Anji’s goal is to get in on you and apply constant mix up pressure using his special move FuujinGuardAllStartup16 Recovery21Advantage-8 [-6]. He accomplishes this by counter poking and whiff punishing you using his f.SGuardAllStartup11Recovery21Advantage-9 and 5KGuardAllStartup8Recovery9Advantage-2 as well as using the autoguard properties of his special moves to pass through your attacks. Each follow-up to Fuujin has their own counter-play, and all of Anji’s autoguard moves are vulnerable to throws, and RC slowdown.
Suigetsu No HakobiGuardStartupRecoveryTotal 34~50Advantage- (aka Spin) is a special move that has Anji spin forward while in the autoguard state the entire time. If a non-projectile move makes contact with Anji during this state, the opponent will be locked in hitstop for 28 frames before continuing their move. The start up to his special moves KouGuardAllStartup12 Recovery14Advantage- and FuujinGuardAllStartup16 Recovery21Advantage-8 [-6] have this same property if the special move is held and functions the same way as Spin. If the autoguard is triggered during the start up of either of these moves, then the attack won't come out.
The autoguard does not start for the first 10 frames of any special move with autoguard properties, and Anji is in a counter hit state for the entire startup and recovery of Spin. If you miss the window of opportunity to punish it, you can just run up and throw him out of it at any time as well, as Spin is not throw-invulnerable. However, be aware that Anji can mix you up by inputting a held Fuujin or Kou instead of just a normal Spin. If a projectile or aerial attack triggers the autoguard, it does not trigger any hitstop, leaving Anji vulnerable for the full duration of the autoguard trigger. If you do trigger the autoguard, you can Roman Cancel to avoid any punishment from triggering it.
KouGuardAllStartup12 Recovery14Advantage- is an anti air move that has Anji leap into the air after a brief spin and hit people with its wide hitbox. It’s pretty great for swatting out people carelessly jumping, and like Fuujin, it can be held during startup to apply the autoguard properties. It’s also a key part in Anji’s longer combos. This move only hits aerial opponents however. It doesn’t function like a DP. The second hit of Kou applies guard crush onto a blocking opponent, locking you down even if you manage to block it. This move has 14 frames of recovery, so Anji is wide open if he whiffs this in neutral.
FuujinGuardAllStartup16 Recovery21Advantage-8 [-6] is an advancing attack that is a key part of Anji's neutral and offensive pressure. It has four possible follow-ups. Anji can immediately go into Fuujin’s follow ups at any time, without it connecting or even fully coming out. The follow ups are:
- Shin: IchishikiGuardAllStartup30 (43 if early cancelled from Fuujin)RecoveryTotal 43+6 after LandingAdvantage+7 (aka Fan Toss) is the Punch Fuujin follow up. Anji will leap up into the air and toss fans towards the ground.
- IssokutobiGuardStartupRecovery22+6 after LandingAdvantage- (aka Hop) is the Kick Fuujin follow up. Anji will hop towards the opponent, which allows him to set up throws or reset pressure.
- NagihaGuardLowStartup15 (28 with early cancel)Recovery20Advantage-7 (Low) is the Slash Fuujin follow up that hits low and leads to a soft knockdown on hit. Anji can use this as a far reaching poke in neutral.
- RinGuardHighStartup21 (34 with early cancel)Recovery24Advantage-9 (Overhead) is the Heavy Slash Fuujin follow up. It's main purpose is to be another option to be wary of during his pressure.
Fuujin is explained further in the "Dealing with Fuujin" section.
Anji's round start isn't the worst, but it's not particularly strong either. From round start, he only has three buttons that will reach: f.S, 2SGuardLowStartup10Recovery16Advantage-6, and 5HGuardAllStartup15Recovery23Advantage-8. These buttons have 21, 16 and 23 frames of recovery respectively on whiff, so if he’s pressing buttons round start, you can back up and pretty easily whiff punish them.
He’ll more likely opt to use Spin, Kou, or charged Fuujin round start. Dashing forward and throwing will negate all of these options, but this is a bit risky. You could also IAD in with an aerial that hits low to the ground and throw punish Spin that way, assuming he doesn’t open up with Kou.
Anji's neutral is very straightforward. He'll mainly be trying to fish for a counter hit, or whiff punish/counter poke using f.S and 5K. These are his best pokes. If either of these buttons connect, on hit or on block, Anji will be able to gatling into Fuujin either directly or via a string, allowing him to start his close range pressure. He’ll also throw out random Spins, Kous, or Fuujins. Spin to try to catch you tossing out buttons from a long distance, Kou to catch you jumping, and Fuujin to either advance forward with Hop or fish for a counter hit with the Low follow up. You'll need to play neutral slowly and patiently. Space yourself just outside of charged Fuujin, and try to intercept Anji's approaches.
Anji may throw out his projectile special move ShitsuGuardAllStartup29RecoveryTotal 52Advantage-6 (aka Butterfly) from a distance to try and control space. If he does, you can actually drift BRC through the Butterfly and you’ll avoid getting hit by it (this will not work for big bodied characters like Potemkin, Nagoriyuki and Goldlewis because of the size of their hurtbox). The Butterfly will also disappear if you manage to land a hit on Anji while it’s active.
