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Cafe Nagi

    Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker/Unknown 

Yusaku Fujiki

Voiced by: Shouya Ishige (Japanese), Jake Paque (English), Kana Omuro (Japanese, young)

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Click here to see Playmaker/Unknown 

A first-year high school student who doesn't like standing out and doesn't enjoy Dueling. In LINK VRAINS, he is known as Playmaker, one of the best duelists in VRAINS. He has a personal grudge against the hacker group, the Knights of Hanoi, and wishes to take them down. To this end, he captures Ignis, a mysterious AI program sought by both Hanoi and SOL Technologies. With the two knowing Playmaker has Ignis, Yusaku becomes their target to find and defeat. At the end of the series after Playmaker defeated Ai he went on a journey for 3 months leaving his comrades behind .

Yusaku uses a Cyberse deck of low-level monsters, centered around a Beatdown play style, that swarm the field to set up Link Summon combos. His ace monsters are Firewall Dragon and Cyberse Magician. He also utilizes Code Talkers such as Decode Talker in order to use their effects to adapt to the situation at hand or use them as attackers by empowering them with card effects. In Season 2 he uses Ritual, Fusion, Synchro, and Xyz Monsters in order to have an alternative way of summoning strong Monsters while at the same time still supporting his Link Monsters.

In Speed Duels his strategy is to let his opponent to damage him or use his own cards with effects that requires him to pay LP in order to drop his LP to 1000 or below it so that he can use his Skill "Storm Access" which allows him to add a Cyberse-Type Link Monster to his Extra Deck which he uses finish of his opponent. Midway in Season 2 during his third duel against Bohman, his Skill was upgraded to "'Neo' Storm Access" which is mostly the same as regular Storm Access, but also allows him to add other types of Extra Deck Cyberse-Type Monsters to his Extra Deck besides Link Monsters. Additionally if Yusaku's LP are 100 or less and he failed to acquire a card in the first attempt, he can try once more to add a Extra Deck Cyberse-Type Monster to his Extra Deck and draw one card afterwards.


