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Characters / Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL Main Characters

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    Yuma Tsukumo
Voiced by: Tasuku Hatanaka (JP), Eli Jay (EN, ZEXAL), Noah Benjamin (EN, Duel Links)

The protagonist of the series, Yuma is a thirteen-year-old middle-schooler living in the city of Heartland. Despite, or because of, his energetic, peppy personality he's known amongst his peers as a screw-up who can't do anything right, whether it be at school or at Duel Monsters.

He possesses a pendant called the Emperor's Key, which turns out to be the key to unlocking a gate to another dimension, releasing the spirit Astral and the ninety-nine Numbers cards. With his own Numbers ace, No. 39: King of Wishes, Hope (a.k.a. Number 39: Utopia), Yuma and Astral must track down and collect the remaining Numbers cards.

Yuma plays a syllable-themed deck, featuring monsters with repetitive names or puns. His strategies involve manipulating the Levels of his monsters to Xyz Summon and increasing the ATK of his monsters with various card effects.

In the manga, Yuma gains the ability to summon Shining Numbers such as SNo. 39: Hope ONE, SNo. 39: Hope the Lightning, and SNo. 0: Hope Zexal

Tropes exclusive to him in the first half:

  • The Ace: Averted actually. So far he's the only protagonist to not be portrayed as this in any way.
    • You could say he fits this role due to being the best duelist of his friends (Which isn't really saying much) or for winning the World Duel Carnival and becoming Champion of Heartland.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: After becoming eligible for the World Duel Carnival Finals, he tries to sell his autograph to all his classmates. No one takes him up on it.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the manga, he takes on Kaito (who is possessed by one of Kyoji's Numbers) in their second Duel and won.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Gains a slight tan after being influenced by Dark ZEXAL.
  • Anime Hair: As usual. Which is taken Up to Eleven with his ZEXAL II transformation. Not only does it have the size of a Super Saiyan 3's hair, but it's tri-colored.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Both to highlight that it's capable of doing so and to stress his own initial recklessness, Yuma sometimes used Utopia's attack-negating effect during his own battle phase on itself.
  • Audience Surrogate: Started out as one, but quickly graduated from it by the start of the second season.
  • Badass Normal: In a show loaded with sci-fi powered paramilitary types, aliens, and reincarnated heroes, Yuma gets by with a little help from Astral and largely by being himself. Case in point, near the end of the show, he's the only major duelist left who still needs to use a Duel Gazer.
  • Black Knight: Hope Ray and Hope Ray V.
  • Break the Cutie: Occurs multiple times in Zexal I and Zexal II
    • Zexal I:
    • Zexal II:
      • Episode 84: Yuma almost loses a duel to Mizael, and again becomes depressed over the fact that he's not a strong enough duelist to protect Astral.
      • Episode 96: Yuma is broken by the revelation that Rei Shingetsu was Vector all along, and that he had been faking his friendship with Yuma.
      • Episode 111: Astral is killed by Black Mist in order to save Yuma. Astral is able to give a heartwarming goodbye speech to Yuma before both he and Yuma's key disappear.
      • Episode 124: Shark reveals his true nature as Nasch, shocking Yuma. When Yuma's key and Nasch's emblem resonate and Yuma sees Nasch's memories, the shock knocks him out.
      • Episode 128: III and V lose to Mizael and are sacrificed to the Barian World. Yuma breaks down in tears as Mizael beats them down.
  • Butt-Monkey: Oh yeah. The first episode alone has him failing at almost everything he does, and the series only proceeds to lay it on from there.
  • Catchphrase: Kattobingu daze, ore! Often shortened to just "Kattobingu" when referenced or used by other characters. (Truthfully, it's a made-up word.)
    • Dub catchphrase: "Feeling the flow!", used less often. Also "High five the sky!" and "Get set to get decked!"
    • In the English manga, it's "I'm Gonna Jet!"
  • Chained by Fashion: His Gagaga monsters.
  • Character Development: He becomes much more strategic in his duels, and relies on Astral's help a lot less.
  • Childhood Friends: With Kotori and Tetsuo since early grades.
  • Classical Anti-Hero: Bullheaded, somewhat stupid, largely incompetent, and disrespected even by his friends. His growing bond with Astral and the trials he undergoes eventually forge him into a more traditional if still a bit reckless, hero.
  • Clothing Damage: His late-80s/early-90s wardrobe goes through a lot of wear-and-tear in his fiercer duels more so than any Yu-Gi-Oh protagonist before or after him.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: In-Universe. Over the course of the series and dozens of duels, he obtained around seventy Numbers beside Hope. He used maybe nine of them at any point and only two more than once. "Make two Level 4s, then go into Hope" is, without exception, his first resort, and usually his last resort as well, even if he could bring out something else. Downplayed in the manga, where he uses other Numbers with some more frequency.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Yusei was a stoic young adult who was well-liked and respected by his friends and exceptionally skilled. Yuma is an immature and rather inept kid who his friends pick on because he's not very good at the game. Furthermore, Yusei grew up without his biological family, while Yuma grew up with his grandmother and sister.
  • Cool Down Hug: Delivers one to Haruto.
  • Cool Sword: Tornado Bringer Zexal Weapon monster.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Hope Ray. Up to Eleven with Hope Ray V, which due to the use of Rank-Up Magic - Limited Barian's Force to create it looks downright demonic. Yuma also evolves his Xyz monsters into Chaos forms, a technique both he and several villains use when New Order is its "Light" counterpart that Astral ought to be using.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: A unique example as he believes that dueling in itself forges lifelong bonds between most people so even if you do beat him, he'll still consider you a friend.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: ZEXAL Weapon - Asura Blow.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Unique among the franchise's protagonist in that many of his cards get stronger the closer he gets to being defeated.
  • Deal with the Devil: His deal with the Door is treated as this, with it being stated that he'll gain great power, but lose what he holds most precious (and he comes up with about half a dozen examples of this by the end of the series; good luck figuring out what it is).
  • Determinator: Jesus. Even for a protagonist in this franchise, it's impressive. His entire philosophy is based on never giving up and it shows for the most part. He falters a few times though.
  • Don't Think, Feel: Deconstructed. This original philosophy towards dueling made him so strategically inept that it took him years to successfully Xyz Summon in a real match. Once tempered by Astral's pragmatism, it becomes a legitimate way for Yuma to get one over on his enemies.
  • Dumb Is Good: On occasion, to the point of baffling his foes. It actually wins him the duel against Nasch when he cancels a game-winning attack because he doesn't want to lose himself and doom the Barian World. Nasch then reveals that he would have won if Yuma attacked, but the downside of the card because Yuma didn't attack caused him to lose.
  • Forgetful Jones: He forgot to register for the World Duel Carnival, forgot his invitation to the WDC Finals party, and forgot the Heart Pieces he spent a whole arc collecting when he went to the Finals. He's also misplaced his deck and Key more than once.
  • The Four Gods: Several of the Zexal Weapons are based on this.
  • Fusion Dance: Can do so with Astral under extreme circumstances.
  • Goggles Do Nothing: As the series goes on with exponentially escalating displays of supernatural happenstance, the utility of Yuma's Duel Gazer becomes increasingly suspect.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: He holds this opinion of his kattobingu and dueling in general.
  • The Hero: Notably, he's the first protagonist who has not had any dark moments; Dark ZEXAL being largely Astral's corruption.
  • Heroic BSoD: After his first encounter and near-loss to Kaito, Yuma utterly breaks down in the rain in front of Kotori, realizing he isn't good enough and even doing a Skyward Scream.
    • Also in his duel with III, where it's revealed that without the word "kattobingu," Yuma is terribly depressed and afraid of dueling and taking on challenges in general.
    • He suffers this again during his duel with Mizael, so much so that Kaito has to take over the duel in his place.
  • Honor Before Reason: Double Subverted in his second Duel with Shark; despite promising not to use the Numbers, he summons Hope anyway though Shark urges him to. Giving the reaction of his friends, it would seem that usually, Yuma does play the trope straight.
  • Hot-Blooded: In direct contrast to Yusei.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Despite his denial of such a title, Yuma is very much a Numbers Hunter.
  • Hypocrite: Rare protagonist example, at least in the dubbed version; he freely claims that teamwork is the point of Xyz Monsters, even though he himself doesn't accept external help.
    • He gets angry easily at times yet does not approve of others dueling in anger, and at one point wanted to drop out of the WDC to find his father despite his promise to him about becoming a champion.
      • There's an episode that hangs a lampshade on this, with Yuma himself pointing out that he is indeed hypocritical and pointing out how that was wrong of him.
  • Idiot Hair: Albeit an exaggerated example.
  • Idiot Hero: To the point where Astral often Lampshades his dueling misplays.
