Yu-Gi-Oh!’s Meaning in Japanese Makes Its Original Theme Song Even Funnier

The original series of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime was an iconic part of many people's childhoods. From the suspense built up during duels to the lurking threat of various villains, there were plenty of moments that audiences can reminisce fondly about. One of these was the English-language opening, which did an amazing job of drawing people into the world of Duel Monsters. However, on reflection, the original theme song isn't without its issues. It contains a funny misuse of wording that only those who know their Japanese could catch -- an issue that also matches up with some of the card game's odd translation choices.

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The song's poor choice of wording can't be heard in the official opening song, but it can in the full version. Memorably, it includes the lyric, "Yu-Gi-Oh! is King of Games." While this fits with the song's pacing and blends in with the music, "Yu-Gi-Oh" already means "King Of Games." Therefore, all the lyric is really saying is "King of Games is King of Games." This needless repetition means the line makes absolutely no sense.

Yu Gi Oh opening

Yu-Gi-Oh! already has history when it comes to interesting translation choices. In fact, there's a whole blog that details numerous examples of this. One of these is the card Prinzessin also being known as Cinderella, a name change that is also present in the first season's dub. Other examples include Level Eater's alternate name, Level Stealer, which is a pretty significant change, and Maxx C, which unlike the other two, has a myriad of different initials following 'Maxx' depending on the language the card is played with for no apparent reason. Considering Yu-Gi-Oh's huge card pool, there are bound to be too many other examples of cards that don't cleanly translate across languages to list.

While the full original theme song of Yu-Gi-Oh!'s first series contains this funny discrepancy, it still doesn't detract from the value of the overall show. This isn't the only fun fact that the franchise builds off of. The opening to Yu-Gi-Oh! will still remain iconic for fans and for those who don't know the original meaning of the franchise's name, they'll likely continue to not notice this minor error while for those that do, it's a fun detail to note.

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