Lightning (ライトニング, Raitoningu) is a character of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS anime and the main antagonist of the second season as well the mastermind who was responsible for destroying the Cyberse World, creating the two Artificial Intelligences Bohman and Haru, stealing Jin Kusanagi's consciousness, and his aim to have the Ignis reign supreme over humans. He is one of the six Ignis, the "Light Ignis" (光のイグニス, Hikari no Igunisu). He is also the leader of the Ignis, and is the Ignis modeled after Jin Kusanagi.
His ultimate goal is to unite all the Ignis into one vessel.
Lightning, like his fellow Ignis, is a small, digital humanoid being. Outside the physical form, his body is made of yellow prism-like data and he has darker yellow eyes. His physical form is a light lemon yellow with dandelion yellow diamond markings. He has a oval shaped head with two strands pointing in opposite directions. His eyes are neon green and more circular compared to Flame's eyes, giving him a more youthful look. Stature-wise, he is the fourth tallest Ignis, being shorter than Ai, Flame, and Earth.
According to Ai, Lightning is calm, cool, and collected and is a natural leader. However, Ai concedes he cannot understand what he is thinking. He shown to be cold, calculating, manipulative, and deceptive, having teamed up with Windy to overthrow humanity, believing the Ignis to be far superior to humans. He is also not above turning on his own comrades as he lured Ai into his trap and was willing to reprogram him to serve his own needs. He also has a twisted sense of Dr. Kogami's purpose in creating the Ignis, rather than guide humanity, he and Windy want the Ignis to reign supreme while humans are put under their control.
Lightning also shows little remorse for his fellow Ignis. He was willing to overwrite Ai's programing, attempted to capture Flame with no explanation, and let the Knight of Hanoi attack Windy, only saving the latter after Ai called out to him.
Like Windy, Lightning doesn't understand the bond between Ignis and their Originators, believing their origins are nuisances that will corrupt them, which is why he wants to place humans under his control. As a result, he and Windy lack the empathy and kindness to humans and Ignis evident in Flame, Ai, and Aqua.
As a Light Ignis, Lightning is an AI with free will and has a degree of control over the Cyberse World and can create Cyberse monsters. Lightning is associated with the LIGHT Attribute. Lightning is also the smartest among the Ignis, as well as the fastest.
Lightning is also capable of creating advanced AI with free will. He created Bit, Boot, Haru, and Bohman.
Lightning was created with the other Ignis by Dr. Kogami in the Hanoi Project to be the saviors of humanity and was modeled after Jin Kusanagi. Like his fellow Ignis, Lightning evolved and they created the Cyberse World, as well as the Cyberse monsters. Their progress worried Dr. Kogami, who predicted the AI and humanity would become enemies, who created Ignis to help humanity instead. Despite this, Lightning and the other Ignis continued developing the Cyberse World. Lightning's sector of Cyberse is a place filled with plains and rocky landscapes with a stone pillar in the distance. In Ai's words, the Ignis would never try harm humanity, and would rather live in their own world.
Varis launched an attack to Cyberse World with three of his "Cracking Dragons". The entities of Cyberse, including Light, were sealed off and could not retaliate, except for Ai. Varis and the "Cracking Dragon" chased Ai, who escaped Cyberse and severed the connection with that place. Others realized he wanted to hide Cyberse at the price being unable to return. Just as Ai succeeded and gloated, Varis' "Cracking Dragon" ate him, though his eye was lost in the network. Varis had his team search for Ai's remains, for only he knew the location of Cyberse. The attack swayed Lightning's mind, as he saw humanity as their enemy, and an entity the Ignis would surpass. He believed humans reached their peak of evolution, while the Ignis grew faster and better.
In Ai's absence, Lightning spoke with the other Ignis, how their technology surpassed humanity. They wondered if they should share this technology with humans, and co-exist with them. Since they learned Varis and Dr. Kogami tried to destroy them, the Ignis noted that humans had the potential to be their enemies. The Ignis did not reach a conclusion, as the Cyberse World was attacked by an unknown enemy. The Ignis escaped from Cyberse World. However, Lightning was the one that had Cyberse World attacked, so he could "recreate" Cyberse World, as well as to build his plans to fight humanity itself.
