Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji, Vol. 1
(Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji)
|Genre||Action, gambling, suspense|
|Written by||Nobuyuki Fukumoto|
YMKC Special (2017–present)
|Magazine||Weekly Young Magazine|
|Original run||February 19, 1996 – present|
|Anime television series|
|Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor|
|Directed by||Yūzō Satō|
|Produced by||Toshio Nakatani|
|Written by||Hideo Takayashiki|
|Music by||Hideki Taniuchi|
|Original network||Nippon TV|
|Original run||October 2, 2007 – April 1, 2008|
|Directed by||Tōya Satō|
|Produced by||Seiji Okuda (executive)|
|Written by||Mika Ōmori|
|Music by||Yugo Kanno|
|Released||October 10, 2009|
|Anime television series|
|Kaiji: Against All Rules|
|Directed by||Yūzō Satō|
Jun Nakagawa (assistant)
|Produced by||Toshio Nakatani|
Naoki Iwasa (17-26)
|Written by||Hideo Takayashiki|
|Music by||Hideki Taniuchi|
|Original network||Nippon TV|
|Original run||April 5, 2011 – September 27, 2011|
|Directed by||Tōya Satō|
Tadashi Ōtsu (assistant)
|Produced by||Seiji Okuda (executive)|
|Written by||Nobuyuki Fukumoto|
|Music by||Yugo Kanno|
|Released||November 5, 2011|
|Kaiji Final Game|
|Directed by||Tōya Satō|
|Written by||Nobuyuki Fukumoto|
|Music by||Yugo Kanno|
|Released||January 10, 2020|
Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji (賭博黙示録カイジ lit. Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. It has been published by Kodansha in Weekly Young Magazine since February 1996. The story centers on Kaiji Itō, a consummate gambler and his misadventures around gambling. The series has currently been divided into six parts. The current part Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: 24 Oku Dasshutsu-hen started in 2017.
The first part of the manga was adapted into a 26-episode anime television series entitled Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor, which aired between October 2007 and April 2008. A second 26-episode season based on the second part of the manga entitled Kaiji: Against All Rules aired from April to September 2011. A live-action film trilogy started in 2009, with the first film Kaiji: Jinsei Gyakuten Game released in October 2009 in Japan, with Tatsuya Fujiwara playing the role of Kaiji Itō. It was followed by a sequel Kaiji 2: Jinsei Dakkai Game, released in November 2011. The third and final film Kaiji Final Game is set to be released in January 2020. A more loosely adapted Chinese live-action film, titled Animal World, was released in June 2018 in China and other countries.
The first part of the manga has been licensed by Denpa in North America and it will be released in six omnibus volumes, and the first volume will be published in December 2019.
Kaiji is a popular series in Japan and the manga has sold over 21.5 million copies. In 1998, it was the winner of the 22nd Kodansha Manga Award in the General category.
Japan, February 1996. 3 years after graduating from high school and moving to Tokyo to get a job, Kaiji Itō fails to find steady employment due to the country being mired in its first recession since World War II. Depressed, he festers in his apartment, biding his time with cheap pranks, gambling, liquor and cigarettes. Kaiji is always thinking about money and his perpetual poverty frequently brings him to tears. Kaiji's unrelenting misery continues until he is paid an unexpected visit from a loan shark named Yūji Endō who wants to collect an outstanding debt that Kaiji has carelessly co-signed for his former co-worker. Endō gives Kaiji two options - either spend ten years repaying this outstanding debt, or board the gambling ship Espoir ("hope" in French) for one night to clear the debt. Using a con, Endō pressures Kaiji into accepting the deal, believing he will never come back from the voyage.
However, Kaiji survives the gamble and is invited to another gambling night, this time at Starside Hotel. Although initially wary about the offer, he is spurred by his acquaintance Sahara to go. After being the only survivor of the Human Derby, Kaiji decides to avenge his friends by competing in another gambling match the financing corporation known as Teiai Group has prepared: E-Card. Kaiji, despite losing an ear, defeats his opponent Yukio Tonegawa, the second highest ranking executive at Teiai. He goes all-in once again in a new game with Kazutaka Hyōdō, the president of Teiai, but this time loses both the money he had won in E-Card and four of his fingers.
