|“||I am a thief and a stealer of souls, and I have done terrible things in my quest to possess the Millenium Items. You do remember the legends don't you?||„|
|~ Yami Bakura who is possessing Bakura Ryou.|
Ryo Bakura is a friend of Yugi and one of the primary antagonists of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, who almost always appears when under the control of the evil remnant of both the Dark God Zorc Necrophades and the poweful and maniacal grave robber, Thief King Bakura, who both merge into the being that is Yami Bakura, a sadistic, powerful thief who would kill to get what he wants. Because of this, his name is sometimes used to describe both the friendly high school student and the villain, as the two characters are often mixed.
Ryo Bakura is similar to Yugi in sense of personality. Meanwhile, Yami Bakura genuinely starts off as being similar to Yugi's dark side, challenging those who would bully his original personality and putting them under a Penalty game that, in his case, has to do with whatever game they are playing, sucking their souls into the game while their bodies fall into a coma. In this, Bakura forms as a foil to Yugi.
As Zorc's spirit, Yami Bakura, known as Dark Bakura in the Japanese and Manga versions resides in the Millennium Ring, his possession could apply to both the ring and its unfortunate wearer.
In the overall story, Yami Bakura is the primary and most recurring antagonist in Yu-Gi-Oh!. However, he is merely a vessel to the true main villain of the series.
Bakura keeps several traits across the anime and manga. In both he is seen as pretty shy and quiet. He also seems very weak. The Millennium Ring, a powerful egyptian artifact that possesses the soul of an ancient grave robber, often takes over him, and he is called Yami Bakura (Dark Bakura in the Manga and Japanese anime) in this state.
Bakura is very mysterious, and appears for a moment then seems to disappear. The Millennium Ring glows when Yami Bakura comes out. Bakura makes appearances throughout the anime, but rarely stays with Yugi's group. He is really a portion of both Zorc's and a grave robber's soul sealed inside the Millennium Ring to help him reawaken, not unlike a Horcrux in the Harry Potter universe.
Yami Bakura is arrogant and very determined to get what he wants. His arrogance and vengeful attitude are traits taken from Zorc, while his other traits are taken from Thief Bakura. He refers to himself as "Ore-Sama" in the manga, which is Japanese and translates to "The great me," a clear sign of his utter arrogance. Yami is very mischievous whenever he takes over, but because of his current status, he decides to rarely do so. He normally leaves Ryo Bakura to his life, but begins to take over when he realizes that Yugi Moto possesses a Millennium Item. Yami thus takes control whenever he feels that the chances of getting what he wants is more likely. He has certain levels of possession, being able to guide Ryou into doing what he wants instead of taking over, without Ryo even knowing of this.
Circa 1000 B.C., Atem gave his life to seal both the souls of, Zorc, and his own soul in the Millennium Puzzle. Zorc also sealed a part of his soul in the Millennium Ring. Also, Thief King Bakura sealed his soul in the Millennium Ring. Zorc and the Thief King merged to form Yami Bakura. The Puzzle was broken into pieces afterwards and sealed in the Valley of the Kings.
3000 years later, Ryo Bakura came into possession of the Millennium Ring. While Bakura held the Ring, the fragment of Zorc Necrophades' soul became able to take control Bakura his body as "Dark Bakura." Dark Bakura had lost many of his memories as Zorc Necrophades and Thief Bakura, and was commonly referred to as the "spirit of the Millennium Ring" or simply "Bakura" even after people became aware that he was a different mind than Ryo Bakura.
It was originally believed that Yami Bakura was a dark half of Bakura, like Yami Yugi was to Yugi Muto (but not the evil within Marik) but it was revealed that he was actually a fragment of Zorc's soul and Thief King Bakura's soul planted in the Millennium Ring. The Ring was Ryo Bakura's family heirloom and therefore Zorc was able to possess Bakura for many parts of the show.
