Genres: action, psychological
Themes: gambling, survival game, yakuza
Plot Summary: Itou Kaiji is a bum who steals car emblems and slashes tires on what seems to be a regular basis. This routine changes one day when he is paid a visit by a man in a trench-coat. Once the two get talking, it seems that the visitor (Calling himself Endou) is a debt collector. The reason for his visit is an unpaid loan which kaiji had previously co-signed for a work-mate (Furuhata Takeshi). The original loan was 30000 yen and once Takeshi had disappeared, the loan then fell on Kaiji. Kaiji is then told of a way to clear the interest compounded debt (which stood at 3,850,000 yen), which involved getting on a boat with others in his position. Once on the boat the debtors would then have to gamble with loaned money, which would end with a few winning, and others getting into deeper debt and having to work to pay of their debts. After some coercing kaiji accepts a position on the boat, in order to clear himself and make a bit of money as well…
Number of episodes: 26
Vintage: 2007-10-02 to 2008-04-01
Genres: psychological, thriller
Themes: gambling, game
Plot Summary: After the events at the Starside Hotel, Kaiji Itou finds himself living his miserable lifestyle once again. Captured by the Teiai group to which he owns a lot of money, he is thrown into an underground forced labor camp where he must pay off his debt by doing harsh manual work. Kaiji becomes desperate as it is expected that he lives in this hellhole for the next 15 years.
Number of Episodes: 26
Vintage: 2011-04-05 to 2011-09-27
Mr. Tonegawa / Chūkan Kanriroku Tonegawa
(aka Mr. Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues)
Plot Summary: Teiai Group is one of Japan’s largest firms. Yukio Tonegawa, a man with a larger-than-life presence and sharp intellect, works as the right-hand man of Chairman Kazutaka Hyodo. One day, the chairman commands Tonegawa to spearhead “Game of Death,” an evil project that employs debtors. He rallies his direct reports and scrambles to form Team Tonegawa, only to encounter a barrage of challenges from the erratic chairman and his disloyal employees, ultimately leading to his demotion.
Number of episodes: 24