Owing to an increasing debt, Kaiji Itou ends up resuming his old lifestyle. One day, while walking on the street, he stumbles upon Yuuji Endou, who is hunting Kaiji due to the money he owes to the Teiai Group. Unaware of this, Kaiji eagerly follows Endou, hoping for a chance to participate in another gamble, but soon finds out the loan shark’s real intentions when he is kidnapped.
Given that Kaiji is unable to pay off his huge debt, the Teiai Group instead sends him to work in an underground labor camp. He is told that he will have to live in this hell for 15 years, alongside other debtors, until he can earn his freedom. His only hope to put an early end to this nightmare is by saving enough money to be able to go back to the surface for a single day. Once he is there, he plans to obtain the remaining money needed to settle his account by making a high-stakes wager. However, as many temptations threaten his scarce income, Kaiji may have to resort to gambling sooner than he had expected.
[Written by MAL Rewrite]
Despite the immense praise for season 1 I cannot say that season 2 lives up to the greatness of season 2. Yes a lot of it is cool but it has many things that take it down. The first problem is that the gimmick and mind games of the first game involve only one simple thing, the most predictable thing possible (no spoilers in case you don’t figure it out) and that game takes place over the first half.
The second half of the series isn’t even against a person so the mind games are redundant and it’s about beating a pinball machine. Granted a lot of it is good and the strategies are interesting but the show spends way too much time watching pin balls fall with nothing happening. It’s repetitive and dull. If they had cut the game shorter the show would have done so much better.
I can see why they did it though, the following arc of Kaiji is a huge game of mah-jong (one of the worst games in anime ever just from confusion alone) and they had to fill the episodes with something. I honestly would have preferred filler to the stretched out content of the pinball machine. It’s not even too difficult and could work well.
How about instead of getting a huge loan for the pinball machine we have a five episode arc where he buys a card counting guide for black jack and then wins the money from a casino, or maybe he just wins by luck. This plot point is actually used later when they gamble on a horse to win. Winning money from horse riding is fairly rare and so much more could have been done if they won the money through other means. I.e black jack, I think card counting would be a bad idea but having an opponent who was card counting would be really interesting.
This is a completely honest and true story which happened when me and my friends were playing black jack together. Basically I didn’t use card counting because I don’t know how, but I won every single game of black jack and… got 5 21’s in a row! I was so lucky and they made way too many jokes about me cheating. I only wish we were playing for actual money! Another story, I know a little bit about black jack because I can program and I’ve actually programmed black jack! So yeah, maybe I like the idea of this game way too much.
Also the game can’t be poker because in the current arc of the manga they are playing a fascinating version of poker called one poker which is genius. If you want to continue the manga but don’t want to see mah-jong, then honestly skip it and watch part 4 of the manga. Before you go on thinking that you can’t handle constant changes of games and wins/losses with Kaiji through 3 more parts when you’ve already seen 2/5’s (and a lot of games) the next 3 parts all take place in basically the same week, don’t all involve Kaiji and are all connected together in a coherent way that justifies the extra parts added. So don’t worry about Kaiji losing everything from the bog, because even 3 parts later his winnings is still all to play for.
So yeah, watch the show anyway but don’t let your expectations get too high.
Shows from the same studio: Madhouse