Though Kaiji survives the events at Starside Hotel he now has a debt of over 9.5 million Yen. He contacts Endō in hopes of being able to take part in another high-stakes gamble, though Endō betrays him and sends him to Teiai's underground labour camp where he will have to work off his debt for 15 years. In the labour camp Kaiji is paid 91,000 perica (equal to 9100 Yen) per month to dig an underground kingdom. This is reduced to 45,000 perica after Kaiji loses to Ōtsuki in Underground Cee-lo. However, Kaiji allies himself with other Forty-fivers (those earning 45,000 perica per month) to defeat Ōtsuki and win enough money for a one-day outside pass.
Although Kaiji manages to get out of the labour camp with 800,000 Yen on hand using multiple one-day outside passes, he only has 20 days to earn the 60 million Yen he needs to buy his freedom and release the other Forty-fivers. Fortunately, Kaiji comes across Kōtarō Sakazaki, a man who tells him of a pachinko game known as the Bog in a high-stakes casino where Kaiji can win over 500 million Yen. Kaiji agrees to help him beat the Bog. However, the casino is owned by Teiai, and the Bog has been rigged in several ways by the manager of the casino, Seiya Ichijō, and his men to ensure that it won't pay out. Kaiji succeeds at beating the Bog after a long battle and Ichijō is sent to the underground labour camp working for 1050 years to pay back the 700 million Yen from the Bog that Kaiji won.
Months after the events and finally having cleared his debt, Kaiji has been living with Sakazaki and his family until he kicks Kaiji out with 3 million Yen in cash. Kaiji then agrees to help the former Forty-fivers Miyoshi and Maeda beat Takashi Muraoka, the president of a casino at his Minefield Mahjong game and potentially win over 100 million Yen. After losing sums of money during the game, Kaiji realizes that the game was rigged from the start in Muraoka's favor, with Maeda looking at Kaiji's tiles and giving information to Muraoka and Miyoshi sending false signals to Kaiji. Kazuya Hyōdō, the son of Kazutaka Hyōdō, who was in the same room with Kaiji and the rest, loans him money to continue gambling, and after several matches, Kaiji is finally able to defeat Muraoka and wins 480 million Yen through a pure stroke of luck.
Kazuya offers Kaiji an opportunity to gamble with him, to which Kaiji accepts and follows him. Kazuya reveals to Kaiji his twisted and bloodthirsty personality and how despicable he thinks human beings are. He decides to test his view on human nature with a life-or-death game called Salvation Game, with three friends indebted to him, Mario, Chang and Mitsuyama, and see if their friendship is a true bond. Kaiji is an observer to this game and cheers on the three men to challenge Kazuya's corrupted views. However, after several rounds, Mitsuyama ends up failing to put his trust into his friends and betrays them, taking all the money of the game and leaving them behind to die. Kaiji instinctively saves Mario and Chang from death, and before going with Kazuya to a warehouse and do their gamble, Kaiji asks them to join and support him to defeat Kazuya.
Kaiji and Kazuya play a game called One Poker, and after several matches with Kaiji close to death, he finally overthrows Kazuya. Nevertheless Kaiji, in an act of mercy, saves Kazuya from dying with the help of Mario and Chang. While Kazuya lies unconscious, they escape with 2.4 billion Yen. Enraged after he found out what happened, Hyōdō commands the blacksuits and Endō to chase after them and get the money back.
- Restricted rock–paper–scissors (限定ジャンケン Gentei Janken)
- The gambling tournament during the night Kaiji spends on Espoir, has an average survival rate of 50%. The rules were outlined after the issuing of war funds, which were done a minimum of 1,000,000¥ and 10,000,000¥. The money was in effect a loan, equaling the debt of the contestant and compounded at 1.5% every ten minutes for the four-hour voyage; contestants who hold onto their funds for the length of the trip would have to pay 140% of what they invested, thus putting an incentive to finish games early. Money that exceeded the amount needed to repay the loan to the Espoir hosts would be pocketed by the contestant.
- The rules of the game are similar to the original rock–paper–scissors game but with a twist - the hand gestures are represented by cards, and contestants are given twelve cards, four of each gesture. Contestants are also given three plastic stars as collateral to bet on each round of play - whenever a player loses a round, the winner gets a star from the loser. To survive the night, contestants must retain their three star pendants and use all of their gesture cards. Cards cannot be destroyed or thrown away, to do so is subject to instant disqualification.
