Wednesday, September 25, 2013

News: Ezel and Gancelot to Return in VG-BT14: Brilliant Strike

Early posters and web previews from Doctor O's twitter shocked the global Cardfight community today with the first look at the contents of the fourteenth main booster set, VG-BT14: Brilliant Strike (光輝迅雷 lit. Blazing Thunderclap.) The set's slogan is 「黒き呪縛を截ち切れ!金色の騎士たち!!」 "Cut through the black Lock! Golden knights!!" and its cover card is a currently-unknown new form of Ezel, Aichi's key grade 3 from the Asia Circuit arc. According to Doctor O, the set will provide strong support for the Gold Paladin, Royal Paladin, Genesis, Kagerou, Murakumo, Neo Nectar and Narukami clans. BT14 will be released in Japan on December 12th, 2013. The special conference for BT13 to be held live on September 26th through NicoNico Douga will reveal additional information regarding this latest booster set in addition to showing off cards from the recently released Catastrophic Outbreak.

The new incarnation of Ezel mixes his Red Lion and Platina armors, and is shown prominently cutting through the black rings used by the Link Joker clan to create their Lock spell. Popular speculation is that this Ezel will either be a new Gold Paladin grade 3 for Aichi, or that Ezel will return to his in-universe home army as a Royal Paladin for the Jewel Knights. This is fueled by Ezel's unique relationship to Kourin, who uses the card as the basis of her Gold Paladin deck in the manga, and who originally owned the card in the anime.

Alongside Ezel has been featured a crossbreak ride for Solitary Liberator Gancelot, and a crossbreak ride for "Sacred Regalia of Wisdom, Angelica," the cover card of VG-TD13: Successor of the Sacred Regalia, Misaki's Genesis trial deck. The crossbreak will be "Fair Goddess, Minerva" and will be illustrated by celebrated artist Tanaka Takayuki alias "Tony Taka," who has previously done work for Sega's fantasy RPG Shining franchise.

Reactions to the set's unveiling are mixed. Internationally many cardfighters were left with the impression that Ezel's storyline within the card lore was finished, and that Alfred, Garmore and now Gancelot would have taken the reigns for Aichi's key grade 3s. There have also been expectations within the community that Blaster Blade and Blaster Dark would be the key units to repel the invading force of Link Joker due to their ongoing storyline in the card lore, and Ezel's sudden appearance seems jarring to some in light of that. In Japan however, Ezel's appearance has not been as surprising, in part because of some wordplay that has been lost in the translation of BT14. Both Brilliant Strike and Ezel's previous form Blazing Lion Platina Ezel are written with the kanji 光輝 , so that in Japanese their names are Kouki Jinrai and Kouki no Shishi Platina Ezel. Ezel's appearance was thus foreshadowed by this allusion, and he is the title card of the set as Alfred was in BT10, and as Blockade Inferno was for BT11. The decision to translate 光輝 as "Brilliant" instead of "Blazing" caused this to be lost in translation.

It has been noted that despite some indications to the contrary, this does not appear to be the final set of the third season Link Joker, as the season's titular clan is not listed for BT14. It would be very uncharacteristic for a final set to not include the current antagonists, which implies that BT15 or later will be the last set of the current storyline, in keeping with Bushiroad CEO Kidani Takaaki's previous statement that Link Joker is planned to air for over a year. Finally, Doctor O stated on Twitter this evening that Megacolony would be supported in BT15, bringing with them the winning entry of the original unit card design contest "Unbeatable Mutant Abectrozeus" from last May.