatsu [special effects] TV shows where kaiju appear, like the Ultraman series and Kamen Rider. These are what led me to want to draw.

Pinon: So drawing is all well and good as a hobby, but at some point you decided to become a professional. What motivated you to move in this direction?

Takahashi: Since I loved to draw, I wanted to make it my career. Before I was a manga author, I was an illustrator and also worked on video games. Then I started developing manga.

Pinon: You just talked about video games. At the time Yu-Gi-Oh! launched, video games had exploded in popularity in Japan. Then you came along with Yu-Gi-Oh!, which was a table-top game, something that might seem a bit old-fashioned compared to the current trend. Was your editor surprised when you presented this project?

Takahashi: No, not at all. Back when I was working at a game company, it was an era of martial arts video games where players could take control of characters and make them fight. So, it was less interesting to create a manga about martial arts. It was more special, more different to make a manga about table-top games, which are analog and more traditional.

Pinon: There are many table-top games in the world. And when Yu-Gi-Oh! first debuted, the manga included several categories of games. When you launched the card game, that’s when the manga became a success. This success is thanks to you [the audience] and the editors. How did public interest in the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game manifest itself?

Takahashi: When the manga began, the original concept was to show various ways of battling using games each week. At first, I wasn’t even thinking about a card game. Cards were just one of those games. After drawing them for two weeks, there was such an overwhelming reaction from the readers that I decided to make the manga into a series about cards as a response to their request.

Kazuki Takahashi speaking at his Q&A panel at MAGIC 2019, with Sahé Cibot and Naoki Kawashima

Pinon: To first explain how readers can express their interest, we have to remember that the magazines contain a small postcard in that back that readers can mail to the publication to specify which series they prefer. And it was right at the moment that the card games appeared in Yu-Gi-Oh! that the manga climbed further and further into the top 10. Speaking of cards, you didn’t just make these cards by happenchance; you actually developed rules for the game. Could you explain to us your process of creating a card? How did you determine its characteristics while taking into account the increase in the number of cards as the game progresses?

Takahashi: First, I created the story and decided how a character would play an active role in that story. Then I asked myself, what card would be the most dramatic when used by the protagonist while fighting against an opponent? Are fan-favorite characters playing an active role? From there I created each card.

Pinon: Could you tell us, briefly, how many cards you created for the game? Do you remember?

Takahashi: I’ve… Never counted before. Quite a lot, I guess. Like… A thousand.

Pinon: Around a thousand! I think that deserves a round of applause because a thousand cards is so–

[The audience applauds, drowning out Pinon.]

Pinon: And among these one thousand cards, the most famous is the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. But why a white dragon with blue eyes? Why not, say, a black phoenix with red eyes? Why did you choose this animal with this color and specifically this eye color?

Takahashi: I wanted to design a mystical and cool monster for Yugi’s first rival, Seto Kaiba, when he appeared for their first battle. That monster became the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. In a black-and-white world [of manga], I wanted its name to evoke a feeling that would allow readers to conjure up its colors. Ultimately, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon turns out to be a woman — a woman with white hair, white skin, and blue eyes who is revealed in the story to be a spirit.

Pinon: Does anyone out there have the Blue-Eyes White Dragon card?

[Many people in the audience raise their hands.]

Takahashi: Ah. [Nods.]

Pinon: Congratulations, you can show off to others.

[The audience laughs.]

Pinon: And when you watch Game of Thrones, you will get to see your card.[1]

[A few more chuckles from the audience.]

Pinon: Quite often, a duel in Yu-Gi-Oh! is more than a simple face-to-face confrontation between two players. Through the strategy of the opponents, players get to know one another better. It’s almost as if they are communicating through the cards. Was this important to you in your manga?

Takahashi: Yes, that’s right. Because the protagonist, Yugi, is a character that readers are rooting for, I always thought about how to give him a dramatic victory. For example, his trump card gets destroyed and he needs a come-from-behind win. I always thought about how to make such dramatic developments possible in narrative terms.

Kazuki Takahashi speaking at his Q&A panel at MAGIC 2019, with Matthieu Pinon and Sahé Cibot

Pinon: As we all see, MAGIC invites not only famous manga authors but also authors of [non-Japanese] comics. We know that you are a particular fan of this medium. What comic series do you read? Which do you follow with great interest?

