Characters: Yu-Gi-Oh! Main Characters
The main cast of the anime and manga series Yu-Gi-Oh!
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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. In the beginning, he is basically that kid you knew who sat in the back of the class and got beat up every day. 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 for them to an even bigger bully (and, of course
, getting the crap kicked out of him. And not implicitly.
) And then
he completed the Millennium Puzzle, releasing his "other self"
and entering into a giant mess involving life-threatening games, thousand-year-old spirits, cursed artifacts, lots
of ancient Egypt, and, you guessed it, getting the crap kicked out of him. Repeatedly. 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 mostly uses the same deck as the pharaoh; 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 duel were older cards the pharaoh no longer used, such as Summoned Skull and Swords of Revealing Light.
- Badass Normal: Manages to defeat Marik (who was controlling Keith), the Spirit of the Millenium Ring, and Yami, without using the power of the Millenium Puzzle or the God Cards.
- Bash Brothers: With Dark Yugi and Jonouchi/Joey. He and Kaiba can almost pull it off.
- Chick Magnet: Téa is his primary Love Interest, Rebecca declares him her boyfriend, and some one-off duelist from the second to last season 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.
- Covert Pervert: 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Hero: As the anime title implies, he is the main character.
- 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: "The Seal only needs one of us!"
- Invisible Parents: His parents are around, but his mother only makes one 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 Yami.
- Last Episode New Character: His 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.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Earlier on, when he and the Other Yugi are still extremely dependent on each other, Dark Yugi can really only "sense" the difference between right and wrong when he's with Yugi. So when the Orichalcos arc rolls around and Yugi's gone for a while...
- Meaningful Name: Yugi means "game".
- Mental Fusion: Like the above trope; in the 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 Yami, 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.
- Nice Guy: His defining trait is his kind and friendly disposition.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: His completing of the Millennium Puzzle springs several villainous plots into motion.
- Older Alter Ego: As in 3000 years older, but he looks like what Yugi would be like if he actually looked his age.
- Older than They Look: Would you believe that someone of his height and behavior was really a high-school student?
- 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.
- Purple Eyes
- Reincarnation: Explicitly stated to be the Pharaoh's reincarnation in the dub. It's somewhat vaguer in the original, where the most that's elaborated on is that he's the chosen vessel.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Jounouchi's Manly Man.
- School Uniforms are the New Black: His Limited Wardrobe seems to consist of a gothed-up school uniform.
- 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 Yami 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 an 3000-year-old pharaoh living inside him, rather than just a dark "other" personality.
- Ship Tease: With Yami, and Anzu.
- Shrinking Violet: Used to be one, but The Power of Friendship helped him get better.
- Soul Jar: He and the Millenium Puzzle are this for Dark Yugi.
- The Strategist: He's the Yugi that comes up with the pair's master strategies. 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.
- Talking to Himself: Yugi and Dark Yugi are usually voiced by the same actors. Averted in the Spanish, German, and Tagalog dubs.
- Tareme Eyes: One of the subtle visual differences between him and Dark Yugi, who has tsurime.
- Verbal Tic: A subtle one, and manga-only; "Yep!".
- Weak, but Skilled: In both physical terms and in that his cards are at times weaker than his opponents, particularly Kaiba. Nonetheless, he wins through strategy. Nowhere is this more evident than the Ceremonial Duel against the Pharaoh and his Egyptian gods.
- World's Best Warrior: Even by the time of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, Yugi is considered the greatest duelist ever.
- Younger than They Look: Yugi is meek, incredibly short, and fifteen years old.
Dark Yugi (Yami)
Dark Yugi (闇遊戯; yami yuugi) (Yami)
Pharaoh Atem (アテム; atemu)
"He once set a bunch of guys on fire. Why? I can't remember. It was probably because he was cold or something.
— A review of Yu-Gi-Oh! on this very wikito
"Not only will I defeat you, I'll free you from the darkness that controls you!
Yugi's (not so) evil alter ego, and the soul of an Egyptian pharaoh, who appeared after Yugi completed the Millennium Puzzle. He is also an expert at games. In the beginning, he appears every so often to help his other half whenever trouble arises by possessing him - usually with high-stakes gaming. 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 uses a deck originally put together by Yugi's grandfather, which has no particular theme to it, but prominently features all three Dark Magicians and their support cards.
- The Ace: He's introduced as the stronger counterpart to Yugi, being essentially invincible at every game he plays.
- Broken Ace: However, he also has his share of issues, which mainly have to do with his pride and inner darkness.
- Adaptational Heroism: The second series anime cuts out his Penalty Games (save for Mind Crush) and ruthlessness from the first seven volumes of the manga, making him more heroic from the get-go.
- Amnesiac Hero/Identity Amnesia: Thanks to having been sealed in the Puzzle for three thousand years (five thousand in the dub), he has no memory of his past or his own name. This becomes a major plot point in the Millennium World arc, where finding his true name is key to defeating Yami Bakura/Zorc Necrophades.
- Anti-Hero: Started as a Unscrupulous Hero, but moved up to more of a straighter version at the end of the series.
- Ax-Crazy: If you make him mad enough...
- Badass: Most likely the biggest one in the series.
- Badass Baritone: He has a deeper and more confident voice than Yugi, particularly in the English dub.
