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Characters / Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Other Students

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A character subpage from the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime and manga series, the Oddly Named Sequel to Yu-Gi-Oh!. For the main character page, see here.

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Other Students

    Hayato Maeda (Chumley Huffington) 

Hayato Maeda (前田 隼人, Maeda Hayato) (Chumley Huffington)

Jaden's and Syrus' roommate in Season 1 before graduating and leaving to work at Industrial Illusions.

He uses an DUD (Deck from Down Under) deck, mostly consisting of koalas and other Australian themed monsters.

Voiced by: Takehiro Hasu (Japanese) and Ted Lewis (English)

  • Abusive Parents: Downplayed example. Both father and son love each other, but his father can be overly controlling and not very respectful. This seems to explain Chumley's original lack of confidence in himself.
    • In the original Japanese, it's implied his dad is an alcoholic so he might have been physically abusive.
  • Animal Motifs: Koalas, to the point where he looks like one.
  • Big Eater: He eats a lot in the original, but the dub intensifies his obsession with food and he rarely goes more than a sentence without mentioning it.
  • Bond Creatures: His spirit partner is Des Koala.
  • Book Dumb: He does poorly with his grades and is not much of a duelist, but he is a very skilled artist and card designer.
  • The Bus Came Back: He does come back to Duel Academy when a copy of the Winged Dragon of Ra is stolen and he asks Jaden for help.
  • Catchphrase: He says "Licious!" in the dub.
  • Character Development: In the first season he was extremely cowardly, lazy, prone to complaining (at least when it came to physical activity) and not much of a duelist who often gave up. He gains a bit of confidence and strength for a bit in Episode 8 when he was about to face his dad but goes back to his old ways afterwards. His character development really came in episode 50. He gains more confidence and skills as a duelist due to the support of his friends. When he comes back in Episode 84, he has become a very responsible, professional, and successful card designer.
  • Fat Best Friend: The chubby buddy of Jaden and Syrus.
  • Gag Nose: His large, round schnoz is one-of-a-kind in the series and reinforces his koala-like appearance.
  • Gentle Giant: He's both taller and broader than most other characters, but he's totally harmless and nice to just about everyone.
  • Hidden Depths: He may not be a good duelist, but he is a very talented artist. In fact, when he entered a contest hosted by Industrial Illusions, not only did he win and get his card made, Maximillion Pegasus himself invites him to work for the company as a card designer.

    Junko Makurada (Jasmine) and Momoe Hamaguchi (Mindy) 

Junko Makurada (枕田ジュンコ) and Momoe Hamaguchi (浜口ももえ)
Momoe is on the left, Junko is on the right.

Alexis' friends, who mostly function as comic relief and Those Two Girls in the series. Unlike Alexis, they're not very good at dueling. In the second season, they are two of the few Obelisk Blue students who aren't recruited for the Society of Light.

Junko/Jasmine voiced by: Tomomi Yachi (Japanese) and Suzanne Goldish (English)

Momoe/Mindy voiced by: Mariko Nagahama (Japanese) and Lisa Ortiz (English)

  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: With Alexis.
  • Damsel in Distress: In the first season, Jasmine gets held hostage by SAL and has to be rescued by Jaden, who wins the duel for her freedom.
  • Fangirls: They're easily infatuated with any good-looking guy they see, especially Chazz, Atticus, and Aster.
  • Only One Name: In the English dub, neither of them have surnames.
  • Static Characters: They more or less stay the same from beginning to end of the series, due to limited screen time.
  • Those Two Girls: They're mostly there to hang around Alexis as her friends outside of the main cast.
  • Wingding Eyes: Their eyes turn into hearts whenever an attractive guy walks by, as evidenced by their reactions to Harrington, Atticus, Yugi, and Aster.

    Ryo Marufuji (Zane Truesdale) 

Ryo Marufuji (丸藤 亮) (Zane Truesdale)

Zane Truesdale, Syrus's Aloof Big Brother, known almost exclusively as "Kaiser" to his fellow students (only in the original). In Season 1, he is the top duelist at the Academy and prides himself on dueling with respect and honor. Also the first duelist to defeat Jaden, and the only Academy student to pull it off.

After losing a duel to Aster Phoenix near the beginning of Season 2, he experiences a painful losing streak that culminates in a serious breakdown. At his lowest point, a recruiter for Underground dueling approaches him and lures him into a brutal cage match, which breaks his mind and warps him into a vicious Blood Knight who values nothing but victory, no matter the cost. It escalates to the point that when Syrus challenges him to a duel, Zane mocks his brother for still believing in respect and puts him in the hospital by using Underground shock collars.

The third season displays him in a different contrast, trying to find a perfect duel before the heart condition resulting from Underground dueling kills him. After he achieves that goal but somehow survives, he watches Syrus duel with his old cards and becomes inspired to surpass his brother and himself once again.

His first deck is built around the Cyber Dragons and their fusions, with support cards based on Chinese mythology. After he snaps in Season 2, he acquires the Cyberdark cards from his old master and builds his strategy around them for his next two duels. In Season 3, the Cyberdark monsters remain in his deck but take a back seat to the Cyber Dragons, with Cyber End Dragon returning to its status as his ace.

Tropes split by season due to dramatically different characterization.

Voiced by: Takeshi Maeda (Japanese) and Scottie Ray (English)

Tropes exclusive to him in the Shadow Riders arc:

