New ‘Kaiji’ gambling anime series starts in April, movie due this fall

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

Vagabond gambler Kaiji Ito of the comic book “Kaiji” returns in April in the second season of the anime series on Nippon Television Network Corp. (NTV).

“Gyakkyo Burai Kaiji: Hakairoku Hen” (Adversity vagabond Kaiji: Chapter, records of transgression) is based on the “Pachinko Numa” chapter of the original manga series by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. The comic book has a combined total of 16 million copies in print.

The anime will air Tuesdays at midnight on the NTV network from April 5.

The first season was broadcast from October 2007 to March 2008. Burdened with debts, Kaiji set sail aboard a gambling cruise ship with other indebted “losers.”

The anime second season begins with Kaiji on the run after losing a gambling battle against the Teiai group. His debt now stands at about 10 million yen ($122,500).

Kaiji is led to an underground high-stakes casino operated by Teiai. Kaiji takes on a challenge to get rich at a pachinko parlor called “Numa” (bog).

Animation studio Madhouse Inc. will continue to produce the anime, for which Director Yuzo Sato and scriptwriter Hideo Takayashiki will reprise their roles from the first season.

Actor Masato Hagiwara, who voiced Kaiji in the first season, returns. Voice actor Daisuke Namikawa is cast as the manager of the underground pachinko parlor.

Fukumoto’s original manga started appearing in Kodansha Ltd.’s weekly Young Magazine comic anthology in 1996.

The manga was popular because of its dramatic storyline. It received the Kodansha Manga Award in 1998. “Kaiji” has become one of Fukumoto’s best-known works along with “Akagi,” a manga about a gifted mahjong gambler.

A sequel to the live-action film adaptation of “Kaiji,” in which Tatsuya Fujiwara plays the main character, is due out in autumn.

See (http://www.ntv.co.jp/kaiji/).

Copyright The Asahi Shimbun Company.