Monday, April 2, 2012

Anniversary Release: Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji Volume 6

And now, for the real anniversary release! And that means... Volume 6 of DKaiji!! How exciting! We've been working our tails off for a whole week to bring this to you, but that doesn't mean we're too tired to keep on going! Oh, but before I forget, we are looking for a bit of help with cleaning and typesetting; we just got a new translator, js06, who is currently working his way through MKaiji for us. That said, if we have one more proficient cleaner and typesetter, we should be able to double our output by working on two manga at once rather than switching back and forth! Please contact me here or through my email (shinichiakiyama@hotmail.com) to apply!

Anyway, there were really only two possible options for this release; Akagi Volume 8 or DKaiji Volume 6, and we decided that the latter would be both more pleasing to you guys and also more meaningful for our first anniversary. My initial consideration was Akagi 8, since FKMTkrazy's primary output has been for Akagi chapters and that was also the very first manga that I released under the name of FKMTkrazy (which is also the release that I based the date for the anniversary on; 4/2/11 was the day Akagi 106 came out, which was the first release where I switched from We Can't Decide to FKMTkrazy). But when I thought about it, FKMTkrazy is really just a continuation of We Can't Decide, and WCD's claim to fame was doing the first 13 chapters of DKaiji. Therefore, it seemed even more appropriate for the first anniversary to show how far we've come since that day; I used to be a novice cleaner/typesetter, and now have transformed to a full-time translator!

"Just standing around uselessly...! Standing upright in the middle of a battlefield!!"

Big thanks to Skutieos for typesetting this chapter and 51; he's been really helpful and cooperative in supporting us, lately. :) Anyway, yeah, this chapter has more of Kaiji beating himself up, accompanied by a visual metaphor of him staring off into space in the middle of a war zone. He has flashbacks to parts 1 and 2 and all the hell he's been through, and gets his head in the game. He readies himself to use his backup signal towards Miyoshi; playing the tile upside-down to get him to repeat his signal. He wants Muraoka to give him a safe tile that also looks different from the bottom than from the top, but alas, he plays the Haku, and then the 9-Sou, which are vertically symmetrical tiles! What's a Kaiji to do?




"Figure out what I meant!! Please understand!!"

Yeah, I kind of felt like the explanation about the 9-sou was kind of unneeded, since it doesn't matter in the end... but still, it is interesting that they make the souzu tiles with a clear top and bottom, even if it is rather hard to see. But the fact that Kaiji came up with such a good way to portray the upside-down intentions he was going for without needing to discard was pretty ingenious, even if it was kind of vague and cryptic. He could have just stared at Miyoshi and tried to gesture with his eyes or head to repeat the signal, but that would clue Muraoka in that something fishy was going on, so this works well enough. Or does it?

"We'll all share a single lottery ticket! We'll pool our strengths together to push it through!!"

Miyoshi senses that Kaiji is feeling uneasy, and so he manages to figure out that Kaiji needs the signal repeated, even without the backup signal. This leads Kaiji to feel like the team is very solid, and so he puts himself down for his "FUCK YOU MIYOSHI" moment a few chapters earlier, since everyone makes mistakes. In fact, Kaiji's mistakes were actually more unbelievable than Miyoshi's, to begin with, so it makes sense that he can forgive him so easily.

"I'm getting signals! Miyoshi is giving me all the signals I need!"

Not a lot to say about this chapter; Kaiji gets Miyoshi to repeat the first signal again since he has a chance, just to be sure, and then gets the second signal from Miyoshi regarding the octave of his wait: 1 and 4 sou. And that's just about it, really.

"After all, isn't this what you meant by '17 Steps'?"

Let me just start by saying that if there is anything in this world I could avoid seeing, it would have to be a naked Muraoka. Just... ugh... that's not something you slap in the middle of a page, Fukumoto. But yeah, Muraoka is being forced to play his own game, now; he has no way of telling what Kaiji's hand is beyond what's in his discard choices, so he has to pick out his discards like someone would if they weren't cheating. Awful!

...But really, why naked? Is it to be more in tune with nature as a lion viciously rips him apart? Is he secretly a nudist and was having one of his freedom runs at the moment that he got zapped into the savanna? Or is it just to make him totally unarmed, in which case, why isn't he naked in the battlefield metaphor, as well? Not that we'd want that. But really, the Lion doesn't care if he has to chew through a layer of cotton to get to the juicy meat inside... and it's a naked Muraoka!! Why?! WHY?!?!

"My wait is dead!! And along with it... my Suu Ankou!!"

So, it appears that the President needs to use the restroom, though clearly he's just giving Kaiji time to show his hand to Maeda. But Kaiji realizes that, following the path of reasoning that Maeda would take, it is very unlikely that his 5-way pinzu wait will be completed! How can he correct the situation?!

"The fuck...?! Why I am I relating this small fry to those horrible demons...?! WHY?!"

