ALL spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware major spoilers.
Repeat! ALL spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware major spoilers
Mokuba Kaiba (海馬 モクバ; Kaiba Mokuba)
Seto Kaiba's little brother and his main fan. In contrast to his brother's obsession with Duel Monsters, Mokuba has an obsession for Capsule Monster Chess. He is initially portrayed as a spoiled brat, with vindictive and malevolent behavior. He was named champion at Capsule Monster Chess, but cheated in many of the games he played. His negative traits are partly credit to the neglect he gets from his older brother, whom he desired to prove his worth to. Though still somewhat of a "brat", his behavior improved as he befriended Yugi Mutou and his companions and as Seto grew to love and appreciate him. In the anime, he is made to be much friendlier right off the bat.
Aside from his brief unfinished stint playing Duel Monsters against Yugi in Duel Kingdom, the only games he ever played on-panel were Capsule Monster Chess and Russian Roulette Dinner. Can usually be seen either carrying his brother's briefcase or monitoring his brother's tournaments. While Kaiba is openly disdainful of Yugi and his friends, Mokuba gets along with them just fine, though he's still mostly on his brother's side when it comes to the rivalry he has with Yugi.
- Adaptational Heroism: Mokuba is much nicer in the second anime than he is in the manga.
- Adaptational Wimp: In the anime he loses his villainous characterization and being a threat to Yugi in exchange for being Kaiba's Morality Pet. He also gets kidnapped a lot more often than in the manga.
- Bad Liar: And a worse bluffer. Not only does Yami quickly discover that he's cheating in his "dinner table roulette" game, he gauges just how he's doing so and how to counter it rather quickly.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: In the first anime and manga, Mokuba softens up to Yugi and co. considerably after he saves him from his brother's Penalty Game.
- Big Brother Worship: He adores his brother, even when he's being a jerk to the other characters. Part of the reason Mokuba starts of as such a cruel person in the first anime series and manga is because he tries to emulate his brother, thinking it will earn his love; while he eventually snaps out of this and becomes kinder, he still follows Seto through thick and thin.
- Brainwashed: By Noah in the Virtual World arc in the anime.
- Cheaters Never Prosper: Has never played a game that wasn't rigged in his favor. Yugi still beats him every time they face off.
- Compressed Hair: When he challenges Yugi during the Duelist Kingdom arc, he's wearing a disguise in which he manages to cram his three pounds or so of hair underneath a cap.
- Creepy Child: The first thing he does in the manga is challenge Yugi to a game of Capsule Monster Chess with the condition being that if Yugi lost, Mokuba would cut his fingers off. The second time, he tries to poison Yugi and succeeds in poisoning Jonouchi. It's only when his brother gets more evil and unhinged that this wears off and he starts being good.
- Decomposite Character: In the manga, hes Yugis first Capumon opponent and gets a Penalty Game where he is sealed inside a giant capsule. The first series anime gives this storyline to Canon Foreigner Warashibe.
- Designated Victim/Distressed Dude: In the anime, he gets kidnapped or is otherwise endangered at least once a season.
- Disguised in Drag: In the Legendary Heroes anime arc, he switches outfits with his virtual counterpart Princess Adena to get himself kidnapped in her place and be taken to where Seto was.
- The Dragon: During Death-T, he is this to his older brother.
- Easily Forgiven: Less so in the second anime since he was never villainous there, but more so in the first anime/manga, where he comes off as being almost bad as Seto was. Once Seto nearly kills Mokuba in his own version of a Penalty Game and is saved by Yugi, he comes clean that all he wanted was his brother's approval, earning sympathy from the protagonists.
- HeelFace Turn: Early in the series he hated Yugi just as much as Seto did, and in the manga tried to kill him. He eventually loosened up.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: In the manga after his HeelFace Turn, he still displayed bits of a Jerkass attitude not unlike his brother, but as opposed to Seto it's clearly an act. The driving point of this is at the end of Duelist Kingdom where he mocks Yugi and the others, then almost immediately softens up when he sees that they have no ride back to Japan, asking his brother to let them come along in their helicopter.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: The Toei anime and the manga establish that all he wants is for his brother to love him again. It's a huge Kick the Dog moment when his brother tells him that "useless things like brotherly love don't exist".
- Knight of Cerebus: Mokuba's first appearance in the manga caused the story to become darker and more arc-based. It's extremely jarring to people who have only seen the second anime, where he's slightly arrogant at worst and is usually a sweet kid.
- Morality Pet: To Kaiba.
- Never Recycle Your Schemes: His role in Death-T may well be a good example of why it's not a good idea to do so. He tries to defeat Yugi in Capsule Monsters with the same underhanded trick that didn't work the first time and only fails worse.
- Orphanage of Fear: Along with Seto, he grew up in one.
- Sadist: When Yugi asks him why he keeps touching the syrup bottle during the Russian Roulette game, he explains that "the suffering of others makes the sweetest syrup." Like most of his characterization at this stage, it's forgotten after Death-T, and ignored in the second anime.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: During the early manga and the Toei anime.
- Smug Snake: During his time as villain, he was an even bigger example of this then Kaiba. He had all of his arrogance, but none of his skills.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In the Toei anime and manga, Mokuba was a jerk that was only surpassed by his brother Seto, believing being more like his brother would get him to love him again. Once Seto nearly kills him in Death-T 4's Penalty Game and he's saved by Yugi, Mokuba realizes he was wrong and tries to become a better person, imploring Yugi to help his maddened brother like he helped him.
- Trauma Swing: Spent his first day in the orphanage on a playground swing, where only Seto regarded him.
- Undying Loyalty: To his brother, even after finding out that Seto manipulated and used him for his own gains in the past.
- Young and in Charge: As Battle City Commissioner. He's also Vice President of his brother's company. The former serves as a slight deconstruction. When Mokuba comes across a duelist who is trying to force his losing opponent to hand over two rare cards instead of one and calls him on his cheating, the cheater does not take him seriously until Seto shows up and uses him as a test for Obelisk the Tormentor. His emotions also get the better of him, as he allowed the duel between Joey and Espa Roba to continue instead of calling it off despite having caught Roba's brothers helping him cheat. Why? Roba reminded him of Seto.
