Shoichi Kusanagi
Gallery | Relationship | Quotes
Japanese (くさ)(なぎ) (しょう)(いち)
Base 草薙 翔一
Furigana くさなぎ しょういち
Rōmaji Kusanagi Shōichi
English Koulter
Personal Information
Species Human
Gender Male
Status Alive
Relatives Jin Kusanagi (Younger brother)[1][2]
Eye Grey
Hair Purple
Duel Monster statistics
Occupation Hacker
Hotdog stand owner[3]
Partner(s) Yusaku Fujiki


Takeru Homura


Enemies Revolver



Anime Episode 1
English Sam Black
Japanese Subaru Kimura

Shoichi Kusanagi ((くさ)(なぎ) (しょう)(いち), Kusanagi Shōichi) known as 'Koulter' in the English Dub is a character appearing in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS. He works as a hot-dog vendor in the city. However, that is merely a cover, as he is actually a skilled hacker who supports "Playmaker" in Dueling.[4]

Operating out of a food truck called Café Nagi, which doubles as his and Yusaku's base of operations, Shoichi is an ally of Yusaku Fujiki in his fight against the Knights of Hanoi, with intergral knowledge of the Link VRAINS.[5]

Personality Edit

Soichi 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.

Unlike Yusaku, Soichi doesn't seem to actively show hatred towards Hanoi.[6]

Abilities Edit

Being the owner of a food truck, Soichi 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's activities and helped Yusaku capture Ai in the latter's Duel Disk.[7]

History Edit

Past Edit

For not yet known how long, Shoichi has been closely acquainted with Yusaku, a fellow hacker. 10 years ago, his younger brother, Jin, was kidnapped along with other five children for six months until they were rescued, an incident that was called Lost Incident. However, the kidnapping traumatized Jin that he shut off his heart from the world. This drove Shoichi to work together with Yusaku, who is also a victim of the kidnapping, to fight against Knights of Hanoi that they found out to be responsible for the Lost Incident. He shortly recollected at one point that he most likely surfed the winds in Link VRAINS before they disappeared, leading Yusaku to decide to fight against the Knights of Hanoi.[8][9][10]

Present Edit

Ep001 Shoichi and Yusaku

Shoichi and Yusaku working on a trap to catch the AI program.

One day, in late afternoon, he and Yusaku discussed the Charisma Duelists and the Data Storm. He explained that the Data Storm was rumoured to be a wind that once blew inside Link VRAINS, which Duelists used to conduct a kind of Duel called "Speed Duel", but that wind had disappeared. Soichi hoped Yusaku can one day enjoy Dueling again and apologized to involve him. But Yusaku affirmed that he did this of his free will and he will get revenge on those who stole his past and Shoich's younger brother. Shortly after, they discussed how both SOL Technologies 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 Ai in his Duel Disk, one of the Knights of Hanoi threatened to destroy Link VRAINS.

Ep002 Shoichi and Naoki

Shoichi explains the Speed Duel to Naoki.

After that Playmaker challenged the Knight of Hanoi, he was surprised when Playmaker rode the Data Storm.[11] A student asked what the Duel between Playmaker and The Knight of Hanoi was. He answered him that this was called an "Speed Duel". He was surprised that Yusaku used the Cyberse type. He became worried when Yusaku fell from his D-Board. After that Blue Angel saved Yusaku, he continued to watch the Speed Duel and was worried when Playmaker is sucked into a tornado within the Data Storm[12] and was relieved when Yusaku won the Duel.[13] Shoichi and Yusaku spent the next few days trying to figure out Ignis' programming, but Shoichi struggled to understand the complicated algorithms that Ignis 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". 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.[14]

Shoichi episode 4 5

Shoichi worked on an escape route for Yusaku.

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.[15] 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.[16]

Ep006 Yusaku, Shoichi and Ai

Shoichi, Yusaku and Ai discover that the real identity of "Blue Angel".

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 Technology 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.[17] 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. Ignis protested that hacking into the hospital was a crime, to which Shoichi casually said that hacking already was a crime in the first place. Ignis 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.[18]

Ep009 Shoichi using Ghost Girl's cameras

Shoichi using Ghost Girl's cameras to watch Playmarker and Revolver's Speed Duel.

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.[19]

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.[20]

Ep012 Yusaku and Shoichi discover Ai's full body

Shoichi and Yusaku discover Ai's full body.

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 show emotion how he regained his body.[21]

Ep013 Emma and Shoichi

Shoichi meets Emma Bessho.

