Synopsis: Kaiji is a jobless, worthless wreck who, more or less, lives of stealing stuff. One day he is confronted by a mysterious man who gets him a once in a lifetime opportunity chance. His chance out of poverty: go on a cruise and gamble his way to fortune – but if he loses he will pay dearly. Once he gets on the ship, however, the cruise is a lot more that just gambling and Kaiji is thrown into a world of lies, betrayal, corruption, and debt.
Plot: The plot is done in the same manner as the director, Yuzo Sato’s, previous anime Akagi in the sense that they are both built upon several arcs based on different gambling trials. One of the major differences from Akagi is that they are not gambling on only one game. While Kaiji focuses a lot on strategy in gambling, like Akagi, it has a lot about personal struggle, emotion, and improving one’s self wrapped in a very dark package. As the story progresses the trials get a lot more sadistic than the last and with each trial viewers will get pulled in more. The only real problem Kaiji has is somewhat questionable pacing that isn't bad per se, but it could be better. 8.5/10
Character: The characters were superb. Each of the characters had their own draw to them. Kaiji, the “Ultimate Survivor” is a great example of a well developed character. He moves from point A to point B having changed completely as a man on the journey there. Many people can relate to at least one of the characters in their own way. I know that I can relate each and everyone of the characters to people I actually know. Every character was important to the story and their personalities were all interesting. 10/10
Sound: The music was great. The music felt misplaced in few parts but for the long run it was good. Some places could have done better with more music but yeah, that just being overly picky. 7.5
Animation: The animation has an extremely unique look to it. It is the same style used with Akagi, but with far less still frames. It has a comic book look to it that kind of reminds me of Sin City. Of course it isn’t amazingly spiffy or anything, but it certainly has it’s own unique style to it that I have only seen done in anime directed by Yuzo Sato. Getting used to the animation style doesn't take much time contrary to my original thought before watching Akagi and Kaiji. 8/10
Overall Kaiji is something that I think all anime fans should check out. It is unlike almost all of the anime that is coming out nowadays in terms of animation style and genre. depending on what you are into it may take a bit of getting used to and it can seem slow if you are someone with a low attention span. Definitely check it out guys. Overall Rating: 8.5/10