Hey, did you know that American licensing company Sentai just got the rights to Kaiji? Oh, you did? You read the title? Yeah I figured. Well you want to know more, right? The licensing is for all 52 episodes of the anime meaning that soon we will be able to enjoy it in the states. Or rather, enjoy it in a physical and potentially more legal format.
Speaking of clandestine activities, let’s talk about the show. Although if you honestly consider watching non officially ported anime on some shady russian website to be clandestine you gotta get your act together man. But yes, the show goes over the deep dark underbelly of gambling. The horror of, uhh, blackjack. Spooookyyy. No, actually. The show is terrifying. It has the tagline “Ultimate Survivor” for a reason. That reason being, you won’t survive.
Our main man Kaiji has a terrible gambling addiction. He’s pretty good at it, considering of course that gambling as a career is one of the few jobs where you are more than likely to lose money than gain it. And guess who has no money. It’s ya boy. He was also tricked into signing a loan for his friend. By the way, if your friend does that, they’re not actually your friend. Because no true friend of yours would get you stuck owing a couple million to the Yakuza. Did I mention that they’re gonna kill him for the money? No? Well I haven’t got there yet, stop jumping ahead!
Fine, I suppose since you already know that, I’ll continue. Kaiji is given the option to go to a boat to gamble out of his debt which he does. And now we are to the meat of this plot. Because these games are messed up. Essentially, every game in this show, from rock paper scissors, to the previously mentioned pachinko. Well, maybe a little less so with the pachinko but you get the point. It’s real risky. Oh, and the part that makes this all so tense is the fact that Kaiji can actually lose. Yes, you heard that right, Kaiji isn’t your typical overpowered anime protagonist who can never lose. He can fall, and when he does, he falls hard.
Okay so that’s enough of the plot. Now for more general facts about the show. It’s done by studio Madhouse, so if my dumb little description didnt entice you enough, at the least know the animation quality is pretty good. Original network was Nippon TV, not sure why you’d want to know that. Something I personally want to mention is the fact that the manga was originally published in Weekly Young Magazine, which threw me off because I didn’t know that it was a seinen magazine. It really caught me off guard because this is very much not for kids™. I dunno, I just found it weird that a magazine targeted towards adult men has the word “young” in the title. Maybe it’s the translation or something. Who knows.
Oh right, actual info about the thing you are here to read about. The manga was written by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, who is known for writing a lot of gambling stuff. It seems to be his preferred genre. Oh! Voice actors! You probably want to know those. Uhh… lets see… I found two. Masato Hagiwara as Kaiji Ito, our main man, and Toshiharu Sakurai as Yuji Endo, the loan shark from the beginning. Who I don’t think I mentioned. Double checking I did not. Well, it doesn’t matter because he has a total screen time of maybe twenty minutes. Who cares. And why is he the only other listed voice actor I can find. Oh! I found the list of actors in the stage play! That’s cool I guess.
Okay, pertinent information at the bottom for easy access. Hmm. Well I was going to tell you when and where it would be available, but they did not mention it in the press release. Hold on just one minute.
Oh! It’s on Crunchyroll. Has it always been on Crunchyroll? From what I can see, yes. Yes it has. How did I miss this. I guess watch it on there for the moment. From what it sounds like Sentai is going to make it available on other streaming platforms, though no date nor location was listed. Thanks a lot for that. Outside of that, they’re going to release a home video collection of all episodes. Once again, no date is listed. The show isn’t even listed on their official website. But you know what is?
Whatever the hell that is. Have fun.
Houston based Sequential Art student who is stuck in the past. Has a habit of going off topic. Loves Berserk, Video Games, and literally nothing else.