Kaiji S2 Episode 9

New computer! Woo! This has made watching Kaiji so much easier, as my laptop struggled with the HD files. If anything my new PC is TOO GOOD for Kaiji, the screen larger than the 720p files, forcing me to reduce its resolution or make do with blurry upscales. 😛

This episode bridges the gap between two arcs very well, providing closure for the one and an introduction to the next. Of course, the first thing on the ‘to do’ list was to make Ohtsuki suffer a bit more.

His cheating ways exposed in the previous episode, the foreman was fooled into agreeing to a game of cheatchiro – both sides used loaded dice, but Team Kaiji’s 1-1-1 dice couldn’t possibly lose. Episode 9 begins with Ohtsuki realizing that under his own rules he must play a further round, and that the special dice rules will still apply. He tries to get out of it, but is ordered to continue. And this time, those orders are coming from a higher place than just another foreman…

It is at this point I realized exactly how low down the food chain Ohtsuki actually is. The way he ruled over his group of workers, deciding the size of their paychecks and making their lives a misery when they defied him, not to mention his comparatively huge stash of money, it was easy to forget he’s just another debtor. Now his only hope of keeping his money lies in the 1-in-216 chance of rolling a treble one using normal dice. It may seem obvious, but this is a work of fiction so I will confirm that he failed miserably, and his wealth is reduced to a mere 1,800 perica. 180 yen. £1.38. Good luck getting out of the place now Ohtsuki; don’t know if foremen get paid more in this place, but I reckon he’d be lucky to even keep that position with his reputation so greatly trampled. We don’t get to see what happens to him beyond losing his fortune though, the focus now returning to Team Kaiji.

After a touching “I couldn’t have done it without you guys” moment, Kaiji notices Kurozaki leaving, and approaches him. He asks that the ‘only people approved by Teiai’ condition of the day-off be waivered, so that he can ditch his perica and make some money of real value in the casinos. He agrees not only to allow Kaiji to leave, but anyone else who can afford it too, since making an exception for him would reduce the will of the others to work. However, he also mocks Kaiji’s plans to buy his freedom in a day or two, quite understandably given the fact that similar plans are what landed him here in the first place…

Regardless, Kaiji is now temporarily free, and is determined not to go back there again. Unfortunately, he has more than his own money to worry about – the rest of the 45s, not trusting their own ability to gamble like Kaiji, gave him a load of extra money in order to buy their freedoms as well! I suppose only having one person leave means he can purchase more time (20 days to be precise) and have more money to wager than if they’d all paid to leave, but I can’t help but think he’d have been better off leaving them to their own fates. Of course, there’s not much stopping him putting their share into winning his own freedom alone… other than his conscience, as Kaiji isn’t that bad a guy.

Kaiji quickly loses faith in Japan’s legal casinos, with their low maximum bets and reliance on luck. A season and a half of Teiai’s games has made Kaiji excellent at observation and strategy. He decides that finding an illegal casino where people are cheating, figuring out their trick and playing it to his advantage is his best chance of success. And it just so happens that, after using a clever trick to scare away some would-be muggers, he is spotted by a guy who knows the location of just the place, and believes Kaiji to be worthy of invitation.

The majority of the games on offer are the usual roulette and card games you expect at a casino, but with high minimum bets and no maximum. However, there is also another room full of pachinko machines. With normal pachinko worth 4 yen a ball, this place draws people in with different odds, ranging from 40 up to a massive 4,000 yen a ball. There is only one machine offering that high amount, but that is the machine that catches Kaiji’s eye, and will likely feature in the new arc and the next episode. Offering a jackpot of ~550 million yen, nine times what he needs to spring himself and the others free, I imagine it must look very tempting indeed…


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