The “Power Play” Solution

1 07 2010

In which I ramble (and state an unpopular position) about Akiyama’s final plan. Spoilers for 137.

This is my position about Akiyama’s final plan: It’s actually really elegant and solves a lot of problems that a Team Akiyama victory would have brought. It might not be what someone would do if they were looking to maximize profit for themselves and their in group, and it’s certainly not what most of the fans would have done or wanted to have seen. But yes, it’s elegant and it fits.

All right, before I start, I’m going to go over some things that was bothering me about a Team Akiyama victory…

How are they going to distribute the winner’s medals in such a way that no one profits at the expense of other players?

And then when Baldy (and Young Jump, to a lesser extent) jumped to Yokoya’s team:

How are they going to win without making sure that a traitor profited from their effort?

So while I assumed (silly me) that either Akiyama or Nao would win, I was wondering how they would set it up so that no innocent  bystanders were hurt, and also that neither of the traitors “got away” with going against Akiyama.

Ikezawa’s victory is actually an elegant way around both those questions. And when combined with the checks Akiyama received from the Pandemic game, it’s not even like their allies lost anything. (And seriously, if someone is teaming up with Akiyama and Nao, who make it a public intention that they want to save everyone, expecting to make a profit…that person is being obtuse).

Here’s my reasoning:

1. The whole point of Nao and Akiyama’s presence in the game is to save everyone. Not to make themselves or their collaborators rich, but to make sure that people can get out without debts.
1a. Therefore, no one who works with Team AkiNao can make a profit, unless it’s coming at the loss of the corporation, Akiyama, and Nao instead of the other players. (i.e. Fukunaga making money in the Second Revival Round is okay, because the Western Army’s debt was paid off, so it was only the corporation that lost out).

1b. Therefore, as nice as it would be (for Team AkiNao) if Akiyama or Nao managed to win, unless everyone agreed to redistribute medals so as few people took a loss as possible, there would be a basic contradiction between what they say, “We’ll save everyone.” and what they’ve practiced.

2. Because of the ending of the Pandemic Game (wherein 300 million was swindled from Yokoya), the three collaborators they could reasonably anticipate at the start of the Musical Chairs game (Fukunaga, Akagi, and Makizono) won’t actually lose money even though they don’t possess any of the winners medals. We actually know that Akagi and Fukunaga are therefore even from this round, and Makizono at least isn’t any worse off than he was.

3. Baldy and Young Jump, who basically played all sides and looked out for themselves, would both profit through a Team AkiNao victory. It goes against Nao’s principle of saving everyone, and Akiyama ends up rewarding people who have betrayed him.

4. We don’t know the actual distribution of Ikezawa’s medals among the Gaya, except that: No one in Yokoya’s group has any. Young Jump may have one or two, assuming he was bribed. But if Yokoya knew that he was the leader, Yokoya might have assumed that Young Jump didn’t need to get trash medals.

4a. We also know that because the 5 people from Yokoya’s team in Round 3 have massive debts from the game, a good amount of the medals are going towards paying off those debts, or at least making sure that they’re not digging themselves in deeper.

So actually, in the sense of achieving Akiyama and Nao’s goals, Ikezawa’s winning is actually better than Nao’s winning.

Okay, there are still a few things that are bothering me:

How the heck did they get Fukunaga on board with this plan? Or did they do this behind her back until it was obvious that both Akiyama and Nao were going to lose?

Now that they have Abe on their team too, are they going to try and set it up so that Fukunaga, Makizono, Akagi, and Abe won’t have debts? Or will one of them have to lose out?



46 responses

1 07 2010

I thought that what Akiyama did to Yokoya in Chapter 137 was disappointing. Akiyama couldn’t defeat Yokoya mentally this time, so he had to resort to physicality which I find NOT that impressive. It was a bit of a let down. I sort of wanted Yokoya to win at that point because I felt like he really deserved it this time.

1 07 2010

I think it depends on whether you think the physical solution happened because Akiyama lost, or if it was a final effect of a plan that was already set up to make sure that he and Nao met their goals.

I mean from my PoV, Akiyama basically spent the entire game anticipating how the other two would react and making subtle manipulations in order to:

1. Get both Harimoto and Yokoya to distribute their medals in a way that means the Gaya all get paid.
2. Bring the Gaya to the point where all of them would be receptive to participating in Akiyama’s plan.
3. Force a final winner that suits Akiyama just fine, but was definitely not what the group leader and the final winner actually wanted.

