This is the character page for Nobuyuki Fukumoto's Kaiji. Currently under construction, but feel free to contribute.
Characters in Kaiji:
- Action Survivor: There's a reason why the series is called Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor. Kaiji ends up often getting put in life or death scenarios and his ability to survive through them and keep pressing forward is often what allows him to last in the cutthroat world of underground gambling.
- Awesome by Analysis: Kaiji's ability to read the room and come up with new strategies on the fly is one of his greatest strengths along with sheer stubbornness.
- Badass Normal: Sort of. Kaiji grows from a shrimp into a pretty competent gambler who acknowledges his weaknesses.
- Being Good Sucks: Moral to a fault and always helps people at the detriment of himself.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Kaiji is initially presented as a down-on-his luck petty criminal whose compulsive gambling has left him penniless. But whenever he's thrust into one of Hyoudou's games, he demonstrates remarkable intelligence and skill at whatever game he's faced with — largely because failure usually ends up risking him his life.
- Butt-Monkey: The series opens with Kaiji as a down on his luck gambler who hasn't worked since the new year and ends up in crippling debt with the Yakuza because of a loan he cooped. Suffice it to say things go From Bad to Worse.
- Character Development
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Often gets him into trouble. ESPECIALLY at the end of the first season.
- Cry Cute: The series has him break out in tears over the many stressful situations he's been put under, so much that some fans nickname him "Cryji". Tears of Fear and Manly Tears are among the most common variants that he breaks into, though some high-stakes victories also have him shed Tears of Joy.
- Determinator: Even after losing over 60 million to the Bog, he continues going.
- '80s Hair: A mullet.
- Fatal Flaw: In another series, his Chronic Hero Syndrome might've been admirable. In a series crawling with dishonest backstabbers, it's one of the worst qualities you can have, and nearly all it does is screw Kaiji over.
- The Gambler
- Honor Before Reason: Always splits his winnings how he feels is fair, typically to the detriment of himself.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- NEET: By season 3 he's just leeching off of Sakazaki.
- Nominal Hero: He's got morals and standards like anybody else, but in the end he constantly finds himself stuck in ridiculously high-staked gambles solely because he needs the money.
- Rousing Speech: He has moments like these.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!
- Suffering Builds Character: He starts off as a nobody who barely does anything with the life he's been given except indulge in petty gambling which has ended up locking him in severe debt. But put him in a situation where his life is literally on the line, and he turns dangerous.
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: It's not uncommon to see him break out of his latest predicament only to fall into another one because he spent all his money on gambling.
- True Companions: Mario and Chang.
- Tsundere: Type A.
- Badass in a Nice Suit
- Cool Shades
- Evil Debt Collector: Given his ties to the yakuza, it goes without saying.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Later becomes this with Kaiji and Sakazaki.
- Gender Flip: "He's" a woman in the Live-Action Adaptation.
- HeelFace Turn
- Karma Houdini
- Loan Shark
- Read the Fine Print: Points out that the loan that Kaiji had co-signed with Furuhata before the start of the series also leaves him with the responsibility of paying it off when Furuhata disappears.
- Smoking Is Cool
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In the second series, due to Tonegawa having been demoted or fired.
- Bad Boss: He's quite cruel to his subordinates, as seen in season 2.
- Beard of Evil
- Big Bad
- The Corrupter: Much of his conversations with Kaiji involve trying to "teach" him malefic, cynical wisdom and pointing out how they're Not So Different.
- Evil Old Folks
- Expy: Of Washizu from Akagi, also by Fukumoto. They have quite similar looks and personalities, and they share a voice actor.
- Faux Affably Evil
- Giggling Villain
- Hate Sink
- Hypocrite: When Kaiji accuses him of being afraid of losing to someone like Kaiji, he idly dismisses the claim, saying that if an amateur golfer played a professional often enough, he would eventually win. Because of this, he says that there would be no shame in losing to Kaiji. Kaiji inwardly reflects on how this doesn't match up with how Hyoudou had forced Tonegawa to kneel on a red hot plate for losing to Kaiji in E-Card, even though he had done well for the majority of the game.
