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If all things Y2K are coming back en vogue, it's nigh time we got some Yu-Gi-Oh! kicks. At least, that appears to be adidas' train of thought, as the sportswear giant has created a set of shoes that pays homage to the most popular elements of the Japanese franchise.
For us millennials, Yu-Gi-Oh! is best remembered as a must-watch kid-friendly anime series that aired on Kids' WB in between Pokémon and Beyblade. Yes, there was also a trading card and plenty of video games — am I the only one who remembers the Yu-Gi-Oh! games for Game Boy Advance being insanely difficult? — but, in my mind, Yu-Gi-Oh! is indistinguishable from the tv series.
I also fondly remember watching the "abridged" Yu-Gi-Oh! YouTube series back in the day — these were the early days of funny internet videos so they probably haven't aged well but, who knows.
Anyways, the Yu-Gi-Oh! x adidas collection is merely the latest in a long line of adidas franchise collaborations and, honestly, it might be the best yet.
adidas cannily selected two footwear models for its Yu-Gi-Oh! team-up, both drawn from the same era as the Japanese franchise's heyday.
First, there's the Reptossage slide sandal from 1999, with all the visible tech and chunky straps you'd expect of the time. The main appeal is the printed straps, which reflect the theme of the collaboration: Yugi Motou (or, rather, his Yami Yugi alter-ego) and Seto Kaiba.
Motou and Kaiba's signature cards, the Dark Magician and Blue-Eyes White Dragon, respectively, join the main characters on each shoe.
Same goes for the ADI2000 sneaker, a fairly new silhouette that draws obvious inspiration from early-'00s skate shoes.
Again, you get to choose between Dark Magician and Blue-Eyes on these sneakers, each of which sports complementary Millennium Puzzle and Kaiba Corp. imagery and an Exodia hangtag. Super clever touches throughout.
The boxes and insole reiterate the Yu-Gi-Oh! motifs, making for pleasantly considerate collaborative kicks appealing to casual fans, nostalgic adults, and die-hard Yu-Gi-Oh! collectors alike.
adidas hasn't confirmed the release date or prices for its Yu-Gi-Oh! footwear collection but I daresay that it's one of the German brand's best franchise partnerships to date, which is really saying something.
Which makes me wonder: when are we getting more adidas anime team-ups? YuYu Hakusho and Inuyasha are ripe for special sneakers.
For now, there's these Yu-Gi-Oh! adidas, rumored to drop on January 25.