  • The Ace: A variation. Described as "perfect" on multiple occasions, effortlessly defeats the main character in his first on-screen duel, and has a flawless record in both dueling and academics. He only duels three times in the season (two of them against Jaden), and it can be argued that he only loses his Spirit Key (by Sadistic Choice and Heroic Sacrifice after he has Camula on the ropes) early in the Shadow Rider arc because Jaden would be a lot less crucial to their victory if Zane were still in the running. He is neither charming nor hammy, but he fits the bill. It sets him up for a deconstruction in Season 2.
    Jaden: I'm starting to think that not only is this guy as good as everyone says he is, he might even be better.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: His dialogue toward Syrus is much harsher in the dub than in the original, going from mere distance and some Tough Love to borderline emotional abuse. After his duel with Jaden, Zane acts more like the aloof-but-caring big brother he was intended to be (and the scene where he throws the duel against Camula to protect Syrus is just as heartwarming as in the original version), but the dub character remains snarkier and more arrogant than his Japanese counterpart. The dub also puts much less focus on his commitment to dueling respectfully.
  • Aloof Ally: He's definitely on the heroes' side, but it's rare that he intentionally spends time with anyone in the main cast except for Alexis. Even his conversations with her are usually about her missing brother, who is also Zane's closest friend.
  • Aloof Big Brother: To Syrus. Zane obviously cares about and is protective of his little brother, but he's still more of an intimidating and awe-inspiring figure for Syrus than a "friendly" one. When Zane shows up in their dorm to invite Jaden to face him in the Grad Match, Syrus screeches in shock:
    Syrus: Sorry! You just kind of scared me there, big bro!
    Jaden: Zane always scares you, Sy.
  • Always Someone Better: He's the first and fastest of only three duelists to defeat Jaden (who may count as Zane's Unknown Rival for the remainder of Season 1), and his status as the best at the Academy isn't even challenged. Their second duel (Zane's Graduation Match) ends in a draw, and Zane would have won their third duel in his Hell Kaiser persona in three turns if his heart condition hadn't flared up. During the Seven Stars arc, he easily outplays Camula without taking a single hit, before she forces him to make a Heroic Sacrifice for Syrus. Jaden very nearly loses against the same villain in the next episode.
  • Anti-Hero: A mild case of the Good Is Not Nice variety; Zane is unambiguously a good guy, but he's still a bit intimidating and a Perpetual Frowner. It's more pronounced in the dub, which makes him snarkier and occasionally condescending.
  • Badass Bookworm: His grades are perfect, and his dueling skill is so far out of the rest of the school's league that he's something of a Living Legend at the Academy even after he graduates.
  • Badass Longcoat: A white swallowtail coat with blue details, in contrast to the more basic, primarily blue longcoats worn by most male Obelisk Blue students.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: Played for Drama in the dub of Episode 32. Syrus begs him to defeat Camula (even though it would result in Syrus losing his soul) because Zane is the strongest Spirit Key keeper, and Syrus is just a weak duelist who doesn't even belong at the Academy. Zane says that Syrus has proven him wrong and does belong there, but it sounds like he agrees to win the duel... until he surrenders to save his brother's life.
    Zane: I'll miss you, little brother. Farewell.
    Zane: I stand down.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: He rarely speaks and almost never brags, but he is indisputably the strongest duelist at the Academy in the first season.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • During elementary school, he came to his brother's rescue when Syrus got in over his head dueling a bully. Zane shooed the bully away by giving him a DM card, and chided Syrus for trying to use Power Bond in a careless manner that would have lost him the duel (and probably gotten him hurt, judging by the dialogue beforehand). For a while, Syrus thought that his brother didn't think he could be any good. Syrus realizes later that Zane actually helped him by making him think and strategize when playing a card with serious risks.
    • His choice to sacrifice himself against Camula to save Syrus is one of the greatest displays of brotherly love in the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise.
    • He also takes on something of a big brother role for Alexis (especially while Atticus is missing and later recovering from being possessed), which she lampshades in the original dialogue.
  • Big Man on Campus: Zane is known as the absolute best duelist at Duel Academy; "Kaiser", his nickname in the original, is the German title for emperor. In the dub, Alexis even refers to him as the big man on campus while telling Jaden about him, and Jaden uses the term while thinking about him before the Graduation Match.
  • Birds of a Feather: Zane and Alexis are the only sane people at Duel Academy. Amusingly, they know each other through Atticus.
  • Bishōnen: One of the prettiest in Season 1, only rivaled by Atticus.
  • Bond Creatures: With Cyber End Dragon. Sheppard reveals in the second season that Cyber End Dragon connected with Zane when he was a child, years before he came to Duel Academy. Later on, Zane remarks that he can hear it crying out in pain after it is destroyed in a duel.
  • Bring It: When Jaden finally gets his shit together in the Graduation Match, Zane smirks and demands that Jaden, well... bring it.
  • Cold Ham: Rarely smiles, raises his voice, or shows any sort of emotion, but he absolutely has a flair for the dramatic and knows how good he is at this game.
  • The Comically Serious: He rarely reacts to the absurd events at the Academy, which is especially funny when he's around Atticus.
  • Custom Uniform: He, Atticus, and Fujiwara wear white coats with blue details (a palette swap of male Obelisk Blue students' typical uniform colors) and individualized styling. It's unclear if this has something to do with their status at the Academy or if the unique outfits are just animator shorthand for "important".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Heavy on the deadpan, and snarkier in the dub. For instance, after Alexis tells him about Syrus panicking during his practice duel with Jaden:
    Zane: The big bad brother. What, does Jaden want to scold me now?
  • Distressed Dude: Briefly, after he sacrifices himself for Syrus and his soul is held captive by Camula.
  • Expy: Seto Kaiba, predominantly the Aloof Older Brother aspect. Zane also uses a deck centered around Light-attribute dragons (though Zane's Cyber Dragons are technically Machine types, and look more like Eastern depictions than the European type Blue Eyes), and his ace is the three-headed fusion of those dragons.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Technically not death, but when he sacrifices himself to protect his little brother, he lowers his duel disk and looks directly at Camula as she commands his best monster to attack him, knowing his soul will be trapped in one of Camula's dolls until someone can beat her.
  • Face Palm: When Atticus tries to set up Alexis and Chazz, Zane is visibly exasperated with his best friend's antics and covers his face while asking if anyone is up for just tackling Atticus off of his raft.
  • Famed in Story: He's legendary at the Academy, to the point where Jaden gets openly mocked for wanting to duel him; even Alexis warns Jaden to leave him alone. He lives up to that reputation, too.
    Alexis: Syrus has a brother that goes to this school, Jaden... and you've probably heard of him, too.
    Jaden: Huh? What are you talking about?
    Alexis: Hello. Third-year Obelisk Blue and number one duelist at the Academy? He's the Big Man on Campus: Zane! And he really is as good as his reputation.
  • Foil: To Chazz (the other Kaiba Expy introduced this season), twofold.
    • At the beginning of Season 1, both characters are in Obelisk Blue and known as elites. Chazz is at the top of the freshman class, and uses that as an excuse to get out of doing work and lord his status over other students. In contrast, Zane (the best duelist at the Academy) is reserved and respectful toward his opponents, even the ones he defeats easily. Jaden even expects Zane to be snobby based on his experience with Obelisk students, and is surprised by the genuine respect and advice he gets instead.
    • In Season 2, Zane undergoes a Break the Haughty arc where he loses a string of duels and is forced to change his strategies to turn things around. Chazz went through a similar losing streak in Season 1, but their starting and ending points are very different (ironically, however, they both end up wearing black for the remainder of the series).
      • Chazz debuts as an arrogant bully who relies entirely on brute force and expensive cards in his dueling strategies. In his journey toward redemption, he learns to respect cards generally seen as "weak", and he eventually returns to Duel Academy in triumph with a new deck that symbolizes all he's learned and experienced. All of that Humble Pie and experience in various roles eventually gives him the resilience and flexibility to make it in the Pro League.
      • Zane is introduced as a brilliant duelist with a deep respect for his cards and his opponents. When it fails him in the Pro League, he abandons his morals in desperation for victory and reduces his cards (even Cyber End Dragon) to nothing more than fuel for the parasitic Cyberdark monsters. As a result of continuing to duel in the Underground and use the Cyberdark deck, he physically breaks down to the point that he will likely never be able to compete again, though the 4th season's conclusion implies he's again rebuilding himself letting him be at peace as now he tries to match his little brother, who he's glad to have surpassed him.
  • Good Is Not Nice: He's snarkier in the dub, but not exactly friendly in the original either.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: For Syrus in Episode 32, when he decides to throw the duel against Camula to save his younger brother.
  • Honor Before Reason: Has absolute respect for his cards and opponent at all times. It's worked out pretty well for him... so far.
  • Humble Hero: Downplayed; he's definitely aware and proud of his skill, but he feels no need to grab for attention or glory, and does not object in the slightest when told that he won't be competing in the School Duel against North Academy this year.
  • Icy Gray Eyes: His gray eyes reflect his calm strength and somewhat distant personality.
  • Ineffectual Loner: On account of being a third-year student and not socially inclined, he doesn't spend much time with the first-years who make up most of the main cast. As a result, he appears in fewer episodes and has comparably minimal impact on the plot as a whole, despite the fact that he's the best duelist at the Academy and his Graduation Match with Jaden is the season finale.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: His Cyber monsters are Machine types based on dragons and other Chinese mythological creatures.
  • Light 'em Up: Most of his Cyber monsters are Light-attribute, and the dragons' attacks are destructive bursts of light.
  • Like Brother and Sister: His friendship with Alexis is wholly platonic.
  • Lonely at the Top: Shows signs of this, not that he seems to mind.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: He has hair past his shoulders and is very pretty.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: Topdecks all of the cards he needs to bring out his ace monster, Cyber End Dragon, within 3 turns, tops. His entire deck is structured around summoning the dragon in question through various alternative means, but that doesn't allow for him drawing all three copies of Cyber Dragon, a fusion card (Polymerization and/or Power Bond), and Defusion in his opening hand, which happens in two of his three duels this season.
  • Married to the Job: A borderline example; similarly to Alexis, he states that he is devoted to dueling and uninterested in relationships. Note that he did say this to a middle school Fangirl while telling her she had to go home, so take that as you will.
  • Meaningful Name: In the Japanese version, his nickname Kaiser is the German title equivalent to "Emperor", defining his status as Duel Academy's top duelist.
  • Nerves of Steel: Calm and collected in every situation. Notably, in his first duel with Jaden, he takes a direct hit from Thunder Giant (2400 ATK) without a single shift in his stoic expression.
    Zane: I don't worry.
    Jaden: Man, you're chill! Not worrying, not even flinching? You are good!
  • No Social Skills: Downplayed, but he has a very tough time interacting with people whose last name is not Rhodes. This is probably why Syrus didn't understand his advice about Power Bond until years after the fact.
  • Not So Stoic: Sort of. His voice rarely rises above a calm demeanor, but he's not above being surprised, such as a case in which he watched Chazz's Armed Dragon Lvl 7 blast all of Jaden's monsters in one shot.
  • The Not-Love Interest: For Alexis. She's the only person he regularly interacts with in Season 1 (until her brother comes back, anyway), and the dub adds some Ship Tease to their interactions, but there are no romantic feelings involved.
  • Oblivious to Love: Shown in Episode 20. He completely fails to understand that a girl (Blair) who stalked him to the Academy and was found in his room hugging his cards might have a crush on him until Alexis spells it out. Even Jaden makes the connection before Zane does.
    Blair: I'm dueling for love!
    Zane: Did she say dueling for love? Doesn't she mean dueling with love?
    Alexis: Don't tell me you haven't put the pieces together yet.
  • Odd Friendship: He and Atticus are as different as two characters get, but they're obviously very close and Atticus is just about the only person other than Syrus about whom Zane gets emotional.
  • Oh, Crap!: When he realizes that Camula is going to put his brother's soul on the line in their duel, his expression instantly shifts from cool composure to panic, and he screams for Syrus to run.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Almost everyone refers to him solely as "Kaiser".
  • Only Sane Man: He's just about the only character (other than possibly Alexis) who doesn't get involved in the rest of the cast's shenanigans.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Any time he shows an emotion, but notably in the Graduation Match when he gets fired up dueling Jaden.
    Syrus: I don't like that smile.
    Alexis: Especially because Zane never smiles.
  • Passing the Torch: He leaves the role of the Academy's best duelist to Jaden at the end of his Graduation Duel. The dub even uses the exact words.
  • The Perfectionist: He is commonly described as perfect in his dueling skill, but he tells Jaden that it's not as great as it sounds; perfection is also his limit.
  • Perpetual Frowner: He is either totally deadpan or irritated for the vast majority of his screen time. Smiles happen, but they're exceptionally uncommon.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Subverted. During his duel against Camula, he thinks to himself about how he could win and the logical reasons to do so despite the cost of Syrus's soul. Syrus even begs him to do it, but Zane refuses to sacrifice his little brother to protect himself and his Spirit Key.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: In his first duel against Jaden, right before he summons Cyber End Dragon with Power Bond and wins the duel by a landslide.
    Zane: You've played well... but not well enough.
  • The Quiet One: He's the least talkative of the major characters in Season 1, and more understated when he does speak.
  • Red Baron: Kaiser in the original.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
  • Sacrificial Lion: A non-fatal example when he loses his Spirit Key. His forced loss against Camula establishes that the Shadow Riders are dangerous, they will not play fair, and not even the strongest key keepers are safe.
  • Sadistic Choice: In Episode 32, Camula gives him a choice between sacrificing Syrus to win the duel, or standing down and losing his own soul and his Spirit Key. See Heroic Sacrifice.
  • School Idol: Most other students are in awe of his dueling skill, and even Crowler fawns over him on occasion. Not that he enjoys any of this; his personal preference is to be left alone.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Zane is aloof, intellectual, and known as a "perfect" duelist; Syrus is emotional, working hard to improve his grades, and his dueling is unpolished but has potential.
  • Signature Move: Using Power Bond to summon Cyber End Dragon. To a lesser extent, summoning Cyber End in general. In his Graduation Match against Jaden, he summons it five times, twice with Power Bond.
  • The Snark Knight: A rare example that overlaps with The Ace and Big Man on Campus; as the Only Sane Man at the Academy, Zane (in the dub, at least) is frequently snarky and exasperated about the antics of his underclassmen. And Atticus.
  • Stealth Mentor: He stopped Syrus from using Power Bond and "sealed" the card, not to be a Jerkass, but to make Syrus think about how to use it effectively while minimizing its risks. Unfortunately, because Syrus is so insecure and Zane doesn't bother to explain himself, Sy doesn't figure this out for years.
  • The Stoic: His default expression is "none", even in the middle of intense duels.
    • Not So Stoic: Has a few moments. Episode 20, in which Blair shows up with a massive crush, has a lot of moments, as does the end of the Graduation Duel, when he and Jaden both stretch out on the floor, laughing their heads off.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He's the tallest major character and very attractive, but he's far from charming (actual snark is more common in the dub).
  • Technician vs. Performer: Very much the technician to Jaden's performer, made clear by their grades, both of their duels, and their different approaches to dueling Camula.
  • Tough Love: A mild case toward Syrus, overlapping with his Aloof Big Brother role.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Most of his strategies are built around a single monster, and all of them are built around the Cyber Dragons. Alexis lampshades it during the Graduation Match in the dub, when Zane summons Cyber End Dragon. For the fourth time.
    Alexis: You'd think, for once, Zane would try a combo without that dragon.
    Atticus: Hey, if it ain't broke.
    • And then Jaden finally manages to defeat it in battle, only for Zane to negate Shining Flare Wingman's effect and summon Cyber End for a fifth time, now with 8000ATK.
    Jaden, thinking: You know... I'm starting to really get sick of this thing.
  • Worthy Opponent: He considers Jaden this after their first duel. It's implied that he hasn't actually been challenged in a long time, so finding a duelist who can force him to use all of his strength is refreshing. The dub even adds this comment to his contemplative thoughts before the Graduation Match:
    Zane: Whom will I duel? The only one worthy. It's time to give Jaden his rematch.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: It runs in the family, though his is much darker than his brother's.

