Kaiba and the evacuation of Alcatraz: I’m going to start out with my usual Kaiba-related caveats here, because most of Kaiba’s actions come with a “yes, but…” attached. I freely concede that Kaiba is (surprise!) being ridiculously reckless and careless with his own and other people’s lives.
But what’s interesting to me is that these manga frames – which occur at the start of his conversation with Isis and before she mentions her brother as well as before Mokuba joins in – show that right from the beginning Kaiba intended to evacuate Alcatraz. At no point was he trying to intentionally kill Yugi and his friends when he detonated the island. Instead, Kaiba assumed that they would have enough time to get off of Alcatraz before it blew up.
What’s interesting is that his calculations were correct – except for the one item he forgot to include. In the anime, their escape is complicated by problems with the blimp, but in both the manga and the anime, their evacuation turns into such a nail-biting event because when they realize that Kaiba and Mokuba are missing, Kaiba’s staff delay their departure while Yugi and his friends use up all of their allotted escape time looking for them. They’re all so worried that Kaiba intends to kill himself that they refuse to abandon the search until the last moment.
I can’t help but feel that this is the one thing Kaiba would never have even considered factoring into his calculations: the possibility that anyone other than Mokuba cared whether he lived or died.
And in a final note of poignancy, Kaiba flies off without realizing that’s exactly what happened.