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Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V – Vol. 1 by Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

March 12, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy. Personally, I enjoy the complexity of the battles and the strategy combined with a storyline featuring action and humor. And to have a protagonist who wants to be more of an entertainer (that can battle) is also fascinating. If you are a fan of card gaming and also a “Yu-Gi-Oh!” fan, “Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V” is recommended!

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Image courtesy of © 2014 Kazuki Takahashi, Shin Yoshida, Naohito Miyoshi. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V – Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

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

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: April 4, 2017


Action Duels have become a global sensation, but what is the dark secret behind them that threatens to destroy the world? 

Yuzu Hiiragi and her father run a Dueling school that’s seen better days. If only they had a star teacher to bring in new students! When a rogue Duelist known as Phantom appears in the city, Yuzu may have found a savior, but Phantom will have to deal with the Leo Corporation’s special forces before he can get into any community service!


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 “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” (2011-2012).

With the completion of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”, the fifth “Yu-Gi-Oh!” franchise titled “Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V” was unveiled in 2014 and a manga adaptation serialized in Shueisha’s “V-Jump” magazine in August 2015.

And now “Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V” is now released in America courtesy of Viz Media.

What is “Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V”?

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V” continues the card battling theme that the original series was most popular for.

The series is set in the near future in a place called Maiami City and starts off at the Syo Zo Duel School where Principal Syu Zo Hiragi and his daughter Yuzu are worried that they will be unable to pay rent because they have no students.

Meanwhile, three helicopters from the Leo Corpration are in pursuit of  Yuya “The Phantom” Sasaki and when they corner him, Shingo Sawatari confronts the hooded individual and the young man tells them he isn’t Yuya Sasaki but his name is Yuto, but he will battle them.

As Yuzu watches from another building, she comes up with an idea, what if she can get Yuto to be a teacher at the school, then the school can make money.

As the battle between Yuya and Shingo begins, Shingo thinks he will win the battle but to everyone’s surprise, Yuto unleashes a pendulum summon and then reveals himself to be the best entertainment duelist in the world, Yuya Sasaki.

And when Yuya thinks he has a fan and goes to sign a paper, thinking he’s signing an autograph for Yuzu, he actually is signing a contract to teach at the Syu Zo Duel School.

Meanwhile, Reiji Akaba of the Leo Corporation will do anything to find and capture Yuya Sasaki.  But what is his motivation for doing so?


The concept of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V” is one that will appeal not only to fans of the original series and love card battling.  Where previous stories allowed for building certain card characters and turning them into something more powerful, the concept still remains but you now have this pendulum factor that really make a huge difference in a battle, along with four random action cards scattered around the action field.

It’s a much different concept than the other previous series, but the storyline has mystery and humor, which fans of the series will surely enjoy.

It’s important to note that with each volume purchased of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V”, an exclusive card is featured. In this case, an Odd-Eyes Phantom Dragon.

Overall, “Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy. Personally, I enjoy the complexity of the battles and the strategy combined with a storyline featuring action and humor.  And to have a protagonist who wants to be more of an entertainer (that can battle) is also fascinating.

If you are a fan of card gaming and also a “Yu-Gi-Oh!” fan, “Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V” is recommended!

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – Vol. 8 by Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 24, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

zexal-8

“Yu-Gi-Oh!” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy. The eighth volume is intense, so for those who love reading more battles in Zexal will surely enjoy this volume as it focuses on the skill and strategy of Yuma/Astral, Ryoga and Kaito taking on Yagumo! Another thrilling volume in the “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” manga series, volume eight is recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Image courtesy of © 2010 Kazuki Takahashi, Shin Yoshida, Naohito Miyoshi. All Rights Reserved.


MANGA TITLE: Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – Vol. 8

STORY AND ART BY: Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

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

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: March 1, 2016


 

In volume 8 of Yugioh Zexal, the duel between Yagumo and Ryoga opens a door to another world that pulls in Yuma and his friends. On the other side, they discover that Yagumo is planning to use a black hole to destroy Earth and the Astral World! Ryoga, Kaito and Yuma band together to stop Yagumo, but even their combined strength may not be enough!


Yagumo is planning to use a black hole to destroy the Earth and Astral World!

Yuma and Astral must team up with Ryoga Kamishiro and Kaito Tenjo in order defeat the powerful Yagumo in a battle.

Find out in the eighth volume of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”!

What is “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”?

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).

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” continues the card battling theme that the original series was most popular for. First featured in 2010 and then later serialized on “V Jump” magazine in 2011, the fourth “Yu-Gi-Oh!” series has received an anime adaptation and is currently airing in America on the Cartoon Network’s Saturday morning cartoon block, Toonzai, Vortexx and now on Nicktoons.

The series is set in the near future in a place called “Heartland City” and features a teenager named Yuma Tsukumo who wants to become the next “Duel Monsters” champion, but he has a while to go as he is only an amateur. One day after dueling against his rival Shark, a mysterious spirit known as Astral appears before him (no one else can see him) and gives him advice on how to win.

Astral explains that he needs Yuma’s help as he has lost all his memories, which have been transformed into 99 Xyz Monster cards known as Numbers and have been scattered all around the globe. It’s imperative they find the Numbers as duelist who possess them can gain abilities to combine their forces using the power of Zexal (the ability to combine monsters to create a more powerful monster) which can be dangerous in the wrong hands but also, each card can help bring back Astral’s memories.

And as the both Yuma and Astral form a partnership, unbeknown to the two is that a Numbers Hunter is going around battling people possessing a numbers card, but not only hunting down their card but also taking their soul.

This leads us to the second volume of “Yu-gi-Oh! Zexal”. We are introduced to the Numbers Hunter named Kaito, and find out that he is working with Mr. Heartland, who in turn is working with Dr. Faker who want to use the Numbers cards for their own selfish needs.

Dr. Faker and Mr. Heartland have Kaito trying to collect 100 Numbers as they said it would help make his young brother Haruto normal again. But in truth, he is being used by both Dr. Faker and Mr. Heartland.

