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The Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series, the first Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime series (known outside of Japan as simply Yu-Gi-Oh!) features an extensive cast of characters created by Kazuki Takahashi. The series takes place in a fictional city in Japan called Domino City, in which most of the characters that appear in the series originate. Many plot elements are also influenced by Egypt and Egyptian mythology, and as such, Egyptian characters also appear within the story.
The original manga of Yu-Gi-Oh! tells the tale of Yugi Mutou, a timid young boy who loves all sorts of games, but is often bullied around. One day, he solves an ancient artifact known as the Millennium Puzzle, causing his body to play host to a mysterious spirit with the personality of a gambler. From that moment onwards, whenever Yugi or one of his friends is threatened by those with darkness in their hearts, this "Dark Yugi" shows himself and challenges them to dangerous "Shadow Games" which reveal the true nature of someone's heart, the losers of these contests often being subjected to a dark punishment called a "Penalty Game". As the series progresses, Yugi and his friends (Jonouchi Katsuya, Anzu Mazaki, Hiroto Honda, Miho Nosaka (in the 1998 Toei Anime), and later Ryo Bakura) learn that this other Yugi inside of his puzzle is actually the spirit of a nameless Pharaoh from Egyptian times who had lost his memories. As Yugi and his companions attempt to help the Pharaoh regain his memories, they find themselves going through many trials as they wager their lives facing off against others that wield the mysterious Millennium Items and the dark power of the Shadow Games.
Yugi Mutou (武藤 遊戯 Mutō Yūgi?, Yugi Muto and pronounced "Moto" in the English anime) is the main protagonist of the story. He wears the Millennium Puzzle (千年パズル Sennen Pazuru?), one of the seven Millennium Items and an ancient Egyptian artifact holding the spirit of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. When Yugi is playing a game or under stress, he becomes possessed by the 3,000-year-old (5,000 in the English anime) spirit inside the Millennium Puzzle, known as Yami (Dark) Yugi, changing his personality to a cold and confident person. Initially, Yugi could be described as soft-spoken, timid, meek, and shy, but as the series progresses, his character develops to the point where he has a much bigger presence and becomes more outspoken. He fears the other personality inside him at first, however, as the narrative progresses, he grows a strong bond with his other self and considers his other soul a close and valuable friend. One defining character moment for him was when he defeated an antagonist without Dark Yugi's help, Ryuji Otogi, in a game of Dungeon Dice Monsters (DDD in the manga) under bleak circumstances, proving that he is truly worthy of being the Millennium Puzzle's wielder.
Dark Yugi (闇遊戯 Yami Yūgi?, initially Yami Yugi or The Spirit of the Millennium Puzzle in the English anime, later referred to as just The Pharoah) is the second personality inhabiting Yugi's body, a 3,000-year-old gambling spirit of an ancient Pharaoh who resides in the Millennium Puzzle. Like his host, he shares a fondness for games and gaming culture, often referred to in the manga as Game King (遊戯王 Yūgiō?, King of Games in most English translations). He appears whenever Yugi's in trouble, challenging bullies and criminals to occult judgment games called Shadow Games (闇のゲーム Yami no Gēmu?) and enforces Penalty Games (罰ゲーム Batsu Gēmu?) to enact ironic justice (the default powers of a Millennium Item wielder). A defining character moment for him is when he decides to stop using them after his battle with Pegasus, who tells him that the Millennium Items contain an evil intelligence. In the second series anime, Dark Yugi comes off as a lot more merciful as a character because this subplot is written out. As the story progresses to the point where he's more than just a split personality, he becomes more and more independent of Yugi and develops a desire to find out who he is and where he came from.
Even compared to Yugi, he seems to have the most knowledge on gaming and gambling culture within the whole cast, noticeably when he explains Ryuji Otogi's bar bet games to the normal Yugi, who noticed that his games didn't feel like they were fair. In addition, the original manga's version of Dark Yugi seems to have a somewhat dark sense of humor in his dialogue, even after his decision to stop inflicting Penalty Games. This personality trait is an aspect that is retained in his first series anime version. However, in the second series anime, Dark Yugi is somewhat more serious and loses much of the dark sense of humor he originally had in the manga.
Yugi and his friends eventually find out that he is the spirit of an ancient Pharaoh who has long forgotten his name. At the end of the manga, it's revealed that his name as Pharaoh was Atem (アテム Atemu?), who sealed his soul into the Puzzle along with the Great God of Evil, Zorc Necrophades.
