Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji, Vol. 1
(Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji)
Written by Nobuyuki Fukumoto
Published by Kodansha
Magazine Young Magazine
Original run 1996 – 1999 (series 1)
2000 – 2003 (series 2)
2004 – 2008 (series 3)
2009 – 2012 (series 4)
2013 – ongoing (series 5)
Anime television series
Gyakkyō Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor
Directed by Yūzō Satō
Music by Hideki Taniuchi
Original run October 2, 2007 – April 1, 2008
Episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Directed by Tōya Satō
Produced by Masatoshi Yamaguchi
Written by Mika Omori, Nobuyuki Fukumoto
Released October 10, 2009
Runtime 120 Minutes
Anime television series
Gyakkyō Burai Kaiji: Hakairoku-hen
Directed by Yūzō Satō
Music by Hideki Taniuchi
Original run April 6, 2011 – September 27, 2011
Episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Directed by Tōya Satō
Produced by Seiji Okuda, Katsu Kamikura, Hiroshi Miyazaki
Written by Junya Yamazaki, Yukiko Oguchi
Released November 5, 2011
Runtime 133 Minutes
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Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji (賭博黙示録カイジ lit. Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji?), also known as Ultimate Survivor Kaiji, is a Japanese manga series about the art of gambling, written by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. It is published by Kodansha in Young Magazine. The first part of the manga (13 volumes), was adapted as a 26-episode anime television series called Gyakkyō Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor (逆境無頼カイジ Ultimate Survivor lit. Suffering Outcast Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor?), which began airing October 2007. A live-action ‘Kaiji’ movie was released October 10, 2009 in Japan with Tatsuya Fujiwara playing the role of Kaiji. Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji is considered Fukumoto’s most famous work, and is well known in both Japan and Korea. In 1998, it was the winner of the Kodansha Manga Award in the General category. A second anime television series based on the second arc of the manga, entitled Gyakkyō Burai Kaiji: Hakairoku-hen (逆境無頼カイジ 破戒録篇 lit. Suffering Outcast Kaiji: Maverick Arc?) premiered April 5, 2011 and ran until September 27, 2011.
2.1 Part 1 – The Ship of Hope, Espoir
2.2 Part 2 – The Skyscraper of Darkness, Starside Hotel
2.3 Part 3
2.4 Part 4
4.2.1 Season 1
4.2.2 Season 2
4.3 Live-action films
6 External links
After graduating from high school in 1996 in Japan, Itō Kaiji moves to Tokyo to get a job, but he fails to find steady employment because the country is mired in its first recession since World War II. Depressed, he festers in his apartment, biding his time with cheap pranks, gambling, liquor and cigarettes. Kaiji is always thinking about money and his perpetual poverty frequently brings him to tears.
Kaiji’s unrelenting misery continues for two years until he is paid an unexpected visit from a man named Endō, who wants to collect an outstanding debt that Kaiji has carelessly co-signed for his former co-worker. Endō gives Kaiji two options – either spend ten years to repay this outstanding debt, or board the gambling ship Espoir (“hope” in French) for one night to clear the debt. Using a con, Endō pressures Kaiji into accepting the deal, believing he will never come back from the voyage.
However, Kaiji survives the gamble and is invited to another gambling night, this time at the Starside Hotel. Although initially wary about the offer, he is spurred by his acquaintance Sahara to go. After being the only survivor of the Human Derby, Kaiji decides to avenge his friends by competing in another gambling match the Teiai Corporation has prepared; E-Card. Kaiji, despite losing an ear, defeats Tonegawa, his opponent in E-Card. He goes all-in once again in a new game. This time, he loses both the money he had won in the E-Card battle and four of his fingers.
Though Kaiji survives the Starside Hotel he now has a debt of over 9.5 million Yen. He contacts Endō in hope of being able to take part in another high-stakes gamble. However Endō betrays Kaiji and sends him to Teiai’s underground labour camp, where he will have to work off his debt for 15 years. In the labour camp Kaiji is paid 91,000 pelica per month (10 pelica are equal to 1 Yen) to dig an underground kingdom. This is reduced to 45,000 pelica after Kaiji loses to Ōtsuki in Chinchirorin. However Kaiji allies himself with other 45ers (those earning 45,000 pelica per month) to defeat Ōtsuki and win enough money for the one-day pass.
Although Kaiji manages to get out of the labour camp with 800,000 Yen using the 1-day pass, he only has 20 days to earn the 60 million Yen he needs to buy his freedom and release the other 45ers. Fortunately Kaiji comes across Sakazaki who tells him of a pachinko game known as the Bog in a high-stakes casino where Kaiji can win over 550 million Yen. Kaiji agrees to help Sakazaki beat the bog. However, the casino is owned by Love Emperor, and the Bog has been rigged in several ways to ensure that it won’t pay out.
After finally clearing his debt Kaiji has been living with Sakazaki and his family until Sakazaki kicks Kaiji out with 3 million Yen in cash. Kaiji then agrees to help the former 45ers Miyoshi and Maeda beat the president of a casino at his Minefield Mahjong game and win 700 million Yen.
Kaiji Itō (伊藤 開司 Itō Kaiji?)
Voiced by: Masato Hagiwara
The main character of the story. Kaiji is in poverty – he lives by himself in a slum and is constantly in debt. He bides his time by playing cheap gambling games with neighbors, though he always loses. In spite of this, when his life is in danger, he displays a remarkable hidden capacity for gambling, which allows him to endure the hardships he faces in the manga. He is shouldered with a 3,850,000 yen debt at the beginning of the story by a co-worker who convinced him into cosigning a loan, leaving Kaiji with the full weight of the debt compounded over a year.
