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    Shobu Kirifuda 

Shobu Kirifuda

Voiced by: Yumiko Kobayashi (Season 1 - Cross Shock), Kōki Uchiyama (Versus - Versus Revolution Final) (JP), Joshua Seth (EN Season 1), Liam O'Brien (Seasons 2 & 3)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shobu.jpg

The main protagonist of the first series, Shobu is the son of legendary duelist Shori Kirifuda, and desires to become a Kaijudo master and the best duelist in the world.

He uses a Fire Civilization swift attacking deck, inherited from his father, and his trump card is Bolshack Dragon. His deck changes throughout the various series, but always includes Fire cards and Dragons in this vein.


Tropes associated with Shobu:

  • The Ace: He's widely regarded as this among his friends. Prior to his loss to Knight, he'd never lost a duel.
  • Anime Hair: A legendary example that he inherited from his dad. It's the source of many jokes in the dub.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: The main strategy of his Fire deck, though his hybrids are more adaptable.
  • Green Thumb: His most common backup civilization is the Nature civilization.
  • Heroic BSoD: He goes into this a few times, particularly after losing to Dr. Root.
  • Iconic Item: No matter how many times Shobu changes his deck, he is always associated with the Bolshack Dragon.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Kokujo stresses Shobu out so much in their first duel that Shobu makes a horrific misplay that pisses Kokujo off so much that he cancels the duel and leaves immediately.
    • Shobu and Rekuta go on a quiz show about Duel Masters cards. Shobu gets nearly every question wrong, even on cards that he owns.
    • In the Sacred Lands season, there's a part where Shobu is extremely reluctant to play Water cards, preferring to stick with his Fire cards, which nearly leads to his defeat. It isn't until he is lectured on how his father made a similar mistake that he starts using them. Earlier in the season, he had no problem using Light cards, and he had used a Fire/Water deck in season 1 against Mikuni.
  • Invincible Hero: Averted. While this trope is lampshaded mercilessly, Shobu loses a surprising number of times in the first season alone.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Shobu and his father Shori. They even have the same spiky hair and clothing.
  • Meaningful Name: Shobu (勝負) means "challenge" or "game"; Kirifuda (切り札) means "trump card".
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Shobu often draws his big final card with a "flaming hand up in the air".
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Shobu is so Locked Out of the Loop when it comes to a Kaijudo duel, that he doesn't realize the ramifications of winning one - attacking the opponent directly with a very real creature. It's certainly not helped by the fact that his victory against Kokujo is done with Armored Blaster Valdios. Subsequently, he tries to avoid attacking directly in a Kaijudo duel and convince his opponents to surrender.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: His aces are often Dragons, though he uses a fair number of Armored Wyverns as well.
  • Playing with Fire: His primary deck is a Fire Civilization deck.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Denies that his shirt is lavender; it's purple, the colour of royalty.
  • Stop Copying Me: Mikuni throws Shobu off his game and defeats him by copying both his words and his moves until Shobu gets confused and makes a mistake. During their rematch, Shobu does the same thing to him and throws him off his game.
  • To Be a Master: Shobu wants to be the best duelist in the whole world. In the English dub, they translated that as to become a true "Kaijudo" master.note 
  • Weapon of Choice: Bolshack Dragon and its associated retrains.
  • The Worf Effect: This happens to Shobu quite a lot.
    • Knight ultimately flattens Shobu, despite him doing better midway through their first duel.note 
    • Despite an improved performance in their second duel, Kokujo still beats him.
    • A deck example. Toban-Jan, who uses a similar deck to Shobu, is beaten by Hakuoh.
    • Mikuni defeats Shobu despite Shobu improving his deck with evolution creatures.
    • Dr. Root defeats Shobu, proving that he's got a long way to go and showing off the power of his Survivor cards.

    Rekuta Kadoko 

Rekuta Kadoko

Voiced by: Yuka Imai (JP), (EN) Debi Derryberry (Season 1), Sterling R. (Season 2), Brianne Siddall (Season 3)

[[quoteright:]]

Shobu's best friend. His father runs the local card shop, so Rekuta has quite the collection of cards. Unfortunately, he's absolutely horrendous at using them.


Tropes associated with Rekuta:

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    Sayuki 

Sayuki

Voiced by: Saeko Chiba (JP), (EN) Debi Derryberry (Season 1), Peggy O'Neal (Season 2/3)

[[quoteright:]]

One of Shobu's friends. She tends to be the voice of reason in the group…at least when there isn't an attractive older gentleman around.


