One Outs is sort of a spiritual successor to Akagi and Kaiji, and about as good. Although the quality of the actual storylines is sometimes a bit spotty, I have a bit of a pet love for each of these shows for precisely one reason: they involve playing to win, at all costs. To honor them, I'd like to share a related story.
Back in the day when I was still in elementary school, I went to an afterschool program created by the YMCA. The supervisors there (called "counselors" for whatever reason) would occassionally trot out a trick to keep us little fuckers from making noise for a while. The game was called "Ghost in the Graveyard," and began with every kid lying on the hard, tile floor. The object of the game was simply to be the last person to move. At the end, the winner would receive some stupid, inconsequential reward: maybe a stick of candy, maybe some stupid piece of plastic that the counselors would try to pass off as a "toy."
Most of you are understandingly balking at the sheer stupidity and pointlessness of the game, but I actually have fond memories of it. There was something fascinatingly pure about the way Ghost in the Graveyard was not about strength, intelligence, or some other ability. No. The winner was simply whoever wanted to win the most - the one person who could stave off boredom for longer than anyone else.
And you know what? I won the game every time. Yes, every time we played it, out of thirty or so kids.
Oh sure, there were a couple of tricks that my eight-year-old self figured out. Even breathing helped your mind to go into a trancelike state where you wouldn't become bored as easily, and getting into a comfortable position when you first had to lie down was a must. Still, for the most part, I won because no one could compete with my sheer competitiveness.
I have always been abnormally competitive in everything I do. It doesn't matter if it's tests, chess, or wii sports. And I usually win, because like Ghost in the Graveyard, oftentimes it's not about your actual ability, but how much you want the big W next to your name.