Yu-Gi-Oh! is an incredible franchise that fuses mythological elements with monster trading card duels to create a fantastic shonen anime that has been appearing on screens since April 2000. In this anime, high school student Yugi Mutou solved the Millennium Puzzle and was awarded a wish that allows him to connect with another Yugi whenever he needs help.

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With a PG-13 rating, it’s hard to imagine that Yu-Gi-Oh! it would contain content that should be censored outside of Japan. However, there are several episodes that had to be censored for different reasons.

10 The dark mage girl’s chest had to be digitally diminished

Dark Magician Girl is a monster card that became quite popular not only in anime but also in real life trading card game. Her appearance was extremely cute, adorable, and doll-like, which is a stark contrast to Dark Magician, her male counterpart. In Japan, Dark Magician Girl had the body and physical appearance of someone much older than she appears. To make her more age-appropriate outside of Japan, her chest size was reduced.

9 The Shadow Realm doesn’t really exist in the subtitled version

yu gi oh kingdom of shadows

The existence of the Shadow Realm and what it represented was quite terrifying, as it is a place where people could be sent to suffer. This was an unpleasant concept, as it meant that a soul could be ripped from someone’s body and sent to this place to be tortured for eternity … and this is the censored version. In the Japanese version of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the Kingdom of Shadows does not exist. When a character’s mind had been destroyed by losing a game, they would apparently die. But this was deemed too harsh for Western audiences.

8 The weapons had to be withdrawn and replaced with interesting alternatives

Yu-Gi-Oh!  Gun Censorship to Finger Guns

With the implications of weapons and how they have been misused around the world, the Japanese version of this Yu-Gi-Oh! had to be censored. In some cases, the weapons were completely removed. However, in other situations, the scenes were modified.

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During the flashback to Episode 199, where Solomon Muto was much younger, he was shot in the back by one of the guides leading him through the tomb of the pharaoh. In the dubbed version, the guide used a sling to throw Solomon off balance. In other cases, finger guns were used to replace the real guns.

7 Arkana’s blades were removed and replaced with energy discs

YuGiOh Arkana

In the Battle City story arc, Yugi and his friends had an encounter with Marik’s team of Rare Hunters, a group of duelists who draw rare cards from their opponents. One of these hunters was a man named Arkana, who was severely disfigured due to his dangerous tricks. When Marik promised Arkana that he could heal his face if he could defeat Yugi in a duel, he couldn’t resist the opportunity.

In the Japanese version of this episode, the loser of the duel would have his legs cut off, which is incredibly sadistic and graphic. However, Yugi ended up saving Arkana and prevented this from happening. In the dubbed version, these saws became discs of energy that, when touched, would send the person to the Shadow Realm where their soul would be tortured for eternity.

6 Dark Magician Girl’s pentagram was removed for religious reasons

Yugioh Dark Magician Girl

Any form of children’s media that portrays something other than the country’s dominant religion is generally prohibited, restricted, or altered in some way. This was the case with a Dark Magician Girl garment. In the Japanese version of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Dark Magician Girl had a pentagram etched into the red gem on the front of her outfit. Since it was a Wiccan symbol, it had to be completely removed in the dubbed version.

5 Mai was tortured in a horrible way by Marik in the original

Marik, being the main antagonist in the Battle City arc, lived up to his cruel and indifferent nature time and time again. But his offenses were greatly reduced in the dubbed version of this anime. Originally, Marik’s deck was filled with torture cards, which were banned in the Western world and were modified.

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Also, when Mai was trapped in her hourglass, it became known that she would be tortured for all eternity by Marik and the Mind Bugs that would consume her. In the dubbed version, however, Mai’s torture involved Mai watching her friends forget about her, which was a more age-appropriate alternative to the darker Japanese version.

4 Harpy ladies had a completely different wardrobe

Harpies are beautiful and seductive half-human, half-bird monsters who, in legend, are agents of justice who capture and torture their guilty victims. In most respects, the subtitled version maintained this tradition regarding the Harpies when creating the Harpy monster cards. When summoned by Mai, they wore scantily clad clothes, were well endowed, and exuded sexual charm.

These were all reasons why the subtitled version of the Harpies was not considered age appropriate and had to be modified. In the dubbed version, the harpies’ outfits became more of a bodysuit than the barely visible outfits shown in the subtitled version. They also removed the golden armor chest plates that had rather suggestive pointed tips.

3 Yami Bakura’s fate board was originally a Ouija board

Similar to the removal of the Dark Magician Girl pentagram, Yami Bakura’s ouija board also had to be altered due to its dark nature and religious reasons. This board, which can be seen in Episode 83, is used in a duel against Yugi. This episode was quite dark and sinister and was deemed inappropriate for young audiences. In the dubbed version, they changed the name from “Ouija Board” to “Destiny Board”. They also changed the word that was spelled using the board. Instead of being “DEATH”, they changed it into the dubbed version to say “FINAL”, which was thought to be less dark and sinister.

two Yugi’s grandfather was not as healthy as he is in the censored version

In the dubbed version, Yugi’s grandfather, Solomon Muto, was seen as a smart, kind, caring, and healthy man who ran the Kame Game store where Yugi and his friends liked to hang out after school. He was a great provider and role model for Yugi.

However, this was not entirely the case in the subtitled version. In this version, Solomon had the typical features of an old man in the anime. He was perverted in both comments and gestures and made various sexual comments that were not appropriate for younger audiences. That is why his demeanor and attitude were censored in the dubbed version.

1 Brutal, bloody and violent letters were modified or removed

Weevil and his haunting YuGiOh cards

Since the Duel Monsters game is based on a much darker, sinister and harsh version of Duel Monsters played by the ancient Egyptians, many of the cards were quite bloody and violent, while others showed different levels of brutality. These types of letters were portrayed in the subtitled version of Yu-Gi-Oh !. But as they displayed extreme levels of violence and blood, they were deemed inappropriate for younger audiences outside of Japan.

In the dubbed version, these monsters were either completely removed or modified to match the illustration on the actual word cards that needed to be changed to be less violent and bloody.

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