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 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/yugi_3.png
Yugi Mutou (武藤 遊戯; Mutou Yuugi) (Yugi Moto)
Voiced by: Megumi Ogata (Japanese Toei Anime), Shunsuke Kazama (Duel Monsters), Dan Green (English), Irwin Daayan (Latin American Spanish), Alex Saudinós (European Spanish)

"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 - entering into a giant mess involving life-threatening games, thousand-year-old spirits, cursed artifacts, and lots of ancient Egyptian magic. Since it gave him friends and character development, Yugi takes it all in stride.

He's knowledgeable about all games - card games, board games, tabletop role-playing games - you name it. In terms of the 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.


  • Adaptation Personality Change: Milder than Dark Yugi as he is a Nice Guy in all media, but he is more innocent in the anime compared to his manga counterpart being a Covert Pervert. The manga also has him get visibly annoyed more often than in the anime.
  • Adorkable: Oh, goodness, yes!
  • All Take and No Give: Initially in his relationship with Dark Yugi. Once aware of him in the early manga he calls on him to sort out bullies, but later refuses to entertain the idea that Dark Yugi might have his own identity or could be free. He grows out of this to supporting the idea of sending him to the afterlife. He also feels this in regards to his other friends, believing himself a burden.
  • Anime Hair: Tri-colored hair for the win. Fanon tends to assume that it's styled that way.
  • Ascended Fanboy: In The Dark Side of Dimensions, Yugi reveals that he wants to become this. After spending the entire manga obsessing over games, Yugi wants to become a game designer after graduating high school.
  • 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 and 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.
  • Bishōnen: No seriously. As of Dark Side of Dimensions, he's more or less took a level in bishonen during the Time Skip.
  • 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.
  • Character Development: In the first chapter, Yugi started out as a meek and weak kid whose only friend was Anzu while constantly bullied by Jonouchi and Honda. However, he did not take kindly to Ushio beating them up and openly calls them his friends. It was the starting point for him before completing the Millennium Puzzle. Later on, he's able to gain new friends and confidence, disallowing Dark Yugi from killing anyone, and then defeats him in his final duel.
  • 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. If you go by the Fanon idea that he styles his Anime Hair on purpose, it's even more striking.
  • 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 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 B.S.O.D.: After a particularly cruel duel with Kaiba, which also lets him truly realize the extents Dark Yugi is willing to go through to win. This is later given a Call Back in the manga where Jonouchi unintentionally stumbles into that particular memory while trying to find the door to the past.
    • 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.
    • As Millennium World begins, Yugi is seen crying when he is separated from Dark Yugi when he used the God Cards to open the portal to the past. Anzu also took it as hard as he did.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the filler DOMA arc he sacrifices himself when the Seal of Orichalcos tries to take Yami's soul, letting it take him instead.
  • 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.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In the manga, he's aware that Anzu has feelings for Dark Yugi during Duelist Kingdom. Somewhat subverted in that Anzu tells him that it doesn't matter because "Yugi is Yugi".
  • 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.
  • Lethal Joke Item: His final deck is extremely cutsey. He also uses it to defeat Dark Bakura and, afterwards, takes down all three Egyptian Gods before taking down Atem himself.
  • 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. He takes the latter role later, having stopped him from potentially killing Kaiba during their duel.
  • Nice Guy: His defining trait is his kind and friendly disposition. So much that in the original Japanese language anime, after Insector Haga/Weevil Underwood threw away his Exodia Cards, he never dropped the -kun suffix from Haga's name and sounded more disappointed than angry at Haga's cheating.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Split Personality: Initially, he and Dark Yugi are presented as this.
  • Ship Tease: With 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.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Nominally the main character of the series, he is often overshadowed by Dark Yugi. He is given a chance to break out of this during his DDM match with Ryuji and breaks out of it full time in the Millennium World arc by defeating Dark Bakura and Dark Yugi as well as finding Dark Yugi's true name.
  • Tareme Eyes: One of the subtle visual differences between him and Dark Yugi, who has Tsurime Eyes.
  • Tiny Schoolboy: The Nice Guy and adorkable kind.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Yugi really loves burgers.
  • 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 his game of DDM against Ryuji Otogi for the Millennium Puzzle, or the Ceremonial Battle against the Pharaoh and his Three Gods.
    • Technically Subverted in that his Deck is actually filled with ridiculously powerful cards like Summoned Skull, Dark Magician, Swift Gaia the Fierce Knight, Buster Blader, and Black Luster Soldier. Against most players in the world, Yugi's deck utterly trounces them in terms of raw power: most people only own up to around 4-star monsters, maybe a 5- or 6-star, since the stars are actually a rating of rarity, and so only had access to monsters primarily with 1500 or less attack. However, he keeps going up against players who run cards like Blue-Eyes White/Ultimate Dragon, so his cards only seem weak in comparison.
  • The Worf Effect: Several times in the early manga, when despite being a game prodigy he gets beaten by others to raise tension before Yami appears to defeat them. Most notably against Imori's Dragon Cards in the Toei anime and manga, and Ridley Sheldon in the Toei anime.
  • World's Best Warrior: In the NAS anime universe, even by the time of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Yugi is considered the greatest duelist ever.

    Dark Yugi (Yami Yugi) 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/yami_yugi.png
Dark Yugi (闇遊戯; Yami Yuugi) (Yami)
Voiced by: Megumi Ogata (Japanese Toei Anime), Shunsuke Kazama (Duel Monsters), Dan Green (English), Irwin Daayan (Latin American Spanish), Pablo Sevilla (European Spanish)

"We'll play a game! A Shadow Game. The loser of this game loses his life."

