Follow TV Tropes


Anime / Cardfight!! Vanguard overDress

Go To

Yu-yu: "One day, I was brought to the Night Amusement Park where I got to know the members of Team Blackout... and also Vanguard!"

The fourth main series of the Cardfight!! Vanguard anime.

Yu-yu Kondo is a boy who can read the hearts of other people, but in exchange is unable to refuse requests. After getting roped into his sister's hobbies and unable to bear with it any longer, he runs away from home. He is then saved by Megumi Okura who invites Yu-yu to Night Amusement Park where Team Blackout resides with the fight tonight being Team Blackout's leader, Danji Momoyama, against the mysterious powerhouse fighter, Tohya Ebata. This encounter will draw Yu-yu to the world of Vanguard and showcase him the world and friends he had never seen before.

Unlike the previous series, overDress is not connected to the original series. It also utilizes character designs by CLAMP and has a shift in production from OLM Incorporated to Kinema Citrus, GIFTAnimation, and STUDIO JEMI. Its first season differs story-wise by focusing less on the game itself and more on the characters, not unlike the first season of G.

After two seasons of overDress and three seasons of it's immediate sequel, will+Dress, it was announced that the story of Yu-yu Kondo would be concluding. The cast of overDress would get another adventure however with the spinoff manga will+Dress D2, focusing on a second Vanguard Deluxe hosted by Jinki Mukae, following new character Kairo, and featuring the return of Tohya, Megumi, Urara, Raika, Mirei, Shinobu, Yamato, Taizo, Reno, Kirishima, and Himari.

The series would then be succeeded by Divinez, which takes place in the same world with some members of the cast returning.

Tropes that apply to overDress:

  • Adaptational Mundanity: overDress is much more down to Earth in terms of the setting.
    • Prior seasons often treat the titular card game as something that is Serious Business, with international tournaments, special technology like fighters gloves and the FICA, etc. Here, while the game is popular, it's treated as no different from any other sporting event, and its regularly shown there are plenty of people who don't know about Vanguard or really care about it. Even those that do care about it admit it's not the be all to end all, with the only person who thought so, Tohya, being because he's a Determinator with a habit of devoting himself to anything he focuses on at the expense of everything else, including Vanguard.
    • Characters often debuted new cards in a case of New Powers as the Plot Demands, and often favored using newer cards while shelving older ones. Here, new players have to be given cards by others while they figure out what deck they want to build, players regularly have to buy new cards while keeping in mind things like monetary issues, and regularly use older cards if they synergize with the newer cards. Speaking of, characters are shown to need to either work to obtain more money for cards, or get them from characters who have the money, the former via Danji working various odd-jobs and Tomari working as a traffic cop, the latter via Tohya regularly buying cases of cards and sharing his pulls with his friends.
    • While in previous series everyone just seemed to be using their cards as they were, even when in environments like a snow field (Kai versus Kyou in Asia Circuit), practically everyone in overDress uses sleeves to protect their cards like players in real life do.
  • Almighty Janitor: Strong cardfighters, who never participated in tournaments are known as Counter Fighters in contrast to Front Fighters, who are known for their tournament placings. The new character introduced in D2 Hayami Kairo is a unique case due to his participation in D2 coming from being the one, who won most shop tournaments a much smaller stage compared to other official tournaments.
  • Amusement Park: Team Blackout's base is at an abandoned one.
  • Big Sister Bully: Yu-yu's two older sisters frequently force him to dress as a girl much to his dismay.
  • Book Ends:
    • The first season began and ended with a fight between Danji and Tohya.
    • In a similar fashion, the first season also began with the womanizer hitting on Yu-yu and later getting arrested by Tomari, and ended with the womanizer hitting on someone else and getting arrested by Tomari, again.
    • Yu-yu's first and last matches of the Deluxe tournament are against Raika. He loses the first time, but wins the rematch and the whole tournament.
    • The story of ''Will+Dress" season 3 begins and ends with Yu-yu facing off against Gui.
    • Yu-yu's story in overDress begins with him being invited by Megumi to Wonder Hill where he meets the members of Team Blackout. The last episode of Will+Dress sees him leaving the aformentioned park, having passed the role of Team Blackout's leader to Megumi.
  • Brick Joke: In Episode 3, Danji becomes responsible for paying the amusement park's electric bill for causing property damage, four episodes later an actual blackout occurs due to him forgetting to pay it.
  • Breaking Old Trends: overDress tends to break the mold of prior Vanguard seasons in several ways:
    • In past seasons, whenever the units were shown battling, both the Vanguard and the rear-guards would be shown in tandem fighting each other. Here, with a few exceptions like Trickstar and Trickmoon, the rearguards are largely not shown in battle, instead having their weapons being used by their Vanguards.
    • Prior seasons had a more mystical aspect to them via the games connection with Planet Cray, with elements like PSYqulia and the Depend Cards being prominent. The mystical element is largely absent here, the conflicts instead being interpersonal.
    • In most seasons, whenever an official team was involved, it was in relation to a Tournament Arc. There are no official tournaments here though, with the various teams functioning more like gangs, and the conflicts between them being akin to turf wars. The Tournament Arc would make a comeback in will+Dress, where old and new characters participate in the Vanguard DELUXE tournament, but as an individual tournament rather than a team tournament.
    • Prior seasons usually had the main leads at the forefront of the plots conflict, typically due to a personal connection they had with the plot.* Here, Yu-yu is a Supporting Protagonist, with the plot instead focusing more on deuteragonist Danji and tritagonist Tohya. Though will+Dress Season 1 subverts this, where Yu-yu takes the center stage alongside Raika, Urara, and Michiru, Season 2 returns to having Yu-yu taking a back seat in favor of Danji, Raika, Sam, and Tohya.
  • Butt-Monkey: The unnamed pervert in the first episode ends up getting into trouble throughout his screen time. After he mistook Yu-yu for a girl he attempts to flirt with him only for Megumi to kick his ass, later he gets arrested by Tomari and after he was bailed from the prison, he gets chewed and humiliated by Danji.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: The male cast is entirely populated by bishounen level guys. This gets lampshaded when Tohya gets Dragged into Drag, as he looks so convincing as a woman, no one at a private girls school can tell he's a guy, and Megumi doesn't recognize him until she sees a similarly crossdressing Yu-yu, and she only recognizes him because she had already seen him like that, and just as easily mistook him for a girl when they first met.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The first half of season 1 is about the rather wacky daily lives of the characters, while the second half and season 2 is about the psychological effects a cardgame can have on people who devote themselves too much on the game or have a rather bad history with it.
  • Darker and Edgier: Zig-Zagged. While overDress is mostly a light-hearted season that focuses on characters daily life, Team Blackout's bonding and their Power of Friendship, Season 2 plays this trope straight, where they began to focus on the psychological effects Vanguard has on people and Mirei's trauma.