Katsuya Jōnouchi (城之内 克也 Jōnouchi Katsuya?, Joey Wheeler in the English anime) is Yugi's best friend. Initially nothing more than a street thug and former bully; throwing Yugi's Millennium Puzzle piece into the swimming pool and disgusted at how unmanly he was. When Ushio decides to be Yugi's self-imposed bodyguard in order to extort money from him, he beats up Jonouchi and Honda, Yugi stands up for them, and it's then that Jonouchi realizes that he was jealous of Yugi's "treasure" all along, and later on that night, he retrieves the Millennium Puzzle piece and brings it back to Yugi's house, where Yugi completes it and challenges Ushio to the first Shadow Game of the series. Jonouchi is touched by Yugi's behavior towards him and they become loyal friends, forming his own "treasure."
Jonouchi is good at fist fighting and is usually able to take on people bigger than him, such as Bandit Keith (in the anime, this quality is underplayed and he gets beaten up by Bandit Keith instead). Though not exactly the best gamer in Domino, he develops a better liking to them thanks to Yugi, and he's managed to use his strong points to help Yugi come through in earlier story lines. Later on, he develops an interest in the Duel Monsters game, the latest fad at the time. Though unskilled at first, with Yugi's help, he trains for the Duelist Kingdom tournament in order to free Sugoroku's soul from the portable TV and save his sister's eyesight; progressively getting better throughout the series to the point where he could be called a match for Dark Yugi. Jonouchi is shown to have a very kind heart, selfless and caring, considerate, and eager willingness to help and save those he deeply cares for and loves, but he also demonstrates a near lack of modesty and can be rather rash at times, making him a source of comic relief. Jonouchi notes that, before he met Yugi, he was never really motivated for anything. As the story progressed, he learned to channel his anger into games instead of his fists. Joey is voiced by Wayne Grayson in the English dub portraying the character with a New York style accent to reflect how the Japanese character often left out honorifics.
Anzu Mazaki (真崎 杏子 Mazaki Anzu?, Téa Gardner in the English anime dub) is Yugi's childhood friend, an extremely supportive girl with a lot of spirit for her friends, who Yugi has a crush on. Anzu is not an avid game-player and her ability is well below that of Yugi, though she exhibits some knowledge of video game RPGs during the Monster World arc. Her dueling ability is decent and she used to defeat Jonouchi in school before he became a seasoned duelist. She is athletic, has a strong school spirit, and secretly worked at a fast food restaurant called Burger World to save money; her secret dream is to attend a dancing school abroad in New York. When Yugi and Jonouchi find out about these secrets when they followed her (thinking she's taking part in Enjo Kosai), she gains a new respect for Jonouchi and her childhood friend, who are more than willing to support their dream and keep her secret. Anzu is voiced by Yumi Kakazu in the original anime series. In the Duel Monsters anime, she is voiced by Maki Saito. Téa is voiced by Amy Birnbaum in the English dub.
Hiroto Honda (本田 廣戸 Honda Hiroto?, Tristan Taylor in the English anime) who is in class 1-B at Domino High School, is a boy who became a friend of Yugi Mutou, Katsuya Jonouchi, and Anzu Mazaki. Later on, he becomes a friend to Ryo Bakura as well. In the manga, Honda starts out as Jonouchi's street thug henchman and also (at first) has a crush on Miho Nosaka. Though he still dislikes Yugi at first, he asks for his help in writing a love letter to her in the form of a puzzle. When the vain teacher Ms. Chono threatened to confiscate the puzzle, threatening to punish Miho Nosaka if the secret admirer doesn't come clean, Yugi and Jonouchi stood up for him. Ms. Chrono decides to put together the puzzle to find out who the sender is anyway, and Dark Yugi secretly turns it into a Shadow Game, shattering Ms. Chono's pretty face as the Penalty Game. From then on, Honda warms up to Yugi and becomes one of his dearest friends.
Honda is voiced by Ryotaro Okiayu in the first series. In Duel Monsters he is first voiced by Takayuki Kondo, then by Hidehiro Kikuchi from Episode 53 onwards. In the English dub, Tristan is voiced by Sam Regal for the first ten episodes and Greg Abbey from episode 11 onwards.
Ryo Bakura (獏良 了 Bakura Ryō?, simply Bakura in the English anime) is a transfer student (British in the English anime version) who becomes friends with the main group of the story. Like Yugi, he is also interested in games, particularly tabletop role-playing games like Monster World (モンスター・ワールド Monsutā Wārudo?). Bakura, the holder of the Millennium Ring (千年輪 Sennen Ringu?), has a dark spirit dwelling inside himself, much like Dark Yugi. Before he is introduced to the story, he was constantly moving schools due to the fact that, every time he played a game with his friends, his friends would end up in a coma. This is revealed to be Dark Bakura inflicting Penalty Games on them, which trapped their souls into RPG miniature figures. Together with Yugi and his friends, they join forces to crush Dark Bakura in a Shadow Game of Monster World. From then on, the normal Bakura joins the main group in many of their conflicts. In the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime by Toei Animation, the group also included Miho Nosaka, who had a crush on Bakura. In the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime, his role in the group is greatly reduced compared to the manga, as he is mostly being controlled by Dark Bakura and doesn't accompany Yugi and his friends as much as he did in the manga, and is excluded from filler arcs. In addition, he is introduced in the middle of the Duelist Kingdom story and his love for tabletop role-playing games has been greatly written out.
