Kaiji Season 2 Episode 4
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Kaiji 2, or “Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji (Suffering Outcast Kaiji): Hakairoku-hen” is the second season of the Kaiji anime weekly series, started in April 2011. The first 26-episode season aired in 2007 and 2008, based on a popular, long-running manga series by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. Kaiji Itou is down on his luck, stuck with a massive gambling debt. Kidnapped and forced to work in an underground work camp for fifteen years, he plots his escape.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:
ep. tl;dr review: Kaiji figures out how the foreman is gaming the system, plots revenge; This is not going to end well.
Episode Summary: After falling even deeper into debt, Kaiji has several months to look forward receiving only half his meager prison pay. After the first month, he is near his breaking point, but with the log books of a fellow inmate he figures out how the foreman is tilting the dice game in his favor. Enlisting the help of the other “losers”, they band together and plot how to turn that to their advantage, aiming to bring down the foreman with his own trick.
My Impressions: Four episodes in to the second season, and I have determined two things about Kaiji:
1. The anime moves along at a glacial pace, inching along with tiny steps at a time. The whole show is intense, but not much actually happens, it’s all mood and suspense.
2. Kaiji will never, never, never, never, EVER learn. He will never be able to prevent ending up in one despicable predicament or another, always understanding his weakness and never being able to prevent himself from dragging himself down. As a character, I do not expect any growth or change at all, it’s just a constant repeat of Kaiji getting blown around by the twisted winds of gambling fate. He beats himself up over what he does, and then is powerless keep from doing it again. Every victory is temporary, followed by bitter defeat. He may understand that the only way to “win” is to not play the game…he just can’t bring himself to say no.
And if Kaiji is never going to change or grow, then what is the point in watching? As a series, it’s an interesting concept, but I can already see Kaiji defeating the foreman with his as-yet-unrevealed twist (I bet it has to do with the ability of the players to pick where they sit in the game, though), then getting into some other gambling bargain with some other prison bigwig, losing it all, and the cycle just repeats itself. Lather, rinse, repeat, each and every time Kaiji falling deeper into the pit he is digging for himself. And if I’m watching essentially the same thing in a different setting five/ten/twenty episodes down the line, it’s just wasted effort.
- My earlier reviews:
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, and Wikipedia
- If you like this series, then you might also like: Akagi.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “I’m far from convinced this is going to work. For one thing, I think it is much more likely the team will back-stab each other, than that they will manage to follow through on their plan…For now, though, Kaiji is full of determination to take Ohtori down, which is something I would really like to see.” – Abandoned Factory
- “Anyway are we still not done with this arc? Holy god…I am enjoying it, even though the plot is a little slow. But I seriously think we have wrung all the interest out of Chinchillarin and then some, so if we have not moved to a new arc by next episode I’ll… write a blog post about how upset I am that we have not moved to a new arc.” – Suntzu Anime
ROUND FOUR RESULTS FOR SPRING 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round Four: Steins;Gate, Deadman Wonderland, Hanasaku Iroha, Ano Hana, Tiger and Bunny, Nichijou, Yondemasu-yo Azazel-san, C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
Thumbs-down for Round Four: Blue Exorcist, Kaiji Season 2
Coming up next (in this order): Hyouge Mono