Manga Chapter of the Week: Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: Kazuya-hen Chapter 26 (Escape)

Drawing good manga is about making characters feel real. There are any number of paths to achieve this, but if an author can’t make his cast feel compelling early in, the series typically isn’t worth continuing. There are few manga artists I trust more than narrative-box placement specialist Noboyuki Fukumoto when it comes to delivering that whole package. The fourth part of his award-winning Kaiji series had been relatively bland by his standards up to this point, lacking real moments from the title character as it focused on 3 brand-new characters stuck in what I’m sure will eventually turn out to be an iterated prisoner’s dilemma. It was enjoyable, but not intense. This chapter broke through that ceiling, though, delivering some heart-warming backstory for Chang, an illegal immigrant and second son under China’s one-child policy.


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