Ryo Bakura is an exchange student. The girls all love him, and he just tries to be a normal person. He avoids games, knowing whenever he plays, the people who he played with will somehow end up in a coma later. But, when Yugi and friends ask the new student to play a game, he can't help but accept their kindness. He introduces them to a RPG game, and they all create their characters, though from the second they came in it was Yami Bakura in control. After they create their characters, Yami Bakura seals their souls inside pieces of them, forcing them to be in the game. They are able to survive, and free the good Bakura from the bad, and he is able to defeat Zorc, the boss that Yami Bakura created for the game.
Yami Bakura returns in Duelist Kingdom.
In the second anime only, he takes over Bakura's body to duel Yami Yugi in a Shadow Game. Jonouchi, Anzu, Honda, and the original Yugi and Bakura were turned into their favorite cards in the duel. At the duel's conclusion, Yami Bakura tried to use Change of Heart to turn Yugi (who was Dark Magician) against the others, but Bakura was the Change of Heart, and took over Yami Bakura's Lady of Faith. Yami used his Millennium Puzzle to switch Bakura and Yami Bakura around, and Yugi destroyed Yami Bakura with Dark Magic Attack (which is not unlike a Mind Crush in appearance), sending him to the graveyard where he was attacked by the Reaper of the Cards.Despite his apparent death (In both cases), he somehow managed to return when Pegasus J. Crawford was about to send Anzu, Honda, and Bakura to Hell before the semifinals of Duelist Kingdom, and he erased everyone's memories of their encounter with Pegasus at that time. During Yugi's duel with Pegasus in the final round, Yami Bakura followed Honda as he found Mokuba (whose soul had been imprisoned in a card by Pegasus), and was attacked by several of Pegasus' goons, but Yami Bakura set the Man Eater Bug on them and then sent them to the graveyard with a Morphing Jar where they were killed by the Reaper of the Cards. He then tried to possess Mokuba, but Honda knocked him out and threw his Millennium Ring away.
However, after Yami Yugi defeated Pegasus, Yami Bakura somehow returned to Bakura's body with the Millennium Ring. He faced Pegasus in a shadow game using their Millennium Items, but, as Pegasus was weakened from his duel with Yugi, Yami Bakura easily won, and took Pegasus's Millennium Eye. In the Manga, this act killed Pegasus, but in the anime Pegasus survived (though he wasn't seen again until Waking The Dragons).
When Marik Ishtar was possessing Bandit Keith with his Millennium Rod, Yami Bakura, not wanting another to win the Millennium Puzzle, used his Millennium Ring to unbalance Marik's control, causing Keith to take over, but not before Marik/Keith smashed the Millennium Puzzle. Yami Bakura put a piece of his soul into one of the puzzle pieces so he could learn the secrets of the Millennium Puzzle.
In Battle City, Yami Bakura teamed up with Marik Ishtar to rule the world, with him promising Marik Yugi's god card and Marik promising him both Yugi's and his Millenium items, and injured Bakura's arm while Marik pretended to be a good young man named Namu, and Bakura was sent to the hospital. Yami Bakura took over and attacked Yugi's Grandpa and entered Battle City where he defeated Bandit Keith's ex-henchman Ghost Kotsuzuka, Takaido, and Satake in a Shadow Duel and trapped the three of them in Hell as a penalty, taking their locator cards so he could enter the finals.
In the first round of the finals, Yami Bakura was up against Yugi, and revealed himself to the heroes for the first time since Tristan threw away the Millennium Ring. He used Destiny Board and a deck full of ghosts and ghouls. However, Yami Yugi was able to summon the Celestial Dragon of Osiris, his Egyptian God card, leaving Yami Bakura helpless, until Marik telepathically talked him into releasing Bakura from his control so Yugi would not attack him and risk hurting him. However, he soon feared that if Yugi did go through with the attack, both he and Bakura would be killed, so he took him over again and let Yugi win. Bakura was knocked out from this, and remained in the hospital until Marik, whose body had been taken over by Yami Marik, got Yami Bakura to duel Yami Marik so he could regain his body. They dueled in the Shadow Realm, and whenever one of them lost life points, their body began to vanish. Yami Marik won, and Yami Bakura and Bakura were placed under a Penalty Game resulting in a coma. However, Yami Bakura escaped to Yugi's Millennium Puzzle (as part of his soul was inside it), and remained there even after Yami Yugi defeated Yami Marik, since he was busy exploring the labyrinths of the Pharaoh's mind.
