Welcome back to Otaku Thursday. Today I’m going to be talking about something that is, surprise-surprise, NOT an anime review. No instead today we’re going to look at a character who is stronger than anyone else out there. That’s right, you read the title correct—I’m about to break down Yugi fucking Muto.
So let me first start by clarifying that YES we are talking about Yugi Muto and NOT the Pharoah (Yami Yugi, King of Games, or Atem—whatever you want to call him). And the reason why I wanna talk about Yugi is because this kid is never given enough credit. He’s always overshadowed by the ghost possessing his body and forcing him to play children’s card games. When referencing the king of games or the best duelist ever, the depiction is always of Atem, not Yugi. Which y’know I get. Yami is the sexy poltergeist that lives inside of Yugi and makes him dramatically better looking when he takes over, but Yugi is an absolute boss.
Looking back at the story, was he a wimpy kid when it started? Yes. Was he easily possessed by an ancient Egyptian Pharoah? Yes. But he also managed to solve an ancient puzzle that literally no one else had before. So sure he had a lot of time on his hands, but he also was skilled enough to solve it (and accidentally summon a ghost). Let’s also remember that even though Yami is the one doing most of the work in the show when it comes to playing card games, Yugi is actually SUPER skilled as well. Or at least he is at the end of the show. Over the course of Yu-gi-oh! (which it is called YU-GI-oh! not ya-mi-oh!), Yugi may not have been in the driver’s seat all the time, but the boy sure did learn how to duel. He may not have been amazing at dueling, to begin with, but the boy done did some learning. Because need I remind you that he kicked Yami’s ass in that final duel (spoiler alert)? He ended up a boss ass bitch, king of card games that could stand up on his own two feet and dominate the dueling field. And he really did continue to compete and hold up his title as we can see in Yu-gi-oh! GX when his deck is being put up on a traveling tour display or something. Yugi Muto kept at it long after the Pharoah was finally exorcised.
And you know what else my boy Yugi has that Yami doesn’t? KINDNESS. Cause no offense but did anyone see season zero Yami? BIG YIKES. But Yugi is this kid who is just a genuinely good person. He literally threw himself in the way of a bully to protect two people who TORMENTED him and called them his friends even. Like this kid is such a good person that he acts as the moral compass in the show. Another thing about Yugi that set him apart from Yami (in the best of ways) is that he ain’t afraid to lose. See Yami literally hates losing and goes crazy about having to win, but Yugi? Yugi doesn’t mind it. This guy is even willing to lose on purpose if it’s for the sake of the other person (at one point he legit was going to let himself drown so that Joey wouldn’t). Or when Yami lost his duel to the Orichalcos Yami was about to just give up and find himself worthless because he lost…like once. But Yugi pushed that dudes soul out of the way and let himself be sealed into the shadow realm (or wherever they all went) for Yami’s sake. So that just combines his willingness to lose and his kindness all in one. Yugi is just clearly superior.
So basically, Yugi is a lot like Yu-Gi-Oh! as a franchise. He started small, not very good at card games, but now we here—where Yu-Gi-Oh! is a classic, a huge trading card phenomenon, and somehow STILL going—and Yugi, not Yami, but Yugi fucking Muto is the one who sits at the top of this franchise as the OG king of games.
Thank you for listening to my TED talk.
Til next time