Sartorius, known in Japan as Takuma Saio (斎王 琢磨 Saiō Takuma), serves as the main antagonist during the Society of Light arc in the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX anime, but becomes an ally to the protagonists after his defeat. He is a fortune-teller and, under the influence of The Light of Destruction, he was poised to remake the world in the image most befitting to the extraterrestrial entity.
Sartorius' character design was overseen by Kenichi Hara. His usual outfit consists of the standard Obelisk Blue uniform with a raised and buckled collar and matching cut-offs for his arms and legs. A Deck box is strapped to his right leg, presumably to house his regular tarot Deck. His blue hair is sectioned in two layers, the layer closest to his face a lighter shade of blue than the one behind it, which generally flows as a single unit. Directly above his nose is another section of hair, colored grayish white, and he also wears earrings and a pair of ornaments on either side of his forehead. He carries an Academia Disk on his left hand despite his initial preference of Dueling on a table, even claiming to have never used a Duel Disk before prior to Dueling Hassleberry.
His natural complexion is flesh-tone; however, with his evil personality in dominance, his skin takes on a more pallid quality. Furthermore, his eyes are more sinister and glazed over by light. When completely corrupted by The Light of Destruction, his hair becomes wild, his face inhumanely twisted, and his teeth elongated.
In the dub, Sartorius' voice is reminiscent of a young Hannibal Lecter. Because of his ability to see the future through his tarot cards, his attitude is calm as everything around is predicted from him. He is also very persuasive, able to find each person's character weak spots in order to do his bidding. His original series counterpart occasionally replaces certain Japanese words with anglicisms, the most common being his substitution of the words "shōkan" 「召喚」 and "hatsudō" 「発動」 with "play," an English equivalent to both "summon" and "activate," respectively.
His primary power was seeing into the future with the aid of his tarot Deck, a divination technique he shares with his sister, Sarina. He is also a master manipulator who is able to say exactly what is needed to be said to get anyone he or his associates in the Society comes into contact with to do his bidding.
Sartorius wields dark, supernatural powers given to him by the Light of Destruction, including the ability to materialize Duel Monster effects, embed his power into Duel Monster cards, as well as other people, putting them under his control. He can also ward off weak spirits, cast illusions, and temporarily render others immobile. In addition to these skills, Sartorius' "other self" can use light to blast objects and perform telekinesis on them.
He loses all these abilities after the second season.
Sartorius is a mysterious figure introduced in the second year as Aster Phoenix's manager and the leader of the Society of Light. On the surface, the aim of Sartorius and his organization appears to be world domination starting with Duel Academy via expansion of their syndicate but the man's gravest concerns lie in putting his stalled Wheel of Fate back into motion through the powers of Jaden Yuki and his childhood friend, Aster, as a means of escaping the destructive future that destiny had set for him. Although this goal was always on his mind, he was pushed towards an ultimate motive of eradicating the "age of darkness" that had befallen the planet. It was his task to blanket the globe in light, destroy it, and kill all its inhabitants in order to restore balance to its imperfect state and create the world or on a greater scale, the universe, anew.
As children, Sartorius and his sister Sarina were shunned and humiliated by others out of fear of their abilities to tell the future and ran away from home. The siblings shared a close relationship which extended into adolescence and Sartorius searched for hope of escaping his ruinous destiny in a young Aster.
Fearing the corrupt "Ultimate Destiny Card", the Pro League champion (The D) sought the kind and caring Sartorius for guidance but unintentionally imbued him with the will of a dangerous alien energy known as the Dark Light / Light of Destruction 「光の波動 / 破滅の光 Hikari no Hadō / Hametsu no Hikari」 known by the latter name Surge of Light or Light of Ruin 「破滅の光, Hametsu no Hikari」 in the Japanese version, which had taken up residence in the card. Like it had in The D, it provoked an onset of dissociative identity disorder, forcing Sartorius to contend with a dominant evil persona. The card would disappear from his possession shortly thereafter.
Society of Light
Sartorius tells Aster to go after and Duel Jaden as he wants to see if he was the one. Jaden wins the Duel mostly because Sartorius told Aster to lose the Duel on purpose.
Later after Aster defeated Zane Truesdale in a Pro League match, Sartorius tells Aster that he must Duel Jaden again and Aster agrees mostly because he believes that his Hero Deck was better than Jaden's. Sartorius secretly implanted a part of the Light of Destruction into Aster's Deck to insure that the Light of Destruction will place Jaden under its control upon his defeat. Although Jaden loses, he is blinded of his own cards due to his power to defy destiny which left Sartorius puzzled.