Waking the Dragons
Bakura and Yami Bakura did not appear in Season 4 (Waking the Dragons), except in a vision during Yugi's Duel with Dartz. During a vision of Yugi finishing the Millennium Puzzle, Yami Bakura briefly appeared behind Yugi along with Kaiba and Yami. (In the dub, Dartz mentions that when the Pharaoh was reborn and so were his rivals.)
In Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monsters, Yami Bakura did not appear. However, it is revealed that the Millennium Ring has the ability to split the owner's soul in two as seen with Alexander The Great, whose dark half (created by the Millennium Ring) was split apart from his good half, and he was trapped within the Pyramid and his good side being flung into the Capsule Monster world. Some time later, the reincarnation of Alexander's good side came along; Dr. Alex Brisbane, and was possessed by Yami Alexander, who then lured Yugi Muto and his friends to the Capsule Monster game.
Dawn of the Duel
In Season 5's second half, Dawn of the Duel, Yami Bakura repossessed Ryo Bakura despite his reluctance. Yami Bakura later caught Weevil and Rex stealing Yugi's Egyptian God Cards and sent their souls to the Shadow Realm temporarily. He then did the same to Mokuba and dueled Seto Kaiba, but only as a means of destroying Kaiba's Blue Eyes White Dragon and absorbing his power. Once he did this, he cancelled the duel.
Yami Bakura and Yami Yugi entered the memory world inside the Millennium Puzzle into an RPG, where Yami Bakura was his past self, Thief King Bakura. Everything happened as it was before, except it was slightly modified by Yami Bakura. After being defeated, Yami Bakura talked with Yami Yugi at a table until his master, Zorc Necrophades, was awakened. He revealed that he and Zorc were one and the same and he merged with Zorc while Yami merged with his past self, the Pharaoh. During this time, Honda was possessed by Yami Bakura, turning him into a clone of him, and he dueled Yugi, but was defeated, releasing Honda from his control.When the Pharaoh learned his true name, Atem, he fused the three Egyptian Gods - Giant God Soldier of Obelisk, Celestial Dragon of Osiris, and the Winged God Dragon of Ra - together into Horakthy the Creator of Light, whose rays of light alone were enough to destroy Zorc, also killing Yami Bakura, as he was merged with him at the time. Thus, Bakura was finally released from Yami Bakura's control.
- "I was nice enough to let you play in my world... and you ingrates repay me by rebelling against the master! Death to all players! I'll bury you in eternal night!"
- "3000 years ago, Akhenaden placed the Millennium Items in the stone slab and became the High Priest of Darkness through the power of the Evil God Zorc! And now I'll kill you, in obedience to the High Priest's will! Your death will bring this game to an end!"
- "Penalty Game! MIND DOLL!"
- "No, I'm upset because I have to end this duel so quickly, and I was enjoying prolonging your suffering."
- Yami Bakura is similar to Master Xehanort from the Kingdom Hearts franchise; aside from being the main antagonist of the series, Yami Bakura acts as the boss to his past self, Thief King Bakura in the Memory World arc, just as Xehanort acts as the boss to all of his incarnations. He also shares the latter similarity with Yami Marik; curiously enough, he teamed up with the regular Marik in the Battle City arc.
- During the final arc, it is implied that he is an entity created by the merge of Thief King Bakura's soul and the soul of the dark god Zorc Necrophades, being mainly an avatar of the Thief King.