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Anime / Cardfight!! Vanguard overDress

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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. It also differs story-wise by focusing less on the game itself and more on the characters, not unlike the first season of G.


Tropes that apply to overDress:

  • Amusement Park: Team Blackout's base is at an abandoned one.
  • Big Sister Bully: Yu-yu's two unnamed older sisters frequently force him to cross-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.
  • 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.
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    • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 the teams are composed with ruthless cardfighters. Similar to Foo Fighters V-Series counterpart invading other card shops, Daybreak would hunt and burn other team's banner.
    • Mirei is very similar to Ren, both of them are The Leader of a antagonist Vanguared 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.
  • Furo Scene: All the male characters are seen taking a bath at a hot spring in episode 9.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tournament Arc: The plot of will+Dress revolves around the Vanguard DELUXE tournament organized by Jinki Mukae with several members of Team Blackout participating.
  • Wham Line: Episode 3 ends with Danji announcing his retirement as a cardfighter.