- Loves the Sound of Screaming
- Nightmare Fetishist
- Sanity Slippage: Subverted. He is pretty much off his rocker by the time the events of the story take place. He's even willing to go so far as to build an underground "kingdom", then deliberately trigger nuclear war to hold onto his power, leaving the entirety of the lower classes to die in the initial bombings. Though it is straight in that he did not used to be utterly depraved and crazy.
- Villain with Good Publicity
- Easily Forgiven: Despite having scammed Kaiji in the past, he gets off the hook pretty quickly.
- FaceHeel Turn: Unlike Andou, who was planning to betray Kaiji from the start, Furuhata seemed like he genuinely wanted to buy Kaiji's freedom. Unfortunately once Andou gets into his head by telling him about the debt they will still be in if they help Kaiji, Furuhata betrays Kaiji for a 10 million Yen profit.
- Ungrateful Bastard: He accepts Andou's offer to betray Kaiji at the end of the Espoir arc. This is pretty horrible when you think about it, since Furuhata was responsible for Kaiji's debt in the first place.
- Weak-Willed: Furuhata only ever does what someone else tells him to which is why it doesn't take much prompting from Andou to turn on Kaiji.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He is in the story 4 hours in-universe, and betrays Kaiji twice during those hours.
- Fat Bastard
- Jerkass Has a Point: Argues that if they use their stars to save Kaiji, he and Furuhata won't be able to make enough money to pay off the debt they have, and end up with them leaving the ship with a debt of at least 3 million yen each.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: When he betrays Kaiji the second time.
- Ungrateful Bastard
- Break the Haughty: Kaiji does a masterful job in the final round of restricted Janken of first revealing his cheating to the remaining players so nobody would want to play with him, then forcing him into a final confrontation that Kaiji can't possibly lose in order to squeeze Funai of five out of his remaining nine chips, preventing him from making the profit he wanted from the game's losers.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder
- The Heavy: For the Restricted Rock Paper Scissors arc. He singles out Kaiji early on, putting him in a desperate situation in the first 20 minutes, then comes back near the end to screw him over some more, and is ultimately Kaiji's final opponent.
- Obvious Trap: He offers to help Kaiji early on, and then stabs the guy in the back. In the manga, he's acting somewhat less shady, but the fact that the chapter's name is "Scam" is a tip-off.
- Smug Snake
- Never My Fault: Blames his two subordinates for his loss against Kaiji, claiming that if they didn't rush him, he would have known that Kaiji knew which card he would use for their match. One of them is quick to point out that it was because of Kitami's words that Kaiji found out in the first place.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gets one from Kaiji for trying to back out of the gamble that he and Kanji set up after Kanji convinced Furuhata and Andou to wager their stars on the match.
- Worthy Opponent: He calls Kaiji this, because they originally thought up the same strategy.
- Awesome by Analysis: Deconstructed. His confidence as to how (questionably) good he is at studying his opposition is what Kaiji ultimately uses to turn the tables on him for the last time.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: As well-dressed as most employees of the Teiai Corporation, and very skilled at E-Card (or so he'd have you think).
- Benevolent Boss: Tries his utmost to be one to his subordinates when planning out something to entertain Hyoudou.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The epitome of this, right down to his Read the Fine Print moment after the Brave Men Road.
- Defeat By Irony: His own analyses of Kaiji's tricks also lead to him second-guessing at the last moment, costing him the final round at E-Card.
- The Dragon: To Hyoudou.
- Dramatic Irony: In Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa, while on a company vacation with his employees, he discovers the giant iron plate used for "Roasting Kneeling", and not knowing what it is at that point, uses it for a barbecue. One of his employees does know what it is, though, but can't bring himself to tell anyone because they're enjoying themselves.
- Even Evil Has Standards: At one point in the E-Card game, he is horrified when Kaiji bets the full length of 4.5 cm and tries to talk him out of it.
