Characters: Yu-Gi-Oh! Main Characters
The main cast of the anime and manga series Yu-Gi-Oh!
.ALL spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware major spoilers.Repeat! ALL spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware major spoilers.
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Yugi Mutou (武藤 遊戯; Mutou Yuugi) (Yugi Moto)
"I made a wish on the puzzle ... 'I wish for friends' ... Friends I can count on...! Friends who could count on me... No matter what...!! Friends who could count on me...!"
The main character of the series, who is obsessed with games. Funnily enough, his name means "game" in Japanese. A bairn who grew up playing games by himself, Yugi later received the pieces of the ancient Egyptian artifact called the Millennium Puzzle from his grandfather, Sugoroku. As such, Yugi spent eight years trying to solve it. Soft-spoken, timid, meek, and shy - he didn't have any real friends, except for Anzu, whom he's known since elementary school. Two kids in particular, Jonouchi and Honda, are regularly rough on him, but they befriend Yugi after he stands up for them to an even bigger bully. And then
he completed the ancient Millennium Puzzle and became the Guardian of the Shadow Games, releasing his "other self"
- the spirit of an ancient, gambling Pharaoh - punishing said-bigger bully with an unorthodox game involving black magic, and entering into a giant mess involving life-threatening games, thousand-year-old spirits, cursed artifacts, and lots
of ancient Egypt. However, he got a new Heterosexual Life Partner
and a ton of Character Development
out of the deal, so he's pretty okay with it. Too bad the other guy couldn't stick around.
He's knowledgeable about all games - card games, board games, tabletop role-playing games - you name it. And he finally gets to show his skill without his alter-ego halfway through the manga with Dungeon Dice Monsters/Dragons, Dice & Dungeons. In terms of the popular Duel Monsters card game, he mostly uses the same deck as his alter-ego; towards the end of the series, when he finally makes an original deck, it focuses on monsters that are individually weak but have powerful synergistic effects
. This deck's trump cards are Valkyrion the Magna Warrior, Stronghold the Moving Fortress, Gandora The Dragon of Destruction, Silent Swordsman LV0 and Silent Magician LV0.
- Adorkable: Oh, goodness, yes!
- Anime Hair: Tri-colored hair for the win.
- Audience Surrogate: Intended as one for the audience. Kazuki Takahashi based the idea of Dark Yugi on a dream he thinks is common for children — when the situation is dire, Yugi becomes a stronger, older, more mature version of himself with magical powers and unparalleled skill and luck in games.
- Back for the Finale: Many of the cards he used in the last game of the series were older Duel Monsters cards Dark Yugi no longer used, such as Daemon's Summon and Swords of Revealing Light.
- Badass Normal: He manages to beat games-expert Ryuji Otogi in a game of Dungeon Dice Monsters (in the manga), Dark Bakura during the Memory World RPG in a Shadow Game Within a Shadow Game of Duel Monsters, and Dark Yugi, without using the power of the Millennium Puzzle or the God Cards.
- In the anime's half-equivalent of the former, manages to defeat Marik (who was controlling Bandit Keith), without using the power of the Millennium Puzzle (because it was stolen).
- Empowered Badass Normal: Most of the time, when he's possessed by Dark Yugi.
- Bash Brothers: With Dark Yugi and Jonouchi/Joey.
- Book Dumb: As smart as the anime plays him up to be, and as smart as he is at games... he's a very, very bad student. He has very low test scores, along with Jonouchi and Honda, and in the very same chapter this bit of info is provided to us, he's shown to be more interested in creating a bingo game out of the test score chart than the actual test scores.
- Chick Magnet: Anzu is his primary Love Interest, in the anime filler (only) Rebecca declares him her boyfriend, and some one-off character from the last filler arc of the anime thinks he's adorable.
- Childhood Friends: With Anzu, whom he's known since elementary school.
- The Chosen One: The chosen solver and wielder of the Puzzle - the "Guardian of the Shadow Games".
- Covert Pervert: In chapter 2 of the manga, Yugi seems all too interested in the videotape with mosaic censoring that Jonouchi has watched. At the start of Millennium World, you find out that he and Jonouchi are still swapping porn tapes. And in the manga version of Duelist Kingdom when Mai first appears Yugi initially ogles her just as much as Jonouchi and Honda do.
- Cutesy Dwarf: He's really short, for some reason.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: He's the only character to beat Atem cleanly in any game or duel, giving him his freedom back.
- Determinator: Worked on solving the Millennium Puzzle for EIGHT YEARS!
- Disappeared Dad: He lives with his grandpa and his mother. His father is never seen or mentioned in the series, but according to Word of God, he's away on business.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
- Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind: A tiny, forgiving, socially-awkward hero... who wears his collar to bed. No-one really mentions the incongruity.
- Fun Size: But gets noticeably taller as the manga progresses.
- Genre Savvy: During the Millennium World story arc, there's a moment where Yugi disappears while the other characters are still discussing what to do to look for clues to find the other Yugi and/or his true name. When Anzu asks where he went, Honda said Yugi went to the tavern to collect information, since a tavern is the place to collect information in role-playing games. Jonouchi calls him an idiot and gets pissed because they're not in a game. Even though they actually are in a role-playing game.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: Yugi when it comes to games in general - he has every kind of game imaginable in his room. He even went as far as going to a rival gaming shop (which his grandfather was highly against) just so he could get his hands on the newest game they were marketing (Dungeon Dice Monsters).
- Helpless Good Side: At first. Then he took multiple levels in badass in the manga's version of the Dungeon Dice Monsters arc (Dragons, Dice & Dungeons).
- The Hero: In contrast to Dark Yugi's Anti-Hero, Yugi is pure good throughout the entire series.
- Heroic BSOD: After a particularly cruel duel with Kaiba, which also lets him truly realize the extents Dark Yugi is willing to go through to win.
- In the manga, he also receives one after Honda's Heroic Sacrifice during Death-T. The anime version of the Kaiba duel mentioned above mixed a bit of this in, as these respective moments marked where Yugi came to realize the existence of his other self.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In anime filler. "The Seal only needs one of us!" He gets better though.
- Invisible Parents: His parents are around, but his mother only makes one (angry) appearance in the manga with some cameos in the anime. His father never appears at all, and is simply stated by Word of God to be away on business.
- The Kirk: Shares this with Dark Yugi.
- King of Games: He's an expert at all games, and gains this title upon completing the Millennium Puzzle. In fact, that's the title of the series, which is the Trope Namer.
- Last Episode New Character: His final Duel Monsters deck also had these to contrast with his cards that came back for the finale, such as the Silent Swordsmen, Silent Magicians and the Gadgets.
- Meaningful Name: Yugi means "game". And as if it wasn't obvious enough already, he loves the shit out of games.
- Mental Fusion: Like the above trope; in the 4Kids English dub, Yugi and "Yami" combine their minds when dueling, except during Pegasus's duel, the latter half of the Doma arc, and the Ceremonial Battle.
- Morality Pet —> Morality Chain: Starts out as the former for Dark Yugi, who becomes less ruthless over time thanks to his influence. He takes the latter role later, having stopped him from injuring or even killing people several times.
- Names to Know in Anime: In the first anime adaptation, he's voiced by Megumi Ogata
- Nice Guy: His defining trait is his kind and friendly disposition.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: His completing of the Millennium Puzzle and unsealing the Shadow Games sets all the shenanigans that happens in the series into motion.
- Non-Player Character: During the final arc, he and his friends (except for Ryou Bakura) find the true door in the Millennium Puzzle's labyrinth and enter the Shadow RPG as special non-player characters - ones that do not fit the timeline, have special abilities such as flight, and thus are unseen by the game characters until a certain point.
- Nonuniform Uniform: The buckled straps around his wrists seem to be some kind of custom addition, the bondagey tank top visible under his shirt can't possibly be regulation, and sometimes he wears strange foot coverings which seem to be attached to his uniform pants.
- Older Alter Ego: As in 3000 years older, but since he died in his teens...
- Older Than They Look: Yugi is meek, incredibly short, and sixteen years old. Would you believe that someone of his height and behavior was really a high-school student?
- Player Character: He becomes one when his soul gets trapped in his RPG Beast Tamer figurine during Dark Bakura's Monster World Role-Playing Game.
- Perky Goth: Wears leather, a dog collar, has crazy hair... and is very cute, cheerful and kind.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Granted, he does have an extremely powerful alter ego in his head.
- The Protagonist: He is the main character.
- Purple Eyes
- Reincarnation: Explicitly stated to be the Pharaoh's reincarnation in the 4Kids dub. It's somewhat vaguer in the original, where the most that's elaborated on is that he's the chosen vessel.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: His Limited Wardrobe seems to consist of a gothed-up school uniform. Lampshaded at one point in the manga.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Jonouchi's Manly Man.
- Sexier Alter Ego: Yugi is an adorkable cutie, but the spirit of the puzzle is a full out bishonen, who is far more successful at attracting Anzu's attention than Yugi.
- Split Personality: Initially, he and Dark Yugi are presented as this. It turns out to be more of a case of...
- Sharing a Body: It's revealed later that he has the soul of a 3000-year-old king living inside him, rather than just a dark "other" personality.
- Ship Tease: With Dark Yugi, and Anzu.
- Shrinking Violet: Used to be one, but The Power of Friendship helped him get better.
- Soul Jar: He and the Millennium Puzzle are this for Dark Yugi.
- The Strategist: At least in the English dub of the anime, he's the Yugi that comes up with the pair's master strategies in Duel Monsters (in the manga they work it out together). He even beat the Egyptian God Cards and Atem through strategy.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Definitely in the early manga (and Toei anime).
- Though Dark Yugi wasn't necessarily evil at the time, he was pretty ruthless with his justice, and the normal Yugi was quiet and shy back then.
- Tareme Eyes: One of the subtle visual differences between him and Dark Yugi, who has Tsurime Eyes.
- Verbal Tic: A subtle one, and manga-only; "Yep!".
- Weak, but Skilled: In both physical terms and in that his playing pieces are at times weaker than his opponents, particularly Kaiba. Nonetheless, he wins through strategy. Nowhere is this more evident than his game of DDM against Ryuji Otogi for the Millennium Puzzle, or the Ceremonial Battle against the Pharaoh and his Three Gods.
