By Eric Barger
Back in 2000, when David Benoit and I finished the manuscript that eventually became Entertaining Spirits Unaware, the Japanese cartoon invasion was in full swing. Fueled by fast action storylines of mystery, monsters, dragons, spells and incantations its popularity among boys five to ten had helped the industry grow to multi-billion dollar strength. Leading the way was the Pokémon cartoon and assorted card sets, games and other merchandise. But now things have changed.
Though having been the one time runaway leader of the genre and responsible for much of the astounding popularity, by 2005 the yearly income from the Pokémon trademark had dropped to a mere $450 million dollars worldwide. Industry journals referred to this as “fading” though it is hard to imagine a $450,000,000 revenue stream as in some way insignificant. Still, sales attributed to Pokémon are indeed down from a four-year peak in the late 1990s which raked in over $15 billion dollars worldwide. This void was partially created and then conveniently filled by a new comer in kid town which has captured the minds and hearts of young fantasy and gaming enthusiasts around the globe. Fueled by funding from their parents, the Yu-Gi-Oh! phenomenon has now infiltrated the spiritual lives of millions of unsuspecting kids with overt occult acts, imagery, terms and symbolism. In less than 50 years, our children’s entertainment has evolved from Lassie, Buck Rogers and Mighty Mouse to a steady stream of gratuitous violence and witchcraft.
Based on the success the company experienced with Pokémon, Japanese anime cartoon creator Konami issued the master distribution license for Yu-Gi-Oh! to the marketing firm 4Kids Entertainment and Yami Yugi and his friends began to capture a large and loyal viewing audience in North America in fall of 2002 when the cartoon debuted on the now defunct WB network. In 2001, 4Kids had already awarded Mattel, Inc. (the world’s largest toymaker) the master toy license for Yu-Gi-Oh and as the cartoon began airing five days a week Pokémon audiences were ready for something more substantial to titillate and hold their interests. Moving millions of kids into the next satanic realm of conditioning, Yu-Gi-Oh! has taken the cartoon, gaming and card collecting worlds by storm.
If you’re not exactly sure how Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon and other new “manga” cartoons (often also referred to as “anime”) differ from Donald Duck and the Jetson’s or what “Fantasy Role Playing” is all about don’t feel bad. (It would be helpful for you to read chapter 16 “The Weird World of Pokémon” from the original manuscript of this book.) At first glance, it is easy to determine that this new breed of cartoon indeed looks different from that of previous generations but almost immediately one also notices the dark overtones associated with nearly all of the manga cartoons being produced today. If memory serves me correctly, Yogi Bear never had to defend his family honor to the death and Tom & Jerry never did display a fascination with occult mysticism and practices. However, there seems to be a simple ingredient consistent with the marketing techniques from days gone by: cartoons have always sold toys, books, games and now especially trading cards and other merchandise, which in turn helps insure that the daily cartoon has a steady and ongoing audience. All of which result in big bucks for the companies involved.
To understand the way this all works and what Yu-Gi-Oh! is all about a Money.CNN.com article explains it like this:
Yugi and his friends, Joey, Tristan and Tea obsess over "Duel Monsters," a card game in which players pit mystical creatures against one another in battles involving magical spells and such.
But Yugi and his friends are drawn into a mystical world of real monsters through the revival of an ancient Egyptian game that is similar to Duel Monsters. Yugi acquires magic powers by solving an ancient Egyptian puzzle his grandfather gives him, and he must use those powers to save his grandfather, who is kidnapped by the creator of Duel Monsters.
Wikipedia, the widely used Internet encyclopedia, explains Yu-Gi-Oh! as follows:
Yu-Gi-Oh! (literally "Game King") is a popular game, Japanese anime and manga franchise created by Kazuki Takahashi that mainly involves the card game called Duel Monsters (originally known as Magic & Wizards), wherein each player uses cards in order to play one another.
Yu-Gi-Oh! emphasizes card decks which dictate the violent and occultic abilities and the ultimate fate of players. The game, which focuses players on a quest for mysterious secret powers, transforms the “shy, pure hearted” Yami Yugi into “Dark Yugi” or Yu-Gi-Oh! One other observation is that the gap separating Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and more occultic cards and practices has become increasingly thin. If one finds fulfillment and power in Yu-Gi-Oh! is it a stretch to ask how far away ideas about Tarot Card use might be?
The main character of Yu-Gi-Oh! (all anime, manga and movies except Yu-Gi-Oh! GX) is Yugi Moto (Yugi Muto in the English anime), a shy, pure-hearted high school student and gaming expert who possesses an ancient Egyptian relic called the Millennium Puzzle, and the Nameless Pharaoh (Namonaki Pharaoh in Japanese) or Dark Yugi (Yami Yugi, also "the other Yugi" or, later on, "Atem", his real name, revealed only near the end of the series), a darker personality held in the Puzzle. Yugi's best friends, Katsuya Jonouchi (Joey Wheeler), Anzu Mazaki (Téa Gardner), and Hiroto Honda (Tristan Taylor), are also primary characters, as well as Dark Yugi's main rival, Seto Kaiba.
