Yu-Gi-Oh! was an anime that kicked off a card game and world-wide brand that spanned generations and is still popular to this day. However, no matter how loved it is, the show has its flaws. It was a kid’s show trying to figure out its own voice. Of course, it could get a little messy at times.
No one will ever forget the icon that is Seto Kaiba, or the fantastic devotion Yugi and his friends had for one another. There are a lot of absurd things about the story (not even including the card game!).
Here are 10 things about Yu-Gi-Oh! that just don’t make any sense.
10 Serenity’s Disorder
Joey’s motivation for trying to win the Duelist Kingdom tournament was always his sister, Serenity. Though they were separated when their parents split up, they cared deeply for one another. Right before the tournament, he got a message from Serenity that she needed to see him soon. If not, she’d never see him again because her mysterious disorder would make her blind soon.
While mysterious disorders already are a typical, nonsensical part of stories, hers is extra absurd because of how much her sight-saving procedure costs. Yes, surgery is expensive, but, apparently, hers costs 3 million dollars! Between the price and the lack of information behind it, her vague “illness” doesn’t make sense.
9 Friendship As A Magical Shield
Yu-Gi-Oh! already has a lot of inexplicable magical things happening, from Yugi’s puzzle box to Pegasus’ eye, and more. Yet, the already-confusing magic mythos only gets worse past the Egyptian artifacts. After all, Yugi’s friends have the ability to protect him with the magic of friendship.
Several times during the series, their magical friendship shield has protected him from the artifacts themselves. Pegasus’ infamous eye, which can look at people’s cards, has even been blocked by their friendship.
Yeah, there’s no good sense to it. The magic of friendship is not to be questioned in anime—and many children’s shows.
8 Banished To The Shadow Realm
This break in logic is very specific to the American dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!. When the show was popular, the English dubs were always heavily censored for any sort of violence and threat of danger. So much so that they created something called the “Shadow Realm” that people got sent to after losing a fateful battle.
In the original story, it was their life on the line, not banishment. While dark and dangerous, that makes more sense than some bizarre, inexplicable realm that people never come back from. It’s like Marvel’s superhuman prison The Raft, but without any explanation and sense to go with it.
7 Tristan, Joey, and Yugi’s Friendship
Early on in the series, the writers revealed that Yugi and the others didn’t start out friends. Instead, Joey and Tristan used to bully the small Muto kid. Worse, they didn’t change their minds out of the goodness of their own hearts; they did it because Yugi took the beating from different, bigger bullies to protect them.
Maybe it makes sense that the goodhearted Yugi would want to protect anyone from pain, but making friends with bullies who didn’t really apologize is a little too far. Moreover, when they talk about their past, Joey still makes fun of Yugi. That kind of dynamic doesn’t make that much functional, healthy sense.
6 Pegasus’ Powers
The artifacts give people fairly well-defined—if not a little overpowered—abilities. Pegasus’, though, can get pretty confusing.
At the core of his powers, they let him see through people’s eyes to see their cards. It helps make him a powerful duelist that can defeat almost anyone he comes across. However, he also has some freakier abilities. For example, his capability to abduct Grandpa Muto’s soul from his body and hold it hostage. That’s a little more seriously otherworldly than some of the others and has little explanation and understanding behind it.
5 Kaiba Changing KaibaCorp’s Focus
All of Seto Kaiba’s young life, he had been plotting to take over KaibaCorp from his questionably moralized adoptive father. Manipulating other members of the board, Kaiba eventually takes over the powerful company. Though they previously focused on militarized ammunition, he wanted to change that. To what?
While demilitarizing the company is admirable and makes sense for Kaiba’s personality, it doesn’t make sense for a huge company. That large shift would completely nuke all their investments, factories, and partnerships. The fact his plan worked so fluidly is astonishing, if not unbelievable.
4 Believe In The Heart In Cards
While fans 100% love this phrase and it’s become a serious meme, the true meaning of Yugi’s catch-phrase doesn’t make any sense. Not because Yugi shouldn’t believe in his cards, but because it works. All he has to do is say that phrase and he seems to always pick up exactly what he needs.
Maybe it’s part of the power of the puzzle box, but that’s some wild faith. A lot of the magic going-ons in this show don’t make a lot of sense, but this is one of the silliest. Does it make it any less fun to say? Absolutely not. True fans should use it forever. Maybe there is some great, although absurd, power behind it.
Of all of Yugi’s friends, Tristan is the least necessary. The show has so many side characters and little subplots, and Tristan never really does something important on his own. Joey already covers the old bully and best friend role. Tea is already a top tier lesser duelist and Yugi cheerleader. It’s great for Yugi to have more friends. The important point though is that if Tristan never was there, nothing would really be different.
No hatred for the guy, but the show doesn’t give him anything unique and important to do. If only he had a more important role, he would make sense in the story. Otherwise, though, he just doesn’t need to be there. He just kinda takes up space.
2 Using VHS To Communicate
This anime may be from the late 90s, but it has one really bizarre aspect to it: VHS messages. And, not like serious, posthumous messages. The characters in Yu-Gi-Oh! like to send invitations, threats, etc. all through VHS tapes. Phones exist, mail exists, notes exist. Moreover, this is a semi-futuristic world; they could probably do a sort of Skype-esque thing or hologram messages. There are so many better, less complicated ways to communicate.
But, nah, we’re all just going to use VHS tapes. This doesn’t make much sense, but, more importantly, the writers were just being super lazy. Anything more futuristic could have been so much cooler and fit better with the world around it.
1 The First Episode
If someone started Yu-Gi-Oh! with season 1, episode 1, they would probably be very confused with what was happening at all. The series actually had a season 0, but it was created as a sort of pilot to pitch the anime and give important exposition on the world. The first season jumps straight into the action with Seto Kaiba kidnapping Grandpa Muto, forcing a duel with Yugi, losing to the apparently mythical and power Exodia, and then ripping up his Blue-Eyes White Dragon.
Think this sounds illogical and kinda crazy? You are not alone. This show, while so much fun, can be dramatic and a lot sometimes.
NEXT: Yu-Gi-Oh!: 15 Most Valuable Cards You Need To Add To Your Collection