Duel Masters (2002– )


Duel Masters (TV Series 2002– )

A ten year old boy wants to become the best duelist, like his father in the duel masters world.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
IMDb   5.4 /10
TheMovieDb    7.5 /10
Creator Shigenobu Matsumoto
Release Date2004-02-26
GenreAnimation, Action, Family
Content RatingTV-Y7 (TV-Y7)
CountryUSA, Japan
LanguageJapanese, English
Hakuohas Hakuoh…
Additional Voicesas Additional Voices…
Knightas Knight
Brahan Lee
Brahan Lee
Knightas Knight…
Shoas Sho…
Boy Georgeas Boy George…
Shobu Kirifudaas Shobu Kirifuda
Dr. Rootas Dr. Root…
Benny Hahaas Benny Haha…
Mihoko Abukawa
Mihoko Abukawa
Olfas Olf
Fritzas Fritz…
David Neil Black
David Neil Black
Ryanas Ryan
Additional Voicesas Additional Voices
Sayuki Manakaas Sayuki Manaka
Rikuda's Fatheras Rikuda's Father…
Rekuta Kadokoas Rekuta Kadoko

Duel Masters

Duel Masters (デュエル・マスターズ, Dyueru Masutāzu) is a media franchise consisting of a manga, several anime series, a trading card game, and several video games. The original manga sold 4.5 million copies in Japan.


The story centers around the card game Duel Masters, which revolves around five civilizations consisting of Fire, Water, Light, Darkness and Nature. The original storyline follows Shobu Kirifuda, a young boy who likes to play Duel Masters. He and a few duelists are known to bring the monsters on the cards to life in their duels. Shobu engages in this card game so that he can be the best duelist like his father was.


Main characters

Shobu's family

Shobu's friends

Temple Guardians

The Temple Guardians are the elite members of the White Soldiers that work under Hakuoh. Among the members of the Temple Guardians are:


Short for Powerful Loyal Order of Princes, P.L.O.O.P. is an evil organization that plot to use monsters from the Civilizations of the Creature World to take over Earth. This organization is seen only in the "second season" that was created for America. Among the known members are:

Black Soldiers

The Black Soldiers are a group of duelists that are the opposite form of Hakuoh's White Soldiers. Most of the Black Soldiers consists of duelists that were unable to defeat Hakuoh when wanting to become a member of the White Soldiers. They entered the Battle Arena Tournament to beat all of its players. After the defeat of most of the Black Soldier, most of the unnamed members left the group when Yumama came into view. Besides its various unnamed members, among its known members are:

Other antagonists


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The Duel Masters manga series is written by Shigenobu Matsumoto, and published by Shogakukan in the CoroCoro Comic magazine. While none of manga series have been licensed for the U.S., there was a North American-created comic book by Dreamwave Productions.

The original manga series ran from 1999 to 2005 and was compiled into 17 tankōbon volumes. It was followed by Duel Masters: Fighting Edge from 2005 to 2008 (12 volumes), and Duel Masters Star Cross from 2008 to 2011 (9 volumes). Duel Masters Victory was published from 2011 to 2014 (10 volumes) and features an alternate storyline from the anime of the same name. There is also spinoff manga unrelated to the main series such as Duel Hero:Dash (2 volumes), Duel Masters: Legend Champion VICTORY (3 volumes) and Duel Masters: Revolution (5 volumes).


No.Release dateISBN
1November 27, 1999978-4091425843
2May 27, 2000978-4091425850
3October 28, 2000978-4091425867
4April 26, 2001978-4091425874
5October 27, 2001978-4091425881
6March 28, 2002978-4091425898
7June 28, 2002978-4091425904
8September 28, 2002978-4091426086
9December 25, 2002978-4091426093
10April 28, 2003978-4091426109
11July 28, 2003978-4091431110
12October 28, 2003978-4091431127
13February 28, 2004978-4091431134
14May 28, 2004978-4091431141
15August 27, 2004978-4091431158
16November 26, 2004978-4091431165
17May 28, 2005978-4091431172

Trading card game

The card game first originated in Japan in May 2002 and was marketed by Takara Tomy. It was produced in English by Wizards of the Coast, who purchased the rights to the name Duel Masters from Reality Simulations, Inc., which ran a play-by-mail gladiator game called Duelmasters, now known as Duel2. The English-language printing of the TCG ran from DM-01 Base Set (May 5, 2004) until DM-12 Thrash of the Hybrid Megacreatures (November 2006). It was the twelfth and final expansion released by Wizards of the Coast for the English-language game before it was discontinued in 2006.