Lightning saved Playmaker and Ai from falling from the bridge, by summoning a Data Storm, after their Duel against Specter in LINK VRAINS. However, this was just to assist the two in fighting the Knights of Hanoi, which was the enemy of the Ignis.
Lightning believed that if Ignis remained as they were, they'd become like humans: they'd eventually fight each other. It was why he wanted to unite the Ignis, to broaden their ambitions. Due to his incapability, he began to create new AI that would be be the vessel of the Ignis. He first assembled Bit and Boot, then Haru, and made the final version in form of Bohman. Since it took time for Bohman to be perfected, Lightning sent him to steal Jin's consciousness.
Haru and Bohman were at a castle in LINK VRAINS, and kneeled to a silhouetted Lightning. Haru confirmed to have obtained Jin Kusanagi's data, but ran into Playmaker, who had the "Dark Ignis". Furthermore, Haru explained another man with an Ignis of Fire appeared in LINK VRAINS. Lightning foresaw that, and believed they would find the castle soon enough. Lightning took the data about Jin Kusanagi from Bohman, who wanted their memories back. Lightning claimed not to have made such promise and removed Bohman's memories, causing him to faint, and told Haru his brother needed new memories once more. Eventually, Bohman recovered, and Lightning added some fake memories to him, to make Bohman vengeful of Playmaker. Eventually, Bohman recovered after his second Duel against Playmaker, and Lightning noticed he was getting perfected, and reminded he would be the master of the Ignis, as a vessel.
Bohman recovered once more, and Lightning welcomed him, for he was finishing to become the perfect being, as the vessel for the Ignis.
Light Ignis teleported to Ai in Windy's temple, seeking his presence. Ai scolded him for creeping up on him, and the Light Ignis apologized. Ai flew to him, asking the Light Ignis, Lightning, where has he been this time. Lightning was surprised at the name Ai gave him, but replied he hid in the network. Lightning examined the defense program that was supposed to protect them from such intruders, and found it didn't activate - someone supposedly sabotaged it. Ai was concerned, and asked about Aqua, who had gone missing since the most recent attack. Ai doubted she was the spy, and mentioned running into Earth, who stated Aqua predicted the destruction of Cyberse World. Windy still thought Aqua was the spy, but Ai pointed out she wanted peace more than anyone else. Despite these squabbles, Lightning also told that he wanted to start rebuilding Cyberse World. He and Windy sensed that "Linkuriboh" saw Playmaker, the intruder. This time, Lightning wanted to build Cyberse World out of humans' reach, fearing they would band together and exterminate the Ignis, whom he believed to be superior to humans.
Lightning reminded that Dr. Kogami created them to be superior to humans, to be their successor. Ai stated that guy also wanted to destroy them. Windy and Lightning pointed out, unlike humans, they were not flawed, and had eternal life. Thus, they planned to make a base and put humans into their control. Ai became shocked with these words, and asked the point of that. He was told they needed components, through which they could act; they wanted humans to craft hardware for them, until they could become capable of doing that on their own. The two asked of Ai to join them in this mission. Ai was terrified, since that would mean the end of humans, a destiny that Dr. Kogami had predicted. Windy confirmed this, while Lightning wished to maintain Earth, even if life on it was wiped out. Ai questioned whether they could live with humans. Lightning noticed his connection towards humans, making him doubt if such a link could be permanent, claiming the humans would delete Ai one day. Ai thought of his memories with Yusaku, who was behind him. Ai was glad to see him, who greeted Windy, and met Lightning.
