After a very long time, this is my first collaboration: written so beautifully and with very intricate details (along with his personal experience) by my really good friend Rushabh Shah (and compiled by me!) Thank you Rushabh Shah for letting me annoy you to 😆 profess your very dedicated love for an anime in writing and also for having this little association with me. Catch this Otaku kid on Instagram and Twitter! 😈 😎
My review on Kaiji! Story 10/10
Openings-endings 7/10 <music is ok but the words are powerful>
Anime style 5/10 <but unique and unforgettable>
What I’m about to emphasize is what this anime feels like. It is very catchy, and will always keep you on your toes, heels and at the very edge of your seat. It is based on genre of drama, strategy and gambling. What is so great about this story is that the stakes are always high. The music is cool, but the repeating background audio (“OST zahwa zahwa”) is the real thrill of the show. The timing is on point!
There is a narrator, who will hype up each and every episode for you and he’s just amazing at it. In some episodes, the narrator himself gets hyped up and enters the party himself. Once you get into the flow with him, he makes the audience enter the party.
My personal experience: I was travelling via train and in the episode, I got so hyped up, even though I am an introvert I found myself cheering for Kaiji and literally screaming in the train without caring about the crowd. This anime is very unpredictable. You may imagine some clichés but then you would love to be proved wrong. It’s like you’re watching something entirely new. The story got me emotionally involved with it and quite deeply at that. I recommend this very strongly, please go watch it.
Usually in animes, the writers provide a few moral messages. The biggest and the most important message is to never give up. As seen in the first arc of the cruise, in the last scene I bet you gave up, that Kaiji lost, would now go to the underground and fight his way back up but no, Kaiji didn’t give up and he made a comeback from that hopeless situation. That is the true power of hope, the belief system, of never giving up. In the second arc at a skyscraper, they are assigned to walk on the thin ledges at an insane height. Here in this arc, there is a direct message, a hidden one, and a tier 2 hidden message.
“Reasons save people sometimes no matter how flimsy they are!”
The demon of death which rules over all living creatures
The one facing reality after getting complacent.
Literally, everything that Tonegawa says.
There is a deep hidden message, it’s kind of difficult to get. But when you actually are able to fathom it is truly mind blowing. When the Kaiji gang is balancing themselves on the ledges, there are some people shown. These people are kingpins, the rich and mighty who control the society from the shadows. They are shown to be evil and enjoying the adventure of Kaiji and gang. Let’s call them rich suits. These rich suits were eating, drinking and enjoying. They were shown to have been getting a kick out of seeing the others misery. They were shown to be evil. But that’s not it! What they were actually enjoying was the fight which Kaiji and his gang was doing. They didn’t care if all of them won or how much money they would lose, they just wanted entertainment they wanted to bet on the person who would win and cheer him on. They wanted to be shocked, to see something new happen, to have exclamation marks in their heads. And it would always be different no matter how many races they had because all people are different and so are their fears. Their different fears and the level of it makes them do different things and this is what is exciting. They simply wanted “oh my god” moments. I’m sure that the audience – us would agree that this is a bit too far-fetched and this doesn’t exist in real life. And there are no people like this who actually enjoy something like this. This is where the tier 2 hidden meaning lies. Here you need to take a step back and see it as a third person. What do you see…? Rich suits are watching Kaiji and others fighting each other under that race to win. What they do to win. What happens next. They are enjoying this. What you are watching is Kaiji morally fighting against the rich suits. You are cheering for him to win, for him to survive. You want to know what happens next. What does Kaiji do to win? Don’t you think the point on which both the parties are getting enjoyment are similar? The only difference being that they are real people shown in an anime and you watching hypothetical characters in a tv series. Do you see what the mangaka author is trying to reveal? That inside all of us there is a dark place, we might think the others to be evil. But we aren’t all that different. This is what the author was trying to imply. When you realise this, you will have your mind blown. Because we assume since it’s an anime and not real it’s fine to enjoy it and get a kick. But we are not like those evil rich suits who are having their share of fun on real-life people. Yes, the magnitude of that would be completely different but yet you can’t deny is being similar, can you? Please share your views in the comments below.
This is what I loved about Kaiji, this deep message being passed which is directly thrown at characters so that people understand and relate. Then there are hidden messages, which comes out through the characters and what they portray, to never give up. And then comes the third category of even more secretly hidden messages, the tier 2 hidden message, this is something which I haven’t seen in any other anime. And that is why I respect this the most. This anime is my favourite anime of all times. You can compare this to the Death note. Death note is very planned, like in the Light versus L situations, they plan one step two step three steps, they go one on one, they start attacking each other. But in their case, they aren’t really ever wrong, lose just once and it’s over. But then if you think about it, when there are so many plans and so many variables there is a lot to take into consideration, there’s always permutations and combinations of probabilities and another major factor luck, even if you plan 5 steps, 10 steps ahead, no matter how much of a genius you are, there is always that factor of luck, which comes in play. And that changes the entire game. Because you might have the plan that might take out your opponent in the 9th step, but what if your 4th step and 6th step mix up against each other with some luck uncertainty added to it. This creates an entirely new path, where this path is one which none of the 2 parties had expected. So, this is what Kaiji added, showed that no matter how much you plan, if that factor, the luck factor, if it wants to mess it up, it will mess it up. And then anything can happen like literally anything. The entire thing will be in chaos.
The above is why I loved Kaiji so much and recommend you to watch it. Thank you!