Tuesday, December 17, 2013

News: Ride to Victory Sequel "Lock on Victory," Fourth Season and Movies Announced for 2014

FuRyu producer Ms. Fujiwara speaks about Lock on Victory at the Special Conference.
Yesterday Bushiroad's December 16th broadcast brought with it the unveiling of Cardfight!! Vanguard's schedule going into 2014, revealing several upcoming titles including a second 3DS game, Cardfight!! Vanguard: Lock on Victory. FuRyu producer Ms. Fujiwara came to speak on the title. Based on the storyline of the Link Joker season of Cardfight!! Vanguard, Lock on Victory will feature the return of the previous game's customizable protagonists as they head into high school. The player will be able to attend Miyaji Academy, Hitsue High, or Fukuhara High School and live out their daily lives with the anime's cast. Production images showed the hotblooded-type hero from RTV in Miyaji uniform, with the cool-type hero in Hitsue clothes, and the dark-type heroine instead shown attending Fukuhara. Whether the player's school is connected to their choice of protagonist is unknown, but a versus mode image shows the female protagonist fighting in Hitsue uniform, suggesting that the player will be free to choose any school regardless of their selected character.

Images from the game's interface show the integration of Lock into gameplay, represented by black rings rotating above the face-down Locked cards. The game will also support the break ride mechanic, with new animations specific to it, as well as grade 4 units. Lock on Victory will support cards from up through VG-BT15: Infinite Rebirth, just as RTV supported up until BT09: Clash of the Knights and Dragons on release, but as with the previous game will not be released until after the set itself. LOV is scheduled for a summer release. Previously international fans had come out in strong support of Ride to Victory's international release, which had prompted Bushiroad to begin internal talks about localizing the game, but nothing has come of this as of yet. As the company has been responsive to its fans' requests, Lock on Victory may provide an opportunity for a renewed push to bring the video game series overseas.

12/17/2013 Update: LOV's official website has launched.

DAIGO's announcement prompted a flood of real-time comments from the viewers.

Viewers went wild when musical star DAIGO announced the production of a Cardfight!! Vanguard film, featuring the return of Sendou Aichi, Kai Toshiki, Tokura Misaki and others. Instead of being produced by Studio TMS as the core anime seasons are, the film will be produced by Ultra Super Pictures, a studio most recently involved with the production of Black Rock Shooter and Kill La Kill. More surprising still is that the anime film accounts for only half of the entire work; in addition to the anime edition, a complementary live action edition will be produced by Ace Works Entertainment. This upcoming TV drama is believed to be a successor to the 2012 film that previously brought Vanguard's musical star DAIGO to the fore as a key actor. Once again he will be joined by Mimori Suzuko, although it is unknown if she will be reprising her role from the previous film as Kagami Maria. Immediately after the Special Conference's airing an official website for the film went up, showing off a promotional image advertising the two pieces and a list of some of the actors casted. Both films are scheduled for release in 2014, with the anime film being directed by Itagaki Shin, and the live action film directed by Motoki Takashi.

Regarding the anime film, Kitta Izumi joked that she was playing the "cute heroine" as Misaki for the movie--NicoNico viewers made some humorous protests, insisting that Aichi was instead the series' heroine. She also commented that to have a film edition of Cardfight!! Vanguard being produced was "like a dream." As DAIGO pointed out, it's now been almost three years since Vanguard began; there was no small amount of sentiment for the four speakers then on stage, who had been a part of the franchise since it began in 2011. Perhaps the individual to which this meant the most however, was Itou Akira.

Known for making rare public appearances via the Vangua-Road webcast and communicating with his fans primarily via Twitter, the reclusive mangaka came on stage to describe the upcoming film as being on a larger scale. While specifics regarding the story are few, it will take place after the Link Joker chapter and feature most of the main characters. Some concerns arose that Team Q4 would be reduced to Team Q3 because of Kai's absence when the team was last active during the Asia Circuit, but these fears were alleviated when it was said that Kai would not be going anywhere for the film. Viewers took note that during the broadcast Itou was dressed "Kai-kun style"--his black blazer, scarf, high boots and the deck holder strung over his belt gave the impression of a Kai Toshiki cosplay.

Along with these announcements came news of Cardfight!! Vanguard's upcoming fourth season, dubbed "Legion Mate" chapter (レギオンメイト編 region meito hen, note that the Japanese pronunciation uses a hard G sound as in "green") which will follow Aichi and Kai's shared story after Link Joker. Images of Aichi and Kai in their Link Joker-era designs were used, prompting Kitta Izumi to comment that "Kai-kun looks a little...how should I say..." but Doctor O assured everyone that these images were recycled from BT15, as there is no key artwork ready for Legion Mate as of yet. As no final English title has been given yet, some have disputed the Legion translation in favor of "Region Mate." Those speaking at the event pronounced the レ sound as closer to L than R, but neither translation fits the Japanese rendering perfectly.

The new season's ED theme will be created by Japanese girls' pop group FAKY, while the OP "V-Road" will be created by the Bushi★7, an all-star team of artists assembled to celebrate Bushiroad's seventh year in operation. The Bushi★7 will consist of DAIGO, Psychic Lover members Yoffy and Imajo, Suara, Kitta Izumi and Mimori Suzuko, and Morishima Shuuto. The announcements drew a string of "8888" flooding the screen, which for the viewers at home substituted for clapping--the reading for 8 "hachi" sounds similar in Japanese to "pachi," an onomatopoeia for applauding.

The final announcement for the day was that 2014 will also see the release of a new extra booster set for the Bermuda Triangle clan, following up on VG-EB02: Banquet of Divas and VG-EB06: Dazzling Divas. In addition to this, another Great Vanguard Festival will be held at the Tokyo Big Sight this coming year, as has become customary for the TCG's tournament season in Japan. Doctor O closed out the Special Conference wishing well to the viewers, after which a string of new commercials for VG-BT14: Brilliant Strike and the newest Beginning Sets aired while the stage was prepared for Buddyfight's conference.

The portion of the broadcast concerned with Vanguard can be viewed in its entirety on the Cardfight Pro YouTube channel, recorded courtesy of Touya. We are looking into subtitling the broadcast, but as this will take some time to accomplish, for now only the unsubbed version is available.