Daimon (大門) (Hobson)
- Voice by: Ryuji Saikachi (Toei series), Ted Lewis (English), Alejandro Villeli (Latin American Spanish), Miguel Ayones (European Spanish)
Seto Kaiba's faithful butler, rarely leaving his side. He once worked as a torturer and learned to resist torture himself, before being employed by the Kaiba family. Using his skills of torture, he designed the Electric Chair Ride game of Kaiba's Death-T theme park. The ride was designed to make the participants scream, which they must resist doing to avoid being electrocuted with ten million volts.
In the Toei anime he was given the name Daimon, and was a more heroic character than in the manga. The Duel Monsters anime also named him Daimon, and the English dub named him Hobson.
- Abled in the Adaptation: Inverted in the Toei anime, where he is decrepit with age and has had to replace many of his internal organs with artificial ones. He half-jokingly calls himself a zombie because of this.
- Absurdly High-Stakes Game: His Electric Chair Ride of Death-T's horror section electrifies you to death if you scream.
- Adaptational Heroism: In the first series anime by Toei, he is portrayed as more sympathetic. Instead of being a master torturer, he's an elderly player of Duel Monsters. Being ill and perpetually on life support, Daimon experienced Seto Kaiba's kindness when Seto was young. He duels for Kaiba in the hopes of his good heart reemerging, and upon his loss, urged Yugi to restore Kaiba's kindness.
- Adaptation Personality Change: In Toei's anime he's not that bad of a guy.
- Anti-Villain: In the first series anime, where he's only following Kaiba's evil orders in the hopes that he'll eventually become good again.
- Demoted to Extra: In the second anime, he only appeared in the first episode helping Kaiba kidnap Grandpa and a few flashbacks in season 3.
- Dirty Old Man: In the manga he tried to make Yugi and his friends scream during the second part of the Death-T arc using a device with mechanized hands which fondled Anzu's breasts.
- Dub Name Change: The English dub changes his anime name from "Daimon" to "Hobson."
- Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep": In the manga, he's just Kaiba's butler.
- High-Voltage Death: His fate in the manga.
- Morality Pet: In the Toei anime, he was the one person Kaiba cared for as a child, and he expresses hope that his kindness can be restored.
- Named by the Adaptation: The Toei and second-series anime named him Daimon (Hobson in the English dub). He was unnamed in the manga.
- Noble Demon: In the Toei anime he's much more noble than other versions, where he's a Worthy Opponent to Yugi and a Morality Pet to Kaiba.
- Reincarnation: Of ancient Egypt's Gelbelk, keeper of the pharaoh's dungeons and also a master torturer.
- Tickle Torture: Literally, he sets up tickle machines in an attempt to get Yugi's crew laughing so they'll be electrocuted to death.
- Torture Technician: Doubles as this for Kaiba as well as being his butler.
- Uncertain Doom: In the Toei anime Kaiba leaves him for dead after his loss, but it's never started whether he actually died.
- Worthy Opponent: In the Toei anime Yugi considers him one, as they share a respect for games and he refuses to cheat or use an unfair advantage like earlier opponents.
Laser Tag Assassins
The Laser Tag Assassins were three professional mercenaries hired by Kaiba. After being offered ¥10,000 each for killing Yugi and his friends in the Shooting Stardust game of Kaiba's Death-T amusement park, they were determined to get their job done and were equipped with guns that fired real lasers that can cause fatal electric shocks, whereas Yugi and his friends were given toy guns.
In the original manga, the team composed of Johnny Gale, a former Green Beret commander, Bob Mcguire, a former SWAT team leader and sniper, and Name unknown, a hitman who succeeded in killing all of his opponents until he was hired by Kaiba Corp.
- Absurdly High-Stakes Game: To them, getting shot by the enemy is just another game of laser tag. To the enemy, it's an actual war ground because their laser guns are real.
- Adaptation Name Change: Johnny Gale, Bob Mcguire, and "Name unknown" are changed to Red, Black, and Blue in the Toei anime. Well, "Name unknown" doesn't get a name change, but rather...
- Adapted Out: "Name unknown" is replaced by a woman named Blue in the Toei anime.
- Captain Ersatz: "Name unknown"...? That face looks familiar... A killer who never fails an assignment... Wait a minute... Holy crap, it's Golgo 13!
- Bounty Hunter: Their targets? Primarily Yugi, and also his friends.
- Dub Name Change: The Dungeon Dice Monsters game names them Charlie Gale, Bickford Gage, and Snipes Crosshair, respectively.
- Fixing the Game: Yugi and his friends walked into Death-T Arena 1 thinking it was just a normal laser tag game, and it is for them as they're giving regular toy guns used for laser tag. However, Kaiba had rigged the game and the assassins obviously have the upper edge here because their guns are real, which the characters luckily found out before anyone died.
- Foreign Cuss Word: In the Japanese manga, there was an instance where on of the assassins cursed in English.
- Private Military Contractors: Johnny Gale and Bob Mcguire were former soldiers/law enforcement officers.
- Professional Killer: "Name unknown" was a professional hitman that had a perfect kill count until he was hired by Kaiba Corp, where our heroes obviously escaped death.
- Race Lift: Bob Mcguire is a white man in the manga, whereas the Toei anime turned him into a black man named "Black"
One summer during a camp near Domino Lake, Chopman murdered ten boy scouts who had been staying there in a single night. He chopped their bodies into unrecognizable pieces and the news of the murders had all of Domino City in fear. The suspect came to be known as "The Chopman", but was not captured and remained at large. Seto Kaiba later hired him for the Horror Stage of his Death-T theme park.
After a horrifying struggle, Jonouchi manages to kill the Chopman by burning him alive.
- Absurdly High-Stakes Game: His role in Death-T is basically Clock Tower come to life.
- Adapted Out: He doesn't appear in the first series anime because Death-T was heavily toned down by Toei Animation. Likewise, the first episode of the second series anime skips over Death-T's lower stages and goes right into Yugi's final Death-T battle with Kaiba, so he doesn't appear there either.
