A Japanese media franchise created in collaboration between Akira Itō (Yu-Gi-Oh! R), Satoshi Nakamura (Duel Masters), and Bushiroad president Takaaki Kidani. An anime television series was produced by TMS Entertainment and aired in Japan on TV Tokyo starting on January 8, 2011. An official trading card game by Bushiroad began releasing in Japan on February 26, 2011, in Singapore on May 5, 2011, and internationally on May 12, 2011. A manga series was also announced and began publishing in Kerokero Ace magazine on March 26, 2011. A second season for the anime under the title Cardfight!! Vanguard: Asia Circuit (カードファイト!! ヴァンガード アジアサーキット編 Kādofaito!! Vangādo Ajia Sākito Hen?, lit. Cardfight!! Vanguard Asia Circuit Chapter) began airing on April 8, 2012. A third season for the anime began airing on January 13, 2013 under the title Cardfight!! Vanguard: Link Joker (カードファイト!! ヴァンガード リンクジョーカー編 Kādofaito!! Vangādo Rinku Jōkā Hen?, lit. Cardfight!! Vanguard Link Joker Chapter).
On July 2010, an anime television series was green-lit by TMS Entertainment under the directorial supervision of Hatsuki Tsuji. Music is composed by Takayuki Negishi while Mari Tominaga provided the character designs. The series began airing in Japan on TV Aichi beginning on January 8, 2011 and rebroadcast by AT-X, TV Tokyo, TV Osaka, and TV Setouchi systems. The media-streaming website Crunchyroll simulcasted the first season to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Crunchyroll began streaming the second season to the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom on June 30, 2012 and continues to stream the series. An English dub co-produced by Ocean Productions (recorded at Blue Water Studios) began airing on Singapore's Okto channel from October 16, 2011, on Animax Asia from January 22, 2012, and on Malaysia's RTM-TV2 channel from November 18, 2012. Dubbed episodes also began being released on YouTube from May 29, 2012. The series can be seen officially on a dedicated channel for it created by Bushiroad, and as of June 25 is available for viewing in most countries without "geo-blocking". The English dub is faithful to the original Japanese version for the most part. Characters, cards, and terms retain their original names (although there are some exceptions), Japanese text and the original card artwork are kept, dialogue is nearly consistent with the Japanese version (although some jokes are added/rewritten to make sense for the English-speaking audience), no scenes have been cut or altered in any way, and both the original sound effects and background music remain intact (including snippets of the theme songs that are not being used for the dub). The most notable change in the English dub is that two opening themes and two ending themes are used. The only openings are English versions of the first opening theme "Vanguard" (from eps. 1-65) and third opening theme "Limit Break" (from episode 66 onward), both of which are still performed by the original artist JAM Project. The first ending used in the dub is an English version of the third ending theme "Dream Shooter" (from eps. 1-65) while the second ending is a unique song titled "Way To Victory" (from episode 66 onward), both of which are performed by Sea☆A. The ending credit sequence for this exclusive theme is the one used for the original sixth ending theme "Jōnetsu-ism". Similarly, the Ultra Rare insert songs are performed in English by Suzuko Mimori, Yoshino Nanjō, and Aimi Terakawa (the original Japanese voice actresses of Kourin, Rekka, and Suiko). There are currently no plans for the show to be aired on television in western countries.
