Akira Zaizen

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"Zaizen" redirects here. For his younger sister, see Skye Zaizen.
"Akira" redirects here. For other uses, see Akira (disambiguation).
Akira Zaizen
Akira Zaizen
Names
Personal
Age26[1]
Gender
  • Male
Relatives
Skye Zaizen (younger step-sister)
  • Career
OccupationSOL Technologies Chief
Previous occupationSOL Technologies Security Manager
Hacker
  • Duelist
DeckTindangle
Appearances
Anime debutYu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"
Appears in
AnimeYu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS
Voice actors
English
  • Barrett Leddy
Japanese
Zaizen, Akira

Akira Zaizen (ざいぜん あきら, Zaizen Akira) is a character appearing in the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime and is the older step-brother of Yusaku Fujiki's classmate Skye Zaizen. Zaizen is the chief of security of SOL Technologies; he was demoted in favor of Kitamura after his failure to apprehend Playmaker, but reinstated after the Hanoi Incident. In the second season, he is put in charge of the Bounty Hunters assigned to hunt down the Ignis, much to his chagrin. During the third season, he is promoted to Executive Director of SOL Technologies due to his role in saving LINK VRAINS from Bohman, and subsequently his possession of one of the two keys to SOL Technologies causes him to be targeted by Ai.

Design[edit]

Appearance[edit]

Full body view of 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 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.

Personality[edit]

Zaizen is a man who values work above all other things. Despite this, he genuinely cares for Skye, and is 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.

Etymology[edit]

"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.

Biography[edit]

History[edit]

Akira and Skye homeless.
Akira is paid for hacking.

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.[1] Skye only had a single friend, Miyu Sugisaki, but after taking the blame for Miyu losing her mother's ring, they weren't allowed to see one another again. Akira reassured Skye that he didn't blame her for the ring's loss.[3]

Among the work Zaizen undertook was working as a Bounty Hunter alongside Emma Bessho and Kengo Doujin. They entered a network world to capture an evil hacker, pursing him to a tower where he threatened to use a program that he'd modified into a bomb on them. Shepherd convinced Zaizen and Ghost Gal to charge at the count of three, but when they did, Shepherd remained in cover, and the hacker trapped Zaizen and Ghost Gal. Shepherd then charged from hiding and destroyed the hacker's body, before protecting Ghost Gal from the program bomb. Zaizen angrily cursed at Shepherd for using them as decoys, but Shepherd simply stated that their mission was over and he logged out.[4]

Akira worked hard and was promoted to security manager for SOL Technologies - all to protect Skye from suffering.[5] 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.[6]

Hanoi[edit]

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.[2] He watched the ensuing Speed Duel, and to his surprise, Playmaker used Cyberse monsters.[7]

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.[8]

Zaizen met with Emma 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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

Zaizen tightens his grip on Playmaker.

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.[5] 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.[12]

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[13] 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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17]

Zaizen and Emma log into the LINK VRAINS.
Zaizen activates a program, ignoring Ghost Gal's warning.

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.[18] 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.[19][20] Playmaker soon arrived, but instead of hiding, Zaizen activated a program, and awaited Playmaker to Duel him.[19]

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.[1] 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.[20]

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.[20]

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.[21]

Tower of Hanoi[edit]

Zaizen joins his sister for dinner.

Zaizen and Skye were eating dinner together one evening, an act that had become more common due to Zaizen's demotion. On the news, they saw that Kitamura had developed an A.I. army to confront the Knights of Hanoi, and Zaizen told Skye that unlike her, the A.I. could not be turned into the Deleted. He forbade Skye from entering LINK VRAINS, and though she was saddened by his request, Skye agreed. The two watched as Kitamura's A.I. army battled the Knights of Hanoi; after the army was defeated by two new Knights of Hanoi, Zaizen headed back to work to assist SOL Technologies with the crisis.[22] Before he left the office the next day, Zaizen heard news about Blue Angel Dueling a Knight of Hanoi. Zaizen was shocked to see this, and asked why Skye would even do this.[23] Zaizen and Hayami nervously watched the Speed Duel between Blue Angel and the Knight, Baira. After witnessing Blue Angel being slightly injured he became worried that she would be Deleted again, and he decided to log into LINK VRAINS and stop the Duel. Hayami stopped him and encouraged him to watch the Duel instead. To his relief, Blue Angel won, obtaining the cure for the Deleted from Baira. The following day during breakfast, he and Skye watched the news about the Deleted getting cured. Skye attempted to apologize him for her actions, but Zaizen was pleased that she was able to cure the Deleted and praised her, making Skye smile happily.[24]