- Ax-Crazy: As long as he gets to kill people, he's satisfied.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Leatherface.
- Homage: To The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th.
- Hulk Speak: He speaks like this in the Destiny Board Traveler game.
- Kill It with Fire: Jonouchi's solution for this psychopath.
- Psycho for Hire: Kaiba somehow tracked down this crazed killer and got him to be a living attraction.
Gozaburo Kaiba (海馬剛三郎)
- Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka (Toei anime), Tetsuo Komura (Duel Monsters), David Willis (English), Armando Réndiz (Latin American Spanish), Víctor Valverde (European Spanish)
The former head of Kaiba Corporation and Seto Kaiba's adopted father. When Kaiba took over the company, Gozaburo either fled in shame, committed suicide or experienced a heart attack, depending on the adaptation. In the anime, he is the mastermind of the Virtual World arc and Noah's father.
He uses an Exodia deck, focusing on Exodia Necross.
- Abusive Dad: To his three sons.
- Adaptation Species Change: While he still starts off as a human in the anime version, he ends up becoming a Virtual Ghost.
- A God Am I: In the anime dub, his goal is to digitize the minds of everyone on the planet and rule humanity as the all-powerful king of the virtual world.
- Arc Villain: He and Noah, as the Big Bad and The Heavy respectively, share this role in the "Virtual Nightmare" arc.
- Archnemesis Dad: Has reached this status with regards to Seto Kaiba by the time of the Virtual World Arc.
- Ascended Extra: In the manga he was just a part of Kaiba's backstory and commits suicide by jumping off the Kaiba Corp building within said backstory. The anime turns his death into a fake one and makes him the Big Bad of a Filler Arc, devoting a lot of screentime in it to fleshing out his past with the Kaiba brothers.
- Badass Moustache: A little bit badass, mixed in with loads of ruthlessness, but the 'stash is undeniably badass.
- Big Bad: Of the "Virtual Nightmare" Filler Arc.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: A mighty pair indeed.
- The Chessmaster: Not only is he good at setting up overarching plans in advance, but this trope is a recurring motif for him — he's a master chess player forced to adopt Seto when Seto beats him, he uses a chessboard and pieces to summon monsters in the virtual world, and snickers he'll call out "checkmate" when he beats Seto in their duel.
- Child Hater: Implied in the dub at least. When he arrives to give toys at the orphanage Kaiba and Mokuba are, he complains about the smell and asks one of the employees if they "bathe these urchins". Later, when talking to Kaiba and the Big Five about voting him out of power and Kaiba in using the company stocks they bought, he fires the Big Five and tells Kaiba he's going back to the orphanage where "ungrateful brats" like him belong.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: In the anime, Amelda thought he was engaged in illegal war profiteering, something that was easy for Kaiba to believe. In truth, this was a lie concocted by Dartz, who committed said atrocities disguised as Gozaburo. In season 3 and the manga he was engaged in war profiteering, but it wasn't illegal.
- Death by Irony: He tries to pull this on Kaiba, intending to defeat him in duel monsters the same way Kaiba defeated him in chess, even using an undead version of Exodia, the card that handed Kaiba his first defeat in Duel Monsters, to do it. It didn't work out.
- Driven to Suicide: In the manga, he jumps from a window after Kaiba took control of the company in order to show him the fate of a loser.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He assumed Mokuba would turn Kaiba after their nasty fight, and would hand him his 2% of the company. He failed because he underestimated family ties.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Played straight, then subverted. It seems Gozaburo really did love Noah when he was alive, spending time with him, making sure he had the best education his influence could get, and resorting to making him a Virtual Ghost to save his life when he died. After that though, Gozaburo realized that Noah could not be the heir he needed in his current state, and left him to wander the datascape while he turned his time to Seto.
- Evil Mentor: His grooming of Kaiba to be his heir in the anime was intended to make him a vessel for Noah's mind. In the dub he comes to decide why bother, when Seto is just as smart and capable as Noah, while in the Japanese he decided to take Seto's body for himself when he died.
- Fatal Flaw: His arrogance and pride — he thinks he's always in control of the situation and has thought everything out so there's no way he can lose. Kaiba beats him this way twice, first by manipulating Mokuba into spending time with Gozaburo so Gozaburo thinks Mokuba will support his control of KaibaCorp over Kaiba; he thus allows Kaiba and the Big Five to buy up 49% of the company, ignorant to the idea that maybe Mokuba won't support him after all. Second, he believes Exodia Necross is completely invincible and will win him the duel to the point he never plays any other cards, never anticipating Kaiba might find a way to banish the Exodia parts in his graveyard and strip Exodia Necross of its powers.
- Faux Affably Evil: He shows up at Seto and Mokuba's orphanage to give out toys and donating a substantial amount of money to it, which is part of what makes Seto think he'd be a great parent for them. Gozaburo showed his true colors as an emotionally abusive and manipulative monster once they were home with him.
- Filler Villain: In the anime he's the final villain of the Noah arc, though he has a legitimate reason for showing up, being a major part of Kaiba's backstory.
- Final Boss: Of the "Virtual Nightmare" arc, dueling Kaiba moments before the virtual world itself goes into meltdown.
- Glass Cannon: Exodia Necross seems invincible, but when Kaiba figures out its weakness, he tears both it and Gozaburo to shreds.
- Grand Theft Me: Tries it on Kaiba.
- Greater-Scope Villain: He is the reason for Seto's harsh and mean character, and in the manga, the major reason why Seto's such a psycho before Yami Yugi's "Mind Crush" and why he takes games so seriously.
- Hate Sink: It's pretty clear with his abuse on Seto that he was not meant to be liked at all.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: His plans to turn Kaiba into a ruthless tycoon who trusted nobody - himself included - worked only too well. Kaiba used this advice to become business-savvy enough to oust him.
- Honest Corporate Executive: Despite his awful personality and treatment of his family, he seems to have been an honest and competent businessman, if in the morally dubious market of arms dealing. In-universe some believe he was double-dealing, but it was actually Dartz disguised as him.
- Hotblooded Sideburns: His chops complete the trifecta that include his 'stash and his 'brows.
- It's Personal: With Kaiba.
