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Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS (rhymes with "brains") is the sixth series in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. It will begin airing in May 10, 2017 as part of the Spring 2017 Anime lineup. A TV special, Yu-Gi-Oh! LABO, aired in April 5 to May 3 introduce its characters and setting. There is a city where network systems have evolved: Den City. In this city, with the advanced network technology developed by the corporation "SOL Technology", a Virtual Reality space called Link VRAINS has been developed, and in this VR Space, people became excited over the latest way to Duel. They are called Charisma Duelists. However, in Link VRAINS, a mysterious hacker group that hacks via Dueling has appeared: The Knights of Hanoi. Their goal is to annihilate the AI World known as Cyberse that exists somewhere in the depths of the Network. However, there is one Duelist who stands against the threat to Link VRAINS. His name is Playmaker. He has become famous in the Network World for crushing the Knights of Hanoi in fierce Duels, without mentioning his name. But the true identity of Playmaker is an Ordinary High-School Student and a hacker named Yusaku Fujiki, who doesn't like standing out. He pursues the Knights of Hanoi that appear in VRAINS in order to find out the truth of an incident that happened in the past. And amid this pursuit, Yusaku manages to capture a mysterious AI Program being sought after by both SOL Technology Inc. and the Knights of Hanoi. In doing so, the gears of fate is starting to turn.



  • Action Girl: Any female duelist in the franchise is this
  • Arc Number:
    • When questioned why he does things, Yusaku gives three reasons for his decesion.Revolver does the same
    • By the rules of Speed Duels, only three monsters can be in play at a time, save for Extra Deck monsters. Accordingly, Yusaku's ace monster Decode Talker is a Link-3 monster.
    • SOL Technologies has three main leaders that Akira speaks to.
    • Go Onizuka, playing on wrestling tropes, counts 1-2-3 in his duel.
  • Adults Are Useless:Played with like the last series. Shoichi helps Yusaku hack but doesn't really duel, the Knights of Hanoi are largely run by adults but their leader is of indeterminate age, and Akira Zaizen runs most of the plot-relevant activity on SOL tech's end but mostly hires other people. In short, adults help with everything except dueling.Averted with Akira as he duels against Playmaker in 18
  • Alternate Appearance Aura: All the VR duelist have completely different appearance in real life
  • Anime Hair: Like other series most of the characters have this hair
  • Anti-Villain:Dr. Kogami. He may be the creator of the Hanoi Project as well as the guy who wanted to destroy the Ignis as well as Link VRAINS itself. However, he is full of regret for doing these terrible actions. He felt all of these had to be done to save humanity as he has just wanted to save it and protect the greater good. His son, Revolver ( =aka Ryoken]]) completely understood his motivations and stayed loyal to his father.
  • Big Bad: The Knights of Hanoi , lead by Revolver.
  • Big Bad Ensemble:. The interests of The Knights of Hanoi not only include destroying the Link VRAINS created by the SOL Technology Inc., but they are also seemingly competing with the SOL Technology Inc. over a mysterious AI Program. Given that Yusaku acquired it by accident, he will probably be targeted by both.
  • Broken Bird:While their aren't much female broken birds in the show most of the broken birds are males as most of them had Dark and Troubled Past and most of the victims of Lost Incident are also this since after the incident they still struggle to have normal life,time stopped moving for them and they are coping up with their trauma,The most notable are
    • Yusaku after the incident he became a very bitter and broken person obessesd with revenge and he believes his life is cut short and he doesn't need friends or future
    • Jin after the incident he was hospitalized and develop intense PTSD and isolated,shut himself from the society and closed his heart from the world and became a Empty Shell
    • Takeru after the incident he learned his parents died in an accident while looking for him and after learning his parents death he became angry at the world and closed himself from the society similar to Jin after reading more about the Three Heroes of VRAINS he starts to get better and come out of his shell
    • Blood Shepherd was once a cheerful young man after nearly losing his mother in a car accident he became very cold,emotionless and ruthless
  • Captain Obvious:Duelists' AI assistants have a habit of making blatantly obvious statements during a Duel. Justified, as they aren't programmed to do anything more than deliver Dueling-related exposition.
