Tuesday, December 4, 2012

News: Bushiroad's December 5th Press Conference, Season 3, TD-10 and EB06 Info, Minivan Anime

Within the past few hours Bushiroad has completed its December 5th live broadcast through NicoNico Douga, unveiling for the first time details regarding Cardfight!! Vanguard's third season that so far have been kept hidden from the public. While the broadcast was locked off to foreigners, we at Cardfight Pro are proud to bring you the inside scoop.

Note: the following screen captures were taken by the head editor and are not to be reposted elsewhere without his permission. Please consult us at our official email address, available off to the side, before reposting these.

The title of the new season is カードファイト!!ヴァンガードリンクジョーカー編 in English, Cardfight!! Vanguard Link Joker. Much like the Asia Circuit before it, the Japanese title uses "Hen" to describe it as a chapter in the series. Link Joker is currently being symbolized by two overlapping red rings, but what the title actually refers to is unknown.

So far the third season is set to follow the manga closely, with Sendou Aichi transferring back into Miyaji Academy for high school, and with Kourin joining his class. Kourin's surname has been confirmed both in writing and by her voice actor Mimori Suzuko as sharing the Tatsunagi surname with her manga incarnation. Aichi and his younger sister Emi will be attending school together, with Emi now in middle school.

Shortly after the broadcast began, a surprise airing of the third season's new opening theme, "Vanguard Fight" which was performed by the Japanese rock band PSYCHIC LOVER, impressed many viewers.

The opening confirms the return of Misaki, Emi's friend Mai, the Sub-Manager, Doctor O and MC Miya, and the introduction of several new characters; retroactively it has been revealed that Misaki's first season outfit is in fact a Miyaji Academy high school uniform. Furthermore, Misaki and Aichi have both cut their hair, as in the manga.

Ultra-Rare members Suiko and Rekka, as well as their close associate Tatsunagi Takuto, will be returning for the third season along with Kourin. Note that Takuto no longer has his Ezel-like forehead marker, possibly in relation to the Circuit finale. Furthermore, the new opening provides our first look into Miyaji Academy's inner grounds, as well as a group of new characters looking over the casts' photographs, speculated to be antagonists.

Suzugamori Ren and Narumi Asaka are also confirmed to be returning, in a setup that has been noted by viewers to resemble a couple but leaves open whether or not their usual teammate Shinjou Tetsu will be joining them for the season. It was left open whether or not they will be attending any of the schools featured in the season, or if they are still enrolled at all.

Unlike the majority of the cast, Katsuragi Kamui will be attending Hitsue Middle School instead of Miyaji, alongside his friends Reiji and Eiji. Miwa Taishi, Morikawa Katsumi, Yuuta Izaki and Kai Toshiki meanwhile, are attending Hitsue High, further diverging Kai and Aichi's paths.

Team SIT Genius members Christopher Lo, Fajr Ali and Lee Hsien Loong are all shown in the new opening sequence as making appearances in Card Capital. Each member is now sporting new outfits, with Chris' being noticeably similar to the navy blue design originally previewed in ride 69, which had been changed to green by the time of the ride 70. How and why the Singapore natives are coming to Japan is currently unclear.

The new opening sequence also leaked alternate artwork for the Knight of Elegant Skills, Gareth and other Gold Paladin cards, presumably from Trial Deck 7: Liberator of the Sanctuary. Meanwhile, Kamui was shown using a new unit presumed to be of Nova Grappler, all but confirming the clan receiving additional support in the tenth booster set, Triumphant Return of the King of Knights.

Kourin was also shown with a new unit, as was the new character Naoki. Kourin's unit is currently thought to be either an Angel Feather or a Royal Paladin, based on her established clans and the events of the second season.

Although only shown fleetingly and difficult to capture in a screenshot, the new opening gave us a glimpse at the return of the King of Knights, Alfred. As this was alongside a montage of Gold Paladin cards and followed by Aichi riding Ezel, it is highly likely that this unit is a Gold Paladin remake of Alfred.