- Badass Boast: When blocking the Winged Dragon of Ra's attack on Joey and Mai, he has this to say when Dark Marik mentions being able to destroy the Pharaoh earlier than he expected:
Yami Yugi: "Not quite. Your dark shadow powers will never be able to penetrate ME. I will shield everyone from your evil!"
- This line was even more badass in the manga:
"Marik... your hatred and anger... I'll take it all on my back! But I swear I'll send you back to the darkness!"
- Badass Cape: Though not exactly a cape, his coat functions as one in the Battle City arc, anyways.
- Bash Brothers: With Yugi and Jounouchi/Joey.
- Berserk Button: Do not threaten Yugi in his presence. He will flip his shit. In fact, don't even joke about something like killing Yugi.
- Do not pick a fight with any of his friends in general. At least with his manga counterpart, you will either be subject to Mind Rape or a horrible death through one of his Penalty Games, or at the very least you'll be horribly humiliated post-Duelist Kingdom/Dungeon Dice Monsters.
- Don't even consider mocking his rival in front of him either. Certainly don't try and impersonate him. He's very testy about that.
- Black Magic: The Dark Magician.
- But Now I Must Go
- Casting a Shadow: Relies primarily on the Dark Magician and related cards, and his other monsters are Black Knights like Gaia and Buster Blader, or demons like Summoned Skull.
- Celibate Hero: Implied. Unlike Yugi, he never shows any romantic interest in girls, and there's no indication that he actually reciprocates Anzu's feelings for him. It also seems that, according to the Millenium World arc, he never took a wife when he was the Pharaoh.
- Character Development: From a borderline sociopath who has no problems using his dark powers to punish anyone who slights him and mostly just cares about helping Yugi, letting his crippling sense of pride and disdain for "cowardice" endanger the well-being of others (refusing to play the defensive during his first Shadow Game with Pegasus and paying for it, almost letting Kaiba die just so he could win, etc.), to a dark and mysterious but still noble and selfless hero. Downplayed in the dub and anime, but played to its full potential in the main manga canon - with the help of his precious "other self."
- Coat Cape: Does this a lot during the anime version of Battle City - see Badass Cape above.
- Coat Over the Shoulder: A few episodes during Battle City.
- The Coats Are Off: In the manga, before dueling some of his really dangerous opponents such as Pegasus or Dark Marik he ditches his coat. Oddly enough, the anime averts this by having him wear it most of the time.
- Cooldown Hug: Received one during the Doma filler arc. Well, it was more like a "cooldown physical restraint", but it worked out the same.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Has a dark appearance, and generally uses Dark-Attribute Monsters(Dark Magician being the most prominent example).
- Deadpan Snarker: More so in the dub. It's amazing how quickly "Yami" can shift from rigid-hero mode to Kaiba-level sarcasm.
- Determinator: Because nothing gets in his way.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness In season 0 when he first appears.
- He also gets these when he thought Weevil killed Yugi.
- Evil Laugh: Especially earlier on.
- Fake Ultimate Hero: In the anime dub, normal Yugi's voice is used to dub over Yami Yugi's thoughts during duels, giving the impression that it's Yugi who figures out a majority of their strategies while Yami Yugi is the one that executes them.
- Fatal Flaw:
- His Pride — he feels he has to win at all costs, even if he has to do amoral things and if the contest in question has nothing of value at stake. This leads to him playing the Seal of Orichalcos against Rafael even though nothing would have happened if he lost before that, and he almost resorts to killing Kaiba during their rematch in Duelist Kingdom.
- Admittedly somewhat justified. Considering the stakes and the events that both Yugi and Yami Yugi go through, it's not surprising.
- He also invokes this with about every game he plays, even the non-Duel Monsters ones — he figures out his opponent's weaknesses and makes them their downfall, and may invoke Hoist By Their Own Petard in the process. Notable examples from the anime include turning Marik's Osiris draw combo into an infinite loop to win by deck out, exploiting his knowledge of Kaiba's ego at Battle City to figure out what cards he was going to use and turning them back on him, and in his game of Dungeons Dice Monsters using the Warp Vortex Duke created to warp his monsters around the board to warp his own monster right in front of Duke. The manga and first season anime give many more examples unrelated to Duel Monsters, such as tricking a gun-toting criminal into a stalemate by arranging for him to be lit on fire from his own lighter and alcoholic drink if he fires the gun.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric
- Fun Size: In the manga, he remains the same size as Yugi. But also like Yugi, he gets noticeably taller as the manga progresses. He gets a growth spurt whenever he takes over in the anime, for some reason.
- Guile Hero: In contrast to Jonouchi's reliance on luck and Kaiba's reliance on power, Dark Yugi balances aspects of The Trickster and the Manipulative Bastard, relying on impromptu but effective strategies to outwit opponents and pull out combos they weren't expecting, and many of his key cards disable the opponent's cards or let him turn their cards against them. For example, in his duel with Kaiba in Battle City where he removes Obelisk from Kaiba's hand with Lightforce Sword to keep him from summoning it, and eventually calls out Dark Paladin, the monster that wins the duel for him, by using Double Spell to copy the effects of Kaiba's magic cards for himself.
- He Who Fights Monsters: In one particular duel, he steals, and uses, the Seal of Orichalchos, and is quickly brainwashed by it. Then all the monsters he sacrificed turn against him.
