Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters is the Japanese version of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. It premiered in Japan in 1997 and was followed by the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters GX series in 2004. It contains a total of 589 episodes during its run. Unlike the English version of Yu-Gi-Oh!, Duel Monsters is more based on the manga which is why it contains many filler episodes.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Plot

The show is about a boy named Yugi Muto who loved playing a card game called Duel Monsters. He got himself embroiled in an ancient conflict between two powerful enemies, the forces of good and evil, where the balance between both sides was held by an ancient Egyptian artifact known as the Millennium Puzzle. He solved the Millennium Puzzle, awakening an alter ego within him that he calls Yami Yugi.

How Much Filler is in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters?

The Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters series has a remarkably high filler episode rate. There are a total of 225 episodes in the series. There are a total of 91 episodes which are filler episodes, which gives it a score of 40% filler episodes.

Quick Filler & Canon Lists

Canon Episodes

1-12, 14-24, 26-32, 34-40, 46-73, 75-79, 81-97, 122-135, 137-143, 199-224

Filler Episodes

13, 25, 33, 41-45, 74, 80, 98-121, 136, 144-198, 225

Complete Filler List

#Episode TitleTypeAired
1The Heart of the CardsMostly Canon04/18/2000
2The Gauntlet Is ThrownCanon04/25/2000
3Journey to the Duelist KingdomCanon05/05/2000
4Into The Hornet's NestCanon05/09/2000
5The Ultimate Great MothCanon05/16/2000
6First DuelCanon05/23/2000
7Attack from the DeepCanon05/30/2000
8Everything's RelativeCanon06/06/2000
9Duel With a GhoulCanon06/13/2000
10Give up the GhostCanon06/20/2000
11The Dueling MonkeyCanon06/27/2000
12Trial by Red-EyesCanon07/04/2000
13Evil Spirit of the RingFiller07/11/2000
14The Light at the End of the TunnelCanon07/25/2000
15Winning Through IntimidationCanon08/01/2000
16The Scars of DefeatCanon08/08/2000
17Arena of Lost Souls, Part 1Canon08/15/2000
18Arena of Lost Souls, Part 2Canon08/22/2000
19Double Trouble Duel, Part 1Canon08/29/2000
20Double Trouble Duel, Part 2Canon09/09/2000
21Double Trouble Duel, Part 3Canon09/12/2000
22Face Off, Part 1Canon09/19/2000
23Face Off, Part 2Canon09/26/2000
24Face Off, Part 3Canon10/03/2000
25Shining FriendshipFiller10/10/2000
26Champion Vs. Creator, Part 1Canon10/17/2000
27Champion Vs. Creator, Part 2Canon10/24/2000
28The Night BeforeCanon10/31/2000
29Duel Identity, Part 1Canon11/07/2000
30Duel Identity, Part 2Canon11/14/2000
31Keith's Machinations, Part 1Canon11/21/2000
32Keith's Machinations, Part 2Canon11/28/2000
33Best of Friends Best of Duelists, Part 1Filler12/05/2000
34Best of Friends Best of Duelists, Part 2Mostly Canon12/12/2000
