3.743 out of 5 from 152 votes
Nakanishi is fresh out of reform school and stuck at a dead-end job with an abusive boss. But when an internet friend tells him about a game called Duds Hunt, he soon becomes deeply involved in a new life full of excitement and violence. Reaping thousands of yen from the misfortunes of others, Nakanishi comes to love Duds Hunt – but where does it end?
To take money from others, you must also take another thing from them: Their life. That's the philosophy of both of these series, where contestants join of their own freewill, misled or otherwise, and participate in a survival game to win money. Duds Hunt focuses more on violence than psychological and Life is Money is the opposite, minimalizing violence for psychological trauma and breakdowns.
"Congratulations! You are 1 of 100,000 people who have been entered in the amazing Liar Game tournament!" For Nao Kanzaki, an overly-naïve student, receiving this message in the mail was only the beginning of an unending financial and psychological nightmare. Winning the game means riches beyond one’s wildest dreams, while failure means crushing debt. And with no choice but to play the game, Nao quickly turns to Shinichi, a well-known swindler, for help. However, little do the two know just how far the Liar Game goes. Who will win, and who will lose it all?
Both involve games that gamble huge sums of money and pivot around mental games that invlolve looking into opponents minds and figuring out the best way to defeat them. The main characters in both are also the few people who are righteous/just among all the other people who succumb to greed.
One day, your life is normal, or at least on a predictable track. But a single event changes it, turns your world upside down and you make a choice, and that choice, is to live. Life is Money tackles this by a dire need of money to save a life while protection one's own, and Ousama Game is without the greed of material goods, but that of humans, to save as many as you can from the gallows. Both are about survival, testing the mind and limits of humanity, pride, greed and gluttony for life, pressure comes down on our heroes as they struggle to save those they care about.
Itou Kaiji is as pathetic a person as they come; a man who gambles his days away, only winning enough to lose significantly more. He hates himself, is riddled with envy for others, but is ultimately too weak to think of a way out of his massive debts. Then one day he is approached by a strange man who offers him what seems the solution of a lifetime – to take a short journey on a ship called Espoir, during which time he will be given the chance to win more cash than he can dream of in a card game like no other. Ever the desperate, Kaiji takes the gamble of his life; however, the game turns out to be far darker than he expected and the hard lessons pile on thick and fast. Now stuck in a closed world of unsavory characters willing to do anything to destroy him, can Kaiji gather enough courage to outwit them all?
Indirect killing. Through psychological, mental, secondhand, mind or anything, just don't let your hands get dirty by anything direct. That's the style of these two series. They're more on the side of psychological and the mental breakdown of humanity/morals on the scale of killing than violence but both contain their share of blood. Bodies will have to fall for any progress on the end goal of wealth to be made and either one will feed your hunger for psychological thrillers.