|Skye Zaizen (younger step-sister)|
|Occupation||SOL Technologies Chief|
|Previous occupation||SOL Technologies Security Manager|
|Anime debut||Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"|
Akira Zaizen (
Zaizen is a fair skinned young man with blue hair that has a green underlayer and pink eyes. He wears a teal suit which consists of a teal coat with a darker one underneath, a white shirt, and a black tie. He also sports teal trousers and black shoes.
Zaizen does not change his appearance while he is in LINK VRAINS, though he previously wore more practical clothing during his tenure alongside Ghost Gal and Blood Shepherd in a different network. He wore a dark blue jumpsuit that covers his hands, with blue markings on his forearms and aquamarine shoulders, a triangular shape on the collar, a "V"-shape on his chest, and wristband on his right wrist (with his Duel Disk on the left). Zaizen also had a grey section of his outfit with a blue collar that appears to be separate from his jumpsuit at the sleeves and collar, but merges with the jumpsuit below it, and a grey belt similar to the one that Playmaker wears.
Zaizen is a man who values work above all other things. Despite this, he genuinely cares for Skye, and seems to be rather protective of her as he advises her to quit Speed Dueling out of concern for her safety, and when he is asked whether Blue Angel will Duel Playmaker, he says no so as to protect her. Zaizen is generally calm and cool headed most of the time but he can also be stubbornly aggressive, especially when Skye is in danger. This is seen when he lost his cool when he was unable to stop the Duel between her and Playmaker, and when she fell into a coma after the Duel he ruthlessly tortured Playmaker whom he believed was responsible for her condition. He is not above admitting his mistakes however and felt remorse for what he did to Playmaker after learning the truth.
"Akira"「晃」means "bright" or "clearness". "Zaizen"「財前」can be translated as "before wealth" or "before riches". In both versions, Zaizen is referred to his last name by other characters.
Ten years ago, Akira and Skye's parents had a wedding and as they went to an anniversary, their parents died in a traffic accident. Akira and Skye were left alone, and their possessions were sold, including their manor. Akira had to do a lot of illegal work, but Skye made him happy, and Akira swore to protect that smile. Akira worked hard and was promoted to security manager for SOL Technologies - all to protect Skye from suffering. Skye cried a lot for the disappearance of her parents, feeling alone and miserable. To cheer her up, Akira read her the story of "Blue Angel", which made Skye happier.
At SOL Technologies headquarters, Zaizen informed Bishop that the Ignis had been detected inside the network. Bishop reminded him that SOL Technologies had been the leading force in the network for many years thanks to the data material that had been created from the Cyberse, but five years ago due the attack of the Knights of Hanoi, the Ignis hid the Cyberse somewhere inside the network. Zaizen admitted that due to the removal of the Cyberse the supply of data material had steadily been decreasing and the performance of the network had fallen. To save their company, Bishop ordered Akira to find the Ignis and to determine the location of the Cyberse. Zaizen made preparations to scan the network, and he informed Bishop that their preparations were complete, but he was worried about the decline of the security during the scan and the potential for damage if the Knights were to attack. Bishop gave him the go-ahead, but just as Zaizen had feared, a Knight of Hanoi attacked LINK VRAINS, searching for the Ignis. The Knights' attack was stopped by a Duelist who called himself Playmarker, and who had captured the Ignis in his Duel Disk. To Zaizen's shock, a mysterious light emerged from Playmaker's Duel Disk; the first Data Storm to be seen in years. He watched the ensuing Speed Duel, and to his surprise, Playmaker used Cyberse monsters.
After Playmaker defeated the Knight, Zaizen wondered if Playmaker and the Ignis had teamed up. He, Bishop, Knight and Rook discussed the incident caused by the Duel between Playmaker and Knight of Hanoi. Rook and Knight proposed to close Link VRAINS down to perform maintenance, but Zaizen explained that they would lose profits and that the presence of a Data Storm confirmed that the Cyberse still existed. He informed them of Playmaker, and that they were devoting all their resources into investigating his identity. Rather than risk losing the Cyberse forever, Zaizen suggested that they restrict LINK VRAINS as a battlefield for Playmaker and Hanoi to capture the Ignis. Bishop agreed but warned that they wouldn't accept failure.
