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The Mike Toole Show - Tiles Against Humanity


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davecabrera
ANN Columnist


Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 131
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:56 pm Reply with quote
MIKE YOU SHOULDA CONSULTED ME

Seriously, though, I play a lot of JP-style mahjong. It's a great game. Learning is really hard but if you have the free time and sheer stubborn force of will it pays off. Just read the stuff that's out there in English and then lose over and over again on Tenhou. You will definitely not learn by actually watching anime/reading manga, just putting that out there.

There is little anime and close to nothing in English, but I like the works of Masayuki Katayama, like for example Super Zugan. This is the only Super Zugan, or Katayama anything, you are likely to ever see in English. Katayama's stuff is both really silly and ugly, and contains lots of actual good mahjong advice (he is in fact a top player).

Aside from Akagi, series are translated here and there but in very small doses. Be aware that Akagi has been stuck in the battle with Washizu ("on Namek", as we say) for something like fifteen years and it's only starting to wind up very recently. You seriously may not want to keep reading that manga. You can read Ten in its entirety, though.

If you do actually read Japanese, on the other hand, Takeshobo publishes Kindai Mahjong (and porn, those two things) and you should look the magazine up because nearly everything runs in that one mag.
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AbZeroNow



Joined: 14 Jan 2013
Posts: 511
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:13 pm Reply with quote
I definitely recommend that people check out Akagi and Kaiji on Crunchyroll. I am enjoying Akagi more of the two series just because everything just clicks in it, and Akagi is a very compelling character. I also love the OP for Akagi. (although Kaiji has got a great soundtrack and I like the ED for it too)

And here are the Crunchyroll pages for both of them.
http://www.crunchyroll.com/akagi
http://www.crunchyroll.com/kaiji
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BluExocet



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Posts: 55
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:14 pm Reply with quote
Talk about coincidence; I recently watched all of Akagi and Kaiji, and can easily say that they are in my top favorite anime. Kaiji more so because as much of a loser as Kaiji is you just keep rooting for him.

Quote:
...and an unfashionable aviator's jacket.

I'd wear that jacket all day, every day.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1359
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:20 pm Reply with quote
I love how Akagi & Kaiji are both on CrunchyRoll now. I got interested in Akagi when it first debuted in 2005; I got a raw of the first episode just to see visually how it looked. Just from the untranslated bits I saw I wanted to watch it, so when it started getting fansubbed I was all over it. When Kaiji was announced I was all over that as well, but as much as I love Kaiji I must say that still prefer Akagi just a little bit more. Like Mike said I think it simply comes from the fun of seeing how Akagi gets through his matches, and I think that interests me more than finding out if Kaiji wins his game or not.

I remember at Otakon 2011 I went to the Masao Maruyama panel & asked him if there might ever be more Akagi anime, and he told me that he, Yuzo Sato, & a Mr. Nakatani of NTV all wanted to see it happen. Also, Akagi completed all of the objectives Maruyama wants a new anime to do, which includes good DVD sales, so he said that more Akagi anime will happen one day. I'm hoping that Madhouse is simply wanting to wait for Fukumoto to get closer to finishing the manga so that they can adapt the rest of the story (i.e. the Washizu match) in one new show; people wonder why an anime about one match could work, but I think this is a title that can do it. Hell, in the last shot of Kaiji Season 2 there was a drawing of Akagi signed by Yuzo Sato that said "Akagi futatabi", or "Akagi, Once Again". I think more Akagi anime is essentially all but officially confirmed, with the only question being "When" more than "If".

I'm hoping that CrunchyRoll will also get the third show in Madhouse's gambling anime "series", though. One Outs, though not created by Fukumoto & focused around baseball, was a perfect successor to Akagi & Kaiji in terms of psychological storytelling. Hell, in some ways, if beat both of them. If anything, that's what makes these three titles so enjoyable compared to each other: Each has something over the others, but at the same time they are all equally excellent.
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bravetailor



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 817
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:05 pm Reply with quote
BluExocet wrote:
Talk about coincidence; I recently watched all of Akagi and Kaiji, and can easily say that they are in my top favorite anime. Kaiji more so because as much of a loser as Kaiji is you just keep rooting for him.


Losers are always more compelling to watch than winners from a dramatic standpoint. You root for Kaiji in large part BECAUSE he is a loser.
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BluExocet



Joined: 04 Mar 2010
Posts: 55
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:42 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Losers are always more compelling to watch than winners from a dramatic standpoint. You root for Kaiji in large part BECAUSE he is a loser.


