Ni-Ki-Oh! is a television series that was created in 2002, which originally ran for 22 episodes over 2 seasons until 2004.

You can watch the entire 20th anniversary version of the series in the playlist below, as new episodes are released.
TV-14: MV
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Other Episodes

History

The show was first designed for a private audience, with the pilot shot on June 26, 2002 as an experiment to test some new camera equipment. The series was originally not intended to continue, but the studio had also acquired footage documenting the Duel Monsters Tournament that the Pokémon Trainers Club was hosting that summer.

The abundance of footage resulted in a documentary first season, but after Ni-Ki-Oh! S01E07 - Vacca's Revenge, the producers and cast met and decided that Ni-Ki-Oh! should be more than video documentation of a card tournament. They created a spoof on the popular anime Yu-Gi-Oh!, commenting on how such game shows create random rules as the show progresses to keep it engaging and to ensure that the hero always wins. Over time, production values increased, with specific costumes and hairstyles for each character, strict usage of the names of the characters over the actors' names, a basic story, and set and prop construction.

The series was renewed for a second season shortly following principle photography wrapped on the first season, even before the first episode aired. It was further renewed for a third season before the first season's final episode, due to the popularity the show had already gained. It was first intended that the third season would be the final season, covering with the return of the shadow games and the effects of real duel monsters. However, as photography continued, the writing team decided it could extend the series to at least five seasons, saving that storyline until the end.

The first season was edited using a method of tape-to-tape linear editing. It aired in special screenings for the Pokémon Trainers Club on Saturdays at 2PM, during which audience members were permitted to make VHS recordings from the master, for which they were given license to screen at home, for others, or make copies to share.

By the beginning of season two, various spinoffs, such as To-My-Oh!, Chikk-Oh!, Po-Ki-Oh!, No-Ey-Oh!, and others began to appear, some utilizing members of the Ni-Ki-Oh! cast or its crew members. Cracked Egg Studios later acquired distribution rights for a number of these spinoffs.

During the airing of the first season, Cracked Egg Studios produced a series of Watch Ni-Ki-Oh! television spots. Some fans produced spots in a similar vein, some of which were later acquired by Cracked Egg Studios.

The second season's first episode began to be edited using the same tape-to-tape method as season 1, but it was abandoned halfway through in favor of computer-based linear editing. However, this led to numerous technical problems, which caused Cracked Egg Studios to finally replace their aging systems. A different computer-based linear editing process was used for subsequent episodes.

In the hiatus between the airing of seasons one and two, Cracked Egg Studios produced a series of Life Just Isn't the Same Without Ni-Ki-Oh! television spots, but the media containing many of these was lost between 2003 and 2005.

In the hiatus between the airing of seasons two and three, Cracked Egg Studios produced a series of television spots Proud Sponsor of Ni-Ki-Oh!, featuring some popular and some fictional brands allegedly "sponsoring" the show.

Ni-Ki-Oh! entered hiatus during the middle of the 3rd season and never returned, despite never being officially cancelled, suffering from principal scheduling conflicts, as well as problems in post-production, such as poorly lit green screens. In all, 22 episodes aired in special screenings, although photography for 28 was nearly completed, with 7 more having been scripted -- well short of the 98 episodes that had been outlined. 4 specials aired in various venues, and countless other features and featurettes, such as cast interviews and vanity Duel Monsters cards, were made available through Ni-Ki-Oh! DVDs.

Cracked Egg Studios attempted to revive Ni-Ki-Oh! in 2008 by re-editing episodes using non-linear editing, vastly improved computer systems, CGI, and additional parody of the Japanese versions of Yu-Gi-Oh!, and releasing the episodes on the web site for a wider audience. It used portions of archival footage to generate seemingly random videos as part of their Ni-Ki-Oh! Ad Campaign. Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts continued to prevent this from producing many episodes.

In 2022, after performing long-needed maintenance on the Cracked Egg Studios archives, Ted Phillips decided to release extended versions of Ni-Ki-Oh! episodes, as well as some old versions of episodes, on the web site for Ni-Ki-Oh!'s coming 20th anniversary. He intended the project to include improvements even beyond the webisodes from 2008, making them appear more cinematic and giving them a darker, more serious tone. Additionally, rotoscoping, a technique specifically avoided in 2008 in order to save time, would be employed to actually create the shadow realm, holographic dueling stadiums, and deal with some other technical issues. The 20th anniversary episodes would not be constrained to any specific schedule, but when possible, would release new episodes on Saturdays after 2PM.
Categories: Parody Series

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