 Aichi and Misaki's shorter hair, and their new classmate Kourin.

Two new characters, Ishida Naoki and Komoi Shingo, will be joining Aichi's class at Miyaji. Based on the opening sequence, Naoki is a Narukami cardfighter, while Shingo's clan is unknown.

Among many other characters, Souryuu Leon will be returning in the third season, although in what capacity was not described.

In addition to the new opening, Cardfight's ninth or tenth ending theme (depending on whether or not the current ending is swapped out for the final Circuit episodes) will be performed by Ultra-Rare members Mimori Suzuko, Nanjou Yoshino and Terakawa Aimi. While originally their status as the idol group only extended to the anime and one CD, the group itself seems to have undergone a defictionalization of sorts as it is now responsible for ED09. This may be a response to the poor general reception of Asia Circuit's ending themes, as up until "Fighting Growing Diary" the endings were unpopular compared to those of the first season. Ultra-Rare's production thus provides a more in-house feel to the viewers.

According to the current schedule, the Asia Circuit will end at ride 105 on January 6th, 2013, with the third season picking up on January 13th, just one week later. This is similar to the transition between the first season and the Asia Circuit from the previous year.

(Editor's Note January 2nd, 2013 - As there was no episode preview following 104 today but instead a plug for the third season on the TV Tokyo broadcast, and 104 was built as the end of the Circuit, there seems to be a change-up regarding the 105.)

With regards to trial decks 8 and 9, Satou Takuya, voice actor for Kai Toshiki, made a surprise appearance holding the first printed cover card for TD09. The new card is Eraser, Vowing Sword Dragon and its ability is the first on-ride limit break skill introduced. At Limit Break 4, when you ride a Narukami unit over Eraser, you can retire one of the opponent's frontrow rearguards and give +10000 power to the vanguard for that turn. With the intention being to ride another unit late in the game, the example given was placing Dragonic Kaiser Vermillion over Sword Dragon. This new type of limit break is being referred to as a "Break Ride."

Several promo cards were featured in the announcement, including a reprint of the anime artwork Blaster Blade, which will be included in BT10. In addition to this however, Dragonic Overlord will receive his own anime artwork with BT11, and Blaster Dark will get the same treatment. Blaster Dark's new print will be included in a Shadow Paladin trial deck, making this the first formal announcement of TD10.

Along with this came the announcement of Extra Booster 06: Diva of the Fine Clothes, an expansion on Extra Booster 02: Banquet of Divas which will further upgrade the Bermuda Triangle clan. The featured artworks include a character speculated to be either a crossride for Top Idol, Pacifica or an alternate artwork for her.

Additionally, Cardfight!! will soon be crossing over with one of Bushiroad's other properties, Weiss Schwarz. Suzugamori Ren will be appearing as a card for the game, using the artwork he debuted with in BT04.

More information on the Nintendo 3DS game, Cardfight!! Vanguard: Ride to Victory was given, previewing the protagonist select screens and 3D cutins used during cardfights.

Finally, Bushiroad CEO Takaaki Kidani made an appearance to wrap things up. The "one more thing" of the broadcast however, was that MiniVan, a manga series about Cardfight by the artist Quily (also known for her Midnight Bunny promotional artwork) that is run in KeroKero Ace alongside the original manga and republished in the final volumes, is being adapted as a new anime set to debut in 2013.

Mr. Kidani mentioned his anticipation for the release of Blue Storm Supremacy Dragon, Glory Maelstrom, the Aqua Force crossride whose skills were leaked to the public earlier this morning. Mr. Kidani, who is a skilled Aqua Force cardfighter himself and used the deck in a side event at the North American National Championship, has apparently already preordered several boxes.

At its peak the broadcast attracted more than 18,000 viewers and 16,000 comments.