Issei Ougi: SaiGuardAllStartup11+6RecoveryAdvantage-30 (aka Fan Overdrive) is a projectile Overdrive that’s primarily used as a combo ender for damage or to break the wall for both a hard knockdown and Positive Bonus. On block, it’s -30. However, because it’s considered a projectile, it will continue if Anji Roman Cancels it, allowing him to add on additional damage, or try a high/low mixup on block while the fan keeps people locked in place with 5DGuardHighStartup20Recovery26Advantage-15. This is an expensive tactic that requires 100 Tension, however. The Overdrive also doesn’t go away on hit either, so Anji can use it to call out slow attacks if he’s in the range to trade with it.
On defense, the tools that Anji will mainly be relying on system mechanics such as Burst, YRC, jump or backdash. For mashing, 2PGuardAllStartup5Recovery10Advantage-2 has a gigantic hitboxGuardAllStartup5Recovery10Advantage-2 for a 5 frame button, meaning he can disrespect pressure from much farther away than other characters.
He doesn't have a meterless invincible reversal, but you do need to be careful with your pressure once Anji has Tension, as he could always mash Kachoufuugetsu Kai (Parry Overdrive)GuardStartupRecoveryTotal 40Advantage-. Any hit will trigger an advancing counterattack from Anji. Up close, this will be a cinematic attack that does guaranteed damage, but from farther away, Anji will dash forward and do two follow-ups instead. If you trigger the parry from a far enough distance, you can whiff punish it. This Overdrive is impossible to safe jump, and has a tiny 10 frame recovery window. Note that unlike Spin, you can’t PRC to make yourself safe if you trigger this. However, like Spin, it’s not throw invulnerable, and you can punish it with one.
If Anji manages to get you in the corner, he can engage in pressure with c.SGuardAllStartup7Recovery11Advantage+1. This mainly involves blockstrings that utilize Fuujin. c.S is +1 on block, so it’s actually decent to get something going. He’ll usually combo from c.S into f.S, 2S, or 5H and then proceed to follow up with Fuujin and one of its follow ups. Make sure you’ve practiced your character’s appropriate responses to Fuujin. He could also dash cancel c.S and go for a throw, but you can react to that and backdash or tech it.
Defending Against Fuujin
When Anji uses this move, he does not have to do a follow up, but the move by itself is -8 on block, so he’s unsafe if he doesn’t do one. Anji can also delay a follow up, but this leaves him vulnerable to mashing. Mashing can be extremely risky due to his ability to frametrap into the follow ups, however. Each of Fuujin's follow ups have their own weakness to them. The thing is, you'll have to play RPS around which follow up Anji will do.
- Fan Toss- This is Anji’s only plus on block move, and it’s +7. The move has 25 frames of startup (38 with early cancel) and the hitbox only exists once the fans have reached the ground, so this can be punished by simply jumping it. You can either air grab, or hit Anji with an aerial.
- Hop- Because of this move's recovery, Anji can immediately be thrown out of it once he lands. It can also be punished on reaction with a button. He can use Roman Cancel to set up some mixups, but this requires Tension and doesn’t really lead to that substantial of a reward.
- Low- It hits low and it’s -7 on block. It has high pushback which sort of makes Anji safer, but at -7, you can absolutely take a turn here. If you are in the corner, Anji is applying pressure to you, and he goes for this, his turn is over as long as he doesn’t have Tension to RC and make this safe.
- Overhead- It hits high, but the move has 21 frames of start up, and is -15 on block. You have to learn to either fuzzy guard, or react to this. The start up of the move makes it reactable, and since it’s -15 on block, you have plenty of an opportunity to punish Anji if he goes for this without meter. Anji will be more likely to go for this if he has Tension since he needs it to keep the Overhead safe and convert from it as well since the Overhead leads to a soft knockdown on hit.
If your character has a DP, then Anji's Fuujin followups, unless made gapless can be DP punished. But he can also not do a follow-up to bait and punish the DP, this creates an RPS around DPs in Anjis favor. Do not mash DP on Anjis Fuujin, you will likely be blown up.
Defending Against Butterfly Oki
After a hard knockdown, Anji can toss out Butterfly and put you in a high/low and strike/throw mix with Fuujin on your wake up. Some of his options:
- Kara Fuujin > OverheadGuardHighStartup21 (34 with early cancel)Recovery24Advantage-9 just before the Butterfly's second hit that lets him get a small meterless combo. React and block High.
- Same thing, but with uncharged 5DGuardHighStartup20Recovery26Advantage-15. He can only get a combo from this when throwing the Butterfly from a close distance. React and block High.
- ThrowGuardGround ThrowStartup2Recovery38Advantage- in-between the Butterfly hits. This option isn't as strong as seems because it's possible to Option Select it with delay Throw Tech (up to 15 frames after your wake-up), whereupon your Tech attempt will get eaten by the Butterfly's second hit if he doesn't try to Throw you, but you will successfully Tech if he does. However, because Teching requires you to be Standing during the input, this opens you up to...
- Lows (Kara Fuujin > LowGuardLowStartup15 (28 with early cancel)Recovery20Advantage-7 or 2KGuardLowStartup7Recovery11Advantage-2). Same principle as before, the Butterfly's second hit gives him a meterless combo from his Low options.
Anji Mito Counterplay Guide by RedMufflerMan (Out of date, but some information still applies)