- World's Best Warrior: In the NAS anime universe, even by the time of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Yugi is considered the greatest duelist ever.
Dark Yugi (Yami Yugi)
Dark Yugi (闇遊戯; Yami Yuugi) (Yami)
"We'll play a game! A Shadow Game. The loser of this game loses his life."
— Chapter 4to
"A game that kills people...I'm asking you, is it fun? You filthy scum!"
— Chapter 161
Yugi's (not so) evil alter ego - the soul of Pharaoh Atem and an expert at games - who resided in Yugi's body after the boy completed the Millennium Puzzle. In the beginning, he appears every so often to help his other half whenever trouble arises by possessing him - usually with high-stakes gaming. Using the powers of a Millennium Item wielder, he would challenge bullies, criminals, and sometimes just terrible human beings to occult judgment games called "Shadow Games" and inflict "Penalty Games" which dealt poetic justice upon the losers (after Character Development
, these powers are exclusively used by the antagonists). Eventually the two personalities form a type of partnership and brotherly bond, and seek to uncover his memories which he lost so long ago.He is adept at all games and hardly ever loses a single one
. If an opponent gives him trouble, chances are he'll find an unorthodox way of turning the tables. Within the game of Duel Monsters, he uses a deck originally put together by Yugi's grandfather, which has no particular theme to it, but prominently features all three Black Magicians and their support cards.
For information on his past self, see Yu-Gi-Oh! Ancient Egypt
Katsuya Jonouchi (Joey)
Katsuya Jonouchi (城之内 克也; Jounouchi Katsuya) (Joey Wheeler)
"Yugi, a long time ago, I stole a piece of your puzzle. When I returned it, I thought I might embarrass myself, so it took guts... But after that, for the first time in my life, I started to like myself a little..." —Death-T arc
Yugi's best friend, who comes from a broken family heavy with debt and in turn, grew up as a punk with no real motivations. Until he met Yugi, that is. He suffered a poor upbringing, with his parents divorcing and living with his alcoholic father, while his beloved sister Shizuka lived with their mother. He used to be a thug and even hung out with a gang led by Hirutani for a while. After becoming friends with Yugi, he became more righteous and would do anything to protect his friends or innocent people being taken advantage of. Though not exactly the best gamer in Domino, he develops a better liking to them thanks to Yugi, and he's managed to use his strong points to help Yugi come through in earlier story lines. As the series progresses, he grows a passion for the card game "Duel Monsters", learning how to channel his anger through cards instead of fists. Jonouchi is an underdog duelist who begins as a nobody and ends up becoming one of the best duelists in the world. Hot-headed and comical, Jonouchi's evolution from inexperienced newbie to a world-class duelist carries throughout the run of the series.
He's best at fighting, self-proclaimed very good at yo-yos
, and later on becomes an adept player at the Duel Monsters
/Magic & Wizards
card game. His deck initially has no particular theme to it, but as time goes on it evolves into a gambling-themed deck, along with Warriors, Beast-Warriors, and support for his Red-Eyes Black Dragon. His trump cards are his Red-Eyes (ATK 2400/DEF 2000), and, as of Battle City, the powerful Warrior, Gilford the Lightning (ATK 2800/DEF 1400), plus the Jinzo, Insect Queen, and Legendary Fisherman that he won during his Battle City duels. His favorite card in the anime is the Flame Swordsman, who frequently gets him out of tight situations.
- Abusive Parents: Specifically his alcoholic dad.
- Adaptational Wimp: In the manga, he is very strong and does good in fights, beating up Bandit Keith and grab-holding Kaiba by his coat collar, knocking out Saruwatari with one punch, and taking down a Captain Ersatz of Leatherface during Death-T. In the anime, he comes across more as a wannabe badass, getting beat up by Bandit Keith and Kaiba grabbing his fist mid-punch to throw him to the ground, and also comes close to drowning twice in the anime when he didn't in the corresponding manga events. He also loses a lot more often in Duels, which weakens his growth in Battle City a fair bit.
- Anti-Hero: Type II
- Badass: He managed to survive a death match against a nightmare-ish serial killer using pure wits alone during the Death-T arc, and right before that arc, where he wins a fight with a knife in his mouth, only one inch away from his opponent the entire time.
- Badass Normal: He doesn't have a Millennium Item, any super-powerful game pieces or cards, or access to money or resources. He still beats some of the best gamers in the world and becomes a champion Duel Monsters player in his own right, capable of threatening even the likes of Yugi and Kaiba.
- During his Shadow Game with Marik, he survives a direct attack from Ra. In a high-level "this is no joke, we can FEEL the pain inflicted to us by these monsters & gods" Shadow Game. Giving Dark Marik an Oh, Crap moment, and he could have won the match had he not collapse right before his final attack hit.
- Bash Brothers: With Yugi and Dark Yugi (though to a lesser degree).
- Big Eater: More so in the English dub, when every meaningful conversation gets turned into one about food. Nevertheless, in both versions if there's free food going, he's always stuffing himself silly.
- Big Brother Instinct: To Shizuka.
- Book Dumb: Jonouchi's a bad student, largely because school just isn't designed for him.
- Born Lucky: One of the main themes of his Duel Monsters deck is to rely on coin flips, dice rolls and random card picks, and they almost always work out in his favor. The fact that he spends a lot of time dueling against cheaters actually works in his favour here, as his own unconventional strategies trump theirs. Averted at the same time in that a lot of his draws are pretty bad though. It's even crueler in the manga where you see that he had Kunai with Chain in his hand at some point after he was getting ripped apart by Odion's Serket. Had he drawn it when he had both Jinzo and his Fisherman, he would have been able to take the beast down.
- Also applies to his life in general. He's shown to be quite lucky in situations that require it, but, just like with his deck, it's averted due to his terrible family life.
- Furthering the latter point, in his "bar bet" gambling matches with Otogi in the manga, he didn't have bad luck - if he had cooled his head a little and thought, he might have won those games or never even got put into that situation to begin with.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Marik does this to him at one point.
- Burning with Anger
- Calling Your Attacks: When Marik uses Lava Golem (summoning it to Jounouchi's side of the field), he tells Jounouchi that its attack is called "Golem Volcano". Jonouchi insists that since it's on his side of the field, he'll name the attacks, and hits Marik with a "Jounouchi FIRE" instead.
- Cheaters Never Prosper: Notably, most of his opponents (Mai, Bandit Keith, Espa Roba, Insector Haga, Johnson in the anime) cheat by various methods. He outsmarts and beats them despite this.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: He has a pretty good idea of what's going on, but he has moments where he slips into this.
- Cool Loser: After his Heel-Face Turn. He's fairly attractive, friendly, and a pretty Badass duelist, and yet is constantly the target of bullying and mean-spirited jokes from professional duelists and arc enemies, Kaiba, etc.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Jonouchi's a poor student and a ditz, but get him in a fistfight or a duel and he will own your ass.
- Death by Adaptation: In the video game The Sacred Cards, the player duels Rishid instead of him, so he gets to duel Dark Marik. He does even worse than their duel in the manga/anime, getting put into a coma for the rest of the game.
- Determinator: Proven when he got all the way to the Battle City semi-finals without holding a God Card, and surviving a direct hit from the Winged Dragon of Ra.
- Deuteragonist: In the original manga, according to Word of God (another word for friendship, the main theme of the series, is "Yu-Jo", hence Yugi and Jounouchi) In the anime, this position is taken by Kaiba, but Jonouchi is still a solid tritagonist, whose growth into a major duelist is one of the key arcs in the show.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Narrowly averted during his Shadow Game with Dark Marik, where he survives Ra's attack, and almost takes out Dark Marik, only to pass out before he can order an attack.
- The Ditz: Somewhat, especially in the anime and during the fillers.
- Dub Name Change: In addition to the name changes several characters received in the series, in the short lived uncut English dub by 4Kids his name was changed to Katsuya Joey, a mix of his names in the Japanese and English versions.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite being an excellent duelist, people still tend to mock Jonouchi as little more than Yugi's sidekick. Kaiba is a particularly nasty source of this. Though Kaiba does that to most people (just Jonouchi more than others). What's really nasty is the amount of crap he gets from his own friends, which is often cut from the dub (or stirred up even more) and in R, he suffers from this from Honda BIG time. In the original manga, at least his friends are very supportive of him. There's one scene in the manga during Duelist Kingdom, where, his friends show that they genuinely believe in his ability, whereas the anime had them belittling him the whole way through.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: When he is brainwashed by Marik.
- Fighting Your Friend: It's quite common for him to face Yugi in tournaments. Moreso in the anime, though. In fact, in the manga, he never faced Yugi in a tournament.
- Foreshadowing: In the anime, at the beginning of the Ghost Kozuka two parter, he has a nightmare about being in a dog costume (with Kaiba tormenting him). Now, fast forward to the anime's version of the Dungeon Dice Monsters arc (turned into filler) pictures here and here, Jonouchi is forced to wear a dog costume. Note that none of this dog costume stuff is in the manga - heck, in the manga's equivalent of the Dungeon Dice arc, Dark Yugi intervenes way before things escalated as he usually did during the earlier chapters and Jonouchi got to keep his pride.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
- Fusion Dance: With his Red-Eyes against Valon to become Lord of the Red.
- The Gambler: His deck develops a definite gambling theme as the series progresses, and he uses more and more luck and chance based cards to balance out his lack of access to rare cards.
- Get a Hold of Yourself Man: To Dark Yugi in the Doma Filler Arc.
- Heroic BSOD: Goes through one after he became Marik's Brainwashed and Crazy servant, but an Armor-Piercing Slap from Mai and some encouragement from his sister managed to snap him back to normal.
- Heroic RROD: His battle with Dark Marik during Battle City, and successive duels in the anime's ((Filler Arc))s between Valon and Mai saw him go through this, as thanks to the effects of the Shadow Game in the former and Seal of Orichalcos in the latter he was put through physical agony when he received any damage. Ultimately, because of this, he lost respectively to Dark Marik and Mai.
- Heroic Willpower: After being brainwashed by Marik, he fought and eventually broke the control over him.
