Before you start laughing at me I want to make it clear that I’m not talking about the Tonegawa spin off or any Kaiji sequel in the future. I’m talking about the manga and specifically Kaiji part 6. I will now begin to spoil everything about Kaiji from part 5 onward. If you want to catch up with Kaiji I’d say watch the anime (parts 1 and 2) and skip part 3 (because Mahjong sucks) and then start reading from 4. Alright here we go!
Don’t worry about there being so many parts to Kaiji because the number is really deceptive, in fact parts 3,4,5 and 6 take place in about the same week as each other so you don’t have to worry about the games losing their impact due to there being so many of them. Each part is one game in extreme detail and if you read part 4 it will be even more clear why having so many parts isn’t even an issue.
The conclusion of years of work ended with Kaiji part 5 where Kaiji wins 2.4 billion yen, his biggest win yet. He does this with the aid of fully fleshed out and brilliant characters who we knew from part 4 of the series, so they are all important and we have the strongest attachment to them yet. This is important because winning the money is only half the story.
One of the most painful things about Kaiji is how cruel the society around him can be. So even after winning this much the game is still not over for the two of them and it’s taken into real life as they try and escape with the money, which is probably the most cruel and deceptive mind game you could ever come up with.
I love the tactical games of Kaiji but it feels like theirs so much more tension and scheming that really takes place, because the money can’t be there’s until they are back in their home country completely out of the influence of anyone. And that’s what keeps the tension so high, they still have the money, they just have to not lose it.
They go through absolutely everything to try and cover their tracks and it’s great to see happen. It feels like a heist but committed by normal people. There is no mastermind or organisation flawlessly planning everything out, and that allows them to get into situations you would rarely see ever.
You’ve got car chases, where they have to escape both police men and Sendai. As well as that you’ve got outsmarting police, breaking into houses, driving far away to ditch all evidence and returning on public transport.
That is all about the plot, but theirs still a lot of story to tie up and a huge amount of emotion that is still yet to be completed. For example we’ve waited since the very start of part 3 to see Kaiji reconnect with his old ally and it was brilliant.
This man was called Sakazaki and he’s the guy Kaiji lived with after part 2 ended. He used to be a gambling addict but saw the light after winning big and living very well for himself in a nice house. Meanwhile Kaiji lost all of his money near instantly causing Sakazaki to lose a lot of respect for him.
Much later Kaiji’s old friends who work at a casino approach him with a way to win against it. It turns out that this is a plan almost guaranteed success. Kaiji just needs 3 million yen which he gets from the rich Sakazaki however it’s not as simple as that. Sakazaki offers him the money to say “please just leave and never come back.” he’s completely given up on him and knows he’s going to end up suffering.
And for the longest time that was it, Kaiji’s great friend had abandoned him. Until he won the money and paid him a visit where everything was resolved beautifully. Though the change was vastly caused by greed Sakazaki is pleased with Kaiji and resumes his friendship, this is important because of another thing.
Kaiji will probably lose this whole heist, smuggling money is not easy. I believe Chang and Mario would be able to leave however if Kaiji remains in the country it’s inevitable that he will be caught. That means he’ll likely go back to this guy and continue his old unemployed life. I’m not saying that will happen but it seems likely to me. I can’t imagine anyone being able to smuggle a rucksack full of nothing but notes through an air port.
Then probably the most important thing that was missing for the longest time was the signs of a villain. I said in a previous post that Kaiji part 6 would really suffer without a main villain since escaping generic black suits isn’t as interesting. It’s now that just recently a genuine villain has likely been introduced, I say likely because it’s only 90% at this point.
The story is that while Mario and Kaiji look after the money in a house they broke into Chang must leave and dispose of a lot of evidence, including the truck (they have enough money to rent another car anyway) he does this successfully by driving the truck into a disused children’s maze with cars piled up everywhere, he then takes the number plate and documents to dispose of later.
This leaves Chang with a problem, he needs to return without a car which means public transport. He finds a bus stop but it doesn’t run anymore and a passerby offers Chang a lift to the train station the next day, he can’t take him now because he’s drunk.
Here’s the thing though, this man goes into his house to hide like 12 certificates he has pinned up to the wall.They are all certificates for being with the police, which he hides. This means two things, he’s on the side of the law and he strongly suspects Chang. This means that there is now a villain and I deeply look forward to this being explored.
Thanks for reading this! I know that not a lot of people have read any Kaiji at all but I really care a lot about this subject so I had to write something!