The first two manga series were adapted into two anime television series of 26 episodes each, produced by Madhouse and broadcast on Nippon TV; Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor aired from October 2007 to April 2008, and Kaiji: Against All Rules aired from April to September 2011. Kaiji was also adapted into a live-action film trilogy, directed by Toya Sato and starring Tatsuya Fujiwara as the titular protagonist. Kaiji premiered in October 2009; Kaiji 2 premiered in November 2011; and Kaiji: Final Game premiered in January 2020. A more loosely adapted Chinese live-action film, titled Animal World, starring Li Yifeng and Michael Douglas, premiered in June 2018. In North America, the first manga series was licensed for English release by Denpa, being released in a six-volume omnibus edition, with the first volume published in November 2019. Sentai Filmworks licensed both seasons of the anime television series in 2020.
In the United States, Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor was streamed on the Joost service in December 2008. In July 2013, Crunchyroll announced the streaming rights to both seasons. In November 2020, Sentai Filmworks announced that they have licensed both seasons of the series for streaming on select digital outlets and home video release. Both season were released in Japanese with English subtitles on Blu-ray Disc on April 20, 2021. In December 2021, Sentai Filmworks posted on Twitter a video with their ADR director Kyle Jones "accidentally" teasing that an English dub was in production for the series, with plans for a 2022 release. The English dub for the first nine episodes of Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor premiered on Hidive on November 28, 2022.
The opening theme for the second season is "Chase the Light!" by Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas and the ending theme is "C Kara Hajimaru ABC" (CからはじまるABC, "ABCs That Start From C") by Wasureranneyo [ja].
TechRadar included Kaiji among its list of "31 fantastic anime series" and called it "high bar of the niche subgenre of gambling anime." They added: "Kaiji's flaws make him an unlikely but sympathetic protagonist, which helps build the tension as he's forced into increasingly desperate gambles and drawn out psychological battles. You want him to win, to be redeemed, and to actually learn his lesson, but this show has too much to say about class, privilege and the self-destructive nature of hope to make his road to redemption easy." Crunchyroll listed the second season Kaiji: Against All Rules among the best anime series of 2011, with reviewer Joseph Luster commenting, "Ideally, Kaiji would be super popular in North America. I'd certainly like to think it would blow up if someone licensed it, but who knows. Still, if you managed to catch the second season this year, you know how dangerously addictive it can be. Zawa zawa, indeed."
Despite roughly a 3-year gap between productions, the visuals of the second season are much the same as the first. The unconventional character designs remain unchanged yet effective for the same reasons as they were in the previous season, primarily because of their emotive appearances. The visual metaphors make a return in somewhat shorter number though they remained an effective means of dramatizing the games. One minor improvement was in the lightning effect, typically spurred on by a flash of understanding or a great realization. The effect looked better this time around though the token, psychological backdrop remained as unexciting and stale as before. Whether you enjoyed or disliked the visuals from the first season, you can expect more of the same here.
Anybody who found themselves enjoying the first season of the show is pretty much assured to enjoy this second season. The sole caveat to this would be that they may not enjoy it as much as the first if they were heavily invested or particuarly intrigued by the societal commentary offered by the first which the second season does nothing to expand upon or revisit. 2b1af7f3a8