Naoki Shima ( (しま) (なお) () , Shima Naoki) is a character appearing in the Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime. He is Yusaku's classmate. When Dueling in LINK VRAINS, he is known as Brave Battler in the English dub, and Lonely Brave (ロンリーブレイブ, Ronrī Bureibu) and subsequently Brave Max (ブレイブマックス, Bureibu Makkusu) in the Japanese version.



He loves Dueling, but is not too confident about his skills and had never Dueled in LINK VRAINS, however he eventually overcomes this fear. He is also a fan of Playmaker. He's enthusiastic, passionate, and tries to be friendly with Yusaku. During his observations, Yusaku pointed out that Naoki cannot stand being alone.

Naoki is quick to judge others, as he made fun of Yusaku's deck and guessed he and Theodore weren't that good at dueling based solely on their Duel Disk models. He also overestimates his own abilities, when he lacks Dueling knowledge, such as thinking "return to hand" effects don't work on Link Monsters since they are summoned from the Extra Deck.

Naoki is a fan of LINK VRAINS, often watching the live feeds at Den City Plaza or on his tablet. He often watches LINK VRAINS in school, even in the middle of class, doing so as a form of procrastination.

Even though he has only met Playmaker once, Naoki believes himself to be his best friend and soulmate. He constantly brags about this to anyone, which can get him into trouble. Others are quick to realize this isn't true and he's just a fanboy.

In the dub, he has a habit of saying that something is "so flash" when he thinks something is cool or exciting.



Naoki noticed Yusaku asleep after class had already ended and introduced himself, noting that Yusaku has no friends. He was upset that Yusaku didn't remember him, as they had been classmates for over a month. Naoki tried to befriend Yusaku and showed off his new Duel Disk, only for Yusaku to criticize Naoki's lack of Dueling talent, but also pointed out that Naoki had good intentions. Naoki got upset at Yusaku's remarks and stormed off, telling him to Duel by himself. Later he went to watch Duels at LINK VRAINS and was scared when the Knights of Hanoi attacked, and was surprised when "Playmaker" appeared.[1] He then watch the Duel between Playmaker and the Knights of Hanoi with Kolter and was happy that Playmaker won.[2] Sometime later at class, he asked Yusaku if he has seen Playmaker in action before much in which he told no and he was later surprised to see a Knight appearing in Link VRAINS promoting Yusaku to skip class.[3]

Naoki later caught up to Yusaku and assumed he wanted to join the Duel Club. He was then scolded by the club president Hosoda for making so much noise after Yusaku joined another member Sato showed his Duel Disk in which Yusaku pretended to be interested after Skye remarked he knows everything. Yusaku then told that Naoki was the one who bragged about it earlier which promote him to tell about how Akira Zaizen had given them all the new Duel Disks, and Skye shot him a stern glare and after Skye saw Yusaku's Deck and was about to hand it to him, but Naoki then snatch the deck from her and laughed how lame it is. Hosoda then scolded him for insulting his Deck and he grimily handed it to Yusaku. The next day at class, he was annoyed that Yusaku was absent and then turned his notepad on and watch the Duel between Blue Angel and Playmaker. He got excited for the Duel and a teacher then told him to be quiet and he apologize to her.[4] When he saw Blue Angel summon "Dark Angel", Naoki got scared and screamed, causing the teacher to scold him and as the lesson was going on.[5]

Several days later, Yusaku looked for Skye at school. Naoki informed him that Skye had not turned up for several days.[6]

The Deleted

Naoki was the first to inform Yusaku of the The Deleted phenomenon. He then watched the duel between The Gore and Dr. Genome. [7] The next day, Naoki witnessed Hosoda disband the Duel Club for good, and protested in response. He stayed in the Duel Club room to watch LINK VRAINS. [8]

The following day in school, after a lecture, Naoki asked if Yusaku was willing to fight with him in LINK VRAINS. Yusaku simply responded that Naoki was not good enough, causing Naoki to flee out of the lecture hall into the Duel Club room. His Duel Disk suddenly received the "Cyberse Wizard" card. Naoki believed Playmaker had entrusted him with the card, and decided to log into LINK VRAINS with his Brave Battler avatar. He told a Knight of Hanoi that he was Playmaker's friend, and showed off "Cyberse Wizard" to prove it. The Knight engaged Brave Battler in a duel, and lost to him after Brave Battler used "Cyberse Wizard" in said duel. He lapped up admiration from duelists that the Knight had defeated, and logged out. The next day after school, Naoki was approached by a stranger, knocked out and taken hostage. Kolter and Yusaku saw Brave Battler, which they knew was Naoki, being cornered by Faust of the Knights of Hanoi. [9]