- Jerkass: Gozaburo is up there with Yami Bakura and Yami Marik for one of the most unpleasant human beings of the original series. He's cruel, ruthless, manipulative, pulls You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on his own blood son, and plans to blow up the world's major cities with missiles for no real reason. However, unlike Yami Bakura and Yami Marik, Gozaburo has no Freudian Excuse or other justification for why he is the way he is. He's just a bastard, plain and simple.
- Knight Templar Parent: About the nicest way to interpret his personality is that he's so harsh and strict to temper Noah and Seto into strong, capable businessmen. This is part of why he adopts Seto, he sees another intelligent and capable boy Noah's age and tells Noah the two will compete to see who is worthy to take over Kaiba Corp. This is pre-death though; by the time of the Virtual World he finds all three of his sons are failures or have turned on him, so he tells Noah You Have Outlived Your Usefulness, decides to get rid of Kaiba, and has no interest in Mokuba at all.
- Lack of Empathy: He's an Abusive Dad who considers his biological son expendable, and later returns to try and trap Kaiba and his allies in the Virtual World. He tells Kaiba that you can trust no one, including him, neglects Mokuba, abandoned Noah before using him for his own ends, and generally doesn't care about anyone beyond himself and his own legacy. He's not as over the top about it as Yami Bakura and Yami Marik, but yeah—there's no empathy there.
- The Man Behind the Man/Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The dub included foreshadowing of his appearance, most notably that Noah acts all along as if he knows Gozaburo is watching. In the original though his arrival is completely unexpected and Noah is shocked to see him, thinking he was dead like everyone else.
- Multiple-Choice Past: There's a lot of continuities to his fate. In the manga, Gozaburo leapt off Kaiba Corp's roof after Seto took over the company. The first series anime implies he had a heart attack and dropped dead in the board room when he found out Seto seized control of the company. The Japanese second series anime says he committed suicide through unsaid means after Kaiba took over the company, but in the English dub he fled in shame. Then of course came the anime-exclusive virtual world arc where it turns out he's a Virtual Ghost who digitized his mind instead of dying.
- Not Quite Dead: Sure, he did die in the manga. But, in the anime, not before uploading his memory into the virtual realm.
- Not Me This Time: Done in hindsight, oddly enough. Amelda believes he had orchestrated a war profiting enterprise to make money, which resulted in the deaths of Amelda's parents. While Seto was quite willing to believe this, it wasn't true. The "Gozaburo" that Amelda had seen involved in it was Dartz in disguise.
- Offing the Offspring: His objective by the time of the Virtual Nightmare arc.
- One-Winged Angel: Transforms into a corrupted virus after his defeat, and tries to first possess Kaiba, and then take the group with him.
- Posthumous Character: In the manga. Subverted in the anime, when he turns up alive in the virtual world.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: A totally evil one. While the details vary between English and Japanese versions, he gives Kaiba ten million dollars and one year to pay Gozaburo back ten times that in order to prove he's worthy to take over KaibaCorp. If he blows it, he and Mokuba are going back to the orphanage.
- Social Darwinist: In the manga, this even applies to himself.
- Sore Loser: Doesn't take both of his defeats well.
- Spared by the Adaptation: In the manga, he commits suicide when Seto ousts him; the anime changes this to a heart attack, but as it turns out, he's Only Mostly Dead and returns in the anime-only "Virtual Nightmare" arc.
- Taking You with Me: Tries it on the cast at the end, when he attacks their blimp.
- True Final Boss: Of the "Virtual World" arc. At first it appears that Noah is the Big Bad and the guy that Kaiba and Yugi have to beat in order to escape. Then Gozaburo shows up, and Kaiba has to fight one last duel against him in order to make good his getaway.
- Villain Ball: When he learns that the virtual world is set to be destroyed, he decides to take Kaiba's body by force and escape, but Kaiba convinces him to back off and finish the duel, since he was so intent on proving himself superior.
- Villain with Good Publicity: When alive, his public image was that of a charitable philanthropist, which was only a PR façade.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: His Deck doesn't seem to have any usable cards at all in it, aside from Exodia Necross, its requirements, and Painful Choice. After playing Contract with Exodia, he doesn't use a single card for the entire rest of the Duel, despite having a pretty full hand (in fact, he'd have to discard something on his last turn). Of course, in his eyes, Exodia Necross is so powerful he doesn't need anything else.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Pulls it on Noah.
The Big Five
The Kaiba Corp board of directors, consisting of Oshita (Gansley), Otaki (Crump), Ooka (Johnson), Ota (Nezbitt) and Daimon (Leichter). Played a part in Seto Kaiba's takeover of the company when Gozaburo ran things, but once Seto Kaiba took over he stripped them of their power and left them as figureheads. They've since tried various schemes to take the company for themselves, such as when Yugi Mutou beat Kaiba in his Death-T final game, which left him in a coma and without his title of best gamer. Thus, they attempted to work with Pegasus to take control of the company.
In the anime, the Big Five are promoted to significant filler villains. Their betrayal is what ultimately result in them being locked in a virtual world; they must each defeat a member of the main cast in a duel in order to escape. They fail, and are either trapped in cyberspace forever or deleted from existence depending on the version.
- All Your Powers Combined: Twice. The first time is when they all possess Honda's body, the second is when they sacrifice all of their Deck Masters to summon Five-Headed Dragon.
- Arc Villain: In the "Virtual World" and "Virtual Nightmare" arcs, though in the latter they're subordinate to Noah and Gozaburo.
- Ascended Extra: Went from a minor faceless group in the manga to recurring foes each with a distinct personality in the anime.
- Badass Grandpa: They're all in their fifties at least, and can take on the likes of Yugi, Kaiba, and Joey. Special mention goes to Oshita/Gansley and Daimon/Leichter for nearly taking out Yugi and Kaiba without cheating.
- Nezbitt, too. His dueling skills might leave much to be desired, but he's (at least in the Japanese version) a skilled kendoka who easily disarms Kaiba with nothing but a stick.
