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Manga / Usogui

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You... are a liar.
—Baku's quote after winning a game

Usogui is a long-running psychology-and-gambling-based seinen manga by Toshio Sako. The manga ran in Weekly Young Jump from 2006 to 2017 for an impressive 49 volume and 539 chapter serialization.

There are gamblers out there who even bet their lives as ante. But to secure the integrity of these life-threatening gambles, a violent and powerful organization by the name of “Kagerou” referees these games as a neutral party. Follow Baku Madarame a.k.a. Usogui (The Lie Eater) as he gambles against maniacal opponents at games – such as Escape the Abandoned Building, Old Maid, and Hangman – to ultimately “out-gamble” and control the neutral organization of Kagerou itself.

An OAD shipped with the 26th volume in 2012. While there has been an announcement and plans for a live action adaptation as early as 2016, it took over 5 years for another peep to be made about it. The movie is set for release in 2022.


In April 2021, a spinoff manga was announced for the series. It's an immediate sequel, taking place just days after the end of the first manga. Baku, now in charge of Kagerou, advises each of the referees to tell him about a previous match they presided over and allow him to bet on who won it. He starts with Hikoichi Yakou, No.0 referee in Kagerou.

Usogui provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: The entire premise of the story. The stakes only become more and more high, culminating in Kagerou's "Surpassing the Leader" competition (which requires all players to make a down payment of over 4 million dollars before risking their life with near-death drugs over a guessing game).
  • And the Adventure Continues: Baku and pals don't stop their extreme gambling after they've climbed as high as they can go. By the epilogue, Baku's off challenging other remaining threats to Kagerou, while Hal slowly recovers from the final Surpassing the Leader game.
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  • Art Evolution: While the art was plenty expressive in the beginning, over the course of the years and volumes Sako's art became much more realistic and detailed. Take the first volume's cover of Baku and compare it to the last cover, and the difference is night and day.
  • Batman Gambit: Baku uses his opponents' personalities against them. Q-Taro found this out the hard way when Baku recruited Marco during his battle with him. He used Q-Taro's belief that Marco was dead to lure him out and attack him with Marco.
  • Catchphrase: "You are a liar", told by Usogui, mostly every time he is about to defeat his opponent.
  • Gambit Roulette: Some of Baku's plans seem to be this. But he actually does try to learn everything about a target, down to their personalities, forces, and supplies they would have hidden in their building. Yes, he even plays roulette this way.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Marco joined Baku's side after asking Baku who he was. Baku's response:
    "That's something you must decide for yourself."
  • Serious Business: Baku treats slots as such. But his entire life has been about life-or-death gambling, so...
  • Trademark Favorite Food: For Baku: kariume, a pickled Japanese fruit that's somewhere between a plum and apricot. Eating one usually means he's about to do something badass.
  • Xanatos Gambit: All of Baku's strategies are these. If an opponent calls his bluff, he reveals that it wasn't a bluff and wins anyway.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The final "Surpassing the Leader" game between Baku and Hal is insane. While Baku may have planned out several tactics beforehand and ultimately came out on top by taking advantage of a time shift down to the minute, Hal became just as on the nose.