— Chapter 4

to

"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.
  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Almost every game he plays ends up turning out like this. Early on, he ups the stakes himself by initiating Shadow Games or wagering his own life.
  • The Ace: He's introduced as the stronger counterpart to Yugi, being essentially invincible at every game he plays. Dark Yugi has saved people or the world countless times, simply by being that good a duelist.
    • Also applies to his past self - he was very skilled in both sorcery and combat, and though he could not defeat Zorc, he created a seal strong enough to hold him for 3,000 years and with the failsafe of his name as the final but lost key in case the Puzzle was ever solved. Played up in derivative media like Capsule Monsters, where he does some impressive acrobatics.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: His last scene is walking into the light from the door to the afterlife.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: He's not exactly ugly in the manga, but the second series anime adaptation hgave him pecs/muscles and exaggerated height.
  • Adaptational Heroism: The second series anime cuts out his Penalty Games and ruthlessness from the first dozen volumes of the manga, making him more heroic from the get-go.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: The second anime adaptation makes him less ax-crazy as he was early on, and more generally heroic.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: Along with the removal of his various Penalty Games, the Duel Monsters anime does nothing to explain why Dark Yugi stops dealing out Mind Crushes after Duelist Kingdom, nor does it explain how or why he challenged Shadi to a Shadow Game in the original version. The 4Kids dub fixes the issue by having Shadi subjected to traps that the Pharaoh's mind had subconsciously set up.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Thanks to having been sealed in the Puzzle, 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 in the Memory World RPG is key to defeating Dark Bakura/Zorc Necrophades.
  • Anime Hair: Same level of craziness as Yugi, only now some of the bangs stick up.
  • Anti-Hero: Started as a Unscrupulous Hero, but moved up to more of a straighter version at the end of the series.
  • Ax-Crazy: In the early manga and Toei anime he didn't hesitate to dole out gruesome punishments for even minor offenses.
  • Badass Baritone: He has a more confident voice than Yugi, particularly in the English dub where it's much more deep.
  • Badass Boast: he's fond of giving these across all mediums, especially when he's about to get the upper hand.
  • Badass Cape: Though not exactly a cape, his coat functions as one in the Battle City arc, anyways. Has a longer one in the Millennium World arc.
  • Bash Brothers: With Yugi and Jounouchi/Joey.
  • Berserk Button: 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 Black Magician, his signature monster, wields this.
    • In the Duel Monsters anime, his Mind Crush Penalty Game resembles the Black Magician's Black Magic attack.
  • Broken Ace: He has his share of issues, which mainly have to do with his pride and inner darkness, and his will to win nearly led him to attack Kaiba when Kaiba performed a suicide ploy.
  • But Now I Must Go: His spirit has to pass on at the end of the series, but it can't without being defeated in one final duel.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Like the rest of the cast, every time they play a game involving monster battling.
    Black Magic!
    • Likewise, whenever he inflicts his earlier Penalty Games:
    Penalty Game! ILLUSION OF AVARICE!
  • Casting a Shadow: Relies primarily on the Black 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. In fact, he eggs Yugi on about going out with her (and suggests clothing that would make him look cool for her - like silver, hence the Japanese silver meme). It also seems that, according to the Millennium 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 Millennium Item 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 to save Grandpa, 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."
  • Cherry Tapping: In the early seven volumes of the manga, he is fond of doing this to his opponents in his Shadow Games. His first anime incarnation does this in spades, regardless of games in question. Capumon is an example as he had low level monsters that had defeated high level ones.
  • Coat Cape: Does this a lot during the anime version of Battle City - see Badass Cape above.
  • Coat Over the Shoulder: A few chapters/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.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: To anyone who plays his Shadow Games. If you happen to be a Dirty Coward, prepare to have your soul shattered, mind turned into jello, or face Karmic Death.
  • Cooldown Hug: Received one during the Doma filler arc. Well, it was more like a "cool-down physical restraint", but it worked out the same.
  • Create Your Own Villain: He thought that subjecting Kaiba to "The Experience of Death" penalty after their first game would scare him straight and teach him the Heart of the Cards. Unfortunately, Kaiba had already been taught to associate death with losing, and the experience only drove him crazier and swear brutal vengeance on Yugi.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Has a dark appearance, and generally uses Dark-Attribute monsters in games (Black/Dark Magician being the most prominent example), and yet is always on the side of the good guys. Whether or not he is evil himself depends on what point you look at his character, but by the end of the series he's definitely a straight example.
  • Deadpan Snarker: More so in the dub. It's amazing how quickly "Yami" can shift from rigid-hero mode to Kaiba-level sarcasm.
    • He's somewhat of one in the original manga, which is actually downplayed in the Japanese anime. In fact, it's implied that he has a very dark sense of humor.
      Dark Yugi: Some "death game" this turned out to be... (in response to Mask of Darkness using a parachute)
  • Determinator: Because nothing gets in his way.
  • Doom Magnet: Most of the villains are either after the Puzzle, or want to possess the Pharaoh's power for themselves. Exploited by Marik when he tells the Pharaoh that his friends are in danger because of him to make him jump into a trap, and lampshaded somewhat in Capsule Monsters, when Yami assumes the magic shenanigans are somehow his fault, and in the movie when Joey says that weird things happening is par for the course when you hang around Yugi.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: In both the first episode of the first anime ("season zero") and the first chapter of the manga. Not that he's unhappy or anything.
    • He also gets these when he thought Insector Haga killed Yugi in the Doma anime filler arc.
  • 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. The original however has Dark Yugi doing the thinking.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • His Pride — he feels he has to win at all costs, even if he has to do amoral things. He almost resorts to killing Kaiba during their rematch in Duelist Kingdom. In anime filler, this also leads to him playing the Seal of Orichalcos against Rafael even though nothing would have happened if he lost before that - though this was way after he was supposed to develop out of this as per the manga. He grows out of this to become 'ready to lose', best showcased when he will not attack Bakura during their Battle City duel until Dark Bakura gives him reassurance that Bakura will not be hurt.
      • Admittedly somewhat justified. Considering the stakes and the events that both Yugi and Dark Yugi go through and the fact that he is reincarnated royalty, 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 include turning Marik's Osiris draw combo into an infinite loop to win by decking out, exploiting his knowledge of Kaiba's ego at Battle City to figure out what three cards he was going to pick for Final Attack Orders and picking his own cards to counter them, and in an anime-exclusive filler arc he figures out how to destroy an indestructible Field Spell, the Golden Castle of Stromberg, by manipulating his deck so he couldn't pay its maintenance cost and it destroyed itself. The manga and first series 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.
  • Final Boss: The final duel in the series is between him and Yugi.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: Both subverted and played straight - having no memories, he picks up the technology of the age remarkably quickly but he also seems to retain some telling traits from his own time - old fashioned speech habits on occasion and an initial habit for Disproportionate Retribution.
  • 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.
  • Good Is Not Nice: His early characterization. If you harass him or his friends, expect an Ironic Hell at best and death at worst.
  • Good Is Not Soft: It takes some time but Yami becomes this. It does help this was his original personality as a Pharaoh before getting sealed in the Puzzle.
  • Graceful Loser: He admits defeat gracefully after his duel with Yugi.
  • Guile Hero: In contrast to Jounouchi'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 moves they weren't expecting, or as described under Fatal Flaw, figuring out ways to turn their strategy back against them.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: In his duel with Rafael in the anime's Doma arc, he uses the Seal of Orichalcos and is quickly brainwashed by it, causes him to uncharacteristically sacrifice his monsters when he judges them of no further use.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: He gets one in the anime during the Doma filler arc after Yugi sacrifices himself to save him from the Orichalcos seal.
    • He also gets one during the Battle City finals, after Jounouchi nearly dies.
  • Heroic R.R.O.D.: A couple of times, mostly in the anime and most notably after getting hit with an attack from Ra during a Shadow Game. He also shows signs of this through Millennium World when he tries to fight through his injuries, and is nearly dead when the gang band together for the last stand.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Happens offscreen, but stopping Zorc when he was alive meant he had to seal himself in the Puzzle and erase his memories.
  • 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.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Implied. He fears losing since it usually means letting down someone he loves at best or them being hurt/killed at worst. He is also insecure about his lack of identity early on, and initially acted as though he was just an invincible gaming spirit. This comes back to bite him hard when his fear of losing drives him to beat Kaiba regardless of the cost. He develops out of this to being more accepting of a loss in battle.
  • 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 (unless you count the unfair defeat against Kaiba). Until Yugi succeeds in defeating him, anyway.
  • Kaleidoscope Eyes: Not as prevalent as Bakura, but his eye colour also varies between art. In the Toei anime the colour was red, which changed to purple in the second series. It has also been blue in official art.
  • Kill It with Fire: He's set six people on fire (five directly, one indirectly). In the manga, anyway. It's actually the indirect example (an escaped death row inmate) who dies, while the five thugs jump into water.
  • King of Games: He's an expert at all games, and when the Chosen One completes the Millennium Puzzle and inherits his spirit, he becomes, literally, the King Of Games - which is the translation of the series title. He's also a literal king as revealed later in the manga.
  • 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! Through essential character development, he grows out of this habit after he defeats Pegasus, who implied that the Millennium Items had an evil will, and naturally not knowing who and what he is beides a spirit feeding off of Yugi's gaming prowess to "punish evildoers", this scared him.
  • Light 'em Up: His Poker Knights and Watapon.
  • Made of Iron: Like Jonouchi, he also takes a hit from an Egyptian God and manages to keep dueling. The amount of punishment he stands up to in the Millennium World arc borders on the ridiculous, and he probably should have died at least twice.
  • Magic Versus Science: The Magic to Kaiba's Technology.
  • Manly Tears: Not present in the manga, where he never sheds tears, but he does cry a few times in the anime. He cries Tearsof Remorse after losing Yugi's soul to the Seal of Orichalcos. He also sheds a Single Tear when he nearly surrenders to Dartz, which falls onto the Millennium Puzzle and forces back the Seal of Orichalcos. He cries about three times in the Doma filler arc alone.
  • Mental Fusion: At least in the 4Kids dub, Yugi and he seem to have this when dueling.
  • Mind Rape: Every single one of his Penalty Games that don't involve outright death.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he loses Yugi's soul in the anime's Doma arc.
  • Mysterious Protector: Before his identity is revealed in the early manga.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: The manga gave the Puzzle two establishing powers to locate Jonouchi. The anime version of Duelist Kingdom gave it powers such as a psychic link with Kaiba, immunity to fire, and switching souls during a duel. These were all phased out post-Duelist Kingdom.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In a Breather Episode in the manga, Jounouchi 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 Jounouchi will lose, Dark Yugi challenges him to a Shadow 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 Jounouchi received with his winnings has become completely worthless since it can't be cashed now. Whoops.
  • No Indoor Voice: The dub has shades of this, but the Japanese version definitively is this trope.
  • Older Than They Look: In the basic sense, the same reasons as the normal Yugi in spirit of sharing the same body and being as small as he is. But his own example is even more extreme - he's over 3,000 years old.
  • Outof Clothes Experience: In the Doma Arc Dartz attempts to convince Yami Yugi to surrender to him, preying on his vulnerability. Yami Yugi has a vision of himself naked and sinking in water towards darkness as he loses confidence in himself and considers giving up.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Especially in the beginning of the manga, still present in the anime but toned down due to Adaptational Heroism. He isn't afraid to harshly punish those who deserve it via Ironic Hell or Family-Unfriendly Death. In one chapter of the first volume of the manga, he's even ready to bend the rules to be sure that the Asshole Victim of the week (a journalist who had Yugi beaten up so he could have a good story and was contemplating to provoke a murder so he could film it) got his punishment.note 
  • Personality Powers: Yami's ace monsters, the Black Magician trio, are of the Dark Is Not Evil variety, indicating his dark and mysterious but heroic attitude.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He is Yugi's Super-Powered Evil Side, but because he's Yugi's, there are multiple occasions in the manga where he's so short you can only see his hair in the panel.
  • Player Character: During the final arc, a portion of his soul gets sent to Memory World as his past self, Pharaoh Atem, and becomes the Player Character for portion of his soul that's playing the Shadow RPG with Dark Bakura.
  • The Power of Friendship: Although this is the one of the main points of the story as a whole, Dark Yugi himself directly claims to Shadi (in the manga) that this is the true power of the Millennium Puzzle - unity.
  • The Stoic: Varies between complete composure and anger when incensed. In his mind maze one of the rooms reflects back painful memories from whoever looks it, and it's implied by Yugi that he's blocking out the things he can't deal with. Yugi also comments that the Kaiba duel in Duelist Kingdom was hard on him and wonders if Atem was lonely on seeing his tomb, but Atem never brings it up directly. Goes more into the realm of Not So Stoic in the anime when he cries a few times, as opposed to the manga where he never cries once.
  • Quest for Identity: Literally. As in he doesn't know his name.
  • Purple Eyes: Mostly in the anime.
  • "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. Kaiba doesn't take this well at all.
  • 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.
  • Retool: Something of one - in an author's note in the front of one of the manga, Takahashi comments that when brainstorming the concept for Yu-Gi-Oh!, he wanted to make it a horror series at one point. Going off of this, it's possible that Dark Yugi was intended to be just a vengeful ancient spirit or another facet of Yugi the Puzzle brought out, especially in the first episodic manga volume. Then the series settled down into an arc-based manga, so his character changed pretty dramatically. This is especially jarring when comparing the early and late manga, or the manga and the anime (also applies to Kaiba and the psychosis levels of most of the early bullies).
  • Secret Test of Character: His Dark Games work like this. They start out as a pretty even match where the opponent has a good shot, then he tries to see if the opponent will cheat or otherwise fight dirty by gaining the upper hand. Once they do, the game immediately turns on them and becomes unwinnable.
  • Shipper on Deck: Doesn't mind Yugi getting along with Anzu...
  • Ship Tease: With Anzu. Once he was established as a separate individual rather than just Yugi's split personality, he himself started initiating the ship teasing of the latter with the former. He was hilariously nervous when Yugi baited him to go on a date with Anzu before the Battle City arc.
  • Sixth Ranger: Somewhat, as the others were not aware of him until later and the cast realised he was separate from Yugi at different points in time. In-Universe, too, as once he has his own identity he acts consistently surprised when the main gang volunteer to help him in the Millennium World arc even though he's not joined with Yugi at that point.
  • 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. Although Dark Yugi softened up after he cooperated with Yugi to defeat Pegasus in the manga and stopped initiating life-or-death gambles, his inherent nature as a Shadow Game player hasn't changed, as during the deadly battle on the building rooftop against the Ghouls, in which the losers would fall to their deaths, when one of them used a parachute, Dark Yugi scoffs at them for boasting a deathmatch whilst not being prepared for death themselves.
    • And during the buzzsaw duel with Pandora, it was the normal Yugi that saved Pandora from having his legs dismembered - Dark Yugi was probably more than willing to leave it up to Pandora's fate if it were up to him, since Pandora was the one to create such a deathmatch to begin with. He even coldly tells Pandora, "your last act of cruelty is awaiting you" (the buzzsaws) before Yugi switched in to save him.
  • Spiky Hair: Another subtle difference between him and normal Yugi is that his hair is even spikier.
  • Split Personality: Initially, Dark Yugi and the normal Yugi are presented as this. It turns out to be more of a case of...
    • Sharing a Body: It's revealed later that Dark Yugi is the soul of a 3000-year-old king living inside him, rather than just a dark "other" personality.
  • Split-Personality Merge: A minor example, although Shadow Games were a big thing in Ancient Egypt, it's possible that Dark Yugi may have inherited Yugi's knowledge and skill in modern gaming when he started taking possession of him, as there's no precedence for Dark Yugi's knowledge of game genres that were created within the current century, such as tabletop role-playing games.
  • Shock and Awe: Most of his strongest monsters other than Dark Magician, such as Summoned Skull and Slifer The Sky Dragon.
  • Super-Powered Alter Ego: Not really an alter-ego, but he is a split personality with the power of Shadow Games, so he partially fits.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: Starts out as sort of this in the manga, but he tones down.
  • There Is 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 Insector Haga during their rematch in the anime's Doma filler arc. In that case though, Haga was really asking for it.
    • To be fair, most of his Penalty Game victims had it coming unlike the later antagonists who dish out Penalty Games to anyone out of sadism. His last victim was the Player Killer of Darkness, who had Yugi's neck tied to a rope, ready to strangle Dark Yugi once he lost the game. After cowardly kidnapping a bunch of players in the thick of night and eliminating them from the Duelist Kingdom tournament, and then threatening to hang Yugi, you don't really feel bad for the guy when he gets hung during his Mind Rape.
  • Tsurime Eyes: His eyes are sharper and more pointed than Yugi's. In the manga, this was the most immediate sign that he'd taken over.
  • When He Smiles: Given that it happens so rarely, it can be pretty heartwarming.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Becomes this for a bit in the Doma anime filler 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 Jonouchi (Joey) 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/joey.png
Katsuya Jonouchi (城之内 克也; Jounouchi Katsuya) (Joey Wheeler)
Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa (Japanese Toei anime), Hiroki Takahashi (Duel Monsters), Wayne Grayson (English), Carlos Iñigo (Latin American Spanish), Pablo Tribaldos (European Spanish)

