Saturday, August 18, 2012

Card Art: BT04/025 Fullbau

Illustration: Ryuutetsu
Design: Itou Akira
Rarity: R
If Vanguard could be said to have a clan that was planned from the ground up, the Shadow Paladins would be it. Not just in terms of skills, but also in their design, the cards in this series were each planned to work together as an artistic whole and form an ongoing narrative with their Royal Paladin counterparts. Fullbau is intended as the starting point for anyone viewing the Shadow Paladin's narrative, just as it's the starting point for any ShadowPala cardfighter. In terms of body language, the highdog is crouched low to the ground and has his tail curled in toward his legs. Dogs use this as a defensive posture, indicating that he's on the verge of attack.

The color palette is like most Paladin works reliant on cold colors, primarily blue and black. As covered in our article on Ryuutetsu's Blaster Blade, blue in Asian cultures and especially Japan is associated with evil and mysterious forces. The color black amplifies the association, because of how both colors were used in kabuki's stylized costumes to symbolize villainy and jealousy. While either of them could exist alone as blue does on Blaster Blade, when together on one character the depiction is very black and white. The color red is splashed behind Fullbau's paw to highlight the danger that he poses, and to stress the emphasis on his crouched, aggressive posture that is just at the moment before he lunges.

The main line of Shadow Paladin artworks feature an ongoing story as told through their civil war with the Royals. Fullbau starts this narrative descending from the base of a stair, showing both that the viewer is fighting an uphill battle against him and asking them to look up in the same moment to where else the stair leads. The next card in the series is Blaster Javelin, who is descending the middle of the stair, and the final card is Blaster Dark, who stands at the top of it. These three artworks, all made by Ryuutetsu with Itou's direction, are undeniably connected by the continuing theme of a stair, which is inherited from Itou's use of the structure in depicting Blaster Blade. While for Blade this stair was a metaphorical pedestal that accents his righteous position, among the Shadow Paladins it symbolizes the escalation of power between members and the enduring loyalty of each character to the next in line.

Fullbau's lore, translated by NeoArkadia;
"A High Dog in black armor that reminds one of darkness. It always accompanies the black Blasters, running to them if it senses even a hint of its masters. It is despised as it is associated with misfortune, as it is said it has appeared in practically every war that has ever occurred."

Citations and External Links

Main article, posture and stair commentary by Touya. Color commentary by Wolthera. Lore translation by NeoArkadia.
View this painting on the artist's personal gallery.