Takahashi: I really like Mike Mignola. When it comes to BD, I really like Moebius.[2]

Pinon: Those of you who have been to Japan before might know that production of Japan’s own homegrown comics is quite important, so much so that foreign comics, whether French or American, are not well represented. Where did you find them, and how did you enter the world of comics?

Takahashi: There actually are places in Japan that sell American comics and I occasionally visit them to shop. I’ve always been a fan of American comics, especially stories about superheroes. I love the impactfulness of the artwork, a style that can’t be found in Japanese manga.

Pinon: You mentioned Mike Mignola. You had the opportunity to meet him and exchange drawings. He drew Yugi and you drew Hellboy. Could you tell us a little about this meeting? Because, when we see the drawings, it must have been quite the interesting encounter.[3]

Takahashi: I actually haven’t met him. I was excited to meet him at a comic convention but it didn’t work out. But we did end up collaborating. I drew Mike Mignola’s Hellboy while he drew Yugi.

Pinon: [You exchanged your drawings] through your publishers?

Sahé Cibot: Right.[4]

Pinon: For those of you who don’t know how Yu-Gi-Oh! ends, we aren’t going to spoil it for you, but you really should read the manga to the end because it’s quite exciting. The conclusion of Yu-Gi-Oh! is particularly successful. There are many manga that will simply stop, with publishers stating that their popularity is declining and that this is where they would draw the line. But you took great care to make a well-prepared ending. How did you plan this with your editor? Without revealing the ending to the reader, could you tell us how you prepared this well-developed, thoughtful ending?

Takahashi: When serialization of Yu-Gi-Oh! began, I had already decided that Yugi would meet the other Yugi — that he would meet his, umm, double — and that the two would fight in the end. I decided from the very beginning that Yugi would win.

[Cibot translates Takahashi’s answer into French, but leaves out his last statement that Yugi would win.]

Cibot: This is a huge spoiler, isn’t it?

[The audience laughs.]

Pinon: The ending is from 2004 so those who got spoiled are 15 years behind. We won’t blame you.

Cibot: Well, I didn’t say who won.

Pinon: This is so– Anyway.[5] Why was it important to you that he meet his double?

Takahashi: Well, it’s kind of like a multiple personality. The idea is that when the protagonist finds himself in trouble, a stronger version of himself appears. As the story progresses, he learns more about that other self and realizes that he must defeat him in order to become independent. Eventually, he does defeat his other self, grow, and become independent. This is the theme of the story.

Pinon: Sometimes, our greatest adversary is none other than ourselves. Two years ago, I believe, Yu-Gi-Oh! was developed into a smartphone mobile app. There was a monstrous promotional campaign in Tokyo where you could see billboards all over the Yamanote [railway line], the likes of which is completely unimaginable over here.[6] How did it make you feel seeing the analog game that you had designed shift into a video game?

Takahashi: Sure enough, in the manga, there was a rule that the game should absolutely not be taken in a digital direction. But we’re talking about Konami Digital Entertainment here, so…

[Takahashi and Naoki Kawashima laugh.]

Kazuki Takahashi glancing to his left and laughing at his Q&A panel at MAGIC 2019

Pinon: Time has moved on of course and video games are now available on smartphones that everyone can have in their hands. So time passed and in 2004, you stopped the manga. And for ten years, you supervised everything that was developed after that. Then, in 2013, you returned with a one-shot called DRUMP. What motivated you to create this manga?

Takahashi: I had the opportunity to do a one-shot. I thought of making the theme about card games. The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game is incredibly extensible, with rare cards and powerful cards constantly being introduced–

Pinon: It’s quite the catalog. I think some people have one or more binders that are stuffed full of cards.

Takahashi: On the other hand, I thought I could make an interesting game using playing cards, which are limited to 52 cards, so I created a manga based on that concept.[7]

Pinon: So in DRUMP, if you have a deck of 52 cards and a pencil, you can build and rebuild a [DRUMP] deck. You will only ever need 52 cards. Did this constraint help you create a crazy new concept? Or was it a barrier?

Takahashi: I did a lot of play-testing and found it to be a well-rounded game, so I created a story around it. I had fun drawing it and making the cards. It was interesting to play. I really wanted it to become popular, but compared to the power of Yu-Gi-Oh!, it paled in comparison. [Laughs.]