"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. Every adaptation of the series has made him less competent.
    • In Toei's Yu-Gi-Oh anime he was the only one injured during Death-T 1 and Miho saved the day, was beaten up by Kaiba's guards and the model Aileen Rao, got beaten up by the Kageyama Sisters, and rolled a 99 in Monster World out of fear that he'd be turned into a figurine.
    • In the second-series 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, though he does get several victories in between and his losses boiled down to luck.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, which is manga-based, continues the trend, as Jonouchi does nothing of importance, is mocked by Aigami as worthless for failing to escape another dimension and has to be rescued, and even wears a dog suit like he did in the anime to help pay for a new duel disk.
  • Anti-Hero: Of the Disney Anti-Hero variety. He may not be the nicest guy in the world, but he's definitely heroic.
  • 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 collapsed 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.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Jonouchi gets puts through his paces during his duel with Marik, even taking a head on attack from Ra. Jonouchi ultimately just comes up short after passing out, but after the duel it's shown that it also took a massive toll on Marik.
  • Burning with Anger
  • Butt Monkey: Especially in the Grand Championship arc.
  • 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, with a caption box saying the name was coined by Jonouchi.
  • Character Development: Before he became Yugi's best friend, Jonouchi would often bully the kid until he stood up for both him and Honda. It would gain his respect. He would eventually go out of his way to protect him from other thugs and kick the ass of the one who threatens him. It extends to his skills as a duelist and he makes a proficent strategist.
  • 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.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: In the Duelist Kingdom arc he's able to take everything Mai brings - including potato chips, candy bars and canned fruit - and make them into something that's actually pretty good, at least from where the protagonists are standing.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: He has a pretty good idea of what's going on, but he has moments where he slips into this.
  • Confusion Fu: His strategies evolve with every duel, so you can never predict what he'll do next.
  • 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: His most consistent character trait across all adaptations is to never give up. 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 manga. 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 Joey Katsuya, 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. What's really nasty is the amount of crap he gets from his own friends, which is often cut from the dub. In the manga, 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, and when he dies against Yami Marik.
  • Fighting Your Friend: In the anime, he fought Yugi at Duelist Kingdom, and in both versions Marik brainwashed him to fight Yugi in Battle City.
  • Foreshadowing: In the anime, at the beginning of the Ghost Kozuka two parter, he has a nightmare about Kaiba calling him a dog and wearing a dog costume as a result. In the anime's Dungeon Dice Monsters arc, Otogi forces Jonouchi 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 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 make Dark Yugi stop angsting in the Doma arc, he punches him so hard he goes flying.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: 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 R.R.O.D.: His battle with Dark Marik during Battle City, and successive duels in the anime's Filler Arcs 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.
  • Japanese Delinquents: His backstory, and said delinquents appeared in two manga stories. (Suffice to say, it's easy to see why he quit.)
  • 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: Compared to Yami Yugi and Kaiba, Joey wears his emotions on his sleeve.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: In the anime this affects Jounouchi's best friend, Honda, who is nuts about Shizuka (even though Shizuka herself just sees herself as Honda's friend). He's also unhappy about Ryujii going after her.
  • 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 Yugi challenge each other to a private match for his Red-Eyes (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, he had a preincarnation named Jono.
  • 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. He also wears it during the final arc.
  • 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. 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 (the latter of which was cut from the dub so he didn't lose consciousness). In the manga's 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.
  • 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.
  • Took a Level in Badass: His deck gets a notable upgrade from Duelist Kingdom to Battle City, with more signature cards and his deck's style of luck-based abilities coming to the forefront more often.
    • He also undergoes this during Duelist Kingdom, going from struggling to beat Mai and getting trounced by Kaiba to going toe-to-toe with Yami Yugi.
  • Trickster Archetype: Uses a few chance based cards such as Time Wizard. More prominent after Battle City.
  • 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.
  • Working-Class Hero: Has permission from school to work multiple odd jobs to pay the bills.
  • 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) 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tea.png
Anzu Mazaki (真崎 杏子; Mazaki Anzu) (Téa Gardner)
Voiced by Yumi Kakazu (Japanese Toei Anime), Maki Saito (Duel Monsters), Amy Birnbaum (English), Liliana Barba (Latin American Spanish), Beatriz Berciano (European Spanish)

