There’s Already a Squid Game Anime

Squid Game offers survival game thrills like almost nothing else. The “almost” is Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor, a classic anime with the exact same concept. But is Netflix’s new KDrama a ripoff? Or a reinvention?
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In the depths of his Mother’s Basement, Geoff Thew creates videos analyzing the storytelling techniques of anime and video games. He has been named the number one Worst YouTube Anime Reviewer by The Top Tens.


  1. I first got introduced to kaiji was through an unrelated chinese movie starring Michael douglas 3 years ago titled "Animal World" . One of my gym buddy asked me about it. Then we saw it together and our minds were blown. It made me thirsty for more such content. Then i found out Kaiji anime and since then I'm addicted to it.

  2. I feel like squid game is more of an example of the good people in the world. While Kaiji, having some good people (himself, Sahara, the old man ishida), it has far less good ones and it emphasizes on the nature of humans. To me it was some of those sickeningly animated stills of the villains dissolving into the screen and making your skin crawl that really made Kaiji one of my top 3 anime of all time. When watching squid game for the first time and then seeing the reception, especially from my peers whom had shrugged off Kaiji when I recommended it in the past, I was upset lol. I don't know.

  3. I pointed this anime out to my buddies when I said I already watched a better Squid Game. The prequel series to this anime is great too.

  4. Now I really want to rewatch this Kaiji anime. I need to find the essence of gambling.

  5. All right, show of hands; who else instinctively clicked on the "skip ad" button during the mobile games segment?

  6. The reason why Kaiji is not as well known as Squid Game is because the marketing methods in Japan and Korea are completely different. In Japan, marketing is basically focused on the domestic market. Japanese manga publishers and anime companies think that selling in Japan is enough. Japanese anime that becomes popular overseas is not something that they voluntarily spread overseas, but something that spread overseas on its own. Korea, on the other hand, focuses on overseas marketing from the beginning. That's why they advertise in English and sell to Western streaming services like Netflix. In addition, the Korean government is investing a lot of money to promote Korean content overseas. So, due to the current differences in marketing between Korea and Japan, Korean content is more likely to spread overseas.

  7. I have been watching anime and many other Asian movies and TV series for the last couple of decades and as brilliant as squid games is, I've been telling people to watch this kind of stuff for years. It amazes me how well loved this series is yet there is other stuff out there that is just as good and if not better and I am a massive fan of squid games so….

    Anyway where I live most people don't like to give foreign movies, TV and music much of a chance unless it's Eurovision, and people think I'm the weird one for liking French, Spanish, Asian and Danish media, basically they say "I won't watch anything with subtitles" which annoys the hell out of me lol.
    Now that so many have watched squid games these same people are now asking me for more suggestions for more like this and I have plenty.

    Just some of my favourite K-dramas are…
    Legend of the deep blue sea
    All of us are dead
    who are you 2015
    Sweet home
    Squid games
    it's okay not to be okay
    Hotel del Luna
    Boys over flowers
    and many, many more and of course there are Korean movies like
    Whispering corridors
    The Host
    Tale of two sisters
    I saw the devil
    Train to Busan
    3 Extremes
    I mean I could go on and on but here are a few Korean ones if anyone wants to check them out. Btw I found most of these on YouTube or I bought the DVD's, if anyone is interested that is lol.

  8. I always felt like Kaiji was way too long- taking too much of the time to talk about the games rather than playing them. So I can totally understand why something similar could hit the notes a bit stronger.

  9. Kaiji is the best in its genre when it comes to gambling/game show/anime period. The rest is full of flaws and plot armour. SG is literal trash. Alice in borderlands? Don’t get me started I dropped that shit after the first game of life and death doors. Shits trash.

  10. Kaiji is getting a dub by Sentai Filmworks soon

  11. I detest squid game. Will I still like Kaiji? I love anime so will I still like it?

  12. Kaiji is honestly so underwatched. I love the style of it especially

  13. Kaiji does a lot of things better than Squid Game, the villains in both are a great example. Lots of the Squid Game characters feel pretty cartoony, and Kaiji outdoes it despite literally being a cartoon.

  14. Both are good, just one came first.
    Also, his was a great recommendation; I needed more after squid game, and the first card-based rock paper scissors game became a lot more interesting to me, than any of the games in the netflix show.