35Yugi Vs. Pegasus Match of the Millennium, Part 1Canon12/19/2000
36Yugi Vs. Pegasus Match of the Millennium, Part 2Canon12/26/2000
37Yugi Vs. Pegasus Match of the Millennium, Part 3Canon01/09/2001
38Yugi Vs. Pegasus Match of the Millennium, Part 4Canon01/16/2001
39Yugi Vs. Pegasus Match of the Millennium, Part 5Canon01/23/2001
41The Wrath of RebeccaFiller02/06/2001
42Ties of FriendshipFiller02/13/2001
43Legendary Heroes, Part 1Filler02/20/2001
44Legendary Heroes, Part 2Filler02/27/2001
45Legendary Heroes, Part 3Filler03/06/2001
46Dungeon Dice Monsters, Part 1Canon03/13/2001
47Dungeon Dice Monsters, Part 2Canon03/20/2001
48Dungeon Dice Monsters, Part 3Canon03/27/2001
49Dungeon Dice Monsters, Part 4Canon04/03/2001
50The Mystery Duelist, Part 1Canon04/10/2001
51The Mystery Duelist, Part 2Canon04/17/2001
52The Past Is PresentCanon04/24/2001
53Steppin' OutMostly Canon05/01/2001
54Obelisk the TormentorCanon05/08/2001
55Stalked by the Rare HuntersCanon05/08/2001
56Yugi Vs. Rare Hunter, Part 1: Battle City BeginsCanon05/15/2001
57Yugi Vs. Rare Hunter, Part 2: Up Against ExodiaCanon05/22/2001
58The ESP Duelist, Part 1Canon05/29/2001
59The ESP Duelist, Part 2Canon06/05/2001
60The Master of Magicians, Part 1Canon06/19/2001
61The Master of Magicians, Part 2Canon06/26/2001
62The Master of Magicians, Part 3Canon07/03/2001
63Playing With a Parasite, Part 1Canon07/10/2001
64Playing With a Parasite, Part 2Canon07/17/2001
65Mime Control, Part 1Canon07/24/2001
66Mime Control, Part 2Canon07/31/2001
67Mime Control, Part 3Canon08/07/2001
68Legendary Fisherman, Part 1Canon08/14/2001
69Legendary Fisherman, Part 2Canon08/21/2001
70Double Duel, Part 1: Yugi and Kaiba Vs. Lumis and UmbraFiller08/28/2001
71Double Duel, Part 2: Yugi and Kaiba Vs. Lumis and UmbraCanon09/04/2001
72Double Duel, Part 3: Yugi and Kaiba Vs. Lumis and UmbraCanon09/11/2001
73Double Duel, Part 4: Yugi and Kaiba Vs. Lumis and UmbraCanon09/18/2001
74The RescueFiller09/25/2001
75Friends 'Til the End, Part 1Canon10/02/2001
76Friends 'Til the End, Part 2Canon10/09/2001
77Friends 'Til the End, Part 3Canon10/16/2001
78Friends 'Til the End, Part 4Canon10/23/2001
79Shadow of a DuelMostly Canon10/30/2001
80Lights, Camera, Duel!Filler11/06/2001
81Let the Finals Begin!Canon11/13/2001
82The Dark Spirit Revealed: Yugi Vs. Bakura, Part 1Canon11/27/2001
83The Dark Spirit Revealed: Yugi Vs. Bakura, Part 2Canon11/27/2001
84The Dark Spirit Revealed: Yugi Vs. Bakura, Part 3Canon11/27/2001
85Rage of the Egyptian GodsCanon12/04/2001
86Awakening of Evil, Part 1Canon12/11/2001
87Awakening of Evil, Part 2Canon12/18/2001
88Awakening of Evil, Part 3Canon12/25/2001
89Awakening of Evil, Part 4Canon01/08/2002
90Mind Game: Mai Vs. Marik, Part 1Canon01/15/2002
91Mind Game: Mai Vs. Marik, Part 2Canon01/22/2002
92Mind Game: Mai Vs. Marik, Part 3Canon01/29/2002
93A Duel With Destiny: Kaiba Vs. Ishizu, Part 1Canon02/05/2002
94A Duel With Destiny: Kaiba Vs. Ishizu, Part 2Canon02/12/2002
