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Takashi TenTen is a friendly guy who happens to be good at mahjong; or to be more precise, cheating at it. He's often hired to turn the tables around in the client's favour. If he gets caught, he lets his opponents beat him, because he knows how frustrating it is to lose. In the yakuza gamble, he joins the east side.
- Anime Hair
- Card Sharp
- Cheaters Never Prosper: Actually, they do here. Mostly.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Especially early on.
- Decoy Protagonist: He does get a bit overshadowed by Hiroyuki and Akagi.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars
- The Hero
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Professional Gambler: Professional Cheater, more like.
- Scars Are Forever: He got them from letting his opponents beat him up after being caught cheating.
Hiroyuki IgawaA youth who becomes Ten's friend after a gamble early on. Unlike Ten he has a natural talent for mahjong, but doesn't like taking risks. Occasionally serves as the series' narrator.
- Adventure Rebuff
- Always Second Best: He becomes pretty miserable through most of the series because he considers himself inferior to Ten and Akagi.
- Character Development
- The Lancer: To Ten.
Shigeru AkagiAn enigmatic man and a legendary mahjong player. Akagi has his own prequel series, which you are probably more familiar with than this.
- Badass Normal
- Cool Old Guy
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Akagi chooses to go through medically-assisted suicide rather than have his mind deteriorate due to Alzheimer's. The fact that he was never afraid to face death makes it easier to digest...the fact that his mind was the greatest weapon he ever had and the fact that he was only in his early fifties doesn't.
- Driven to Suicide
- The Gambler: Duh.
- Go Out with a Smile
- Handicapped Badass: He finds out he has Alzheimer's just before the series' finale.
- The Stoic
- Not So Stoic: Loses his temper shortly after his introduction, and sheds a few tears in the finale.
- White Hair, Black Heart: He definitely was one in his youth, and he has aged fairly well, and is still a Magnificent Bastard to the bone.
- Cool Old Guy
- Katanas Are Just Better: Stabs Ten when he cheats. Hiroyuki saves him. This is arguably the point where the series gradually becomes more serious.
KenA friend of Hiroyuki's. He plays for the East side in a Yakuza gamble.
- Cool Shades
- The Idiot from Osaka: To a certain extent. He's young, brash and enthusiastic, even directly challenging Harada- who, despite also being from Osaka, is a much cooler, calmer character and thus accordingly loses his accent as the series progresses.
Mitsui SogaA brilliant old man who plays for West.
Ginji AsaiPlays for East.
Shuuzou KanamitsuThe head priest of a mahjong temple. He joins the East side.
- Bald of Awesome
- Dirty Old Monk: Priests are generally not involved in gambling between Yakuza gangs after all. He was also in Hawaii picking up chicks for some time along with several other characters, and takes a piece of Akagi's grave hoping it will bring him luck.
Hitoshi WashioA really skilled mahjong player. He plays for the East side.
Katsumi HaradaThe head of a Yakuza gang. He plays for the West side.