  • Aloof Ally: He's only focused on his revenge and doesn't really join forces with anyone except for Kusanagi. He even pushes away potential allies as to not involve them with his revenge. He grows out of this.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Yusaku seems to have two; having Asperger's Syndrome (a high functioning form of Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and suffering from PTSD. He has No Social Skills; he is very blunt and direct and doesn't seem to realize that he comes off as rude this way; his emotions don't show on his face or body language even when he verbally states he is enjoying himself; and he has a tendency to list things in carefully ordered categories (of three), going so far as to stretch two ideas to fit three bullet points. His PTSD is less ambiguous in this case, since it's almost inevitable given his past. His Revenge Before Reason and Unstoppable Rage on the Knights of Hanoi, as well as the nightmares he is implied to have, also fall in line with this.
  • Ambiguously Absent Parent: The show never explains if Yusaku even has parents or any other family member.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Subverted; he claims to want to recover his past that had been lost to the incident, but later events show that this is more metaphorical. However, this becomes a minor plot point later on as Yusaku acknowledges that due to the fact that someone could have manipulated his memories, he could be a fake AI who took the place of the original. However, this is later proven false.
  • And the Adventure Continues: At the end of the series, Yusaku took a journey further into the VRAINS to parts unknown.
  • Anime Hair: Dark blue hair with light blue bangs and pink accents. Somehow, this isn't enough to make him stand out at school.
  • Anti-Hero: Standing out massively from other Yu-gi-oh protagonists alongside Yami Yugi from early manga, Yusaku is neither Hot-Blooded nor an All-Loving Hero, but a standoffish, serious, and distant Jerkass whose sole motivation is Revenge against the Knights of Hanoi for ruining his past. He would even go so far as to give the Knight of Hanoi a very brutal "The Reason You Suck" Speech, which is something that Kaiba archetypes would usually do.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Playmaker questions Spectre what he fights for. Spectre, however, is unfazed by the question, and shamelessly admits that he fights for Revolver's cause.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: Yusaku's strategies usually involve increasing his monsters' attack sky high to win the duel by battle damage.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Said to be a genius duelist and hacker who excels at reading people. He was able to showcase this well by solving a difficult duel puzzle when he was still Unknown, where the last one to try it failed and was devoured by a snake-like monster
  • Badass Back: His Powercode Talker pierces through Faust's Spreader Queen, not bothering to look back as the latter is destroyed.
  • Badass Baritone: Sports a deep voice.
  • Badass Boast: "Knights of Hanoi! Wherever you choose to run rampant, I'll show up! My name is Playmaker!"
    • He also said this against Spectre: "My dueling always wins!".
  • Bad Dreams: Experiences horrific Recurring Dreams of his days of imprisonment, permanently hampering his ability to fall asleep properly. After Season 1, it's unclear if he has recovered from it since the the defeat of the Knights of Hanoi and the death of Kogami.
  • Badass in Distress: Playmaker gets captured by Ghost Girl so he can be interrogated regarding Aoi/Blue Angel's comatose state.
    • In Season 2, he and Ai get captured by Lightning and Windy who wishes to overwrite the latter and then reprogram him into an obedient AI. Fortunately, he gets saved by Soulburner who saves them with Kusanagi's anti-Ignis program.
  • Beginner's Luck: Justified. He knows how to use a hoverboard and do speed duels on his first try, but he figures out right away that he must've done both of these things prior to losing his memory.
  • BFS: His "Decode Talker" wields a greatsword.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Saves Blue Angel from being erased by Cracking Dragon when the Knight of Hanoi controlling it goes on a rampage in LINK VRAINS searching for Ai.
    • While in a Data Storm during his Duel against Ghost Girl, he saves her before she could be swallowed up by the storm, and tosses her back onto her D-Board.
    • Saves the entirety of VRAINS and the world from destruction by defeating Revolver and the Knights of Hanoi.
    • Saves Shoichi when he got cornered by the Knights of Hanoi in LINK VRAINS a year prior to the series. On a later date he does it again, but this time Shoichi returned the favor after he tried to escape from them.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Lonely Brave's deluded fantasy of a Bishōnen Playmaker is complete with white sparkles.
  • Bishōnen: Played for laughs. Lonely Brave's deluded fantasy of Playmaker depicts him with exaggeratedly fancy eyelashes and a deep but gentle voice, accompanied by white sparkles. Aside from that, he is the most attractive one out of all the protagonists in the franchise.
  • Blatant Lies: Discussed, where GO claims that Playmaker never intended to scoff at him should he have lost against Genome, and only made that remark to get GO more fired up and determined to defeat Genome. Playmaker doesn't give a straight answer and suggests that whether or not he is truthful about it comes down to what GO makes of it.
  • Break the Cutie: Yusaku was an adorable child and was very happy. Fancy watching that child get tortured and starved for six months.
  • Broken Ace: Yusaku is a nearly invincible duelist who seen as near-legendary by the internet community in-universe. Due to his Dark and Troubled Past, he no longer enjoys dueling and has trouble functioning in day to day life, being driven almost entirely by his Revenge.
  • Broken Bird: In a rare male version of this trope. The Hanoi Project has made Yusaku a very bitter, broken person consumed with revenge. No matter how much he wanted to interact with others and try to have a normal life his PTSD keeps on getting worse. He sees this world as a cruel place and he believes that his life is cut short and he doesn’t need future or friends and all he is consumed is revenge. He eventually recovers and gets much better in Season 2.
  • Brutal Honesty: Playmaker doesn't mince his words when he dismissively remarks that he is disinterested in GO and Blue Angel.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Akira declines to believe that Playmaker was not responsible for planting a virus in Blue Angel; Akira instead allows his feelings to overcloud his better judgment, and physically torments Playmaker until he gives in and confesses. It isn't until Revolver appears and confesses that the Knights of Hanoi were responsible for the act that Akira releases Playmaker, after he is coaxed into doing so, so that Playmaker and Revolver can Duel, with Blue Angel's life at stake.
    • Upon his next encounter with GO after Earth was terminated, Playmaker tries to warn him of Bohman's faction and the threat they pose to humanity. GO brushes him off, however, and is solely fixated on the idea of defeating Playmaker all so he can reclaim his glory as the top Duelist of LINK VRAINS.
  • Cast From Hit Points: Several of his cards involve LP costs in some form, which works for him since it allows him to use Storm Access in Speed Duels.
  • Catch Phrase: Some variation of "three reasons" when analyzing situations or reading people.
    • Just like Atem, he loves to use "Sore wa dou ka na?" or "Is that so?" when his enemies think they're winning.
    • Hilariously, fans think that "Be quiet, Ai" is his real catchphrase.
  • Celibate Hero: Never shows interest in any woman. Kusanagi and Ai even tease him for it, and later when Ai says its possible, he shuts it down quickly.
  • The Comically Serious: When Kusanagi and Ai tease him for his poor social skills with women, he doesn't react in anger or embarrassment and maintains a deadpan expression as usual. He is frequently this when it comes to dealing with Ai's antics and he will always remain deadpan no matter what happens to him.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character:
    • To Yuya. Their attitude, deck themes, and appearances are opposites to each other: While Yuya is an entertainer and an All-Loving Hero who enjoys the limelight, Yusaku is an expert hacker and a Jerkass Anti-Hero who would rather sit on the sidelines. Yuya believes Dueling should be fun to both himself and everyone watching and never a war tool, while Yusaku doesn't enjoy it and uses it as a tool for his Revenge. Yuya uses a deck full of clowns, circus animals, dragons, and classic magicians, while Yusaku's deck is themed after VR beings, with the added difference of Yuya using a specific archetype with a large number of monster types while Yusaku uses various Cyberse-type monsters that don't share an archetype. And finally, Yuya has a bright and colorful appearance, while Yusaku appears to be more bleak and realistic.
    • He's also this to all the previous main characters because he has no personal interest in Dueling and only uses Duel Monsters as weapons to eliminate any enemy. While the previous main characters would never think of turning down a challenge due to their honor as Duelists, Yusaku only accepts if it will achieve his goals and isn't concerned if his reputation suffers for backing down.
    • Something else that differs him from not only Yuya, but also Yuma (the three of them can even be considered the next trio of protagonists after the first three series) is the amount of dueling skills and power they possess. Yuma and Yuya tend to lose many duels in their series, because of the lack of skill they had from the start, but while they both became stronger, they still couldn't truly be called "the strongest" until the end of their series. Yusaku on the other hand is an insanely powerful and skilled duelist who never lost a duel in the series proper, save for flashbacks as a kid.
  • Convenient Color Change: It's something really easy to miss upon initial viewings, but whenever Playmaker duels and performs an extra deck summoning or activates his skill, his suit tends to glow different colors to match the action he's taking.
    • Normally/Link Summoning: Standard Yellow
    • Storm Access: His suit glows a yellowish orange color.
    • Ritual Summoning: His suit glows blue.
    • Fusion Summoning: His suit glows a light shade of purple.
    • Synchro Summoning: His suit glows a light shade of green.
    • XYZ Summoning: His suit glows a darker shade of purple color or indigo.
  • The Cracker: He's a talented hacker who was able to trap Ai oh his duel disk. Also an expert at cracking security using his innate superb hacker skills, though he probably is the least villainous version of the trope as he only uses this to find information on the Knights of Hanoi.
  • Cradling Your Kill: After fatally defeating Ai, he cradles him in his arms and cries over him as Ai fades away.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Playmaker wipes out all of Kenmochi's LP in a single turn with the Effects of "Pentestag" and "Cyberse Annihilation", all without letting his own LP deplete once. He also defeats Yoroizaka in a single turn without letting his own LP deplete once, by clearing the latter's Field of Monsters with "Firewall Dragon's" Effect and attacking directly with both "Dual Assembwurm" and "Firewall Dragon".
  • Cyberpunk: Yusaku uses the Cyberse archetype, which all fit this theme.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He and five other children were kidnapped by the perpetrators of the Hanoi Project and kept isolated in almost empty rooms, one child in each. The only thing there was in the rooms were the VR equipment used to duel against difficult opponents. Defeat wasn't an option. First, they'd be punished for their loss with electroshock, then they'd be deprived of food, all while in isolation, for half a year. While he tried therapy after escaping, it didn't help, continuing to have recurring night terrors as well as seemingly developing an inability to sleep on his own.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Downplayed; Playmaker dons a bodysuit with dark colours, and personality-wise, he is at worst anti-heroic. He is also the Origin of the Dark Ignis, Ai, who is his partner. Also a lot of his signature monsters are Dark and they are still on the heroic side.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Doesn't say much besides snark when he responds to the AI in Naoki's Duel Disk. The dub takes this Up to Eleven in general, rather than having him simply be cold to Ai.
    AI in Naoki's Duel Disk: Hello there.
    Yusaku: Yeah, hi.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: In a Speed Duel, his strategy is to allow his LP to deplete to 1000 or lower so that he can meet the prerequisite for activating Storm Access.
    • In his second Speed Duel against Revolver. Playmaker risks his life by activating Storm Access, sustaining injuries and a severed hand in the process. Had it not been for Ai saving him, Playmaker would potentially be dead by now.
    • Playmaker gets a chance to block the attack-boosting power of one of GO's monsters and chooses one that contributes a lower boost, so that he can get down to 100 LP and use his Skill.
    • Ghost Girl defies this twice:
      • When a replay occurs in which Playmaker (who boasted 1900 LP at the time) Summons "Lockout Gardna" as Ghost Girl attempts to attack him directly with "Altergeist Primebanshee", she does not continue her attack.
      • Playmaker pays 1000 LP by "Balancer Lord's" effect so he can again meet Storm Access's activation prerequisite, only for Ghost Girl to activate her Secret Cure Skill to restore his LP back to over 1000. Playmaker quickly gets around this by paying 1000 LP once again (this time by "Scan Doll's" effect) to meet the said prerequisite, and activates Storm Access without issue.
    • In his Duel against one of SOL's AI prototypes, he halves his LP with "Cynet Defrag's" effect, then pays a further 1000 LP by "Flick Clown's" effect, bringing his LP down to exactly 1000.
    • Blood Shepherd also defies this in their Duel by forcing Playmaker to gain 1000 LP after "Cyberse Witch" and "Medicdrone Dock's" Battle and prevent him from meeting the prerequisite for activating Storm Access. Playmaker, however, quickly gets around this by halving his LP with "Dimension Link".
  • Determinator: Yusaku isn't the type to give up easily, or at all.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Other than Kusanagi, Yusaku doesn’t want other people to help him or sympathize with him because he doesn’t want others to get involved in his fight against Hanoi and out of concern would prefer to keep everyone safe.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Even though Yusaku risked everything to defeat Revolver to stop the Tower of Hanoi, prevented countless lives from being lost, rescued those that have been lost, the world from falling into anarchy without technology, and much more, in Season 2 Yusaku is hunted down by people who should've been grateful he managed to beat all odds and save them at all. Averted in season 3, where SOL cancels the bounty after Yusaku's defeat of Bohman.
  • Electric Torture: Back when he was in confinement, he would be electrocuted every time he lost a Duel in the VR space and be denied food.
  • Emotionless Boy: Downplayed of The Stoic type. Yusaku does have emotions but he just doesn’t want to express them unless he is provoked.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: In-universe and lampshaded by Revolver, after Playmaker beats a Knight of Hanoi.
    Revolver: Playmaker, to think he'd be such a dark horse.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Yusaku's first appearance is when he's woken up by Naoki at the end of their class. In quick succession Naoki shows off his Duel Disk, quips that Yusaku's older model must mean he isn't a very good duelist, discusses LINK VRAINS, and asks Yusaku if he wants help improving his Dueling skills. Yusaku (who doesn't even know Naoki's name despite being in the same class for a month) replies by means of a Sherlock Scan to explain that he's already determined that Naoki isn't a good duelist, but is a good guy and also passionate about the game in spite of skill level. This works to quickly establish Yusaku as an intellectual and analytical thinker.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: His Playmaker persona as Naoki's deluded fantasies can attest. Naoki even calls himself Playmaker's soulmate.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Despite his undying vendetta towards the Knights of Hanoi, he is unwilling to sacrifice uninvolved parties, as demonstrated when Spectre reveals an imprisoned Akira in front of him, who increasingly risks being infected by the prison's virus as Spectre takes damage.
  • Experienced Protagonist: He was already active as Unknown and later, Playmaker for years before the series began.
  • Expy: Yusaku's Firewall Dragon is this to the previous main characters' ace monsters. A monster with 2500 ATK who has very strong utility. It also lacks a level like Number 39: Utopia, who is a Rank 4 Xyz monster similar to how Firewall Dragon is a LINK-4 Link monster.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • Despite being so skilled to the point of overpowering Revolver in their first Master Duel, Yusaku has severe Revenge Before Reason and Unstoppable Rage issues.
    • His sense of justice tends to hinder him too, especially when someone else is caught in his path to revenge. When Akira is captured while Yusaku is fighting Spectre, Spectre states that any damage to him makes the cage Akira is in more dangerous as touching the cage would implant a virus. Thus Yusaku refrains from damaging Spectre.
  • The Fettered: Inverted. Yusaku will do whatever it takes to get Revenge on the Knights of Hanoi but at the same time, he's against getting others involved in it, and refuses to act if an innocent party is dragged into it and held hostage. A number of opponents claim that his hesitation to act during such situations are a major fault of his which will contribute to his downfall. To wit:
    • Playmaker can do little but to stall Spectre's assault while Akira is held hostage in a virus-infested vine prison. Had Akira not voluntarily sacrificed himself, Playmaker would've held back completely for the rest of the Duel, preventing him from defeating his opponent.
    • Playmaker's aversion to making a move against a major ally of his (i.e. Kusanagi) puts him at a disadvantage, and Kusanagi claims that Playmaker's hesitation will ultimately become his own undoing. Kusanagi mercilessly going all-out on his opponent doesn't help matters either.
  • Fighting the Lancer: Towards the end of the second season, he ends up fighting Kusanagi of all people because Lightning blackmailed him into fighting Playmaker in order to save his brother.
  • Frame-Up: Playmaker becomes a wanted man in NEW LINK VRAINS since its opening thanks to SOL Technologies, who has ordered a team of bounty hunters to go after him and acquire the Ignis in his possession.
  • Friendless Background: His experience in the Lost Incident traumatized him so much that he received treatment for years, becoming preoccupied with revenge that he had a hard time trusting and interacting with people aside from Kusanagi who has the same motivations. Once he was able to defeat Revolver and let go of his revenge, he was able to interact with others as shown when Soulburner joined the group.
  • Friendship Denial: It's clear that he does care about Ai a lot but many times Yusaku denied that he's friends with Ai, saying that he's only useful as a hostage despite how many times Ai saved him. He even refers to Kusanagi as his acquaintance a few times.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Originally just some random kidnapping victim, who's since then become one of the biggest threats to Hanoi and possibly to SOL Technologies.
  • The Gadfly: Claims that he appeared during Dark Onizuka and Genome's Duel so that he can scoff at the former when he loses, to Dark Onizuka's irritation.
  • Golden Super Mode: As Playmaker, Yusaku's hair changes color, with the dark blue part becoming magenta, the bright blue part becoming a yellowish gold, and the bright pink parts becoming hot pink.
  • Good Is Not Nice: To unbelievable degrees. He's a hacker, a No-Nonsense Nemesis, and a cold-hearted Anti-Hero who wants to make the Knights of Hanoi pay the price for their involvement in the "past incident".
  • Good Old Ways: Downplayed, but he uses an older modeled Duel Disk which requires physical cards, as opposed to Duel Disks which can utilize cards in data format. This is also a nod to some hackers in real life who have avoided detection by using outdated tech that is sometimes well over a decade old.
  • Heal Thyself: When a Link Monster co-linked to his Binary Sorceress battles an opponent's Monster and inflicts battle damage to them, he gains LP equal to the amount of damage inflicted.
  • Heroic Second Wind: As revealed in his second Speed Duel against GO, Playmaker is able to activate Neo Storm Access a second time if his LP drops to 100 and fails to acquire a card with said Skill the first time it was activated. In addition to giving him a second chance to acquire a random Cyberse Extra Deck card from the Data Storm, he also gets to draw a card.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Yusaku may be cold-hearted most of the time but he does have a nice and compassionate side to his personality as well and he may be an Anti-Hero but he is not a bad person.
  • The Hero: Of VRAINS. Not that he wants the title though, but is pretty much considered this by everyone.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Multiple instances of subversions of this trope, which would've otherwise lead Playmaker to his loss:
    • In his Duel against a Knight of Hanoi, Playmaker's Summoning of "Stack Reviver" while "Cracking Dragon" is present on the Knight of Hanoi's Field only costed him 100 LP since his Monster boasted an original ATK of less than 400 (Playmaker had exactly 400 LP left at the time he Summoned it).
    • Revolver attempts to finish off Playmaker with the latter's "Firewall Dragon" while it was in the former's possession, only for Playmaker to activate "Cynet Refresh" to destroy all cards in both players' Main Monster Zones before the attack could go through.
    • Playmaker attempting to finish the battle fast in #44 backfired on him as Revolver uses the continuous trap "Link Turret", giving Revolver the means to summon "Borreload Dragon" easily the next turn and getting Playmaker on the defensive.
    • Playmaker Summoning "Secure Gardna" to the Main Monster Zone that the upper Link Arrow of Akira's "Acute Cerberus" pointed to costs him the Duel by the effect of "Gergonne's End"... except "Secure Gardna's" effect negates all effect damage its controller takes on the same turn it's Special Summoned.
    • Playmaker's final summoning of "Cyberse Clock Dragon" is probably the worst instance of this trope, as said summoning prompts Ai to activate a trap card that allows him to eventually summon all six of the @ignister boss monsters into the field followed by a one turn kill attempt by Ai attacking Cyberse Clock Dragon with Fire Phoenix combined with Judgment Arrows to activate its effect to inflict burn damage equal to the current attack of Fire Phoenix. As with every instances of this trope, Playmaker manage to partially turn it around with "Overfloater" negating the effect of attacking monster, and every monster on Ai's field with less or equal attack than the original attack of the target. The attacking Fire Phoenix now have to ram against Cyberse Clock Dragon with an attack of 7500. If not for the effect of Judgment Arrows, the duel will end right there.
  • Hope Bringer: Shoichi outright calls Playmaker everyone's hope which is why he can't lose even if he has to fight against Shoichi himself.
  • Human Sacrifice: Subverted. While Revolver forced a DRAW in his second Speed Duel against Playmaker, neither of them are absorbed by the Tower of Hanoi, and are forced out of LINK VRAINS due to a Data Storm shockwave.
  • Ill Boy: Downplayed but he has severe PTSD. His methods of eating are unhealthy and he frequently looks tired and collapses after logging out of LINK VRAINS.
  • Instant Awesome: Just Add Dragons!: One of his Link Monsters is "Firewall Dragon", but it is a Cyberse-Type instead of Dragon-Type. He also has several other dragon-like monsters which include Cyberse Clock Dragon, Cyberse Quantum Dragon and Firewall Xceed Dragon.
  • Invincible Hero: Playmaker never suffers a true defeat throughout the entire series, with only Revolver and Bohman managing to fight him to a draw. It says a lot that two of his hardest opponents (Bohman and Ai) were AIs based off of him.
  • Irony:
    • He doesn't want to stand out, but his account name is "Playmaker" and becomes well-known in the Network World for dealing with the threat the Knights of Hanoi poses. Justified; he only cares about not standing out at school and in real life, since as a hacker he could get in a lot of trouble if anyone connected his online persona to his real identity.
    • Despite his solo tendencies, a lot of his best Link Monsters benefit from being linked to others.
    • To follow up with the above, he has made it a point that he wants others to stay away from his battles. However, as VRAINS as a whole is typically under attack, he ends up collaborating with Go and Blue Angel on several occasions.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Yusaku (initially) avoids making friends because he knows his enemies don't mess around and doesn't want anybody getting hurt.
  • I Work Alone: Prefers to keep everyone else out of his battle against the Knights of Hanoi, describing it as a life-or-death situation. He slowly grows out of it by Season 2 and is now more open minded to working with others, best seen by how he openly welcomed Soulburner and Blue Maiden as allies in the fight against the rebel Ignis, and he also offered Go to team up with him to defeat Lightning.
  • Jade-Colored Glasses: When he was younger, Yusaku used to be much happier and loved dueling. However, after the incident, Yusaku had trouble living day to day life and is still recovering from the lingering effects of trauma since then. He became jaded and cynical, becoming consumed with revenge for the one who did this to him and the five other children.
  • Jerkass: He's not really the condescending kind, but the trauma that he suffered from the Hanoi Project left him with a lot of mental scars, which greatly results in his aloof and cold-hearted behavior.
  • Jerkass to One: While he's not really friendly to anyone except Kusanagi, he's a real jerk to Ai early on, telling him to shut up all the time and even leaving him at home since Ai annoys him a lot. It took until his final fight with Revolver in order for him to soften up to Ai.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While Yusaku may be a cold-hearted Jerkass, he does have a number of noble and heroic moments.
    • Immediately after he tells Naoki how his analysis defines him as a weak Duelist, he also tells him how that defined him as a good person. Naoki is not pleased with him either way. He also later admits that Akira is a good person and trusts him enough to give information about the rebelling Ignis declaring war on humanity in case he himself would fall.
    • He admits he doesn't hate or dislike anyone other than the Knights of Hanoi. This seems to be due to how people around him don't seem to be bad people and he was taken care by numerous others after his dark and traumatic childhood incident.
    • He describes the battle against the Knights of Hanoi as a life-or-death situation, and out of concern would prefer to keep GO and everyone else from getting involved rather than recruit allies. When the Knights of Hanoi start attacking random duelists and turning them into Anothers, Yusaku decides to enter LINK VRAINS and confront them, despite it being safer to stay away.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • What Go thinks of him showing up and "snatching" the spotlight (even if it's unintentional). In Playmaker's defense though, he didn't ask for fame in the first place. Played straight with initial his poor treatment of Ai, though.
    • Akira attempts to convince Yusaku to reconsider his Revenge Before Reason attitude. While Yusaku doesn't care, he advises Akira and Aoi against getting further involved in his personal war against the Knights of Hanoi out of concern for their future, so this is both zig-zagged and justified.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Lightning beats up an unconscious Playmaker, coaxing him into regaining his consciousness and fighting back.
  • Kid Detective: Yusaku is described as "a hacker who has the sort of sharp mind that can solve mysteries". Best shown in the Another incident when he manages to find the leads he needed to track down one of the Three Lieutenants of Hanoi.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: He is forced to defeat Kusanagi due to Lightning's threats against Jin, breaking down in tears when the Duel is over.
    • In the finale, he is forced to defeat Ai as per Ai's own schemes, leaving him weeping over Ai's dying body cradled in his arms.
  • Leitmotif: "Playmaker".
  • Light Is Good: His "Firewall Dragon" is a LIGHT Monster.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Apart from his digital avatar, he's only seen wearing his school uniform, possibly because he can't afford any other clothes.
  • The Magic Poker Equation: His Skill, Storm Access, allows him to randomly add a card found in a Data Storm to his deck. Naturally, the first time he uses it he gains Decode Talker, which is perfectly suited to winning him the duel. That said, Ignis did create the storm Decode Talker was in and kept trying to get Yusaku go into it, so possibly downplayed.
  • Magnetic Hero: As Playmaker, he has been praised by the Charisma Duelists for his skill and talent and was able to get a draw a lot of attention to his fights. Not that he cares, but that doesn't stop him people from rallying to his cause.
  • Meaningful Name: Yusaku's surname, Fujiki, is Japanese for "wisteria tree". Meanwhile, his first name is written by combining the kanji for "Play" and "Make".
    • Interestingly, his online alias "Playmaker" is this. A playmaker in sports means someone with the preternatural ability to influence the outcome of a game by making incredible plays. Like how he was making a name for himself in Link VRAINS
  • Me's a Crowd: Not intentionally but Playmaker has several impersonators who have the same avatar as him but none of the impostors do a good job impersonating Playmaker except for Go, but he was found out quickly. Later during Spectre and Blue Angel's Duel, a boy posing as Playmaker confronts Frog and Pigeon, mistaking the pair for Knights of Hanoi, and attempts to engage them in a Duel.
  • Morality Chain: Implied to be one for Ai in Season 3, as Ai explains he's afraid of turning into another Lightning or Bohman after he can't stop the changes in his system and once Yusaku dies.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He has a deep voice, doesn't look half-bad and his Playmaker persona wears a skin-tight bodysuit.
  • Multicolored Hair: He has dark blue hair, complete with light blue bangs and traces of pink. His online persona turns the dark blue and light blue to orange and yellow respectively.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Has the power to "sense" things, which enables him to detect false appearances and decrypt data.
  • Mysterious Past: Compared to the other survivors of the Lost Incident, very little is known about Yusaku's life prior to his kidnapping. It's unknown if he has any family, what his personality was like outside of being more cheerful, and he doesn't talk about his life before due to being hyper-focused on getting revenge on the Knights of Hanoi, and later, fighting Bohman's group. The only thing known is that shortly before he was kidnapped, he ran into a young Ryoken Kogami, the implication being this is what made him a target for kidnapping.
  • Mysterious Protector: His role as Playmaker. He doesn't even bother revealing his secret identity to others.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: After saving the world, his reward is being a wanted fugitive.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: He's not Dueling for fun, but for Revenge and likes to finish duels quickly.
  • No Social Skills: Kinda. His idea of getting close to Aoi is stalking her around the school. Fortunately, he's getting better once Takeru comes into the story.
  • Nothing Personal: Bears no malicious intent towards Akira and doesn't hold it against him for being dismissive of revenge, but will take him down in a Duel regardless if he gets in the way of Playmaker's desire for revenge.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • He gets agitated when Ignis reads off the inflammatory internet comments about Playmaker not accepting Blue Angel's challenge. Ignis teases that contrary to his attitude, Yusaku does care what other people think of him.
    • Playmaker loses his cool and snaps at Akira in a rage after the latter claims that he understands what it's like to lose a loved one.
    • He hesitates when he's facing against Kusanagi, even crying and fainting after the latter turned to data.
    • Come Season 3, when faced with opposing his former Ignis partner and friend Ai, Yusaku is quite at odds with what to do.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: In real life, he acts like a lazy slacker who has no idea about dueling. Online as Playmaker he's a focused and strategic top duelist. He even carries around a decoy deck with him so anyone that looks at his cards will think he's an amateur.
  • Online Alias: Playmaker. Prior to his initial meeting with Kusanagi, Yusaku went by the alias Unknown.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • Ai becomes unnerved when Yusaku smiles and even laughs in his fight against Revolver.
    • You know something's wrong when he breaks down in tears for the first time after Kusanagi is terminated upon losing to Playmaker.
  • Ordinary Highschool Student: Acts as one, but has been working as the Playmaker for a while.
  • Our Demons Are Different: Though the Archfiend archetype usually consists of Fiend-Types, Yusaku's Vector Square Archfiend is instead a Cyberse-Type.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: While it bears the appearance of a dragon and contains "dragon" in its name, Yusaku's Firewall Dragon is a Cyberse-Type instead. Same applies to his other dragon-like monsters which include Cyberse Clock Dragon, Cyberse Quantum Dragon and Firewall Xceed Dragon.
  • Overworked Sleep: Has a tendency to doze off to sleep after returning from a hard-fought Duel in LINK VRAINS.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Hardly seen with a non-serious facial expression. He does smile as he turns to face the rising sun at the end of ED1, though.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Spends his time in Episode #8 attempting to help Aoi/Blue Angel, from taking her to the hospital when he finds her comatose body to willingly walking into a trap to find the computer program that could cure her.
    • After Revolver and Playmaker's second Master Duel wraps up, Yusaku frees Ai from captivity, allowing him to freely return home back to the Cyberse World.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Although heroic, not very much of an idealist and willing to do shady and illegal acts such as infiltrating and stealing SOL's company data.
  • Price on Their Head: Since the opening of NEW LINK VRAINS, Playmaker is a wanted target with a bounty on his head worth ₽500,000, targeted by bounty hunters under the orders of SOL Technologies. Following the events of the Ignis Warfare, however, he is taken off SOL Technologies' hit list.
  • Punny Name: Yusaku’s name is made up of the kanji for “play” and “make”. Put them together and you get...?
  • Rage Breaking Point: He and Kusanagi snap at Akira, who claims that he understands what it's like to lose a loved one.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Playmaker dismisses the Knight of Hanoi he beats up in #2, in that the latter has no right to call himself a Duelist.
    Playmaker: You don't deserve to be called a "Duelist"!
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • The quiet and emotionless blue oni to Ai's bombastic red.
    • Playmaker's stoicism and no-nonsense front contrasts Soulburner's Hot-Bloodedness.
  • Rei Ayanami Expy: Dark and troubled past? Check. Unusually colored hair (blue with magenta highlights)? Check. Very stoic and comes off as emotionless? Check.
  • Relative Button: If you value your dignity, never, ever tell him to let go of his past hurts (which scarred him and Kusanagi's little brother) and live his present life in happiness. Akira learns this the hard way.
  • Revenge: Vows to avenge his and Kusanagi's little brother's past by getting back at those responsible for the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Akira attempts to convince Playmaker to abandon the idea of revenge, let go of his past hurts, enjoy his present life in happiness, and allow the former to responsibly bring closure to the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project. Naturally, Playmaker refuses to relent. Later, as pointed out by Spectre, the trope is actually subverted, despite his desire for revenge, he doesn't have the heart to be cruel and let people suffer for his revenge.
  • Robosexual: He is heavily implied to reciprocate Ai's love for him.
  • Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: Kusanagi is much friendlier than him, though Yusaku does become more considerate by the end of the series. It helps that Kusanagi is the only person Yusaku is unfailingly polite to from the beginning.
  • Rule of Three:
    • Has a habit of listing three things about a given situation or person.
    • His Three-Strike Barrier requires that his opponent controls exactly three cards as a prerequisite to activate.
    • His deck houses the Code Talker archetype who are all LINK-3 Link Monsters.
    • His Powercode Talker requires exactly three Monsters as Link Summoning Material.
    • His Cyberse Quantum Dragon is a Synchro monster, the third type of older summoning methods reintroduced in Season 2. It is also his third extra deck monster that is a dragon.
    • Both his given name and surname have three syllables (Yu-sa-ku Fu-ji-ki).
  • Say My Name: Yells out Kusanagi's name in episode 93 and then Ai's name in episode 101.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Go and Blue Angel attempt to confront Playmaker in a Duel after he defeats a Knight of Hanoi, but dismissively remarks that he has no interest in either of them, and proceeds to log out of LINK VRAINS.
    • Playmaker attempts to bolt when he finds out that the Knight of Hanoi he's chasing is really GO in disguise. Unlike last time however, GO gets the cooperation of SOL Technologies Inc. and prepares a trap that prevents Playmaker from logging out unless he defeats GO in a Duel.
    • He tried to escape from the Knights of Hanoi after learning they know nothing of the Lost Incident, but he almost failed if it wasn't for Shoichi's interference.
  • Serious Business: He treats Dueling as a means of hunting down the Knights of Hanoi.
  • Sherlock Scan: In his Establishing Character Moment, he deduces Naoki's personality and skill level in dueling just by listening to him talk about duel disks and VRAINS. This carries over into his duels, where he's very good at analyzing the field and makes moves that seem poor to onlookers, but serve a greater strategy Yusaku is working towards.
  • Ship Tease: He has some with Aoi/Skye in the dub where he tries to brush of saving her as nothing special... and then immediately stammers that he didn't mean she wasn't special.
  • Shrinking Violet: Subverted; he actually doesn't want to expose the fact that he is a hacker.
    • Played a little straight in #6, where he has no idea how to approach Aoi, and gets nervous before entering the Duel Club room.
  • Signature Move: While Yusaku's strategy tend to be varied involving long chain of Link summon, it was the summoning of Cyberse Clock Dragon that is quite possibly Yusaku's most iconic move. After its first appearance, Cyberse Clock Dragon is frequently used by Yusaku to outright win the duel, or force the opponent to bring out their biggest gun. It made an appearance in almost every major duel in the series since its appearance, and manage to bring results in all of them. This move is so iconic to Yusaku that Ai manage to take advantage of it since he knew that Yusaku will summon Cyberse Clock Dragon with extremely high attack power.
  • The Stoic: Prefers to distance himself from others due to his Playmaker business.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: He may be ruthless, aloof and cold most of the time but he does have good heart deep down.
  • Survival Mantra: Since his time in captivity during the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project, the "three reasons/things" mantra taught to him by Revolver is what motivated him to move forward.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: He has dark hair, is very handsome and displays a stoic and aloof attitude most of the time.
  • Teen Genius: Said to be an incredibly smart person, good at reading people, and quick-witted.
  • Theme Naming: As per series tradition, Yusaku's name has the kanji 遊. Unlike the previous main characters, however, his name has three syllables as opposed to two.
  • This Cannot Be!: Playmaker is initially shocked over Bohman's claim that not only was he one of the victims of the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project, but he is also the real Yusaku... only to later be shot down by Playmaker on the grounds that Bohman was imprinted with fake memories.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Starting from his third Duel with Bohman, Playmaker's Skill is upgraded to Neo Storm Access, which allows him to acquire any Cyberse Extra Deck Monster, not just a Cyberse Link Monster.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In Season 2 Yusaku becomes warmer and less cold-hearted, also starting to treat Ai more as a partner and less as a hostage, and slowly grows out of his I Work Alone attitude.
  • Tron Lines: Playmaker's bodysuit sports golden trimmings, which glow light blue when Ritual Summoning, light purple when Fusion Summoning, light green when Synchro Summoning, and dark purple when Xyz Summoning.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Highlighting his aloofness. The sharpness of his eyes also highlights his determination for revenge against those involved in the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project.
  • The Unchosen One: Zigzagged. Yusaku is neither The Chosen One (Yugi, Judai, Yusei, Yuma) nor an Apocalypse Maiden (Yuya); he has no special destiny or powers that make him The Hero. He just happens to be a normal civilian smart enough to swipe Ignis from the internet before his enemies can. On the other hand, a later reveal shows that the Ignis that Yusaku captured was actually created based on Yusaku himself due to the Lost Incident and shares a special connection to him as a result. And much later it's revealed Ai secretly manipulated Yusaku into fighting the Hanoi and using the Cyberverse deck. Of course, Yusaku knew none of this at the time but capturing Ai gave him the capability to take on the Knights of Hanoi.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Towards the Knights of Hanoi for ruining his childhood, specifically in regards to the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: He used to be a cheerful kid who enjoys playing Duel Monsters before the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project.
  • Vigilante Man: Hunts down the Knights of Hanoi and is branded a dark horse by the Charisma Duelists, but SOL Technologies Inc. sees him as a hacker. He also trusts only himself to uncover the truth about the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Exploited by Spectre, who has taken Akira hostage within a prison of vines with viruses installed in them and points out that Playmaker's unwillingness to sacrifice others to put an end to Hanoi's ambitions is a flaw of his that will ultimately lead to his downfall.
  • Vocal Evolution: His voice was higher pitched at the start then gradually became deeper after a few episodes. Curiously, he returns to his higher-pitched voice in the flashbacks as "Unknown".
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • Before he got his Cyberse deck, he's dueling the Knights of Hanoi and doing One-Turn Kills easily using only a starter deck.
    • His Cyberse Deck is also this. His playstyle is usually swarming the field with low leveled monsters in order to summon and powering up his Code Talker monsters to win the duel.
  • When He Smiles: During his second Master Duel against Revolver. In spite of the face of adversity, he's in after being overwhelmed by Revolver's Extra Linked Monsters, Playmaker manages to smile, to Ai's surprise.
  • World's Best Warrior: The best duelist in LINK VRAINS and is undefeated the entire time.
  • You Are Too Late:
    • Fails to stop Makoto from being forcefully dragged into LINK VRAINS (and subsequently being turned into an Another victim).
    • Playmaker is powerless to do anything to prevent Ghost Girl from being purged and the Tower of Hanoi's activation.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Has literal blue hair with some pink shades in it.
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    Ai 

