Astrology, Blood Types, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Malik Ishtar

Malik and Yami Malik Ishtar from the Duel Art illustration book

Sun Sign & Personality

As previously mentioned, Malik Ishtar’s birthday is listed in the various Yu-Gi-Oh! character guides (typically for the manga) as December 23rd; for the purposes of this article, his birth year is 1980. That day places him in the 2nd degree of the first decan (or decanate) of Capricorn, which means it’s doubly ruled by Capricorn (Saturn). A Capricorn in this degree excels in business and politics– no doubt how Malik was able to amass enough people to follow him on his personal vendetta, with or without the Millennium Rod. Of note is that double Capricorns like Malik are especially ruthless, crafty, and organized in getting what they want, even if it involves working with those that Malik doesn’t like all that much.

1980 Capricorns were born in a year of scientific progress: the Information Age was just beginning. This positions Capricorns born in this year to excel in areas that necessitate detail, investigation or research, and innovation. This could explain how Malik always seemed ready for whatever his opponents could throw at him, even if he’d never met/dueled with them before. In this year, Uranus (the planet of scientific discovery and genius) was in Scorpio, the sign that thinks very deeply about things. This combination results in Malik being something of a dueling prodigy, capable of using the knowledge of his family’s history with an awareness of Pegasus’ creation (Duel Monsters) and using it in new and devastating ways. Furthermore, this combination explains just why Malik rebelled against the only authority figure he knew (his father): it probably would have happened even if he wasn’t the heir to the Tombkeepers (that is, if Isis or Rishid/Odion had been instead).

Capricorns like Malik excel in the sciences, but also make great instructors, researchers, and investigators! Consider how Malik acts after Battle City: he willingly returns to Egypt and the Tombkeepers in order to learn more about the duty he is supposed to carry out, because after he got tattooed as a youth, his dark half encouraged his already rebellious heart, and he didn’t want anything to do with the Tombkeepers or their mission. Nonetheless, such a Capricorn is willing to learn all the rules in order to break them, which explains why Malik was willing to frame his personal vendetta around a card game, instead of simply trying to murder Yuugi. He not only learned how to play Duel Monsters (despite, you know, living underground for his whole life up to that point), but he mastered it to the point of standing up against various champions, including Mai, Jounouchi, and Kaiba.

The ultimate problem Capricorns like Malik face is staying objective. Technically, what Shadi told Malik that set him off on his quest for vengeance wasn’t wrong, Malik just interpreted in an extreme manner. By connecting the “lessons of the past” with his curiosity for the future, Malik could position himself quite similarly to Isis: serving as a gatekeeper and instructor to ancient Egypt.

It’s beneficial to look at what house/sign Mars, Venus, and Jupiter are in. These “personal planets” cover the areas of Energy/Motivation and Drive (Ambition), Love, and Luck.

Malik Ishtar’s Love Potential (Position of Venus)

Venus was in Sagittarius during Malik’s birthday, which means to people like him, love isn’t just a thing that happens: it’s an adventure! Outside of the tombs, Malik is probably quite the charmer, getting to know all kinds of people at parties and social events, to learn about all that he missed. Anyone that Malik chooses to spend time with (romantically or otherwise) would need to be able to laugh at themselves; he’s had enough being 100% serious all the time, especially after the conclusion of the Duel Monsters series.

Malik might end up finding romance via friendship: he is willing to learn so much about the world and is willing to educate others to the point where he gives advice on various situations. If people choose not to follow his suggestions, that’s fine by him, but they have to ultimately end up admitting when he’s right. Malik would be best suited towards someone with a casual outlook toward friendship and romance, if only because he’s spent so much time being serious about other things in his life. He would also need someone with a great sense of humor and a willingness to share their ideas and opinions.

Other outgoing, independent signs include:

  • Aquarius: Katsuya Jounouchi
  • Aries: Hiroto Honda, Espa Roba (I’m excluding Isis Ishtar for what I hope are obvious reasons)
  • Leo: Anzu Mazaki, Keith Howard

Malik Ishtar’s Drive & Ambition (Position of Mars)

On December 23, 1980, Mars was in Capricorn. This pairing indicates that Malik has plenty of drive– more than enough, really. He has a strong sense of purpose and meaning (whether that’s to serve the Tombkeepers or to destroy the Pharaoh), and in comparison, others look weak and slow. Malik has a great deal of pride in his own knowledge and ability to get things done, but he doesn’t mind delegating, as seen in the waves of Rare Hunters that he dispatched against Yuugi and Kaiba.