- Graceful Loser: While begrudgingly, he still accepts going through the "Roasting Kneeling" punishment all by himself, and holds on with his forehead on a red hot plate for 12 seconds (2 seconds more than he actually had to) before finally passing out.
- Hero of Another Story: Chuukan Kanriroku Tonegawa, naturally, focuses on him and his life as middle management in the Teiai Corporation.
- I Know You Know I Know: When Tonegawa faces off against Kaiji, the layers of outwitting pile on.
- Large Ham: Oh yes. Tonegawa can be just as hammy as the Narrator, and he doesn't even raise his voice that often. Doesn't hurt that his voice actor is a singer, too.
- No Poker Face: When the chips are down, so does his stoicism, and he becomes relatively easy to read and manipulate.
- Precision F-Strike: Roars out a "F**k You!" in perfect English when the participants of the Espior cruise start demanding answers when he doesn't explain what would happen if they lose all their stars. This even made it into the live action film.
- Pose of Supplication: After losing to Kaiji, Tonegawa is forced to do one of these to beg forgiveness from Hyoudou for failing him... on a red-hot iron plate.
- Professional Butt-Kisser: Part of his resentment of gamblers is how he got to his current station via decades of hard work and brown-nosing, taking care to follow instructions to the letter and to not take many real risks himself.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The master. Whenever any of the participants of his games start getting uppity, he will throw it right back in their faces that they pretty much brought their predicaments on themselves because they were too lazy to get anywhere in life and squandered it by gambling, falling into debt and now trying to find an easy way out just to return to those lifestyles.
- Sincerity Mode: He applauds bravery and legitimately complimented Kaiji when he volunteered to do the Electric Steel Beam Crossing with no complaints. His speech also during the Espior cruise likewise seems to legit tell the men that he's more or less giving them a way out and if they truly want to clear their debts, then stop being babies and man up already.
- Smug Snake: The one real game he actually plays reveals that for all his preening over his vast experience and his ability to read people, he shamelessly cheats with gadgets that would give anyone a humongous edge over their opponent. With that advantage lost to him, he fails to win even a single round against Kaiji.
- Starter Villain: He winds up being almost pitiably awful when he has to gamble for real and the end of his duel with Kaiji is considerably lengthened by him constantly questioning his own decisions.
- Too Clever by Half
- Villain Has a Point: His speeches on society are disturbingly thought-provoking.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After passing out from his punishment, his fate is unclear.
- Cool Old Guy
- Cowardly Lion
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: While he's a spineless doormat for most of the series, his death implies he has a heroic side hidden very deep inside him.
- Go Out with a Smile: Before falling, that is.
- Heroic Sacrifice
- It's All My Fault: Blames himself for his wife being indebted.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Kaiji spends the money he has left from Rock-Paper-Scissors to save his life, only for him to die in the Human Derby. That said, he did manage to earn a ticket for ten million yen that he hands to Kaiji to save his family from debt... only for it to be made null and void by the Yakuza. That said, Kaiji swears to pay off their debt anyway, and eventually does.
- Shrinking Violet
- Tears of Fear
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth
- In a Single Bound: His leap in episode 14.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Leap of Faith: Cruelly subverted.
- Negated Moment of Awesome: His leap of faith. In spite of reaching the end of the bridge, as he opens a window at the end of it, the sudden change in air pressure blows him back and he falls to his death.
- The Prankster
- Cry Cute: Especially Miyoshi.
- FaceHeel Turn: In a particularly depressing turn of events, Miyoshi and Maeda betray Kaiji in series 3. It takes a long while for him to realize that they never really were on his side too.
- The Power of Friendship
- Secret Test of Character: In the manga, they offered more of Otsuki's money to Kaiji than anyone else; this was actually a test to see what a guy he really was. If he had accepted it, he wouldn't have gotten any at all. In the anime, they never mention this.
