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Seto Kaiba, as seen in the first season of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime

Seto Kaiba is Yuugi Mutou's arch-rival, though Yuugi likes to consider him a friend. Kaiba was the original Duel Monsters champion before Yuugi (or more accurately, Dark Yuugi) unseated him. Ever since then, Kaiba has been desperate to regain his title as champion, and has challenged Yuugi multiple times.

Kaiba's signature card is the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, and he goes to extreme lengths in the series to obtain all three (four including the one he ripped up "so it could never be used against him"). His fixation with the card spills over to other areas of his life as well, and he frequently uses the BEWD motif to decorate his personal effects - e.g., his amusement park, his clothing, and his jet. According to Takahashi, this obsession stems from the relationship between his ancient Egyptian incarnate, Priest Seto, and the girl Kisara (whose soul harbored the Blue Eyes).

Seto and his younger brother Mokuba were born to a family of an unknown surname, though it is known that they were moderately wealthy. The mother died giving birth to Mokuba, and the father died in an accident three years later. Seto and Mokuba lived with their relatives for a short time, but once their relatives squandered their inheritance, the two boys were sent to an orphanage. They lived there for a time before Seto came up with a plan to end their stay: by challenging billionaire chess master Gozaburo Kaiba to a chess match. If Seto won, Gozaburo would have to adopt him and Mokuba.

In the manga, Seto cheated in order to win, but in the anime, he simply mimicked Gozaburo's well-known strategies. Seto became Gozaburo's "apprentice," constantly and rigorously training as the heir to Kaiba Corporation. Gozaburo assigned Seto with the task of taking a lump sum of money and doubling it within a given period of time, and Seto did not only that, but he managed to buy the critical 51% of Kaiba Corporation's stocks that put him in charge. The final 2% was given to him by Mokuba. Although there had been a rift between the two brothers for some time - which Gozaburo tried to use to counter Seto's takeover - the truth was that neither Seto nor Mokuba ever gave up believing in one another, and to this day, they are extremely loyal to one another.

When Gozaburo was unseated from his position controlling Kaiba Corp., he committed suicide by jumping out of a window, in the manga. In the anime, he "ran away." However, Seto let Gozaburo's five most trusted associates, the Big Five remain on the Board of Directors.

Seto then transformed Kaiba Corporation from a heavy-arms industrial giant into a technology and game-centric company. He oversees the design and manufacture of many of the company's products, including the Solid Vision holographic system and the Duel Disk.

Seto Kaiba, as he was pictured in the Toei animation Yu-Gi-Oh!

In the Toei animation, Seto Kaiba was considerably more cruel and ruthless, more closely resembling his initial persona in the anime. Takahashi interviews revealed that he never intended Seto Kaiba to be a recurring character, and Yu-Gi-Oh!'s potential for success was unknown, so Takahashi intentionally designed him as a truly villanous character. When Yu-Gi-Oh! became a hit series and was later adapted into an anime, Takahashi performed a character "reset" by having Dark Yuugi use something called a Mind Crush on him. The Mind Crush caused Seto to fall into a coma, and until he "put together the pieces of his heart," he would not awaken. He did eventually awaken, but only when he realized that Mokuba was in danger.

The Duel Monsters anime features a Kaiba that has many more opportunities to redeem himself, though he has an equal amount of enemies. Almost all of the filler arcs in the anime featured Kaiba in a prominent role, whether it was him fighting the Big Five or his foster father and brother in the Virtual World arcs, him fighting Siegfried von Schroider in the KC Grand Prix, or him becoming a holder of the powerful Dragon card Critias.

Kaiba is in the same school and class as Yuugi, Anzu, Jounouchi, and Honda. In the Toei anime, he transferred there only to obtain Yuugi's rare card, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Since Kaiba is considered a genius, it is no surprise that we don't usually see him in school, but rather, at work. It is likely that his high status and smarts have helped him get out of school requirements or activities, though it is equally possible that Kaiba stopped attending school at Domino High School when he realized there was nothing further to be obtained from Yuugi or his friends (education is only mandatory through junior high in Japan).

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Seto is considered the reincarnation of a high priest from the same Ancient Egyptian period that the Pharaoh is from. In the final arc of both the anime and the manga, this high priest also has the name of Seto, but the name was supposedly inspired by the name of the Egyptian god Set. Hints early on during the Battle City arc indicated that in Seto's previous lifetime, he fought the Pharaoh in an incredible duel that changed everything, but the outcome of that duel remained unknown until the final arc. In the Japanese series, Kaiba eventually does acknowledge his past and the events that occurred during Memory World, although he warns Jounouchi to keep his mouth shut about it.

Seto Kaiba, watching Priest Seto cover up Kisara's dead body in the anime version of the Memory World arc

Note: In the anime version of the Memory World arc, Seto Kaiba plays a Dark Game against Dark Bakura when Bakura threatens to throw Mokuba Kaiba from the top of the Kaiba Corporation building to the ground many stories below. In the middle of the duel, Dark Bakura says that he has things to do and has to end their duel. He then tosses Seto Kaiba the Millennium Eye, and tells him that if he wants to discover why he is so connected to the Blue-Eyes White Dragon that he should meet him in Egypt. Dark Bakura then traps Seto Kaiba in the Pharaoh's Memory World as a twist to the final Dark Game that he and Dark Yuugi play. Seto Kaiba stumbles upon Kisara (the Egyptian incarnate of the Blue Eyes White Dragon), recognizing her as the woman from his visions and follows her. He then sees Pharaoh Atem and his Ancient Egyptian incarnate, Priest Seto. This causes him to finally consider that all of those "Ancient Egyptian fairy tales," that Dark Yuugi and Isis Ishtar told him, might actually be true. But in the manga version of the Memory World arc, none of this ever happens. Instead, Seto Kaiba is left with the 'knowledge' of the ancient struggle in Battle City Tournament and shows up late to the Ceremonial Battle, never entering the Pharaoh's Memory World.

Priest Seto, Kaiba's past incarnate, and Kisara.

See "Priest Seto" for more info about Seto's role in the Memory World.

Vital Statistics

Birthdate: October 25th, 1977 (Scorpio)
Grade: Senior High School, 2nd Year (11th Grade)
Height: 186 cm (approximately 6'1")
Weight: 65 kg (approximately 143.3 pounds)
Hair: Brown (Lime Green in Toei anime)
Eyes: Blue (Brown in Toei anime)
Blood Type: A
Relatives: Mokuba Kaiba (younger brother), mother (deceased unknown dub whereabouts), father (deceased in Japanese version only), Gozaburo Kaiba (adoptive father, deceased), Noa Kaiba (adoptive brother, deceased in Japanese version only) (Actually, in the dub there is some confusion as to what actually happened to Kaiba's biological parents, as he said they died during Duelist Kingdom, but said during the Virtual Reality arc that they had "disappeared.")
Signature Duel Monsters Card: Blue-Eyes White Dragon
Deck Theme: Beatdown
Favorite Food: Beef Filet with Foie Gras
Least Favorite Food: Oden
Voice Actors: Eric Stuart (dub), Hikaru Midorikawa (Yu-Gi-Oh!), Kenjiro Tsuda (Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters).
Trivia: Eric Stuart, Kaiba's dub voice actor, is also a singer with a variety of hit country songs released in English. Hikaru Midorikawa also did the voice for the popular "bishounen" (pretty-boy) hero of Fushigi Yuugi (The Mysterious Play), Tamahome. Kenjiro Tsuda is also known for his voice acting role in Prince of Tennis.

Related Articles

Astrology, Blood Types, and Yu-Gi-Oh! - Seto Kaiba

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