- Hot-Blooded: Jounouchi will charge into situations without a second's thought, especially if someone he cares about is threatened.
- Idiot Hero: In the second episode of the anime and last chapter of volume 7 of the manga (beginning of volume 8/Duelist Volume 1 in the Viz translation), he duels Anzu and loses. He grows out of it towards the end of the series at least in gaming.
- The Lancer: Of the Best Friend variety.
- Made of Iron: Jonouchi survives a frankly ridiculous amount of punishment over the course of this series. One good example is taking a direct hit from an Egyptian God and still standing long enough to make the Big Bad of the arc nearly soil himself (and indeed, end up making him throw up afterwards).
- May September Romance: Possibly, with Mai. The caring is there, but Word of God says they're not hooking up.
- The McCoy: His emotions often lead him to beat up people.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Type four, or maybe type five with Jonouchi and his sister, Shizuka. This mostly affects Jounouchi's best friend, Honda, who is nuts about Shizuka (even though Shizuka herself just sees herself as Honda's friend). That is anime-only though, and unlike the manga he's not much of a physical force to be reckoned with, so...
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: The roguish to Honda's noble.
- Non-Player Character: During the final arc, he and his friends (except for Ryou Bakura) find the true door in the Millennium Puzzle's labyrinth and enter the Shadow RPG as special non-player characters - ones that do not fit the timeline, have special abilities such as flight, and thus are unseen by the game characters until a certain point.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: At the very end of the Battle City arc, he and Dark Yugu challenge each other to a private match (the manga makes it more unclear whether it's actually happening or just a vision). Word of God states that Jonouchi won. In the anime, he definitely won, hence why he has his Red Eyes Black Dragon again beginning in the Doma filler arc.
- Player Character: During Dark Bakura's Monster World RPG, his soul gets trapped within his RPG warrior figurine.
- Power Armor: Uses his "Aura Armor" against Valon in the anime's Doma filler.
- Primal Fear: Of ghosts. He has to overcome this when being forced to duel with Ghost Kozuka. Comes back when Bakura cheerfully tells him about his Occult deck during the earlier parts of Battle City and also during its finals, and Jonouchi's first reaction is to crap himself and hope he doesn't ever have to duel Bakura.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Kaiba (one of two), Honda, and Mai's blue.
- Reincarnation: In Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories, his incarnation was known as Jono. Not canon to the manga nor anime.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: In the manga he follows this trope almost as much as Yugi does, as he prefers wearing it throughout the entire Battle City story arc as opposed to the blue and white t-shirt and jeans he has on in the anime version.
- Self-Made Man: An ordinary high-school student who worked his way up to professional Duel Monster tournaments with a deck of mediocre monsters and the clever use of gamble cards. Also note that two of his strongest and iconic cards, Red-Eyes and Jinzo, are cards he won from other players.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Yugi's Sensitive Guy.
- Ship Tease: With Mai, which as the Abridged Series notes is the closest thing in the show to a canon relationship (which is false if we take the Yugi and Anzu thing from the manga into account). Also gets some Ho Yay/Foe Yay with Kaiba, Yugi and Honda.
- Shock and Awe: His Gilford the Lightning.
- Shout-Out: In the dub. Joey's surname is Wheeler, he has a Brooklyn accent, and he uses some Fire monsters... 'Captain Planet'', anyone?
- Even better, Wheeler's VA was named Joey Dedio.
- Street Smart: Despite lacking in book smarts or common sense occasionally, Jounouchi is extremely perceptive and has good instincts as well as out-of-the-box moments.
- Super Drowning Skills: Comes close to drowning twice in the anime, once during Duelist Kingdom and again during Battle City (justified in the latter's case as he was being chained to a giant anchor). It's interesting to note this isn't the case in the manga: In the Duelist Kingdom occurrence he never even came close to drowning, while in the Battle City example he managed to hold his breath long enough for Kaiba to drop down the key he needed to free himself (in the anime, he lost consciousness forcing Shizuka to dive in and save him). Coincidentally in one of the early volumes of the manga, we do see Jounouchi in a swimming class, so maybe thanks to that he learned to hold his breath better.
- Technically a Smile: In the anime, his infamous 'creepy chin', which bears more than a passing resemblance to the infamous troll face.
- This Loser Is You: Played with.
- Trickster Archetype: Uses a few chance based cards.
- Tsundere: Male version for Mai.
- Weak, but Skilled: Unlike the rest of the pro duelists in the series, Jounouchi just doesn't have the type of access to powerful and rare cards they do, so he has to make do with his luck-based cards and his low-level monsters, and often pulls off some pretty impressive combos with them. Gets a bit better with the rare cards after Battle City though.
- The Worf Effect: Suffers from it at the hands of Dark Marik, and in the anime's filler, Siegfried. Not an egregious case though, given his near defeat of both of them. See below.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Collapsing right before declaring the final attack on Dark Marik in the Battle City finals.
- A less serious case occurs in his duel with Siegfried during the filler KC Grand Prix arc. He was incredibly close to winning the duel and nearly succeeded in avoiding Zigfried's last attack, but unfortunately his luck gave out on him in the last turn.
Anzu Mazaki (Téa)
Anzu Mazaki (真崎 杏子; Mazaki Anzu) (Téa Gardner)
"Kaiba, you're the one who lost! You say people's struggles are a game, but that's totally wrong! Facing yourself no matter how tough things get, and keeping up the fight, that's what games are really about! You bet your chip of life as if it meant nothing! You lost to yourself." —Duelist Kingdom arc.
Anzu is the childhood friend of Yugi Mutou. Along with Katsuya and Honda (maybe even Bakura
), she is one of the characters most likely to be seen accompanying Yugi. She is interested in dancing and wants to study abroad after leaving school. At the beginning of the series, she develops a crush on Dark Yugi and becomes obsessed with finding out his identity, having been saved by him while she was blindfolded. At the same time, she appears to harbor feelings towards the regular Yugi as well.
She only rarely plays games in the manga, but seems to have knowledge in at least video game role-playing games. In the anime, on the rare occasions she plays Duel Monsters, she uses a rather cutesy deck. Her favorite card in the anime is Magician of Faith.
- Action Girl: Downplayed. She doesn't take part in games that much in the whole series, but it's noteworthy that she's won all three Duel Monsters duels she has participated in the anime (though she could've lost her duel with Mai had Mai not forfeited). Her biggest badass moment was when she was able to defeat a member of the Big 5, though she did have some help from the Black Magician Girl.
- Dark Action Girl: One of the few times Marik controlled Anzu's body, he used her to kick Dark Marik's ass a bit. Sadly, the moment was short-lived.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: She had auburn hair and reddish-brown eyes in the Toei series, including the movie. However, the manga and the second anime showed her with brown hair and blue eyes.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: She is in love with Dark Yugi's dark and mysterious but heroic personally.
- Armor-Piercing Slap/No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: She punches Jonouchi, then begins to beat him senseless for using a ruler to lift her skirt. It's implied that she did this to Honda too.
- Badass Normal: She doesn't play professionally or possess any kind of magic like many of the other characters, but she can keep up with them just as well.
- Bare Your Midriff: Several of her outfits.
- Beauty, Brains and Brawn: The Brains.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Brunette.
- Bokukko: Moreso in the manga, where the guys referred to her by her surname because of her boyishness.
- Brainwashed and Crazy/Demonic Possession/Grand Theft Me: A mix of both. At first, she was just brainwashed, however, after Marik gets kicked out of his own body, even before he did a Heel-Face Turn, he picked Anzu as his host until Dark Marik was defeated. Poor girl doesn't even know it.
- The Chick: She's the only girl on the team.
- Indirectly, without even knowing it herself, she is The Dark Chick for Marik. He often uses her body to get information, or to do his dirty work. At least until the Battle City arc is over.
- Childhood Friends: With Yugi, whom she's known since elementary school.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Just don't flirt with Yugi or his alter-ego, and she won't glare at you.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: In the anime. Emphasis on the cold, during her duel with Shuzo Otaki of the Big Five, every time she lost life points ice begins to form from her feet towards the rest of her body. And even when she didn't lose any life points, Anzu could feel the ice slowly numbing her body, and she had to continue dueling. The ice at one point had made it up to her chest.
- Cool Big Sis: To Shizuka, Jounouchi's little sister.
- Damsel in Distress: Though not as bad of a case as Mokuba, she gets kidnapped, brainwashed, possessed, or has her life endangered by nearly all of the Big Bads in the series. This even carries over to spin-offs, such as Yu-Gi-Oh! R, where she's kidnapped by Yako to be the vessel for Pegasus's resurrection, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories, where Seto kidnaps her pre-incarnation, Teana.
- In a bit of an out-of-character moment, she gets herself into this role to lure out Dark Yugi in one of the manga's early chapters, putting herself in danger with the Playing Card Bomber.
- Deadpan Snarker: In response to Jonouchi and Honda's antics.
- Depending on the Artist: In the anime, of course. Anzu's breast size ranges from flat chested to well endowed depending on which episodes you watch—sometimes it just depends on the scene. Her outfit affects it too—her yellow "Spirit" shirt makes her appear flat, her blue shirt changes around, and in her yellow tube top seen only in a few episodes, she's big enough to rival Mai.
- When it's just Kazuki Takahashi of the original manga, she's usually consistently filled out.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Whenever Marik possesses her. Though some fans think she looks better.
- Dude Magnet: Yugi is in love with her. Honda and Jounouchi have even show signs that they are somewhat attracted to her. They lifted her skirt once with a ruler, and in Toei's first anime adaptation "season 0", the guys take notice of how well-shaped her body is.
- Johnny Steps wanted to take Anzu out on a date for being a Worthy Opponent.
- Ryou Bakura, in a lot of scenes was shown to be rather close to Anzu during Duelist Kingdom.
- Evil Laugh: You can thank Marik for that.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
- Girl Next Door: She's a good and very attractive girl whom the shy mostly-friendless Yugi knew and found easy to talk to even before he solved the Millennium Puzzle and wished for friends.
- Improbable Weapon User: In the manga, she uses a globe to knock out several of Shadi-possessed Professor Yoshimori's teeth, saving Jounouchi from being strangled to death by him.