After Playmaker defeated Faust, the final Commander of the Knights, peace appeared to have returned to LINK VRAINS, but Zaizen felt that their defeat had been too easy. 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 her that, and Zaizen admitted that despite the reported victory, SOL Technologies had been looking for more employees. Zaizen believed that the Knights of Hanoi wouldn't retreat that easily, and added Varis was still loose. Emma agreed to search through LINK VRAINS for any treasures, and promised to sell it to Zaizen. Zaizen suggested she give him a discount, and Emma claimed she'd think about it.[25]

Emma never returned, but a massive construct called the Tower of Hanoi appeared in LINK VRAINS, absorbing Avatars and the Avatars of Duelists who lost near it. Zaizen learned that Kitamura was defeated by a Knight of Hanoi and absorbed in this fashion. Hayami later alerted Zaizen about a footage of a Duel in LINK VRAINS. He came to the computer, finding that Skye was Dueling Specter, the Knight who had defeated Kitamura.[6] Although Hayami encouraged Zaizen to believe in Blue Angel, to his horror she was brutally defeated by Specter and badly injured.[26]

Zaizen rushed back to their home and found Skye's unresponsive body on the couch. He immediately logged into LINK VRAINS and rushed to Blue Angel's body, but the ground erupted beneath his feet and a cage of thorny vines trapped him. As he raised his hand to touch them, Dr. Kogami arrived, warning him that a strong computer virus was in the vines. Zaizen was shocked that Kogami was alive, believing that he was dead, and Kogami claimed that SOL Technologies had killed him, but he had resurrected, much to Zaizen's shock. He explained that though SOL Technologies had not ordered the Lost Incident, they covered it up to prevent the police from seizing the Ignis as they wished to monopolize them, and that they infected him with a computer virus to put him into a coma, but his son had removed the virus and recreated his mind. Zaizen asked if Kogami had formed the Knights of Hanoi to get revenge on SOL Technologies, but Kogami revealed that they had formed to destroy the Ignis. Zaizen asked what would happen to his sister, and Kogami claimed that once imprisoned, she could not escape, and when the Tower of Hanoi was complete, data worldwide would be destroyed, shocking Zaizen that they would go that far. Kogami then departed, telling him to stay there if he wanted to witness the end of the world. After Kogami left, Blue Angel was absorbed by the Tower of Hanoi as Zaizen watched helplessly.[27]

Specter later showed Zaizen and his prison to Playmaker, while also giving Zaizen a view of the Duel between him and Playmaker. On the verge of losing, Specter threatened to make the vines touch Zaizen and infect him. Zaizen told Playmaker not to worry about him,[28] but to his shock, Playmaker ended his turn. Zaizen continued to beg Playmaker to ignore his safety and not make his sister's sacrifice be in vain, but Playmaker still refused to attack Specter. To Zaizen's surprise, one of Playmaker's allies attempted to break the prison and log him out, but their efforts failed. Telling Playmaker that he had to win, else the sacrifices of Skye and the other victims be in vain, Zaizen voluntarily grasped the vines, infecting himself with the virus, and being absorbed by the Tower of Hanoi as a result. His sacrifice motivated Playmaker to defeat Specter.[29] Akira and Skye were both released after Playmaker defeated Varis, who stopped the Tower of Hanoi, and they woke up next to one another in their apartment.[30]

Lost Ignis[edit]

