Zane Truesdale, known in Japan as Ryo Marufuji and nicknamed "Kaiser Ryo", is the top Duelist of Duel Academy when Jaden is in his first year. Zane serves as one of Jaden's friendly rivals during that year, though he takes a more brutal approach to Dueling after experiencing a transformation of mind during the next year. In subsequent years he develops fatal heart conditions and seeks an opponent worthy enough to give him his final and greatest Duel before he expires, though he is later revived under unexplained circumstances during season four.
Zane's character design was overseen by Kenichi Hara. His first season outfit (left) consists of the standard Obelisk Blue uniform with a more pronounced collar, tighter-bound sleeves, and pointed rims coming out the costume's lower back. His blue hair is sectioned in three layers, his blue eyes positioned directly beneath the bangs of the layer closest to his face. He carries an Academy-issued Duel Disk on his left hand. After graduating, he keeps his Obelisk Blue uniform and adds a black fingerless glove on his right hand. Also, the button on the shirt becomes star-shaped.
Zane's second outfit consists of a black overcoat with white trimmings and sharp edges. The letter "R" is centered on his belt buckle, drawn from the first letter of his name in the Japanese version. (This feature has been occasionally removed from the dub). Zane's facial expressions also elicit more angered and/or sadistic nuances than those of his previous design.
Zane's personality is markedly different during each of the seasons. In the first season and the start of the second season, Zane is calm and collected, with a deep respect for his opponents and his own cards. He feels that the connection between a Duelist and his opponent, as well as the Duelist himself and his Deck, makes victory meaningful. His dubbed personality is harsher and has a sharper tongue than his Japanese counterpart.
In the second season, following his Duel in the underground against Mad Dog, his personality is much harsher, crueler, and sadistic; as he enjoys watching his opponents suffer. In the dub, he even rants about how the world is made of hurt, and that Dueling is all about dealing with pain and inflicting pain on those who are weak.
By the time of the third season, Zane's personality appears to take on a mix of both his former attitudes. While he still Duels much more aggressively and with more passion than in the first season, Zane also appears capable of respecting his opponents again, and doesn't act so dark and needlessly cruel. His Deck changes as well; while he still uses the "Cyberdark" series, he uses his normal "Cyber Dragons" again, even bringing out "Cyber End Dragon" more often than "Cyberdark Dragon" and utilizing the former where the latter has failed.
It was originally believed to be the electrodes that were the cause of Zane's heart problems but it was later revealed the cause of his heart problems was the use of his "Cyberdark" Deck; the cards' desire to win at all costs were what inflicted the damage to his heart (in the original, Judai also mentions a wide variety of reasons why the cards might do so).
Following his revival in the fourth season, Zane has become quiet and reserved, losing most of the negative aspects of his personality that he developed in the second season. Though of the opinion that he had his best final Duel against Yubel, his Deck wants to keep fighting regardless of Zane himself. Despite this, Zane still attempts to Duel Makoto Inotsume. He later decides to start Dueling again with a new, evolving Deck, and demonstrates pride in his brother, believing him to have surpassed him.
His Japanese given name means "Excellent". His Japanese last name means "Perfect Wisteria", with 丸(maru) meaning round, circle or perfection and 藤(fuji) meaning "Wisteria". His English given name means "God is gracious".
Zane Truesdale is the strong older brother of Syrus who stays in the Obelisk Blue dormitory. Zane is highly respected and a Duel with him is reserved only for the elite. He is also good friends with Alexis and her brother, Atticus. In the original version of the series, he is nicknamed "Kaiser Ryo" (カイザー亮 Kaizā Ryō).
When Syrus was younger he almost used the card "Power Bond" without thinking during a Duel. He was stopped by Zane who revealed that if he used it he would have lost the Duel at the end of his turn because of the card's drawback. Paying off Syrus's opponent to end the Duel, Zane sealed the card, stating that his brother could only use it when he was truly ready.
Syrus, believing himself to be a disgrace to his older brother, did not unseal the card until much later after his friend Jaden faced off against Zane. Though Jaden put up a good fight, Zane defeated him. Zane would later suggest that Jaden be the representative in the Duel against North Academy after Chancellor Sheppard expressed a desire to choose a first year student. As the best Duelist in the Academy, Zane was chosen as one of the Key Keepers of the Spirit Keys. Zane was selected by Camula, the second member of the Shadow Riders, as a victim of her Shadow Duel. Although he overpowered her easily the vampire forced him into an intentional loss by offering his brother's soul as payment for her "Ilusion Gate" card. As a result, he was turned into a doll for a short period of time before Jaden managed to defeat Camula, returning Zane to normal.