    • He really seems to be the least intelligent out of the series's protagonists. He's actually closer to Jounouchi than he is to Yugi, both as a beginner and in his general personality.
    • It's also in stark contrast to the other mains though, who are all The Stoic. This leads to an amusing Not So Stoic moment when they are at Jinlong's ruins, and Yuma smells Jinlong's lunch. Shark thinks that Yuma's sensed a Barian, and when he and Kite see Yuma walking in a trance towards the food, their reaction is priceless. A look of disbelief that is very out of character for them, before shaking their heads in disgust ever-so-slightly.
  • Ignored Aesop: When Yuma screws up his World Duel Carnival application, Shark tries to comfort him by saying that he didn't even try to enter as he wants to just duel for the love of the game. Yuma takes a moment to admire how cool and mature this sentiment is before immediate accosting whatever Heartland staff he can get his hands on to let him into the tournament.
  • Invincible Hero: For once in this series, it's actually averted. He still wins most plot-important matches, but he actually does lose quite frequently.
  • Japanese Delinquents: His Gagaga monsters have this as their theme.
  • Keet: Very loud, very young, and very easily excited.
  • Kid Hero: The second youngest main character thus far.
  • King of Beasts: Leo Arms is a Zexal Weapon Xyz monster and the one with the highest ATK gain.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Hope and Hope Ray Victory
  • Leeroy Jenkins: What his dueling style, at least to start out with, tends to lean towards without Astral's help.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: After realizing how much of an unfair advantage they give him in a typical duel, Yuma tries to refrain from using his Number cards against normal opponents.
  • Light Is Good: Hope and Hope Ray Victory.
  • Light Is Not Good: On the other hand, regarding Hope Ray V. Rei, the person that gave Yuma the Rank-Up-Magic card used to summon him, is revealed to be Vector. And he gave Yuma the card as part of a Batman Gambit. Despite the spoiler and its appearance, it's still the same attribute as Hope's other forms.
  • The Load: When it isn't his turn during the final duel in the manga, his 1 LP constantly forces Shark and Kaito to protect him. The ONE time he does protect himself, it's with an unbelievably counterproductive card that buys them a turn, but robs all of their monsters of ATK and effects. In addition, part of the reason that they're in so much trouble is that E'Rah mimicked his 5000 ATK Utopia the Lightning.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Ultimate Shield Zexal Weapon
  • Magnetic Hero: Commented on when his teacher compares him to the sun of a solar system.
  • Missed the Call: Despite having looked forward to it for months, Yuma failed to actually sign up for the World Duel Carnival (a process that would have taken under a minute to complete), assuming that he'd just receive an invite. He only manages to get into the tournament because Kite wanted a rematch with Astral.
  • Multicolored Hair: Red and black.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Yuma's a scrawny 13-year-old kid whose primary form of exercise is standing still and playing card games yet he routinely pulls off athletic maneuvers that would put an Olympian to shame, typically in the process of getting up after being knocked down while playing that card game. He does participate in his school's athletic activities, but that doesn't really justify the tricks he pulls off.
  • Next Tier Power-Up: He manages to set a new record among the protagonists for the fastest gained canon upgrade to an ace monster with Chaos Numbers 39: King of Wishes, Hope Ray. He got one three times faster than Yusei. He's gained three more in the anime, and another two in the manga since. Subverted with Hope Roots though, which is a power-up, but is actually a downgraded version.
  • Not Me This Time: Everyone, including Yuma himself, assumes that he misplaced his deck before the World Duel Carnival finals by accident given how forgetful he's been about the tournament since before it even started. It soon transpires that Faker stole it to facilitate a meeting with Yuma when he tried to get it back.
  • Oblivious to Love: Poor Kotori, Cathy and Anna. Lampshaded by Astral. The ending seems to have subverted this, as Yuma seems to have accepted Kotori's affections.
  • Order Versus Chaos: He's often the chaos to Astral's order, making him a heroic substitute for Astral's original counterpart in the dichotomy, Don Thousand.
  • Panthera Awesome: Lightning Blade Zexal Weapon.
  • Personality Powers: Utopia's abilities nicely compensate for Yuma's reckless dueling style, allowing him to negate his own attacks if he falls for an opponent's ploy. Utopia Ray also provides Yuma a potential Comeback Mechanic when his life points inevitably fall bellow 1000.
  • Powered Armor: In Zexal Mode, and it gets spiffier and spiffier with each new form.
  • The Power of Friendship: Played to incredible extremes. Yuma is able to become friends with ANYONE, ranging from stoic and seemingly emotionless characters (Astral), a juvenile delinquent which he helps reform (Shark), a Hunter who will stop at nothing to collect his Numbers and Soul (Kaito), a gentle boy driven to Ax-Crazy insanity and hatred (III) and even Rei Shingetsu, who despite revealing himself to be Vector and trying to hurt Yuma countless times, is still cherished by Yuma as a friend as seen when he attempts to rescue him, and his sincerity brings Vector to some sort of Heel–Face Turn. It is even hinted in more than one episode that Yuma and Astral are able to go Fusion Dance into ZEXAL partly because of the bond of trust between them, which Vector tries to sabotage. Shark even Dueled Yuma to snap him out (successfully) of his Heroic BSoD, despite not wanting to admit pout loud that he cares for Yuma a lot, and Kaito opened up to Yuma gradually (Thanks to Yuma showing genuine concern for him and his brother) and finally considered him his rival (after calling him a mere idiot earlier), and promising him to duel him as many times as he wants in order for Yuma to achieve his goal (of surpassing Kaito). III even called Yuma his first true friend, and that's coming from an innocent soul who had to live in a broken family situation.
  • Red Is Heroic: Yuma's hair, eyes, and parts of his clothing aside, the number 39 on Hope/Utopia is also red and for a while Hope was the only Number monster with a number of that color. Hope Ray Vnote  and Hope Ray Victory also have some red parts on their armor. He even gets a red aura briefly while traveling to Astral World.
  • Rule of Drama: His deck mostly consists of new cards that are inferior to those in previous shows that have similar effects to guarantee that his life points always drop to the triple digits when he duels to raise the stakes. Most glaring of these is the trap Half Unbreak, which mitigates battle damage involving a Monster he owns by half and makes it indestructible by battle in preference to using Waboku, which would eliminate battle damage entirely and would make all of his monsters immune to being destroyed by battle.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Upon finding out that it's too late to join the World Duel Carnival, Yuma bolts out of his school with alarming speed, screaming in despair all the while.
  • Shout-Out: To Pandora's Box. Yuma opened the door that unleashed 98 evils unto the world, but he also gained the power necessary to fight them: Hope.
  • Signature Move: Double or Nothing!. Yuma tends to use this card to win his duels only when he's doing things on his own, or without consulting Astral first (which he uses to win his first duel against Shark and catching Astral off guard). Notably, it is also the card Yuma uses to defeat Astral when he had his final duel.
  • Stepford Smiler: Take into account the gravity of the word "kattobingu" to him and he slips right into type A.
  • Super Mode: ZeXal, ZeXal II, and ZeXal III.
  • Telepathy: Yuma and Astral can communicate with each other this way, but they usually don't. After all, how else would Yuma embarrass himself in public by talking with himself?
  • Token Super: Yuma is the only one of his friends capable of ZEXAL. It involves him and his extra-dimensional companion Astral undergoing fusion to create a Golden Super Mode for Yuma.
  • Too Dumb to Live: An arduous climb with his father during early childhood cured Yuma of his fear of heights, but made him so unafraid that he has a propensity for excitedly leaping off of tall things without giving much thought to how he's going to land safely.
  • The Unintelligible: Kattobingu! There is no real translation for it. It is merely just a phrase Kazuki Takahashi came up with for Yuma when he created the character. "Katto" literally means "to flare up" ("bingu" is merely the Japanese spelling of the English sound effect "bing").
  • Victor Gains Loser's Powers: Yuma can use any Numbers which he has defeated and Astral has absorbed, making his Deck expand with each victory. However, he uses very few of them, and generally defaults back to only using Hope. Though when he does, it's very satisfying.
  • Warrior Therapist: The most blatant and straightforward one in the franchise, Yuma is even willing to lose if it means helping his opponent overcome the personal issues that make them duel out of spite, greed, revenge, etc.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Only his Xyz Monsters are truly powerful in terms of ATK, so he compensates by having various powerful card effects, if he uses them correctly.
  • Winged Unicorn: Unicorn Spear Zexal Weapon. Its effect may reflect to a unicorn's powers in myths. In legends, it is claimed that a unicorn's horn can neutralize poisons. This may reference to this card's ability to neutralize monster effects during the Battle Phase (Monster effects that are active during the Battle Phase usually either stop your attacks or prevent them from destroying your opponent's monsters).
  • Worthy Opponent: He becomes this to several duelists who initially take him for a worthless buffoon.