Pinon: As you may have noticed, we’re running a bit late so we’re going to have to cut this short. However, to finish, Mr. Takahashi, you don’t often have the opportunity to meet a Monacan or French audience. Perhaps you have something you would like to tell your fans, who have come and waited until the end of the day to see you. So if you have anything you would like to say, now is the time. Seize the moment.

Takahashi: More than 20 years have passed since Yu-Gi-Oh! began serialization. I am so grateful to be able to come to Monaco to interact with fans. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for supporting Yu-Gi-Oh!.

Sahé Cibot and Kazuki Takahashi looking at the audience at MAGIC 2019 at Takahashi's Q&A panel

Interview Notes

1. ^ See Game of Thrones, season 7, episode 7.

2. ^ BD (bédé) is short for bande dessinée, a term describing comics of French or Belgian origin. Jean “Moebius” Giraud was a famous creator of BD.

3. ^ Takahashi’s and Mike Mignola’s illustrations were printed in VIZ Media’s September 2004 issue of Shonen Jump magazine.

Kazuki Takahashi's Hellboy artwork and Mike Mignola's Yugi artwork from VIZ Media's Shonen Jump, September 2004

As described in this issue, VIZ Media had asked Takahashi to draw his favorite American comic book character with Yu-Gi-Oh!-style hair, so he created the Hellboy drawing on the left. VIZ then contacted Mignola and he agreed to draw Hellboy clad in Yu-Gi-Oh! apparel. The two artists then exchanged these drawings.

4. ^ In this awkward exchange, the interpreter, Cibot, did not translate into Japanese the first part of Pinon’s statement about how Takahashi had exchanged drawings with Mignola. Instead, she asked if Takahashi had ever met Mike Mignola before. That’s why Takahashi repeated the same information in his response.

5. ^ Another awkward exchange. Nothing was lost in translation here though. Takahashi ignored the no-spoiler request, hahaha.

6. ^ The mobile app that Pinon mentions is of course Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links. The Yamanote Line is a circular railway loop that connects Tokyo’s major city centers. The Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links billboards described by Pinon appeared in March 2017 and were well documented on social media and in Konami’s own video ads.

7. ^ The game Takahashi created is called DRUMP and uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards. The manga, also called DRUMP, was published in 2013 in Shueisha’s 49th issue of Weekly Shonen Jump magazine. It was not published in English or French.

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

* * *

Next:
– Kazuki Takahashi at MAGIC 2019, Part 4: Coming soon

Previously:
Kazuki Takahashi at MAGIC 2019, Part 2: Autographs

First 4 Figures March Roundup: More Dark Magician Design Talk

March 31, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Early render of Dark Magician's neutral face by First 4 Figures

As far as Yu-Gi-Oh! news goes, March was a slow month for high-end statue maker First 4 Figures, with CEO Alex Davis posting only one Yu-Gi-Oh!-related discussion the entire month. And even that didn’t last very long.

Following his February announcement that he wanted to redesign and resubmit Dark Magician for approval, Davis asked the F4F Official Collectors Club on March 20 for input on part of its new design. Davis shared a rendering of Dark Magician with a neutral face, seen above.

“Working on face before expression — what do you guys think!?!” asked Davis.

The image generated a variety of opinions. Some fans thought Dark Magician’s facial features looked too soft and said that he should have a more prominent chin. Others asked for more texture in his hair. Still others thought he looked great just as he was.

Regardless, the discussion thread vanished a day later with no warning or explanation from Davis.

In F4F’s weekly Q&A live stream on March 22, one fan asked Davis if there was any Yu-Gi-Oh! news to share. “Working on some stuff. We did a Dark Magician post the other day,” he replied, acknowledging the discussion; he did not elaborate further. Another fan asked Davis what happened to the face discussion and if he had made any decision about how he’d proceed. “Yeah we got into a bit of a — heh heh, uhh, whoopsies!” Davis responded quizzically.

Whatever ended up happening, Dark Magician remains in the works, but without any more input from fans.