I really don’t read it as a desperation play on the part of Akiyama. It’s not like he realized that what he originally planned didn’t work out, and he had to do a last minute fix. He’s basically been planning for this eventual outcome at least since he started dealing with Young Jump, if not earlier.

1 07 2010

aaah okay you just completely changed my PoV. It makes much more sense this way. but i still feel like he should’ve won via some other way.

22 12 2010

Definitely agree with this view.

1 07 2010

Based on the spoiler for 138, the distribution of winners medals seemed off, based on exactly what you are saying. While they could get rid of the debt of the Northern 5, they did not seem to actually do so.

From a psycology point of view, it is easier for Fukunaga to get on board the plan, once it is obvious Akiyama nad Nao can’t win, than it is to make Nao win, but requiring Fukunaga to give winner’s medals to Gaya. People are loss averse. It is easier to handle a massive loss, followed by a small gain, then many small losses in a row.

Now, while Akiyama did win this round, Yokoya/Harimoto could have made it impossible for this technique to work. In an N-person alliance, if they made 2 final winners, and use the medals of the remaining N-2 members to bribe the Gaya, Akiyama’s final technique would not work. Having 2 final winners only mean that you keep the medals of the 2 “final-winners” evenly distributed among your alliance, and do not surrender them. Obviously, this is much easier for Harimoto to pull off, since he has 5 members, than Yokoya with only 3 to start with.

Having 2 final winners guard against this particular Akiyama technique, but also against a similar type of attack, where in the last round, the chair Yokoya needs to use is eliminated, and the only chair to use can be used only by a non-winner.

1 07 2010

I’m kind of on the fence about the actual distribution of the medals. I completely understand Akiyama and Nao taking the four each to pay off part of their debts. And I can understand giving Fukunaga, Akagi, Makizono at least one in order to make sure they’re not worse off.

I’m just unsure whether giving them each a second is good or bad. On one hand, it’s problematic that they’re profiting while other players are still in debt, but on the other hand, all three of them were loyal to Akiyama’s group the whole way through and I can see Akiyama being willing to reward/reinforce that. Plus, it’s probably the only way I could see Fukunaga being on board with the plan.

(Also: totally agree on the loss-aversion part)

Now, while Akiyama did win this round, Yokoya/Harimoto could have made it impossible for this technique to work.

I think they definitely could have, if they thought that Akiyama would have gone for a final outcome like that. However, both Yokoya and Harimoto assumed that Akiyama would want a member of his own group to win (probably Akiyama himself), and unless they questioned that assumption, they would have never anticipated the outcome that Akiyama was really aiming for.

And one really can’t make preparations against an outcome that one thinks is already impossible.

I wonder if safeguarding against that type of situation was the point of Akiyama’s group exchanging all their medals at the start of the game. If someone in Akiyama’s group was ‘forced’ to win, then at least no matter who won, they’d be taken care of.

1 07 2010

Well, if they are careful, they should think up this end game scenario: it is likely coming down to a blow out, three plus chairs to one; or a tight race, two chairs against two chairs.

In the two vs two case, let us use Akiyama vs. Yokoya as example. Let Yokoya win election first. It will reduce Akiyama group to one chair. In the next election, it would be critial. If the next round, when Akiyama can still be voted as a leader, Akiyama actually wins dealer, and removes the chair Yokoya have to sit next, we will get right back to the exact scenario that is in chapter 137. Now, this is a 50-50 case, since Akiyama may remove the wrong chair, so Yokoya has a chair but Fatso does not.

From Akiyama point of view, it is hard to sell this plan to Gaya, since you have only 50% chance of succeeding. But from Yokoya’s point of view, that is 50% chance of lossing large. That means the whole strategy of selecting one single “final winner” is dubious at best.

It is just like the Survivor series. How you select the final members is very important.

Given Yokoya has only three members, he may have little choice but to go down this route.

2 07 2010

Did somebody notice that when all gayas appeared, there are fourteen and akiyama said: we will be a thirteen people barrier (or something like that)?
And when they make the barrier, nao disappears?

2 07 2010

There are 16 people at the scene, Yokoya plus 15. Akiyama and Nao appeared outside the ring of people, so I assume 13 people made that wall and Akiyama and Nao are outside the wall.

4 07 2010

One of the panels showed that Akiyama was part of the human barrier. I assume it was Nao and Glasses who sat out (Glasses probably due to his injury and that he was physically the weakest anyway).

