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Woobie / Yu-Gi-Oh!

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With some exceptions, pretty much everyone has undergone or is currently undergoing bullying, abuse, betrayal, torture, genocide, or any combination of the sort, and is either broken as a result, or refusing to let it break them.

  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Ryou Bakura. A sweet-tempered, kind, pacifistic, brave teenager]] who's been 'enslaved by an evil spirit' since he was eight years old, according to Word of God he has a dead sister (and it's presumed that his mother is dead too), his father's either always away at work (anime) or just not living with him (manga), and he has one of the worst psychopaths ever to grace the series as his alter ego. He's constantly possessed and forced to do some pretty squicky stuff, all of which he can't remember doing, but damn he knows it's bad... and since the focus is on his evil alter ego and his villainous deeds, he's always put on the bus when he "isn't needed". His mates are perfectly fine hanging out with him, and they genuinely like him, but the rest of the time (in the anime, anyway), it's like he doesn't exist. If you think of this in terms of plot, then his friends pretty much abandon him in favour of saving the world, leaving him to deal with the Superpowered Evil Side on his own. He's also had the only friends he's ever had turned into figurines for his favorite game, he's been picked on relentlessly by other kids ever since he was little and he's gotten picked on by his own gym teacher! This gets even worse in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions. Despite having a happier life, he refuses to talk about or remember the ring and suffers from PTSD thanks to everything Yami Bakura put him through. If that wasn't bad enough, the movie's villain, Diva/Aigami, and one of his siblings want to kill him for Yami Bakura's actions, and the subsequent Mind Rape he receives from then reveals the traumatic childhood memories he repressed. His biological father went on an expedition to find the millennium ring (after somehow finding out about it) when he was a child, and he stowed away to follow him; he ended up seeing him get killed by the ring. His absent 'father' is actually the man who adopted him, meaning that he was raised by someone who didn't give a crap about him. But oh, it gets worse. Remember how Shadi said he was murdered by Yami Bakura? Well that was true, in a way...right after his father died in front of him was really the first time he was possessed by the ring, which claimed him as its host. He was then taken over and forced to murder Shadi WHEN HE WAS ONLY 4 YEARS OLD. Not only that, Shadi was at the Pharaoh's tablet with all the orphans he was caring for when this happened;after killing him, Yami Bakura proceeded to make Bakura massacre all the children, Leaving Diva and his sister as the sole survivors. No wonder he repressed his childhood memories! After this, he breaks down in tears over realizing what he did, but despite him obviously being innocent, Aigami still wants to kill him. If that wasn't enough trauma for the poor kid,Yami Bakura makes a come-back and drives Aigami and his friend Mani insane so that they will kill Bakura for him, and it almost works. He then is sent to a parallel dimension, where he almost disintegrates into nothing. Somehow, at the end of the movie, Bakura is still sane after reliving his traumatic memories.
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    • Mokuba. He has had his soul stolen and is constantly kidnapped (including being chained in a dungeon, dangled from a helicopter and pummeled by an evil version of one of his friends to lure Kaiba into a duel) simply because he is Kaiba's brother. He is also possessed and manipulated by a virtual version of his own dead adopted brother, Noah. Not to mention having to watch Kaiba's steady descent into total lunacy anddeal with his egotistical attitude all the way throughout the series. Also in the manga, his brother, at the height of his lunacy, subjects him to the "Experience of Death" penalty game known to cause heart attacks and insanity (though Yugi quickly saves him) and afterwards he is left to take care of his comatose brother and the company by himself (setting up the Duelist Kingdom kidnapping). You really have to wonder how the kid stays so upbeat.
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    • Jerkass Woobie: Though he's a self centered asshole with Misaimed Fandom, it's hard not to feel for Kaiba with his backstory (which explains a lot about why he is the way he is, though it doesn't excuse it) and his devotion to his little brother. He did get put through a lot of abuse and he forced himself through it mostly for his brother—not to mention the many, many times Mokuba is kidnapped he gets all super desperate and self-sacrificing (not desperate enough to accept any help ever, but that's Kaiba for you). Plus, he opened a park that lets underprivelaged kids in free. Awww.
    • Yugi. He's had his soul stolen, his friends and family messed with, the skin probably all but burned off his hands, had his life threatened more times than can be counted all for the sake of a children's card game, been used as a punching bag by everyone in Japan, been betrayed by his best friend, been tied up and forced to watch his soul deteriorate, watched his crush fall in love with his alter-egoand even technically died once or twice. Also, he looks like this.
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    • Both Shizuka Kawai/Serenity Wheeler and Katsuya Jonouchi/Joey Wheeler. Separated from a young age by their parents' divorce. Shizuka/Serenity, as of the beginning of the Duel Monsters storyline starts to go blind, and is the focal point of her big brother's struggle as a novice in the game in the Duelist Kingdom tournament who hopes to win the cash prize in order to pay for the operation to treat her condition. Jonouchi/Joey, since his estrangement from his sister, has been living alone with his drunken gambler of a father whose debts he has to pay off with multiple after-school jobs (he is a noted exception to his school's rule against this) and appearances on game shows, not to mention his aforementioned predicament during the early part of the Duel Monsters franchise. While he improves and makes some impressive feats in the game, he nonetheless ends up as Kaiba's personal Chew Toy and suffers a few near-fatal losses, most notably when he tries to save Mai. And let's not even get into the KaibaCorp Grand Prix arc, where he becomes the butt of a joke based upon a card in Yugi's deck (Which even his friends laugh about). Poor guy can't catch a break for trying.
    • Mai Kujaku/Valentine is one as well, from her lonely childhood, to the penalty game Yami Malik inflicts on her, which in the anime is followed by post-traumatic stress in the form of nightmares of still being under Yami Malik's clutches, and leads to Dartz goading her into joining Doma to conquer her fear of dying by loss of a duel, but instead ends up pushing her to the dark side, and is in danger of what she feared the most, and must be saved again, this time from herself. Eep.