- Heroic BSOD: He gets one during the Doma arc after Yugi sacrifices himself to save him from the Orichalcos seal.
- He also gets one during the Battle City finals, after Jonouchi nearly dies.
- I Did What I Had to Do: While not super EVIL, Dark Yugi is more ruthless than his milder counterpart, Yugi. And Yugi does not like it when he finds out.
- I Have Many Names: Thank goodness the Pharaoh actually has a true name.
- Game King, Dark Yugi, Other Me, Other Yugi, NAMELESS Pharaoh, etc. etc. The dub adds in Yami to the mix.
- Invincible Hero: You can literally count his losses on one hand, and even among those defeats, less than half are legitimate.
- In the manga, he never loses a game. NOT EVEN ONCE. Until Yugi succeeds in defeating him, anyway.
- Kill It with Fire: He's set six people on fire (five directly, one indirectly). In the manga, anyway.
- The Kirk: Shares this with Yugi.
- Knight Templar: Someone threatens your Heterosexual Life Partner? Drive them insane! Someone forces said Heterosexual Life Partner to go to a bad concert? Drive him insane, too! Punks beat up a little kid? Set them all on fire! Someone steals your friend's sneakers? Poison him, dammit!
- Light 'em Up: His poker knights and Watapon.
- Magic Versus Science: The Magic to Kaiba's Science.
- Mental Fusion: Yugi and he seem to have this when dueling.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When he loses Yugi's soul in a filler arc.
- Mysterious Protector: Before his identity is revealed in the early manga.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In a Breather Episode in the manga, Jonouchi goes on a game show where he'll be able to win enough money to get himself and his dad out of their financial woes. When Yugi learns that the corrupt station manager has rigged the final game so that Jonouchi will lose, Yami Yugi challenges him to a Yami no Game and defeats the manager, which allows his friend to win. However, because of the Penalty Game he's put through, the manager goes live on TV, makes an ass of himself, and exposes all the sleazy things he's done in the past. As a result the station goes bankrupt, which means the check Jonouchi received with his winnings has become completely worthless since it can't be cashed now. Whoops.
- No Kill Like Overkill: PENALTY GAME! The consequences for losing his Shadow Games range from blinding illusions to immolation. Then there's what he did to Inspector Haga during their rematch in season 4. In that case though, Haga was really asking for it.
- Quest for Identity: Literally. As in he doesn't know his name.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After the victory of going up against Seto on the Battle City Tower, he explains precisely where Kaiba went wrong.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Though his actual eyes are purple, during his duel with Marik, when he ordered Obelisk to attack, lightning flashed so only the silhouette of the Pharaoh with glowing red eyes (then fading to Obelisk) was visible. His eyes also appear red normally in some other depictions.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Kaiba's blue. (One of two).
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Initially. He mellows out.
- Well, he wasn't exactly evil. An appropriate way to describe him would probably be Sealed Batman In A Can.
- Shipper on Deck: Doesn't mind Yugi getting along with Anzu...
- Ship Tease: With Anzu and Yugi.
- Smug Super: Not as obvious as Kaiba, but he does have a great deal of confidence, which gets him into trouble at two crucial points.
- Sociopathic Hero: Before Character Development sets in, anyway. In early chapters of the manga, Dark Yugi was more than willing to kill people or sadistically Mind Rape them in the name of justice. Even if it's for something as simple as being an asshole.
- Spiky Hair: Another subtle difference between him and normal Yugi is that his hair is even spikier.
- Tsurime Eyes: His eyes are sharper and more pointed than Yugi's.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Becomes this for a bit in the Doma saga after he loses Yugi - especially during his duel with Haga. Oh, silly Haga, didn't you know that pretending to destroy the soul of a highly protective and emotionally unstable (and once-Axe Crazy) ancient spirit's partner was just asking for a one-way ticket down extreme-pain-and-death lane?
Katsuya Jounouchi (城之内 克也; jounouchi katsuya) (Joey Wheeler)
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. Jounouchi is an underdog duelist who begins as a nobody and ends up becoming one of the best duelists in the world, though no one outside the main protagonists will admit it. Hot-headed and comical, Jounouchi's evolution from inexperienced newbie to a world-class duelist carries throughout the run of the series.
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 is the Flame Swordsman, who frequently gets him out of tight situations.
- Abusive Parents: Specifically his alcoholic dad.
- Anti-Hero: Type II
- Badass Normal: He doesn't have a Millennium Item, any super-powerful cards, or access to money or resources. He still beats some of the best duelists in the world and becomes a champion player in his own right, capable of threatening even the likes of Yugi and Kaiba.
- 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: Joey's a bad student, largely because school just isn't designed for him.
- Born Lucky: One of the main themes of his 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.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Marik does this to him at one point.
- Burning with Anger
- Cheaters Never Prosper: Notably, most of his opponents (Mai, Keith, Espa Roba, Weevil, Johnson) cheat by various methods. He outsmarts and beats them despite this.
