Yusaku is a teenage boy with fair skin, green eyes, and dark blue hair that spikes outward in the back and contains light blue bangs with pink accents. His standard attire consists of a slate-colored jacket with light blue trim over a white dress shirt with a blue tie and a pair of black pants and black and white shoes.
While Dueling in LINK VRAINS, Yusaku wears a black and green outfit with a golden stripe going across his body and a grey belt at the waistline. His hair color also changes to yellow and red with pink strips and accents. Occasionally, the golden stripes in his "Playmaker" outfit glow.
When he was a child, Yusaku wore a brown jacket with a green shirt. He wore blue pants and brown boots.
Yusaku may be the first Yu-Gi-Oh protagonist who is an anti-hero. He is not a bad person, but he can appear cold and apathetic. Yusaku is described as a boy who doesn't like standing out at school, not that he's timid or shy but because he is a hacker. Due to a certain incident, he generally tries to avoid contact with others and only seems to trust Shoichi Kusanagi. However, he gets drawn into encounters with people as he tries out Dueling for once.
Yusaku is calm and collected most of the time. Outside of Duels he is shown to be intelligent and clever, but also calculating, standoffish, reserved, and somewhat anti-social. He prefers to distance himself from others and doesn't usually interact with people, not even remembering his classmates' names after a month in school. When Naoki Shima tried to be friendly with him, Yusaku casually admitted being lonely and friendless and inadvertently irritated Naoki with his observations, then didn't react to Naoki storming off. In public, Yusaku comes off as rather awkward and often doesn't know how to answer questions, leading others to assume things about him, such as when Naoki assumed he wanted to join the Duel Club and Aoi assumed he wanted new equipment from SOL.
Despite his introverted and cold nature, Yusaku is good-hearted, kind, well-meaning and is in well terms with Shoichi Kusanagi. He shows sympathy or care to others' situations like when he discovers that everything Go Onizuka does is for the orphanage, but refuses to let others get close to him and join his fight against Hanoi out of concern that they may get hurt.
As Playmaker he is shown to have a cold and serious demeanor, but at the same time he displays some noble traits to his personality, such as saving Blue Angel when she was about to be attacked by "Cracking Dragon". For currently unknown reasons, Yusaku hates the Knights of Hanoi and swears revenge against them. He didn't hesitate to capture Ignis and threatened to delete him in order to challenge the Hanoi.
Unlike most of the previous protagonists, who enjoy Dueling and see it as fun, Yusaku sees Dueling as a tool to eliminate those who are getting in his way. He is also unique in that his motivations for his actions are for revenge, instead of uniting people via Dueling. According to Shoichi Kusanagi, Yusaku doesn't really seem to enjoy Dueling either, as such he tends to reject challenges from other Duelists. That said, when he is either forced to accept a Duel or willingly does so, he will not abandon it, such as when SOL prevented him from logging out when he was forced to Duel Go Onizuka and chose to continue it even when Shoichi made an escape route for him. Furthermore, Yusaku is not above complimenting his opponents, as when he Dueled Onizuka, he claimed that his Duel style, which was meant to excite both the crowd and even his opponent, was first-rate.
He is generally level-headed, serious, aloof and keeps a stoic expression most of the time, though he can give short smiles occasionally. He also has a habit of listing out three reasons for his observations, a trait shared with Revolver.
Yusaku is said to be an intelligent hacker who possesses considerable ability and who solves mysteries in a cool manner. It helps him to read a situation and Decode Talker's thoughts.
Cool-headed and extremely clever, Yusaku's real skill is in his hacking and cracking abilities. He was able to hack into SOL Technologies' systems to find Ignis, which both SOL and the Knights of Hanoi had been hunting, within a few minutes and in the middle of a security scan, and managed to capture it into his Duel Disk while leaving the AI with no means to escape. He has been fighting the Knights of Hanoi for some time without leaving any trace of his actions as "Playmaker", and keeps a dummy deck to mislead others when in public. Yusaku combines his high intellect with his hacking abilities to quickly come up with plans and think on his feet.