He reminds me a lot of Scott Pilgrim (mid-20's, college dropout, jobless to a degree), but unlike Scott Pilgrim Kaiji isn't a jerk, which is probably why I love Kaiji so much. All this crap keeps happening to him, through his fault or someone else's, he doesn't just turn around and be an absolute asshole to everyone around him.
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 7293
Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:50 pm Reply with quote
I actually got a couple of bone and bamboo mahjong sets complete with the spotted sticks for scoring. No idea how to play it though. It seems to be like a lot of card games with matching cards like canasta or gin rummy but with really complicated scoring.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 3279
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:00 pm Reply with quote
I have watched people play Mahjong, probably not the Japanese version though. The anime series Saki made me really interested in it, pity there is no western computer (true) Mahjong game to learn from.
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sunflower



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1079
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 11:37 pm Reply with quote
I've been watching this on CR this week too. I saw a commenter rave and took a look and never thought I'd like it, even though I enjoy playing mahjong (not Japanese scoring though) from time to time. But thanks to the 6 reviewers of the series over there I decided to try it and was hooked.

What's amazing to me is that you don't have to understand Japanese mahjong in the least to love this series. In fact, the hands go by too quickly for people who do understand it to really think about it. What's happening in the game is telegraphed perfectly by the story, dialogue, seiyuu, and animation. The tension wouldn't be that much higher if you had a great grasp of the game. A rudimentary knowledge would be helpful, so like someone said above, read the rules and jump into a few games. Then you'll get it.

I hope people watch this series. I'm pushing it onto all my friends, but none will watch it. Sad They're missing something great.

I plan to watch Kaiji after this.
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KabaKabaFruit



Joined: 20 Sep 2007
Posts: 1314
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 8:39 am Reply with quote
I've watched fansubbed versions of the first season of Kaiji and all of Akagi before they were on Crunchyroll and am now watching both series on Crunchyroll.

Fukumoto's storytelling is so fiendishly addictive that you can't help but watch his series. Don't be put off by the weird character designs. The shows are worth your time. Smile

As for the actual game of multi-player tile Mahjong, I tried it out at a board game fest a few months back and I found it to be surprisingly relaxing to play despite its complicated scoring system. However, for those who don't understand the rules, the only advice I can give is to keep playing with different players and you will eventually get the hang of it. Wink
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Oneeyedjacks



Joined: 21 Dec 2009
Posts: 297
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:43 am Reply with quote
Really enjoyed both Kaiji and Akagi, I haven't read any of Fukumoto's manga series, but I keep hearing Kurosawa as being the one to check out.

There's an interesting similarity between Kaiji and Attack on Titan, in that in both series the characters almost never win, and that the precious few victories they do manage to achieve are never gained without going through hell and massive loss, and usually the victories themselves are quite shallow. Its effect is that it ultimatly makes you want to route for the characters even more.

I found that an interesting thing to note about both series.

TarsTarkas wrote:
I have watched people play Mahjong, probably not the Japanese version though. The anime series Saki made me really interested in it, pity there is no western computer (true) Mahjong game to learn from.


This is the only English one I could fine. It's not great, but it helped me to learn some of the rules to mahjong.
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Mr. sickVisionz



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 1762
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:46 pm Reply with quote
I'm enjoying this one so far. I like the setup more than Saki but I think the more overblown aspects of Saki are easier to understand. I often find the mahjong over my head on a way Saki never was. Good series though. As far as the animation, I think your first take was spot on. It's cheap as hell. Not talking about the art style of how things are drawn, but the pure animation is pretty wretched. Lower than a motion-comic on a regular basis.
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KabaKabaFruit



Joined: 20 Sep 2007
Posts: 1314
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:29 pm Reply with quote
I don't see a problem with the animation. Some episodes even had fantastic animation like in episodes 12 and 13 of Kaiji.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1359
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:49 pm Reply with quote
KabaKabaFruit wrote:
I don't see a problem with the animation. Some episodes even had fantastic animation like in episodes 12 and 13 of Kaiji.


From what I've seen, to many fans "bad animation" can be applied to anything that isn't constantly moving or fluidly animated, i.e. limited animation in general. Honestly, there are simply shows that don't need high budgets in order to work, and Akagi & Kaiji are two examples of that. Sometimes limited animation can work for a show rather than hinder it, but for most people when they see the word "animation" they want to see actual animation instead of panning shots, still shots, & limited use of fluidity... Even when a title doesn't exactly need lots & lots of animation just for the sake of having it.
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Mr. sickVisionz



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 1762
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:48 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
KabaKabaFruit wrote:
I don't see a problem with the animation. Some episodes even had fantastic animation like in episodes 12 and 13 of Kaiji.


From what I've seen, to many fans "bad animation" can be applied to anything that isn't constantly moving or fluidly animated, i.e. limited animation in general. Honestly, there are simply shows that don't need high budgets in order to work, and Akagi & Kaiji are two examples of that. Sometimes limited animation can work for a show rather than hinder it, but for most people when they see the word "animation" they want to see actual animation instead of panning shots, still shots, & limited use of fluidity... Even when a title doesn't exactly need lots & lots of animation just for the sake of having it.


Animation is kinda what separates anime from manga. If you're going to be terrible anytime there's motion, you might as well as just be manga imo. That's a medium where animation quality is wholly irrelevant and more suited to what you want to make.

This series doesn't need mind blowing animation at every step, but I can't think of a single benefit to viewers that comes from it being so poorly and lazily animated at every step.
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