Yu-Gi-Oh!/Characters/Main Characters

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Yugi Mutou

"I made a wish on the puzzle ... 'I wish for friends' ... Friends I can count on...! Friends who could count on me... No matter what...!! Friends who could count on me...!"

The main character of the series, which is named after him. Sort of. In the beginning, he is basically that kid you knew who sat in the back of the class and got beat up every day. He didn't have any real friends, except for Anzu, whom he's known since elementary school. Two kids in particular, Jonouchi and Honda, are regularly rough on him, but they befriend Yugi after he stands up for for them to an even bigger bully (and, of course, getting the crap kicked out of him. And not implicitly.) And then he completed the Millennium Puzzle, releasing his "other self" and entering into a giant mess involving thousand-year-old spirits, cursed artifacts, lots of ancient Egypt, and, you guessed it, getting the crap kicked out of him. Repeatedly. However, he got a new Heterosexual Life Partner and a ton of Character Development out of the deal, so he's pretty okay with it. Too bad the other guy couldn't stick around.

He mostly uses the same deck as the pharaoh; towards the end of the series, when he finally makes an original deck, it focuses on monsters that are individually weak but have powerful synergistic effects. This deck's trump cards are Gandora The Dragon of Destruction and Silent Magician LV8.

Voiced by Megumi Ogata (Japanese Toei Anime), Shunsuke Kazama (Duel Monsters); Dan Green (English)

  • Adorkable: Oh, goodness, yes!
  • Anime Hair: Tri-colored hair for the win.
  • Badass Normal: Just wait until he duels the Pharaoh.
    • Also, he is most likely this in comparison to his alter-ego.
  • Badass Pacifist: His modus operandi with villains seems to be forgiving and befriending them.
  • Bash Brothers: With Yami and Jonouchi/Joey. He and Kaiba can almost pull it off.
  • Covert Pervert: Mostly during the first chapters of the manga.
    • Not just in the first chapters - at the start of Millennium World, you find out that he and Jonouchi are still swapping porn tapes.
  • Determinator: Worked on solving the Millennium Puzzle for EIGHT YEARS!
  • Disappeared Dad: He lives with his grandpa and his mother. His father is never seen or mentioned in the series, but according to Word of God, he's away on business.
  • Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind
  • Helpless Good Side: At first. Then he took multiple levels in badass.
  • The Hero: As the anime title implies, he is the main character.
  • Heroic BSOD: After a particularly cruel duel with Kaiba, which also lets him truly realize the extents Dark Yugi Atem is willing to go through to win.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: "The Seal only needs one of us!"
  • Kawaiiko
  • The Kirk: Shares this with Yami.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Earlier on, when he and the Other Yugi are still extremely dependent on each other, Dark Yugi can really only "sense" the difference between right and wrong when he's with Yugi. So when the Orichalcos arc rolls around and Yugi's gone for a while...
  • Man Behind the Man: When one listens to what Yami is thinking during a duel, they hear Yugi strategizing.
    • This applies to the dub only. In the uncut version, Yugi doesn't take part in any of Yami's duels, except the one with Pegasus.
  • Meaningful Name: Yugi means "game".
  • Mental Fusion: Like the above trope; in the dub, Yugi and Yami combine their minds when dueling, except during Pegasus's duel, the latter half of the Doma arc, and the Ceremonial Battle.
  • The Messiah: More so than Yami, when you think about it.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: His completing of the Millennium Puzzle springs several villainous plots into motion.
  • Older Alter Ego: As in 3000 years older.
  • Perky Goth: Wears leather, a dog collar, has crazy hair...and is very cute, cheerful and kind.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Granted he does have an extremely powerful alter ego in his head.
  • Purple Eyes
  • Reincarnation: Although his version is somewhat complicated...
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Sensitive Guy to Jounouchi's Manly Man.
  • Sexier Alter Ego - Yugi is an Adorkable cutie, but the spirit of the puzzle is a full out Bishonen, who is far more successful at attracting Anzu's attention than Yugi.
  • Split Personality: He has the soul of an 3000-year-old pharaoh living inside him.
  • Sharing a Body: Revealed in the second anime series and the manga.
  • Shrinking Violet: Used to be one, but The Power of Friendship helped him get better.
  • Soul Jar: He and the Millenium Puzzle are this for Yami.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: Presumed in the Toei anime.
  • Talking to Himself: Yugi and Yami are usually voiced by the same actors. Averted in the Spanish, German, and Tagalog dubs.
  • Tareme Eyes
  • Verbal Tic: A subtle one, and manga-only; "Yep!".
  • Weak but Skilled: In both physical terms and in that his cards are at times weaker than his opponents, particularly Kaiba. Nonetheless, he wins through strategy. Nowhere is this more evident than the Ceremonial Duel against the Pharaoh and his Egyptian gods.

Dark (Yami) Yugi/Pharaoh Atem

"[Evil Yugi] once set a bunch of guys on fire. I don't remember why. It was probably because he was cold or something."

-- A review of Yu-Gi-Oh! on this very wiki


"Not only will I defeat you, I'll free you from the darkness that controls you!"