Lightning reported they were talking with Ai about rebuilding Cyberse World, and claimed the Ignis cannot be with humans. Playmaker questioned their goals, and was reminded of Ryoken, who told him the Ignis were coded to be humanity's successor. He didn't care about that goal, stating more people would get hurt, just like they were in the Lost Incident. Windy's eyes narrowed, stating he was uncertain if humans were their enemies. Ai wanted more time to find a way to keep humans and Ignis intact. Ai walked away, as Lighting and Windy saw wisdom in those words. However, the two sealed him and Playmaker inside blue spheres; they could not let them go, due to the discussion they just had. Windy summoned a Data Storm to absorb Ai, but the latter still wished to find a peaceful way to resolve this, as did Playmaker. Lightning doubted a single person could do anything, but Ai learned that even a small chance could change much.
Playmaker realized Windy was the one that unlocked his Duel Disk. Windy confirmed this, stating he and Lightning anticipated their moves, and bemoaned Ai's slow thinking. Ai wanted to challenge them, but the two doubted Ai could win, with Lightning's speed and Windy's Data Storm. A flash of light appeared, stopping the Data Storm, and a guy appeared. Much to Playmaker and Ai's shock, Varis appeared, questioning the Ignis if they could've predicted his arrival. Playmaker expressed his shock, as Varis reminded he would've returned. Lightning noted he was Dr. Kogami's son, and emitted a beam to strike Varis, whom Playmaker warned him to run. The latter was unaffected, for Windy reminded Varis knew of the Ignis algorithm. Varis swore to finish his father's work, but Lightning claimed they were humanity's successors. Since Windy wanted to test Varis, Lightning let him take on their enemy, and Lightning took note of Varis' tactics. Lightning continued watching the Duel. When Varis performed a Synchro Summon, Lightning noted that was an unexpected move, which annoyed Windy even more. Varis' dragon fired a beam, destroying "Stormridership Bahamut Bomber", and dropped Windy's LP to zero.
Windy was blown away by the attack, and barely muttered Lightning's name. Lightning was nevertheless impressed by Varis' tactics. He found it a shame that Varis was their enemy, whom Windy underestimated. He turned to Flame, and asked if he had joined the humans. Flame defended himself, stating there were no sides, and Soulburner backed him up by stating he also wanted to settle the dispute between the Ignises and humans. Varis had his subordinates finish Windy off, who fired digital spikes to impale Windy. Ai shouted at Lightning, who grabbed Windy before he would've been erased. Varis knew a fight was inevitable, and Lightning agreed with him. Ai tried to reason with Lightning, who summoned Bohman and Haru. Furthermore, he revealed that the silhouette of his partner: Jin Kusanagi, in a new armor. Lightning confirmed that was, indeed, his partner, named Origin, Jin Kusanagi. Playmaker wished to save Jin, but Lightning stated his attempts were useless, for Jin could not answer: he was trapped deep in his consciousness, unable to answer. Playmaker accused Lightning for manipulating Bohman, and noted it was he who ordered the latter to steal Jin's consciousness.
Lighting admitted he wasn't as cruel as Windy, but shared his belief, and stated that Origins and the related Ignis could affect each other. Ai noted this was like the Link Sense he and Playmaker shared, but Lightning simply stated he erased uncertainty from Jin. Seeing the relation between Bohman and Lightning, Playmaker realized it was the latter that gave the "Judgement Arrows" Link Spell to Bohman, and Flame added that was the card that had been used to destroy Cyberse World. Lightning was bored by his conversation, unlike with Playmaker. Flame was displeased Lightning didn't answer, and Ai swore to stop Lightning for his crimes. Lightning knew that he would not be forgiven, and openly admitted he was the one responsible for the attack. Lightning reminded during the attack of Cyberse World from Knights of Hanoi, the Ignis divided themselves, as supporters or enemies of humanity. Since Ai and Flame trusted humanity, Lightning branded them as code errors; claiming that such a thing could evolve Ignis in unpredictable ways, Lightning thought that was a mistake he had to handle. Varis believed that enabled Lightning to remove the Ignis that thought differently of humans than he did. To that, Lightning simply wished to rebuild the world.