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX:
    • Yubel. The monster who had Judai/the Supreme King proclaim his undying love for him/her, only for him to abandon him/her (well, his reincarnation) to the depths of space and make him/her suffer the Light of Destruction? Yeah, it drove him/her crazy to the point that s/he thought love was pain. And then s/he came back to Earth to see that Judai had forgotten all about him/her. S/he still dished out a lot of pain. (Remember, love=pain to him/her. That means s/he still loved Judai. Aww.)
    • Judai, too. His parents are hardly ever home, and his only solace is Duel Monsters. And then his opponents start going into irreversible comas because of Yubel. He, suffering in silence but wholeheartedly believing it was for the best, sends Yubel, his favourite card, up into space so that s/he could absorb some positive energy with his newly designed Neo-Spacians. Later on, Judai starts suffering nightmares of Yubel getting tortured. They're so horrible that he had to have his memory erased of Yubel. About 8 years later, he sees Yubel again, he regains his memories back, and he despairs over how s/he actually took in the Light of Destruction which made her insane (bonus points for the fact that he already defeated the Lo D last year, only for it to come back.). After the Johan vs. Yubel vs. Judai duel, Johan gets sent to the other dimension. Then, Zwinkstein finds a portal to the dimension, which Judai and co. take to save Johan. The next thing you know, most of his friends are "killed", Sho betrays Judai, and then he takes up the "evil can only be destroyed by evil" policy. He wakes up after his reign of terror only to find out that he killed Jim and Axel, along with quite a few of the residents of that universe for Super Polmeryzation. Again, traumatized enough that he can't even fuse monsters without breaking down. The last straw is when he sees that Yubel has possessed Johan.
    • Sho Marufuji. Being nearly killed by your Aloof Big Brother after challenging him for a chance to redeem him and magically forced to hate your Big Brother Mentor will do that to a guy.
    • Fubuki Tenjoin also qualifies, having been possessed by an Eldritch Abomination that was originally summoned by his best friend who he can't remember, returned to find that he's been gone for two years and... this is only what happens before the series actually starts. Somehow, after all of that, he's still one of the more well-adjusted characters in the entire series.

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's:
    • Yuusei himself is a good example; his parents both die in the Zero Reverse incident his father was desperate to stop from happening and tried to shut down the project, he ends up in Satellite where he learns this at some point, carries the guilt around for 17 years and feels he's responsible for his friends losing their parents and previous lives. About two years before the series starts, he loses a good friend, who went mad by trying to give himself up to Security as Kiryu, who deems him a traitor and another friend who stabs him in the back to get to Neo-Domino. Two years after that, he gets to Neo-Domino, only to endure physical torture, branded as a criminal for getting out of Satellite and forced to take part in the Fortune Cup for the sake of his captured Satellite friends (during said tournament, he gets thrown around like a rag doll by Aki). Then he has to face Kiryu in a life-or-death duel, where he's almost killed by Kiryu's Earthbound God and left for dead. Because of the experience, he's left with a fear of Earthbound Gods and doubts his ability to fight on. Even when he does regain his fighting spirit, he loses two more people (including the woman who raised him from a baby) in one go because of the man responsible for Zero Reverse, has to kill Kiryu and finally breaks down during his second duel with Rudger. With that out of his system, he literally plummets to Hell when Rudger blows up the bridge they're duelling on when Yuusei wins. With the second half of the series, he develops a new fear of the Machine Emperors, flips out when Placido begins to destroy the city, has his childhood guilt reborn which revents him from finally achieving Clear Mind and in the form of Lucciano claiming that his 'curse' isn't yet over. The guy needs a break.

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Arc-V has a whole slew of them, though thanks to the prevalence of Conditioned to Accept Horror, Iron Woobie and Hidden Depths they can be hard to spot at first.
    • Yuya. In addition his Disappeared Dad and bullying as a backstory, he has issues with attachment and self-confidence. Then the Synchro arc hits and everything goes to hell for him.
    • Kurosaki and Yuto are two genocide survivors trying to rescue their captured allies and forced to abandon their ruined home in pursuit of this mission. Before this dueling, the in-universe ultimate game that brings literally everyone together, was weaponized and perverted into a tool of war, forever tainting what was once a source of joy. Add in friends and allies dying in war, and life was pretty grim. Kurosaki in particular has it hard, as Yuto dies/is absorbed by Yuya, leaving Kurosaki unknowing if Yuto can/will ever be revived. Then he duels Dennis, during which he not only learns that there was a Duel Academy spy on the Lancers but that Declan tampered with his duel disk without permission, meaning that he can't trust Declan or any of the Lancers who work for him. Then he returns to Heartland and learns that the Resistance he'd been part of was completely decimated in his absence. Both are Iron Woobies, but still...
    • Reira, the local Emotionless Boy grew up in a war zone- as in with guns and blood- then trained as a puppet by an abusive adoptive mother, and still has PTSD. Plus he's forced to enter another battlefield and become a Child Soldier again.


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