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Gong Strong, known as Noboru Gongenzaka (権ごん現げん坂ざか 昇のぼる Gongenzaka Noboru) in the Japanese version, is one of the main characters in the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V anime. He is an old friend of Yuya Sakaki. He Duels using the "Non-Action" or "Heavystrong" style, known as "Steadfast" in the Japanese version, which means that even if he competes in an Action Duel, he refuses to search for Action Cards, standing firmly in the same spot. He is one of the Lancers.

Design

Appearance

Though a teenager, Gong has a huge frame, easily equivalent in height to some adults. While he has a fairly round face, he is stockily built and rather muscular. Gong has black hair styled into a large pompadour, restrained by a red band (possibly his sash from his youth), and his nose is somewhat redder than the rest of his face. There is a constant blush on his cheeks. Gong appears to wear a Paradise Prep School jacket (albeit one that is more of a vest) over a buttoned white coat that has golden trim, as well as white pants. Gong wears a white sash crossed over his back, tied at the left shoulder. He briefly replaced it with a black one that was given to him by his father during his Duel with Grizzlepike Jones, but wore his white one again after Yuya retrieved it for him and the black one was torn. Gong wears heavy sandals rather than shoes.

In his youth, Gong had shorter hair, wore a less elaborate coat under another short-sleeved one, as well as a red sash, and did not have a band.

Personality

Gong is generally proud with a gruff kind of voice. He can be easily angered, but despite this he generally speaks politely as well as caring and protective of others he is close to. In accordance with his speech pattern of referring to himself as "this man, Gong", he often makes statements regarding himself and his fellows as "men".

Gong is extremely loyal to his friends, encouraging the You Show Duel School students to believe in Yuya when Yuya was accused of Yuto's crime and reacting with shock when Zuzu revealed that she'd doubted Yuya. Despite his pride, Gong is not above requesting aid nor congratulating his opponents, and has demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice himself in order to allow a team victory. When the Lancers were split in the Synchro Dimension, he was more focused on finding the others than on their mission of finding strong allies.

After his draw with Kit Blade, Gong's outlook on his own strength changed. He claimed that his pity for Yuya due to the bullying Yuya suffered after his father's disappearance made him weaker, and that Yuya's for him if Gong couldn't make it into the Arc League Championship was disrespectful.

He isn't particularly interested in entertaining audiences, as shown by his frequent irritation at Dennis' antics and reluctance to accept Gallager's invitation to participate in Turbo Duels or be a commentator, although this is mostly attributed to his visible disgust at the arena, as he found it outrageous that Duels were used for illegal bets and the sheer amount of people that were motivated by greed, further showing his honor and discipline. However, when he was genuinely cheered by spectators on his Duel against Dennis, he responded accordingly and Dueled to his best. During that Duel he complained about Dennis making himself look cool by humiliating him, which he considered an insult to his pride. Gong is very serious and loyal to his Dueling style, having been trained to use it since childhood. During his Action Duel against Kit, he refused to move from his spot to look for Action Cards and even let Kit obtain one that Gong could have easily grabbed. However, in order to protect Yuya from being defeated by the Battle Beast, Gong was ready to sacrifice himself, even grabbing Action Card.

He is also shown to have little tolerance for injustice, as he went as far as bribing a guard with two of his cards in order to ensure that two fellow inmates could eat properly after having their food dirtied, although he himself felt dirty for doing so, and refused to give cards to the prison's top inmate when he requested, showing Gong values his Deck deeply.

Abilities

As a result of his "Heavystrong" training and muscular body, Gong is a very physically strong individual. He can endure attacks from Real Solid Vision monsters often without losing his balance, can stand still while holding very heavy boulders, do karate chops strong enough to destroy a Real Solid vision spike, and when he draws in his Draw Phase, he does with so much strength that he releases a strong force of wind. He is strong enough to punch a hole into a wall of concrete without injury.

Voice/Mannerisms

Gong often refers to himself in the third person, by his last name, but does not use his name as an honorific like Aura Sentia does. Furthermore, he refers to himself as "this man, Gongenzaka" (この男権現坂, Kono otoko Gongenzaka). He also has a habit of saying "Unforgivable", and has very polished speech. In the dub, his voice resembles that of Elvis Presley, and he retains the habit of referring to himself in the third person, though he simply refers to himself as "Gong".

Etymology

Gong's Japanese given name, Noboru 昇のぼる, means "to ascend", while Gongen 権ごん現げん came from the manifestation of a buddha in the form of an indigenous kami [4]. Zaka 坂ざか means "hill". "Gong", his dub given name, may refer to gongs. Gongenzaka, coincidentally, starts with "Gong."

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