Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Lead Actor, Story, Staff Announced

March 24, 2017 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Japanese, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 7 Comments

Shouya Ishige and a Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS key visual image

Japanese producers of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS returned today to reveal more juicy details about the upcoming anime, including the protagonist’s voice actor, an overview of the story, and the staff helming the series.

Yusaku Fujiki’s Voice Actor

Lead character Yusaku Fujiki and his alter ego “Playmaker” will be voiced by 26-year-old Shouya Ishige. With his selection, the producers have continued the trend of choosing a relative newcomer to the anime voice acting industry to play the protagonist. Up until now, Ishige has predominantly been a stage actor. Between 2009 and 2015, he was a member of Japan’s Shiki Theatre Company where his roles included Rolf Gruber in The Sound of Music and Simba in The Lion King.

Story

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS takes place in Den City, a futuristic world where people duel in a virtual reality space called LINK VRAINS. This system was developed by a large corporation named SOL Technology. All is not well in this world, however. The Knights of Hanoi, a mysterious group of dueling hackers, has infiltrated LINK VRAINS and is seeking to destroy the AI World “Cyberse” within the network. But one duelist is standing in their way: “Playmaker,” who has become well-known for demolishing the Knights of Hanoi without uttering a single word. Little does anyone know that Playmaker is mild-mannered high schooler Yusaku Fujiki, who pursues the hackers to uncover the truth about a certain event that occurred in the past.

Staff

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS’s production crew includes plenty of notable and familiar names from past Yu-Gi-Oh! series, including:

  • Director: Masahiro Hosoda, an episode director and storyboarder in numerous anime, including Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, and the 1998 Yu-Gi-Oh! series from Toei
  • Series Layout: Shin Yoshida, a prominent and long-time Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga writer
  • Duel Layout: Masahiro Hikokubo, the long-time writer of duels in Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga
  • Character Design: Kenichi Hara, an animation director and key animator, and the Chief Animation Director of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V
  • Audio Director: Hiroki Matsuoka from Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, ARC-V, and The Dark Side of Dimensions
  • Music: Shinkichi Mitsumune, a composer in many anime series, including Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters, Revolutionary Girl Utena, FLCL, and Rozen Maiden

(News and images from animate Times, h/t @yugioh_anime.)

7 Comments »

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  1. Oh wow, the city is called Den City, that was the name of the city in the Battle Network series! It was probably a pun on something computer related, but I wonder if the reference was a little intentional? Probably not but it’s a fun thought!

  2. Heehee, probably not. The kanji for “electricity” is pronounced “den.” It appears in words like “light bulb” (“denkyuu”), “lightning” (“denkou”), and “power outage” (“teiden”). So in this case, the name of the city means “Electric City” or maybe even “Electri-City.” So punny! ;P

  3. Ahaha, Electri-city, I like that. I wonder if the dub will go with something like that when the time comes.

  4. Just out of curiosity, are you fluent in Japanese?

  5. @Shin I’m fully expecting a bunch of name changes. Den City sounds like “density,” which would be a silly name for a city. That pun doesn’t translate in English. Yusaku sounds like “You suck” so that’s definitely not going to work. Aoi unfortunately sounds like something small children say when they get hurt. And Go sounds silly as an English first name. They’ll all probably get names that reflect their VR alter egos’ personalities.
     
    @DISNEYGIRL Nope, but I know enough to get by. Personally, I wouldn’t consider myself truly fluent in a language unless I lived among its speakers and used it regularly. There are so many nuances in a language that I can’t imagine picking up any other way.

  6. You think they’ll really change Yusaku’s name?

  7. Absolutely. It’s either change his name, or pronounce his name in a really exaggerated way, like “yuh-SAH-koo” (IPA: jəˈsɑːkuː) or “yoo-SAH-koo” (IPA: juːˈsɑːkuː). Hmm, now that I think about it, the latter option would be better. A name change would draw a lot of criticism from people who don’t understand the reasons for the change, but a pronunciation change could retain the spelling of his name. So at least when written it looks like the Japanese version.


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