- Boring, but Practical: Aside from Daimon/Leichter, the group clearly has only a beginner's understanding of Duel Monsters. Thus they use straightforward and simple strategies, but they're good enough to work. Oshita/Gansley uses self-replacing monsters with effects to limit the opponent's card advantage, Otaki/Crump uses a Water-themed beatdown deck, Ooka/Johnson uses a Fusion-monster Life Point recovery combo that lets him abuse his Deck Master ability, and Oota/Nezbitt uses a Machine-themed beatdown deck focused on Machine King. Nezbitt even comments on this due to repeatedly using his Robotic Knight's special ability to pile damage onto his opponents, Serenity, Duke, and Tristan, after which Tristan complains about his tactics. His response:"Why change a good thing?"
- Busman's Vocabulary: They all use terminology related to their professions and/or passions.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: They betrayed Gozaburo to Kaiba, and Kaiba to Pegasus before (in the anime-only) trapping him in a virtual world. After they themselves were trapped there, they join up with Noah, but have no problems flaunting his rules and going behind his back in their desperation to get out of there. Finally, they violate the terms of their duel with Yugi and Joey, refusing to return Honda's body despite having promised to.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: They worked for Gozaburo after all.
- Deal with the Devil: They cut deals with Pegasus and then Noah in hopes of gaining control of KaibaCorp. Leichter's "A Deal With Dark Ruler" card simulates this, summoning Berserk Dragon in exchange for half his lifepoints.
- Death by Adaptation: They were simply fired in the manga, and never seen again. In the anime, Noah deletes them for their failures (or imprisons them in the dub, though it doesn't make a difference in the end, since the base they're in is destroyed).
- Death by Irony: All of them lose in ironic fashions:
- Oshita/Gansley spends the duel insulting Kuriboh and loses due to its ability.
- Otaki/Crump declares Dark Magician Girl to be useless without the Dark Magician, so Tea summons Yugi's and the tag team wins her the duel.
- Ooka/Johnson loses because he can't tell if Joey's telling the truth about what cards he's drawn.
- Oota/Nezbitt picks Serenity as an opponent because she's inexperienced and it's her monster that finishes him off. He also defeats Honda/Tristan by destroying his deck master. Serenity defeats him the same way.
- Daimon/Leichter considers himself superior to Kaiba and loses when Kaiba pulls out a monster with a higher level than his.
- In their combined duel with Yugi and Joey, they allowed Joey to duel with Yugi because they thought he would be weaker and hold Yugi back. It was Joey's cards powering up the Dark Magician that won the duel.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Their Five-Headed Dragon is supposed to be unbeatable, having the highest attack of any monster in the game at that time, and an immunity to Trap Cards, Spell Cards, and attacks by any monster that doesn't have the Light attribute. Yugi and Kaiba take it down with Master of Dragon Soldier in their first confrontation with it, while Yugi and Jonouchi/Joey use a Dark Flare Knight/Mirage Knight combination the second time.
- Divergent Character Evolution: Initially they're an Omniscient Council of Vagueness, with the collective goal of taking over KaibaCorp for unspecified, but undoubtedly sinister intentions. In the "Virtual Nightmare" arc, they're all given separate personalities, and objectives, and while they all share the goal of defeating Kaiba and escaping into the real world, their reasons for hating him are fleshed out, with them being gaining separate backstories and motivations. Gansley and Johnson are just greedy, Crump's mad at Kaiba for mocking his penguin obsession, Nezbitt's angry about his work being disposed of, and Leichter's The Resenter par excellence.
- Faux Affably Evil: Johnson and especially Leichter, who in the English dub at least, is incapable of addressing anyone informally, despite being the biggest bastard of the entire group. Also Crump for being Laughably Evil.
- Five-Man Band: If the name wasn't a tip off.
- Big Bad: Oshita/Gansley former executive Vice-President of Kaiba Corp and The Leader of the group.
- The Dragon: Daimon/Leichter, who seems to be second-in-command, and is definitely their best duelist. One could argue that Five-Headed Dragon is this to the group as a whole, with Berserk Dragon being Leichter's.
- The Brute: Ota/Nezbitt thinks he's a genius, but his dueling strategy consists of abusing his Deck Master ability, he puts himself in play so that he can attack his opponents directly, and his Hot-Blooded nature blinds him to the nature of Yugi's strategy during the team duel.
- The Evil Genius: Ooka/Johnson, the legal eagle, who rigs duels in order to win, powers up his low-level Fusion monsters in order to inflict damage while evading Joey's traps, and nearly brings the Yugi/Joey team to their knees with his strategy in the team duel.
- Dark Chick: Otaki/Crump, the most sympathetic and absurd, being a penguin fanatic and all.
- Evil Sounds Deep: In the dub, they all have fairly low voices, with Gansley and Nezbitt hitting the lowest notes.
- Grand Theft Me: What they try to do.
- Greed: A motivating factor for all of them, but especially Oshita/Gansley and Ooka/Johnson.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: All of them are likely the only duelists whom Kaiba disparages more than he does Joey, and he has a point. All of them fall for The Oldest Tricks in the Book again and again, and can't work together as a team at all. (Unlike Yugi and Joey, who are rather good at that.)
- Last-Name Basis: In the English dub, only Crump's first name has been revealed, and they are all addressed by their last names.
- The Man Behind the Man: They think they're this to Pegasus; in reality he's just using them.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: In their initial appearances.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Their Five-Headed Dragon is a Game-Breaker with 5000/5000, that destroys all cards on the field through the act of being summoned and can only be harmed by a monster with the Light Attribute. After it's destruction in their duel with Yugi and Jonouchi/Joey, Leichter summons the Berserk Dragon, a freaky undead monster with 3500/0 that can attack the entire field at once (but fortunately loses 500 ATK points every turn).
- Pungeon Master: All of them in the English dub—Gansley makes business puns, Crump accounting ones, Johnson legal ones, and Nezbitt machine related ones, while Leichter makes most of his at Kaiba's expense.
- The Resenter: They all resent Kaiba for his control of the company, but Daimon/Leichter is the most classic example, feeling control of the company should have come to him due to his status as Gozaburo's right-hand man.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: As revealed in Daimon/Leichter's flashbacks, the Big Five betrayed Gozaburo Kaiba by helping Seto take over Kaiba Corp and Seto rewarded them by demoting them to powerless figureheads.