  • Central Theme: As the Tagline says: never surrender and try something new .
  • Cool Board: Charisma Duelists ride one in VR Duels.
  • Civil War: After Ai sealed the Cyberse away, the remaining Ignis began debating whether or not to trust humanity. After the Cyberse World was destroyed however, the Ignis split apart and began following their own agenda, escalating the dispute into a civil war.
  • Curb Stomp Battle:Ghost Girl's duel with Brave Max in episode 60 ends with Brave Max getting utterly annihilated, to the surprise of exactly nobody.
  • Cyberspace: VR Duels are set in a cyberspace constructed with the latest technology.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:Majority of the main and supporting cast had a really dark,disturbing and Tear Jerker past.
    • Yusaku and Jin both of them were one of the 6 kids that got kidnap during the events of Lost Incident/Hanoi Project 10 years ago when they were still children.They were held captive for 6 months and are forced to duel against difficult opponents and will only get to eat depending on their performance if they lose not only will they be starved but they will also get electrode as a punishment for their defeat. Even 10 years after the incident was over both the mens have still been haunted over the incident and develop intense PTSD and their childhood trauma had gotten soo deep to do the point it took them more than 10 years for them to recover their trauma.
    • Aoi was just 6 and Akira was 16 when they both lost their parents in a car accident.After their parents died both of them had their as well as their parents inheritance stolen by their relatives making both Aoi and Akira homeless and this also causes Akira to use his skills for Shady business in order to provide shelter for him and Aoi to live
    • Spectre was just a baby when his parents abounded him at tree.The tree protected him as parent and afterwards he was taken to orphanage and didn't have the ability to mingule with others all of his life has been bored until he faced the Hanoi Project.Like Jin and Yusaku he was one of the six that got kidnap but unlike both of them he enjoyed the incident and had fun even if he get electrode for losing a duel.It makes you wonder that he lacks proper human emotions
    • Dr Kogami was a researcher for SOL and mastermind of Hanoi Project after SOL find out they imprisoend him and put him in coma and later killed him years later his son revived him in the network world
    • Takeru just like Jin,Spectre and Yusaku he was also one of the 6 kids that got kidnap and tortured during the Hanoi Project and after being rescued he learned that his parents died during an accident while they were looking for him
    • Kengo Dojun/Blood Shephered and AI drilled his life and he nearly lost his mother in a car accident which made his mothers spinal cord damage and she cant walk and Kengo also lost one of his arm replacing in with a Artificial Arm
  • Darker and Edgier: In contrast to ARC-V its main themes are, ironically, happiness and entertainment. VRAINS makes it clear that it's at least darker than ZEXAL and has the potential to become even darker than ARC-V, judging by its Closer to Earth approach and Cyber Punk themes as well as having a Kid Detective main character who hunts down a group of Cyberspace busting maniacs.
  • Dwindling Party:The final arc of the first season becomes this as all who can fight Hanoi go down one by one. First, Ghost Girl is defeated by Revolver and sent to the tower of Hanoi, next Kitamura is defeated by Spectere and sent to the tower as well, its not long before Blue Angel is beaten by Spectere, followed by Akira's sacrifice to ensure Playmaker won the duel. It gets worse as Yusaku regroups with Go while he is dueling and Go is defeated by Revolver, leaving only Yusaku to be the one to save Link Vrains.
  • Dub Induced Plot Hole:During Blue Angel's duel with Specter she uses a monster effect to retrieve her three copies of "Trickstar Reincarnation". In the original Japanese it's explained that she can't set the traps on the same turn, so she uses "Trickstar Treat" to set and activate them during Specter's turn. In the English dub this explanation is cut out for no reason, with the space filled with Specter doing more Evil Gloating, making it seem like Blue Angel made a misplay by not just setting the card and risking the use of another trap with a huge backlash for no reason.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Yusaku started out as a person who doesn't like standing out due to him being a hacker but changes when he tried dueling for the first time.