- Due to the simple nature of the game, single matches can be completed within ten seconds, and players can win or lose in a matter of minutes. Winners are allowed to go upstairs, where any extra star pendants are exchanged for cash and they lounge in a small cafe. In the event of a loss, individuals are taken away to a back room by men in black suits.
- Steel Beam Crossing (鉄骨渡り Tekkotsu-watari)
- The gamble seen during Kaiji's competition at the Starside Hotel, consisting of two parts – Human Derby (人間競馬 Ningen Keiba) and Electrified Steel Beam Crossing (電流鉄骨渡り Denryū Tekkotsu-watari). In contrast to Restricted Rock, Paper, Scissors, contestants are not briefed on the rules of the Human Derby, and are unaware of the nature of the gamble until they accept participating in it. Contestants are loaded into numbered "coffins" and are elevated several floors up the Starside Hotel to a platform overlooking a concrete courtyard. Contestants are expected to walk across four long, steel beams - the first to arrive on the other side of the beam nets 20,000,000¥, the second place finisher 10,000,000¥. The steel beams become more narrow as the contestants begin to cross them, though touching the beam with hands at any time disqualifies the contestant. The pushing of contestants to get out of the way is not forbidden but is in fact encouraged, since the contestants (the "horses") are being bet on by spectators below, who enjoy the struggle to the other side. Contestants who fall from the beams suffer severe injury - depending on how and where they land, their injuries can range from serious to fatal.
- Once the winners of the first leg of the race have been identified, they are given coupons redeemable for their prize with a set time limit. To cash the coupons, the contestants must cross similar but more dangerous steel beams twenty two stories or 75 meters above the ground and 25 meters long. Falling from this narrow bridge means instant death. Since the hosts concluded that the crossing of the bridge would not be entertaining if the contestants could give up and use their hands to assist in their retreat off the bridge, a strong electric current is run through the steel beams - while not powerful enough to cause serious injury or be fatal, the current is enough to stun contestants, causing them to lose balance and fall from the bridge. Psychologically, this bridge is much more challenging because of the greater peril involved. What's more the end of the bridge is not the end goal. Rather a glass stairway is set up at the end that reveals the true end goal but due to the dark lighting, it's hard to make out and requires a leap of faith in order to reach.
- E-Card (Eカード Ī Kādo)
- E-Card (Emperor Card) is a card game similar to Restricted Rock, Paper, Scissors in that it uses three card types: the Emperor (皇帝 Kōtei), the Citizen (市民 Shimin), and the Slave (奴隷 Dorei). The game is meant to be a simplification of society that Kazutaka Hyōdō refers to right before the game begins. The Emperor has ultimate power to give money (i.e. most powerful card). Citizens cannot disobey him because they want money (i.e. Emperor card beats the Citizen card). The Slave has nothing to lose and has no use of money, therefore the slave can defeat the Emperor (i.e. Slave card beats the Emperor card but loses to the Citizen card). Each hand is played with one side having four Citizen cards and an Emperor card (Emperor side). The other side having four Citizen cards and a Slave card (Slave side). Since it is much harder for the slave side to win (as Slave cards can only defeat Emperor cards) the players of the Slave side get five times more winnings. The game consists of 12 matches, 4 sets of three, where the players alternate between the Slave side and the Emperor side. In each set of 3 rounds, each player must place down one of the 5 cards in their hand until one emerges as the winner of that match. As Kaiji did not have enough money to match the bet, he was given the choice of losing an eye or an ear instead.
- Tissue Box Raffle (ティッシュ箱くじ引き Tisshu-bako Kujibiki)
- Unlike the other gambles, this gamble is made by Kaiji himself. After completing E-Card he prepares to leave the hotel but then steps on a tissue box and notices that its sides are open, which he finds fascinating. Upon further investigation of the box Kaiji decides to challenge Hyōdō to a raffle gamble with the tissue box as the container for the lots made of small torn squares of paper towel. The winning piece had a circle drawn on it.
- Underground Cee-lo (地下チンチロ Chika Chinchiro)
- A variation on the dice game, Chinchirorin, this game was crafted by Ōtsuki, the foreman of Kaiji's work team in the underground labor camp. Notable rule variations include that the dealer is not fixed and each player can take a turn as dealer. However, each player may opt to pass their turn as dealer, but if they agree to play dealer, then they must be dealer two consecutive times.
