Kaiji - Ultimate Survivor

Alt title: Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor

If you're looking for anime similar to Kaiji - Ultimate Survivor, you might like these titles.

Akagi

Akagi

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.

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Reasons you might like Akagi...

Himitsu Himitsu says...

You immediately think of Akagi when you watch Kaiji, and vice versa. The similarity is in the character design, colour/tones, and especially the drama! The intense, competitive feel you experienced in Akagi is also expressed in Kaiji. You'll definitely like one if you like the other.

Jarudin Jarudin says...

Being similar in everything except for the character line-up and background story, you'll definitely enjoy Akagi and Kaiji. It is safe to assume that both series take place in the same 'world'. Both feature extreme forms of gambling in combination with yakuza practices.

Xen Xen says...

Both Kaiji and Akagi involve gambling and the underworld as the core themes. They also share the same producers and generally look, sound and feel similar.

APWZ APWZ says...

For Akagi's characters, their universe revolves around Mahjong. One could argue that Kaiji has the same exciting environment as Akaji, but has levelled up a stage - it is even more of a survival game.

styln styln says...

Kaiji and Akagi are two very similar series. They both have the same tone, they deal with gambling, similar art style, character designs and also there is a lack of females in both series. The only real difference is the type of gambling and the main characters personality. If you enjoyed one of these definitely check out the other.

Hyunkk Hyunkk says...

Kaiji and Akagi are from the same mangaka, they features the same style of characters, a plot around gambling and even some same voice actors! So if you liked one, you'd assurely like the other.

However, be sure to know a little about mahjong before watching Akagi. It makes the show more enjoyable.

Grv Grv says...

Both series have drama, suspense and make you think, with interesting plot twists. Also the same creator behind both series.

Kaland Kaland says...

Both of these series share the same drawing style and atmosphere (after all, the stories come from the same mangaka and has got the same produser). Both main characters are also hardcore gamblers, even though the kind of games they play differ and they're two completely different people. With that being said, the overall feel you get from both series are pretty much the same.

Adonia Adonia says...

If you want to see losers bettings their lives (literally) for a bone big enough to choke on... then look no further than Akagi or Kaigi.  If you're not keen on mahjong (or it confuses you beyond your senses, like me) then i suggest you start with Kaiji.  Who knew that gambling and desperation could be so amusing?

Gumby Gumby says...

Stylistically, they are the same. They each feature elements of gambling, strategy, supsense and a protagonist constantly pushing himself to overcome insurmountable odds and should be marathoned to get the best experience.

Idaemean Idaemean says...

Both Akagi and Kaiji are about gambling, money and - last but not least - human behavior and emotions. They also have quite similar graphics and character design, and the same sense of drama and plot twists. And both anime will give you probably the same feeling.

valondar valondar says...

With the same creative staff behind each one of these series, based on work by the same mangaka, each featuring his distinctive character designs and sordid, yakuza-filled gambling psychological mind games, these series are entirely and completely complimentary. Admittedly Akagi requires a knowledge of mahjong and ends terribly while Kaiji requires no prior information and ends wonderfully (making it clearly the better of the two) a fan of one is sure to appreciate the other.

Szwagier Szwagier says...

Well this one is pretty obvious. Both came from the same autho, both have unique drawing style, both are telling a stories about some really crazy gambles (like betting 4 fingers or using own blood as points). Both are showing in realistic setting that gambling can screw you big time (though in Akagis case he is screwing his oponnents).

Raspberries Raspberries says...

Both Akagi and Kaiji have quite similar main characters. Talented individuals who must use their skills in a series of high stakes gambles in order to survive. With bigger chins and noses than Bruce Campbell and Peter Townsend's illegitimate lovechild, the art style used in both is sure to leave an impression.

LinkSword LinkSword says...

I think it's a given that if you like one of these anime you'll like the other too.

Both have their roots in two long-running manga created by the same man, Nobuyuki Fukumoto. Therefore, it's no wonder the dark mood, the plot, the ugly yet engaging characters designs and the sensations Akagi and Kaiji portray are really similar.

There are some differences, though.