Tropes exclusive to him in the second half:

  • All-Loving Hero: He somehow managed to redeem Vector, despite Vector's constant trolling, maintaining that even if Vector had no soul he'd still believe his lies again and again because he believes that Vector has the potential to have a soul.
    • In the end, his personality and spirit defuses a war between two different worlds.
  • Book-Ends: Ends the series in the same place and using the same method he started it. Though happier than Yugi's ending where his alter ego dies.
  • Knight Knave And Squire: Forms this with Kaito and Shark. Is the squire due to his relative inexperience with duelling, optimistic attitude, and his status as The Hero. He also tends to look up to both Kaito and Shark.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Senses Girag first appearance on earth and later Don Thousand alongside Rio. Though what this means about him is currently unknown.
  • Reality Warper: In ZeXal II form, he can use Re-Contract Universe to change a card, for instance transforming Limited Barian's Force into its 'true form', Numeron Force.
  • Screw Destiny: In his final duel with Nasch, Yuma realizes that the price the Door claimed would come with the power that he obtained with Astral, would be to lose who he truly was (his idealistic ability to connect with others), which he ultimately managed to defy.

Voiced by: Miyu Irino (JP), Marc Thompson (EN)

A spirit being from another dimension who meets Yuma after he unlocks a dimensional gate. With no memory of who he is, Astral and Yuma must collect the ninety-nine Numbers monsters to reconstruct his memory. While living with Yuma he tends to make observations regarding daily human life and possesses great insight into Duel Monsters. As only Yuma can see him, most others tend to think Yuma's going crazy whenever he bickers with him.

After regaining memories from several of the Legendary Numbers, he recalls his mission is to destroy the Barian World.

Tropes exclusive to him in the first half:

