Yu Gi Oh Season 0 is an adaptation of Yu Gi Oh during its early days of release by TOEI and its not considered canon to the anime by Gallop as it adapts about 59 chapters in the manga.
It focuses on a incredibly timid outcast student yugi moto who comes across a milienum puzzle one day and with that it summons Yami Yugi and with Yami Yugi’s power they use it to fight against evil doers wherever they may be.
Domino High School honestly reminded me so much like Shujin Academy in persona 5 like students getting into issues with other students and especially the staff and its up to the cast to help resolve the issues going on.
So episodes are procedual for the most part there is the duel monsters elements in it but this was before the series shifted more into the duel monsters side of things due to the growing popularity of it and how konami used it as a way to capitalize on the series growing popularity.
It’s a fairly long some part of it mainly due to for filler and also as mentioned, there was other stories that should have been adapted in like Joey escaping from a serial killer hired by Kaibacorp.
The story atmosphere and tone is pretty dark and it can be pretty edgy and Yami Yugi especially is really brutal to anyone they duel and the outcomes are always in the most ironic and painful manner imaginable. The villains here in the series are as evil as evil can get.
Its not as violent as the manga per say as I remember seeing some blood in certain panels in the manga but in the anime its toned down to keep things sort of kid friendly but the dark atmosphere is still there.
One of the shadow games potrayed had a robber be set on fire alive and in one episode had a watch thief get their arm cut off and turned into a living clock and also how one teacher got exposed as ugly outside as they are inside after being punished for being promiscous and unfair as a teacher.
Episode 7’s outcome in particular not going to spoil anything but PETA is going to approve of the message at the end of the episode including the one scene in the conclussion of the outcome where it almost felt something that was from blood-c.
The psychological mindgames and types of duels used were intereresting but a lot of others were not adapted into the anime and yeah it suffered from some filler too like a lot of TOEI anime adaptations back then and even today still.
Its not just all psychological mindgames, even other games like digital pets which were based off the tamogatchi trends are also included and the series shows how people can be addicted to it compared to it being like a product placement or sense of comedic relief its sometimes depicted to be in other anime.
The villains often cheat and that’s an instant fail to the shadow games leading them to punishment.
The characters for the most part were fine but Miho yeah, Miho was a week link who went from being a one off character to an obnoxious love interest.
Yami Yugi did had some good chemistry with their friends especially Joey who went from being picking on them to being a hero who does the right thing.
The art was generally fine and the animation was okay too. Seto Kaiba’s character design seeing them in this version was off putting since I think a lot of viewers are more accustomed to their current appearance now than in the earlier days even the manga’s art was a lot more rough and horror like.
The music was good too and so was Megumi Oogata’s voice acting for Yugi Moto. Its SUB only so its never been released in English officially.
The series does have its moments of wacky dacky stuff like a gang of thugs using yo yo’s of all things to bully people.
Overall it was a decent show.
It gets 4 out of 5 stars.
If you liked danganronpa persona 5 hell girl,phantom thief jeanne or death parade you may find interest in this series.
Theres no dvd or blu ray release of the 1998 version of yu gi oh at the moment just vhs tapes and even the season 0 merch can be pricey too.