Tropes associated with Sayuki:

  • All Women Are Lustful: If she sees an attractive boy, chances are she'll fall for him. Especially Knight and Hakuoh.
  • Breast Expansion: To a lesser extent than Mimi, Sayuki gets noticeably bigger as the series progresses.
  • Canon Foreigner: Sayuki was not in the original manga, and is thus anime-exclusive.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She's the main snarker among the group, particularly towards Mimi.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Sayuki is a Knight fangirl.

    Mimi Tasogare 

Mimi Tasogare

Voiced by: (JP), (EN)

[[quoteright:]]

A new friend to Shobu, Rekuta, and Sayuki, Mimi is somewhat of a ditz and new to the game of Duel Masters. However, she shows signs of being more than she appears. In truth, she is actually the Second Guardian of the Temple and a friend of Hakuoh's; transferring to Shobu's school to spy on him for the Master, but genuinely befriending the group. After resolving her loyalties, she subsequently becomes one of the more prominent duelists among Shobu's friends.

She uses a Shield Trigger deck that incorporates multiple civilizations, with blockers as her creatures and Nature Civilization Giants as her ace creatures.


Tropes associated with Mimi:

    Knight 

Knight

Voiced by: Katsuyuki Konishi (JP), Milton Lawrence (EN Seasons 1 & 2), Kirk Thornton (EN Season 3)

[[quoteright:]]

Shobu's mentor. A Kaijudo duelist, and one of the best in the world. He replaces the manga-exclusive NAC, who was based on Satoshi Nakamura, a famous Magic: The Gathering player who assisted in the development of the Duel Masters game. His inner monologues in the dub tend to be highly amusing.

His initial deck is a Fire/Light deck, though the Fire cards he uses differ from Shobu's.


Tropes associated with Knight:

  • Canon Foreigner: Based on NAC from the manga, but he's largely exclusive to the anime.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: He can have some truly odd inner thoughts, though he keeps it quiet.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's very snarky, and tends to dip deep into Sarcasm Mode.
  • The Mentor: To Shobu, though as he lampshades, he's not all that good at it.
  • Not So Above It All: Knight could be the poster boy for this trope. He's cool and sauve, and a (mostly) hit with the ladies, worrying about his skills as a mentor…and willing to indulge in the latest fashion trends and press his apprentice for his debts for rent.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Tan-skinned, dark-haired, and very good-looking, and he knows it.

    Kintaro Nanda 

Kintaro Nanda

Voiced by: Chiyako Shibahara (JP), (EN) Jay Lerner (Season 1) R. Martin Klein (Season 3)

[[quoteright:]]

A White Soldier and the gatekeeper of the Temple. He's defeated by Shobu and befriends him after Shobu loses to Mikuni, assisting him in changing his deck.

He initially uses a Fire/Nature Mana Destruction deck, focusing on mana advantage through both increasing his own mana and reducing his costs and depleting his opponent's mana.


Tropes associated with Kintaro:

    Kyoshiro Kokujo 

Kyoshiro Kokujo

Voiced by: Daisuke Kishio (JP), (EN) Micha Liberman (Season 1)

[[quoteright:]]

One of Shobu's rivals and a self-proclaimed evil genius. Kokujo tends to stand apart from Shobu and his friends, but often acts as an ally to them…at least once they finally convince him to.

He uses a Darkness Civilization deck, focused on allowing his opponent to think that they have the upper hand against him and then defeating them, with the Ballom line of creatures as his primary aces.

Tropes associated with Kokujo:


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    Hakuoh 

Hakuoh

Voiced by: (JP) Junko Minagawa, (EN) Joshua Seth (Season 1), Joe Ochman (Season 2), Doug Erholtz (Season 3)

[[quoteright:]]

The Temple champion, and apparently world champion after Knight. Hakuoh was formerly someone who dueled for the love of the game, but has since become cold and distant, rejecting any attachment to his friends and believing only in winning without mercy. Defeating him becomes Shobu's main goal in the first Season. He tends to be used as a pawn for evil due to his immense skills; first by the Master in Season 1 to gain revenge on the creatures who scarred him, and later as one of the Fua Duelists under the persona of "White".

He uses a Light Civilization deck focused heavily around blockers and tapping his opponent's creatures, though he branches out to hybrid builds later in the series. His trump cards are Urth, Purifying Elemental and Alcadeias, Lord of Spirits.