Yugi's (not so) evil alter ego, and the soul of an Egyptian pharaoh. He uses a deck originally put together by Yugi's grandfather, which has no particular theme to it, but prominently features all three Dark Magicians and their support cards.

Voiced by Dan Green (English)

Katsuya Jounouchi (Joey Wheeler)

Yugi's best friend, an underdog duelist who begins as a nobody and ends up becoming one of the best duelists in the world, though no one outside the main protagonists will admit it. Hot-headed and comical, Jounouchi's evolution from inexperienced newbie to a world-class duelist carries throughout the run of the series.

His deck initially has no particular theme to it, but as time goes on it evolves into a gambling-themed deck, along with Warriors, Beast-Warriors, and support for his Red-Eyes Black Dragon. His trump cards are his Red-Eyes (2400/2000), and, as of Battle City, the powerful Warrior, Gilford the Lightning (2800/1400). His favorite card is Flame Swordsman.

In the Japanese version, he is initially voiced by, Toshiyuki Morikawa, and later Hiroki Takahashi. In the English version, he is voiced by Wayne Grayson.

  • Abusive Parents: Specifically his alcoholic dad.
  • Anti-Hero: Type II
  • Badass Normal: He doesn't have a Millennium Item, any super-powerful cards, or access to money or resources. He still beats some of the best duelists in the world and becomes a champion player in his own right.
  • Bash Brothers: With Yugi and Yami (though to a lesser degree).
  • Big Eater: More so in the English dub, when every meaningful conversation gets turned into one about food.
  • Big Brother Instinct: To Shizuka.
  • Book Dumb
  • Born Lucky: One of the main themes of his deck is to rely on coin flips, dice rolls and random card picks, and they almost always work out in his favor. Averted in that a lot of his draws are pretty bad though.
    • Also applies to his life in general. He's shown to be quite lucky in situations that require it, but, just like with his deck, it's averted due to his terrible family life.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Marik does this to him at one point.
  • Burning with Anger
  • Butt Monkey: To Kaiba.
  • The Chew Toy: For Kaiba.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Notably, most of his opponents (Mai, Keith, Espa Roba, Weevil, Johnson) cheat by various methods. He outsmarts and beats them.
  • Cloudcuckoolander
  • Cool Loser
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Sadly dialed up on the former and down on the latter in the anime when compared to the manga.
  • Death by Adaptation: In the video game The Sacred Cards, the player duels Odion instead of him, so he gets to duel Marik. He does even worse than their duel in the anime, getting put into a coma for the rest of the game.
  • Determinator: Proven when he got all the way to the Battle City semi-finals without holding an Egyptian god card, not to mention...
  • Deuteragonist: In the original manga, according to Word of God (another word for friendship, the main theme of the series, is "Yu-Jo", hence Yugi and Jonouchi/Joey.)
  • The Ditz: Somewhat, especially during the fillers.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?
  • Fighting Your Friend: It's quite common for him to face Yugi in tournaments.
  • Foreshadowing: At the beginning of the Bonz two parter, he has a nightmare about being in a dog costume (with Kaiba tormenting him). Now fast forward to the Dungeon Dice Monsters four partner, pictures here and here, Joey is forced to wear a dog costume.
  • Fusion Dance: With his Red-Eyes against Valon to become Lord of the Red.
  • The Gambler: His deck develops a definite gambling theme as the show progresses, and he uses more and more luck and chance based cards to balance out his lack of access to rare cards.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: To Yami in the Doma arc.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Idiot Hero
  • The Lancer: Of the Best Friend variety.
  • Made of Iron
  • May September Romance: Possibly, with Mai. The caring is there, but Word of God says they're not hooking up.
  • The McCoy
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: The roguish to Honda's noble.
  • Power Armor: Uses his "Aura Armor" against Valon.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Kaiba (one of two) and Mai's blue.
  • Self-Made Man: An ordinary high-school student who worked his way up to professional tournaments with a deck of mediocre monsters. Also note that two of his strongest and iconic cards, Red-Eyes and Jinzo, are cards he won from other players.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Yugi's Sensitive Guy.
  • Shock and Awe: His Gilford the Lightning.
  • Shout-Out: In the dub Joey's surname is Wheeler, he has a Brooklyn accent, and he uses some Fire monsters... 'Captain Planet, anyone?
  • Street Smart: Despite lacking in book smarts or common sense occasionally, Joey is extremely perceptive and has good instincts as well as out-of-the-box moments.
  • Technically a Smile: His infamous 'creepy chin', which bears more than a passing resemblance to the infamous troll face.
  • This Loser Is You: Played with.
  • Trickster Archetype: Uses a few chance based cards.
  • Tsundere: Male version for Mai.
  • Weak but Skilled: Unlike the rest of the pro duelists in the show, Joey just doesn't have the type of access to powerful and rare cards they do, so he has to make do with his luck-based cards and his low-level monsters, and often pulls off some pretty impressive combos with them.
  • The Worf Effect: A lot in the anime. You know it's in effect when Jonouchi, who nearly defeated Marik in Battle City, loses to Seigfried in the KC Grand Prix!
    • Even in the anime filler, though, he still gets a respectable number of wins. Joey pretty much saves Yugi's hide in their two-on-one duel with the Big 5.