- Cloud Cuckoolander
- 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, and even (until his Heel-Face Turn) Tristan/Honda.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Joey'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 Odion instead of him, so he gets to duel Dark Marik. He does even worse than their duel in the 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 an Egyptian 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 Jonouchi/Joey.) In the anime, this position is taken by Kaiba, but Joey 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 duel 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 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 Joey as little more than Yugi's sidekick. Kaiba is a particularly nasty source of this. Though Kaiba does that to most people (just Joey 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.
- 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.
- Foreshadowing: At the beginning of the Bonz two parter, he has a nightmare about being in a dog costume (with Kaiba tormenting him). Now fast forward to the Dungeon Dice Monsters four partner, pictures here and here, Joey is forced to wear a dog costume.
- 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 show 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 Yami in the Doma 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 duel with Dark Marik during Battle City and successive duels between Valon and Mai saw him go through this, as thanks to the effects of the Shadowgame 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: Joey will charge into situations without a second's thought, especially if someone he cares about is threatened.
- Idiot Hero
- 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
- My Sister Is Off Limits: Type four, or maybe type five with Jonouchi and his sister, Shizuka. This mostly affects Jonouchi's best friend, Honda, who is nuts about Shizuka (even though Shizuka herself just sees herself as Honda's friend).
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: The roguish to Honda's noble.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: At the very end of the Battle City arc he and Yami 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, hence why he has his Red Eyes Black Dragon again beginning in the Doma arc.
- Power Armor: Uses his "Aura Armor" against Valon.
- Primal Fear: Of ghosts. He has to overcome this when being forced to duel with Bonz. Comes back when Bakura cheerfully tells him about his Occult deck, and Joey's first reaction is to crap himself and hope he doesn't 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.
- Self-Made Man: An ordinary high-school student who worked his way up to professional 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. 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, Joey 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 Jonouchi in a swimming class, so maybe thanks to that he learned to hold his breath better.
- Technically a Smile: 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 show, Joey 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 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 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 (真崎 杏子; mazaki anzu) (Téa Gardner)
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.
On the rare occasions she duels, she uses a rather cutesy deck. Her favorite card is Magician of Faith.
- Action Girl: Downplayed. She doesn't duel that much in the whole series, but it's noteworthy that she's won all three duels she has participated in (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 Dark Magician Girl.
- Dark Action Girl: One of the few times Marik controlled Anzu's body, he used her to kick Yami 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 Yami Yugi's dark and mysterious but heroic personally.
- Armor-Piercing Slap/No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: She punches Jonounchi, 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 duel professionally or possess any kind of magic like many of the other characters, but she can keep up with them just as well.
- 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 Yami Marik was defeated. Poor girl doesn't even know it.
- Played for laughs in the Abridged, Crump wins and gets Anzu's body, at least until Marik kicks him out.
- The Chick
- 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, and she won't glare at you.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Emphasis on the cold, during her duel with Crump, everytime 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.
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: In response to Jonouchi and Honda's antics.
- Depending on the Artist: 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.
- 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 Jonouchi have even show signs that they are somewhat attracted to her. They lifted her skirt once with a ruler, and in season 0, the guys take notice of how well shaped her body is.
- Weevil used to have a crush on her.
- 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 duing Duelist Kingdom.
- Evil Laugh: You can thank Marik for that.
- Bare Your Midriff: Several of her outfits.
- 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 dancing while wearing very tight, very short pink shorts, long black stockings, and a tube top. 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 sexy body, then showing Yugi blushing and nervous.
- 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.
- Zettai Ryouiki: At least two of her outfits have the shorts + socks version.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic
- Girl Next Door: In the love triangle between her, Yugi, and Rebecca.
- Improbable Weapon User: In the manga, she uses a globe to knock out several of a Shadi-possessed Professor Yoshimori's teeth, saving Jounouchi from being strangled to death by him.
- Informed Flaw: 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 Joey. The 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: She was able to defeat one of the Big Five by herself, with a bit of help from Dark Magician Girl.
- Light 'em Up: When she does get a chance to duel 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
- Ludicrous Precision: In the Virtual World 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 Ryou Bakura.
- Only Sane Girl
- Out-of-Character Moment: In the mentioned water park visit, she's begun to develop a crush on Yami Yugi and deliberately puts herself in danger to get him to appear.
- 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, Tea's speeches tends to be more about never giving up, always have hope, have the courage to try even if you might fail, etc.
- Reincarnation: In Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories, her incarnation was known as Teana.
- Rescue Romance: With Yugi and Yami Yugi.
- 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.
- Implied to have been a resting place for Yami Bakura after he lost his duel to Yami Yugi. Anzu (though being controlled by Marik) was seen holding the Millennium Ring while it was glowing.
- Team Mom
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: The tall to both Yugi and Yami Yugi's tiny guy.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Shizuka's Girly Girl.
- Also, for a more extreme example, in Season Zero, she was the Tomboy to Miho Nosaka's Girly Girl.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Clearly shown with her usual deck of cutesy fairy monsters.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Emphasis on the friend part to Jonouchi, Honda, and Ryou. Romantic wise, just to Yugi.
- Whenever Yugi was being picked on by bullies, it was Anzu who scared them off, or dealt with them.
Hiroto Honda (本田 廣戸; honda hiroto) (Tristan Taylor)
Voiced by: Ryōtarō Okiayu
(Japanese Toei anime), Takayuki Kondo
(Duel Monsters Episodes 1-52), Hidehiro Kikuchi (Episode 53+), Sam Riegel
(English Episodes 1-10), Frank Frankson (Episode 10+)
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.