  • Determinator: Enforced as with ARC-V; the show's main theme is "Take a step forward and try!", the premise being that kids should try things out instead of giving up at the first try due to being overwhelmed by information.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:The following lyrics for the first ED (Believe In Magic) has "Akiramenai sa (I won't give up), Never Give Up Never!".
  • Dull Surprise:Neither Yusaku or Kusanagi bat an eye when Ai regains and reveals his true form and continue analysing him to see if they overlooked anything. Ai doesn't appreciate not having his attention reciprocated.
  • Despair Event Horizon: During Playmaker and Revolver's second Master Duel. Playmaker is overwhelmed by the might of Revolver's Extra Linked Monsters, to the point that it physically wears him out so badly, he's almost unable to get up and continue resisting Revolver's ruthless assault. Lampshaded by Revolver, who points out for the second time that neither of them have a new path to walk towards.
  • Evil Counterpart: Revolver physically resembles Playmaker except he wears white clothing and has a mask-like visor.
  • Expy: A bunch of Arc-V fans see Yusaku as Yuri and Serena's child. This could be considered Official Couple except out of all the dimensional counterpart ships between same dimension counterparts, Serena and Yuri are considered the least canon
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:The Eye of Anubis appears in the first OP, "With the Wind", for the first time in the franchise since GX.
  • Fun with Acronyms:Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Network System.
  • From a Certain Point of View::Akira tells Go several basic facts at least some of which are known to be completely true (and some of unknown validity), but phrases what he says in a way that makes it sound like Playmaker stole something valuable from SOL Technologies.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: This is probably the first time it has happened in a franchise, considering Yusaku, while not a bad person, is definitely more of an Anti Hero than Yugi and his successors are. The characters in this series are more complex, making them look more believable and humane.
  • Gratuitous English:"Into the VRAINS!"
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:In episode 4, Ignis recruits Roboppy and convinces her to do... it's never actually said what they were trying to do, but from the noises and their behavior it's pretty clearly meant to be sex.
  • High School:The shows setting is in high school with majority of the main cast being high schoolers
  • Hollywood Hacking:Credit for mentioning and showing the end of long, boring hours of analysis looking at pages of programming language and binary. The trope still counts due to Shoichi and Yusaku using a lot of graphical representations of their programs, seemingly for no reason other than to give the kids in the audience a basic understanding of what they're doing.
    • There's no way Shoichi could've found a way around the block put up in episode 4 unless he'd done it before against the exact same block and just re-ran the code he created last time.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Windy initially appears to simply distrust humans and intends to create a new world for only the Ignis to reside in, but it's later revealed that he, along with the Light Ignis (Lightning), plans to create a new Cyberse World that is not only beyond human reach, but also rule over humanity from within, on the grounds that they view humanity as inferiors compared to the Ignis.
  • Invisible Parents:Everyone's parents are either offscreen or dead. Conveniently, all housekeeping is handled by Robot Maids.
  • Japanese School Club:The Duel Club, which Yusaku joins against his will thanks to Ignis
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot:Much like Arc-V, right off the bat the audience starts getting clues about major mysteries and dangling plot threads
  • Love Chart: Non-romantic variant; the official website has relationship charts in the characters page, separate ones for both Den City and Link VRAINS.
  • Magical Incantation:While there are so far no unique summoning chants for specific Link Monsters., when performing a Link Summon, the Duelist says some variation of numbers
  • Magic Versus Science: VRAINS has heavier focus on science and is more of a scientific them than the previous entries, even more so than ARC-V.
  • Melee à Trois:Yusaku, SOL Technology Inc., and the Knights of Hanoi are competing for control over Ignis.
  • Naive Newcomer: Yusaku is the first protagonist to be new in duel monsters.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting:Playmaker and GO's Duel is accompanied with one after the former Link Summons Decode Talker.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Knights of Hanoi's main objective is to annihilate the VR world, but their reasons are yet to be revealed.'
  • Ordinary High School Student: Yusaku and Aoi are these.The shows primary setting is in high school
  • Online Alias: Most of the Charisma Duelists have one.
