Posted by psgels on 27 August 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews



Well, time for me to pimp another very unknown series. This one comes completely subbed, courtesy of a one-man fansub group (who did a very admirable job, by the way), and it tells about Tetsuya, a legendary gambler and Mah-jong player. For the past few years, Akagi has turned into the symbol of Mah-Jong anime, but this series shows that it wasn’t the pioneer of the genre.

When I first started to watch this series, and realized that this series plays a lot of emphasis on cheating, I expected some sort of combination between Akagi and Kaiji, but that comparison turned to be a bit off, as there are some subtle differences. Tetsuya doesn’t really try to get very deep into the heads of the different players, but it’s much more about different cheating-techniques and its characters. In Kaiji, all the gamblers are referred to as human trash, while Tetsuya shows a more human side of them.

Tetsuya doesn’t try to go as deep as Akagi and Kaiji, but it did avoid these two series’s biggest weakness: their horribly slow pacing. Tetsuya’s pacing is quick and to the point that it never really drags, so that we can get to see a wide variety of players through the limited time of only 20 episode. There’s never really a moment to get bored. Even the final arc only takes up two episodes, instead of dragging things out in an attempt to create tension.

And the characters really shine. A lot of them are very interesting to watch, as they either team up with or play against Tetsuya, considering their limited screen-time. My favourite was the match against Innami, the walking corpse. He’s an excellent example of a character that shatters the boundaries of good and evil.

One complaint is that at times, it becomes clear that this series was based on a much larger manga. Thankfully, each arc is a standalone story, but there are a few story-threads that get introduced, and yet never answered. Boshu’s wife never makes an appearance, even though including her would have greatly fleshed out Boshu’s character. There’s also one character in the OP that never appears in the actual series. You can’t help but wonder what’s up with that.

Overall, I don’t think that this series is going to be better than Akagi (I’ll get back to that statement once I get the chance to finish that series), but nevertheless Tetsuya is a simple but effective series with a cast of great characters. It in any case deserves to get more attention than what it’s getting right now.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

2 Responses

  1. SEO services says:

    yep.. this anime make sure a hit..

  2. Michael says:

    I’ve been a fan of this anime ever since UA released its first two episodes on TV rips. I’m currently downloading the whole series and from what I see in the screencaps it has a much better quality compared to my UA subs.

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 11:09 AM)
    @ninja: I certainly hope that they got better shit to do.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 11:08 AM)
    @Emma: I agree. I also had no clue that it was a Shoujo, tines have certainly changed. I enjoy me a Ray Mustang type of character every once in a while.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:52 AM)
    @Bam: Furthermore watching these ovas , its like being twelve again =P
  • Emma
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:49 AM)
    @Bam: Of interest twilight of the dark master is considered shoujo and its such a shame that the demographic has gone to for most part shit since the old days.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:48 AM)
    @Bam All this talk about drugs being bad is for the benefit of my personal NSA monitor. I just want them to know I’m right with the DEA. The NSA is reading everything we type so it’s nice to give them some fanservice when you can.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:48 AM)
    @Bam: And would you believe Akiyuki shinbou directed this? It was interesting enough to trace back to his early work/beginning of his directing style and compare it to now.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:46 AM)
    @Bam: I just finished twilight of the dark master, enjoyable nonsense. What I liked about these old ovas is that you don’t really end up caring about the why, you get a bit of fun violence, an artstyle you just don’t see enough of anymore, the plots are simple, quick, entertaining and digestable.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:31 AM)
    @Emma: easier said than done. The results of a mixture are often strangely unpredictable and quite overwhelming
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    @ninja: a bit of an over-generalization don’t you think m8?
  • Emma
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 07:53 AM)
    @Friend: And speaking of scenes from a marriage, I really do wish that anime could, like some films like that, focus on a mature couple.

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