Posted on 30 June 2011 with categories: Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope



And as today is the last day of June, this is going to be the last post for my Spring 2011 Kaleidoscope. I am not sure what I’m going to do next season though: whether I’m going to do a Summer Kaleidoscope and blog six full series, or blog seven full series instead: it’s entirely going to depend on that seventh series. Plus, it’s got two huge question marks as well in the form of Appleseed and Last Exile. They’re both two series that aside from the regular line-up I really want to blog.

In any case, this episode was build up, build-up and even more build-up. The creators made sure to make it into a gripping episode though, especially when Kaiji brought in Endou of all people: the guy who was responsible for getting him into his mess in the first place. This episode was really being mysterious in the way that it refused to reveal Kaiji’s plans (much like the previous arc), so a lot of this episode consisted out of cryptic hints at how supposedly awesome his plans are going to be, although the negotiations with Endou really kicked ass in how intense they were.

Now, the big pitfall for this series is going to be the the suspense of disbelief. There is one big difference between Akagi and Kaiji: Akagi was superhuman. It’s not about seeing really smart plans, but about psychology. Kaiji meanwhile belongs in the category of series that specialize in plans and schemes. The biggest pitfall of those kinds of series is to take their plans a step too far and make them just ridiculously complicated, a la Death Note or Code Geass where in the end things depend on the most precise coincidences. That’s also one of the reasons the first season annoyed me, in the way in which Kaiji miraculously danced across death on the beam arc.

In terms of characters though, this arc does have the most interesting side-kick for Kaiji that we’ve seen in this series yet. His Buddhist roots, his incredible temper: all of it works really well and it’s quite a step away from the usual young guys. The villain though has yet to prove himself. He’s just this posh underling, and nowhere as interesting as some of the best villains of this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

7 Responses

  1. Wandering Bunny says:

    Well I’m happy to inform you Psgels, that the entirety of Kaiji’s plans don’t have a single aspect of those “ridculously complicated precieving how any single player will act in a long string of abnormal situations” plans in Death Note and Code Geass. He dosen’t rely on the casino workers reactions much and the few things he does do that rely on them are relatively small and it’s belivable that the casino workers would act like they do because it’s how a normal person would act.

    Kaiji’s plans however are not perfect if you ask me; you’d be doubting a number of technical things in his plans like “how did he get the money to put plan A into fruition?” or “just why does kaiji, a normal high-school graduate, know how to make item B for plan C?”

    As for the opponent, while Ichijou isn’t as competent as some of kaiji’s better opponents, he’s definately a good villain. Despite usually being disadventgous he keeps up a good fight through the entirety of the arc and constantly tries to pull things up to interfere with Kaiji’s plans.

  2. Alec says:

    Akagi was BS anyway

  3. Puran says:

    Yeah, generally Kaiji’s plans don’t really rely on coincidences that much. They are far fetched and crazy, but in the end you can see there is a good chance they could work.

  4. Souther says:

    I wouldn’t go that far. In reality, Kaiji’s plans are almost as unrealistic as any plan from Death Note or Code Geass. Neither of them would be very likely to work, let alone worth employing, in real life without running into additional problems and requiring more steps.

    It just so happens that the Kaiji series is set in a slightly more realistic context, despite the very cartoony graphics, and the narrator makes a lot of detailed comments to explain how the plans are set up or how they fail…but the actual outcomes wouldn’t really work too often in our world.

    This goes both for when Kaiji seems to “win” as when he loses. Real people wouldn’t easily come up with such plans and they are rather ridiculous, regardless of the above, which is why the comparison is only of limited use.

    Then again, I don’t see the problem with liking series that aren’t realistic. Reality is reality and fiction is fiction. If I wanted realism, I’d watch a documentary on gambling.

    My suspension of disbelief can handle impossible or unlikely coincidences just fine.

  5. Bonehimer says:

    in the way in which Kaiji miraculously danced across death on the beam arc.

    Kaiji just has great balance, brah.

  6. Wandering Bunny says:

    @Souther: Can you please give examples so I have it easier getting your point?
    You say they are ridiculous and unrealistic without really explaining why, and honestly, except for the “how was he able to get the items for the plan” bit I explained above, I never really ever remember Kaiji using unrealistic methods in his plans.
    I guess Kaiji does sometimes win thanks to lucky circumstances, but these never really have anything to do with his plans and he never expects them to happen but abuses them once he realizes they happen. In that regard you can’t judge Kaiji’s cunningness, because he dosen’t rely on luck like it comes to him.

  7. Joojoobees says:

    Endoh coming back was awesome. Of all the crazy things to do Kaiji goes to the guy you would think he hates more than anyone. As they say, crazy like a fox.

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  • Asuka111
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:37 AM)
    @Lacrid Surprising, yes, but it seems they’ve brushed over that so far. The story has gone back to normal romcom/slice of life.
  • LacridSayo
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 07:11 AM)
    Wow, Horimiya managed to surprise me twice. They teach me that in the face of adversity, conformity is the way. Also, Miyamura and Hori f&@ks.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 04:09 AM)
    The whole world structure and the framework of spirituality, eyes of death perception, counterforce and whatnots are kept intentionally vague so he can have some wiggle room to bullshit and handwave plot elements as they go on. KnK was a pretty good OVA series tho and Ufotable had a big party to play in that.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:56 AM)
    Here’s some classic Nasu at work.
    http://lparchive.org/Fatestay-night/Update%2003/30-P02-034.jpg
    A f*cking security system? No, it’s a person creating a small alternate world around them from their mind. Plain and f*cking simple.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:45 AM)
    I’ve heard people criticize Nasu as “writing terrible history fanfiction” and “Like my old bad fanfiction” “When the action scenes actually happen they suck”
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @K-Off: didn’t we all.
  • Raggers
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:44 AM)
    @Aidan: I didn’t know what they were, but “withering eyes of death perception” doesn’t really leave a whole lot up to the imagination anyway…
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:42 AM)
    @Aidan Reminds me of my English papers where I bullshitted tons of explanations to fill up a ten page report.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:39 AM)
    And the eyes of death perception. Ho Boy. He talks about how it’s not cutting but severing and bonds and blah blah blah.
    Here’s the shorthand. You cut a tree with a knife you make a small cut, cut a tree with a knife while using the eyes of death perception and the tree withers and dies. There only took one sentence to explain something that Nasu uses 10 or so paragraphs for.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Sep 16. 2014 03:33 AM)
    Take the explanation for mana. All the man had to explain was more mana = More powerful servant. Yet he makes this comparison to ammo, guns and cannons that is just needlessly confusing.

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