Legendary Gambler Tetsuya is a gambling themed anime that was released in 2000. It follows the journey of Tetsuya who is trying to make some money because there are no jobs in his town. It’s set in 1947 so the gambling is a little different to what we have now, there’s no Online Baccarat or Blackjack involved.
The gambling in Legendary Gambler Tetsuya is all about Mahjong. It’s a little different to the Mahjong you might have seen on your PC or tablet. It’s traditional Mahjong, which features four players against each other. The anime is produced by Toei and although the animation is a little bit dated compared to modern anime, it’s still extremely watchable.
What sets Legendary Gambler Tetsuya apart from other animes is the attention to detail. Throughout the show, the game of Mahjong is featured heavily. You could almost say that it’s the joint main character, along with Tetsuya. Unlike other anime that feature gambling though, the rules of the game play a bit part in the action.
If Tetsuya makes a move when playing then it’s explained vividly. This might put some viewers off, as if you don’t know the rules to traditional Mahjong then you might struggle to keep up with what’s going on. This issue is usually cited as to why this anime never really caught on like some of the other big shows.
It’s a massive shame though, because underneath all the intricate details is an amazing show. Unlike a show like Yu-Gi-Oh where there never seems to be any real consequences to losing, Legendary Gambler Tetsuya offers genuine conflict all the way through. It’s this conflict that makes it worth sticking with. Very few shows offer this kind of dedicated storytelling, so it’s a real shame that there were only ever 20 episodes created.
I Can’t Play Mahjong, Does That Matter?
It doesn’t really matter if you can’t play the game, although some of the Mahjong scenes might not make complete sense to you, the essence of the story remains intact. Legendary Gambler Tetsuya makes a big deal when Tetsuya wins a match and although you might not understand how he did it, you can still enjoy that resolution when he does. The anti-hero character of Tetsuya is also one that many people can get behind, even if he doesn’t always use honest methods.
Overall, Legendary Gambler Tetsuya is a forgotten classic in the world of anime. It might not be the most accessible title on the market, but in terms of anime about gambling it’s definitely the best there is.