- Sinister Silhouettes: In their initial appearances.
- Smug Snake: All of them. They range from very low-functioning (Crump and Nezbitt) to the far more high-functioning Gansley and Leichter. Johnson may be the most classic of them, with his condescending attitude, arrogance, and smarmy personality.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: In the English dub, Gansley vs Yugi and Leichter vs Kaiba.
- Spikes of Villainy: Their deck masters have this to varying degrees, most prominently Deepsea Warrior◊ and Jinzo◊.
- Theme Naming: In the original Japanese. Their surnames all begin with the character for 'big,' romanized as 'O.' The exception is Daimon, who uses the more Chinese 'dai' pronunciation.
- Took a Level in Badass: Between their original appearances in the manga and the anime's Virtual Nightmare Filler Arc, to the anime's Virtual World Filler Arc. Oshita/Gansley and Daimon/Leichter in particular have become capable duelists who can give the likes of Yugi and Kaiba, both world champions, a run for their money.
- Underestimating Badassery: Gansley towards Tea, Johnson towards Joey (twice) and Nezbitt towards Tristan, Duke, and Serenity. They all underestimate the badassery their opponents have while overestimating their own.
- Villainous Cheekbones: All of them but Otaki/Crump, who has chubby cheeks. Special points to Daimon/Leichter, who has cheekbones that could cut sheet metal.
- Villain Ball: They tend to have some nasty run-ins with this.
- Oshita/Gansley could have beaten Yuginote , but he decided to drag the duel out to watch him squirm.
- Ooka/Johnson's duel with Joey. After rigging the effect of Joey's dice cards, he could have attacked Joey's Swordsman of Landstar with one of his strengthened Fusion monsters and won the duel. Instead, he inexplicably uses his Deck Master ability to destroy it and deal far less damage than an attack would have, and then Joey uses Scapegoat to protect himself long enough to draw the cards he needs and ultimately win. He also has Painful Choice (a potentially powerful Spell Card, as any actual player can attest) and doesn't seem to have any real use for it.
- Johnson and Nezbitt get hit with this hard in the combined duel. Twice, once for each of them, they could have easily finished off Joey, who had no monsters out and there were no facedown cards to protect themselves. Instead Johnson settles for taking Joey down to 300 Life Points, while Nezbitt flat ignores Joey and attacks Yugi. (While falling for one of The Oldest Tricks in the Book at that; even his four partners saw it coming.)
- Virtual Ghost: Their fates after the Virtual Game arc, which is why they need to do Grand Theft Me on the heroes to get human bodies again.
- Would Hit a Girl: Otaki/Crump and Oota/Nezbitt would both trap a girl in the virtual world, and even specifically choose Shizuka and Anzu as their opponents because they think they'll be easier to beat.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: In the group duel, Yugi and Joey manage to do the near impossible and take down the Five-Headed Dragon, which served as the group's collective Deck Master and is all but undefeatable. They celebrate, they cheer—and then Daimon/Leichter activates A Deal With Dark Ruler to summon Berserk Dragon as their new Deck Master, even as Yugi and Joey's all powerful Mirage Knight splits back into the Black Magician and Flame Swordsman that were used to summon it. Uh-oh.
Konosuke Oshita (大下 幸之助) (Gansley)
The former vice president of business strategy at KaibaCorp.
- Bald of Evil: In his real body.
- Cool Mask: Has one as Deepsea Warrior.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: All the Big Five are this, but Oshita/Gansley stands out in particular. In the dub, he recounts in his childhood that he stole a lemonade stand from a neighbor, before expanding it into a canned juice distributor.
- Deadpan Snarker: Somewhat surprisingly in the English dub, he keeps up a pretty constant barrage of understated sarcasm in the initial part of his duel with Yugi.
- Death by Irony: He spends his duel against Yugi insulting Kuriboh, and loses due to its ability.
- Evil Old Folks: He's the oldest of the Big Five, and needs a cane to support himself.
- Fat Bastard: Is noticeably portly.
- Fatal Flaw: He enjoys watching people squirm. He could have beaten Yugi quickly, but instead decided to drag the duel out, leading to his defeat.
- Perpetual Frowner: He's a scowler.
- Prongs of Poseidon: Wields one as Deepsea Warrior.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: His deck is made up almost exclusively of reptile cards.
- Villain Ball: He could have beaten Yuginote , but he decided to drag the duel out to watch him squirm.
Shuzo Otaki (大瀧 修三) (Adrian Randolph Crump III)
A former KaibaCorp accountant (human resources in the dub).
- Anti-Villain: He is by far the most sympathetic of the Big 5, aside from his humiliating treatment in his duel with Tea. He had Abusive Parents and only found comfort in watching penguins at the zoo, jealous of their deeply paternal bonds with their children. He eventually worked up the ranks to gain enough authority to get his own penguin-themed amusement park, but Seto turned his proposal down.
- Captain Ersatz: He is very clearly based on Batman villain Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin. As Nightmare Penguin he even sports the top hat and tuxedo.
- Death by Irony: He declares Dark Magician Girl to be useless without Dark Magician, so Tea summons Yugi's and the tag team wins her the duel.
- Dirty Old Man: He makes many lewd comments about Tea and Dark Magician Girl in the Japanese version.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: He certainly thinks so, and his Nightmare Penguin Deck Master and deck filled with penguin cards reflects that belief. In practice it doesn't work out so well for him, as his penguins are among the weakest cards in the game.
- Fatal Flaw: Caution. Had he been a little more aggressive during the first phase of his duel and swarmed the field with the penguins in his hand after Penguin Sword gave him an edge, he could have won his duel with Tea.
- Freudian Excuse: He grew up with Abusive Parents and only found comfort in watching penguins at the zoo, jealous of their deeply paternal bonds with their children. He eventually worked up the ranks to gain enough authority to get his own penguin-themed amusement park, but Seto turned his proposal down.
