Saturday, October 1, 2011

Character: Yahagi Kyou

"The guy with the most ability should stand at the top!"
"The Great Kyou rides General Seifried!"

Yahagi Kyou/矢作キョウ
Age: Unconfirmed
Birthday: July 41
Anime Biography: "Crusher Kyou" is rank 4 of the AL4 members, and tends to overestimate his ability as a Vanguard fighter. Like Asaka he gained his position through raw power, but he lacks her enthusiasm for Ren and none-too-subtly conspires against their leader. He uses a Spike Brothers deck, which superior calls other units while attacking in order to make more attacks per turn, using cards like Sky Diver and General Seifried.2

Spoiler warning: Season 1 details follow.
Kyou is the only member of AL4 to lose at the first national tournament, and for his loss to Kai is thrown out of Foo Fighter. Broken by his defeat and driven to madness after days of wandering on the streets, Kyou seeks revenge against Kai and Ren by rounding up other expelled Foo Fighters. Hoping to break into the national competition independently, Kyou takes his vengeance team to the next Kanto regional, but his overconfidence once again proves to be his undoing.

Kyou is nothing before Sendou Aichi's PSY Qualia, and as the fight goes on Kyou is gradually reigned in under its power, ending in a hallucination of Ren executing him on the planet Cray much as Aichi would later do to Kourin. His team humbled, they lose confidence in their leader--Kyou will hear none of this, but before he can attempt to convince them to continue with their rebellion, an elite Foo Fighter team, Brilliant Stars, appears before his group. Acting as Ren's personal execution squad, their leader Bidou calls in a crowd of FF enforcers to assault Kyou.3

Yahagi makes one more appearance in ride 53, jeering at the Brilliant Stars' own expulsion from Foo Fighter.

Spoilers end here.

During the Asia Circuit, Kyou and his remnant team resurface, acting independent of the current competition.

Spoiler warning: Asia Circuit details follow.
Kyou and his compatriots scheme to draw out Kai Toshiki during the VF Circuit, staging a scenario in which Kyou, under the guise of an abominable snowman, defeats famous fighters from around the world. With the rest of his similarly-disguised team leading said fighters to the "snowman," their plan leads to the defeat of many powerful individuals and to the snowman's rumor spreading, eventually bringing Kai to Kyou's snowfield. As part of "Project Yeti," they would defeat Kai, gain an invitation to the Circuit and then become the top fighters in the world.

Project Yeti is sabotaged by his own underestimation of Kai's strength. In their last turn the mountain at the snowfield's back comes apart from the noise, but Kyou, intending to see the fight through even in death, presses on to make his last damage check. Bitterly telling Kai that Toshiki won by luck, he prepares himself to be swallowed by the avalanche.

Kai carries him free of the snow. Kyou curses him for doing so, insisting that Toshiki will come to regret having ever saved his life, and that one day Yahagi will defeat Kai. He and his accomplices then adapt an unnamed jungle as their base of operations, eventually putting together a plot to travel back to Japan and hijack Souryuu Leon's airplane to the Japan stage of the Circuit, accosting him and his bodyguards and attempting to replace the team in the Japan stage. As in his fight with Sendou however, Kyou is defeated by PSY Qualia.

Spoilers end here.

Manga Biography: Kyou is responsible for overtaking Kamui's old card shop, running out its customers and holding the shop hostage with his fight gloves. Kamui eventually brings Aichi back to face off with Kyou. In the manga he's painted as a more sympathetic character, with something of an inferiority complex and a desire to prove himself. Later on, he even appears friendly toward Aichi.

Universal Notes: His family name contains the kanji for arrow and preparation, coming out as "to build arrows." Kyou is a counterpart to Kamui, made obvious by his use of the "Ore-sama" pronoun.

Fan Culture: Kyou is the subject of much fan derision, based on both his initial outfit and his outfit from two years ago, which give him resemblance to a call girl. His flashback outfit influenced a large influx of art on pixiv, leading to the fan nickname "Flashdance Kyou."

Decks and Playstyle
Kyou uses a Spike Brothers deck, with a heavy focus on removing units from the field to superior call others. This lets him push a highly offensive game, making more attacks per turn than his opponents can. His primary rearguard is Sky Diver, which with assistance from Dudley Dan, can form a combo that superior calls multiple units in a turn. Meanwhile his favored vanguard is General Seifried, which superior calls the grade 3 Spike Brothers that it drive checks.