Tropes exclusive to him in the Society of Light arc:

  • Blood Knight: After he freaks out, he doesn't care about anything but winning duels and destroying his opponents. Bonus points if he gets to use the Underground shock collars to bring in some very real danger.
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • He gets this type of lecture from Shroud in the Underground, who reminds him that he's hit rock bottom in his career and that the only way to get out of this cage match intact (possibly even alive) is to win by any means necessary.
    • Something of an Ironic Echo in Episode 95: he nearly convinces Syrus to give up on dueling respectfully by using the shock collars and telling him that his ideals are useless. Thankfully, Jaden encourages Syrus and helps him hold onto his beliefs, insisting that Zane is wrong.
  • Broken Ace: So, so broken. He regains dueling success after his Freak Out, but at the expense of sanity and morals.
  • Broken Bird: Arguably, after his Freak Out. The physical and psychological torture in the Underground severely warps his mind, and he cuts off even the few emotional connections he previously had. He values winning. He refuses to ever lose again. That's it.
  • Broken Pedestal: To several of his friends, who have to accept he's a changed person. It's especially crushing for Syrus, who has always admired Zane's strength and commitment to dueling with respect.
  • Break the Haughty: From being the top duelist of Duel Academy to the bottom of the Pro League after losing to Aster Phoenix.
  • Cain and Abel: He takes the Cain role to Syrus's Abel after his Freak Out.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Hell Kaiser's new black uniform.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Vicious, ruthless, willing to use any and all dueling strategies (no matter how disrespectful to his opponents or his own cards) to achieve victory.
  • Combat Sadomasochist: Comes to enjoy the pain from the electric shock collar and dishing it out as well. It's why he keeps dueling in the Underground long after returning to the Pro League, as Season 3 establishes.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Mad Dog's "Slime" deck is tailor-made to counter and destroy Machine-type monsters. Guess what type every monster in Zane's deck is.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Cyberdark deck is the "reverse" of the traditional Cyber Style and Sheppard tries to keep him from taking the cards, but we don't find out why they're so dangerous until Season 4.
  • Dark Is Evil: After he freaks out and turns, Zane stops using the Light-attribute Cyber Dragons and switches his focus to the Dark-attribute Cyberdark monsters. Not to mention the outfit change.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Was once a promising student with potential then threw his ideals away for the sake of becoming evil. Coincidence? Black clothes, check. Black and red scheme, check. A feud with his master, check. Redemption, check.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Of The Ace. Since he had never truly lost a duel (he willingly conceded to Camula in order to save Syrus, and forced a draw in his rematch with Jaden), he never learned how to handle defeat. As a result, his overwhelming loss to Aster Phoenix shattered his confidence in his abilities, leading to him suffering several more humiliating losses and feeling unable to reach out to others for support. This ultimately leads to Zane crossing the Despair Event Horizon, and deciding that he must never lose again, no matter what. The result? He becomes a brutal, ruthless duelist, willing to go to any lengths to win.
  • Death Glare: His default expression post-Freak Out, if he's not grinning or smirking like a violent loon.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Hits it hard in Episode 65 after the latest duel in a painful losing streak. Shroud takes advantage of his mental breakdown to lure him into underground dueling and convince him that everyone has abandoned him, triggering his Freak Out and Face–Heel Turn.
  • Driven to Madness: Between the physical torture and the mental abuse, he doesn't have a chance of coming out of the Underground with sanity intact.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: He was pale with dark hair in Season 1, but the black Hell Kaiser outfit emphasizes his pallor and adds to the creepy look.
  • Electric Torture: It drives his Freak Out in Episode 65, but he eventually starts to like it.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Trades in his mostly white Obelisk Blue coat for a black leather one.
  • Evil Feels Good: After his Freak Out, he starts to enjoy the pain of underground duels and Electric Torture. He also enjoys using them to hurt others, including Syrus.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: In the dub after he freaks out. Episode 83 especially; in 89 and 95, he sounds a little less like he's been drinking gravel.
  • Face–Heel Turn: In an attempt to overturn a losing streak in the Pro League, he turns to underground dueling, where he experiences a Freak Out that turns him into a ruthless duelist only valuing victory.
  • Fallen Hero: The Underground breaks the aloof but unfailingly honorable ally of last season, warping him into an Ax-Crazy Combat Sadomasochist who values nothing except for victory.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. He has always been the best, and as a result he is totally incapable of coping with failure or asking for help. It leads to a breakdown when he is unable to pull himself back up after losing to Aster, and a Freak Out when he becomes desperate enough for a win to discard his ideals.
  • Fingerless Gloves: He wears a studded pair in the Pro League, pre-Freak Out.
  • Foil: Arguably to Syrus. They both advance during this season (Zane into the Pro League, Syrus into Ra Yellow at the Academy), but Syrus relies on his friends for support and help, while Zane has isolated himself to the point where he has no one to turn to when he hits the Despair Event Horizon. While Syrus figures out new ways to use what he has by both winning and losing, Zane breaks under the pressure of "perfection" and can't see a way out other than giving up on respect. The contrast between them and their coping mechanisms (or in Zane's case, lack thereof) is clearest during their duel in episode 95. Zane gives Syrus much of the same punishment inflicted on him in the Underground match where he snapped and wiped out Mad Dog, but Syrus is able to take strength from his friends and hold onto his beliefs despite losing the duel.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: That shirt should not show off his physique with as much definition as it does.
  • Freak Out: Shroud pushes him over the edge by subjecting him to Electric Torture, reminding him he's hit rock bottom in his dueling career, and convincing him that his friends have all abandoned him. The only possible way for Zane to end the torturous duel and his losing streak is to throw away his ideals.
  • The Gift: Deconstructed more brutally than any other character besides maybe Jaden.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Shroud wanted to use The Underground to break him of those impractical ideals about respect, presumably so Shroud could make money representing a successful pro. Unfortunately for him, the resulting Blood Knight has no use for a manipulative, self-serving weasel of an agent, and feels no gratitude or obligation to keep employing him.
  • Good Is Boring: Zane realizes, during his Despair Event Horizon, that respecting others has gotten him nothing.
  • Guttural Growler: In the dub after his Face–Heel Turn, apparently because Evil Sounds Raspy. His VA occasionally goes overboard with it, especially in Episode 83.
  • Guyliner: Just look at him. His eye design evoked the look in Season 1, but it's much more pronounced after he loses his mind.
  • Heir to the Dojo: He was chosen to inherit the Cyber Style when he was nine.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: After his Face–Heel Turn, he wears skintight leather pants and a long leather coat.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: To win against a brutal and unscrupulous duelist of the Underground, he has to become a brutal and unscrupulous duelist of the Underground.
  • Hidden Depths: Episode 83 reveals that he's athletic and experienced enough to climb a Himalayan mountain with little apparent trouble.
  • Hope Crusher: Shroud does it to him in Episode 65, and then Zane tries to do it to Syrus in Episode 95. Considering that Shroud is a recruiter for the Underground, he probably does this a lot.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: More of a blue-gray, but he certainly fits the type. In episode 95, characters even comment on how cold and frightening his eyes appear.
  • Karma Houdini: He leaves Duel Academy out of boredom, suffering no consequences for putting his brother in the hospital.
  • Kick the Dog: Most of his duels after his Freak Out, but Chancellor Sheppard, Atticus, and Syrus each get a whole episode loaded with dog-kicking. Syrus gets it the worst.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • The vicious overkill defeat he hands Mad Dog after he snaps.
    • Firing Mr. Shroud and booting him out of a limo onto the street.
  • Lean and Mean: He looks seriously underfed, though he does seem to have some muscle.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Still wears his school uniform after graduating (pre-Freak Out). Post-Freak Out, he wears the black leather outfit nonstop (even under mountain-climbing gear in episode 83).
  • The Magic Poker Equation: After going batshit insane, Zane outright ABUSES this. He uses a trap card called Power Wall, which allows him to send cards from his deck to the Graveyard in order to reduce battle damage by 100LP per card. Zane wins the duel against Atticus after throwing out nearly his entire deck!
  • Next Tier Power-Up: The Cyberdark monsters.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Essentially what his dueling style becomes. Previously, he tended to use just enough power to win and would not humiliate a weaker duelist by stomping them. Now, he crushes opponents with everything he has at his disposal, respect be damned.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: His last move against Mad Dog (immediately post-Freak Out) is an absolutely brutal curb-stomping dished out via Overload Fusion and Chimeratech Overdragon. Mad Dog gets blasted right through the metal bars of the arena and just lies there, smoking. He does not get up.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: "Respect is for losers."
  • Slasher Smile: Regularly post-Freak Out, though a Psychotic Smirk is just as common.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Zane does this to his master, Chancellor Shepard by obliterating Cyber End Dragon with his master's Cyber Ogre 2.
  • Tempting Fate: He tells himself he's only going to go to the Underground once. He's going to win one duel, break his losing streak, and get back to the Pros. And he does get back to the Pros after winning that one duel... but it's far from the last time he duels in the Underground.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: During his duel with Atticus, he uses his Power Wall card to negate damage, but throws out more cards than necessary because of it powers up Cyberdark Dragon. Syrus notes that he didn't need that many cards to win and that he was just showing off.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: In his first Underground duel, he hates the electrodes; after his Freak Out, he starts using them regularly for this reason and only reacts with a Slasher Smile when they shock him during his duel with Syrus. In the dub, he even talks about the pleasure of pain.
  • Trauma Conga Line: He gets mocked throughout most of his duel with Aster, loses for the first time in his career, keeps losing to other pros who are nowhere near his skill at his best, gets dropped by his agent, suffers humiliating losses even after falling to the minor leagues... and then Shroud shows up during his Despair Event Horizon and the Underground happens.
  • The Unfettered: Invoked. He claims that he abandoned honor and respect for his opponents because they are absolutely meaningless in the face of achieving victory.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Shown in Episode 83. Cute little blush and everything.
  • The Usurper: For the Cyberdark cards.
  • Victory Is Boring: At the end of the season when he grows tired of the tournament.
  • Villain Protagonist: If he can even be considered a protagonist after Episode 65, he is most definitely this.
  • The Worf Effect: The first season set him up as the best duelist at Duel Academy; he was undefeated save for the duel he threw to save Syrus, and even Jaden only managed to tie with him in their second match after an entire season of massive improvement. Then Aster defeats him, which leads to a string of losses to other pros, including bottom-of-the-barrel minor leaguers.
  • Worf Had the Flu: In his defense, the subsequent defeats are more because of his mental breakdown than the other professionals actually being better than he is; he has a ten-match winning streak in the Pro League before losing to Edo.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He fires Mr. Shroud in Episode 83, after Zane's latest win in the Pro League.

