Manga Review: Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: Kazuya-hen

Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: Kazuya-hen is Part 4 of the Kaiji manga series by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. For my review on Part 3, click here.

24616.jpg

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.

Screenshot_2019-01-25-18-55-29-1-1.png

Kaiji stands his ground and doesn’t suck up to people he doesn’t like!

Screenshot_2019-01-26-16-22-47-1.png

Kaiji compares the players to his “friends.” This was a painful page to read. Not only did I feel empathy towards Kaiji, I was also reminded of my own experiences of betrayal.

Screenshot_2019-02-01-22-23-14-1.png

Kaiji still protests, despite being punched and kicked on.

Screenshot_2019-02-01-23-08-42-1.png

Kaiji isn’t involved in the game, doesn’t know the players, but still feels empathy for the players.

Why do I read Kaiji?

  1. It makes me feel better about my own life. I reflect upon my own life and 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. 
  2. Kaiji inspires me. Yes, he’s a fictional character but he’s a resilient character.
Advertisements

Manga Review: Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji

Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji is Part 3 of the Kaiji manga. The events that take place happen after the second season of the anime.

72221.jpg

Synopsis: Kaiji is living in Mr. Sakazaki’s new house but he doesn’t work or do anything. Mikoko adores Kaiji, but the feelings are not mutual. (The scenes in the ending theme song of Kaiji season 2 were showing the future!) Maeda and Miyoshi, two of Kaiji’s friends that were freed from the underground labour camp, approach him to gamble. Kaiji accepts, and the rest is on mahjong.

Kaiji plays against the President of a casino in a game of 17 Steps. 17 Steps is a different version of mahjong in which you do not pick up new tiles. Instead, you can only discard tiles. The stakes are high – if Kaiji loses, he’ll have to pay the consequences.

Thoughts: I loved the beginning because you see Kaiji’s day-to-day life when he is not gambling. It will be difficult to understand the match if you do not know how to play mahjong. However, I don’t think you have to know how to play it because it’ll still be interesting to see the tensions building up and the emotional turmoil the characters experience. It’ll be beneficial to know how to play mahjong, but not required.

The art takes a while to get used to, but it depicts human emotions and suffering so well. Yes, it distorts features of the face and exaggerates expressions, but the art is so expressive.

Out of the three story parts so far, I liked this one the least. Don’t get me wrong – it’s great and it’s better than most manga I’ve read. Compared to the first two parts, however, it’s less exciting. Do I recommend this? Absolutely yes, but you have to start from the beginning.

Kaiji is my second favourite series. Kaiji Itou demonstrates so much resilience despite all the sh*t he’s been through. He’s been betrayed again and again, has nearly faced death many times, has been in the lowest situations imaginable, yet he still has faith in humanity. He still clings onto hope.

tumblr_pgfequhskp1wn04yw_1280

Freedom feels relaxing in the beginning, but when freedom is prolonged, life feels empty and meaningless. Thus, I have a blog. 🙂

do8roqwucaedv9c

Screenshot_2018-11-19-10-35-01.png

A reminder to myself in all situations.

Screenshot_2019-01-20-18-35-14.png

I was reading Kaiji on a day I was feeling sorry for myself, and this page sparked something within me. I think that perseverance is a strength in all of us.

Kaiji References in Anime

Kaiji is in my top 5 anime list. The art style is unique, the music is great, and Kaiji has great style. It’s different in many ways, including the fact that there are no women in the anime (excluding the convenience store co-worker, who is a minor character).

If you see Kaiji’s signature long, pointy nose in an anime, it’s a reference to Kaiji. It is usually shown when a character wants to play a game, and the character’s appearance changes from the original art style.

1. Himouto! Umaru-chan

CNZZP1iUEAA8xL8

VS Kaiji

whMJoPX

CNZZQL2U8AEjemz

2. Osomatsu-san

dpzD46L

3. Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii

tumblr_pd13dv1Xq51qgpiwko5_1280.png

4. xxxHoLiC Kei

watanukikaiji

5. Monogatari

U70F2zK

VS Kaiji

6xZp4

6. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W

nW54gCc

VS Kaiji

Ecard


There is also a Kaiji reference in the video game, Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony (the Rock-Paper-Scissors Cards)!