Zaizen met with Emma Bessho and asked her to get information about Playmaker. Meanwhile, he turned to Celebrity Duelists to find someone capable of defeating Playmaker. He visited George Gore in his warehouse, and expressed surprise that Gore didn't have more lavish accommodations Gore's manager explained that Gore wasn't a Duelist who was after money. Zaizen asked Gore to defeat Playmaker and retrieve the AI Program that he had, offering him a Duel Board for Speed Duels and explained Playmaker's AI program was originally created by SOL Technology, but due to certain events it fell into Playmaker's hands. He added that this AI program would determine the future of LINK VRAINS and if it fell into Hanoi's hands, LINK VRAINS would be destroyed. Zaizen wished for Gore to protect LINK VRAINS and if he succeeded, SOL Technology would become his main sponsor. Gore refused and asked Zaizen to leave; Zaizen did so, but noted that many wanted Gore to be champion. He assured Gore that if he changed his mind, he could contact him anytime.
Gore later visited Zaizen's office as Zaizen was looking through potential candidates to defeat Playmaker, accepting Zaizen's offer. Zaizen provided him with the Avatar of a Knight of Hanoi to lure out Playmaker. When The Gore met with Playmaker, Zaizen activated a trap to prevent him from logging out and watched the entire Duel between Playmaker and The Gore. He was concerned that The Gore was not defeating Playmaker quickly enough, and Playmaker eventually defeated the Gore. His plan having failed, Zaizen left his office. He was pursued by the media, feigning ignorance that he was responsible for setting up the Duel between The Gore and Playmaker. They asked him whether there would be a match between Playmaker and Blue Angel, and Zaizentold them that it would never happen. Having seen his sister Speed Dueling as Blue Angel, he called Skye and asked why she was unhappy. He advised her to quit Speed Dueling, not wanting her to get hurt. Skye timidly agreed, and Zaizen lamented that he was only trying to keep her safe.
To his shock, Blue Angel wound up Speed Dueling Playmaker. He was furious that Skye disobeyed his orders, but his anger turned to horror when Blue Angel was infected by a card tainted by the Knights of Hanoi. Panicking, Zaizen tried to stop the Duel, but a system error prevented him from interfering, leaving him powerless to watch as Playmaker defeated his sister. Zaizen immediately called Skye, but someone else answered his call, stating that they had found Skye's unconscious body and taken her to the hospital. Zaizen burst into the hospital, attempting to follow Skye to the emergency room, but the nurses refused to allow him in. Zaizen met Yusaku Fujiki, the student who had saved his sister, and he thanked him for saving his sister. The doctors informed Zaizen that Skye was in a coma, and that they didn't know when she would wake up.
Zaizen was later interrogated by Bishop, Knight, and Rook after they found out that Blue Angel was related to him, and they wondered if she was secretly working with Hanoi. They threatened him with losing his position if that were the case, but Zaizen managed to convince them that Playmaker was responsible. Zaizen met with Emma, who had informed his higher-ups of his relationship to Blue Angel, and he asked her to help him trap Playmaker. Emma lured Playmaker into LINK VRAINS by disguising herself as Blue Angel, capturing Playmaker and bringing him into a church. Once Ghost Gal returned to her normal Avatar, Zaizen interrogated and tortured Playmaker, who insisted that Hanoi caused Skye's condition, though Zaizen was too blinded by rage to believe him. To his shock, Varis, the leader of the Knights of Hanoi, appeared and confirmed that the Hanoi were indeed responsible, taunting him that he could capture the Ignis or save Skye. He claimed that he would give Zaizen a program to cure Blue Angel if Playmaker defeated him in a Duel. Zaizen reluctantly freed Playmaker and apologized to him for torturing him, pleading for Playmaker to save his sister and fight for him even if he hates him. To his surprise, Playmaker replied that he didn't hate him; only Hanoi.
As Varis and Playmaker left on their Duel Boards, Zaizen had Ghost Gal follow them and record footage of their Duel. He watched the Duel, observing a Data Storm's summoning as when he had first seen Playmaker Duel. The Data Storm eventually swallowed Playmaker and Varis, and Zaizen ordered Ghost Gal to follow them, but Ghost Gal was unable to enter the Data Storm. Ghost Gal was eventually able to get in with outside aid, and she had her cameras record the Duel between Varis and Playmaker, allowing Zaizen to see it.
Despite his struggles, Playmaker was able to defeat Varis, and he returned with the program to cure Blue Angel. The program caused her to vanish, and Ghost Gal reassured Zaizen that Blue Angel had logged out of LINK VRAINS. Before Zaizen could thank Playmaker, he logged out, and Zaizen logged out as well. Zaizen stormed out and met up with Nathaniel who had been sent by Ghost Gal to take him to the hospital. Zaizen made it to Skye's side and he watched as she woke up from her coma. Skye apologized for her actions, but Zaizen asked her to rest, sobbing in joy at his sister's restoration, and prompting Skye to smile.