Tropes exclusive to him in the Dimension World arc:

  • Almost Dead Guy: Throughout the entire season.
  • Aloof Ally: More so than in Season 1; Aster is the only person whose company he keeps on purpose.
  • Anti-Hero: He's an ally again, but he's not friendly, and is entirely comfortable with killing in the Dark World.
  • The Atoner: He seems to be distancing himself from the Hell Kaiser persona. The shift was likely brought on by dueling his brother in the previous season.
  • The Berserker: He's relentless, ignoring the pain and weakness from his heart condition until it completely disables him.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: His last move in his duel with Yubel consists of boosting his Cyber End Dragon's attack points to 16,000 but taking damage from his own Power Bond card.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Not in the same way as Season 1, but he does go out of his way to rescue Syrus from Devil Dozer and convince him not to give up on Jaden.
    • He also seems to have developed a bit of one for Johan/Jesse. While a large part of his fight against Yubel is to go out in a blaze of glory, the smile on his face when he thinks about saving the kid is downright fond.
  • Big Damn Heroes: He shows up out of nowhere and takes out Devil Dozer, saving Syrus and Ojama Yellow and setting up Syrus for a borderline Heroic Safe Mode.
  • Byronic Hero: He's a complex, tragic, Secretly Dying Spirited Competitor with an indomitable drive to find a Worthy Opponent and go out on his own terms. Byronic Heroes don't get much more definitive. The passion in his dueling contrasts with both the "perfect" and the collected duelist of Season 1 and the Blood Knight of Season 2.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Not exactly an "injury", but his worsening heart condition certainly qualifies. He knows it will eventually prevent him from dueling even if it doesn't kill him outright, and decides that he'd rather go out fighting than let that happen.
  • Composite Character: His characterization this season has traits of both the previous seasons. While he still duels much more aggressively and with more passion than in Season 1, Zane also appears capable of respecting his opponents again somewhat, he doesn't act so dark and needlessly cruel. His deck changes as well; combining both the Cyberdarks and original Cyber Dragons with Cyber End Dragon becoming his ace again. Tag Force 3 reflects this as in the anime. He realizes that he hated being mercilessly cruel, but he can't go back to dueling like he did in Season 1 because he's seen, done, and changed too much.
  • Creepy Good: He's still scary and takes a little too much pleasure in dueling to the death, but he's on the good guys' side again.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Much more so than in the first season, even in the original dialogue (though the dub exaggerates it), resulting in quite a bit of Snark-to-Snark Combat with Aster.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Having found out that he's dying, he spends most of the season looking for one last great duel. However, he also repeatedly saves his brother's life and encourages him not to give up on Jaden, snaps Jaden out of a Heroic BSoD with his Heroic Sacrifice against Yubel, and abandons most of the harsh and sadistic persona he displayed in Season 2.
  • Death Is Dramatic: He kicks Jaden's ass back into gear about five seconds before he dies.
  • Death Seeker: Played with. His death is (as far as he's concerned) inevitable anyway, but he wants one last good duel before he goes, and understands that he probably won't survive it even if he wins.
  • Defiant to the End: When he knows he's beaten in the duel with Yubel, he summons Cyber End Dragon and takes the final blow from the effect of his own Power Bond card instead of letting Yubel finish him off.
  • Determinator: He flatly refuses to die before giving everything he has in a duel, crippling heart condition be damned.
  • Dissonant Laughter: Zane probably knows he isn't going to survive this duel by the time Yubel summons Rainbow Dragon, but he is really excited about getting to fight that monster.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: He finds out he's dying and decides that the only acceptable response to that is to find the toughest duel he possibly can and go out fighting. At the end of that last duel, he summons his greatest monster with quadrupled attack points and takes the 4000-point hit from Power Bond instead of allowing Yubel to take him out.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When Jaden realizes how sick he is and tries to take over the duel with Yubel, Zane refuses to let him interfere. He knows he's dying, but he doesn't need or want to be rescued or pitied.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: In his final duel, despite being defeated, he summons his Cyber End Dragon as an act of defiance and as a way to immortalize himself.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: He quadruples the attack points of his greatest monster, and despite his losing the duel, snaps Jaden out of his Heroic BSoD, something that three other Heroic Sacrifices had failed to do previously.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While witnessing Adrian's actions, he comments that he would never cross that line to win a duel. Moderately hypocritical considering he put his little brother in the hospital and damn near killed him last season.
  • Face Death with Dignity: For real this time. He knows when he starts the duel with Yubel that he probably won't survive it, but he gives it everything he has and never backs down. When it's over, he uses his last few moments to encourage Jaden and tell Syrus he's proud of him.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Aster. They seem to get along and work well together against the Supreme King's army.
  • For Your Own Good: He shows up again this season because he wanted a duel against Jesse Anderson and gives him an all-out attack with his Cyber Dragons to build enough duel energy to return Jesse and Duel Academy back to the real world.
  • From Bad to Worse: Oh, you thought that duel full of Electric Torture that broke his mind was bad? Now he's actively dying.
  • Game-Breaking Injury: His heart condition flares up during his attempt to duel Jaden, and then multiple times throughout his duel with Yubel-possessed Jesse. It stops the duel with Jaden immediately and weakens him considerably against Yubel.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: To Jaden. He first tries dueling to beat some sense into him, but Jaden is so upset and scared that Zane's aggression has the opposite effect. Jaden does regain his drive witnessing Zane's duel with Yubel, and promises to go on and shine even brighter.
  • Goal in Life: To have a perfect duel against a Worthy Opponent.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Unlike in Season 2, he is ultimately good. Nice? Not so much.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Right before he dies, he has the most genuine smile since Season 1. The visions of him that appear in the sky directly afterward are smiling too.
  • Handicapped Badass: There are moments in which he can barely stand because of his heart condition, but he is the most badass he has ever been.
  • Heroic Resolve: He's falling apart physically, but he never lets it stop him from fighting and searching for a Worthy Opponent who will make him live up to his final ambition.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: His duel against Yubel, in a sense. He doesn't duel Yubel for Jaden's sake (he's spent the whole season looking for a duel that will take everything he has), but his fighting spirit in the face of certain death does snap Jaden out of his Heroic BSoD.
  • Icy Gray Eyes: His gray eyes are the "strong-willed and unapproachable" type.
  • Ironic Death: The final blow in his duel with Yubel comes from his own Power Bond card's "side effect", which he once admonished Syrus for disregarding. The twist here is that Zane doesn't forget or disregard Power Bond's penalty; he knows he's out of time, and he would rather leave a shining image of Cyber End Dragon as a symbol of his Heroic Resolve than let Yubel kill him.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: In Season 3 when he and Aster interrogate two goblin henchmen for information about the Supreme King, before killing them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's still rough around the edges and even his Pet the Dog moments are at best Tough Love, but he's a decent person who honestly does seem to care about the few people who are important to him.
  • Killed Off for Real: He doesn't return to Duel Academy at the end of the season with the other characters who died. Because Season 4 was never dubbed, he's gone for good in that continuity. Surprisingly, the dub makes it very clear that his heart condition is fatal (despite the fact that they Never Say "Die").
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Wishes to have one perfect duel before he meets his end.
  • Morality Pet: Syrus, in a Tough Love sort of way. Zane's occasional Pet the Dog moments and encouragement are a sharp contrast to his cruelty last season.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: He's a little too comfortable in the Dark World, and seems to enjoy being surrounded by predatory monsters and endless waves of murderous duelists that he can curb-stomp.
  • Obsolete Mentor: To Jaden, arguably. In Season 1, Zane was one of Jaden's strongest opponents and rivals, handing him one of only two defeats all season (the other winner was basically Kaiba) and inspiring him to improve. While Zane certainly hasn't slacked off (his skills have actually improved), he subtly acknowledges that Yubel is Jaden's enemy, not his. He's a powerful and tactically brilliant duelist, but between his failing health and simply not having the right cards or means to defeat him, he realizes that he would lose to Jaden at his best and most likely won't beat Yubel either.
    • While not mentioned in the Anime, Tag Force 3's storyline reflects this during one of the heart stories; he acknowledges that he was just a big fish in a small pond at Duel Academy and that he never really evolved his deck or realized that the Cyber Dragons and Cyberdark monsters had their limitations.
  • One Head Taller: He and Aster (who has to be at least a foot shorter than Zane) certainly fit the look while traveling together in the Dark World. Whether or not it's a platonic example is up to interpretation.
  • One Last Smoke: He is dying of heart trouble from his time spent in underground duels with electro-shock collars, so he spends the season trying to find one last Worthy Opponent before he dies. His friends try to stop him from chasing death in an incredibly dangerous dueling environment, saying he might survive and recover if he doesn't push himself so hard. He says he'd rather die dueling than waste away in a hospital.
  • The Perfectionist: His main motivation this season to find a Worthy Opponent to have the perfect duel with. So much that he's willing to travel through the different dimensions and challenge Yubel.
  • Pet the Dog: To Syrus this season when he provides direction for him when Syrus feels uncertain of his friendship with Jaden.
  • Post-Mortem Conversion: The group is very saddened by his loss without caring for the Kick the Dog moments the previous season. Downplayed because he has been redeeming himself for most of this season.
  • Punch-Clock Hero: Sort of. His primary motivation is to find a Worthy Opponent for his final duel, and any resulting benefit to the protagonists is a side effect. In the original, when Crowler says that it was noble of him to try dueling Jaden despite his poor health, Zane says that he's not that altruistic.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: Downplayed; Zane's actions from last season are still despicable and they definitely happened. However, he spends much of this season redeeming himself, and as a result, he becomes an admirable and inspirational figure for Jaden and Syrus again (albeit in a different way from his Season 1 self).
  • Secretly Dying: Until it becomes impossible to hide, he tells no one of his heart condition and brushes off any kind of concern from those who do notice the pain he's in.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Aster says that Jaden is taking responsibility for his actions by going after Jesse alone. Zane calls him a child and says that Jaden's friends are going to follow him anyway so that "noble" intention (if it even exists) isn't saving anyone.
  • Spirited Competitor: He spends almost the entire season looking for someone strong enough to give him one last amazing duel.
  • Storming the Castle: Twice in Season 3, during the Dimension World arc to attack the Supreme King's army.
  • Terror Hero: He's not excessively cruel or sadistic the way he was in Season 2, but he has precisely zero qualms about killing and using vicious intimidation tactics in the Dark World. To be fair, the Dark World residents that faced him had it coming.
  • This Is Your Brain on Evil: Up to Eleven; he has a fatal heart condition because of dueling in the brutal Underground and using the shock collars.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He's been a badass since Season 1, but Aster notices during Zane's duel with Jesse that he's gotten a lot stronger.
  • Tough Love: To Jaden and Syrus in this season; he's willing to help, but not to provide any emotional support. Even to Aster when he tells him to finish what he started during the duel with Adrian.
  • Tragic Hero: One of the series' best duelists meets his end doing exactly what he lived for: taking some things too far.
  • Troubled, but Cute: He's still very attractive, but he's undeniably a mess in more ways than one.
  • Victory Is Boring: Revisited again during his final duel. He admits that while he did earn victories and the fame that came with his newfound brutality, he realized that he was having none of the fun he used to have during dueling. In a way, it was like he was stuck in a job he didn't like anymore.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Aster constantly sass each other, but they work well together.
  • Warrior Therapist: Subverted. He tries to duel Jaden to snap him out of his Heroic BSoD, but Zane is so aggressive that it just makes Jaden shut down more. His duel against Yubel, though, does inspire Jaden to pull himself together and save the multiverse.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In the dub, after rescuing Syrus from Devil Dozer. Syrus cries, begging him to stay or take Syrus with him, but Zane is running out of time and can't do either. Before he leaves, though, he tells Syrus, "You've got the guts. You can do this on your own."
  • Your Days Are Numbered: It's not clear when exactly he found out about his heart condition, but by the time he shows up this season, he's accepted his inevitable death and his primary motivation is finding some way to go out in a blaze of glory.

