Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Vol. 1 by Masahiro Hikokubo and Masashi Sato (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 25, 2013 by  


“Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy. A story about one tough young man  from the poor area of the city wanting to become stronger and better in order to defeat the New Domino City’s top Turbo Duelists.  Recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 2009 by Masahiro Hikokubo, Masashi Sato. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Masahiro Hikokubo and Masashi Sato


PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: July 5, 2011

Yusei Fudo, Turbo Duelist!


A high-speed Turbo Duel through the streets of Satellite brings Yusei Fudo and his friend Sect face-to-face with an urban legend incarnate! Will Yusei lose Sect to the Skeleton Knight? And what sinister plans does Jack Atlas, master of New Domino City, have in store for Yusei?

In 1996, Kazuki Takahashi would create a manga series about card games known as “Yu-Gi-Oh!”. Wanting to create a battle manga that was unique and not about fighting and a fan of tabletop role-playing games, Takahashi did not imagine how popular the series would be among fans worldwide.

With the original manga serialized in Sept. 1996 through 2004, the games have been popular among anime, manga and of course, the card gaming fans in America and also around the world. The series would spawn off various series (featuring manga adaptations by other artists/writers) such as “Yu-Gi-Oh! GX” (2005-2011), “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s” (2008-2011) and most recently with “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” (2011-2012).

In America, both “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”and “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s” are being released concurrently on manga.  It’s important to note that the storyline of the manga version of “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s” is different from the anime series.  The primary characters of Yusei Fudo, Jack Atlas and Akiza Izinski from the anime series are in the manga but the circumstances are much different, especially how the manga series includes the character, Sect.

What is “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s”?

After “Yu-Gi-Oh! GX” was shown as an anime series in Japan, “Yu-gi-Oh! 5D’s” was released.

Like previous series which featured characters playing a game of “Duel Monsters”, the series takes place in New Domino City in the year 20xx. Turbo Duels are fought from the seats of Motorcycle-shaped duel disks called “Duel Runners” and is the hottest game in the city.   While the upper class population lives in New Domino City, the lower class live in a remote island where Domino’s sewage is transported, called Satellite.

We are introduced to the main protagonist, Yusei Fudo, who lives in Satellite and the 18-year-old is considered the toughest duelist in the Satellite District.  His younger friend Sect is like a brother to him but he knows that Sect’s goal is to one day beat him in a Turbo Duel.

In volume 1 of “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s”, Yusei has beat his young friend Sect once again in battle.  Excited that Yusei considers him a rival, Sect makes a plea via a “Sunset Salute” to the Skeleton Knight for a rare card that will allow him to beat Yusei, but it is considered an urban legend.

But as Yusei and friends watch Sect from afar, a temple comes out of nowhere in the city and the Skeleton Knight appears.  When Yusei runs to check on Sect, Sect is unconscious and that he will only be returned to consciousness if Yusei takes part in a duel.  But Yusei must wager his soul.

This leads to a battle between Yusei and the Skeleton Knight.

We are also introduced to two significant characters.  Jack Atlas, the cocky Turbo Duelist known as “The King”, the duelist that no on has beaten and the reigning champion.  And then there is Akiza Izinski, a Turbo Duelist who holds the title “Queen of Queens” and has only lost once and that is to Jack Atlas.

After Yusei’s battle with the Skeleton Knight and wanting to bring Sect to the hospital, he is confronted by Jack Atlas who is determined on taking on Satellite’s toughest Turbo Duelist.

How will Yusei fare in battle against “The King”?

The characters of “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s”:

  • Yusei Fudo – The main protagonist and an older teen who lives in the poor area of Satellite.  Considered the toughest Turbo Duelist of the area, he hopes to have a one-on-one battle with Jack Atlas again.  He is a guy who values his friend and his Duel Runner.
  • Jack Atlas – The “King of Riding Duels” that is arrogant and feared by other duelists.
  • Akiza Izinski – The “Queen of Queens” and an excellent Turbo Duelist who has lost only once and that is to Jack Atlas.
  • Sect Ijuin – Sect is a young Turbo Duelist who looks up to Yusei like an older brother but also a rival.

When it comes to the “Yu-Gi-Oh!” card games or series, it’s always interesting to see how the series tries to re-invent itself.  While the concept of card battles are the same, the circumstances behind the game on anime and manga is quite fascinating.

With “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s”, we have two different storylines that appear on the anime and manga series and for the manga series, it begins with a story of the have’s and the have nots.  The wealth of New Domino City which features its top Turbo Dueler, Jack Atlas and from the island of Satellite where people who live in the area are not wealthy, comes Yusei Fudo.

The sport is Turbo Dueling which brings out large audiences watching in a stadium as the Turbo Duelist race while they are competing in a card match, so not only does one have to keep their eyes on the race, they also must plan their strategies effectively during their card battle.

With the first volume, Yusei Fudo tries to save his young friend Sect from the Skeleton Knight, a being that no one thought that existed.  And the aftermath of that battle leads, Yusei trying to get Sect to the hospital but wanting to battle him immediately is Jack Atlas.  And not long after, even Akiza Izinski wanted to battle him.

So, it’s a fascinating first volume that is filled with four significant card battles (Yusei also takes on Sect in the beginning of the manga) and the manga series is pretty much showing how Jack Atlas is too powerful and Yusei is not a match for him…yet.  So, I would imagine the next few battles will be about Yusei discovering new strategies for battle and gaining new cards that will eventually lead to him battling both Jack Atlas and possibly Akiza Izinski for battle in the future.

Also, another fun aspect of the manga series is seeing both writer Masahiro Hikokubo and artist Masashi Sato sharing their experiences as newbies in the industry through a single-page manga panel.  Definitely fun to see and read!

It’s important to note that with each volume purchased of “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s” an exclusive card is featured. In this case, an ultra rare Dark Highlander card is included with volume 1.

With both “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s” and “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” being released on manga at the same time, for those wanting to choose only one series, 5D’s features older teens, while Zexal focuses on younger kids.  In 5D’s, Yusei is older and a tough fighter, in Zexal, Yuma is an underdog who was not that good in card battling and is being helped by a being named Astral that no one can see.  Both manga series are equally exciting.  Also, 5D’s focuses on its players on a vehicle, Zexal is not.  Also, the card game mechanics are so much different with Zexal focusing on overlaying cards to create a more fierce monster.  But both series are equally enjoyable!

Overall, “Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy.   Recommended!

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