YMMV / Kaiji

  • Anvilicious: Don't rely on luck, never resort to magical thinking, and for the love of God, quit while you're ahead.
    • The gambling industry is not trying to help you. It only wants your money and will take advantage of your hopes and desperation.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: In Chapter 7 of Series 3, we are left on a cliffhanger with Kaiji staring at a box of Uno cards in a way that suggests it may be the next game. The President talks about it in a way that also suggests it, but Kaiji quickly declines, and by the third page of Chapter 8, it is a distant memory, never to be mentioned again.
    • Some of the Proverbs of Kaiji segments in season 2 come off as this, due to the way said proverbs can sound out of contenxt.
  • Bishounen: Ichijou (in-universe, of course).
  • Complete Monster: Kazutaka Hyo(u)do(u) is the Big Bad of the entire series. A wealthy socialite and president of the financial consulting firm Teiai, Hyodo is a man driven mad by money and power whose only enjoyment in life is to see the lower classes of society struggle for their lives and money in illegal gambling tournaments. In Part 1, Hyodo has a group of his debtors gamble in a ship, collecting badges from each other. Those who lose all their badges are transferred to an underground mine where they are forced to work for their money in horrible conditions, most of them dying due to work-related injuries or breathing problems caused by the smoke. In Part 2, Hyodo forces another group of debtors to walk on a narrow plank ten meters up the air, and in order for them to win, they have to push down others, breaking their bones while doing so. After Kaiji and a handful of others manage to walk on the other side, they are then forced on a similar plank which is electrified and hundreds of meters up the air. Kaiji, being the sole survivor of the second part, is then obliged to duel against Hyodo's right-hand man, Yukio Tonegawa, and choose either his eye or eardrum as his stake. After Kaiji wins, Hyodo proves how cruel he is to his subordinates, forcing Tonegawa to kneel for a minute on a scalding platform. Briefly appearing in Part 3, Hyodo is seen drinking the blood of his victims, while treating his other subordinates with similar cruelty. A truly despicable old man, Hyodo is the living incarnate of greed and cruelty in a world where people are willingly to do anything in order to pay back their debts.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: Oh yeah, tons of it. Wish, Kaiji's Theme, This World III, Beginning, Transparent, Law Breaking Theme, Bassment, Max Zawa and Hakairoku Theme to name a few.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Ichijou.
  • Ear Worm: It's near impossible to get Numa out of your head.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Mikoko Sakazaki has become really popular on the Internet, which the creators are apparently aware of. Tonegawa also qualifies because of his Bad Ass speeches on society, and for being a Magnificent Bastard in general. Then there's the narrator...
  • Faux Symbolism: The finale of the first series uses this to some extent.
  • Ho Yay: Murakami's undying loyalty to Ichijou has made them a popular pairing among fans. Kaiji is commonly paired with Endou, Kazuya, Sahara, or Ichijou.
    • No Yay / Foe Yay: Between Hyoudou and Kaiji. The former drools at the sight of the latter in pain.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Tonegawa. Despite having cheated his way through the E-Card game, in the end he still comes off as noble and ultimately badass. Even more so Hyoudou.
  • Memetic Molester: Hyoudou. Let's leave it at that.
  • Memetic Mutation: Aaaaandooooooouuu!
    • I hate it! (He hates it!)
  • Nightmare Fuel: Teiai Corp.'s various torture devices as well as the second half of the Brave Men Road arc.
  • Padding: Way more than even your usual primetime game show. Even Deal or No Deal can't compare.
  • The Scrappy: The number of people who unironically like Andou can probably be counted on one hand. To a lesser extent, Furuhata.
  • Ugly Cute: Some find Mikoko to be this.
  • The Woobie: Some will argue that the whole point of this series is to see Kaiji lose tremendously, get back up in an inspiring and heart-winning manner...then lose even more tremendously. In the end, you just want to give him a hug or buy him some drinks after all that's happened to him (losing scads of money, betrayal and bullying, maiming, losing his comrades, being forced into slave labor, being harassed by a girl he doesn't like...the list goes on). Many fans will argue that Kaiji is indeed "moe", or moeGAR.
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