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: "Number" duels. If he and Yuma win, then they get a new Number, but if their opponents win, then Astral perishes as their Number becomes the new dominant personality. They're also terribly one-sided as enemies can just ditch without forfeiting and losing one's Number is usually beneficial.
  • Amnesiac Hero: He arrives on Earth with no memories of his past life, and has to piece his memories together by collecting the Numbers.
  • Artificial Intelligence: He was created with a specific mission (destroy Barian World) and it is implied that Kazuma altered his programming to give him amnesia and send him to Earth.
  • Bash Brothers: With Yuma.
  • Batman Gambit: Taking down the math teacher by knowing that he was obsessed with perfection and so would act to restore his LP to 4000 even though doing so was unnecessary. Nice Job Fixing It, Villain! ensues.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Made hilarious in the dub, which censored out his crotch with a blur despite there being nothing to censor.
  • Captain Patriotic: Astral World's greatest champion. So much so that he was named after the place.
  • Deer in the Headlights: Develops a phobia to Kaito, which causes him to freeze up whenever he hears his name. He gets over it.
  • Exposed Extraterrestrials: Especially bizarre considering we eventually see the other inhabitants of Astral World, and they're all fully clothed.
  • Expy: The Atem to Yuma's Yugi, although they do duel independent of one another more so than the duo they're based on and Yuma isn't entirely reliant on his aid during his matches.
  • Fusion Dance: With Yuma.
  • Heroic BSoD: The same as Yuma after their near-loss to Kaito.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Kaito uses Photon Cerberus to prevent the Trap Card which forms Yuma's last defense from activating, Astral freezes up completely. It's also justified as this leads to Kaito's Near-Villain Victory (which would result in Yuma getting his soul sucked out by Photon Hand and Astral dying) if it weren't for Haruto collapsing, leading to the former to prematurely end the Duel with no result.
  • Powerful and Helpless: He's a skilled and brilliant extraterrestrial entity who can't even pick up a card most of the time, much less play one, due to his disembodied state.
  • Pure Is Not Good: Created to be a perfect agent of Astral World, such an unblemished essence paradoxically makes Astral even more susceptible to doubt and corruption than a regular person. He suffered a massive existential crisis after almost losing to Kaito and a single betrayal by Yuma was enough to cause Astral to embrace the power of evil and manifest the Dark Zexal form.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Yuma's red.
  • Reverse Psychology: During Yuma's duel with Ukyo; Yuma gets so angry at him he tells Astral he will not do what he says, so Astral deliberately gives Yuma the wrong advice, and as he hoped, Yuma does the exact opposite, which is the what he should do.
  • Sense Freak: Astral looooves rice balls. Justified, as he was fused with Yuma at the time, and he normally doesn't eat.
  • Smug Super: At the start of the show, the only thing he remembers from his previous that he's a much better duelist than Yuma.
  • Spider-Sense: Gets a 'bad feeling' when Kaito is nearby in episode 13.
  • Spirit Advisor: Astral is this to Yuma, and later Shark, Kaito, Kotori, and Rio.
  • The Stoic: Which contrasts quite starkly with Yuma.
  • Stone Wall: This was Astral's usual playstyle during his first duel against Kaito, fitting his overall analytical and cautious approach to Dueling. Deconstructed as this form of playstyle has proven to be just as detrimental as Yuma's Hot-Blooded Attack! Attack! Attack! playstyle, as his cautiousness and refusal to take certain risks, along with being afraid of Kaito at the time, leads him into a bad spot. note 
  • Telepathy: As shown in Episode 28, Astral and Yuma can communicate telepathically. Regardless, they usually don't, which is really only noticeable on Yuma's end since, from most people's perspective, he is talking to air.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Yuma doesn't take too kindly to Astral trying to take control of his duels, though eventually, he starts to realize that he's the main reason he's started winning in the first place. (Possibly owing to Astral's insults, though.)
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Displays a phobia of Cathy's cats, but quickly grows out of it in subsequent episodes.

Tropes exclusive to him in the second half:

  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: In Dark ZeXal, he recklessly attacks Vector's Number even though doing so is only damaging his own Life Points.
  • The Berserker: In Dark ZeXal form.
  • The Bus Came Back: Reunites with Yuma ten episodes later.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Vector uses his suppressed jealousy and anger of Yuma being a closer friend towards "Shingetsu" than with him and Yuma not telling him he's a Barian to make him absolutely batshit.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: In the first half of Episode 98, both as Dark ZeXal and as himself.
  • Go Out with a Smile: He gives one final smile to Yuma before vanishing in episode 111.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Forces Yuma out of Zexal II mode so Yuma wouldn't be hit by Black Mist's attack. He almost does it again in Episode 139, only for Eliphas to take his place.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dark ZeXal uses a berserker strategy to try and overwhelm Vector with continuous attacks which increase in power, but due to Vector's Hundred Over Trap, the reckless attacks only damage Dark ZeXal himself.
    • Episode 121 shows that whatever Astral did during his battle against Don Thousand in the past ended up harming them both.
  • Madness Mantra: When Vector corrupts him with darkness, he begins to chant 'ZeXal'.
    • In Dark ZeXal form, he constantly repeats the order for Hope Ray V to attack Shining, as well as the name of Chimera Cloth's power-up effect.
  • Love Makes You Evil: When Vector manipulates his and Yuma's relationship to make Astral feel jealous and betrayed to the point where he snaps.
  • Slasher Smile: When he's Drunk on the Dark Side.
  • Years Too Early: Says this to Yuma during their final face-off, after being challenged by his human partner to a duel, with the Barian World and Yuma's memories of Astral at stake, after overwhelming him in one turn with 5 Utopia monsters.

    Ryoga "Shark" Kamishiro (Reginald "Shark" Kastle)
Voiced by: Toshiki Masuda (JP), Gary Mack (EN)

Known as the number one bully at Yuma's school, Shark is a duelist who once played at the national level, but was banned from the circuit due to looking at his opponent's deck before the championship match. Due to his skills, at first, he is arrogant and merciless to his opponents, defeating Tetsuo and taking his deck through the ante rule, and crushing Yuma's pendant, but upon being defeated by Yuma he shows that he does have some sense of honor by returning the deck without protest, and Yuma believes that one day they'll be friends.

During his first duel with Yuma his ace monster is No. 17: Leviathan Dragon, and afterward, he switches to Black Ray Lancer. After his duel with III he gains possession of No. 32: Marine Biting Dragon - Shark Drake. During his duel with IV, he is able to use Chaos Xyz Change, evolving Shark Drake into CNo. 32: Shark Drake Vice.

He had a previous human incarnation as the king of an island kingdom. An enemy king (Vector's past incarnation) attacked said kingdom and, after having his Gorgonic Guardians defeated, summoned a deity (No. 73: Abyss Splash the Roaring Waterfall Diety) to smite the kingdom for good. However, his friend, a knight riding a Pegasus (Durbe) arrived to assist, giving the princess (Rio) the opportunity to sacrifice herself to summon another deity (No. 94: Crystal Zero the Polar Ice Princess) to counter. After that, Shark furiously attacked Vector's army and pursued the mad king to his kingdom, where he met a girl named Iris who looked strangely similar to Rio.

Shark decided to fight King Vector on his own to minimize the losses, but Vector started a Shadow Game, which meant the more monsters of a certain player's were destroyed, the more losses their army would have. Shark won the duel, but all the monsters in his deck were sent to the graveyard, meaning, his entire army died. An unspecified amount of time later, he died and was reincarnated as Nasch, the leader of the Seven Barian Emperors, but was killed by Vector, who had also be reincarnated as a Barian and was reincarnated again into his present life. After Durbe shows him his past memories, he transforms back into Nasch.

In both the anime and manga, he plays a WATER Xyz-based deck, mostly revolving around Sharks. His anime deck involves quickly Xyz summoning and banishing his monsters.

In the manga he has No. 47: Nightmare Shark and No. 37: Hope-Weaving Dragon - Spider Shark.