95The Tomb-Keepers' SecretCanon02/19/2002
96Showdown in the Shadows: Marik Vs. Bakura, Part 1Canon02/26/2002
97Showdown in the Shadows: Marik Vs. Bakura, Part 2Canon03/05/2002
98A Virtual Nightmare!Filler03/12/2002
99Isolated in Cyberspace, Part 1Filler03/19/2002
100Isolated in Cyberspace, Part 2Filler03/26/2002
101Isolated in Cyberspace, Part 3Filler04/09/2002
102Freeze Play, Part 1Filler04/16/2002
103Freeze Play, Part 2Filler04/23/2002
104Courtroom Chaos, Part 1Filler04/30/2002
105Courtroom Chaos, Part 2Filler05/07/2002
106Mechanical Mayhem, Part 1Filler05/14/2002
107Mechanical Mayhem, Part 2Filler05/21/2002
108Settling the Score, Part 1Filler05/28/2002
109Settling the Score, Part 2Filler06/04/2002
110Noah's SecretFiller06/11/2002
111Merger of the Big Five, Part 1Filler06/18/2002
112Merger of the Big Five, Part 2Filler06/25/2002
113Merger of the Big Five, Part 3Filler07/02/2002
114Brothers in Arms, Part 1Filler07/16/2002
115Brothers in Arms, Part 2Filler07/23/2002
116Brothers in Arms, Part 3Filler07/30/2002
117Noah's Final Threat, Part 1Filler08/06/2002
118Noah's Final Threat, Part 2Filler08/18/2002
119So Close Yet So FarFiller08/20/2002
120Burying the Past, Part 1Filler08/27/2002
121Burying the Past, Part 2Filler08/27/2002
122Back to Battle City, Part 1Canon08/27/2002
123Back to Battle City, Part 2Canon09/03/2002
124Back to Battle City, Part 3Canon09/03/2002
125The Darkness Returns, Part 1Canon09/10/2002
126The Darkness Returns, Part 2Canon09/17/2002
127The Darkness Returns, Part 3Canon09/24/2002
128The Darkness Returns, Part 4Canon10/08/2002
129Clash in the Coliseum, Part 1Canon10/15/2002
130Clash in the Coliseum, Part 2Canon10/22/2002
131Clash in the Coliseum, Part 3Canon10/29/2002
132Clash in the Coliseum, Part 4Canon11/05/2002
133Clash in the Coliseum, Part 5Canon11/12/2002
134Clash in the Coliseum, Part 6Canon11/19/2002
135Battle for the Bronze, Part 1Mostly Canon12/03/2002
136Battle for the Bronze, Part 2Filler12/10/2002
137Battle for the Bronze, Part 3Mostly Canon12/17/2002
138The Final Face-Off, Part 1Canon12/24/2002
139The Final Face-Off, Part 2Canon01/07/2003
140The Final Face-Off, Part 3Canon01/14/2003
141The Final Face-Off, Part 4Canon01/21/2003
142The Final Face-Off, Part 5Canon01/28/2003
143Alcatraz Goes Up in FlamesCanon02/04/2003
144Looking Back and Moving AheadFiller02/11/2003
145A New Evil, Part 1Filler02/18/2003
146A New Evil, Part 2Filler02/25/2003
147Legend of the DragonsFiller03/04/2003
148The Creator ReturnsFiller03/11/2003
149Deja Duel!, Part 1Filler03/18/2003
150Deja Duel!, Part 2Filler04/08/2003
151An Unexpected EnemyFiller04/15/2003
152My Freaky Valentine, Part 1Filler04/22/2003
153My Freaky Valentine, Part 2Filler04/29/2003
154My Freaky Valentine, Part 3Filler05/06/2003
155The ChallengeFiller05/13/2003
156Fate of the Pharaoh, Part 1Filler05/20/2003
157Fate of the Pharaoh, Part 2Filler05/27/2003
158Fate of the Pharaoh, Part 3Filler06/03/2003
