YuGiHo! is an occult-themed card game that has morphed into a full-blown franchise that includes multiple anime TV shows and movies, video games, t-shirts, lunchboxes as well as the trading cards you refer to in your e-mail.
YuGiHo! was created as a manga (Japanese comic book) by Kazuki Takahashi in 1996 and was originally named "Magic and Wizards" which was a play on the popular (and very Satanic) card game known as "Magic: The Gathering" (you can read more about this game here). When the manga was picked up for animation, he decided to change the name to "Duel Monsters."
According to VirtualJapan.com, the purpose of the card game is to avoid losing "life points" while dueling with opponents in a mock battle of fantasy "monsters." Three types of cards are used: monster cards, spell cards and trap cards. Monster cards are the different monsters that attack or defend a player. Spell cards are used to make a monster stronger or weaker. Trap cards are like "wild cards" that can be used at the discretion of the player.
The problem with YuGiHo! is its overtly occult story-line and symbolism. It centers around a Harry Potterish character named Yugi who was given broken pieces of an ancient Egyptian artifact known as the Millennium Puzzle by his grandfather. When he assembles the pieces, he becomes possessed by another personality who is later discovered to be the spirit of a 3,000 year-old Pharaoh named Atem who has no memory of his own time. Yugi and his friends try to find the secret of Atem's lost memories as well as his real name.
In an article on YuGiHo written by New Age expert Berit Kjos, the official YuGiHo website is quoted as saying:
" . . . (T)here's more to this card game than meets the eye!
"Legend has it five thousand years ago, ancient Egyptian Pharaoahs used to play a magical game very similar to Duel Monsters. This ancient game involved magical ceremonies, which were used to foresee the future and ultimately, decide one's destiny. They called it the Shadow Game, and the main difference back then was that the monsters were all real! With so many magical spells and ferocious creatures on the earth, it wasn't long before the game got out of hand and threatened to destroy the entire world! Fortunately, a brave Pharaoh stepped in and averted this cataclysm with the help of seven powerful magical totems.
"Now, in present times, the game has been revived in the form of playing cards."
(Interestingly, I could not find this particular description on the website which tells me it may have been scrubbed for something more "sensitive" to the game's Christian audience.)
The description also explains why there are so many occult symbols on the playing cards such as the unicursal hexagram (see graphic at left) which is considered to be sacred by members of the Ordo Templi Orientis, an occult Brotherhood popularized by Aleister Crowley and is also used in black magick rituals - hardly the kind of imagery that belongs in a children's card game.
In the YuGiHo movie, characters sport Millennium pendants which portray an Eye of Horus inside a triangle, which is a highly recognizable Illuminati/secret society symbol, as well as an illuminated third eye which denotes psychic powers (see graphic above).
Not surprisingly, the YuGiHo! movie and card game received cautionary reviews from Christian media watchdogs, such as this one that appeared in Christianity Today.
"Most kids will see Yu-Gi-Oh! as fantasy and have no trouble separating it from reality, but some may get lost in a world that, frankly, is more than a mere nod to the occult," the reviewer warns. "The world of Yu-Gi-Oh! includes more than a fair share of spiritual darkness, and the trading cards—while not exactly a role-playing game along the lines of Dungeons and Dragons—sometimes can suck kids, unwittingly, into that world, sometimes to the point where they blur the lines between fact and fiction—and even between good and evil."
As Ms. Kjos wisely states, there are much deeper things of the occult that can snare a child such as spiritism, witchcraft, fortune telling, demons and vampires, but "all of this begins from 'little' things such as Yu-Gi-Oh."
I would avoid this game, regardless of how popular it is with children. Being popular doesn't make it right; it just makes it that much harder to keep out of the hands of our kids.
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