Tropes exclusive to him in the first half:

  • Achilles' Heel: Seems like Yuma is this to Shark Drake's effect on Ryoga.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: In the dub, he broke Yuma's Emperor's Key mainly out of amusement and to cement the fact that he is a bully after Yuma labeled him as such, whereas in the original version, it's framed to be Shark's own way of teaching Yuma a lesson of "value", as he can't truly gain something without having to give up something precious in return.
  • Badass Biker: Following his first loss to Yuma, he drove a rather cool motorcycle - or something like one - for a while. (Word of God has said that Shark's bike is "not a motorcycle but a futuristic vehicle that has yet to be named", which is why he can drive it, despite not being legal driving age, and they didn't go into further detail.)
  • Badass Normal: He's shown to be an excellent duelist even when he doesn't have a Numbers card and is able to hold his own against Kaito even if he loses.
  • Battle Aura: Gets a dark purple one when he gives in to Shark Drake in episode 58.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: By Tron due to his actions in the duel with IV.
  • Big Brother Instinct: To his twin sister Rio, in fact, he duels in the nationals in order to financially support her in the hospital.
  • Black Knight: Black Ray Lancer, his first ace card.
  • The Bully: Before his Face–Heel Turn, and he becomes much kinder as the season goes on.
  • Bully Turned Buddy: He starts out as the biggest bully in Yuma's school, but slowly begins to become kinder to Yuma and his friends as the season goes on, eventually acknowledging Yuma as his friend and refusing to abandon him. It eventually reaches the point where he calls Yuma and Astral his two best friends.
  • Character Development: At the start of the series he's a jerk in the simplest terms but after losing to Yuma he slowly becomes more humble and pulling multiple acts of kindness for Yuma: Protecting his Emperor Key from Kaito and winds up losing his soul for it. Throwing a duel to Yuma after he snaps out of Tron's brainwashing, and storming Heartland tower with Kotori and insisted on staying when Kaito told them to leave so he could help Yuma acknowledging him as his friend. After becoming a Barian he's a bit sullen when he has to fight Yuma due to his loyalty to the other Barian Emperors and makes it clear to them to to stay away from Yuma and that he would be the one to deal with him. Before dying after his final duel with Yuma, he tells him he had fun and wishes he could see the future Yuma creates before calling him and Astral his best friends.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Compare to the previous expies of Joey, Shark is much more different than the former. To start off, He was The Bully to Yuma's Yugi by messing with an important item that they wore around their necks (The Millennium Puzzle for Yugi and the Emperor's Key for Yuma), and later, Took a Level in Kindness by becoming a good friend. He has a younger sister and cares a great deal about her, and after she was hospitalized from an unknown incident, he became a Duelist in order to support her. Also, he shares Jonouchi's status as a Badass Normal between the main hero and rival. That's where the similarities end; Ryoga and his sister were once originally from a wealthy family before getting orphaned in a car crash, compared to Joey's poor upbringing. In the original manga, Joey remains a Badass Normal compare to Yugi and Kaiba, both of who were deeply connected in the Greater-Scope Villain of the past. Ryoga and his sister, however, are the ones who are revealed to be connected to the Greater-Scope Villain of the past while Yuma and Kaito happened to get roped into the conflict.
  • Cosmic Plaything: He's been yanked around and exploited during both his past and present lives with Tron outright manipulating the events of his post-accident existence to turn him into a weapon he can use against Dr. Faker.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Does this to Tetsuo in the first episode and Yuma in the 10th.
  • The Corruption: Shark Drake's effect on him. Just like Tron planned.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: With No. 17: Leviathan Dragon and No. 32: Shark Drake and Chaos Number 32: Shark Drake Vice.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: He has absolutely awful luck with Number cards which either contribute directly to his defeats or try to corrupt him with their influence, but he finds himself needing to use them regardless to achieve his goals.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: He starts respecting Yuma and being friendly towards him, though not a member of Yuma's group by his own choice, after their tag match.
  • Ineffectual Loner: It's worth noticing that in the openings, in contrast to Yuma with Astral and his friends, Shark is often shown alone in dark places. But Yuma refuses to let him go and insists that they're friends. He eventually begins to avert it, especially when Rio joins the cast.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Shark". He is more commonly addressed by his nickname than the actual name.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Towards Yuma, as he excessively tries to push the latter away as to make sure that he doesn't end up hurt by IV.
  • Jerkass: He starts out like this at the beginning of the series but after Yuma defeats him, he begins to become more humble.
  • Kick the Dog: Upon their first meeting he steals Yuma's Emperor's Key, crushes it, and then kick away a broken piece of it. In the dub, this act is especially heinous by Shark saying that [Yuma] obviously didn't care for it much if he couldn't protect it, along with the act of doing so mainly because of It Amused Me. Good thing Yuma's a forgiving person.
  • Large Ham: Once a duel begins he starts chewing scenery like there's no tomorrow. He's quite subdued at other times though, so it balances out.
  • Laughably Evil: Even before his Heel–Face Turn, people still find Shark's tenacity to be a Jerkass hilarious... until he smashed Yuma's pendent.
  • Magic Poker Equation: His monsters summon and search each other out reasonably enough with their effects, but Shark has absolutely insane luck with his Spells and Traps which tend to be just what he needs at the moment in contrast to Yuma and Kite who have more generic damage mitigation and protection cards. Perhaps most glaringly is Xyz Dimension Splash, a trap he used before getting knocked out in the trio's tag duel against Faker that summons two Level 8 Monsters (for Kite to use) after it's been banished by an opponent's card effect face-down in spite of the fact that Shark owns no Rank 8 Xyz Monsters.
  • Making a Splash: His Deck is primarily Water-Attribute monsters and support cards.
  • Man of Kryptonite: His Black Ray Lancer is able to negate monster effects, which is bad news for the Number monsters' effects preventing them from being destroyed in battle by non-Number cards.
  • Meaningful Name: His Japanese name "Ryouga" is a homophone with the word "superior" and also contains the word "fang" (牙) which may reflect his nickname "Shark" while his surname, "Kamishiro", means "Age of the gods". At the same time, his dub name "Reginald" means "powerful ruler" and his surname literally spelled as "castle". Guess who he actually is in the second season.
  • Multicolored Hair: Purple and pale blue.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: In the dub.
  • Old Shame: An In-Universe example. Used to be a championship-level duelist, but he was tricked into cheating by a forced glance at his opponent's Deck pre-match and was disqualified from the championship. He went downhill after this.
    • Seems to think a bit of this about crushing Yuma's key, and in return tries to keep it safe from Kaito. It doesn't end well.
  • The Power of Friendship: Which he uses to resist No. 32's mind control.
  • The Power of Hate: How he brought out Shark Drake Vice.
  • The Rival: To Yuma initially, then to IV after he and Yuma become friends. It borderlines to Blood Knight when we discover that IV caused Shark's sister's death and made Shark hate IV even when he begs for mercy
  • Sanity Has Advantages: For Shark, this is very true. The first two times he lost to Yuma, he was Brainwashed and Crazy or under some other form of mind control. The times he was fully lucid and in control of his actions, however, Yuma didn't stand a chance. And this is usually the case with him overall, most of the time, to the point that both Barian assassins that targeted him had to gain an advantage in some way (one cheated, another, despite not dueling him, had an anti-WATER deck.)
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: When he deigns to "help" someone duel, his lessons tend to be harsh, but they're otherwise effective.
  • Smug Smiler: His usual expression in his first appearance, but he later becomes more of Perpetual Frowner.
  • The Stoic: Outside of duels, he tends to keep to himself.
  • Super Mode: For Shark Drake, CNo. 32: Shark Drake Vice.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: When he fully embraces Shark Drake's power, he glows with purple aura and gets the power to summon Chaos Number 32.
  • Threatening Shark: Starting from his nickname, shark monsters such as Jawsman and Aero Shark make up the main component of his sea deck.
    • Then you get something weirder like the Sharktopus, a Mix-and-Match Critter of a shark and octopus.
    • Up to Eleven with Shark Drake and Nightmare Shark. And finally with Shark Drake Vice.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To Tron - who orchestrated the hospitalization of his sister, had IV goad him into competing in the tournament, and made sure he obtained an evil, darkness-enhancing Number - all to make him an effective assassin against Dr. Faker.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Has shades of this with Yuma, he may be annoyed with his antics but will happily acknowledge him as his best friend.
  • The Worf Effect: He's a brilliant strategist and a fierce combatant who either loses to or is manipulated by the show's major antagonists to show how much of a threat they are to Yuma.
  • Worthy Opponent: He considers Yuma to be this eventually.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: He has purple hair.
  • Your Soul is Mine!: Lost his soul after losing against Kaito after their duel. He got better, thanks to Yuma.