Masato Hagiwara, the voice of Akagi Shigeru reprises his role as lead in the second anime adaption of a Nobuyuki Fukumoto work, opposite Masane Tsukayama who again plays an elderly, refined villain.
Kazutaka Hyōdō (兵藤 和尊 Hyōdō Kazutaka?)
Voiced by: Masane Tsukayama
Wealthy socialite and president of the powerful financial consulting firm “Teiai” (帝愛?, “Love Emperor”), not to mention owner and sponsor of underground gambling tournaments like those on board Espoir. He is believed to be seventy years old and worth several hundred billion yen. Driven mad by wealth, conventional hobbies fail to entertain him, so he funds gambling tournaments to watch the destitute of society struggle against overwhelming terror and despair.
He meets Kaiji in the final segment of the first series of manga, where Kaiji is selected by lottery to compete in the “Castle of Despair”. Hyōdō’s talents for winning in anything have earned him the title of “king” by some, though others merely call him “very lucky”. His first full manga appearance was in volume 8 – prior to that, all readers saw of Hyōdō was his finger tapping.
In many ways, Hyōdō is quite similar to Washizu Iwao, who was also voiced by Masane Tsukayama.
Yūji Endō (遠藤 勇次 Endō Yūji?)
Voiced by: Naoya Uchida
A dirty loan shark with ties to the yakuza. He lends out large sums of money to the desperate, but charges an absurd (and illegal) interest rate. He tracks down Kaiji after a client of his, Furuhata, disappeared without repaying a loan, which Kaiji cosigned in an act of weakness. Recognizing Kaiji could never repay the loan, Endō offers him the opportunity to board the gambling ship Espoir, where he would be able repay his debt and make some money as well.
After Kaiji defeats Tonegawa his organization suffers because they now lack any connection to the upper management of Teiai. After Kaiji goes to Endō for another high risk gamble Endō drugs Kaiji and sends him to an underground labor camp. When Kaiji is released he goes to Endō for a loan to get enough money to beat the Bog. Endō helps Kaiji borrow 50,000,000 Yen to beat the Bog and helps Kaiji weaken it. During the battle with the Bog Endō loans Kaiji another 10,000,000 Yen at a very high rate of interest. After Kaiji’s victory he drugs Kaiji, takes the extra money owed him, and leaves.
Part 1 – The Ship of Hope, Espoir
Jōji Funai (船井 譲次 Funai Jōji?)
Voiced by: Hideo Ishikawa
One of the veterans of previous voyages on Espoir, Funai is an excellent conman and uses the fears and worries of the other competitors to his advantage. He “befriends” Kaiji during his first night and explains the unofficial rules to him, and the two agree to form an alliance – both will exhaust their number of gesture cards without having to lose any star pendants. However, at the last minute, Funai backstabs Kaiji and scams him out of two star pendants, leaving him with a single card and a hopeless situation. He is defeated by Kaiji and loses five star pendants to him in a sudden death gamble near the end of the voyage. In many ways, he is similar to Urabe from Akagi.
Takeshi Furuhata (古畑 武志 Furuhata Takeshi?)
Voiced by: Yasunori Matsumoto
Debtor and one-time coworker of Kaiji. One year before the first tournament on Espoir, he lured Kaiji into cosigning a loan for him, making Kaiji liable in case Furuhata did not repay the loan. Although believed to have disappeared, Kaiji discovers him on Espoir and makes an alliance with him after Funai’s betrayal. Furuhata is the sharper of Kaiji’s allies, and is able to follow and quickly adapt to Kaiji’s strategies. Furuhata betrays Kaiji and attempts to use his funds to escape the ship.
Mamoru Andō (安藤 守 Andō Mamoru?)
Voiced by: Toshiharu Sakurai
A bespectacled, fat man who forms an alliance with Kaiji and Furuhata after losing all of his gesture cards. Unlike Furuhata, Andō is more opportunistic and tried to backstab the group within minutes of it forming. He usually has to have Kaiji’s strategies explained to him by Furuhata. After the gamble of Restricted Rock, Paper, Scissors ends, he betrays Kaiji, and has no regrets about it.
Voiced by: Kazuki Yao
A clear-headed man who came up with a strategy of buying up all the rock cards and holding them constant; as the other cards deplete, he and his men then prey on those who have scissors. However, he was surprised to learn that Kaiji discovered the same strategy and purchased all the rocks, so in turn he purchased all the paper cards, effectively making Kaiji’s strategy useless. After defeating Andō and Furuhata, Kitami approaches Kaiji and admits he was impressed another contestant figured how to manipulate the game, offering him the honor of being his final opponent. He is outsmarted by Kaiji, then blackmailed into selling all of his paper cards to him.
Part 2 – The Skyscraper of Darkness, Starside Hotel
Kōji Ishida (石田 光司 Ishida Kōji?)
Voiced by: Hiroshi Yanaka
A debt-ridden man who opted to participate on Espoir in an effort to clear his debts, but failed. He was saved from death on a whim by Kaiji, but to spare his wife and son from debt he agreed to participate in another gambling tournament, the Human Derby. In the first leg of the race, Ishida accomplished second place, earning a certificate redeemable for 10,000,000¥. During the second part of the race, while overcome by immense fear, Ishida recognized that he was not a man born to be a success in this world, and entrusted his certificate to Kaiji, who he felt had the skill, power and confidence to survive. He urges Kaiji to go forward and not look back, and while Kaiji is concentrating on maintaining his balance, Ishida falls from the steel bridge, covering his mouth so Kaiji would not hear his screams.