Bakura is voiced by Tsutomu Kashiwakura in the first series. In Duel Monsters he is first voiced by You Inoue, then by Rica Matsumoto from episode 50 onwards. In the English dub, Bakura is voiced by Ted Lewis.
Miho Nosaka (野坂 ミホ Nosaka Miho?, Melody in the English DDM video game) was a one-shot minor character in the manga, who was re-written as a main character for the 1998 Toei anime adaptation. Here, she is a very good friend of Yugi and the best friend of Anzu Mazaki. This version of Miho is a cheerful, kind, and caring girly girl who loves all things that are cute, her friends, and is one of the school's treasures (according to Honda). Miho tends to talk in third person and has gotten crushes on many of the male cast members throughout the show (particularly ones she deems cool) but isn't interested in Honda in any way other than as a friend (whereas he is madly in love with her). Miho has a stubborn side, and whenever her friends are threatened, she will not hesitate to get serious and do whatever she can to protect them like when Warashibe poisoned Anzu, Honda, and Jonouchi. While Miho is overall sweet and innocent, she is shown to be smarter than she lets on and has a manipulative side to her and isn't above letting her desires be known in front of Honda, who she knows has a huge crush for her. This includes him waiting in line to buy her a collectible watch, waiting in line for perfume, and making it sound like she was considering taking him on a trip with her if he won her a digital pets contest. While this would imply a lack of care for Honda, Miho is shown to love him dearly (just not in a romantic way) as when she thought he'd died she began sobbing uncontrollably and resolved to fight for his sake. When she finds out he's alive, she teams up with Jonouchi to fight against Ryuichi and Aileen who were keeping Honda and Yugi's grandfather captive.
Miho is voiced by Yukana in the first anime adaptation. She does not appear in the Duel Monsters version.
Dark Bakura (闇獏良 Yami Bakura?, Yami Bakura in the English anime) is a dark spirit dwelling inside of the Millennium Ring, much like Dark Yugi. This dark half of Ryo Bakura, Dark Bakura, intends to collect all of the Millennium items, and quite clearly does not care for anyone who might get in his way. His goal is to use them to open the Door of Darkness, which grants evil power to anyone that opens it. To do so, he takes control over Ryo Bakura's body against Ryo Bakura's will, since he doesn't have a body of his own. In the beginning of the story, he torments Ryo Bakura by taking over his body whenever he played a game with his friends and used Penalty Games to trap their souls into TRPG miniatures for the Monster World game, causing Ryo to constantly transfer schools. With the help of Yugi and Yugi's other self, Jonouchi, Anzu, and Honda (and Miho in the 1998 anime), they were able to temporarily purge Dark Bakura's influence on their friend by defeating the final boss of Monster World, Dark Master Zorc (闇の支配者(ダーク・マスター ゾーク) Dāku Masutā Zōku?). However, later on when the group is seemingly going to be trapped within the labyrinth below Duelist Kingdom, the spirit's voice within the Millennium Ring tricks Ryo Bakura into putting it on again, assuring Ryo that his other half will help save his friends and that the dark spirit has undergone a change of heart. With Ryo's friends unaware that he had once again put on the Millennium Ring, Dark Bakura helps Dark Yugi in his game that outs the Meikyū Brothers's trickery and they head to the surface.
For a while in the manga, it was unknown whether or not Dark Bakura was still a malevolent spirit. On one hand, he occasionally helped Yugi and his friends, trying to gain their uneasy trust and seemed to allow Ryo Bakura more free control of his body compared to his earlier treatment of his host (who was still unaware of what transpires whenever his other half took over). On the other hand, unbeknownst to the others, he is shown to be the one that killed Pegasus by tearing the Millennium Eye out of his eye socket and taking it for himself, licking the leftover blood. It's soon clear where his true standing was in the Dungeon Dice Monsters arc: after giving Yugi morale support during the game against Ryuji Otogi and helping him retrieve the pieces of the shattered Millennium Puzzle, Dark Bakura secretly plants a portion of his soul into one of the pieces to uncover the True Door from within, and intends to do anything he can to manipulate everything into place until the day comes where all of the Millnennium Items have gathered together, in preparation for the Shadow RPG (闇・Ｒ・Ｐ・Ｇ(ロール・プレイング・ゲーム) Yami Ā Pī Jī (Yami Rōru Pureingu Gēmu)?, Shadow Role-Playing Game), with the ultimate goal of opening the Door of Darkness and unleashing the darkness sealed within the Puzzle. Unbeknownst to Ryo, throughout the later portion of the manga, his other self will occasionally take over his body whenever he sees the chance of furthering his own selfish goals. During the final arc, it is revealed he is an entity created by the merge of Thief King Bakura (盗賊王バクラ Tōzokuō Bakura?)'s soul and the soul of the dark god Zorc Necrophades. In the anime, it's said that the spirit is just Zorc Necrophades entirely.
