Toriko – Chapter 162
I’ve been gambling a few times, and I have a vague understanding of how it works. One of the key things to remember is that casinos are meant to award a long-term profit to the casino itself, rather than the gamblers, so any game where someone has an advantage over the casino would usually never work. Of course you can have an advantage over the other players in some games, but never over the casino itself. That’s what I found odd about the way the Gourmet Casino operates. I was expecting Coco to pull out some huge winnings, but I thought he’d do it in the card games. Someone as stoic has him would do well in a game of poker, after all. Instead, he used his ludicrous eyesight to get an equally ludicrous payout on the above slot machine.
I had a great deal of trouble accepting that Coco could win that much money. It may sound strange, considering that we’re talking about a 100 wheel slot machine where the tokens are edible, but I didn’t find the way the casino operates to be very realistic. I was able to look past that, though, when a thought occurred to me: why would a series aimed mainly at people under 18 attempt to portray gambling realistically?
I don’t have much experience in the way of manga about games (which, incidentally, I intend to fix one day), but of the ones I’ve read, the only one that really showed realistic gambling was the seinen series Liar Game. The shonen I know about, such as Yugioh, either take liberties with the games involved or the stakes. People are more likely to wager their own lives than any actual money, which seems to hold the hidden message “Gambling is evil, so don’t do it.” This is one of the first times I’ve actually seen casino gambling in a shonen, so I suppose I was thrown off thinking they’d show accurate games to such a young age group.
Now that I think about it, this series has been exaggerating drug use in much the same way recently. We saw illegal ingredients earlier that were said to destroy the person using them in various ways after just one use. It sounds like they used a more literal application of “All it takes is one.” And now that I think about it, the Energy Steroids in the recent One Piece chapters were depicted in the same exaggerated fashion: they give temporary boosts in power at the cost of a shorter lifespan. I just didn’t notice at first because I’ve seen the words “shorter lifespan” so often in shonen I tend to ignore them.
Sometimes I forget that shonen manga were intended for an age group a lot younger than mine. I’ve read both shonen and seinen manga enough now that the line between them sometimes blurs, and it can be hard to tell what belongs where. Of course when you’re in the same magazine as a series that depicts the day-to-day life of manga employees, the line is already somewhat blurry. I suppose if I wanted something realistic, I shouldn’t have expected it alongside the man who wields his fists like a fork and knife.