Kaiji Reality Show Returns as Regular Program With 100 Million Yen Prize

posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Game show based on gambling manga streams in April

Nobuyuki Fukumoto's Kaiji manga is inspiring the Real Kaiji GP reality program that will begin streaming on AbemaTV's AbemaSPECIAL Channel in April. AbemaTV began streaming a promotional video for the show on Thursday.

Contestants will participate in new challenges as well as games that originally appeared in the manga for a chance to win a monetary prize of 100 million yen (about US$920,000). The official website is accepting applications from Thursday until March 18. Participants must be at least 18 years old.

The show's official website and promotional video describe it as a "jinsei gyakuten reality show" (life reversal reality show). "Jinsei gyakuten" also appears in the titles of both the Jinsei Gyakuten Battle Kaiji (Life Reveral Battle Kaiji) variety program that aired in December and the Kaiji - Jinsei Gyakuten Game (Kaiji: The Ultimate Gambler) live-action film that premiered in 2009.

Participants on the variety program that aired last month participated in "life reversal battles" inspired by challenges in the manga. The final winner was eligible to win 200,000 yen (about US$1,790) and money earned in games.

In the Kodansha Manga Award-winning story of the original 1996-1999 Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji series, a consummate gambler named Kaiji bets on games ranging from janken (rock-paper-scissors) and human racing to falling pachinko balls and two-player mahjong. There were three Kaiji sequels before Fukumoto launched Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji One Poker-Hen in 2013. One Poker-Hen ended in Kodansha's Weekly Young Magazine in September, and Kodansha shipped the 16th compiled volume on January 5. The original series has also inspired three spinoff manga.

In addition, Kaiji has inspired two television anime series and two live-action films with director Tōya Satō (live-action Gokusen, Gatchaman) and main star Tatsuya Fujiwara (Death Note's Light, Battle Royale's Shuya). Crunchyroll is streaming both anime seasons.

The Kaiji VR ~Zetsubō no Tekkotsu Watari~ (Kaiji VR ~Steel Beam Crossing of Despair~) PlayStation VR game launched in Japan on August 28.

Source: Comic Natalie

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