An observant individual, he is good at reading people. When Dueling, Yusaku keeps a close eye on his opponent's reactions to know when they're planning something, as such he usually isn't surprised when something unexpected happens.
When in a Speed Duel, Yusaku's Skill is Storm Access which allows him to randomly access a card from a Data Storm when his LP is 1000 and below, at the cost of having to venture into the Data Storm. The cards obtained using this ability can then be converted into physical cards outside of the LINK VRAINS using appropriate technology. He can also teleport back to his D-Board should he fall off from it during a Duel.
Yusaku displays a strange ability to sense and see things in the network world when not logged in. Similar to Ignis, he can also discern a Knight of Hanoi's presence through their cards, which allowed him to immediately determine that Go was not a Knight of Hanoi and know when Blue Angel had drawn the card affected by Hanoi's influence.
Like the protagonists of the previous five series (Yugi Muto, Jaden Yuki, Yusei Fudo, Yuma Tsukumo, and Yuya Sakaki), his name contains the character「遊」(Yu). In a break from tradition, however, his first name contains three syllables instead of the usual two.
His given name contains the characters "game" (Yu 遊), and "work" (Saku 作). His surname, Fujiki, means "wisteria tree", the blue-and-pink coloring of which matches that of his hair. The kanji of his given name can also be translated as "playing" and "making", which is most likely the pun of his VR name "The Playmaker".
Yusaku mentioned the Knights of Hanoi stole his past. When he was younger, he and five other children were rescued after an unknown incident. He shortly recollected at one point that he most likely surfed the winds in LINK VRAINS before they disappeared. At some point Yusaku began fighting the Knights of Hanoi under the alias "Playmaker" with Shoichi Kusanagi's help. "Playmaker" soon became a famous Duelist within Link VRAINS, with no one knowing what his real identity is because he always deleted his activity logs.
At school, Yusaku met Naoki Shima, who started bragging to him about his new Duel Disk. When Yusaku attempted to leave, Naoki offered to teach him how to Duel. Yusaku rejected, saying Naoki did not seem very strong, but probably not a bad person either. Yusaku's remarks annoyed Naoki, but he didn't think much of it. Before leaving, he wondered about a rule set where there are only three Main Monster Zones.
Yusaku later met up with Shoichi Kusanagi and discussed how both SOL Technology and their enemies, the Knights of Hanoi, were chasing after an AI program in LINK VRAINS with him. Upon learning that SOL Technology had scheduled a full scan of Link VRAINS that evening to try and find the AI, they quickly started working on a trap to catch the AI themselves. Although Yusaku successfully captured a reluctant Ignis in his Duel Disk, one of the Knights of Hanoi threatened to destroy LINK VRAINS. Yusaku quickly entered LINK VRAINS as Playmaker and saved Blue Angel from the Knight's "Cracking Dragon". He then challenged the Knight to a Duel, putting Ignis at stake. Ignis voiced his doubts that Yusaku's Deck could beat "Cracking Dragon", then stirred up a wind in Link VRAINS, starting a Speed Duel between Yusaku and the Knight.
As Playmaker rode the Data Storm winds, Ignis explained how Speed Duels differ from Master Duels. When Ignis mentioned there are only three Main Monster Zones, Yusaku wondered if he already knew about Speed Duels. Ignis offered to help Playmaker Duel the Knight, but Playmaker refused, reminding Ignis that he was his hostage. The Knight took the first turn and swiftly Summoned "Cracking Dragon".
Yusaku wondered how to counter "Cracking Dragon" and failed to notice a building until Ignis told him to dodge it, reminding him that Speed Duels have obstacles besides just the Duel. Playmaker summoned "Cyberse Wizard", surprising everyone watching that he had Cyberse monsters. Playmaker used the effect of "Wizard" to change "Cracking Dragon" to Defense Position and inflict damage to the Knight, but failed to destroy "Cracking Dragon". Ignis noticed Playmaker wasn't particularly surprised that "Cracking Dragon" couldn't be destroyed, to which Playmaker said that the Knight didn't react to "Cyberse Wizard" so he figured the Knight was planning something. A tornado formed within the Data Storm.
