|“||You're right. We'll take over here. Go do your best, Noel||„|
|~ Tsubaki Yayoi in Chronophantasma episode 16|
Tsubaki Yayoi is a protagonist in the video game series Blazblue. She is Jin Kisaragi's childhood friend, Noel Vermillion's former roommate from the Military Academy, and a major of the Novus Orbis Librarium's Zero Squadron. She originally appeared as a non-playable character in the story mode of Calamity Trigger, but starting with Continuum Shift, she became a playable character.
As a child, Tsubaki was the only heir to the Yayoi family. She was not the first child of her parents, but the first to survive to adolescence and subsequently adulthood due to her family's bloodline shrinking. She was lonely, especially when going with her father to meetings of the Duodecim. During one such event she met and befriended Jin Kisaragi.
During her time in the Military Academy, she was close friends with Noel and Makoto Nanaya. She is described as a straight A student, and has a rather no-nonsense personality. She is very serious and reserved, and is a member of the dignified Yayoi family.
The Wheel of Fortune
After graduating from the Military Academy, Tsubaki was assigned to the 4th Thaumaturgist Squad, secretary to Major Jin Kisaragi, her childhood friend and love interest. Due to their special relationship, Tsubaki and Jin have a good time together as superior and subordinate.
On the last day of 2199, Jin wanders off-town to skip a meeting. Tsubaki tells him off and manages to make him promise to return later on time. As Jin goes away, Tsubaki meets Makoto, who invites her out for a chocolate parfait. Tsubaki comes along and while eating, happens to learn from Makoto about the Grim Reaper, who had been destroying NOL branches one after another. Hazama, who just happens to have been there for boiled eggs, interrupts them. He reminds Makoto about her duty of the day and walks off.
As Tsubaki runs back to the office, Jin is nowhere to be found. Hazama, who happens to have seen her running in the halls, tells her that there is no point looking for Jin since he is known for doing so from time to time. Tsubaki however, insists to know Jin's whereabouts, claiming that Jin never left without telling her. Hazama takes the opportunity to mock her relationship with Jin, wounding her mentally. Satisfied, he then drops the topic and tells her that Jin went to the 13th Heirarchical City of Kagutsuchi to look for the Grim Reaper, Ragna the Bloodedge.
Tsubaki rushes to Kagutsuchi to stop Jin, and is stopped at the gate by Makoto, as touching the gate without permission will kill her. However, when they actually touch the gate, it opens. Makoto says that she has a bad feeling, telling Tsubaki not to go in, but Tsubaki insists looking for Jin. She tells Makoto to call for reinforcement, while she will go after Jin and call him back. Makoto agrees, on a condition that Tsubaki returns alive.
Going inside Kagutsuchi's NOL Headquarters, Tsubaki finally meets Jin. She begs him to return to his post, but Jin, who seems to be mentally unstable, slaps her and leaves. While being unconscious, Tsubaki has a dream of Jin's childhood, which turns from a peaceful paradise filled with laughter into a hellish burning nightmare. The end of the dream makes Tsubaki bolt awake. She meets Hazama again, who seems to have been waiting for her to wake up. Hazama tells her where Jin was going, and prompt her to be hurry so she can be of any help.
Tsubaki reaches the Cauldron at the lower most level and sees Jin fighting Ragna. As Ragna gains the upperhand, Tsubaki runs out from her cover to shield him, trying to push Ragna back by punching him. However, Ragna simply waves her off. Suddenly, the Cauldron opens, and Nu-13 descends. She attacks Tsubaki, saying that she is a nuisance. Ragna takes on Nu and a fight breaks out. As Tsubaki watch them fight, she has different visions entering her mind.
As Nu defeats Ragna, Jin screams at her, telling her to let go of Ragna, to which she replies by hurling a sword at him. Tsubaki stands between both of them and takes the hit instead. Nu, annoyed, attempts to finish her off with a barrage of blades, but Ragna stabs her midway before finally fainting. However, Tsubaki is still gravely injured. Jin, in a panic, tries to heal her, but his healing Armagus refuse to work, and Tsubaki dies in his arm.
As the time loops happen, Tsubaki's situation gradually changes. She avoids her fate of dying, but joins the Zero Squadron instead, thus losing her position as Jin's secretary. As even more loops take place, her empty position is finally taken by Noel, who was born from the distortion caused by the loops.
By the end of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger's True Ending, she is assigned by Hazama to kill Noel and Jin. In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Tsubaki heads to the 13th Hierarchical City of Kagutsuchi to search for Jin and Noel. Unbeknownst to Tsubaki, Hazama is just using her to gauge Jin's Power of Order, and to push Noel further into becoming Mu-12.
She uses an Ars Armagus called Sealed Weapon Izayoi. When Tsubaki found Jin, he told her to get rid of Izayoi because it "steals the light from the user's eyes", implying it would, after a certain period of time, cause her to go blind.