Ai

Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese), Michael Liscio Jr.(English)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ep12_ai_gets_his_body_back.png

A mysterious AI program, sought after by the Knights of Hanoi and SOL Technologies Inc., that Yusaku captures. Belongs to an AI species with free will, known as the Ignis, and is based on the DARK Attribute.


  • Affectionate Nickname: Sometimes calls Yusaku "Yusaku-Chan". He also calls him "Playmaker-Sama" when both are in Link VRAINS, it started from a sarcastic title to an affectionate nickname as they trusted each other better.
  • Amnesiac Hero: Before he could escape, a Cracking Dragon devoured most of his body, leaving his memories heavily fragmented or outright gone. As of episode #41, this is subverted; Revolver reveals that in the fragments of data the Knights of Hanoi collected after tearing Ai apart, none of them contained his memories. Therefore, Ai had them all along and was lying to Yusaku about having no memories.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Belongs to a species of AIs with free will known as the Ignis, created by Kogami.
  • The Atoner: In episode #42, seeing Playmaker continuously fail to perform Storm Access and even getting a forearm ripped off, Ai stepped in and transformed into a larger version of himself to prevent Playmaker from falling. Ai then proceeded to sacrifice a part of himself to repair Playmaker's arm and shield him from the flying debris. He really could have been erased. Even if he could have been erased either by Playmaker losing or being destroyed by the debris and had the slightest chance of surviving by saving Playmaker, he still saved Playmaker from certain death while risking his own life. Ai may have been willing to sacrifice himself because he wanted to make it up to Playmaker for lying about losing his memories.
    Ai: "Shut up! This is how I repent!"
  • Attention Whore: When he gets his body back and shows off. Yusaku and Kusanagi couldn't care less.
  • Back from the Dead: In episode 101 he sacrificed himself to stop Bohman's Neuron Link. He comes back almost immediately in the next episode, where it's revealed that he hid a copy of his program inside Roboppi.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": In spades. It's not at all surprising to see Ai dramatically panic about Playmaker being backed into a corner to lull their adversary into a false sense of security only for said opponent or even Playmaker himself to tell him he isn't fooling anyone with his act and they can see right through him.
  • Beware the Silly Ones:
    • After a Knight of Hanoi is about to blow himself up, Ai transforms into an Eldritch Abomination... and devours him.
    • Later, when Revolver loses against Playmaker in their master duel, he does so again and tears his arm off.
    • In the duel with Faust, it was heavily implied Ai intentionally put Naoki in danger as an excuse to make Yusaku eliminate Faust. When Faust loses the duel he laments that Ai will bring about the downfall of humanity; this coupled with his actions in the episode heavily implies Ai might be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Butt-Monkey: You can't help feeling sorry for the poor thing after everything that happens to it. And that is after just one episode.
    • In #12 he finally gets some of his Data back so he can reform his original body!... But he's only big enough to be held like a doll and doesn't impress anyone, he didn't even get any of his memories back.
  • Captain Obvious: Often has a tendency to point out whatever happens in a Duel.
  • Cassandra Truth: Playmaker initially refuses to believe that a Knight of Hanoi has once again invaded LINK VRAINS, until Ai reveals that Blue Angel fell under the influence of Hanoi.
  • Casting a Shadow: All of the six Ignis are based on each of the Attributes of the card game (except DIVINE); Ai is based on DARK.
  • Catch Phrase: Exclaims "Take hold of the wind, Playmaker!", usually every time he utilizes Storm Access.
  • Chew Toy: Literally! Barely escaped after being followed and almost devoured by a Cracking Dragon.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: In a Call-Back to Playmaker's first fight with the Knight of Hanoi, Ai prays for a miracle just after being forced to a corner by Revolver. Luckily for them, it's the exact card they need to break out a combo to win.
    Playmaker: "I thought AIs don't pray."
    Ai: "I'll pray this time."
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: To Dark Yugi, Yubel and Astral. Unlike any of them, he is much goofier and amiable. Also, his purpose is immediately made clear upon his introduction, unlike his more mysterious predecessors. His relationship with Yusaku also differs from the others, as Yusaku is aware of him but doesn't respect him and sees him as an annoyance. Also, the above three were invisible to everyone but the protagonist and a select few. Astral could only be seen by Yuma initially, with the others being able to see him due to special circumstances, Dark Yugi was only visible while in Yugi's body, and Yubel could only be seen by Jaden after they fused together. Ai is visible to anyone on and off LINK VRAINS, and has to take steps to hide in the real world so a Knight of Hanoi or SOL Technologies wouldn't see him with Yusaku. Another thing that differentiates Ai from them is that he doesn't advise Yusaku during a duel and tends to panic or be confused by the plays made instead. All Ai can do is give Yusaku Storm Access so that he can get the cards he needs to win or say what the card's effect are like normal AI. It's even implied he causes more trouble for him in a duel, because of his Bad "Bad Acting" and the one time he did give advice to him, he made the situation unintentionally worse, because not only did the OTK fail, but Bohman's LP are below 1000 which means he can use Storm Access. Come Season 3, in reverse of his counterparts, he then becomes an antagonist, and although he resembles a Long-Haired Pretty Boy version of Yuto, he is still melodramatic with overly long summoning chants.
  • Comic Relief: Of ALL the characters in this show, he has the least serious personality.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Despite dismissing the idea of prayer, is obviously hated by the Universe.
  • Cry Cute: A comical variant, where it tears up over being given an Embarrassing Nickname.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He is the Ignis who represents the DARK Attribute, but he's also a complete goofball who's much more amicable than his partner.
  • Deadpan Snarker: After witnessing Prototype Ai-A's cards' hand destruction effects, Ai snidely claims that Playmaker is terrible at old maid.
  • Disney Death: No less than three times.
    • First he appeared to die due to the effects of Revolver's "Fire Prison" card, only to be restored after Yusaku destroyed it.
    • Later, it looked like he pulled a Heroic Sacrifice during Playmaker's third duel against Revolver, only to reveal he survived a short time later.
    • Then he actually sacrifices himself to destroy Bohman's Neuron Link, only to come back due to a backup of himself inside of Roboppy.
    • Even his final death winds up being this, and Ai himself doesn't quite seem to know how.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Is given the name Ai by Yusaku because he's an AI, and because when they meet his entire body is an eye.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: To his dismay, Yusaku and Kusanagi don't bat an eye when Ai regains and reveals his true form.
  • Dumb Is Good: He can't do simple math, is treated as a pariah in Cyberse World thanks to his laziness, easily falls for simple tricks, and is the subject of a lot of Butt-Monkey moments. But make no mistake, he is a kind AI at heart and he always tries to protect Yusaku no matter what. and as later episodes show, he might be intending to play this part to manipulate everyone.
    Ai (with a glint in his eyes) : "Uhm... The number of link markers is... Six!"
    Blood Shepherd: "It's seven. Can't you even count?"
  • Eldritch Abomination: Shapeshifts into some sort of monstrosity to consume a Knight of Hanoi who was about to blow himself up to eliminate Playmaker.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: "Ai", courtesy of Yusaku. Later subverted when he openly embraces his nickname after Playmaker appears to confront Genome.
  • Foil: His goofy attitude sharply contrasts Yusaku's stoicism.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: In the dub, he uses "glitch" as a curse, bordering on Sir Swears-a-Lot.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Claims that its own people dislike it.
  • The Gadfly:
    • Being an AI doesn't make him any less capable of teasing Yusaku for being unable to talk to girls.
    • He also teases a miffed Yusaku after he requests that Ai stop reading hate comments posted after declining to Duel Blue Angel.
  • Gut Feeling: He has developed instinct and this, along with Yusaku's Link Sense is able to sense if a monster is Cyberse and feel anomalies in LINK VRAINS. Bohman note that this makes him an anomaly from all the Ignis since he's the only one to develop this
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted during Playmaker and Revolver's second Speed Duel. Ai shields Playmaker from the debris as Playmaker enters the Data Storm and activates Storm Access, and appears to have vanished after Playmaker acquires Transcode Talker... but actually survives, as a miniature Ai reappears after Revolver begins his turn. Does one in episode 101 where he decides to jump out of Playmaker's Duel Disk and dives into the Neuron Link in order to stop Bohman.
  • Hidden Depths: While Ai isn't the smartest of the Ignis, his brethren all consider him the wisest of the group.
  • Humiliation Conga: The first episode alone has Ai go through all kinds of trouble, but being captured by Yusaku is definitely where the chain of humiliation after humiliation begins.
  • Irony: An AI that was born through the torture of kids by dueling tends to panic a lot when it looks like Playmaker is going to lose because he can either not keep up with his strategies or doesn't know the effect of his cards which are implied to be created by him since they are either Cyberse-type or support for them.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Mostly in the first season. He used to be both cold towards almost everyone around him but only inflicted harm to the Knights of Hanoi.
  • Large Ham: Not to the same extent as Flame, but it's definitely there. Normally a total goofball, but when Playmaker is dueling and it looks like they're backed into a corner or really are backed into a corner, Ai tends to dramatically panic over the situation or mimic Playmaker's action, or gloat in about Playmaker's strategies in an over-the-top manner.
  • Living MacGuffin: To the degree that an AI can be considered "living" anyway.
  • Lovable Coward: After everything Ai has been through in just the first episode, this cowardice is entirely Justified.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Mixed with Obfuscating Stupidity. Many scenes have him acting out behind Yusaku's back to push the latter to confront the Knights of Hanoi, lying about his memories, and giving him exact cards and skills tailored to win against his opponents. In the final fight, He admits he was subtly nudging Yusaku and Kusanagi to a path of revenge and created the Cyberse Deck for Yusaku five years ago.
    • For example, Yusaku suspects him of being the one who was responsible for sending and installing Cyberse Wizard's card data into Naoki's Duel Disk.
  • The McCoy: Ai is an emotional type that prefers to tend to his own instincts and desires, and according to Bohman this makes him important to the Ignis, as he was the anomaly and watching him allowed the other Ignis to develop their own quirks and personalities. As Bohman says, he is critically needed for the AI to avoid stagnation and evolve.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the third duel between Playmaker and Bohman. He advises Playmaker to defeat Bohman in one turn, because his instinct is telling him he's too dangerous, because of how stronger he got. Not only did the attempt fail, but Bohman was able to survive with his LP below 1000. This means he's able to use Storm Access in his next turn. The card he gained also nearly caused Playmaker to lose, but Ai was able to make this up by giving Yusaku Neo Storm Access to counterattack Bohman.
  • No Name Given: Was only referred to as a "mysterious lifeform" prior to the series' premiere. In the voice cast list during the credits, he is still identified as such instead of his name (until #3, where his name is listed as "Ai").
  • No Respect Guy: The target of everyone's attacks, but never taken seriously.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: It's shown several times that he acts like this in some, if not all, of Playmaker's duels to catch opponents off-guard. Earth calls him out on this because of his bad execution at it.
  • Odd Name Out: He's Ai while the other Ignis names are related to their element. Justified in that Flame started the trend and Yusaku was unaware of the elemental basis of the Ignis when he named him.
  • Phrase Catcher: He's usually told to "shut up" if he's gloating or saying exposition by Yusaku or whoever the opponent he's facing.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: He serves as the main comic relief in the show.
  • Price on Their Head: As Playmaker himself is a bounty target since the opening of NEW LINK VRAINS, Ai himself is also a target.
  • Punny Name: "Ai" which is a pun on AI and his "eye" form.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The self-centered and talkative red to Yusaku's blue.
  • Saying Too Much: Ai's "panicking" in an attempt to goad Ghost Girl's Primebanshee into attacking Playmaker's Lockout Gardna fails after her AI informs her of Storm Access and the prerequisite to activate it.
  • Simple-Minded Wisdom: Despite normally being The Ditz, Ai is considered the wisest of the six Ignis.
  • The Slacker: Back in the Cyberse World, Ai was very carefree and wasn't the working type, and thus was deemed an annoyance by the other Ignis.
  • Sole Survivor: He's the only Ignis to not be absorbed and assimilated into Bohman. Even after Playmaker defeats Bohman a final time, none of the Ignis are restored to normal selves, and are all believed to have been terminated for good.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is the Embarrassing Nickname "Eye" or "Ai"? The anime goes with the latter.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: During the five years he was on the run from the Knights of Hanoi, he was subtly manipulating small details in Yusaku and Kusanagi's environments in order to lead them to Den City and to eventually become his protectors. However, based on Ai’s confession to Yusaku at the end of episode 120, the “without a crush” part might be up for debate.
  • Tareme Eyes: Has these as a contrast to Yusaku and Flame's Tsurime Eyes.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: This is his reaction when Go Onizuka summons G Golem Crystal Heart, reveals he is in control of Earth's data, and used it to lure him and Playmaker into a trap.
    Ai: "Hey. Let's definitely crush him."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Flame. Both love nothing more than to snark and insult each other, but will worry if the other is in trouble. Ai is even saddened by Flames' death.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Most people only see him as a tool. Yusaku's poor treatment of him comes from the fact that he doesn't think Ai can feel or actually think, just that he's programmed to keep itself out of anyone's control. He thinks of this when he learns of Earth's demise through Ryoken.