The spin-off product, Kaijudo, was announced by Wizards of the Coast in February 2012. A relaunch of the TCG product line with Wizards of the Coast working along with its parent company Hasbro. It was released on June 26, 2012, with the previous Duel Master cards being rendered incompatible. Wizards of the Coast discontinued Kaijudo in 2014.


The first television series originally premiered in Japan on October 21, 2002 and ran until April 4, 2003. To date, the series has been followed by 13 sequel seasons. Duel Masters was followed by Duel Masters Charge, which is mostly based on the manga; Zero Duel Masters and its sequel Duel Masters Zero, which are an alternate sequel to the first season and ignores the events of Charge; Duel Masters Cross, which the first part recounts the events of the first season and the second part is a direct sequel to Zero; and Duel Masters Cross Shock. From Duel Masters Zero until Duel Masters Victory V3, the series was broadcast in a 12-minute format instead of 24-minute format.

Duel Masters Victory premiered on April 2, 2011 and introduced a new protagonist named Katta Kirifuda, the younger brother of Shobu, and centers around his journey to become a champion. Its storyline follows from the events of the Duel Masters: Star Cross manga series. Victory was followed by Duel Masters Victory V, Duel Masters Victory V3, Duel Masters Versus, Duel Masters Versus Revolution, and Duel Masters Versus Revolution Final. The 2017 Duel Masters anime and its sequels, Duel Masters! and Duel Masters!!, introduced Joe Kirifuda and focused on his adventures in the Creature World. In April 2020, Duel Masters King was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The anime returned on May 31, 2020.

A spin-off series, Shinseiki: Duel Masters Flash aired from April 10, 2006 to March 23, 2007. The series follows Teru Yumemi, who must protect the ARC pendant from the antagonistic Nest organization.


1Duel MastersOctober 21, 2002 - April 4, 200326Shobu Kirifuda
2Duel Masters ChargeApril 19, 2004 - March 27, 200652
1.5Duel Masters: Sacred Lands
(American exclusive season)
March 26, 2005 - June 17, 200639
SPShinseiki: Duel Masters Flash
(Spin-off series)
April 10, 2006 - March 23, 200724Teru Yumemi
3Zero Duel MastersApril 9, 2007 - September 28, 200712Shobu Kirifuda
4Duel Masters ZeroOctober 6, 2007 - March 29, 200825
5Duel Masters CrossApril 5, 2008 - March 27, 2010100
6Duel Masters Cross ShockApril 3, 2010 - March 26, 201150
7Duel Masters VictoryApril 2, 2011 - March 31, 201252Katta Kirifuda
8Duel Masters Victory VApril 7, 2012 - March 30, 201351
9Duel Masters Victory V3April 6, 2013 - March 29, 201451
10Duel Masters VersusApril 5, 2014 - March 28, 201549
11Duel Masters Versus RevolutionApril 5, 2015 - March 27, 201651
12Duel Masters Versus Revolution FinalApril 3, 2016 - March 26, 201751
13Duel Masters (2017)April 2, 2017 - March 25, 201851Joe Kirifuda
14Duel Masters!April 1, 2018 to March 31, 201951
15Duel Masters!!April 7, 2019 to March 29, 202050
16Duel Masters KingApril 5, 2020 to present
TotalOctober 21, 2002 – Present720 + 24-

