Deceiver's Distrust in Psychological Anime & Manga

I was studying for an exam and the term, deceiver’s distrust, came up.

Deceiver’s distrust = When people lie to others, they often begin to perceive the recipients of the lies as less honest and trustworthy as a result.

I thought about it, and it does happen in a lot of psychological and gambling anime. Two examples of deceiver’s distrust in anime and manga are Kaiji and Liar Game. Deceiver’s distrust plays out often in these two series, but I’ll outline two specific scenarios. Spoilers ahead!

1. Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor

Kaiji is the best psychological anime I’ve seen. I highly recommend it. In a match against Middle Manager Tonegawa, Kaiji trusted Tonegawa. Tonegawa, who was cheating the entire match, believed that Kaiji had switched the cards for his own benefit. Because Kaiji trusted Tonegawa and because Tonegawa thought that Kaiji had switched the cards, he lost… bitterly.

2. Liar Game

Liar Game is a psychological manga. I highly recommend this series as well, but the ending was extremely disappointing. During the Contraband game, Nao and Akiyama promised to save everyone, even though it meant that they had to move onto the next round. Yokoya, who was secretly smuggling money into his own account, did not believe Nao and Akiyama’s good intentions. He called them losers, stupid, and foolish. Spoiler alert: he lost the match.

There are many more examples of deceiver’s distrust in anime and manga. Can you think of other examples? What about in real life? Perhaps believing that others are less honest and trustworthy reduces their own guilt. What do you think?

Update: October 2019

All of these pictures were posted on my Instagram, but I thought I would post them in a blog format.

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Can’t wait to read this book~

Thanks crew~

Katsu with soba~

My first Kaiji thing. It’s pretty much impossible to find anything from this anime in Canada… Thank you to my friend for the belated birthday gift! Those who watched Kaiji Season 2 will know about the dice… The ざわざわ wrapping paper OMG

Bought this Totoro mug cover

Mazesoba

Picked this up yesterday at the store

Shungiku Nakamura is one of my favourite mangaka ^^

Taiyaki~

Chirashi don~

Matcha ice cream

Should I keep doing this kind of monthly update? Let me know. x)

🌸🌸🌸 Rose

Manga Review: Koushiki Ekkyouden – Fukumoto All Stars

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Fukumoto All Stars is an adorable and funny manga featuring different characters from Fukumoto’s works. The authors had Nobuyuki Fukumoto’s cooperation and the characters are drawn in chibi style. This short manga is similar to Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals and Attack on Titan: Junior High.

It’s ideal if you have read or watched Kaiji, Akagi and other FKMT series because this manga relies on references to Fukumoto’s earlier works.

Thoughts: The art is adorable! It is quite funny, but the tropes get repetitive after a while. For example, Kaiji betting a limb to gamble because he doesn’t have money to gamble with.

If you have seen and liked the Kaiji spin-off anime, Middle Manager Tonegawa, then you’ll like this manga. (You can read my review on Middle Manager Tonegawa here.) You can finish reading Fukumoto All Stars in one sitting. The tropes become increasingly repetitive so I think the short length is appropriate. Overall, I think it’s worth checking out because you get to see the characters from different FKMT series interact with each other!

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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Kaiji still protests, despite being punched and kicked on.

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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.

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. 🙂

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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.

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.