  • Denser and Wackier: While overDress is much more down to Earth than the other series, the character's antics in the earlier easily makes this one of the most light-hearted and comedic series, especially in episode 4 where Danji rides a pink tank to defend the amusement park.
  • Expy: Many characters took some elements of characters from the previous series.
    • Yu-yu is a expy of Aichi, both of them are akin to each other in terms of personality and appearance. They both started off as timid and shy blue haired kid, who eventually became more confident after playing Vanguard and befrending other cardfighters.
    • Danji is very similar to Kai, both of them are strong cardfighters and the deuteragonist of their respective series, who acted as a mentor and inspired the main protagonist of their respective series to become stronger.
    • Megumi's personality and background is very similar to Tokoha, but she's also good at intimidating the boys similar to Misaki's V-Series counterpart. Both Megumi and Misaki are year older than their protagonist and have a fairytale motif deck.
    • Tohya acts and cardfights a lot like Kai, but he is also a carbon copy of Shion, both of them are blond haired characters with level-headed personalities, and they both use a knight themed deck with light attribute.
    • Zakusa's personality is very similar to Ren and Miwa.
    • Team Daybreak is very similar to Team Foo Fighters. Both teams are composed of ruthless cardfighters. Similar to the Foo Fighters' V-Series counterpart invading other card shops, Daybreak would hunt and burn other teams' banners.
    • Mirei is very similar to Ren. Both of them are The Leader of a antagonist Vanguard organization, and they both have connection with the main deuteragonist of their respective series.
    • Haruka is a lot like Tetsu. Both of them have Undying Loyalty towards Mirei and Ren respectively, a connection with the main deuteragonist, and uses a darker themed deck.
  • Foil: Trickstar and Trickmoon are opposites. Sealed Blaze Maiden Bavsargra is pretty tight with Armed Orders and Trickmoon is affected only by Bavsargra. Trickstar is flexible with Overdress and XOverdress and can change to different units.
  • Furo Scene: All the male characters are seen taking a bath at a hot spring in episode 9.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Tomari and Yu-yu both take turns doing this with Urara after she joins Uniformers in Season 2 of will+Dress. Both have a bit of a different approach to it.
    • Tomari's attempt tries to convince Urara to come back by force, condemning Uniformers for brainwashing her and trying to prove them wrong by beating her. It fails because not only is Urara thoroughly convinced of their ways, but their training also allows her to utterly dominate the match by counterplaying against Tomari's deck.
    • Yu-yu, on the other hand, takes an unusual approach to this trope by actually acknowledging that Urara has changed for herself, saying that if her new style is really the new her, he'll accept that, but what he won't accept is the idea of needing everyone to conform to the same style of fighting for the sake of the ideal fight. He gets through to her by asking if she's actually happy with her new strength, as she gave up everything that made the game fun to her to begin with, leading to her realizing that all she's done is lost the very thing she was chasing after; the fun of resonating with another fighter during a good match.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The series as a whole strays away from the more fantastic elements of the previous ones, but there's still a recurring theme of many characters having a connection to Vanguard that blurs the line between if it's just them being dedicated to the game or if there's genuinely something more going on. Yu-yu, for example, has recurring visions of Trickstar encouraging him to keep going, but its not clear if he's genuinely seeing them or if it's just a metaphor for him overcoming his self-doubt to move forward. will+Dress implies that there are in-fact people with some kind of supernatural connection to Vanguard, but stops at outright confirming it.
  • Non-Protagonist Resolver: In the end the one who managed to stop Tohya was not Yu-yu, but rather Danji. Averted in season 2 where Yu-yu is the one who gets through to Mirei.
  • Out of Focus: Oddly enough, the card game itself suffers from this in Season 1, with most fights lasting only a few minutes and most skills being skimmed over. While this does start to change from episode 8 on, with the fights being portrayed more realistically, we don’t even get to see any of the Units ridden or called outside of maybe the Grade 3’s ridden near the end of a fight, but with the exception of Trickstar and it’s overDress evolutions, we also don’t get to see any rearguards as well. This slowly faded away over Season 2, and is almost completely gone by will+Dress, the latter especially due to the focus on a Tournament Arc, though unlike previous series most of the gameplay is still shown purely though the cards instead of any kind of visions of the units themselves.
  • Perfection Is Static: Gui is an AI that believes it can teach players how to play the game perfectly at the cost of their individuality. When Gui is defeated by main protagonist Yu-yu, he realizes that his methods were not as perfect as he thought.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Happens to Megumi on occasion:
    • In Episode 2, she spots Yu-yu and Danji going into a restaurant together, follows them in, and overhears their conversation, mistaking them for being on a date, where Danji was helping him put together a Vanguard deck. She spends the rest of the episode jealous and annoyed, but refuses to clarify on why when asked, and instead challenges Yu-yu to a fight to get him and Danji to stop seeing each other. It’s not until the end of the episode where she reveal’s what she thought she overheard where Yu-yu and Danji tell her what they were really talking about, much to her embarrassment.
