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Best 5 Gambling-Related Mangas

Top 5 Mangas That Involve Gambling

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 the numerous reasons to mention Japan we’ll focus on the one related to manga comics and gambling. So, where’s the connection between games, online slots and mangas? Could it be described by the word ‘influence’? Let’s take a trip to Japan to find the answer to the riddle and discover top 5 mangas that involve gambling!

Introducing Gambling-related Manga Comics

Manga means ‘whimsical pictures’ and it’s a common term used for referring to comics originated in Japan. In the country where sun comes from manga is related to both comics and cartooning. Manga comics are super popular in Japan and around the world, featuring topics such as adventure, business, comedy, mystery, science fiction, sports, gambling, romance, drama and others.

Top 5 gambling-related mangas by our opinion are:

  • Kaiji
  • Kakegurui
  • Gamble Fish
  • Akagi
  • The Liar Game

How much manga means for Japanese publishing industry, in terms of profit, can be seen on the following example of annual manga income in Japan. According to the All Japan Magazine and Book Publisher’s and Editor’s Association (AJPEA), combined land-based and digital sales of the manga industry in Japan in 2017 amounted to about $3.89 billion. Wow!


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 neighbours and never wins. However, when he finds himself in a life-threatening situation, Kaiji realizes that he possesses hidden gambling capacity which helps him get out of many unpleasant situations.


The full title of the second manga series that involves gambling is Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler. 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.  

Gamble Fish

Serialized in Weekly Shōnen Champions, Gamble Fish is another popular Japanese manga. Here you’ll meet the expression tankōbon. Wonder what it means? Here it comes – tankōbon is the Japanese term often referred to individual volumes of a single manga. In other words, it’s a book that is not a part of 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.      


Akagi: Yami ni Oritatta Tensai, literally translated as Akagi: The Genius Who Descended into Darkness, is our fourth gambling-related manga series. It was first published in 1991 and later became extremely popular. 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 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.     

The Liar Game

Translated into Chinese and Dutch, our last manga champion is The Liar Game. The plot goes 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.

Have you heard of any cool manga series related to gambling? Share your thoughts at our forum and stay tuned for other interesting stories!

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