The Knight activated a Skill, which angered Yusaku because Ignis didn't mention skills. The Knight used "DDoS Attack" to inflict 1600 Damage to Playmaker and knock him off his D-Board. Blue Angel saved Playmaker by using her whip to throw the D-Board back at him. Ignis noted that a fall from that height could've killed them. The Knight reduced Playmaker's LP to 400 and the Data Storm tornado sucked him. Inside the tornado, Yusaku figured out that this was part of Ignis' calculations. Ignis revealed that powerful monsters reside within the Data Storm, and that Playmaker's skill "Storm Access" allowed him to obtain those Monsters when his LP is below 1000. Playmaker obtained "Decode Talker", which he used to win the Duel. As the Knight fell off his D-Board, Yusaku declared that the Knight had no right to call himself a Duelist.
Playmaker attempted to interrogate the Knight, only for the Knight to attempt to kill him by self-destructing. Ignis saved his life by devouring the Knight. Go Onizuka and Blue Angel appeared and challenged Playmaker, but he simply said he wasn't interested and logged out. Yusaku and Shoichi spent the next few days trying to figure out Ignis' programming and gave him the nickname "ai". Yusaku discovered some video logs that were actually Ignis' memories. Ignis said he didn't understand those memories because most were damaged when he was reduced to an eye, but he did recognized The Knight's of Hanoi's leader. Later that night, messing with Ignis caused the Knight's leader to sense their location and travel there, Yusaku asked Shoichi to shut down Café Nagi's power to prevent them from being found, though he caught a glimpse of the Knight's leader.
The next day a Knight of Hanoi appeared at LINK VRAINS while Ignis was back at Yusaku's house, so Yusaku skipped school to go get his Duel Disk and face the Knight. On his way there, Shoichi gave him the "Decode Talker" card which had materialized. Upon arriving at LINK VRAINS, Yusaku quickly figured out that the Knight was an impostor. The Knight revealed himself to be Go Onizuka, who wanted to defeat Playmaker and recover his title as "VRAINS' hero", Playmaker rejected his challenged but SOL triggered a program that stops Playmaker from logging out until he defeated Go. With no choice, Playmaker started the Duel. When Go made an intentional misplay and took damage, Ignis questioned why he would make such an illogical move, to which Playmaker said that humans' hearts make them do illogical things. Ignis was confused by that but Playmaker didn't explain what it meant because Ignis' algorithm-based thinking wouldn't comprehend it.
Go Link Summoned "Gouki The Great Ogre" and reduced Playmaker's LP to 100. Playmaker could've reduced the damage he took but chose not to, and refused to use the escape route that Shoichi had built. Ignis again was confused by why humans make illogical contradictory choices. Yusaku stated that Go's Duel was meant to entertain the audience and Yusaku himself and that he wouldn't quit the Duel. Playmaker proceeded to win by Link Summoning four times in a row and attacking "Great Ogre" three times with "Decode Talker". After the Duel, Shoichi suggested they should recruit Go for their fight against Hanoi, but Yusaku rejected the idea, saying that he didn't want Go to face the danger of fighting against them.
When Shoichi uncovered Aoi Zaizen's identity as Blue Angel, Yusaku realized that Aoi was a student at Den Academy and his classmate. Shoichi suggested meeting her in order to find out if her brother Akira, who was the Security Manager at SOL Technology, knew anything about Yusaku's past or Shoichi's brother. However, he then started teasing that talking to Aoi would be impossible for Yusaku because of his lack of social skills. Nevertheless, Yusaku managed to track her down with Ignis's help, and followed her to the Duel Club, where Naoki caught up to him. He feigned ignorance when Naoki inferred that he wanted to join the club, and when Hosoda invited him in, he nervously tried to opt out until Ignis said thanks on his behalf, which upset him. Yusaku introduced himself to the rest of the club, and the other members introduced themselves as well, including Aoi. When another member, Sato, showed him his Duel Disk, he pretended to be interested, commenting on the fact that it was the latest model. Aoi remarked that he knew a lot, but he said it was only because Naoki had bragged about it earlier. Meanwhile, Ignis tried to start a conversation with Aoi's Duel Disk, which made Aoi notice that Yusaku's Duel Disk was a card-loading model, the same as Playmaker's. When she asked to see his Deck, he obliged, but handed her his dummy Deck instead. Ignis later complimented him on this, but Yusaku told him to be quiet, as a meeting was in progress.
