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.

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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.

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

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A reminder to myself in all situations.

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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.

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Top 10 Tricks in Death Note

Here are my ten favourite tricks in Death Note. These are in chronological order of appearance in the series. Spoilers ahead. 

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1. Determining Kira’s Location¬†

Performer: L

This was the pivotal scene where L outsmarts Kira in the beginning, when the broadcast is aired to the “world” (it was only aired in the Kanto region of Japan). From this scene, L gains three valuable pieces of information. One, that Kira exists. Two, that Kira can kill without being there in person but cannot kill under other circumstances. Three, that Kira is in the Kanto region.

2. False-Bottomed Drawer

Performer: Light

Light came up with an ingenious way of hiding the Death Note. If an intruder tried to ransack the drawer in his room, the Death Note would go up in flames.

3. Fake Name 

Performer: Naomi

Naomi manages to dupe Light by giving him a fake name. He is unable to kill her at first because of this, and Ryuk finds it very amusing.

4. Checking the Door

Performer: Light

Light suspects that there are video cameras in his room and around the house because of two reasons. One, he placed a piece of lead at the door and it broke. Two, he tilted the door handle at a certain angle. The intruder put the door handle back to the angle he left it, which could not have been done by a family member (it’s too careful, a family member would have put the handle to its normal position).

5. Writing in a Blind Spot

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Performer: Light

This is one of the best scenes in Death Note, where Light takes a potato chip and eats it! He dupes L and the police on the taskforce by appearing to be studying in front of the video cameras, when he is actually writing down names and listening to the news hidden in the potato chip bag.

This scene is unforgettable because of its intense music and emotions. The cinematography of the animation is brilliant. It also shows us again how intelligent Light is, and what a great character he is.

6. Profiling with Tennis 

Performer: L

The tennis match between Light and L was really fun to watch. It was interesting because at this point in the anime, L already revealed to Light that he was L and that he suspected Light to be Kira. Both are super competitive so there was that dynamic present as well.

7. Memory Control

Performers: Light, Misa

Both Light and Misa gave up their Death Notes, which resulted in them losing their memories of the Death Note. This helped them later on when they were interrogated by Soichiro and L.

8. Fake Sakura TV Show 

Performer: Matsuda

Matsuda plays a key role in the series, especially in his involvement with Higuchi. The fake Sakura TV show brought forth Higuchi’s death as one of the Kiras.

9. The Fake Notebook 

Performer: Mikami

Mikami made a duplicate Death Note, which was a replica of the real Death Note. This was done to fool Near because he knew that he was being watched.

10. Switching the Notebook

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Performer: Gevanni

Gevanni, who works with Near, broke into the locker where Mikami hid the real Death Note. Gevanni switched the real Death Note with a copy he made, which ultimately brought down Light’s downfall. Gevanni is a heavily underrated character, in my opinion.


There are almost 90 tricks in the series! You can see why Death Note is such a great anime, and why it’s one of my top three anime. What were your favourite tricks in Death Note? Thanks for reading.

I now own volumes 2 to 14 of One Piece!

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A couple of people have asked me if I own the first volume. I don’t, because someone bought it before I did. I bought these 13 volumes for $1 each at a book sale! They are brand new and they have shiny covers!

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This post reminds me of an older blog post of mine.

My Love for Anime

You guys seemed to like my blog post,¬†My Love for One Piece. That’s why I decided to do a blog post on my love for anime.

Manga & Light Novels

I mostly read manga online (oops). I also own a Durarara!! light novel, Shonen Jump & Shojo Beat magazines, and other anime-related books.

Fan Art

Going to Conventions (and Cosplaying)

Buying Stuff from Conventions

Cosplay

Incorporating Anime in My Everyday Style

I wear anime jewelry, decorate bags and other things with anime, and wear anime clothing.

Appreciating Cosplayers

Posters

I also have a Code Geass poster, One Piece and Vampire Knight BL posters. ūüėČ

Figures

Plushies

Eating Food Because it was Shown in an Anime

I can feel my brother judging me for this…

Watching Anime (duh)

My favourite series are One Piece and Death Note. I also love Kaiji, Inuyashiki and Attack on Titan.