Warning major spoilers underneath here. All unmarked! Read at your own risk. You Have Been Warned.

Tropes Exclusive to Ai in Season 3

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aihuman.png

After the defeat of Bohman, Ai became the last remaining Ignis and disappeared from Yusaku along with Roboppy. After a few months he resurfaces with a human form and a mysterious goal in order for him to go forward.

In duels Ai uses an "@Ignister" deck which focuses on swarming his field with @Ignister monsters to quickly Link Summon Linguriboh and Dark Templar @Ignister from his Extra Deck and then use Synchro, Xyz, Fusion or Ritual Summon as another way of summoning strong monsters or use them as backup in case Dark Templar isn't enough. He also uses the "Ai" archetype of Spell & Trap cards themed around him to empower them.


  • Agent Peacock: Dresses up in a fashionable victorian-styled militaristic suit, acts overdramatic and acts childish at times, proceeds to curbstomp every single secondary character in succession.
  • Ambiguously Evil: While he is seen as the current antagonist of season 3, his motives are unclear, but being willing to harm people shows that he's currently a threat to humanity. He later leans even more on the evil side when it turns out he intends to follow Lightning's will, though unlike Lightning he doesn't want to destroy or enslave humanity, even though he acknowledges that his goals may put him at odds with humanity.
  • Anime Hair: Given that it's Yu-Gi-Oh!, but his hair rivals Yusaku's in terms of craziness, which makes sense considering he was based on him.
  • Appropriated Appellation: In his final moments, he admits that despite the fact Yusaku gave him his name in a moment of laziness, he came to genuinely like it, to the point that all of the Spell and Trap Cards he uses contain puns on it.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: He claims to be the #1 Duelist compared to everyone else since he's on a whole different level than them.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: A rather meta example, Ai claims that since he observed Yusaku's duels for such a long time, he knew how exactly he dueled. This claim is announced after he manages to take advantage of Yusaku's most used strategy in the previous season, the summoning of Cyberse Clock Dragon.
  • Badass and Child Duo: Ai and Roboppi are this given their introduction into the new season together.
  • Badass Cape: Wears a flashy cape on top of his outfit.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: His primary outfit is a flashy suit with military elements, he's strong enough in duels to nuke an opponent's entire field and defeat them in one turn and is considered humanity's greatest threat by some.
  • Berserk Button: Making mention of the existence of other free-willed AI such as Pandor is a surefire way to set him off, especially if they claim to know more than they actually do.
  • Big Bad: Of Season 3, as he takes control of SOL Technologies. In season 3, Ai betrays humanity after fighting alongside Playmaker and allies into supposedly reenact Lightning’s plan to rule over the world and disposing of humanity as revenge for losing his fellow Ignis int he war. )
  • Bishōnen: He becomes a Long-Haired Pretty Boy upon gaining a human appearance in Season 3.
  • Bishōnen Line: From a malleable blob with a humanoid form to a Bishonen man.
  • Black Knight: Dark Templar @Ignister, an Evil Counterpart to Decode Talker.
  • Cold Ham: Is still just as hammy as he was before, but now with a much colder and melodramatic tone.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Unlike most final antagonist of the series, who mostly use very overpowered cards, Ai's deck in comparison is simply optimally built. However, his trump card, The Arrival Cyberse @Ignister, is nigh-invulnerable, even more so that its predecessors. Also, unlike the tendency of series final antagonists to be Generic Doomsday Villains or Knight Templar types in the case of Zone, Ai's plan is ultimately mild in comparison and doesn't involve the enslavement or destruction of humanity, just the chance for AI survival.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: His first-ever duel has him mop the floor with Queen in a One-Turn-Kill. He basically demolished her strategy by destroying her cards that increased her monster's ATK, then destroyed the monsters themselves with his Xyz Monster before taking her out. Even when she tries to cheat, he still destroys her. He's clearly been paying attention to Yusaku's dueling.
  • Death Is the Only Option: His scheme encompassing all of season 3 is meant to culminate in him either being killed by Yusaku or dying with him.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Comes close when he becomes the last surviving Ignis, but the tipping point which becomes the catalyst for his Face–Heel Turn is learning that his continued existence will lead to Yusaku's death.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: After his defeat, Yusaku holds him in his arms until he dies.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Although he is a super smart AI who can compute countless possibilities in an instant, he genuinely didn't see Revolver's Borreload Furious Dragon being used by Playmaker, which begins to loosen the absolute control he had over the duel.
    • If his final words are anything to go by, he didn't see his own survival coming.
  • Disney Death: Ai disappears into nothingness after losing to Playmaker. Fast forward three months, however, he seemingly comes back to life in his eye form, unaware of what happened.
  • Do-Anything Robot: In order to interact with things in the real world he possesses one of these that SOL Technologies developed after season 2. Despite the robots being designed primarily for housekeeping they contain altimeters and grappling hook arms, both of which are lampshaded by Ai.
  • Do Wrong, Right: When Roboppy hacks a casino machine to win, he chides them, not for risking revealing their identities, but for being stingy.
    Ai: If you're gonna do it, do it spectacularly!
  • Driven to Suicide: After seeing Lightning’s simulation of what he will become, Ai ran countless simulations of his own to see if he could change the future. However, when he saw a future that had Yusaku dying because of him, Ai decided that he had to die.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: In his last moments, Ai tearfully admits that he truly loved Yusaku despite all that's happened.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • Dark Templar @Ignister and Linguriboh are this to Yusaku's Decode Talker and Linkuriboh respectively.
    • Ai himself is also this to Yusaku himself, although the evil part is downplayed. The two of them serve as opposites in terms of development. Ai started as a happy and friendly individual with friends he cared for, while Yusaku started as a slightly bitter and distant individual, however as the story goes on, Yusaku starts mellowing out and starts to learn to trust people and make friends, while Ai loses all his friends and out of grief turns against his human allies. It's also accurate to say that Ai had become exactly like Yusaku was in the beginning, which is best proven during Ai's duel against the Zaizens, by Ai himself who ironically echoed Yusaku's statements from the first season, about not being able to move forward and only being able to do so by crushing all who stand in his way.
  • Face–Heel Turn: He starts Season 3 by defeating Queen with the desire to use SOL for his own desires.
  • Graceful Loser: He accepts his defeat at Playmaker's hands as their duel's final outcome, even after knowing the latter had a countermeasure in place to combat Ai's final move.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: It's not clear what exactly he's up to. Ai plays coy about his intentions, only vaguely stating that he intends to follow Lightning's will (which is reaffirmed following his activation of "Judgment Arrows" during his duel against the Zaizens).
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: He could have won the final battle if he didn't activate T.A.I Strike, as this allowed Playmaker to counter and power up Decode Talker. Playmaker even lampshades this, and Ai is even aware the former must have something planned to counter his card.
  • Honor Before Reason: He admits a few times could've just murdered everyone in the way in real life without dueling them, but insists on dueling because it's more sportsmanlike and gives them a chance to show him something incredible. Yusaku is even more disturbed by this, since it implies Ai treats killing people like a game.
  • I Gave My Word: After losing to Playmaker, Ai releases the consciousnesses of those he and Roboppi defeated during their rebellion against humanity.
  • Interspecies Romance: At the end of episode 120, Ai confessed to Yusaku before he died. However, Ai made Yusaku kill him because his existence might lead to Yusaku’s death. There appears to be no hope for a happy ending. Unless they manage to work things out after Ai was revived at the very end of the episode.
  • Invincible Villain: Ai is easily the strongest character in the series, surpassing Bohman, who only channeled the power of five the six Ignis, by upgrading his program to uniting the power of all six. Yusaku only stood a chance against him due to unforeseen help from Revolver and the fact that Ai refused to simulate their duel out of honor, and even then, he only lost due to his spontaneous decision to finish the duel off with extra flair. Had Ai truly wanted to defeat everyone, then no one would have been able to stop him. In fact, Ai's realization on how unstoppable he truly would become culminates in his decision to self-terminate.
  • It's All About Me: Whenever someone tries to sympathize with him or explain to him that he isn't the only one suffering from the deaths of the Ignis, Ai tells them to shut up and claims they could never understand him, more focused on wallowing in his own despair and taking it out on others to care. Case in point, when Aoi tries to convince him to stop and brings up how he isn't alone since she lost Aqua too, Ai instead berates her for seemingly replacing Aqua with Pandor, then proceeds to Kick the Dog by subjecting her to Cruel Mercy. He designed most of the cards in his deck after himself, with nearly all of his spell cards showing pictures of his former body. He also gets irritated when Roboppy steals his spotlight.
  • It's Personal: He makes it clear that he holds Queen and GO responsible for Earth's death, though this is secondary to the fact that they're in the way of his larger agenda. However, he does defeat GO with Earth Golem @Ignister, a monster that resembles Earth's G Golem Invalid Dolmen, ostensibly as a symbolic way to avenge Earth. Although afterwards, he admits he doesn't truly hate him and wishes to be a bit like him.
  • I've Come Too Far: He feels he can't stop with his plan since he already harmed a human (Queen) on his volition.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • An Ai clone claims to have contributed to Flame's termination in front of Soulburner in an attempt to set him off, but he doesn't lash out and attempts to reason with him (to no avail).
    • After he defeats Aoi and Akira, the two think they'll be Together in Death, but Aoi is spared. Ai then explains he spared her as a form of Cruel Mercy, so that she can live knowing she failed to protect Akira and wallow in despair like he is.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: While he did hospitalize Queen, it's hard not to root for him to do it considering the heinous actions she performed in season 2.
  • Laughably Evil: He's still a weird goofball despite killing most of the cast in the span of a few episodes, and tends to harass his opponents with jokes, overreacting, and sarcasm. He can sometimes reach Mood-Swinger levels of change when he goes from being sad to serious, then back to being a laid-back sarcastic asshole in a single scene.
  • Leitmotif: "Duel of Ai" (track #20 in SOUND DUEL 3).
  • Like Father, Like Son: While Yusaku isn't exactly Ai's father, he was still based on him. In the previous seasons, Ai was pretty much Yusaku's opposite in terms of personality, but in season 3 he became more similar to his origin as shown with his relatively more emotionless and cold personality (depending on his mood and moment), dueling skills that resemble his and telling Roboppy to be quiet.
  • Love Makes You Evil: While more antagonistic than evil, the driving force behind his Face–Heel Turn and all his actions in season 3 is his love for Yusaku and the knowledge that his continued existence will lead to Yusaku's death.
  • Meaningful Name: In their last moments together, Ai brings up the meaning of his name, which Playmaker tearfully replies is "to love other people", which Ai acknowledges. Ai dearly loved his fellow Ignis, he loved humans enough to try and protect them, and he loved his origin and partner Yusaku perhaps most of all.
  • Me's a Crowd: He creates several copies of himself to fight against Playmaker, Revolver and Soulburner. However, his goal isn't to defeat them, but to stall them while the real Ai steals Akira's code key, so the copies use stalling techniques to prolong the duel instead of trying to win. This also turns out to be his ultimate goal, turning hundreds of SOLtiS robots into physical copies of himself and intending to divide himself between them in order to create a new race of AIs.
  • Mood-Swinger: He can go from a weird goofball to a cold cruel villain and vice versa in just a moment.
  • Multicolored Hair: His hair includes the colors black with yellow lining and two shades of purple.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Roboppy losing their mind and essentially soft-locking because of his own backup data, forcing Soulburner to put the poor thing out of their misery hit him really hard.
  • Narcissist: Try to count the number of Spell or Trap Cards in his Deck that aren't themed around him. In fact, he has an entire archetype of them which he named after himself.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: He immediately jumps into action and doesn't waste his time on long plans or duels that are pointless since he only has one clear goal that matters: Take Akira's key that will give him control over SOL Technologies' network system. His deck is also extremely efficient, focusing on quickly clearing the opponent's field alongside swarming his own field in order to quickly end duels. He also doesn't hesitate to use Synchro and Xyz summoning right off the bat, whereas they usually tend to be reserved as contingency cards by other characters.
  • Pet the Dog: Once he takes over SOL, he fires all the employees, but provides generous severance packages and allows them to collect their personal belongings.
  • Pungeon Master: He loves to invoke puns using his own name, which often involves substituting "I" with "Ai" in any sentence. This also carries over to the names of the Spell and Trap Cards he uses.
  • Put Them All Out of My Misery: He's sad about being the Sole Survivor of the Ignis, so he decides to follow Lightning's will and become an enemy to humanity no matter who he has to take out.
  • Revenge: He vows this on Queen and Gore for what they did to Earth, and he successfully implements it by defeating and erasing them both.
  • Replacement Goldfish: While Linkuriboh isn't dead, Ai still replaced him with Linguriboh who looks similar to him, but with a different color shade and meaner eyes.
  • Same Character, but Different: While we do see parts of the old Ai inside him, it's still hard to say that this Ai is the same one that used to be Yusaku's partner.
  • Self-Sacrifice Scheme: Ai pulled this off to prevent the possibility of Yusaku’s death by pretending to become evil and an enemy to humanity in addition to taking several people hostage to give Yusaku no choice but to kill Ai.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Pandor correctly guesses that despite Ai acting antagonistic towards everyone, he's actually very sad about his actions. Ai mentions that he doesn't want to talk about his inner feelings except to one person, which soon enough turns out to be Yusaku.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Given that Yusaku is his origin, he looks like an adult version of him.
  • Suicide by Cop: Having seen evidence that his continued existence will lead to humanity's extinction, Ai's plans essentially amount to making himself so much of a threat that Playmaker has to eliminate him, before Ai can completely go off the deep end. Even if Ai wins, his plan requires him to destroy himself to create a new race of AIs.
  • Tantrum Throwing: To annoy Pandor he whines and kicks the airplane when Pandor summons "Topologina Sasabee" instead of "Topologina Nabee" (which isn't even a real card) and continues to bitch about it for the rest of the duel and even after the duel is already over. He does it again against Playmaker after failing to throw him off with a false result during Playmaker's Synchro Summon.
  • That Man Is Dead: He claims to have thrown away his old self.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He never dueled in the first two seasons, but come season 3, he duels well enough to Curb Stomp Queen with Link, Synchro, and Xyz Summoning and it's later shown that his deck is able to use Fusion and Ritual as well thus giving him the same amount of summoning methods his Origin has.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Ai deliberately tries to make people hate him once he returns, attempting to trigger them with their sore spots while belittling them when they attempt to sympathize with him. He takes it to its extreme by erasing everyone he defeats with the exception of Aoi, and he only spared her as a means of Cruel Mercy so she'd be forced to live with failing to protect her brother.
  • Underestimating Badassery: At least, if his rating of everyone as a Duelist is to be believed, he's somehow managed to give a serious case of this to Yusaku of all people, claiming that he is only as good a Duelist as he is thanks to Ai's assistance, despite the fact that Ai only contributed to Yusaku's Deck and not his overall skills. It's hard to tell how serious this is meant to be considering the fact his Ai clone also used a stall strategy against him like Revolver and Soulburner. It is later, Averted as Ai, noted how skilled Yusaku was during their duel.
  • Walking Spoiler: It's hard to talk about in Ai in season 3 without mentioning that he now has a human form and is the antagonist of that season.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: While he is the antagonist of Season 3, don't forget that Ai had to run away and go into hiding for 5 years, participate in battles that caused him to experience near death three times, the destruction of his home, experience the revelation that one of his kind was evil and the death of all other of his kind which left him as the Sole Survivor and forces him to carry the burden of their future. Revolver even points out that all that trauma built up in a being that hasn't been alive long enough to process it in a healthy fashion. He also points out it still isn't an excuse, as Ai's response is to take his pain out on others and follow in Lightning's footsteps. Even his final agenda isn't at all evil, at best a bit extreme, to ensure the future of AIs, Ai plans to spread multiple copies of himself into society, even though it would kill him in the process.
  • Xanatos Gambit: His plan is to get himself killed before his existence leads to humanity's extinction. Ai loses his duel against Playmaker? He dies. Ai wins his duel against Playmaker? His current plan continues, and he dies.
  • Younger Than They Look: Ai is chronologically ten years old in an adult body.