Makoto Sahara (佐原 誠 Sahara Makoto?)
Voiced by: Komoto Masahiro
Kaiji’s younger co-worker at a convenience store he found employment at following his survival of Espoir. Sahara dreams of finding his big break in life, and like Kaiji feels he is getting nowhere with his dead-end job. He begs Endō to permit him to participate in the Human Derby, despite warnings from Kaiji. Sahara’s youthful strength and impulsiveness benefit him greatly in the gamble, and he gets a strong lead on the other racers, earning first place in Kaiji’s block and receiving a certificate redeemable for ¥20,000,000. In the second leg of the race, Sahara is the first to reach the other side of the second bridge – however, before he can cash his earnings from the Starside Hotel, he falls into a trap set up by Kazutaka Hyōdō and is killed.
Yukio Tonegawa (利根川 幸雄 Tonegawa Yukio?)
Voiced by: Hakūryū
A powerful business magnate and the third highest ranking executive in the financial firm Love Emperor. He serves as the host and overseer for both the Restricted Rock, Paper, Scissor and Human Derby games while acting as the opponent for the E-Card gamble. A stout man of middle-age, Tonegawa is a staunch realist, believing those who risk their lives in Love Emperor’s tournaments to be street trash at the mercy of society and those with superior abilities and initiative. By reputation Tonegawa is a master of human psychology and the art of observation, displaying acts of insight so profound his abilities appear supernatural. He is defeated by Kaiji in E-Card and thrown out of power by Hyōdō Kazutaka; with his downfall a power vacuum appears in Love Emperor’s inner circle, leading to chaos among the management. Many of those who are loyal to Tonegawa’s faction within the company, notably Kaiji’s debtor Endō Yuuji, disappear without a trace. Tonegawa himself is lead away after his defeat and is never seen again.
Yohishiro Kurosaki (黒崎 義裕 Kurosaki Yohishiro?)
Voiced by: Kenyu Horiuchi
Kurosaki has served in Teiai Group for years and is a friend of Hyōdō. He was promoted to the position of second-in-command of Teiai Group one year after Kaiji defeats Tonegawa; replacing Tonegawa’s faction as the dominant faction. Kurosaki seems to be more friendly that Tonegawa as he praised Ōtsuki for his Chinchirorin rules but states that because Ōtsuki failed to think of a worse case scenario this caused him to be defeated. He also promotes fairness, such as refusing to let Ōtsuki back out of his bet, rather than threatening people.
Kurosaki appears to be in charge of the underground labor camp where Kaiji is sent and resides nearby. This was demonstrated when he was shown watching Kaiji gambling with Ōtsuki at Chinchirorin but was able to travel to the labor camp and arrive after Ōtsuki got his safe.
Ōtsuki (大槻 Ōtsuki?)
Voiced by: Chō
Foreman for group E in the underground labor camp and Kaiji’s supervisor. Together with Isawa and Numagawa he makes a lot of money selling food, alcohol, and tobacco at twice their retail price to those in the labor camp and by winning at Chinchirorin. Though he was initially friendly to Kaiji this was a ruse to encourage Kaiji to spend his all money buying food and alcohol from Ōtsuki. Ōtsuki then loans Kaiji some money to play Chinchirorin, then wins this money back from him, and forces him to work for half-pay to repay his debt. After Kaiji figures out that Ōtsuki is cheating by using 4-5-6 dice (dice without the number 1, 2, or 3 on them) he exposes Ōtsuki in front of everyone. Ōtsuki then agrees to let Kaiji and the other 45ers use rigged dice against him thinking he will only have to pay 2 or 3 times the amount bet, however Kaiji and the 45ers uses rigged dice that only roll 1 so Ōtsuki has to pay 5 times the amount bet (under Ōtsuki’s rules if the 3 dice all show 1 the player wins 5 times their bet). After being dealer for 2 rounds Ōtsuki loses over 18 million pelica.
Tomohiro Miyoshi (三好 智広 Miyoshi Tomohiro?)
Voiced by: Kōji Yusa
Another person in group E paying off their debts by working in the underground labor camps. He keeps a record of all the wins in Chinchirorin which makes Kaiji realize how Ōtsuki is cheating. He and several others earning 45,000 pelica help Kaiji defeat Ōtsuki.
Kōtarō Sakazaki (坂崎 孝太郎 Sakazaki Kōtarō?)
Voiced by: Issei Futamata
A middle aged man who seeks to beat the Bog and win enough money to buy a house so his wife and daughter will return to him. At first he wants Kaiji to help him beat the Bog but later helps Kaiji defeat the Bog.
Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa
Manager of the casino that owns the Bog. He has worked at Teiai Group for many years and is one of the subordinates of Yohishiro Kurosaki. He is well manicured and with a cautious personality (he increases security around the Bog to prevent Kaiji tampering with it). After Kaiji beats the Bog Hyōdō demands that Ichijou pay back the 700 million Yen Kaiji won by working for 1050 years in the labor camp. As Ichijou is dragged away Kaiji encourages him to return and challenge him again.
Takashi Muraoka (村岡 隆 Muraoka Takashi?)
Voiced by: Hiroyuki Kinoshita (Pachinko)
The casino president employs Miyoshi and Maeda. He has Miyoshi and Maeda convince Kaiji to gamble against him in Minefield Mahjong, which he has rigged in his favor by having Maeda looks at Kaiji’s tiles while Miyoshi gives Kaiji false information. Though Kaiji initially loses all his money Kazuya Hyōdō loans him more money so the game can continue. After several draws where the wager is doubled the wager reaches 160 million Yen. By tricking the casino president into thinking he had another tile, Kaiji is able to win 480 million due to him having ura-dora.