Listening to Music from Anime

My favourite opening is Unravel (Tokyo Ghoul) and my ringtone is The World (Death Note). I’ve been listening to My Hero (Inuyashiki) and Chase the Light! (Kaiji season 2) today.

Once again I want to emphasize that these are my ways of showing my love and appreciation for anime. Everyone is different, but I hope that it’s clear that I love anime. Hahaha.

Standout Panels – Death Note Manga Vol. 1

Most manga posts talk about the plot and characters. Panels, gutter, speech bubbles, sound effects, font, motion lines, and overall page layout are sometimes overlooked when in fact, the impact of these definitely make a contribution to the work.

Spoilers ahead.

1. Context

Light picked up the Death Note, which grants the user the ability to kill a person provided that they know the name and face of the person they wish to kill. He has just finished reading the rules of the Death Note.

Thoughts

The bottom panel is all black. This foreshadows that Light will use the Death Note. Although in an earlier panel he says that it’s stupid, there is a contradiction between what he is saying and what the panel shows us.

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2. Context

Light tested the Death Note in person. He wrote ‘traffic accident’ as cause of death, and a traffic accident happened right in front of him.

Thoughts

This death confirmed that the Death Note is real. The entire page is dedicated to this one panel. One, the death is shocking to Light and shocking to us as well. Two, we can bet that things will only get more interesting from here on in.

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3. Context

At a G8 Summit, officials representing countries from around the world are arguing over Kira. Kira is the name given to the killer of the criminals. As we know, Light is Kira and he has been mass-killing criminals in order to create a “better world.”

Thoughts

I am focusing on the last panel of this page, but the entire page works as a whole because the rest of the panels emphasize the importance of the text in the last panel. This page is cluttered! There’s a lot of people and bickering, represented by the spiky speech bubbles. Then there’s the last panel, and the background is white. The text silences everyone. From this, we know that L is a very important person.

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4. Context

The top half is a flashback, while the bottom half is present day. In the flashback, L talks about a direct confrontation with Kira. In the present day, the Japanese police are watching the public broadcast for the direct confrontation.

Thoughts

Instead of focusing on the panels this time, I am focusing on the gutter. The gutter is the space between the panels. Normally it is all white. However, because we have a flashback, the gutter is black. We can tell that it is a flashback because of the gutter. Then, the gutter gradually transitions from black to white. This signifies that we are brought back to the present.

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5. Context

A man by the name of Lind L. Tailor claims to be L on TV, and says that Kira is evil. This riles up Light, and he writes down the man’s name in the Death Note.

Thoughts

Light usually writes the names on the lines but here, he writes Lind L. Tailor’s in huge letters. The first letter of the name takes up the space of over five lines! Light’s writing is not straight and you can tell that he wrote this quickly. Just by looking at his writing, you know how Light was feeling. He was pissed!

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6. Context

So it turns out that Lind L. Tailor is not the real L. Now the real L is talking to Kira through the same public broadcast. L managed to dupe Light by proving that Kira exists, that Kira is able to kill without being present, and that Kira is located in the Kanto region of Japan.

Thoughts

Look at those motion lines! Motion lines are usually done when there’s an action, but we have a television screen in this panel. The scene is dramatic and it shows how amazing L is.

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I hope that by writing this post, everyone will appreciate all the decisions made in manga and ALL comics!

Shounen Ai Recommendations

Shounen ai is the genre for boys love manga and webtoons. It’s different from yaoi because it’s suitable for people under 18 (meaning there’s no sex involved). These are my top 3 shounen ai series.

These are very sweet and cute series. There’s no rape involved at all. I say this because a lot of yaoi series have rape scenes, which is unfortunate. Not only that, but a lot of BL series have poor representation of LGBTQ+. I am referring to older series, so I’m hoping that with time there will be better representation and CONSENT! I’m not saying that those series should not exist because I’m not one to police what people should or shouldn’t read – it would be a good change for sure though.

1. Here U Are – Ongoing, by Chinese author DJun

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Synopsis

Most people think that LiHuan is scary-looking because he is very tall, which is why he does not have many friends. He’s also not very sociable. YuYang enters his life because his job is to welcome the new university students and the two get along quite well.

