Itou Kaiji, now free of debt but without a penny is leeching himself in Mr.Sakazaki's new house, despite all the flirtings (extreme torment for Kaiji) from Sakazaki's daughter, Mikoko. Sakazaki attempts to kick Kaiji out, even by offering a farewell 'we never knew each other' money of 3000000 yen. While Kaiji ponders himself on the decision, he is visited by Miyoshi and Maeda, two of his 'allies' he had saved from the last part of the series.
"See what can not be seen. That is the heart of gambling!"
Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji is a brilliant addition to the Kaiji franchise which helps build on the depth of Kaiji's character as well as offers a tension packed mahjong gamble that will have you at the edge of your seat.
The story of Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji takes places after the bog arc as we see Kaiji trying to assimilate back into society with little avail. Kaiji ends up being a worthless freeloader, leeching off of Sakazaki. Eventually Sakazaki kicks Kaiji out and gives him 3000000 yen telling him to act as if they had never met each other. Right as Kaiji is at the brink of despair two of his friends from the underground working camp offer him the chance of a life time, a gamble where they work together in order to trick a corrupt underground casino president.
The story revolves around a quick variation of mahjong known as the 17 steps or minefield mahjong where each player is given 34 random tiles and is tasked at creating a hand and using the remaining tiles as discard tiles. Each turn a player discards a tile trying not to give the other player his winning tile. If the game ends in a tie the tiles are reshuffled and the wager is doubled. Similarly to most of Nobuyuki Fukumoto gambling manga the game in Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji is very well written and executed. The game is filled with mind games, well thought out tactics, and high stakes which will always keep the reader entertained and on the edge of their seat.
Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji does a very good job capitalizing on the events of the previous Kaiji arcs, Kaiji bases a lot of the decisions he makes in minefield mahjong on his experiences from previous arcs, this helps exemplify how Kaiji grew and evolved over the franchise and how he learned from his past experiences.
The characters in Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji are pretty good as a whole. Similarly to his previous works Fukumoto places an enormous amount of emphasis on his main character (Kaiji in this case). In this arc Kaiji's character continues to develop as he continues to struggle with assimilating into society and faces addiction. The development is fairly subtle when compared to some of the previous installments in the Kaiji franchise but it is definitely there and plays a big role on the progression of the story. Kaiji is as always placed in an unwanted situation where he has to struggle to survive, he is an underdog deep in enemy territory. Despite all his flaws as a person you just can't help but to root for Kaiji due to his sheer ambition to survive.
The supporting cast does not get as much emphasis as Kaiji but is still fairly strong. Takashi Muraoka (the president of the casino) is a fairly well fleshed out antagonist, he a someone who strives through finding short cuts in life and being extremely careful. While at first glance he may appear like a one note coward his character has a lot more depth than meets the eye making him a formidable foe for Kaiji to face.
The art in Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji is very skillfully drawn, the characters and backgrounds are wonderfully shaded. The art style itself fits the narrative as well, the characters are ugly with big noses, chins, and lips. These exaggerated features help characterize the flaw the characters have, no one in Kaiji is perfect or completely moral and the visual style parallels this core aspect of the manga.
All around I personally enjoyed Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji quite a bit, while it did start on a slow note it managed to build up to be one of the most suspenseful and rewarding installments in the Kaiji franchise and one that I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of the other works in this particular serious read more
= Alright so i am a huge Kaiji fan having read all the Manga to date that i can. I truly love the character and the well developed scenarios,the settings and the general atmosphere of the series. I am gonna go over the good and bad points of this particular serialization of Kaiji.
The story is pretty much the same as past Kaiji arcs except this is not started by force because of a debt he must pay. This time Kaiji makes the decision to try and gamble for a sure win and help his friends in the process. A fairly noble yet self serving plot for Kaiji but still noble enough for a character like him. The problem with the plot of this particular serialization is its about Mah jong, for anyone who has no idea about Mah Jong they may be completely lost in this arc. Every panel gives specific information about different Mah Jong hands and plays that generally no average Joe would know. Though if you pay close attention you can get a general idea of what he needs to do and what he is doing. I had to have someone fully explain what was happening at the start of this because i have never played any form of Mah Jong before. I can tell you this Mah Jong without your life on the line is one thing if only one thing, extremely boring. The best part of the story is actually just Kaiji lamenting and making realizations the actual game is kinda long and drawn out with some very obscure knowledge needed to fully understand.
