Yu-Gi-Oh came out shortly before I left middle school. While Pokemon as a whole faded a bit in popularity, Yugi and his duel monsters were the big new fad. Wonder why there's two Yugis? Well ones a spirit inside his golden box who can take over the real Yugi's body to become slightly taller and much better at a children's card game.
They made a real trading card game based on the show. However the cool holograms were never made available.
Looking back, the show was pretty dumb. Seto Kaiba spent a whole lot of time and money over a card game. And Grandpa Muto went to the hospital over losing a match to Kaiba...
Joey and Tristan were okay when it came to humor, but they both sucked at the game. Especially Tristan, if lost to him you might as well quit.
Then there's Téa, the chirpy and happy girl of the group. Also Yugi's sorta girlfriend. She was kinda lame.
Some of the evil players were pretty funny unintentionally. Like Weevil Underwood and his bug monsters. His voice still haunts my dreams.
And let's not forget Bandit Keith. Who obviously is American, which makes me wonder if the creators of the show think that all Americans are tough blonde jocks with big noses?
The first major villain was Maximillion Pegasus who started the Duelist Kingdom tournament. He steals everyone's soul so he can use it to barter for ancient artifacts he hopes to use to talk to his dead wife. I don't think she'd be too proud of his Toon World either. Despite his silly back-story, he was probably one of the most intimidating villains in anime to me.
Then we had Marik and the Rare Hunters in the Battle City tournament saga. They had some really cool battles with the Egyptian god cards, but after that story I kinda lost interest in the show. Two long sagas were enough.
I ironically never finished the show or watched the spin-offs, but I had my fun with it.