In either the anime or the manga, has Yugi (or Yami) ever lost a duel fair and square? By "fair and square" I mean that Yugi wasn't:

  • Against an opponent who was flat out cheating using a Millennium Item to gain an unfair advantage (for instance, using the Millennium Eye to see your opponent's cards is unfair, but using the Millennium Puzzle or Ring to draw on an ancient spirit's wisdom and experience is okay)
  • Coerced into losing because there would be consequences if he won
  • Chose to lose to prove a point
  • Losing in a simulation created by Kaiba
  • Otherwise was not motivated to win
  • Otherwise was against an opponent who had an unfair advantage or put Yugi at an unfair disadvantage

And no, Yami losing the Final Battle (a.k.a. Ceremonial Duel) doesn't count since the two people were split and one of them had to lose.

I would prefer duels that weren't Shadow Games, since the pressure of that can arguably detract from the game being fair, but won't discount that completely.

  • I recall during the Orichalcos Arc Yami lost a duel and the Seal of Orichalcos was going to take his soul but Yugi took over the body and allowed himself to be taken leaving Yami. however i don't recall who Yami was Dueling and if Yami could bring himself to letting them get sealed away as i do recall that Mai Valentine was brainwashed and was one of the bad guys – Memor-X May 6 '18 at 7:38
  • Why does the Ceremonial Duel not count? Because it was Yugi against Yami? – user38352 May 7 '18 at 8:26
  • @Kozaky Yeah, since one of them was obviously going to lose, it's against the spirit of what I was looking for. – Thunderforge May 7 '18 at 14:55
  • I'm wondering why you exclude "opponents using a Millenium Item", when Yugi is using his all the time. Wisdom of ancient pharaoh? Basically, Yugi is constantly cheating by having two minds on his his side instead of one like almost everyone he duels. – SK19 May 10 '18 at 16:53
  • @SK19 I've clarified that section. Using the Millennium Eye to see your opponent's cards can hardly be called "fair and square". I'm inclined to say that drawing on the experience of an ancient spirit, as with the Puzzle and Ring, is okay. – Thunderforge May 11 '18 at 2:16

As Memor-X mentioned, in the Waking the Dragons Arc, Yami duelled against Rafael and lost. Yami was compelled to use the Seal of Orichalcos that Rafael had given him earlier in the duel because he felt like there was no other way to win (though the power definitely went to his head afterwards!). The episode is a three-parter, but Yami/Yugi loses in Episode 158 - Fate of the Pharaoh - Part 3.

If you don't want to include the Ceremonial Duel, I believe that's the whole list. All other duels where Yugi/Yami lost, he either surrendered, deliberately misplayed (I include Yami duelling against a spirit of Yugi in Waking the Dragons in that) or was against a cheater.


Yugi does lose a duel in the manga and Toei anime, but not in Duel Monsters

In chapters 46 and 47 of the manga, and episode 18 of the Toei anime, Yugi plays a game of Dragon Cards (called Dragon Block in the anime) against Imori, a student from his school (this was back when the series used a different game nearly every chapter, before it changed to focus exclusively on Duel Monsters).

Imori stole Yugi's Millennium Puzzle in the hopes of harnessing its power for himself. He broke the seal on the Dragon Cards jar, which triggered a Shadow Game in which the loser's soul would be trapped in the jar. Without access to Dark Yugi, Yugi couldn't formulate a winning strategy and he loses fair and square, getting his soul sucked into the jar.

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But as he collapses, Yugi touches the Millennium Puzzle, which draws out Dark Yugi. Imori agrees to duel him, figuring that he has to defeat him as well to control the Millennium Puzzle. Unfortunately for him, Dark Yugi ekes out a win.

The jar can only hold one soul, so Yugi's is released, and Imori's soul is captured within it. In the manga, his body remains lifeless and his soul is slowly digested by the spirits of the 25 dragons in the game. In the anime, a new, gentle soul is born within Imori and he awakens (Dark Yugi notes that Dragon Block took his haughty soul). Imori asks Yugi to seal away the game again so that it won't harm anyone.

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