|Anime debut||Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "My Name is Playmaker"|
Shoichi Kusanagi (
Shoichi is a young man with fair skin and grey eyes. His purple hair comes to the base of his neck, and it has multiple small bangs brushed over to hide his forehead, and he also sports a small goatee. Shoichi dresses simply, wearing a brown trench coat over a purple hoodie with a bronze zipper and light blue shirt, and teal pants tucked into burgundy boots with prominent black soles.
Shoichi is a rather friendly individual. He's shown to be sympathetic towards Yusaku and hopes he can one day enjoy Dueling again. He also regrets dragging him into the fight against the Knights of Hanoi.
Behind his friendly easy-going nature, Shoichi harbors an intense anger and hatred towards the Hanoi Project just like Yusaku, though he doesn't actively show it unless triggered enough, like when he listened to Akira Zaizen talk about the possibility of Aoi being kidnapped. Shoichi angrily said that Akira doesn't truly know what the horrible trauma he felt was like.
Being the owner of a food truck, Shoichi is a capable cook; he was seen cooking hotdogs.
Like Yusaku, he's a talented hacker. He was able to get information about SOL Technologies' activities and helped Yusaku capture Ai in the latter's Duel Disk. He was also able to figure out that Aoi Zaizen is "Blue Angel". On several occasions, he has hacked surveillance camera's in both LINK VRAINS and the real world alike with little effort. He is noted to routinely erase footage, article, and picture of Playmaker in the network.
Ten years ago, Shoichi's younger brother was kidnapped for the Hanoi Project in the past. Even though his brother was rescued, he still suffered intense PTSD that he apparently never recovered from, prompting Shoichi and Yusaku to fight against the Knights of Hanoi, whom they believed to be responsible for the incident, to get revenge.
Shoichi and Yusaku discussed SOL Technologies and Hanoi's recent movements. Shoichi told Yusaku about the Data Storm and that it could help Yusaku enjoy Dueling again. He also mentioned SOL was looking for an AI on the run and that they were planning a full scan of LINK VRAINS to find it. Hearing this, Yusaku came up with a plan to capture the AI and use it as a trump card against Hanoi and closed Café Nagi, despite Shoichi protesting that he was expecting customers that night. The two hackers managed to capture Ai into Yusaku's Duel Disk during an attack from the Knights of Hanoi. Shoichi was surprised when a Data Storm occurred when "Playmaker" challenged a knight. He was worried when Yusaku was sucked into a Data Storm tornado, and was relieved when Yusaku won the Duel.
Shoichi and Yusaku spent the next few days trying to figure out Ai's programming, but Shoichi struggled to understand the complicated algorithms that Ai was made out of. He then suggested to come up with a name for the A.I., to which Yusaku decided to name it "Ai", a pun on "eye". He was also impressed that the card data Yusaku obtained from the Data Storm was becoming a physical card. Trying to scan footage from "Ai's" memories caused the Knights of Hanoi's leader to track them down, however Shoichi shut down Café Nagi's power before they were found. The next day Shoichi gave Yusaku the "Decode Talker" card that had finished materializing before he went to LINk VRAINS to fight a supposed Knight of Hanoi that appeared. When the Knight turned out to be Go Onizuka, a program that prevents Playmaker from logging out was activated by SOL Technology. Shoichi worked on an escape route for Yusaku, but Yusaku refused to use it. After the Duel ended, Shoichi scolded Yusaku for not using the escape route, but also suggested that they could recruit Go for their fight against Hanoi.
Shoichi discovered that the real identity of the famous idol "Blue Angel" is Aoi Zaizen, a classmate of Yusaku. He thought about Yusaku meeting Aoi so they could get closer to Akira Zaizen in order to get more information about SOL Technologies regarding his brother and Yusaku's memories, however he also doubted the plan would work because of Yusaku's poor social skills. A few days later, he was shocked when Playmaker and Blue Angel began a Duel before getting interrupted by a customer.
After the Duel concluded and Aoi was put in a coma, Shoichi hacked into the hospital's records to find out about Aoi's condition. Ai protested that hacking into the hospital was a crime, to which Shoichi casually said that hacking already was a crime in the first place. Ai explained that Aoi had been infected by a virus from Hanoi's card and the only ones with the anti-virus were Hanoi themselves. "Blue Angel" appeared claiming that she wanted a rematch against Playmaker. Shoichi knew right away that she was an impostor and instructed Yusaku to ignore her because it was clearly a trap, but Yusaku went into LINK VRAINS anyways because he felt it was his responsibility to save Aoi. Revolver's appearance and subsequent manipulation of LINK VRAINS caused Shoichi's cameras to go offline, though he was briefly able to use SOL's cameras and later Ghost Girl's. He was displeased when Ghost Girl's camera stopped recording, making him unable to watch anything inside LINK VRAINS. To watch the Duel, Shoichi used the bugs in the Knights of Hanoi's program that created the Data Storm to open a path for Ghost Girl to enter the Data Storm; she had her cameras record the Duel between Playmaker and Revolver, allowing Shoichi to watch it.