Malik is also quite conscious of time –he knows that his vendetta can’t wait, and he indulges in things like speedy yachts to get him from Point A to Point B as fast as possible.

An interesting question that arises is “What did Malik want to do after Battle City?” His dark half was destroyed (or suppressed in a more permanent fashion?), and he did technically have a duty to the Tombkeepers that Isis alone couldn’t uphold, especially as she served as the public face of the family, both in Egypt and abroad. While Malik would be just as well-suited to conducting business on behalf of the Tombkeepers or the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities/Ministry of State for Antiquities, he seemed to have returned to the Tombkeeper’s home, at least to the point of being able to guide Yuugi and the Pharaoh to their final duel. With Mars in Capricorn, Malik probably had some ideas in mind of what he wanted to do next, and perhaps was getting his “ducks in a row,” preparing for the inevitable duel. After that? As previously mentioned, he’s well-suited to being an instructor or investigator, and sharing his knowledge with others, though as an instructor, he’d be the kind that demanded nothing less than perfection. He accepts the responsibilities he has, and expects others to do the same.

Malik Ishtar’s Luck Magnetism (Position of Jupiter)

On Malik’s birthday, Jupiter was in Libra, which means much of Malik’s “luck” comes from the people he interacts with. This can be seen when he manipulates people throughout Battle City to acquire information on Yuugi/the Pharaoh and Kaiba; he doesn’t want to challenge them immediately, steal their God Cards, and be done with it. If it weren’t for the people that he met (and ended up controlling with the Rod), I doubt he would have gotten as far as he did. Yes, controlling people with the Rod helps, but he had to be choosy about who he picked!

In addition to being scientifically minded or something of a prodigy when it comes to Duel Monsters, Malik also has the potential to make a big hit in the arts, music, fashion, literature, or theater. Imagine him helping Isis with putting together a luxurious photo book showcasing the ancient artifacts from Pharaoh Atem’s time! Consider his intentional aesthetic choice to match his sleeveless shirt to his eyes, rather than being content in plain black robes all the time. What if he were to dive headlong into the arts by helping to produce a TV show based on the Pharaoh’s adventures? Odd as it may sound, all of these would be things Malik would likely excel in.

Funnily enough, Malik’s luck also extends to matching others together… that is, Malik would make a pretty decent matchmaker. People come to him for advice anyway, and since he’s so willing to learn about the world, interact with people, and “be a master of all,” he would likely learn a lot about what people are especially compatible with one another, even if that sort of long-term/serious relationship isn’t something he necessarily seeks for himself. When he suggests something to others, they take him seriously, because they know he’s put a lot of energy and effort into learning all about it. Only those people he’s deemed worthy remain in Malik’s periphery; anyone else is quickly forgotten about.

Ascendant

The ascendant is the sign that is just above the eastern horizon (where the sun rises) at the time of someone’s birth. Like birth years, birth times aren’t stated for Yu-Gi-Oh! characters, but we can guess based on the primary traits each ascendant contributes to a sign:

All times are approximate and are based on the average time of sunrise (which of course, can vary by season and location). The traits listed are but a small sampling of those typically associated with the ascendant in question, so I picked the ones that I feel might best match Malik:

  • 6am – 8am: Aquarius: disconcerting, elusive, maladjusted, surprising
  • 8am – 10am: Pisces: opportunist, irrational, unpredictable, adaptable
  • 10am – 12pm: Aries: take-charge, self-centered, impatient, direct
  • 12pm – 2pm: Taurus: enduring, rigid, holds a grudge, persistent
  • 2pm – 4pm: Gemini: adaptable, expressive, opportunistic, selfish
  • 4pm – 6pm: Cancer: backward-looking, over-reactive, unrealistic, loyal
  • 6pm – 8pm: Leo: determined, violent, dramatic, self-confident
  • 8pm – 10pm: Virgo: serious, patient, perfectionist, sarcastic
  • 12am – 2am: Scorpio: dominating, persevering, sadistic, calculating
  • 2am – 4am: Sagittarius: brutal, reckless, independent, straightforward
  • 4am – 6am: Capricorn: disciplined, indomitable, cruel, ambitious

Blood Type

Malik’s Blood Type is B, which means he’s “[g]oal oriented and strong minded,” (Bella Online, 2015) and that “type B’s will start a task and continue it until completed, and completed well. Type B’s are the individualists of the blood group categories and find their own way in life.” Malik may not have gotten his goal “completed well” according to his desires, in terms of defeating the Pharaoh in a duel, but he made it as far as he did because of his single-minded desire to defeat the Pharaoh at his own game, to punish him in the most public, sadistic manner he could.

