Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Simulcast Begins: Everything You Need to Know

June 7, 2017 at 8:00 am | Posted in Japanese, Konami, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 8 Comments
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Close-up of Playmaker in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 5

The first-ever Yu-Gi-Oh! simulcast is here! 4K Media and Crunchyroll’s Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS simulcast kicked off today with episode 5. Whether you are new to simulcasts, to Crunchyroll, or even to anime in general, here is everything that you need to know about this new streaming initiative.

New episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS premiere on Crunchyroll every Wednesday at 6:55 am ET/3:55 am PT. That’s exactly one hour after the broadcast of the new episode in Japan on TV Tokyo. Crunchyroll’s other simulcasts follow this same release time frame.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is uncut and unedited, in Japanese with English subtitles. You are watching the same video that Japanese viewers watched. This really should go without saying, but 4K Media isn’t editing the video before it goes live on Crunchyroll. There’s no time for that anyway!

Yu-Gi-Oh! viewers in the West who watch their episodes on TV and home video are probably used to seeing a polished final product. But in Japan, TV anime are produced under tight deadlines; new episodes are sometimes completed and delivered to broadcasters mere hours before they air. In the rush to meet their deadlines, sometimes the production staff don’t have the time to do everything that they want to do. Animated sequences might be incomplete. Designs might look a little off model. Mistakes might slip through. What viewers see on TV and in a simulcast often isn’t the final version of the episode. So don’t fret if things don’t look as good as you expect. The animators will clean up the episodes for their reruns and home video releases.

Speaking of incompleteness, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS has the distinction of having some rather special subtitles. Because of how far ahead of the Western Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG market this show is airing, there are cards present that don’t yet have official English names when the episodes are first picked up. The subtitles mark such cards by italicizing their translated (but unofficial) names. One example is Go Onizuka’s monster Gouki Headbutt (Gouki Heddobatto in Japanese), which saw its name in italics when it first appears in episode 4. By the time episode 5 came around, its official English name is revealed to be Gouki Headbatt. Look for these new cards and their official English names beginning this summer when they roll out in the West.

The newest episode is available exclusively to Crunchyroll premium members for one week. This is true not only for Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, but for the vast majority of CR’s simulcasts. Non-premium members can still watch simulcast episodes after the exclusivity period for free with ads. If you’re not a premium member, why not consider joining? For the price of a cup of coffee and a dessert, you get to watch simulcasts the day they premiere in HD, indulge in CR’s library of manga and simulpubs, and enjoy discounts on anime goods in CR’s store. The anime and manga industries and their content creators thank you for your support!

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is available worldwide, except to viewers in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, and most of Asia. 4K Media’s Yu-Gi-Oh! license doesn’t include Asia, so that’s to be expected. As for the other countries, many astute fans have noted that these are also the countries where Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has or had a television presence. Perhaps a licensing deal is already in the works with broadcasters in these countries that would nix a stream on Crunchyroll. Ah, the joys of international licensing.

That’s all for now! I hope you support and enjoy 4K Media and Crunchyroll’s Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS simulcast.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Simulcast on Crunchyroll

June 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Posted in Japanese, Konami, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 10 Comments
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4K Media's Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS promo image on Crunchyroll

Into the VRAINS we go! Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is getting a simulcast on Crunchyroll in Japanese with English subtitles! Episodes 1 through 3 of this newest Yu-Gi-Oh! anime are available now to everyone for free. Episode 4 is available exclusively to premium subscribers until next Wednesday. New episodes will be uploaded every Wednesday. The series is available worldwide except for Australia, Canada, France, Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, and most of Asia.

Congratulations to 4K Media (Konami) and Crunchyroll for making Yu-Gi-Oh! history once again!

Coincidentally or not, the official Japanese Yu-Gi-Oh! anime Twitter @yugioh_anime has also announced that fans in Japan will be getting their own VRAINS stream beginning June 6.

(News from Crunchyroll, h/t Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Page)

4K Media Wants to Know: What Do You Think of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS So Far?

May 25, 2017 at 6:00 am | Posted in English dubbed, Konami, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 20 Comments

Two shots of Yusaku Fujiki's alter ego Playmaker in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS

4K Media’s long-time music producer and editor Mike Brady announced on Twitter that he is heading into the VRAINS! Brady will be watching Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS for the very first time today and he wants to hear from anyone who has seen this new series before he begins working on it.

What do you think of this anime so far? What kind of character is Yusaku? How do these early episodes compare to those of the previous series? What style of music do you think would fit the setting and characters of this story? If you’ve already seen this new anime, let @bacondevil know your thoughts. Maybe your comments will end up being incorporated into 4K Media’s English production down the line. Who knows!

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Premiere Date, Cast Announced

April 20, 2017 at 10:00 pm | Posted in Japanese, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment

Table of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS voice actors and their characters

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS today received its biggest announcements yet with the reveal of its premiere date, a list of its main characters and cast, and a summary of the first episode.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS will premiere in Japan on Wednesday, May 10, at 6:25 pm on TV Tokyo. With this, VRAINS will leave the familiar Sunday evening time slot that has been the home to Yu-Gi-Oh! since ZEXAL II began in October 2012.