The one time he duels, he mostly uses cards with a machine or military theme. His favorite card is Cyber Commander.
- 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: 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, he also proves to be an awesome marksman.
- He's no great shakes as 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 Ryou Bakura for catching Miho's attention so quickly.
- 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 Jounouchi 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 Nesbitt of the Big 5, and the second time is when he gets possessed by Bakura. Everyone else is either possessed once or not at all.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Slightly, to Shizuka.
- 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 times things get physical, Honda is the one who suddenly has to deal with it.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: The noble to Jounouchi's roguish.
- Ship Tease: With Shizuka, Jonouchi, and Otogi (especially in the Abridged series and in the anime).
- The Other Darrin: His dub voice changed — for the better — in episode 11. Though many are grateful to his original dub voice, since it made "Tristan" who he is in Abridged.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Jonouchi's Red, a bit moreso in the manga then in the anime.
- Thanks for the Mammary/Funbag Airbag: Robo-Monkey!Honda does this to Shizuka in the Virtual World when he reunites after getting separated from the group.
- Those Two Guys: With 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 Jonouchi's chops.
Seto Kaiba (海馬 瀬人; kaiba seto)
Yugi's archrival, who was undefeated at Duel Monsters until Yugi summoned Exodia to defeat him. Since then, he's been attempting to reclaim his title and challenge Yugi again. Initially a Faux Affably Evil Smug Snake
before Character Development
changed him into a Smug Super jerkass Breakout Character
with much more involvement with the plot. Barring that he frequently contends with people who have a grudge against Kaiba Corporation, usually due to the fact it was a weapons company under his father's ownership and thus he inherited a lot of blame when he took over, and which take up the majority of two Filler Arc
sagas and is a vital subplot of a third. He is the reincarnation of Seto, one of the Six Priests who protected the Pharaoh Atem, Yugi's past life, and his monster Blue Eyes, is the reincarnation of his lover, Kisara
He uses a Power deck which focuses on summoning the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, of which he has the only three intact copies in existence. He's also fond of Deck Destruction and removing cards from play.
- Abusive Parents: Knight Templar Parent is about the nicest thing that could be said about Gozaburo.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the second anime. He's still acerbic and (early on) thuggish enough to abduct an old man over a trading card, but his outright murderous behavior is skipped over. He doesn't believe in stealing to get ahead in life, as is evident when he goes up against Zigfried.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the Toei anime, he had green hair and light brown/gold eyes. This was corrected in the second anime and the Toei movie, however.
- Agent Scully: More prevalent in the dub, where his insisting that everything supernatural around them is some sort of trickery comes across as him trying to convince himself. In the original, Kaiba didn't disbelieve in magic, in fact his Dark Game with Yami Yugi was his inspiration to develop his virtual projectors. He just didn't have much interest in the magical chaos occuring around him because most of the time it wasn't his problem.
- In the manga this is subverted but then played straight in Battle City. At one point Kaiba even shouts, "There's no such thing as magic or the occult!"
- All-Powerful Bystander/Bystander Syndrome: During Battle City.
- Aloof Big Brother
- Anti-Villain: Type I
- Type IV during Duelist Kingdom. He may have still been a jerk, but any truly villainous traits in him were gone thanks to being Mind Crushed.
- Arrogant Duelist Guy
- Authority Equals Asskicking
- Badass: Just as much as Yami Yugi.
- Berserk Button: Don't threaten Mokuba, don't destroy or take control of his Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and don't defeat Yugi before he can.
- Big Bad: Of the Death-T arc in the manga and Toei anime.
- Big Brother Instinct: He will do anything to save his little brother.
- Bigger Stick: His deck is chock full of them, giving him a pretty one-sided advantage. See also: Power Equals Rarity.
- Bilingual Bonus/Stealth Pun: Kai and bar are Japanese for sea and horse respectively; in Japanese mythology, seahorses are considered be to larval dragons, and Kaiba does have a dragon fetish.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He was this in the manga and his debut episode in the Toei anime. The second anime, he doesn't even try acting nice to get what he wants; he demands it.
- Brainy Brunette: Seeing as he came up with the Solid Vision system, this is an obvious one.
- Breakout Character: Originally only meant to be a one-shot antagonist. My, how far we've come.
- Especially in the anime, which included two filler arcs where the villains were his enemies instead of Yugi's, and included him in the Memory World arc when in the manga he departed after Battle City and had no part in the Memory World.
- Broken Ace: Type II. Rich, famous, successful, and none of it is good enough for him because he's overshadowed by Yugi, is still haunted by the memory of Gozaburo, and is full of hatred for the both of them.
- The Chessmaster: Mostly during his time as a Big Bad, but it's still there.
- Cain and Abel: The Abel to Noah's Cain.
- Catch Phrase: "Kudaran!" ("Nonsense!")
- Character Exaggeration: The dub takes Kaiba's rivalry with Yugi and contempt for Jounouchi and turns them up to 11. In the japanese version Kaiba makes it clear that he respects Yugi as a talented duelist and Worthy Opponent, while his dub counterpart is much more psychotically obsessed with defeating Yugi no matter the cost, and his insults towards Joey are much harsher and crueler than his japanese counterpart. The dub also makes him a Flat Earth Atheist completely in denial of all the magical phenomena going on around him, no matter how obviously real it is. Japanese Kaiba doesn;t deny the magic, he just doesn't care.