- Good with Numbers: He was formerly KaibaCorp's head accountant. This is explained in his backstory as it stemming from his love for counting.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: He uses a deck filled with weak penguins, which he's been obsessed with since childhood, and comes off as so pathetic in his duel with Tea that you almost feel sorry for him. Then in the duel between the Big Five and Yugi & Joey (in which most of the cards on the field belong to other Big Five members) he and his Deck Master, Nightmare Penguin, really come into their own, boosting the power of the WATER monsters Gansley had played and establishing an enormous lead for the Big Five.
Chikuzen Ooka/Oka (大岡 筑前) (Johnson)
A lawyer, formerly KaibaCorp's legal advisor.
- Amoral Attorney: In the Japanese version he says outright he has no problem twisting the facts, and claims "the truth" is whatever tale he can spin for the court. In the dub, during an internal This Cannot Be! as he's defeated, he notes "I once convinced a jury that a man who was terrified of water stole a boat!"
- Batman Gambit: He lets Joey abuse his Deck Master's ability to power up his monsters and swarm the field, because once he's invested enough resources, his Deck Master ability will make it all for nothing. In the Japanese anime he compares it to a gambler letting their wins go to their head and then blowing it all.
- Fixing the Game: His deck master Judge Man already had a huge game breaking ability, but added rigging the results of Joey's luck-based cards to his advantage. Noah didn't put up with it.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: In his human form, he's an Amoral Attorney who lies and cheats.
- Hanging Judge: A literal case as Judge Man.
- Revenge Before Reason: In the tag-team duel with Yugi and Joey, he's so obsessed with getting even with Joey that, against better judgement, he convinces the others to make it two-on-one. While this grants them 8,000 LP to start, it is depleted rather fast via the foolish move.
- Sore Loser: His anger over his loss to Jonouchi leads to him focusing the brunt of his attacks on Jonouchi during the two-on-two duel.
Soichiro Oota/Ota (大田 宗一郎) (Nezbitt)
An engineer and former chief technical officer of KaibaCorp.
- Arms Dealer: Under Gozaburo, he was in charge of KaibaCorp's military factories.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: He looks like someone drew angry eyebrows on him with a giant marker.
- Bling of War: As Robotic Knight, which has a gold outline on its robotic shell.
- Combining Mecha: Oota/Nezbit combines Robotic Knight with Machine King to create Perfect Machine King.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Even if he was consistently the most useless of the Big Five, he was technically the only one who won against one of his opponents and got them all Tristan's body to use.
- Cyborg: He would desperately like to be one, a fact that Noah mocks him for.
- Genius Bruiser: Subverted. He thinks he's become one after fusing to create Perfect Machine King but he relies on brute power more than strategy, and he later costs the Big Five their duel with Yugi and Joey.
- Humongous Mecha: His Perfect Machine King, created by fusing Machine King and Robotic Knight.
- Machine Monotone: Attempts to put this up as Robotic Knight.
- Miles Gloriosus: Noah claims that Oota/Nezbitt is nothing but a "scared little man" behind the cold robotic image he projects with Robotic Knight.
- Misanthrope Supreme: He favors machines over people.
- The Load: In the duel against Yugi and Joey, he totally blows the substantial lead that his allies had established; not only does he botch his chance to finish off Joey and eliminate him, but his misplay results in the Big Five taking almost 3000 damage to their Life Points, forcing Daimon/Leichter to take over the duel earlier than he'd wanted. If not for his blundering, they probably could have won.
- One-Winged Angel: Gets an impressive one when he fuses with Machine King to create Perfect Machine King. 2700 ATK, 1500 DEF. It gains 500 ATK for every Machine monster on the field, including itself, and Nezbitt runs a Machine deck and has a Magic Card that turns opposing monsters into Machines - in Nezbitt's duel, this causes the King to rocket up to 5200 ATK the second it's summoned.
- We Have Reserves: His support strategy—summon, then discard Machine monsters to directly deal damage to his opponents. The only ones that ultimately matter to him are his beatstick Machine King and himself as Robotic Knight.
Kogoro Daimon (大門小五郎) (Leichter)
Former assistant to Gozaburo Kaiba, and later, Seto.
- Affably Evil: Shows several shades of this.
- Ambiguously Brown: He's got dark skin, dark hair, and a six foot thick Southern accent in the dub.
- American Accents: Has a pretty straight up Dixie accent in the dub.
- Anime Hair: His hair stands up in a single spike.
- Bald of Evil: As Jinzo.
- Beard of Evil: Has a classic evil goatee.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: He also has thick villainous eyebrows.
- Boring, but Practical: While the rest of the Big Five's Deck Masters have fairly elaborate and flashy effects, Daimon/Leichter just has Jinzo's straight-forward, but very effective ability to permanently lock his opponent's Trap Cards while leaving his own Traps free to use.
- Cast from Hit Points: His playstyle is to use powerful cards that drain his Life Points, then regain them with cards like Solemn Wishes or Life Absorbing Machine.
- Coat, Hat, Mask: He disguises his Jinzo Deck Master this way.
- Cool Mask: Wears one along with some Sinister Shades when he first appears; one could argue that the mask he wears as Jinzo counts too.
- Cyborg: As Jinzo.
- Dragon-in-Chief: He is by far the most skilled duelist in the Big Five, and takes over for the group permanently in their unified duel with Yugi and Joey. After seeing him take on both heroes for two episodes you could be forgiven for forgetting that the rest of the Big 5 are even there.
- Dramatic Unmask: Takes the effort of disguising his Deck Master identity before revealing himself as the powerful Lockdown-style monster Jinzo when Kaiba tries to set Trap cards.
- Driven by Envy: All of the five are envious of Kaiba, but Daimon/Leichter is probably the worst, as he feels he, and not Seto, should have been given control of KaibaCorp.
- Jerkass Has a Point: He's a bad guy, no doubt, but he's entirely right when he calls out Kaiba for the way he used Mokuba and The Big Five during The Coup against Gozaburo.
- I Lied: Daimon/Leichter's response when Yugi reminds him that he promised to return Honda's body if the Big 5 were defeated.
- Kill Sat: He uses Satellite Cannon, which remains out of reach of attacks, and gains 1000 ATK points every turn.
