Yu-Gi-Oh: 10 Ways Seto Kaiba Ruined His Likability
Seto Kaiba might be a fan-favorite character, but many of the things he did were rather despicable in the context of the show.
Seto Kaiba is the resident rival to Yugi in Yu-Gi-Oh!, and, as such, is a villain at the beginning of the series. Even as the series progressed and he started to show signs of heroism, Seto Kaiba's never been all that likable of a person. Enjoyable as a character, sure, but he's rarely nice towards any of the other characters in the show.
Given that he has enough money to build an entire theme park and build Blue-Eyes White Dragon planes, he isn't all that relatable either. He's the stereotypical rich jerk who isn't above putting others down when the opportunity presents itself, even when that person is his brother Mokuba.
10. Buying & Threatening To Leave The Employees Of A Small Company Jobless To Force The Owner To Buy The Company Back
When Seto Kaiba was just a child, he was already getting groomed into the egotistical businessman fans remember. His adoptive father, Gozaburo, gave him ten million dollars and told him to use it to make a hundred times that by the end of the year to prove his business acumen. Kaiba managed to do it by the end of the day. He bought a small company with the money and then threatened to fire everyone should the owner not buy it back from him.
9. Manipulating Mokuba As Part Of His Plan To Take Over Kaiba Corp
Mokuba played a vital role in Seto's takeover of Kaiba Corp. After Kaiba gained the allegiance of the Big Five, he controlled 49% of the company, matching Gozaburo's 49%. The deciding 2% lied in the hands of Mokuba. Naturally, Seto felt like Mokuba would end up on his side during the takeover. What made Seto so unlikable here is he blamed Mokuba for telling Gozaburo about his plan when Seto was the one who'd leaked the information. It was a moment of Seto needlessly being mean to his brother.
8. Seto Goes Back On His Promise To The Big Five & Treats Them Worse Than Gozaburo Did
The Big Five played an intricate part in Seto's takeover of the company. Without their shares, Seto would have never been able to usurp Gozaburo. What swayed them to his side was the promise he'd treat them with more respect than Gozaburo ever did.
That ended up being nothing more than a lie as he refused to give Crump the funding for his penguin-themed amusement park and destroyed Nezbitt's weapons factory. While none of the men were all that sympathetic to begin with, it showed how ruthless Seto was.
7. Kidnapping Yugi's Grandpa To Ensure No One Else Had Blue-Eyes White Dragons
The obsession that Seto has with Blue-Eyes White Dragons is a running joke in the franchise. It was his favorite creature, going so far as to build a jet in its likeness. His love for the card went to extremes when Yugi's grandpa, Solomon, refused to sell the card to him. As a response, he kidnapped Soloman and dueled him into submission. Once he won, he tore the card in half, ensuring that he was the only one that could ever possess the Blue-Eyes as there were only four in the world and he already had three.
6. Calling Joey A Loser After Their Duel Together
After Pegasus kidnapped Mokuba, Seto made it his mission to sneak onto the villain's island to retrieve his brother. While there, he ran into Yugi and company. Seto denied their help arrogantly, causing Joey to get upset, leading to a duel between the two. Seto scolded Joey's tactics and went as far as calling him a loser after defeating him. Even in times of crisis, Seto couldn't help but act superior in front of inferior dueling competition. At least his insults helped serve as good development for Joey later in the arc.
5. Kaiba Threatening Suicide If Yugi Didn't Let Him Win Their Duel
Pegasus forced Kaiba to duel Yugi for the opportunity to duel him. Given that Pegasus had Mokuba prisoner, it's understandable that Kaiba would do anything he could to ensure he could get his brother back.
That said, threatening to kill himself to gain victory over Yugi was going a step too far. It felt like it was meant to be a big character moment that showed Seto was willing to do anything he could for his brother, but instead, it made Seto look like a poor sport.
4. Kaiba Testing Out A Virtual Reality Game Rather Than Firing The People Who Helped Kidnap Mokuba
For as ruthless as Seto used to be, it didn't make any sense that he'd hold back on firing the Big Five to play a virtual reality game they'd made instead. These were the same people who helped kidnap Mokuba and tried to take over the company. Seto's decision made him seem like he was only worried about the products and profit margins, exactly like his adoptive father. It was also a moment where the show made him incredibly dumb for the sake of having a story arc.
3. He Created The Battle City Tournament With The Sole Purpose Of Gaining All The Egyptian God Cards
The genesis of the Battle City Tournament was Seto's greed and desire for strong cards. He wasn't even shy about this fact, openly admitting to Ishtar that he had no plans of returning Obelisk the Tormentor back to her. From there, he proceeded to rig the tournament, allowing the Rare Hunters to hack their way in and even allowing Joey to compete despite not getting invited. Despite how he talked, Seto had very little care for the integrity of the game, only caring about getting what he wanted.
2. He Was Willing To Let Bakura Die From His Injuries So That The Battle City Tournament Could Go On
One of the stranger instances of Seto being unlikable came after he'd helped save Yugi and his friends from Marik's scheme. On their way back to the tournament, he refused to give medical aid to an injured Bakura because dueling was apparently more important. It felt like it undid all the progress his character made only a few episodes before. Thankfully, Serenity managed to convince him to let Bakura receive medical attention. It still doesn't change the fact that Seto was willing to let someone die so he could play a children's card game.
1. He Rigged The Semi-Finals Of Battle City So He & Yugi Could Battle There
As mentioned earlier, Seto was making up the rules of Battle City as he went. The most blatant case of this was when he rigged the semi-finals so that he could face Yugi there. It was all part of his plan to strengthen his hand so he could defeat Marik in the finals. It wasn't even that he cheated to get what he wanted. It's how overconfident Seto was. He went into his battle with Yugi assuming he'd win despite having never fairly beaten him in a duel.