Tropes exclusive to him in the second half:

  • Ambiguously Human: Like his sister, he's started showing traits that provide a possible connection to the Barians. The first evidence was in episode 100, where he gets an aura that repairs Durbe's Barialapis bracelet, allowing Durbe to take his true form. The second (which pretty much confirms it) is in episodes 108-109, where he relives his previous life as a king who fought Vector's past human incarnation. Then he turns back into Nasch.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Although Rio is awake and healthy, he still is protective of her despite being a bit aloof. This most likely transcended back to his past self as he had failed to protect Merag when she had sacrificed herself.
  • Bridal Carry: Gives one to his twin sister Rio in episode 78 after defeating Chitaro Ariga and freeing her from his imprisonment.
  • Dead All Along: It's revealed that Shark had died three times before the start of the series - first during his past life as King, next he's killed as a Barian by Vector and reincarnated as a human, then finally dies again in a car crash. Though that last one wasn't the Shark we've known.
  • Declaration of Protection: He tells an imprisoned Rio in episode 78 that he'll always protect her as he pleads for her to wake up.
  • Does Not Like Spam: According to Rio, Shark dislikes onions and green peppers.
  • Face–Heel Turn: After learning about his past as Nasch, he defects from the heroes and joins the rest of the Barian Emperors to protect his people.
  • Hates Being Touched: Behaves this way when Chitaro Ariga holds his shoulder.
  • Knight Knave And Squire: Forms this with Kaito and Yuma. Is the knave due to his cold attitude, loner nature, and lack of care towards things other than his friends and dueling. At the start of the series, he also dueled for his own self-interest and mixed in with a gang as a mercenary duelist.
  • That Man Is Dead: During his first meeting with Yuma after his Face–Heel Turn, he insists that he is Nasch, and no longer "Shark" or "Ryouga".
  • Memento Macguffin: Episode 78 reveals that he wore the two silver rings on his right hand throughout the first ZEXAL series as a reminder of his sister, Rio, who presented them to him when they were kids and suggested that they wear them to symbolize their bond as twins. When Shark dismissed it as a stupid idea, Rio threw the rings to the ground in anger and walked away, prompting him to wear them thereafter. He later gives one to Rio in the hospital. Their bond later helps to free Rio from Chitaro Ariga's imprisonment, with the rings now serving their original purpose.
    • The Sharktooth pendant is actually a locket with a picture of his family inside. Its purpose is to show Ryouga that he has human memories and doubts whether or not he is a Barian.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: He claims his sister is this to anyone who cannot duel at least Yuma's level. This is misinterpreted by Takashi and Tokunosuke as "Yuma is dating Rio". He also does not like being called "Big Brother" by Tetsuo.
  • Not Brainwashed: Neither him or Rio have turned against their will. They chose to embrace their past lives and defend the Barian World, which is why their human friends attempts to make them remember don't work.
  • Say My Name: Yells out "RIOOOOOO" several times.
  • Scars Are Forever: Has a scar on his shoulder from when he pushed Rio out of the way from a tumbling armor when they were kids.
  • Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: He attempts to goad those who duel him into hatred precisely because he doesn't want anyone to pull a "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight, like IV attempts on him.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He's still aloof but shows his softer side towards his friends, mainly Yuma, and his sister Rio.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Shark smashes the mirror when in his past life memories he sees the Barian pendant around his neck.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: He continues to underestimate just how much Yuma cares for him which ultimately costs him victory in their final duel when Yuma choosing not to attack him resulting in his own strategy mortally backfiring.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Durbe seems to be trying to convince him of this. After showing Shark the remaining memories of his past life, he succeeds, resulting in Shark transforming into Nasch offscreen.

    Kaito Tenjo (Kite Tenjo)
Voiced by: Kōki Uchiyama (JP), Christopher Kromer (EN)

A 'Numbers Hunter', Kaito is hunting down and capturing Numbers monsters to try and help his brother, Haruto, who allegedly can only have his strange disease cured if all one-hundred Numbers are gathered.

His Deck theme is the 'Photon' cards, with his ace being Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon. In addition, he also possesses around fifteen Numbers, five of which are known: No. 10: White Knight Illuminator, No. 20: Gig-Anto Brilli-Ant, No. 30: Acid Golem of Destruction, No. 56: Goldrat, and No. 09: Sky Canopy Star - Dyson Sphere. As of episode 43, he now holds one of the strongest Xyz monsters in the game, Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon. As of episode 64, he has lost all of his Numbers cards. He later gained a few more, though has apparently lost all of them as well, after his apparent death.

In the manga, he has a stronger version of Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon called Galaxy-Eyes Full Armor Photon Dragon. He also gets No. 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon from Kyoji Yagumo. Later he gets No. 38: Hope Vanguard Dragon - Titanic Galaxy.