"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 Jonouchi, Honda, and Bakura, she is one of the characters most likely to be seen accompanying Yugi. Her name means "apricot" in Japanese. 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. In Darkside of Dimensions, her eyes become green.
  • 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.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: DO NOT call Yugi weak for having a high moral ground. See Shut Up, Hannibal! below.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Brunette.
  • 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.
  • Catch Phrase: During the KaibaCorp Grand Prix arc, at least in the dub: "I need to get some female friends".
  • Chekhov's Skill: During the Death-T arc of the manga, her training as a dancer enables her to predict where the giant cubes will fall next.
  • 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.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: She's also his main love interest.
  • 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 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: Usually provides the sensitive, rational thinking to the group.
  • 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 Dark 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 and Yami. Unfortunately...
  • Shorttank
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: To Kaiba. To elaborate, when Yugi had a Heroic B.S.O.D. when Dark Yugi was willing to overstep his boundaries to win, he takes the loss while Kaiba gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. She counters with hers, saying Kaiba lost when while he treats life as a game, Yugi doesn't.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: In contrast to her love of Dark Yugi, she loves the normal Yugi for being a Nice Guy.
  • 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. She also has dreams of being a ballerina.
  • 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) 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tristan_7.png
Hiroto Honda (本田 廣戸; Honda Hiroto) (Tristan Taylor)
Voiced by: Ryotaro 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+), Benjamín Rivera (Latin American Spanish), Miguel Ángel Garzón (European Spanish)

"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.
  • 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.
  • Demoted to Extra: Though he was always the least important of Yugi's friends (for instance, he was Put on a Bus between Chapters 1 and 7) he was still involved in the early manga adventures before Duel Monsters took over the setting. Once Takahashi decided that Yugi and Jonouchi would be the only Duelists, Homda and Anzu became reduced to their cheering section—and since, unlike Anzu, Honda is not involved in the Two-Person Love Triangle, he fades into total irrelevance. The last thing he does of any importance in the manga is try to retrieve Mokuba's body, and convince Yugi to rescue the Kaiba brothers, out of gratitude for Mokuba saving his life in Death-T. Since Death-T never happened in the anime, Yugi instead demands their freedom because Kaiba was never a villain, without prompting from anyone else. Even in the anime Filler Arcs, he's the only one to lose to any of the Big Five, and ends up in a robot monkey for the rest of the arc.
  • 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
  • Genre Savvy: Despite not doing much of the gaming in the series - 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.
  • 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.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: In Death-T, he appears to be crushed by falling blocks after his jacket gets caught between them while more of them block off the escape, and Yugi and Jonouchi are clearly devastated. However, to everyone outside Japan, his survival is a Foregone Conclusion because he appears in the Duel Monsters anime, which adapts the later arcs, and which was dubbed quite some time before the manga was translated. But readers in Japan probably thought he was Killed Off for Real at first.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: In the manga he's principally something of a comedic double act with Jonouchi, which is played up in the anime sometimes. But he rarely is seen hanging independently with Yugi, Bakura or Anzu, even though Yugi and Jonouchi get plenty of page time alone together, and so do Yugi and Anzu.
  • 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 (Bakura Ryou) 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bakura_art.png
Ryo Bakura (獏良 了; Bakura Ryou)
Voiced by: Tsutomu Kashiwakura (Japanese Toei anime), You Inoue (Duel Monsters ep. 12-41), Rica Matsumoto (ep. 50+), Ted Lewis (English) , Yamil Atala and later Jose Gilberto Vilchis (Latin American Spanish), Javier Balas (European Spanish)

