Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: Kazuya-hen is Part 4 of the Kaiji manga series by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. For my review on Part 3, click here.
In the beginning of the arc, Kaiji reads a novel written by Kazuya. The story is ridiculous, but it was also extremely captivating. I was completely drawn in and couldn’t stop reading.
Kaiji plays a significantly smaller role in this part. Unlike the other arcs in which he is the main player, this arc is focused on three best friends: Mitsuyama, Chang, and Mario. The three friends play the Salvation Game. Kaiji and Kazuya watch from the sidelines while the three friends put their friendship to the test. Either all three friends will win the game and split up the prize money (millions of dollars) or one friend will betray the others and take all the money for himself. If the latter happens, the two remaining friends will have their skulls crushed and will die as a consequence.
Kaiji believes that Mitsuyama, Chang, and Mario will work together until the end and win the game, while Kazuya believes that they’re all frauds. He believes that betrayal is inevitable and that it’s inherent to human nature. I found that my own morals were put to the test because I felt that I had to pick a side. To be completely truthful, I kept going back and forth between Kaiji’s and Kazuya’s arguments. In the end, the side I picked lost.
Why do I read Kaiji?
- It makes me feel better about my own life. I compare my life to Kaiji’s and I think, my life isn’t bad at all. I’m actually so lucky to have a supportive family and a roof over my head. I don’t have to worry about going hungry. I have clothes that will keep me warm. I have a bed and access to a hot shower.
- Kaiji inspires me. Yes, he’s a fictional character but he’s a resilient character.