Episode list

#TitleOriginal airdate (Japan)Original airdate (US)
1"This is a duel!" ("Playing with a Full Deck")
Transcription: "Kore ga Dyueru da!" (Japanese: これがデュエルだ!)
October 21, 2002March 13, 2004
2"A Stealthy Shadow" ("It's Not Easy Being Green")
Transcription: "Shinobi Yoru Kage" (Japanese: 忍びよる影)
October 28, 2002March 20, 2004
3"The Dark Challenger" ("Toru, Toru, Toru, Part 1")
Transcription: "Ankoku no Chōsen-sha" (Japanese: 暗黒の挑戦者)
November 4, 2002March 27, 2004
4"Aim for Victory!" ("Toru, Toru, Toru, Part 2")
Transcription: "Shōri wo Mezase!" (Japanese: 勝利を目指せ!)
November 11, 2002April 3, 2004
5"At the Battle Arena" ("I'll Be a Monkey's Brother")
Transcription: "Batoru Arīna e" (Japanese: バトルアリーナへ)
November 18, 2002April 10, 2004
6"Hakuoh, Miracle Duel" ("Wok on the Wildside")
Transcription: "Hakuō, Kiseki no Deyueru" (Japanese: 白凰、奇跡のデュエル)
November 25, 2002April 17, 2004
7"The Beautiful Snake's Trap" ("White Boys Can't Charm")
Transcription: "Hebi Bira no Wana" (Japanese: 蛇美羅の罠)
December 2, 2002April 24, 2004
8"Fierce Battle! Evolution Creature" ("Duels of the Futures Past")
Transcription: "Gekitō! Shinka Kurīchā" (Japanese: 激闘!進化クリーチャー)
December 9, 2002May 1, 2004
9"At the Temple" ("A Goblin Shall Lead Them")
Transcription: "Shinden e" (Japanese: 神殿へ)
December 16, 2002May 8, 2004
10"A New Trump Card" ("Shobu Gets Decked")
Transcription: "Arata Naru Kirifuda" (Japanese: 新たなる切り札)
December 23, 2002May 15, 2004
11"Mana the Man Manipulator" ("Ballad of Kintaro, Part One")
Transcription: "Mana wo Ayatsuru Otoko" (Japanese: マナをあやつる男)
December 30, 2002May 22, 2004
12"They're Name is The Imperial Four!" ("Ballad of Kintaro, Part Two")
Transcription: "Sono Na wa Shitenshū!" (Japanese: その名は四天衆!)
January 6, 2003May 29, 2004
13"Speed VS Speed" ("Looney Mikuni, Part One")
Transcription: "Sokkō Tai Sokkō" (Japanese: 速攻VS速攻)
January 13, 2003June 5, 2004
14"A Blazing Turnaround" ("Looney Mikuni, Part Two")
Transcription: "Honō no Dai Gyakuten" (Japanese: 炎の大逆転)
January 20, 2003June 12, 2004
15"Tasogare of the Imperial Four" ("A Strange Twist of Fate")
Transcription: "Tasogare no Shitenshū" (Japanese: 黄昏の四天衆)
January 27, 2003June 19, 2004
16"Mimi's Decision" ("Yes, Master")
Transcription: "Mimi no Ketsui" (Japanese: ミミの決意)
February 3, 2003June 26, 2004
17"The Worst Duelist Ever" ("Oh Brother, Where Art Thou")
Transcription: "Saitei no Deyuerisuto" (Japanese: 最低のデュエリスト)
February 10, 2003July 3, 2004
18"An Approaching Shadow" ("Cable Guy")
Transcription: "Semari Kuru Kage" (Japanese: 迫り来る影)
February 17, 2003July 10, 2004
19"Laughing Death" ("Once More With Feeling")
Transcription: "Warau Shinigami" (Japanese: 笑う死神)
February 24, 2003July 17, 2004
20"Activate! Duel of Truth" ("Kokujo Fights Back")
Transcription: "Hatsudō! Shin no Deyueru" (Japanese: 発動!真のデュエル)
March 3, 2003July 24, 2004
21"Showdown!" ("The One Where Shobu Duels Hakuoh")
Transcription: "Kessen!" (Japanese: 決戦!)
March 10, 2003July 31, 2004
22"Final Trump Card" ("Just Duel It")
Transcription: "Saigo no Kirifuda" (Japanese: 最後の切り札)
March 17, 2003August 7, 2004
23"A New Challenger" ("The Crying Game")
Transcription: "Arata Naru Chōsen-sha" (Japanese: 新たなる挑戦者)
March 24, 2003August 14, 2004
24"Duelist Killer" ("Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?")
Transcription: "Deyuerisuto Kirā" (Japanese: デュエリストキラー)
March 31, 2003August 21, 2004
25"Shobu, Falls into the Sunset" ("Something Wacky This Way Comes")
Transcription: "Shōbu, Yūhi ni Chiru" (Japanese: 勝舞、夕日に散る)
April 4, 2003August 28, 2004
26"Revive, Shobu!" ("What's A Mana with You?")
Transcription: "Yomigaere, Shōbu!" (Japanese: よみがえれ、勝舞!)
April 4, 2003September 4, 2004

English Version

The English-language version of the series was produced by Hasbro Entertainment and Plastic Cow Productions. It made a truncated three-episode preview premiere on Cartoon Network's Toonami block on February 27, 2004. The series then made its official premiere on April 13, 2004, as part of the Saturday Video Entertainment System block, with fewer edits. When Toonami was moved to Saturdays, the block premiered the rest of the series. It was also aired in a 6:00 AM timeslot on early Weekday mornings, as part of Cartoon Network's Early Prime block, which was aimed at kids who were getting ready to go to school during this time.

Only the first Japanese season was localized for the North American market. Duel Masters Sacred Lands was created specifically for American broadcast and is not based on any storyline from the manga series. The series was produced by Hasbro Studios and Elastic Media Corporation and premiered on Cartoon Network on March 26, 2005. Episodes of the English version are currently available for streaming on Tubi TV.