  • Outside Context Villain:A certain unnamed faction has located the Cyberse world (something that the Knights of Hanoi - which have about a thousand hackers as members - failed to do), use the Cyberse-Type with ease, possess the troublesome Link Spell Card "Judgment Arrows" (a never-before-seen type of Spell Card), and can seemingly wantonly steal people's souls.
  • Orphanage of Love:o comes from one, and he continues to be a patron of it.
  • Portmanteau: The title is actually a combination of "VR", "Vrai"note , and "brains".
  • The Power of Friendship: In this case, VRAINS deals with how friendship can make a person stand out and try new things.
  • Race Against the Clock:Playmaker, GO, and Blue Angel have six hours to stop the Tower of Hanoi from activating and destroying the entirety of the network world.
  • Rousseau Was Right:While VRAINS might be ore bleak and cynical than the previous YuGiOh series, five installments, the villains still have some redeeming qualities, rivals The Rivals are not typical jerks, out-and-out bastards, and Yusaku has a legitimately good reason for his Cold-Hearted Jerkass attitude, because of his Dark and Troubled Past
  • Red Herring:For a long time, it is believed that Aoi and Go are the origins for the WATER and EARTH Ignis' due to Aoi's Color Motif and Go's Heroic Build respectively. Season 2 shows they are not; Aqua's origin is Aoi's childhood friend Miyu, while Earth's origin is Specter. In a twist of fate, Aoi and Go end up paired up with Aqua and Earth anyway, with Aoi befriending Aqua, while Earth is integrated into Go's A.I. chip
  • Real Place Background:
    • Part of Den City, the setting of VRAINS, resembles the 109 building in Shibuya.
    • Link VRAINS contains locations based on real life landmarks such as Rome's Colosseum, Canada's Niagara Falls, Croatia's Mali Bok beach, America's Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, and Italy's Florence.
  • Rule of Three:"VR" + "Vrai"labelnote:noteFrench for "truth"/labelnote + "Brains" = VRAINS
  • Sadistic Choice:Played for drama. Lightning invokes one on Kusanagi (despite the latter knowing beforehand that the former would attempt to invoke a Hostage Situation involving his little brother's consciousness) to trick him and Playmaker into fighting each other. While Playmaker does fulfill the promise he kept with Kusanagi about going all-out during their Duel, it doesn't end well at all; Kusanagi is terminated and Playmaker breaks down into a teary mess. Soulburner himself also cries and expresses his outrage over [[Dirty Coward|Lightning's underhandedness.
  • Something Completely Different: The series runs on pure science, has a main character who is a Jerkass, and has two new Dueling rules.
  • Shadow Archetype: The Ignis A.I.s seem to be a shadow archetype towards their human partners:
    • Yusaku has a calm, collected, and intelligent yet aloof, cold and cynical. Ai is social, cocky, and energetic while also prone to panic in a dangerous situation like when Yusaku about to lose.
    • Takeru has a brave, passionate, and fierce personality yet has an intelligent and polite side. Flame is level-headed and straightforward yet can be overconfident, literal-minded, prideful, and blunt towards mistakes
    • Spectre has an extremely manipulative, deceptive, cold-hearted, sadistic, and antisocial personality. Earth is very serious and honest yet socially awkward with a crush on the water Ignis, Aqua.
  • Split Personality: Most of the Link VRAIN duelist when they are in Link Vrains they have completely different personality in real life and when they are in Link Vrains.Best example is Aoi who is calm and quite in real life but when she is in Link VRAINS she is very active.
  • The Stoic:Their are many stoic characters in the show the most notable are Yusaku,Ryoken,Aoi IRL and Jin
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism:While the first four entries are mostly idealistic and ARC-V zig-zags it, VRAINS is very bleak and cynical for the most part, especially in regards to Yusaku and his Dark and Troubled Past. Despite that, unlike ARC-V ', VRAINS is not a Humans Are Bastardsworld and like the original and Zexal, still heavily follows Rousseau Was Right.
  • Stealth Pun:Originally it was announced that the new Speed Duel format would be replacing the previous standard format for the series; however, it was later revealed that standard dueling rules would still apply to ground-based duels. The new rules only apply to the duels taking place on hoverboards; they really are Speed Duels!
