I can not for the life of me remember the names of the ranks, English or Japanese. Can I propose an easy-to-remember substitute? Green ranks - 1, 2, 3. 1st Green is one above 10-dan (Tsuwamono), 2nd Green two above 10-dan, and 3rd Green three above 10-dan. Green ranks are probably the minimum for players to be considered competitive against the best players. Gold ranks - 1, 2, 3. Dobi Akira is 1st Gold, Makoto is 2nd Gold, Yanaga Pai is 3rd Gold. For me, any player with a Gold rank or better can already be considered elite. These guys are good. Black ranks - 1, 2, 3. Edo is 1st Black, Chibita is 2nd black, and Fudo is 3rd Black. Is Fudo the highest ranked player? I haven't seen anyone else with 3rd Black. Needless to say, any player with a Black rank can be considered part of the pantheon of VF. Small Emperor, or Shou Haoh. Dagina has a Shou Haoh rank, but it's "fake." I.e. he got it as part of a joke. Emperor, or Haoh. The Sarah player I creamed in Japan. No Haoh rank out there is earned, I think 3rd Black is the highest rank thus far. There are also a ton of special ranks, some for tournaments wins and others for special prizes. I haven't bothered to remember these. I actually believe the strongest indicator of strength is your rank once in the Green and above. Ryan Hart, for example, for all his success in Japan cannot get past 3rd Green and sometimes slip down to the Dan ranks. The best player in Hong Kong is only 3rd Green. The reason is that at that level, there are only a handful of players you can play against to advance. For Edo to advance to 1st Black, that means he had to defeat opponents on the caliber of Yanaga, Seningiri, etc. consecutively. No easy feat. In any case, what's interesting is that in OH4, I only saw one character who didn't have a Gold or better rank, Sugoroku Aoi at 2nd Green. Except Sugoroku, arguably every single one of those players had the credentials to win the tournament! Who said luck is a factor in VF?