In his debut Duel, Sartorius set his sights on Chazz Princeton, frightening his opponent by displaying his ability to see straight through his own cards and claiming that he already knew the outcome of their battle from the start. He summoned "Arcana Force XII - The Hangman", a card most dreaded by Chazz for it represented himself, without so much as a flick of his wrist. Chazz's stagnant fate was brought to a close when he concluded that he still wanted to defeat Jaden, thereby admitting him to the Society of Light.
After sensing something, Sartorius tells Aster that he senses that there is someone who can defy destiny and that the answer can be found at Duel Academy. Aster was surprised at going back to Duel Academy, but decides to do so(In the dub, Sartorius tells Aster that he senses a threat and Aster believes that the threat is against him). Aster would Duel Jaden(who has acquired the power of the Neo-Spacians) once again as part of a set match made by Jean-Louis Bonaparte. Although Sartorius predicted that Jaden would lose the Duel, he surprisingly defeated Aster.
While Chazz went around and defeated Duel Academy students to make them Society of Light members, Sartorius wondered how Jaden won and he later found out through his cards that Jaden was the one he should go after to further his plans, not Aster(In the dub, it was also because Aster was of no use to him). Sartorius would then instruct the Society of Light members to Duel and defeat Jaden to turn him over to their side, but Jaden defeats each and every one that is sent.
Subsequently, Sartorius learned that Tyranno Hassleberry shared a connection with Jaden and Aster in terms of their power to influence his fate. He challenged Tyranno to a Duel that he assured would not force him to become one of his Society's members. Although Tyranno was overwhelmed by "Arcana Force VIII - The Strength", which turned his own power against him, Sartorius was unable to make him join the Society as he had secretly intended.
At the end of episode 73, it was announced that Sartorius would be placed in Obelisk Blue as a first-year (third-year in the Japanese version) transfer student, making him one step closer to taking over Duel Academy. By episode 79, Sarina reveals the troubled past that she and her brother share. When the two were younger they were shunned and humiliated by others out of fear of their abilities to tell the future but this fact only strengthened their bond. Sarina emphasized that her brother had once been a kind and caring person and that it was because of a Hero card shown to him by a guest Duelist that he began acting with evil intentions. Aster believes that it was most likely the Destiny Hero stolen at the time of his father's murder (kidnapping in the dub), and his suspicions are later confirmed as the "Ultimate D-Card" surfaces as a carrier of the energy that infected both Sartorius and The D. Sarina continues, saying that the card is no longer in her brother's possession as it had disappeared shortly thereafter. Upon hearing of his sister's failure to deal with Jaden and Aster, Sartorius displays the first signs of dissociative identity disorder; within him, the true Sartorius contends with the dominant evil personality brought on by the will of the Light of Destruction. Sartorius selects Prince Ojin as his first opponent in the Genex Tournament, wishing to obtain the destructive satellite technology of the prince's country. He predicted that the Duel would end before his first turn came while his opponent believed that he would be the one to claim victory in one turn. Playing only three cards during his opponent's first turn, Sartorius reduced Ojin's Life Points to zero. He earned the title of the first Duelist in the history of the anime to have ever performed, as Bastion Misawa called it, a "Zero Turn Kill", i.e. winning the Duel without even starting his turn. With Ojin's defeat, the wealthy Duelist obediently relinquished the briefcase containing the control switch for his laser satellite and the two keys for its activation. In the dub, Sartorius planned to control the minds of the Earth's inhabitants, making them forget about things like corruption, greed and violence, while in the Japanese version he planned to destroy the Earth instead, killing all its inhabitants to restore balance to its imperfect state.
In order to prevent his evil side from instigating world destruction, Sartorius approaches Jaden and Aster and gives them the keys. He uses his mind control powers on Jaden to make sure that he never returns the key. Shortly after this the evil Sartorius uses his mind control abilities on Alexis Rhodes and brainwashes her, making her cold and heartless. Sartorius orders her to Duel Jaden and defeat him so that she will be able to return the key to Sartorius, only to be defeated. Furious over the fact that his plans have been delayed, his evil personality sends Duelist after Duelist to contend with Jaden but is unable to recover his key.
