HOME > Program Catalog > Feature Films > KAIJI
Feature Films
Running time
129 min
Screen Size
Japanese Theatrical Release
October 10th, 2009
Tatsuya Fujiwara
Yuki Amami
Teruyuki Kagawa
Director: Toya Sato
Original Story: Nobuyuki Fukumoto
Screenplay: Mika Omori
Music: Yugo Kanno

A loser stands up and fights for his life in gambling… The fatal game battles have begun!!
The live-action movie based on a bestselling comic series!! Tatsuya Fujiwara (from DEATH NOTE series) to play the main character, Kaiji, the hero of losers!!

Introduction :
“Kaiji” by Nobuyuki Fukumoto is a bestselling comic series that began in 1996 on Weekly Young Magazine (published by Kodansha), currently with three series of 13 volumes each, a total of 39 volumes that have sold 11 million copies. It has also been turned into an animation series and won the 22nd Kodansha Manga Award.
The original manga features various unique games, such as “Gentei Janken (restricted rock-scissors-paper),” “Ningen Keiba (human derby),” and “E-Card,” and the consistent theme for all these seemingly preposterous games is “people can turn their lives around.”
“Don’t give up on life” is a message that is delivered through this theme as well as the reason the title is strongly supported by the youth.

Story :
Kaiji Ito is a 26-year-old man who leads a hand-to-mouth existence working halfheartedly at his part-time job at a convenience store. Although he doesn’t admit it, he is the typical loser of today’s society.

Then one day, a woman named Rinko Endo of a loan company demands that Kaiji clear a big debt he cosigned for his friend. Kaiji, who leads a hand-to-mouth existence, has no way to get a hold of such money. Then Endo sweetly tells the desperate Kaiji that if he boards a ship that departs in a few hours, he could have a chance to clear the debt overnight and, moreover, make a lot of money for himself at the same time.

Kaiji is skeptical at first but when Endo tells him that it is his chance to change his life, he makes up his mind to go aboard, but without realizing he has taken Endo’s bait…
The cabin is full of losers like Kaiji who are deep in debt. If they win the game that is about to start, they can clear their debts, but if they don’t, they will lose all dignity as human beings and will be forced into hard labor for the next few decades. “Winning is everything! If you lose, you’re trash!” Tonegawa, an executive of the Teiai Group who oversees the ship, provokes the participants.

The game that will change Kaiji’s life starts. However it is merely the prelude to the cruel, odd, unique, and once-in-a-lifetime “life-risking adventure” of Kaiji and the other youth. Soon, the players are caught up in the violent whirlwind of fate…