Kazuya Hyōdō (兵藤 和也 Hyōdō Kazuya?)
Voiced by: Kappei Yamaguchi (Pachinko)
Son of Kazutaka Hyōdō, he enjoys gambles as much as his father. After Kaiji loses all of his money he keeps loaning Kaiji money so Kaiji can continue to gamble; however, he tells Kaiji that if Kaiji cannot repay the debt then Kaiji will either be sent back to the underground labor camp or will have his body parts removed (which body part will be removed is determined by a lottery wheel). He reveals to Kaiji that he detests the life he leads, and claims to not know true friendship or love, as everyone he meets kisses up to him due to the influence of his father. As a result, he thinks human beings are naturally detestable and likely to betray others, and additionally he finds no issue in wasting money for his gambles and schemes, and instead wants to be an author. As a means of finding out if true bonds actually exist, Kazuya sets up a series of deadly games designed to test the bonds between people, which influence the ideas for his novels. In addition, he runs a company called “Kazuya Corporation”, which deals in covering up murders under the guise of suicides or construction accidents.
Restricted Rock, Paper, Scissors (限定ジャンケン Gentei Janken?)
The game featured in the gambling tournament the first night Kaiji spends on Espoir, with an average survival rate of 50%. The rules were outlined after the issuing of war funds, which were done a minimum of 1,000,000¥ and 10,000,000¥. The money was in effect a loan, equaling the debt of the contestant and compounded at 1.5% every ten minutes for the four-hour voyage; contestants who hold onto their funds for the length of the trip would have to pay 140% of what they invested, thus putting an incentive to finish games early. Money that exceeded the amount needed to repay the loan to the Espoir hosts would be pocketed by the contestant.
This gamble is similar to the original game but with a twist – the hand gestures are represented by cards, and contestants are given four cards each with the same gesture for a total of twelve. Contestants are also given three plastic stars as collateral to bet on each round of play – whenever one loses a round, the winner gets a star from the loser. To survive the night, contestants must maintain their three star pendants and lose all of their gesture cards. Cards cannot be destroyed or thrown away, to do so is subject to instant disqualification.
Due to the simple nature of the game, single matches can be completed within ten seconds, and players can win or lose in a matter of minutes. Winners are allowed to go upstairs, where any extra star pendants are exchanged for cash and they lounge in a small cafe. In the event of a loss, individuals are taken to away to a back room by men in black suits.
Steel Frame Crossing (鉄骨渡り Tekkotsu Watari?)
The gamble seen during Kaiji’s competition at the Starside Hotel, consisting of two parts – Human Derby (人間競馬 Ningen Keiba?) and Electric Current Steel Frame Crossing (電流鉄骨渡り Denryū Tekkotsu Watari?). In contrast to Restricted Rock, Paper, Scissors, contestants are not briefed on the rules of the Human Derby, and are unaware of the nature of the gamble until they accept participating in it. Contestants are loaded into numbered “coffins” and are elevated several floors up the Starside Hotel to a platform overlooking a concrete courtyard. Contestants are expected to walk across four long, steel beams – the first to arrive on the other side of the beam nets 20,000,000¥, the second place finisher 10,000,000¥. The steel beams become more narrow as the contestants begin to cross them, though touching the beam with hands at any time disqualifies the contestant. The pushing of contestants to get out of the way is not condoned but is in fact encouraged, since the contestants (the “horses”) are being bet on by spectators below, who enjoy the struggle to the other side. Contestants who fall from the beams suffer severe injury – depending on how and where they land, their injuries can range from serious to fatal.
Once the winners of the first leg of the race have been identified, they are given coupons redeemable for their prize with a set time limit. To cash the coupons, the contestants must cross a similar but more dangerous bridge twenty two stories above the ground. Falling from this bridge is instant death. Since the hosts concluded that the crossing of the bridge would not be entertaining if the contestants could give up and use their hands to assist in their retreat off the bridge, a mild electric current is run through the steel beams – while not powerful enough to cause serious injury or be fatal, the current is enough to stun contestants, causing them to lose balance and fall from the bridge. Psychologically, this bridge is much more challenging because of the greater peril involved.
E-Card (Ｅカード Ī Kādo?)
As the name suggests, it is a card game. Like Restricted Rock, Paper, Scissors it also has psychological strategy to it and it also uses three card types. There are three cards, the Emperor (koutei), the Citizen (shimin), and the Slave (dorei). The game is meant to be a simplification of society that Hyōdō Kazutaka refers to right before the game begins. The Emperor has ultimate power to give money (ie. most powerful card). Citizens cannot disobey him because they want money (i.e. Citizen loses to Emperor). The Slave has nothing to lose and has no use of money, therefore the slave can defeat the Emperor (i.e. The Slave loses to the Citizen card but wins over the Emperor card). The game is played with one side having four Citizen cards and an Emperor card (Emperor side). The other side having four Citizen cards and a Slave card (Slave side). Since it is much harder for the slave side to win (as Slave cards can only defeat Emperor cards) the players of the Slave side get five times more winnings. Each game is played with 12 matches each match having each player set down one card. As Kaiji had no money, he was given the choice of losing an eye or an ear.
Tissue Box Raffle (ティッシュ箱くじ引き Tisshubako Kujibiki?)