As Yuma learns from his sister, details of a Numbers Hunter causing problems, one day both Yuma and Astral come across Kaito, the Numbers Hunter who has stopped time and challenges Yuma to a duel.

But both are quick to realize that Kaito is not just someone more powerful than Yuma when it comes to Zexal battles but Kaito also may be more powerful and knowledgeable about the game, even more than Astral.

And during their battle, Kaito easily demolishes Yuma (with Astral’s help) but before Kaito can end the game and defeat Yuma, he receives news about Haruto and thus Kaito ends the game early.

With Yuma depressed over his loss and knowing he does not have the cards to defeat Kaito, his friends Tetsuo Takeda, Kotori Mizuki, Tokunosuke Hyori, Takashi Todoroki and Cathy decide to form the Numbers Hunters Club and together with Yuma, help search for Numbers cards that will help get him the cards needed to take on Kaito, if they are ever to meet again.

But in order to do that, each of them must put themselves in harms way to get access to a Numbers Card. Are these young teens ready to take on the challenge?

We fast forward to volume 8 as Yuma who is determined to become a duel champion and Astral trying to search for his numbers to find his memories are now near their final journey.

Astral has now regained his memories and what his true mission is all about, meanwhile Yuma is contacted by his long lost father and the importance of stopping Yagumo.

And that is to team up with two people that were his rivals…Ryoga Kamishiro and Kaito Tenjo.

Why is Yagumo so intent in destroying the world?


The characters of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”:

  • Yuma Tsukumo – The main protagonist and a boy with a never give-up attitude. Unfortunately, he is also an underachiever when it comes to school and duels. He dreams of becoming the Dual Monsters champion and he is able to work with Astral, a unknown being that assists him during battles.
  • Astral – A mysterious spirit from another plane of existence who can be seen and heard by Yuma. He has lost his memories, which have been turned into Numbers cards and scattered around the world. He is unsure of his true purpose but by working with Yuma, he hopes he can help Yuma with his battles, while Yuma helps him by acquiring numbers to help regain his memory.
  • Kotori Mizuki – Yuma’s childhood friend and classmate. She doesn’t like to duel but she has a crush on Yuma. She is very smart with computers.
  • Tetsuo Takeda – Yuma’s friend and a skilled duelist who has beaten Yuta in dueling many times before.
  • Takashi Todoroki – The class president of Yuma’s class and a friend.
  • Tokunosuke Otomeura – A kid who has been bullied as young child, it has led to him playing dirty to win duels at times.
  • Cathy – A shy girl who looks like a cat and has a crush on Yuma. She is very wealthy and her home is the headquarters of the Numbers Club which has high tech computer devices to pinpoint numbers cards.
  • Kaito Tenjo – The Numbers Hunter who is trying to save his sick brother, Haruto by collecting 100 Numbers Cards. He is knowledgeable about the battles and overlaying Numbers cards.
  • Ryoga Kamishiro – A rival of Yuma Tsukumo and like Yuma has Astral to aid him, Ryoga has Luna. Known as “Shark”, his goal is to destroy all number cards.
  • Luna – A messenger of the moon who once worked with Dr. Fake and together with Ryoga “Shark” Kamishiro, they want to destroy all number cards.
  • Kyoji Yagumo – Grew up with Shark in an orphanage but for some reason, he decides to align himself with Dr. Faker.

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is back!

As we approach the final ninth volume, volume 8 features a journey that brings Yuma and Astral to team up with Ryoga and Kaito to face off against Yagumo.  But is Yagumo the true enemy?

A battle of skill and strategy as everyone puts everything on the line in a major battle among the top duelists.

Meanwhile, Yuma receives a visit from his father, long thought of being deceased with a message.  Meanwhile, what drove Yagumo to go mad?

A lot of questions are finally answered in this eighth volume and setting up the epic battle with the true enemy for the final ninth volume!

The concept of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is one that will appeal not only to fans of the original series but those who are familiar with RPG video games such as “Shin Megami Tensei” (especially the “Persona” series), as the goal is to combine monsters and in this case, using monsters and creating an overlay network via Zexal and creating something new and powerful.

Not only does this up the level of the game (especially those playing the actual real world game of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”) and also make it more challenging but it’s definitely an intriguing twist for “Yu-Gi-Oh~” card gaming fans.

And because with each battle he wins, he acquires those cards and is able to use them in battle against other foes and become part of his strategy.

It’s important to note that with each volume purchased of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” an exclusive card is featured. In this case, an ultra rare Numbers S39: Utopia the Lightning card.

Overall, “Yu-Gi-Oh!” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy. The eighth volume is intense, so for those who love reading more battles in Zexal will surely enjoy this volume as it focuses on the skill and strategy of Yuma/Astral, Ryoga and Kaito taking on Yagumo!

Another thrilling volume in the “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” manga series, volume eight is recommended!

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – Vol. 5 by Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

July 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

zexal-5

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” pits Kaito vs. Hisha-Kaku and also a battle vs. Ryoga Kamishiro! Who will win? Find out in another thrilling card battle volume of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” volume 5!

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Image courtesy of © 2010 Kazuki Takahashi, Shin Yoshida, Naohito Miyoshi. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – Vol. 5

STORY AND ART BY: Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

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

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: July 1, 2014

 

The Numbers War heats up as Yuma and the Numbers Club track down more of the powerful cards. Kaito’s past comes into play as Yuma tries to find out why this expert Duelist is seeking the Numbers cards. A duel between Kaito and Yuma’s old rival Shark may lead them all to a surprising alliance!

The Numbers War is set to begin and as Numbers Hunter Kaito tries to escape with his younger brother Haruto (who possesses the power to destroy the Astral World), Haruto is kidnapped by Kyoji Yagamo and Kaito must take on the skilled Hisha-Kaku!

