Imagine being at the end of your rope financially and being given one opportunity to pay nearly a lifetime of debt in a fight to the “debt” on the open seas. Yeah, I said “debt” not death. Unlike, the kids from Battle Royale, Kaiji and the other down-and-out passengers of the Espoir are not give knives, guns, explosive etc. Instead they are given a stacks of high interest Yakuza cash and a mysterious envelope that will set the stage of exactly what type of war of wager they will fight.
From the beginning of the series it’s easy to relate with the main character Kaiji, that is, if you are a complete loser! You see Kaiji has made some seriously bad choices in his life and he is struggling beneath the weight of them all. Unfortunately his would be savior is a yakuza recruiter for what he himself calls the “floating slaughterhouse”. I found the show thus far to have an interesting enough plot to watch for now. I’ll give it at least one more episode to see what happens. I don’t particularly care for the art style, although it does remind me slightly of character designs from The Venture Brothers (only much more angular). The music is not to shabby and appropriately moody for this show. If you do watch this show, however, be prepared to be intrigued by and/or amused by the real name of the game on the Espoir (aka the floating slaughterhouse) after Kaiji opens the mysterious envelope.