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 ūüėÜ 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!¬†ūüėą¬† ūüėé

My review on Kaiji!                          Story 10/10
Music 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 (‚ÄúOST¬†zahwa¬†zahwa‚ÄĚ)¬†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¬†clich√©s¬†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.

***SPOILERS AHEAD***
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.
‚ÄúReasons save people sometimes no matter how flimsy they are!‚Ä̬†
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‚Äôs not¬†it! What¬†they were actually enjoying was the fight which¬†Kaiji and his¬†gang was¬†doing. They¬†didn‚Äôt 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 ‚Äúoh my god‚ÄĚ moments.¬†I’m sure that the¬†audience ‚Äď 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‚Äôt 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‚Äôs 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!