Shoichi was glad that Playmaker won against Revolver and carried him after he logged out since the former took a lot of strain during his Duel. Since Yusaku was interested what became of Aoi, Shoichi went to show she was recovering. Yusaku fell asleep and Ai commented how lazy he was, but Shoichi claimed heroes needed to rest. Ai started bragging, so Shoichi went to analyze what kind of program he ate from Revolver. Realizing Shoichi would look into his "private parts", Ai called him a pervert and refused to say anything. Once Yusaku woke up, Shoichi sensed he was thinking what Revolver told about Ai. Since they did not know how to prove if Ai was actually alive, Ai claimed it, indeed, was alive. Ai used the program he obtained from Revolver to recover his body back. However, Ai's size didn't impress Yusaku and Shoichi, who tried to analyze if Ai regained some of his memories, even if Ai wanted them to be excited that he regained his body.
A few days later Emma Bessho ran into Café Nagi, but neither she nor Shoichi recognized the other as "Ghost Girl" or "Playmaker's assistant". Emma ordered a coffee and two chilli dogs and mentioned she was interested in Dueling Playmaker, causing Shoichi to wonder what kind of Duelist she is. Yusaku noted that Shoichi looked exhausted, to which Shoichi said that he was tired from spening all night deleting "Playmaker" files and videos that people constantly post on the network. Yusaku offered to help him with the clean up, and in doing so he inadvertently deleted a big scoop that would've revealed everything Playmaker and Shoichi know involving Ai and the Knights of Hanoi.
During the night, Shoichi called Yusaku to come to his food truck and showed him an encrypted message on an internet forum, sent to him from Ghost Girl. Shoichi explained he had created a program to navigate her to enter the Data Storm during the Duel with Revolver. The two read how she demanded a Duel from Playmaker, with Ai as wager. Yusaku accepted, stating that she offered a backdoor to SOL Technologies' data bank, and Shoichi confirmed that fact, showing she did send a bit of the data as proof. Yusaku asked of Shoichi to reply that Playmaker would accept her challenge. Ghost Girl soon entered LINK VRAINS, and Yusaku went to do the same. Shoichi wondered if Yusaku would really go and Duel her, since she could've set another trap. Yusaku claimed he had to uncover the truth behind the incident, hoped in the data bank there was some information about Knights of Hanoi, and sensed some determination in Ghost Girl, despite her weaknesses. Shoichi watched as Ghost Girl and Playmaker confronted each other, and wished of the latter to acquire the backdoor. Seeing how well Ghost Girl made her moves, Shoichi wished that Playmaker would be careful of her. While watching the Duel, Shoichi was baffled how complex the Duel was, being unable to predict the outcome. After Playmaker won and obtained the program, Shoichi went to analyze it. He believed he could crack the code, and noticed Yusaku was sleeping once more.
Shoichi showed his analysis of Ghost Girl's program to Yusaku: the backdoor entrance to the SOL Technologies' mother computer, whose schematics looked like a maze. Shoichi and Yusaku were nevertheless impressed by Ghost Girl, who managed to hack and find this. Shoichi promised to be ready when the school was over, and Yusaku would be able to infiltrate the network the following night. On that night, Shoichi showed the location of the data bank, warning that the path to it was filled with traps. However, he did make countermeasures against them, and Yusaku praised him for such speed. After Yusaku went into the LINK VRAINS, Shoichi programmed an artificial device for Playmaker to hold onto to avoid traps, with a rope to prevent him from being detected, and gave directions to Playmaker where to go to. As security traps were set to stop Playmaker, Shoichi programmed a "Sphere Kuriboh" as a decoy. After Playmaker passed Area A, Shoichi saw there was a Data Storm. He wanted to give up, due to all the danger, but thought the Data Storm wouldn't be as harmful if Playmaker continued on.