159Trial by StoneFiller06/10/2003
160On the Wrong Track, Part 1Filler06/24/2003
161On the Wrong Track, Part 2Filler06/24/2003
162On the Wrong Track, Part 3Filler07/01/2003
163Self DestructionFiller07/08/2003
164Reliving the PastFiller07/22/2003
165Deck of ArmorFiller07/29/2003
166Flight of Fear, Part 1Filler08/12/2003
167Flight of Fear, Part 2Filler08/19/2003
168Paradise FoundFiller08/19/2003
169Fighting for a Friend, Part 1Filler09/02/2003
170Fighting for a Friend, Part 2Filler09/09/2003
171Fighting for a Friend, Part 3Filler09/16/2003
172Fighting for a Friend, Part 4Filler09/23/2003
173Fighting for a Friend, Part 5Filler10/01/2003
174Grappling with a Guardian, Part 1Filler10/08/2003
175Grappling With a Guardian, Part 2Filler10/15/2003
176Grappling With a Guardian, Part 3Filler10/22/2003
177A Duel With Dartz!, Part 1Filler10/29/2003
178A Duel With Dartz!, Part 2Filler11/05/2003
179A Duel With Dartz!, Part 3Filler11/12/2003
180A Duel With Dartz!, Part 4Filler11/19/2003
181A Duel With Dartz!, Part 5Filler11/26/2003
182A Duel With Dartz!, Part 6Filler12/03/2003
183Rise of the Great Beast, Part 1Filler12/10/2003
184Rise of the Great Beast, Part 2Filler12/17/2003
185Unwanted Guest, Part 1Filler12/24/2003
186Unwanted Guest, Part 2Filler01/07/2004
187Let the Games Begin!, Part 1Filler01/14/2004
188Let the Games Begin!, Part 2Filler01/21/2004
189Child's PlayFiller01/28/2004
190Down in Flames, Part 1Filler02/04/2004
191Down in Flames, Part 2Filler02/11/2004
192A Brawl in a Small Town, Part 1Filler02/18/2004
193A Brawl in a Small Town, Part 2Filler02/25/2004
194One Step Ahead, Part 1Filler03/03/2004
195One Step Ahead, Part 2Filler03/10/2004
196Sinister Secrets, Part 1Filler03/17/2004
197Sinister Secrets, Part 2Filler03/24/2004
198Sinister Secrets, Part 3Filler03/31/2004
199Tomb of the Nameless PharaohCanon04/07/2004
200Spiritual AwakeningCanon04/14/2004
201Memoirs of a PharaohCanon04/21/2004
202The Intruder, Part 1Canon04/28/2004
203The Intruder, Part 2Canon05/05/2004
204Makings of a MagicianCanon05/12/2004
205Birth of the Blue-EyesCanon05/19/2004
206Village of Lost SoulsCanon05/26/2004
207A Reversal of FortuneCanon06/02/2004
208In Search of a KingCanon06/09/2004
209Village of Vengeance, Part 1Canon06/16/2004
210Village of Vengeance, Part 2Canon06/23/2004
211Village of Vengeance, Part 3Canon06/30/2004
212Village of Vengeance, Part 4Canon07/07/2004
213Village of Vengeance, Part 5Canon07/14/2004
214Name of the GameCanon07/21/2004
215The Dark One Cometh, Part 1Canon07/28/2004
216The Dark One Cometh, Part 2Canon08/04/2004
217The Dark One Cometh, Part 3Canon08/11/2004
218The Dark One Cometh, Part 4Canon08/18/2004
219In the Name of the PharaohCanon08/25/2004
220The Final JourneyCanon09/01/2004
221The Final Duel, Part 1Canon09/08/2004
222The Final Duel, Part 2Canon09/15/2004
223The Final Duel, Part 3Canon09/22/2004
224The Final Duel, Part 4Canon09/29/2004
225The Pyramid of LightFiller11/03/2004

