Gender Representation In Yu-Gi-Oh!

Yu-Gi-Oh! is a long-running franchise encompassing anime, manga, video games, and trading card games. Between 2000 and 2019, six Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series were produced by Studio Gallop, each focusing on a different cast of characters, setting, and even genre. Although each Yu-Gi-Oh! series offers a distinct story, all six of these anime have received criticism from both fans and critics for their portrayals of female characters. All six Yu-Gi-Oh! anime are centred primarily on male characters, and the few girls and women that appear in the stories are commonly sidelined if not cast into harmful gender stereotypes. From my research, most analyses of gender representation in Yu-Gi-Oh! discuss these problems, but I think there is also scope to analyse how Yu-Gi-Oh!’s problematic depictions of female characters contrasts with its representation of male characters. Despite its marginalisation of female characters, Yu-Gi-Oh! presents a surprisingly non-toxic portrayal of masculinity, in which male characters are allowed to talk about their feelings, show friendly affection for one another, and resolve conflicts without resorting to violence. The proposed article would unpack how Yu-Gi-Oh! offers both reductive and progressive representations of gender and how these representations create contradictory messages for the audience.

  • There is also a lot to be said of the various difference between the English dub of the characters and the Japanese versions. From what I understand, characters had motivations removed by the 4kids dubbing company, so analysis through a cultural lens could be a valuable aspect to add. – Sunni Ago 3 weeks ago

Want to write about Anime or other art forms?

Create writer account