Yu-Gi-Oh! is a Japanese manga created by Kazuki Takahashi. It has produced a franchise that includes multiple anime shows, a trading card game and numerous video games. Most of the incarnations of the franchise involve the fictional trading card game called Duel Monsters (originally known as Magic & Wizards), where each player uses cards to "duel" each other in a mock battle of fantasy "monsters". The Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game is the real world counterpart to this fictional game on which it is loosely based.
Yu-Gi-Oh! tells the tale of Yugi, a shorter-than-average high school student who was given the fragmented pieces of an ancient Egyptian artifact, the Millennium Puzzle, by his grandfather. Upon reassembling the Puzzle, he is possessed by another personality who is later revealed to be the spirit of a 3,000-year-old Pharaoh (5,000-years-old in the English anime) called Atem, with no memory of his own time. As the story goes on, the two of them (together with Yugi's friends), try to find the secret of the Pharaoh's lost memories and his name, with the Duel Monsters card game being an ever prevalent backdrop or plot device.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, set 10 years after the first series, was not as popular as the first series. It follows the story of Jaden Yuki (Judai Yuki in the Japanese version), a talented young duelist who is given the card "Winged Kuriboh" by the now-adult Yugi before Jaden's admission to Duel Academy (Duel Academia in the Japanese version), an elitist boarding school established by Seto Kaiba. Jaden (who receives low marks in his admission tests), is placed in the Slifer Red dormitory (Osiris Red), which is reserved for students with the lowest grades. The story goes on as Jaden faces challenges from different students in Duel Academy. He later finds himself entangled in a conflict related to the hidden secrets of the academy.
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds is set in a distant future where the residents of the poverty-stricken town called Satellite provide the manpower to sustain a utopia called New Domino City (Neo Domino City in the Japanese version), a futuristic version of the fictional Japanese metropolis called Domino City where some of the events of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! took place. The story centers around five characters known as Signers, who have birthmarks bearing one part of a monster called the Crimson Dragon (which saved the world in the past, by sealing demons known as the Earthbound Immortals into the earth as the Nazca Lines). The main character, named Yusei Fudo, is a Signer. Each Signer has a unique dragon monster. In later episodes, they fight Dark Signers duelists who try to revive the Earthbound Immortals, and Ylliaster - who plan to destroy New Domino City in order to rewrite the future.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal focuses on a boy named Yuma Tsukumo whose life at Duel Academy changes when he encounters a mysterious spirit named Astral, who seeks the series of Exceed Monster cards known as Numbers.
The early chapters of Yu-Gi-Oh! feature a variety of different games; but from the Duelist Kingdom arc onwards, the focus is shifted to a card game called Duel Monsters. Duel Monsters is played using a holographic image system created by Seto Kaiba (following his first match with Yugi). In the manga and first series anime, these were initially performed on tables, using holographic tubes, while the second series anime uses huge holographic fields. Starting with the Battle City arc, (as well as the series that followed), duels are performed using portable Duel Disks, invented by Seto Kaiba, which allows duels to happen anywhere.