As Yuma and Astral watches this epic battle take place, can they at least find a way to free Haruto from Yagamo?

Find out in the fifth volume of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”!

What is “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”?

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).

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” continues the card battling theme that the original series was most popular for. First featured in 2010 and then later serialized on “V Jump” magazine in 2011, the fourth “Yu-Gi-Oh!” series has received an anime adaptation and is currently airing in America on the Cartoon Network’s Saturday morning cartoon block, Toonzai, Vortexx and now on Nicktoons.

The series is set in the near future in a place called “Heartland City” and features a teenager named Yuma Tsukumo who wants to become the next “Duel Monsters” champion, but he has a while to go as he is only an amateur. One day after dueling against his rival Shark, a mysterious spirit known as Astral appears before him (no one else can see him) and gives him advice on how to win.

Astral explains that he needs Yuma’s help as he has lost all his memories, which have been transformed into 99 Xyz Monster cards known as Numbers and have been scattered all around the globe. It’s imperative they find the Numbers as duelist who possess them can gain abilities to combine their forces using the power of Zexal (the ability to combine monsters to create a more powerful monster) which can be dangerous in the wrong hands but also, each card can help bring back Astral’s memories.

And as the both Yuma and Astral form a partnership, unbeknown to the two is that a Numbers Hunter is going around battling people possessing a numbers card, but not only hunting down their card but also taking their soul.

This leads us to the second volume of “Yu-gi-Oh! Zexal”. We are introduced to the Numbers Hunter named Kaito, and find out that he is working with Mr. Heartland, who in turn is working with Dr. Faker who want to use the Numbers cards for their own selfish needs.

Dr. Faker and Mr. Heartland have Kaito trying to collect 100 Numbers as they said it would help make his young brother Haruto normal again. But in truth, he is being used by both Dr. Faker and Mr. Heartland.

As Yuma learns from his sister, details of a Numbers Hunter causing problems, one day both Yuma and Astral come across Kaito, the Numbers Hunter who has stopped time and challenges Yuma to a duel.

But both are quick to realize that Kaito is not just someone more powerful than Yuma when it comes to Zexal battles but Kaito also may be more powerful and knowledgeable about the game, even more than Astral.

And during their battle, Kaito easily demolishes Yuma (with Astral’s help) but before Kaito can end the game and defeat Yuma, he receives news about Haruto and thus Kaito ends the game early.

With Yuma depressed over his loss and knowing he does not have the cards to defeat Kaito, his friends Tetsuo Takeda, Kotori Mizuki, Tokunosuke Hyori, Takashi Todoroki and Cathy decide to form the Numbers Hunters Club and together with Yuma, help search for Numbers cards that will help get him the cards needed to take on Kaito, if they are ever to meet again.

But in order to do that, each of them must put themselves in harms way to get access to a Numbers Card. Are these young teens ready to take on the challenge?

In vol. 3, Mr. Heartland confronts Yuma and friends and reveals that he can also see Astral and that his plans are to acquire the numbers which hold a terrible power and want to destroy the Astral world. He also reveals that Astral is a messenger from the evil world, which Yuma does not believe to be true.

So, Mr. Heartland as been a thorn in Yuma and friends lives.

But now another antagonist has made himself known in vol. 4 of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”!

As Shark gains a new mysterious teammate named Luna, a messenger of the Moon, who gives him a special card to help destroy all number cards.

Meanwhile, Yuma and friends are surprised when Cathy reveals that she has a secret headquarters that can be used by them to pinpoint number cards.

And while a numbers card is detected, as Yuma and Astral go to retrieve it, as does Shark and Luna, standing in their way is Kaito Tenjo, the Numbers Hunter.

Meanwhile, vol. 4 reveals the history of Shark and his relation with Kyoji Yagumo and Yuma must take on Eviluder, Commander of the First Faker Fleet.

Which leads us to vol. 5 of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” as Kaito tries to save his brother Haruto from being used by Dr. Faker, he is stopped by Kyoji Yagamo who ends up kidnapping him.

With a fierce battle between Kaito vs. Hisha-Kaku, will Kaito have all it takes to keep his focus and composure in the heat of battle?

Also, in a second part battle, Kaito takes on Ryoga “Shark” Kamishiro!

The characters of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”:

  • Yuma Tsukumo – The main protagonist and a boy with a never give-up attitude. Unfortunately, he is also an underachiever when it comes to school and duels. He dreams of becoming the Dual Monsters champion and he is able to work with Astral, a unknown being that assists him during battles.
  • Astral – A mysterious spirit from another plane of existence who can be seen and heard by Yuma. He has lost his memories, which have been turned into Numbers cards and scattered around the world. He is unsure of his true purpose but by working with Yuma, he hopes he can help Yuma with his battles, while Yuma helps him by acquiring numbers to help regain his memory.
  • Kotori Mizuki – Yuma’s childhood friend and classmate. She doesn’t like to duel but she has a crush on Yuma. She is very smart with computers.
  • Tetsuo Takeda – Yuma’s friend and a skilled duelist who has beaten Yuta in dueling many times before.
  • Takashi Todoroki – The class president of Yuma’s class and a friend.
  • Tokunosuke Otomeura – A kid who has been bullied as young child, it has led to him playing dirty to win duels at times.
  • Cathy – A shy girl who looks like a cat and has a crush on Yuma. She is very wealthy and her home is the headquarters of the Numbers Club which has high tech computer devices to pinpoint numbers cards.
  • Kaito Tenjo – The Numbers Hunter who is trying to save his sick brother, Haruto by collecting 100 Numbers Cards. He is knowledgeable about the battles and overlaying Numbers cards.
  • Ryoga Kamishiro – A rival of Yuma Tsukumo and like Yuma has Astral to aid him, Ryoga has Luna. Known as “Shark”, his goal is to destroy all number cards.
  • Luna – A messenger of the moon who once worked with Dr. Fake and together with Ryoga “Shark” Kamishiro, they want to destroy all number cards.
  • Kyoji Yagumo – Grew up with Shark in an orphanage but for some reason, he decides to align himself with Dr. Faker.