The two main characters, Akagi Shigeru and Kaiji Itou, are like the two faces of a same coin. While Akagi is your perfect, cool-headed genius that makes everyone around him feel inferior just with his abilities, Kaiji is a good-for-nothing excuse of a man who's always struggling to make his way through the sordid and unforgiving world of gambling, constantly becoming prey of the panic and comitting countless mistakes, even though he's actually a pretty smart guy but, unlike Akagi, Kaiji feels much more like an actual human and it's easier for the viewer to relate to.

Their motives for gambling are radically different too. Akagi doesn't really care about money, he just wants to escape from a meaningless life by putting himself in danger against worthy opponents, to feel the thrill in his body - that's what he considers a truly fulfilling life is. Kaiji also wants to escape his routine, but in a different way: he's broke and has piled up outrageous debts, hence needs the huge amounts of money gambling can give him in order to start anew.

Another important difference is that, while Akagi focuses itself in Mahjong alone, a game which needs prior understanding of (even though you can enjoy the show just fine without it), Kaiji displays a variety of different ''games'' on each story arc, which gives it a sense of renewal. Plus, these ''games'' need no prior knowledge.

Despite the differences, Akagi and Kaiji are definitely two of a kind, and will appeal to the same audience. Thrilling and entertaining to the core, these are not titles a good anime fan should miss. 

Songweaver Songweaver says...

Did you enjoy the noses of the various characters in Kaiji? Do you think a large nose screams out, 'I'm a badass, and I shave without shaving cream'? If you answered yes to this question, then you would also enjoy Akagi! Large flamboyant noses are present in both titles.

On a side note: They're both by the same author, and thus deal with gambling and the plethora of mind games that come with the territory. Each episode in either of the series will have you on the edge of you seat, holding in that bowel movement for just ONE more episode. However, everyone knows you'll watch it for more nosey-goodness.

HerrFinn HerrFinn says...

*Zawa Zawa* These are shows that if you like the crazy awesomeness of one, the other should also leap to your arms. Kaiji has the desparate struggle of a man who gets reamed by life, whilst Akagi is about a boy, soon to be man, who is clearly broken in the head. Still if you don't like Mahjong, which many can't follow, then Kaiji will hold you with their own unique games.

ActionBastard ActionBastard says...

It a real intense psychological anime. It may seem like only gambling but when you will watch it you will see that its more than just that. Both of them was created by the same person (Fukumoto) and he is a awesome artist because he makes the story in a way that you feel all the stress and the anxiety that the main character is feeling. So knock yourself out !!

MwrulesC MwrulesC says...

Akagi and Kaiji both have an uncannily similar feel, likely due to the fact that they are based on the works by the same mangaka. Both series involve gambling with very high stakes that require all the cunning, manipulation, and skill the protagonists have in order to get out in one piece. The character designs, tone, and style are all quite similar, all the way down to the use of a narrator to explain the situation (although the narrator in Kaiji is much more dramatic). 

Rohjake Rohjake says...

Mind games, high stakes and character designs are some similarities that Akagi and Kaiji share. Both will drive you to the edge of your seat and you just can't stop watching until you reach the very end and even then you will be wanting more.

On a side note, Akagi deals only with mahjong, so some knowledge about it is needed to get the most out of the series, while Kaiji has various games which are thoroughly explained and thus making it easier to approach.

Nicknames Nicknames says...

Both have an unique artstyle, share the same mood and are about ridiculously high stakes games. 

The biggest difference between them is the game they feature in each anime. In Akagi they play Mahjong and not having any prior knowledge of the game might make it harder to enjoy it, while in Kaiji they play an array of simple games which are easy to understand.

Despite this difference, anybody who liked one would enjoy the other. 

espie666 espie666 says...

Kaiji basically is just a new version of Akagi. Same artstyle, same overall theme, same audience. These shows are so similar that they often even get mixed up with each other. The only real difference is the characters and games they play. Akagi is strictly Mahjong, while Kaiji is a variety of games. They both revolve around the idea of gambling and shows the real dangers and complexity of it. They both have you sitting on the edge of your seat, leaving you with cliffhangers, making you want more and more. They are both psychological masterpieces and if you loved one, you will most likely have the same reaction to the other.

PurplePeopleEater PurplePeopleEater says...