Unlike the other gambles, this gamble is made by Kaiji himself. After completing E-Card he prepares to leave the hotel but then steps on a tissue box and notices that its sides are open, which he finds fascinating. Upon further investigation of the box Kaiji decide to challenge the Chairman to a raffle gamble with the tissue box as the container for the lots.
Underground Chinchiro (地下チンチロリン Chika Chinchirorin?)
A variation on the dice game, Chinchirorin, this game was crafted by Ōtsuki, one of Kaiji’s fellow inmates in the underground labor camp. The notable exception to Chinchirorin is that dealer rotation moves clockwise, but each player may opt to pass their turn as dealer. More importantly however, there are no automatic wins for the dealer. If they opt to play dealer they must play as dealer two times consecutively.
Pachinko “THE BOG” (パチンコ「沼」 Pachinko Numa?)
An elaborate Pachinko game in a high-stakes casino featuring a payout of 100% of the earnings from the machine. Taking this into consideration the house has set up state-of-the-art countermeasures to ensure victory; such as tightening the nails to ensure only 1 in 100 balls go in, using flippers to knock away balls, and tilting the three plates. Previously only two people have ever beaten the Bog; Hyōdō and Tonegawa. When Kaiji first comes across the Bog the jackpot is 550 million yen but when he plays it the jackpot has risen to over 700 million.
Mine Field Game “17 Steps” (地雷ゲーム「17歩」 Jirai Gēmu “17-ho”?)
A variation on Mahjong where the game is played with two players who make their best hand from a random draw of 34 tiles. Players do not draw a tile as usual, but instead take turns discarding tiles. Since a win can only be declared with a hand in conjunction with a discard, ‘ron’ is the only way a player may win. If neither player achieves ron after 17 turns, the game is considered a draw, the tiles are reshuffled, the current wager is doubled.
A life-or-death game designed by Kazuya to test if the friendship between three men indebted to Kazuya–Mario, from the Philippines, Chang, from China, and Mitsuyama, from Japan–is a true bond. The three men sit in a stair case formation, strapped to their seats with seat belts which can only be released one at a time with a release button, and are not allowed to look behind them. They each wear a helmet with a light on the top. At the start of each round of the game, the current pot is doubled, and of the three men, one “savior” and two “hostages” is decided via the light on their helmets. The savior must release their seat belt after 30 seconds, but before 60, and press a button across the room, otherwise the helmets of the two hostages will crush their heads. They must use the powers of deduction and observation to determine if they are the savior or the hostage–the player at the top of the staircase is in the best position for this, as he can see the two other players’ lights. Halfway through the game, Kazuya reveals that, if the savior fails to rescue the two hostages, he gets double the entire pot of the current round. Kaiji is brought in as an observer to this game, and frequently cheers on the three men and challenges Kazuya’s corrupted view of human nature.
A card game using two standard decks of playing cards, designed by Kazuya. Rather than deciding the victor via hands such as Straight, Flush, etc., each hand consists of just one card and is ranked according to its normal value, suits not factoring into the value at all. In addition, like in the earlier E-Card game, the absolute weakest card actually beats the absolute strongest card–a 2 is the absolute weakest, and an ace is the absolute strongest, so the 2 wins against an ace. If both players play a card of equal value, it is a tie. At the start of each round, players are given two cards, and must play only one of them, the most valuable card being the winner. Standard poker betting rules apply and the cards of both players are always revealed after betting even if one player folds (but they don’t affect the outcome in that case). In addition, all of this is played at the top of a large tower, on a mechanical shuffling table Kazuya has designed, which he names “Mother Sophie”. The table is placed on a set of tracks, and moves towards the loser’s side’s edge with each loss.
The manga has currently been divided into five parts so far, each comprising thirteen volumes:
Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji (賭博黙示録カイジ lit. “Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji”?)
Tobaku Hakairoku Kaiji (賭博破戒録カイジ lit. “Gambling Maverick Kaiji”?)
Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji (賭博堕天録カイジ lit. “Gambling Advent Chronicle Kaiji”?)
Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: Kazuya-hen (賭博堕天録カイジ 和也編 lit. “Gambling Advent Chronicle Kaiji: The Kazuya Arc”?)
Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: One Poker-hen (賭博堕天録カイジ ワン・ポーカー編 lit. “Gambling Advent Chronicle Kaiji: One Poker Arc”?)
The anime opening theme for the first season is “Mirai wa Bokura no Te no Naka” (based on The Blue Hearts’ song of the same name) by Kaiji with Redbourn Cherries, and the ending theme is “Makeinutachi no Requiem” by Hakuryū.
No. Title Original airdate
“Shukkō” (出航) October 2, 2007
Kaiji is a heavy gambler that lives in poverty. One day, he meets a loan shark named Yūji Endō, who tells Kaiji that he owes ¥3,850,000 (around $37,500) for co-signing a loan with a former coworker that has disappeared. Endō gives Kaiji the option to try to earn all the money quickly, by participating in an unknown gambling event on a ship called Espoir, which Kaiji agrees to.
02 “Open Fire”
“Hibuta” (火蓋) October 9, 2007
When Kaiji gets onto the ship, he finds himself with hundreds of people who also have debt. The gambling event that will be played by Kaiji and the rest of the debtors, onboard the Espoir, is a game called “Restricted Rock Paper Scissors”. It is known to everybody that those who lose in this gamble are forced into manual labor for years. After the explanation, Kaiji is then approached by a man named Funai. He gets Kaiji to team up with him; Kaiji doesn’t know what he just got himself into.
