Debt Has Never Looked So Painful
Looking for a series that’s dripping with tension, bitter confrontations and explores the worst of humanity? Kaiji has got you covered!
Considered to be the quintessential anime that tackles the subject of gambling, it follows a loser known as Kaiji as he sleeps through life without any ambition and plenty of animosity. His unfulfilled existence takes a drastic turn for the worst when he finds himself drowning in debt, and with few options left has to compete in deadly games for the entertainment of the rich in order to free himself.
Equal parts compelling and chilling, our unlikely lead suffered through many trials, with these five standing tall in our opinion as the most poignant!
Fair warning, there are MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
#5: The Betrayal
After managing to turn things around following a painful losing streak, Kaiji and his two companions appear to be on their way to surviving a night on the gambling ship Espoir. Kaiji’s plans is fullproof; he sacrifices himself, only to have his new allies bail him out. Unfortunately, greed and fear get the better of them, leading them to abandon the plan. This leaves Kaiji alone and imprisoned with what appeared to be no way out.
#4: The Fall
After agreeing to enter a second competition to free himself from debt, Kaiji is thrown into a much more perilous situation when he finds himself competing in a human derby race. Forced to crawl along an electrified steel beam hundreds of feet in the air, Kaiji is the only one to survive the ordeal, but has to watch that the others fall to their deaths in the process.
#3: The Sacrifice
Up against impossible odds during the final part of his battle through the Starside Hotel, Kaiji faces off against the executive Tonegawa, where losing means he will have a drill cut through his ear and kill him. After realising that Tonegawa is cheating by using the drill to also register each of his gambles, Kaiji manages to turn the tables…but in order to do so had to cut off his own ear.
#2: The Loss
It’s one gamble too many when Kaiji decides to face off against the perverse Chairman after defeating Tonegawa. In spite of an ingenious plan, he ends up being outplayed, which leads to all of his fingers being cut off by a makeshift guillotine.
#1: The Big Win
In spite of having every kind of obstacle thrown at him, Kaiji manages to claim victory over the giant pachinko machine known as the Bog, and in doing so frees himself and his friends from a life of labour and debt. After so many failures, seeing Kaiji score the biggest win of the all is a true joy to behold!