- Pachinko "The Bog" (パチンコ「沼」 Pachinko "Numa")
- An elaborate Pachinko game in a high-stakes casino featuring a payout of 100% of the earnings from the machine. Taking this into consideration the house has set up state-of-the-art countermeasures to ensure victory; such as tightening the nails to ensure only 1 in 100 balls go in, using flippers to knock away balls, and tilting the three bottom plates to prevent any balls dropping through the winning holes. Previously only two people have ever beaten the Bog; Hyōdō and Tonegawa. Each ball is worth 1000 times more than a normal Pachinko machine, ¥4000 (around $39), but the payout is 100 million Pachinko balls, each worth ¥4000 (around $39). When Kaiji first comes across the Bog the jackpot is ¥550 million but when he plays it, the jackpot has risen to over ¥700 million.
- Minefield Game “17 Steps” (地雷ゲーム「17歩」 Jirai Gēmu “17-ho”)
- A variation of Japanese Mahjong where the game is played by two players who make their best hand from a random draw of 34 tiles. Players do not draw a tile as usual, but instead take turns discarding the 17 leftover tiles from the 34 tiles used to build their hands. Because no tiles are drawn, a hand can only be won by declaring ron on a winning tile discarded by the opponent. A winning hand must reach mangan or higher in order to be valid. If neither player achieves ron after 17 turns, the game becomes a draw, the tiles are reshuffled, and the current wager is doubled.
- Salvation Game (救出ゲーム Kyūshitsu Gēmu)
- A life-or-death game designed by Kazuya to test if the friendship between three men indebted to Kazuya--Mario, from the Philippines, Chang, from China, and Mitsuyama, from Japan--is a true bond. The three men sit in a stair case formation, strapped to their seats with seat belts which can only be released one at a time with a release button, and are not allowed to look behind them. They each wear a helmet with a light on the top. At the start of each round of the game, the current pot is doubled, and of the three men, one "savior" and two "hostages" is decided via the light on their helmets. The savior must release their seat belt after 30 seconds, but before 60, and press a button across the room, otherwise the helmets of the two hostages will crush their heads. They must use the powers of deduction and observation to determine if they are the savior or the hostage--the player at the top of the staircase is in the best position for this, as he can see the two other players' lights. Halfway through the game, Kazuya reveals that, if the savior fails to rescue the two hostages, he gets double the entire pot of the current round. Kaiji is brought in as an observer to this game, and frequently cheers on the three men and challenges Kazuya's corrupted view of human nature.
- One Poker (ワン・ポーカー Wan Pōkā)
- A card game using two standard decks of playing cards, designed by Kazuya. Rather than deciding the victor via hands such as Straight, Flush, etc., each hand consists of just one card and is ranked according to its normal value, suits not factoring into the value at all. In addition, like in the earlier E-Card game, the absolute weakest card actually beats the absolute strongest card--a 2 is the absolute weakest, and an ace is the absolute strongest, so the 2 wins against an ace. If both players play a card of equal value, it is a tie. At the start of each round, players have two cards, and must play one of them, the most valuable card being the winner. Lights in front of each player indicate whether their cards are "up" (higher value) or "down" (lower value). Standard poker betting rules apply and the cards of both players are always revealed after betting even if one player folds (but they don't affect the outcome in that case). In addition, all of this is played at the top of a large tower, on a mechanical shuffling table Kazuya has designed, which he names "Mother Sophie". The table is placed on a set of tracks, and moves towards the loser's side's edge with each loss.
