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[[folder: Fridge Brilliance ]]

* [[TheKingOfFighters Ash Crimson]] is pretty much [[JustForPun The King of]] [[TheScrappy Scrappies]]. He's a {{Jerkass}} SmugSnake who has gotten away with some pretty controversial stuff in the current saga (namely, stealing the powers of [[BarrierMaiden Chizuru]] and [[TheRival Iori]]) simply because ''Creator/{{SNK}} [[CreatorsPet likes him too much]]''. If you've played ''The King of Fighters XI'', you've probably noticed that there's a [[ThemeNaming common motif]] with a few of the team themes, such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24rUGSD_1ms "Jack,"]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9ozaXGgFfk "Queen,"]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFy7cHbnTnk "King";]] they're all high level playing cards (in fact, Ace is the only one missing from the bunch). [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-1xYnuKZoY "Joker"]] is the theme of the "[[DesignatedHero Hero]]" Team. Given that there's a literal [[DeathDealer card-wielding]] BadassGrandpa on the team, you might think that this theme had [[TheGambler Oswald]] in mind. However, this was subtle foreshadowing at its finest. The Joker is used in a variety of roles when it comes to card games. It can either be the most powerful card to play or the weakest. ''It can even be used as a placeholder for missing cards.'' Ash Crimson only ''appears'' to be a frail, unassuming weakling, but he's a bastard of both the {{manipulative|Bastard}} and {{magnificent|Bastard}} varieties. ''He is literally the personification of the Joker, a true WildCard.'' Not only did he run the masses with an {{expy}} of [[ComicBook/{{X-Men}} Gambit]] and a [[BloodKnight fight-craving]] BadassNormal in order to progress far enough through the tournament, but he set it up with such finesse so that after [[AHouseDivided he turned his former allies against one another]] ([[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness when they had outlived their usefulness]]) [[AnOfferYouCantRefuse by preying on their personal ambitions]] ([[EnemyCivilWar thus eliminating any potential threats by having Shen Woo and Oswald duke it out to the death]] [[VillainExitStageLeft as Ash slips away]]), he could then steal Iori's powers (as ''[[SuperpoweredEvilSide Orochi]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity Iori]]'', may I add) ''immediately'' after Iori had been worn down in a fight with [[TheProtagonist Kyo]] and [[{{Determinator}} Shingo]]. That's ObfuscatingStupidity so brilliant that you might wonder whether or not Ash is TheChessmaster. You can't deny it. - Tropers/{{X2X}}
** Going back even farther, one of Ash's win quotes in ''2003'' was "Don't play your trump card till the end... the ''very'' end!" In hindsight, SNK was pretty much telling us, "Keep your eye on this guy. ''Something's'' gonna happen." - Tropers/{{X2X}}
** Related to the above: In ''XIII'', Ash's a single entry character. Quite odd, given that he's TheHero of the saga... You'd think that it's because [[spoiler:he'll become the TrueFinalBoss at the end as Evil Ash]], and that's right - but it's deeper than that: Like the above Troper has stated, he's prone to manipulate his teammates to his own ends. So him being a single entry is a subtle GameplayAndStoryIntegration - He can make team with any character in the roster, but he'll end up leaving them in the end.
*** Additionally, this all seems to tie in with the revelation that [[spoiler:Ash [[GoodAllAlong really is on the heroes' side]]. He functions as a GuileHero because of the very probable mindset that if more people (including [[OneeSama sister figure]] Elizabeth, presented here as [[TheRival a rival]] to Ash) knew about [[RetGone his true intentions]], [[BatmanGambit his plans]] to stop [[BigBad Saiki]] and [[StandardEvilOrganizationSquad Those from the Past]] would be less likely to actually succeed. (''Especially'' Elizabeth, as [[MoralityPet she is the person]] [[DeclarationOfProtection he is actually doing most of this for]], and the only one who comes from his past and therefore with the highest level of knowledge about his personality.) The JerkassFacade he dons is a calculated farce used to further his goals and ensure that the number of other fighters thrown into the crossfire is a bare minimum.]] Perhaps you could say he didn't want anyone to call his bluff. - Tropers/{{X2X}}
* There ''are'' three people that are able to [[spoiler: sense that Ash's intentions aren't as malevolent as they seem]]. One of them is King, who [[spoiler: refers to Ash's behavior as "a cry for help"]] among other things. Why would she sense such stuff, considering that she's not a psychic [[spoiler: (unlike Athena)]] and has relatively limited experience [[spoiler: (unlike Chin)]]? Easy: she's a bartender, and bartenders are typically used to listen to the problems of people who are [[DrowningMySorrows drowning their sorrows.]] This means she can catch body language signals that others cannot, whether the person she's speaking to is toasted or not; then, it's not surprising that she can see [[spoiler: that Ash's plans and mindset are more complex than he lets other see, even when she obviously doesn't know ''what'' he wants (and never will, now that he's gone forever)]]. - Tropers/{{Orihime}}
* For some people, Yuri's Neomax, the Haoh Raiouken, seems lackluster compared to flashier Neomaxes, save for the [[EverythingMakesAMushroom mushroom cloud]] at the end. Then, I realized that, unlike fellow Kyokugen practitioners Ryo and Robert, she was only taught the very basics of Kyokugenryu, aptly named the Raiou principle. In a way, her Neomax serves as a TakeThat to her father and brother, showing that she can throw away Raioukens like atomic bombs. - Tropers/{{Aenthin}}
** Also, when you examine [[SiblingRivalry Yuri and Ryo's relationship]], some interesting conclusions can be deduced/speculated. Ryo is the dutiful son, the one trained from childhood by his father Takuma to become the heir of Kyokugenryu, alongside his natural talent; Yuri is a late-bloomer, who only started when she was a teenager and mastered the basics within a year. While they love each other dearly, they also intensely clash: Ryo objected to her being trained (though he doesn't object to ''other'' {{Action Girl}}s being around, like King or Mai), Yuri decided to keep training and then add her own variations to the style. Ryo's current objections to have her around don't only come from her being a girl (though that ''does'' play a part), but because he sees Yuri's additions to the Kyokugenryu roster as an insult to the Kyokugenryu style itself... and also as a part of their interactions outside the ring. Ryo had to work ''very'' hard for his martial arts skills and to make the Kyokugenryu style widely known ever since he was a young boy, adding an ItsPersonal layer to what seems to be a mere "StayinTheKitchen"-like SiblingRivalry, even when it's not very fair to [[PluckyGirl Yu]][[TeenGenius ri]] herself - Tropers/{{Orihime}}