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Anime / Cardfight!! Vanguard (V Series)

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The reboot of the original Cardfight!! Vanguard series.

Cardfight!! Vanguard (V series) began airing in May 5th, 2018. It's an anime based on the manga made by Akira Ito. Just like the original series, it's about a young shy boy called Aichi Sendou who one day met Toshiki Kai who gave him the card "Blaster Blade". When one day his card got stolen by bullies, he was forced to fight against Kai to get it back. The first arc (called the "Foo Fighter" Arc) is about his journey to becoming a more confident person and getting more friends along with discovering the mystic powers surrounding the game and getting in conflict with the card gang Foo Fighters.

The second arc (called the "High School" Arc) is about Aichi's life as a high schooler and his decision to create a Cardfight Club at school, but later gets into conflict against Ibuki who plans to delete Fighter's love for Vanguard and the wandering planet Brandt who wants to invade Cray and uses Earth for that goal.

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The third arc (called the "High School" Arc continued) focus on dealing with the aftermath of the events of the previous arc as Aichi and the Cardfight Club prepare for the Vanguard Koshien while Kai and Ibuki face their own struggles.

An upcoming fourth arc has been announced and will be set ten years before the events of the previous three, following Shinemon "Shin" Nitta's attempt to prevent the Card Capital shop from going out of business while the owner of a major card shop attempts to take it over.

A video game based on the reboot called Cardfight!! Vanguard EX and developed by FuRyu has been announced for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch and is set to be released on September 19 of 2019. It will feature its own storyline as well a brand new protagonist named Izuru Shidou and other game-exclusive characters.

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Tropes that apply to Cardfight Vanguard V.