- Informed Flaw: In the anime, her supposed lack of skill with dueling. She's only dueled three times that we see, but she won all three of them (though her duel with Mai had Mai forfeit when she could have won). There`s also a couple off-hand references in the first season to her regularly beating Jonouchi. The English dub plays up her inexperience, suggesting when she duels Crump that she picked cards for her deck that she recognized from Joey and Yugi's decks with no thought to synergy between them, while in the Japanese version she knows what she's doing during the duel - she just lacks confidence.
- Let's Get Dangerous: In the anime, she was able to defeat one of the Big Five by herself, with a bit of help from Black Magician Girl.
- Light 'em Up: When she does get a chance to play Duel Monsters in the anime, she's shown to prefer Light-attribute monsters.
- Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The light to Mai's dark. (One of two)
- Loves My Alter Ego: In the early manga. Though she does eventually realize she likes both Yugis, and when they are slowly revealed to be truly separate individuals, she becomes confused about her feelings. For a long time, she wanted to believe that the "true Yugi" was a combination of these two personalities.
- Ludicrous Precision: In the English dub of the Virtual World Filler Arc, Crump provides a number of factoids about her, if only for the sake of exposition. What really qualifies for this trope is neither her height, nor her sneaker-size, but the fact that apparently, she's eaten 216 slices of pizza in her life.
- Justified (somewhat) in that, as he says, Crump's job is collecting facts and figures, and that he plans to assimilate her life, but still, 216 slices of pizza?
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: She's this to both Yugi and Ryo Bakura.
- Ms. Fanservice: Less than Mai, but her outfits are still pretty gratuitous, often putting her in sleeveless shirts that show off her bare shoulders, and shorts or a skirt with stockings to emphasize her legs.
- Episode 53 of the anime features Anzu playing Super Dancer (resembles DDR) while wearing very tight, very short pink shorts, long black stockings, and a tube top. The scene is also present in the manga. Then the manga and Toei anime include a Water Park Episode, showing off Anzu in a bikini and Yugi being visibly flustered by how shapely she is. The anime makes a big deal of this by having the camera pan up on her very sexy body, then showing Yugi blushing and nervous. And in the Duel Artbook, there's a piece showing Yugi daydreaming about Anzu in a black bikini and she looks very, very hot.
- Non-Player Character: During the final arc, she and her friends (except for Ryo Bakura) find the true door in the Millennium Puzzle's labyrinth and enter the Shadow RPG as special non-player characters - ones that do not fit the timeline, have special abilities such as flight, and thus are unseen by the game characters until a certain point.
- Only Sane Girl
- Out-of-Character Moment: In the mentioned water park visit, she's begun to develop a crush on Dark Yugi and deliberately puts herself in danger to get him to appear.
- Player Character: She gets trapped within her RPG Magician figurine during Dakr Bakura's Monster World RPG campaign.
- Plucky Girl
- The Power of Friendship: In the 4kids dub, she tends to talk about this a lot. This has not helped her gain fans. In the original series, Anzu's speeches tend to be more about never giving up, always have hope, have the courage to try even if you might fail, etc. and she does this just as much as the other characters. And in the original manga, she's arguably more badass, to the point where she gets Kaiba to sort of shut up after getting his suicidal win against Yugi during Duelist Kingdom.
- Reincarnation: In the Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories video game, her incarnation was known as Teana. It's not canon to the manga nor the anime, but hey.
- Rescue Romance: With Yugi and Dark Yugi.
- She's Got Legs: Most of her outfits put emphasis on her legs, since she enjoys dancing and aspires to pursue it professionally in New York.
- Ship Tease: With Yugi.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: To Kaiba.
- Soul Jar: She becomes this for Marik when he loses his body. And he's not afraid of possessing her whenever he wants.
- Team Mom: She's protective of everyone, especially Yugi.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The tall to both Yugi and Dark Yugi's tiny guy.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl:
- Tomboy to Shizuka's Girly Girl.
- Also, for a more extreme example, in Toei's first anime/Season Zero, she was the Tomboy to Miho Nosaka's Girly Girl.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: In the anime, clearly shown with her usual deck of cutesy fairy monsters. Also, in the manga, she had a really cutesy digital pet named Peachy.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Emphasis on the friend part to Jonouchi, Honda, and Ryo. Romantic wise, just to Yugi. Whenever Yugi was being picked on by bullies, it was Anzu who scared them off, or dealt with them.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Anzu is creeped out by Otaki's demeanor, and isn't too fond of his icy battlefield.
- Zettai Ryouiki: At least two of her outfits have the shorts + socks version.
Hiroto Honda (Tristan)
Hiroto Honda (本田 廣戸; Honda Hiroto) (Tristan Taylor)
Voiced by: Ryōtarō Okiayu
(Japanese Toei anime), Takayuki Kondō
(Duel Monsters Episodes 1-52), Hidehiro Kikuchi (Episode 53+), Sam Riegel
(English Episodes 1-10), Frank Frankson (Episode 10+)
"I loitered around telephone poles with any gang I could find, I picked fights and fought with all my strength, but every time I beat someone up, the one I was really beating up...was myself." —Death-T arc
One of Yugi's core group of comrades. Originally just a delinquent like Jonouchi, he mellows out once he befriends Yugi, who helped him with his love troubles and saved him from being humiliated by the teacher.
He doesn't seem to directly take part in games much, though his fists do the talking most of the time. The one time he plays Duel Monsters - which was only in the anime - he mostly used cards with a machine or military theme. In the anime, his favorite card is Cyber Commander.
- Adaptation Personality Change: The first series Toei anime tried to change his tough character into an uptight, dorky hall monitor who was obsessed with playing by the rules and getting Miho's attention. The second series anime is a bit more faithful to his original manga characterization, but it still tries to replicate the latter with Shizuka, to a lesser degree. Like Jounouchi, his past as a street thug is downplayed.
- Anime Hair: Although not as extreme as some of the other characters in the series, it's hard to overlook that his hair is literally a point.
- Curtains Match the Window: Notably, he's the only character in the main group with eyes that match his hair color (brown and brown).
- Arbitrary Skepticism: In the 4Kids dub of the anime, he often disbelieves in new supernatural threats, and Joey has to remind him of the previous supernatural stuff they've experienced so far.
- Badass: During a laser-tag death-match in the Death-T arc, he also proves to be an awesome marksman.
- He's no great shakes as a gamer much less a duelist, but take on Honda in a physical fight and you are toast. He beats up Rare Hunters, and Dark Bakura (in the anime), and has no compunctions about charging armed men with only his fists.
- The Big Guy: Arguably the muscle of the group. Possibly to compensate for his lack of duels.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: Played for Laughs, in the Toei anime, he gets pissed and jealous of Ryo Bakura for catching Miho's attention so quickly. In the second series anime adaptation, he hates it when Otogi gets in his way of Shizuka's feelings.
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially in the manga.
- Defrosting Ice King: In the manga, it takes him longer than Jonouchi to warm up to Yugi. He becomes Yugi's friend after Yugi tries to help him out in his failed endeavor at winning Miho's affections.
- Designated Victim: Out of Yugi's gang, he's the one that is possessed by evil the most, though only in the anime. First, when he loses to Soichiro Ota of the Big 5, and the second time is when he gets possessed by Dark Bakura in the Memory World RPG. Everyone else is either possessed once or not at all.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Slightly, anime-only, to Shizuka. In the manga, he doesn't show attraction to her at all (aside from only one time where he called her cute after Jonouchi received the video letter about her eyes) and seems to only care for her as his best friend's little sister.
- Evil Uncle: Subverted. While Honda didn't get along with his sister's son and even hit him once, he still loved his young nephew.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Sanguine
- Gentle Giant: Noticeably the tallest of the main cast (except maybe Kaiba) and is somewhat broad in appearance, but is one of the most loyal and friendly characters in the series (though he's not above berating others).
- Hyper Competent Sidekick: Any time things get physical, Honda is the one who suddenly has to deal with it.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: The noble to Jonouchi's roguish.
- Non-Player Character: During the final arc, he and his friends (except for Ryo Bakura) find the true door in the Millennium Puzzle's labyrinth and enter the Shadow RPG as special non-player characters - ones that do not fit the timeline, have special abilities such as flight, and thus are unseen by the game characters until a certain point.
- Player Character: He becomes a Magic Gunman during Dark Bakura's Monster World RPG.
- Ship Tease: With Shizuka, Jonouchi, and Otogi (especially in the Abridged series and in the anime, where this is actually an outright thing).
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Jonouchi's Red, a bit moreso in the manga then in the anime.
- Simpleton Voice: His original English voice was like this.
- Thanks for the Mammary/Funbag Airbag: In anime filler, Robo-Monkey!Honda does this to Shizuka in the Virtual World when he reunites after getting separated from the group.
- Those Two Guys: With Ryuji Otogi/Duke Devlin, in the anime only.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Yu-Gi-Oh! R, and it's rather awkward when almost EVERY comment he makes is to bust Jounouchi's chops.
Ryo Bakura (獏良 了; Bakura Ryou)
"[I am Ryo Bakura. I won't let you kill my friends. I'll fight too.]" —Computer message, Monster World arc
Yugi's gaming buddy from school. Bakura is a shy, quiet boy who lost his sister in a car crash some time before the series started. With his archaeologist father usually away from home, Bakura spends a lot of time by himself, or playing RPGs with select groups of friends — particularly Monster World. Unfortunately for him—and everyone else in the series—he's also the holder of the Millennium Ring, and is under the on-and-off control of the evil spirit living inside it. Every time he played a game with his friends, his friends would end up in a coma because of this, causing him to constantly transfer schools. After meeting Yugi and his other friends, they join forces to crush his evil alter-ego "Dark Bakura" in a Shadow Game of Monster World. From then on, the normal Bakura joins the main group in many of their conflicts, mostly in the manga
Along with his love for the Tabletop R.P.G. genre of gaming, he has a penchant for the occult, even making a Duel Monsters deck out of it, which freaks Jonouchi out to no end.
- Accent Adaptation: He became British in the dub.
- Adorkable: Even moreso than Yugi. Who ever thought a shy little hardcore fanatic of D&D-esque role-playing games would be this much of a chick-magnet?
- Anime Hair: A more traditional one.
