Kaiji vs. Kaiba: An Objective Analysis


Round 1: Character Design

Kaiji: Ugly

Kaiba: Hideous

Advantage: Kaiji

Round 2: Cast of Characters

Kaiji: Devoid of women and children.

Kaiba: More annoying than Raki, the Bleach arrancars, and SpongeBob combined. After watching the fourth episode, I spent a whole week suffering from erectile dysfunction. The episode was about an ugly old man who fell off a lighthouse. Nobody pushed him off. No sudden gust of wind. He just leaned over the side because he saw a flower. SPLAT! Total dumbass. Oh well, survival of the fittest.

The original Pedobear

Advantage: Kaiji

Round 3: Plot

Kaiji: Loaded with clever twists.

Kaiba: Too much filler (and not the good kind with lesbians).

Advantage: Kaiji

Round 4: Addictiveness

Kaiji: Watched the whole series in two days.

Kaiba: Dropped after six episodes. Well, technically I dropped it after 5.9 episodes. I paused episode six with about two minutes remaining, went out for some fried chicken, and never looked back.

Advantage: Kaiji

Round 5: Graphic Violence

Kaiji: Savage beatings, electrocution, ear-drilling, and appendage-dismembering

Kaiba: Guns, stupid old man falling off a lighthouse, and a memory-eating plant

Advantage: Kaiji

Round 6: Coin Flip

Kaiji: Heads

Kaiba: Tails

Advantage: Kaiji

Round 7: Depth

Kaiji: Profound implications about class warfare, contractual sanctity (both written and verbal), rational choice theory, and fluid dynamics

Kaiba: No depth whatsoever. Everything is dumbed down. Each episode begins with the narrator asking:

What are souls? Memories? Spirits?

Here’s a better question: who cares? You could preface any anime with open-ended filler questions to make it seem deep.

Why do we dream?

What makes us human?

What are souls? Memories? Spirits?

Don’t spoon-feed me these questions; MAKE ME ASK THEM. Blatancy ruins depth. Serving potentially deep concepts to the audience on a silver platter effectively renders them shallow.

Everything in Kaiba is a blatant attempt to effectuate depth. Everyone on the show is a complete imbecile, not because it makes an entertaining story, but because it helps make a statement. That’s not intellectually stimulating; it’s intellectually lazy. You could convey the same ideas through rational, well-developed, endearing characters, but then the audience might be distracted by an entertaining story and have to work to discover secondary meaning (a.k.a. “depth”).

Kaiba treats you like a child by spelling out all its “deep” themes. Therefore, if you think Kaiba is deep, you’re a pedophile.

Advantage: Kaiji

Kaiba forfeits because it sucks.

Winner: Kaiji (7-0-0)

44 people love sucking up to me

  1. Hmm. As someone who liked both shows (but only finished Kaiji I’m ambivalent about your conclusion. Still, there are some legitimate criticisms for Kaiba here, particularly on the opening narration. Narration of any kind is usually a bad sign, I find. (LoGH excepted, of course. Having a narrator introduce things is a great tactic if you’re making an anime novelistic.)

  2. first negative opinion of kaiba ever! I don’t care about the show, but I guess it’s not a surprise from someone who hates best-anime-ever-Kurenai. Anyway, I would have never thought Kaiba was trying to be deep. It’s from the director of fucking Mind Game.

  3. I’d agree, but I still liked Kaiba, I guess. The coin flip procedure was the best part also.

    But what about Haibane Renmei? Some people said the authors deliberately left it open for interpretation, so does that mean it’s intellectually lazy, just throwing up stuff without investigating it? I don’t know…

  4. I finished Kaiji and Kaiba and even if I liked Kaiba. Kaiji still wins.

    And the main plot of Kaiba appears near the end when you know who are the bird and the flying thing. But I totally hated the ending. It felt like they rushed it.

    Well, Baka-Raptor didn’t mentioned how much the narrating voice in Kaiji rocked.

    And Baka-Raptor, next step : watch Akagi, It’s like merging Kaiji atmosphere and with Golgo 13.

  5. Think about Kaiba like The Little Prince merged with the Matrix mixed with another unknown substance (probably hallucinogens).

  6. Warning: I’m going to be a troll and grossly generalize:

    Kaiji is for people who are into logic/maths/numbers/economics – basically, people who are left-brain-dominant.
    Kaiba is for those who are into abstract ideas/philosophy/art – i.e. those who are right-brain-dominant.

    You are obvious a member of the former.

    /End generalization

  7. Yeah, Kaiba’s artwork really made me puke.

    And I could never get down to understanding it. Memory-Eating plants just don’t cut it in my books, I guess.

  8. jpmeyer: nothing in haibane is abstract unless you’re fucking stupid and kittens are cute!

    It also is in no way open-ended. What the fuck is wrong with you people?

  9. @IKnight: Like those two weeks Peter Griffin spent narrating his own life.

    @lelangir: Leaving crap unexplained is 100x worse *cough Evangelion cough*

    @Hyunk: “It’s like merging Kaiji atmosphere and with Golgo 13.” – I’m on it.

    @blissmo: Big deal, so do I.

    @Asuka: That’s the sweetest thing anyone’s ever said to me since that time I was called a natural resource.

