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Kaiji: The Ultimate Millennial




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VerQuality
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:26 pm Reply with quote
For me one of the strongest scenes in Kaiji was when Tonegawa (I think) was describing the cycle of self-delusion that keeps people from acting in their best interests. They'll go through every day thinking 'this isn't the real me. This isn't my real potential. My real life hasn't started yet.' And on their deathbed they'll realize the life they lived was, in fact, their real life, and it was all they got.

Kind of reminds me of the idea 'America's poor don't think of themselves as poor, they think of themselves as millionaires that just haven't made it yet.' It's a dangerous mindset as it keeps people from reacting realistically to their own situation, and will often lead them to vote against policies that are very much in their own interest.
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Minos_Kurumada



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 1:46 pm Reply with quote
The series shows very clearly how Kaiji is an irresponsible lazy moron always looking for an easy way out and who is asking constantly for loans and that's the reason why he is always in financial problems.

The best example of this comes during the 2 time skips, both times he goes back to being a loser learning nothing of his experiences.

Being on purpose or not, he is a representation of the irresponsible keynesian japanese government.

Now, if he is indeed meant to represent the japanese youth, well, it's not a sympathetic representation.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:11 pm Reply with quote
Minos_Kurumada wrote:
The series shows very clearly how Kaiji is an irresponsible lazy moron always looking for an easy way out and who is asking constantly for loans and that's the reason why he is always in financial problems.

The best example of this comes during the 2 time skips, both times he goes back to being a loser learning nothing of his experiences.


Yeah, if all you see is the anime, it gives the idea that Kaiji manages to win out in the end, defeating an unfair & abusive corporation, & making some sweet bank for himself in the process. But that's only the end of the second manga series, of which there are currently six, with the third series starting up with Kaiji having literally wasted everything he won (turns out Kaiji is an obsessive gambler who is literally incapable of quitting while he's ahead) and has become an unbearable nuisance for one of the men he befriended during the second series, who actually did the responsible thing & made the most of his share. He even tries hooking Kaiji with his daughter, to which Kaiji is disgusted (even though she does seem to like him, and it would give Kaiji some sort of stable livelihood), which is what the footage to Season 2's ED sequence is referencing.

Kaiji's "only" option, at least in his eyes? To once play again highly dangerous games of chance & deception, pitting him against the Teiai Corporation all over again, after he thought he was out of their grasp. This is not to say that the article is poorly thought out, because it definitely hits what Fukumoto was likely correlating to back in the day, but it's only covering the beginning of a larger plot, overall.
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Grimvice



Joined: 10 Aug 2017
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 3:31 pm Reply with quote
This article also criticizes the idea of penny-pinching and holding out for the one chance Kaiji has got to get out of the work prison alive, while saying it makes sense to spend the little money they have on the little things that "keeps the workers going", the "little things to treat themselves with".

Except that whole mentality (that the article failed to mention) was how the foreman manipulated Kaiji into the underground gambling den and cheat him out of his money. Because Kaiji "treated himself", he had no choice but to join the gambling den to try and get it back.

It really shows how people's ability to work hard and succeed can easily be undercut by culture and companies trying to sell you overpriced stuff, then people buy these things they don't need and it sets them back, but they do it because they "need" it since they need to enjoy life or whatever.

You can enjoy life without buying into temporary bits of shallow happiness and potentially endangering your finances and then blaming everyone like the government and the companies, even though it was your stupid ass who kept buying your own comfort addiction.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:23 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
[He even tries hooking Kaiji with his daughter, to which Kaiji is disgusted (even though she does seem to like him, and it would give Kaiji some sort of stable livelihood), which is what the footage to Season 2's ED sequence is referencing.


I mean considering how plain she is that makes a fair amount of sense, not to mention that even if he did with his gambling problems that would only make things worse.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:32 pm Reply with quote
BadNewsBlues wrote:
Lord Geo wrote:
[He even tries hooking Kaiji with his daughter, to which Kaiji is disgusted (even though she does seem to like him, and it would give Kaiji some sort of stable livelihood), which is what the footage to Season 2's ED sequence is referencing.


I mean considering how plain she is that makes a fair amount of sense, not to mention that even if he did with his gambling problems that would only make things worse.


Yeah, but I was simply showing that Kaiji was being offered help by someone who does care for him as a friend, but his gambling addiction still eventually results in him being brought back into Teiai's grasp. Kaiji COULD have realized his addiction & prevented what happens in Part 3 & beyond, but he succumbs to it instead, partially because being on the brink is where he shines & finds himself relevant.
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H. Guderian



Joined: 29 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 8:02 pm Reply with quote
VerQuality wrote:
For me one of the strongest scenes in Kaiji was when Tonegawa (I think) was describing the cycle of self-delusion that keeps people from acting in their best interests. They'll go through every day thinking 'this isn't the real me. This isn't my real potential. My real life hasn't started yet.' And on their deathbed they'll realize the life they lived was, in fact, their real life, and it was all they got.

Kind of reminds me of the idea 'America's poor don't think of themselves as poor, they think of themselves as millionaires that just haven't made it yet.' It's a dangerous mindset as it keeps people from reacting realistically to their own situation, and will often lead them to vote against policies that are very much in their own interest.


First post best post!

