The first season and Japanese second season are loosely based on the original Japanese manga. The story centers around the card game Duel Masters, which revolves around five civilizations (Fire, Water, Light, Darkness, Nature).
The English-language version of the series was produced by Plastic Cow Productions and made a truncated three-episode preview premiere on Cartoon Network's Toonami block on February 27, 2004. The episodes then made their "official" premiere on April 13, 2004, on CN's Toonami spinoff block, the Saturday Video Entertainment System (SVES) with fewer edits as well as episodes 4 and 5. Toonami then moved to Saturdays and premiered the rest of the series.
The second season was produced by Elastic Media Corp and premiered on March 26, 2005. The "Sacred Lands"/"P.L.O.O.P." storyline is not based on the manga and was created specifically for the American market. The third season began production in September 2005 and was produced by Howling Cat Productions (featuring some of the former Saban Entertainment VA's, such as Brian Beacock, Philece Sampler, and Wendee Lee). In the UK, Duel Masters aired on Toonami.
The Japanese version has a separate second season entitled "Duel Masters Charge", which is based on more of the manga. Duel Masters Charge was eventually produced for the American market as "Duel Masters 2.0", although only the 1st half was aired. Eventually, a Japanese third season premiered in Japan entitled "Shinseiki Duel Masters Flash", followed by "Zero Duel Masters", "Duel Masters Zero" (separate from "Zero Duel Masters"), and "Duel Masters Cross". A seventh season entitled "Duel Masters Cross Shock" is currently airing. However, the American version has ended, and thus these seasons will not be produced for the American market.