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Yuugi Mutou, one half the hero of the show.
|Birthday||June 4, 1979|
|Deck||Variable (depends on the focus of the deck. His deck is most often built around Spellcasters, especially the Black Magician, the Black Magician Girl, and the Magician of Black Chaos (not to be confused with the Black Magician of Chaos), and he uses a variety of magic and trap cards to support this theme. During Battle City, he altered his deck to suit the summoning requirements of the God Cards, namely Osiris.)|
|Signature Duel Monster||Black Magician and Maha Vailo (occasionally Kuriboh, Exodia and Osiris.)|
|Height||153 cm (approximately 5'0")|
|Weight||42 kg (approximately 93 lbs.)|
|Hair Color||Mixed (naturally black, with blond bangs and red-violet highlights)|
|Least Favorite food||Pickled Japanese leek|
|Status at debut||Senior High School, 2nd Year (11th Grade)|
Yugi Muto (Yugi Mutou 「武藤 遊戯, Mutō Yūgi」in the Japanese version and English anime) is a not-so-average teenager, Yugi is pure-hearted and child-like. He lives with his grandfather Solomon Mutou and mother, although he never speaks of the latter in the English anime and a scene of Yugi talking to his mother in Episode 50, The Mystery Duelist - Part 1 (Challenge from the Past: Horrifying Zera) was cut in the dubbed version. In the Japanese manga, it's explained that Yugi's father is a traveling businessman and Yugi rarely sees him. Yugi is good at games and puzzles, especially "Duel Monsters" ("Magic and Wizards" in the Japanese version).
A freshman in Domino High School, Yugi is part of a close-knit group of friends: Joey Wheeler, Tristan Taylor, and Téa Gardner. Miho Nosaka is also one of Yugi's friends in the first series anime. Yugi's friends often cheer him on from the sidelines, and Joey has dueled at his side. Yugi has been friends with Téa since childhood and is in love with her. Téa is in love with both Yugi and the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle to different degrees. In Japanese, the first characters of "Yūgi" and "Jōnouchi" combine to form "Yūjō" 「友情」, which means "friendship." The "Yu-Jo Friendship" card (Yu-Jyo 「友情 Yūjō」 card in the Japanese version) is named after the word and the fellowship between the characters.
Yugi was given the Millennium Puzzle in pieces by his grandfather, Sugoroku Mutou. When he assembled it towards the beginning of the anime and manga, his body became the host for the spirit of a 5,000-year-old Egyptian Pharaoh (3,000-year-old in the Japanese version and English manga), who becomes an alter ego. The pharaoh was sealed into the puzzle to lock in the Shadow Game's magic, to prevent the destruction of the world. (In the manga and Japanese version, The pharaoh sacrificed his life and sealed his soul into the Millennium Puzzle to stop the Dark God, Zorc Necrophades, from destroying the world.) The pharaoh was known as "Yami (Dark) Yugi." During those 3,000 years in the puzzle, the pharaoh forgot everything about him and his past, including his own name.
Yugi invites his friends Joey, Téa and Tristan to come see his grandfather's rare card. Seto Kaiba overhears this and deduces that they are talking about the "Blue-Eyes White Dragon." In the first series he switches Sugoroku's Blue-Eyes with a counterfeit but "the other Yugi" wins a game of Duel Monsters and places a penalty game on Seto, causing Seto to be trapped in an illusion where Duel Monsters kill him repeatedly, though it is just a sensation of death. Yugi returns the real card to his grandfather.
In the Duelist Kingdom arc, Kaiba defeats Solomon in Duel claiming Solomon's Blue-Eyes after he refused to sell it. Yugi and his friends catch up Solomon has already been defeated and witness Kaiba rip the "Blue-Eyes White Dragon" in two in front of them. Outraged Yugi challanges Kaiba to a Duel. Solomon gives Yugi his Deck to use. While dueling Yugi discovers Kaiba has the other three "Blue-Eyes White Dragons" in his Deck but defeats him using "Exodia." After defeating Kaiba, Yugi then becomes the Duel Monsters World Champion.
Pegasus sends Yugi a video inviting him to participate in his Duelist Kingdom tournament. Pegasus appears on the video and duels Yugi on the spot while freezing everyone else in the room. He places a time limit on the duel and wins because he has more Life Points when the time ran out, before Yugi could declare his last attack. As a penalty for his defeat Sugoroku's soul is stolen. Yugi enters the tournament to rescue his grandfather. Yugi gives Joey one of his two Star Chips that are required for entry to allow Joey to participate and help him. Yugi meets Weevil Underwood on the ship to the tournament. After showing Weevil his Exodia cards, Weevil tosses them overboard. Joey jumps overboard to recover them. He gets two of the pieces and is then rescued by Yugi. To get back at Weevil, Yugi defeats him in the first Duel of the tournament. Together Yugi and Joey advance to the finals where they eventually duel each other. Joey uses all he learned from Yugi, but is still defeated. Yugi then advances to the finals where he duels Pegasus. He learns of Pegasus motive to steal his Millennium Puzzle to try revive his deceased wife Cyndia. Pegasus uses his Millennium Eye to read Dark Yuugi's mind during the Duel, but Dark Yuugi and Yugi continue to switch minds so Pegasus cannot read the other's strategy. Yugi and Dark Yuugi defeat Pegasus and rescue Solomon along with Seto and Mokuba Kaiba, whose souls Pegasus had also taken. Yugi gives his prize money to Joey, so he can pay for his sister Serenity's eye operation.
