Akagi is about Mahjong, and is a prequel to the manga Ten. The story centers around one of the main characters from Ten; Akagi. In this anime, we discover how Akagi rose through the Japanese underworld and became a Mahjong champion. While the story only covers around 4 events, it does it with every bit of suspense you would expect from Fukumoto. The ending is a bit abrupt, but doesn't leave the viewer confused.
Every character but the protagonist is extremely undeveloped in all of Fukumoto's works, and Akagi is no exception. Besides Akagi, none of the other characters even show signs of a backstory of development. But because of Akagi (who is an amazing character in my opinion) and the policeman, I give this a low score.
While the style may appear ugly and weird to some at first, it really defines the mood of the anime. No, I don't mean the 4 foot noses, I'm talking about the gritty and dark style that can only be found in something by Fukumoto. When the suspense builds, it is amplified through the animation.
The voice actors do an amazing job bringing each character to life. I especially commend the voice actor for Akagi. For those of you who don't know, he is also the voice of Kaiji, which some consider to be Akagi's complete opposite. The music was done by none other than Hideki Taniuchi. His music is awesome, and I'm disappointed that some of the tracks aren't included in the official soundtrack.
I loved Akagi, and it remains one of my favorite gambling anime of all time. If you aren't bothered by slow-paced anime and the animation style, you have to check this out. Fans of Kaiji will also enjoy this.