Tsubaki is revealed to be a fan of Hakumen, going so far as to own all the books and movies based on the exploits of the Six Heroes. In Hakumen's Story Mode, he indirectly reveals that in the past she had been his secretary instead of Noel. While they had more time together, he ultimately neglected her for his own exploits. She pleaded for him to stay when he had left, but continued on, and she was killed as a result. To remember the mistake he had made, he named one of his attacks in her honor. After her fight with Noel, Hazama tells Tsubaki that because of Noel's continued presence, she took Tsubaki's place as Jin's secretary, relegating Tsubaki herself into assassination tasks. Tsubaki, already slowly losing her sight due to overuse of Izayoi becomes depressed and angry at Noel, believing she stole everything from her (though Hazama left out that Tsubaki would have died anyway in the timeline where she is with Jin). Hazama uses the surfacing of these emotions to his advantage by having Phantom use its sorcery on Tsubaki to manipulate her jealousy for his own purposes. The critical point of her jealousy is reached when she pleads Jin to back down, telling him that she only wanted to be with him, and wishes Noel were dead. Ultimately rejected by Jin, Tsubaki sides with Hazama and the Imperator as her eyes turn red and her white clothes become black.
In her true ending, she has the opportunity to kill Noel, but finds she cannot bring herself to do it, and is confused as to which side she is on. Adding further to her distress, she has completely lost her sight due to the Izayoi.
Roughly one month after the events in Kagutsuchi, Tsubaki has been promoted to Major for fending off Ragna the Bloodedge's terrorist assault. , though she realizes it was simply a front to keep the NOL functioning on the outside. Hazama later delivers her an order from the Imperator, which tells her to go to Ikaruga to capture Ragna the Bloodedge.
Following her orders, Tsubaki arrives in the 6th Hierarchical City of Yabiko's Rail Station and meets Makoto, who tells her to defect because she questions the Imperator's motives. Tsubaki punishes her for rebellion, but a message from the NOL tells her that the Yabiko branch will take Makoto into custody instead. Afterwards, she patrols Ikaruga by herself, and by chance, encounters Ragna at the Blockaded District. She tries to apprehend him, but to no avail. Ragna attempts to destroy the Izayoi to free her, but Hakumen blocks his attack and tells Tsubaki to flee, to which she grudgingly complies. Through the Imperator's phenomena intervention, Tsubaki is led to Cauldron in Ibukido, and meets Jin once again. They fight each other, and during the battle, the spell the Imperator placed on her goes berserk, tearing her between her free will and the spell's compulsion to kill Jin. Jin tries to save her, but the Imperator somehow interferes. She is forcefully awakened as Izayoi, the Immortal Breaker, and resumes her fight with Jin.
As the battle is undesired, Amaterasu rewinds time and renders the past events obsolete, returning Tsubaki back to the station without her knowledge. Instead of meeting Makoto, she is greeted by Ikaruga's lord, Colonel Kagura Mutsuki. He tells her to meet him later on, but is interrupted from further communication by Hazama. Putting Kagura's invitation aside, Tsubaki splits up with Hazama and patrols Ikaruga on her own, but this time she fails to encounter Ragna. Some time later, however, she receives the news of Kagura capturing Ragna and is invited to the Colosseum to retrieve him after his tournament. She accepts the invitation and is able to confirm that Ragna is indeed in Kagura's custody, but refuses to watch the tournament.
After the tournament, which was wrecked by Azrael midway, Tsubaki follows Kagura back to the arena again to retrieve Ragna, only to see Makoto, Noel, and Jin waiting for her. Commenting that she is surprised to know that even Jin is involved in Kagura's little coup against the Imperator, she proceeds to fight them in an enclosed barrier made by Kokonoe. Makoto easily pushes her physical body to the limit with sheer strength, and Noel continues to push her mentality even further by doing no more than running away all the time. As Tsubaki completely gives in to her emotions, Noel uses her power of the Eye to acknowledge her and force her to materialize as Zero Type Izayoi. Tsubaki fights Jin in her new form, and gradually regains her sanity as Jin's words reaches her. However, yet to be completely free, she stabs Jin the moment he drops his guard. This action deeply shocks Tsubaki, enabling her to see her mistakes. She faces the darkness within herself, and realizes how much she loves her friends. With an encouragement from Hakumen, who somehow entered her mind the moment she came in contact with Jin's Power of Order, she finally breaks free from the curse. She is overjoyed to unite with Noel and Makoto once again, as well as seeing that Jin survived thanks to the Power of Order, and bursts into tears.
In the epilogue, she had arrived at a scene to find Ragna that who accidentally harm Noel and Jin. Before she leaves, Rachel Alucard arrives and asks her where is she going, Tsubaki answers that she is going after Ragna. Rachel asks Tsubaki how she sees Ragna through her clouded eyes, Tsubaki answers that Ragna is an evil that must be destroyed, she would inherit Jin's responsibility and defeat the Imperator and Ragna. Jin or Tsubaki must kill Ragna before he dies a natural death, and if that fails. Tsubaki must use her Sealed Weapon Izayoi's Immortal Breaker technique to kill Rachel herself, saying an alternative way to kill Ragna.