Dark Bakura is voiced by Tsutomu Kashiwakura in the first series. In Duel Monsters he is first voiced by You Inoue, then by Rica Matsumoto from episode 50 onwards. In the English dub, Bakura is voiced by Ted Lewis.
Maximillion J. Pegasus, known in Japanese versions as Pegasus J. Crawford (ペガサス・ジェイ・クロフォード Pegasasu Jei Kurofōdo?), is the eccentric American Chairman of Industrial Illusions (shortened to I²) and the creator of the game Duel Monsters (Magic & Wizards (Ｍ＆Ｗ(マジックアンドウィザーズ) Majikku ando Wizāzu?) in the Japanese manga). He is the wielder of the Millennium Eye (千年眼, ミレニアムアイ Sennen Gan, Mireniamu Ai?). In the original manga, it's his story about meeting Shadi and the supposed "evil intelligence" of the Millennium Items that prompts Dark Yugi's search for the answer of who he is and where he came from. During his final Shadow Game with Yugi/Dark Yugi, he tells them of his discovery of an ancient Egyptian Shadow Game during his travels in the Valley of the Kings, which inspired his creation of Duel Monsters and the creation of card games in general, such as tarot cards. In the anime, as the creator of the card game Duel Monsters and the discoverer of their ancient Egyptian roots, Pegasus often plays a key role due to his extensive knowledge of the game and its mysterious origins. He has a habit of calling Yugi Mutou "Yugi-boy" and Seto Kaiba "Kaiba-boy" in the Japanese and edited English versions of the anime and manga. This trend continues in the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime, calling Jaden Yuki "Jaden-boy." Interestingly, in Japanese versions of the manga and anime, Pegasus often uses English words interspliced with Japanese, including English words like "goodness gracious!" and "snap!" and using the English pronoun "you" instead of Japanese second-person words. His speech is also unique in terms of pronunciation. In both English and Japanese he tends to elongate vowel sounds, especially near the end of a sentence.
Pegasus quickly establishes himself as the manga's fourth main antagonist (and the second anime adaptation's first main antagonist), challenging Yugi Mutou to a Shadow Game in order to force him to come to his tournament Duelist Kingdom (決闘者の王国（デュエリストキングダム） Dyuerisuto Kingudamu?) and face him, taking the soul of his grandfather Sugoroku Mutou as a Penalty Game for losing the timed match to ensure this. In the manga, Pegasus locked Yugi's grandfather's soul into a video tape, rather than actually stealing it. Throughout the battles to get to Pegasus's castle, Yugi is seen talking to his grandfather through the use of a camcorder. In the anime, he traps Sugoroku in a Soul Prison Duel Monsters card. Pegasus also kidnaps Mokuba Kaiba to convince his brother Seto Kaiba to come as well. Through a series of flashbacks, Pegasus is revealed to have had a lover, Cyndia (シンディア Shindia?, Cecelia in the English anime), who died just after their wedding (details regarding if they were actually married vary from medium to medium). In the manga, she died after her 17th birthday, before they even had a chance to get married. Pegasus is voiced by Jiro Takasugi in the original and by Darren Dunstan in the English adaptation.
Mr. Clown (クラウンさん Kuraun-san?, misspelled as Crown in the Japanese manga), also known as Otogi's father (御伽父 Otogi-chichi?) is an antagonist exclusive to the manga. He is the owner of the Black Clown (ブラック・クラウン Burakku Kuraun?) game shop across the street from Sugoroku Mutou's Kame Game shop. Long ago, Mr. Otogi asked Sugoroku Mutou, a master gamer, to take him in as a disciple. After a while, they challenged each other for the ownership of the Millennium Puzzle in a Shadow Game called the Devil's Board Game. Mr. Otogi, who lost, aged 50 years in a single night as a Penalty Game. Since then he desired revenge through his son Ryuji (known as "Duke Devlin" in the English adaptation of the anime version). In the English Dungeon Dice Monsters video game, he is given the name Sindin the Clown.
Marik Ishtar (マリク・イシュタール Mariku Ishutāru?) in the original Japanese anime and manga, is a character in the manga Yu-Gi-Oh! and the second Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series (known in Asia as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters). The heir to a clan of tombkeepers and the younger brother of Ishizu Ishtar, Marik's hatred of the nameless Pharaoh compels him to disregard his duties and turn to a life of crime, developing a split personality during his childhood after he underwent the tombkeeper's initiation ritual (which burned a key to the Pharaoh's memory on his back with a hot dagger) and was forever destined for a confined life in the darkness. Marik is voiced by Tetsuya Iwanaga in the original version and by Jonathan Todd Ross in the English adaptation, while Akiko Kimura does his voice in flashbacks.