Ride 30-77: Crusher Kyou (32/50 cards)

Grade 0 
x1 Mecha Trainer 
x1 Silence Joker CT
x3 Cheer Girl Tiara HT
x2 Cheerful Lynx DT
x1 Sonic Breaker CT
Grade 1 
x2 Wonder Boy
x2 Spike Brothers Assault Squad
x3 Dudley Dan
x2 Cheer Girl Marilyn
Grade 2
x3 Treasured, Black Panther
x2 Highspeed, Brakki
x3 Devil Summoner
Grade 3 
x3 Sky Diver
x2 Juggernaut Maximum 
x2 General Seifried

Kyou's deck during the Asia Circuit employs new Cavalry of Black Steel cards, most notably Demonic Lord, Dudley Emperor. The Emperor's limit break allows him to superior call two Spike Brothers units when he attacks, but only to open rearguard circles. Kyou works this into his strategy by cycling his rearguards back into the deck before attacking with Emperor, in one case re-calling the very same Juggernaut he just cycled back in using Emperor's skill.

Notably, when this deck is later used against Joker X in ride 94, it shows several cards retained from his season 1 deck, including Yahagi's famous General Siefired.

Rides 77-Current: Avalanche Crush Rush (24/50 cards)
Grade 0
x1 Mecha Trainer (FVG)
x2 Cheerful Lynx DT
x1 Cheer Girl, Tiara HT
x1 Silence Joker CT
Grade 1
x2 Wonder Boy
x1 Reckless Express
x2 Cheer Girl, Marylin
x1 Cyclone Blitz
Grade 2
x2 Dudley Douglas
x2 Treasured, Black Panther
x4 Highspeed, Brakki
x1 Panzer Gale
Grade 3
x3 Juggernaut Maximum
x2 Demonic Lord, Dudley Emperor
x1 Sky Diver
x1 General Siefired

Kyou briefly converts to a Megacolony deck as part of his plot to kidnap and replace Souryuu Leon in the VF Circuit, having been inspired by the strength of insects while traveling through an unidentified jungle. The deck's winning image is based on Megacolony's limit breaker, Martial Arts Mutant Master Beetle, using it and support cards to prevent the opponent's cards from standing with counterblast skills. The deck also takes advantage of the opponent's tendency to use every cards on the field to attack, with Tail Joe and Stealth Millipede, who gain power when all of the opponent's cards are rested, forming 11000-power independent units that can attack opposing cards unboosted, as well as a strong 21000+ line with Master Beetle. Interestingly, the denial nature of this deck is more in line with how he plays in the manga than in the anime. While Kyou's lockdown tactics are highly effective versus Souryuu's Aqua Force deck, he ultimately comes out the loser of the fight and jumps back to Spike Brothers when attempting to sabotage the Japan stage of the Circuit.

Ride 94: Break Time (23/50 cards)
Grade 0
x1 Megacolony Battler C (FVG)
x1 Shrapnel Scorpio CT
x2 Medical Combatant, Lamprey HT
x1 Raider Mantis DT
x1 Shelter Beetle CT
Grade 1
x2 Gloom Flyman
x2 Phantom Black
x3 Paralyze Madonna 
x1 Stealth Millipede
Grade 2
x2 Tail Joe
x1 Bloody Hercules
x2 Lady Bomb
Grade 3
x2 Martial Arts Mutant, Master Beetle
x2 Bewitching Officer, Lady Butterfly

In the manga Kyou uses a Nubatama deck, cutting down the enemy's hand size, but unlike Ninja Master M his particular deck focuses on preventing the opponent from riding. When his Left and Right Arrestors are at rest, the opponents' vanguard cannot stand; Kyou combines this with the skill of Dueling Dragon ZANBAKU, which stops his opponent from riding a grade 3. These effects were not maintained in the conversion from manga to TCG, and his Nubatama cards became their own separate clan, Murakumo.

Chapter 6-Current: Baku Geki Zan (10/50 cards)
Grade 0 
x2 Stealth Beast, Hagakure  
Grade 1 
x1 Stealth Beast, Chigasumi
x1 Stealth Dragon, Dread Master
Grade 2 
x1 Archer, FUSHIMI
x2 Left Arrestor
x1 Right Arrestor
Grade 3 
x1 Dueling Dragon, ZANBAKU
x1 Twin Swordsman, MUSASHI 

1. "Character birthdays." KeroKero Ace Vol. 50 1 Mar. 2012. Print.
2. Cardfight!! Vanguard Ride 30. Crunchyroll, 2011. Web. 22 Apr. 2012. 
3. Cardfight!! Vanguard Ride 42. Crunchyroll, 2011. Web. 22 Apr. 2012.