Dan Carroll

Legendary Gambler Tetsuya Review

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Dec 232019

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.

Why Watch?

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.

The Gods Gotta Get Paid

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Dec 082018

A lot’s been said about Soredemo’s final episode. Yeah, it was all genuinely touching and all. Hotori seems to kick the bucket and she gets to see everyone’s reactions while chilling in Japanese Afterlife. It was all well put-together for this sort of deliberate emotional tearjerking sort of thing. Hell, even my own black heart kinda felt a slight tinge of the old sadness there.

But that same dark, bleak, cynical heart took great joy in this ending. Not because Hotori nearly croaked (I rather like the obnoxious brat, so I wouldn’t want to see her get it.), but because of why she was able to come back from the dead.

Her father bribed the gods.

Watch how the events play out. Hotori bites it, goes through all the motions, and is given a tour of the afterlife (Nippon-flavored). As far as the bureaucratic “angel” dudes knew, she was here for good. It wasn’t until after her dad rushed over to the temple and dumped his entire wallet into the offering dealiemajig that Hotori got a reprieve. As soon as her dad laid down some bills, all of a sudden word comes down the pipe that some sort of ‘technicality” is allowing her to go back to the realm of the living. I don’t think the timing of all of this is any accident. The gods want their moolah, and only then will your prayers be answered. It really brightens my nasty little heart seeing that.

It’s that sort of flippant, nigh-nihilistic attitude that I’ve really dug about Soredemo. The series spends its entire final episode building up to what you assume is going to be a touching, dramatic, emotional moment, but when you look back at it all you see that all of those emotions were given the proverbial middle finger by trivializing it all. Sure, peeps get to cry and bemoan Hotori’s fate and all that, but in the end it isn’t their feelings for her that saves her– it’s that wad of cash that gets “offered” to the gods.

And that’s pretty representative of the series’ attitude towards everything. It revels in its inconsequential nature. People get brought back from the dead because of pocket change. Aliens appear and battle it out with nary a thought given to them after the fact. Ghosts roam the earth, and their aimless wandering is made the butt of a joke. Time travel is casually tossed around, as if we should say “Yeah, this shit really does exist in the future!” It has the same sort of attitude as Occult Academy in the way it undermines the dramatic and exposing such “deep” notions as being no less trivial as everything else. Your tears of sorrow and your shock at the existence of the supernatural and all those other significant moments really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, because this shit just keeps on going.

And you laugh your ass off when you realize this.

Hoshi no Ponko to Tofuya Reiko

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Aug 012016

Holy shithahise! They fucking continued

Here’s the link to the original article on it:

Manga Round-Up

Here’s a link to the series:


Edit: It would seem this is a slightly different version in that chapter one has additional pages that help lead up the new chapters.