|“||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 (possessing Bakura Ryou) to Yami Yugi.|
Yami Bakura is one of the main antagonists of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, who almost always appeared when he possessed his host, Bakura Ryou. Born from the fusion of the Dark God Zorc Necrophades and the powerful and maniacal grave robber, Thief King Bakura, the Spirit of the Millennium Ring was a sadistic, powerful thief who would kill to get what he wanted.
Bakura Ryou was similar to Yugi in sense of personality. Meanwhile, Yami Bakura genuinely started off as being similar to Yugi's dark side, who challenged those who would bully his original personality and put them under a Penalty Game that, in his case, had to do with whatever game that they were playing, and sucked their souls into the game while their bodies fell into a coma. In that, Bakura formed as a foil to Yugi.
As the combination of both the souls of Zorc Necrophades and the Thief King, 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 was the primary and most recurring antagonist in Yu-Gi-Oh!. However, he was merely a servant/avatar to the true main villain of the series.
Circa 1000 B.C., Pharaoh 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, Bakura Ryou came into possession of the Millennium Ring. While Bakura held the Ring, the fragment of Zorc Necrophades' soul was able to take control of Bakura's body as "Dark Bakura." Dark Bakura had lost many of his memories as Zorc Necrophades and Thief King 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 Bakura Ryou.
Ryo Bakura was an exchange student. The girls all loved him, and he just tried to be a normal person. Bakura avoided games, and knew that whenever he played, the people with whom he played with would somehow end up in a coma later. But, when Yugi and friends asked the new student to play a game, he couldn't help but accept their kindness. He introduced them to a RPG game, and they all created their characters, though from the second they came in, it was Yami Bakura in control. After they created their characters, Yami Bakura sealed their souls inside pieces of them, and forced them to be in the game. They were able to survive, and free the good Bakura from the bad, and he was able to defeat Zorc, the boss that Yami Bakura created for the game.
Yami Bakura returned in Duelist Kingdom.
In the second anime only, he took 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 the 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 sent him to the Graveyard where he was attacked by the Reaper of the Cards.
Despite his apparent death (In both cases), Yami Bakura had managed to return when Pegasus J. Crawford was about to send Téa, Tristan, 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 Tristan 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. Yami Bakura then tried to possess Mokuba, but Honda knocked him out and threw the Millennium Ring away.
However, after Yami Yugi defeated Pegasus, Yami Bakura 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 (although 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, which caused 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 made a verbal pact with Marik Ishtar, with him promising Marik Yugi's god card and Marik promising him both Yugi's and his Millennium 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 Bonz, Side, and Zygorin a Shadow Duel, trapped the three of them in Hell as a penalty, and took 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 Slifer the Sky Dragon, his Egyptian God card, which left 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, Yami Bakura soon feared that if Yugi did go through with the attack, Bakura would be killed, which would have been a foil to his plan, 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 had a Shadow Duel, 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, which resulted in a coma. However, Yami Bakura escaped to Yugi's Millennium Puzzle (as part of his soul was inside it), and remained there. When Yami Yugi defeated Yami Marik, Bakura and Yami Bakura returned, but he shard of Yami Bakura's soul within the Millennium Puzzle stayed there, exploring the labyrinth.
Waking the Dragons
Bakura and Yami Bakura did not appear in the Waking the Dragons arc, 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 mentioned that when the Pharaoh was reborn, so were his rivals.)
Dawn of the Duel
During the Dawn of the Duel arc, Yami Bakura repossessed Bakura despite his reluctance. Yami Bakura later caught Weevil Underwood and Rex Raptor 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, Yami Bakura cancelled the Duel.
Yami Bakura and Yami Yugi entered the Memory World inside the Millennium Puzzle into an RPG, where Yami Bakura possessed 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 that time, Tristan was possessed by Yami Bakura, who turned him into a clone of him, and he Dueled Yugi, but was defeated, and released Tristan from his control.
When the Pharaoh learned his true name, Atem, he fused the three Egyptian Gods - Obelisk the Tormentor, Slifer the Sky Dragon, and the Winged Dragon of Ra - together into Horakthy the Creator of Light, whose rays of light alone were enough to destroy Zorc, and also killed Yami Bakura, as he was merged with him at the time. Thus, Bakura was finally released from Yami Bakura's control forever.
Bakura Ryou kept several traits across the anime and manga. In both, he was seen as pretty shy and quiet. The Millennium Ring, a powerful Egyptian artifact that possessed the soul of an ancient grave robber, often took over him, and he was called Yami Bakura (Dark Bakura in the manga and Japanese anime) in that state.
Bakura was very mysterious, and appeared for a moment, then seemed to disappear. The Millennium Ring glowed when Yami Bakura emerged. Bakura made appearances throughout the anime, but rarely stayed with Yugi's group.
Yami Bakura was arrogant and very determined to get what he wanted. His arrogance and vengeful attitude were traits inherited from Zorc, while his other traits were taken from Thief King Bakura. He referred 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 Bakura was very mischievous whenever he took over, but because of his current status, he decided to rarely do so. Yami Bakura normally left Bakura Ryou to his life, but began to take over when he realized that Yugi Muto also possessed a Millennium Item. Yami Bakura thus took control whenever he felt that the chances of getting what he wanted was more likely. The Spirit had certain levels of possession, and was able to guide Bakura into doing what he wanted instead of taking over, without Bakura even knowing of that.
During the end of the manga and anime, Yami Bakura was revealed to be 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.
- "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."
- "You're life is under my control" Yami Bakura to Atem
- "Diabound, meet the pharaoh, and Pharaoh, meet the instrument of your demise!"
- "Come on, it's a game! You should try to have fun!" Yami Bakura to Atem"
- "Prepare yourself, mortal, for this is a Shadow Game the likes of which you've never played."
- "Present day humans are so fun to terrorize, don't you agree?"
- "Who would have thought you even had a heart, let alone one so easily broken?" Yami Bakura to Pegasus
- Yami Bakura was similar to Master Xehanort from the Kingdom Hearts franchise; aside from being the main antagonist of the series, Yami Bakura acted as the boss to his past self, Thief King Bakura in the Memory World Arc, just as Xehanort acted as the boss to all of his incarnations. Yami Bakura also shared the latter similarity with Yami Marik. Curiously enough, he teamed up with the regular Marik in the Battle City Arc.
- In the manga, it is said that Yami Bakura was an entity made of both Zorc and Thief King Bakura's souls. However, in the anime, Thief King Bakura was possessed by Yami Bakura from present days, and the latter is entirely a fragment of Zorc who had been inside the Millennium Ring from its creation, with his qualities of Thief King Bakura explained by the fact that Thief King Bakura had merged his soul into Zorc in the ritual to grant him physical form.