Gambling, similar ugly looking characters with giant noses, gangsters, and risking ones life on a gamble make these two shows quite similar. The characters in Kaiji are a bit less ugly than in Akagi though and the overall are it more mainstream.

Aincrad Aincrad says...

Both involve high stakes gambling where you could lose your life.

They are also created with the same art style.

BlastIsCool BlastIsCool says...

Akagi and Kaiji are almost opposites. Kaiji is a bum climbing his way out of hell. Akagi is a genius searching for a true challenge, yet both shows are extremely intellegent, Nobuyuki Fukumoto has his phenominal writing in both series, with analyses on different aspects of gambling, all filled with great tension, and clever ideas, if left wishing for more of either show, both are more than worth it.

One Outs

One Outs

Kojima is a baseball legend. As the superstar cleanup hitter for the Lycaons, he won himself many awards including rookie of the year seven times; but there's one title he never acquired: champion. In an attempt to find that special something Kojima feels he's missing inside, he opens a training camp in Okinawa. There, through a series of events, Kojima is introduced to a high stakes game dominated by the talented Toua Tokuchi, and subsequently loses a fortune. However, Kojima finally defeats Toua and due to their agreement, he enlists him to join the now poorly-ranked Lycaons - but Toua demands a high price: instead of a salary, he will receive five million yen for each out, and lose fifty million yen for each point lost. With a bad attitude and prodigal skills, Toua will help transform the Lycaons into winners once more.

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JayGee JayGee says...

Both One Outs and Kaiji are both brought to us by director Yuzo Sato, and they both are quite similar series as they both have to do with gambling in a way.  Not only that, but both are dripping with the same badass style that Sato is superb  at bringing forth in his series.  If you've seen one series, you'll quickly pick up on the similar sylistic elements (panning, camera angles, ominous sound effects and music, facial expressions, etc.) and if you enjoy said elements, then there's no question that if you liked one series, you'll definitely like the other.  You may also notice that the main character is voiced by the same actor in both series!

Idaemean Idaemean says...

One Outs and Kaiji have quite similar graphics and character design, and - in a way - theme. Both series deal with gambling, and have rather psychological approach to that subject. Also the story protagonist in both anime is voiced by the same seyiuu. Moreover, One Outs and Kaiji will give you probably the same feeling.

ylk123 ylk123 says...

Both Kaiji and One Outs are directed by the same director. The protaganists are voiced by the same person. Also both animes have a phsycological aspect, so if you enjoyed Kaiji, you would love One Outs.

bananaskates bananaskates says...

Both series have the same pacing, using the gambling elements to create the high-suspense atmosphere that makes these two highly enjoyable.

Nicknames Nicknames says...

At first glance they seem to be completely different from each other, but actually both of them are quite similar. Unlike any other baseball anime One Outs focus on the psychological aspect of the games and the different tricks they have to pull to be victorious with some gambling thrown inbetween. Needless to say that's exactly what's Kaiji is about with the only exception that they play different gambling games instead of baseball. If you liked one you'll love the other.

FullmetalDragon FullmetalDragon says...

Both series are high stakes games featuring adult characters that really need to go to a gamblers anonymous session or something like damn. 

Death Note

Death Note

Have you ever felt like the world would be a better place if certain people weren’t around? Such grim daydreams might occur when watching the dismal daily news, but on one fateful day, Light Yagami finds that these daydreams can become reality. By pure happenstance, he comes across a black notebook entitled "Death Note", whose text within states that whoever's name is written on its pages will die. With the aid of the death god Ryuk, Light takes it upon himself to rid the world of its corruption, ushering in a new era of purity one death at a time. But as Ryuk foretells, Light's actions will not go unchallenged...

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Reasons you might like Death Note...

VivisQueen VivisQueen says...

Both anime exploit a narrow premise in order to create a strategic game of life and death. Kaiji has no paranormal elements like Death Note, and the animation styles are incredibly different, but the dark, edgy tone and atmospheric settings guarantee that liking one means liking the other.

Lagore Lagore says...

If you liked Kaiji, you will LOVE Death Note. Both of them are about people in potentially deadly situations who must use their intelligence to outsmart and outmaneuver their opponents.