- Big Eater: The anime portrays him as such, about the same as his evil alter-ego who gobbles down his food like a madman.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Bakura's a genuinely nice, if shy kid. The Ring...not so much.
- Badass Adorable: As the White Wizard Bakura. In the Monster World arc and the final episode of Toei's anime adaptation ("Season 0"), he stands up to Dark Bakura. Of course, through Power of Friendship he stood his ground and never backed down.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Aside from his interest in the strange and supernatural, he is the most innocent of the cast.
- Bishōnen: Applies to all adaptations, but in the original Toei anime, this is actually his nickname. In fact its rare that any female character in that season ever refers to him by his name instead of bishonen.
- Born Unlucky: His precious sister died in a car crash. He had to constantly change schools, living with the guilt and negative stigma of having his friends fall into a coma whenever they played a game with him because of the evil personality within the Millennium Ring. After Yugi and his other Domino High friends free him of the Ring's influence the first time, he is tricked to give his body up to Dark Bakura yet again so they could escape the underground maze of Duelist Kingdom, becoming an unknowing pawn for the spirit thereafter. At the beginning of the Millennium World arc, Bobasa refuses to let him into the Pharaoh's mind, despite his desire to help his friend, because of the darkness within his heart, which we all know is the evil spirit of the ring. He puts on a smile, and runs away, in tears. The only lucky thing that ever happened to him is possibly having friends that never gave up on him.
- Brown Eyes: In the NAS Duel Monsters anime.
- Cast from Hit Points: His Level 13 White Mage converted his Hit Points to Magic Points in order to keep up a magical barrier to protect his friends from Zorc's attack.
- Celibate Hero: He's the only male in the group that has never exhibited any perverted tendencies. He's the only male character that didn't ogle Mai during her first appearance. And he dislikes the fact that girls always give him so much attention. According to the Gospel of Truth, he likes games more than girls.
- Chick Magnet: Toei's first anime adaptation (a.k.a. "Season Zero") takes this Up to Eleven.
- Unwanted Harem: On his first day of being the new kid in Yugi's school, all the girls in his class already fall head over heels for him. However, as sweet and kind he is, he actually doesn't like the attention all that much. Hell, as soon as he met Miho in the first series anime, he turned and walked away because of how she started fangirling around him. From his reactions, this isn't the first time that he's attracted females. And Jounouchi is jealous of him because of this.
- The Chosen One: In a very unfortunate and literal way. He is the "chosen host" for the Pharaoh and the Spirit of the Millenium Ring's final battle. This translates to him having the "honor" of being frequently possessed by the Spirit and being the one to build the Memory World diorama on which the final Shadow Game takes place.
- Clingy MacGuffin: In the anime, Bakura's repeatedly tried to free himself from the Ring and the spirit inside of it. No matter which one he attacks, it always comes back with little-to-no explanation. Doesn't apply in the manga where, after ridding himself of it once, he voluntarily puts it back on each and every time because, after a life-and-death decision to put it back on to save his friends from being trapped in a dungeon, Dark Bakura convinced him that he's good now (presumably like Yugi's alter ago).
- Declaration of Protection: He would give up his life for his friends if it meant saving them from Dark Bakura. Even when he barely knew them.
- Demonic Possession: By the Spirit of the Millennium Ring ("Dark Bakura"/King of Thieves/Zorc Necrophades).
- Demoted to Extra: After Duelist Kingdom in the anime adaptation, along with its Filler Arcs. In fact, he rarely appears in the anime when he's not under the control of the Ring, and is generally more of a Flat Character as opposed to the manga. The abridged series makes fun of Bakura's predicament a lot.
- Only in the anime, of course. In the manga, Bakura is treated as part of the main group after his initial introduction and appears with them for most of the stories. Except in the Millennium World saga, where he wasn't allowed to enter the Pharaoh's mind due to the darkness in his heart... and we all know who that's referring to.
- Funnily enough, the Toei anime actually plays up his role in the early manga.
- The spin-off R manga series follows the anime's example of not having him appear at all. (Although its status of canon to the manga is often debated, it's possible he could have been busy making the diaroma to the Shadow RPG during the entire spin-off.)
- The Unity spell card◊ from the real-life card game replaces him with Otogi. (Most likely because of the anime)
- Disappeared Dad: His father is always away (revealed to be the owner of the Domino City museum in the manga), leaving poor Ryou to live alone and deal with Dark Bakura putting his friends into a coma during their TRPG campaigns.
- Distressed Dude/Designated Victim: He's always the Millennium Ring's first victim.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: In the manga, when Dark Bakura lets him go to Marik's brainwashing.
- Evil Counterpart: Bakura's Millennium Ring is the Evil Counterpart to Yugi's Millennium Puzzle.
- Fifth Ranger: In the manga, he becomes a main character after the Monster World arc.
- Flat Character: Due to being Demoted to Extra in the anime, he doesn't really have that much personality there. The manga is a different story.
- Foil: A shy kid with no friends who loves to play RPGs finds a Millennium Item. Am I talking about Yugi, or Bakura? In a sharp contrast of course, Yugi willingly partners with Dark Yugi, while Bakura is always the Dark Bakura's first victim whether he knows it or not.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic (just like Yugi)
- Friendless Background: Averted! And how! He did have a lot of friends, but thanks to the spirit of the Millennium Ring, all of them ended up in comas because Dark Bakura would play Shadow Games with them. Causing poor Ryou to transfer schools like no other.
- Game Master: Although never shown on-screen in the position, he loves building game boards and figures due to his love for Tabletops (even making a giant diorama of Ancient Egypt that serves as the battleground for the final arc in the manga), and would play with his friends more often if it wasn't for his Killer Game Master Super-Powered Evil Side.
- Killer Game Master: Arguably. Even without taking the Dark Bakura's cheating into account, Ryo's shown scenarios of Monster World and Memory World are heavily biased against the players. While the second may be explained by it having been requested by the spirit, the first was entirely created by him.
- His creation of the friendly White Mage Bakura NPC designed to specifically aid the players says otherwise, though.
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: His round eyes nicely contrast with the Dark Bakura's narrow ones.
- Hand Behind Head: A bit of a Character Tic. For instance, in one of the Game Boy games (specifically World Championship Tournament 2004), his sprite does this pose◊.
- Healing Hands: Being a Level 13 White Wizard, Bakura's DMPC in the Monster World arc was able to restore the entire party's health.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Makes one during the Monster World RPG arc of the manga, until Bakura is revived by a dice roll and his character's special ability (though his DMPC White Wizard Bakura "dies", having to be re-rolled).
- Tries to make one in the anime's attempt to mirror the Monster World arc in Duelist Kingdom, when, having been transformed into the card Change of Heart, he possesses one of Dark Bakura's monsters and orders Dark Yugi to attack him; this would have won Dark Yugi the duel at the cost of sending Bakura to the Card Graveyard. It's averted though, because in the anime, Dark Yugi apparently has the ability to switch the souls of other people.
- Hyde Plays Jekyll: In the anime. Good luck telling whether it's him or the Dark Bakura impersonating him at any given time. In the manga, it's much more easier to tell, but there are still moments.
- Impaled Palm: Happens during the Monster World arc when Dark Bakura finds out that Ryou had taken control of his left hand, and then proceeds to impale it on one of the game's towers. Ouch. Later on, it's his arm that gets impaled during Battle City.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Even with the death of his dear little sister (implied to have lost his mother too), losing all his friends early on in his teen life due to his alter ego putting them into comas (not counting his current friends), his father barely in the picture, being essentially alone in dealing with Dark Bakura before Yugi came into the picture, its amazing how Ryou never once made a Face-Heel Turn or went insane.
- King Of Tabletop RPGs: While presumably just as knowledgeable and interested in all games like Yugi, he specializes in tabletop role-playing games in particular.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: A Platonic version of this, Anzu shows a lot more aggression, and has her Action Girl moments, while Ryou is quiet, shy, and likes to keep to himself. He doesn't seem to like fighting, and would rather be a Nice Guy about most things. Unless when it comes to saving his friends (from Dark Bakura or whoever).
- Mr. Exposition: The dub seemed to give him this role in the Duelist Kingdom arc. Most of his lines are generally spent describing what the Duel Monsters do, the basic rules, or what Yugi and/or Jonouchi's strategies are supposed to be.
- Missing Mom: It's implied that his mom died when he was younger. Many fans have theories that his mother was killed alongside his little sister.
- Names to Know in Anime: Rica Matsumoto
- New Transfer Student: His manner of introduction... and turns out to be his shtick, thanks to his Dark and Troubled Past.
- Nice Guy: He really is, which makes his victimization by the Ring all the sadder, especially in the anime where he's not even part of Yugi's main circle of friends anymore.
- Nightmare Fetishist: He likes collecting weird or occult items. Jonouchi is terrified when he learns this.
- Non-Action Guy: Ryou himself doesn't actually play Duel Monsters that much, he prefers Monster World and other tabletop role-playing games, though he still loves the game enough to build an occult deck around it. And he doesn't get into fist-fights like Honda and Jounouchi do.
- Non-Player Character: During the Monster World RPG, Beast Tamer Yugi manages to pull White Wizard Bakura out of Dark Master Zorc, containing Ryo Bakura's good soul. Since he was an NPC made by Ryo Bakura as a Game Master, he was able to move on his own without the commands of the player (Dark Yugi).
- No Sense of Personal Space: During the anime's version of Duelist Kingdom, when Yugi hit his Heroic BSOD moment, through Anzu's duel with Mai, he held onto Yugi's shoulders. Not once letting go until the duel is over, sure it was his way of comforting Yugi, but Jounouchi did the same thing, and let go moments after the duel began.
- Ship Tease: With Yugi in Toei's anime ("Season Zero"), and a bit within the first arc of the second anime, and the manga. And with Anzu, though with her it was just a matter of the two of them being nearly side-by-side in many of the scenes of Duelist Kingdom arc. It wouldn't be much of a surprise seeing as how Anzu is the only girl that hasn't fangirl over him.
- In the manga, according to Dark Bakura, Ryo Bakura is Yugi's "little gaming buddy". Loads of daaw coming from an evil spirit who probably means that in the most demeaning way possible.