"[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 RPG 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.
  • Badass Adorable: As the White Wizard Bakura. In the Monster World arc and the final episode of Toei's anime adaptation, he stands up to Dark Bakura.
  • 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: Ryo's a genuinely nice, if shy kid. He was also willing to sacrifice himself the instant he learned what the Spirit of the Ring was doing.
  • 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, an episode title even calls him it.
  • 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, didn't ogle Mai during her first appearance, and 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: The manga and Toei anime have him swarmed by fangirls.
  • 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.
  • Claimed by the Supernatural: Dark Bakura claims Ryo with the Clingy MacGuffin of the Ring itself, which went as far as to impale its spikes into Bakura's chest so that they would not be separated before Yugi stopped him. In the anime, it was thrown away several times and always returned for the spirit to possess him again.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: In the anime, the Millennium Ring teleports back to him after Honda throws it away, and sticks around despite multiple attempts to get rid of it. In the manga he puts it back on himself after being tricked into thinking his other self had turned good.
  • Creepy Good: His interest in the occult, ghosts, and scary monsters severely freaks Jonouchi out in the manga and anime.
  • 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.
  • Demoted to Extra: After Duelist Kingdom in the anime adaptation, along with its Filler Arcs. He rarely appears in the anime when he's not under the control of the Ring, is generally more of a Flat Character as opposed to the manga, and some of his dialogue in the manga is given to other characters in the anime. The abridged series makes fun of Bakura's predicament a lot.
  • Disappeared Dad: His father is always away on archaeological expeditions, leaving poor Ryou to live alone and deal with Dark Bakura putting his friends into a coma during their TRPG campaigns.
    • According to the Dark Side of Dimensions movie, which is written to take place after the manga continuity, his dad apparently died when he got the Millennium Ring, and (if it isn't just Takahashi being forgetful like Akira Toriyama and it isn't just a plot hole) the curator of the Domino City museum may actually be his step father, the only explanation that makes sense.
  • Distressed Dude/Designated Victim: He's always the Millennium Ring's first victim.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: In the manga, when Dark Bakura and Marik brainwash him.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After so much suffering, Dark Bakura is finally destroyed and Bakura is free to live his life in peace.
  • Evil Counterpart: Bakura's Millennium Ring is the Evil Counterpart to Yugi's Millennium Puzzle.
  • Flat Character: He doesn't have much personality in the anime, coming off as simply a polite, nice young man with an occasional interest in the occult and scaring his friends. In the manga he suffered from an inconsistent personality, going from giving up his soul to defeat Dark Bakura to being fond and possessive of the Ring, never defying the spirit again.
  • Foil: A shy kid with no friends who loves to play games finds a Millennium Item, but while Yugi willingly partners with Dark Yugi, Bakura is Dark Bakura's victim whether he knows it or not.
  • Foreshadowing: In the anime's duel with the Player Killer of Darkness, Ryo is the only one besides Panik who flinches when the Swords of Revealing Light are played, hinting that the evil spirit is far from gone.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
  • Friendless Background: 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 constantly.
  • Game Master: Although never shown onscreen in the position, he loves building game boards and figurines and would play tabletop games with his friends more often if it wasn't for his Killer Game Master Super-Powered Evil Side. Dark Bakura exploits this interest and makes him build the Memory World RPG.
    • 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. He does it several times in the video games as well as the manga and anime, usually when embarrassed or flustered.
  • 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.
  • Hearing Voices: He first hears Yami Bakura as a voice in his head. He's very freaked out by it.
  • Helpless Good Side: After Monster World, Ryo doesn't fight back against the evil spirit and is generally oblivious to what's going on, then happily reclaims the Ring after Battle City.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Makes one during the Monster World RPG arc of the manga. He shatters Yami Bakura's possessed dice by planting his own soul in them and destroying the dice, which also shatters his soul. Bakura is revived by a dice roll and his White Wizard's special ability.
    • The Toei anime has him attempt one, but Yugi and friends shield him from having his soul shattered by putting their souls in the dice as well. He also wakes up on his own after the game.
    • 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. The Millennium Puzzle swaps their souls back, leaving Bakura to take the hit.
  • Hyde Plays Jekyll: Mainly in the anime. Good luck telling whether it's him or the Dark Bakura impersonating him at any given time. Sometimes he switches back and forth within the same scene.
  • 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, and the same arm is the first piece of his body to disappear during Yami Marik's Shadow Game.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Even with the death of his sister and mother, losing all his friends early on in his teen life due to his alter ego putting them into comas, his father barely in the picture, being essentially alone in dealing with Dark Bakura before Yugi came into the picture, Ryou never once made a Face–Heel Turn or went insane.
    • Dark Side of Dimensions implies that his dad was killed off when he got the Millennium Ring, meaning the whole time he was adopted in the manga by a man who's barely around.
  • Institutional Apparel: His Battle City outfit has horizontal stripes reminiscent of a prisoner's uniform, showing that he's a symbolic prisoner of the Ring.
  • Kaleidoscope Eyes: His eye color (and hair color) is never consistent across adaptations. They're blue or turquoise in the manga, green in the Toei anime, purple or silver in the video games, brown in the second-series anime, and magenta red in The Darkside of Dimensions.
  • King of Games: 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 gave 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 in the same accident that killed his sister Amane.
  • New Transfer Student: His manner of introduction... and turns out to be his shtick, thanks to his Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Nice Guy: Ryou is among the nicest of the main cast, which makes his victimization by the Ring all the sadder.
  • 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, he spends the first 11 minutes of episode 25 hanging onto Yugi's shoulders after his loss to Kaiba.
  • Shrinking Violet: He rivals Yugi in this regard.
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Gender-flipped in the Toei anime, where he had light blue hair and was still just as shy as ever.
  • Sixth Ranger: In the manga, he becomes a main character after the Monster World arc. The anime had him stick around for the manga-adapted arcs albeit with a reduced role and screentime, but he was absent from every filler arc, most notably the entirety of season 4.
  • Supreme Chef: When the gang camped out with Mai during Duelist Kingdom in the manga, Bakura was said to be this.
  • There Are No Therapists: The Darkside of Dimensions shows that despite his happier life, he doesn't want to talk about the Ring at all, suffers headaches when Aigami makes him remember, and finally breaks down in tears when he remembers Dark Bakura killing Shadi.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The anime had him happily eat tons of food at the end of Battle City and on the way to the ceremonial duel.
  • 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.
  • 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. He actually doesn't like the attention all that much. 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.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: His dark side is this, but otherwise averted.

    Dark Bakura (Yami Bakura) 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/yami_bakura.png
Dark Bakura (闇獏良; Yami Bakura)
Voiced by: Tsutomu Kashiwakura (Japanese Toei anime), You Inoue (Duel Monsters ep. 12-41), Rica Matsumoto (ep. 50+), Ted Lewis (English), Yamil Atala and later Jose Gilberto Vilchis (Latin American Spanish), Javier Balas (European Spanish)

"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 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 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 manga, he plays tabletop role-playing games and his Final Boss characters are always Zorc. During the Battle City arc, he takes up Duel Monsters, continuing to play it in the Memory World. He uses a tarot-themed deck in the anime's Duelist Kingdom, then Ryo Bakura's Occult deck in Battle City which focuses on the uses of Dark Necrofear, Dark Sanctuary, and Ouija Board. Then, in 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 Lockdown deck, which pins the opponent down while he slowly depletes their deck.