- True Companions
- Jerkass: Comes off as this (or at least a Jerkass Woobie) at first.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Kaiji buys him out of the "hellhole" along with the 45'ers at the end of season 2.
- Bad Boss
- The Bully
- Eyes Always Shut
- Fat Bastard
- Faux Affably Evil
- Hoist by His Own Petard
- Humiliation Conga: Kaiji starts a huge one ever since he discovers his cheat. Being blatantly disrespectful around him to provoke his anger, in the confrontation game Kaiji exposes his loaded dice, then proves that he did try to use the dice to win the last game (this really angers the crowd), gives him a Hope Spot trap by continuing the game with conditions that allow loaded dice and sharing with each other, uses dice made from a T-bone steak that Otsuki ate that is all ones (this means that he pays quintuple), then when trying to retreat Kaiji reminds Otsuki to finish his turn as a dealer (he goes twice and for more irony this rule is used to help him cheat), Yoshihiro Kurosaki intervenes to support Kaiji's decision, and in the end and in one night he lost 18 Million Perica and is utterly destroyed by Kaiji and the 45'ers.
- Jerkass: By episode 5 you'll hate him so very hard.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Smug Snake: For a man who for all intents and purposes works as a slave, he sure is condescending.
- Too Dumb to Live: When Yoshihiro interrupts their second game, he tells him to leave in a rude way. Never mind the fact that Yoshihiro is the only one there who wears fancy clothes instead of the standard labouring uniform, and that he's accompanied by several black suits.
- Villainous Breakdown
- Badass Longcoat: He wears one in a flashback.
- Big Damn Heroes: Saves the day with money "borrowed" from his boss's safe near the end of series 2.
- Cool Old Guy
- Heroic BSoD: When his plan backfires, he's shocked, resorts to magical thinking and nearly spends all his money at a horse racing track. Kaiji snaps him out of it.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
The young host of an illegal casino famous for its pachinko machine the Man-Eating Bog, which promises a really big payout, but is in fact impossible to win at. Without tricks, that is. He also works under Teiai and is voiced by Daisuke Namikawa.
- Bishōnen: Well, in-universe.
- Break the Haughty
- Cry Cute
- Evil Redhead: Anime only.
- Longer-Than-Life Sentence: Is sentenced to work 1050 years underground after Kaiji beats the Bog and he costs Teiai 700 million Yen.
- The Rival
- Slasher Smile: Ichijou loves doing these. One remarkarble and truly creepy example is the grin he makes while torturing Kaiji.
- Smug Snake
- Villainous Breakdown: Loses his coolness near the end of part 2, and makes some pretty crazy facial expressions.
- We Will Meet Again: After his defeat, Ichijou gets sent to the "hellhole". Kaiji feels bad for him and calls him a Worthy Opponent, asking if he will get back to get revenge. Ichijou's answer is "Of course". At this point it's unknown if he will keep his promise though.
- Who's Laughing Now?: He's waiting long and hard to invoke this trope against his old friends, who bullied him for not having a respectable job.
- Worthy Opponent
- Abhorrent Admirer: Mikoko looks just like her father and is head-over-heels for Kaiji. This is Played for Laughs.
- No Sense of Personal Space: She licks Kaiji's face.
- Third-Person Person
- Bad Boss
- Evil Laugh
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: He might seem silly enough, but he's by no means incompetent. Which Kaiji eventually learns the hard way.
- Slasher Smile
- Smug Snake
- Author Tract: In-universe example. Kazuya's book is one long story about betrayal and how you can't trust anyone.
- Cool Shades: Wears shades at night and inside.
- Evil Redhead: Sort of. His hair is somewhere between red and brown.
- Giggling Villain
- Kavorka Man: He frequently has at least two women hanging on him, in spite of, er, inheriting his father's looks. The money probably helps.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Kazuya bemoans the fact that people only like him for his family's money.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Takes Kaiji first to a graveyard (complete with acting out a strangulation) and then to a torture/BDSM club. Nice.
- Overlord Jr.
- Yakuza Prince