Priest Akhenaden (神官アクナディン Shinkan Akunadin?) was the guardian of the Millennium Eye and the brother of King Ahknemkhanen. As they grew up, he was secretly jealous of his brother's position as pharaoh, considering himself the true power behind the throne. Using the Shadow Alchemy inscribed in the Millennium Tome (千年魔術書 Sennen Majutsu Sho?, Millennium Spellbook in the English dubbed anime), he ordered the massacre at the village of Kul Elna, using their blood and melting their corpses into gold so he could create the Millennium Items to defend his brother's kingdom, keeping the slaughter a secret and brainwashing his soldiers in order to keep it that way. He is voiced by Hitoshi Bifu in the Japanese version of the anime. In the English adaptation, he is voiced by Pete Zarustica.
The Great Evil God Zorc Necrophades (大邪神 ゾーク・ネクロファデス Daijashin Zōku Nekurofadesu?) (Zorc the Dark One in the English anime) is a destroyer of worlds that was born when the Millennium Items were originally created (in the English anime, he is the creator of the Shadow Realm, and therefore likely predates the items, though they were made using his power, and in the manga he was said to be born of the darkness in humans' hearts).
He is summoned by Akhenaden by the power of the Millennium Items and attacks the kingdom, dispatching Atem's advisers. In the Memory World, an RPG-style Shadow Game that Dark Bakura has set up based on ancient Egypt, Zorc is the game's final boss and has three Ba gauges, and if Dark Yugi loses the Shadow RPG, Dark Bakura would gain the ultimate powers of darkness and Zorc would effectively be summoned once again. However, with the help of Yugi and his other dear friends, Atem defeats him and stops him from being resurrected, also freeing Ryo Bakura from the Millennium Ring once and for all. In the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, it is said that Dark Bakura was an entity made of both Zorc and Thief King Bakura's souls, while in the Duel Monsters anime, it is said that the spirit within the Millennium Ring is entirely Zorc.
Seto Kaiba (海馬 瀬人 Kaiba Seto?). In the early manga, Seto discovers that the grandfather of his classmate, Yugi Mutou, owns the rare "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" card. Kaiba steals the card from Yugi by switching it with a fake copy. Yugi recognizes the card for a fake and duels Kaiba to get it back. Yugi, Honda Hiroto and Katsuya Jonouchi were beaten up by Kaiba's guards until the Darker Yugi from within the Millennium Puzzle confronts Kaiba and challenges to a Shadow Game with the card as a prize. Although Kaiba nearly wins, the magical nature of the game prevents the stolen Blue-Eyes from obeying him, and Kaiba is defeated, suffering a temporary Penalty Game—an illusion of being killed by monsters. In Toei's anime adaptation, he is voiced by Hikaru Midorikawa. In NAS/Gallop's Duel Monsters anime adaptation, he is voiced by Kenjirō Tsuda and Kiyomi Yazaki as a child. In the English dub of the latter, Kaiba is voiced by Eric Stuart. WatchMojo.com listed Seto Kaiba number ten in their Top 10 Anime Anti-Heroes.
Mokuba Kaiba (海馬 モクバ Kaiba Mokuba?) is Seto Kaiba's younger brother. In the manga, Mokuba is characterized as a spoiled brat, always trying to trick Yugi Mutou to get back at him for defeating his older brother. In the pre-Death-T chapters of the manga, Mokuba tries to defeat Yugi before Kaiba has a chance to and challenges Katsuya Jonouchi and Yugi to a Russian Roulette Dinner (死の料理・ロシアンルーレット Shi no Ryōri Roshianrūretto?) and poisons Jonouchi. In the second series of the anime, Mokuba is eternally devoted to his brother Seto Kaiba and is constantly by his side. He is not as violent as his manga counterpart, and is not committed to avenge Seto's defeat. He befriends Yugi's group after they rescue him, thus making him the warmer, more sociable one of the two brothers. In the Toei anime series, he is voiced by Katsue Miwa. In Duel Monsters, Mokuba is voiced by Junko Takeuchi and by Tara Sands for season one to four then by Carrie Keranen from season five onwards in the English adaptation.
Sugoroku Mutou (武藤 双六 Mutō Sugoroku?, Solomon Muto in the English anime, Sugoroku Muto in the subtitled English anime and the Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie Animanga) is the grandfather of Yugi Mutou, who gave him his famous Millennium Puzzle as a present, which he had recovered from the tomb of Pharaoh Atem in his youth. He was once a gaming master who traveled all over the world to try all sorts of games and win them all, vowing that if he ever lost a game, he'd "open up a game shop, wear overalls, and collect years instead of chips". In the present, he's an overall-wearing old man who owns a game shop called Kame Game, where Yugi and his friends get several of the games they play. In the second series anime adaptation, he taught Katsuya Jonouchi how to play the Duel Monsters card game. Similar to his grandson, his fondness for games is evident even in his name: "Sugoroku" is a Japanese game similar to Backgammon. Sugoroku is the reincarnation of Ancient Egyptian vizier, Siamun Muran, right-hand man to the Pharaoh Atem.