(Quick breakdown of the 16: Yokoya, Abe, the 5 from Akiyama’s team, and 9 Gaya…YJ was not there)

If this move (making Ikezawa win) successfully relieves the Gaya from the Liar Game…big principles debate coming up in 138? (I didn’t read spoilers). Also wondering how Harimoto will react to potentially losing Abe.

Using the human barrier was a very good move imho. Ikezawa winning totally caught me off-guard, since I didn’t think that he needed to take a seat (this idea reinforced by Yokoya’s thoughts — “There’s no need to do anything anymore, I’ll just relax and let this round go by” — at the end of Chapter 136).

2 07 2010

I really liked this solution. This is like payback for round 3. I was disappointed by Monk’s Clothes though, I thought he would surpass Yokoya. This is a well thought out strategy but I don’t get why Yokoya had Fatso sit in his chair. There is no benefit to having Fatso sit down anymore, he could have asked Fatso not to sit in his chair no matter what and Yokoya would have won anyways.

@keialpha: They can salvage the situation if there is a remaining player from both Yokoya and Harimoto in the final two. They might not get 100% like with the trash medals but they could get some. They could threaten a draw since they know 5 vote for Harimoto and 4 vote for Yokoya. The only other option they have is leave it up to chance and even then the gaya only needs one group to initiate the betting in order to create somewhat of a dollar auction.

2 07 2010

Hmmm, I am not sure what you mean by “They can salvage the situation if there is a remaining player from both Yokoya and Harimoto in the final two.”

Let us say at round X, only Yokoya and Harimoto are left before the dealer election, and they both sit in a chair that round. Then whose chair get removed at round X-1? In each round, you can only remove 1 chair by dealer election. So at round X-1, right before the dealer election, some group have 2 chairs, and some group have 1 chair. But that means some group with 1 chair survived both round x-1, and X, which is impossible due to the rules.

To have that scenario happen, you need some chair stealing, and other non-standard actions, so at round X-1 before the election, both groups have 2 chairs. And that will cause other strategies to be viable, like chair auction.

Based on the way rules are layed out, there can’t be a dollar auction.

4 07 2010

Okay I get it now. I just thought that in your other post that 2 final winners meant that. The whole N +/- # confused me.

3 07 2010

I just stumbled across your blog. I like your summery of the plan and how it works. I am also very happy that you refer to fukanaga as ‘her’ when a lot of people (even the translators) don’t seem to. I’m an I-girl myself (intersexed) and it makes me happy to see anyone properly identified.

4 07 2010

Thank you for your comment. I’m not sure what else to say, but I am grateful that you spoke up.

4 07 2010

I agree with you reasonog but I still think that Akiyama could won in a more elegant way.
you know before all Akyama’s plans were like “super awesome, omg!!, unexpected!”.
and this time it’s simply human barrier. it’s not a super awesome plan. but it was cool anyway.
btw does anyone know why Nao called Abe(ponytail)??
they could easily win without her.

4 07 2010

I think that the requirement to make this solution ‘elegant’ or ‘impressive’ would have put artificial boundaries on Akiyama.

(Also, I think considering that set up started at least by the time Akiyama enlisted Young Jump, that this solution is actually very elegant, and that the human barrier was only the last piece to fall in place)

Also, I think if someone can propose another solution to this game that also keeps both Yokoya and Harimoto as being clever, doesn’t mean that they both have to make mistakes that a child could catch, and still doesn’t sacrifice any innocent bystanders, I’d love to hear it.

As for the whole Abe thing. I think it’s both a matter of “Why not?” and, on a personal level, Nao showing Abe firsthand what people who work together can do. Plus, if they need to confront Harimoto again, having worked together with Abe will likely give them an advantage.

6 07 2010

Ended in a way that nobody profited? Yes.

Ended in a way where Akiyama’s teammates might incur a debt? Yes.

Ended in a way that was logically acceptable, and had employed some information manipulation that the dealers had repeated so severely over and over? No.

Involved physical manipulation? Yes.

Elegant? I don’t think so. :/

6 07 2010

I found it elegant and “logically acceptable.” And I’d have to wonder what makes this type of physical manipulation totally unacceptable while other forms of physical manipulation, like say, locking oneself and one’s teammates into the status-checking booths, or getting money moved physically and in bulk outside the structure of the game is. Oh, and how Akiyama and the other winners of the rehearsal game won.

(Side note: If anyone is complaining about this solution being “last-minute,” I’d also advise you reread the first round and tell me if you think that Akiyama copped out there, because he only made his overt move after the game ended.)

