A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this show is a bit more sophisticated than previous Yu-Gi-Oh series. The characters seem older and have become societal superstars in a futuristic, Blade Runner-esque world. Parents new to the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! should also know that young fans of the franchise must hold a series of dueling/card game rules in their head that makes chess look like Go Fish. Point tallies quickly head into the thousands. It's a silly game and a sillier show, but it's not for the faint of brain, and that's its redeeming factor.
What's the story?
YU-GI-OH! 5D'S takes the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! further into the future than previous series have. Episodes still revolve around duels fought between characters and their decks of magical cards -- which create or bring forth monsters and dragons to fight one another in complex ways -- but the duels are now fought in stadiums and on motorcycle-like vehicles called Duel Runners. This time around, lead character Yusei seeks revenge against his former best friend, Jack Atlas, who stole his Duel Runner and prize dragon and has used both to become the "Duel King."
Is it any good?
The animation here is stylish and the action smooth -- although the voice dubbing creates an odd effect for viewers who aren't used to it (the series is produced and originally aired in Japan). The duels remain laughable for adult viewers, mostly because, as they fling their cards out with panache and produce their monsters, the characters are forced to narrate their actions and the effects (as in "Ha! Your move is foolish, because I shall produce this card, which makes your card upside-down and useless and calls back my hydra-dog from the grave! Fool!").
This brand extension loses some of the charm of earlier versions by raising the stakes -- these characters, while not adults, are fighting for adult things like fame and fortune, whereas in the earlier series, the kids were younger, dueling for their schools or their honor.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the relationship between entertainment and products. Would having and playing the related video or card games make watching this series more fun? Why or why not?
What do you think the show's primary goal is -- to entertain kids or encourage them to buy more stuff?
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love action and animation
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.