    • Episode 4's conflict happens because Megumi didn't read the fine print of the demolition note, which states that Night Amusement Park's demolition is only under consideration. This caused Team Blackout to spend a week preparing to defend the palace and Danji to accidentally demolish a part of the entrance himself. Although to be fair the fine print was located on the back of the notice.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: Episode 5 mixes Vanguard with Pro Wrestling, with the rounds initially alternating between the two games until the Vanguard parts were more or less dropped.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: How season 2 of will+dress ends. The characters are nowhere close to stopping the Uniformers with Zakusa being forced to join them and becoming brainwashed. On top of that Michiru's conscience ends up lost in cyberspace, but entrusts the future to Danji and other young fighters, who will one day become strong enough to oppose Uniformers.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Some examples:
    • Masque of Hydrargyrum and Grade 3 avatar going to the damage zone means the opponent went back to normal
    • Mirei gave Yu-Yu X Overdress, just as Sealed Blaze Maiden, Bavsargra created Prayer Dragons used by X Overdress.
    • In the final fight of will+dress season 2, both Danji and Michiru soul charge their OverTrigger in the beginning of the fight as if removing the one factor of unpredictability in the game and it becoming more uniform in playstyle, which is the goal of the Uniformers. This uniformity is then broken by Daji by using the unexpected addition of Drajeweled in his deck to make up for his lack of counterblast.
  • Serious Business: As usual Vanguard is this, but this is deconstructed by Tohya who got so absorbed into the game that it completely absorbed everything else in his life with him even stating that it is all he has left.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: After spending the first three seasons firmly based in Japan, Season 2 of will+Dress features half the cast going to the United States to do an exhibition match with the winners of the US Branch of Deluxe.
  • Sequel Hook: The final shot of the series shows some kind of connection between Cray and Earth happened as a result of Yu-yu and Gui's final fight, with a shot of what is unmistakably Cray's atmosphere fading into the arena where the final battle took place, a mysterious blue glow emerging from the table the two played on... thus foreshadowing the fated battles that will transpire in Divine Z.
  • "Stop Having Fun" Guys: In-Universe, a major theme of will+Dress is this kind of thinking, starting with Raika in Season 1 and his distain of Graceful Losers under the logic that one should be playing to win if they're going to play at all. Season 2 pushes it in a different direction with Project Uniformers, who instead believe that individual playstyles are unnecessary and pushes people to embrace a more singular, optimized one. Both are portrayed as very toxic mindsets to have, with the way the latter pushes it onto people being more akin to brainwashing them.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Following the climax of the first season, Danji declares Tohya as his successor and the new leader of team Blackout. Considering he was the one who attacked team Blackout, took their flag and destroyed the merry-go-round, not everyone is happy with the choice, and Danji's words aren't enough. It's not until Tohya starts doing actual reparations that some people start coming back and accepting him, and even so that doesn't mean that everyone trusts him.
    • Related to the Serious Business entry, the fact that vanguard is, in the end, a card game and he didn't actually hurt people is the reason Tohya is forgiven with relative ease. The one most upset at him is Megumi, and that's because she has a strong personal connection with Danji and, even if Danji had already announced his retirement before, Tohya replacing him marks his final separation from the group, with Danji actually leaving town shortly afterward, meaning that Megumi was actually hit on a personal level.
      • Even further shown is that although Tohya is able to step up to some degree in taking the reigns as Team Blackout's new boss, his lack of muscle or experience in the kinds of regular jobs Danji did before leaving has him unable to do nearly the same types of work, even with Yu-yu's help. We're treated to a montage of Tohya's shortcomings as a handyman compared to Danji when it comes to construction, caretaking, and most types of work involving serious physical labor.
    • Danji is the biggest and strongest person in the group by far, used to do a lot of hard work for his odd jobs business. However, he isn't actually trained, and when he faces a professional wrestler he is completely outclassed. Getting beaten up in the wrestling fights also makes much harder for him to concentrate and play vanguard correctly or quickly in the interludes, and he isn't able to close the match there.
    • Unlike other shows about collectible trading cards, this series also shows that being a player who needs to update his deck to keep up with the meta is rather costly with Tohya ending up nearly broke due to using most of his money to buy a carton.
    • When Mirei finally finds out Danji is her long-lost brother, she completely snaps. Being left out of information like that by everyone, in addition to seeing who she thought was dead coming back, AND after spending so long with everyone treating her like a tool to be raised as the head of her family and Daybreak, she's entirely unable to trust a single word out of Danji's mouth. It turns out having everyone around you lie to you constantly and control your entire life can shatter even the tallest pedestal, especially if the person you admired was in on it.
    • In the real game, Soul Charge focused decks are infamous for having a bad tendency to accidentally Soul Charge their triggers due to the fact Soul Charging takes from the top of the deck, effectively wasting them. While previous anime are not exempt from this, it is especially empathized when Danji and Michiru, who both use decks that heavily focus on accumulating cards in soul, both end up Soul Charging their OverTriggers during a fight with each other.
  • Tournament Arc:
    • The plot of will+Dress revolves around the Vanguard DELUXE tournament organized by Jinki Mukae with several members of Team Blackout participating.
    • The manga continuation will+Dress D2 revolves around the second Vanguard Deluxe tournament.
  • Wham Line: Episode 3 ends with Danji announcing his retirement as a cardfighter.