And honestly, convincing someone (mulitple someones) to redistribute medals exactly how you want them, by figuring out how they’d plan, and convincing multiple people who have reasons not to trust people to work together means that this did take more planning than just making people link arms.

Also spoiler: gur svany qvfgevohgvba bs zrqnyf vf npghnyyl urnivyl nqinagntrbhf gb nxvlnzn naq uvf grnz. jbaqre ubj gung unccrarq.

But then, I suppose, that one final act of using a physical barricade at the end invalidates all the manipulation that Akiyama did beforehand. And he did a lot of manipulation this round.

At some point, I think this feeling like there should be a restriction against allowing the author to using physical manipulation (not violence, but physical obstruction which was used in the rehearsal game) as part of the solution is an artificial limitation.

7 07 2010

True. If the Liar Game was held in real life, players wouldn’t be thinking about the coolest way to defeat their opponents, but the most efficient.

9 07 2010

I’m sorry, Kira, I disagree on many levels.

First, critiquing the fact that nobody profits is silly because that was never the goal of Akiyama or Nao. Their goal since the third round has been to ensure that as many people survive the game debt-free as possible. In a zero-sum game, like this past one, having no one profit is actually the best possible outcome.

Second, the fact that Akiyama and Nao could incur massive debt is part of their plan. During the second revival round, Akiyama alluded to Fukunaga his goal: winning the tournament with a huge debt that would sink the Liar Game corporation. In fact, the pair have either made no money or incurred debt in every round after the second. Why is it suddenly unacceptable now?

Third, you’ll have to specify why this plan was not logically acceptable. I found it beautifully executed and smartly reasoned. If you see a hole, I’d like to know what it is.

Fourth, you’re mistaken about Akiyama not manipulating information. Remember the practice round? The major strategy used was to obstruct people’s paths, something the announcer clearly stated was a legal maneuver. However, in the actual game, this strategy seemed completely obsolete, and was for the most part forgotten about, even by the manga readers. Akiyama used the information from the practice round and with lateral thinking secured the win. I also wonder what you mean by “information manipulation that the dealers had repeated so severely over and over”. I don’t recall any of the games involving manipulation of the dealer’s information for Akiyama’s strategies, save maybe for the preliminary fourth. The strategies are almost always cooperation or game flaws neither of which the dealers ever allude to. You mind clarifying what you mean?

Jais already addressed the physical manipulation point.

I found the human barrier strategy to be the most elegant strategy of the entire manga. It used two chekov’s guns. First, the fact that winning and winning the game are distinct from the third game. Second, the practice round, which focused on obstruction as a strategy, but was never mentioned again. Didn’t anyone else prior to 137 think it odd that this game’s practice round seemed to have no bearing on how the actual game was played (aside from the prizes) despite every other practice round being a major influence? I thought it was beautifully subtle and exquisitely elegant.

9 07 2010

interestingly, I’d idly flirted with the idea that players could form a barrier or obstruction to stop a key player from getting seated (or around the totem pole) very early on. I never thought it would actually come to pass, though, so was (pleasantly) surprised when Kaitani made it so. (The other thought i had was two key players vying for a chair, then have some hardball player [fukunaga, in my mind] kick off a bidding war for the chair. Doesnt matter if nothing like this happened, but it was a fun daydream XD)

OK, there are a few reasons i like this, too. Long reply follows.

When it was all whittled down to the final 3, there were only 3 outcomes mathematically possible (however unlikely, and ignoring the possiblity there was no winner at all, which would have been a different woulda-coulda-shoulda scenario):

A) The final winner was Nao. The full Akiyama team win here. They would have lost a total of 5 medals to Baldy and YJ, though I would have swallowed this as being acceptable under nao’s “saving everyone” philosophy. Doubt Akiyama would have liked it, though.
B) The final winner was Yokoya. The full Yokoya team win here. Obviously, the worst-case scenario for the heroes, though infinitely the most plausible and probable. If this happened, Yokoya would have gotten all of his wishes… with a cut-down profit, perhaps, but a profit all the same. He could have quit having proven his point to Nao, and walked away with his existing net profit in the billions.
C) The final winner was Ikezawa. The full Gaya team win here. Well, i say “full team”, i’ll re-touch this in a moment. This is probably what the key players might have referred to as a phyrric victory. One where the triumph was theirs, but only on paper, because the losses outweighed the reward. Yokoya’s group would have won, but not with the correct person crowned champion. Akiyama had it all go to plan, but I don’t think he really got the exact best-case triumph, either.

