Kaiji is an amazing show and i would reccomend it to any one who loves a good thriller.
But season 2 is lackluster in my opinion. It's a step down from the first season and by a step down i mean like 10 steps down.
Im kind of spoiling the next few lines so read at your own precaution
In the beggining kaiji meets endou again and hoping to get another shot for a big win but he doesent know that endou doesen't arrange those kinds of things anymore since the guy who worked for Hyoudou got fired( i dont remember his name). He gets send to an underground facillity since he is an minor debtor.
Now here the problem starts he meets his boss and he tells him that there are gambling nights and he gives him a loan so he can gamble.The gambling happens and they play chinchiro.What kaiji doesen't realize was that the boss of their underground facility plans to put him in more debt because of the loan he took from the him. In the end kaiji gets crushed and his paycheck is cut in half because he needs to return the money he was given. The boss(dont remember his name) also lures other people in with the same kind of plan and they are named the forty-fivers because they get half of their pay-check. Now a few days later kaiji figures out that the boss was cheating and that's how he was able to win when he wanted to- He figured it out cause a player in his group was a forty-fiver and he took track of every roll a player got and by looking at the notebook he learned that he was cheating. Kaiji goes to the group and tells him that the boss cheated but he doesen't tell the group of the forty-fivers how he cheated just that he did and that he developed a plan on how to get there money back and potencially more.They try to save up money for the final moment and they endure the "torture" the boss is giving them. They in the end deceive the boss and win the game with 18 million perrica which is like 1,6 yen.
The problem i see is that there is not a lot of risk involved. What i mean by that is from the first season it wasen't just a matter of will i win big or not. It was more than that, the question was am i willing to risk my life for money and am i willing to cause other people pain for the sake of money?. He bets his life on the line for money but realizes that he wants to life more than anything so he tries to outsmart the system.
We see kaiji in the first season being a very kind person and he was the only one in the bridge show that didn't push the person in front of him to his death.But he is also a person who later on in the series wants to achieve that big win because he knows that he will never achieve that kind of money by working in a supermarket.
The only thing that it has inherited from the first season is that it's very tense. Like you watch an episode and your like that was it?. You want to see what happens to kaiji will he outsmart the gamble or won't he. It pulls you in because you want to see if he hits big or will he fall down to the pits of hell.
The last arc of the anime involves around the casino arc.Kaiji devises a plan for the bog which is a pachinko machines but the balls are 4,000 yen each, but as i mentioned again like there's really no life threating risk involved. Yes if he loses he will be send to the underground facility and the show does a good job of portraying the intesity of the situation. It's literally do or die but it kind of is not you'll still live even if your send down there to pay your debt. And really your just living a live underground and its not like your alone it's kind of stupid that they went down that route.You even have like a market where there a beers, some decent food and nuts. It's not the best and yea you would be happier living someone thats not undergrounds, but in my eyes its really not that bad.
The last thing that bugs me is that Kaiji was able to beat the bog so he can save himself from his debt and his "friends". You can see the thing that bugs me is the word friends, the reason it bugs me is because the show doesent really show that they were really friends that they joke around have a laugh every once in a while and things like that. It was just like Oh you have a plan to win money, I trust you!!. I mean kaiji did convience them to trust them but that trust is build on him wanting to take revenge againts the boss in the undergrounds. In the end Kaiji gets scammed yet again by endou because he didn't read the fucking contract like come on. He uses his 60 million he had left to save his "friends" and they celebrate.
Also the thing about endou like he agreed to help kaiji in beating the o so unbeatable bog and in the moment it was happening it genuently felt like endou was happy for helping kaiji but in the end he takes money from him because he didn't read a contract. I mean it is Kaiji's fault for trusting everyone like a idiot but again when i was watching this it felt like endou really was glad for helping Kaiji and in the end he just backstabs him.
The only thing that was alright about the last episode was that Kaiji didn't want to see his "friends" because he didn't have any money. The black suit was forgiving and gave him some money to go host his friends and that was kind of nice because it shows that there are people who don't just want to use others for the sake of their own greed. It shows there is a good side to humanity and bad ones.