Tropes exclusive to him in the Darkness arc:

  • Back from the Dead: He washes up on a beach, unconscious and in critical condition but alive. The fact that we saw his heart stop in the previous season and he didn't come back with the other "dead" characters is not explained.
  • Dented Iron: His heart condition has advanced to the point that he can't power through it to duel anymore.
  • Doing In the Scientist: His heart problems weren't due to dueling with electro-shock collars but the dangerous forbidden deck he used.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Started out the series known as the perfect duelist and after much struggle is not only able to live up to his own expectations in his duel with Yubel, but live to try to surpass them once again without his Hell Kaiser persona.
  • Freudian Trio: When Yusuke was still around, he was the Superego to Atticus's Ego and Yusuke's Id; he was the most rational and logical among the three (back then, anyway).
  • Heel–Face Turn: Comes to his senses and gives up the Hell Kaiser persona thanks to Syrus.
  • Heroic RRoD: During a duel with a rival duelist.
  • I Can Still Fight!: He accepts a duel from the heir of the Cyber Style's rival dojo because of his deck's desire to continue dueling, and gives it his all despite his heart failure. It doesn't go well, and he ends up needing emergency medical treatment again.
  • Ill Boy: He's in a hospital bed or wheelchair for most of his screen time this season, and collapses when he attempts to duel despite his condition.
  • Obsolete Mentor: Does this to himself in this season. Thinking the best that he'll ever do was against Yubel, Zane resigned himself to fading into obscurity or refusing to even try a new deck. Syrus using his deck in new ways and surpassing him reignited a passion to surpass himself and his duel with Yubel. Upon Makoto's defeat, Zane resolves to continue to grow and evolve from the beginning.
  • Out of Focus: He only physically appears in two episodes this season (probably because he can't duel) and his only significant impact on the plot is furthering Syrus's character development.
  • Passing the Torch: He gives his deck to Syrus, feeling he can use its potential. Unlike other instances of this trope, Zane decides to start over himself.
  • Plot Armor: It's unclear whether or not this is something he wants, especially considering his insistence last season that he'd prefer to die dueling than waste away in a hospital.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Invoked when he witnesses Syrus use his deck and surpass him. Zane becomes determined to start over and chase after his younger brother.
  • Unexplained Recovery: In contrast to the explained revivals of the other characters, he washes up on a beach with zero justification of his survival. He had heart failure before fading away in Season 3, compared to the others who faded and "died", but were actually trapped in another dimension.
    • Mentioned in passing by Bastion in the sub; that Zane was actually sent to the same place Chazz and the others were sent to; so it's possible he did recover in the banished dimension.

    Fubuki Tenjoin (Atticus Rhodes) 

Fubuki Tenjoin (天上院 吹雪, Tenjōin Fubuki) (Atticus Rhodes)

Alexis's older brother and Zane's best friend. He is missing for the first half of Season 1 and brings back a dangerous mystery that is not fully understood until Season 4.

At times, he duels using the deck put together by Darkness/Nightshroud, a dragon deck based around Red-Eyes Black Dragon and Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon. His personal deck is a beast-warrior deck with a pop music theme.

Voiced by: Koji Yusa (Japanese) and Jason Griffith (English)

  • Adorkable: His antics are a frequent source of exasperation for his sister, but he has a good heart and his unbridled enthusiasm for everything is sweet.
  • Atrocious Alias: He gives himself the ridiculous moniker "Blizzard Prince" in the original Japanese dialogue. To elaborate: after Ryo and Manjyome challenge Kagemaru using their badass nicknames ("Kaiser" and "Manjyome Thunder", respectively) Fubuki tries to invent one for himself on the spot. Unfortunately, this is the best he can do; the look of embarrassment on his sister's face says it all.
  • Back for the Dead: He suddenly emerges from the bus for a few episodes of Season 3, seemingly for the sole purpose of having another character to kill off and push Jaden over the Despair Event Horizon.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Chazz.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Sometimes it's water droplets while he's surfing, sometimes he spontaneously emits it. It's also omnipresent when Chazz is thinking about him.
  • Bishōnen: Tall and slim with long hair and pretty eyes. And Bishie Sparkle.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's a Cloudcuckoolander with a bizarre sense of logic and a tendency to wear incredibly dorky Hawaiian shirts instead of his school uniform whenever possible, but he's one of the best duelists at the Academy. The Worf Effect prevents him from ever winning a duel on-screen, but he does make a very good showing against Jaden in Season 1, and against Zane after the latter's Freak Out (despite the fact that the Cyberdark cards are pretty much guaranteed to curb-stomp a dragon deck).
  • Camp Gay: Maybe. He might be Camp Straight (or some other identifier). He owns a frilly purple tuxedo, is possibly the most dramatic person in the entire show, and has enormous quantities of subtext with Zane, Fujiwara, and Chazz. He's also a flirty Chick Magnet with the Academy's female students and offers to tutor Chazz in romancing girls. So he's very camp, but the associated sexuality is ambiguous.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: Alexis and Zane discuss him and his disappearance long before he shows up in the plot.
  • Chick Magnet: And he knows it, but he usually just uses it to humor the other students. Chazz even calls him this in the dub.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Trying to force his younger sister to become an Idol Singer (despite the fact that she has neither the desire nor the talent for it) is one of his many harebrained schemes. And then there is the absurd logic he applies in his attempts to set her up with Chazz.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Atticus slides in and out of relevance over time. He gets the biggest spotlight in the Shadow Riders arc, makes sporadic appearances in season 2, then comes Back for the Dead in season 3.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Beneath his carefree, goofy exterior lies one of the best duelists in the school.
  • Disney Death: In Season 3, he is killed when he is sacrificed for Brron's ritual, but is revealed to being held in another dimension by Yubel and is returned to Duel Academy at the end of the season.
  • Drama Queen: He shows up for his duel with his sister with a Dynamic Entry illuminated by a spotlight and then flies around the arena on wires, all while blowing kisses to his adoring fans. And wearing a frilly purple suit. He may be the single most theatrical person in this show, and that is difficult.
  • Enemy Within: Some portion of Darkness/Nightshroud remains in him even after Jaden frees him from the Shadow Riders, and when Atticus uses Nightshroud's deck, the entity resurfaces and takes control of him.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Something he learned the hard way when he tried to use Darkness's power to reach Zane after his Face–Heel Turn. Darkness has its own agenda, and it will take over.
  • Expy: He could be seen as one of Bakura as his Alter Ego goes from seemingly Minor Villain to the Final Antagonist of the series.
  • Freudian Trio: As seen in the flashback when Yusuke is still around, he is the Ego for Zane's Superego and Yusuke's Id. He connects them both as he is the most sociable among the three. Kind of exaggerated, since he spends Seasons 2, 3, and 4 trying to get his friends together again.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Darkness is associated with Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The upbeat, friendly red to Zane's stoic, solitary blue. He has a similar dynamic with his sister, who frequently ends up playing the Only Sane Woman to his Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Shipper on Deck: Supports Chazz's attempts to win over Alexis, all of which fail spectacularly. He also supports Alexis being with Jaden or Zane (with an identical 0% success rate). Really, he just wants her to end up with somebody.
  • Surfer Dude: Surfing is one of his hobbies, and he's frequently found at the beach. The dub adds typical surfer dude dialogue.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: In his duel with Yusuke. He didn't care about what Yusuke was doing, he was just glad he was alive, calling him his friend and apologizing that he didn't save him the first time.
  • Targeted Human Sacrifice: He becomes a sacrifice in Brron's ritual to complete the Super Polymerization card, which requires several negative emotions to create. Atticus provides the negative emotion of Anguish.
  • That Makes Me Feel Anguish: In the third season his negative feeling of anguish becomes a key sacrifice to Brron's ritual for the creation of the Super Polymerization card. Atticus expresses his anguish to Jaden before he is sacrificed, stating his feelings of helplessness.
  • Totally Radical: In the dub, even when under the influence of Darkness.
  • The Worf Effect: Despite his impressive skill and reputation as one of the Academy's best, he never wins a single duel on-screen. To be fair, two of his opponents are Jaden Yuki and Zane Truesdale, it's implied that he isn't playing seriously in his duel against Alexis, and he only loses to Fujiwara because Fujiwara/Darkness has been seeing all of his moves into the future as if they played out the rest of the duel as it was progressing. It's worth mentioning that Atticus's abilities are allegedly on par with Zane's, but he (unlike most of the cast) thinks there are more important things in life than dueling and doesn't get nearly as invested in winning.

    Edo Phoenix (Aster Phoenix) 

Edo Phoenix (エド・フェニックス) (Aster Phoenix)

Jaden's new rival in Season 2. By day, he's a Smug Super top duelist in the Pro League and the unfortunate dupe of his manager and best friend Sartorius in recruiting members for the Society of Light cult; by night, he prowls dark alleys dressed up as Duel Monsters, defeating criminals in an attempt to find the man who killed his father.

In his first duel with Jaden, he uses a deck with 40 cards randomly drawn from booster packs. In his duel against Zane, he uses an Elemental Hero deck. In his first real duel against Jaden, he uses a combination of the Elemental/Destiny Hero deck, and thereafter uses only Destiny Heroes.

Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese) and Pete Zarustica (English)

  • 10-Minute Retirement: In Season 4, when he is forced to retire from dueling as punishment for losing a valuable card. The card is found later on by Jaden.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the original, he's set up as an anti-hero contrast to Jaden. In the dub, he starts out as a straight-up villain. His vigilante acts are rewritten as him just dressing up like a demon and beating up innocent people for the fun of it, and in his duel with Zane, he sadistically humiliates him. It's also implied that he's initially going along with Sartorius' evil plans rather than being an Unwitting Pawn like in the original.
  • Always Someone Better: Becomes the first person in the series to defeat Zane, and give Jaden one of his few losses (though Jaden later returns the favor).
  • Ancestral Weapon: Aster inherited the Destiny Hero cards after his father was killed which he uses to bring justice to criminals.
  • Anti-Hero: His methods for dealing with criminals and searching for the man who killed his father. In the original dialogue, he even lampshades it while he and Zane are enacting a Mook Horror Show on two of the Supreme King's goblin henchmen. Yes, they're heroes too... but they're dark heroes.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Of the Pro League and much worse to the Duel Academy students.
  • Atop a Mountain of Corpses: During the GeneX Tournament, there is a pile of passed out duelists with cards all over the ground as a result of Aster's search for the missing D card.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Of which he has a couple of dozen.
  • Because Destiny Says So: He held great faith in Sartorius's predictions of the future and followed them to learn his place in the world. As the second season continued, he defied them and challenged destiny to save his friend from evil.
  • Best Served Cold: Against The D for murdering his father.
  • Blatant Lies: In the dub of Season 3, when the goblin demands to meet the other inhabitant of the mansion where he's staying. It's Zane.
    Goblin: He'd better not be a duelist.
    Aster: Oh, he's perfectly harmless.
  • Broken Ace: An extremely popular and talented individual not only in Duel Monsters but in a variety of professions. Yet he's overly driven by the death of his father as well as his best friend's change.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: He's a pro-athlete, and excels at skiing, skydiving, skysurfing, and surfing. Something can also be said for when he jumped out from a moving helicopter to break into a window of the white dorm to challenge Sartorius.
  • Childhood Friends: With Sartorius.
  • Child Prodigy: He's only 15, but already holds two PhDs.
  • Creature of Habit: Played for laughs in Season 4 when it's shown he keeps hundreds of the same suits, duel disks and tea drinks for consistent use. Justified because he is a famous pro duelist with a tight schedule to maintain.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Strangely in the third season, where he joins the efforts to return Duel Academy back to the real world, confront the Supreme King's army, search for Jaden and return him to normal then look out for him during his recovery, and finally risking his life in a duel to save Echo from Adrian.
  • The Cowl: His Destiny Heroes are meant to evoke this, but Aster himself moonlights as a masked vigilante.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: His father's death.
  • The Cynic: In contrast to Jaden in Season 2. Eventually grows out of it a bit later on as Character Development because of Jaden's influence.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His father was murdered (kidnapped in the dub) by a mysterious killer when he was a boy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's much more so in the dub, but is one of the snarkiest characters even in the original. Especially toward Jaden. He and Zane engage in a fair bit of Snark-to-Snark Combat in Season 3.
  • Deuteragonist: During Season 2, his actions and objectives are nearly as crucial to the plot as Jaden's.
  • Disney Death: In Season 3, he is killed when is defeated by Adrian, but is revealed to being held in another dimension by Yubel and is returned to Duel Academy at the end of the season.
  • Distressed Dude: After he is defeated by Light of Destruction, he is left weakened and held hostage by the Light. Jaden saves him by giving up his satellite key.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Does this against Exodia by having Plasma fire back as he is consumed by the blast.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: For Adrian's girlfriend Echo in Season 3. This even confuses him, not just many of the viewers. Can be somewhat justified; he calls Adrian a "murderer", suggesting that he sees it as Adrian using Echo for his selfish desires, which is not unlike how he was used by The D.
  • Due to the Dead: He takes a subtle moment closing his eyes just after Echo is killed by Exodia's grip.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: He finds out Sartorius was using him and also his legal guardian The D killed his father.
  • Expy: Yet another Seto Kaiba Expy, filling the role of the Broken Ace rival with major parental issues.
  • Fatal Flaw: He has a yearning to satisfy the expectations of those he feels indebted towards. In Season 2, he was easily manipulated by Sartorius because of this and desperately tried to save him from the Light of Destruction trying to live up to his promise from their childhood. There's also the owed debt he felt he had to repay to Jaden and Duel Academy in Season 3.
  • Fetch Quest: In Season 2, he was on a search to find the missing D card which would be in the hands of his biological father's murderer.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Jaden, though the latter would have you believe they were friends earlier than that. Also with Zane in Season 3.
  • Foil: To Jaden in Season 2. Both use Hero monsters but Aster is motivated because of his past history of his father's murder in comparison to Jaden, who doesn't have a purpose like that and usually just randomly helps people.
  • Grumpy Bear: Despite his outward cockiness, he's always in a foul mood. Losing your father at a young age will do that to you.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Having lost the duel to Adrian failing to save Echo (see The Dulcinea Effect) and right before Exodia destroys everyone, Aster gives his optimistic farewell to Jaden and allows the group to escape.
  • Heroic Vow: To save Sartorius from evil, see The Promise.
  • Hidden Depths: Surprisingly in Season 4. As a pro duelist that values his image for his career, he does actually care for his fans and does take the time to meet them at events. He also supports an orphanage, which he gets blackmailed into losing a duel just so it doesn't fall under any harm.
  • Humble Pie: He becomes more respectful towards Jaden after losing to him, and even more later on when Jaden is able to pull a victory against Sarina in their tag duel. After Jaden saves Sartorius, they're complete friends.
  • Hypocrite: He cannot tolerate anyone looking down on or disrespecting his Destiny Hero cards, but he frequently looks down on and disrespects other people's cards, especially Jaden's Elemental Heroes.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Pulls this on Jaden during their second duel. After Jaden destroys Elemental Hero Shining Phoenix Enforcer, his apparent ace card, by using the opportunity to pull out his Destiny Heroes, which proceed to hand Jaden his butt on a silver platter.
  • I Owe You My Life: By Season 3 he's one of the few who sticks by Jaden because he owes him for saving Sartorius.
  • I Regret Nothing: In the original Japanese version; when he is about to be killed by Exodia in Season 3, he told Jaden not to think of himself as a Heroic Sacrifice and just someone who tried to do what he could, and urges Jaden to save everyone.
  • I See Them, Too: While he doesn't quite have the same spiritual connection to his monsters like Jaden, he was able to see the monarchs creating a barrier around Domino City in Season 2.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: In Season 3 when he and Zane interrogate two goblin henchmen for information about the Supreme King, before killing them.
  • Jerkass: He wouldn't be a Kaiba expy if he weren't, though he's arguably worse than Kaiba in some ways before his Character Development.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In Season 3, he lightens up towards Jaden and his friends and becomes very concerned over literally everyone's safety later on.
  • Magnetic Hero: Is also spoken of as one by Emeralda, his assistant, who claims that Aster has worked hard his whole life to be the pro duelist he is and it's only natural that he has a strong following.
  • Memento MacGuffin: The Destiny Hero cards his father designed are the only things left to serve as a reminder of him.
  • Mentor Archetype: To Chazz in Season 4, to show him how to be a pro duelist.
  • Missed the Call: Nope, you're not The Hero, nor The Chosen One... nor The Only One Allowed to Defeat You!
  • Mook Horror Show: Does this in Season 3 when two of the Supreme King's henchmen come to his and Zane's hideout looking for duelists. Aster leads one of the goblins to Zane's chamber, then duels the other for information. After he's finished interrogating, he has Plasma invoke this trope full stop as the goblin screams in terror.
  • Mr. Exposition: In Season 3 when he introduces Jesse and the Crystal Beasts.
  • Oedipus Complex: With his adopted father, The D.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: The Destiny Hero cards.
  • The Promise: He had his fortune told as a young boy that he would one day save Sartorius, and promised him he would. Unfortunately... see Missed the Call above.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In his second duel with Jaden overusing hero monsters without a heroic purpose.
  • Revenge: Against his father's murderer in Season 2. Who turns out to be his legal guardian, The D.
  • The Rival: With Jaden, to confirm which of them is The Chosen One to Screw Destiny and defeat the Light of Destruction.
  • Screw Destiny: Subverted. He was originally thought to have the power to do this like Jaden, but is proven wrong for him at the end of Season 2.
  • Serious Business: His use of Hero cards is extremely personal to him, and it seriously annoys him that Jaden uses them just for fun.
  • Shadow Archetype: Quite deliberately a contrast for Jaden; uses a similar deck (Hero themed) and had similar childhood passions for his hero monsters, but Aster takes dueling far more seriously, seeing it as a way of dealing justice.
  • Shoot the Dog: When Aster is about to destroy "Plasma", The D reveals that the soul of Aster's father is trapped within the card. Aster's father speaks to him, revealing the truth behind the Light of Destruction and Sartorius. He urges Aster to attack and destroy "Plasma". Aster attacks and his father says good-bye leaving behind his sentiments before the destruction of "Plasma", which leaves Aster overwhelmed with sadness.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: While not to the extent of Syrus, he's visibly shorter than the 5'5" Jaden and notably more intelligent. He's also the first person to out-strategize Zane Truesdale (not unintelligent in the slightest, but much taller than Aster and more likely to kill first and ask questions later in Season 3).
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: In Season 3, Aster wasn't able to repay his debt to Jaden and his lost duel with Adrian trying to save Echo didn't even have a point to it because she didn't want to be saved by the end of it.
  • Smug Super: A highly confident Pro Duelist. It also helped that his manager Sartorius would often predict he would win his duels.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The translation of his Japanese name. Is it Edo, or Ed? Most people go with Edo, although some would argue that Edo is a botched translation and it really means Ed anyway. Others bring up the Stealth Pun in his name; Phoenixes were very popular in artistic depictions of the Edo period.
  • Storming the Castle: He does this a lot. Breaking into the white dorm to challenge Sartorius, invading the prisoner camp in a different dimension, and the Supreme King's castle.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Maybe not tall... but still fits.
  • Totally Radical: His speech in the dub tends to follow this pattern.
  • Tragic Hero: He meets his supposed demise in Season 3 because he felt he needed to repay his debt to Jaden for the previous season (stated in the Japanese version). He attempted to be as helpful as he could possibly be and was lured into a duel trying to save Echo from Adrian, and in the end, Echo didn't even want to be saved either.
  • Training from Hell: It's revealed in Season 4 that his phenomenal skill comes from practicing until his fingers literally bleed from the exertion, dueling his assistants with a 3000 lifepoint handicap into the wee hours of the morning.
  • Trash Talk: This trope highlighted his Jerkass, Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy, and Smug Super status in Season 2.
  • True Companions: When Sartorius feels guilty that he befriended him in an attempt to save himself from demise, Aster doesn't hold it at all against him. He tells Sartorius that he has done so much for him as a friend and for his dueling career, and responds he really does want to save Sartorius from the Light of Destruction.
  • Tsundere: Male version and probably non-romantic; type B example towards Sartorius and type A towards Zane in Season 3. A specific example of his Tsundere behavior toward Zane when the latter starts to show signs of his heart condition:
    Aster: You okay?
    Zane: It's nothing. I'm fine.
    Aster: Not like I care anyway.
  • Unwanted Rescue: He tries to save Echo from Adrian's ritual sacrifice to obtain Exodia, but Echo ends up apologizing to him because she wanted to be sacrificed to be of use to Adrian.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Sartorius in early Season 2 when he has Aster unknowingly recruit more members for his society by defeating them in duels.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: As shown in flashbacks with his father.
  • Vigilante Man: In Season 2 he was in search of his father's murderer who held the Ultimate D card.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: He claimed his father was his hero and by dealing justice to his killer, he can become his father's hero. Also, because his father was taken from him while he was still young, he has a dependency on father figures, such as Sartorius, or his legal guardian, The D. This proves to be a weakness because they both have exploited him.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He only does what he does because he's hell-bent on avenging his father.
  • What Have I Become?: During a rematch with Jaden, he noted to himself that he only has the cards that his father made for him. With him gone, he must defeat anyone that gets in his way, but Jaden was able to remind him that wasn't what his father intended Aster to do with the Destiny Heroes by following Bonaparte's plan to have the Red dorm demolished, which prompts Aster to ease up towards Jaden during their duel and after his defeat.
  • The Worf Effect: Poor guy ends up on the receiving end of this fairly often once he gets Plasma, which is kind of ironic. (He never wins a fully onscreen duel for the period when it was in his Deck.) Being completely taken apart by Exodius the Ultimate Forbidden Lord is probably the most prominent example.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Aster, you're the Anti-Hero in a gaming anime, not Batman!
  • You Killed My Father: To DD once he discovers the truth.