  • Subverted Trope:Continuing where ARC-V left off, VRAINS has the following:
    • The previous main characters are introdcuided as Hot-Blooded Idiot Hero or a emphatic Nice Guy.Yusaku is the first protoganist to start as a Anti Heroic Jerkass something which Kaiba Archertype characters would often start as this.He acts more like Kaiba archertype than Yugi archertype.Not to Mention he is The Unchosen One.
    • The same can be said for Rival characters of their respective series, as they ranged from Jerkass to Cool Big Bro.Revolver is not only flat-out villainous (even more so than Death-T Kaiba) but also leads a group of Omnicidal Maniacs.
    • The first duel the protagonist usually fights is usually a recurring or at least named character, but the Starter Villain here is instead an unnamed member of the Knights of Hanoiitle
    • Subverting the tropes set by Yuma and Yuya, Yusaku did in deed start the series with Link Monsters in his deck, even if he did obtain a new one in his first duel.
    • When Yusaku obtained Firewall Dragon and was set on playing it immediately, Revolver immediately activated a combo to end the duel in a DRAW rather than let the known card creation effect play out and create a situation for Yusaku to win, as opposed to previous antagonists who would have either not been able to stop it or arrogantly believed they could survive anything that the protagonist could throw at them.
    • It also subverts the debut of the main character's ace monster, as Yusaku's first Link Summoning of Firewall Dragon takes place during his second Duel against Revolver as oppesed to Yuya and Yuma summoning their respective ace monsters at the start of the series.
  • Title Drop:Into The VRAINS
  • Tron Lines: VR forms have these.
  • Transformation Sequence:Some Charisma Duelists undergo a change in appearance in this manner when logging into Link VRAINS.
  • There Are No Therapists:Averted for once, flashbacks show that Yusaku had therapy as a child.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee:Revolver's first two instances of successfully using Mirror Forceare because nobody, not even the audience, saw it coming. The third time he uses it, he is shown drawing and setting the card on top of deliberately baiting Playmaker into attacking, and Playmaker carefully arranges his monsters to minimize his losses. This ultimately gets subverted when Revolver uses an unmentioned effect of his own to render Playmaker's efforts moot, resulting in the trap resolving properly and blowing him out.
  • Vagueness Is Coming:Before the attack on Cyberse World, Aqua told Earth to think carefully on where he stands about humans, and that the Cyberse World would break apart soon. Since the attack on Cyberse World destroyed it rather than broke it apart, Ai and Earth are unsure what her warning meant.
  • Villain With Good Publicity:Implied with the SOL Technology Inc. They are a Mega Corp. whose main source of power comes from the Cyberse, their executives minus Akira (who is still lower in the company hierarchy anyways) are suspiciously unwilling to make any contact with the public and seemingly using Akira as an unofficial spokesman of sorts. The one and only other person they've contacted other than Akira is Ema, but she is a mercenary. Other than that they always show up as giant holographic projections of chess pieces and have yet to show their real appearances, despite such odd secrecy is obviously excessive. To wrap it up, Hanoi is explicitly referring to the Cyberse - the company's main source of power - as something dangerous and all of Hanoi's higher-ups shown are presented as fully committed to their stated goal of destroying it.
  • Villain With Good Publicity:Implied with the SOL Technology Inc. They are a Mega Corp. whose main source of power comes from the
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair:Most of the characters hair are coloured into these.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real:Taking too much damage in Link VRAINS will have adverse effect on a Duelist's physical brain that could potentially them a brain-dead vegetable. An average duel might not cause that much damage, but falling off a D-Board in a Speed Duel could prove to be fatal.
  • White and Grey Morality:Playmaker and Akira's Duel in a nutshell. Akira stands in Playmaker's way, promises to bring a closure to the Lost Incident/Hanoi Project, and attempts to convince him to give up on the idea of revenge, let go of his past hurts and enjoy his present, normal life in happiness. Playmaker, on the other hand, bears no mal intent towards Akira and doesn't hold it against him for being dismissive of the idea of revenge, but he refuses to relent regardless and will do anything to get back at those responsible for said ten-year old incident.
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