Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Theories That'll Send Your Childhood To The Shadow Realm

List Rules
Vote up the most plausible 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' fan theories.

The original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga inspired a plethora of spin-offs, variants, and unanswered questions. When taken as a whole, the franchise presents a staggering amount of inexplicable Yu-Gi-Oh! mysteries, as the various card games, series, and video games often feel disparately fragmented. In the face of such confusion, the most satisfying (or at least the most fun) thing to do is consult Yu-Gi-Oh! fan theories for answers. 

Are the main characters descendants or reincarnations of their Egyptian analogues? Where is Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's? Does the whole universe exist solely in Yugi's imagination? Is there a representation of the Abrahamic God present in the series?! With any luck, these fan theories about Yu-Gi-Oh! will help to answer all your burning questions.


  • 1
    5,937 VOTES

    Exodia The Forbidden One Could Be The Abrahamic God

    Redditor /u/themightyheptagon makes a remarkable (and thought provoking) claim that Exodia, "an unstoppable mythic being of limitless power," is the God seen in Abrahamic religions:

    "In the context of the game, he's 'The Forbidden One' because worship of YHWH was forbidden by the Pharaohs, but they still feared the idea of an all-powerful God who could one day free the Hebrews... His chains represent the Hebrews' [enslavement], and his name alludes to the Book of Exodus, which chronicles the Hebrews' liberation and YHWH's revenge on Egypt."

    While the Most High may not live in houses made by human hands, technically speaking, none of the anime characters seen on Yu-Gi-Oh! are human. 

    5,937 votes
  • 2
    3,882 VOTES

    The Characters Of 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' Are Actually Reincarnated Egyptians

    The Characters Of 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' Are Actually Reincarnated Egyptians
    Photo: Yu-Gi-Oh! / TXN

    Mr. Multilingual offers a very interesting and well thought out theory that explains how the characters of Yu-Gi-Oh! may be reincarnations of Ancient Egyptian people:

    "The Ancient Egyptians believed in various components of the human being:

    • The khat, the physical body
    • The ka, a spiritual equivalent of the khat, which was the immortal life-force
    • The ib, the heart, the seat of emotion, will, and thought
    • The sheut, the shadow
    • The ren, the name
    • The ba, the personality
    • The ba, represented as a spiritual entity with the body of a bird, and human head

    Upon [his demise], the ka left the khat, and then was later reunited with the ba to form the akh. It is this unified form that enters the Afterlife. (Egyptian Mythology; 'Ancient Egyptian concept of the soul')

    Therefore, my theory is that it is not the entirety of one’s person that is reincarnated in 'Yu-Gi-Oh!', but one or more of the person’s components, probably ib, or the sheut, or both. That would explain why the Ancient Egyptian characters we see in season five are in the Afterlife while their reincarnations are walking with the Earth.

    It would also explain why Kaiba can read the text on the Ra card, but has no conscious memory of his past life. It could also explain why Yugi has such a resemblance to Atem (which suggests Atem is his preincarnation since that’s how these things work in anime): Atem is the akh that was trapped in the Millennium Puzzle, while Yugi has Atem’s ib/sheut."

    3,882 votes
  • 3
    3,850 VOTES

    Yugi's Seemingly Themeless Deck Is Symbolic Of The Pharaoh's Rule

    Redditor /u/Captain_Kuhl has an explanation for why Yugi seems to be the only character whose deck isn't unified by a single theme. Since Pharaoh Atem (AKA Dark/Yami Yugi) held dominion over every tribe of monster when he reigned, he wouldn't have felt the need to align himself with any specific side.

    Presumably, this sentiment carries over into modern times when he comes to possess Yugi Mutou. /u/Captain_Kuhl concludes:

    "Yugi's first real deck was the one he received from his grandpa, who happened to be a firm believer in the heart of the cards (something he shared in common with the Pharaoh), and if memory serves, has precious experience with the ancient Egyptian civilization Atem ruled over. When you think about it, there's some halfway decent connections between the way Atem plays Duel Masters and his previous rule over Egypt."

    3,850 votes
  • 4
    4,163 VOTES

    Pegasus Might Have Created Toon Monsters To Counteract The Power Of The Egyptian God Cards

    In the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, the toon monsters kind of come out of nowhere. Why do cartoon versions of select cards exist, and what is their purpose? Redditor /u/lunch77 believes the answer lies with Pegasus's desire for self-preservation. Since Pegasus was frightened by the capabilities of the Egyptian God cards he created, he needed a contingency plan in case they fell into the wrong hands. To defend against these all-powerful cards, he created new monsters that can break the rules of standard reality.

    Our Redditor points us toward the toon monsters, who follow strictly cartoonish logic: 

    "Look at the qualities of Toon Monsters. Complete avoidance of being destroyed by battle. They can dodge any attacks from non-Toons, hide in the Toon World book, able to attack opponents directly, etc. Sure, Pegasus probably created the Toons, Relinquished, Thousand Eyes Restrict, etc. so that nobody could defeat him in a duel period but a lot of the cards seem to be an attempt to specifically counteract Obelisk, Slifer or Ra."

    4,163 votes
  • 5
    2,825 VOTES

    Kaiba Is Against Magic Because Priest Seto Did

    A Tumblr user by the name fictionalsadist believes there's a simple explanation for why Kaiba is so against magic:

    " I’m going only with what is shown in the anime\manga but think about it:

    • Zorc showed up because of magic.
    • His father left his family because of magic.
    • Said father then betrayed everything because of his indulgence of magic.
    • Atem sealed himself away with magic.

    I can’t see his soul gaining any more love for it over the ages. The only time that he and Atem meet again (that we’re shown) is as enemies and they use magic to fight each other. Yeah magic 'gifted' him with the Blue Eyes White Dragon but in order for him to attain it a young woman had to be [slain]. Then his soul comes to an age of technology. It is on this age that he gets to meet and (eventually) stand by his Pharaoh again as allies.

    In the sub Kaiba accepts magic exists but he still doesn’t like it. Then magic takes Atem away again and he uses a combination of magic and technology to return to his side."

    2,825 votes
  • 6
    2,020 VOTES

    Aknadin Is Not Just Marik's Ancestor; Instead, Marik Is The Reincarnation Of Aknadin

    Reddit user /u/EmperorJoker has an alternative conception of Marik's origin and relationship to Aknadin. Whereas many believe that the two are distant biological relatives, this user posits that Aknadin is actually Marik in a past life.

    While Marik's father looks like Aknadin, /u/EmperorJoker believes that the likeness is just familial similarity, and cites the two characters' similar tendencies as evidence:

    "Marik, like Aknadin, has a dark side brought out by the Millennium items and it got so bad and they were both overtaken by them to the point Marik became Yami Marik and Aknadin became Shadow Magus. Marik's father's loyalty to the Pharaoh was unshakable and obsessive while Marik went in a direction very similar to Aknadin... I believe Yami Marik is ultimately the consequence of Yami Bakura using his millennium ring on Aknadin's soul [and] whatever he did to Aknadin carried over into his next life and it created Yami Marik."

    2,020 votes