Tropes exclusive to him in the first half:

  • Anti-Villain: Aside from his sympathetic motivation, Kaito tries to keep the fact that those who lose to him will have their souls taken a secret, and even commends Yuma on his spirit.
  • Badass Boast: Gets one in his Rank 7 appearance before beating down a gun-wielding thug:
    Kaito: I am the light that illuminates the darkness stagnating people's hearts.
  • Badass Longcoat: Black most of the time, but it turns into a Kaiba and Jack-esque white one when he Duels due to his Photon Change.
  • Big Brother Instinct: His motivation is healing his younger brother Haruto, to the point he cancels a Duel with Yuma he was about to win when he finds out that Haruto has collapsed.
    • Even better in the tag duel with him teaming with Yuma against III and IV. His Big Brother Instinct and bond with Haruto manifests itself as the strongest Xyz monster in the game.
      • And during his duel against Tron when Tron begins to torture Haruto he was fully ready and actually tried to walk away from the duel and go to his brother. Unfortunately for him Tron won't have any of that....
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: No. 20: Gig-Anto Brilli-Ant.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Episode 36; he stops an airship from crashing with only himself piloting it and Orbital 7 pushing against it.
  • Catchphrase: In the dub, the chant to summon Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon is either this or some variation of it:
    Kite: Here comes the monster more savage than a supernova! With a cataclysmic force of ten black holes put together! A cosmic scourge that vaporizes anything in its path: Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon!
    • He usually says something dramatic when he summons Neo-Galaxy Eyes, but it's different each time.
    • As per usual, he retains summoning chants in the Japanese version.
    • He commonly tells his foes, "Are you ready to repent?"
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: How else is he still able to function with a heart rate of over 100 beats per minute at a resting period by the time of the Heartland Championship.
  • The Comically Serious: He's an absolute grouch who gets around with a talking robot jetpack who used to be his nanny and lives at the top of a giant heart-shaped tower in the middle of a theme park.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: In-Universe. His over-reliance on his basic Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon starts to sabotage his duels in the second half of the first season as most of his opponents know about it and develop ways to counter the monster.
  • Deadly Upgrade: The Photon Transformation puts considerable stress on his heart, to the point that his resting heart rate is well over 100 beats per minute. Overuse of it could potentially kill him.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Tends to take this attitude when Yuma shows concern about him, most notably in episodes 42-43, 55-56, and 69-71.
  • Expy:
    • To Seto Kaiba. His Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon is a Call-Back to Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragon in Duel Monsters, with a similar name theme, appearance, and the same stats (3000 ATK/2500 DEF). His Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon is an Expy of Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, and Paladin of Photon Dragon is the "Photon" counterpart of Paladin of White Dragon, Paladin of the Cursed Dragon, and Knight of Dark Dragon.
    • To Jack Atlas. His ability to change his clothes to white and apparently duel without a D-Gazer is called "Duel Mode" Photon Change, and he rides Orbital 7 like a motorcycle. In one scene, he calls his Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon "Waga tamashii" ("My soul" in English), in a similar vein to Jack's summoning chant of referring to his Red Daemon's Dragon.
  • Genius Bruiser: The equivalent; his Deck hits very hard due to its ability to rapidly summon Numbers and Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon, but Kaito is a very good player noted to be more skilled than Astral, to the point he even takes into account the fact his Galaxy-Eyes can't destroy Numbers by using his Photon Wind card to capitalize.
  • He's Got Legs: Outside of flashbacks, he never wears anything other than tights.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: His father went mad and became abusive, his mentor abandoned him, he was coerced into serving Mr. Heartland, he went through Training from Hell, and one person he cares about is not only sickly but psychotic from Demonic Possession. With a bit of Fridge Logic, one could even infer his mother is dead. It's no surprise how distant he is.
  • Hour of Power: He can't use his Photon Change for long periods of time, as it gradually damages his body.
  • Hunter of Monsters: Introduces himself as "the Numbers Hunter," and certainly lives up to the title.
  • Ineffectual Loner: He would have been absolutely demolished during his first duel against the Tron family as they had stacked their decks with cards specifically tailored to neutralize his Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon. It's only with a lot of help from Yuma and Hart that he manages to win.
  • Invincible Hero: Save the flashbacks where he was still in training, he loses a grand total of ONCE in the entire series, to Vetrix. Even Yuma, Astral, Shark and Mizael never beat him.note 
  • Light 'em Up: All of his monsters are LIGHT-Attribute (barring No.30: Acid Golem of Destruction), and uses a lot of cards that support them like Photon Veilnote  and Lumenizenote .
  • Light Is Not Good: His 'Photon' cards are either LIGHT-Attribute monsters or support Light-Attribute monsters, but he's at best, a Well-Intentioned Extremist. And his above Badass Boast more-or-less cements it. Also, his dueling attire is white.
  • Magic Poker Equation: Unlike Kaiba or Kaiser before him, Kite only has one copy of his ace monster. Similarly, while Jack's Red Daemon's Dragon was in his Extra Deck, Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon is a regular Effect Monster, meaning that Kite has to draw it from his Main Deck to use it, which he does without bricking in his first few turns if not his very first.
  • Man of Kryptonite: Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon is designed to take down Xyz monsters even going by its real-life profile, where it can remove itself and the monster it battles from play and return both to the field later. Due to the way Xyz Monsters work, this removes their Xyz Material Monsters, leaving them without the ability to activate their effects which need them to give up an Xyz Material. To add insult to injury, Galaxy-Eyes gains 500 ATK for each Xyz Material the other removed monster had when they jumped out of play. If it takes out an Xyz with five materials, this makes it stronger than F.G.D, one of the two strongest monsters in the game. And this is before it upgrades to Neo Galaxy-Eyes...
  • Mean Boss: Given how much Orbital 7 is afraid of him, probably.
  • Mega Manning: Like Yuma, he adds the Numbers he defeats to his Deck.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon.
  • Morality Pet: His brother, Haruto, brings out his kinder side.
  • Near-Villain Victory: He almost beat Yuma, literally declaring a winning attack with Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon, but called off the Duel after discovering that Haruto had collapsed. Later on the receiving end of this against Mizael.
  • Older Than He Looks: He's actually 18 at the start of the series, but only looks a bit older than the middle school-aged Yuma and his friends. Although it's not uncommon given the art style in ZEXAL.
  • Pet the Dog: It's heartwarming to see Kaito with his brother, to say the least:
    Kaito: You're just dreaming... a bad dream...
    • Another example, he was clearly watching Orbital 7's duel with Yuma that Orbital 7 snuck off to do, proven by the small compliment he gave the guy when he got back.
  • Power-up Full Color Change: Whenever Kaito goes into Photon Mode, and then again when he brings out Neo Galaxy-Eyes and later Prime Photon.
  • The Rival: Both to Yuma AND Astral. But he considers Astral to be his true rival, whereas Yuma is just an idiot.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Upon capturing No.56: Goldrat in episode 13, but doesn't use the card at all.
  • Say My Name: "HARUTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" He does this many, many, MANY times.
  • Super Mode: He gains the ability to turn Red summon Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon. Neo Galaxy-Eyes itself counts as one for Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon. And we do mean SUPER, given that it's a serious contender for one of the strongest Xyz monsters in the game. Also gains an alternate upgrade for Galaxy-Eyes, Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon. Which is just as strong, but can get stronger far more easily and when it's destroyed, it comes back to BOOT.
  • Teens Are Short: He's already a young adult by the start of the series, but is much shorter than Droite and Gauche.
  • Training from Hell: On the orders of Mr. Heartland, with Droite and Gauche against a dangerous Duel bot. He knocked Droite out of the way and received a gash on his cheek, but managed to destroy it with Daybreaker.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Hardened and distanced himself from the gentle, young man he used to be so he could do what was necessary to save his brother.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Very well-intentioned, and very extreme in his methods.
  • Worf Effect: Both him and Galaxy-Eyes in the second and third arcs, though they get some of it back in the next two.
  • Your Soul is Mine!: A side-effect of his Numbers collecting "Photon Hand" is taking the opponent's soul. Though, unusually, Kaito seems to have a problem with taking his opponents' souls.

