Japan. Some know it as the land of the rising sun. Others refer to Japan as the home of samurai warriors, karate, sumo wrestling, origami, and various innovative technologies.
Among numerous reasons to mention Japan, this time around we’re focusing on the relation of Japan, i.e., manga comics and gambling. So, where’s the connection between manga and gambling? Let’s take a trip to Japan to find the answer and discover the top 10 manga about gambling.
Top 10 Gambling-Related Mangas List
Manga translates into ‘whimsical pictures’ and it’s a common term used for referring to Japan-originated comics. Manga comics are incredibly popular in Japan and around the world, featuring topics such as adventure, business, comedy, mystery, science fiction, sports, gambling, romance, drama and others.
NOTE: Manga is not suited for children due to its, often, explicit content. Furthermore, manga shouldn’t be confused with anime (as it often is).
Although most of the anime series are usually adapted from manga, the two differ in more ways than one. Simply put, manga refers to Japanese comic books and graphic novels; while anime refers to Japanese animation.
In the lines below, we are listing the top 10 gambling manga you may take a liking to:
- 10. One Outs
- 9. Psychic Gambler: Betting Man
- 8. Usogui
- 7. Gin to Kin
- 6. Tetsuya: Jansei to Yobareta Otoko
- 5. Liar Game
- 4. Gamble Fish
- 3. Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler
- 2. Akagi
- 1. Kaiji
Manga #10 One Outs
- Genre: Psychological, Seinen, Sports
- Original name: ONE OUTS
- Author: Kaitani, Shinobu
- Published: Nov 14, 1998 to Aug 15, 2006
- Volumes: 20
- MyAnimeList Score: 8.58
- MyAnimeList Score Rank: #87
The storyline of this manga follows Toua Tokuchi, master of mind games and an incredible gambler with zero losses in "One Outs". The seemingly invincible Tokuchi finds himself in situations that test his abilities and gambling powers, looking at possibilities of becoming a grad baseball player, holding the key of Saikyou Saitama Lycaons victory.
However, as, at one point, money becomes a problem, an unusual offer gets thrown on the table: every out Tokuchi pitches will gain him 5 million yen, but every run he gives up will lose him 50 million yen. With this arrangement, Tokuchi finds himself in yet another gamble, and intense psychological battles displayed throughout the series.
One of the amazing things about this manga is that it touches upon the psychology of gambling smoothly and hits the point.
Manga #9 Psychic Gambler: Betting Man
- Genre: Gambling, Mature, Adult, Drama, Sports, Webtoons
- Original name: 베팅맨 / Betting Man
- Author: Doldom / Yang Geng
- Published: April 2016
- Volumes: /
- Chapters: 198
- MyAnimeList Score: /
- MyAnimeList Score Rank:/
Ever wished for a superpower that allows you to see through objects? Well, Jin-goo, the main character of this gambling manga, has that power and decides to take advantage of it by using it gambling after primarily manipulating it to seduce girls.
Do things go as planned and he beats every opponent? Give this manga about gambling a chance and you’ll see for yourself. Be prepared for some semi-uncomfortable erotic scenes throughout the storyline, and a high level of betrayal and heartbreak. Still, don’t miss Betting Man, as you’d regret it.
Manga #8 Usogui (The Lie Eater)
- Genre: Game, Psychological, Seinen
- Original name: 嘘喰い
- Author: Sako, Toshio
- Published: May 11, 2006 to Dec 21, 2017
- Volumes: 49
- Chapters: 541
- MyAnimeList Score: 7.95
- MyAnimeList Score Rank: 792
Another captivating manga in our list shows Baku Madarame a.k.a. Usogui, a phenomenal gambler who is so much into the craft of gambling that he ends up betting his life. A powerful, and pretty violent organization Kagerou is on a mission to “protect” these gambling games, and in an attempt to downgrade their risk even calls them neutral parties.