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is back!  And while it’s not a Yuma driven storyline, we see two of the fiercest battles yet as Kaito must take on Hisha-Kaku, who is working for Kyoji Yagumo.  And as Yagumo has kidnapped Kaito’s younger brother Haruto, its imperative for him to focus on battle.

Meanwhile, Yuma and Astral try to find a way they can save Haruto.

Plus a secondary battle begins as Kaito must also take on Ryoga Kamishiro!

Will Yuma and Kaito join forces or will Kaito look at Yuma as an enemy?

The concept of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is one that will appeal not only to fans of the original series but those who are familiar with RPG video games such as “Shin Megami Tensei” (especially the “Persona” series), as the goal is to combine monsters and in this case, using monsters and creating an overlay network via Zexal and creating something new and powerful.

For example, Kaito summons a level 3 Light Serpent and a Level 3 Plasma Ball, overlay the two level 3 monsters to create a rank 3 Giga-Brilliant monster with a larger attack. But also with Kaito’s skills and owning multiple Numbers cards, he is able to release two summon two monsters with attacks over 2,000, releasing them and summoning them to create Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon with a 3,000 ATK.

Not only does this up the level of the game (especially those playing the actual real world game of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”) and also make it more challenging but it’s definitely an intriguing twist for “Yu-Gi-Oh~” card gaming fans.

And because with each battle he wins, he acquires those cards and is able to use them in battle against other foes and become part of his strategy.

It’s important to note that with each volume purchased of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” an exclusive card is featured. In this case, an ultra rare #72 Shogi Rook card.

Overall, “Yu-Gi-Oh!” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy. The fifth volume is battle intense, so for those who love reading more battles in Zexal will surely enjoy this volume as it focuses on the skill and strategy of Kaito!

Another thrilling volume in the “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” manga series, volume five is recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – Vol. 4 by Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

January 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

zexal-4

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” pits Kaito and Astral against Eviluder, the Commander of the First Faker Fleet! Will they endure? Find out in another thrilling card battle volume of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” volume 4!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Image courtesy of © 2010 Kazuki Takahashi, Shin Yoshida, Naohito Miyoshi. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – Vol. 4

STORY AND ART BY: Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

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

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: January 7, 2014

The mysterious Luna suddenly appears and challenges Shark to a duel. At stake is a new card and a new power! Elsewhere, Yuma and his friends form the Numbers Club, dedicated to finding the powerful Numbers Cards and stopping the plans of the evil Dr. Faker!

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).

And now “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” vol. 4 is being released in America  on Jan. 2014 courtesy of Viz Media.

What is “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”?

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” continues the card battling theme that the original series was most popular for. First featured in 2010 and then later serialized on “V Jump” magazine in 2011, the fourth “Yu-Gi-Oh!” series has received an anime adaptation and is currently airing in America on the Cartoon Network’s Saturday morning cartoon block, Toonzai, Vortexx and now on Nicktoons.

The series is set in the near future in a place called “Heartland City” and features a teenager named Yuma Tsukumo who wants to become the next “Duel Monsters” champion, but he has a while to go as he is only an amateur. One day after dueling against his rival Shark, a mysterious spirit known as Astral appears before him (no one else can see him) and gives him advice on how to win.

Astral explains that he needs Yuma’s help as he has lost all his memories, which have been transformed into 99 Xyz Monster cards known as Numbers and have been scattered all around the globe. It’s imperative they find the Numbers as duelist who possess them can gain abilities to combine their forces using the power of Zexal (the ability to combine monsters to create a more powerful monster) which can be dangerous in the wrong hands but also, each card can help bring back Astral’s memories.

And as the both Yuma and Astral form a partnership, unbeknown to the two is that a Numbers Hunter is going around battling people possessing a numbers card, but not only hunting down their card but also taking their soul.

This leads us to the second volume of “Yu-gi-Oh! Zexal”. We are introduced to the Numbers Hunter named Kaito, and find out that he is working with Mr. Heartland, who in turn is working with Dr. Faker who want to use the Numbers cards for their own selfish needs.

Dr. Faker and Mr. Heartland have Kaito trying to collect 100 Numbers as they said it would help make his young brother Haruto normal again. But in truth, he is being used by both Dr. Faker and Mr. Heartland.

As Yuma learns from his sister, details of a Numbers Hunter causing problems, one day both Yuma and Astral come across Kaito, the Numbers Hunter who has stopped time and challenges Yuma to a duel.

But both are quick to realize that Kaito is not just someone more powerful than Yuma when it comes to Zexal battles but Kaito also may be more powerful and knowledgeable about the game, even more than Astral.

And during their battle, Kaito easily demolishes Yuma (with Astral’s help) but before Kaito can end the game and defeat Yuma, he receives news about Haruto and thus Kaito ends the game early.

With Yuma depressed over his loss and knowing he does not have the cards to defeat Kaito, his friends Tetsuo Takeda, Kotori Mizuki, Tokunosuke Hyori, Takashi Todoroki and Cathy decide to form the Numbers Hunters Club and together with Yuma, help search for Numbers cards that will help get him the cards needed to take on Kaito, if they are ever to meet again.

But in order to do that, each of them must put themselves in harms way to get access to a Numbers Card. Are these young teens ready to take on the challenge?

In vol. 3, Mr. Heartland confronts Yuma and friends and reveals that he can also see Astral and that his plans are to acquire the numbers which hold a terrible power and want to destroy the Astral world. He also reveals that Astral is a messenger from the evil world, which Yuma does not believe to be true.

So, Mr. Heartland as been a thorn in Yuma and friends lives.

But now another antagonist has made himself known in vol. 4 of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”!

As Shark gains a new mysterious teammate named Luna, a messenger of the Moon, who gives him a special card to help destroy all number cards.

