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Yugioh as a horror manga

While Yugioh is better remembered and known as the franchise for the card game that catapulted it into the limelight, in terms of its story, there exist many darker elements behind the shounen facade. Even early on in Yugioh’s creation as a manga, there were depicted all sorts of "games" that would’ve been more at home in the Saw film series: immolation from ice hockey, a roller-coaster that electrocuted anyone who makes a sound and Russian roulette with a fatally poisoned dish to name a few.

And of course, the losers of these games were often depicted as suffering gruesome ends (sometimes censored even for the anime) that were initially caused by the darker half of the main character Yugi Muto. What’s more, all these examples of mortal peril, realistic or supernatural, existed on top of the suspense and mind games into the characters’ vulnerability, a noteworthy example being the character Mai Kujaku/Valentine’s entrapment in an hourglass of man-eating bugs while she was mercilessly taunted on her own self-worth.

Consequently, with so many sinister themes shadowing the lighter ones throughout, should Yugioh when treated as a story be recognized in hindsight as much of a horror manga as well as shounen despite its creator Kazuki Takahashi saying otherwise?

  • This is a great twist! I always felt this away about some kid's shows re-watching them when I'm a but older, sitting there going "how did that not scare me? That's messed up!" I'd love to see this perspective brought out on the anime and then another section afterwards saying "what they animated was awful, but now look at all the stuff they cut out for it, it gets worse!" People love knowing dark origin stories of kid's shows, just look at the Pokemon theory of Gary visiting his dead pokemon you killed in Lavender town in the games. – Slaidey 6 years ago
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  • I'm not sure if this topic was created before the most recent Yu Gi Oh article was posted, but this idea of "horror" has already been covered on the website. Great idea, though. – Jordan 6 years ago
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  • perhaps psycological fits the story better. It isn't really horror despite some of the darker notes. I would recommend writing this as an analysis of where on the spectrum of childish to horror this falls. – Jutor 5 years ago
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