Yu-Gi-Oh! R takes place after Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelist but was written years after Yugi’s adventures were done and other spinoffs with different protagonists had taken off. Yu-Gi-Oh! R begins with Anzu getting kidnapped by Pegasus’s adopted son, Yako Tenma. Yugi and the gang then have to fight through Kaiba Corporation (which has also been taken over by Tenma) against an evil God Card in order to get Anzu back.
In short, it’s not very good. When it was released, it was a pleasant and nostalgic five volumes with our old favorite characters. After reading it through a couple of times, the nostalgia wears off and you discover it’s not really that great. The plot reminds me of a lot of the filler from the anime, which is not a compliment.
The new characters aren’t well written. They pose almost no challenge to Yugi and company both on a gaming strength level and on a depth of character level. Yako Tenma is just extremely flat character-wise. He was like a poor man’s Marik Ishtar.
And the duels are so, so boring. Let me explain how almost every duel went: bad guy establishes awesome combo; Yugi draws perfect card to defeat combo; Yugi wins. And while that was how it went in the original manga, the original made some attempt to have a usual selection of cards that Yugi just combined in different ways. In this new series, it seemed like Yugi was pulling random cards out of his arse. The “miracle-ness” of winning was just much more blatantly done in Yu-Gi-Oh! R and it made reading the duels unenjoyable.
I guess the thing with Yu-Gi-Oh! R is that the original series was so good that this throwback just seemed half-assed. I believe that when it was released, the writers admitted straight up that the fans wanted another story with Yugi and this is what they did. Compared to other series in the entire world, this isn’t that bad. But when you compare it to other parts of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, it kinda stinks.