Meanwhile, Yuma and friends are surprised when Cathy reveals that she has a secret headquarters that can be used by them to pinpoint number cards.

And while a numbers card is detected, as Yuma and Astral go to retrieve it, as does Shark and Luna, standing in their way is Kaito Tenjo, the Numbers Hunter.

Meanwhile, vol. 4 reveals the history of Shark and his relation with Kyoji Yagumo and Yuma must take on Eviluder, Commander of the First Faker Fleet.

The characters of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”:

  • Yuma Tsukumo – The main protagonist and a boy with a never give-up attitude. Unfortunately, he is also an underachiever when it comes to school and duels. He dreams of becoming the Dual Monsters champion and he is able to work with Astral, a unknown being that assists him during battles.
  • Astral – A mysterious spirit from another plane of existence who can be seen and heard by Yuma. He has lost his memories, which have been turned into Numbers cards and scattered around the world. He is unsure of his true purpose but by working with Yuma, he hopes he can help Yuma with his battles, while Yuma helps him by acquiring numbers to help regain his memory.
  • Kotori Mizuki – Yuma’s childhood friend and classmate. She doesn’t like to duel but she has a crush on Yuma. She is very smart with computers.
  • Tetsuo Takeda – Yuma’s friend and a skilled duelist who has beaten Yuta in dueling many times before.
  • Takashi Todoroki – The class president of Yuma’s class and a friend.
  • Tokunosuke Otomeura – A kid who has been bullied as young child, it has led to him playing dirty to win duels at times.
  • Cathy – A shy girl who looks like a cat and has a crush on Yuma.  She is very wealthy and her home is the headquarters of the Numbers Club which has high tech computer devices to pinpoint numbers cards.
  • Kaito Tenjo – The Numbers Hunter who is trying to save his sick brother, Haruto by collecting 100 Numbers Cards. He is knowledgeable about the battles and overlaying Numbers cards.
  • Ryoga Kamishiro – A rival of Yuma Tsukumo and like Yuma has Astral to aid him, Ryoga has Luna.  Known as “Shark”, his goal is to destroy all number cards.
  • Luna – A messenger of the moon who once worked with Dr. Fake and together with Ryoga “Shark” Kamishiro, they want to destroy all number cards.
  • Kyoji Yagumo – Grew up with Shark in an orphanage but for some reason, he decides to align himself with Dr. Faker.

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” continues to heat up as Yuma finds out that there are other people after the numbers cards, cards that are necessary to revive Astral’s memory.

His rival Shark has now aligned himself with Luna, a former assistant of Dr. Faker, while Dr. Faker has sent his fleet to retrieve the cards and take on anyone in their way!

But will Yuma be ready to take on the powerful Eviluder, Commander of the First Faker Fleet?

The concept of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is one that will appeal not only to fans of the original series but those who are familiar with RPG video games such as “Shin Megami Tensei” (especially the “Persona” series), as the goal is to combine monsters and in this case, using monsters and creating an overlay network via Zexal and creating something new and powerful.

For example, Kaito summons a level 3 Light Serpent and a Level 3 Plasma Ball, overlay the two level 3 monsters to create a rank 3 Giga-Brilliant monster with a larger attack. But also with Kaito’s skills and owning multiple Numbers cards, he is able to release two summon two monsters with attacks over 2,000, releasing them and summoning them to create Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon with a 3,000 ATK.

Not only does this up the level of the game (especially those playing the actual real world game of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”) and also make it more challenging but it’s definitely an intriguing twist for “Yu-Gi-Oh~” card gaming fans.

And because with each battle he wins, he acquires those cards and is able to use them in battle against other foes and become part of his strategy.

It’s important to note that with each volume purchased of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” an exclusive card is featured. In this case, an ultra rare Nightmare Shark card is included with volume 4.

Overall, “Yu-Gi-Oh!” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy. The fourth volume focuses more on the different types of battles that Yuma and Astral must partake in and how risky these battles are but how they need to work as a team in order to fight their opponent.

Another thrilling volume in the “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” manga series, volume four is recommended for “Yu-Gi-Oh!” fans!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – Vol. 1 by Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy.  Featuring likeable characters and a cool gaming card battle concept, if you are a fan of card gaming and also a “Yu-Gi-Oh!” fan, “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Image courtesy of © 2010 Kazuki Takahashi, Shin Yoshida, Naohito Miyoshi. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – Vol. 1

STORY AND ART BY: Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

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

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: June 5, 2012

In a futuristic city, augmented reality Duels are all the rage. Duelists, using devices called D-Gazers, can interact with their environment and their opponents as never before. With more awesome monsters and unbelievable cards, the future of Yu-Gi-Oh! starts right here!

 

No one loves Dueling more than Yuma Tsukumo, but unfortunately for him, no one is worse at it either! This isn’t going to stop Yuma from trying, though. When Yuma calls on the memory of his parents during the Duel, a strange being called Astral appears, and the encounter is the start of Yuma’s amazing Duel journey!

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).

And now “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is now released in America courtesy of Viz Media.

What is “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”?

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” continues the card battling theme that the original series was most popular for. First featured in 2010 and then later serialized on “V Jump” magazine in 2011, the fourth “Yu-Gi-Oh!” series has received an anime adaptation and is currently airing in America on the Cartoon Network’s Saturday morning cartoon block, Toonzai, Vortexx and now on Nicktoons.

The series is set in the near future in a place called “Heartland City” and features a teenager named Yuma Tsukumo who wants to become the next “Duel Monsters” champion, but he has a while to go as he is only an amateur.

In vol. 1, we learn that Yuma is being raised by his older sister who does not like him participating in duels.  His prized possession is this necklace that his parents gave him that resembles a key.  Yuma’s parents are adventurers and during a trip, they were never heard from again.

While Yuma has a good heart, he is not good in card battles, he’s not good when he tries to “Jet” but he is persistent and keeps on trying no matter what.