Tropes associated with Hakuoh:

    Jamira 

Jamira

Voiced by: (JP), (EN)

[[quoteright:]]

A disciple of the Temple sent to duel Shobu. Jamira seems to live by a strange code of honor; to cheat whenever possible to get his way rather than be honest. To this end, he's constantly getting in Shobu's way through various means.

His decks tend to vary; he first uses a Water/Darkness deck, and later a Fire/Nature/Darkness deck during the Invitational Championship. He also winds up with Kokujo's Darkness deck in Sacred Lands, though it does him little good.


Tropes associated with Jamira:

  • Casting a Shadow: In all of his appearances, he's used Darkness cards, including Kokujo's deck.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: He switches decks with a prearranged deck while Shobu isn't looking, and later tries to hypnotize him. Neither does him any good.
  • It's All About Me: Jamira has issues with this, especially given that he cheats.
  • Running Gag: Being confused for a leprechaun. He takes it in stride all things considered.
  • Smug Snake: Almost literally. Jamira is utterly convinced of his superiority, and tends to get dunked on a lot. And that's not even getting into the Dance of the Viper.

    Toru Shimaya 

Toru Shimaya

Voiced by: Jun Fukuyama (JP), Cam Clarke (EN)

[[quoteright:]]

Another Temple duelist. He's sent to duel Shobu, terrorizing Mr. Kakudo's card shop, but Kokujo clobbers him easily before duelling Shobu himself. He makes his return in the Invitational Championship, duelling Shobu in the finals after easily crushing Tsuyoshi.

Though he first used a Nature/Light deck, during the Invitational Championship he uses a Beast Folk/Liquid People Evolution deck, debuting evolution creatures in the series.


Tropes associated with Toru:

  • Demoted to Extra: You might think he'd have a small role following his declaration of friendship with Shobu, but nope.
  • Green Thumb: His most common civilization is Nature.
  • The Worf Effect: He's set up as a terrifying duelist, dominating the boys in Maruo's store. Then Kokujo takes him to pieces rather easily. Later he does this to Tsuyoshi, who gave Shobu a tough duel.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Teal, and it's commented on.

    Mikuni (Johnny Coolburns) 

Mikuni

Voiced by: (JP), (EN)

[[quoteright:]]

The First Guardian of the Temple, Mikuni is a copycat duelist who mimics his opponent's move to throw them off their game.

He uses a Fire/Water deck, with the Fire portion of his deck heavily resembling Shobu's.


Tropes associated with Mikuni:

  • The Big Guy: Out of the Four Guardians, seeing as Benny Haha is in a mech.
  • Hot Blooded Sideburns: Mikuni, to the point of Charge taking his dub name from them.
  • Stop Copying Me: Mikuni throws Shobu off his game and defeats him by copying both his words and his moves until Shobu gets confused and makes a mistake. During their rematch, Shobu does the same thing to him and throws him off his game.

    Benny Haha 

Benny Haha

Voiced by: (JP), (EN)

[[quoteright:]]

The Third Guardian of the Temple. Benny is…interesting. In the dub, he's Mimi's twin brother, and his appearance is the result of plastic surgery to make him look older.


Tropes associated with Benny:

  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Benny Haha uses cameras to spy on the cards in Shobu's hand and predict his moves. Shobu figures it out and manages to confuse him and get an advantage, then Mimi destroys the cameras. When Shobu is about to win, Benny claims that his sister is sick and that he needs to remain undefeated so that he can pay for her treatments, but Mimi tells Shobu he is lying and he finishes him off. In the dub, Mimi is Benny Haha's sister, and so this ploy works even less well for him since Shobu clearly can tell that Mimi isn't sick.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Benny Haha claims this when Mimi destroys all of his equipment...all because he cheated at a card game.
  • Evil Is Petty: He's easily one of the most petty and vile villains in the franchise.
  • Gonk: He's not a pretty dude. According to the dub, this is due to plastic surgery.
  • Humongous Mecha: A staple of his.
    • He inhabits one for most of his screentime during Season 1.
    • During an escape sequence in Charge, he builds a miniature mecha with a massive drill.
  • Jerkass: There's no way around it; Benny Haha is a massive prick even at the best of time, taunting Mimi and Shobu at every opportunity.
  • Kick the Dog: He crushes Mimi's deck after she loses for no reason but to be a jackass.
  • Making a Splash: His first deck is a Water Civilization deck designed to subtly counter Shobu's.
  • Never My Fault: He claims Disproportionate Retribution over his cheating, despite the fact that he blew up half his stuff himself while trying to hit Mimi.
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