Friday, February 21, 2014

News: Sixteenth Booster Set "Legion of Dragons and Blades" Announced, Lock on Victory New Character Profiles

The first booster set of Cardfight!! Vanguard's fourth season, Legion Mate, is scheduled to go on sale in Japan on May 16th. VG-BT16: Legion of Dragons & Blades (竜剣双闘 Ryuukensoutou "Dragon and Sword Fighting Together") will feature cards for the Royal Paladin, Narukami, Nova Grappler, Dimension Police, Spike Brothers and Neo Nectar clans, and will feature cards used by Kai Toshiki supporting the new "Legion" system. Additionally, BT16 will introduce a new rarity above or on the same level as Special Parallel, Legion Rare. The set size will be the same as BT09-BT15, 102 cards with 8 RRR, 12 RR, 22 R and 60 C cards, but with the addition of 2 LRs. The set will feature one reprint, thought to be Blaster Blade Seeker from TD14. Like in Seeker of Hope and Brawler of Friendship, the cover art for Legion of Dragons & Blades is a single continuous piece, lending to the interpretation that its two cover cards will interact in a way similar to Blaster Blade Seeker and Sacred Wingal in TD14. What has captured the imaginations of both Japanese and international fans alike is the cover dragon's resemblance to the boss card of the Shadow Paladin clan, Phantom Blaster Dragon, and his past incarnation from the Cardfight!! Vanguard Gaiden: Shining Swordsman manga.

Left: Guardian Saint Dragon, Sing Saver Dragon (Gaiden.) Right: Phantom Blaster Dragon (First season manga.)

Although Phantom Blaster Dragon was known from the card lores as the former guardian dragon of the United Sanctuary, whose role was assumed by Soul Saver Dragon after his fall to darkness, prior to Gaiden his time as the guardian deity was not shown at length beyond being his motivation for trying to destroy the Sanctuary. Introduced as the "Guardian Saint Dragon, Sing Saver Dragon" (守護聖竜シングセイバードラゴン Shugoseiryuu Shingu Seibaa Doragon) his appearance was visually identical to his later incarnation save for being implied as a white dragon. This was before any kind of official design for Phantom as the guardian dragon had been established however, and Sing Saver's depiction came from Koshimizu Makoto rather than Itou Akira or any of the other more established artists within the franchise.

While many assume that the cover dragon for BT16 is a new incarnation of Soul Saver Dragon, artist NINNIN--known for work on Phantom Blaster Overlord, Vowing Saber Dragon and others--has rendered the unit using Phantom Blaster's iconic tripartite horns, pauldrons and six wings. A similar borrowing of visual appearance was used for creating visual continuity between BT15: Infinite Rebirth's Dragruler Phantom, the most recent incarnation of the Blaster Dragon. This has led to speculation that Legion of Dragon and Blades will feature Sin Saver Dragon as its cover card, either dealing with the history of Cray prior to Phantom Blaster's fall and the civil war, or in some way restoring Phantom from his abyss dragon form.

In other news, the official Cardfight!! Vanguard Lock on Victory website has been updated with detailed character and deck information. Notably while the character section does feature most of the third season's core cast, none of their Reverse cards have been displayed among their key cards despite ample evidence that their Reverses will appear in the game. FuRyu is making an effort to keep the Reverse storyline under wraps for the player base. In addition to the anime characters, the website also features the returning six protagonists from Ride to Victory, along with four new ones. The new characters' profiles have been translated below.

"N-nice to meet you!"
Tenjou Subaru/天城スバル voiced by Gotou Saori/後藤沙緒里 is a "quiet but energetic boy. He's somewhat introverted, but at his best in a fight."

"Here I come!"

Kusabe Rin/日下部 voiced by Ookubo Rumi/大久保瑠美 is a "neat and tidy girl with a strong heart."

"Now what will you do here, with limits you can't cross?"

Tachibana Kazuya/橘カズヤ voiced by Hiyama Nobuyuki/檜山修之 is a "mature young man, dependable and with a burning soul."

"So, have you prepared yourself?"

Kyuujou Erika/久嬢エリカ voiced by Yahagi Sayuri/矢作紗友里 is "a girl with long golden rolls of hair. She's very prideful, but cute while she's at it."

One mistake that did catch Japanese fans' attention is that Kai is mistakenly listed as a first year high school student in the character profiles, when in reality he's in his second year. (Under the Japanese school system, this is equivalent to a Junior in US schools.) Overall Erika and Kazuya have been the best received of the new protagonists with Japanese fans. Readers are encouraged to visit the Lock on Victory website, as an intense amount of foreign traffic may show international interest in an overseas release of the 3DS game.