One day, his friend Tetsuo (who had beaten Yuma many times in card battles), lost his deck to a rival named Shark.  Upset that Shark took Tetsuo’s deck, Yuma challenges Shark to a match. But Shark knows that Yuma doesn’t have a great deck and when he said he would battle if he has something that he cherishes most and wants to put up for a bet, Yuma thinks about his necklace but in no way, would he ever lose that.  But Shark takes it and breaks the key.

Upset about what Shark has done, the battle between both Yuma and Shark is to happen, a mysterious spirit known as Astral appears before him (no one else can see him) and gives him advice on how to win.

Astral explains that he needs Yuma’s help as he has lost all his memories, which have been transformed into 99 XYZ Monster cards known as Numbers and have been scattered all around the globe. It’s imperative they find the Numbers as duelist who possess them can gain abilities to combine their forces using the power of Zexal (the ability to combine monsters to create a more powerful monster) which can be dangerous in the wrong hands but also, each card can help bring back Astral’s memories.

While Yuma does not like to listen to Astral, Astral tries to find ways for Yuma to listen to him in battle and learn how to use the XYZ cards and also how to battle effectively.  And both know they need each other for assistance, but it all comes down to if Yuma is willing to work with Astral.  Will he?

Find out in vol. 1 of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”!

The characters of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”:

  • Yuma Tsukumo – The main protagonist and a boy with a never give-up attitude. Unfortunately, he is also an underachiever when it comes to school and duels. He dreams of becoming the Dual Monsters champion and he is able to work with Astral, a unknown being that assists him during battles.
  • Astral – A mysterious spirit from another plane of existence who can be seen and heard by Yuma. He has lost his memories, which have been turned into Numbers cards and scattered around the world. He is unsure of his true purpose but by working with Yuma, he hopes he can help Yuma with his battles, while Yuma helps him by acquiring numbers to help regain his memory.
  • Kotori Mizuki – Yuma’s childhood friend and classmate. She doesn’t like to duel but she has a crush on Yuma. She is very smart with computers.
  • Tetsuo Takeda – Yuma’s friend and a skilled duelist who has beaten Yuta in dueling many times before.
  • Takashi Todoroki – The class president of Yuma’s class and a friend.
  • Tokunosuke Otomeura – A kid who has been bullied as young child, it has led to him playing dirty to win duels at times.
  • Cathy – A shy girl who looks like a cat and has a crush on Yuma.

 

The concept of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is one that will appeal not only to fans of the original series but those who are familiar with RPG video games such as “Shin Megami Tensei” (especially the “Persona” series), as the goal is to combine monsters and in this case, using monsters and creating an overlay network via Zexal and creating something new and powerful.

Volume 1 introduces us to Yuma and Astral as both must work together in beating opponents that use Number Cards, cards that are needed for Astral to regain his memories.

But as Astral knows he needs Yuma’s help to get access to those Number Cards, for Yuma, he’s still at a point where he feels he can do everything himself, but also learning that working with Astral, who is much more knowledgeable about the card battles can give him an edge against difficult opponents.

Vol. 1 features two major battles as Yuma must take on Shark who has access to a Number card, but also a boy named Tokunosuke who has been burned by people in the past who want to hang out with him because they have an agenda (by hanging out with him, they feel they can get free Zexal cards which Tokunosuke gave to people he thought were his friends) and now Tokunosuke doesn’t know if he can trust anyone.

The manga also comes with a bonus story with a glimpse into the future for both Yuma and Astral and how their partnership is destiny.

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

Overall, “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy. Personally, I enjoy the complexity of the battles and the strategy of combining monsters to make one powerful but also how certain monsters are strategically used, in the case of both Yuma and Astral, and how the writers are able to present something that seems so complex, but explained in a way that it’s fascinating and interesting.

If you are a fan of card gaming and also a “Yu-Gi-Oh!” fan, “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is recommended!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – Vol. 3 by Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” pits Kaito and Astral against Thunder Spark and Princess Cologne!  Will they endure?  Find out in another thrilling card battle volume of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” volume 3!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Image courtesy of © 2010 Kazuki Takahashi, Shin Yoshida, Naohito Miyoshi. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – Vol. 3

STORY AND ART BY: Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

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

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: June 4, 2013

In the Heartland theme park, Yuma (with a little help from Astral) has managed to defeat Captain Corn in an amazing duel, but there are more challenges yet to come! Mr. Heartland is out to capture all of the powerful Numbers cards and destroy Astral’s world. If Yuma and his friends won’t join him, Mr Heartland will crush them!

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).

And now “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is now released in America courtesy of Viz Media.

What is “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”?

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” continues the card battling theme that the original series was most popular for. First featured in 2010 and then later serialized on “V Jump” magazine in 2011, the fourth “Yu-Gi-Oh!” series has received an anime adaptation and is currently airing in America on the Cartoon Network’s Saturday morning cartoon block, Toonzai, Vortexx and now on Nicktoons.

The series is set in the near future in a place called “Heartland City” and features a teenager named Yuma Tsukumo who wants to become the next “Duel Monsters” champion, but he has a while to go as he is only an amateur. One day after dueling against his rival Shark, a mysterious spirit known as Astral appears before him (no one else can see him) and gives him advice on how to win.

Astral explains that he needs Yuma’s help as he has lost all his memories, which have been transformed into 99 Xyz Monster cards known as Numbers and have been scattered all around the globe. It’s imperative they find the Numbers as duelist who possess them can gain abilities to combine their forces using the power of Zexal (the ability to combine monsters to create a more powerful monster) which can be dangerous in the wrong hands but also, each card can help bring back Astral’s memories.

And as the both Yuma and Astral form a partnership, unbeknown to the two is that a Numbers Hunter is going around battling people possessing a numbers card, but not only hunting down their card but also taking their soul.