Yu-Gi-Oh! (all anime, manga and movies except Yu-Gi-Oh! GX) tells the tale of Yugi Mutou, a shorter-than-normal high school student who was given an ancient Egyptian artifact known as the Millennium Puzzle in pieces by his grandfather. Upon completing the Puzzle, he is possessed by another personality which is later discovered to be the spirit of a 3000-year-old (5000-year-old, in the English anime) Pharaoh, who forgot everything from his time. As the story goes on, the two of them, together with Yugi's friends, try to find the secret of the Pharaoh's lost memories and his name by way of the card game Duel Monsters (Magic & Wizards in the original Japanese manga and Yu-Gi-Oh! R), which is mirrored in the Shadow Games (Yami no Game in Japanese).
As in numerous popular occult-based games today ancient mystical symbolism is of paramount importance. Symbols denote allegiance or ownership whether it be a cross and skull and bones or a pentagram. As illustrated here above from a 2003 Yu-Gi-Oh! Magazine article “The Japanese Curse of Anubis” enthusiasts are introduced to the “Eye of Horus” symbolic of one of the most prolific and powerful in the pantheon of demonic gods from ancient Egypt.
This kind of blatant occult association shouldn’t shock us considering we now live in a culture which is addicted to the supernatural and willing to delve into occultism and sorcery to find personal identity and power. What is most troubling however is the idea that so many young people - some as young as four or five - are being opened up and prepared for serious occult involvement. And, as problematic as Pokémon was (and still is), Yu-Gi-Oh! by comparison makes it look like a Sunday School convention!
As 2007 begins, 4Kids Entertainment is producing a cartoon simply called “Chaotic.” It is more of the same…violence, spells, trading cards….etc. In Chaotic, kids use computer terminals to play a game in order to transport themselves into surreal worlds where they actually become monsters and mutants to battle one another. Its included with Yu-Gi-Oh in 4Kids’ Saturday morning block airing on the Fox Television Network.
No doubt, this trend to bring occultism to every child able to click on the television is due to a mixture of marketing, demonic inspiration and the person spiritual ideas and proclivities of those producing the products and storylines.
Designed by Kazuki Takahashi, Magic & Wizards (M&W), is a popular card game worldwide. Compared with its predecessor, M&W was very simple when it was first introduced in the manga: there were only two types of cards (Monster & Magic Cards); the result of a monster battle only relied on the Attack and Defense Points of the monsters and the effects of Magic Cards (which only appeared occasionally). According to the author, the game was designed as such because he felt that the rules of the Magic: The Gathering game were too complicated and he wanted to create something similar but simpler.
The original plan of Takahashi was to phase out M&W, which took him only one night to design, in just two episodes. After the first appearance of the game in the manga (in Volume 2, Duel 9), the reader response on it was enormous, and Shonen Jump started getting calls from readers who wanted to know more about the game. Takahashi realized that he had hit on something, so he modified the storyline to feature more of the card game. With the advance of the manga, the game continued to evolve, becoming more complicated.
The similarities between the games, of note card design (brown with an oval on back), effects and terminology (discarding, graveyard, sacrifice), usage, and pictures (including occult or religious based icons, alluding to the early days of Magic: The Gathering) are all there. The name of Magic's creator is mirrored through the creator of Duel Monsters, Pegasus J. Crawford (Maximillion Pegasus in the English versions), whom both share the same number of letters.
What Dungeons and Dragons was to young adults and what Magic: The Gathering was to teens Yu-Gi-Oh! has now become to children! It is this steady desensitization from Yu-Gi-Oh! and the many other occultic games, cartoons and toys that is today infusing the most innocent in our midst with demonic imagery, violent themes and even ideas of ritual sacrifice. The emotional, spiritual and even physical damage this trend will reap on our children will certainly be a price too great to pay and one that the creators and profiteers of Yu-Gi-Oh! are not willing to consider on their trips to the bank. We parents and grandparents had better be aware and involved when it comes to who and what our children are opening themselves to. I encourage you to take unwavering biblical stands for certainly Yu-Gi-Oh! is surely not the last fad Satan will use to lure young minds into his service in these last days.
“WARNING ABOUT OCCULT GAMES & OBJECTS”
In 2001, a mother from Rockwall, TX wrote this poignant testimony. It is like many we have received through the years. However, in this case, Melanie and I know this family personally. They are some of the most solid Christians we have ever met so the warning found in her words holds added weight to me. This letter reminds us that it is not just the unchurched who suffer the consequences of forming unholy alliances with images and items that Satan has provided as “playthings.” As noted earlier (in the original manuscript) in our discussion of Pokémon.
Thankfully, not every child who plays with things such as Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokémon or Dungeons and Dragons games or figures is going to experience this kind of demonic interference. However, one does not have to be actively involved in occult activity or rituals to be adversely effected by these items. There is no doubt that a transference of satanic power can and sometimes does take place through even the most innocent acceptance of and possession of objects such as these.
happened when our oldest son was around eight years old and could
A friend of
his knew of discarded D&D "seconds" figures near a commercial
His grandmother and I would pray for him, but after two or three weeks his symptoms where asthmatic, symptoms with great difficulty of breathing. My praying mom called one afternoon and told me that God impressed her in prayer that there was something in our son's bedroom, she thought in the closet, that was causing this illness and we must remove what ever it was. I questioned him and we started searching. I found the figures in his closet and questioned him and he immediately told me where he had found them. We took them out of the house and got rid of them where they couldn't be found, to be destroyed.
Our son IMMEDIATELY started getting relief from this illness that we believe was a direct result of the D&D figures.
(c) copyright 2006, 2007, Eric Barger
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