In the year 1947, the people of Shinjuku are down on their luck. With little money to buy food or necessities, some resort to gambling in order to survive. The Mahjong parlors are where the traveling Tetsuya chooses to spend his time, wiping the floor clean with his adversaries. However, once Tetsuya meets the intensely-skilled Boushu-san, he discovers that his own skills are lacking, and from now on Mahjong will never be the same! Does Tetsuya have what it takes to become a legendary gambler?
One stormy night, a desperate man finds himself playing Mahjong with yakuza thugs; the prize is his life. He is losing, and death seems certain, until a teenage boy stumbles out of the darkness into the Mahjong parlor, drenched in rain. Allowed to watch, the boy soon offers to play in place of the marked man, and that night, a legend is born. After his first taste for Mahjong, Akagi Shigeru finds himself entangled in the dark underworld of Mahjong gambling: for money, reputation, and lives.
Mahjong - Akagi and Legendary Gambler Tetsuya are revolting around that game. Both series have sometimes quite tense atmosphere and focus on psychological aspects of mahjong. Not always legal actions and characters - you can also find that in both anime. Legendary Gambler Tetsuya is older series, not as tense as Akagi, but in a way more realistic. I suppose you should try the other, if you liked one of them.
Yabuki Joe is a scoundrel, plain and simple. He's confident, cocky, a con artist and a drifter, and one hell of a fighter too -- or at least, that's what Tange Danpei, the washout and drunk ex-boxing coach believes. Danpei is so sure of Joe's ability to be a pro boxer that he gives up the drink and works hard to earn money to build a gym; but Joe, on the other hand, has other plans that are not nearly as noble. Can Danpei convince this loose cannon to pick up the gloves and box like a world class champion?
Joe and Tetsuya are both hardened and cocky badasses who think they are the best at their games. Unfortunately, they soon discover that they are not, and must take a wisened teacher to improve their skills. Both main characters have remarkably similar personalities, so if you liked one you'd like the other.