- If it counts for anything, Anzu also heckled him like an angry girlfriend for being late to Battle City because he was too caught up in writing his tabletop role-playing games.
- In the Abridged, he was often hitting on her and Yugi.
- Shrinking Violet: He rivals Yugi's own Shyness.
- Shy Blue-Haired Guy: In the Toei anime, he had blueish hair, but he was still just as shy as ever.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Besides being good-looking, it may be why Miho got a huge crush on him in Toei's anime adaptation. Much to his dismay. Most of his fangirls would also tell you this as well.
- The Smart Guy: In the entire post-Monster World manga, and Duelist Kingdom-only in the anime.
- Supreme Chef: When the gang camped out with Mai during Duelist Kingdom in the manga, Bakura was said to be this.
- Transfer Student Uniforms: In the manga, his uniform is different from the standard school uniform, as it's a lighter color and has buttons down the front.
- White Hair, Black Heart: His dark side is this, but otherwise averted.
Dark Bakura (Yami Bakura)
Dark Bakura (闇獏良; Yami Bakura)
"I was nice enough to let you play in my world... and you ingrates repay me by rebelling against the master! Death to all players! I'll bury you in eternal night!" —Monster World RPG arcto
"3000 years ago, Akhenaden placed the Millennium Items in the stone slab and became the High Priest of Darkness through the power of the Evil God Zorc! And now I'll kill you, in obedience to the High Priest's will! Your death will bring this game to an end!" —Millennium World RPG arc
The evil spirit within the Millennium Ring - this malevolent being is a Killer Game Master
who possesses Yugi's friend Ryo Bakura throughout the series with the goal of gathering all seven Millennium Items in one place in order to open the Door of Darkness within the Millennium Puzzle's sealed memories. Like his host, he has a penchant for tabletop role-playing games
, trapping his victims in figurines (or, in the anime, cards) using Shadow Games. A cold, calculating sadist, Dark Bakura sets his Evil Plan in motion from very early on
, even pretending to be a part of Yugi's group of True Companions
, and eventually stepping up as the Big Bad
when it comes to fruition in the series' finale - all of it to set up the final game, the Shadow RPG and reviving the Evil God
Zorc Necrophades. He is the Big Bad
of the Monster World RPG arc and also the Millennium World/Shadow RPG arc (and is thus considered to be the manga's overall main antagonist).
Throughout the entirety of the original manga, the type of game he mostly plays are tabletop role-playing games and his Final Boss
characters are always Zorc. However, during the Battle City arc, he takes up the Duel Monsters/Magic & Wizards game for the competition and plays the game a few more times to hinder the normal Yugi's progress as an NPC within the Memory World Shadow RPG, while Dark Bakura's main body acted as a Game Master for the RPG world. In regards to Duel Monsters, he uses Ryo Bakura's Occult deck which focuses on the uses of Dark Necrofear, Dark Sanctuary, and Ouija Board. Then, in only the anime, he uses a deck that emulates the original monsters from the Ka-based Shadow Games of Egypt against Seto Kaiba, focusing on Diabound Kernel. Finally, he uses an Undead Lock deck, which pins the opponent down while he slowly depletes their deck. note
For information on his past self, see Ancient Egypt
- Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Naturally, every game he participates in becomes this. Roll a Critical Failure in a role-playing game? Penalty Game! Your soul is now stuck in your character figurine forever. Piss off the Game Master? Death to all players (literally)! Lose to him at Duel Monsters? Penalty Game! You either just die right off the bat (like Ghost Kozuka in the manga) or get dragged into hell (Ghost Kozuka again, surprisingly, the anime is responsible for that).
- In the anime-only continuity, you would also get sent to the "Card Graveyard" as seen in the anime's version of Duelist Kingdom.
- Accent Adaptation: He was given a British accent in the North American dub and a Southern accent in the Singapore dub to reflect the real Bakura's polite speech patterns in Japanese.
- The Antichrist
- Anti-Villain: Thief King Bakura started out wanting revenge for the destruction of his village. After his Fusion Dance with Zorc to create Dark Bakura within the Millennium Ring,he loses this status and becomes an Omnicidal Maniac.
- Arch-Enemy: Dark Bakura is an ancient spirit, just like Dark Yugi, whose enmity with the former Pharaoh goes back 3000 years. He's also the series longest-running, and final (sort of), antagonist.
- Artifact of Doom: The Millennium Ring, which is by far the most openly malevolent of any of the Millennium Items. Having a sociopath tomb robber and the essence of a dark god sharing space inside of you will do that.
- Ax-Crazy: Less so than Dark Marik, but that ain't saying much. In his first appearance, he's portrayed as nefariously Ax-Crazy to contrast Dark Yugi's heroically Ax-Crazy.
- Back from the Dead: In a sense. All of the other villains are killed (or reformed) for good when they lose a Shadow Game. He simply goes away temporarily. The first time around, the Millennium Ring is merely FORCED OFF of Ryou Bakura's neck after the Shadow Game until his voice manages to trick the boy into putting it back on later on. Second time around, he receives a Penalty Game after losing to Dark Marik in which he gets "swallowed by the darkness"...but he is true darkness.
- Badass: Despite the fact he loses almost every game he plays against Dark Yugi, he still shows himself as one of the most intelligent and cunning villains of the series, and is definitely the most persistent. While Dark Yugi always beats him, Dark Bakura still shows himself to be a great gamer every time, coming within a hair's width of winning (for instance, the first time around, without the real Bakura's intervention, Dark Master Zorc would have party-wiped him - same with their last RPG with Shadi/Hassan intervening), and in an anime-exclusive Duel Monsters duel he's able to go toe-to-toe with Kaiba. The duel has no result, but when Dark Bakura takes off, he was winning.
- Badass Longcoat: In the last arc, where he adds a black trench coat to his Battle City costume.
- Badass Long Robe: Thief King Bakura's long red robe is very badass.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Ryo Bakura is a genuinely nice, polite, sweet guy. His Superpowered Evil Side is a sadistic psychopath.
- Big Bad: Mainly of the Monster World and Shadow RPG arcs, where he sets up an RPG in both: the first to kill Yugi and his friends, and the second to resurrect Zorc Necrophades. Though he has a great influence in between the two arcs that make him considered to be the overall series' Big Bad.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Despite the other antagonists that take the helm of Big Bad at one time or another, Dark Bakura remains proactive throughout the series and manages to be as much of a threat as the others, no matter how big his role is.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Is this with Akhenaden in the Millennium World arc.
- Bigger Bad: Of the Yu-Gi-Oh! R spin-off manga in an Ensemble with the Wicked Avatar. Though neither he or the normal Bakura appear in the spin-off, the villain, Yako Tenma, is trying to avenge the death of Pegasus. And guess who killed Pegasus.
- Big Eater: As Thief King Bakura, there was a scene in the tavern where he used all his stolen gold to buy piles of food, and he wolfs it all down Son Goku-style faster than an Orc from Dungeons & Dragons or Pathfinder.
- In the anime, there's a scene in Battle City where Dark Bakura tears into a steak like a wild carnivore. In the manga, it was just the Marik-brainwashed Ryou creepily eating a steak with Dull Eyes of Unhappiness.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing:
- nIn the anime, he does an amazing impression of Nice Guy Bakura.
- In the manga, he tricks the gang into thinking he's switched sides after his defeat in the Monster World RPG. He helps Honda out of a bind while he was retrieving Mokuba's body during Duelist Kingdom (unlike the anime, he didn't desire to swap hosts) and helped Yugi defeat Ryuji Otogi/Duke Devlin in Dungeons Dice Monsters (only so he could get his hands on a piece of a puzzle so he could transfer his Mind parasite into it). This plot point was removed/changed in the anime.
- Calling Your Attacks: Like the rest of the cast, every time they play a game involving monster battling.
- Likewise, whenever he inflicts his earlier Penalty Games:
Penalty Game! MIND DOLL!
- Cannibalism Superpower: This is what makes Thief King Bakura's Ka, Diabound, so deadly dangerous—every time it kills an adversary it gains that creature's raw power, if not its actual abilities.
- Cast from Hit Points: His Battle City deck relies on giving Life Points to use various cards, or letting opponents attack him while he sets up his strategy.
- In the Memory World RPG, Thief King Bakura, like all the other characters, has to pay from his Ba Gauge (essentially his Hit Points) in order to summon his Ka (essentially their Persona)
- The Chessmaster: Many of his plans are set up some time in advance, and all are hammered out to the last detail - including his RPG campaigns. This carries into his Duel Monsters duels as well, where he's a Manipulative Bastard who strings the opponent along while laying out an overarching strategy to spring once he's got all his cards in place. He's also good at playing with his opponent's head to manipulate their actions, and using his cards to do the same when mind games don't work.
- Clingy MacGuffin: The Ring has been disposed of dozens of times. It always manages to make its way back to Bakura and possess him again.
- Really only happens in the anime, where filler gave the ring some weird transportation powers (after being chucked into the forest by Honda in an anime-only scene) and Dark Bakura's ability to come back from the dead after being offed by the Reaper of Cards (whereas, in the manga, the ring falls off of Bakura's neck after the tabletop battle and the spirit only comes back after Bakura decides to put it on again to save their asses during Duelist Kingdom).
- The Collector: He's collecting the Millennium Items. God help you if you get in his way.
- Composite Character: In-universe example. He's a combination of Zorc's soul with the soul and memories of Thief King Bakura, though exactly how the two ended up becoming Dark Bakura varies between adaptations. The anime implies Zorc has been in the Ring since it was made and incorporated Thief King Bakura into himself when Bakura came into ownership of it, while in the manga, the two combined upon Zorc's defeat and sealing.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: In the Duel Terminal games, he has a Zorc deck turns his occult strategies into a giant reference to his tabletop role-playing games from the manga. He even has Dark Master Zorc, his avatar for the Monster World RPG, as one of his signature cards. And he rolls criticals pretty easily (apparently the Dark Bakura in Duel Terminal is the manga version!).
Roll! Brainwashed Dice! Super Critical!
- The Corrupter: The Millennium Ring seems to have a pretty negative effect on whoever is holding it. See Artifact of Doom, above.