“Shōbu” (勝負) October 16, 2007
Trapped in the depths of despair after getting tricked, Kaiji meets up with his former coworker that got him into debt, Furuhata. He isn’t mad at him, and teams up with him. He then looks and finds another person to join their teamed named Andou, who is also in a tight spot. Andou decides to backstab them, but Kaiji doesn’t let this affect him and he comes up with another plan to win, but first, they need to bait someone into a trap in order to get more stars for the group.
“Hatan” (破綻) October 23, 2007
Kaiji and the group managed to bait someone into their trap, and earned 2 stars; however, they still need 4 more stars and only have ¥14,000,000 (around $136,500) and no cards. So Kaiji comes up with the plan to monopolize the bored by getting 30 Rock cards, however they are not the only team who’ve thought of the same strategy.
05 “Deadly Decision”
“Kesshi” (決死) October 30, 2007
Both having thought of the same strategy, Kaiji challenges Kitami to a Rock Paper Scissors death match, but Kitami doesn’t accept. So they have a different kind of battle, in which both Kaiji and Kitami wager 3 stars.
06 “Rise and Fall”
“Kōbō” (興亡) November 6, 2007
Kaiji wins and proceeds with his plan of buying out all their 30 Paper cards. Funai later approaches Kaiji with a deal to trade his star for some of Kaiji cards, but Kaiji refuses. Now that no one can trust each other, and everyone’s cards are being leaked, Funai announces to everyone that they should reshuffle their cards, which is an idea that will completely ruin Kaiji’s plan.
“Kappa” (喝破) November 13, 2007
The gambling event “Restricted Rock Paper Scissors” is nearing its end and Kaiji’s group is forced to join Funai’s idea of reshuffling all the cards amongst the remaining participants. However soon afterwards they are stuck in their tracks with no one to play against. Kaiji then figures out that Funai is cheating, which he tells to everyone. This stops Funai from getting any more matches. Kaiji then comes up with a risky plan.
08 “Iron Hammer”
“Tettsui” (鉄槌) November 20, 2007
There are only 5 minutes left and only Funai is left, so Kaiji challenges him to a final match wagering 5 stars. Kaiji has the edge because he knows that either way he will be sent to the “other room”, where the losers are sent away, but Funai is reluctant to accept this unfair wager. In the other room Kaiji pins all his hopes on being resurrected.
“Kaisei” (回生) November 27, 2007
Kaiji, who’s in the other room waiting to be resurrected by his comrades; however Andou is having second thoughts and decides to betray Kaiji by selling his stars. It doesn’t take much for his last hope, Furuhata to betray him as well. What will Kaiji do?
“Shisha” (使者) December 4, 2007
10. Against all the odds, Kaiji was able to survive, while also saving a man named Ishida, but is left with a new debt of ¥6,295,000 (around $61,400). In a 4-month time period, Kaiji is working in a convenience store still in debt and poverty. It all changes when Endō appears before him, yet again, offering Kaiji another chance to clear his debt.
“Kyōen” (狂宴) December 11, 2007
Kaiji accepts the invitation to the next gamble at the Starside Hotel. There, he recognizes a few familiar faces the Espoir. Kaiji is really determined this time to win, however the gambling event this time is a dangerous game in which the spectators are gambling on the winners.
“Tenraku” (転落) December 18, 2007
The event is called Human Derby, a sick game that messes with your mind in which Kaiji must decide to push or be pushed. What will Kaiji choose to do? By the end of the Human Derby, only 21 people out of the total 60 contestants survived. Yet this is not the end of it, as there is still a more deadly challenge that waits for them.
“Kaibutsu” (怪物) December 25, 2007
Ten people including Kaiji have volunteered for the Human Derby on the final bridge, 22 stories high, which means instant death if they fall. After deciding which order they will go in, the pathway to salvation opens.
14 “Dying Spirit”
“Bōrei” (亡霊) January 8, 2008
At the Starside Hotel 8 people now remain on the 74 m bridge-crossing of death. Faced with death, they all want to give up but Yukio Tonegawa ignores their pleas of mercy and in a mere 3 minutes only Kaiji, Sahara and Ishida remain.
“Tenkū” (天空) January 15, 2008
With only 2 people remaining, Sahara is the first to survive the bridge-crossing of death however there is something sinister behind the window, before him. With all options out of the question, Kaiji is at a loss of what to do but he eventually finds a loophole that is potentially a path to salvation.
“Dohatsu” (怒髪) January 22, 2008
Now that the ticket he had from the bridge-crossing is void, Kaiji cannot leave empty handed, so then the chairman (whose name is unknown) offers him a chance to gain up to ¥100,000,000 (around $895,400). The game is called “E-Card” and there are 3 types of cards (Citizen, Emperor & Slave). The rules may be simple but there’s a lot more to this psychological battle, especially since Kaiji will be facing Yukio Tonegawa, and Kaiji will be betting his ear.
“Gyakkyō” (逆境) January 29, 2008
The game of E-Card has just begun and Kaiji is feeling pretty confident after winning his first 2 matches. However the true psychological battle has just begun, where Kaiji struggles to figure out his opponent’s mindset.
“Honrō” (翻弄) February 5, 2008
The game of E-Card that Kaiji put his hearing on the line continues into the 2nd Round and even though Kaiji has come up with a plan, it still doesn’t stop him from losing the next match. Confident now that he has found a way to win, Kaiji bets 10mm for the next match but it may end up causing an upset for the rest of the game.
“Genkai” (限界) February 12, 2008
Onto the 9th match, this is the most crucial point for Kaiji who only has four more matches and 4 mm left until he loses his hearing. His mind is full of so many conflicting thoughts and even without the confidence in his choice he somehow managed to win to ensure his safety. Yet something feels off about the whole turn of events, and through his deductive skills, Kaiji realizes that they are cheating.