Yes, even Akiyama. This is because– as best as I can tell– he would have had no power over the medal distribution, meaning sharing the profits would have been more a matter of luck. I’ve always believed Akiyama likes to be in the driving seat, and although he wasn’t exactly passive in all this, short of having gotten every gaya to sign a contract or something, i dont think he’s going to be able to decide exactly how the booty is split up either.

There’s also the issue with the numerical breakdown, too.

Say the gaya have all 23 medals. 13 of them were present in the cordon (Abe, Akagi, Fukunga, Four-Eyes, and the nine unattached gaya). Consider the old 5 Northern alliance members. Each went into contraband with debts of 200m, and they now have incurred a further 100m from losing the preliminary. Already that’s a sinkhole of 1,500m. Chuck in the other eight, and irrespective of where they were at going into the round, they’re all Musical Chairs losers, meaning they each have also incurred 100m as a minimum debt, per person. So another 800m.

We’re at our 2.3bn point already, and that’s not including the Northerners’ incurred contraband losses (which could have been up to 400m per person in theory), plus any debts from the other 8. It’s really not enough, even if Akiyama’s group fully sacrifice themselves en masse. Which they won’t, I dont think.

There’s another thing, though. Blocking someone’s way isn’t an act of violence, so the gaya were fine…. but how about when Yokoya rammed people in the guts? i would have found that violent, to be honest… the matter is it never was said *exactly* where such a penalty might go: the victim, or the LGT?

Yet, there are a couple more reasons why I like how this panned out,

Yokoya could still have gotten his way through the cordon if he’d thought about it: he still possesses his chequebook. He could have bribed a couple of players to move aside (maybe zeroed two people’s debts who were stood side by side?) This would have got him to his chair, but it also means it would have cost him more of his pre-exisiting winnings… money he would be so reluctant to give back. In that sense, he probably trapped himself, a little. Not to mention this might have satisfied Akagi and Fukunaga, both of whom declared their intention to keep playing is to “rip money out of that bastard’s hands” [sic.] Just because Yokoya could have bought his way out, he was adverse to trying, which was his downfall.

Giving money back is Nao’s philosophy, so even if Yokoya had done that, it would have been to her favour.

The other one is that the winner has to cough up half his winnings as a dropout tariff. With Nao’s theoretical victory effectively quashed, and Yokoya’s almost assured, it meant he would surely drop out having made his point, causing the damage suggested earlier. If Ikezawa won, yet owned none of his own medals, the dropout fee for him would also be 0 yen. Sure, he would need to have reason to drop out (ie, his debts be wiped), but as Nao wants to save everyone, Fatso’s not gonna be exempt, right?

Allowing people to drop out with no money returning to the LGT is Akiyama’s philosophy, so Fatso dropping out with a zero is fine.

Lastly, there’s also the fact that Yokoya’s been humiliated for the second time in a row by Akinao-based obstruction: let’s not forget this mirrors the pandemic checkpoint occupation they all did. It’s easy to overlook that scene for the swindling of 300million that came out of the switcheroo, but it was important in itself: Yokoya wants to be this dictator, but when people want to obstruct him, and do it in the right way, he has proven powerless to stop it. I think the blockade was symbolic… pretty much everyone in that group was personally screwed over by Yokoya at some point, in some way (be it chair theft, the northern team’s prior history, etc). Them all uniting against him said something about who truly moved people into action.

Also, as a sidenote… I don’t think Akiyama would have let Baldy defect to Yokoya unless he had some grasp of what might become of it. I have a feeling that although seeing Yokoya awake all night, plus Baldy’s arrogance, plus the fact his group were surely hemmed in by a Yokoya-Harimoto alliance he had no way of being sure of when it would end, gave Akiyama an idea to get back at both Baldy and Yokoya, and circumventing Harimoto outright, as a plan B.

His words to Harimoto about not knowing what it is to trust people… this was poignant, too. And a hint of what was to come. The gaya alliance was the largest force on the island, and maybe if Harimoto had influcenced them to help him, instead of with the lust for medals, things may have been different.

Though I still have a feeling it wasn’t the best outcome for Akiyama’s team, it was a damned good contingency. I’m satisfied with the outcome, and look forward to the precise specifics.