Previously:
First 4 Figures February Roundup: Dark Magician Design Talk

Jump Force Teaser Reveals Seto Kaiba’s Fighting Abilities

March 29, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 2 Comments
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Close-up of Seto Kaiba in Jump Force

Seto Kaiba is absolutely wrecking Yugi in the newest Jump Force teaser, out today from publisher Bandai Namco. Kaiba is shown unleashing energy attacks using Blue-Eyes White Dragon, then summoning Obelisk the Tormentor to punch out a defenseless Yugi. He also has the Crush Card Virus at his disposal, along with another attack that uses chains — possibly Shadow Spell.

Look for Kaiba to arrive in Jump force some time this May as part of the Characters Pass, which retails for $29.99.

Previously:
Seto Kaiba Joins Jump Force as DLC Character

Seto Kaiba Joins Jump Force as DLC Character

March 16, 2019 at 6:00 am | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Promotional screenshot of Jump Force showing Seto Kaiba

Jump Force is getting its very first DLC character and it is the one and only Seto Kaiba! Yugi’s eternal rival arrives sporting his shiny white Battle City jacket and will be included in the Jump Force Characters Pass, which retails for $29.99 and includes nine new playable characters. The official Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! news hub YU-GI-OH.jp reports that Kenjiro Tsuda will reprise his role as Kaiba’s voice actor.

Bandai Namco Entertainment has provided a road map of updates for April through August. Look for Kaiba and two other unnamed fighters to join Jump Force’s roster some time in May.

Which monsters do you think Kaiba will use? Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Obelisk the Tormentor for sure, right? What kind of banter do you think Kaiba will have with the other characters?

Previously:
Jump Force Trailer Reveals Yugi’s Fighting Abilities, Battle Ship

First 4 Figures February Roundup: Dark Magician Design Talk

February 28, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Arkana's and Yugi's Dark Magician facing off in episode 61

Have you joined the First 4 Figures Official Collectors Club on Facebook yet? This past month, F4F’s CEO Alex Davis turned to the group members for advice with a peculiar Yu-Gi-Oh! monster design. He also dropped a product announcement during one of the company’s weekly Q&A live streams! Here’s a roundup of what’s new with the statue maker in February.

On February 5, Davis asked the F4F OCC about Dark Magician’s hat, pointing out that there are some inconsistencies in its design in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime. “[D]oes he have 2 or 3 rings around his hat NOT including the one on the tip?” asked Davis.

Sure enough, there are animation cuts that feature both designs.

Comparison of Dark Magician's hat designs in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime
Top row: examples of the two-ring design as shown in the first opening and episodes 37, 60, and 132.
Bottom row: examples of the three-ring design as shown in the English season 3 opening (this image is also frequently used as promotional key art), episode 141, and the last Japanese opening.

Davis clarified that he had already received approval from 4K Media for a design that has three rings plus the tip. However, he wants to refine the design, which requires reapproval, and is now looking at this peculiar detail.

During F4F’s February 8 Q&A live stream, Davis further elaborated on his plans. “This time I might try and submit it with two [rings] and see what happens,” he laughed. “‘Cause you know what? I looked at it and I’m like, I actually want to change the pose, so maybe changing it.” What is wrong with the current unrevealed design that is compelling him to change it?

“Well, I’ll do that sometimes,” Davis explained. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah,’ and then I’m like, ‘No.’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘No.’ Because the thing is, [the approval process] takes so long that by the time we look at it again, I feel like we can do better.”

During the same live stream, a fan asked Davis whether Yu-Gi-Oh! will be getting TF [true form] PVC figures. Davis seemed to backtrack from his answer last month.

“Confirmed or not confirmed, we haven’t made any announcements on that,” he replied. “If everything goes smoothly, it’s a very strong possibility.”

Davis then proceeded to drop a product announcement: “there will be at least one, maybe two” Dark Magician color variants!

Which variants would you like to see? The classic manga look? How about the shredded version from The Dark Side of Dimensions? Or Arkana’s Dark Magician? Or maybe even Mahad as Dark Magician? Join the F4F OCC and let Davis know!

So, Two Rings or Three? Which is the Correct Design?

Regardless of what is depicted on trading cards, promotional artwork, or other media, there is a “correct” number of rings on Dark Magician’s hat in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime world.

Image collage featuring various screenshots from Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters that show Dark Magician's hat

After looking at over 500 animation cuts from Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters that provide an unobscured view of the rings and tip — including cuts of Yugi dressed as Dark Magician, Arkana’s Dark Magician, Yugi’s Capsule Monsters Dark Warrior armor, and Dark Magician Mahad — I conclude that 99 percent of the cuts show Dark Magician’s hat with two rings plus the tip.