Sugoroku is voiced by Takeshi Aono for the Toei anime series, Tadashi Miyazawa for the second series in Japanese, while Maddie Blaustein handled his voice for the English adaptation, with Marc Diraison voicing him for Episode 199. Following Blaustein's death in 2008, Wayne Grayson provided his voice for Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time.
Ryuji Otogi (御伽 龍児 Otogi Ryūji?, Duke Devlin in the English anime) is a talented game inventor and is also the creator of Dungeon Dice Monsters (Dragons, Dice, & Dungeons (D·D·D(ドラゴン・ダイス・＆(アンド)ダンジョンズ) Doragon Daisu ando Danjonzu?) in the manga). According to his father, Mr. Clown, Ryuji was born in order to fulfill his father's revenge on Sugoroku Mutou. Sugoroku had defeated Mr. Otogi in a Shadow Game called the Devil's Board Game, causing him to age 50 years in one night as a Penalty Game. Ryuji was transferred to Domino High School, where Yugi Mutou (Sugoroku's grandson) goes to school. His father used this as an opportunity for Ryuji to defeat Yugi in a series of games and fulfill the family's revenge.
In the Japanese versions, his personality change between the manga and anime is apparent in his use of boku (僕?, polite male pronounce for I) in the anime as oppose to ore (俺?, masculine and boastful pronoun of "I") in the manga.
Shadi (シャーディー Shādī?) is the first Millennium Item wielder to cause trouble for Yugi and his friends in the story, serving as the main antagonist for the Trial of the Mind arc of the manga. He holds the Millennium Key (千年錠 Sennen Jō?, also known as the Millennium Ankh), which allowed him to peer into the inner souls of humans and gave him the ability to rearrange their personality as he pleased, and the Millennium Scales (千年秤 Sennen Bakari?), which had the power to weigh the evil in a person's heart in the same vein as Anubis's "Weighing of the Heart" trials in Egyptian mythology, using the feather of Ma'at. In the second series anime, his ownership of the Scales isn't revealed until the last arc. In the Toei anime, he is voiced by Kaneto Shiozawa. In the Duel Monsters anime, he is voiced by Nozomu Sasaki.
Ishizu Ishtar, known in Japanese versions as Isis Ishtar (イシズ・イシュタール Ishizu Ishutāru?), is a character in the manga Yu-Gi-Oh! and the second series Yu-Gi-Oh! anime (known as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters in Asia). Marik's elder sister, Ishizu became a museum curator in order to lure Yugi Mutou and Seto Kaiba to her in order to keep Marik from fulfilling his goals. To aid her, she holds the Millennium Tauk (千年首飾り Sennen Tauku?, known as the Millennium Necklace in the English anime) that has the power to foresee events in the near future. She is voiced by Sumi Shimamoto in the Japanese version and in the flashbacks she is voiced by Sakura Nogawa. In the English adaptation she is voiced by Karen Neil.
Rishid Ishtar (リシド・イシュタール Rishido Ishutāru?, Odion Ishtar in the English anime) is Marik's adoptive brother and the second-in-command of the Ghouls. Abandoned as a child, Rishid was taken in by Marik's mother prior to his birth. However, his father never accepted him as a suitable heir and treated him as a servant rather than a son. Despite this, Rishid had always desire to become a true part of the family and an heir to the tombkeeper clan. When Marik was born, his mother told him to take care of his younger brother and Rishid stood by Marik's side, even when he turned to a life of evil. Marik and Rishid were close siblings, but Rishid always harbored a resentment for him as the true heir to the tombkeeper's clan and legitimate son of his parents. When Marik was bitten by a cobra and became ill, their father beat Rishid, furious he allowed Marik to be harmed, and ordered that he not leave Marik's bedside until he recovered. Rishid takes a dagger to Marik's room with the intent to kill him in his sleep (this is edited out in the dub, along with Rishid's resentment for Marik). Marik awakens and murmurs "brother", causing Rishid to drop the weapon in shock: Marik sees Rishid as his brother, despite the fact they are not blood related. In the English adaptation he is voiced by Michael Alston Bailey. He is voiced by KONTA in the Japanese version.