Literally translated The Lie Eater, this manga follows the main character as he gambles against maniacal opponents at games, such as Escape the Abandoned Building, Old Maid, and Hangman to finally control and "out-gamble" the supposedly neutral organization of Kagerou itself.
The entire premise of Usugui is absurdly high-stakes gambling, which will keep you engaged until the end.
Manga #7 Gin to Kin (Silver and Gold)
- Genre: Drama, Game
- Original name: 銀と金
- Author: Fukumoto, Nobuyuki
- Published: 1992 to 1996
- Volumes: 11
- Chapters: 108
- MyAnimeList Score: 7.53
- MyAnimeList Score Rank: 2354
The Gin to Kin plot revolves around Morita Tetsuo, a guy frustrated from failing so much that he turns to gamble. His life changes upon meeting Hirai Ginji, a fixer in the underground world.
A world full of villains, mysteries, corruption, greed, shady dealings, and high-stake gambling becomes Tetsuo’s only reality when he decides to become ‘Kin’, to surpass ‘Gin’. Follow the adventures of Morita Tetsuo for a blood-rushing adventure.
Manga #6 Tetsuya: Jansei to Yobareta Otoko
- Genre: Drama, Shounen
- Original name: 哲也 ―雀聖と呼ばれた男―
- Author: Sai, Fuumei (Story), Hoshino, Yasushi (Art)
- Published: July 16, 1997 to Dec 8, 2004
- Volumes: 41
- Chapters: 339
- MyAnimeList Score: 6.89
- MyAnimeList Score Rank: 8844
The plot of Legendary Gambler Tetsuya takes place after WWII, in Shinjuku, showing people down on their luck, struggling to survive with no money to buy food or necessities. Consequently, some turn to gamble hoping that’ll help them earn money and survive. Traveling Tetsuya spends time at mahjong parlours, defeating his opponents with ease until one day when he meets Boushu-san, a very skilled gambler who makes him realize that he has much to learn about mahjong.
Tetsuya: Jansei to Yobareta Otoko is a very intriguing manga you’ll absolutely get drawn into.
Manga #5 Liar Game
- Genre: Drama, Game, Psychological, Suspense, Seinen
- Original name: LIAR GAME
- Author: Kaitani, Shinobu
- Published: Feb 17, 2005 to Jan 22, 2015
- Volumes: 19
- Chapters: 203
- MyAnimeList Score: 8.34
- MyAnimeList Score Rank: 217
Translated into Chinese and Dutch, the Liar Game revolves around an unbelievably honest student named Nao Kanzaki, who gets a package with $1 million inside. The package also contains a note where it says that she is invited to the Liar Game Tournament.
Unlike awesome and fair play online slots tournaments that you may play in various online casinos, the Liar Game Tournament comes with a completely opposite set of rules. The players are encouraged to lie and cheat, while the losers have to pay a debt proportional to their losses.
At one point Kanzaki makes a deal with a con man known as Shinichi Akiyama, after which they advance through the tournament together trying to free their opponents from debts and break down The Liar Game organization.
Give this manga a chance and you won’t regret it!
Manga #4 Gamble Fish
- Genre: Mystery, Ecchi, Game, School, Shounen, Harem, Psychological
- Original name: GAMBLE FISH
- Author: Yamane, Kazutoshi (Art), Aoyama, Hiromi (Story)
- Serialization: Shounen Ch
- Published: Feb 1, 2007 to Jul 15, 2010
- Volumes: 19
- Chapters: 168
- MyAnimeList Score: 7.28
- MyAnimeList Score Rank: 4407
Serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champions, Gamble Fish is another popular Japanese manga about gambling.
In it, you’ll meet the expression tankōbon - the Japanese term often referred to as individual volumes of a single manga. In other words, it’s a book that is not a part of a series.
