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.
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!
Alright, time for my review of the third part of Kaiji. Out of all parts so far, this one has the highest entry barrier as you need to know a little bit of mahjong. They aren't exactly playing mahjong though, but rather a very simplified version of it, so don't be scared off. It's still very enjoyable without the knowledge, which i too lack. My only source of mahjong knowledge comes from Akagi and I'd be lying if i claimed that series really taught me much at all.
Story - 8
This part begins a little differently from the previous. Rather than Kaiji participating in a gamble
out of desperation and hoping to get his lost money back, he does it because two of his friends from the previous part are in need of help. A noble goal, but fits Kaiji. The story starts off very slowly once again, but by the end of it, the plot twists turn things into directions you definitely wouldn't expect. The story is good, despite the slow pace at first and there being only one game played here unlike previously.
Art - 9
The art style is unusual obviously, but just based on that I can't call it bad at all. In fact, the art is not only very good, but there are some really stunning visuals shown when the characters react to things. The expressions the characters make really make you feel what they are feeling. The desperation, the joy, all of it is magnificently portrayed albeit a bit over the top at times. I also really enjoyed the countless allegories.
Character - 7
Kaiji stays as a very interesting character just like previously and while the main antagonist is imo weaker than the last parts Ichijou Seiya, he is entertaining enough. Maeda and Miyoshi actually have some sort of character development, which is neat.
Enjoyment - 8
The enjoyment is quite high for this part despite the lack of mahjong knowledge. It drags on at first, but later on when the story really picks up it instantly suckered me in and you just can't wait to see what happens next.
Overall - 8
Overall, this part is very good, and i would personally rank it between the first and second parts, with the very first part still being my favorite of the bunch. Despite the slightly higher entry barrier, this is definite quality content.
= 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.