xGeo's Mahjong Blog

Experiences with Japanese Mahjong

Anime/Manga

These are the different mahjong anime and manga that I know of. If you know of any more, please let me know! I’m always looking for more interesting stories about mahjong.

Ten – Tenna Toori no Kaidanji by Nobuyuki Fukumoto

As far as I know there is only a manga and it has been translated completely. Ten, the protagonist, is a rep mahjong player whose signature move is a tile stacking technique called the Tsubame Gaeshi. There’s a lot of mahjong analysis and terminology used. Overall a good read but the beginning is a little boring/has a comedic tone.

Akagi by Nobuyuki Fukumoto

Akagi has an ongoing manga and one season of anime as well as a live action drama. It is the prequel to Ten and focuses on mahjong and gambling. The story follows the adventures of Akagi, a mahjong genius from the very first game that he played. However often Akagi is not about mahjong rather it talks about psychology and the human psyche. It’s an interesting story though it is ongoing.

Washizu Enma no Touhai by Keichiirou Hara

This manga is ongoing. It is about Washizu, a character from Akagi, and his past.

Legendary Gambler Tetsuya by Fuumei Sai and Yasushi Hoshino

For Legendary Gambler Tetsuya there is a manga but it is still being translated. I suggest watching the season of anime that it has. For a “2nd season” you can watch cutscenes from the PS2 game hereTetsuya is centered around cheating in mahjong as well as gambling. Basically you can’t talk about Tetsuya without talking about cheating.

Legend of Koizumi by Hideki Owada

Legend of Koizumi only has a manga series and a few OVAs. It is completed but in the process of being translated. It is a political satire and features world leaders battling it out in mahjong. It can be outrageous at times and has a lot of cheating, but the ridiculous scenes of Koizumi is what makes it funny to me.

Saki by Ritz Kobayashi

Saki currently has an ongoing manga and two seasons of anime. Saki is about high school mahjong tournament for girls. The mahjong action revolves around different girls that have special “mahjong powers.” Besides mahjong the story contains a lot of yuri. As one Mangahere comment stated, “Mahjong is the main attraction here. While the panty-less shot is the side dish.”

Saki: Achiga-hen Episode of Side-A by Ritz Kobayashi

Achiga-hen has a complete manga and anime season. It is the side story of Saki and follows a different high school in the mahjong tournament. Achiga-hen has faster pacing than Saki but still has epic mahjong matches and fanservice e.g. if you look closely, the main character Shizuno doesn’t even wear pants!

Side Story of Saki: Shinohayu The Age of Dawn by Ritz Kobayashi

Shinohayu only has a manga and is still ongoing. The story is a prequel to the events in Saki. There is a greater focus on character development so I would call it more mellow and cute.

Saki Biyori by Ritz Kobayashi and Saya Kiyoshi

A 4-koma manga series has been completed. These are cute, little shorts about the characters in Saki i.e. not really any mahjong action. I would call it a gag manga.

Saki Biyori BG by Ritz Kobayashi and Saya Kiyoshi

Pretty much an extension of Biyori i.e. more 4-koma. The manga is still ongoing.

Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji by Nobuyuki Fukumoto

The manga has been completed and there is no anime. This is part of the Kaiji series which is all about gambling. This arc of the manga features a two-player variant of mahjong called Landmine Mahjong.

Atsuize Pen-chan by Nobuyuki Fukumoto

This is a lighter hearted work by Fukumoto. The manga is currently being translated. It follows the adventures of Pen-chan, a naive boy who simply loves mahjong.

Atsuize Tenma by Nobuyuki Fukumoto

This story is about Tenma, a young mahjong prodigy. He loves mahjong and duels various opponents on his way to becoming a pro. The manga is pretty short and has been translated.

Naki no Ryuu by Junichi Noujou

This manga is about mahjong and yakuza. The main character, Ryuu, is a mahjong rep player whose style involves lots of calling and open hands.

Mukoubuchi by Etsuya Amajishi

A manga about a lone gambler known as “Kai” during one of Japan’s economic bubbles. Mukoubuchi also has several movies.

Tetsunaki no Kirinji by Nagahisa Tsukawaki

The manga is complete and has been fully translated. The story follows Rinji, who is addicted to online mahjong (based on Tenhou). As a result of his addiction, his wife divorced him and eventually he turns to gambling in mahjong parlors to pay for child support. I like how there is a lot of gameplay analysis in this series which you can learn a lot from.

Tetsunaki no Kirinji Kabukichou Seiatsu Hen by Nagahisa Tsukawaki

The sequel to Kirinji and is ongoing currently. The story is a continuation of Rinji’s quest to dominate the mahjong parlors in Kabukichou.

Aki by Aki Nikaido

Aki is a semi-biographical manga about the professional mahjong player Aki Nikaido during her childhood. The manga is complete and translated. Aki and her sister Rumi are well known players in the Japanese Professional Mahjong League (JPML). This series isn’t so much about the mahjong but more about self-discovery and finding one’s place in the world.

Tohai by Koji Shinasaka

Tohai is about a high school boy, Kei, who has become bored with playing online mahjong. Seeking a thrill, he gets involved with high stakes mahjong through the yakuza. The manga is complete but translation is ongoing. There are 2 seasons of drama which cover a lot of content. I think the gameplay is pretty exciting, but sometimes the themes are a bit intense and there are some graphic scenes.

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