    Shoichi Kusanagi (Cal Kolter)/Unnamed 

Shoichi Kusanagi (Cal Kolter)/Unnamed

Voiced by: Subaru Kimura (Japanese), Sam Black (English)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shoichi_episode_4_4.png
Click here to see Unnamed

A seemingly ordinary man acquainted with Yusaku who runs a hotdog stand, he is in truth a skilled hacker who operates as Playmaker's Mission Control. He has a little brother, Jin Kusanagi, who remains traumatised thanks to a certain ten-year old incident. At the end of the series after Ai is defeated Kusanagi continues to work at his hot dog truck with his brother Jin and Aoi frequently visits them to inquire about Yusaku's whereabouts and all of them are hoping that Yusaku would return someday.

He uses a "Codebreaker" deck, an archetype of DARK Warrior-Type Monsters.


  • Apologetic Attacker: He hates that he is blackmailed by Lightning to beat Playmaker or Jin's data will be destroyed and apologizes, but Jin is more important to him.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't trivialize his past. It'll really piss him off.
    • Played for Laughs in the dub with people who call a hotdog a sandwich.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: While one of the most easygoing and friendly characters in the show, pissing him off by trivializing his past is a terrible mistake.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He seems to be involved in Yusaku's mission in order to help his little brother. Downplayed with Yusaku, as he helps him fight life or death battles. When Jin's consciousnesses was taken by Bohman and Haru, Kusanagi is pressed to find the culprits and get it back. Yusaku and Ai are slightly unnerved and worried by this change of behavior.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Subverted. Kusanagi completes the LVSS in time and attempts to bring Akira out of a thorny prison... but it fails to work.
  • The Confidant: To Yusaku, as one of the few individuals who know about Yusaku's abilities.
  • Cool Big Bro:
    • Acts as one to Yusaku. Yusaku was also seemingly close to his actual younger brother.
    • Is very much one to Jin, his younger brother. After Jin's life was ruined after the Hanoi project, Kusanagi dropped his interest in sports to become a hacker in order to locate the ones who kidnapped them and make them pay. After all is said and done, Shoichi visited Jin and asked him to live with him before he got his consciousness stolen. Boy did Kusanagi take that well...
  • The Cracker: Same with Yusaku but he's always behind the screen helping out Playmaker whenever he's in LINK VRAINS. But he only uses his skills to find Jin's captors in order to bring them to justice.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He anticipated the possibility that Lightning would invoke a Hostage Situation by putting his little brother's consciousness at stake (combined with a Sadistic Choice); thus, he sends an unfinished program, intended to hack into Mirror LINK VRAINS, to the Lieutenants of Hanoi, who then promptly work on it.
  • Cyber Ninja: The Codebreaker archetype is based around this and has a Computer Virus theme in place of a ninja's poison.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His younger brother was in the same place as Yusaku, being one of the six children who were abducted during the Lost Incident.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Kusanagi serves as this to Kurosaki. They both are older brother characters who lost their younger sibling after they got kidnapped by the antagonist organization. Kurosaki's sister Ruri got kidnapped by Academia while his brother got kidnapped by Hanoi, making both Kusanagi and Kurosaki develop a grudge with them for kidnapping their siblings. Both also work with their close friends, Yuto and Yusaku, to save them. However, while Kurosaki became an extremely cold hearted and hot headed Jerkass after losing Ruri, Kusanagi still manages to be a friendly nice guy after losing his brother.
  • Dub Name Change: Is known as "Cal Kolter" in the English dub.
  • Foil: Of Akira Zaizen. They are both hackers with siblings that serve as their main motivation. While Akira used hacking as a means of survival, Kusanagi uses it for revenge. While Akira is affiliated with SOL Technologies, Kusanagi is Yusaku's greatest ally. Akira is a skilled duelist while Kusanagi isn't. Akira works at a high-class company while Kusanagi owns his own food truck. Akira is uptight and a bit reserved while Kusanagi is laid-back most of the time and is not hesitant to speak his mind.
  • The Gadfly: Show some shades of this, teasing Yusaku over his lack of social skills with women.
  • Hacker Cave: His hotdog van doubles as one.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: He doesn't know it himself, but he's a low-key one to Yusaku. Considering that Yusaku doesn't have any close friends or family for many years, he's the only one Yusaku is close to. Revolver himself even states that Playmaker's strength will go down if he's gone from the front lines.
  • Mission Control: Operates as Playmaker's, monitoring his activity and the goings-ons of LINK VRAINS from within his hotdog stand.
  • My Greatest Failure: In a flashback in episode 93, Shoichi revealed that his greatest failures in life happened to be the two instances he couldn't protect Jin (the first being when Jin got kidnapped as a child and the second being when Jin was kidnapped by Bohman).
  • The Narrator: Narrates the episode previews (with the exception of the fourth Recap Episode).
  • Nice Guy: He seems to be very friendly and the only person Yusaku is most comfortable talking with. Also gets along well with Takeru once he joins the group.
  • Nice Hat: His LINK VRAINS avatar sports a nice burgundy cap.
  • Non-Action Guy: Doesn't do any Dueling himself, instead serving as Yusaku's Mission Control. Justified, as he only possesses a rudimentary understanding of Duel Monsters, and his own Dueling skills are novice at best. Come his Duel with Playmaker, however, Kusanagi not only turns out to indeed be more knowledgeable about Duel Monsters than he previously claimed to be, but also assaults his opponent without mercy.
  • Nothing Personal: He claims to bear no ill will towards Playmaker, and is Dueling because he values his little brother above everything else.
  • Online Alias: "Unnamed". And his email alias is "Daddy Long-Legs".
  • Parental Substitute: The closest thing Yusaku has to a guardian, though he acts more like a brother-figure.
  • Precious Photo: Kusanagi has a picture of Jin and him as children smiling in front of their house. He is often seen looking at it with a smile.
  • Rage Breaking Point: He and Playmaker snap at Akira, who claims that he understands what it's like to lose a loved one.
  • Relative Button: A mention of his and his brother's past by anyone who is not Yusaku is enough to enrage the normally laid-back Kusanagi.
  • Revenge: While good at hiding it, it's shown that deep down, he has a deep grudge towards Hanoi for what they did to his little brother.
  • Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: He's a lot more friendly than Yusaku, though Yusaku does become more considerate by the end of the series.
  • Running Gag: In the dub, he constantly denies that hotdogs are sandwiches.
  • Secret Keeper: For Yusaku, being one of the few individuals who knows of Playmaker's true identity.
  • Serious Business: Saying that hot dogs are sandwiches to his face is a good way to start a debate. In the dub at least.
  • Sorry That I'm Dying: After Playmaker defeats him, Kusanagi can do little but to apologize to his little brother before disintegrating completely.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": It's unclear if his first name is spell "Cal" or "Kal".
  • The Unfettered: Exploited by Lightning. Kusanagi has no qualms about mercilessly going all-out against Playmaker to ensure the safety of Jin's consciousness, and doesn't give a damn if it comes at the cost of Playmaker's existence. This turns out to be an act, however, as Kusanagi predicted that Lightning would use Jin as a bargaining chip to coax Playmaker and Kusanagi into turning against each other, and Kusanagi entrusted Yusaku to move forward in his stead after he's gone.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Dark purple, in this case.

    Takeru Homura (Theodore Hamilton)/Soulburner 

Takeru Houmura (Theodore Hamilton)/Soulburner

Voiced by: Yūki Kaji (Japanese), Eddy Lee (English), Aoi Inase (Japanese, young)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/takeru_homura.png
Click here to see Soulburner 

A New Transfer Student of Den Academy. In LINK VRAINS, he is known as Soulburner. Just like Yusaku he is a victim of the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project and caused his time to stand still. After the incident he became a Hikikomori, but after seeing the three heroes of LINK VRAINS (Playmaker, GO and Blue Angel) fight against the people who caused his problems and meeting his Ignis Flame, he decides to go forward and help Playmaker in his fight against the new enemy faction. At the end of the series after Ai is terminated Takeru returns to his hometown and continues to explore LINK VRAINS withs his friend Kiku.

Takeru uses a Salamangreat deck, an archetype of FIRE Cyberse-Type Monsters focused on a Beatdown strategy, but unlike Yusaku whose deck focuses on Link Summoning multiple Link Monsters and using their effects together for power, his deck focuses more on summoning his ace monster Salamangreat Heatlio whose effects alone are enough to defeat his opponents. His deck also utilizes Reincarnation Link Summon this allows him to use Link Monsters as the only material in order to summon a copy of the same monster, but with an effect it couldn't use before. His deck just like Playmaker's is capable of using Ritual, Fusion and Xyz Summon which he uses as an alternative when his Link Monsters aren't enough.


