Once you’ve completed Kaiji part one and two you probably feel in doubt whether you should continue with the manga, since kaiji ended sort of weirdly and the 2nd season wasn’t as good as the first, let me explain why.
The first part of the season is within a forced labour camp after the fallout of season 1, where they play a game of dice. The problem with this was that they left the game up to chance since it was a dice roll until they ended up exposing them at the end, leaving a lot of fat in the middle which felt kind of dumb. The players didn’t really have much control of the game and it was mostly about their survival which I didn’t like as much.
The next part was about a pachinko machine and trying to outsmart that, the game also dragged on way too long. The problem with that game was there wasn’t really an opponent and winning the game just took an arbitrary amount of money along with the measures they took outside of the game. It was more of a thriller than anything but the lack of mind games really made it suffer.
So after this inferior season should you carry on with the manga? Well yes, and no.
The next part of the series is about mah-jong and if you’re lucky enough to never hear about this let me explain. I could copy and paste the Wikipedia article for mah-jong into this article and you still wouldn’t understand it. Basically it’s massively complex with tons of phrases nobody understands so nothing really makes sense and it’s not fun to read because you have no idea what’s taking place. Even if you did understand mah-jong keeping count of the tiles and cards is difficulty enough to make you not read the next part. That being said some of it is worth reading. I recommend you read the introduction and the ending chapters, piecing it out for yourself what will happen. I’ve read the entire thing and there are plenty of interesting things outside of mah-jong but it’s not really worth reading. If you want to see the hype but can’t be bothered to learn the rules I recommend you just read part three whilst skipping out all the mah-jong parts since the rest of the scheming is pretty interesting.
People don’t tend to like repeated story lines with similar scenarios and don’t want to go through a bunch of stuff to see Kaiji suffer the same fate again. So let me say that part 3,4 and 5 take place in the timespan of about a week and don’t just focus on Kaiji. So I’d say read it.
Now part four is about three other people who have to play a game to test their friendship, we learn their backstories and see their friendship tested. The personalities of everyone involved in this game is fascinating.
Then the amazing 5th part is about the most easy to understand game of poker you can imagine, however it’s simply brilliant with cool levels of strategy. So I’d say just read Kaiji for that, whilst part 5’s not finished yet it’s the climax part 4 and 5 were leading up to and all I can say is that it looks very close to finishing.