- Characterization Marches On: Before he was the Smug Super Jerk Ass we all know, he used to be Faux Affably Evil, even more so during the Death-T saga. He obtained all of his Blue Eyes White Dragon cards through blackmail (possibly involving their owners committing suicide) and subjected Sugoroku (Solomon in the dub) to realistic holograms which almost led to a heart attack. Along with his all-me personality, he was willing to kill his Yugi and his friends (and a baby) with his amusement park of death involving trained killing professionals and a known axe murderer, all because Yugi beat him in a card game and gave him a karmic Game Penalty, and was willing to give a Penalty Game to Mokuba for losing to Yugi. He gets better after his Mind Crush, though, to the point where he was disgusted by Marik's methods of having Yugi and Jonouchi duel to the death and threatening to make Anzu ingest a cyanide pill during Battle City, even though he used to be just as bad, and arguably worse.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has quite a few moments, including some in the dub that border on Lampshade Hanging.
- Death by Adaptation: In The Sacred Cards video game, he duels Marik in the semi-finals of Battle City while Yugi duels the player. Marik is the Big Bad so it goes as well as you'd expect.
- Demonic Possession/Grand Theft Me: Priest Seto gets possessed by Aknadin-Possessed-Zorc.
- Determinator: Because trading card games are serious business. (Rescuing your little brother is also serious business.)
- Deuteragonist: In the anime, where he gets a lot more screentime, his relationship with Yugi & Yami is expanded upon, and he journeys to the Memory World alongside the rest of the cast, ultimately helping to save the world. And that's without getting into the fact that the villains of the "Virtual Nightmare" and "Kaiba Corp Grand Prix" arcs, and the Evil Genius from the "Waking the Dragons" arc, are his enemies, rather than Yugi's. Put all these factors together, and he's easily the second most important character in the anime. He even takes out the Big Bads of the "Virtual Nightmare" and "Grand Prix" arcs.
- Dramatic Wind: His white trenchcoat is always flaring out behind him, even when he's just walking down the hall. His other coats flare too, but not nearly as much so it's more believable.
- Easily Forgiven: Not as much in the second anime, but is jarring to see him and his brother suddenly turn a leaf after failing to kill them in the Death-T arc, from poisoned foods to unleashing killers and assassins on them.
- Heavily averted in Jonouchi/Joey's case, as he makes it clear how much he despises him for his actions during the arc. When Pegasus defeats Kaiba and traps his soul in a card, Joey personally voices his opinion that he got what he deserved.
- Enemy Mine/You Owe Me: Most of the time when he directly teams up with the main cast, it's because they share a mutual enemy, or they've helped Kaiba in some manner (such as saving Mokuba) and he feels he has to repay the favor.
- Debt Detester: It bothers him. He'd like to get back to having as little as possible to do with Yugi and his friends.
- Enfante Terrible: In the backstory. He's not as bad as Noah, but he still bordered on creepy.
- Even Jerkasses Have Loved Ones: Even in his moments of biggest Jerkassery, Kaiba still cares deeply for his brother Mokuba and would never do anything to hurt him.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He's perfectly okay with endangering infants, allowing a homicidal maniac trying to kill the main characters out of revenge, and attacking innocent people, but when other people do something similar or worse, he feels compelled to stop them.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: He's a bit sick with his jokes, but a few aren't as bad.
- No Sense of Humor: He's generally a serious person and doesn't crack jokes like Joey does.
- Evil Laugh: Despite being a reserved individual, he tends to indulge in this when he bests an opponent. Mind you, he isn't exactly "evil", but the principle still stands.
- Fatal Flaw: His obsession for technology. That, and his hostile attitude.
- Fiction 500: In the dub especially. In both versions of the anime, he casually writes check for $500,000 to pay for a new car, telling the dealer to keep the change as he drives off.
- Flat Earth Atheist: Very much so in the American dub version, but not nearly as bad in the manga and the Japanese anime, where he wasn't disbelieving of the magical events occuring around him as much as he was disinterested and unconcerned about them.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic
- Freudian Excuse: Adopted by an abusive father. Lost everything but his brother in unknown circumstances before that.
- Friend to All Children: Shockingly. Moukba explains the reason Seto works so hard for KaibaCorp is to acheive his dream of a Kaiba Land to bring happiness to children. N'aww.
- Gone Horribly Right: Gozaburo wanted Kaiba to be as ruthless as him, and view everyone as a possible threat. You have to wonder how he saw that working out, although he probably didn't expect Kaiba to oust him before leaving high school.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Very much so. After that first defeat, he doesn't stop at anything to get his title back from Yugi.
- Griefer: Has one of these moments during the Battle City semi-final 4-way match. See Refuge in Audacity.
- Grumpy Bear: Initially a Faux Affably Evil Stepford Smiler and sadistic to boot, but after development, he is normally the least gleeful of the main cast.
- Guile Hero: Though not nearly as much as Yami Yugi, he has his moments, particularly in their duel against Lumis and Umbra when he gets them to begin fighting with one another.
