Akagi (manga)

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Akagi: Yami ni Oritatta Tensai
Akagi manga vol 1.png
Cover of the first manga volume
アカギ 〜闇に降り立った天才〜
Genre Drama, Gambling
Manga
Written by Nobuyuki Fukumoto
Published by Takeshobo
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Kindai Mahjong
Original run 1992 – ongoing
Volumes 28
Anime television series
Directed by Yuzo Sato
Written by Hideo Takayashiki
Music by Hideki Taniuchi
Studio Madhouse
Network Nippon Television
English network Crunchyroll
Original run October 4, 2005March 28, 2006
Episodes 26
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Akagi: Yami ni Oritatta Tensai (Japanese: アカギ 〜闇に降り立った天才〜?, lit. "The Genius Who Landed in Darkness") is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. First published in 1992 in the weekly magazine Kindai Mahjong, it is a spin-off to the author's previous work Ten. It revolves around Shigeru Akagi, a mahjong player who becomes a legend after defeating well versed opponents while still 13-year-old only to return six years later.

The manga has been adapted into two V-Cinema live action films in 1995 and 1997. A 26-episode anime television series was produced by Madhouse, which was broadcast on Japanese television network Nippon Television from 2005 to 2006. The series has also spawned several companion books, spin-off manga, video games, and many types of Akagi-themed merchandise. In Japan, the Akagi manga has sold over 5 million copies.

Story[edit]

The story revolves around the mahjong gambling exploits of Shigeru Akagi. After a death-defying game of chicken one evening in 1958, Akagi nonchalantly enters a yakuza mahjong parlor to shake the police's trail. Even unfamiliar with the rules of mahjong, his gambling intuition is enough to save a small time gambler, Nangou, and grant him a seat at the gambling table. As the night progresses, the stakes are raised both within the game and for Akagi, who is under the suspicion of local police. However, Akagi overcomes the situation with his tactics, defiant of both life and chance. When he leaves the gambling house, no one present is in doubt of his genius.

As the story progresses, Akagi faces and defeats several opponents in mahjong, each with their own, distinct style of play. Akagi's genius ultimately allows him victory, by defeating the "behind the stage king" of Japan and becoming a legend. However, the story about the game between Akagi and Washizu is still on-going.

Characters[edit]

Shigeru Akagi (赤木しげる Akagi Shigeru?)
Akagi is introduced as a deceptively adult looking young boy, whose spark of genius transcends age and resides in gambling, especially in the game mahjong. Throughout the story, Akagi utilizes techniques other gamblers don't dare to, in order to sway his opponents: brazen cheating, extremely risky maneuvers, far-fetched bluffs, a blatant disregard for his own life. These actions make him a heretic among "ordinary" men, yet allow him to unflinchingly defeat his opponents with a level of play that is marked as godly. After gaining mythical status at 13, he disappears for 5 years and resurfaces to become a legendary figure in the whole of Japan.
Yasuoka (安岡 Yasuoka?)
  • Voiced by: Tesshō Genda
A dirty detective who has connections to the underground business. He is one of the first people to realize Akagi's talents in mahjong, and takes advantage of this to great personal gain. In the manga he also plays the role of narrator.
Yagi (矢木 Yagi?)
The first professional mahjong player that Akagi plays and defeats. He uses techniques to cheat during the game but loses in front of Akagi's ability.
Ichikawa (市川 Ichikawa?)
  • Voiced by: Hideyuki Tanaka
A blind professional mahjong player. Ichikawa was a player that would play by the book while Akagi incorporated luck into his playstyle. Ichikawa is similar to Akagi in the way that they are evenly matched throughout their 1 on 1 match in Sasagawa Restaurant, however in the end Akagi emerges the victor.
Yukio Hirayama (平山幸雄 Hirayama Yukio?)
  • Voiced by: Ginpei Sato
The representative mahjong player for the Kawada Yakuza group, after he was first discovered by Yasuoka. Despite his physical resemblance to Akagi, his playing style is based solely on mathematical calculations and probability, in contrast to Akagi's natural gambling insight and psychological manipulation abilities. He lacks the courage required to be a true gambler, making him unable to beat Urabe by falling for his strong bluffs. He is eventually killed by Washizu for failing to beat him in Washizu mahjong.
Urabe (浦部 Urabe?)
The representative mahjong player for the Fujisawa Yakuza group. He and Akagi fought over thirty-two million yen. Urabe was the person responsible for raising the stakes, so when he was defeated, he was brutally mutilated by the Yakuza.
Iwao Washizu (鷲巣巌 Washizu Iwao?)
An old man who has made a lot of money, and one of the most powerful people in the Japanese underworld. After building up massive funds from shady dealings in Japan's post-war era, he uses this money to tempt -especially young- people to bet their lives for the chance to win a large amount of money. He enjoys doing this, so a match between Akagi and Washizu was arranged. Washizu and Akagi played mahjong in an unusual way, of which Washizu calls 'Washizu Mahjong' in which glass tiles replace most of the tiles that make the game different in many ways. Washizu also has his own manga series named Washizu - Enma No Tōhai.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Akagi: Yami ni Oritatta Tensai, written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Fukumoto as a spin-off to his 1989 manga Ten: Tenhōdōri no Kaidanji,[1][2] had it first chapter published in Takeshobo's Kindai Mahjong magazine in 1992, and has been serialized since then. The first tankōbon (collected volume) was released by Takeshobo on April 24, 1992,[3] and the latest volume—the 28th—was published on December 10, 2013.[4]