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.[22]

Ep014 Shoichi, Yusaku and Ai

Shoichi shows Yusaku and Ai an encrypted message from Ghost Girl.

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.[23]

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.[24]

Ep016 Shoichi shows the path to the data bank

Shoichi shows the path to the data bank.

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 "Kuriball" 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.[25] After Playmaker defeated Prototype Ai-A, Shoichi navigated him to the data bank.[26]

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.[27]

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.[28]

Ep020 Yusaku and Shoichi shocked

Shoichi and Yusaku are shocked to learn that Dr. Kogami died seven years ago.

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.[29]

Ep021 Yusaku and Shoichi at the coast Stardust Road

Shoichi and Yusaku at the coast Stardust Road.

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.[30]

Ep022 Yusaku, Ai and Shoichi watching

Shoichi showing to Ai and Yusaku the footage of a camera, when a person turned into an Another.

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. 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. Shoichi showed a list of possible targets, from which the first was Makoto Kimishima. Shortly after, Shoichi and Yusaku watched The Knights of Hanoi were Dueling people, and turning them into Anothers. Yusaku decided to go into LINK VRAINS, even if Shoichi believed he would be at a disadvantage. Surprisingly, they saw "Playmaker" battling the Knights of Hanoi, by stopping their programs and tossing them away from their D-Boards. Doctor 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. Yusaku did not know if GO really knew his identity, but was still frustrated. The group watched as Dr. Genome activated the Data Gale, conjuring black tornadoes for the Speed Duel.[31]

Ep023 Yusaku, Ai and Shoichi

Yusaku and Shoichi realized Go changed his battling style to a heel.

Yusaku, Shoichi and Ai watched Go confronting Doctor Genome. Since Go claimed to have known Playmaker's identity, Shoichi remembered Yusaku did run into Go at the hospital, but Yusaku claimed it was impossible. Once Go equipped himself with a mask and declared himself as "Dark Onizuka", Ai thought that was a tacky thing to do. Yusaku and Shoichi realized Go changed his battling style to a heel, and would not hold back. Just as Go was to win, Genome played "Regeneration Cure" to stop the damage, and everyone saw Genome had the advantage. As Genome released "Hellix Necro Darwin" to defeat Go, Yusaku became displeased. Ai suggested he could enter LINK VRAINS to save Go. Yusaku who saw Go barely saving himself with "Gouki Octolock's" effect, decided to take Ai's advice.[32]

Shoichi watched as Playmaker came to Go Onizuka. Later, Shoichi and Yusaku went to find who was the Another virus' creator. Sometime later he, Ai and Yusaku then watch Kitamura making a public announcement that he developed the AI army to confront the Knights of Hanoi.[33]

Ep025 Yusaku and Shoichi eating

Shoichi and Yusaku eating and watching Blue Angel confronted Baira.

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.[34]


  1. Mentioned in "Yu-Gi-Oh! LABO - Episode 5"
  2. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1:"My Name is Playmaker"
  5. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1:"My Name is Playmaker"
  6. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1:"My Name is Playmaker"
  7. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1:"My Name is Playmaker"
  8. Yu-Gi-Oh! LABO - Episode 5
  10. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1:"My Name is Playmaker"
  11. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1:"My Name is Playmaker"
  12. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 2:"Catch the Wind! Storm Access"
  13. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 3:"First Contact"
  14. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 3:"First Contact"
  15. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 4:"Charisma Duelist: Go Onizuka"
  16. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 5:"The Bell Rings on the Count of Three"
  17. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 6:"Idol! Blue Angel"
  18. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 8:"The One Who Commands the Wind"
  19. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 10:"Impact! Cyberse Extermination"
  20. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 11:"Roar of the Magazine Varreload"
  21. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 12:"Impregnable Defending Dragon Firewall"
  22. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 13:"Record of the Fierce Battle"
  23. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 14:"Ghost Girl's Invitation"
  24. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 15:"The Altergeists Lurking in the Darkness"
  25. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 16:"Infiltration - SOL Digital Fortress"
  26. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 17:"Infiltration - SOL Digital Fortress"
  27. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 18:"Wound Etched Into His Heart"
  28. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 19:"The Incident Buried in the Darkness"
  29. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 20:"Unyielding Justice"
  30. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 21:"A New Battle Begins"
  31. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 22:"The Pitch-Black Sun"
  32. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 23:"Genome's Giant"
  33. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 24:"The Fate Shouldered by the Dark Mask"
  34. Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 25:"Virus Deck Operation"

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