    Rei Saotome (Blair Flannigan) 

Rei Saotome (さおとめ レイ, Saotome Rei) (Blair Flannigan)
Click here to see her appearance in Season 1 

Initially a one-shot character with a crush on Zane, she returns at the end of Season 2 and earns her way into the academy by becoming runner-up in the GeneX Tournament, despite still being too young to enter the academy the normal way. Develops a major crush on Jaden later on.

Her first deck is based around using the anime-only Maiden in Love to take control of her opponent's monsters. In her reappearance, she uses a Mystic deck, making her the first female character since Rebecca Hawkins to not use an all-girl deck.

In Tag Force 3, she uses powerful Lightsworn monsters.

Voiced by: Eri Sendai (Japanese) and Liza Jacqueline (English)

  • Action Girl: She's skilled enough to place second in the GeneX Tournament, narrowly losing to Chazz.
  • Age Lift: She's much younger in the dub.
  • Ascended Extra: A Character of the Day in Season 1 before becoming a recurring character later on.
  • Bokukko: Although she noticeably switches to the more feminine atashi when talking to Jaden.
  • Brooklyn Rage: In the dub.
  • Charm Person: Her first deck revolves around the anime-exclusive Maiden in Love, a Light-Attribute Monster Card, with the ability to charm her opponent's monsters to fight by her side.
  • Child Prodigy: Professor Banner notes that she aced all of her entrance exams.
  • Compressed Hair: How she managed to conceal her hip-length hair in that cap, the world may never know. Yes, she dropped a hair clip in Zane's room, but there's no way that alone is enough.
  • Damsel in Distress: By mid-Season 3.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Her age: 8 in the dub, 11 in the original. She actually becomes of the proper age to attend Duel Academy in the original, but in the dub, she's still underage.
  • Expy: Rebecca Hawkins, who actually had a near-identical Dub-Induced Plot Hole of her own.
  • Fangirl: First for Zane, then for Jaden.
  • Grade Skipper: She could have attended Duel Academia much earlier in Season 1, but chooses to finish middle school first at the end of her debut appearance. In the dub, however, she plays this straight with her age portrayed as being much younger.
  • Ill Girl: Briefly in Season 3, when she has a cursed wound from Yubel's claws.
  • Mistaken for Romance: In her initial appearance, she assumes that Alexis is trying to get rid of her because of her own romantic interest in Zane. In reality, Alexis is just trying to help him out because he has No Social Skills.
  • Precocious Crush: Starts out with one on Zane. She later switches her affection to Jaden, much to his chagrin.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Played with. She's only two years older when she joins the main cast, but with far more feminine attire.
  • Static Character: After joining Duel Academy, anyway.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: In her introduction, she disguises herself as a boy to get into the Academy without revealing her age and identity.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: In and after her second appearance, when she's older and has officially enrolled at the Academy.

    Martin Kanou (Marcel Bonaparte) 

Martin Kanou (加納マルタン) (Marcel Bonaparte)

Ra Yellow. A friend of Blair's, who becomes the vessel for the Yubel after Viper's fall. The son of Vice-Principal Bonaparte, he has major self-worth issues.

Voiced by: Asako Yoshida (Japanese) and Sebastian Arcelus (English)

  • Enfant Terrible: While possessed by Yubel. He still looks like a young and frail boy, but Yubel's power makes him very dangerous.
  • Freudian Excuse: His loneliness due to his father's neglect made him an easy target for Yubel.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: When possessed, his blue eyes serve to make him look creepier.
  • Parental Abandonment: His father, Vice-Principal Jean-Louis Bonaparte, left him and his mother when Marcel was very young.
  • Put on a Bus: In Season 4 he leaves the academy to spend more time with his father.
  • Shrinking Violet: He's very shy and is never seen socializing with his peers.

    Johan Andersen (Jesse Anderson)

Jesse Anderson (ヨハン・アンデルセン) (Johan Andersen)

Voiced by: Kanako Irie (Japanese), Christopher C. Adams (English)

Introduced in Season 3; the top student of North Academy and owner of the only set of Crystal Beast cards. He quickly becomes Jaden's best friend and closest partner in the struggle to save reality in Season 4.

Jesse uses a Crystal Beast deck, with Rainbow Dragon as his ace.

  • Ambiguously Gay: Rainbows and frills, anyone? He is also very close to Jaden, and Yubel heavily implies that the two of them had a romantic attraction towards each other. Though their Yandere nature at the time makes it hard to pinpoint how much is them seeing things and how much was true.
  • Bash Brothers: With Jaden of course.
  • Betty and Veronica: If you take Yubel's jealousy on him seriously, then he is the nice and supportive Betty to Yubel's villainous (at the time) and Stalker with a Crush Veronica.
  • Bishōnen: Just look at him. Though he is more of a cute version of this compared to Zane/Ryo, Atticus/Fubuki and Fujiwara.
  • Bond Creatures: The Crystal Beasts.
  • The Bus Came Back: Comes back later to help fight Darkness.
  • Cain and Abel: A non-sibling related example with Jaden. Yusuke tries to tempt him to defeat Jaden, so Jesse can be the best and he proceeds to attack Jaden. Subverted because it was all an act and both Jesse and Jaden reveal they don't carry any ill will in trying to out do each other in dueling.
  • The Chosen One: Said to be one, but of what is never revealed. Fans usually say he's been chosen by the Crystal Beasts/Rainbow Dragon and roll with that.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: While possessed by Yubel.
  • Demonic Possession: By Yubel.
  • Dissonant Laughter: During the duel against Marcel to save Duel Academy, he finds pure joy from dueling the Sacred Beasts. Even Jaden isn't quite sure what to say to that but lets himself be infected by the enthusiasm.
  • Distressed Dude: His disappearance sets the events of the latter half of Season 3 in motion.
  • Empathy Pet: The Crystal Beasts, particularly when he's possessed and they try to reach out to Jaden to help Jesse even when they're forced to attack him.
  • Everything's Better with Rainbows: His ultimate monster, Rainbow Dragon.
  • Evil Makeover/Evil Costume Switch: When possessed by Yubel.
  • Expy: Basically a slightly subdued version of Jaden, which is lampshaded in both the dub and the original.
    • Johan is also somewhat similar to Nagisa Kaworu, as they are both Bishōnen who immediately gains the main characters' friendship and affection after their debut and have a close relationship with them. The difference is that unlike Kaworu, Johan is never canonically acknowledged to be a love interest for Judai.
  • Fetch Quest: He was on a search for the Rainbow Dragon tablet in Season 3.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Champion of the North Academy.
  • Friendly Rivalry: With Judai. It borders into Heterosexual Life-Partners, and even the "heterosexual" part is very questionable. It reaches the point that makes Yubel think Judai is now in love with Johan instead of them.
  • Guardian Entity: The Crystal Beasts and Rainbow Dragon protect his mind. Yubel is able to possess him by somehow corrupting Rainbow Dragon.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He remains behind dueling Yubel to keep the interdimensional portal back to Earth open. This triggers Jaden's Heroic BSoD.
  • Honor Before Reason: He refuses to use cards that destroy monsters with effects. To him, such a strategy is too simple and boring. It is much more satisfying to defeat monsters in battle.
  • I See Duel Monster Spirits: He can see and interact with Duel Spirits.
  • I Owe You My Life: To Jaden in Season 4.
  • Nice Guy: Probably even nicer than Jaden. He has a much kinder and more laid back tone than Jaden.
  • Psychic Block Defense: The Crystal Beasts and Rainbow Dragon stop Yusuke Fujiwara from peering into his mind, but this didn't stop Fujiwara from seeing Jaden in his thoughts.
  • Psychotic Smirk: When possessed by Yubel almost all the time. If you consider how much of a Nice Guy he usually is this gets even creepier.
  • Put on a Bus: Returns to North Academy at the start of Season 4.
  • Rival Turned Evil
  • Satellite Character: Downplayed as Johan definitely has a large role in the plot and interacts with many characters other than Judai, but his most significant character trait is still his closeness with Judai.
  • The Scapegoat: He stayed behind in the different dimension so Jaden and the rest of Duel Academy could return home.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Johan's name in the Japanese version is written with the katakana ヨハン, with the "ヨ" character being "Yo" instead of "Jo" (ジョ), leading to many instances where Japanese fans write his name as "Yohan", even though "Johan" is the official spelling.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: He sports these while being possessed by Yubel.
  • Taking the Bullet: During the 3-way duel between him, Jaden and Yusuke Fujiwara, he plays a trap to save Jaden which costs him the rest of his Life points, thus losing the duel for him.
  • The Trickster: His first day at Duel Academy he fakes summoning the Rainbow Dragon to the displeasure of everyone at the school, then tells everyone the card hasn't even been made yet. And in Season 4, he tricks Yusuke Fujiwara into believing he performed a Face–Heel Turn against Jaden, while Fujiwara was in the process of saying a breaking speech no less, then he and Jaden break out into laughter.
  • Top Five List: In a flashback many years before the series start, Pegasus told Aster that he considered Jesse the 5th best duelist he's ever met in his top 5 list.
  • Vocal Dissonance: A boy who is muscular, handsome and a bit taller than Jaden... yet he sounds very girly. Only in the original, though; his dub voice is much more masculine.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: And he does, with matching blue eyes.

    Austin O'Brien (Axel Brodie) 

Austin O'Brien (オースチン・オブライエン) (Axel Brodie)

The champion of Duel Academy's west branch, who trains for duels via life-threatening high wire stunts, which he claims aide his drawing skills. Initially a pawn of Viper, he eventually becomes a valued friend to Jaden.

He uses a Volcanic deck, and his duel disc mimics a gun.