26 01 2011

Yokoya could still have gotten his way through the cordon if he’d thought about it: he still possesses his chequebook. He could have bribed a couple of players to move aside (maybe zeroed two people’s debts who were stood side by side?) This would have got him to his chair, but it also means it would have cost him more of his pre-exisiting winnings… money he would be so reluctant to give back. In that sense, he probably trapped himself, a little. Not to mention this might have satisfied Akagi and Fukunaga, both of whom declared their intention to keep playing is to “rip money out of that bastard’s hands” [sic.] Just because Yokoya could have bought his way out, he was adverse to trying, which was his downfall.

The reason i believe this was ignored (or not ignored but not done) is because i don’t believe it would have worked the way you think. It isnt that it would have cost him his winnings that he didnt do it, but because he was scammed by akiyama in the past when he tried to bribe people (and he probably learned from it). But lets play out the scenario (at least according to how i think they would play out). He would have attempted a bribe, but because of himself getting scammed in the past he would have requested to pay *after* getting out, the gaya would obviously not trust him, as he has already tried to scam almost all of them in this one game alone. This would have forced yokoya to make the decision to pay them now, however, if the gaya receive the money before letting him out would allow him to be manipulated into giving away from more than he should without ever getting the results he wanted (ie. him still staying trapped and them getting profits).

anyway thats just my opinion of why that didnt happen (although i think this would have been a more interesting development instead of the explanation about him being tired and weak or whatever).

11 07 2010

After another re-reading, all I have to say is that the plan was flawless. Every action from forming the Gaya alliance and making Yokoya and Harimoto betray each other built up to this finale. Strangely enough that is why i disliked it.

Round two had seemingly flawless strategies (Akiyama’s and later Fukunaga’s strategies) but they were brutally ripped apart. Round three had Akiyama’s plan, but Yokoya beat him to it. And then Akiyama managed to reverse the situation with the exact same plan, when Yokoya thought victory was assured. Both these rounds were enjoyable NOT because of the logical plans and the flawless strategies, but the destruction of these strategies. Akiyama was simply one step ahead of his competition during round four, as noone noticed his careful manipulations. While it is ridiculous to say that it wasn’t a brilliant plan, I find that most people would agree that, compared to other rounds, it wasn’t very entertaining.

11 07 2010
liar game fan

This is the best chapter in a long while. It’s a “outside the box” solution that was unexpected, when many of the previous chapters and even arcs were entirely too predictable. It’s a very “mental” solution since it was something that neither Yokoya nor I “thought” of.

Many of the reader, like the liar’s game players, are biased towards these complex game theory / psychological /alliance solutions, and this blind spot was used perfectly by Akiyama. This game is indeed a war between “nations” and the power play really emphasized it. In the end, “people” overcame “wealth” and “land”

19 07 2010

I agree that it was quite elegant, actually. It was also a good surprise, and unexpected, but not entirely out of the blue, as the issue of physical barriers and violence was brought up during the tutorial.

Concerning debts, I’m sure they’ll at least zero out Fukunaga’s, and if I remember the pre-game consequences, properly, it means he won’t be in the consolation match, but I could be wrong. I’m curious though if Yokoya will go for the Consolation match, or drop out at this point. My guess is that his desire for money and revenge will over-ride good sense.

Concerning the use of “force”… I don’t think shows any sort of lack of intelligence. If anything, it shows creativity. The Liar Game has rules for each game, and exploiting those rules for your own benefit, or the benefit of your team, is essentially what it is about. Just as the rules for the small-deck Poker game was exploited in a similar manner, using physical reality to his advantage, in addition to psychological tricks.

The use of a Powerplay was done, obviously, in the Pandemic game, but you could also make that argument in Round 1, physically altering the flow of information, and otherwise just walking in and taking the money, again: in addition to psychological influence.

The same was done here, but instead of using the psychological aspect against Yokoya, he used it to build up a solid defense. I imagine he could have used fewer players to form a (smaller) barrier, but I think part of the reason people went for it was because so many others were also part of it, not to mention the obvious impact Nao has had not only on Abe but other players, and, in turn, how that impacts the other players, especially backed up by Akiyama’s perfectly logical way to get enough money to at least stay alive.

24 07 2010

so did harimoto and yokoya get any of fatso’s medals?

26 07 2010


25 07 2010

The big problem with this strategy, to me: What if Ikezawa hadn’t taken his seat?

There was no reason he needed to. If he hadn’t, there would have been no final winner — while I’m not entirely sure what happens, I suspect that all the money goes to the corporation, which is a nightmare scenario.

So this seemed a bit unusually risky to me.

26 07 2010

Hmm…yes, it’s risky, but I think there were a few reasons why Yokoya would have Ikezawa take his seat that round that made their plan relatively safe.

