Posted by psgels 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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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:20 PM)
    @Bam: Carefully threading here, YES I wanted Max to have more presence and role. BUT BUT that does NOT mean I agree with those idiots out there =P lol
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:19 PM)
    @Kaiser: good list, but it will surely change after fully watching Pulp Fiction. That’s his Magnus opus right there.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:18 PM)
    @Kaiser: those are both ok franchises, they’re just fun and shallow- but that’s alright. They feel very familiar to the point of redundancy sometimes, while Fury Road was like watching Terminator 2 again; a landmark film. Hoult’s character Nux went to a much more profound character arch in a single film than Vin Diesel has thru the whole F&F franchise.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:17 PM)
    @Bam: If I was ranking Tarantino movies (including ones he wrote) I’d go : 1. True romance 2. Reservoir dogs 3. Jackie brown 4. Django unchained 5. Kill Bill 7. Natural born killers 8. Kill bill 2 9. Inglorious basterds 10. Death proof 11. From dusk till dawn. I still shamefully…shame on me, need to see the complete movie of pulp fiction.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:12 PM)
    @Kaiser: Charlize was the star of the film really, to the point of idiots boycotting it as “feminist propaganda”. To call a macho exploitation film a hidden feminist agenda just because of strong female leads and respect for the sex is hilarious, and I think added to the appeal of the movie for me.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:12 PM)
    @Bam: Doctor strange definitely sounds like my kind of thing.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:11 PM)
    @Bam: I’m actually very mixed on the mission impossible franchise but this new one had some pretty intense stuff in it, theres more of a story this time. The furious franchise is a huge mixed bag but theres an emotional core to it, especially in the recent one that the new mad max doesn’t have.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:09 PM)
    @Bam: I also liked the sheer crazy levels it went up to and how unpretentious it was.
    But I do have issues, I need to warm up to Hardy as Max (the sequel will likely fix this), the villain went down underwhelmingly, I like road warrior more.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:08 PM)
    @Kaiser: Hateful 8 (or the other idiotic spellings) will be a fun Tarantino romp in the style of Reservoir Dogs; not really an action flick. Doctor Strange is Silver Age comic and hence a bit weird taley and psychedelic by nature. Cumberbatch and Mads should provide ample entertainment, given a decent script and director.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:07 PM)
    @Bam: Guess I’ll repost my thoughts on the flick. I really did love how much Miller was able to achieve with a lack of dialogue and through the use of practical effects/proper stunts/locale. I loved how oldskool it was, the film was tense and I felt that Charlize Theron was a highlight of the movie.

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