Yu-Gi-Oh! fans have already met the new protagonist Yusaku Fujiki along with one of his rivals and classmates Go Onizuka and Aoi Zaizen. Today, several new characters and their voice actors got the spotlight. The cast includes mostly up-and-coming voice actors alongside a few big names. Pictured above, from left to right, top to bottom, are:

* Shouya Ishige as Yusaku Fujiki

* Takahiro Sakurai (Reigen Arataka in Mob Psycho 100, Osomatsu in Mr. Osomatsu, Suzaku in Code Geass) as the mysterious creature

* Subaru Kimura (Gian in Doraemon, Kanba Takakura in Penguindrum) as Shoichi Kusanagi

* Chiharu Sawashiro (Takeru Ando in Cheer Boys!!, Natsuki Ise in All Out!!) as Naoki Shima

* Daiki Hamano (Hirokuni Kasuga in All Out!!, Dante Mogro in Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans) as Go Onizuka.

* Yuki Nakashima (Kinako Tanaka in Teekyu) as Aoi Zaizen

* Shouma Yamamoto (V in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Kenshiro Yozakura in Nanbaka) as Akira Zaizen

* Yuna Kamakura as Ema Bessho

* Shunsuke Takeuchi (Yamato Godai in Nanbaka, Producer in The IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls) as Revolver.

(Note: The romanized character names are not official and are based on the most common readings of their kanji.)

The series’ producers offered the following summary of the first episode, titled “My Name is Playmaker”:

Den City, the city where the newest network is being developed. That’s where everyone is always dueling in SOL Technology’s VR space “LINK VRAINS.” Protagonist Yusaku Fujiki is a cool high schooler with a very keen eye for observation. To defeat the Knights of Hanoi, who plan to bring down LINK VRAINS, he transforms into his avatar, Playmaker, and duels them in secret. Now, Yusaku learns from Shoichi Kusanagi, a hacker with the same goals as him, that SOL Technology is desperately searching for a mysterious creature. Yusaku realizes the Knights of Hanoi are also after it, so he sets up a trap in the network to capture them.

(News from Mynavi News, h/t @yugioh_anime)

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.)

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Introduces Rival, Classmate Characters

March 21, 2017 at 6:00 am | Posted in Japanese, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 1 Comment

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS characters Go Onizuka and Aoi Zaizen

Today, producers of the upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime unveiled the designs of two new characters: Go Onizuka (left) and Aoi Zaizen.

Go Onizuka (鬼塚豪) is described as a rival of protagonist Yusaku Fujiki’s VR alter ego “Playmaker.” When Go Onizuka enters VR space, he uses the moniker “Go Onizuka” (Go鬼塚 — the English word “Go” takes the place of the kanji 豪, which is also pronounced “Go”).

Aoi Zaizen is Yusaku’s classmate. When she enters VR space, she is called “Blue Angel” and is a well-known charismatic duelist.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Labo characters and logo

Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V’s final episode will air on Sunday, March 26. Of special note, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS will not premiere in April as was previously announced. Instead, it will begin on an as yet unnamed date in May. In the meantime, beginning April 5, TV Tokyo will broadcast a special series titled “Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Fully Dissected! Yu-Gi-Oh! Laboratory.” Each week, Japanese celebrities and personalities will discuss the appeal of the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! and the new rules of the card game. The show is intended to be a beginner’s introduction to the anime and game.

(News and images from Mynavi News 1, 2.)

Previously:
TV Tokyo’s Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Website Now Live

TV Tokyo’s Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS Website Now Live

February 20, 2017 at 12:30 am | Posted in Japanese, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 2 Comments

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS banner on TV Tokyo's website announcing the premiere of the anime this spring

TV Tokyo’s Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS website launched today, officially announcing the start of the sixth Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series this spring.

Additionally, producers unveiled a few new details about Yusaku Fujiki, the protagonist of the series.

Yusaku Fujiki and Playmaker

Yusaku is said to be a cool and sharp-minded high schooler who possesses the skills to become a hacker. His wit makes him a quick judge of the situations he’s in and the thoughts of the people he speaks with. When Yusaku enters the VR space, he transforms and uses the moniker “Playmaker.”

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS will begin this April in Japan on TV Tokyo. A special Yu-Gi-Oh! TV program about the series will precede the premiere.

(News and images from Mynavi News.)

Previously:
Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS: The Sixth Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime Series Revealed

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS: The Sixth Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime Series Revealed

February 16, 2017 at 9:00 am | Posted in Japanese, VRAINS, Yu-Gi-Oh! | 3 Comments

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS announcement in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump 2017 issue 12

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS is coming! A leaked image from next Monday’s issue of Shueisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump magazine reveals that the sixth Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series is titled Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS (the pronunciation rhymes with “trains”) and involves virtual reality duels in cyberspace. Yusaku Fujiki, the protagonist of the series, is an ordinary high schooler who transforms into the surfboard-riding character seen in the image when he enters the VR space. He is accompanied by his sword-wielding ace monster named Decode Talker. Another mysterious creature is seen behind them.

Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS was first unveiled at Jump Festa last December. The series begins this spring in Japan on TV Tokyo.

(News from ANN, Beyond the Duel. Image from Exploding Road h/t Beyond the Duel.)

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