Having found Naoki's real-world location, Yusaku went into LINK VRAINS as Playmaker to challenge Faust, but not before asking Brave Battler for his card back. Brave Battler thanked Playmaker for letting him borrow "Cyberse Wizard", but Playmaker ignored him, and accused Faust of using an amateur duelist to draw Playmaker out. Brave Battler watched the duel that followed, cheering Playmaker on. After Playmaker won, Brave Battler finally apologized to Playmaker, only for Playmaker to not accept Brave Battler's apology and log out. After being rescued from the real-world location he was taken hostage at, Naoki continued to brag about his adventures in LINK VRAINS, to Yusaku's disinterest. [10]

Naoki was next seen at the back of the plaza having heard the breaking news that LINK VRAINS would be suspended. He looked at the LINK VRAINS forums on his tablet and saw that "the great apocalypse" was coming. [11] Naoki then watched the remaining duels that Frog and Pigeon managed to stream live, including Varis against The Gore [12], and Varis against Playmaker.[13]

Lost Memories

Upon seeing that the new LINK VRAINS had went live, Naoki logged in as his Brave Battler avatar. Brave Battler explored the new virtual interface and later bumped into Ghost Gal. They introduced themselves to each other. Ghost Gal then mentioned that Playmaker had a bounty on his head. Brave Battler then witnessed Playmaker's arrival into LINK VRAINS and cheered for him. [14] On another day at school, Naoki saw Skye pass by and asked if she was going to the Duel Club, to which she confirmed. [15]

Several days later, before the start of class, Naoki saw Skye and wondered why she hadn't been to the Duel Club recently. Naoki then recommended that new student Theodore attend the Duel Club, because he could learn from "Playmaker's sidekick". This gave Skye an idea - she devised a plan with Emma Bessho to lure out Naoki in LINK VRAINS. Blue Angel appeared on a promotional advert which Brave Battler saw. Brave Battler "danced on the street" only to be interrupted by Ghost Gal, who asked if bounty hunters were after him since they were after Playmaker. When Brave Battler claimed to have defeated them all, Ghost Gal then claimed to be a bounty hunter herself, so Brave Battler challenged her to a duel. Brave Battler's lack of dueling skill was made clear for Ghost Gal to see, as she won without taking any damage. Ghost Gal later reported back to Blue Angel, who reluctantly agreed to cheer up Brave Battler by inviting him to a meet-and-greet. [16]

Several days later, Naoki approached Yusaku after school, claiming to know his secret. He led Yusaku to a vacant classroom to talk. There, he called Yusaku "Playmaker", [17] and then rambled on about something else that Yusaku wasn't interested in. Yusaku left, and Naoki called after him, saying that he would report Yusaku to Playmaker. [18]

Ignis Warfare


Naoki plays a Monkey-Themed Beast Deck, which contains cards capable of destroying his Beast Type Monsters, such as "Wild Nature's Release" and the monster effect of "Scrap Kong" to trigger the effect of "Green Baboon, Defender of the Forest" to set up a Beatdown strategy.


Opponent Episode(s) Outcome
Knight of Hanoi 27 Win
Emma Bessho/Ghost Gal 60 Lose



  1. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"
  2. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 2: ""
  3. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 3: ""
  4. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 6: ""
  5. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 7: ""
  6. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 16: "Hack Attack"
  7. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 22: "The Deleted"
  8. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 24: "To Gore Or Not To Gore"
  9. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 27: ""
  10. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 28: ""
  11. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 32: ""
  12. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 39: ""
  13. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 46: ""
  14. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 47: ""
  15. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 50: ""
  16. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 60: ""
  17. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 64: ""
  18. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 65: ""


  1. This card's data is given to Naoki by Ai in episode 27. He later returns the data to Playmaker in episode 28.
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