Protective Soul Ailin: The Heart Behind the Card

October 27, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Konami, Other Stuff | 1 Comment

Protective Soul Ailin card artwork from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tag Force 4, Japanese version

Of all the Yu-Gi-Oh! cards named after real people, Protective Soul Ailin probably has the most heartrending story behind it. Yesterday, Konami’s Leighton Kurashima shared a very personal story behind the card’s creation in 2005:

Thirteen years ago our son Ailin was born (just about this time) he passed away just over two hours later in our arms. It was a crushing life changing event for which I have little words, I immersed myself in work. The team made a Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG card for Ailin and presented it to me before the release of the upcoming booster set (CRV). I was speechless, people wonder why I do so much for Yu-Gi-Oh!, this is one of the reasons why.

Protective Soul Ailin is a card that has the ability to equip itself to another monster card, a powerful warrior named Indomitable Fighter Lei Lei. Normally, after Lei Lei attacks, he must change to defense position. But when Lei Lei is equipped with Ailin, he gets to stay in attack position, allowing him to keep fighting onward.

And who is Lei Lei?

…That’s the nickname of Leighton Kurashima.

(h/t Jason “MisprintPrince” Knapp)

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  1. I read the story over on Tumblr and I nearly cried. It’s so touching to hear how Yu-Gi-Oh! whether it’s the Duel Monster game or anime/manga series can help people through sad and tragic times. The franchise itself, I believe has brought and done many good things to peoples’ lives.


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