    @C.I.: I don’t even see how you can call it a plant. If it runs around and sucks people’s brains, it’s an animal.

    @double: Kaiba quit before the GAR round came up.

    @jpmeyer: Haven’t seen Haibane Renmei, though I’ll probably get roped into watching it by digitalboy…

    @digitalboy: Well said. Puppies are cute too!

    @The Sojourner: Sure, for filler.

    @Hoshi: Watch Kaiji. It’ll gamble the pedophilia right out of you.

  10. @Asperger’s: Accepted! I’ve been looking to play someone in a game of high-stakes chess. If you will, I’ll finish watching Kaiba and write re-review it. If I win, you must admit that Kaiba sucks. Furthermore, you are banned from drawing pictures of me.

  11. >Leaving crap unexplained is 100x worse *cough Evangelion cough*

    unlike Haibane, I can see where someone thinks things weren’t explained in Eva, but they were. Throughly – they spent two fucking episodes explaining what happened. Everyone on earth became one consciousness – end of fucking story. There simply was nothing else after that. And then some people threatened to kill Hideaki Anno if he didn’t end it properly, so he made End of Eva which is even more balls-fucking-crazy and leaves 2 characters alive to rot in a post-apocalyptic wasteland – it could have been all ‘Congratulations! Happy end!’ but people had to bitch and now everyone died. Good going assholes!

    Though I have to thank you because End of Eva IS the greatest thing ever.

  12. I haven’t seen this Kaiji, although I’m always up for some contractual sanctity issues. I do however take exception to the idea that something has to be intellectually deep to be rewarding. Kaiba is a love story, people treat it like a philosophical statement because it’s one of the only shows with some genuine imagination. The meaning is up-front, you have to work to figure out what’s going on – I find this an entirely acceptable model.

  13. @Praz: Sure, why not. (I still need to see that movie)

    @digitalboy: The ending of Eva was explained, but the background definitely wasn’t. For example, where did that Loginus Lance come from?

    @Asperger’s: The only online chess I’ve ever played was through Yahoo, and I haven’t done it in at least six years.

    @coburn: “I do however take exception to the idea that something has to be intellectually deep to be rewarding.” – You’re talking to a guy who’s infatuated with Kamen no Maid Guy (although it’s deeper than one might expect). Round 7 is really an attack on the fans who “treat it like a philosophical statement.”

  14. >@digitalboy: The ending of Eva was explained, but the background definitely wasn’t. For example, where did that Loginus Lance come from?

    *opens Bible, points to page*
    *opens encyclopedia to ‘Deus ex Machina’*

    Maybe it’s masochism, but I love it when things aren’t explained. Makes me feel like less of a dumbass wasting time while I hear explanations instead of what’s important.

  15. @Baka-Raptor: The Lance of Longinus was a weapon used to keep the angels under control. It was created by the greater beings who created the angels, and came with Adam inside the white moon. Read it up on Wikipedia, a lot of this stuff was explained in the Evangelion 2 game.

  16. Wow. Digitalboy said something I agree with. I think I’m going to have to go in for surgery, because a heart attack isn’t far away.

  17. This is the most amazingly colourful and sleek site ever! xD As for Kaiba.. I still have to see this. Though I am hesitant on what review I saw before with the word ‘sexplosion’. WTH does that mean? O.O

  18. @digitalboy: Now I want to know why Gendo Ikari was so eager to get rid of the lance. Explanations can be annoying when you hear them, but they help the show flow later on. You can sit back and enjoy the ride instead of wondering what the hell is going on. One of the things I love about Claymore is that it explains everything you’ll need to know in the first four episodes. Then it just takes off.

    @MoeCakeLobster: That’s my point. I shouldn’t have to buy every damn thing in the Evangelion franchise to understand what’s going on. I like my anime self-contained.

    @LJ: You won’t find too many people disagreeing with his statement that kittens are cute.

    @Humane: In one of the episodes (the second I believe), the main character get hired as a gigolo and pumps up his client so good that she explodes. It’s not as exciting as it sounds. My website it definitely more artistic and erotic.

  19. @Hyunk: Just marathoned Akagi. It was awesome. Would’ve been even better if I knew anything about Mahjong.

    @Praz: Just saw The Dark Knight. Makes me feel like a sucker for coming up with the coin flip all by myself.

    @Michael: In that case you’ll love Kaiba.

  20. @Baka-Raptor: It seems I forgot to tell you it was about Mahjong! What did you think about my included checklist?

  21. I was thinking about the manner of asking those questions that appear to be crowbarred depth, mostly because I have nothing to do for another month, when I realized. None of those questions are actually open-ended.
    Specifically, “souls are mythological shorthand for the concept of consciousness”, “Memories are excuses to regret shit”, and “Spirits are hippies.
    So… What exactly is it when a question is presented as open-ended in a hamfisted attempt at creating the illusion of depth, when the question is concrete and definite? Pretentiousness? Mindfuckery?
    The French probably have a word for it.

  22. @Hyunkel: See Talk-A-Raptor 03.

    @Praz: Working on it.

    @LJ: I believe they call it “Le Bullshit”

    @TheBastid: It’ll “air in a year or two.” I want it now.

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