Japan, 1995. After graduating from high school, Itou Kaiji moves to Tokyo to get a job, but fails to find steady employment because the country is mired in its first recession since World War II. Depressed, he festers in his apartment, wasting the day away with cheap pranks, gambles, liquor and cigarettes.
This goes on for two years until he’s paid an unexpected visit by a man named Endou, who wants to collect an outstanding debt owed to him in Kaiji’s name. Endou gives Kaiji two options: either spend ten years repaying the money, or board the gambling ship Espoir (French for “hope” ), and stand a chance to clear the debt in one night. Using a con, Endou pressures Kaiji into accepting the latter option, believing he will never return alive.
The Kaiji series currently consists of six parts:
1. Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji
2. Tobaku Hakairoku Kaiji
3. Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji
4. Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji – Kazuya Hen
5. Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji – One Poker Hen
6. Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji – 24oku Dasshutsu Hen