This leads us to the second volume of “Yu-gi-Oh! Zexal”. We are introduced to the Numbers Hunter named Kaito, and find out that he is working with Mr. Heartland, who in turn is working with Dr. Faker who want to use the Numbers cards for their own selfish needs.

Dr. Faker and Mr. Heartland have Kaito trying to collect 100 Numbers as they said it would help make his young brother Haruto normal again. But in truth, he is being used by both Dr. Faker and Mr. Heartland.

As Yuma learns from his sister, details of a Numbers Hunter causing problems, one day both Yuma and Astral come across Kaito, the Numbers Hunter who has stopped time and challenges Yuma to a duel.

But both are quick to realize that Kaito is not just someone more powerful than Yuma when it comes to Zexal battles but Kaito also may be more powerful and knowledgeable about the game, even more than Astral.

And during their battle, Kaito easily demolishes Yuma (with Astral’s help) but before Kaito can end the game and defeat Yuma, he receives news about Haruto and thus Kaito ends the game early.

With Yuma depressed over his loss and knowing he does not have the cards to defeat Kaito, his friends Tetsuo Takeda, Kotori Mizuki, Tokunosuke Hyori, Takashi Todoroki and Cathy decide to form the Numbers Hunters Club and together with Yuma, help search for Numbers cards that will help get him the cards needed to take on Kaito, if they are ever to meet again.

But in order to do that, each of them must put themselves in harms way to get access to a Numbers Card. Are these young teens ready to take on the challenge?

In vol. 3, Mr. Heartland confronts Yuma and friends and reveals that he can also see Astral and that his plans are to acquire the numbers which hold a terrible power and want to destroy the Astral world.  He also reveals that Astral is a messenger from the evil world, which Yuma does not believe to be true.

So, Mr. Heartland sends out the Speed Field Ride Mascot – Thunder Spark to battle against Yuma and Astral, but this battle is different as both must participate in a race and also take part in a card battle at the same time.

And Mr. Heartland also has another waiting in battle, just in case, Yuma and friends beat Thunder Spark, the doll known as Princess Cologne.

With two battles ahead of them, will Yuma and Astral have what it takes to beat them?

Find out in vol. 3 of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”!

The characters of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”:

  • Yuma Tsukumo – The main protagonist and a boy with a never give-up attitude. Unfortunately, he is also an underachiever when it comes to school and duels. He dreams of becoming the Dual Monsters champion and he is able to work with Astral, a unknown being that assists him during battles.
  • Astral – A mysterious spirit from another plane of existence who can be seen and heard by Yuma. He has lost his memories, which have been turned into Numbers cards and scattered around the world. He is unsure of his true purpose but by working with Yuma, he hopes he can help Yuma with his battles, while Yuma helps him by acquiring numbers to help regain his memory.
  • Kotori Mizuki – Yuma’s childhood friend and classmate. She doesn’t like to duel but she has a crush on Yuma. She is very smart with computers.
  • Tetsuo Takeda – Yuma’s friend and a skilled duelist who has beaten Yuta in dueling many times before.
  • Takashi Todoroki – The class president of Yuma’s class and a friend.
  • Tokunosuke Otomeura – A kid who has been bullied as young child, it has led to him playing dirty to win duels at times.
  • Cathy – A shy girl who looks like a cat and has a crush on Yuma.
  • Kaito – The Numbers Hunter who is trying to save his sick brother, Haruto by collecting 100 Numbers Cards. He is knowledgeable about the battles and overlaying Numbers cards.

 

The concept of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is one that will appeal not only to fans of the original series but those who are familiar with RPG video games such as “Shin Megami Tensei” (especially the “Persona” series), as the goal is to combine monsters and in this case, using monsters and creating an overlay network via Zexal and creating something new and powerful.

For example, Kaito summons a level 3 Light Serpent and a Level 3 Plasma Ball, overlay the two level 3 monsters to create a rank 3 Giga-Brilliant monster with a larger attack. But also with Kaito’s skills and owning multiple Numbers cards, he is able to release two summon two monsters with attacks over 2,000, releasing them and summoning them to create Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon with a 3,000 ATK.

Not only does this up the level of the game (especially those playing the actual real world game of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”) and also make it more challenging but it’s definitely an intriguing twist for “Yu-Gi-Oh~” card gaming fans.

And because with each battle he wins, he acquires those cards and is able to use them in battle against other foes and become part of his strategy.

In volume 3 of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”, Yuma and Astral must participate in two different battles.  One involving a race against Thunder Spark and the only way that Yuma can utilize his cards is only if he is ahead of Thunder Spark, the master of the Speed Field Ride.  The second battle is a doll who had been tossed away into the wastes of Heart Land and in order to survive, she must do what Mr. Heart Land says and that is to destroy Kaito and Astral.

It’s important to note that with each volume purchased of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” an exclusive card is featured. In this case, an ultra rare Zombiestein card is included with volume 3.

Overall, “Yu-Gi-Oh!” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy. The third volume focuses more on the different types of battles that Yuma and Astral must partake in and how risky these battles are but how they need to work as a team in order to fight their opponent.

Another thrilling volume in the “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” manga series, volume three is recommended for “Yu-Gi-Oh!” fans!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – Vol. 2 by Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

May 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy.  The second volume starts to incorporate more characters, also establishing the storyline of Yuma’s key rival and antagonist, Kaito and feature more strategies of gameplay.  So, the storyline does get a bit more exciting now that characters, storyline and the game are becoming more established.  If you are a fan of card gaming and also a “Yu-Gi-Oh!” fan, definitely give “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” a chance! 

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

Image courtesy of © 2010 Kazuki Takahashi, Shin Yoshida, Naohito Miyoshi. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal – Vol. 2

STORY AND ART BY: Shin Yoshida and Naohito Miyoshi

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

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

RATED: T for Teen

RELEASE DATE: December 4, 2012

Yuma finds out that the only way to help his brother return to normal is to collect all one-hundred Numbers Cards. The power these cards give to the Duelist who wields them is immense, and many other Duelists are seeking them. Yuma must face these “Numbers Hunters,” starting with the mysterious Kaito!