Zaizen was demoted after Varis's defeat despite his role in saving LINK VRAINS, though he retained a position of some authority and intended to look into the Incident that Varis had mentioned. One day as Hayami served him coffee, she spilled it by accident. Zaizen forgave her, and asked about her work history, but Hayami had only been employed for three years, and thus knew nothing of the incident. He conferred with Emma, explaining that he was not displeased as Skye's life had been saved. Emma informed Zaizen that he had been replaced by his former boss Kitamura, whom Zaizen believed to be the one making an AI Duelist army and would do anything to get results. To Zaizen's shock, Emma revealed that she wanted to know about the Incident ten years ago; as Zaizen knew nothing about it she had decided to search on her own by hacking into SOL Technologies' data bank. Emma claimed this was just to make connections with that company. Zaizen asked her to give any data she found to him, but Emma replied that she didn't have to, though she suggested he could pay her. Zaizen refused, and Emma left, warning Zaizen that Playmaker could pay for such data.
Zaizen later logged into LINK VRAINS, where Ghost Gal revealed that she had given a backdoor program to Playmaker. Zaizen was furious, and Ghost Gal defended herself, protesting that Zaizen also wanted the data in the mother computer, but had no authority after his demotion. Ghost Gal claimed that Kitamura would be held responsible, and would be focused on stopping Playmaker. Zaizen realized that Ghost Gal was using Playmaker as a decoy, and agreed to her plan before logging out. Later, he and Emma watched Playmaker's infiltration into the system on Emma's computer. Once Kitamura sent two AIs to Duel Playmaker, Zaizen and Emma logged into LINK VRAINS, and went deeper into the mother computer to access the data bank. Ghost Gal revealed that Blue Angel had also come to the mother computer system, much to Zaizen's shock. He began to leave to save her, until Ghost Gal reminded him this was their only chance to learn about the Incident, and she stated that Blue Angel was not a child. Zaizen and Ghost Gal managed to get to the data bank first, and Zaizen learned about the Hanoi Project from the data contained within in addition to the identity of Kiyoshi Kogami, the man behind the Incident. Playmaker soon arrived, but instead of hiding, Zaizen activated a program, and awaited Playmaker to Duel him.
Playmaker asked Ghost Gal and Zaizen why they were in the data bank, and Ghost Gal explained that they were after the data as well. Playmaker ordered Zaizen to move aside, but Zaizen refused, admitting that he had obtained the data and learned what happened to Playmaker ten years ago. As Ai started to complain about Zaizen, Zaizen wondered if Ai actually had free will as Varis claimed. Zaizen asked Playmaker to hand over the Ignis and leave. He wanted to shed some light over the incident, and Ghost Gal added Zaizen was demoted, due to the incident with Varis. Playmaker claimed that he would be the one to reveal the truth, as it didn't personally involve Zaizen. Playmaker challenged him to stop him, betting Ai for the data, and Zaizen accepted, seeing this as the only way to defeat Playmaker. Zaizen swiftly reinforced his defenses by Setting a monster, a card and Special Summoning "Tindangle Base Gardna". Playmaker prepared his offence, but Zaizen brought out "Tindangle Hound" to weaken Playmaker's monsters, then used "Lemoine Point" to prevent Playmaker from attacking face-down monsters. Playmaker Link Summoned "Flame Administrator", whose effect increased the ATK of "Decode Talker" and allowed it to destroy "Tindangle Hound", though Zaizen was able to use its effect in combination with his Set "Tindangle Angel" to revive "Tindangle Hound" face-down and end the Battle Phase. Zaizen wondered how old Playmaker was, deducing that he was the same age as Skye. He claimed that he knew the pain Playmaker bore, as he and Skye lost their parents. Though he swore to protect Skye and keep her happy, he admitted if Skye was kidnapped by strangers as Playmaker had been he would be terrified. Playmaker replied that Zaizen was a good person, but doubted he knew anything about the pain he bore. Zaizen was surprised Playmaker would continue fighting, though he swore he wouldn't fall and continued his turn. Zaizen Flip Summoned "Tindangle Hound", and re-Set "Tindangle Angel", weakening Playmaker's monsters again and destroying "Flame Administrator". Playmaker claimed that Zaizen knew nothing of his goal, and he Link Summoned "Firewall Dragon"; the monster that Playmaker had used to defeat Varis. Playmaker destroyed Zaizen's monsters with "Linkage Hole" and attacked Zaizen directly with "Decode Talker". Zaizen was able to come back with "Tindangle Delaunay", destroying "Decode Talker" and allowing him to Summon his ace, "Tindangle Acute Cerberus". He attacked "Firewall Dragon", whom Playmaker protected with "Doppler Phase Coating"; Zaizen likewise protected his own monster with "Gergonne's End". Playmaker tried to destroy Zaizen's "Tindangle Token" to inflict damage, but Zaizen prevented damage with "Morley's Shield" and "Nagel's Protection" to protect his Tokens. "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" attacked again, reducing Playmaker's LP to 500. As Playmaker drew a card and Set it as his only move, Zaizen swore to uncover the truth himself and asked Playmaker once more to end his revenge and return to his normal school life with his friends. He stated Playmaker must cherish his memories and not remain obsessed with the past or else he would not find happiness, just as Zaizen hadn't.