- Cosmic Retcon: He tries to invoke this in a sense with the Shadow RPG, with his ultimate goal being altering the historical events of the game so Zorc never loses in the first place.
- In the anime version, this is taken to the next level where they're playing an altered (and watered down/unexplained) version of the manga's game in another dimension, and they show you that the game's events are having an effect in the real world.
- Cosmic Role-Playing Game The final arc's Memory World turns out to be an elaborate role-playing game designed by Bakura.
- Deadpan Snarker: His snarkiness, especially in the English dub, is only rivaled by Kaiba, and even then it's a close call.
Bonz: Aw, what's wrong? Are you upset that you didn't get the card you need?
Bakura: No, I'm upset because I have to end this duel so quickly, and I was enjoying prolonging your suffering.
- Demonic Possession: Half the time Bakura doesn't even know what's going on, Dark Bakura has so much control over him. And that's leaving out Dark Bakura's possession of its own past self, Thief King Bakura (although, in the manga, no possession occurs - Thief King Bakura is just a character card). There's also his various decks that involve this through certain means.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Dark Bakura plays this role to Marik during Battle City, dueling on his behalf, but only so that it can gain access to the rest of the Millennium Items.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Dark Bakura finds Marik's strategy of using Ryou hostage to force Yugi to forfeit his duel too deplorable, and instead forcefully trades places with his host to let Yugi finish him off. He primarily does it out of Pragmatic Villainy since he still needs Ryo, but the look of disgust he gives Marik right before he switches back puts it in this trope as well.
- Evil Brit: In the English 4Kids dub.
- Evil Counterpart: To Dark Yugi, and from his first appearance in Monster World to the Millennium World arcs, he viewed Dark Yugi as his "opposite number". They're both ancient spirits sealed in Millennium Items who use mortal vessels, and are experts at games, but while Yugi and Dark Yugi are partners who change control when appropriate (eventually), Ryou Bakura is possessed by Dark Bakura who uses his body to further his own intentions without Ryo's knowledge. This is also reflected in their gaming styles, the two both rely on trickery and cunning to win by strategy rather than force, but Dark Bakura is a Chessmaster to Dark Yugi's Guile Hero, and thus in their games Dark Bakura usually controls the game until Dark Yugi pulls a move he doesn't see coming and reverses the situation.
- Evil Laugh: As both Thief King Bakura and Dark Bakura/Spirit of the Ring.
- Evil Sounds Deep: At least when compared to his normal self in the English dub.
- Eviler Than Thou: With Pegasus and Dark Marik, whose Millenium Items he tries to add to his collection by force. He's successful with Pegasus (he ends up killing him in the original manga), but his clash with Dark Marik ends very badly for him, with him being sent off into the darkness (along with Ryo) with a Penalty Game until Dark Marik himself dies later on.
- Evil Plan: Capture the other items to open of the Door of Darkness and unleash Zorc.
- Eye Scream: His left eye goes out when the adventurers take out Dark Master Zorc's left eye during Monster World.... but he does not scream, he just looks angry. And similarly, as a comparison, in the Memory World RPG, when Thief King Bakura's Diabound gets shot right in the left eye, his left eye goes out as well... but he does scream. Does he no longer feel pain after fully merging with Zorc?
- Face Death with Dignity: Doesn't really do it with his first defeat in the Monster World arc (he was, in all honesty, shitting his pants at his host and his friends' unity), but later on (although not really death, as he comes back). During his battle with Dark Yugi in the Battle City arc, Dark Bakura's only reaction before having Osiris strike him down was laughing wildly and gleefully. No fear of death here, people. Likewise, when he loses to Marik's evil side, he simply taunts him and laughs while he fades away.
- Fair Play Villain: Despite being a literal Killer Game Master who claims victims through games, he's actually very fair about it. He never cheats in any of his Duel Monsters games, and in the two tabletop game arcs he participates in, he explains the rules and gives the heroes a fair chance. In the Shadow RPG, he explains the rules to Dark Yugi and, in the manga, gives Dark Yugi a unique power to use during the game since he as Game Master has one of his own. The only time he cheats is during the Monster World RPG when he starts using magic to rig his dice rolls.
- Faux Affably Evil: Polite and soft spoken, but still an irredeemable sadist.
- Final Boss: Of the Millennium World arc. He and Dark Yugi face each other in a Shadow Game-tabletop RPG, he and the normal Yugi battle it out via Shadow Game-Duel Monsters within the RPG, and (in the anime only) the last part of his soul rejoins Zorc and rampages throughout Ancient Egypt. No matter where you look in that arc, the last battle that each group of characters fights is against Dark Bakura.
- Final Boss Preview: In the manga, the "Monster World" game he plays with the four heroes in Bakura's introductory chapters is revisited for the Shadow RPG that serves as the final story arc. Dark Bakura even says directly that he considers the Monster World game a warm-up for the Shadow RPG.
- Fixing The Game: In sharp contrast to almost every other major antagonist in the manga, he cheats like crazy in his first appearance. First by rolling the dice in such a way that he always gets the desired result, then by sealing souls into the dice to decide how it ends up after Dark Yugi manages to counter his first cheating technique. During the anime's version of the Shadow RPG, he gives himself Time Master abilities that basically ensure that he'll resurrect Zorc regardless of what the Pharaoh does (in the manga, he gives Dark Yugi a special skill, an "Imperial Order" action, of his own to balance it out, while Dark Yugi's ability in the anime is something out of left-field he didn't know about).
- The GM Is A Cheating Bastard: For the reasons described above.
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Dark Bakura's eyes are cold and narrow to contrast Bakura's big open ones.
- Gotta Catch 'Em All: Dark Bakura's objective is to gather all the Millennium Items in one place. Some time after Monster World, he's actually alright with keeping Yugi alive until it happens.
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Dark Bakura to Yugi. It's never genuine and is all part of his plans. Yugi becomes wary after the Marik incident, but has no choice but to except the Millennium Items offered to him.
- On the other hand, it seemed like Yugi really did try to have faith that Dark Bakura is able to have a change of heart and genuinely wanted to help his other self regain his memories. When Dark Bakura reveals who is (A part of Zorc, not just the spirit of the Thief King) and why he helped Yugi gather the Millennium Items in the first place, Yugi visibly feels betrayed, "I trusted you!".
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Until the Millennium World arc. We know he wants all of the Millennium Items, but what he plans to do with them and even who/what he is remains a total mystery.
- In the manga, he actually reveals that he desires to gain the power of darkness by inserting all the items in their stone slab during the Dungeon Dice Monsters and Battle City arcs, although he doesn't know why he desires this.
- Hive Mind: He's the spirit of Thief King Bakura, and much like Akhenaden, he was taken over by the essence of Zorc Necrophade, and Zorc is essentially a Gestalt entity. Furthermore, through the power of the Millennium Ring, he's able to imbue his essence of his soul in any object. The dice in Monster World, for example, and also in a piece of the Millennnium Puzzle, which results in the final arc having two modern Dark Bakuras running around - one that plays the Shadow RPG and another that serves Zorc Necophades and the High Priest of Darkness as an NPC.
- Hyde Plays Jekyll: In the anime only, Dark Bakura is infamous for this. It quickly gets to the point it's hard to tell which is which, especially since Dark Bakura can imitate the real Bakura's voice and mannerisms perfectly.
- In the manga, it's much easier to tell (at least to the reader) if it's Dark Bakura pretending to be the real Bakura or if it's the genuine article.
- Idiot Ball: During his Shadow Game duel against Dark Marik. Let's see. First of all, since Marik teamed up with Dark Bakura, Dark Marik knew that Dark Bakura would use The Sun Dragon Ra against him, so Dark Marik just needed to pull a trap which stole all the ATK of all monsters Dark Bakura sacrificed to Tribute Summon Ra, resulting that Ra had 0 ATK. However, it was Dark Bakura who forced Dark Marik to draw Ra from his deck, so he could activate Exchange to get Ra from Dark Marik's hand. It was Dark Bakura who sacrificed Ra to Tribute Summon Dark Ruler Ha Des that had 2450 ATK while Ra had 3450 DEF and it was immune to most effects. Yes, Dark Bakura got rid of a Nigh Invulnerable Stone Wall for a monster with high ATK while he was summoning two other monsters with similar ATK anyway. And Dark Bakura's Exchange card allowed Dark Marik to get Dark Bakura's Monster Reborn, so he could Special Summon Ra from the graveyard, which wouldn't be there if Dark Bakura hadn't sacrificed it in the first place. That means Dark Bakura practically "helped" his opponent to defeat himself.
- He didn't know that Ra had the One-Turn Kill effect (and in the manga, never summoned it at all, just buried it from Dark Marik's hand). Though he certainly should have kept Ra on the field.
- Also when he dueled Dark Yugi in the anime's "replacement" for the manga's Monster World RPG arc during the anime's Duelist Kingdom arc (as a game of cards instead of a tabletop role-playing game). If he waited for Dark Yugi to play a fourth monster, Dark Bakura could have activated "Just Dessert" and he would have won.
- It Makes Sense in Context: Never massacre an entire village of peasants and melt their blood and bones into the Millennium Items. One of their survivors will end up merging their soul with an ancient Dragon Penis demon and become a cheat at Tabletop RPGs
- Japanese Pronouns: Often switches from the boastful "ore" to the even more boastful "ore-sama".
- Joker Immunity: Beat him in almost half-a-dozen duels, many of which are Shadow Games, throw the Millennium Ring away (in the anime). He always comes back undeterred.
- Kick the Dog: Trapping Yugi's friends inside of their R.P.G. figurines/favorite cards was totally irrelevant to his plan to take the Millennium Puzzle. Jerk.
- And then he goes and holds their corpses hostage while their souls were in the Memory World RPG (in the manga).
- In the manga, he didn't need to kill Ghost Kozuka in his search for needed Puzzle Cards (and Kozuka wasn't that much of a jerk in the manga, so the guy wasn't an Asshole Victim either).
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: In the anime he banishes Pegasus' goons to the Graveyard (don't try to explain this), steals Pegasus' Millennium Eye (and kills him in the manga/leaves him in a coma in the anime), and later kills Ghost Kozuka and his crew (Bonz and those other guys in the dub). Evil, yes? Unnecessary? Yes, especially Kozuka. Done to Asshole Victims? Absolutely.