Duel Masters Charge was eventually produced for the American market as "Duel Masters 2.0", although only the 1st half was aired.

Sacred Lands episodes

#TitleOriginal airdate (US)
1"Atta Boy, George"March 26, 2005
2"Break On Through to the Other Side"April 2, 2005
3"The Duel Goes Ever, Ever On"April 9, 2005
4"Enemy, Mine"April 16, 2005
5"Win, Lose, or Draw"April 23, 2005
6"Go Towards the Light"April 30, 2005
7"The Lights Are on But Nobody's Home"May 7, 2005
8"If Ever A Quiz There Was"May 21, 2005
9"Duel or Alive"May 28, 2005
10"Water You Waiting For?"June 4, 2005
11"Nature Calls, Part 1"June 11, 2005
12"Nature Calls, Part 2"June 18, 2005
13"All Natural"August 12, 2005
14"Tournament Is Fair Play"September 24, 2005
15"In Deep Duel Duel"October 8, 2005
16"The Overlook Hotel"October 10, 2005
17"Desert Storm"October 15, 2005
18"Wonderfalls"October 29, 2005
19"Creatures Of The Night"November 5, 2005
20"Quest for Fire"December 3, 2005
21"Deck Me Baby, One More Time"December 10, 2005
22"One For The Mana, Duel For The Show"December 17, 2005
23"Do That Duel You Duel So Well"January 7, 2006
24"Boy Meets Duel"January 14, 2006
25"Man In The Mirror"January 21, 2006
26"Who Turned Out All The Lights"January 28, 2006
27"Showdown!"February 4, 2006
28"Babytalk"February 11, 2006
29"Fourscore"February 18, 2006
30"Frotime"February 25, 2006
31"Duelusional"March 4, 2006
32"Duel-ercise"March 11, 2006
33"Triple-Threat"April 29, 2006
34"Surprise!"May 6, 2006
35"Cheatery"May 13, 2006
36"Makeover"May 20, 2006
37"Switcharoo"May 27, 2006
38"Creeptastic"June 10, 2006
39"Finalitousness"June 17, 2006

Video games

Takara, Atari, and Kids Station each produced their own Duel Masters video games. The games by Takara and Kids Station were only released in Japan while Atari's were only released in North America and Europe. Some of Takara's games were published by Atlus.

Duel Masters

Original release date(s):
  • JP: August 7, 2003
Release years by system:
2003—Game Boy Advance
  • Produced and published by Takara.

Duel Masters: Nettō! Battle Arena

Original release date(s):
  • JP: December 18, 2003
Release years by system:
2003—Nintendo GameCube
  • Produced and published by Takara.
  • Famitsu gave the game a score of 28 out of 40.

Duel Masters 2: Invincible Advance

Original release date(s):
  • JP: March 18, 2004
Release years by system:
2004—Game Boy Advance
  • Produced by Takara and published by Atlus.

Duel Masters: Sempai Legends

Original release date(s):
  • NA: June 1, 2004
  • EU: November 5, 2004
Release years by system:
2004—Game Boy Advance
  • Produced and published by Atari.
  • Developed by Mistic Software.

Duel Masters 2: Kirifuda Shōbu Ver.

Original release date(s):
  • JP: July 22, 2004
Release years by system:
2004—Game Boy Advance
  • Produced by Takara and published by Atlus.

Duel Masters

Original release date(s):
  • NA: November 2, 2004
  • EU: December 3, 2004
Release years by system:
2004—PlayStation 2
  • Produced and published by Atari.
  • Developed by High Voltage Software.

Duel Masters: Kaijudo Showdown

Original release date(s):
  • NA: November 16, 2004
  • EU: March 31, 2005
Release years by system:
2004—Game Boy Advance
  • Produced and published by Atari.
  • Developed by Mistic Software.
  • Released in Europe as Duel Masters 2: Kaijudo Showdown.

Duel Masters 3

Original release date(s):
  • JP: December 16, 2004
Release years by system:
2004—Game Boy Advance
  • Produced by Takara and published by Atlus.

Duel Masters: Birth of Super Dragon

Original release date(s):
  • JP: March 24, 2005
Release years by system:
2005—PlayStation 2
  • Produced and published by Kids Station.

Duel Masters: Shadow of the Code

Original release date(s):
  • NA: October 18, 2005
  • EU: October 21, 2005
Release years by system:
2005—Game Boy Advance
  • Produced and published by Atari.
  • Developed by Mistic Software.


Along with The Magic of Chocolate, Duel Masters won the 66th Shogakukan Manga Award for Best Children's Manga in 2021.