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Sunday, 3 November 2013

Kaiji's third episode

Walking away on a victim is fine and not even unheard-of  in serious competitions.

By now it's pretty easy for the average viewer to have some idea formed in their head about the main point to be driven home by this series. It has been established beyond the pint of doubt that Kaiji is a standard have-not of irrelevant background whose sole thoughts are wrapped about the idea of hitting it big some day, though he is clueless as to how. Some might have even got a bit prone to despise this protagonist because of his witnessed pranks on the first episode. Nevertheless, all of that was just a veneer for this series's major draw card: the suffering and pain born by the destitute of society, those who have grown so used to pecuniary binds that physical luxury in life has assumed an ethereal characters, out of reach for lower-tier people. Those very objects of pity and sorrow for not being part of the lavish taste of life also have dreams that they wish to see fulfilled some day. This alone is a strong reason for the viewer to identify with Kaiji (or any other character of similar social height for this matter). Chances are you have dreams that as of now are unfulfilled and you would like your endeavour bear fruit some day. Also, chances are that your dreams are nothing short of difficult, else they wouldn't be dreams, but simply objectives you have set for yourself which are entirely attainable without great stretches on your part.

But again, what makes Kaiji so likeable as a character? For one thing, it's the fact that he's someone not easy to define just by watching the anime series. One really needs to delve into this universe in order to have a better grasp of the complexity imbued in this character. In fact, Kaiji as a character is so complex for an animated entity that it might even be possible that his personality is made up of layers of complexity which could dwarf those part of the human constitution. His personality and inner nature warrant new dimensions of character definition, surpassing the symbolic three dimensional model used for the best developed personas in fiction.

What was Kaiji doing on a huge company sponsored ship? He's earned a hall ticket to compete against other debtors for a chance to start over in life, ridden of his previous debts. As it is, Kaiji procured his current debt thanks to his former senpai, Furuhata. It's all too easy now to state that Kaiji is just a dope, isn't it? The problem with Kaiji is that he still has hopes in mankind; he would practically trust just about anyone. Of course, getitng round Kaiji usually takes some bold cajoling, even if tears are to be shed in exchange of a favour on his part. That, or the doing of some excellent conman:

I tried to warn you men in yellow stripped brown jackets aren't reliable, but you wouldn't listen.

More novelty in Kaiji:cascading urinals are seldom seen in animes.
Turns out Kaiji is too easy a prey to be battling it out in a war zone. Kaiji has two of his star pendants scammed away from him with unbelievable ease. All this because he took Funai's word that both of them would be safely hauled out of the ship should they get twelve pushes (ties) in a row. Unsuspecting of the ulterior motives of his turncoat friend, Kaiji loses two in a row and resorts to random fits of anger, trying to take it out on Funai. Fortunately, one of the black suits interferes and lets Kaiji in on something which he should have realised long ago: backstabbing others and going on one's word is the norm when people are competing against each other with something huge at stake. Kaiji acquiesces and wanders off. He soon happens upon someone whom he would normally be willing to beat the living daylights of, but now there's no time for this.

It may not look like it, but this contented man was kaiji's bane in the past. And the reason of his current misery.
Somehow, the recipient of the goods owed to Kaiji's cosigned loan also ends up on the Espoir!

It's fine to talk while tinkling. Just don't make eye contact.
 Whatever happened to contrive his ending up there is never disclosed in the course of the series. But his being there, glum-faced, is important for Kaiji to realise something can still be done to turn tables on these swindling goons surrounding them right now. Kaiji wants to join forces and decides they should combine their stars and cards.

Kaiji's innards are wriggling with disgust at the sight of another man being bamboozled so easily.

Nah, that was just a figment of his imagination. He doesn't look like a trickster at all....

They quickly realise that their resources aren't enough to scrape a joint victory, so they set off to find a third member to be admitted into their group: someone with no cards and two stars.
Another room packed with depressed people! However, here is where Kaiji will find some hope to charge ahead.

They wound up picking Ando, a fat bespeckled man. At first, all seems to be going well, but soon...
Hey, can't you see I'm busy stabbing you in the back?

Andou tried to backstab the group within minutes of its forming by making away with one of their combined cards and trying to beat some random opponent, which would render him the happiness of being off the hook, but he loses. Naturally Furuhata wants to punish him, but Kaiji has other plans for the stray sheep.
Resignation, misgivings and unbalance waft through the air.

He actually wants him to remain part of their joint effort to escape the ship. Now isn't it a perfect example of faith in humanity? The very man who had only his interests at heart despite being offered a chance to join a guild is now granted a second chance. Kaiji insists that "getting rid of the bad parts of a whole doesn't help matters.Andou quietly assents and off they go in their search to procure enough stars to survive, use up all of their gesture cards and realise by whatever means may be necessary that this world is ruled only by the wicked, and it's up to those who are just to somehow fit into this system.