Prequel manga to Akagi. In 1945 post-war Tokyo is a city of ruin to Washizu Iwao, a man returning to Japan after mysteriously leaving the country and the police force in the middle of the Second World War, and he has taken it upon himself to reshape it in his image. Founding the financial consultation firm 'Kyousei' three years later, he begins a fierce crusade to take over Japan from the shadows using his greatest asset: his skill at mahjong. That, and the healthy dose of coercion, brute force and blackmail, of course.
What follows is a surprisingly good and downright bizarre spin-off manga about Washizu's sociopathic exploits with his trusty underlings, Hayabusa and his Secretary, as they battle the stock market, pirates, yakuza and everything in between in the seventeen years before the start of Akagi. The series was neither written nor illustrated by Fukumoto, who is instead credited as an assistant.
See also Akagi.
This manga provides examples of:
- Ace Pilot: Ostensibly Hayabusa, a kamikaze pilot who miraculously survived the War. Turns out to be a subversion; the only reason he survived is that he faked his own death and deserted while he had the chance.
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Generally how Washizu comes into ownership of up-and-coming companies.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Koshiba, one of Kyousei's newest workers. He does an excellent job of pretending to be a klutzy intern while secretly plotting Washizu's downfall.
- Black Comedy
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Washizu's reaction to the big reveal of Koshiba's true identity: "Who?"
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: All of Kyousei.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Washizu does this a lot.
- What's the correct way to deal with the man you just beat at mahjong? Ram mahjong tiles into his eyes, of course!
- In response to being called a cheater by a top baseball player, Washizu buys himself a baseball team and masters the sport just so that he can beat the guy at his own game and get him to admit he was wrong.
- Ditzy Genius: Hayabusa, to some extent. He's supposedly almost as insightful as Washizu, but this tends to get lost while he jumps to conclusions and shows off his questionable reading skills; he has a thing for comic books and often misreads kanji, the latter being somewhat of a running gag.
- Expy: The Secretary is visually a reference to Taizo of The Legend of Koizumi, and earlier volumes of the manga are very similar in tone.
- Fan Disservice: Washizu working out. In a fundoshi.
- Also Washizu eating a live lizard.
- Fanservice: Of the non-sexual kind; a younger Yasuoka from Akagi makes a cameo appearance in one story as a street cop.
- Five-Man Band:
- The Hero: Washizu, though he's more of the Sociopathic Hero variety.
- The Lancer: Hayabusa. Interestingly this role should technically go to the Secretary, who is the second-in-command at Kyousei, but Hayabusa spends more time with Washizu and is generally a better fit.
- The Smart Guy: The Literary Man. He was educated at Kyoto university and has a Photographic Memory.
- The Chick: The Secretary spends most of his time getting kidnapped or hovering anxiously in the background while Hayabusa and Washizu do all the work.
- Hilariously Lampshaded by the Secretary himself, who laments that he gets stuck with all the paperwork while Washizu and Hayabusa galavant off having adventures.
- Fountain of Youth: Washizu comes up against a man who claims to have created a formula that ages and de-ages humans.
- Large Ham: Washizu himself.
- The Mole: Koshiba.
- No Name Given: Frequent. The Secretary, the Literary Man and the pirates are only known by their titles.
- The Secretary is an interesting example, given that his name reflects his position in the company- at the start he's simply a secretary and is referred to as such until Kyousei expands and he becomes the Head Manager, getting a name change to match his promotion.
- Pirate: Volumes three and four can largely be summarised as Washizu vs Pirates.
- Rapid Aging: Washizu is subjected to this. He did it on purpose to see if his skills will deteriorate as he ages. It doesn't.
- Rated M for Manly: Unbelievably so, for a series about Washizu Iwao.
- The Reveal: Hayabusa's real name is Suzuki, making him Washizu's right-hand man in Akagi.
- Rule of Cool
- Villain Protagonist: Washizu, of course, but most of Kyousei also qualifies; the Secretary happily strangles a boy with a car window and Hayabusa is all for blackmail.