Thoughts

The art is phenomenal. Every panel is in colour and the way the author DRAWS. FACIAL. EXPRESSIONS. aaaaaaaaa

Every panel is carefully planned. I am a fairly quick reader so I usually zoom through comics but when I read this, I have to slow down to absorb all the details. The faint blush, the way LiHuan looks at YuYang!!

LiHuan treats YuYang extremely well. The pacing is quite slow, but it’s worth the wait.

2. Cherry Blossoms After Winter – Ongoing webtoon, by Korean author Bamwoo

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Synopsis 

Haebom’s parents passed away when he was very little, and he’s been living in his mother’s friend’s house. Taesung is his age and they live under the same roof. Haebom is shy and often gets picked on by others. Taesung, on the other hand, is very popular at school.

Thoughts

I read this before I watched My Hero Academia, but I have to say this. Haebom is so similar to Izuku and Taesung is so similar to Todoroki. If you ship Izuku with Todoroki, then you will like this series! 

I like this series because Taesung never bullies Haebom. In fact, he treats him very well and protects him too.

3. Hidamari ga Kikoeru РOngoing manga, by FUMINO Yuki

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Synopsis 

Taichi is a college student looking for work, and he meets Kouhei, a student with a severe hearing disability. Despite rumours, Taichi believes that Kouhei is a good person for sharing his lunch, and befriends him. Taichi becomes a note taker for Kouhei, in exchange for bento lunch.

Thoughts

This is one of the more realistic manga I’ve read, which is rare to come across. They become very good friends and their relationship is so pure. There are some sad moments, which adds onto the realistic element of living with a disability.

If you are interested in more shonen ai series, here are more cute ones:

  • Dress Him Up (Korean webtoon)
  • Fools (Korean webtoon)
  • Meeting Him (Korean webtoon)

Why I Like Anime So Much

I had doubts over writing this post, but all the support I received on Twitter made me complete it in the end.

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Screen shots from yesterday

In elementary school, I had zero interest in gossiping about other female classmates or gushing about boys. I hated Western pop music and reality TV shows. Most of all, I made zero effort to change myself or pretend to be like them. I do think that my indifferent facial expressions hindered me from making friends. No surprise, but I didn’t have many friends. I didn’t think I was better than other people because I didn’t like myself that much either. I felt that I didn’t belong, like an alien that belonged to another planet.

I went home after school right away by myself. During the summer breaks, I stayed at home by myself during the day because my parents were working. I watched anime all-day when I was home alone and did my homework when my parents were home. I had a lot of free time, so I achieved A’s in everything except gym.¬†Anime was a way for me to pass the time and it distracted me so I didn’t have to think about real life.¬†I read a lot of manga too.

I learned about the world, places, people, and relationships through anime. My life was uninteresting and uneventful so I relied on anime to be my guide. At the same time, I was able to differentiate between anime and reality. All too well. I felt indifferent towards reality. Anime worlds weren’t that great either because of all the challenges the characters had to face. Still, the impossible happened in anime. A notebook that could kill people? Anime was so interesting!

This is my favourite song, and it represents how I felt when I was younger. Strangely, the song calms me and I don’t feel sadness over loneliness anymore. I’ve learned to embrace it.

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My current life is so different from my lonely childhood. When I was young I didn’t have a blog, no outlet to express my thoughts and feelings. I just had anime. It was like a friend. I still watch anime because it passes the time. With countless titles to watch and shows coming out every season, it’s endless fun. It’s still interesting.

Now that I am more involved with activities in my life, I can spend my time blogging about anime, cosplaying as anime characters, drawing anime fan art, attending conventions and more. Being active with anime has made me part of this online community of anime bloggers. You are all so nice to me. Thank you for that. When I was young, anime was the friend that killed boredom. Now, anime has provided me with fun activities and many friendships. 

As a kid, real life didn’t make me feel a lot of emotions. I was neutral most of the time. Anime made me cry countless times, and One Piece was able to make me laugh many times. Watching anime made me feel human.¬†