Kaiji is written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. The series started in Kodansha's Weekly Young Magazine 11th issue of 1996 published on February 19, 1996. The manga has currently been divided into six parts so far:
- Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji (賭博黙示録カイジ, lit. "Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji") (1996 – 1999, 13 volumes)
- Tobaku Hakairoku Kaiji (賭博破戒録カイジ, lit. "Gambling Maverick Kaiji") (2000 – 2004, 13 volumes)
- Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji (賭博堕天録カイジ, lit. "Gambling Advent Chronicle Kaiji") (2004 – 2008, 13 volumes)
- Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: Kazuya-hen (賭博堕天録カイジ 和也編, lit. "Gambling Advent Chronicle Kaiji: The Kazuya Arc") (2009 – 2012, 10 volumes)
- Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: One Poker-hen (賭博堕天録カイジ ワン・ポーカー編, lit. "Gambling Advent Chronicle Kaiji: One Poker Arc") (2013 – 2017, 16 volumes)
- Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: 24 Oku Dasshutsu-hen (賭博堕天録カイジ 24億脱出編, lit."Gambling Advent Chronicle Kaiji: 2.4 Billion Escape Arc") (2017 – present, 6 volumes)
In August 2018, it was announced at Otakon that a new North American manga publishing company named Denpa has licensed the first part of the manga, Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji, and it will be released in six omnibus volumes with 500+ pages each one, and the first volume will be published on December 10, 2019.
A spin-off, titled Mr. Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues (中間管理録トネガワ Chūkan Kanriroku Tonegawa), written by Tensei Hagiwara and illustrated by Tomohiro Hashimoto and Tomoki Miyoshi, began serialization in Monthly Young Magazine on July 20, 2015, and later moved to Kodansha's Comic Days manga app on March 5, 2018.
A second spin-off series, titled 1-nichi Gaishutsuroku Hanchō (1日外出録ハンチョウ lit. "Foreman: One Day Outside Pass") began serialization in the combined 4th and 5th issue of Weekly Young Magazine on December 26, 2016. The manga is written by Tensei Hagiwara and illustrated by Motomu Uehara and Kazuya Arai.
In 2007, in the issue #35 of Kodansha's Weekly Young Magazine it was announced an anime adaptation of the first part of the manga, titled Gyakkyō Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor (逆境無頼カイジ Ultimate Survivor lit. Suffering Outcast Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor), known simply as Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor. Produced by Nippon Television, D.N. Dream Partners, VAP and Madhouse, the series is directed by Yūzō Satō, with Hideo Takayashiki handling series composition, Haruhito Takada designing the characters and Hideki Taniuchi composing the music. It aired between October 2, 2007 and April 1, 2008 on Nippon TV. The individual episodes were collected on nine DVDs published and distributed by VAP between January 3 and September 26, 2008. VAP later re-released all the episodes on a DVD box set on October 7, 2009.
A second season with the same key staff titled Gyakkyō Burai Kaiji: Hakairoku-hen (逆境無頼カイジ 破戒録篇 lit. Suffering Outcast Kaiji: Maverick Arc), also known as Kaiji: Against All Rules, was announced in the issue #9 of Weekly Young Magazine in 2011. Based on the second part of the manga Tobaku Hakairoku Kaiji, it premiered on April 5, 2011 and ran until September 27, 2011 on Nippon TV. The 26 episodes were collected into nine DVDs released by VAP between June 22, 2011 and February 22, 2012. VAP also re-released all the episodes on two DVD box sets on September 21, 2011 and February 22, 2012.
The music for the anime series was composed by Hideki Taniuchi. The original soundtrack album for Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor was released by VAP on January 23, 2008. The original soundtrack album for Kaiji: Against All Rules was released on July 20, 2011.
The opening theme for Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor is a cover of the Blue Hearts's song "Mirai wa Bokura no Te no Naka" (未来は僕らの手の中, The Future is in Our Hands), by Masato Hagiwara (credited as Kaiji) with Red Bonchiris and the ending theme is "Makeinu-tachi no Requiem" (負け犬達のレクイエム, Requiem of the Underdogs), written, composed and performed by Hakuryu. The anime opening theme for the second season is "Chase the Light!" by Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas and the ending theme is "C Kara Hajimaru ABC" (CからはじまるABC, The ABC's Starting from C) by Wasureranneyo.
Yugo Kanno composed the music for the live-action films. The first film's original score was released on October 7, 2009. The original score for the second film was released on November 2, 2011. For the first film, two songs by Japanese pop singer-songwriter Yui were featured, "It's All Too Much" and "Never Say Die", used as theme song and insert song respectively.