Type B’s are most compatible with other B’s and those with Type AB blood:

  • B: Katsuya Jounouchi, Ryouta Kajiki, Ryuuji Otogi, Akunadin (?!), Mana
  • AB: Yuugi Mutou, Ryou Bakura

Interesting note: because Isis has Type O blood (which is a recessive gene inherited from one of her parents), that means that both Malik and Isis’ parents had type B blood, with at least one of them having the O recessive gene or one of them had type AB blood and the other had type B blood with the O recessive gene. If Mrs. Ishtar had a different blood type than either of her children, there was a chance they could have developed jaundice just after birth; the likely candidate is Malik here, with his Type B blood. If his mother had Type O or A, there would have been an incompatibility!

Mystical Card

Malik’s “Mystical Card” can be found in an ordinary pack of playing cards! Because standard decks only contain 52 cards (plus the Joker), there are some dates that have the same Mystical Card. For December 23rd, the card is the Eight of Hearts. Other dates with the same card include November 25, October 27, September 29, and August 31.

Eights embody the idea of “power,” while Hearts, unsurprisingly, imply that relationships of all types matter the most to individuals with this card. Malik with this Mystical Card has a double-dose of likely success in the arts, and has a temperament that could be kind, affectionate, and friendly (cf. his relationship with Rishid/Odion) or selfish and self-seeking (cf. his behavior throughout Battle City). This Mystical Card means people are drawn to Malik, which is great depending on his goals… he can be “manipulative and heavy-handed,” (Gordon & Stieglitz, 2002) as we saw with his use of the Millennium Rod, but overall, he actually has a very “loving nature.” I feel like we didn’t get to see this potential side of Malik in the anime or manga at all, but it’s possible that his “real personality” came out after his dark half was dealt with.

New for this article, the Tarot equivalent of the Mystical Card! Tarot Cards and playing cards have a lot in common, though most decks of Tarot have 78 cards: an extra “court” card, and several “Major Arcana” (Big Secret) cards, which don’t have “suits” like you may be used to.

The suits in Tarot have many names, but their common ones are:

  • Cups: equivalent to Hearts
  • Swords: equivalent to Spades
  • Rods/Wands: equivalent to Clubs
  • Pentacles/Coins/Disks: equivalent to Diamonds

Thus, the equivalent to the Eight of Hearts is the Eight of Cups, which is the card of Withdrawal, or diminishing feelings toward a situation. In Malik’s early life, he may have had this feeling toward his duty as a Tombkeeper, as he only sought freedom and the chance to explore the world above the catacombs. Then, after he gained his freedom, he may have felt his desire for revenge diminish. Finally, once the Pharaoh regained his name and went to the Afterlife, he may have felt diminishing feelings toward his duties once more.

Taken to an extreme, this card implies someone who shies away from intimacy, which could line up with previous analyses of Malik as only wanting casual relationships. He might have a “magnetic” personality and seek to learn as much as he can from as many people as he can, but that doesn’t mean he wants to delve into his gritty past with others and make bosom buddies with anyone. He might act ambivalent about romantic situations, not seeming to care, for example, if Isis ever gets married, or Rishid meets someone. Malik might also not seem to care about his own relationships, but that’s far from the truth: he considers himself an excellent judge of character, and withdrawal from any one particular person or relationship would imply that it’s outlived its usefulness to him. He might come across as “fickle” or “settling” when he acts like this.

Chinese Zodiac

As with most of the main characters, Malik’s Chinese zodiac sign is that of the Metal Monkey. Check out Yuugi and Kaiba‘s entries for more details on that.

Colorstrology

As introduced in Ryuuji‘s entry, the dates in the year also have a “color” associated with them… at least, according to Pantone! The color for December 23rd is Aspen Green, with the keywords Visionary, Powerful, and Mysterious. It looks like this:>

The Colorstrology description reinforces much of the previous analysis of Malik’s birthdate, but adds that it’s important for December 23rd birthdays like Malik to do something “meaningful” and feel “connected to something bigger” than himself.

Compatible birthdays include April 28, May 17, and July 17.