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Hyōdo Kazutaka is the main antagonist of the anime and manga series, Kaiji.

As the tyrannical president and owner of the financial firm Teiai Group, he is the nemesis of Kaiji through the deadly gambles said corporation forces him into. Driven mad with wealth, Hyōdo is a sadist as much as he is a socialist, as he looks down upon the lower class, referring to them as "scum", and revels in watching their anguish unfold throughout the sadistic gambles Teiai frequently hosts. He serves as the final antagonist of Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji (Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji), and the overarching antagonist of Tobaku Hakairoku Kaiji (Gambling Maverick Kaiji) and Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: 24 Oku-hen (Gambling Advent Chronicle Kaiji - 2.4 Billion Escape Arc). He also appears in the spin-off anime/manga Mr Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues as its on-and-off main antagonist.

He is voiced by Masane Tsukayama in the anime, who also voiced Saburo Arasaka, the main antagonist of Cyberpunk 2077.

Biography

Past

Nothing much is known about Hyōdo's upbringing, or how he managed to become president of Teiai (unless he was its founder). It is known that he married a foreign woman by the name of Sophie some time after becoming the owner of Teiai; having two sons with her by the names of Hyōdo Kazuki and Hyōdo Kazuya (with the former he appears to favor).

It is unclear at which point Hyōdo became the man he is today (if there even was one), but it can be assumed that he was once a reserved and respectable individual in his past as seen within Kazuya's flashbacks.

Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji

Within this arc, his silhouette can briefly be seen as he observes the events of the "Restricted Rock-Paper-Scissors" gamble, commentating on Kaiji's ingenuity and tenacity.

Later on towards the climax, he makes his first full appearance as he persuades his subordinate Yukio Tonegawa, overseer of both "Restricted Rock-Paper-Scissors" and "Human Derby", as well as the main antagonist of the arc, to give Kaiji a second chance to prove himself and regain his promised fortune that would redeem his fallen friends and their debts. He entices Kaiji into participating in the gamble known as E-Card, a game that is played with one side having four Citizen cards and an Emperor card (Emperor side), and the other side having four Citizen cards and a Slave card (Slave side). Since it is much harder for the slave side to win (as Slave cards can only defeat Emperor cards) the players of the Slave side get five times more winnings. Each game is played with 12 matches each match having each player set down one card. The deadly catch being that the opposing party (Kaiji) has to attach a remote-controlled drill to their and bet any amount of centimeters that separate the drill from their eardrum instead of money.

After Kaiji defeats Tonegawa and wins twenty million yen (though at the cost of losing his left ear), Hyōdo, disgusted at his subordinate's defeat, orders Tonegawa to apologize to Kaiji for all the misfortune he had caused Kaiji and his deceased friends, as was Kaiji's previous wishes. However, instead of a simple apology as Kaiji desired, Hyōdo forced Tonegawa to grovel for forgiveness on a hot, smoldering iron plate, as he believed that a person was never truly sorry regardless of the amount of groveling and pleading they would do.

Horrified at this blatant display of sadism, Kaiji quickly concluded that it was Hyōdo who was his true enemy and the one who needed to be taken down at all costs. He would confront Hyōdo, saying that he was not satisfied with the twenty million yen he earned and demanded another gamble. Although initially reluctant, Hyōdo immediately complied when Kaiji offered to accept any form consequence for his failure that he (Hyōdo) would desire. As for the gamble, which Kaiji himself invented to prevent Hyōdo from possibly cheating, it simply involved a ticket lottery made from a tissue box; with the winning raffle ticket being a marked piece of tissue. Unbeknownst to Hyōdo or any other member of Teiai present however, was that Kaiji intentionally rigged the game to have a second winning ticket hidden within one of the openings of the tissue box. Hyōdo, filled with excitement, presented a hundred million yen reward should Kaiji win, and a dreadful punishment of having the fingers of one of his hands amputated should he fail, as well as the loss of all of his earnings he gained that night.

However, much to Kaiji's horror and seemingly against all odds, Hyōdo found the original winning ticket despite Kaiji meaning for it to only serve as a ruse to prevent any suspicion from arising. Kaiji promptly had his fingers amputated and all his earnings taken away, much to Hyōdo's delight. Before doing so, Hyōdo offered Kaiji the winning ticket to Kaiji as a good luck charm to use in case they ever faced off again.

Later, upon closer contemplation and examination, Kaiji realized that Hyōdo had not only found and crumpled the secret winning ticket in first turn (thus preventing Kaiji from cheating), but also found the original ticket due to the fact that he folded it when both he and Kaiji placed said ticket with the tissue box, thus allowing Hyōdo to easily locate it. Filled with anguish and humiliation, Kaiji vowed to defeat Hyōdo in the future.

Tobaku Hakairoku Kaiji

He appears once again towards the second half of the arc when he contacts Seiya Ichijō, owner of the Bog casino and Kaiji's main opponent for the arc, ordering him not to lose the seven-hundred million jackpot the Bog offers or there will be dire consequences.

After Kaiji defeats Ichijō and wins the Bog's jackpot, the enraged Hyōdo demands that Ichijō pay back the seven-hundred million yen won by Kaiji by working for 1,050 years in his underground labor camp. He has his men take the distraught casino owner away to his life-long incarceration.

Tobaku Datenroku Kaiji: 24 Oku-hen

Although having yet to make a physical appearance with in this arc, he was the one who ordered his men, the "blacksuits", to hunt down Kaiji and take back the two billion yen he won from the gamble with Kazuya; thus beginning Kaiji and his friends' attempts to flee the country in order to escape the grasp of Teiai.

Personality

Hyōdo is portrayed as an exceedingly insane and depraved socialist, valuing wealth over anything else. Constantly desiring to add to his already large personal wealth and expand Teiai's criminal empire, he takes great pride in his status as a "king" and has gone to great lengths to ensure that it continues to be upheld, ordering the construction of a gargantuan underground bunker to serve as his own personal kingdom in case of a nuclear apocalypse.

He detests the lower class and sees them as miserable creatures who have no one to blame but themselves for their predicaments. Because of this mentality, he has virtually no sympathy towards those society seems as "poor", and instead takes great delight in watching their despair as they participate in the illegal gambles organized by Teiai.

Due to his wealth, he frequently indulges himself in luxurious expenses, such as eating exotic foods, receiving spa treatments, and going on lavish vacations. As president of Teiai, he effectively wields absolute control over both the company and its employees, a power which he shamelessly abuses; often abusing them for his own amusement and forcing to partake in rather humiliating practices, such as being forced to act as footstools and drinking beverages that have been contaminated with his feet.

Not much is known about him surrounding his involvement in his family's life, other than he apparently favors his eldest son Kazuki over Kazuya and did at least some affection for his late wife Sophie, going by Kazuya's flashbacks.

Trivia

  • He is thought to portray the evils and corruption of capitalism within late 20th century Japan.
  • He is a widower due to his wife Sophie passing away in a tragic accident.
  • He is thought to be worth over several-hundred billion yen.
  • Oh Il-nam from Squid Game is mostly based on Hyōdo. However, unlike Hyōdo, Il-nam is not as despicable as him as he does not engage in slave labor, abuse his employees or sees himself as king since his employees genuinely respect him while Teia employees fear and hate Hyōdo.
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