Tsubaki is a serious, mature, and intelligent person. She has always followed her orders from the NOL and has complete faith in them (likely to honor her family name). She has always had a childhood crush on Jin, and deeply loves and cares about him. She was also good friends with Noel, Makoto and Carl Clover when they were at Military Academy. However, when Hazama told Tsubaki about the alternative timeline where she was always with Jin as his secretary and how Noel usurped that position away from her, she becomes extremely jealous. She begins to harbor a hatred toward her best friend that, once manipulated by Phantom's sorcery, evolves into a desire to kill her in order to be with Jin. Even after changing sides, she still respects Hakumen despite sharing different views.
In Chronophantasma, Tsubaki's personality has almost been completely overwritten by the effects of Ruby: Mind Eater, the spell that Phantom cast on her in order to allow the Imperator to control her directly. Her devotion to the NOL has been taken to its greatest extreme, and she is now little more than a mindless drone who lives to carry out any and all of the Imperator's orders, including killing her own friends.
After Makoto, Noel, and Jin manage to free her from the Mind Eater curse, she realizes that the Imperator's justice is a lie and decides that she will fight for a justice she believes in as an individual: to fight for the people she loves and the friends she cherishes.
Tsubaki is a young woman with long red hair and blue eyes. She wears an white cloak with an eagle eye mask to cover her face. When she is in battle, she wears the Izayoi hat, a Japanese-style military uniform, and black military boots.
When she is under the influence of Phantom's magic, her eyes turn red and her entire uniform becomes black. This change carries over in Chronophantasma. In the Epilogue, she returns to her original appearance in Continuum Shift.
When not on a mission as a member of the Zero Squadron, she wears a white cloak and black tights with her white military boots. Her hair is hidden under her white beret as well as under her cloak.
When she was in the Military Academy, she wore a blue headband with her standard uniform, except that she wears a longer skirt, black pantyhose, and brown leather boots.
When she was a child, she had short hair kept in a bob cut, and wore a bright, pink kimono with flower patterns.
Power & Abilities
Tsubaki's fighting style is an interesting interpretation of the standard "sword and shield" style of traditional Western swordplay, where her oddly shaped, floating book acts as a small buckler shield. Tsubaki's short sword is capable of adopting a variety of shapes, sometimes as appearing as a fencing foil, a whip sword, a floating claymore or even a staff. Her book, similarly, can change its form. Lights and angelic imagery feature prominently in Tsubaki's fighting style, such as wings and feathers appearing around her for various attacks. Because of how her Drive works, her style is punctuated by moments of gathering light energy before rushing down opponents with long protracted combination attacks.
- Tsubaki's birthday, March 14, falls on the same day as White Day in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China which is an mirror equivalent to Valentine's Day where girls respond to boys who gave them gifts on the said holiday. This reflects her relationship with Jin, as his birthday is Valentine's Day.
- In the drama track The Wheel of Fortune, it is revealed that Tsubaki actually loves chocolate so much, that Jin advised her that it was harmful for her health.
- Tsubaki's Astral Heat uses what appears to be the statue located in the Cathedral. However, in Chronophantasma, the statue is black, reflecting Tsubaki's corruption.
- During her gag ending in Continuum Shift, Tsubaki admits that she hates pandas upon seeing the panda (Lao Jiu) in Litchi Faye-Ling's hair. The reason for this is unknown. Strangely, she is extremely gullible in the gag ending, as she even believes that Litchi (who at the time was drunk) had been taken over by Lao Jiu and gets 'coerced' into cosplaying and getting a new Peking duck.
- The name of Tsubaki's Armagus, Izayoi, means "sixteen-day-old moon" in Japanese. A sixteen-day-old moon has just passed its fullest phase, so it is at this point that its brightness begins to decline. This is another clear reference to Izayoi's blindness-inducing nature.
- Within the game's files, mainly the images for character name graphics from places like the selection screens, a file for a name Tubaki Yayoi is found. This is a common mistake Japanese people make when romanizing the tsu sound due to using an outdated transliteration method.
- Some of her special moves bear names from movements/chants for a Requiem Mass.
- According to Mu-12's winquote against Tsubaki in Continuum Shift II, the Izayoi's side effect has already affected 65% of Tsubaki.
- When she became corrupted by Phantom's magic, her black clothes have silver/white highlights and a green ribbon tying her corset in Continuum Shift. It has been changed in Chronophantasma, it shows her with her original gold/yellow highlights and red ribbon.
- There is a piano remixed version of her theme, Condemnation Wings, used exclusively in the drama track The Wheel of Fortune.
- There is a bug in Carl's scenario in which when Tsubaki appears, she will have no mask and when Carl starts talking, the mask pops out on Tsubaki's face, to be removed right after.
- Tsubaki and Noel are the only characters in the BlazBlue series with playable alternate forms. In Tsubaki's case, Izayoi serves this role.
- In BlazBlue: Alter Memory, Tsubaki's eyes became dark blue after she fights with Noel with the usage of the Sealed Weapon Izayoi.
- When Amane Nishiki uses his Astral Heat on Tsubaki, she has red eyes, despite hers being originally blue.
- Tsubaki's Zero Type Izayoi form outfit moderately resemblances Noire's outfit from Hyperdimension Neptunia series. Coincidentally She and Noire are voiced by Asami Imai.