Mai Kujaku (孔雀 舞 Kujaku Mai?, Mai Valentine in the English anime) is an attractive woman who spent most of her life alone. While working as a blackjack dealer on a cruise ship, she developed a cynical attitude towards people and showed no shame in manipulating men, who displayed foolish infatuation towards her and previously used her "Aroma Tactics" to easily beat them in card games. Although she made a lot of money doing this, it caused her to hate people more until she got sick of her job and quit. She became a powerful, successful duelist thanks to her Harpie-themed deck. However, Mai had no true friends, and dueled simply for pride and monetary gain, but also entered the Duelist Kingdom tournament to find the things she used to cherish. When Mai joined the Duelist Kingdom tournament to seek the prize money, she met Yugi Mutou and his friends and steadily forged a true friendship with them after they rescued her Star Chips from the Player Killer of Darkness to help her stay in the tournament. Mai subsequently faced Yugi in the semi-finals, but ultimately chose to surrender to him when she decided she could not win, telling him that some losses only serve to make people stronger. In the anime, she was raised in a wealthy household, but was barely acknowledged by her relatives.
In the 4Kids version, Mai's past as a blackjack dealer was omitted and both she and her Harpie Ladies' appearance were censored to remove sexual references. Mai is voiced by Haruhi Terada in the Japanese series and originally by Megan Hollingshead, then Bella Hudson (Season 4) for the English adaptation, and finally Alyson Johnson for the 4Kids Uncut adaptation. Her English name is a reference to "my valentine".
Shizuka Kawai (川井 静香 Kawai Shizuka?, Shizuka Jounouchi (城之内静香 Jōunouchi Shizuka in the 1st series anime,?) Serenity Wheeler in the English anime) is the little sister of Katsuya Jonouchi, separated from him when their parents divorced and her mother took custody of her. When Shizuka was diagnosed with the steady onset of blindness, Jounouchi entered the Duelist Kingdom tournament and successfully obtained the prize money to secure the operation that would save her eyesight. She was voiced by Lisa Ortiz in the English dub who portrayed the character with a South Jersey accent
Rebecca Hopkins (レベッカ・ホプキンス Rebekka Hopukinsu?, Rebecca Hawkins in the dub) is a character created exclusively for the second series anime. She is the bratty 8-year-old granddaughter of a friend of Sugoroku Mutou, believing Sugoroku stole the Blue-Eyes White Dragon card from him. Dueling Sugoroku's grandson Yugi to get it back, Rebecca and Yugi play a game identical to the one Sugoroku played with Rebecca's grandfather years ago. After Yugi surrenders, Rebecca's grandfather explains he gave Solomon his card as a gift. Yugi, then hands Rebecca the "Ties of Friendship" card that he won at Duelist Kingdom as a token of his appreciation.
During the Millennium World story arc, Dark Yugi journeys into his lost memories and meets old acquaintances from Ancient Egypt as NPCs (non player characters) within Dark Bakura's ultimate tabletop role-playing game, the Shadow RPG (闇のＲ・Ｐ・Ｇ Yami no Ā Pī Jī?), a campaign based on the past. The Six High Priests (六神官 Roku Shinkan?) protect the seven Millennium Items with their lives and have to swear eternal loyalty to the Pharaoh, Atem (serving as the player character of Dark Yugi, Atem's spirit in modern times). In the age where Shadow Games were used to determine a person's fate, these Priests used the Millennium Items and sorcery to pull out and seal human souls (Ka), which take the form of Monsters Spirits, into stone slabs to do battle; usually from criminals and those who pilfer from the tombs of the Pharaohs. Within the RPG, each characters' health and magic were represented by their Ba Gauge.
Priest Seto (神官セト Shinkan Seto?) is one of the seven High Priests that guard the Millennium Items and is the holder of the Millennium Rod. Priest Seto is named after the god Set and is actually the first cousin of Pharaoh Atem. Seto Kaiba is his reincarnation and thus, resembles him in looks and basic attitude, believing in power and brute strength. However, Priest Seto appears to bear a great loyalty and friendship to Atem, as opposed to Kaiba, who views modern day Yugi Mutou as a lifelong rival as opposed to someone he calls a friend. Before the Battle City arc, a tablet showing Priest Seto fighting Pharaoh Atem was on display at the Domino City Museum, with Blue-Eyes White Dragon fighting against the Pharaoh's Dark Magician. During Battle City, Kaiba continuously has vivid visions of his past life as Seto. Priest Seto appears as an NPC in the Shadow RPG, aligned to Dark Yugi's side of the board. Seto is voiced by Kenjiro Tsuda in the Japanese version.
Priest Mahado (神官マハード Shinkan Mahādo?, known as Mahad in the English anime) was a loyal High Priest of Pharaoh Atem's court and appears as an NPC within Dark Bakura's Shadow RPG. He bears the Millennium Ring, but lost the item to Thief King Bakura in a Shadow Game. He states that he had sensed an evil intelligence within the Millennium Ring, which it absorbed from the previous priest who wore it. His Monster Spirit Ka is the Magus of Illusion (幻想の魔術師 Gensō no Majutsushi?, known as the Illusion Magician in the English anime), a spellcaster.