20 “Fierce God”
“Kishin” (鬼神) February 19, 2008
Kaiji has figured out Tonegawa’s method of cheating and decides to use this to his advantage by recklessly wagering the maximum remaining length available (18 mm). But this isn’t completely reckless, since he’s thought of an idea to win the two remaining Slave rounds.
21 “Heart’s Blood”
“Shinketsu” (心血) February 26, 2008
Onto the final match of E-Card and Kaiji decides to go for another life or death gamble, as he has come up with a way to take advantage of this disadvantaged situation. Kaiji is determined not to leave without ¥20,000,000 (around $199,000). How far will that determination take him?
“Shikkō” (執行) March 4, 2008
The final judgment has been met by Tonegawa, as he believes he has discerned Kaiji’s plan of purposely splattering the cards with his blood, but he was only being led by Kaiji’s true plan. Now all that’s left is for certain formalities to be taken care of; for Kaiji to receive his money and for Tonegawa to sincerely apologize.
“Jadō” (邪道) March 11, 2008
Even after his unbelievable win against Tonegawa, Kaiji doesn’t feel satisfied unless he beats the chairman. In the restroom Kaiji thinks of some kind of rigged lottery, “Tissue Box Raffle” to beat the one in charge of all this. With all preparations met he heads out to challenge the chairman to one more gamble.
“Jōken” (条件) March 18, 2008
Through Kaiji’s persistence, the chairman finally accepts his challenge but Kaiji must find a way to get the chairman to accept the idea of a “Tissue Box Raffle”. Kaiji’s plan seems to be going smoothly at the moment.
“Tōnyū” (投入) March 25, 2008
The night of lunacy continues; with Kaiji putting his ¥20,000,000 (around $199,000) and 4 fingers on the line, for a ¥100,000,000 (around $895,400) gamble. During the gamble, something unexpected occurs, which completely throws away Kaiji’s sure-fire way to win.
“Zankō” (残光) April 1, 2008
To win on the first draw seems to have run into a dead end. Will Kaiji’s desperate prayers reach the heavens? Will a miracle happen? Will Kaiji finally be out of debt?
The anime opening theme for the second season is “Chase the Light!” by Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas, and the ending theme is “C Kara Hajimaru ABC” by Wasurerannē yo.
No. Title Original airdate
01 “Hell on Earth”
“Chi no Goku” (地の獄) April 6, 2011
Months after the Starside Hotel event, Kaiji Itō meets Yūji Endō again, and Endō kidnaps and forces Kaiji to the underground mines to be forced into manual labor for 15 years to pay his debt of ¥9,500,000 (around $92,600). He gets paid in Perica, only making ¥350 ($3.41) a day. He makes a plan to save up 500,000 Perica in half a year, and buy a 1-day vacation out of the mines to gamble for his debt. Kaiji gets tempted to spend his money by the foreman by the name of Ōtsuki. Kaiji waste most of his money, and then the foreman tempts Kaiji to start gambling again by playing Chinchirorin.
02 “Cardinal Rule of Game”
“Shōbu no Tessoku” (勝負の鉄則) April 13, 2011
Kaiji agrees to play Chinchirorin. On game night, Kaiji and other people gather to play, but, in Underground Chichirorin, there are 3 special rules, which Kaiji is okay with. After several games, Kaiji gets unsatisfied winning lots of small bets. When it is Miyoshis turn as dealer, Kaiji bets 3,000 Perica.
03 “Piece of Luck”
“Kyōun no Kakera” (強運の欠片) April 19, 2011
Even though Kaiji lost 3,000 Perica, he keeps betting 3,000 multiple time during the night. After 40 minutes of gambling, he bets 5,000 Perica, in which the foreman and his partner both bet 20,000 Perica. Even though Kaiji won on his first turn as a dealer, he loses on his second turn. He loses 60,000 Perica, but he only has 40,000.
04 “Strikes Clues”
“Gyakushū no Itoguchi” (逆襲の糸口) April 27, 2011
Weeks after Kaiji lost on gambling night, Kaiji finds himself getting advance pay for the money he owes. With his debt, he is in a group called “Team 45”, where he and 5 other members are all in debt from gambling. Later, thanks to Miyoshi, Kaiji finds out that the foreman is cheating, and gets all of “Team 45” together to come up with a plan.
05 “Abuse and Perseverance”
“Gyakutai to Nintai” (虐待と忍耐) May 4, 2011
While Kaiji is waiting for the day that he will defeat the foreman, he finds the son of Ishida also in the underground mines for his debt. Kaiji gets mad at him for not accepting his weaknesses, and doesn’t talk to him anymore. Later, throughout the day, Kaiji purposely pisses off the foreman for his plan, while knowing that he’s going to be harassed for the next few days. We are then introduced to Yohishiro Kurosaki, Tonegawa’s replacement. When gambling night begins, Kaiji joins and sets up the new rule of no betting limit.
06 “The Storm Arrives”
“Neppū no Tōrai” (熱風の到来) May 11, 2011
For the first few matches, Kaiji doesn’t bet over the old limit of 20,000 Perica, after everyone gets bored of Kaiji for betting so little, he begins the plan by betting all of his 52,000 Perica. Then he sends a signal to all of his men to come, and they each bet 92 Perica, for a total of 507,000 Perica!