The protagonist, Aichi Sendou, is a timid young boy in his third year of junior high school. He has been living his life looking backward rather than forward, trying not to stand out. The one thing that keeps him going is his trading card Blaster Blade from Cardfight!! Vanguard, a trading card game that takes place on a different planet called "Cray" and is popular throughout the world. When Aichi's Blaster Blade is stolen by his classmate Katsumi Morikawa, he chases him to a local card shop named Card Capital. There, Aichi has his first cardfight with Toshiki Kai, an aloof and cold-hearted high schooler who has outstanding abilities and who originally gave Aichi his Blaster Blade when Aichi was little. Aichi wins the fight, reclaiming Blaster Blade, and begins to enjoy a fulfilling life as he delves deeper into Vanguard. Among his new friends are Misaki Tokura, the niece of the shop owner, and Kamui Katsuragi, a young but highly skilled boy. Aichi's primary goal throughout the series is to become a stronger fighter, so he can once again battle Kai and have him recognize his worth. Aichi eventually joins with Kai, Misaki, and Kamui to form Team Quadrifoglio ("Q4" for short). Together, they enter regional and national tournaments to test their skills against fighters from all over Japan. Aichi's principal rival becomes Ren Suzugamori, a powerful but despicable cardfighter who is the leader of the reigning national champion team and formerly Kai’s close friend. Ren eventually makes Aichi awaken a power that Ren also possesses: Psyqualia, a psychic-like ability that lets its user foresee victory in cardfights. However, Aichi’s usage of Psyqualia slowly distorts him into becoming a dark person like Ren. Thanks to Kai’s efforts, Aichi decides to no longer use Psyqualia and reverts to his normal self. When Aichi battles Ren at the finals of the national championships, it is revealed that Cray is real, and Psyqualia is the power given to those who will determine Cray's future. Aichi manages to reconcile his good-natured personality with his dark desires to become stronger, and defeats Ren. Simultaneously on Cray, Blaster Blade and his comrades resolve their conflict with the characters depicted on Ren's cards. With Ren's defeat, Team Q4 become the national champions of Japan.
Season 2: Asia RecuitEdit
Shortly after Q4 wins the national tournament, a strange phenomenon occurs when Aichi meets a young boy named Takuto Tatsunagi. The Royal Paladin, Shadow Paladin, and Kagero clans of Vanguard have been wiped from existence, and due to this, Aichi’s Royal Paladin deck has been changed to Gold Paladin. Aichi reunites with Q4 (excluding Kai) and travels across Asia to participate in the Vanguard Fight Circuit, an invitational multi-stage tournament featuring the world’s best cardfighters, for the opportunity to meet and seek answers from the sponsor, Takuto. Throughout the circuit, Aichi, whose Psyqualia has reactivated, encounters a mix of familiar friends and new rivals. One noteworthy rival is Team Dreadnought’s Leon Soryu, a man possessing Psyqualia who is on a mission to lead the second coming of both his family and the long-lost Aqua Force clan. After losing at the Singapore, Seoul, and Hong Kong Stages of the VF Circuit, Q4 finally manages to win the Japan Stage and gets the chance to meet Takuto, who reveals that a dark entity known as Void is currently threatening the planet Cray. Furthermore, Leon is exposed as having made an alliance with Void, allowing the three clans to be sealed away in exchange for Void's promise to return Aqua Force to power. In a final confrontation, Aichi defeats Leon, who had absorbed Void’s power. With a reformed Leon’s help, Aichi uses his Gold Paladins to drive Void out of Cray and subsequently free the captured clans. The VF Circuit concludes with Q4 crowned as the winning team. Afterwards, life returns to normal, except that Aichi now has a new deck featuring his signature Royal Paladin units as Gold Paladins.
Season 3: Link JokerEdit
Months have passed after the events of the VF Circuit, and the members of Team Q4 have drifted apart. Aichi enters his first year of high school at Miyaji Academy, where the instructors and students focus on looking towards the future and studying. Aichi thinks Vanguard can be a future that people can believe in, and tries to establish a Cardfight Club on campus. Despite the interference of the Student Council, he manages to recruit the requisite five members for the club: Kourin Tatsunagi, an idol singer who assisted Aichi during previous tournaments; Naoki Ishida, a novice player who discovers he has a passion for Vanguard; Shingo Komoi, a bespectacled boy who has extensively researched top Vanguard players; and Misaki, who is also a Miyaji Academy student but was reluctant to join the club. During Aichi's inaugural appearance at the VF High School Championship, his team defeats Kai's team but loses to Ren's team. Kai remarks on how much stronger both Aichi and Ren have become. It is revealed that the secretary of the Student Council is actually a spy for an extraplanar entity called "Link Joker," the clan which is the avatar of Void. Various students become corrupted by Void's power and turn into "Reversed" fighters driven to seek out stronger opponents and bring them under Void's influence. A player who loses to a Reversed fighter also becomes Reversed, but a player who defeats a Reversed fighter will return him/her to normal. Kai visits Takuto to seek answers, and in a moment of weakness while cardfighting the Reversed Takuto, he allows himself to become Reversed in exchange for additional power.