- Killer Game Master: Both figuratively and literally.
- On the literal side, he's a murderer who claims his victims through Shadow Games.
- For the actual definition of the trope, Dark Bakura plays two Tabletop Role Playing Games with Dark Yugi, and tries to rig the game so he can win and kill them. However, he doesn't actually create Unwinnable by Design scenarios even though he could, he just makes the game very difficult to win. In the final arc, though Dark Bakura doubts he'll find out how to use it, he informs Dark Yugi of an Instant-Win Condition he's set for him, since otherwise "it wouldn't be fair".
- In comparison to the first RPG, he's much fairer during the second one. In the first RPG, he's not just intending for the players to lose, he's actually outright cheating and even goes as far as to invoke evil magic against them. Getting a natural 99 or cheating on their side traps all of the players in their figurines — and by the rules of the game, if their characters run out of HP or the figurines break, they're dead. The trouble for Dark Bakura starts when his good side (a much fairer DM) starts screwing with him... He actually avoids instantly killing the entire party, instead giving them a (.96)^3 chance of dying (which he considered merciful). While he has unfair advantages in the Shadow RPG, he doesn't use his magic to cheat (maybe there's Character Development to be had with him after all), he even gives Dark Yugi the ability to call an "Imperial Order", that Dark Yugi's able to use to interrupt Dark Bakura's turns - five times per game, more than the amount of special abilities Dark Bakura has as the Game Master. Still, Dark Bakura has the "Natural Catastrophe" Hourglass, which allows him to basically destroy the map at a fixed rate.
- King Of Tabletop RPGs: Like Yugi's darker alter-ego, Dark Yugi (the "King of Games" - the Trope Namer), he is proficient at all the games he has played, though unlike the Millennium Puzzle, the Millennium Ring has no particular title attached to the holder. However, like his host Ryo, he shows a specific specialty and particular interest in tabletop role-playing games, arguably his main Shadow Games of choice.
- This is lampshaded by Dark Yugi during their battle in the Battle City arc (in the manga):
Dark Yugi: "I never thought I'd fight you at cards."
: "H-Ha ha ha... I had a lot of fun playing Tabletop RPGs with you... even though it ended with my loss...
- Knight of Cerebus: In the original anime series and the manga he qualifies, due to being a whole new level of evil compared to the other enemies present.
- Lack of Empathy: Dark Bakura has none for anybody, no matter what the fangirls tell you. This extends even to his past self, Thief King Bakura, whom he cheerfully sacrifices as part of his game against Dark Yugi.
- Large Ham: Goes in and out of this in the manga. In the second anime: never never with his first seiyu, and always with his second.
- Larynx Dissonance: Both of his voice actors in the second series, You Inoue and Rica Matsumoto, were female. Averted in English, where he's voiced by Ted Lewis and in the Latin-American dub, where he's voiced by Yamil Atala and José Gilberto Vilchis.
- Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Essentially, the point of the Shadow RPG in the final arc. He recreates the battles of the Pharaoh Atem and his servants against Zorc and his minions, but stacks the game with insider knowledge the Pharaoh (Dark Yugi) doesn't remember and special Game Master powers so he can change the outcome of the battle. It's ambiguous between adaptations and translations though if he's actually rewriting history, or if its just the backdrop he chooses for the Shadow Game to revive Zorc.
- Manipulative Bastard: Especially in the manga, where he succeeds in faking a Heel-Face Turn.
- Mega Manning: In the Millennium World arc, his Ka, Diabound, steals the abilities of the other Ka it defeats.
- Me's a Crowd: Eventually during the final arc, there's Dark Bakura running the Shadow RPG, Thief King Bakura fighting Atem in the Shadow RPG, and Dark Bakura manifested in the Shadow RPG (in the anime, via Honda) to duel Yugi. And that's not getting into the fact that Dark Bakura is actually Zorc (in the anime at least), the very being the three are all working to release in the game or that the Dark Bakura overseeing the Shadow RPG is still controlling the body of Ryou Bakura.
- Metagaming: As it applies to role-playing games. During the Shadow RPG of the final arc, while Dark Yugi's characters were subject to paralysis for several rounds (due to Dark Bakura's Time Stop ability), Zorc Necrophades was about to launch its Zorc Inferno. Priest Seto being one of the characters in question that was within the target range of Zorc's ultimate AOE damage spell, Dark Yugi tries to convince Dark Bakura as a role-player to have High Priest of Darkness stop Zorc from attacking, because he's Seto's father. In a horrifying break from his previously-characterized obsession with the concept of players "becoming their characters" in his Tabletop RPGs, he calls Dark Yugi a fool for thinking that would work and says that he is in control of Zorc, launching his attack anyway before being blocked by Hassan (an NPC controlled by Shadi).
- Mysterious Past: We know jack about Dark Bakura's past, up until the final arc.
- Nightmare Fetishist: During the Battle City arc (and presumably in the couple of short Magic & Wizards duels within the Shadow RPG, which were based on memory), he uses his host's occult deck. In that arc, his signature card is Dark Necrofear, who was originally called Dark Necrophilia (ダーク・ネクロフィリア) in the original Weekly Shonen Jump print of the manga.
- Names to Know in Anime: Rica Matsumoto
- No Name Given: He's never given a proper name or lays claim to one, though he answers to Bakura enough, since that's the name of his host and no one knows what else to call him. Even his true identity, a fusion of Thief King Bakura and Zorc, doesn't definitively assign him a name.
- Non-Player Character: The part of his soul that he used to invade the Millennium Puzzle during the Dragons Dice & Dungeons arc - his Shadow - follows Yugi/friends and Bobasa into the Memory World and becomes an NPC in the Shadow RPG.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Has shades of this towards Yugi, since Yugi's the chosen one for the Millennium Puzzle and thus won't allow other villains to kill him/take it until his plans are met. This is most prominent in the anime when he frees Bandit Keith from Marik's mind control.
"Whoever is an enemy of Yugi Mutou is an enemy of mine."
- One-Winged Angel: (In the anime only) Transforms into Zorc at the end of the Millennium World arc.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Dark Bakura, or Spirit of the Millennium Ring.
- Only One Name: In some depictions, it's apparently canon that his own name happens to be Bakura as well, and was in Ancient Egypt.
- Our Souls Are Different: He and Ryo Bakura are two distinct entities inhabiting the same body.
- Overarching Villain: He's been working on his scheme the entire series, made apparent in the DDD arc of the manga, laying a series long plan that comes to fruition later on. It just happens that in the meantime, Pegasus, Marik, and Dark Marik (and Noah, Dartz, and Ziegfried) are more pressing threats. His manga only Monster World RPG was a warm-up for the final battle (the anime only Duel Monsters battle doesn't count).
- Reincarnation: Although his version is more complicated...
- The Sociopath: Dark Bakura hits all of the requirements.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: As played by You Inoue. Ted Lewis also does this for much of the dub.
- Soul Jar: The Millennium Ring is Thief King Bakura's soul jar; the Thief King himself is Zorc's. He's been shown to trap the souls of those he challenges into R.P.G. figurines, and in the anime, in their favorite cards.
- His Millennium Ring allows him to seal a portion of his soul inside any object. He uses this to create his special 2d10 percentile dice that always rolled critical hits and also putting a portion of soul within one of Millennium Puzzle's pieces (essentially invading its labyrinth).
- Stepford Smiler: Type C. Crossed with Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and Hyde Plays Jekyll (he's an Axe Crazy ancient spirit impersonating a Nice Guy who happens to be a member of The Hero's circle of friends).
- Superpowered Evil Side: To Bakura. Ultimately revealed to be the Bigger Bad, Zorc, merged with the Big Bad, Thief King Bakura.
- Taking the Bullet: At the end of his duel against Yugi in Battle City, he decides to take Osiris' attack instead of letting it strike his host (because, as demonstrated early on in the manga with Dark Yugi and the regular Yugi, if Dark Bakura's host dies, then he dies with him).
- This Cannot Be!: In the Memory World, when the shard of his soul is defeated by Yugi (as opposed to Dark Yugi), he has a remarkably restrained version of this, complaining that he never thought he'd "lose to a mere vessel".
- Time Master: Two of Dark Bakura's special Hourglass items allow him to use Zorc's time manipulation abilities in the Shadow RPG, but each of them can only be used once.
- Token Evil Teammate: In the manga, he's almost considered part of the main gang, occasionally and openly helping them, and a couple of times he shows up then willingly gives Ryo back control of his body. He rarely has shades of this in the anime, where he's permanently in-control and impersonating Ryo, and the gang have no idea that the spirit of the Millennium Ring is controlling him.
- Unreliable Narrator: For the Shadow RPG, which supposedly recreates the events of the original battle between him and the Pharaoh. He claims they're recreated, but he's definitely changing things as he goes along, and in the manga, he mentions his own memory of the events is cloudy, so it's hard to say how much of anything shown in the story arc is what actually happened.
- Villain Team-Up: With the normal Marik until Marik's Heel-Face Turn.
- White Hair, Black Heart: He has white hair and is evil enough to count.
- Xanatos Gambit: His plans often involve foregoing the direct path to victory, yet he emerges as the final threat to Dark Yugi in the Memory World RPG. His first plan to gather the Millennium Items himself fails; it's Yugi who gathers most of them, but they're all together so Dark Bakura can still put his plan for them into motion, thanks to an earlier contingency where he placed a piece of his spirit inside of the Millennium Puzzle.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: There is no plan from the start; he takes advantage of opportunities as they appear. For instance, he exploits Pegasus's exhaustion to take his Millenium Eye and when Ryuji Otogi & his vengeful father (in the anime, a mind-controlled Bandit Keith) steals the Millennium Puzzle and then the latter breaks the Millenium Puzzle, he uses the opportunity to put a piece of himself inside for the Millenium World arc.
- Your Soul Is Mine: His earlier Penalty Games often involved trapping souls inside of RPG pieces, and in the anime only, apparently he's able to put people inside their favorite cards (though it doesn't work as well on those with Millennium Items).
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Dark Bakura sacrifices the Thief King to resurrect Zorc. That's right—he pulls this on himself.