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Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal - Yuma's mission to restore peace to Heartland

Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal (stylized as Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal or Yu☆Gi☆Oh! Zexal) is a Japanese manga and anime series. It is the fourth anime installment and third spin-off in the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise, following Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's. Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal follows the adventures of Yuma Tsukumo in his hometown, the futuristic city of Heartland. Yuma is an amateur duelist who wants to become the world's greatest Duel Monsters champion, having learned the basics of dueling from his father who mysteriously disappeared during his childhood. Though he tends to push himself to the limit, Yuma soon finds himself outmatched when dueling a bully named Shark in an attempt to recover his friend's stolen cards. Just as hope seems lost, a mysterious spirit named Astral appears and helps Yuma to win the duel. What follows is the adventure of a lifetime, as Yuma agrees to help Astral on a dangerous mission as repayment for his assistance in the duel against his rival.

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After helping Yuma defeat the bully, Astral explains that his memories have been lost and split into 99 cards called Numbers that have been scattered all over the world. These Numbers are extremely dangerous, as each card has a will of its own and can possess any duelist who uses it by bringing out the deepest, and often darkest, desires of that person's heart. Seeing that Astral is a skilled duelist and wanting to better himself, Yuma reluctantly agrees to assist Astral in recovering the Numbers. But Yuma and Astral are not the only Number Hunters out there and many of the other parties seeking these powerful cards have much more malicious desires than just recovering lost memories. Entering the World Duel Carnival tournament, Yuma finds himself up against various rivals, including the vengeance-seeking Vetrix and the maniacal Dr. Faker, who seek the Numbers in pursuit of power.

Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal is followed by Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal II, which takes place right after the end of the first series. In this new story, as the curtain falls on the World Duel Carnival, peace has finally returned to Heartland City. That is until forces from Barian World, an opposition to Astral's World, are aiming to not only steal the Numbers, but Astral himself. In order to protect Astral, Yuma and his friends stand together to combat the Barian threat.

Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal introduced the concept of XYZ Monsters to the series. A Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal manga series written by Shin Yoshida and illustrated by Naohito Miyoshi began serialization in the extended February 2011 issue of Shueisha's V Jump magazine, released in December 2010. The first bound volume was released in Japan in June 2011. Viz Media licensed the manga in North America and began releasing the series from June 2012. Yu-Gi-Oh Zexal was the first Yu-Gi-Oh anime to have every episode dubbed in English since Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters.

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