As for Gamble Fish, the story follows a 14-year-old boy named Tomu Shirasagi, a son of an infamous trickster Yumeichirou Shirasagi. The boy attends the famous Shishidou Academy where he quickly realizes that he is not an ordinary young man. Tomu discovers that he is an expert con artist who’s about to reveal the darker side of the academy. And, what else? There’s so much more, so stay with this manga for a captivating twist!
Manga #3 Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler
- Genre: Mystery, Drama, School, Shounen, Psychological
- Original name: 賭ケグルイ
- Author: Naomura, Tooru (Art), Kawamoto, Homura (Story)
- Published: Mar 22, 2014 to -
- Volumes: Unknown
- Chapters: Unknown
- MyAnimeList Score: 7.79
- MyAnimeList Score Rank: 1193
The plot of Kakegurui is quite original, presenting Hyakkaou Private Academy which educates children from wealthy and influential families in Japan. Those children are expected to become leaders in the future, but they all take part in a very dangerous game.
The school has a gambling system and students place bets against each other. They put their own fortunes at stake, facing a potentially terrifying outcome. Students who don’t make a contribution due to their debts become “house pets”. In addition, those who fail to settle their debts until the end of their school days receive Life Schedules which influence their career and consequently their entire life.
It all changes when Yumeko Jabami, a student with an extraordinary ability to see through gambling scams, enrolls the school.
Captivating and mind-boggling, this gambling school manga is the right choice to keep reading!
Manga #2 Akagi (Mahjong Legend Akagi)
- Genre: Action, Drama, Game, Psychological
- Original name: アカギ ～闇に降り立った天才～
- Author: Fukumoto, Nobuyuki (Story & Art)
- Published: Jun , 1991 to Feb 1, 2018
- Volumes: 36
- Chapters: 306
- MyAnimeList Score: 8.02
- MyAnimeList Score Rank: 639
Akagi: Yami ni Oritatta Tensai, literally translated as Akagi: The Genius Who Descended into Darkness, has landed on the second spot on our list of gambling-related manga series.
The main character of the story is Shigeru Akagi, who overcomes a yakuza member in a game called mahjong.
In case you didn’t know, mahjong is a tile-based game that originated in China. And so, after defeating another yakuza member well-versed in mahjong, Akagi disappears and becomes a legend. And then, suddenly, one day he returns to play the final game against his ultimate rival, Iwao Washizu, the unofficial king of the Japanese underworld.
There’s mafia, dark corners of society, doom, and so much more involved in this storyline, so if that’s your cup of gambling manga - read it!
Manga #1 Kaiji (Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji)
- Genre: Drama, Game, Seinen
- Original name: 賭博黙示録カイジ
- Author: Fukumoto, Nobuyuki (Story & Art)
- Published: Feb 10, 1996 to Jul 26, 1999
- Volumes: 13
- Chapters: 158
- MyAnimeList Score: 8.40
- MyAnimeList Score Rank: 174
Known by the name Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji or Ultimate Survivor Kaiji, this manga series presents the art of gambling. Kaiji was created in 1996 and it shouldn’t be mixed with the Kaiju slot, powered by Elk Studios.
The main character of the series is Kaiji Itō, who keeps trying to escape from debts. Living as a poor man, he gambles with his neighbors and never wins. However, when he finds himself in a life-threatening situation, Kaiji realizes that he possesses a hidden gambling capacity which helps him get out of many unpleasant situations.
There is so much to enjoy in this manga, so make sure you include it in your to-read list.
How Popular Are Gambling-Related Mangas?
Gambling enthusiasts who are also manga lovers will agree that manga involving gambling is extremely interesting reading and quite popular in the right circles. We'd be in the wrong if we didn't acknowledge the popularity of manga about gambling series based on one of the oldest crafts, so our modest contribution to this combination was the top 10 selected manga series above.
Have you heard of any cool manga series related to gambling or top gambling books we’d enjoy? Any awesome movies about gambling, manga or no manga? Share your thoughts at our forum and stay tuned for other interesting stories!