Nao is still in the game, even if she can’t sit in the last chair not taken by Yokoya’s group. There is, however, a small chance that she could find one of of Yokoya’s chairs and remain in the game, along with Yokoya.

If I were Yokoya and I was measuring the game’s progress, I might think the scenario would follow like this:

1) Nao remains a player and Ikezawa becomes gaya (he didn’t sit down).
2) Therefore, the next round the eligible dealers are Nao and Yokoya. It’s entirely possible that Nao becomes dealer.
3) If Nao becomes dealer, she eliminates Ikezawa’s chair.
4) Yokoya only has his own chair to sit in, he loses.
5) Nao sits down in her group’s final chair, which was vacant last period. She wins.

Sure it’s a small chance, but for someone as cautious as Yokoya, he’d probably not risk an Akiyama win just to speed up the game, especially since Ikezawa has no reason to betray Yokoya.

26 07 2010

…. Oh no…. I didn’t come back and now the replies are too long. T_T
The last reply I read was until Ambrobaby’s.

Anyways, after some rethinking, I’d have to agree that this was a plausible outcome. However, just being plausible isn’t actually enough to satisfy me.

I’d have to agree that Akiyama planned this from the very beginning. I’m even convinced that he thought this up the moment Nao mentioned bribing gayas. Which does, all in all, add up to being a well-thought plan.

But there are three things I don’t think happened well here.

1.) Yokoya and Harimoto could have thought of this plan, too. It’s completely possible. I mean, Akiyama most probably had this plan in his head when he created the Gaya Alliance. People at Yokoya’s and Harimoto’s level could easily have thought this up too.

2.) Yokoya could have bribed when he was in the circle, or he could have run while he was still out of the circle.
Bribing is plausible since, if he bribes with his medals, it won’t affect him in any way if he failed (because he would have trash medals by then, which has a zero value), and if he did come out successful, then he wins.
And running would have been possible because of the trees around the setting. Think about it this way: if all the Gaya could have outrun Yokoya, then Forelock, who was the fastest, could have outrun anybody from the very beginning. But he didn’t do this because it wasn’t possible – the dealers said that the trees were the reason that anyone could easily shake others off if they were being chased. If it weren’t like that, then the premise of the whole game would be founded on something physical, and not mental.

3.) Fatso took a seat. Akiyama’s plan could not have influenced Fatso not to take a seat. It could have ended up with nobody winning.

4.) If we let number 1, 2, and 3 slide, then comes the issue that everything else that was beyond Akiyama’s control just suddenly happened to go his way. Yokoya and Harimoto might have thought of this plan, sure, but they discarded it as it was impractical. Yokoya and Harimoto both stayed up late and exhausted their minds. Yokoya didn’t think about running away when he saw the Gaya, and he didn’t even try to bribe them with his trash medals. And Fatso even took a seat when he didn’t even have to.
All in all, it was too idealistic.

26 07 2010

Ah, I forgot to reply to Pieman.

1. and 2.) That’s a misunderstanding, so I’m sorry if I phrased it wrong. Anyway, with the latest chapter released, this argument means nothing, but pre-138 it would have made sense. I meant that nobody earned enough to cancel out their debts. So this would end up with Akiyama and his entire team to end up shouldering debts (including Akagi, Four-Eyes, and Fukunaga) with no way of redistributing their earnings to all the other players. It was just that, if Akiyama wanted to cancel out everybody’s debts, then he had to earn most of the profits first. He doesn’t keep the profits, though – he gives them to the Gaya.

3.) That would be my reply above.

4.) Again, another misunderstanding. I just meant, “info manipulation the dealers repeatedly -stated- so severely,” and not that the dealers manipulated information themselves. Though looking back, yeah, Akiyama did manipulate information a great deal. It was just his final move that was lame. I mean, physical manipulation is so cliched at this point. They could have employed this in the Minority Rule, with Akiyama’s group standing around the ballot and saying, “we’re just standing around the ballot at our own leisure, you know; if you want to remove us, you’d have to be violent, so that’s going to incur you a debt!”

26 07 2010

1) They could have, I guess. But they didn’t, and with their views of the world, there’s no good reason they would have.

Harimoto and Yokoya both have a very elitist view of the world. Harimoto makes it obvious that Akiyama is the only person in his group worth negotiating with. His cult runs on the idea that he and his followers are ‘chosen ones,’ and his stated reason for being there is to punish large amounts of demons.