To Zaizen's surprise, Blue Angel suddenly revealed her presence, asking to hear the truth about the Incident before the Duel ended. Zaizen began to describe the Lost Incident, but refrained from explaining further after Playmaker told him to stop and recounted the story himself. Zaizen explained that Playmaker was rescued and that the Incident had been covered up. Playmaker stated that he wasn't rescued and that he needed to uncover the truth for the sake of the people hurt in the incident, as well as save the person whose voice encouraged him to fight and who may still be trapped. Playmaker claimed even if Zaizen believed revenge was pointless, he had still discovered that the Knights of Hanoi had been involved in the Project. Zaizen admitted that the data bank contained the name of the mastermind behind the Hanoi Project, much to Playmaker's shock.
Playmaker demanded that Zaizen reveal the name of the mastermind, but Zaizen refused, fearing this would only feed Playmaker's hatred and desire for revenge. Zaizen decided to end the Duel by having "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" attack "Firewall Dragon", but Playmaker avoided the defeat by banishing his dragon with "Cynet Backdoor", triggering the effect of "Doppler Phase Coating" to end the Battle Phase. Zaizen turned the tables with "Euler's Circuit", preventing Playmaker from attacking and allowing him to complete his combo next turn. Playmaker stated that this was a Duel for justice and Zaizen swore to solve the Incident and hold the ones responsible, but Playmaker doubted he knew anything, as he trusted his own justice that would make him prevail and win. Playmaker brought out "Link Spider", "Recovery Sorcerer" and "Security Gardna", moves Zaizen deemed pointless as Playmaker was unable to attack. As "Security Gardna" was placed in the zone "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" pointed to, Zaizen used "Gergonne's End" to destroy all monsters that "Acute Cerberus" pointed to to inflict its ATK to Playmaker, but the effect of "Security Gardna" prevented all effect damage that turn. As his Trap had destroyed "Euler's Circuit", it allowed Playmaker to attack again, but though Playmaker could have finished Zaizen off with "Firewall Dragon's" granted direct attack, he instead used its effect to return Zaizen's "Tindangle Hound" and "Tindangle Angel" from the Graveyard to his hand, reducing the ATK of "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" to 0. As Playmaker attacked "Tindangle Acute Cerberus" with "Firewall Dragon", Blue Angel rushed to protect Zaizen from the blast, only for him to protect her as he fell to his knees in defeat. Playmaker acquired the data from the bank, and warned Zaizen to stay from away him and the Incident. Zaizen asked Playmaker why he didn't attack directly with "Firewall Dragon", and Playmaker replied that Zaizen's "Tindangle Hound" and "Tindangle Angel" represented him and his sister, who should turn and walk towards the light, rather than the darkness of the Graveyard. After Playmaker and Ghost Gal logged out, Zaizen lamented that he couldn't do anything in the end, though Blue Angel cheered him up by saying she knew what Zaizen was feeling. She noted that just as nobody would stand up to Playmaker, nobody would prevent her brother from protecting her, and Zaizen smiled.
Tower of Hanoi
At evening, Zaizen and Skye ate dinner, since the former could come back from work earlier due to his demotion. Skye gloated, making Zaizen believe she did not like that. Seeing Kitamura developed the AI army to confront the Knights of Hanoi, Zaizen reminded them unlike Skye, the AI-s could not be turned into the Deleted, and forbade her to enter LINK VRAINS. Skye was sad, but accepted Zaizen's demand. The two watched as Kitamura's AI army battled the Knights of Hanoi, but lost to two of elite members and Zaizen left to work. Before he left the office, Zaizen heard the news about Blue Angel fighting a Knight of Hanoi. Zaizen was shocked to see this, and questioned Skye why would she even do this. Zaizen nervously watched the Duel between Baira and Blue Angel with Hayami. After witnessing Blue Angel getting slightly injured and fearing she would become a Deleted, he decide to log into LINK VRAINS and stop the Duel between them but was stopped by Hayami who encouraged him to watch the Duel instead and felt relieved after Blue Angel won. The Next day he and Skye watch the news about the Deleted getting cured while eating breakfast. Skye then attempt to apologize him for her action but Zaizen was happy that she was able to cure the Deleted and praised her. This made Skye genuinely happy and she gave a cheerful smile to him.