There are fewer than a dozen cuts that show the hat with three rings plus the tip. I’ve already included their three most prominent appearances in the second image in this post. Many of the others are insignificant or are so small that they are barely noticeable.

On the other hand, Arkana’s Dark Magician, the so-called Red Dark Magician, unmistakably has three rings plus the tip on his hat.

Well done, Alex Davis, you made the correct choice to switch from three rings to two!

Previously:
First 4 Figures January Roundup: Red-Eyes Black Dragon & Dark Magician Girl Confirmed, Blue-Eyes White Dragon Teased

Kazuki Takahashi’s Yu-Gi-Oh! 20th Anniversary V Jump Cover Illustration

February 21, 2019 at 9:00 am | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 4 Comments
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Close-up of Yugi's face from Kazuki Takahashi's Yu-Gi-Oh! OCG 20th anniversary illustration for V Jump

Hitting newsstands today in Japan is the April 2019 issue of Shueisha’s V Jump magazine, which features a new illustration by Kazuki Takahashi on the cover. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Official Card Game, Takahashi’s artwork showcases Yami Yugi (Atem) surrounded by his signature cards. He is holding Ankuriboh, a new Egyptian-themed Kuriboh card that is also drawn by Takahashi and included with the magazine.

As it does every month for its cover illustrations, V Jump is offering high-res downloads of this artwork as a desktop calendar and as a wallpaper for your cell phone. Check them out!

Back in January, Takahashi offered a work-in-progress preview of this illustration on Instagram. He noted that this was his first job of the year and that he’s drawing Atem for the first time in quite a while.

Mai Kujaku Voice Actress Receives Congratulatory Wedding, Birthday Illustration from Yu-Gi-Oh! Animator

February 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Japanese, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 3 Comments
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Artwork of Mai Kujaku wearing a wedding band by Takahiro Kagami
Mai Kujaku wearing a wedding band! See the whole illustration by Takahiro Kagami.

Happy birthday to Haruhi Nanao, the voice of Mai Kujaku (Mai Valentine) in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters! Today, Yu-Gi-Oh! animator Takahiro Kagami posted an original illustration on Twitter for Nanao featuring a cheerful Mai and a nervous, blushing Jonouchi. It’s been a long time since he last drew Mai, wrote Kagami, but he finally found the time to draw her. He congratulated Nanao on her marriage last December and wished her a happy birthday.

Aside from playing Mai Kujaku, Haruhi Nanao is a regular in Crayon Shin-Chan as the voice of Ms. Yoshinaga (Ms. Anderson), and has also played Rin Nohara in Naruto Shippuden and Sella in Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya. Follow her on Twitter, @nanaoharuhi.

Takahiro Kagami is best known among Yu-Gi-Oh! fans as a prolific animator, animation director, and character and monster designer for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, Bonds Beyond Time, and The Dark Side of Dimensions. He is also a prominent animator and animation director for Mushi-Shi, Death Note, and Banana Fish. Follow him on Twitter, @jetikariya50.

VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump Removes Yu-Gi-Oh! Transcend Game Manga

February 8, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Seto Kaiba taking a hit from an enemy attack in Yu-Gi-Oh! Transcend Game manga

Yu-Gi-Oh! Transcend Game abruptly disappeared today from VIZ Media’s Shonen Jump platform. The two-part manga by Kazuki Takahashi bridges the gap between the conclusion of Yu-Gi-Oh! Millennium World and the events in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions. All the other Yu-Gi-Oh! titles are still available to read.

I’ve reached out to VIZ Media to inquire about the removal and will post an update if I learn anything new.

VIZ Media originally published Yu-Gi-Oh! Transcend Game in two digital issues of Weekly Shonen Jump in late December 2016 and early January 2017. The title was also added to VIZ Media’s old free manga section, where it was available to read between January 16 and March 8, 2017. The first part of the manga received a print edition in Scholastic’s Weekly Shonen Jump Spring 2017 Jump Pack.