List of filler episodes for Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters in chronological order – Learn if it is worth watching

Episode 13: Evil Spirit of the Ring

Episode 13 is a filler episode, as it’s plot has nothing to do with the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime series.

In the first round of Battle City, Yugi Muto faces off against Bakura Ryou in his millennium puzzle. Like Yami Yugi, Bakura Ryou has a real soul of a person trapped inside him, and will die when he loses. However, while Yami Yugi can control himself when he is in possession of Bakura’s body (albeit with some difficulty), Bakura Ryou is not able to. During the duel, he will randomly change into Yami Bakura and attack Yugi on his own. At one point during the duel, the real Bakura gets out for a second in order to warn Yugi about Yami Bakura’s ability to possess people.

During this duel, Yami Yugi summons “Cyber Commander,” which gets destroyed by “White Magical Hat,” sending Tristan’s soul to the graveyard. Then it shows Tristan inside the graveyard looking at his tombstone that says “Tristan Taylor” on it. He then says that he must get out soon or else he’ll die like Joey did (in episode 1).

Bakura Ryou then summons “Silent Swordsman LV0” and destroys “Cyber Commander”, sending Tristan’s soul to the graveyard. Tristan manages to escape the graveyard and be saved by Dark Magician Girl. Yami Yugi defeats Bakura Ryou and sends his soul to the afterlife, where he is reunited with his sister.

Episode 25: Shining Friendship

This episode doesn’t contribute to the overall story arc of the Duel Monsters Anime and is an episode to provide filler material for the series. It follows the same basic plot structure as the previous 5 filler episodes. As Yugi still won’t talk after what happened during the KaibaCorp Tournament, Mai and Yugi decide to have a Duel.

This is Mai’s last appearance in the series for a while, as she leaves for America at the end of this episode to compete in a Duel Monsters tournament over there. She gives Yugi her Star Chips, and he decides to enter Pegasus Castle with Joey and Téa. The three are greeted by Tristan, who informs them that they will need to pass through three tests before they can get to see Pegasus.

Their first test is taken by a man named “Dark Magician” (it’s actually a disguise used by Tristan), who forces Yugi and Joey to go through a maze made of cards while he goes on ahead. They get through it and find Tristan (still disguised as Dark Magician) just outside of the castle. The three take him back to their room and discover that he wasn’t wearing any clothes beneath his costume, but they don’t let him know that they knew this was his plan all along.

Episode 33: Best of Friends Best of Duelists, Part 1 

During the Duel, Joey mentions a play on “Red-Eyes Black Dragon” called “Red-Eyes Black Chick”, a card which was never released in the real game, but does exist in some video games.

This is the first episode where Kaiba Corp’s holographic technology is used. The first time it was used was when Seto Kaiba played Yugi in the first Duel of the series (Yugi vs. Kaiba). It was not used again until this episode.

This episode is one of only two filler episodes to feature an actual Duel where characters use cards that are not featured in the real game – The other filler episode featuring an actual Duel that uses cards that are not featured in the real game is Episode 5, “Waking the Dragons”, which features a Duel between Joey and Valon (one of Doma’s Seven Barians).

In this episode, we see Yugi Muto and Yami Yugi both using their own Decks for their Decks – We also see them both using their own Decks for Duels before this (for example; Yugi Muto’s Deck was seen in Yugi vs. Bakura), but only when they were separated from each other.

Episode 41: The Wrath of Rebecca

The way this episode progresses is exactly like the Duelist Kingdom arc in the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, before it was edited and re-written as “the anime filler arc” of Yu-Gi-Oh!, during which this episode takes place, and the only difference is that there are no appearances by Mai Valentine, Duke Devlin, Bandit Keith or Rebecca Hawkins. After Yugi and his friends escape from Pegasus’s castle (after winning the Ceremonial Battle), Pegasus suffers a heart attack because he was upset about losing Yugi as his new star pupil. Pegasus’ doctors tell him to lie down and rest, but he refuses to stay in his castle while Yugi is still on the island. He orders Croquet to have his boat prepared for him so he can go after Yugi. However, an ambulance manages to get him to a hospital in time.

This is a filler episode. It has absolutely nothing to do with the plot of the series, and is not referenced by any later episodes. Even though the ending credits state that this episode was based on story by Kazuki Takahashi, this episode was not based on an existing scene from the manga, but was completely original and made up for this episode alone.

Episode 42: Ties of Friendship

This episode (along with the next two episodes) was not actually scripted by Kazuki Takahashi, but were created by the anime’s producers to make up for time lost from the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime due to real life events.

The plot of this episode is a simple retelling of Yugi’s first Duel with Rebecca from the manga, except it is completely opposite from the original version. In the manga, Solomon tears up Rebecca’s “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” card in anger after being accused of stealing it. In this episode, he shows her the “Blue-Eyes White Dragon” that has been taped back together. The only other difference is that instead of Solomon telling Rebecca about how he met Arthur Hawkins during his story, it was Yugi who did so.