Its hard to build on this train of thought. He really is the ultimate millennial. "I'd get my life started the moment the world gets out of my way." And another few years of video games and netflix later and nothing changes.
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Actar



Joined: 21 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:51 am Reply with quote
H. Guderian wrote:
VerQuality wrote:
For me one of the strongest scenes in Kaiji was when Tonegawa (I think) was describing the cycle of self-delusion that keeps people from acting in their best interests. They'll go through every day thinking 'this isn't the real me. This isn't my real potential. My real life hasn't started yet.' And on their deathbed they'll realize the life they lived was, in fact, their real life, and it was all they got.

Kind of reminds me of the idea 'America's poor don't think of themselves as poor, they think of themselves as millionaires that just haven't made it yet.' It's a dangerous mindset as it keeps people from reacting realistically to their own situation, and will often lead them to vote against policies that are very much in their own interest.


First post best post!

Its hard to build on this train of thought. He really is the ultimate millennial. "I'd get my life started the moment the world gets out of my way." And another few years of video games and netflix later and nothing changes.


My interpretation was more along the lines of "Enjoy your life while you can". To me, the scene was a critique of how people keep putting off their dreams and ambitions, either because they're too lazy or because they're just absorbed with their mundane jobs and saving up money, chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. However, in the end, they die without having achieved anything because they either waited too long to get started or they don't have the youth to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

...but of course, this is premised on what your dreams and ambitions are. If you're actually satisfied with a simple life of a stable career and video games and Netflix, who says you aren't living your best life? Not everyone has ambition or aspires to change the world. But of course, if there's something you deeply desire and want, go out there and get it!
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MikeNeko San



Joined: 02 Dec 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 8:34 am Reply with quote
If he graduated high school in 1993, he would be solidly Gen X. It’s great that our lived experiences are so relatable to Millennials, but please try harder to not erase us next time.
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Shay Guy



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:26 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
Yeah, if all you see is the anime, it gives the idea that Kaiji manages to win out in the end, defeating an unfair & abusive corporation, & making some sweet bank for himself in the process.


I don't think it gives the impression of him "making some sweet bank". Remember, the final episode of season 2 ends with him losing most of his winnings from the Bog to a trap in Endou's contract that he'd blundered into, then losing the rest on normal pachinko. He's done some real good for the rest of the 45'ers (a single-digit number of men out of Teiai's many debt slaves), and he's finally debt-free, but he's also broke, by his own doing.

I think the anime does a pretty good job of driving home how, like you said, he's never really dealt with his gambling addiction and he only manages to accomplish anything when he's on the brink.

As for Tonegawa, given that he has a vested interest in justifying the abuse he helps perpetuate (much of which is flat-out illegal), I'm not inclined to give too much credence to his speeches.

MikeNeko San wrote:
If he graduated high school in 1993, he would be solidly Gen X. It’s great that our lived experiences are so relatable to Millennials, but please try harder to not erase us next time.


I think the piece's opening paragraph makes it clear that it's drawing a parallel to the experiences of Millennials, not trying to claim he is one.
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MikeNeko San



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:57 pm Reply with quote
Shay Guy wrote:

I think the piece's opening paragraph makes it clear that it's drawing a parallel to the experiences of Millennials, not trying to claim he is one.


Let me be clearer then. My point is that it cheeses off Gen X readers when our stories have to be relatable to Millennials in order to be deemed watchable.
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zrnzle500
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2020 5:12 pm Reply with quote
MikeNeko San wrote:
Shay Guy wrote:

I think the piece's opening paragraph makes it clear that it's drawing a parallel to the experiences of Millennials, not trying to claim he is one.


Let me be clearer then. My point is that it cheeses off Gen X readers when our stories have to be relatable to Millennials in order to be deemed watchable.


Strictly speaking, generations don’t necessarily apply worldwide, so even if he was of the same age range, that doesn’t necessarily make him Gen X. Japan has its own demarcations of generations, since the events that define the generations, both in terms of dates and their experiences, are different. Specifically, the experiences of Japanese people who reached their prime working years in the 90’s are very different from their counterparts in the US. Whereas Japan had persistently poor growth through the 90’s, the 90’s were mostly a period of strong growth in the US, so the earlier part of Gen X like my parents had a very different experience economically than their counterparts in Japan or Millennials. The later parts of Gen X did however share similar experiences with their Japanese counterparts and Millennials in terms of the economic conditions they experienced. So while I think that it probably would have been good for the author to give a nod to the later Gen Xers, Kaiji’s story is very much not the story of all of Gen X, especially not his most direct counterparts in the US in terms of the years they came of working age.
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thedarkemissary



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 2:27 am Reply with quote
You failed to mention that by the end of the anime, Keiji manages to lose it all AGAIN. He's so broke, that one of his "hellish" guards gives him some pity money. Which I'm sure he blew on alcohol and gambling.
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IKKIsama



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2020 1:48 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The strongest arc in the anime is the underground labor camp arc in the beginning of season 2.


Let's agree to disagree. Razz

First arc is best arc.
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BadNewsBlues



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2020 2:18 pm Reply with quote
thedarkemissary wrote:
You failed to mention that by the end of the anime, Keiji manages to lose it all AGAIN. He's so broke, that one of his "hellish" guards gives him some pity money. Which I'm sure he blew on alcohol and gambling.


I vaguely remember he had most of the money stolen to pay back his debt to the Loan Shark guy who helped him pull off the win in the Pachinko game. The guard gave him the money to help treat the guys who gave him their winnings to earn all their freedom from the underground.

Which was probably for the best considering how badly Kaiji pissed away all the money he earned towards the end of the first season trying to stick it to Hyodo
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