07 “The Magic Dice”
“Mahō no Sai” (魔法の賽) May 18, 2011
When the foreman sees that their betting all of their money, he realizes that Kaiji has probably find out how he’s cheating. We then get a little back story of when the foreman and his men started cheating, and what their method of cheating is. When the foreman thinks that Kaiji only knows that he’s cheating, but doesn’t know how he’s cheating, he is confident that he will be able to cheat on the last roll after 2 busts. Right when the dice were about to stop rolling, Kaiji grabs them quickly.
“Ingaōhō” (因果応報) May 25, 2011
Kaiji is able to show everyone that their cheating, he then tricks the foreman into betting again while Kaiji and his group use their “special dice”. The foreman realizes that their using dice that only has 1 on each side, but is this forced to pay 5 times the amount, losing 2,535,000 Perica in total. Right when the foreman was about to give up for the night, Kaiji reminded him that he still has to go 1 more time as the dealer according to the rules. Then “Team 45” all bet 3,042,000 Perica in total.
09 “Applause, and then…”
“Kassai, Soshite…” (喝采、そして…) June 1, 2011
Yohishiro Kurosaki comes in, and tells the foreman that he has no choice but to play, and in the end, he loses 18,252,000 Perica in total. Then Kaiji tells Yohishiro Kurosaki that he would like permission for the 1-day vacation pass, and he accepts. All of “Team 45” agrees that Kaiji should be kept with all the money, and Kaiji buys 20 1-day vacation passes, leaving him with ¥800,000 (around $7,800). He then searches for casinos, but leaves in order to find more expensive casinos; he then meets a mysterious guy by the name of Kōtarō Sakazaki. Sakazaki is looking for a partner to win big in the casinos, and asks Kaiji to be his partner. Kaiji accepts the offer, and is taken to an illegal casino, and finds a huge Pachinko machine called “THE BOG”, where each ball is worth 1000 times more than a normal Pachinko machine, ¥4000 (around $39), but the payout is 100,000,000 Pachinko balls, each worth ¥4000 (around $39), more than enough to get Kaiji out of debt!
10 “Last Gamble”
“Saigo no Bakuchi” (最後の博打) June 8, 2011
11 “Sigh With Delight”
“Kanki to Tansei” (歓喜と嘆声) June 15, 2011
12 “Heaven’s Fall, Man’s Fall”
“Haten Hakan” (破天・破漢) June 21, 2011
13 “The Clue to Beating the Bog”
“Kōryaku no Itoguchi” (攻略の糸口) June 29, 2011
“Sōshūhen” (総集編) July 6, 2011
15 “All In Bluff”
“Koke no Isshin” (虚仮の一心) July 13, 2011
16 “The Battle Begins”
“Kessen no Makuake” (決戦の幕開け) July 20, 2011
17 “Futile Accomplishment”
“Fumō na Kantetsu” (不毛な貫徹) July 27, 2011
18 “The Impassable Gate”
“Teppeki no Mon” (鉄壁の門) August 3, 2011
19 “Trajectory of a Miracle”
“Kiseki no Kidō” (奇跡の軌道) August 10, 2011
20 “The Difference in Destiny”
“Shukuun no Sa” (宿運の差) August 17, 2011
21 “Secure Victory”
“Kakujitsu na Shōri” (確実な勝利) August 24, 2011
22 “Money’s Influence”
“Yukichi no Ikō” (諭吉の威光) August 31, 2011
23 “Precarious Situation”
“Fūzen no Tomoshibi” (風前の灯火) September 7, 2011
24 “Wondering Silver Balls”
“Haikai Suru Gin-dama” (徘徊する銀玉) September 14, 2011
25 “Ensa’s Tears”
“Ensa no Namida” (怨嗟の涙) September 21, 2011
26 “A Future for Us…”
“Mirai wa bokura no…” (未来は僕らの…) September 28, 2011
Kaiji has been adapted into a 2009 film starring Tatsuya Fujiwara and Yuki Amami, and a 2011 sequel, Kaiji 2. Both movies are a little different, both having alternate choices of what Kaiji did in the manga/anime, but all have the same settings and events in different orders and rule changes in each gamble.
reference: http://www.nipponcinema.com/tag/kaiji/ Nippon Cinema Kaiji Movie 2009
reference: “Manga”. ddraggy. October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
reference: Joel Hahn. “Kodansha Manga Awards”. Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
reference: 2011-01-26, News: Kaiji Gambling Manga Gets 2nd TV Anime Series, ANN
reference: 逆境無頼カイジ 破戒録篇 (in Japanese). Web Newtype. Archived from the original on March 10, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
^ Jump up to: a b c d 逆境無頼カイジ 破戒録篇 (in Japanese). Web Newtype. Archived from the original on May 2, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2011.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e 逆境無頼カイジ 破戒録篇 (in Japanese). Web Newtype. Archived from the original on May 12, 2011. Retrieved May 12, 2011.
^ Jump up to: a b c d 逆境無頼カイジ 破戒録篇 (in Japanese). Web Newtype. Archived from the original on June 10, 2011. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e 逆境無頼カイジ 破戒録篇 (in Japanese). Web Newtype. Archived from the original on July 9, 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
^ Jump up to: a b c d 逆境無頼カイジ 破戒録篇 (in Japanese). Web Newtype. Archived from the original on August 10, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
^ Jump up to: a b c 逆境無頼カイジ 破戒録篇 (in Japanese). Web Newtype. Archived from the original on October 1, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
Kaiji official site (Japanese)
Gyakkyō Burai Kaiji: Hakairoku-hen official site (Japanese)
Official film website (Japanese)
Kaiji (manga) at Anime News Network’s encyclopedia
Kodansha Manga Award – General
Works of Madhouse