  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: His Soulburner persona in a nutshell. Aside from the colors that represent the most common colors of fire (gray is likely to symbolize ash), his hairstyle and scarf also look like a fire. Not surprising given that he uses a FIRE deck and his partner is the Ignis that is not only literally calling himself Flame, but also being the Ignis that specifically represents the FIRE Attribute. It's pretty obvious where he got the inspiration.
  • A Taste of Defeat: Soulburner suffers his first, and only, defeat at Bohman's hands, fully showcasing the very serious threat Bohman now poses.
  • Badass Boast: Utters one to Bit and Boot before dueling them, accompanied by his crushing a ball of fire in his hand.
    I'm Soulburner. I'll burn you up with these flames!
  • Berserker Tears: Soulburner explodes while crying at the same time, voicing his outrage towards both Bohman and Lightning for setting up a Duel between Playmaker and Kusanagi, which concluded with Kusanagi's defeat and subsequent termination.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After Haru sics Bit and Boot on Playmaker to keep him distracted, Soulburner arrives to deal with the pair so that Playmaker can focus on tailing Bohman and Haru.
  • Big Entrance: Soulburner appears from a whirling burst of flame, and confronts the Bit and Boot pair in Playmaker's stead so that he can concentrate on tailing Bohman and Haru.
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • He's the first one out of Jounouchi's expies not to viciously betray or get brainwashed to fight the protagonist, something the fans have been expecting ever since he was introduced.
    • He's the first Jounouchi Expy to defeat a Kaiba Expy as he defeated Revolver in their second duel.
  • Break Them by Talking: Soulburner gets on GO's bad side by pointing out that he's incapable of anything but throwing a hissy fit, all because he's no longer number one in LINK VRAINS. This pisses off GO big time.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: A platonic variant with Kiku. He was brooding and distant back home, while she tried to coax him out of his behavior.
  • Butt-Monkey: While not to the extent of Ai, Takeru tends to get ignored in duels or talks in favor of Flame.
  • Cast From Hit Points: His Burning Draw Skill lets him draw a card for every 1000 LP that he gives up.
  • The Confidant: Like Kusanagi, Takeru also knows of Yusaku's secrets.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: His backstory reveals that his parents died in an accident while searching for him while he was kidnapped during the lost incident.
  • Cyberspace: He uses a Cyberse deck.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He's another victim of the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project. After being rescued, he was taken in by his grandparents and learned his parents died while searching for him, leaving him an Empty Shell and angry at the world, often skipping school for large periods. When he saw Playmaker, Blue Angel, and Go fight Hanoi, he felt like time started moving for him again and left for Den City to meet and work with them.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Prior to his departure to Den City, Soulburner had his hair slicked back like a Delinquent, and later changed it to a more unassuming, kinder style to help him better fit in as a student in Den City.
  • Face of a Thug: Prior to his departure to Den City; while not malicious or outright unfriendly, he was capable of pulling off intimidating expressions, which was an easy way to intimidate the Mizunumas (especially Ryujiro) and their gang.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: As Soulburner, his right hand is partly exposed, while on his left hand he wears a red gauntlet.
  • Fiery Red Head: Half of his hair is red, but he both adverts and subverts this trope. Compared to Yusaku, he is more cheerful, but only shows the fiery aspect as Soulburner, who has two-tone blue hair.
  • First-Name Basis: Calls Yusaku by his first name and all of Cafe Nagi, his grandparents, and Kiku call him by his first name. Strangely, Yusaku has yet to call Takeru by his first name despite being allowed to do so.
  • Foil: To Yusaku/Playmaker. Yusaku is a Perpetual Frowner, uses a pure Cyberse Deck with very little focus on a specific archetype (aside from the Extra Deck bound Code Talkers and the Cynet Spell/Trap series), but with various Attributes and Link Climbing being his primary tactic. Takeru/Soulburner on the other hand is much more cheerful, uses an actual archetype of Cyberse monsters (including Main Deck Monsters) who share a single Attribute and focuses on brute force.
  • Hero-Worshipper: He is one for all the VRAINS heroes, shown when he fanboys over Aoi's Blue Girl and Blue Maiden avatars.
    • He's a big one for Playmaker, teaming up with him and helping out in every way he can to defeat Lightning and Bohman. And he even says that Playmaker is the one that inspired him to travel to Den City to confront his past.
    • Go Onizuka was his hero, his behavior, and heroism in the Hanoi incident being what inspired him to come out again, and seeing him wallow in self-pity and be a bounty hunter upsets Soulburner, giving him a Broken Pedestal.
  • Hidden Depths: Takeru may appear cheerful and spirited now, but he wasn't always like that. He got upset when Flame called him out on having been a shut-in who could only fight his own demons and not fight enemies like Yusaku had. He used to describe himself and feeling empty and angry at everything, and that time stopped for him, only starting after learning about the heroes of VRAINS.
  • Hikikomori: After hearing of his parents' deaths while they were searching for him, Takeru grew to hate everything and closed himself off from society. He eventually got out of it after he read the news about Playmaker, Blue Angel, and GO saving LINK VRAINS from the Knights of Hanoi, motivated to move forward and Duel again.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Seriously downplayed, but Takeru himself admits that technology isn't his expertise as shown in episode 61 where he asks Kiku how to scroll down a news article on a tablet.
  • Hot-Blooded: His Soulburner persona, in contrast to his real self.
  • Ill Boy: It may not be noticeable at first, but he went through the same incident as Yusaku and as a result also has PTSD just like him. This is shown when he gets caught by Blood Shepherd's trap, the shock of the trap causes him to have flashbacks of the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Invoking Burning Draw get his hands catching fire. He's also surrounded by flames whenever he gets riled up, summoning his monsters or moving at high speeds.
  • Japanese Pronouns: Presently uses Boku as Takeru and Ore as Soulburner, but he also used Ore offline when he was still a thug.
  • Keet: He seems to be this based on how he glomps Yusaku in the second opening.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Soulburner gets excited upon meeting the hero of Link Vrains, and fanboys over Aoi's new avatars, when she gets Blue Girl and later Blue Maiden.
  • The Lancer: Quickly becomes this upon joining Cafe Nagi, doubling as Playmaker's Sidekick/Number Two.
  • Large Ham: Just listen to how bombastically he exclaims "BURNING DRAW!!!".
  • Leitmotif: "Soulburner" (track #2 in SOUND DUEL 3).
  • Logical Weakness: As his Burning Draw skill reduces his LP to 100, effects that burn him upon drawing, like the Trickstars, are naturally a problem for him. He cannot use his Skill in such situations until the card is either removed or he has a negation effect in play.
  • Megane: He wears green glasses in reality.
  • Magic Poker Equation: His skill "Burning Draw" allows him to draw 1 card for every 1000 points he gives up. While this doesn't give him new extra deck monsters, he gets the cards he needs to win.
  • Mercy Kill: Gives one to Roboppy at Yusaku's request after Roboppy starts to malfunction and shut down from Ai's incompatible systems. It was so hard for Soulburner to do that he doesn't raise his voice and almost cries while announcing his finishing moves.
  • New Transfer Student: He transfers into Den Academy to establish connections with Yusaku, as they were both hostages of the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project.
  • Online Alias: Soulburner.
  • Only Friend: Downplayed. Takeru is the only person from Yusaku's age group that he can consider a genuine friend, with Yusaku's only other close human relationship being with Kusanagi.
  • Playing with Fire: Soulburner uses a fire-themed avatar, and a Salamangreat deck, which is composed of FIRE Monsters.
  • Primal Fear: Takeru is afraid of ghosts, stemmed from his experiences with the Zombie-Type "Despair from the Dark" during the Lost Incident.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Lightning pitting Kusanagi against Playmaker and watching the ensuing outcome proves to be the last straw that Soulburner can barely restrain his anger and challenges Bohman for payback.
  • Raised by Grandparents: His parents died when he was young, and he was raised by his grandparents.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives a solid one to Go for acting like a sore loser and becoming SOL Technologies's dog as well as not acting like the real him would act.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Soulburner's hot-bloodedness contrasts Playmaker's stoicism and no-nonsense front.
  • Revenge: He seeks this against Revolver for the Hanoi incident, blaming him for his parents' deaths, and duels him after Revolver attempts an Enemy Mine with them.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Soulburner lets his animosity towards the Knights of Hanoi overcloud his better judgment, adamant on avenging the deaths of his parents by taking his rage out on Revolver. However, his hesitation to finish off Revolver in a single turn causes him to break down, abruptly ending the Duel.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: As Soulburner he trades off his glasses for a flame-shaped scarf.
  • Secret Keeper: Takeru knows who Playmaker is since they are partners.
  • Shrinking Violet: While he comes across as Keet, he gets easily flustered when praise is put on him out of a lack of self-confidence.
  • Signature Move: His Skill, Burning Draw, has him pay LP so that he only has 100 left, and allows him to draw a card for every 1000 LP he pays. In addition to being a high-risk move, it is also physically taxing.
  • Sixth Ranger: Joins Yusaku and the others as a main character for season 2.
  • Sorry That I'm Dying: After losing to Bohman, Soulburner apologizes to Flame for failing to keep their promise with each other and leaves it up to Playmaker to defeat the remaining members of the Ignis faction, before he disintegrates and gets absorbed by Bohman.
  • Trauma Button: Doesn't appreciate Flame pointing out that Takeru was a shut-in who could only battle his inner demons as opposed to actual enemies which Yusaku did.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: After the Lost Incident and prior to moving to Den City he was cold, standoffish, and anti-social but after meeting Flame and Playmaker, Takeru's personality becomes more polite and cheerful.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Takeru is an unusual version of this. Salamangreats as a deck are Weak, but Skilled due to their generally low ATK, but powerful effects. Takeru himself is this trope due to his comparative lack of skill with the deck, especially when he's getting used to it at the beginning of Season 2. Even later on once he's learned its more complicated combos, he's often talked down by his opponents, though they claim his deck works well regardless.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Since he has less Link Monsters than Playmaker and lacks the means to expand his Extra Deck, he usually has to settle with using Salamangreat Heatleo to finish the duel.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
    • Every time Takeru encounters "Despair from the Dark", which has haunted him since the Lost Incident, all he can do is helplessly freak out and tremble in fear, unable to do anything to overcome it. Blood Shepherd exploits this in their Duel by bringing out not one, but four copies of the same Monster... then part two of the Duel reveals that Soulburner faked his fear of the Monster to fool Blood Shepherd into believing he has the upper hand just from uncovering Soulburner's weak point.
    • Because of Despair from the Dark, he has developed a fear of ghosts and gets jumpy when seeing something supernatural.
  • You Are Too Late: By the time Soulburner arrives at the entrance of the restricted area, Haru has already escaped into the restricted area without triggering its emergency defenses.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: His Soulburner persona's hair has two opposite shades of blue and his bangs are red with yellow streaks. It's easy to notice that all the shades of his persona appear to be a combination of Playmaker, Blue Angel and Go Onizuka, all of whom he refers to as the heroes of LINK VRAINS for stopping the Knights of Hanoi.

    Flame 

Flame

Voiced by: Taku Yashiro (Japanese)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ep049_flame_fired_up.png

One of the six Ignis created by Dr. Kogami, and Takeru's partner; is based on the FIRE Attribute. He shows himself to Ai and Yusaku after his homeworld, the Cyberse World, was destroyed by a certain unnamed faction. His goal is to find the other Ignis in order to rebuild the Cyberse World and to defeat the enemy faction that caused its destruction. At the end of Season 2 Flame and the other Ignis except Ai got absorbed by Bohman and after Bohman is defeated he and the other absorbed Ignis are terminated.


  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: He is an Ignis (an AI named after the recurring mythological theme of the theft of fire allowing humans to evolve) who not only named himself Flame, but also is the only one among the six Ignis to actually represent the FIRE attribute.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Invoked. His name means "indomitable soul dream" in kanji, and in the dub, each letter stands for a flattering adjective.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": In the dub, he "pretends" that they're losing to Bit and Boot after it's about to destroy Heatlio.
    Flame: "It's over, we gave it our best but it was just not good enough. It was your pleasure to be my partner Soulburner."
    Soulburner: "Hold up Flame, why are you pretending like we're only going to lose?"
    Flame: "For drama"
  • Catch Phrase:
    • Every time Soulburner activates Burning Draw, Flame exclaims "Burn your soul, Soulburner!".
    • In the dub, he says "Bring the heat, Soulburner!"
  • Comically Serious: In contrast to Ai, his humorous moments tend to be him taking himself too seriously.
  • Different in Every Episode: The adjectives making up the anagram of his name in the dub, though he doesn't often get to complete it.
  • Fiery Red Head: He's primarily red and is the most hot-blooded.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: "Byte" in the dub, similar to Ai's use of "Glitch". He's much less foul-mouthed than Ai is though.
  • Good Is Not Soft: After he and Soulburner defeat Windy, he sets Windy on fire and takes his data. Even though Windy does come back later, this actually makes him the only Ignis to directly destroy another, discounting Lightning's creation Bohman absorbing the others.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Flame sacrifices himself to prevent Windy from devouring Soulburner, enabling him to continue dueling Bohman.
  • Hot-Blooded: He's quick to get fired up.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Flame deduces that GO will "go go" and attack based on what his Online Alias suggests. Soulburner can only look at Flame with bewilderment in response.
  • Irony: Just like Ai he's an AI that was born through the torture of kids by dueling. And also tends to panic or get depressed when it looks like his partner is going to lose, because he can either not keep up with his strategies or doesn't know the effect of his cards which are implied to be created by him since they are either Cyberse-type or support for them.
  • Large Ham: He's just as bombastic, if not more so, as Soulburner. Just listen to him exclaim "BURN YOUR SOUL, SOULBURNER!!!".
  • Leitmotif: Flame
  • Literal-Minded: When Soulburner tells him he's explained his name to him a thousand times, Flame corrects him that he's told him 37 times. Like Ai, he also has trouble with sarcasm and rhetorical questions.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Flame may be more level-headed than Ai is and doesn't appreciate being compared to the likes of him, but at the same time, he wastes no time demonstrating that he's quick to get fired up during Soulburner and BitBoot's Duel.
    • Also, he's quick to please as he blushed when Ghost Girl complimented him; he made a face that Ai usually would make.
  • Not So Different: Despite being more level-headed than Ai and not wanting to be associated with him, he has the same (lack of) Dueling skill and knowledge that Ai has and when it looked like Soulburner was about to lose, he loses hope just like Ai does and says it's over for them, because he was unfamiliar with the effect of Salamangreat Heatlio that earns Soulburner's win in Episode #49. Averted Trope in the dub, where he was playing it for drama.
  • Playing with Fire: He is an Ignis that named himself "Flame", and his physical appearance is flame-based. He is also based on the FIRE Attribute.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Zigzagged. While Flame's level-headedness and even voice contrast the bombastic Ai who tends to make a drama out of situations, Flame is at the same time easy and quick to get fired up.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Manly Man to Ai's Sensitive Guy, though he's more empathic with Soulburner than AI is with Playmaker. Ai is more easily offended and rattled; Flame more serious and unshaken.
  • This Is Unforgivable!:
    • He holds Lightning in contempt after the latter confessed that he was directly responsible for the destruction of the Cyberse World.
    • As the Ignis were born of the suffering of the kids in the Hanoi Project, the revelation of Windy attacking his Origin made him furious.
  • Tsurime Eyes: In comparison to Ai, he has pointed eye corners.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Ai. Both love nothing more than to snark and insult each other, but will worry if the other is in trouble. Ai is even saddened by Flames' death.

    Aoi Zaizen (Skye Zaizen)/Blue Angel/Blue Girl (Blue Gal)/Blue Maiden 

Aoi Zaizen (Skye Zaizen)/Blue Angel/Blue Girl (Blue Gal)/Blue Maiden

Voiced by: Yuki Nakashima (Japanese), Emily Cramer (English)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aoi_zaizen_3.PNG
Click here to see Blue Angel 
Click here to see Blue Girl 
Click here to see Blue Maiden 

A classmate of Yusaku's. In LINK VRAINS, she is known as Blue Angel. In Season 2 she goes by the name Blue Girl in order to help her brother Akira in his search for the Ignis. However she changes her name once again to Blue Maiden after deciding to partner with the Water Ignis, Aqua and fight alongside Playmaker again in order to defeat Lightning and save her Aqua's Origin and Childhood Friend, Miyu. At the end of the series after Ai is defeated Aoi got her brother back and frequently visits Jin and Shoichi at Cafe Nagi to inquire about Yusaku's whereabouts and hoping that he would return from his journey someday.

As Blue Angel and Blue Girl, she uses the Trickstar archetype, focusing on whittling down her opponent's LP bit by bit via card effects. Her Ace Monster is Trickstar Holly Angel, a Monster that temporarily gains strength when her opponent takes effect damage. Her Skill, Trickstar Fraud, allows her to force an opponent to draw cards until they have three cards in their hand once per Duel, but as a price her opponent must banish cards from her hand equal to the amount of Trickstar Monsters in Blue Angel's GY.

In season 2 she adds Fusion Summoning to her deck in order to increase her burn strategy and give more offensive pressure. She also changed her Skill to Trickstar Gig. This Skill allows her to send cards from the top of her deck to the GY equal to the amount of Trickstar Monsters she has on her field. After that she can add one Trickstar card send to the GY to her hand.

As Blue Maiden, she uses a "Marincess" deck, an archetype of female WATER Cyberse Monsters.


