In the 4Kids Entertainment adaption, names such as Hiroto Honda, Katsuya Jonouchi, and Anzu Mazaki were
Americanized into Tristan Taylor, Joey Wheeler, and Téa Gardner respectively. Though originally taking place in
Japan, the setting was changed to take place in the United States. The Japanese sound effects, background
music, and opening and closing sequences were also changed. The sound effects being replaced with familiar
American effects and background music to melodramatic synth music compared to the slightly more upbeat
Japanese soundtrack. The opening and ending themes were changed from J-Rock and J-Pop songs from various
artists to an instrumental song done with a synthesizer.
Edited version of the second Yu-Gi-Oh! series (left) and the unedited version of
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters containing a hexagram (used in occultism; right).
Along with Americanization and edits to music, content was also changed due to differing cultural opinions of what
is appropriate for an animated program. Darker and mature themes such as weapons, religion references, death,
death threats, violence, obscene gestures, nudity, revealing outfits, profanity, and sexual innuendo were all
censored to make the series suitable for young children in America, as the show is originally a Japanese teen's
cartoon show and is originally targeted at late teens in Japan as like the other Shonen Jump anime. The dub
makes it an American kid's cartoon TV show. Plot points were also changed, for censorship or unknown reasons.
Even all Japanese and English writing are digitally airbrushed out or replaced with unreadable symbols, as are the
major usual standard 4Kids text edits, just to make the show less foreign and more American, as well as to make
the show more marketable in non-English countries. Because of those text edits, the duel cards's Japanese and
English writing was removed and to get around FCC rules concerning advertising in shows, as well as to make the
show more marketable in non-English countries, all the cards in the show have been painted over to feature only
the card illustration, card element and the attack/defense of the card if it is a monster card. In the movie, however,
all cards played in the game look exactly like the cards used in the real life trading card came; the Japanese
version has Japanese text, while the international version has English text.
A separate "uncut" DVD release was commissioned between 4Kids Entertainment and FUNimation, with a new
adaptation that is more consistent with the original. The uncut DVDs were pulled from solicitation
after Volume 3 "Stolen - Blue-Eyes White Dragon" for no apparent reason, with a variety of explanations including
legal issues and poor sales, with limited elaboration. Lance Heiskell, a FUNimation
representative, has noted legal rights as the reason for cancellation, although he was unable to
expand on it.
Kids' WB! also edited episodes 4 and 5, and later episodes 14 and 15, fusing these episodes that were originally
two-part episodes into half-hour episodes. 4Kids dubbed the episodes separately; the separate episodes
appeared in other countries and on DVDs. During the rebroadcast of the series on 4Kids TV, the episodes were
shown in their full form.
* The pilot airdate for Yu-Gi-Oh! was originally 9/15/01 but was switched to 9/29/01 because of the September
11, 2001 attacks.
The 4Kids dub has been marketed across lots of English speaking countries, and the movie and special
Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters have been made for the American market. This supported Yu-Gi-Oh's impression as
a kids' cartoon show in America, and prevents the release of uncut DVDs, and only allows edited DVDs to be