A new season of the popular anime franchise Kaiji was announced earlier this week, bringing viewers back into the eponymous character’s struggle for survival in the world of high-stakes gambling. Based on the manga by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, Kaiji Itou is a good-for-nothing loser until one day he is accosted by a loan shark and thrust into the world of illegal gambling.
“After escaping with his life and getting out of debt, this season Kaiji has a new challenge to his survival: opening lootboxes,” the official press release read in part.
The new series will feature Kaiji competing for his life in the most popular esport on the planet: Star Wars Battlefront II. In this illegal underground league, competitors who lose are killed. Willing to risk everything for survival, Kaiji ups the ante by borrowing huge amounts of money from the mafia in order to buy lootboxes and unlock powerful weapons.
“We hope to remain faithful to the franchise by showing captivating scenes of Kaiji sitting in front of his computer opening lootboxes,” director Yuzo Sato said in an interview, referencing the thrilling scenes of Kaiji sitting in front of a pachinko machine for ten episodes in the second season.
According to reports from Otasuke, a major plot point will feature Kaiji spending tens of thousands of yen on lootboxes, only to roll purely cosmetic items. However, Kaiji overcomes this setback several episodes later and finally feels the pride and accomplishment of unlocking a hero.
Initial reactions to the new Kaiji series have generally been positive. One commentor told Anime Maru that while the franchise is creative, he was glad to not live in such a world, before going back to doing gatcha pulls on his mobile phone.