After Playmaker defeated Prototype Ai-A, Shoichi navigated him to the data bank. Shoichi watched as Playmaker confronted Akira, and wished the former would obtain the data. As Akira claimed he would set things straight with the data, Shoichi and Playmaker became furious, saying Akira understood nothing about them. Shoichi watched the Duel, and was furious to be reminded that his brother was a part of the Hanoi Project. He was also shocked to hear SOL Technologies' data bank contained the name of the mastermind behind the project. Shoichi was frustrated to see Playmaker could not attack, and Akira would win the next turn. Later, Playmaker defeated Akira and logged out, Shoichi praised him for acquiring the data. The two hacked into Ai, and found out the Hanoi Project's leader was Dr. Kiyoshi Kogami, an employee from SOL Technologies, who alone worked on the project in secrecy. The two concluded SOL Technologies covered up the incident, else the company's reputation would've been ruined. Ai doubted the man could have done this on his own, and thought Akira was involved, but Shoichi reminded him Akira, back then, was 16 and was not employed at SOL Technologies. Shoichi and Yusaku failed to find the project's goal, but most shockingly, they discovered Dr. Kogami died seven years ago.
With the food truck positioned at the coast, Yusaku was doing research. Shoichi invited him for a break, and gazed upon the ocean. Yusaku pointed out Shoichi won't get many customers at that place, but Shoichi assured him the famous coast was named Stardust Road, known for the luminous plankton that rarely gather at night, and thought the person living near the coast may have seen that. Shoichi failed to gather new info from SOL Technologies' data, and Yusaku saw that data from ten years ago was actually deleted. Still, they knew the company was involved, even if Akira knew nothing about the incident before. Shoichi felt a bit relieved that Dr. Kogami passed away, thinking their revenge was over. Yusaku reminded him they still didn't know about the goal of the incident, and Shoichi still wanted to rescue his brother from darkness, even if they had no clue where to continue. Yusaku still remembered Revolver knew some things. Shoichi stated Revolver was not seen recently, but Yusaku believed he was not the type that would simply disappear.
Inside the van, Shoichi showed to Ai and Yusaku the footage of a camera, when a person turned into an Another, which happened six minutes before midnight. Ai noted there were no white hands taking the person into LINK VRAINS. Shoichi told them the person had not recovered yet, and showed pictures of more Another patients in the hospitals. Ai and Yusaku knew this was the same accident with Blue Angel, who was infected by a virus. Shoichi believed someone wanted people to be turned into mindless people, but has not find out what happened to their LINK VRAINS' avatars. Shoichi showed more data, and Yusaku analyzed all of the Anothers were great Duelists with old-type Duel Disks, and all of them were hackers, too. The trio realized Playmaker, or Ai, were the targets. Yusaku reminded the importance of uncovering the truth behind Lost Incident, and as noted by Ai, they had to stop people from becoming Anothers. Shoichi showed a list of possible targets, from which the first was Makoto Kimishima. Later, Shoichi and Yusaku watched the Knights of Hanoi Dueling people, and turning them into Anothers. Yusaku decided to go into LINK VRAINS, even if Shoichi believed he would be at a disadvantage, and Ai wished to feel secure. Surprisingly, they saw "Playmaker" battling the Knights of Hanoi, by stopping their programs and tossing them away from their D-Boards. Dr. Genome confronted "Playmaker", who revealed himself to be Go Onizuka. The latter stated he came to save Makoto, and knew Playmaker's identity, which displeased Yusaku and Shoichi.
|This summary is currently incomplete.|
Shoichi watched as Playmaker came to Go Onizuka. Later, Shoichi and Yusaku went to find who was the Another virus' creator. At the van, Yusaku shushed Ai, who was amused to read all the criticism against Kitamura and SOL Technologies. Shoichi analyzed that if the Knights of Hanoi took over LINK VRAINS, they'd soon find Playmaker. Yusaku believed they could prevent that by looking into the origins of Anothers virus. The next day, at the van, Shoichi woke Yusaku up, reminding he had to go to school, and promised he'd continue working. After Yusaku returned, Shoichi found nothing new. Ai believed Shoichi gave up, who replied he was just getting started. Yusaku let Shoichi rest, who went to cook some fries and cheese dogs. Yusaku and Shoichi ate the food, and watched Blue Angel confronting Baira. Shoichi and Yusaku analyzed the videos, and the latter saw Baira behind one of the Anothers victims.
|This summary is currently incomplete.|
Shoichi drove his van to the warehouse district. He took a break when Yusaku went to rescue Naoki. One night, fearing he and Yusaku could soon be in danger, Shoichi wrote a report, mentioning the Knights of Hanoi were real people. He named the report as "File No. 1007: Kusanagi Report". He noted the prowess of Playmaker and his allies, but feared the countdown to the day their destinies would change had already started. He also wrote that he still thought of his brother, Jin, and wished that the reader of this report would tell that to his brother when they meet him. He was visited by Yusaku and Ai, who felt something big was about to happen.