Anzu Mazaki (Téa Gardner)

Anzu is the childhood friend of Yugi Mutou. Along with Katsuya and Honda, she is one of the characters most likely to be seen accompanying Yugi.

On the rare occasions she duels, she uses a rather cutesy deck. Her favorite card is Magician of Faith.

Voiced by Yumi Kakazu (Japanese Toei Anime), Maki Saito (Duel Monsters); Amy Birnbaum (English)

  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: The Brains.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The Brunette.
  • Blue Eyes
  • Bokukko: Moreso in the manga, where the guys referred to her by her surname because of her boyishness.
  • The Chick
  • Cool Big Sis: To Shizuka.
  • The Cutie: Just look at her!
  • Depending on the Artist: Anzu's breast size ranges from flat chested to well endowed depending on which episodes you watch--sometimes it just depends on the scene. For example, compare Episode 102 with Episode 111.
    • Her outfit affects it too--her yellow "Spirit" shirt makes her appear flat, her blue shirt changes around as seen in those screenshots, and in her yellow tube top seen only in a few episodes, she's big enough to rival Mai.
  • Fan Service
    • Bare Your Midriff: Several of her outfits.
    • Ms. Fanservice: Less than Mai, but her outfits are still pretty gratuitous, often putting her in sleeveless shirts that show off her bare shoulders, and shorts or a skirt with stockings to emphasize her legs.
      • Episode 53 of the anime features Anzu dancing while wearing very tight, very short pink shorts, long black stockings, and a tube top. Then the manga and Toei anime include a Water Park Episode, showing off Anzu in a bikini and Yugi being visibly flustered by how shapely she is. The anime just shows her sunbathing, but in the manga she's showcased emerging from a pool dripping wet.
    • She's Got Legs: Long and beautiful ones.
    • Zettai Ryouiki: At least two of her outfits have the shorts + socks version.
  • Informed Flaw: Her supposed lack of skill with dueling. She's only dueled three times that we see, but she won all three of them (though her duel with Mai had Mai forfeit when she could have won). There`s also a couple off-hand references in the first season to her regularly beating Joey. Note that the dub plays up her inexperience more than the original, where she wasn't always the most confident but knew what she was doing.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: She was able to defeat one of the Big Five by herself, with a bit of help from Dark Magician Girl.
  • Light'Em Up: When she does get a chance to duel she's shown to prefer Light-attribute monsters.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: The light to Mai's dark. (One of two)
  • Loves My Alter Ego
  • Only Sane Girl
  • Out-of-Character Moment: In the mentioned water park visit, she's begun to develop a crush on Yami Yugi and deliberately puts herself in danger to get him to appear.
  • Plucky Girl
  • The Power of Friendship: In the 4kids dub, she tends to talk about this a lot. This has not helped her gain fans.
  • Shorttank
  • Shut UP, Hannibal: To Kaiba.
  • Team Mom
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboy to Shizuka's Girly Girl.
    • Also, for a more extreme example, in Season Zero, she was the Tomboy to Miho Nosaka's Girly Girl.

Hiroto Honda (Tristan Taylor)

One of Yugi's core group of comrades. He occasionally provides comic relief and helps out in the background while Yugi and Jounouchi duel.

The one time he duels, he mostly uses cards with a machine or military theme. His favorite card is Cyber Commander.

Voiced by Ryotaro Okiayu (Japanese Toei anime), Takayuki Kondo (Duel Monsters Episodes 1-52), Hidehiro Kikuchi (Episode 53+); Sam Riegel (English Episodes 1-10), Frank Frankson (Episode 10+)

  • Anime Hair: Although not as extreme as some of the other characters in the series.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: He often disbelieves in new supernatural threats, and Joey has to remind him of the previous supernatural stuff they've experienced so far.
  • Badass: He's no great shakes as a duelist, but take on Tristan in a physical fight and you are toast. He beats up Rare Hunters, and the Spirit of the Millennium Ring, and has no compunctions about charging armed men with only his fists.
  • The Big Guy: Arguably the muscle of the group. Possibly to compensate for his lack of duels.
  • Designated Victim: Out of Yugi's gang, he's the one that is possessed by evil the most. First, when He loses to Nesbitt of the Big 5, and the second time is when He gets possessed by Bakura. Everyone else is either possessed once or not at all.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Slightly, to Shizuka.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Any times things get physical, Tristan is the one who suddenly has to deal with it.
  • Noble Male, Roguish Male: The noble to Jounouchi's roguish.
  • The Other Darrin: His dub voice changed -- for the better -- in episode 11. Though many are grateful to his original dub voice, since it made Tristan who he is in Abridged.
  • Thanks for the Mammary/Funbag Airbag: Robo-Monkey!Honda does this to Shizuka in the Virtual World when he reunites after getting separated from the group.
  • Those Two Guys: With Otogi/Duke Devlin.