Priest Isis (神官アイシス Shinkan Aishisu?) is a loyal priestess that serves Pharaoh Atem in Ancient Egypt and wields the Millennium Necklace. Ishizu Ishtar is the reincarnation of Isis. She is named after the Egyptian goddess Isis. Voiced by Sumi Shimamoto in the Japanese version.
Priest Karim (神官カリム Shinkan Karimu?) is one of the six High Priests that served under Pharaoh Atem in Ancient Egypt 5,000 years ago during his reign, and was the owner of the Millennium Scales at the time. He appears as an NPC aligned with Dark Yugi in the Shadow RPG. Voiced by Masahito Kawanago in the Japanese version.
Priest Shada (神官シャダ Shinkan Shada?) is one of the six priests that guarded Pharaoh Atem 5,000 years ago and appears as an NPC in the Shadow RPG. He is the keeper of the Millennium Key during Atem's reign. He appears to have a friendship with Priest Seto, and although he was relunctant, Shada aided Seto in his criminal hunt for Monster Spirit Ka with his Millennium Key. He later dies after pushing Atem out of the way of a lightning bolt caused by Zorc Necrophades, having his Ba Gauge wiped out (in the English version of the anime, he is sent to the Shadow Realm). After his death, Siamun, his predecessor, took back the Millennium Key in order to called forth Exodia the Sealed One. Although he is the wielder of the Millennium key and has a similar name to Shadi, the two are not related in any way. Voiced by Sumi Shimamoto in the Japanese version and Sakura Nogawa when he was young.
Siamun Muran (シモン・ムーラン Shimon Mūran?, known as Shimon in the English anime) is a vizier of Pharaoh Atem. He resembles Yugi's modern day grandpa, Sugoroku Mutou. He was originally one of the Pharaoh Akhenamkhanen's original guardians and was the former keeper of the Millennium Key, the predecessor to Shada. He was voiced by Tadashi Miyazawa in the Japanese version.
Mana (マナ Mana?) is a childhood friend of Atem and studies magic under Mahado as his apprentice. She is a light-hearted, open, playful and caring girl, who shares a deep bond between her master and Atem; the anime shows all three were childhood friends. She appears in the Millennium World arc as an NPC during Dark Bakura's Shadow RPG game. Her Ka is the Dark Magician Girl. In the anime, she can see Atem's friends from the present and initially mistakes Yugi for him. Voiced by Yuki Nakao in the Japanese version.
Kisara (キサラ Kisara?) is the keeper of the Blue Eyes White Dragon Monster Spirit in the Millennium World arc. Her pale appearance is unusual, and she is mentioned as being from a "foreign country" in the Japanese anime. In the second series anime adaptation, it's stated that as children, Priest Seto saved Kisara from slave traders, and she repaid him by unconsciously releasing her inner dragon spirit after the traders set fire to his village and killed his mother. Years later (their first meeting in the manga), Seto again stumbles across Kisara being stoned because of her pale white skin, deep blue eyes and snow white hair. Shada senses the immeasurably strong strength and power within her — which he deems "equal to that of the [Egyptian] Gods" — and Seto takes her back to the palace, where he recognizes her as the girl he once saved some years ago. Kazuki Takahashi has said that he originally planned for the story to have much further explored the strong romantic relationship between Seto and Kisara, but in order to meet a deadline these details had to be cut. According to Takahashi, Priest Seto's strong romantic feelings for Kisara are the main basis behind Kaiba's modern-day unusually strong obsession with the Blue-Eyes White Dragon card.
Kisara is voiced by Rie Nakagawa in the Japanese version.
In the manga, Bobasa (ボバサ Bobasa?) is a member of an Egyptian tombkeeper clan that protects the Millennium Items under the command of Shadi. He has Shadi's Millennium Scale as well as his Millennium Key. Bobasa protects the items by placing them on his abnormally-shaped chest and locking his clothes. He then swallows the key, and is able to regurgitate it at will. He accompanied Yugi and his friends into the Millennium Puzzle's maze, a continuation of the Labyrinth Treasure Hunt from the early manga, in order to find the true door to the king's memory. He later enters the Memory World with Yugi and his friends and becomes an NPC in the Shadow RPG. In the manga, it is revealed that he is actually Hasan, which in turn, means that he is actually Shadi.
In the Duel Monsters anime version, his role and character are completely altered. Bobasa appears as a comic relief NPC that inhabits the Shadow RPG. He is a key switch that can lead the player to where the Pharaoh's name is if the player gives him enough food to eat. It is never fully explained to who and what he actually is, but it's implied that he could have been a genie or some other supernatural entity because he said that now that he's full, he can "grant your wish." When he finally took them to the Pharaoh's tomb, he vanished and seemed to know a lot more about the situation then he was first implied to. Unlike the manga, Bobasa is not an alternate identity of Shadi.