Season Zero is by far the most amazing anime out of all the Yu-Gi-Oh series mainly for being not just darker and more focused but because it wasn’t all about Duel Monsters.
I love the later show up to a point but Season Zero as its been known by fans for years never got an English Dub, heck what dubs we have are too childish anyways with too much edited out.
We don’t have the whole Good Yugi and Amazing Yugi this time around because the story is darker, for the most part Yugi is not aware of the other Yugi. When this spirit comes, he doesn’t just play card games.
He caused deaths in fact I’m pretty sure some people died when they came up against Dark Yugi. For godsakes when Dark Yugi duels Kaiba which where one of the very few Duel Monster moments, he put Kaiba in a wheelchair due to what he did to his mind.
The main villain of the anime is Bakura and while it’s not directly connected to the later anime, it does have many of the same story elements, such as how Yugi meets everyone, the puzzle and the spirit as well as Bakura. After all they both take from the same source.
While Season Zero isn’t 100% true to the manga as it did have many rewrites simply to fill the episode time slot required, it was still way better than anything that came after. In fact I’m really disappointed they didn’t follow it up with another season and that it hasn’t seen a dub version yet.
Magic and Wizards
Many people don’t know this but Duel Monsters in the original manga was not called Duel Monsters but Magic and Wizards. Another key difference is that the anime doesn’t focus on it like future anime’s basically do.
Honestly I really like the title Magic and Wizards as it seems more to what the game is, but I understand how that isn’t very marketable.
Another change was Dark Bakura who is way more dark as I was talking about, the series focuses on Yugi vs Dark Bakura for the most part while Seto Kaiba does show up a little more than the manga and the card game is featured a little more.
Yami no Game
In the anime most people in the US are aware of, when ever Yugi would become the Other Yugi or Atem, the Pharoah, he would challenge them to a duel. In this series, we don’t know what the dark spirit’s name is and there isn’t anything to state that he is the spirit of the Pharoah and in truth this version is better because I don’t think a Pharaoh of Egypt would be so nice.
In this version, he challenges people to a Yami no Game. Basically it’s around the same bit as the Shadow Games we see later, however Dark Yugi would open the doors to the Darkness and play a Penalty Game with the person when they cheated, and whatever they obsess over the most would be their nightmare.
Overall I really loved the series and I really wished they had made another season maybe going into who the spirit was as I know it would have been 100% better than the last few seasons of the Duel Monsters anime and everything that came after. At the least for a fan of the series they should at least give us an English Dub version.