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.
  • Actually, I Am Him: In both the manga and anime he refers to himself as Zorc, though to what extent is ambiguous.
  • Adaptational Heroism: He is on the Lancaster side in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists Of The Roses.
  • 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 Ryo 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 Longcoat: In the last arc, where he adds a black trench coat over his Battle City outfit.
  • Badass Long Robe: Thief King Bakura's long red robe is very badass.
  • Bait the Dog: He tells Yugi to not rely on his other self all of the time, encouraging him to beat Ryuji in DDM. Dark Bakura then sends a Mind Parasite into the Millennium Puzzle.
  • 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 Millennium World 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 Marik for a time in the Battle City arc, and with Akhenaden in the Millennium World arc (especially in the manga).
  • 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:
    • In 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.
    Zorc Inferno!
    • 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: In the anime, no matter how many times Bakura or someone else gets rid of the Ring, it and Dark Bakura always find their way back.
  • 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, one of his decks is a Monster World-themed deck that has Dark Master Zorc, his avatar for the Monster World RPG, as one of his signature cards. And he rolls criticals pretty easily.
  • Confusion Fu: In Duelist Kingdom, none of Yami Bakura's monsters are very strong, but their Flip effects, combined with his spells and traps, make him a dangerous and unpredictable opponent.
  • 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 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 the game in another dimension, and the game's events are having an effect in the real world.
  • Cosmic Chess Game; The final arc's Memory World turns out to be an elaborate role-playing game designed by Bakura.
  • Crazy-Prepared: His plan when he seals a portion of his soul falls into Crazy-Prepared territory. Dark Bakura considers the fact that he may be taken out by the other villains or heroes and arranged the situation so that if the heroes succeeded, he would advance his plan.
  • Deadpan Snarker: His snarkiness, especially in the English dub, is only rivaled by Kaiba, and even then it's a close call.
    Sid: Aw, disappointed that you can't move?
    Bakura: No... I'm disappointed because this duel has to end, and I wanted to prolong your misery.
  • 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.
  • The Determinator: Dark Bakura is by far the most relentless and determined of all of the villains in the series. In spite of numerous setbacks and interferences, he continues on his path towards his objective.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Plays this role in the Big Bad Duumvirate of the final manga arc, in a lower position than Akhenaden's spirit but more of an active force given that Akhenaden's spirit is presently confined to a mummy. Not so in the anime, as Akhenaden's spirit was Adapted Out.
  • 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.
  • 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 and the show as a whole. 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.
  • Greater Scope Villain: Of the series as a whole, since his plans are in the background until the final arc.
    • 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.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters he's also this. Yami Bakura, who inhabited the Millennium Ring, corrupted Alexander's soul and led him on the path to darkness. He's not mentioned by name at all, but the Ring and its effects tie into the backstory as well as present day events.
    • He has a significant role in the backstory of Aigami, the villain of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, and the evil essence of the Millennium Ring corrupts Aigami similar to how it corrupts Alexander in Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters, making Dark Bakura the Greater Scope Villain for that movie as well.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: In the manga he fakes this, but it's never genuine and is all part of his plans. Yugi becomes wary after the Marik incident, but has no choice but to accept 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 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. More justified than most examples, as he didn't know the full extent of Ra's abilities and assumed that even if Marik did revive Ra, he couldn't do anything with it (and in the manga, he 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 Duelist Kingdom arc. His whole strategy banked on Yugi playing all 4 of the monster cards that contained his friends' souls, out of the fear that Bakura's Morphing Jars would send them to the graveyard. Still, for some reason, he activates his Just Desserts trap when only three of the monsters were on the field, reducing Yugi's life points by 3/4. If he waited for Dark Yugi to play a fourth monster, Dark Bakura could have activated Just Desserts and he would have won.
  • 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. He always comes back undeterred.
  • Kaleidoscope Eyes: His eye color changes across adaptations, from purple in the manga and Toei anime to brown in the second-series anime. They've also been turquoise in cover art.
  • 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).
    • 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).
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: In the anime he banishes Pegasus' goons to the Graveyard, 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. 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 Games: Like 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."
    Dark Bakura: "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 anime and the manga, due to being a whole new level of evil compared to the other enemies present. Kaiba and Pegasus are more pressing threats, but Bakura is downright evil.
  • 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 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: In the manga, he succeeds in faking a Heel–Face Turn. Yugi is devastated when he learns the truth. In the anime, since he posed as Ryo to help out Yugi is suspicious of him... but falls for his lies anyway.
  • Me's a Crowd: Eventually during the final arc in the anime, 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 via Honda/Tristan to duel Yugi. And that's not getting into the fact that Dark Bakura is actually Zorc, the very being the three are all working to release in the game and that the Dark Bakura overseeing the Shadow RPG is still controlling the body of Ryo Bakura.
  • Mysterious Past: We know nothing about Dark Bakura's past, up until the final arc.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In the second series anime he was able to erase others' minds with the Millennium Ring and summon Duel Monsters cards into reality. He never used these abilities again after Duelist Kingdom.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: During the Battle City arc he uses an 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.
  • No Name Given: He's never given a proper name or lays claim to one, though he answers to Bakura, 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).
  • Power Copying: In the Millennium World arc, his Ka, Diabound, steals the abilities of the other Ka it defeats.
  • 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).
  • Split-Personality Merge: His interest in role-playing games may have been inherited from his possession of Ryo Bakura, as there's no precedence for the Thief King or Zorc to be role-playing fanatics.
  • 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).
  • Stone Wall: His Memory World deck revolves around erecting an impenetrable wall of monsters while he mills his opponent's deck. He brings Yugi down to one card before losing.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: To Bakura. Ultimately revealed to be the Greater Scope Villain, 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.
  • Villains Never Lie: Averted. Unlike almost every other villain in the show, he does lie, and it's hard to tell when he isn't lying.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: He has white hair and is evil enough to count.
  • Wicked Cultured: In the dub, he's exceedingly polite and formal when doing or saying awful things. The manga and Japanese version has him be more openly vulgar and ax-crazy.
  • 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.

    Seto Kaiba 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kaiba.png
Seto Kaiba (海馬 瀬人; Kaiba Seto)
Voiced by: Hikaru Midorikawa (Japanese Toei anime), Kenjiro Tsuda (Duel Monsters), Eric Stuart (English), Ricardo Mendoza (Latin American Spanish), Roberto Cuenca, Jr. (European Spanish)

"Games mean conflict - a combat between two enemies. It’s the same for all of them! Cards, chess, the blood-soaked wars of the human race… All these are different kinds of games. Do you know what god gave to people so they could play games in this world? A single chip called life!"Seto Kaiba, Chapter 106 (Duelist Kingdom), in response to Yugi's unwillingness to send him off to his death.

Kaiba is a rival of Yugi Mutou and Dark Yugi. He's the head of the gaming company "Kaiba Corporation" and was first introduced as a prodigal, cold-hearted gamer who stopped at nothing to achieve his goals, even resorting to torturing or killing his opponents. Following his second battle with Yugi during his Death-T games (where he acted as a main antagonist), he was left in a coma, where he reconstructed his heart and emerged less evil. Since then, rather than a villain, he merely attempted to reclaim his title and challenge Yugi again - retaining his arrogance, but shares compassion for his younger brother, Mokuba.

Basically, he's 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 as a anti-hero. Even though he's a supporting character, he appears with a lot of prominence in the second series anime adaptation - in manga canon, he has an ambition to destroy Kaiba Corporation's past as a weapons company under his father's ownership, and this subject takes up the majority of two Filler Arc sagas of the second series anime 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.