First 4 Figures January Roundup: Red-Eyes Black Dragon & Dark Magician Girl Confirmed, Blue-Eyes White Dragon Teased

January 31, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Duel Monsters, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment
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Yugi watching as Dark Magician Girl finishes attacking an opponent in episode 62

News about First 4 Figures’ upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! products continue to trickle out from its weekly Q&A live streams and the First 4 Figures Official Collectors Club on Facebook. Is a Yu-Gi-Oh! PVC figure confirmed yet? What will the first release be and when will pre-orders happen? Here is a roundup of this past month’s news featuring answers to these questions and more.

During the January 4 live stream, F4F’s CEO Alex Davis revealed that not only are Blue-Eyes White Dragon and Dark Magician in the works but also Red-Eyes Black Dragon and Dark Magician Girl. When asked about making more monsters or characters, Davis noted that these four monsters “were the ones that polled the best. And we’ll continue to go from there to see how that goes on.” A fan suggested adding Egyptian monster tablets as extras and Davis called them “nice ideas.”

Then, in the January 11 live stream, Davis stated that the first Yu-Gi-Oh! pre-order will either be for Blue-Eyes White Dragon or Dark Magician. Look for that to happen after March or April following F4F’s My Hero Academia launch, he said.

On January 16, Davis offered a sneak peek in the F4F OCC of part of Blue-Eyes White Dragon’s design:

A 3D computer model showing part of First 4 Figures' Blue-Eyes White Dragon

Many fans asked about its color and pointed out that, despite its name, Blue-Eyes White Dragon isn’t exactly pure white. Davis replied that its paint job will be “nice and metallic. When you see Meta Ridley — you’ll get it!”

Davis fielded more fan questions in the January 18 live stream. Blue-Eyes White Dragon is “most likely” going to be F4F’s first Yu-Gi-Oh! product, he said. In addition to a resin statue, a “PVC [figure] is possible and it’s very — 90 percent — gonna happen,” he added. One fan wondered if adding a card display and card stand with the statues would be possible. “It’s a great question. We haven’t figured that bit out yet,” replied Davis. “Once we look at getting it nailed down, then we can think about what possible extras — but I’ll keep that in the back of my mind.” Another fan asked about Blue-Eyes White Dragon’s dimensions and Davis responded with some gestures:

First 4 Figures CEO Alex Davis making hand gestures to describe the size of a PVC figure (on the left) and a resin statue

The PVC figure will be small, while the resin statue will be enormous. That’s awfully large for a statue, isn’t it? But given the size of Meta Ridley, I don’t think he’s exaggerating.

Finally, in the January 25 live stream, a fan asked about how hard it would be to include an exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh! card with the statues, to which Davis replied “I don’t know, let’s talk about it.”

To stay up to date with the latest developments, contribute ideas to F4F’s Yu-Gi-Oh! products, and ask questions, be sure to join the First 4 Figures Official Collectors Club on Facebook.

Previously:
First 4 Figures Announces Yu-Gi-Oh! Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Dark Magician Products

More Places to Watch Yu-Gi-Oh! (December 2018): Amazon Prime, Tubi TV, YouTube

December 31, 2018 at 9:00 am | Posted in 5D's, ARC-V, Duel Monsters, English dubbed, GX, Yu-Gi-Oh!, ZEXAL | 2 Comments
Tags: , ,

Yuma and Astral, surrounded by the legendary monsters from Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters and GX, in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL episode 16

The Yu-Gi-Oh! anime continue to thrive, with 4K Media adding more and more English-dubbed series and episodes to more and more platforms to watch for free. Here are the newest updates!

Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (seasons 1, 2, 3) is the latest addition to Amazon Prime Video. On Facebook, 4K Media reminds fans that Amazon Prime now has all of Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, GX, 5D’s, and ZEXAL streaming for free.

Tubi TV includes several updates as well. The free-to-watch ad-supported network now carries all seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. Furthermore, it has added Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V season 2. Earlier this year, you may have seen Tubi add a handful of random GX and ZEXAL episodes, likely in error because those have long since been removed. But this latest update containing the full seasons looks like it’s legit and here to stay.

Since my last update, 4K Media’s YouTube channel has finished posting Yu-Gi-Oh! GX season 3. All this month, the company has continually been uploading more episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL season 1, with episode 31 being the latest addition.

Happy watching, and Happy New Year’s Eve!

Previously:
More Places to Watch Yu-Gi-Oh! (May 2018): Amazon Prime, YouTube, Ultra Kidz

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