They are both unbelievably suspenseful with dozens of twists and turns. But don't take my word for it: see for yourself!

crawller crawller says...

Both anime are incredibly thrilling and is a must if you like thrillers. They make you sit at you computer watching for hours just because it's so "exciting". cancell your life for some hours and watch Death Note//Kaiji. If you liked one of them i am sure you will enjoy the other.

Squaretic Squaretic says...

As many have said before, the mindgames between life and death are uncanny in these two, but it's also the amazing exercise the japanese are fond of practicing of making one seemingly simple premise (notebook of fate, game of rock-paper-scissors) and EXPLODING it into a complex and evolving system of conflict, suspense, and deceit full of canonical loopholes any sharp viewer would point out in hindsight. Also and more specifically, the 'people with power get bored easily' trope gets exploited.

IdleSolution IdleSolution says...

Both characters ecounter many problems they need to solve by using their inteligence. One wrong step and they are dead. There are no OP characters and every ideas are brilliant. If you liked how Yagami did things you will also like Kaiji's solutions.

GANTZ

GANTZ

Much to the annoyance of Kei, he and his childhood friend Katou have died, having been torn apart by a train. But rather than finding themselves at the gates of heaven, the duo materialize in a room full of strangers and a giant black sphere known as GANTZ. As if dying once wasn’t bad enough, the occupants of the room are then forced to embark on dangerous missions to kill strange aliens; missions that very few return from. Now, Kei, Katou, and a well-endowed friend must fight for their freedom with an arsenal of guns, high powered suits, and a very low chance of survival.

4 votes

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APWZ APWZ says...

I thought Gantz was unique with the survival games, although the master is truly unknown. Kaiji also has survival games, but here it is "voluntarily" done for a chance to score big bucks and the game masters are human...

Lagore Lagore says...

Survival is the name of the game!

Both of these shows deal with groups of people forced to play games where their lives are on the line. Both of the shows have unexpected twists and a good lineup of interesting characters.

Trust me, if you like one, you'll like the other.

Skandi Skandi says...

The situation in Kaiji and GANTZ are basically the same with slight alterations. The characters in both series are put into new worlds where someone pressures their minds to its fullest extent. Not only do the characters in both series have to deal with psychological mind games, but they must also survive giving up their own values.

Drasticc Drasticc says...

Psychological suspense thrillers!  Both animes star two average guys who are leading unfulfillable lives and later are put into a position where they must now listen to their instincts in order to survive. Aside for the obvious wagers of like and limb, Kanji proves that everything is not what it seems to be. So if you like the suspense and violence from GANTZ, then Kaiji is your anime. 

Death Billiards

Death Billiards

When two strangers find themselves trapped in a mysterious lounge with no memory of arriving, they're informed by the bartender that the only way to escape is play a game like their lives depend on it. With a spin of the roulette wheel, their fates are set: the men must play a game of pool, but it's no ordinary game! In a suspenseful, macabre twist, the balls aren't numbered but rather represent a different organ in each man's body. Just what kind of fate awaits the loser of this anything-goes game of billiards?

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Reasons you might like Death Billiards...

Funkgun Funkgun says...

Games with stakes higher than money. 

Trying to stay away from spoilers, just know they have an element that is very similar. 

ZetsubouKaiji ZetsubouKaiji says...

High stakes games combined with psychological elements make for an intense watching experience. Both these anime involove a battles of wits that compliments the skill that is involved with the games being played. In both cases the games are fairly simple to understand which allows both shows to play up the psychological angle.

espie666 espie666 says...

Both shows have a theme revolved around games or gambling, with high stakes. In both shows, the characters lives are at stake, and the characters  in both shows react dramatically and think of unique ways to conquer their opponent, giving the shows a very psychological feel to it. They both get your heart beating faster, and have you sitting on the edge of your seat. 

FullmetalDragon FullmetalDragon says...

Lots of high stakes, mysterious games and characters, and a good insight into the human psyche and what people do when under pressure. 

Legendary Gambler Tetsuya

Legendary Gambler Tetsuya

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?

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Reasons you might like Legendary Gambler Tetsuya...

JugatsuOnna JugatsuOnna says...