- Killer Rabbit: Injection Fairy Lilly. She's a small cute fairy with only 400/1500. However, by paying 2000 Life Points he can raise her attack to 3400 until the end of his turn, making her very hard to get rid of. Leichter's initial strategy is to make sure he always has enough life points to milk her power for all it's worth.
- Large and in Charge: Out of the Five, he's the most talented duelist and is therefore given the most control when the Big Five are forced to duel together. He is also physically tallest as a human and probably as Jinzo as well.
- Lean and Mean: As Jinzo. Possibly as a normal person as well, since he is the tallest of the Big Five but seems to have narrow shoulders.
- Minored in Ass-Kicking: An attorney by trade, Daimon/Leichter seems to have a real talent for Duel Monsters, being clearly far more skilled than the rest of the Big Five and able to give some serious competition to Kaiba, Yugi and Joey.
- Noble Demon: Implied by his own distaste towards Kaiba's actions, though this doesn't mean he isn't above things like playing unfairly.
- Odd Name Out: In the original, he's the only one whose name doesn't begin with an "o". He arguably counts in the English as well, given that his name is a Shout-Out to Hannibal Lecter.
- One Steve Limit: In the original, he shares his name with Kaiba's butler, Daimon.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers a lengthy one to Kaiba in which he calls him out on his ruthless attitude and treatment of Mokuba.
- The Resenter: He was next in line to run KaibaCorp, until Seto arrived, and despises Seto for this.
- Shout-Out: In the English dub, "Leichter" is named for Hannibal Lecter, and in the Jinzo body◊ looks the part a bit. It also fits he gives such speeches too.
Isono (磯野) (Roland)A rule-posturing KaibaCorp employee who refereed the final duels during Battle City, Isono is also Seto Kaiba's personal bodyguard. He continued to work for KaibaCorp after the tournament, though in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Falsebound Kingdom he quit and found new work at SIC.
- Ascended Extra: He gets a bit more to do in season 4 of the anime, highlighting his genuine loyalty to Kaiba as well as showcasing his positive traits more.
- Anime Hair: Mild, but the dark parts of his hair are separated by lightning bolt-shaped stripes.
- FaceHeel Turn: In The Falsebound Kingdom Isono quit KaibaCorp to work for Scott Irvine, and is complicit in trapping Yugi and Kaiba in the game.
- Friend to All Children: In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction he's good with kids, organizing a Kaibaman show to give them hope and speaking kindly of Rebecca's skills.
- Lawful Stupid: Borderline example. He sticks adamantly to the rules of the game, even though something is obviously wrong (as in, Marik's demonic presence risking everyone's lives), and makes every call by the book. For example, one scene (deleted from the dub) from Yugi's duel with Marik has him rule that Yugi's drawing a card and setting it without confirming it is not allowed (if it's a monster, it's in the wrong slot) even though Yugi has a good reason for this. (Kaiba himself, however, overrules this ruling, saying it's "interesting" and the duel continues.) The worst example is when he forbids Yugi from helping Bakura, even though Bakura was dying, because a duelist isn't allowed to make physical contact with an opponent.
- Rules Lawyer: According to him, duelists cannot interact with one another during the match, even if they're in danger of dying.
- Those Two Guys: He often appears alongside Fuguta, another employee with similar hair.
- Undying Loyalty: In the anime he remains steadfastly loyal to Kaiba even after Dartz takes over the company.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: In the anime he has dark turquoise hair, while the manga has him with black hair.
Scott Irvine/Engineer A (技術者Ａ)
In the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Falsebound Kingdom video game, Scott is the main villain of the game, trapping the characters in a virtual game world in a bid to summon DarkNite. He also cameos in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light and Yu Gi Oh The Darkside Of Dimensions.
- Actually a Doombot: At one point in Kaiba's campaign, he and Yami Yugi team up to defeat Scott, only for the real Scott to reveal that they'd defeated a remotely-controlled robot stand-in.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: He had grey hair in the manga and anime, black hair in Pyramid of Light, and The Falsebound Kingdom gives him brown-grey hair.
- Ascended Extra: From a random technician to the Big Bad of one of the games.
- Beard of Evil: In The Falsebound Kingdom his beard is more unkempt compared to his other versions.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: He inflicts this on Joey, Tea, and Bakura via mind control.
- The Cameo: He makes minor appearances in the manga, the second series anime, Pyramid of Light, and Darkside of Dimensions.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Scott was a background extra from the manga and anime before appearing in the game. It's really highlighted in Yugi's campaign, since they have no idea who he is.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: He gets these when erasing Haysheen from the game and brainwashing the players.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: He went mad from seeing Yugi, Kaiba and Marik wield the Egyptian God Cards and became obsessed with controlling their power.
- Insufferable Genius: He talks down to Yugi and his friends frequently, calling them a feeble-minded bunch who wouldn't understand his schemes. When Yami Yugi does figure it out, he's only mildly impressed.
- Mad Scientist: He built a huge video game simulation to trap the players' souls and summon a wicked spirit.
- Named by the Adaptation: The Falsebound Kingdom was the first media to name him. He went unnamed in the manga, DSOD gave him the last name Kuwabara after one of the movie's staff, and the anime designated him Engineer A.
- Never Found the Body: Though DarkNite implies he's dead, Scott's body is never found and he vanishes without a trace.
- Sanity Slippage: While he's already unhinged by the start of the game, by the end he's gone mad to the degree that DarkNite calls him more than a little crazy.
- Smug Snake: One of his defining traits in the game is his supreme arrogance. His mugshot's only expression is of him sneering.
- Start My Own: He forms SIC after leaving KaibaCorp, hiring Roland/Isono to work for him as well.
- Would Hurt a Child: Threatens to kill Mokuba if Seto won't do as he says, and he set the game up to sacrifice everyone in it to DarkNite.
- Yes-Man: In the manga and anime he followed Kaiba's orders to the letter, inserting Kaiba's deck into the duel computer at maximum level despite the damage Solid Vision could cause.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Pulls this on the villain of the virtual game, Emperor Haysheen, to take over his army and his role.
- Your Soul Is Mine: He steals Mokuba's soul to coerce Kaiba into fighting Yugi, then adds that he'll kill Mokuba if Kaiba doesn't comply.