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Anubis is a character created exclusively for "Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie", released in theatres in the United States in August 2004.

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While his exact origins are largely unknown, he is known to be one of Dark Yuugi/the Pharaoh's many enemies from the ancient past. He is the original holder of what has been named "The Millennium Pyramid," but which is in fact the "Pyramid of Light."

The movie storyline says that Anubis fought the Pharaoh 5000 years ago, and tried to "create the ultimate Shadow Game" and "destroy the world" using the powers of the Pyramid of Light. When he failed in this endeavor (it is not stated how or why he failed), the Pharaoh had Anubis's sarcophagus chained shut and sealed in a deep tomb.

The movie universe also has Anubis's powers awaken the moment Yuugi Mutou (the reincarmation and vessel of the Pharaoh's spirit) finishes putting together the Millennium Puzzle, which seems to indicate that there is some connection between the Puzzle and the Pyramid. Though the two relics look similar, Yuugi's Millennium Puzzle is actually an upside-down pyramid assembled from puzzle parts, and adorned with a traditional Eye of Horus, while Anubis's Pyramid of Light is right-side up, and appears to be made out of blue glass, and adorned with an Eye of Horus with a red gem in the center (rather than a "donut" of gold).

Historically speaking, Anubis is one of the many gods found in the Egyptian pantheon; though his exact parentage is not known, he was considered to be the God of the Dead for some time, before Osiris took his place. Anubis then became known as the god of mummification, and the other rituals and ceremonies associated with death and the passing of the soul into the Afterlife. His symbol was the jackal, as jackals were often seen roaming near Egyptian tombs at night.

In Egyptian tombs, Anubis was represented by a jackal-headed man, and priests performing mummification rituals often wore a jackal mask to imitate him. This explains why Anubis the Yu-Gi-Oh character first appeared with the head of a jackal. Note that it was NOT a mask, as Anubis spoke from the jackal head, and the mouth moved, revealing a jackal tongue and teeth, features that a mask does not have.