The franchise is a cardgame conceived by Bushiroad which started out as both an Anime and Manga which were both about a shy boy named Aichi Sendou who through Vanguard gains more confidence and friends, but besides mostly using the same characters, the stories they had went in a completely different direction. The cardgame itself quickly gained popularity not only in Japan, but also overseas even without Bushiroad doing any marketing thanks to its relatively simple rules which made it easy and fun to play.
Eventually the story of the original cast seemingly concluded with its last season Legion Mate. However the story went then on in Cardfight!! Vanguard G which follows a new protagonist named Chrono Shindou who suddenly finds a Vanguard deck in his locker and as a result is dragged into the world of Vanguard. At first this seems to be spin-off which also uses old characters alongside the new ones, but it later turns out to be a continuation of the original anime.
Eventually Chrono's story also concluded, but instead of creating a new anime series or spin-off. They decided to reboot the franchise with Cardfight!! Vanguard (V Series) which is about Aichi again, but this time is based on the manga, but eventually spinning off to a prequel with Shinemon Niita growing into his role as Card Capital's manager, and an alternate universe story involving Aichi's sister Emi Sendou as a magical girl.
After the V Series concluded, a brand new anime spin-off began known as Cardfight!! Vanguard overDress. This series follows Yu-Yu Kondo and a group of cardfighters known as Team Blackout as Yu-Yu is pulled into the world of Vanguard.
Aside from the main series Anime/Manga there were also various spin-off media and video games which sadly enough weren't brought overseas.
See also Future Card Buddyfight, another Bushiroad original anime/card game franchise, sometimes considered a sister franchise to Cardfight!! Vanguard.
Works in the Franchise
- Cardfight!! Vanguard
- MiniVan: A flash anime based on the Yonkoma manga.
- Cardfight!! Vanguard G: A spin-off with a new cast which later turns out to be the sequel to the original anime.
- Cardfight!! Vanguard (V Series): The reboot of the franchise which is based off the manga created by Akira Itou.
- Bermuda Triangle ~Colorful Pastrale~: A series focused around a group of Mermaid girls, Sonata, Caro, Fina, Serena, and Canon, living in the nation of Magallanica on Planet Cray.
- Cardfight!! Vanguard overDress: A spin-off with a new cast using cards based on Planet Cray 3000 years after the conflicts in the previous series.
- Cardfight!! Vanguard: The manga created by Akira Itou
- MiniVan: A Yonkoma manga about the anime & manga characters.
- MiniVan Large: Like above, but with mixed with V and -If- series.
- Cardfight!! Vanguard Gaiden: Swordsman of Light: A manga which follows the story of the units on cray.
- Cardfight!! Vanguard Shooting Star: A manga about Asuka Matsumoto whose the manager of card shop "Shooting Star" while her father is missing.
- Another Vanguard: Star Road Asuka: The continuation of Shooting Star.
- Ride to Victory (Japan only) (2013) (3DS): A game produced by the FuRyu Company. The game follows the player character (Chosen from 6 available) in his/her way to become the National Champion.
- Lock on Victory (Japan Only) (2014) (3DS):. It follows closely to the plot of Link Joker Arc where the player character (Chosen from the same 6 characters from the previous game + 5 new characters in this game, one of them voiced by Nobuyuki Hiyama, no less!) gets to choose which of the 3 high schools (Aichi's Miyaji, Kai's Hitsue or Ren's Fukuhara) to join and win the Vanguard High School Championship while fighting the invasion of Link Joker.
- Stride To Victory (Japan Only) (2016) (3DS): This game introduces 10 new characters, and follows the plot of the first season of Cardfight!! Vanguard G.
- Cardfight!! Vanguard Zero (2019): A mobile game.
- Cardfight!! Vanguard EX (2019) (PlayStation 4/Switch): The game based on the reboot. It follows the story of Izuru Shidou.
The entire Franchise or multiple entries contain examples of:
- Absurdly High-Stakes Game: Games are regularly played with lives at stake. Usually during Tournament Arc the main protagonist and his team are determined to win the tournament for the sake of their goal and teammate.
- Alternate Continuity:
- The V-Series which is a reboot to the original series and adapted from manga isn't connected to the original timeline, and during the IF arc the main characters Ibuki, Suiko, Kourin, and Miwa travel to the IF world where they meet alternate versions of their friends and teamup with Shuka and alternate versions of Emi and Kai to stop the IF version of Aichi and correct distortions.
- The fourth series overDress is set in its own own universe, unconnected from previous series.
- Animation Bump: Franchise-wide with the anime, cards, or important episodes get extra love from the animators.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Every series has a lot of this trope going on.
- Break the Haughty: When a hero has a rival who acts smug, arrogant and haughty, they will be taught a harsh lesson in humility.
- Beach Episode: Most of the series gets at least 2 or 3 beach episode. The main cast and their allies go to a resort where they relax at a beach and undergo training by their mentors to become stronger.
- In original series, Season 1 after losing to Team Asteroid during the national tournament, Team Q4, and Card Capital regulars went to train with Team Ceaser at a beach in order to make a strong comeback for the nationals. In Season 2 team Q4 went with Asteroid to a resort for a vacation and training.
- In G-Series, During Season 1 Chrono took his teammates to beach in order to cheer them up following their defeat at the hands of Demise, but it got ruined due to bad weather. During the Stride Gate arc Try 3 and Taiyo went to a beach to relax and train with Jamie, Kamui, and Misaki in order to boost their skills against Ryuzu and Company. During NEXT arc Ibuki, Mamoru, and Jaime took Try 3 and their new teammates to beach for training and help them make a stong comeback for U-20.