  • Adaptation Amalgamation: Just like the manga, it combines certain events or cards of the original series together in order to tell a more streamlined story.
    • Foo Fighter Arc is rather downplayed since it uses many plot elements of season 1 with characters added from the first 2 seasons to give some characters more focus compared to the manga.
    • The High School Arc takes this further. It uses plot elements of season 3 combined with the Neon Messiah movie with cards based of season 4 units appearing.
    • The 2nd Season VD somehow takes this even further than the previous Arc since know even characters from the G era are appearing which starts with just Mamoru Anjou, but the next Arc will have several of them appearing in Shin Nitta's Prequel.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Compared to the manga. More time is spent focused on the characters; some elements are also added from the original series, making this a combination of both the original series and the manga.
    • Images 37 to 40 expand upon events that either happened off-panel or were only briefly shown in the manga, Kyou being turned into a PSYqualia Zombie and Shingo fighting against Rekka, using it as an opportunity to give increased roles to characters, namely Kai and Kamui, that were Demoted to Extra in the manga's second part.
    • The high school tournament in the manga was covered in the span of two chapters and mostly served as an epilogue for the story. Here, the Vanguard Koshien is expanded into being its own arc. However this is downplayed since the arc only lasted 14 episodes. On top of that only brief clips of most of the fights were shown.
  • Arc Words: The expression "serious fight" is repeated several times during the first arc, usually in regards to the Foo Fighters organization or by Ren and Kai. What it means vary based on who is using it.
  • Big Bad:
    • As the leader of the Foo Fighters group of cardfighters, and the strongest among them, Ren is this for the first arc. However, it was Tetsu who was responsible for the events of said arc as it was him who proposed the group raids other card shops.
    • The second arc has a straighter exemple in the form of the Destiny Conductor.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Highschool arc ends this way, although with more emphasis on the "sweet" part. Aichi defeats the Destiny Conductor, ending the threat he posed to both Planet Cray and Vanguard and freeing Takuto from being possessed. Furhermore, the fate of the Conductor's own planet, Brandt, is implied to have changed for the better and Ibuki is regaining his love of Vanguard. At the same time, the Conductor's defeat causes the Tatsunagi sisters to be freed from their role as Takuto's Called Walkers but this also means that their destiny will return from normal and their friends will lose their memories of them since it will be as though their current selves will have never existed. However, Aichi and the other members of the Miyaji Cardfight Club promise to Kourin they will meet again at the Vanguard Koshien. Additionally, the fighters "deleted" by Ibuki still have their connection to Vanguard severed although it seems possible for them to eventually regain it.
  • Book-Ends: The first fight, or at least the firts one to be fully shown on screen, and last fight of the show's first arc both feature Aichi facing against Kai. Aichi even ends both fights with Blaster Blade as his vanguard.
  • Call-Forward: Several are made toward the G series, especially during the continuation of the Highschool arc, such as younger versions of characters that debuted in it appearing.
    • As shown in the third opening, Gouki and Koutei are shown to be attending Harumi High School, the same school Chrono attended from NEXT onwards, with Mamoru Anjou, Tokoha's older brother, as a fellow student.
    • The members of Trinity Dragon make an appearance during Dimension 5.
    • The preview of Dimension 7, Gouki and Koutei talk with Mamoru about his helpfulness and how they picture him slaving away at an exploitative company working under a feckless supervisor which in a way describes his role in G.
  • The Cameo:
    • As of Image 27, the Milky Holmes girls are back as recurring background cameos.
    • In Dimension 10, you can see Henri Hayao from G: Next watching the Vanguard Koshien which references his role in that season. He appears again in Episode 12.
    • The girls from RAISE A SUILEN appear in Dimension 12 appear as part of the audience watching the fight between Aichi and Ren.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The ULTRARARE sisters appear in the first episode in an in-universe advertisement for the card game, which is earlier than their appearance in the manga.
    • A flashback in Image 2 and a few shots the first ending show that when they were young, Kai and Miwa hanged with a third kid whose name isn't given. People who have read the manga or watched either Neon Messiah or G will recognize him as a young Kouji Ibuki who returns later on as an antagonist.
  • Competitive Balance: With the V Series reboot, every major Grade 3 unit comes with one of three Imaginary Gifts on ride. This is represented by a marker, a special card that represents the Gift. What they are depends on the clan. In addition, starting from the 3rd arc's support onward, you can now choose one of two versions of that clan's Imaginary Gift. But once you choose one version, you must stick with that type of Imaginary Gift for the remainder of the fight. For clarification, the first version is oriented vertically while the second version is oriented horizontally.
    • Accel clans focus on offense and as a result give the imaginary gifts give the fighter a new Rear Guard Circle in the front row. Clans with this marker also have access to Front Triggers which give all the units in the front row more power.
      • Accel (I): The gift marker grants the player an extra Rear Guard circle in the front row and while you cannot boost it with a unit, any unit on it gains an extra 10,000 power on that player's turn. The first Accel marker will be placed next to the left most circle on the left, then the right most circle on the right, and then the left again and so on and so forth.
      • Accel II: Like Accel I gift marker also grants the player an extra Rear Guard circle in the front row oriented the same way. This time, it only gives an extra 5,000 power on that player's turn, but once the marker is placed, that player draws a card.
    • Force clans focus on a balance between offence and defense, as a result their gift markers focus on giving units more power or criticals and their Grade 3 have more base power than Grade 3 units of Accel or Protect clans.
      • Force (I): The gift marker is placed on a Vanguard or Rear Guard circle and grants that circle an extra 10,000 power on that player's turn. Multiple markers can be used on a single circle and they do stack (if a circle has two Force Gifts on them, that circle will have an extra 20,000 power on your turn).