Zaizen met up with Emma, reporting with the Knights of Hanoi gone, peace returned to LINK VRAINS. Emma wondered if Zaizen came here just to tell that, who reported despite the victory, SOL Technologies have been looking for more employees. Zaizen reminded that Knights of Hanoi wouldn't retreat that easily, and Varis was still out loose. Emma felt something was going on, in this peaceful era. This motivated Emma to search through LINK VRAINS for the treasure, and promised to sell it to Zaizen. Zaizen asked for a discount, as Emma promised to think about it. Hayami alerted Zaizen about a footage of a Duel in LINK VRAINS. He came to the computer, finding Skye was Dueling Spectre, who defeated Kitamura.
Skye Zaizen (Blue Angel)
Akira deeply cares about Skye and works very hard so she won't go through hard times, but in doing so he unknowingly neglects Skye, causing her to think he doesn't care about her. He is completely oblivious to her wanting him to recognize her and her abilities.
He was dismayed about Skye being comatose and became desperate to save her, going as far as claiming he wouldn't care if he was fired from SOL in the process. When Varis blackmailed Akira with Skye's safety he quickly caved in to Varis's demands.
Yusaku Fujiki (Playmaker)
Despite having a brief interaction with Yusaku at the hospital he was grateful to him for locating his sister and informing him about her comatose status. He questioned Yusaku about his relationship to Skye and the latter responded they are only classmates.
On the other hand, Zaizen dislikes Yusaku's alter ego "Playmaker" for having stolen Ai. Zaizen grew to utterly hate Playmaker after his Duel against Blue Angel which resulted in Skye falling comatose. Zaizen immediately assumed that Playmaker was the culprit for Skye's predicament and worked with Ghost Gal to turn all of LINK VRAINS into a trap to capture Playmaker. Zaizen then mercilessly tortured Playmaker and refused to believe Playmaker's explanation that it was the Knights of Hanoi's fault for Skye being comatose. However, upon being informed of his mistake by Varis, Zaizen reluctantly freed Playmaker and was surprised that Playmaker didn't hate him for what he did. After Playmaker defeated Varis and used the removal program to permit Skye to awaken in the real world, Zaizen thanked Playmaker.
In their next encounter inside SOL Technology's database, Akira displayed pity for Playmaker after discovering the data he was after, even insisting that Playmaker trust him and reveal the truth in his stead. Compared to their previous encounter, Akira even demonstrates sadness for Playmaker, especially when he figured out that Playmaker is around Skye's age. Akira felt that Playmaker shouldn't waste his youth chasing after the Hanoi Project and wanted to handle the situation himself, only for Playmaker to immediately refute Akira's claims and mantained that he deserved to learn the truth himself.
Emma Bessho (Ghost Gal)
Akira considers Emma his only alliance even though he's aware of her double-crossing nature and tendency to come up with schemes that only benefit her behind his back, such as when she informed the heads of SOL Technologies that his sister is Blue Angel. When Nathaniel said that he got an anonymous tip to pick Akira up and take him to the hospital, Akira guessed it was Emma and seemed grateful.
Zaizen runs a "Tindangle" Deck, focused on Flip monsters and Lockdown strategies. He utilizes a variety of Trap Cards to not only prevent the destruction of his monsters, but strengthen his own arsenal as well. His ace monster, "Tindangle Acute Cerberus", which he can summon on his opponent's turn, allows him to summon Tindangle Tokens, which in conjunction with his Trap effects not only limit the actions his opponents can take, but help prepare for massive offensive strikes by increasing the already high ATK of "Tindangle Acute Cerberus".
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 18: "Wound Etched Into His Heart"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 7: "Fallen Angel"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 33: "Angel With Blue Tears"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 2: "Seize the Wind!"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 3: "Contact"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 4: "Pain and Gain"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 5: "Down for the Count"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 6: "True Blue"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 8: "A Storm is Coming"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 9: "Malicious Mayhem"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 10: "Eye of the Storm"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 11: "Neutralized"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 12: "Link the Circuit"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 14: "An Invitation"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 16: "Hack Attack"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 17: "Flawless AI Duelist"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 19: "The Lost Incident"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 20: "A Piece of the Puzzle"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 24: "To Gore Or Not To Gore"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 25: "Suture the Circuit"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 26: "Diagnosis: Deletion"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 30: "Under VRAINS"