In gaming, he most definitely mains Duel Monsters. 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: 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 Shadow Game with Dark Yugi was his inspiration to develop his virtual projectors. He just didn't have much interest in the magical chaos occurring around him because most of the time it wasn't his problem.
  • All-Powerful Bystander/Bystander Syndrome: During Battle City.
  • Aloof Big Brother: To Mokuba, especially in the manga.
  • Angry Eyebrows: His eyebrows always seem to look this way.
  • Anti-Villain: During Duelist Kingdom. He may have still been a jerk, but any truly villainous traits in him were gone thanks to being Dark Yugi's "Mind Crush" Penalty Game.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: His attitude towards dueling. He's an elite duelist and constantly talks trash towards lesser opponents he thinks unworthy of his time.
  • Badass Bookworm: A genius CEO who's trained in Krav Maga.
  • Badass Longcoat: Have you seen his trenchcoat?
  • Badass Normal: The most powerful Duelist in the series to lack a Millennium Item. His only losses in the manga were from wielders, his only losses in the anime were from Noah (who cheated) and Dartz (who basically cheated), and he's one of the few Duelists to beat an Item-wielder without being one himself.
  • Berserk Button: Don't threaten his company, don't destroy or take control of his Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and don't defeat Yugi before he can.
    • Harming children in general seems to be a sore spot for him. When Kaiba is unable to stop Zorc from incinerating two children during the Memory World Arc, he really doesn't take it well.
  • Big Bad: Of the Death-T arc in the manga and Toei anime.
  • Big Brother Instinct: After Death-T and reconstructing his heart the right way, he will do anything to save his little brother.
  • Bigger Stick: His Duel Monsters deck is chock full of them, giving him a pretty one-sided advantage. See also: Power Equals Rarity.
  • Bilingual Bonus/Stealth Pun: Kai and ba are Japanese for sea and horse respectively; in Japanese mythology, seahorses are considered be to larval dragons, and Kaiba does have a affinity for his Blue-Eyes White Dragon.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He was this in the manga and his debut episode in the Toei anime. The second anime adaptation, from the first episode on 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-of-the-day in the manga, he was then promoted to main antagonist of an entire arc, and returned for a couple more story arcs later. The Toei first series anime promoted him to main antagonist for most of the series, and then the second-series anime made him a recurring Anti-Hero with an expanded role in filler arcs and the Memory World storyline. Darkside of Dimensions was originally meant to star just him, and he has more of a role in the movie than Yugi and all of his friends.
  • Broken Ace: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: In the second series anime, the Abel to Noah's Cain.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Always with his best monsters:
  • Catch Phrase: "Kudaran!" ("Nonsense!")
  • Character Development: In the manga he's a straight antagonist at first, attempting to kill Yugi and his friends with hired killers and almost giving Sugoroku a heart attack with his hologram systems because Yugi beat him in a card game and he equated losing with death. After his second defeat and Mind Crush, he mellows out and becomes more of a general jerk than evil, though he's still nasty to Jonouchi especially.
  • Character Exaggeration:
    • The 4Kids dub of the anime cranks up Kaiba's rivalry with Yugi and contempt for Jounouchi, making him closer to the manga version, where he was hateful of Jonouchi and obsessed with beating Yugi, among other things. They also made him deny the existence of magic and refuse to believe in it, while in the Japanese anime he didn't care about it. Manga Kaiba went back and forth from outright denial to not caring. It also tended to make him even more of a Jerkass than he already was in the Japanese version.
    • His dragon obsession is also largely an anime thing. In the manga, the only dragons he really uses are Blue-Eyes and its fusions, and the majority of his other cards are Warriors, Fiends, and Beast-Warriors, focusing on a beatdown deck. The filler arcs add more Dragons to his deck to the point that his other cards seem out of place.
  • Cold Ham: In the anime he's usually stoic with a near-perpetual frown or smirk. When he gets fired up though, he really gets fired up.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Averted. The lifelike Solidvision 3D system he creates was primarily made to mimic Yami Yugi's powers all for the purpose of spiting him, but Seto's actually wise enough to go into business with it, which ends up becoming a key plot point for the Duelist Kingdom arc. His anime counterpart averts this even further, as he created it with the intent of going into business with it from the very beginning.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has quite a few moments, including some in the dub that border on Lampshade Hanging.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the video game The Sacred Cards, the player faces Yami Yugi in the semi-finals of Battle City, leaving Kaiba to duel Yami Marik, and he doesn't have a god card in this version. Despite being able to bust out all three of his Blue-Eyes, Yami Marik and Ra crush him and knock him into a coma.
  • Demonic Possession/Grand Theft Me: In the Memory World RPG of the Millennium World arc, Priest Seto gets possessed by Zorc's High Priest of Darkness/Akhenaden.
  • Determinator: Because 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 and Dark Yugi is expanded upon, and unlike the manga he journeys to the Memory World RPG alongside the rest of the cast, ultimately helping them defeat Zorc. The anime's Filler Arcs also tend to prominently focus on Kaiba, and the villains of them are his enemies, not Yugi's.
  • Does Not Like Guns: In the anime, he seems to have this, tossing away a handgun after disarming its wielder. Manga Kaiba was more of a Combat Pragmatist.
  • 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.
    • 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, Jonouchi personally voices his opinion that he got what he deserved.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: He may not be an Item-wielder, but he does have some untapped mystical abilities, letting him wield Obelisk and Critias.
  • 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) and he feels he has to repay the favor.
  • Enfante Terrible: In the backstory. He's not as bad as the anime's Noah, but he still bordered on creepy.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: After Death-T. 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 Jonouchi 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.
    • One of the most notable examples is during the anime's Grand Championship, where Kaiba defeats the resident Big Bad after disqualifying him and then laughs like a villain.
  • Fatal Flaw: His obsession for technology. That, and his hostile attitude and pride.
  • 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: In the manga and dub, Kaiba refused to believe in and denied much of the supernatural events going on, while in the Japanese anime it was more that he didn't care about them.
  • Foil: To Jonouchi. While Jonouchi came from a low-class background, Kaiba was raised by a tycoon. Jonouchi was easily won over by Yugi's kindness, while Kaiba put up resistance. Jonouchi is hotheaded yet friendly, while Kaiba is calm yet frigid.
    • This trope also extends to the cards they use. Kaiba has the Blue Eyes White Dragon, while Jonouchi has the Red Eyes Black Dragon. Kaiba has the Crush Card Virus (a trap card that targets strong monsters), while Jonouchi has Jinzo (a strong monster that targets trap cards). Kaiba uses spell/trap cards that are reliable but have minor effects, while Jonouchi uses spell/trap cards that have a high risk. Kaiba's cards all tend to be sinister-looking, while Jonouchi's are cartoonish.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
  • Freudian Excuse: Adopted by an abusive father who taught him that being a failure in anything, even losing games, means you don't deserve to live. Lost everything but his brother in unknown circumstances before that. He never even knew his real parents.
    • The manga gives an even better set up for his rotten attitude; his mother died giving birth to Mokuba, then his father died in an accident three years after that. His relatives left both young boys at an orphanage after they spent all the inheritance money. All that before he met and defeated Gouzaburo at ten years old.
  • Friend to All Children: Shockingly. Mokuba explains the reason Seto works so hard for KaibaCorp is to achieve 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 his public defeat during Death-T, 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 Dark Yugi, he has his moments, particularly in their tag-Death Duel against Mask of Light & Darkness (Lumis and Umbra in the anime dub) 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 Dark Marik or Dark Bakura due to his abuse under Gouzaburo. After this, he only acts kind to Mokuba but doesn't come off as a complete monster.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His Crush Card Virus targets monsters with 1500 or more Attack Points, but in Duelist Kingdom such cards are rare, and therefore most Duelists have only a few such cards in their Decks. His own Deck is the exception, because of all the money he spent on it. Therefore, even though Yugi was still able to get into a winning position after being on the receiving end of Kaiba's Crush Card, when Pegasus turns the card back on Kaiba in their own Duel, it completely cripples him, and Kaiba has no choice but to surrender a turn later.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Despite jokes thanks to the Abridged Series, and in contrast to his adoptive father.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: Cold and stoic, just like Kaiba.
  • Image Song: From the 4Kids anime dub's 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. He also uses his briefcase as a blunt instrument a few times.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Because who needs friends when you're Seto Kaiba? To this day, Yugi's friendship disgusts him.
    "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 things that tells us of his prowess at gaming are his high scores on every arcade machine at the Domino Arcade.
    • Also, Kaiba's deck is ridiculously overpowered, containing 3 Blue-Eyes White Dragons, Obelisk the Tormentor (temporarily) and the Crush Card Virus, and one gets the impression that much of his prowess relies on the fact that he can afford to spend a lot of money on the game. It's actually pretty satisfying seeing him get beaten by Yugi, who relies mainly on skill to win. Note that in his first Duel with Yugi in the manga, before he had any Blue-Eyes White Dragons, it is clear that he would have lost even if he hadn't tried to cheat in a Shadow Game.
  • Insufferable Genius
  • I Reject Your Reality: In his test duel where he uses Obelisk the first time, he recounts the duel with Yugi where he used his Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon and claims that even Yugi couldn't beat him. Except that, you know, Yugi already had him beat, Kaiba only won through an unfair move in the end.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Comes across as a Badass Boast.
  • It's All About Me: Because it's all about Seto Kaiba. He even claims he designed the tournament at Battle City so that he would be the final victor.
  • Japanese Pronouns: "Boku" in his first manga appearance (and in the first episode of the anime) and "ore" for the rest of his appearances, from Death-T on.