After the Hanoi Incident, Zaizen was promoted back to his former position of chief of security and his staff were all reshuffled. During the media buzz around the heroes who had saved LINK VRAINS, Gore called him regarding the media continually asking about Playmaker, and Zaizen noted that they were bound to attract attention and asked Gore not to allow the press to delve into how close LINK VRAINS had come to destruction.[31] Three months later, Zaizen met with Queen, asking her why they had to hunt for Playmaker. Queen commented that he'd been quite bold since returning to his former position and explained that with the Knights of Hanoi defeated and the Cyberse discovered but empty, Playmaker was their only link to finding the Ignis, who were vital for the company's future. She informed Zaizen that he would be in charge of a special team to hunt down Playmaker and warned him not to fail. Zaizen later met with the team when Hayami admitted them; Gore, Kenmochi and Yoroizaka, and he greeted Gore politely, but was miffed by Gore's standoffish attitude. They both admitted that they never thought they'd be in this position. Gore requested his affairs to be kept private, and asked where the last bounty hunter was. Zaizen described Shepherd to Gore, calling him a dangerous pro among pros.[32] Zaizen later watched a mysterious Duelist with an Ignis Speed Dueling a Duelist who used Cyberse monsters that weren't in the SOL Tech database and a Reincarnation Link Summon, causing Zaizen to wonder if the Duelist had been involved in the Lost Incident.[33]

After the Duel, the opponent he'd Dueled escaped into the Restricted Area of LINK VRAINS. Zaizen conducted an analysis, finding that a gate to another world had appeared in the depths of the Restricted Area. He sent a two-man research team to the world, but they never returned. Kengo eventually showed up and he and Gore immediately began butting heads. Gore claimed that he would be the one to defeat Playmaker, lamenting that Playmaker was always a step ahead of him. Kengo ignored Gore, but reminded him not to order him around, as he did his things at his own pace. Hayami was unnerved by Gore and Kengo's hostility, but Zaizen was amused, having never expected them to get along. Zaizen showed the Bounty Hunters footage of Playmaker's opponent as Kengo believed it would help them track Playmaker down. Gore was alarmed at the figure, while Kengo noted that the figure had not logged out. Zaizen explained that the figure had gone beyond the Restricted Area of LINK VRAINS.[34] Before Gore left, Zaizen asked him to remain behind, and they talked in private, Zaizen asking why Gore had thrown away his career and become a Bounty Hunter. Gore claimed that he couldn't get his pride back until he defeated Playmaker, and Zaizen offered to reveal the secret of Playmaker's power. Zaizen revealed that Playmaker's past and claimed that it had caused him to equate Dueling with living, which was where his determination came from.[31]

After dismissing the Bounty Hunters, Zaizen met with Emma and Skye in Green Park.[34] He explained about the scattered Ignis and explained that he wanted Emma to find them so that he could negotiate peacefully and determine their motives without SOL Technologies' involvement. He showed them the gate and explained about the research team that he'd sent, giving Emma a logout program to prevent her from being trapped in the world the gate led to. Skye also downloaded the program, asking Zaizen to allow her to go despite Emma's protests. She stated that she wanted to fight so Zaizen could learn the truth, and Zaizen agreed to let her go, patting her head and reminding her that the future of humanity rested on their mission.[4]

Emma sent Playmaker the info that Zaizen had given her so that she would simultaneously be able to avoid the Bounty Hunters and they would be able to capture Playmaker.[34] The Gore's team found Playmaker and the FIRE Duelist first, and Zaizen ordered a trap set for Playmaker, but their quarries evaded the trap, which actually logged out Kenmochi and Yoroizaka. Hayami then revealed that they had information on the other Duelist; his account name was Soulburner. Zaizen ordered the trap removed and for them to observe the Duel between Soulburner and The Gore.[31] During the Duel as Zaizen was keeping track of Playmaker, The Gore and Soulburner were suddenly attacked by traps, and when Gore blocked one of them, ordering SOL Technologies to stop the attack, Hayami cried out in horror, and Zaizen took her tablet and saw that she had been attacking them. She sobbed that she didn't want him to get demoted again, and the taken aback Zaizen told her not to worry about him and warned her not to interrupt a Duel again. However, Soulburner defeated Gore.[35] Ghost Gal and Blue Girl's signals later disappeared on Zaizen's monitor, and he noted that they had entered the gate to the unknown world and were beyond his help, wishing them luck. Hayami later came in, informing Zaizen that the research team had woken up, and Zaizen deduced that Skye had used the logout program to free them. He was confident that they would be able to find a lead on what was happening.[36]