The episode also has a few other errors that were not present in the manga, such as Yugi’s “Change of Heart” card being shown as a “Vennominon” card, and Yugi using “Monster Reborn” to revive the effect of Rebecca’s “Jinzo”.

This is a filler episode because it was created by the anime’s producers to make up for lost time in the anime’s story, due to real life events.

Episode 43: Legendary Heroes, Part 1

In this episode, The Big Five have been reduced to playing the roles of henchmen to the main villain. Also, there was an actual plot in this episode. This episode is one of few in the series that has a story and plot.

The plot of this episode was interesting, as it was the only time that the Big Five had actually been seen plotting something evil. However, they did not have that much screen time in this episode. Most of the characters were playing a virtual game that has no relevance to the actual plot of the series. Also, Yugi and his friends rescuing Kaiba from his own virtual game is a plot hole.

This was a filler episode because most of it was not relevant to the main story. Most of the events in this episode took place inside a virtual game that had no relevance to the plot of the series. Also, a majority of the characters were actually playing that virtual game, and very little screen-time was given to them for them to develop their personalities. The Big Five were reduced to playing an evil villain, which is something they had never done before in the series. This episode also has no importance to the overall storyline, and this is one of few episodes in this series that does have one.

Episode 44: Legendary Heroes, Part 2 

Yugi and his friends arrive in the virtual world, and find themselves in a tournament. At this point, the series is no longer following the events of the manga. Joey is a disguised as a girl, hoping that if he wins the tournament he can become rich. Mai Valentine and Bandit Keith are also in the game, but are still at each other’s throats from their Duelist Kingdom duel.

The plot for episode 44 was based on two filler episodes from Duel Monsters: “The Man with the Machine Gun”, and “Blue-Eyes White Dragon”. The first episode involved Yugi, Joey, Tristan and Téa going to an arcade to watch a gun duel between Seto Kaiba and Gozaburo Kaiba. They end up being sucked into a Virtual World where they must compete against each other in order to get home. The second episode involved Yugi obtaining Blue-Eyes White Dragon from Pegasus after winning Duels against Yami Bakura (the Millennium Ring) in both games of Capsule Monster Chess and Monster World. In order to save Mokuba from being sacrificed by Adena (Princess Adena), Seto must play a monster card game against the Mythic Dragon.

The Japanese story mentions that there is a legend about “a hero who will save the world from destruction when the Mythic Dragon appears again”. This is based on the legend behind virtual reality technology. Before the release of this episode, in Japan, virtual reality was seen as a new form of communication technology. The sense of immersion in a virtual reality, and its potential for simulation and training, were discussed in scientific papers and popular magazines. Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters Anime was using these themes to set up future events in the story line.

Episode 45: Legendary Heroes, Part 3

The episode starts out with Yugi, Joey, Tea, and Tristan fighting the Big Five’s thugs in the city. During their fight, one of the Big Five’s henchmen tries to take Mokuba hostage, but he is saved by Joey. The Big Five then fly off in their airship with Mokuba, and the gang follows them on their motorcycle. The Big Five then fly to a mysterious castle.

At the castle, an illusion of Mokuba is used as a sacrifice to bring forth an evil dragon. As a result of this ritual, only Dragon-type monsters can attack the dragon. Yugi summons “Dragon Master Knight” and attacks it but is unable to defeat it using his card since it can’t attack back. Yami Bakura takes over Bakura’s body and helps Yugi battle against the dragon. Yami Bakura uses “Dark Magician” to attack its weakness: magic knights (the “Dragon Master Knight” card). Somehow Kaiba ends up at the castle as well after being knocked out by one of the Big Five’s men while on his way to duel Pegasus after winning his duel against Ishizu Ishtar at Duelist Kingdom (this was not shown in this episode).

This is a filler episode because the Big Five, who were only introduced in the previous episode, are featured in this episode and they were not major characters in the anime until after this episode. The Big Five were not major characters until season 2.

Yami Bakura used “Dark Magician” (his own card) against the “Mythic Dragon”. It should have been destroyed when he did this. Although he was controlling Bakura’s body at the time, it is possible that this was a mistake made by Toei Animation.

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