Voiced by: Naru Kawamoto (Japanese) and Duane Cooper (English)

  • The Lancer: To Jaden in the fourth season with the investigation of Darkness.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: Initially a pawn working for Viper, then joins Jaden's group and becomes a very loyal friend to him and Jim.
  • Might Makes Right: Before coming to Duel Academy he lived his life under the impression that power defined a person, and before the Supreme King, someone who embodies Might Makes Right, he was utterly outclassed. His events in the different dimension helped him learn otherwise and draw strength from people close to him.
  • Military Brat: The son of a famed mercenary who taught him everything he knows
  • Military Superhero: He resembles Al Simmons in a lot of ways.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: After Jim was defeated, he became utterly terrified of the Supreme King. Once he saw how many people needed his strength he went to confront the Supreme King to prevent his rule over the innocent and to save Jaden.
  • Not So Stoic: When he starts becoming afraid of the Supreme King.
  • The Pawn: To Cobra until he learns there was something bad going on with the bio bands.
  • Put on a Bus: Returns to West Academy at the start of Season 4.
  • Sadistic Choice: When he was a child his parents were in a car accident where he was burdened with having to save only one of them. He saved his father who in turn saved his mother, regardless he felt that he effectively chose his mother's death.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: His impressive arms are always on display.
  • The Stoic: He stays very collected in nearly all situations... until the Supreme King kills Jim, causing Axel to panic and flee.
  • Storming the Castle: The Supreme King's castle.
  • Taking You with Me: As he is seemingly defeated he manages to end the duel in a draw with the Supreme King, leaving behind Jaden with his friends.
  • Tired of Running: Against the Supreme King.
  • Token Minority: He's the only major (ish) character with a noticeably darker skin tone than the others.
  • Voodoo Shark: Fire-attribute cards apparently explode. This makes perfect sense to everyone and is never contested.
  • The Turret Master: His Blaze Accelerator and Tri-Blaze Accelerator cards resemble turrets, which inflict damage by sending Pyro-type monsters from his hand to his graveyard.
  • You Are Not Alone: Part of his character development when confronting the Supreme King, he learns to draw strength from the people who need him rather than having strength on his own.

    Jim "Crocodile" Cook 

James "Jim" Crocodile Cook (ジム・クロコダイル・クック)

The champion of Duel Academy's south branch, who carries a crocodile on his back in a special backpack. Becomes friends with Jaden and company after dueling Hassleberry, and provides a nice amount of Plucky Comic Relief even in the darkest parts of the series.

He uses a palaeontology-themed deck based on fusing monsters in the Graveyard.

Voiced by: Naoya Iwahashi (Japanese) and Erik Singer (English)

  • Adventure Duo: With Axel in the Dimension World arc.
  • Adventurer Outfit: He's an archaeologist after all.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!:: Jim's ddeck focuses on the classic Beatdown strategy and as such the majority of his signature Fossil monsters have the ability to keep attacking so long as there are still enemy monsters on the field.
  • Awesome Aussie: The dub gave him an Australian accent, and he's awesome in either language.
  • The Big Guy: He's the tallest of Jaden's group and extremely loyal. He even beat Hassleberry in a duel, The Big Guy in the previous season.
  • Cast from Hit Points: His Time Stream Spell requires him to pay half his Life, and it's almost required to bring out some of his stronger cards. Consequently, it's rare for Jim to win without losing most of his Life points in the process. In his duel with the Masked Knight of Anger, he played it twice.
  • Chekhov's Gun: His covered eye — really the Eye of Orichalcum, used to bring Jaden out of his Heroic BSoD.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Came to Duel Academy with an EMP detector for no adequately explored reason.
  • Determinator: In his duel with the Supreme King to save Jaden, he gets knocked unconscious twice and gets back up each time to save his friend.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Lampshaded. His Fossil Dragon series is made by fusing Dinosaurs, and he notes this to be a tribute to people digging up dinosaur bones and calling them dragons. And then subverted, because the Fossil Dragon series isn't made of Dragons or Dinosaurs: they're all Rock.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: He plays a Rock Deck, and consequently all his Monsters are Earth-type.
  • Disney Death: In Season 3, he is killed when he is defeated by the Supreme King, but is revealed to being held in another dimension by Yubel and is returned to Duel Academy at the end of the season.
  • Drives Like Crazy: In a fossilized truck
  • Empathy Pet: A crocodile named Karen/Shirley.
  • Expy: Essentially speaking, Jim's an Expy of Bastion, though not to Suspiciously Similar Substitute levels. Overall, he generally got more respect as a character in his single season tenure than Bastion did throughout the entire show, though having said, he was the only transfer student that befriended Jaden that didn't return at some point in Season 4.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Well, bandages of power at least.
  • Fedora of Asskicking: Though it's really more of a bush hat.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Champion of South Academy.
  • A Friend in Need: The primary reason for involving himself with the cast.
  • Friendship Moment: Jim gets flashbacks in his duel with the Supreme King of Jaden 1) Bonding with Shirley and 2) Relating with Jim's love of fossils.
  • Fossil Revival: The concept of his deck.
  • Gratuitous English: His speech is littered with choice English words, particularly his habit of saying "What?" in English when he's surprised.
  • Heroic Resolve: See Determinator; through sheer willpower, Jim forces himself to his feet twice after collapsing during his duel with the Supreme King because of his resolve to save Jaden.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Against The Supreme King in a failed attempt to save Jaden. Axel's own sacrifice finishes the job.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: His duel against the Supreme King to save Jaden. He fails.
  • I'm Dying, Please Take My MacGuffin: Just as he's killed by the Supreme King, he leaves behind the Eye of Orichalcum and asks Axel to save Jaden.
  • Land Down Under: He's portrayed as Australian in the dub, likely due to his attire, pet crocodile and adventurous nature being reminiscent of the Crocodile Hunter.
  • The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Jim's final Ace Monster is neither a Fossil nor even a Fusion monster but instead Gaia Plate the Earth Giant, a regular effect monster. Jim uses it as an alternative line of attack in his duel against the Supreme King after his Fossil Fusion strategy has been shut down.
  • Magical Eye: The Eye of Orichalcum. When activated by Jim, the Eye gives him the power to peer into a person's mind or soul and discern what is happening within. The Eye also allowed Jim to talk to Axel, who was holding the artifact, even after he was defeated, suggesting that perhaps the Eye bonds to its bearer's spirit.
    • It's also paired with a vaguely explained meteor in the sky that can follow him to other dimensions. And the Eye also can influence the duel to his favor, although it wasn't enough to win against the Supreme King.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: Invoked by his Eye of Orichalcum which gives him (and later Axel) the power to draw the cards they need in their duels against the Supreme King.
  • Meaningful Name: What else would you call a guy that walks around with a crocodile on his back? His name "Jim Cook" likely comes from James Cook, a famous explorer and geographer.
  • Nice Guy: Put it this way... Jim is just a regular guy at Duel Academy that loves dueling and discovering fossils, and when the cast gets into trouble he's there every time to lend a hand to stop Viper, help Duel Academy in the different dimension, search for Jesse, and when the Supreme King has Jaden trapped within, Jim goes to extreme lengths to save him. Guy's a damn saint.
  • Nice Hat: A fedora.
  • The Nick Namer: In the Japanese version, he gives Hassleberry the nickname "Dino Boy" and calls Alexis "Tomorrow Girl" (Her Japanese last name, Tenjoin, means "Tomorrow's fragrance").
  • Only Sane Man: Takes up this role as the season gets darker. It helps that he's a rather mature student.
  • The Power of Friendship: How he hopes to save Jaden from himself.
  • The Prophecy: After an accident where he lost his eye as a child, a mysterious old man told him that the Eye of Orichalcum would help Jim whenever he wanted to save a friend. Axel asks him if some prophecy is the reason he's willing to risk his life, Jim denies that and states he simply wishes to save his friend, Jaden.
  • Put on a Bus: Returns to South Academy at the start of Season 4. Strangely, unlike Jesse and Axel, who also befriended Jaden in Season 3, Jim never returned/dueled at all in Season 4.
  • You Are Not Alone: Jim appears next to Axel helping him make his last draw against the Supreme King.

    Yusuke Fujiwara 

Yusuke Fujiwara (藤原優介)

Atticus' and Zane's former best friend, initially thought to be dead. The second host of Darkness. Having lost his parents at a young age, Fujiwara was heavily hurt and saddened yet managed to compose himself a bit thanks to his partner spirit, Honest. However, as he aged and made new friends, in particular Ryo/Zane and Fubuki/Atticus, he grew fearful of the future and of being alone again. These fears led him to studying darkness and shadow games. He returned to his friends severely disillusioned in the concept of bonds and friendship, preferring to drag everyone to rid themselves of their individuality, their strife, and their issues by perpetually running away from them. Thanks to the efforts of Jaden, Jesse, Atticus, and Honest, they were able to defeat Yusuke and bring him back to his senses. He's last seen apologizing to everyone for the troubles he caused, and being Easily Forgiven by Atticus, who states that the alma mater of the school is to accept those who make mistakes and those willing to try again.

Yusuke uses a Clear World deck, crippling enemies based off of whatever elemental monsters they may have on their field, then using Clear monsters (monsters with no attribute) to keep up the pressure and deal damage to the enemy.

Voiced by: Makoto Naruse

  • The Cynic: As a result of his parent's deaths he feels suffering will overtake everyone eventually and tries to convince his opponents to believe so as well.
  • The Dark Arts: He was experimenting with this which is how he discovered Darkness.
  • Dark Messiah: The messenger of Darkness meant to drag those remaining to the World of Darkness.
  • Demonic Possession: By Darkness.
  • Despair Gambit: He successfully pulls this on Atticus.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: He and Atticus made the same mistake in playing with the Darkness of Nihility.
  • Freudian Trio: When he was still a trio with Atticus and Zane, he was the Id, as he is the most emotional-ridden of the three. Heck, that's what leads him to become Darkness' host!
  • Hope Crusher: The Darkness of Nihility's main shtick, and therefore Fujiwara's while Darkness is influencing him.
  • Love Hurts: His parent's deaths was a large source of turmoil throughout his whole life.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He attempted to turn Jesse against Jaden by exploiting his desire to be the better duelist. It didn't work.
  • Mask of Power: Darkness's mask.
  • New Rules as the Plot Demands: By loose interpretation. Yusuke challenged both Jaden and Jesse in a Battle Royal, which gave Yusuke a means to manipulate the battlefield to his advantage during the duel.
  • Non-Elemental: Clear World, his signature card will inflict a terrible effect no matter which elemental monster you have on your field. To work around this, he has a deck full of "Clear" monsters, which are monsters that have no attribute whatsoever.
  • Parental Abandonment: Both of his parents died when he was very young.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Convincing others to give in to Darkness rather than continue with their struggles.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Invoked. His image was used by Honest to blend in Duel Academy while manipulating everyone's memory to believe he was always a student the past 3 seasons.
  • Telepathy: Can look into a person's mind and find their inner darkness.
  • The Dark Side Will Make You Forget: Turned to Darkness in an attempt to forget his dead parents.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He let Darkness in because of the trauma of losing his parents, and causes a great deal of destruction while under its influence.
  • Yandere: Short explanation: He predates Homura. Long explanation: He plans to hijack the world by plunging it entirely to the Darkness so he's not lonely anymore, and as time doesn't pass the same way in the World of Darkness, no one will die and leave him alone. This goes especially for Fubuki, who was the only one to really act nice to him. Fubuki himself tries to gently persuades him that they will still be friends forever no matter what, and it would have worked had he been himself, but still.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Green, in his case.

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