Sorry for the long delay with continuing this post... I had a lot of stuff I needed to do, yesterday. But anyway, this chapter was pretty epic; Kaiji gets the idea to show his hand to Maeda so that he can send a false signal about his wait the President's way, since his wait won't be coming out, the way things are going. But just when he does, he looks up, and stares into the maniacal grin of one Hyoudo Kazutaka. I'd say that Muraoka's grin is even more sinister-looking than that of Hyoudo; the way it curves up towards his ears is very unnerving. But it would seem that this is the first sign of something lying below the surface. Could it be that Muraoka isn't just some clown, and is actually as malevolent and crafty as the two demons of Kaiji's remembrance...?

"Just... out of nowhere... those demons' faces just popped into my head!"

I believe this chapter and the next couple regarding Miyoshi and Maeda mark the midpoint of the series in a three-act structure setting. The setup was the first couple volumes where Kaiji got the money, and was dominating Muraoka over and over in what appeared to be a flawless strategy to introduce us to the characters. The end of Act 1 was when Kaiji said that he had to be going, and Muraoka forced him to stay, leading to Act 2, or the Confrontation act, where it's becoming apparent that there is something going on beyond what's on the surface. Yep, I'm still gonna say that this manga needs to be studied in literature classes. All they'd need would be an introduction to Mahjong and to watch the first two series on their own. Easy.

Anyway, I like how Kaiji starts to arrive at the conclusion that he draws in the next two chapters; he reasons it out step-by-step by what Miyoshi and the President's reactions were and his gut instinct. Also, who says that Kaiji never learns anything? If he got preyed upon by Muraoka between the Rock Paper Scissors and Bridge arcs of series one, he would've been teared apart. But now he knows how cruel people can be, and his mind makes the connection between Muraoka's creepy grin and that of Hyoudo and Tonegawa.

"I mean, the three of us have stayed true, through thick and thin...!"

Well, I'd say page 170 could be exactly where the midpoint of the series lies; it's certainly the most WHAM moment so far. That page, by the way, is the page where Kaiji finally comes out and says that Miyoshi might be betraying him. Once Kaiji starts to believe it, there's no way that it can be ruled out, anymore. Just like that moment of realization he had just before entering the Other Room in the Espoir that Furuhata and Andou weren't being sincere with their promise to free him. And as even more proof that Kaiji learns from his mistakes, we have a flashback to that very scene, showing how people who have claimed that they will stay true to each other through thick and thin are capable of doing truly awful things to each other for the right price. Is there enough of a difference between the Espoir team and the 45'ers? Or is it the same situation, only planned out from the start? We will see.

...And that's where I'll leave it. The next chapter just goes into how the last two losses make it even more probable that there's some betraying going on, and this post is long enough. So expect Akagi 135 soon, along with MKaiji 19. :D

14 comments:

  1. ONE WHOLE VOLUME??? I'm... flabbergasted. Feels more like my birthday than yours lol

    Happy birthday to FKMTKrazy/We Can't Decide!!! You guys really go the extra mile to share your Kaiji passion with all of us!

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  2. EPIC BLOG POST IS EPIC

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  3. Omg this is epic ヽ(*≧ω≦)ノ

    I never thought you guys would release a whole volume. I thought you might release a new chapter of Washizu Enma no Touhai or something. But this is just great!!^^

    I remember the early days of this blog :D
    Sonic you were doing all the work alone I think and I was one of the first users to actually comment on your posts. We've come a long way. (/^▽^)/

    As for help with cleaning/typesetting: I am finished with my final exams in May, so I would be glad to help you guys out then. So long ~

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  4. Happy first birthday! You guys have been doing a great job, and I wish you all the success and happiness in the future :>

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  5. omg thank you so much you beautiful beautiful people. i give you kisses mwah

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  6. This is fantastic. Happy anniversary, this is a wonderful thing! Now to get to reading!

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  7. omgomgomgYESTHANKYOUTHANKYOUMERCIGRACIASARIGATOUAHHHH

    Seriously. I can't even imagine how much work you put into all of this. I salute you and wish you great fortune in the future.

    Gratefully,
    Penguin71

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  8. Happy anniversary!! Can't remember the last time I was treated to a WHOLE VOLUME of fkmt goodness. Many thanks

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  9. That volume was some serious shit! Fuck, man, I swear it gave me the chills constantly. Well, happy anniversay and keep rolling!

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  10. we are the champions...

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  11. Wow! This was a pleasant surprise. Thank you so very much. I look forward to reading it.

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  12. Good work. Man but I'm actually puzzled as to whether he really is being betrayed after all. It is still possible that one or both are innocent? That his overthinking will lead to his (temporary) defeat?.
    Seems unlikely since I had suspicions from the very beginning that this setup had a good chance of backfiring on him and because Kaiji was so...confident for such a long time.

    -Sunami

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