- Heel-Face Turn: Sort of. He stops being evil and regularly helps the heroes. However, he never stops being a gigantic jackass.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Buried deep in the first half of the manga, where he almost comes across as evil as Yami Marik or Bakura due to his abuse under Gozaburo. After this, he only acts kind to Mokuba.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Despite jokes thanks to the Abridged Series, and in contrast to his adoptive father.
- Icy Blue Eyes
- Image Song: From the Pyramid of Light soundtrack, You're Not Me.
- Improbable Weapon User: Keeps the hammer from dropping on a gun with a Duel Monsters card in the manga, throws them at people to disable them in the anime.
- Ineffectual Loner: Because who needs friends when you're Seto Kaiba?
"Friendship is for fools! Didn't I tell you I duel alone? Depending on others is for the weak, Yugi! My future is in my own two hands! So keep your friendships to yourself! I'm not interested in having any pals to slow me down!"
- Informed Ability: In the manga. Despite claiming to be an expert at all games, we only ever see Kaiba play Duel Monsters and chess. The only thing that tells us of his prowess at gaming is his high scores on every arcade machine at the Domino Arcade.
- Insufferable Genius
- I Shall Taunt You: Comes across as a Badass Boast.
- It's All About Me: Because it's all about Seto Kaiba.
- Jerkass: Initially worse, but now is just hard to get along with since he has a major Smug Super complex.
- Jerk Jock: Basically has this attitude towards dueling. You either prove yourself a Worthy Opponent for him, or you're a pathetic scrub who doesn't even deserve the two minutes of his time it would take for him to beat you.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Up to the Virtual World Arc, was dropped in the Battle City Finals Arc, and then returns to this in the Waking the Dragon Ark and onwards. As viciously hostile as Kaiba is to the other heroes, when push comes to shove, he'll help them out (most of the time). Just don't expect him to be buddy-buddy with them any time before, during or after the fact.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Mostly during the Battle City Finals Arc. He was prepared to Rage Quit the tournament and blow up the island with everyone else still on it (well, he was leaving the airship for them, but still), but Mokuba and Ishizu convinced him to put aside his petty grudge with Yugi and help him defeat Marik.
- Kick the Dog: Does this a few times. Usually to Joey. Made funnier by all those times he's been in a dog suit... (Joey, not Kaiba.)
- Large and in Charge: He was actually made taller beyond his initial manga appearance to reflect the rest of his character.
- Leet Haxor Skillz: As shown when he broke into Pegasus' database.
- Light 'em Up: His main cards, namely the Blue-Eyes and XYZ cards, are Light attribute.
- Magic Versus Science: The Technology to Yugi's Magic.
- Manipulative Bastard: On occasion. Really shows it off against Lumis and Umbra.
- Munchkin: He'll do what he can to claim victory, no matter the cost.
- Narcissist: In appearance only. In reality, creator Kazuki Takahashi claimed in an interview he presents this image to try and combat his severe self-hatred after Gozaburo's death.
- New Transfer Student: His manner of introduction, except in the second anime.
- Nice to the Waiter: Although he's an asshole to everyone else, Kaiba treats his employees with cold, polite professionalism. For him, that's being downright civil.
- Noble Demon
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: His rivalry with Yugi counts as this. He even says this nearly word-for-word in Yu-Gi-Oh! R.
- When Yami Yugi loses to Raphael in Season 4 of the anime, he goes into a fit of rage.
- Only Sane Man: Subverted. He thinks there's a logical explanation for the mystical adventures, but really, he's completely skeptical and denies a deeper meaning behind it.
- Orphanage of Fear: May not have been that bad, but he did feel compelled to win his way out in a game of chess.
- Papa Wolf: To Mokuba.
- Perpetual Frowner: When he's not a Smug Smiler, which is an improvement to his Stepford Smiler and Slasher Smile he used to put on.
- Pet the Dog: Even at his worst, early manga, he seemed to adore children and wanted to give a safe and fun place for orphans to forget about their troubles.
- Power Equals Rarity: The epitome of this trope. Prides himself on his collection in both respects, and cannot accept the thought of a duelist he deems mediocre owning any rare and powerful cards, and rather circularly, that anyone who plays weak monsters isn't a serious duelist.
- Pride: Seto Kaiba's ego is his worst enemy some days. This is best exemplified by his use of the game-ending cards Last Turnnote and Final Attack Ordersnote , assuming Blue-Eyes would be enough to overpower anything. Naturally, he loses in both cases because he was overpowered.
- Last Turn was actually more about breaking through to Mokuba by showing him the Blue-Eyes. Had he used his Different Dimension Dragon instead, he would have tied with Noah (and had Noah not cheated earlier, Last Turn wouldn't have been neccessary.)
- Promotion to Parent: To Mokuba.
- The Proud Elite: Rich, intelligent, master of Duel Monsters, and won't let anyone forget it.
- Punny Name: "Seto Kaiba" is awfully similar to a Japanese word for student council: "seitokai". Appropriate, as he can resemble some of the more negative examples of a haughty Student Council President.
- The Quiet One
- Rage Quit: After losing to Yugi in Battle City and failing to resolve his daddy issues, he decides the best way to get rid of the problem is to sink the Duel Tower to the bottom of the ocean before Yugi and Marik even have their duel. Luckily, Mokuba talks him out of it and he decides to help Yugi win the match (and then he blows it up).