Volumes[edit]

No. Japanese release date Japanese ISBN
1 April 24, 1992[3] ISBN 978-4-88475-574-4
2 December 9, 1992[5] ISBN 978-4-88475-620-8
3 September 29, 1993[6] ISBN 978-4-88475-673-4
4 June 27, 1994[7] ISBN 978-4-88475-723-6
5 April 17, 1995[8] ISBN 978-4-88475-799-1
6 January 27, 1996[9] ISBN 978-4-8124-5005-5
7 July 10, 1997[10] ISBN 978-4-8124-5138-0
8 April 27, 1998[11] ISBN 978-4-8124-5193-9
9 February 27, 1999[12] ISBN 978-4-8124-5281-3
10 November 27, 1999[13] ISBN 978-4-8124-5333-9
11 August 27, 2001[14] ISBN 978-4-8124-5544-9
12 January 26, 2001[15] ISBN 978-4-8124-5616-3
13 June 27, 2002[16] ISBN 978-4-8124-5670-5
14 March 27, 2003[17] ISBN 978-4-8124-5792-4
15 February 27, 2004[18] ISBN 978-4-8124-5917-1
16 September 27, 2004[19] ISBN 978-4-8124-6022-1
17 June 7, 2005[20] ISBN 978-4-8124-6187-7
18 February 27, 2006[21] ISBN 978-4-8124-6436-6
19 January 27, 2007[22] ISBN 978-4-8124-6549-3
20 July 17, 2007[23] ISBN 978-4-8124-6711-4
21 April 26, 2008[24] ISBN 978-4-8124-6820-3
22 February 17, 2009[25] ISBN 978-4-8124-7035-0
23 October 5, 2007[26] ISBN 978-4-8124-7165-4
24 June 11, 2010[27] ISBN 978-4-8124-7287-3
25 July 27, 2011[28] ISBN 978-4-8124-7640-6
26 July 17, 2012[29] ISBN 978-4-8124-7931-5
27 July 17, 2013[30] ISBN 978-4-8124-8344-2
28 December 10, 2013[4] ISBN 978-4-8124-8469-2

Anime[edit]