Tetsuya is a Mahjong gambling Anime set in Post WWII Shinjuku, Japan. While it is not as psychologically tense as Kaiji and Akagi, it is nonetheless engaging with rich character development and settings and exciting intellectual battles of mahjong/gambling skills with friend and foe alike.

Halex Halex says...

Both animes are about gambling and learning the "skills" on how to do it. However, Kaiji is much darker and covers different types of games.

Monster

Monster

Dr Kenzo Tenma is a genius surgeon working in post-Cold War Germany who has a bright future ahead of him. He is admired by his colleagues, loved by his patients, and due to marry his boss' daughter, the beautiful Eva Heinemann. One day, when two patients in desperate need of emergency surgery are wheeled into his hospital, Tenma faces a terrible choice of saving the orphaned boy who came first or the mayor of Düsseldorf, whose recovery would raise the hospital's profile and boost his own career. Against the demands of his superior, Tenma does what he believes is right and saves the child. However, his decision not only damages his prospects, but unleashes a chain of events so horrific that it might have come from the depths of his worst nightmares. Laden with guilt, Tenma begins a journey across Germany in search of a formidable young man who will challenge his morals, his love for life, and his very sanity.

1 vote

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Drasticc Drasticc says...

Both show the protagonist in mentally stressful situations and having to figure out clues and hints in order to survive the ordeal. There are mental challenges a head of them, and nothing is what it seems to be a first sight. They both are suspence thrillers that seem to be aimed for the mature audiences.

Btooom!

Btooom!

22-year-old Ryouta is an unemployed good-for-nothing who spends his days living at home and playing Btooom, a wildly popular online game that's sold over three million copies worldwide. Alongside other teammates, Ryouta battles it out with others using powerful bombs and sonar that can reveal hidden enemies, and his dedication has earned him the title of Japan's top player. But soon, Ryouta's pastime becomes a terrifying reality, as he and many others are dropped onto a tropical island and forced to play Btooom – but this time for real. Now, he and the rest must fight to the death by whatever means necessary, as the only way to win this deadly game is by killing seven of the other players.

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hitlechro hitlechro says...

Kaiji and Btooom! both are awesome high-stakes animes. They both teach the audience about NEETs and how they must man-up when the time comes. I took them both to heart.

Ping Pong The Animation

Ping Pong The Animation

Makoto Tsukimoto (nicknamed Smile) is a quiet high-schooler who's been friends with the loud and energetic Yukata Hoshino (nicknamed Peco) since childhood. They're both in the local table tennis club and both have a natural talent for it, although Smile's personality always enables him from winning against Peco. The club teacher, however, notices Smile's talent and tries to make him gain some sportive tenacity.

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VivisQueen VivisQueen says...

Both Kaiji and Ping Pong merge a tournament plot concept with unusual animation. There are some notable differences that keep each unique. Ping Pong is a straight-up sports anime with a fluid, sketchy style; Kaiji is a suspense thriller about high stakes games that hinges on its deliberately ugly character designs. However, I think fans of one will appreciate that the other delivers equally brilliant, tense drama. Furthermore, the characters in each show are the kind that you enjoy getting to know as they suffer their various triumphs and traumas. Basically, if what you're looking for is white-knuckle suspense merged with an innovative presentation style and vibrant characters, then you won't go wrong with either of these shows.

No Game No Life

No Game No Life

An urban legend states that those exceptionally gifted at gaming will be sent a special game invitation, and the winners of the challenge will be whisked away to another world. When Sora and Shiro, two hikikomori NEETs who happen to be both siblings and notorious gamers, receive this invitation, they defeat it with ease. And like the legends tell, they're transported to another world where conflicts, peoples' lives and even country borders are decided by competitions and games. Always up for a challenge, the pair quickly take on the obstacles that come their way, whether it be restoring lowly humanity's good name compared with the other races or helping influence who will become the next king.

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pukahuntus pukahuntus says...

The art style and mood of these anime couldn't be more different, but they both revolve around the same concept. Both feature intelligent protagonists risking everything in various games, against opponents who will do whatever it takes to win. Will they overcome the odds and beat an opponent who is cheating? What level will they stoop to in order not to lose? With everything at stake, just one slip up and their lives could be over. It's up to them to outwit their opponents and win the game, no matter what.