Shoichi served a customer, who told him it would be the last time he would visit the stand, and Shoichi suspected the customer would move away. The customer looked briefly at Yusaku, and walked away, with Shoichi telling he was also located at the plaza. As the customer walked away, Ai claimed Shoichi needed a mascot like him. Shoichi replied Ai would make a lame customer, and was interested what was Yusaku doing. Yusaku pointed out the Knights of Hanoi have been purged from LINK VRAINS. Shoichi noted Anothers' incident has been resolved, but also reminded Revolver was still out there. Ai thought Revolver had retreated, but Yusaku doubted that. Suddenly, Yusaku and Ai felt a pulse within LINK VRAINS, and asked Shoichi to scan through the network. Shoichi worked on scanning, and just as Yusaku and Ai sensed another pulse, Shoichi saw the LINK VRAINS infrastructure changed. Shoichi tracked Playmaker's activity, and as the pulse was emitted from the network, Shoichi was shocked at the readings. Shoichi monitored LINK VRAINS, and found a new reading of energy within the network. Yusaku and Ai joined Shoichi, and watched hundreds of tentacles wrapped a beam that was shot in the sky and destroyed LINK VRAINS' cyberspace.
Yusaku, Shoichi and Ai watched as the tower appeared in LINK VRAINS, causing the cyberspace to be absorbed. Since Yusaku obtained Ghost Girl's data, Shoichi promised to look into it. Ai noticed the avatars were being absorbed, and not just buildings or roads - Yusaku knew this was Revolver's doing. Shoichi analyzed Ghost Girl's data, showing the Tower of Hanoi. Yusaku remembered Revolver's words, and deduced if the Hanoi's game was over, the world would be destroyed. Shoichi continued analyzing the data, seeing the link between the top, where the LINK VRAINS network was, with the underground erasing system, with the center being the core of the latter system. Ai was shocked, seeing how much data has been absorbed, as Shoichi noted that speed has not decreased. Shoichi counted six rings would be crafted from this system, one per each passing hour. He realized that once every ring is crafted, a pulse would be sent with high-density data, affecting every machine or program - every piece of technology existing in the world would cease function, as if the world has no computers at all. Ai thought it was safe as long as they did not enter the network, but Yusaku was certain Revolver thought of that, and made something that would still erase Ai. Shoichi continued his analysis, seeing even devices not connected to the network would also be affected, as an electromagnetic pulse would be sent out, even to erase Ai. While Ai was frustrated, Shoichi was overwhelmed, knowing Revolver made all of this just to erase an Ignis. The trio watched Kitamura - Akira's successor in SOL Technologies - battling a Knight of Hanoi, named Spectre. They saw how Spectre erased Kitamura, and the former threatened to do this to anyone that dared entering LINK VRAINS. Yusaku swore to stop the Knights of Hanoi, by shutting down the core. Shoichi warned him there were no Data Storms in LINK VRAINS, except near that tower.
Shoichi watched as Playmaker continued on to the Tower of Hanoi, and noticed Blue Angel Dueling Spectre, who defeated Kitamura earlier. He measured five hours and thirty minutes before the Tower of Hanoi was complete.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "My Name is Playmaker"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 11: "Roar of the Magazine Varreload"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 12: "Impregnable Defending Dragon Firewall"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 29: "Kusanagi Report"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 2: "Seize the Wind! Storm Access"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 3: "First Contact"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 4: "Charisma Duelist Go Onizuka"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 5: "The Three Count Rings"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 6: "Idol!! Blue Angel"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 7: "Hanoi's Angel"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 10: "Impact! Cyberse Vanishes"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 13: "Battle Record"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 14: "Ghost Girl's Invitation"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 15: "Altergeist that Hides in the Darkness"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 16: "Infiltrate SOL's Cyber Fortress"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 17: "Flawless AI Duelist"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 18: "Wound Etched Into His Heart"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 19: "The Incident Buried in the Darkness"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 20: "Unyielding Justice"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 21: "Embers of a New Battle"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 22: "Blackened Sun"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 24: "Dark Mask's Burden of Fate"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 25: "Virus Deck Operation"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 28: "Final Commander of the Three Knights"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 30: "Doorway to the Abyss"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 31: "The Final Trigger"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 32: "Tower of Hanoi"
- Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 33: "Angel With Blue Tears"