That evening, he watched Blue Angel issue a public challenge for Playmaker to come out and Duel her. Ignis suggested that he should accept, but he refused, since he only approached Aoi attempting to acquire a lead on his stolen memories, and he only Duels against Knights of Hanoi, which she wasn't. Despite this, he was visibly embarrassed when the MC declared that Playmaker wasn't a man if he didn't accept. The next morning, Ignis read various posts on social media making fun of Playmaker for not accepting. He soon bumped into Aoi again, and they said good morning to each other. While walking to class, Aoi asked him why he wanted to join the Duel Club, not believing it was because he loved Dueling. When Yusaku tried to ask about her brother, she replied that people only ever approached her to ask if her brother could give them a new Duel Disk or a job at SOL after graduation. She lamented that her brother didn't trust her, and ran off. Soon after, Ignis tried to warn Yusaku about a problem he'd noticed with Aoi's Duel Disk, but Yusaku wouldn't hear of it.
In class, Ignis suddenly told him to hold up, and Yusaku scolded him for being too loud. He was surprised, however, when Ignis said that a Knight of Hanoi had appeared. He went to the balcony behind the Duel Club to enter LINK VRAINS, but instead of a Knight of Hanoi, he found Blue Angel, who remarked that he had finally made his decision about her challenge. He was initially oblivious, but realized that Ignis had told her that he had accepted. He became angry, thinking Ignis had tricked him, until Ignis told him that Blue Angel had Hanoi's card in her Deck, which shocked him. He realized that this was what Ignis was trying to tell him earlier, but wondered why Blue Angel would join Hanoi. Ignis suggested that Hanoi might be using her to lure Playmaker, and asked what he would do, since he wanted to defeat all Hanoi. Soon after, a Data Storm appeared, and the Duel started.
Playmaker was quickly at the mercy of Blue Angel's Trickstar Deck, which repeatedly dealt him effect damage while powering up the ATK of her ace monster, "Trickstar Holly Angel", and he noted that this offensive strategy was very efficient. He Summoned "Decode Talker" and attacked "Holly Angel" with it, but the attack failed and "Decode Talker" was destroyed instead. Ignis commented that Blue Angel was putting pressure on them, but Playmaker noticed that Hanoi's presence was getting stronger. At that moment, Blue Angel drew "Dark Angel", Hanoi's card. During Yusaku's next turn, he was reduced to less than 1000 LP, allowing him to use his Skill and gain access to "Encode Talker", which he promptly Link Summoned. Blue Angel realized that Playmaker was taking advantage of the damage that she was inflicting on him, and tried to end the Duel by using her Skill, but failed because Playmaker was protected by "Defect Compiler". In response, she played "Dark Angel", and immediately fell under Hanoi's influence. She entered into a berserk rage and started screaming, much to Playmaker's and Ignis's concern. He ended the Duel as quickly as possible by destroying "Holly Angel" with "Encode Talker", defeating Blue Angel in one hit, but not before she succumbed to mental damage from "Dark Angel" and fell unconscious.
Shoichi is one of the very few people Yusaku actively interacts with. The two are close friends and work together to fight The Knights of Hanoi. Yusaku shows trust in Shoichi's hacking abilities and even gave a brief smile when talking to him. Likewise, Shoichi hopes Yusaku can one day enjoy Dueling again. Shoichi also teases Yusaku about his poor social skills.
When they met, Naoki tried to befriend Yusaku and Duel him, but Yusaku showed little interest and irriated Naoki by criticizing his Dueling and analyzing him, despite Yusaku saying Naoki isn't a bad person. Despite their initial encounter, Naoki continues his attempts to befriend Yusaku and he often sits with Yusaku during class, much to the latter's annoyance. Naoki is a big fan of "Playmaker", unaware that he's Yusaku. Yusaku has a tendency to forget Naoki's name repeatedly.