  • Jerkass: He swings back and forth between Jerk with a Heart of Gold and Jerk with a Heart of Jerk in different story arcs, but is mostly the former. As viciously hostile as Kaiba is to the main characters, when push comes to shove, he'll help them out (most of the time). Just don't expect him to be nice about it.
  • Jerk Jock: Basically has this attitude towards games and especially Duel Monsters. 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. He was even this way to Mokuba before his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Kick the Dog: Does this a few times, usually to Jonouchi. In the manga, he repeatedly mocks him as a commoner, a worthless duelist, and a waste of space to the point where he waits until he's sure Jonouchi drowned before dropping the key to save him during the death match duel. And this was after the mind crush.
    • In the four-way duel between himself, Yugi, Jonouchi, and Marik, Jonouchi's Gearfried the Iron Knight gets hit by one of Kaiba's trap card, shrinking it in size and cutting its attack in half... making it easy pickings for Marik's monster. The kicker? Jonouchi wasn't even attacking Kaiba on his turn. Kaiba's Evil Laugh is the epitome of It Amused Me.
  • King of Games: As previously stated, the story informs us of his prowess in gaming which rivals Yugi (a straightforward King of Games), with his high scores on every arcade machine at the Domino Arcade, which are connected to every arcade machine in Japan. But even then, the game that he takes the most interest in and shows the most skill is Magic & Wizards/Duel Monsters, in spirit of that game defining his introductory chapters of the manga.
  • Lack of Empathy: Pre-Heel–Face Turn off course, but also later, occasionally. One of the worst examples was during Battle City, where he was more concerned with continuing his tournament and gathering the God cards than getting help for the seriously injured contestants.
  • Large and in Charge: He was actually made taller beyond his initial manga appearance to reflect the rest of his character.
  • Last Name Basis: Almost everyone is on a last-name basis with Kaiba, and he's on one with everyone but Yugi.
  • 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 Mask of Light and Mask of Darkness (Lumis and Umbra in the dub).
  • Meaningful Name: Seto: besides meaning "seahorse" in Japanese, it's also similar to "Set/Seth", the ancient Egyptian god of storms and chaos who was the rival to the god Horus; Egyptian pharaohs were considered to be the avatar/personification of Horus on Earth.
  • 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 adaptation.
  • 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.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: In the manga; he's the first person Dark Yugi drags into a Shadow Game that actually seriously enjoys all the creepiness going on around him.
  • 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 the manga spin-off (of debatable canocity to the main manga, but still) Yu-Gi-Oh! R.
    • When Dark Yugi loses to Raphael in the Doma Filler Arc of the anime, he goes into a fit of rage.
  • Only Sane Man: Dub example, 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 (in the manga, he even cheated to do so). Odds were that the others weren't very friendly towards him or his brother. Many of them were bullies.
  • 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 antagonist), he seemed to adore children and wanted to give a safe and fun place for orphans to forget about their troubles.
  • Playful Hacker: As shown in the Duel Monsters anime, when he broke into Pegasus' database.
  • 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. The 4Kids dub of the Duel Monsters anime also makes it his motto before his defeat to Yugi where he claims "Cards Are Power".
  • The Power of Hate: He claims his hatred of Yugi and Gozaburo is what drives him to be the best, by crushing both their legacies beneath his own. Deconstructed when Yami Yugi points out what a hollow and pitiful kind of life that is, and indeed, Kaiba seems to be rather miserable in his personal life, aside from being a misanthrope towards others.
  • 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 necessary.)
  • Privileged Rival: He's the richest person on the planet, making him better equipped than any of his opponents.
  • Promotion to Parent: To Mokuba.
  • The Proud Elite: Rich, intelligent, master of Duel Monsters (and chess; in the manga, games in general), 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; in the Virtual World Filler Arc his one to Noah lasts for half an episode and is awesome. In the Doma Filler Arc, his one to Amelda 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 Jonouchi (one of two) and Dark Yugi's red.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Constantly pesters Jonouchi 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 Jonouchi counters a move from Dark Marik, Kaiba interferes with one of his own cards, effectively helping Marik and screwing over Jonouchi, 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 Jonouchi.
    • If he could manage it, it's almost certainly both.
  • Reincarnation: Of one of the six priests of the pharaoh's court, 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: Clearly he dislikes Yugi, who always wants to make him a better person. The same goes for Yugi's friends, too.
  • The Rival: Yugi's main rival. And we're talking the hostile type of rivalry.
    • Rivals Team Up: Usually when he does so, it's because he's facing off against a common enemy.
  • Sanity Slippage: In The Darkside of Dimensions. Without Atem, Kaiba has regressed to a more villainous role to the point that he's willing to break into the afterlife and leave Mokuba behind to duel him again.
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: Wore his school uniform during his first appearance, before it was replaced with his Kaiba Corporation white-collared outfit for the Death-T arc. Averted in the present (unlike a certain rival of his).
    • In terms of the anime, played straight in the first episode and flashbacks, where he is seen wearing his white school uniform while doing things like causing his stepfather to "commit suicide" (in the anime he didn't really do this, he put himself into virtual reality) 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. He's more of a believer in free will than in fate.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Trope coined by his character in Abridged, and used by him throughout the original series. For a specific instance, in an anime Filler Arc, he walks onto a car lot, jumps in the first car Mokuba picks out, and when confronted by a clerk casually writes him a check for $500,000, telling him to keep the change as he drives off.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: He lets Rare Hunter continue his duel against Yugi (despite going against the tournament rules) out of pure spite. Mokuba is not amused by this.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Killed his adoptive father in the manga. In the anime, Gozaburo manages to escape and makes a comeback 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.
  • Serious Business: While the entire series runs on this, he is by far the most extreme example, as he doesn't even care about the mystical stuff behind the game. He just wants to prove he is the best. And he really enjoys crushing his opponents. At a card game.
  • The Smart Guy: Whenever he sides with the gang in the anime's FillerArcs.
  • Smug Smiler: So very much.
  • Smug Snake: Prior to his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Smug Super: Post Heel–Face Turn.
  • Sore Loser: He doesn't take losing too well. One of the most significant examples would be when he faces off against Yugi during the Battle City tournament. As far as he's concerned, the only option is victory. And the only allies...are enemies.
  • 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 the anime.
    • 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 of the anime.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: No denying that.
  • Teen Genius: He wins at almost virtually every 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.
  • Too Dumb to Live: In the Darkside of Dimensions prequel manga, Seto is so focused on seeing and dueling Atem that he listens to Sera and tries to break into the afterlife using nothing but his own brainwaves and without any sort of protection. It would have killed him if Mokuba hadn't intervened.
  • Transfer Student Uniforms: An all-white one in his first appearances in the Toei anime (he wore the normal one in his first appearance in the manga, with the white one being his Kaiba Corp CEO outfit during his stint as main antagonist). Played for creepiness.
  • Trash Talk: He seems to do this to a lot of people. Specifically, to those he particularly dislikes. But from the looks of it, it's the monsters of Wrath and Envy talking.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Deep inside, he really wants to be more sociable, but due to his belief that "every single one of us in this world is alone", he's unable to do so. He also claims that he never needs help from anyone. Last of all, he doesn't think anyone can be trusted. A certain somebody must've planted all that in his head.
  • Tsurime Eyes: One of, if not the only, teenage main characters to always have these going on.
  • 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 renders 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.
  • Villain Protagonist: In The Darkside of Dimensions Kaiba has become more antagonistic since the Pharaoh left, and the movie closely revolves around him. Most of the conflict in the movie is directly his fault, as he refuses to let anything stop him from dueling Atem. He also treats Yugi and his friends with an even worse amount of disdain, referring to Yugi as merely a vessel for the Pharaoh's soul.
  • Villainous B.S.O.D.: Following the first episode of the Duel Monsters anime adaptation, after his defeat to Yugi he starts to question his motivations and goals as he realizes power alone isn't enough to beat him - enough for him to idiotically leave his company and his little brother unattended (in the manga, he was in a coma at the hands of Yugi's "Mind Crush" Penalty Game during Death-T).
  • 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. Across the various adaptations and spin-offs, he only gets it off three times despite attempting to use it closer to ten times. And of those three times, Yugi worked around it and Isis flipped its effect to her advantage; they lost for entirely unrelated reasons. However, given that it is such a dangerous card, it's understandable why his opponents often come prepared to counter it.
  • The Worf Effect: His Shadow Game 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.
  • Worlds Greatest Warrior: Shortly before Death-T in the manga, Yugi and Jounouchi go to an arcade and check the high scores on a number of machines. Every single one has the top scorer's initials as "KAI." In fact, in the manga, it's a plot point that Kaiba's reputation as the world's best gamer was a big reason for how he held so much sway in his company.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Yugi.
  • You're Nothing Without Your Phlebotinum: In the anime, he believes that he's a better choice than Yugi for facing Dark Yugi in the ceremonial duel because Yugi relied on the latter for most of his duels. Though Kaiba recants once Yugi manages to defeat all three Egyptian God cards with more mundane cards.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Anime-only; he and his Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon do it to Zorc in the Memory World RPG, buying time and keeping the God of Evil from reaching the city.
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