He is eventually sought out by Aster in episode 100, who breaks into the Obelisk Blue dorm to find him in the Society of Light's private Duel field. It is revealed that Aster made a promise to his friend when they were young to save him from his destiny of becoming a destroyer and that The D was indeed the visitor that imbued him with the Light of Destruction, but merely by accident, as he came before the fortune teller due to his fear of the corrupt Ultimate D-Card. As Aster is about to give Sartorius his key to the satellite, Jaden intervenes and tells him its true purpose, prompting Aster to wager it in a Duel instead. Recognizing the present Sartorius as an impostor posing as his lost companion, he struggles against the Arcana Force monsters who deny him control over his fate by stopping their own rotations in their master's favor. Although Aster makes a comeback with timely help from Good Sartorius , The Light of Destruction unleashes "Arcana Force EX - The Light Ruler" to end the Duel.
Afterward, The Light of Destruction and Jaden face one another to determine the fate of the world. Similar to the preceding match with Aster, the diviner's cards continue to stop their own rotations. Having obtained both keys to the satellite due to a blunder on Jaden's part, Evil Sartorius uses his mind powers and sends Ojin to arm the laser satellite while he keeps Jaden distracted. With the combined efforts of Elemental Hero Neos, Hassleberry, and the returning Sarina, the weapon is dispatched and Jaden defeats Evil Sartorius, sealing away the Light of Destruction. Finally free from his fate of ruin and the burden of seeing into the future, Sartorius thanks both Jaden and Aster for their kindness and is reunited with his sister. The two are then transported to KaibaCorp hospital to recuperate.
Sartorius returns to Duel Academy with Kagemaru to tell Jaden that they have sensed a crisis that might happen somewhere down the road. They also convince Jaden (who is planning to leave Duel Academy) that he should not leave the island because they sense the interdimensional energy that builds up and is released in the area around Duel Academy being the cause of all the odd incidents.
The meeting is cut short when Trueman appears, threatening the three. Sartorius and Kagemaru escape by helicopter while Jaden Duels Trueman. Later on, he is blackmailed by Trueman into challenging Jaden to a rematch in order to rescue his sister from the world of Darkness. Sartorius rescues Jaden from multiple clones of Jaden and Axel in Domino City where he sets the place where his Duel against Jaden will occur. In the middle of the Duel, his eyes begin to water and he tells Jaden that he lost his sister to the World of Darkness, saying that he is no longer at peace and that he had lost his ability to see the future. Originally, he didn't believe Jaden should have the responsibility of saving his sister because of his attitude when they met previously. Sarina would later tell Jaden that he must defeat Sartorius, so she can reach out to him. Near the end of the Duel, Sartorius releases "Arcana Force EX - The Dark Ruler" but Jaden was able to win by destroying "Arcana Force 0 - The Fool". After Jaden defeats Sartorius a second time, Sartorius, who is rejoined with Sarina, leaves Jaden the burden of saving his sister and the people already trapped in the world of Darkness before joining with them. He and Sarina are revived when Jaden defeats Nightshroud. After that, he was present at Jaden's graduation ceremony.
Sartorius often reads Tarot cards, which dictate the course of his actions, using certain cards to represent other individuals.
Sartorius uses an "Arcana Force" Deck, based off the Major Arcana, with Spells and Traps based on the Minor Arcana to complement his monsters. His cards have the unique ability to appear in either upright (normal) or reversed (upside-down) positions, which dictates their effects. When activated, Sartorius' cards rotate and it is up to the opponent to decide when to end the rotation, in turn deciding his/her own fate. (In the TCG/OCG, this "position" is represented by a coin toss.) The design of cards in the "Arcana Force" series has links to the Cthulhu Mythos. In the Japanese version the names of the "Arcana Force" monsters are separated by underscores instead of hyphens.
Sartorius later utilizes a new Lockdown/Mill strategy which reflects his changed philosophy on destiny revolving around the combination of "Arcana Force 0 - The Fool", "Tour of Doom", and "Sowing of the Fool". By slipping "The Fool" into Jaden's Deck, it enables Sartorius to choose which effects of any other "Arcana Force" monsters activate without relying on chance. Through this he can safely use the effect of "Tour of Doom", which has an equal chance of preventing either player from Summoning a monster during their turn, to shut out his opponent's ability to Summon monsters entirely. In addition, "Sowing of the Fool" gives Sartorius the ability to discard cards from his opponent's Deck. The use of "The Fool" in his rematch with Jaden is significant because during the Society of Light arc, Jaden's actions in Sartorius' predictions are determined by the Major Arcana card called "The Fool".
|Aster Phoenix||100-101||Win (possessed by The Light of Destruction)|
|Jaden Yuki||102-104||Lose (possessed by The Light of Destruction)|
- ↑ This card is discarded via its own effect in episodes 84 and 101.
- ↑ This card is discarded via its own effect in episode 84.
- Sartorius is likely named for David Sartorius, a member responsible for the first series Yu-Gi-Oh! adaptation.