He later faces Jaden in a rematch, choosing him as his opponent for his ceremonial graduation Duel. The Duel ends in a DRAW since they use a variety of cards to raise their monsters' ATKs to astronomical levels but ended up taking damage equal to both monsters' ATK due to "Final Fusion". Zane goes on to compete in the Duelist Pro Leagues after his graduation.
Society of Light
A fan favorite in the Pro League, he suffers his first true loss at the hands of Aster Phoenix, who tells him that his defeat is "predetermined by destiny". The Duel that the two engage in marks the first time Zane takes damage from "Power Bond". The battle takes its toll; from then on, Zane finds himself trapped in a perpetual losing streak. He is approached by Mr. Shroud, a promoter who offers him the chance to redeem himself, and although reluctant at first, Zane ultimately accepts.
Zane is pitted against Mad Dog in an "Underground Duel", a competition in front of a shady audience wherein both contestants are sealed inside a cage and forced to wear electrodes that shock them each time life points are depleted. Zane finds himself on the losing end again but realizes that his former philosophy of respecting the opponent above the desire to win has limits towards the end of the game. Frustrated and desperate, he resorts to cruelty and aggression and Summons the "Chimeratech Overdragon", which wins the Duel and practically destroys the Dueling ring in the process. As the smoke clears, Shroud is amazed (he calls Ryo a "monster" in the Japanese version). The next time Zane is seen, he proves his strength to the Dueling world once more. He is now addressed as "Hell Kaiser Ryo" (ヘルカイザー亮, Heru Kaizā Ryō) in the Japanese version; he has donned a dark outfit, and a personality to match. In the English Yu-Gi-Oh! video games, this version of Zane is referred to as "Dark Zane" to differentiate him from his former persona, as both versions are possible opponents.
Zane returns to the Pro League and goes on a new winning streak and many of his opponents are left seriously injured at the hands of his monsters' direct attacks. Zane fires his promoter, Mr. Shroud and travels into the mountains to confront Chancellor Sheppard in the dojo where he was brought up Dueling, hoping to acquire the forbidden Underworld Deck, known in Japan as Cyber Art Reverse (サイバー流裏, Saibā Ryū Ura) Deck that existed opposite of his own "Cyber Dragon" Deck. Although Sheppard manages to keep Zane at bay with his "Cyber Ogre" and various methods of manipulating his opponent's monsters, he is defeated by his own "Cyber Ogre 2" when Zane betrays his "Cyber End Dragon". Zane takes his prize but Sheppard believes that he will regain the respect he once held for his opponents during the Genex Tournament so gives him a Genex Medallion that allows him to participate.
Upon returning to Duel Academy to oversee the Genex Tournament, Chancellor Sheppard tells Zane's old friend Atticus Rhodes that Zane is no longer himself and has been controlled by darkness. Atticus confronts Zane in a Duel but Zane's new Underworld Deck overwhelms Atticus, eventually forcing him to give into the darkness and use his Nightshroud persona. Atticus believes that he will set the darkness free from Zane by defeating him but Zane wins and reveals that he still has complete control over himself and is not being controlled or influenced by darkness like many characters think. He simply changed his personality because he felt like being cruel and ruthless was the only way he could begin winning his Duels again.
Zane approaches Aster Phoenix for a second Duel. Syrus, however, intervenes and demands to be his opponent instead. Similar to his Duel with Mad Dog, both players wear electrodes and are subject to the intense physical punishment of the "Hell Duel." It becomes clear that, in his current mindset, Zane spares no one; he is cold, merciless, and sadistic, regardless of whom his opponents are and enjoys witnessing others suffer, even if it is his younger brother he is torturing. Despite Syrus' impressive plays, Zane defeats him when he defuses "Cyberdark Dragon" back to its three original fusion components. He then makes his exit, saying that if there is anything he respects at all anymore it is only victory itself. He appears again following a brief run-in with the disguised Blair Flannigan, giving her his Genex Medallion as he is no longer interested in participating and leaves Duel Academy Island. Every single character that met him on the island is shocked by his change, including Aster. Up to this point Jaden was also revealed to have thought that Zane had just "tried on a new look".
He is not seen again until midway through the third year when he returns to Duel Jesse Anderson to supply the energy necessary for the awakening of "Rainbow Dragon". Later, after hearing about Yubel, he designates it as his final opponent. Soon after, along with Aster Phoenix, he sees Jaden and company off on their journey to rescue Jesse in the different dimension, but is dragged threw the portal himself alongside Aster. By this time, it is believed that prolonged usage of electrodes (later revealed to actually be his Underworld Deck) has left him with fatal heart conditions. In the dub he says that his heart is weak from the electrodes but he never says that his heart condition is fatal (although it is heavily implied).
