Frequently Asked Questions
Source Material for the Episode Comparisons
For the US episodes, I use either the DVDs or my own recordings of the episodes. For the original Japanese episodes, I use the bootleg Hong Kong DVDs.
The Hong Kong DVDs were released in "Turns," with anywhere from four to eleven episodes per Turn. I bought mine on eBay from various Hong Kong vendors. (On eBay, search on "yu gi oh dvd" and look for listings that refer to Episodes 1-224. They will be listed as NTSC, Region 0 or All-Region, Japanese dialog with Chinese and English subtitles. Most vendors will be in Hong Kong, but sometimes US vendors have them. I can't recommend any particular vendors or sites because they come and go so quickly, as soon as I recommend one, they're gone.)
The Turns are:
Turn 1: Episodes 1–10
Turn 2: Episodes 11–21
Turn 3: Episodes 22–32
Turn 4: Episodes 33–42
Turn 5: Episodes 43–52
Turn 6: Episodes 53–62
Turn 7: Episodes 63–72
Turn 8: Episodes 73–82
Turn 9: Episodes 83–92
Turn 10: Episodes 93–102
Turn 11: Episodes 103–112
Turn 12: Episodes 113–120
Turn 13: Episodes 121–124
Turn 14: Episodes 125–129
Turn 15: Episodes 130–138
Turn 16: Episodes 139–147
Turn 17: Episodes 148–155
Turn 18: Episodes 156–163
Turn 19: Episodes 164–171
Part 8: Episodes 172–183 *
Turn 23: Episodes 184–191
Turn 24: Episodes 192–195
Turn 25: Episodes 196–199
Part 10: Episodes 196–207 *
Turn 27: Episodes 208–211
Turn 28: Episodes 212–215
Turn 29: Episodes 216–224
[Note: * These are three-DVD sets. The first DVD in Part 10 is a duplicate of Turn 25.]
The subtitling on the bootleg Hong Kong DVDs leaves a lot to be desired, especially on the earlier Turns. It's fairly obvious that the Japanese was translated into Chinese first, and then from Chinese to English—a lot of dialog that's actually spoken in English gets run through the translation blender and comes out as something else. The Blue-Eyes White Dragon is often called the Green-Eyes White Dragon. Names are changed, applied to the wrong people, and spellings vary wildly. The English is fractured and occasionally makes no sense at all. Still, these DVDs allow you to see the original Japanese episodes and follow the dialog reasonably well.
Three volumes of licensed uncut Japanese episodes were released on DVD. "The Shadow Games" included episodes 1–3, and "The Insector Combo" had episodes 4–6. Vol 3, "Stolen: Blue-Eyes White Dragon," was released in February 2005. Volume 4 was made but never released. (There may be a few early release copies floating around.) These DVDs included the original Japanese dialog with English subtitles, plus an all-new English dub track, with dialog closer to the original Japanese. I have a few issues with the subtitling—it's closed captioning of the redone dub dialog, rather than true subtitling of the Japanese dialog, and they continue to use the English names of the cards, rather than the Japanese names—but it's still much better than the garbled English of the Hong Kong subtitles. I wish they had continued doing them.
What about downloads of the episodes?
Direct downloads of the Japanese episodes with English subtitles, either fansubbed or ripped from the HK DVDs, are available on Ravegrl's blog, In the Name of the Pharaoh, along with a lot of other great Yu-Gi-Oh! stuff.
How the comparisons are done
I watch the dubbed US episode first, and write an episode recap as I watch. Then, I watch the Japanese episode, note any substantial differences between the two versions—changes in dialog, alterations in artwork, cut scenes—and add these notes to the recap in parentheses. If I can figure out the Japanese monster names, and if they're different from the US names, I also note them in parentheses. Then I watch both episodes simultaneously, with the Japanese episode on my computer and the US episode on the TV, in order to compare the two scene-by-scene and take screencaps of visual differences. Finally, I collect information and scans or screencaps of all the cards used in each episode to add to the Card database. It generally takes anywhere from eight to twelve hours to do a single episode, depending on how extensive the changes were and how many cards were used.
Screencaps from the US episodes have black borders, and screencaps from the Japanese episodes have gold borders.
