Yu-Gi-Oh may have hundreds of episodes, but there are plenty of other options that provide just as much enjoyment.
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Even though animation is used to tell a lot of great stories, anime shows offer so much more and are able to focus on topics that are often overlooked. The popularity of Yu-Gi-Oh! has risen and fallen over the years, but the series still has a devoted following. A special card game, Yu-Gi-Oh!, pits Yugi Muto against formidable foes.
Yu-Gi-Oh! is the most well-known anime series to draw inspiration from card games, but there are a slew of others that channel the same kind of kinetic energy. Yu-Gi-Oh! may have hundreds of episodes, but there are plenty of other options that provide just as much enjoyment.
To put it another way, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Cardcaptor Sakura could meet in WIXOSS. With Selector Infected WIXOSS, the WIXOSS series combines elements from magical girl series with a competitive card game anime.
The popular trading card game WIXOSS (which also exists in real life) is played by all the girls, and it brings to life fantastical battles with the cards’ female spirits. When compared to other series, the idea that these girls are playing WIXOSS with the ultimate goal of having their wishes granted is far more innocent.
9. Digimon Adventure
Even though Digimon may seem derivative of Yu-Gi-Oh! or Pokémon at first glance, there is a surprising amount of depth and story to be found in the series. This is especially true given the genre in which it is set.
There have been numerous Digimon series and variations over the years, but the original Digimon Adventure perfectly captures the core of the show’s ordinary kids who find themselves transported to a new world and fighting unusual monsters. Digimon, on the other hand, is more concerned with character development than Yu-Gi-Oh!
As a foundation for fantastical battles, many anime series that follow in Yu-Gi-Ohfootsteps !’s resort to the card game concept. Similar to Beyblade, but using a series of spinning tops that are pushed to fight each other instead.
As with Yu-Gi-Oh!, Beyblade targets a younger audience, and while the anime can be a bit stale at times, the battle top concept is unique and it’s impressive that these toys were actually produced and became something of a genuine trend.
7. Bakugan Battle Brawlers
There are many elements of other series on this list in Bakugan Battle Brawlers, and while it may not be as deep as some of its rivals, it still ensures that the game will be entertaining and fun to play. Bakugan are mythical monsters that appear in the form of cards and rain down on the world.
As the Bakugan Battle Brawlers amass these cards, competition erupts as they enter a new world and face unprecedented difficulties. Bakugan: Battle Planet, the latest entry in the series, served as a sort of reboot back in 2015.
6. Angelic Layer
the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe met Angelic Layer, a bizarre mix of sensibilities instead of gigantic monsters, they used teeny-tiny robots to have fun. “Battle dolls” are used in Angelic Layer to pit players against one another.
With this new take on mechas, the heightened genre is transformed into something akin to children playing with action figures, but with far more explosive results than that. Chobits takes place in the same universe as Angelic Layer, which also deals with similar themes.
5. Hikaru No Go
Yu-Gi-Oh! There are new games and ways to duel in many of the anime examined here. Because it features young duelists who are fiercely competitive and driven to succeed, Hikaru No Go is an anomaly in that it is based on the classic board game of Go rather than a brand new invention.
Hikaru discovers an ancient Go board that is possessed by the specter of a legendary Go player from long ago. A fun blend of the supernatural and slice-of-life, this is by far the most entertaining way to become familiar with the Go rules.
4. Gundam Build Fighters
As an anime series and a line of model-building kits, the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise has long been an unstoppable force. In a strange synthesis, Gundam Build Fighters succeeds.
The show takes place in a futuristic version of the real world, where the heroes don’t fight in futuristic mech suits, but rather make their own toy replicas. To make it more relatable, Gundam Build Fighters takes the action-packed Gundam series and puts it in the hands of a group of fervent, competitive fans.
It’s safe to say that the popularity of anime like Pokémon helped make Yu-Gi-Oh! more widely available to people outside of Japan in the beginning. Battles between incredible monsters take place in Yu-Gi-Oh! through card games, but the stakes are high. Pokémon simplifies this concept by focusing solely on monster taming and combat.
Both series feature thrilling battles and a diverse cast of likable characters who are impressionable at the start of the series but develop character depth and maturity as the series progresses. Pokémon has even evolved into a collectible card game.
2. Duel Masters
For sure, if someone enjoys Yu-Gi-Oh!, they’ll like Duel Masters as well. Despite the similarities in premise and tone between the two shows, Duel Masters also has an air of Avatar: The Last Airbender about it.
Card battles bring monsters to life, and the world is divided into elements. There are hundreds of episodes of Shobu and his quest to become the best duel master. The series even spawned its own card game based on the characters.
1. Cardfight!! Vanguard
Cardfight!! Vanguard is a significant anime series that aims higher than its predecessors, despite its initial resemblance to other works in the genre. Cardfight!! was so popular is because of this. Since Yu-Gi-Oh! R and Duel Masters’ creators worked on Vanguard, they were able to take what they learned from those franchises and improve on it.
Because of the anime’s card-based battle system and compelling cast, it’s difficult not to become emotionally invested in it. Cardfight!cult !’s following Vanguard has spawned not only a card game but also a television series based on the book.
New Yorker Daniel Kurland works as a free-lance writer and comedian in the multicultural borough of Brooklyn, New York. ScreenRant, Splitsider, Bloody Disgusting, Den of Geek, and other websites host Daniel’s work. A noir anthology graphic novel titled “Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Noir: A Rag of Bizarre Noir and Hard Boiled Tales” was just completed by Daniel, and he’s now working on his debut novel. Twitter user @DanielKurlansky posts extra musings by Daniel.