The characters the main characters for this series are very bizarre ones at that. The best part of them is that from the way there faces are and the sounds they make and even the trembling you can get a really good grasp of what they feel and just what kind of person they are. A new set of gambling opponents for this series being the manager and a mysterious loan shark. Miyoshi,Maeda and Kaiji are back in the game trying to win there freedom and a little spending cash to get back on there feet. Kaiji seems to be himself for the most part but in this story hes more relaxed and rusty and he lacks the desperation that makes him complete at the start. Half way threw the Manga he starts to show his true character more and more sweating and panicking as he laments at his poor judgement and trust.
The art of Kaiji is not exactly a master piece. It is a very unique art style with some pretty specific quality's to it. It has some very pronounced features like for the face like the nose,eyes and chin. Kaiji only shares this art style with Manga produced by the same creator and it can be delightful if you pick up on what its trying to convey. It is not exactly pretty but its expressive and that’s whats needed for this Manga.
I touched on this in the story portion of the review but the Mah Jong element really brings down the excitement when reading for this. I maybe might not be a big Mah Jong fan but its a pretty simple table game and it's just not as over the top as some of the past games. Kaiji has not cut off his ear or watched anyone die over it so its watching a board game essentially. Though i do enjoy the drama and atmosphere of Kaiji so much that i do keep reading and i can get past this one game just like Kaiji.
I think true fans of Kaiji's saga will like this even if its not as exciting as the past books but Kaiji is still Kaiji, the most miserable and unlucky person ever. I consider this a good Manga but not great compared to the books before.read more
When you step into minefield and start playing game that involves huge pain and efforts can you push through?
This will be my first manga review.
Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji, or commonly known as Kaiji Part 3, which gives basic setting for Kaiji series and goes many uncertain roads, which in the end don't save it from falling to be one hell of a gambling arc. It's not certainly bad but it's don't give that Kaiji feel we can sense when reading through series.
Story - 7
Story is OK, I would say not the best ones out there. It's really slow paced one. They dragged so many things when they just could had ended things with one time. However, in the end it's basic Kaiji story you can enjoy it some but less than other series.
One point it felt like I was sitting in a empty room with mahjong tiles going all around my head and spinning endlessly. That's great way to describe it's story.
Art - 10
I really like overall art in Kaiji series and people who say it's just bad looking and don't feel like same when you read those other manga series. I can understand not many people will desire this kind of art style but it's something so unique from many different manga's and author has found his own way to make art look his own and putting own elements in.
Art gives really meaning for that Kaiji is definitely dark and psychological series. You will notice this when you start seeing that art. It's so flashy and all those effects with bold underlines will just make it so dark and evil it's just incredible how author managed something like that. This kind of art style combined with story is like putting 2 pieces together.
Characters - 8
I think some of characters were a bit too dramatic in some scenes and President was just horrible with his whining and playing bad guy. Still his atmosphere were freaking scary, almost like those clowns in some horror movies. I still think his character development was bad, it's miss but can't help it.
Kaiji overall amazed with his reasoning, but his character development stayed in same level like in other series. He wasn't too brave or too coward but something more interesting, he was gambler without understanding golden rules of gambling until the end.
All other characters, expect one were almost same kind of greed mindset overall whole manga. It would been better if they have could shown some new sides of them.
Enjoyment - 7
I enjoyed this manga some of but not so much that I could give it higher scores. It's really decent, but nothing so awesome. Still, kaiji fans either like it or hate it, most of fans have hate it. I think it's decent, because it changes storytelling and whole setting upside down overall.
Overall - 7
Overall Part 3 manages to lose something dear to other series and falls to bottomless end. It's balance is very low and you can not think enough why they made this manga while there is only 1 same arc.
Despite this Kaiji is still number 1 leading gambling manga and this gives also some hope for series to be remain in that position, but this was like hit and miss situation kind of like in gamble. You get something and you lose something it's a DRAW! read more