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).

And now “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is now released in America courtesy of Viz Media.

What is “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”?

“Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” continues the card battling theme that the original series was most popular for.  First featured in 2010 and then later serialized on “V Jump” magazine in 2011, the fourth “Yu-Gi-Oh!” series has received an anime adaptation and is currently airing in America on the Cartoon Network’s Saturday morning cartoon block, Toonzai, Vortexx and now on Nicktoons.

The series is set in the near future in a place called “Heartland City” and features a teenager named Yuma Tsukumo who wants to become the next “Duel Monsters” champion, but he has a while to go as he is only an amateur.  One day after dueling against his rival Shark, a mysterious spirit known as Astral appears before him (no one else can see him) and gives him advice on how to win.

Astral explains that he needs Yuma’s help as he has lost all his memories, which have been transformed into 99 Xyz Monster cards known as Numbers and have been scattered all around the globe.  It’s imperative they find the Numbers as duelist who possess them can gain abilities to combine their forces using the power of Zexal (the ability to combine monsters to create a more powerful monster) which can be dangerous in the wrong hands but also, each card can help bring back Astral’s memories.

And as the both Yuma and Astral form a partnership, unbeknown to the two is that a Numbers Hunter is going around battling people possessing a numbers card, but not only hunting down their card but also taking their soul.

This leads us to the second volume of “Yu-gi-Oh! Zexal”.  We are introduced to the Numbers Hunter named Kaito, and find out that he is working with Mr. Heartland, who in turn is working with Dr. Faker who want to use the Numbers cards for their own selfish needs.

Dr. Faker and Mr. Heartland have Kaito trying to collect 100 Numbers as they said it would help make his young brother Haruto normal again.  But in truth, he is being used by both Dr. Faker and Mr. Heartland.

As Yuma learns from his sister, details of a Numbers Hunter causing problems, one day both Yuma and Astral come across Kaito, the Numbers Hunter who has stopped time and challenges Yuma to a duel.

But both are quick to realize that Kaito is not just someone more powerful than Yuma when it comes to Zexal battles but Kaito also may be more powerful and knowledgeable about the game, even more than Astral.

And during their battle, Kaito easily demolishes Yuma (with Astral’s help) but before Kaito can end the game and defeat Yuma, he receives news about Haruto and thus Kaito ends the game early.

With Yuma depressed over his loss and knowing he does not have the cards to defeat Kaito, his friends Tetsuo Takeda, Kotori Mizuki, Tokunosuke Hyori, Takashi Todoroki and Cathy decide to form the Numbers Hunters Club and together with Yuma, help search for Numbers cards that will help get him the cards needed to take on Kaito, if they are ever to meet again.

But in order to do that, each of them must put themselves in harms way to get access to a Numbers Card.  Are these young teens ready to take on the challenge?

The characters of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”:

  • Yuma Tsukumo – The main protagonist and a boy with a never give-up attitude.  Unfortunately, he is also an underachiever when it comes to school and duels.  He dreams of becoming the Dual Monsters champion and he is able to work with Astral, a unknown being that assists him during battles.
  • Astral – A mysterious spirit from another plane of existence who can be seen and heard by Yuma.  He has lost his memories, which have been turned into Numbers cards and scattered around the world.  He is unsure of his true purpose but by working with Yuma, he hopes he can help Yuma with his battles, while Yuma helps him by acquiring numbers to help regain his memory.
  • Kotori Mizuki – Yuma’s childhood friend and classmate.  She doesn’t like to duel but she has a crush on Yuma.  She is very smart with computers.
  • Tetsuo Takeda – Yuma’s friend and a skilled duelist who has beaten Yuta in dueling many times before.
  • Takashi Todoroki – The class president of Yuma’s class and a friend.
  • Tokunosuke Otomeura – A kid who has been bullied as young child, it has led to him playing dirty to win duels at times.
  • Cathy – A shy girl who looks like a cat and has a crush on Yuma.
  • Kaito – The Numbers Hunter who is trying to save his sick brother, Haruto by collecting 100 Numbers Cards.  He is knowledgeable about the battles and overlaying Numbers cards.

 

The concept of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is one that will appeal not only to fans of the original series but those who are familiar with RPG video games such as “Shin Megami Tensei” (especially the “Persona” series), as the goal is to combine monsters and in this case, using monsters and creating an overlay network via Zexal and creating something new and powerful.

For example, in volume 2, Kaito summons a level 3 Light Serpent and a Level 3 Plasma Ball, overlay the two level 3 monsters to create a rank 3 Giga-Brilliant monster with a larger attack.  But also with Kaito’s skills and owning multiple Numbers cards, he is able to release two summon two monsters with attacks over 2,000, releasing them and summoning them to create Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon with a 3,000 ATK.

If anything, this volume shows how smart Kaito is as an opponent because he can keep combining/releasing Numbers cards in order to gain something even more powerful.  And the fact is that Yuma and even with Astral’s help, does not have enough Numbers cards to go on a one-on-one battle with Kaito effectively.

Not only does this up the level of the game (especially those playing the actual real world game of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal”) and also make it more challenging but it’s definitely an intriguing twist for “Yu-Gi-Oh~” card gaming fans.

It’s important to note that with each volume purchased of “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” an exclusive card is featured.  In this case, an ultra rare Blackship of Corn card is included with volume 2.

Overall, “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” is a manga series with card battles that young fans and even older fans may enjoy.  The second volume starts to incorporate more characters, also establishing the storyline of Yuma’s key rival and antagonist, Kaito and feature more strategies of gameplay.  So, the storyline does get a bit more exciting now that characters, storyline and the game are becoming more established.

If you are a fan of card gaming and also a “Yu-Gi-Oh!” fan, definitely give “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal” a chance!

 /></b></a></p> <p style=

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