Kaiji has been adapted into a trilogy of live-action films. The first film Kaiji: Jinsei Gyakuten Game (カイジ 人生逆転ゲーム lit. Kaiji: Life Turn-Around Game) was released on October 10, 2009 in Japan. Directed by Tōya Satō, starring Tatsuya Fujiwara, Yūki Amami and Teruyuki Kagawa. A sequel, Kaiji 2: Jinsei Dakkai Game (カイジ2 人生奪回ゲーム lit. Kaiji 2: Life Recovery Game), was released on November 5, 2011. Directed by Tōya Satō, starring Tatsuya Fujiwara, Yūsuke Iseya, Yuriko Yoshitaka, Katsuhisa Namase and Teruyuki Kagawa. Both movies are a little different from the manga/anime, both having alternate choices of what Kaiji did, but all have the same settings and events in different orders and rule changes in each gamble. In May 2019, a third and final film entitled Kaiji Final Game (カイジ ファイナルゲーム), with a completely original story by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, has been announced to premiere on January 10, 2020. Directed by Tōya Satō, starring Tatsuya Fujiwara, Nagisa Sekimizu, Mackenyu, Sota Fukushi, Kōtarō Yoshida and Suzuki Matsuo. Other cast members includes Yūki Amami, Katshusa Namase, Ikusaburo Yamazaki, Masatō Ibu and Toshiki Seto.
A more loosely adapted Chinese live-action movie, Animal World, starring Li Yifeng, was released on June 29, 2018 in China and other countries. Netflix has acquired the global digital rights to the film.
Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji (賭博黙示録カイジ), developed by Kodansha, was released for PlayStation console on May 25, 2000. Gyakkyō Burai Kaiji - Death or Survival (逆境無頼カイジ Death or Survival), developed by Compile Heart, was released for Nintendo DS on September 25, 2008. A PlayStation VR game titled Kaiji VR ~Zetsubō no Tekkotsu Watari~ (カイジVR～絶望の鉄骨渡り～) was released on August 28, 2017. The game is developed by Solid Sphere and is based on the events depicted in the Castle of Despair arc of the first part of the manga.
Several pachinko and pachislot machines based on the series have been released. Rodeo has launched three pachislots; Kaidō Mokushiroku Kaiji (回胴黙示録カイジ) in October 2004, Kaidō Mokushiroku Kaiji 2 (回胴黙示録カイジ2) in December 2008, and Kaidō Mokushiroku Kaiji 3 (回胴黙示録カイジ3) in September 2013. Sammy launched the pachislot Kaidō Mokushiroku Kaiji 4 (回胴黙示録カイジ4) in December 2018. Takao have released multiple pachinko machines. The first, CR Dan-kyuu Mokushiroku Kaiji (CR弾球黙示録カイジ), in 2007, the second, CR Dan-kyuu Mokushiroku Kaiji Numa (CR弾球黙示録カイジ沼), in 2009, the third, CR Dan-kyuu Mokushiroku Kaiji 2 (CR弾球黙示録カイジ2), in 2011, the fourth, CR Dan-kyuu Mokushiroku Kaiji Numa 2 (CR弾球黙示録カイジ 沼2), in 2012, the fifth, CR Dan-kyuu Mokushiroku Kaiji 3 (CR弾球黙示録カイジ3) in 2014, the sixth, CR Dan-kyuu Mokushiroku Kaiji Numa 3 (CR弾球黙示録カイジ沼3) in 2017, the seventh, CR Dan-kyuu Mokushiroku Kaiji HIGH & LOW (CR弾球黙示録カイジHIGH&LOW), in 2018, and the eighth, P-Numa (P沼), also released in 2018.
A Japanese variety show entitled Jinsei Gyakuten Battle Kaiji (人生逆転バトル カイジ) aired on TBS in December 2017. In the show, indebted contestants have the opportunity to earn money participating in different challenges inspired by the games of the manga. An application process was available in the program's official website until November 2017. Another variety show with the same topic entitled Real Kaiji Grand Prix (リアルカイジGP) was streamed in AbemaTV's AbemaSPECIAL Channel in April 2018.
Kaiji is a popular series in Japan. The manga has sold over 20 million copies as of July 2012, and 21.5 million as of January 2019. In 1998, it was the winner of the 22nd Kodansha Manga Award in the General category.
At the Japanese box office, the two live-action Japanese films grossed ¥3.86 billion ($48.38 million), including ¥2.25 billion for Kaiji and ¥1.61 billion for Kaiji 2. Overseas, the films grossed $528,248 (including $460,073 for Kaiji, and $68,175 for Kaiji 2 in Singapore), for a worldwide box office gross of $49 million for both films.
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