Probably the thing I like most about Kaiji (both seasons) is that the suspense alone allows them to stretch something as simple as three dice rolls out over 20 minutes without it feeling forced. If you cut out the thought processes and lengthy flashback, those three actions and the little dialogue that passed between the characters wouldn’t have even taken 5 minutes! But seeing inside the heads of the gamblers and watching them second guess their every action is a vital part of the series, and it wouldn’t be the same without that. I also imagine that time would seem to move very slowly if you were in a situation like that for real… not that I know from experience or ever plan on finding out!
So last time Kaiji and his harem bet just over half a million perica, which could easily turn into a million or even a million and a half depending on the dice roll. We know by now that Ohtsuki has some trick up his sleeve… but does Kaiji know what it is? That is the question on Ohtsuki’s mind.
The trick is revealed in the form of a flashback, where Ohtsuki first suggests the idea to his lackeys: he has been using another set of dice with only the numbers 4, 5 and 6 on them! Sounds like a trick like that would be easy to spot, but apparently in a darkened room the lack of red snake eyes wouldn’t be so noticeable, and since these special dice are only brought out in do-or-die situations where a lot of money is at stake, Ohtsuki’s varying luck the rest of the time would be enough to stop people doubting him.
Numakawa always sits to the left hand side of Ohtsuki, as he can then switch the dice for both him and his boss to roll high. Isawa, on the other hand, always sits to Ohtsuki’s right hand side so he can switch the dice back before they are passed to the other players. Hence why he wouldn’t match Kaiji’s bet in the last episode.
Back to Ohtsuki’s mind. His logical thought processes will not allow him to even consider the possibility that Kaiji and Co. would place such a wager blindly. He figures that they must be onto him. Since Miyoshi had been taking notes of the dice rolls since their very first game (something which Ohtsuki himself allowed), he has good reason to suspect that. He concludes that Kaiji will try and grab the dice, show everyone that they are rigged, and cause all sorts of problems. Therefore, the easiest way to avoid this is to roll normal dice, let Kaiji grab them, and make HIM out to be the fool!
Ohtsuki rolls… and a staring competition between him and Kaiji is initiated. Will Kaiji move as expected? The answer is no. He stays exactly where he is, while Ohtsuki rolls a 3-4-5. Bust, but scarily close to a natural 4-5-6! Ohtsuki’s thoughts aren’t on his near-miss dice roll though, as he is too busy trying to work out why Kaiji didn’t move! Suddenly, he realizes that he didn’t reach for the 4-5-6 dice in his pocket this time around, having decided not to use them. But perhaps Kaiji was looking out for this (or any other) suspicious movement first? Before his second roll, Ohtsuki makes sure to reach for his pocket and perform something that looks like a dice switch, while leaving the real dice in place, so that if Kaiji moves this time then he’ll be in for an unpleasant surprise!
Unfortunately for Ohtsuki, Kaiji doesn’t move, and once again he rolls bust one dice short of a 4-5-6. He panics, trying to figure out why they would bet so much if they seem to have no idea what his trick is. Then, he comes up with a third and final idea: maybe they only have a hunch that he is cheating, but absolutely no idea how he’s doing it? Their plan could simply be to scare him out of cheating in any form, which has certainly worked so far! If this is the case, he should be able to use the 4-5-6 dice and get away with it!
Ohtsuki performs the same movement as before, but this time actually switches the dice. He figures that, on the off chance that Kaiji does make a move to grab the dice, he or his lackeys will get there first since they are closer to the bowl than Kaiji, seated at the opposite side of the circle.
The dice roll, with Ohtsuki and Numakawa watching closely. But Kaiji has planned everything up to this point. He knows that this time Ohtsuki is using the special dice, and knows exactly when to move – when the first two dice have stopped rolling, and the third is about to settle! It is instinctive to forget all else and watch the dice when so much is riding on the outcome, even if you know the result will always be good! Kaiji takes advantage of this blind spot, darts forward, grabs the cheaty dice, and the episode ends. OWNED.