      • Force II: The gift marker is placed on a Vanguard or Rear Guard circle. Any unit on the Force II circle now has a base critical score of 2. Because of this, multiple markers on a single circle do not stack (if a circle has two Force II Gifts on them, that unit will still only have 2 base criticals).
    • Protect clans focus more on defense. As a result their Gift Markers give the fighter new ways of increasing it which is either getting a new Sentinel card or giving their units more Shield.
      • Protect (I): The gift marker is placed into that player's hand and acts like a Perfect Guard unit. It is still identified as a Sentinel card thus is affected by cards that prevent Sentinels from being used.
      • Protect II: The gift marker is placed on a Rear Guard circle and grants that circle an extra 5,000 power and 10,000 shield at all times. Like Force I, Protect II Gifts can stack on a single circle (if a circle has two Protect II Gifts on them, that circle will have an extra 10,000 power and 20,000 shield during either player's turn).
  • Continuity Reboot: Towards the original anime and manga. Being a mix of the manga story and characters, but with characters that only appeared in the anime such as Gouki, Nagisa and Leon also appearing. Later on, characters from G start appearing as well.
  • Cosmic Retcon: Downplayed example. The defeat of the Destiny Conductor means that Kourin, Suiko and Rekka lose their status as Called Walkers and their destiny will return to what it should have been, erasing them from their friends' memories and making it as though they never met them. However, it is later shown the consequences of the events that took place and led to the Conductor's defeat remain and some of the people affected have a feeling that something is missing.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Misaki finds herself on the losing end of two, first against Ren in Image 17 and then against PSYQualia Zombie Aichi in Image 46 who both defeat her before she can even ride to Grade 3.
  • Darker and Edgier: Downplayed, but instead of Foo Fighters being a team for national tournaments. They are In-Universe "Stop Having Fun" Guys that take over card shops and force people to play "Serious Fights" that involve wearing gloves that electrocute them whenever they take damage.
  • Demoted to Extra: Many side characters from the original series here make only brief cameos. Kamui's two pals Eiji and Reiji appear only in a flashback where Kyou defeats them in a Serious Fight and they quit playing Vanguard because of that, various minor characters from original Season 1 like Osamu or Team Brilliant Stars appear briefly to get curb stomped by Aichi in his fight against Foo Fighters members, while the other two members of Team Caesar, Jillian and Sharlene, and the Miyaji High school council have only brief cameos in episode 27.
  • Final Boss Preview:
    • Image 17 has Ren defeat Misaki right after she won against Asaka, showing how strong he and his PSYQualia are.
    • This happens again during the second arc with Ren fighting against said arc's main antagonist, the Destiny Conductor, and being defeated by him.
  • Foreshadowing: In Image 6, Kai notes that the "Wind" has picked up, hinting that he may gain PSYqualia like his Manga counterpart. Confirmed, as of Image 25.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
    • In V the episodes are called "Images".
    • In VD the episodes are called "Dimensions"
  • Not His Sled: While the plot is mostly the same, but some of the fights tend to go differently since the game has developed a lot throughout the years although this series is a Continuity Reboot.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Inevitable considering Bushiroad restarted the game from the beginning. Three new rules were incorporated to help balance out the early game.
    • For Premium, if you already have a Grade 3 Vanguard, you are allowed to stride at the beginning of the Ride Phase. This eliminates any deck that attempts to stall out G-Era decks that require Striding to function.
    • G-Assist are now just Assist due to the lack of G-Zone in the reboot. The Assist function works nearly the same, you reveal your hand if you cannot ride to the next grade if you are not already at grade 3, check the top five cards, add a card with the next grade to your hand, take two cards from your hand and remove them from the game. This helps Premium players as it maintains their G-Zone.
    • Finally you are allowed to guard from hand with any grade. For example, if you are at grade 1, you can guard with a grade 2 card if you want. This helps alleviate pressure in the early game without having to worry about grade limits.
    • To expand on this, several values have been adjusted.
      • Base powers have been universally increased. More specifically, Grade 3 units that are in a Force clan are at a base power of 13,000, Grade 3 units in the Accel and Protect clans are at 12,000 base power.
      • Triggers have increased their power increases from 5,000 to 10,000 power. In addition, Front Triggers have been introduced giving all units in the front row an additional 10,000 power. This is meant to be a replacement for the Stand Triggers which will no longer be printed for the current Standard format. Finally, Front Triggers are currently exclusive to Accel clans.
      • Shield values have also been adjusted. Heal Trigger units are 20,000 shield, Front and Critical Trigger units are 15,000 shield, most Grade 1 units are 10,000 shield, and some draw triggers have the Sentinel keyword (though all sentinels are still 0 shield no matter what grade they are).
    • In addition to using the Imaginary Gifts to have less overlap between the core mechanics of certain clans, several of them had their playstyle overhauled to various extents.
      • Tachikaze still retire their rearguards but now also have the new Equip Gauge mechanic to further distinguish themselves from Shadow Paladins.
      • Murakumo no longer share their focus of having multiple units with the same name with Neo Nectar as the latter focus on the newly-introduced Token mechanic which also help distinguish them from the Paladin clans.
      • Narukami's old mechanic of forcing the opponent to choose which rearguards are going to be retired was given to Shadow Paladin and they were instead given the ability to directly bind the opponent's rearguards as well as manipulate the positions of the opponent's rearguards so as to be be different from Kagero.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Compared to the original Vanguard series, fights are quicker and the plot moves faster.
  • Prequel: The 4th arc is a prequel focusing on Shinemon "Shin" Nitta's past, ten years before Aichi and Kai's reunion in the first episode.
  • Psychic Powers: PSYqualia returns to the forefront as a plot element. It plays a major role in the first arc and in the second one as well.

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