While in the alternate dimension, along with Aster, he helps Jim Crocodile Cook and Axel Brodie in their effort to defeat The Supreme King. After this task, he decides to restore a traumatized Jaden back to his old self but is unsuccessful as he didn't understand the extent of the trauma that being possessed had done to Jaden's psyche. He decides to Duel a Yubel-possessed Jesse in order to fulfill his dying wish of being immortalized but is defeated and dies from his heart conditions. However, he manages to grant his wish by making his "Cyber End Dragon" an eternal symbol of his skill and strength. Zane's performance in the Duel and last words along with the wisdom of the others allows Jaden to put his problems aside so that he may face Yubel.
Under unexplained circumstances, he returns to Duel Academy after washing up, unconscious, on the beach, with no explanation given to how he survived his heart failing. His heart is still in bad shape but he is put under the care of his brother to recover. It is revealed that his heart condition was caused not by the electrodes but by his "Cyberdark" Deck. Zane also appears to have a gentler personality than before as he shows care and appreciation for those around him once again. He later Duels Makoto Inotsume, a practitioner of the Jinzo Art, who has made it his goal to destroy all those who practice the Cyber Art. The Duel takes its toll on Zane, as he becomes so weak that he cannot even reach to his own Deck to surrender. Syrus attempts to do it for him, then announces that his brother will not surrender but will merely pull out of the Duel. Syrus then takes Zane's Duel Disk to finish the Duel himself but comes to regret his decision as he starts to suffer the same heart problems as Zane, where the Deck attempts to inflict damage more quickly on Syrus due to the cards realizing that Zane will no longer use them. Syrus overcomes this by "making the Deck his own" by combining it with aspects of his own "Vehicroid" Deck. After the Duel with Inotsume, Zane allows Syrus to keep the Deck with Zane saying he will start over with a new Deck. His dream to create a Cyber Art-specific Pro League alongside his brother.
In the English version of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Blister mentions Aster Phoenix and Truesdale as one of the Duelists he wanted to Duel in the Pro League. Whether this was meant to imply Syrus, Zane or both of them is unsure.
In the German version, Blister mentions Zane by name.
In the manga, Zane's role in similar to the role he plays in the first season of the anime.
Zane uses a Cyber Art Deck, though the term is not used in the dub. Zane relies on "Cyber Dragon" and its Fusion Monster forms "Cyber Twin Dragon" and "Cyber End Dragon", Summoning them with "Power Bond" to raise their ATK. Zane otherwise uses various Fusion cards to speed up the Summoning of "Cyber End Dragon" such as "Time Fusion" and "Future Fusion", and protects himself from the damage inflicted by "Power Bond" with "Cyber Kirin" and "Damage Polarizer".
In the Society of Light arc, Zane acquires an Underworld Deck (Cyber-Art Reverse (サイバー流裏, Saibā Ryū Ura in the Japanese version), consisting of darkened counterparts to his "Cyber Dragons". This Deck focuses on "Cyberdark Edge", "Cyberdark Keel" and "Cyberdark Horn", and their fused form "Cyberdark Dragon". Zane powers up his "Cyberdark" monsters by sending Dragon-Type monsters to his Graveyard, and sends nearly his entire Deck with "Power Wall" to strengthen "Cyberdark Dragon" further. His previous "Cyber Dragon" cards play a minimal role in this Deck until he begins using them again in the Dimension World arc.
|Cyber Art Dojo disciple||83||Win (flashback)|
|Minor League Duelist||65||Lose|
|Minor League Duelist||65||Win|
|Pro League Duelist||83||Win|
|Obelisk Blue student||102||Win|
|Jesse Anderson||128||No result|
|Goblin Elite Attack Force||141||Win|
|Jaden Yuki||146||No result|
|Makoto Inotsume||163||No result|
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! GX episode 65: "No Pain, No Game"
- ↑ "Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Les Personnages". http://www.canalj.fr/. http://www.canalj.fr/La-tele/Dessins-animes/Yu-Gi-Oh-GX/Details/Les-personnages/Zane. Retrieved October 15, 2015. (French)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Characters". May 16, 2015. http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/contents/yugioh2004/chara.html.
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V episode 116: "A Towering Achievement"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's episode 12: "The Take Back, Part 2"
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 This card can be seen when he searches his Deck before Summoning "Chimeratech Overdragon" in episode 65.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 This card can be seen when his Deck scrolls by after activating "Future Fusion" in episode 51.
- ↑ This card is sent from his hand to the Graveyard to activate "Lost Pride" in episode 83.
- ↑ In episode 65, one copy is discarded via the effect of Mad Dog's "Card Destruction", while another is shown he searches his Deck to Summon "Chimeratech Overdragon".
- ↑ Two copies of this card can be seen after the activation of "Power Wall" in episode 89.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 This card can be seen in his Fusion Deck after the activation of "Fusion Guard" in episode 95.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 This card is sent from the top of his Deck to the Graveyard via the effect of "Power Wall" in episode 163.