The Beauty of Mangaka Nobuyuki Fukumoto
Born in December 1958, Noboyuki Fukumoto is a Japanese manga artist famous for his novel gambling ideas, distinct art-style, and in-depth psychological analyses of characters. The English-speaking nations recognize him as the author of Akagi.
The award-winning mangaka made his manga debut in 1980. Since then, he has authored more than 150 volumes. Fukumoto’s Gambling Apocalypse: Kaiji was crowned the Comic of the Year at the 1998 Kodansha Manga Awards, for example.
Fukumoto often incorporates both elements of gambling and finance into his works, but most of his memorable titles focus on the impacts of Japan’s economic culture.
Let’s explore some of Fukumoto’s masterpieces — Kaiji, Akagi, and Kurosawa.
Kaiji is perhaps the most popular Nobuyuki Fukumoto series. It tells the story of Itou Kaiji, who experiences some of the most bizarre, passionate, and thrilling gambling adventures.
Kaiji, an emotionally unstable guy, finds himself in an abyss of debt and tribulations that he continually struggles to escape. One day, he receives a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, where he could pay his debts off and earnsome extra money through gambling.
Kaiji series comprises five parts, which progress the story in a linear manner. It is arguably one of the most fascinating series you’ll ever experience, boasting more than twenty million manga sales in Japan alone.
Akagi is perhaps the second most popular Nobuyuki Fukumoto series with more than ten million sales in Japan. It is the prequel story of how protagonist Akagi Shigeru became the most popular underworld gambler on the planet.
The Mahjong-based series is one of the most intense and thrilling works of fiction you’ll ever find in the world of gambling. The series features a game known as Washizu Mahjong, which has since influenced the development of a popular game called Washizu Mahjong in Japan.
The series has enhanced the popularity of Mahjong by a significant margin, but you will have to understand the game of Mahjong to read and enjoy Akagi.
Kurosawa follows the events in the life of a 44-year-old that works in the construction industry in Japan. The society and his colleagues look down upon Kurosawa, and he does all that he can to meld himself into the world’s normalcy, but he is unsuccessful.
It’s noteworthy that this Seine cringe-comedy takes considerable time in developing the character of Kurosawa. Many people will be hooked into the story immediately, though.
If you are looking for a mature series that might emotionally wreck sensitive readers, you can’t go wrong with Kurosawa.
Gin to Kin
Another series on offer from Fukumoto is Gin to Kin, which focuses on two lead characters, Ginji and Morita. In the underground gambling world, Ginji goes by the name “Silver King,” derived from the “Gin” in his name.To outshine his master, Morita adopts the name “Gold King.”
The series highlights a strong mentor-pupil relationship. If you love the villains and mature political themes, Gin to Kin will be a satisfying read for you.
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