Seto Kaiba Appreciation Post #3 - Seto and Mokuba Now
Whenever I posted drawings of the Kaiba brothers on deviantArt, there was always at least one person, if not more, telling me that they never knew Kaiba could be nice / they always knew Kaiba just had to have a soft side.
Having watched the anime (the 4Kids dub), I was still surprised by these people, but never more so when a fellow deviant said that Kaiba was a terrible brother who let his brother be kidnapped all the time. Now, I tried my best to be nice about this, but Seto Kaiba’s honor needed defending and defending it I did.
The anime did a great disservice to Kaiba when they basically handwaved his coma. In the manga, Mokuba was abducted by Pegasus while Kaiba was still comatose. In the anime, he just up and leaves “to search for himself”, which is pretty irresponsible and sloppy. Then again, some of the writing, for whatever reason and convenience, was sloppy. Season 5’s handling of Mokuba (conveniently forgetting him at the end of the Bakura / Kaiba duel on the roof, keeping him away from the action until the last few episodes, etc.) and thus Kaiba’s relationship with him was nothing short of abysmally done. But I digress.
Yes, the anime did some damage, but for the most part, look at these screenshots (and just imagine all the screenshots I left out), and think about it. Kaiba is a successful CEO and the fact that his only family is his little brother is no secret. He has plenty of enemies, but at the same time, nobody should expect him to keep Mokuba locked and cooped up just so he would always be out of harm’s way. That’s no way to raise a kid - which is that is what Kaiba is doing. For all intents and purposes, he is Mokuba’s father figure, older brother and best friend, and he is trying to give him a life he can enjoy to its full extent, even if this means living a little dangerously.
Mokuba is the vice president. At Battle City, he was the Commissioner - an honorary position for the most part, but he also heads a task force of his own, if his work on the Winged Dragon of Ra research was any indication. And Kaiba protects him as well as he can. When Mokuba gets kidnapped, Kaiba goes to the rescue. If he didn’t love his brother, he wouldn’t do it, especially when you think of what it cost him most of the time to rescue him.
He duelled Yugi to gain entry to the castle and duel for Mokuba’s freedom, and when he was failing, he resorted to drastic measures to make sure he wins, risking death. Then he duelled Pegasus for Mokuba’s soul and Pegasus cheated to take his soul, too. He had spent who knows how much time in the Shadow Realm, but his first thought when he came around was Mokuba.
He also duelled for him at Battle City. See that first picture? Also from Battle City. It’s such a little gesture, taking off his coat and draping it over his little brother so he wouldn’t grow cold in his sleep, but little gestures like that speak volumes. Kaiba is just not the sort that cuddles and gushes over his family. And if you think of how many enemies he has and what sort of reputation and facade he has to uphold, he simply cannot afford to. He has to seem strong, cold and impenetrable so that his enemies do not try to mess with him and what he stands for and protects, his brother included. So he gets these little moments instead.
In the Virtual World, he refuses to attack Noah while Mokuba is by his side. He repeatedly lets Noah blast him and reduce him to near-nothing because his little brother might be hurt otherwise. Look at them as they reunite. It’s heartbreaking.
And finally, I’ll finish my rambling with this: that screenshot of them running? I took it to remind you of one of the best Kaiba brothers moments in the whole anime, and I would like to point out the difference between the 4Kids dub and the Japanese original. In the 4Kids dub, after Duke and Joey urge them to hurry, Mokuba cries “I’m not gonna make it!” and Kaiba replies, “Guess again.” He then throws him. Watch the Japanese original, the superior version. After Otogi and Jounouchi call out to them, Kaiba looks back and realizes Mokuba is struggling to catch up (Mokuba doesn’t speak because he can hardly breathe at this point). He immediately slows his pace and then grabs him to throw him on board. He says nothing to him. He just acts. If you look, there is even a desperate little moment when he is trying to find grip on his little brother’s shirt. He didn’t need a reminder, 4Kids. He knew that the moment they were getting in reach, his first priority was getting Mokuba on board.
TL;DR: Kaiba is a BAMF and he loves his little brother. That’s all.