Afterwards, in an anime-only mini-arc, Kaiba's mind gets trapped in the "Virtual World" by "The Big Five" while testing out a virtual reality machine that he created. Yugi and Joey entered the virtual world at Mokuba's request where they help Kaiba defeat the Big Five and escape.
Dark Yuugi finds out his name is Atem in Episode 219, In the Name of the Pharaoh. "Atemu" is actually a variant of the name of the Sun god "Atum." After finding out his real name, he is told by Ishizu Ishtar that in order for his spirit to be freed and return to where he belongs, he must be defeated in a Duel in the tomb where the Millennium Items are held. Yugi decides to duel his other half. The two put up a good fight, but in the end, Yugi manages to defeat all three Egyptian God Cards and win the Duel. The pharaoh then returns to the spirit world and the Millennium Items are sealed up.
The character of Yugi in the manga starts as low in confidence and, despite being best friends with Anzu Mazaki, he is lonely and wishes for more friends. However, it's shown quite frequently that students are friendly towards him and care a little about him. Anzu is his best friend from childhood but before the manga has never seen Yugi's Millennium Puzzle before, as Yugi hides the Puzzle from everybody at school while he is building it. Yugi is also incredibly trusting of people - despite Jounouchi and Honda bullying him many times, he still believes they are just trying to persuade him to be more manly.
On the other hand, Dark Yuugi (who is still called Yugi due the fact that he is a spirit possessing the boy being unknown) initially comes off as vicious and proud. His expression is usually shown as harsh and cruel, with some strain lines on his face and a big smirk. Often when Dark Yuugi appears there is some strict emotional and visual trigger attached - for example, Dark Yuugi took over Yugi in the fourth manga episode because the escaped criminal told Anzu to shut up and slapped her. Even though he had already taken her hostage, Dark Yuugi had only appeared when the criminal hurt her.
The first game of the manga takes place when a school bully called Ushio beats up Jounouchi and Honda Later Dark Yuugi challenges him to a Shadow Game. The basis of the Shadow Games in the manga is more violent than that shown in the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime: people will turn insane or even die. During this first episode, Dark Yuugi and Ushio play a game where the player places a pile of monetary notes on his hand; he must then stab it with a knife and pick up more money without stabbing himself. Ushio becomes paralysed with fear, then attempts to attack Dark Yuugi. In return, Dark Yuugi forces Ushio to take a Penalty 'Game' (not actually a game but a maddening mental experience) where money falls from the sky in Ushio's eyes. Then Dark Yuugi changes back to Yuugi, who then has no knowledge of what has passed.
At the start of the manga and the first three episodes, it's never suggested that there are two Yuugis. The first character to come to this assumption is actually Anzu when she was held hostage in the forth episode. She is blindfolded, but hears the voice of somebody who is confident, and realises that it can't be Yuugi. The second character to see the difference between the two is Shadi who, after entering Yuugi's soul room, sees a second room. This is the first hint that the two Yuugis are actually different characters in the same body. After losing a game to Dark Yuugi, he plays another one which involves Yuugi's friends, trying to anger Dark Yuugi. Dark Yuugi beats him, then changes back in front of Jonouchi and Anzu, drawing more confusion. During the same arc, it is revealed Yuugi knows he is having black-outs. He is also hesitant to remove the Puzzle from around his neck.
It is during Death-T, of episodes Twenty-seven through Forty, that finally both Yuugis are seen as different people; albeit the context staying unrevealed. After Honda is caught in one of Kaiba's games and is presumed dead, Yuugi breaks up in the tunnel leading to Death-T4. He then reveals how he is scared of there being another Yuugi, and doesn't want to see anybody get hurt because then somebody else will be hurt as well... Jonouchi and Anzu take him to speaking the truth. After the Death-T incident, Dark Yuugi also seems to be more open to Yuugi - Yuugi ends his short epilogue of the arc by saying that he remembers 'all the battles we've fought together.' Jonouchi also regards Dark Yuugi taking over as 'changing.'
After this episode, the evidence then becomes drastically clearer and clearer that Yuugi and Dark Yuugi are different souls. In the most prominent of these, Yuugi is challenged to a Shadow Game by a boy named Imori using Chinese Dragon Cards that were sealed. Yuugi loses and, as the rules say it must, his soul is sucked into the soul-eating jar. However he seizes the puzzle just in time and Dark Yugi challenges him to a re-match, defeating Imori and setting the captured Yugi's soul free while at the same time imprisoning Imori's. Now it is made clear that Dark Yugi and Yugi just live in the same body.
The last arc of the first seven volumes then sets up the relationship that Yugi and Dark Yugi have during the Duelist Kingdom story. Yugi and his friends play a role-playing game of Monster World against Bakura, who then seals the souls of Yugi's friends into the miniatures. Yugi demands that Dark Bakura seal his soul into a figurine as well. In his thoughts he states that even if he can't roll the dice, 'the other me' can. Dark Yugi then meets Yugi for the first time. At this point both characters have changed dramatically from the beginning of the manga - Yugi is more confident and daring, while Dark Yugi's treatment of his foes is softer and his attitude is no longer so arrogant. This is shown in their designs: Yugi's face has matured and sharpened, and he no longer looks awkward when putting on a brave face; Dark Yugi's has softened, his glare is more of weariness then pride and his eyes are less wild. After this story, both Yugis have a more comfortable relationship with each other and their friends. This bond sets them up for the rest of the volumes.