Unfortunately, Skye and Emma returned empty-handed, and the gate disappeared. Zaizen met with Gore and Shepherd in LINK VRAINS, explaining about the gate to them. Gore asked why Zaizen hadn't told them about it, and Zaizen replied that he didn't have to tell Gore everything, as his duty was to capture Playmaker and his Ignis. Shepherd asked about Soulburner, and Zaizen admitted they had no info on him, but that he was likely another Lost Incident victim. He suggested waiting for the gate to reappear, but Shepherd announced he would do as he pleased and logged out, telling Zaizen that he would have no complaints after he brought back Playmaker and his Ignis. Gore asked if Zaizen could trust Shepherd, and Zaizen replied that he could trust him as a hunter. Zaizen later met with Emma and Skye at Green Park again, and Emma revealed that Playmaker was searching for someone's consciousness data, though she didn't know whose. Skye suggested that there was likely a link between that and the Ignis, and Zaizen reflected that Playmaker was the key to finding the other Ignis. He noted that SOL Technologies' higher-ups would likely continue pursuing Playmaker, and Emma commented that he seemed worried. Zaizen replied that he owed Playmaker, and Emma stated that they just had to wait for the gate to reappear. Zaizen lamented that he couldn't get in touch with Playmaker directly, and they discussed the possibility of finding him in the real world.[37]

The gate later reappeared, and unable to contact Shepherd, Zaizen ordered Gore back before he could make contact with Playmaker and Soulburner, claiming that he wanted to show Gore something.[37] The gate captured Soulburner within it, and Zaizen realized that Shepherd had been able to modify the Ignis program into a trap. Hayami suggested that Shepherd was following the idea that to fool one's enemies, he also had to fool his allies, but Zaizen remarked that he doubted Shepherd considered them allies. Zaizen's staff were unable to break through the high-level program, and Zaizen noted that Shepherd's intellect rivaled that of Dr. Kogami. Meanwhile, Kenmochi engaged Playmaker in a Speed Duel and was swiftly defeated.[38] Zaizen later left Hayami in charge of the search for the Ignis as he met with Queen in his office via hologram, and Queen noticed that he and his Bounty Hunters hadn't made any progress and asked about The Gore. Zaizen stated that Gore was undergoing the program that Queen had requested, and apologized for his lack of results. Queen warned him that SOL Technologies had no place for failure before cutting her connection to him. Zaizen then returned to his staff, asking if there had been any updates, and Hayami stated that there had been none.[39]

Relationships[edit]

Skye Zaizen (Blue Angel)[edit]

Young Akira and Skye.

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)[edit]

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)[edit]

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.

Deck[edit]

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".

Deck

Duels[edit]

Opponent(s) Episode(s) Outcome
Yusaku Fujiki/Playmaker 18-20 Lose
Ai 110-111 Lose (With Skye Zaizen/Blue Maiden)

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 18: "Dueling for Answers"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"
  3. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 77: "Siblings in Conflict"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 53: "Bounty Hunter Blood Shepherd"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 7: "Fallen Angel"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 33: "Once Upon A Time"
  7. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 2: "Seize the Wind!"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 3: "Contact"
  9. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 4: "Pain and Gain"
  10. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 5: "Down for the Count"
  11. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 6: "True Blue"
  12. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 8: "A Storm is Coming"
  13. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 9: "Malicious Mayhem"
  14. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 10: "Eye of the Storm"
  15. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 11: "Neutralized"
  16. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 12: "Link the Circuit"
  17. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 14: "An Invitation"
  18. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 16: "Hack Attack"
  19. 19.0 19.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 17: "Blue's Back"
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 19: "The Lost Incident"
  21. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 20: "A Piece of the Puzzle"
  22. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 24: "To Gore Or Not To Gore"
  23. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 25: "Suture the Circuit"
  24. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 26: "Diagnosis: Deletion"
  25. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 30: "Under VRAINS"
  26. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 34: "Roots of Evil"
  27. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 35: "The Hollow"
  28. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 36: "Worthless Justice"
  29. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 37: "Out on a Limb"
  30. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 46: "Link to the Future"
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 51: "Bounty Hunting"
  32. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 47: "LINK VRAINS 2.0"
  33. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 49: "Bring the Heat"
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 50: "A Common Cause"
  35. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 52: "Hero in Name Only"
  36. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 55: "To the Unknown World"
  37. 37.0 37.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 60: "Brave Max the Loser"
  38. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 62: "The Ominous Ghost"
  39. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 66: "Earth Ignis "Earth""