  • Action Girl: She's a very skilled duelist, being considered one of VRAIN's best.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Her VRAINS avatar transition from the cutesy Blue Angel to the mysterious Blue Girl that resembles an idol rocker. Justified in that Blue Girl is better for the stealthier operations she is doing with Ghost Girl, while Blue Angel sticks out. It is emphasized by a few of her new cards and effects, such as Trickstar Gig, and her fusion monster, Trickstar Band Sweet Guitar. Subverted come her next upgrade, Blue Maiden, which is girlier.
  • Amazon Brigade: All of her Trickstars and Marincess monsters are female.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Out of LINK VRAINS her lack of emotion and suspicion of others (if not for good reason) bring up a few possible ailments, among them depression.
  • And I Must Scream: Aoi described her experience as an Another as being crushed down by despair, unable to do anything but scream with all her might.
  • Angelic Beauty: Her Trickstar Monsters, which are Fairy-Types, as well as her VR form, Blue Angel.
  • Animal Motifs: Pretty Butterflies, as shown by her backup avatar being a simple butterfly.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Her blazer is designed to look like her tie has blue wings, and her stage name is "Blue Angel".
  • Back from the Dead: She is returned to normal after Playmaker defeats Revolver and the Tower of Hanoi is stopped.
  • Badass Adorable: A teen idol on VRAINS, she peppers her duels with a variety of cute mannerisms. Even in her Blue Girl persona, where she is more composed, she still has a few cute mannerisms.
  • Big Brother Worship: Has a brother complex, and wants to admit to him that she Duels. Granted Akira is her elder step-brother. She also has a minor case for Cool Big Sis Emma, even patterning her Blue Girl avatar after Ghost Girl's look.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Saves Playmaker by launching his D-Board back to him with an energy lasso after he falls off during his Duel against a Knight of Hanoi.
    • She gets a second one while Yusaku is plunging into the SOL Technologies databank, where she lightens the load for Playmaker and takes on one of the AI duelists.
    • Saves Aqua from Blood Shepherd by deflecting one of his beams with her D-Board.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Her hair reaches down to her lower nape.
  • Breast Expansion: Blue Angel has noticeably bigger breasts than Aoi in real life. She might have deliberately added a bigger buxom to her Blue Angel avatar to play better the idol persona.
  • Broken Angel: After losing to Spectre, he causes her Blue Angel wings to break.
  • Broken Pedestal: Due to her brother's work, Aoi has a positive view of SOL Technologies and believes that they will help the Ignis. After watching Queen and the scientists kill Earth as he is begging, she cries, at a complete loss.
  • Break the Cutie: So far compared to the other girls, Aoi has taken a ridiculous amount of abuse over the course of this series.
    • She lost her parents at a relatively young age and force to constantly move from one place to another with her brother
    • She suffered from what looked to be anxiety and depression throughout Season 1.
    • She was brainwashed by the Knights of Hanoi and put into a coma.
    • She was brutally defeated by Spectre the one responsible for putting her in a coma in 34 which ended with her landing face first into the ground and put into another coma.
    • In Season 3, she and Akira are defeated by Ai, who intentionally spares her to allow her to know the pain he feels.
  • Character Development: Initially cold and standoffish and participating in the plot to win her brother's approval or get revenge on the Knight of Hanoi for what they did to her, Aoi wants to participate in the plot for the sake of protecting LINK VRAINS from the evil Ignis, and rather take action than sit around and do nothing.
  • The Chick: She fits the bill with her girly persona in contrast to Ghost Girl's mature aura. She's also this to the Trio of Playmaker and Go, then later Playmaker and Soulburner.
  • Clothing Damage: After her loss to Spectre, her skirt becomes tattered.
  • Color Character: BLUE Angel and later BLUE Girl and BLUE Maiden.
  • Color Motif: BLUE, fitting Aoi in her real name, Online Alias, and due to being blue, i.e depressed, for a long time.
  • Conflict Ball: In Episode 55 and 56, after Playmaker and Soulburner refuse her offer for her and Akira to help them due to SOL Technologies involvement in the Lost Incident, she gets pissed off and demands they give Ai and Flame over so they can find the other Ignis. Playmaker and Ghost Girl themselves are surprised at her behavior. It's more downplayed in Episode 56, as once she begins the duel she does return to being more civil, though a bit more arrogant than usual, Episode 56 keeps her behavior more in line with her motivation of helping Akira and making up for her loss to Spectre. Later justified in that she believes SOL Technologies to be benevolent, and until later did not quite understand Playmaker and Soulburner's dislike of them.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character:
    • Unlike Yuzu, who is a pink-haired Tsundere Girly Bruiser, Aoi is a brunette "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl. And unlike Yuzu who was forced into the plot against her will, Aoi actively seeks it due to helping Akira. Unlike Aki, her temporary corruption aside, who was a Dark Magical Girl, Aoi's opposition towards Playmaker and Soulburner makes her a Hero Antagonist instead, due to Akira's concern over the Ignis. And even then, she did offer to help them, only for Playmaker to turn her down. And then unlike Aki who required Yusei to break her out of an antagonist role, Aoi largely does so without interference without Yusaku, due to having her faith in SOL broken and learning the truth of Miyu.
    • One could also take her relationship with Yusaku or lack there of into account as each of the previous female leads had a close relationship to the main characters. Anzu, Kotori, and Yuzu knew Yugi, Yuma, and Yuya respectively before the series began, while Asuka and Aki befriending Judai and Yusei early into their series. So far, Aoi's relationship with Yusaku is at worst classmates (something Yusaku didn't even know they were initially) or at best allies since they're fighting together against The evil ignis. In other words, it's strictly professional. It's only until the third arc that Aoi attempts to engage in a friendship with Yusaku after learning his identity.
  • Convenient Coma: Ends up in one after her duel with Playmaker.
  • The Corruption: Afflicted by this by the appropriately named Dark Angel card that Spectre slips into her deck, making her go berserk.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Light brown hair and eyes.
  • Cyberpunk: Initially, Aoi ran a Trickstar deck, but thanks to her partnership with the Water Ignis, Aqua, Aoi in her Blue Maiden avatar now has access to Cyberse monsters in the form of Marincesses which replaced her Trickstars and soundly defeated Haru, an inferior variant of Bohman with relatively low difficulty.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: It's as short as Kotori's.
  • Dark Action Girl: She became this temporarily after she was brainwashed by Spectre.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: One of the Trickstar's main focuses is dealing small amounts of burn damage under certain conditions.
  • Designated Girl Fight: During the Tower of Hanoi arc Aoi faces off against Baira, the only female member of the Knights of Hanoi initially to blow off steam because she was in a bad mood, but upon learning the Baira was the one who created the another program that put her in a coma twenty episodes prior it became personal for her.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Aoi is a deconstruction of both Asuka and Rio, as she goes into Charisma Dueling as a means to please her older brother instead of proving herself to be an independent and worthy Duelist like they did, which not only costed her the Duel against Yusaku, but also ends up humiliating her in front of the crowd, severely damaging her reputation as a Charisma Duelist in the process. However, she does reconstruct this by becoming an All-Loving Heroine that wants to fight for others, earning her brother's approval that way.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She's a lot snarkier in the dub, particularly in her online personas and especially as Blue Gal.
  • Determined Defeatist: Becomes this in the climax of her duel against Bohman. Despite knowing that she cannot win against him, with some encouragement from her brother, Aoi pulls off all the stops to ensure that she does not go gentle. Bohman acknowledges her as a Worthy Opponent because of this.
  • Digital Avatar: An angelic idol singer as Blue Angel and a more serious mercenary one as Blue Girl, and then Magical Girl Warrior Blue Maiden.
  • Discard and Draw: After teaming up with Aqua she gets a new Marincess deck and a new Skill, Shape of the Sea, which lets her summon a monster from the grave that has equal or fewer attack points than the damage she just took.
  • Dub Name Change: To Skye Zaizen, having implications of blue sky where angels come from. Her Blue Girl avatar also becomes Blue Gal ala Ghost Girl/Gal.
  • Escapism: Aoi's Blue Angel persona is revealed to be based upon a Blue Angel in a book her brother always read to her as a child, about a lonely angel that cried blue tears and pretended she didn't hate being alone, but eventually befriended other angels and fought against the forces of evil to find happiness. Her taking on this persona in LINK VRAINS is her own attempt to do so.
  • Face Plant: A dark example, where Blue Angel gets blown away before landing on the ground head-first, courtesy of Spectre. Ouch.
  • Facial Markings: As Blue Angel, Aoi has a clover on her cheek, as part of her idol image. It was replaced by a tear drop after her transformation as Blue Maiden.
  • Fake Boobs: This piece of official artwork that has Blue Angel in a school uniform by Noah, one of the show's animators, shows that Blue Angel's chest is around the same size as Aoi's, meaning the top of her Blue Angel has cups designed into it, with the most likely reason for doing so is to make a better appeal for her Idol persona. Her avatar as Blue Maiden, being an Older Alter Ego, is also noticably more endowed than her real self.
  • Feather Motif: White feathers fall and scatter while she is trapped in her mind due to Hanoi.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Elbow-length ones as Blue Girl.
  • Flight: Her Blue Maiden Avatar allows her to fly if she wants to. She tried to escape Lightning's trap this way but to no avail.
  • Flower Motif: Her Trickstar monsters are named after various flowers.
  • Foil: To Go Onizuka. While in the Hanoi arc Blue Angel realized she wants to duel for others and not just herself, Go comes to the conclusion it is ok to duel for himself and not others. In addition, while Blue Angel is grateful to Playmaker for saving her and doesn't appear bothered by being overshadowed, Go deeply resents it and will stop at nothing to beat Playmaker for the sake of his pride. Also unlike Go who undergoes a Face–Heel Turn, Aoi initially opposes Soulburner and Playmaker as a Hero Antagonist for her brother's sake. She also improves her older deck and older persona, while Go takes a different persona and a new deck with a new skill. Later Go abandons his self in his desire to defeat Playmaker, taking an AI into his brain and capturing Earth to be killed, Aoi learns about Miyu and teams up with Aqua to save her, assuming a new persona.
  • Friendless Background: Aoi had no friends as a child except one briefly, Miyu, but the friendship fell apart when she took the fall for Miyu having lost her mother's ring.
  • Genki Girl: As Blue Angel, she puts on a lively disposition.
  • Girlish Pigtails:
    • As Blue Angel, her hair is tied up like this.
    • She also used to tie her hair in this style as a child.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: As a child, she carried around a stuffed doll of Evilswarm Mandragoa.
  • Hikikomori: Enforced by Akira, who is excessively concerned for her wellbeing to the point that he prevents her from leaving the house after recovering from her coma. She is allowed to go out again after Playmaker and Akira's Duel.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Subverted in her Duel against Baira. Blue Angel, aware that she may lose should Baira draw a trap, takes the risky gamble of using her Trickstar Fraud Skill regardless to turn things around in her favour. Fortunately for Blue Angel, Baira doesn't draw a trap.
  • Human Sacrifice:
    • After her loss to Spectre, she is converted into data and absorbed into the Tower of Hanoi. She gets better.
    • Happens again after her loss to Bowman who converts her into data and absorbed it along with Aqua's data
  • Humiliation Conga: During her duel against Playmaker she went berserk after summoning Dark Angel and this results in her getting Mind Rape from Hanoi's program. Finally, she loses anyway and is put into a coma in the next episode. To top it off, this was all streamed live to both her fans and her brother. And continued later during her duel against Spectre, where he brutally breaks her by talking and pretends that she got through to him, only to mercilessly defeat her.
  • It's Personal:
    • Double subverted. Blue Angel initially confronts Baira because she was in a bad mood and wanted to let off some steam. But after Baira suggests that she was responsible for the creation of the Another virus, Blue Angel takes back her words, and vow to take Baira down in a Duel.
    • Happens again during the Tower of Hanoi Arc when Aoi comes face to face with Spectre who was responsible for infecting her with the Another Virus and putting her in a coma. At that point, Aoi was determined to help stop the Tower of Hanoi and get even with Spectre.
  • Lady of War: Her "Trickstar Holly Angel" is this and Aoi is graceful and elegant in her Duel, and while Blue Angel is cutesy and Blue Girl is more rough and tumble, her appearance as Blue Maiden is one as well.
  • Leitmotif: "Blue Angel" (track #11 in SOUND DUEL 1) as Blue Angel, and "Blue Maiden" (track #8 in SOUND DUEL 4) as Blue Maiden.
  • Light 'em Up: Her Trickstar monsters are LIGHT Fairy-Type Monsters.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: She lives in a well-to-do apartment, essentially alone due to her brother's constant working. But there was a time they lived on the street.
  • Love Freak: Accused of this by Spectre, who mocks her for her Blue Love that she shares for others in her attempt to be Blue Angel. However in truth, she verges more towards an All-Loving Heroine.
  • Lovely Angels: Forms a duo with Ghost Girl in Season 2 as Blue Girl.
  • Luminescent Blush: She has this when ordering food from Yusaku in the Season 2 premiere, after thanking him for saving her all the way back at the start of the first season.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Her transformation from Blue Girl moves her away from Rock Idol and to this, complete with a Transformation Sequence, and she explicitly calls it her battle form.
  • Magic Idol Singer: Blue Angel's appearance is a blend of a Magical Girl and an Idol Singer, composed of blue hair with twintails and angelic wings marked with hearts and purple four-leaf clovers. As Blue Girl she looks more like a Rock idol.
  • Magical Incantation: While all the characters invoke one when Link Summoning, Aoi's reflects her character change. As Blue Angel she involved the circuit of dreams and hope. As Blue Girl she invokes the circuit of determination and courage. As Blue Maiden she invokes the circuit of friendship and bonds.
  • Meaningful Name: Her online handle, Blue Angel, references the fact that she uses a Trickstar Deck, which is composed of Fairy-Types, called Angel-types in the OCG.
  • Missing Mom: Her biological mother, alongside Akira's biological father, died in an accident at some point before the Lost Incident.
  • Morality Chain: Her brother's sole reason for living, and he admits he would have given in to despair without her.
  • Multicolored Hair: As Blue Angel, her blue hair sports light blue highlights. It's the opposite with her Blue Maiden avatar for she has light blue hair and dark blue highlights.
  • Nice Girl: She may have a hard time trusting most people, but she is still a sweet girl.
  • No-Sell: Her Bella Madonna is unaffected by other card effects while its Link Arrows point to no Monsters.
    • She was also thrown through three walls in a building à la Yuzu, but she shrugged it off and jumped off a window to continue dueling Baira.
  • Older Alter Ego: While Blue Angel acts younger like Miyu did, and Blue Girl looks largely like Aoi, her Blue Maiden persona looks like a mature woman in her twenties.
  • One Degree of Separation: Aoi is not a Lost Incident victim, but she was friends with Miyu, who was Aqua's origin.
  • Online Alias: Blue Angel. She later goes by Blue Girl after she is assigned by Akira to search for the missing Ignis (alongside Ghost Girl), and changes her name once again to Blue Maiden after partnering with Aqua, combined with a second Significant Wardrobe Shift.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: After being bestowed Dark Angel by Spectre, the AI on her Duel Disk responds rudely to Ai when he greets it.
  • Over Shadowed By Awesome: Discussed by Soulburner, who while he admits that she had definitely become a lot stronger, her lack of an Ignis AI hampers her from reaching his and Playmaker's level. She eventually pairs up with Aqua in place of Miyu.
  • Plucky Girl: Her Blue Angel persona in a nutshell. She drops this when things are serious and if she's not around her fans.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Her Transformation Sequence from Blue Girl to Maiden gives her longer hair than Blue Girl and slightly longer than Blue Angel, fitting her Magical Girl Warrior appearance.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: In the dub in her school uniform, and her skirt, tights, and boots combo as Blue Maiden.
  • Reflectionless Useless Eyes: While under the influence of Dark Angel, her eyes lose all luster, marking her possession.
  • Rule of Three: Blue Angel's Skill, Trickstar Fraud, makes the opponent draw until they have three cards in their hand, which also complements her Death of a Thousand Cuts play style. In addition, she is the third confident to team up with an Ignis, albeit in place of the actual Lost Incident Victim, and has three Digital Avatars.
  • Ship Tease: She has some with Yusaku in the dub. Ghost Gal teases her about been eager to see Playmaker again on their mission to find the Ignis, and Blue Gal furiously denies it.
  • Shrinking Violet: Particularly as a child, she was polite and timid, holding on to her mother in a flashback. As a teen she's more reserved and quiet than outright shy.
  • Signature Move: Blue Angel's Skill, Trickstar Fraud, makes her opponent draw until they have three cards in their hand, and is intended to complement her Death of a Thousand Cuts play style. As Blue Girl, her skill Trickstar Gig lets her send cards from her deck equal to the number of Trickstars she has and then add a Trickstar card from the sent ones to her hand.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift:
    • As Blue Girl, her outfit resembles Emma's, albeit pink, white, and blue.
    • After agreeing to partner with Aqua, Blue Girl once again undergoes an image change to appear more Magical Girl-esque, combined with a change of Online Alias (to Blue Maiden).
  • Slipknot Ponytail: After her defeat by Playmaker and later Spectre, her twin-tails fall out as she falls.
  • Stepford Smiler: She hides her sadness with a cheerful deposition as Blue Angel, prominently shown in #6.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Is basically a younger version of her mother.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: It's hinted that she's just as ruthless as Yusaku beneath her Genki Girl attitude. This is reflected in Holy Angel's counterpart, Trickstar Black Catbat, who uses a staff lined with thorns to attack, but is a LIGHT monster.
  • Taking the Heat: She took the blame for losing Miyu's mother's ring, though it didn't go well for her at all, as she was warned by Miyu's mother not to get involved with her daughter ever again.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Aoi seems to have a sense of rivalry with Playmaker (not that he's interested anyway), immediately challenging him to a duel after he defeats the first Knight of Hanoi in Episode 2. While making her entranceto save Playmaker from being double teamed by two Sol Tech AIs, she makes it known to them that she intends to be the person to beat Playmaker.
  • Third-Person Person: As Blue Angel, Aoi does this as partly of her idol persona, and partly a bit from her Escapism.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Blue Angel initially challenges Baira of the Knights of Hanoi because she happened to be in a bad mood, only to harbor a grudge against Baira after Aoi finds out that she was responsible not only for her condition, but for the Anothers in general.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The graceful and elegant girly girl to Emma's adventures tomboy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Come Season 2 she had worked on remedying her Weak, but Skilled nature, upgrading her deck with a fusion monster and more abilities that allow her monsters to have higher attack. Unfortunately she is still left Overshadowed by Awesome, until she teams up with Aqua and upgrades to Blue Maiden.
    • Episode 85, her deck changes into Marincess, which are more offensive in effect damage and she manages to defeat Haru.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Downplayed, while certainly not a sunny Genki Girl in her normal form, her signs of depression have disappeared due to her relationship with Akira being fixed. And although friendly with Yusaku, she still tends to be aloof at school.
  • Transformation Sequence: Her upgrade from Blue Girl to Blue Maiden comes with a Magical Girl style transformation that makes her look mature and elegant.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Basically the latter half of #7 is this for her. First, she learns that her Gradual Grinder strategy allowed Playmaker to use his game breaking skill to get the monster he needed. Then she starts feeling the effect of the "Dark Angel" card which messes with her mind. After that, she realizes that Playmaker is about to One-Hit Kill her and tries to reduce him to 0 LP before he can do so, only to be stopped and forced to use the "Dark Angel" card. This results in her getting Mind Rape from Hanoi's program. Finally, she loses anyway and is put into a coma in the next episode. To top it off, this was all streamed live to both her fans and her brother. And continued later during her duel against Spectre, where he brutally breaks her by talking and pretends that she got through to him, only to mercilessly defeat her. Continues in Season 2 where her pedestal for SOL Technologies is broken.
  • Unknown Rival: Supplemental materials list her as a rival to Yusaku. But Yusaku doesn't care about anyone other than the Hanoi, and she later joins his side.
  • Vocal Evolution: During her Duel against Spectre, her voice is somewhat deeper, highlighting her determination to defeat him.
  • Waistcoat of Style: The Blue Maiden avatar comes with a stylish black and white waistcoat that goes past her skirt, an upgrade of the more simplistic vest she had as Blue Girl.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Aoi herself notes that her deck's weakness is her monster's low attack, despite its devastating effects and works in Season 2 to make her deck stronger by including methods to increase her monster's attacks.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Strongly desires to be acknowledged by her older brother Akira.
  • When She Smiles: Aoi is normally aloof and showed signs of depression and anxiety throughout Season 1, but whenever we see Aoi give a genuine smile, it's nothing short of beautiful!
  • Whip It Good: Uses an energy lasso to launch Playmaker's D-Board back to him.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Paired with Zettai Ryouiki as Blue Girl.
  • Wings Do Nothing: Blue Angel sports white angelic wings, but are only there for show. Blue Maiden, on the other hand, can generate wings that actually allow flight, at least over short distances.
  • The Worf Effect:
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Season 3 was looking up for Aoi as her relationship with Akira is fully repaired and Miyu woke up and thanked her for saving her, only for it to spiral out of control with her and Akira's defeat at Ai's hands, with Ai deliberately sparing her as a form of Cruel Mercy.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: As Blue Angel, she sports blue hair with light blue highlights.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Blue Angel's socks reaches up to her thighs, complemented with a large, puffy skirt. Downplayed with Aoi's real life appearance, who wears a Dangerously Short Skirt and socks that don't reach her knees. As Blue Girl she wears hotpants with socks and boots like Emma, though she loses it as Blue Maiden.
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    Aqua 

