Saturday, October 1, 2011

Character: Ishida Naoki

"Break time!"

Ishida Naoki/石田ナオキ
Age: 15/16 (presumed)
Voice Actor: Nara Touru (Japanese)
Anime Biography: A first-year high school student at Miyaji Academy, at the start of the third season Naoki was dissatisfied with his everyday school life. Alienated by the serious, academic atmosphere of Miyaji, Naoki followed his new classmate Sendou Aichi to Card Capital after seeing an abrupt shift in the transfer student's personality. Convinced by the visiting Team SIT Genius members and Sendou himself to partake in a cardfight, Ishida picked up the game seriously after becoming fired up in an introductory game with Sendou, and bought a trial deck on the spot.

Manga Biography: At his original debut Naoki was a coarse and distant boy, hazing Aichi for his hobbies and refusing to look into Sendou's school club.

Spoiler warning: Manga details follow.
Although not yet confirmed, it's implied that Naoki was the one who tore down Aichi's club poster at Miyaji.
Spoilers end here.

Universal Notes: Due to becoming too fired up in gameplay, Naoki tends to call every card his "avatar" card, mimicking the phrase that he first learned from Aichi.

Fan Culture: Naoki has been compared to one of Nara Touru's other acting roles, as Nishida "Nikuman-kun" Yūsei of Chihayafuru. At Ishida's debut, Nara was very popular for his role as Nishida, and the similarities in portrayal between the two characters have been favorably compared. A common joke among fans is to see the two characters confused because of the similar voice that Nara gives them, despite their lack of visual similarities.

Naoki's Engrish catchphrase "Break Time!" has often been parodied by both Japanese and overseas fans in conjunction with Kit Kat products, in part because of the international slogan for Kit Kat, "Have a break... have a Kit Kat".

Decks and Play Style
Naoki's deck is based out of a Narukami trial deck that he bought from Card Capital, TD08: Eraser of the Empire. Based around controlling the opponent's front row in the early game and mowing them down with powerful limit breaks in the late, his deck has a stronger endgame than contemporary Narukami decks because of Vowing Sword Dragon's break ride skill. His take on the clan is based heavily around the Eradicator subgroup, which gain power bonuses from having a vanguard with "Eradicator" in its name, promoting field unity for overwhelming power.

One difficulty Naoki experiences while cardfighting is his wholehearted devotion to attack, calling units that most fighters would normally reserve for defense. Because of this and his lack of early guarding, even while holding an advantage over opponents in terms of total cards controlled, Ishida tends to be unable to last through the late game to see his limit break skills come out.

Rides 105-106 (21/50 cards)
Grade 0
x1 Stone Bullet Eradicator, Houki (FVG)
x2 Zephyr Eradicator, Hayate ST
x2 Eradicator, Dragon Mage DT
x1 Eradicator, Yellow Gem Carbuncle CT
Grade 1
x2 Dust Storm Eradicator, Toko
x1 Red River Dragoon
x1 Eradicator of True Flames, Kougaiji
x1 Eradicator, Demolition Dragon
Grade 2
x2 Eradicator, Thunder Boom Dragon
x1 Assassin Sword Eradicator, Susei
x1 Lightning Blade Eradicator, Jeem
x1 Dragon Dancer, Veronica
x1 Eradicator, Spark Rain Dragon
Grade 3
x2 Discharging Dragon
x1 Chain-Attack Eradicator, Shion
x1 Eradicator, Vowing Sword Dragon

Around ride 107, Naoki began to make serious modifications to the deck, having been inspired by Kourin's retreating first vanguard. Unlike Kai, Naoki's Narukami deck is built more around field control, using Gauntlet Buster Dragon along with Vowing Sword and Gauntlet support cards to quickly clear out the opponent's rearguards while also building up power and critical for a strong center line.

Rides 107-Current (18/50 cards)
Grade 0
x1 Ambush Dragon Eradicator, Linchu (FVG)
x1 Zephyr Kid, Hayate ST
x1 Eradicator, Dragon Mage DT
x1 Demonic Dragon Eradicator, Seiobo HT
x1 Eradicator, Yellow Gem Carbuncle CT
Grade 1
x1 Eradicator, Demolition Dragon
x4 Thunder Fist Eradicator, Dui
x1 Dust Storm Eradicator, Tokou
x2 Red River Dragoon

Grade 2
x1 Assassin Sword Eradicator, Susei
x1 Eradicator, Thunder Boom Dragon
x1 Eradicator, Spark Rain Dragon
Grade 3
x2 Eradicator, Vowing Sword Dragon
x1 Eradicator, Gauntlet Buster Dragon