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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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:44 AM)
    In a world where Urotsukidoji gets 3 series of OVAs there is nothing you want to make that is too risqué or edgy that nobody would want to pick up. I get a small startup trying to push their fist film out, but most big Kickstarters are ran by bigname talents that already have a string of hits on their resume. C’mon, just have some faith in your work, it’s just crazy to ask for money upfront.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:37 AM)
    SuperMario: I assume you mean Charlie Kaufman’s new film, in which case he already did pretty much whatever he wanted. Have you seen Synecdoche, New York and Adaptation? Now I’m a big ran of the man, but this creative control card gets a bit overplayed. The Under the Dog producers claim the same thing, but looking at their trailer it doesn’t look like anything that Japanese studios don’t already greenlight.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:01 AM)
    for me though, I only pay for projects that I’m certain to watch (and have to pay for it eventually), so I don’t see the point not to “helping” them out. It’s all the same for me.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:58 AM)
    @Bam I think the core concept is 1) with Kickstarter, many projects that otherwise never could have made is get supported here and 2) creators have more artistic control over their project. Take Amonalisa for example, big studios was very hesitate to fund the film, because of the commercial failure of his first film, but he insisted to get crowdfund and we have one of the more creative animation output last year.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:53 AM)
    A lot of the tech stuff is things you will never use twice; like a smartphone microscope attachment. they’re usually pretty shifty with it too. Yeah I’m sure it takes the price of a house to make a video series about sexism in videogames- right? And it takes almost a million dollars to make a 4 level indie game with three guys- seems legit. Must be pretty nice to basically do business with zero chance of failure.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:47 AM)
    I just don’t get the core concept of why I should pay for someone else’s business endeavors? They’re going to reap the benefits, they usually have money, let them pay for it. I get it if it’s research, or some strange art project for the sake of the art, but movies, games and anime that are going to get a commercial release? I swear people are so easily bamboozled.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:21 AM)
    @Kaiser:I have been supporting Kickstarter for a while, but not for games or movies, but for animation projects. I think it’s worth it. But like Bam, Aiden and K-Off said, sometimes it gets a bit muddy. For movies for example there are a lot of projects that was just ideas… and ideas alone are not enough.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:08 AM)
    Ah but that would frustrate me in muv-luv, I’d be the one suffering as a result of having to wait for the characters suffering to start.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:06 AM)
    I’ve heard kickstarter being used for crowdfunding indie films, honestly as a film buff I really should get on that and start supporting.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:41 AM)
    I generally don’t pre-order unless its a gift for someone else, so I can guarantee for 100% sure I can get it for them and it won’t sell out.

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