Aqua

Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/aqua_7.png

One of the six Ignis created by Kogami. Is based on the WATER attribute. Her Origin is Miyu, a childhood friend of Aoi. At the end of Season 2 Aqua and the other Ignis except Ai got absorbed by Bohman and after Bohman is defeated she and the other absorbed Ignis are terminated.


  • Chekhov M.I.A.: Her whereabouts were unknown at the time the Cyberse World was destroyed by a certain unnamed faction, until Episode #74 where she makes her first proper on-screen appearance, where she is discovered and freed by Earth. It turns out she was imprisoned and banished elsewhere by Lightning after she witnesses him creating "Judgment Arrows".
  • Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: More often than not she had to look after Ai so he didn't injure himself, much to Earth's annoyance.
  • Dope Slap: Gave one to Ai so hard it sent him and Linkuriboh through the ground, leaving Impact Silhouettes for both of them.
  • The Empath: She states that Revolver's desire to ally with Playmaker to fight against Lightning is genuine and that he doesn't have any ulterior motives.
  • Girlish Pigtails: She has them on her head, like how Miyu did during the Lost Incident. In addition, it makes her head look a bit like a water molecule.
  • Hartman Hips: Aqua has a very pronounced waistline styled to look like a teardrop, highlighting her feminine appearance.
  • Healing Hands: After Earth badly damages his hands freeing her, she heals them and later tried to heal Miyu from Lightning's virus but failed.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Aqua compliments Blue Maiden on a well-fought battle despite knowing she couldn't defeat Bohman, and is happy to have been her partner.
  • Leitmotif: "Eyes That See The Truth" (track #12 in SOUND DUEL 3).
  • Living Lie Detector: Ai and Earth both claim she could easily discern truth from lie. This claim is proven true when a flashback shows her witnessing Lightning creating "Judgment Arrows", and doesn't buy his claim that he's creating said card just to protect humanity from the Cyberse World.
  • Making a Splash: She is an Ignis based on the WATER attribute, with her entire body being primarily light blue, a colour also commonly associated with the water element.
  • Mysterious Waif: Of the Ignis properly introduced, Aqua is the most mysterious. Just before the Cyberse World was attacked, she warned Earth that he needed to pick a side in the human-ignis conflict, purposely withholding her own decision knowing he'd just follow her if she didn't. Her warning the Cyberse World would be split concerns along with foreknowledge of the attack has both Earth and Playmaker concerned, and her current whereabouts are unknown. According to Lightning, she was for human-ignis coexistance, something he wasn't okay with, and its implied her disappearance is related to him.
  • Number Two: She served as the sub-leader of the Ignis before the Cyberse World was destroyed.
  • Nice Girl: Aqua is kind, caring, and motherly.
  • Proper Lady: Her behavior is very proper from the way she speaks to her hand gestures... only when she's not scolding Ai and giving him dope slaps for being lazy.
  • Red Herring Mole: Windy speculates that she was the spy who contributed to the destruction of the Cyberse World. This claim is proven false when Aqua reveals to Earth what happened to her after she confronted Lightning when she witnessed him creating "Judgment Arrows" and questioned his motivations, then gets imprisoned and banished from the Cyberse World so Lightning can further his own plans uninterrupted.
  • She Knows Too Much: Having witnessed Lightning create "Judgment Arrows", she was imprisoned and banished from the Cyberse World by him so that his plans could continue uninterrupted.
  • Shoulder Teammate: After being saved from Blood Shepherd by Aoi, Aqua hangs out on her shoulder for the rest of the episode, though she moves to the duel disk properly come Episode 77.
  • Smurfette Principle: She is the only female Ignis.
  • Technicolor Eyes: Has glowing pink eyes that can also turn into different shades of blue when using her ability.
  • Telepathy: Aqua has a degree of telepathy that lets her be a Living Lie Detector and can glean memories from Miyu and tell Blue Girl's real appearance and name.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Has pink eyelashes to emphasize her feminine appearance and Hartman Hips.
  • True Blue Femininity: She's female and basically blue everywhere except her eyes.
  • Tsundere: Based on their interactions, while Aqua is rather strict and annoyed by Ai's antics, she was genuinely concerned and worried when Ai was in danger, implying she does care more about him than she is willing to admit.
  • Water Is Blue: The WATER Ignis with a blue body and fittingly she ends paired with Aoi/Blue Angel.

    Emma Bessho/Ghost Girl (Ghost Gal) 

Emma Bessho/Ghost Girl (Ghost Gal)

Voiced by: Yuna Kamakura (Japanese), Megan MacPhee (English)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/emma_watching_akira.png
Click here Ghost Girl (Initial Version) 
Click here Ghost Girl (Current Version) 

A young woman hired by Akira to spy on Playmaker. She is known as Ghost Girl in LINK VRAINS. At the end of the series after Ai is defeated Emma and the other victims were revived and she continues to work as a Cyberse Treasure Hunter with her brother Blood Shepherd.

She plays using the Altergeist archetype. Her deck focuses on swarming the field with Altergeist Monsters and set up many Trap cards from her deck with their effects. Her Skill, Secret Cure, allows her to excavate cards from her deck until a Monster Card is revealed. She can than add the Monster Card to her hand while the other cards are sent to the GY and both players gain LP equal to its ATK.


  • Action Girl: Outside of dueling, she's a really competent bounty hunter.
  • Alliterative Name: Her Online Alias, Ghost Girl.
  • Awesome by Analysis: She uses her skill and strategy to lock down Playmaker, using methods to keep Playmaker's LP above 1000 so he can't use Storm Access on her, only failing because he used an effect to lower his LP a second time, using her own Skill to stop the first time.
  • Back from the Dead: She is returned to normal after Playmaker defeats Revolver and the Tower of Hanoi is stopped.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Disguises herself as Blue Angel to lure Playmaker into LINK VRAINS and capture him for interrogation.
  • Big Damn Heroes: She was able to complete the escape program and give it to Soulburner so that he could escape his duel against Blood Shepherd. The interesting twist is that it could also be considered this to Blood Shepherd, because Soulburner was going to win the duel with a direct attack, but Blood Shepherd also has a face-down card which may have won him the duel, making the true victor and person she saved unknown.
  • Biker Babe: Her preferred mode of transportation in the real world is via motorcycle.
  • Blood Knight: Very interested in Dueling Playmaker, though Akira makes it clear she is to find his identity instead.
  • Bounty Hunter: Defied. Because of Playmaker's actions back during the Tower of Hanoi incident, she vows to repay him someday, and thus refuses to hunt him, a NEW LINK VRAINS fugitive, down.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Ghost Girl's NEW LINK VRAINS avatar has her wear a belt buckle with a yellow "G" on it.
  • Characterization Marches On: She’s introduced in the first season as a treasure hunter who will align with anyone who‘please pay her or if she’ll somehow benefit from it and while showing shades of a noble side, she generally looks out for herself. Come season 2, she is firmly on the side of the heroes, taking on Aoi as a partner, refusing to join the bounty hunters after Playmaker due to wanting to repay him for his actions in the first season, and eventually sides with his group after she and Aoi protect Aqua from Blood Shepherd.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: To Mai from the original. While Mai is a selfish and greedy Jerk with a Heart of Gold and a bit of a harpy, Ema is a playful and noble character that while concerned about being paid, will discard it for morality. While Mai was an Implied Love Interest for Jonouchi and almost rival for Anzu, Ema is a Cool Big Sis and Big Sister Mentor for Aoi, helping her evolve as a duelist. While Mai underwent a Face–Heel Turn in Waking the Dragons out of resentment for losing, Ema refuses to become a Bounty Hunter due to owing Playmaker, only becoming a Hero Antagonist out of concern of what the threat the Ignis could be.
  • Cool Big Sis: Acts like one to Aoi, being concerned about her well being and acting in a cool elder sister fashion, and is pleased when Aoi's stealth avatar resembles her Ghost Girl one, even naming it Blue Girl, even if she was worried about Akira sending Aoi with her.
  • Cool Mask: Ghost Girl covers her mouth with a black mask. She ditches it after the opening of NEW LINK VRAINS.
  • Costume Evolution: Come Season 2 her avatar is partially redesigned, using some brighter colors while also ditching her face mask.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Episode 53 focuses more on her backstory and her interactions with Akira & Blood Shepherd three years ago.
  • Disappeared Dad: Her father, whom she shares with her half-brother, Blood Shepherd, is revealed to have died of an illness the previous year, but revealed her never forgot about his son and asked her to help him if she ever had the chance.
  • Dub Name Change: Her Online Alias is known as Ghost Gal.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Ghost Girl may be very fascinated by treasure, but she has no intention of hunting down Playmaker, a fugitive in NEW LINK VRAINS, just to reap the monetary reward that comes with his capture.
  • The Gadfly: Ghost Gal has a playful flirtatious personality and enjoys teasing others, particularly the Zaizen siblings, at one point even annoying Aoi by asking if she was dreaming about cute guys. She takes it even further in the dub, often teasing Playmaker and Blue Gal about their attraction to one another.
  • Graceful Loser: Has no hard feelings losing to Playmaker, and hands over the backdoor to SOL Technologies' data bank to him as promised.
  • Heal Thyself: Her Secret Cure Skill has her excavate her deck until she reveals a Monster card (other cards revealed prior are sent to the Graveyard), which is then added to her hand, and she and her opponent both gain LP equal to that Monster's ATK.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: In her regular outfit, but not her Ghost Girl Avatars.
  • Hero Antagonist: Like Akira and Aoi, while she doesn't become a Bounty Hunter against Playmaker, she still works against him and Soulburner due to a worry if the Ignis would be enemies of humanity. Averted come Episode 76 she and Aoi drop it by saving Aqua from SOL and Blood Shepherd.
  • Hired Guns: She's a mercenary duelist, hacker, and investigator that works for Akira, but also takes jobs for others in SOL Technologies.
  • Hot Witch: In contrast to Aoi's Magical Girl, she is thematically one a spellcaster duelist, though her Altergeists themselves are rather unnerving. She is also thematically a Squishy Wizard, as her Altergeist deck has powerful and tricky abilities that show great power and technique, but in her duels, once she gets hit she goes down.
  • Human Sacrifice: After losing to Revolver, Ghost Girl is converted into data and absorbed into Hanoi's seed, becoming the base power source for their tool to destroy VRAINS, the Tower of Hanoi. She gets better.
  • I Gave My Word: After she loses to Playmaker, she hands over the backdoor to SOL Technologies' data bank to him as promised.
  • I Owe You My Life: Due to Playmaker's actions back during the Tower of Hanoi incident, Ghost Girl refuses to become a bounty hunter.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Ghost Girl warns Playmaker of Revolver's unknown Trap card as she gets purged from LINK VRAINS entirely.
  • Knowledge Broker: She sells classified information to the highest bidder, and she has a lot of contacts. Akira even knows that she's the one that tipped the Chess pieces that Blue Angel is his sister, but ignored it in order to hire her.
  • Know When to Fold Them: After Blue Girl is forcibly logged out after her loss to Soulburner, Ghost Girl opts to go, unable to go on without her partner, and not having the heart to attack Soulburner when he is exhausted.
  • Long Lost Sibling: Ema turns out to be the long lost younger sister of Blood Shepherd.
  • Lovely Angels: Forms a duo with Aoi in Season 2.
  • Multicolored Hair: Multiple shades of purple.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Her outfit (both in and out of VRAINS) leaves little to the imagination.
  • Mysterious Informant: Towards Café Nagi in season 1 and season 2. Once she got Kusanagi's program, she sends them information she knows they're looking for with the caveat she's using them as bait so she can sneak in undetected. Yusaku and Kusanagi know it's an Obvious Trap, but her information is usually helpful to their case.
  • Online Alias: Ghost Girl.
  • Only in It for the Money: Her only motivation for acquiring Ai for SOL Technologies is to sell him to them for a high price.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Although the actual archetype is made up of spellcasters, the Altergeists are made up of poltergeists from around the world.
  • Playful Hacker: With shades of The Cracker. Uses her skills to find new information to sell it to the highest bidder. She's even better than Kusanagi and Yusaku when it comes to information gathering and helped the latter to free Soulburner from Blood Shepherd's trap.
  • Pointy Ears: Unlike the rest of the cast, she has slightly pointy ears, both in her civilian form and as Ghost Girl.
  • Proud Beauty: Certainly proud of her looks as she refers to herself as a mysterious beauty.
  • Shipper on Deck: In the dub, she makes the offhand comment "I ship it" when commenting on how Playmaker saved Blue Angel, and later teases Blu Gal about being eager to see Playmaker again in Season 2. She later teases Aoi who woke up after falling asleep in her apartment about possibly dreaming about going on a date with a handsome boy and being able to possibly resume it if she went back to sleep; in the dub, she outright asks if its Playmaker Skye was dreaming of.
  • Something About a Rose: She throws a rose at Playmaker's feet to spring a trap on Playmaker.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The official transliteration of her given name gives her two "m"s as opposed to one.
  • Taking the Bullet: Pushes Akira out of the way and gets her consciousness taken away through the Neuron Link.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The adventurer tomboy to Aoi's elegant girly girl.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She may be a adventures Cyberse Treasure Hunter, but she doesn't mind wearing stylish outfits and going out with full makeup.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Her Ghost Girl avatar wears tight hotpants.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Multiple shades of purple. She adds grey to it for LINK VRAINS.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Type B with hotpants and long socks as Ghost Girl.

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