I've been off deviant for a while so I'm sorry it took forever to see this... Um a prick is slang for male genitalia, so it is a bit insulting but usually if you call someone a smug prick they tend to be fairly arrogant and/or prideful and stuck up. All of which applies to Yami Yugi.
Yes, he is an arrogant, cocky, self centered, hypocritical little prick. That's why Yami is such a good character. He's not god, he has human flaws. Being that he was trapped in a puzzle for 3000 years, if he didn't show any psychological affects, there wouldn't be any reason for us to sympathize with him. What the heck made you think I hated Yami as a character? Geez
By the way, why is there a period after every word? It's hard for me to read what you're saying when you can't use the space bar.
Oh, he is self-centered, but that isn't to say he isn't selfless. You can be selfish and put yourself in danger to protect others. Look at Tony Stark. He's self centered and risks his life to protect innocence, including his employees. Look at Seto Kaiba. He's self centered and how many times has he put himself in danger to protect others when he didn't want to? Being self centered doesn't mean not have a caring heart. It means putting yourself first before others. You can still care about others, while putting yourself first.
What makes Yami self centered is that he thinks about himself constantly. That's one of the main key differences between Yami and Yugi. Yugi puts others first before himself, while Yami puts himself first. Yami only cares about that he makes Ushio pay for his crimes, not how Yugi feels when taking control of him, how Yugi's grandpa feels for using his money and using extra money he got from who knows where for his "shadow games," or even cares that Joey and Tristan are probably needing medical attention. He just wants revenge. During every shadow game, Yami only thought about himself, not others. Even during the time when he was helping someone, like Tea in burger world, he never cared about the fact the fire could burn down the restaurant and kill the hostages, the fact Yugi could get arrested for cold blooded murder, or the fact what he's doing could kill Yugi or Tea.
Now, when Yugi faced against Ushio, he never thought about himself once. He thought about Joey, Tristan and even Ushio. Have you noticed that Yugi never once told on Ushio? Yugi could've called the police on Ushio and have his as arrested for what he was doing. He could've even took his grandpa's money, even asking for it. Never once did Yugi ask for money or ask anyone for anything. If Yugi had seen the money his grandfather gave him, he wouldn't have used it to pay Ushio unless it was an order. That's why Yugi's actions astounded Yami so much. It was something beyond his own knowledge. Yami lived a life of being treated as a god and thinking only for himself. He had never seen someone with the powers of hell use these powers for others and never doing anything for himself hardly.
I see what you mean now- I admit I hadn't really been thinking about Season 0 Yami at the time, more the Millennium World/Battle City one, because the difference in his character is very pronounced.
But it does make sense that he's more self-centred in that respect- it ties in with his pride. Even though he does it in the name of some form of justice or retribution, it's HIS justice and retribution, and he doesn't ask Yugi what he really wants. It's Yami's pride of 'I must do what I believe is right.' I'd say he's at least thinking about protecting Yugi and his friends, but part of that is arguably a gut reaction- in other words, he does care for Yugi, but he feels he has to take on that 'defender' role to have pride in himself.
I would say he grows out of it through the series, especially by the end, just as Yugi starts to become more willing to fight by his own strength. They moderate each other.
And thanks for such an analytical, considered response! I wasn't expecting a good reply like that. Though I do like Yami a bit more than Tony Stark
I will admit that Yami, in the anime outside of season 0, does come out as less selfish. Again, I like his season 0 or manga version better. He's a bit more relatable. He does get better, but that selfishness is still there. He's just learned to think more about others, besides himself. He's also humbled himself a bit, realizing that he's not a god or a miracle worker.