Madhouse adapted the manga into an anime television series titled Tōhai Densetsu Akagi: Yami ni Maiorita Tensai (闘牌伝説アカギ 闇に舞い降りた天才?, lit. "Mahjong Legend Akagi: The Genius Who Descended Into the Darkness") produced by Nippon Television (NTV), VAP, and Forecast.[31] Directed by Yuzo Sato,[31] the Akagi anime premiered in Japan on NTV on October 4, 2005, and ran for 26 episodes until its conclusion on March 28, 2006.[32] In September 2013, streaming service Crunchyroll announced the licensing of the anime in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbeans, and South and Central America.[33] The six first episodes were available from September 10, 2013, with five more episodes streamed every week after.[33]

VAP compiled the series and released it into two DVD box sets on March 24, and May 24, 2006.[34] Several original tie-ins merchandise were released,[35] including an official guidebook published by Takeshobo on March 29, 2006,[36] and an official soundtrack album composed by Hideki Taniuchi[31] and produced by VAP released on January 25, 2006.[37] Among the 35 tracks of the album,[37] the anime opening theme "Nantoka Nare" (何とかなれ?) performed by Furuido, and the two ending themes, "Akagi" by Maximum the Hormone and "S.T.S." by The Animals, were included on.[38]

Related books and spin-offs[edit]

Several related books and spin-off manga has been released. A series of three books titled Akagi Akuma no Senjutsu (アカギ悪魔の戦術?) was released between May 17, 1999, and January 27, 2001.[39][40] An anthology written by several other manga artists, including CLAMP, Shinobu Kaitani and Mikio Igarashi, was released on July 27, 2011.[41] Several crossovers between Akagi and Ten has also been published by Takeshobo.[42][43] A "character book" was released on July 17, 2012.[44] An anthology compiling dōjinshi written at 2013 Comiket was released by Broccoli Books.[45]

Washizu: Enma no Tōhai (ワシズ -閻魔の闘牌-?), a spin-off manga written by Keiichirō Hara focusing on Iwao Washizu, started to be serialized in Monthly Kindai Mahjong Original on June 28, 2008.[46] The series spawned eight volumes released between February 17, 2009, and January 26, 2013.[47][48] A one-shot on Washizu was also drawn by CLAMP for Monthly Kindai Mahjong Original that was released on August 8.[46] The series was also published as two "B6 Series" released on October 27, 2012, and January 17, 2013.[49][50] On November 8, 2012, Monthly Kindai Mahjong Original published the first chapter of Washizu: Tenka Sōsei Tōhai Roku (ワシズ 天下創世闘牌録?);[51] two volumes have already been released: on July 17, 2013.[52][53]

Other merchandise[edit]

Kenzō Maihara directed two V-Cinema films adaptations of Akagi starred by Takashi Kashiwabara. Tōhai Den Akagi (闘牌伝アカギ?) was released on November 11, 1995,[54] and Suzume Ma Akagi (雀魔アカギ?) was released on July 25, 1997.[55] Takeshobo rereleased both films in DVD format on January 27, 2006.[56][57] Based on the first film, a video game for PlayStation was released by Micronet on January 19, 1996.[58]

Warashi adapted Akagi into a PlayStation 2 game released by D3 Publisher on December 12, 2002.[59][60] It was rereleased as part of the budget-priced "Simple series" on October 14, 2004 by D3.[61] In 2006, Taito Corporation released two mobile games based on the anime.[62][63] Two video games based on the anime series were developed by Culture Brain and published by Nintendo. The first, a Game Boy Advance game, was released on March 3, 2006,[64] and the Nintendo DS game was released on August 9, 2007.[65] Fujishoji released a pachislot machine in 2008,[66] the same year Okumura Yuuki released its first machine,[67] which was followed by another in 2012.[68] A SmartPhone game was developed by Imagineer and made available from March 5, 2014,[69] while Gloops releaed a social network game for Mobage on August 1 of the same year.[70]

Reception[edit]

As of March 2006, the Akagi manga has sold over 5 million copies in Japan.[71] Individual volumes have also been feature in weekly Oricon's chart of best-selling manga in 2009,[72] 2010,[73] 2011,[74] and 2013.[75]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]