  15. The difference between Squid Game and Kaiji?
    Kaiji is actually good.

  16. I will never watch Kaiji because I don't like being sad and stressed

  17. The squid game is really fun.

    However, the Japanese manga "Battle Royal" and "Alice in the Land of the Present"
    "Kaiji" and "As God says"

    be similar to the above work
    Did Korea imitate Japanese comics?

  18. "Kaiji" is more interesting because he uses his brain.

  19. A good manga I love is Liar Game made I believe in 2004. Its one of my faves and Im really upset with all its adaptions. they were kinda :/ with a major character always being changed to write out one of her major character traits, but the manga itself was great imo.

    idk I want to spead Liar Game to anyone i can

  20. i mean the author of squid game even mentions Kaiji as one of his inspirations.
    There is also "Liar game" which is similiar but doesnt have a good anime adaption

  21. Honestly, Kaiji was the first thing I thought of when I watched Squid Game.

  22. I only know this anime as "Scarecrow Pointy-Nose Guy"

  23. got deep into Kaiji, watched the live action movies and the spin off manga anime show
    also watched Akagi

  24. The one thing with Kaiji vs. Squid Game – Squid Game is 9 episodes long and contains 6 games, 5 of which are good. The first series of Kaiji is 26 episodes long and contains 3 games. Maybe 5 if you count generously. And then the second series of Kaiji is 26 episodes long and contains 2 games, no matter how you count it, and one of them is that fucking pachinko machine. Don't get me wrong, I love Kaiji, but it is not well paced. The rock paper scissors tournament? Yeah, that needed the episodes to breath and develop, fair enough. The Bog? No, that did not need 13 episodes. Especially when all the actual scheming was out of the way by roughly number 4, and the rest of it is essentially someone brute forcing a pachinko machine. That slow, dawning realisation when it becomes clear that this pachinko machine is going to be the whole rest of the season… it makes me shudder to this day.

    And yes, both shows are more than their games, the second episode of Squid Game is what made me fall in love with the show while the slave labour camp episodes of Kaiji have such a powerful, depressingly relatable punch. And man, the end of Kaiji is so purely cathartic. But still, I come to these shows for the games, for the desperate ingenuity, devastating betrayals and unquenchable hope that comes from the players. And for my money, while the game playing is better and more developed in Kaiji, it's so much better paced in Squid Game. Even leaving aside the animation bias, I can see why that one was the runaway success.

  25. that anime also inspirate kazuki takahashi to make de Duelist kingdom in Yu-Gi-Oh

  26. I freaking HATE those ads!
    Anyways, I would never win. Like seriously. I would die at every game.

  27. I'm not really an anime fan, but I might check Kaiji out. It seems cool, like Squid Game is.

  28. Kaiji might be a naive dumb dude thats why hes a shitty theif and hes in debt and gamble.. but hes smarter than kira & L combined.. my favorite game shows character of all time. and squid game show is just a slappy copy of Kaiji show.
    whoever disagrees: oppinion rejected.

  29. “And id wager 3 whole centimeters” i catch when you reference boi

  30. Alice is the death game, but you get absolutely nothing other than going back to your own world but it’s not rewarding too since you forget and you experience survivor’s guilt, but hey at least alot of people can survive

  31. Watching Kaiji at the moment on your recommendation. Absolutely love it!! So tense and thought out!

  32. Let me tell you.
    In kaiji everyone is selfish and the mc has to survive it all.

    You can get anxious just by watching the show
    It is so cool and mindfck

    Mc is very smart in kaiji

    Please do give it a shot you won't regret.

    And the author of kaiji has a lot of other mindgames anime too like Akagi,one outs etc please check those out too.

  33. Korea always copies Japan.


  34. Only thing worse about Kaiji is the Awful live adoption…

  35. Kai-ji was influenced by the genre rules of past death games and Hong Kong gambling films of the past.(ex, God of Gamblers series)

  36. i'm glad that squid game made kaiji more popular

  37. Kaiji has ZAWA, Squid games doesn't

    there I saved you 22:04 minutes of your pathetic life….

  38. Literally anyone: hey this show is pretty good

    Kaiji fans: slaps then so hard their jaw dislocates FUCK YOU! KAIJI IS BETTER

  39. Koreans stealing Japanese ideas and pretending like it’s theirs?

    You don't say·

  40. Not necessarily battle royale, but Usogui is a gambling manga that you need to read if you like that genre. Very long and has a slow start but it really picks up, and the final arcs are the highest highs of any series I've ever read.

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