Akagi I've been meaning to watch for over a year now. I watched its sister series Kaiji first and everyone told me I would love Akagi even more. When I asked zzeroparticle to pick an anime that I should have seen by now I was super pleased with the choice made. Akagi was a great anime for my Not so Secret Santa Project!
Akagi Shigeru one stormy night was up to no good. After an almost fate sealing car crash off of a cliff he stumbles into a game of Mahjong with yakuza thugs! Generally any teenager would be having the worst night ever at this point, but Akagi is thrilled beyond belief with all this adrenaline. He isn't afraid to take risks, even around adults that could make his life go out in a flash. Akagi's crazy adventure in the dark world of gambling Mahjong starts.
The OP is nothing like what I would have pictured... It's like soft country music or something with a Japanese twist of course. Something that you'd hear in a western. The ED is much more like what I expected for the series. Some angry metal rock. ED 2 is pretty similar to the first ED but the images change... There's so pretty weird imagery for me in there. Mainly Akagi walking along the train tracks doing some kind of weird belly dancing. If anything the OP and ED should be switched musically wise. I'd rather end the episode with some mellow music than with angry music. The soundtrack during the show fits the moods presented greatly. Incense and dramatic. Just perfect and what I would expect from a suspenseful anime such as this.
I really enjoyed that like most viewers I'm sure, the hero Akagi starts off knowing little to nothing about Mahjong. So we get a lot of information about what is happening in this pretty complicated game as we go along. We get to watch Akagi grow and by the end of it all we see just how far he went and who knows where he'll go afterwards. His main rival is a rich old man named Washizu. He is sick and twisted honestly. He loves to tempt young people into playing games with him for a chance to gain some of his money. The thing is they must bet their lives! He hooks them up to a blood machine and their wagers are BLOOD! That was one of the most insane arcs in anime that I've ever sat through...
I would recommend this to anyone that loves very dark suspenseful anime and isn't afraid of a very unique animation style. Honestly between Akagi and Kaiji there isn't much of a difference except characters. You will enjoy the drive to succeed and stay alive of these 2 men.
* Story 8/10
* Animation 8/10
* Sound 8/10
* Characters 8/10
* Overall 8/10
From the anime Akagi, Akagi Shigeru enters the world of Yakuza Mahjong playing at the tender age of 13. He starts off knowing nothing of the game but quickly gets a reputation among the top players. He will do pretty much anything to make a game more exciting for himself.
Why I like him: I love it when people have a quick learning curve for things. Sometimes strategy is really easy to figure out for people. I really enjoyed his pure guts too. Most kids aren't mature enough to contend with adults in this kind of way but he pulled it off.
Why I hate him: Maybe just a little too cocky at times for my taste.
Overall: What an intense anime about Mahjong. I hope more comes out someday.