Knights of Hanoi
Yusaku holds a grudge against the Knights of Hanoi over an unknown incident in the past. He swears revenge against Hanoi and fights them whenever they make an attack. The Hanoi consider "Playmaker" to be a threat and plan to defeat him in order to retrieve Ignis which "Playmaker" had captured.
Ignis sees Yusaku as a partner, but Yusaku considers Ignis to be nothing more than an object he needs to gain the upper hand against the Knights of Hanoi. He threatened to delete Ignis in order to challenge a Knight, and ignored his pleas not to go back to VRAINS. Yusaku has little patience for Ignis' antics and often doesn't let him talk. Nevertheless, Ignis supports Yusaku in his Duels, though he claims to do so out of a desire for survival. Ignis also seems to enjoy playing around with Yusaku, but knows when things get serious. Likewise Yusaku follows Ignis' advice when needed.
Aoi Zaizen (Blue Angel)
Aoi and Yusaku are classmates, though Aoi is not aware of his alter-ego. As "Blue Angel", Aoi is shown to develop an interest in Yusaku's alter-ego, "Playmaker", after he saved her from a "Cracking Dragon". She is shown to be grateful for "Playmaker" for saving her and she even saved him in return after he fell from his D-Board.
After Shoichi figured out that Aoi is "Blue Angel", Yusaku tried to get close to her in order to get a lead on Akira Zaizen and SOL Technology regarding his past memories. Aoi on the other hand believed Yusaku wanted her for her connections to SOL Technologies as many others had tried (which is technically correct, though not for the reasons she assumed), so she quickly dismissed him.
Yusaku was shocked when he discovered that Aoi may have ties to the Knights of Hanoi showing that he never thought of her as enemy, but he was still willing to duel her. He was visibly disturbed when Hanoi's card began damaging Aoi so he rushed to end the Duel as quickly as possible.
Go Onizuka (GO Onizuka)
At first, Yusaku was indifferent to Go who considers his alter-ego, "Playmaker", to be his rival. Go was mad at Playmaker for stealing his spotlight and this grew worse when the children at the city orphanage, which he volunteered and donated to, started seeing Playmaker as a hero instead of him. After defeating him, Yusaku acknowledged Go as a worthy opponent and started to respect his Dueling style, and even admitting to have enjoyed Dueling him. When Shoichi suggested recruiting Go for their fight against Hanoi, Yusaku objected by saying that he did not want Go to face this kind of danger.
Yusaku uses a Cyberse Deck. His main strategy involves using methodically calculated moves to overwhelm the opponent with Link Monsters. His early turns are usually slow, with him setting up his bigger combos for later while analyzing the opponent's strategies. Once his field is set up, he performs multiple Link Summons at once to finish off the opponent, usually by powering up his "Decode Talker"
After capturing Ignis and unlocking the "Storm Access" Skill, he can obtain new Link Monsters when his LP are 1000 or below, as such he usually allows himself to drop below 1000 LP. This also serves to make the opponent think they have the lead.
Additionally, Yusaku has a LIGHT dummy Deck for situations in real life where he has to show his Deck to other Duelists. The Deck is poorly built to make it seem like Yusaku is an untalented Duelist.
|Knight of Hanoi||1||Win|
|Knight of Hanoi||2||Win|
|Aoi Zaizen/Blue Angel||7||Win|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "The Organization | [Jump Festa 2017] Latest Information Stage: 6th Yu-Gi-Oh! Anime". YGOrganization. December 17, 2016. https://ygorganization.com/jump-festa-2017-latest-information-stage/. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 2: "Seize the Wind!"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 3: "Contact"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 4: "Pain and Gain"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 5: "Down for the Count"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 6: "True Blue"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 7: "Fallen Angel"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 6: "True Blue"
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 This card can be seen with him in With The Wind.
- ↑ Yusaku obtained this card with his Storm Access in episode 2.
- ↑ Yusaku obtained this card with his Storm Access in episode 7.
- ↑ This card is discarded via the effect of "Salvagent Driver" in episode 7.