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives them constantly; his one to Noah lasts for half an episode and is awesome. His one to Alister marked the first time someone that arc had finally shut the Doma guys up about the whole "healing the world through extermination thing."
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Jounouchi (one of two) and Yami's red.
- Refuge in Audacity: Constantly pesters Joey during Battle City, especially during the four-way duel, for not being able to hold his own as a duelist (in spite of evidence to the contrary), and insists that he has to stand up on his own. Moments later during the latter, when Joey counters a move from Dark Marik, Kaiba interferes with one of his own cards, effectively helping Marik and screwing over Joey, with the former's monster surviving the battle after all. Of course, it's more likely than anything that Kaiba is either playing the entire field in order to ensure his opponent will be Yugi, or he's just being a gigantic troll towards Joey.
- If he could manage it, it's almost certainly both.
- Reincarnation: Of the priest Seto.
- Reincarnation Romance: According to Word of God:
"Reluctantly, I cut short the episode with Priest Seto and Kisara [due to editorial deadlines], which is something I still regret, because, as all of you guessed, it is the defining episode for the relationship between present-day Kaiba and his Blue-Eyes White Dragon." note
- The Resenter: Dislikes Yugi, who always wants to make him better. The same goes for Yugi's friends, too.
- The Rival: Yugi's main rival. And we're talking the hostile type of rivalry.
- School Uniforms are the New Black: Averted in the present (unlike a certain rival of his), played straight in flashbacks, were he is seen wearing his white school uniform while doing things like killing his stepfather and walking away from his first monetary triumph in a prototype of his first Badass Longcoat. Guess he did those things after school.
- Screw Destiny: Notably in his duel against Ishizu.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Trope coined by his character in Abridged, and used by him throughout the original.
- Self-Made Orphan: Killed his adoptive father in the manga. In the anime Gozaburo manages to escape and makes a comback as a Filler Villain...and is killed when Kaiba and the others leave him trapped in his self-destructing virtual world.
- Self-Made Man: Believes he is one.
- Ship Tease: With Yugi, Joey (especially in the abridged series), and Blue Eyes White Dragon.
- The Smart Guy: Whenever he sides with the gang.
- Smug Smiler: So very much.
- Smug Snake: Prior to his Heel-Face Turn.
- Smug Super: Post Heel-Face Turn.
- The Spock: Not only is he intensely logical, he has the emotional range of a brick.
- The Stoic: Particularly in the anime.
- "Stop Having Fun" Guys: Invoked to the max. Jounouchi even lampshades this near the conclusion of their rematch.
- In fact, he was inspired by a real life "Stop Having Fun" Guy Kazuki Takahashi's friend met. Said friend asked him if he could teach him how to play a card game, to which he replied, "Hmph! Come back when you've collected 10,000 cards."
- Straw Nihilist: Especially in the manga, has a couple of Nietzsche-themed lectures to anyone whom doesn't share his mentality and is seen reading Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zarathustra in the first episode.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: No denying that.
- Teen Genius: He wins at almost virtually game except Duel Monsters.
- Too Clever by Half: He considers his deck to be unbeatable. He's stacked it with really strong cards. He executes his strategies with care. And still, he wonders where he goes wrong.
- Transfer Student Uniforms: An all-white one in his first appearances in the manga and Toei anime. Played for creepiness.
- Trash Talk: He seems to do this to a lot of people. Specifically, to those he particularly dislikes.
- Troubled, but Cute: He really wants to be more sociable, but due to his belief that "every single one of us is alone in this world", he's unable to do so.
- Tsurime Eyes
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: He really was, when he was much younger.
- Ungrateful Bastard: No matter how many times they save his ass, he'll never be part of the True Companions.
- Unstoppable Rage: He really has no control over his rage when he's playing Duel Monsters, especially when he's facing off against Yugi. Often, this makes him vulnerable, since he's unable to think straight. And whenever someone tries to make him feel better, he doesn't pay any attention to anything anyone has to say.
- When He Smiles: He has a few rare moments where he genuinely smiles, mostly in his childhood.
- The Worf Barrage: Despite being feared as a card that can singlehandedly ensure his victory, his Crush Card doesn't work more often than it does. He tries to use it seven times throughout the series, but only gets it off three times. And those three times, Yugi worked around it and Ishizu flipped its effect to her advantage, and they lost for entirely unrelated reasons. When he tried to use it against Lector, it was destroyed, since Lector had assumed the appearance of Jinzo. Thus, the only times Crush Card actually worked is in his duel with Joey and Alister, the first was an anime filler match and Joey still put up a good fight, and the second it only helped because he fused it with Fang of Critias, in the meantime Alister still stopped him from using it and it remained on the field useless. Given the consequences when it DOES go off though, it's understandable that people want to counter it so effectively.
- The Worf Effect: His duel against Pegasus is to remind fans just how severely Pegasus' Millennium Eye rigs the match in his favor, turning Kaiba's moves against him left and right. The cast lampshades this in the English anime, noting Pegasus likely had them watch the duel as intimidation.
- Worthy Opponent: To Yugi.
- You Shall Not Pass: He and his Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon do it to Zorc in the final arc of the anime, buying time and keeping the God of Evil from reaching the city.