- Fanservice: There are many attractive male characters to show off their abs and muscles, and female characters to show off their curves during Beach Episode and Furo Scene.
- High School: Every series has a high school arc, where the main cast part ways and transfer to different high schools and make new friends and form a team with them, then they would compete with their former teammates as friendly rivals during the tournament.
- In the original series, starting from Season 3 (Link Joker arc) Aichi and Kourin enrols to Miyaji Academy the same school as Misaki, and along with their new friends Naoki and Shingo, they would form a Vanguard club at their school. Aichi's former teammate Kai is also a member of Vanguard club at his school and both of them along with Ren's team would compete as rivals in order to enter a tournament, but that didn't last long since Ren's team won and the writers had to mostly focus on Link Joker invasion.
- This trope is Downplayed in G series. The NEXT arc has team Try 3 parting ways and enrolling to different high schools, forming a new team to enter the U-20 Championship in order to fulfill their goals and compete with each other as rivals. Chrono enrols to Harumi High School, Shion enrols to Fukuhara high the same school Ren and his team studied, and Tokoha moves to Paris. But NEXT mostly focuses on them and their teammates competing at U-20, rather than their high school life.
- The second half of V-Series, which took some elements from Link Joker arc focused on the main cast's high school life and after the Pshyqulia Zombie arc, there was a Vanguard Koishien mini tournament arc featuring teams from various high schools.
- Lighter and Softer: Vanguard is a light-hearted franchise that focuses on characters quirks, bonds and competing with each other at a tournament.
- Mr. Fanservice: The series is filled with Cast Full of Pretty Boys, who frequently get Shirtless Scene during Beach Episode and Furo Scene.
- In G series, during episode 11 of the Gears Crises arc Kamui, Chrono, Shion, and Trinity Dragons were training at a hot-spring almost naked and the episode is also titled Naked Fight. In NEXT arc Enishi and Jaime were relaxing at a spa and both of them had a Furo Scene together.
- In V-Series, after taking shower at Kai's apartment, Ren gets a naked scene while wiping his head with a towel and this prompt Kai to freak out. Kai, Aichi, Naoki, Shingo and male members of student council get a shirtless scene while they were relaxing at a hot spring.
- In overDress, male members of team Blackout are frequently taking a bath at a hot spring and Tohya gets a naked shower scene.
- Ms. Fanservice: There are many attractive female characters in the franchise who wear sexy outfits. When they are depicted as there units during fights, they tend to wear least modest outfits.
- In original series Misaki, Asaka and Yuri wore a bikini during Beach Episode. Asaka's V-Series counterpart also gets many sexy shots, in order to highlight her curves.
- Tokoha and Rin also wore a bikini during Beach Episode, while Kumi wore a modest swimsuit.
- In V-Series their is Esuka Hibino who is the most sexiest woman in the franchise. She frequently wears swimsuit and gets naked bath and shower scene.
- In overDress Megumi gets a naked Furo Scene, while Tomari wears a sexy outfit.
- The Power of Friendship: This is the franchise main theme. No matter how powerful a villain is, they're helpless against the hero who has the support of his/her friends.
- True Companions: All the Vanguard series and its spin-off's. Not only is the main protagonist and his team are this, but also the supporting characters and their teammates have very strong bond with each other and will go through any extent to be by their aide through thick and thin.
- Signature Mon: Several characters in the franchise tend to be associated with at least one card that usually play a key role in their deck.
- Time Skip: Almost every Vanguard series takes a leap at some point.
- In Original series, the Link Joker arc takes place half a year after the Asia Circuit arc. The final arc Legion Mate takes place few months after the events of Link Joker and the last 2 episodes takes place a year after Kai freed Aichi from Void.
- The G series takes place 3 years after the events of the Original series. The Stride Gate arc takes place 5 months after the events of GIRS Crisis, and the NEXT arc takes place 6 months after the events of Stride Gate.
- In V-Series, the second half of Season 1 took place 6 months after Aichi defeated Ren. The Shinemon arc which serves as a Prequel, takes place 10 years prior to the events of Aichi's story, and focuses on Shinemon's Coming of Age Story, the arc took multiple Time Skip where they show his life as a high schooler, college student and finally becoming the owner and manager of Card Capital.
- Tournament Arc: It is a trend for every series to have one.
- Season 1 of the original series is a succession of tournament arcs with the characters first taking part in a card shop tournament before moving to participate as a team in Regional and National competitions. Season 2 focuses on the Asia Circuit tournament, where a team requires only 3 members, there are 4 stages taking place at Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Japan, where only 4 teams can win at one stage. Season 3 feature a tournament between various high schools before the focus shifts toward dealing with the titular Link Joker.
- In G series season 1 has team Try 3 taking part in various tournaments in order to get points for their G quest. Season 2 focuses on them taking quest at different branches in order to become Generation Masters and prove to the original main cast, they're worthy and strong enough to help them defeat Ryuzu. Season 4 focuses on Under 20 Championship, Try 3 part ways, form their own team and compete in U-20 as rivals.
- While the V-series show the characters participating in tournaments such as the Asia Circuit, the Vanguard Koshien or the Esuka Cup, the tournaments themselves are Out of Focus with only a few fights being shown.