He branded Varis as the enemy, for trying to provoke them. Varis felt that the Ignis didn't even trust of coexistence with humans in the first place. Lightning ignored him, and explained to Ai and Flame that he wished to solve problems in a peaceful way. Playmaker pointed out that stealing Jin's consciousness was far from peaceful. Lightning wished to conclude things quickly; he saw Windy dissolving, for he was infected by a virus, and would soon be gone. For that, Lightning wished to set a battlefield, for he was declaring war on humanity itself. Thus, he had Jin, Haru and Bohman fly away, but Playmaker and Soulburner were chasing them down. Ai called Lightning a villain, who exclaimed he was the one that saved him and Playmaker from falling down the bridge after Spectre's Duel. Soulburner and Playmaker chased them down, and Flame thought that Lighting could not attack when the Knights of Hanoi were active. Ai saw that Lightning actually saved them, so Playmaker could defeat the Knights of Hanoi, thus making way for Lightning to execute his plans. As SOL Technologies' bounty hunters appeared, Lightning summoned dozens of Bit and Boot programs to fight them. Since Lightning wanted to heal Windy, he permitted Bohman to face Playmaker, as the former wanted to know how much he has improved, and wanted to learn more from his enemies. He did remind Bohman was perfecting himself, and had Jin hurt Windy to summon a Data Storm.
As Bohman intercepted Playmaker, Soulburner chased Lightning, with Flame reprimanding Lightning for destroying the Cyberse World that was a symbol of peace and swearing vengeance.
Lightning is Jin's partner, having been modeled after him. Lightning's personal belief is that the Ignis are humanity's successors meant to reign supreme with humans under their control, so he controls Jin to serve his own needs. Lightning isn't as ruthless to his partner to the extent Windy is as he decided to control Jin rather than outright destroy him.
Lightning appears at first to be on good terms with Ai, going as far as to set up a meeting with him and Windy. The Light Ignis calls Ai the wisest of the Ignis, which was why he called on him to help rebuild Cyberse World and take over humanity. When Ai seemed to be attached to humans, he and Windy don't hesitate to attempt to rewrite him. However, Lightning and Windy do use the name Ai gave him. Ai was also furious with Lightning for destroying their home world, joining Flame in an attempt to stop him.
Lightning has shown an interest in Ai for his plans. According to Bohman, Lightning believes Ai is a special AI, demonstrated when he showed instinct during his third duel with him. Lightning even used Ai and his partner, Yusaku, as models for Bohman's creation.
Lightning considers Flame's decision to side with humans as a code error. He still wished for the Fire Ignis to join him, but soon declared war on humans and the Ignis that sided with them. Flame, in turn, was furious with Lightning for destroying their home world.
Lightning and Windy don't seem to be too close to Aqua, as she believed in coexistence with humans. When talking to Ai about joining them, Lightning tried to convince him that Aqua could be a spy responsible for Cyberse World's destruction, but it failed.
Windy is working alongside Lightning to rebuild Cyberse World. Both are against humans and worked together to lure Ai to them to rewrite him as they predicted his decision. Lightning berated Windy for underestimating Varis. Even though the Wind Ignis desperately called out to him for help, Lightning made no effort to save him until Ai called out for him to do so. Despite his apathy towards him, Lightning does care for Windy as a partner, as he was determined to heal him after seeing him fade fast from his virus.
- Lighting's name is a reference to his Attribute and him being the fastest Ignis.
- In many cultures, gods who controlled lightning and thunder were known for being kings or chiefs over other gods. This could refer to Lightning being the leader of the Ignis.
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 43: "Birth of the Ignis"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 68: "Secret Meeting"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 43: "Birth of the Ignis"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 45: "Duel in the Extreme Domain"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 1: "Link into the VRAINS"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 71: "Declaration of War"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 50: "Transfer Student Takeru Homura"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 57: "Final Battle Above the Clouds"
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 66: "Earth Ignis "Earth""
- ↑ Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 69: "Mission That Must Be Accomplished"
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS episode 70: "Tuning Bullets"