The Japanese episode titles are listed in parentheses next to the English titles. As I do the comparisons, I also dig out my Japanese dictionaries and do my own translations of the Japanese titles, which fortunately are written on title cards at the opening of each episode.
I also keep my Japanese dictionaries handy for translating occasional words and phrases of interest that come up in the Japanese dialog. And I have all of the Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! manga and often refer to them to clarify names or bits of dialog, when the manga and anime versions of events coincide.
How Good is My Japanese?
I am far from fluent in Japanese, although I'm getting better. I took two years of Japanese language classes in college some years ago, I have four or five good Japanese/English dictionaries and Kanji dictionaries, and I read a lot of manga and doujinshi and watch a lot of anime. I've studied Japanese culture and visited Japan for three weeks in 1990. Still, I can't follow the Japanese dialog without subtitles, or translate manga without looking up most of the words in the dictionary. Sometimes, I can hear or read a bit of dialog and know exactly what it means. Sometimes, I can look it up and figure it out. Sometimes, I can make a good guess as to what it means. And sometimes, I throw my hands up in the air and admit I have absolutely no clue what they're trying to say. I'd estimate my translations are about 80% correct. I welcome corrections from people who know better.
What About Season 0 (Season -1, Series 1, etc.)?
Before the current TV series, which is known in Japan as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, there was another Yu-Gi-Oh! series, based on the earlier parts of the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga. (The current series, beginning with the Duelist Kingdom arc, starts from Chapter 60, end of Volume 7 of the manga.) This series was produced by a different studio, used different voice actors, had different character designs (Kaiba had green hair, for example), and was altogether a different series from the Tokyo TV one.
There are unsubtitled VCDs of the first series floating around, and I've heard that there are fansubbed copies available for download. I don't have any plans to add this series to the Episode Guide, since the focus of this web site is the differences between the American and Japanese episodes, and there are no American versions of the first series.
What About the Movie? Wasn't there a Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! movie?
The movie that was released in the US in August, 2004, was shown in the US first and later on television in Japan.
There was also a Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! movie that came out prior to and unrelated to the current Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters series. It resembles the first Yu-Gi-Oh! series more than the current one. It's not very good, but Hong Kong DVDs of it can be found fairly cheaply on eBay for the curious.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, etc.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters series ended in Japan on 9/29/04 after 224 episodes. A new Yu-Gi-Oh! series called Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX began on October 6, 2004 in Japan, and in October 2005 in the US on the Cartoon Network. After GX, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's began in Japan on April 2, 2008, and in the US in September 2998. I have no plans to add these or any other Yu-Gi-Oh! series to my website. I love the original Duel Monsters series, and the manga by Kazuki Takahashi that it was based on. The others just aren't the same.
Other Yu-Gi-Oh! sites
If screencaps are your thing, please visit Xena's Anime screen captures site. She has many pictures from many of the episodes taken from the Hong Kong DVDs.
Another good site, with all sorts of Yu-Gi-Oh! info, is Janime.info.
Linking to this site
If you would like to link to this site, please link to the main page:
I've made a selection of banners you can use for linking. If you don't like any of these banners, feel free to modify them or make your own. I'm not the greatest with graphics, so I know they're not brilliant.
Hotlinking to images on this site has been disabled, so you must upload the banners to your own server and link to them from there. If you don't have web space of your own, sites like photobucket.com will host images for you.
I launched this Episode Guide on April 25, 2003, during the second season of the show in the US. I started adding the episodes in order from the beginning, then, when Season Three began, I also started adding the episodes as they aired. It took me a little over a year to get completely caught up, so that every episode that had aired in the US was up on the site. That was accomplished on May 28, 2004. After that, I added the episodes as they were broadcast in the US.
In December 2004, I added a Card Gallery to the site, listing cards by player and by episode, with images, descriptions, Japanese and English names, and so on. Cards were added episode-by-episode beginning with the first episode, and when the fifth season started, I also added cards (or monsters, for the Ancient Egypt episodes) for that season as the summaries were added.
I am continuing to revise the earlier episodes, adding cards to the Card Gallery for each episode as it's revised. When I first started the Episode Guide, the summaries were less detailed, and I wasn't including as many screencaps. The revised summaries are longer, more detailed, and include additional screencaps of cuts and differences as I find them.
Thank you for visiting!