Friday, April 8, 2011

Two for One! Akagi and Kaiji

Up next we have two series that I am certain that everyone will be able to enjoy; first up on the left we have Akagi and on the right we have Kaiji(Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji). Both series are done by Nobuyuki Fukumoto who's main style of manga is around gambling and the seinen demographic(seinen basically means it is aimed more towards adults). All of Fukumoto's series seem to have dark themes to it and generally involve the underground of Japan and secret gambling that happen to earn large and incredible amounts of money. First we'll talk about Akagi because out of the two it is my personal favorite, but don't worry both are exceptionally good series to read or watch.

Now personally I enjoy a good game of mahjong which is the game depicted above. Akagi is about the main character, named Akagi! Akagi stumbles into a mahjong session going on one night and he happens to know nothing about the game, but he was very quick to pick it up; and the rest of the series is Akagi gambling large amounts of money and playing mahjong against many different players with large amounts of skill. Now you maybe thinking, (Why would I watch this? I don't know anything about this stupid mahjong game). I didn't know anything about mahjong either when I first picked up Akagi and I certainly was not able to follow everything that was going on; however the series was still able to captivate me and kept me entertained for the entire season. The series puts Akagi in dangerous situations where his very life is at stake and it leaves you wondering if he will be able to come out of it alive or not, in this series a simple game of mahjong can mean life or death for the people living in that world.(Also this series made me want to learn about mahjong so that I would be able to play the game and understand a bit more about Akagi on a second watch through, and i must say that I am certainly glad that I learned how to play mahjong; the same might happen to you that watch or read this series as well!)

Fukumoto has a very unique art style for his works, depicted above is a page from his manga version of Akagi. For most the art style pushes them away from his works even though they have such amazing story and are simply incredible. This art style is one that you will either come to love or continue to hate, in general among the fans all will agree that his art style while simple and weird for most but that it is simply amazing at it fits the story and the characters and will also say that they love his art style as well(I know I love it).

Akagi is a mysterious character himself,a teenager in the beginning of his story on how became who he is later on(Akagi also appears in another of Fukumoto's works, which is known as Ten another manga about mahjong). A mysterious youth whose mind is unreadable for all those that try to face him, when a normal person would back down and try to compromise, Akagi will continue to push forward with a disregard for his life to earn as much money as he possibly can. Akagi is also a cool headed individual that almost seems to be in control of the situation he is in all the time. Akagi is what makes this manga and anime watchable, if a person were to say everything about Akagi was bad, they would easily be able to agree on the fact that Akagi is watchable due to the character Akagi himself.

Up next we have the second part of this two bit suggestion for all of you, Kaiji! Kaiji is also done by Fukumoto but is almost nothing like Akagi except for the gambling theme that goes on within it. Kaiji is in 4 parts as of right now, 3 parts being completed and each featuring different gambling games that go on, from pachinko and mahjong to even rock paper scissors! The games that go on in Kaiji may seem strange to most if not everyone that read or watch it, but all of them are able to keep the viewers and readers entertained to the maximum, sometimes you might even almost fall out of your seat while watching Kaiji!

The character of Kaiji is a loveable oaf, he is not the brightest or the most handsome there is but he is loveable all the same. Kaiji is a nice guy down to his very heart and soul, but he has a thrill for gambling and getting money so that he may be able to ease his life even a little bit. Kaiji does not have the best of luck however, he continuously finds himself in terrible situations that he must crawl out of to live, I can almost assure you that for every good thing that happens to Kaiji himself, something terrible will happen to him as well, but that just makes it all the more interesting to read and watch!

On the top of the 4 parts Kaiji has, parts 1 has one complete season of an anime that I would highly suggest for you all to read, with part 2 getting an ongoing season right now! Part 3 is complete in manga form and part 4 is ongoing right now in manga form.

So that's Akagi and that's Kaiji for you all, I hope I was able to interest some of you into reading or watching one of them because I know that I certainly enjoyed my time watching both Akagi and Kaiji!


  1. Those sounds pretty good, I'll give them a shot!

  2. I may have to check one of them out, I read all this so why not

  3. Yeah, I'll give them a shot too.

  4. Interesting, I will difinitely check it out :)

  5. oh mahjong, the ancient game of tiles. :P my god, his entire life is on the line!

  6. this looks awesome man! thanks for posting +followed

  7. Looks sweet! Very interesting read, i'll have to check them out! Following.

  8. I love this anime. also check out Agaki.
    i watched Akagi before i watched kaiji.