Tropes exclusive to him in the second half:

  • The Atoner: Appears to have become this as of Zexal II, judging by his line to the thugs in episode 75 telling him they'll "send him to hell;"
    Kaito: I'm already headed there. It's where my guilty soul will end up one day. But I'm taking your Barian World with me! Are you ready to repent?
  • Back from the Dead: Thanks to the Numeron Code.
  • Dead Person Conversation: When he appears during Yuma and Nasch's duel against Don Thousand.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: His final duel with Mizael has him creating an all-new ace monster for himself, Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon, out of just sheer willpower as he's slowly dying due to lack of oxygen on account of the duel being on the moon. Not only does he win, but he also ends up unlocking Number 100 in the process, which is the key to the Numeron Code. Then he promptly dies, but not before passing on the code to Mizael, whom he admits is the better dragon tamer, showing an Always Someone Better moment. The fact that he died despite winning the duel made this Heroic Sacrifice even more poignant.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: In response to Yuma having a Heroic BSoD when Shingetsu was kidnapped.
  • Knight Knave And Squire: Forms this with Shark and Yuma. Is the knight due to his gathering of the Number cards for the sake of curing his brother Haruto's illness, and along with doing so under Dr. Faker's instructions. Additionally, the first Number card that he used is No. 10: White Knight Illuminator, which can be said to be a representation of that nature.
  • Light Is Good: Haruto being cured, he is no longer at odds with Yuma for hunting numbers, and aids him on numerous occasions.
  • Meaningful Name: "Prime" means "Main" or "Important", which could show Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon is the "Main" "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon" or important to Photon Dragon.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Defeated Mizael but died from suffocation due to the damage sustained on his spacesuit.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: He is notably more sincere to everyone in the later arcs.

    Kotori Mizuki (Tori Meadows)
Voiced by: Mikako Komatsu (JP), Eileen Stevens (EN)

A friend of Yuma's. She's much more sensible and down-to-earth than he is, so as a result, she tends to have to constantly nanny him.

She doesn't duel as often but later uses a Fairy deck in the second season, with Fairy Cheer Girl as her ace monster.

Tropes exclusive to her in the first half:

  • All-Loving Hero: Much like Yuma, she too is a kind and forgiving person.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: They are shown to have met each other at least in early elementary grades, and it is repeatedly hinted that she harbors a crush on Yuma.
  • The Chick: She serves as this to the main cast.
  • The Cheerleader: This is her role in many episodes much to the chagrin of fans. In one episode, Yuma has to duel a soccer protagonist, and the field spell he plays changes her outfit to that of a literal cheerleader, a role that she takes advantage of. The fact that her ace monster is Fairy Cheer Girl in the second season only cement this status.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Shows some shades of this towards Yuma.
  • Damsel in Distress: This is practically her purpose of the entire series. She is often used as leverage against Yuma. Even in Zexal II where she does get a Fairy deck, it really doesn't make any difference.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Her casual wear isn't as bad, but her school uniform's incredibly short.
  • Expy: To Mizuki Anzu from the original DM series, being a childhood friend for Yuma with a hefty case of Childhood Friend Romance, providing eye-candy for viewers, and only duels one time in their respective series. However, Kotori is much more feminine than Anzu, and she tends to suffer from being a Damsel in Distress a lot.
  • Flat Character: She doesn't really have a lot of character development. She is mainly there to look and act cute and be a cheerleader for Yuma.
  • Girly Girl: Most girly out of all of the female protagonists probably due to the fact she is less of a tomboy than Anzu or Asuka and can't duel to save her life.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Averted. In contrast to almost everyone else, she has at least eight outfits she cycles through in addition to her school uniform.
  • The Load: Insists on tagging along with Yuma on his adventures even though the situations can be quite dangerous and she can't provide much help or defend herself. She eventually gets a deck but has only used it once in the series (and that when she was mind-controlled).
  • Magic Skirt: Considering how incredibly low it is, she luckily never gets a Panty Shot.
  • Mandatory Line: It's pretty heavily rumored that Kotori's actress was mandated for every episode, which would likely explain why she insists on tagging along, saying Yuma's name, and doing nothing for the rest of the episode.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Despite being only 13-years-old, she gets a lot of Male Gaze shots of her incredibly short skirt, long and toned legs, and scenes of her swimwear during the pool or beach episodes. Hell, in the original version, she even gets a Modesty Towel Wardrobe Malfunction in a flashback scene!
  • Multicolored Hair: Two shades of green.
  • Only Sane Woman: Especially in episode 97, where she snaps Yuma out of his angst between choosing to protect his friends and Astral, and then Takes a Third Option to save herself and her friends.
  • Patient Childhood Love Interest: She isn't really actively trying to get Yuma's love, she just likes to spend her time with him. They also walk to school together, and it's heavily implied that she sometimes cooks him his favorite Riceballs.
  • Panty Shot: Averted, most blatantly in episode 13.
  • Say My Name: Basically in that her most used word is "Yuma".
  • The Smart Girl: Shows more than enough tech knowledge to qualify as this.
  • The Watson: When Duel Monsters is involved, allowing any of the more duel-savvy characters such as Tetsuo to explain the rules to her (and the audience).
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has green hair.

Tropes exclusive to her in the second half:

  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Courtesy of Girag.
  • Damsel out of Distress: She and the rest of the Numbers Club are held hostage by Vector, set to be sucked into a black hole, she encourages Yuma to fight him and leads the Numbers Club into steering their airship and saving themselves.
  • Light Is Good: Fairy Cheer Girl is a LIGHT attribute monster, who then is then on the inverted side when being upgraded to C Xyx Dark Fairy Cheer Girl.
  • Fairy Sexy: Starts using a Fairy deck after getting pointers from Rio.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Downplayed. She does learn how to duel by asking Rio for tutelage but has only duel once, and during that time she was Brainwashed and Crazy by Girag, who then gave her the Barian Rank-Up Spell Card to upgrade her Fairy Cheer Girl to C Xyz Dark Fairy Cheer Girl.

Tropes exclusive to her in the manga:

  • Adaptational Wimp: If it was even possible. In the anime, she at least learns how to duel, even if she loses every duel she is in. In the manga, she never learns how to duel, and can't even work a duel disk.
  • Adaptational Skimpiness: Combined with a Grade A of Zettai Ryouiki and Dangerously Short Skirt in her first casual outfit. Her outfits are a little more revealing, especially in the early chapters.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A minor one. While she can't even work a duel disk, she does HAVE a deck of cards assembled (though we never see the contents), which she carries with her when Yuma and co. decide to infiltrate Heartland in search of Numbers cards. It comes in handy because duelists get to enter for free, and she gets qualified when she presents her deck — she's not as wealthy as Cathy, and so most likely wouldn't have been able to afford the ticket price to enter the place without the deck.
    Receptionist at Heartland: If you have a deck, you count.

How well does it match the trope?

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