Yokoya brings in servants, but only the minimum required. Instead of going to the Gaya directly, he found the leader of the alliance and bribed him for maximum efficiency. So his own world view states why deal with the Gaya directly if it’s not necessary. And it’s obvious that he didn’t think them necessary.

Akiyama and Nao don’t see things that way at all. There’s been a long pattern of them bringing people more people than obviously necessary into the group rather than keeping their numbers to a minimum. So while Harimoto and Yokoya wouldn’t see the merit of getting 10+ people together for a common goal when a fewer number would do just as well with winning, Akiyama and Nao do. And that makes a huge difference.

2) I disagree. Social pressure would largely prevent players from accepting bribes. And since Yokoya would have to bribe one player in the presence of them all, it’s not as simple as one player walking away, and Yokoya going free.

a) The players on the other side could hold the bribed player in place.
b) They could simply reform the circle with the bribed player.

3) See my comment above. If Fatso doesn’t take a seat, Nao has a non-zero chance of staying in the game. And if she does take a seat and gets elected dealer in the next period, she’s practically guaranteed the win. It’s a small chance, but one that I don’t see Yokoya taking, especially if he didn’t see another way he could lose. (Which, it’s obvious in 137 that he thought his win was guaranteed once Nao lost)

4) Harimoto and Yokoya didn’t think of the plan because their view of the world states that using the smallest number of players required for victory is best. Bringing in gaya before it was necessary wouldn’t make sense to them.

Harimoto and Yokoya stayed up all night to make sure the opposing factions weren’t making other alliances behind their backs.

Yokoya was smug about winning until he was surrounded. Then he would have had to have bribed someone under immense social pressure to not accept, and if that happened, would still not have been guaranteed a way out. (And he had about 10 minutes to bribe, break free, touch the pole, and get his seat)

See point 3 about why Yokoya would have Ikezawa take a seat.

Everything that “just suddenly happened” to go Akiyama’s way happened for a reason. I’m not sure what else would have needed to be established for this to not have been “too idealistic” an outcome.

I’m not going to convince you to like what happened. You obviously don’t because of the final step involved, and that’s fine. I’m just stating why this outcome makes perfect sense.

28 07 2010

I do agree. This outcome does make sense. And yeah, I hate it because of that final step involved. So anyway:

1.) Forming the plan is not really related with one’s mindset/view of the world in any way. It’s possible to have a multitude of people with different mindsets who will solve a situational problem in the same way as everybody else, or consider the same solutions that everybody else considers.
So, following that, it would completely make sense if Harimoto or Yokoya (especially Yokoya, who is smarter than Harimoto) could think this plan up.
Focusing on Yokoya, though, I think Yokoya had just as much resources as Akiyama did. He knew about the Gaya Alliance, he had as much time as Akiyama had, and he is every bit as smart as Akiyama.
Akiyama himself did this plan with zero medal costs (that is, he never had to surrender a single winner’s medal), which is like what Yokoya did when he bribed Shima. So it’s not like their approaches are different.

And one last note. I do think that Harimoto and Yokoya see the merit of getting 10+ people to work according to their plan, for free (which is like what Akiyama did).

2.) The bribing rebuttal has merit. But still, I would think it was better than running into people. Anyway, since both methods don’t necessarily work, it’s not really important.

I still stress that Yokoya could have run away, anyway. He should have run, and that would have allowed him to escape. The 10+ people can’t just form the ring around him again if he runs, since that would make the whole game itself founded on physical aspects (as I said in my other post). If people could outrun other people and block them to their chairs, I think Yokoya would have sent Forelock to run after other people from the very beginning.

3.) True. But what if Fatso just stands by his chair and, when Nao sees him by some slip of luck, he picks up the chair and runs away? And if he really can’t run away from Nao (I don’t think that’s possible), then he could have just either thrown the chair away, or sat on it at the very last second. There’s no need to actually sit down on the chair, so long as Fatso guards it.

4.) Exactly. All those things you mentioned were beyond Akiyama’s control. It would still have made sense if those things didn’t happen.

It would make sense if Yokoya thought of Akiyama’s plan up. It’s not a stretch at all, right? I mean, even without any specific reason or proof of any kind whatsoever, won’t it still be plausible that Yokoya thought of Akiyama’s plan?

I mean, Yokoya and Harimoto must have noticed that it was Nao who was on guard duty – Nao, the slowest thinker in the group. No reason to be afraid of her. And Harimoto wasn’t on the lookout that night – Abe said, if Nao wanted to meet with him, he would be in a specific room at some floor – so there’s nothing to be afraid of with Abe either. Doesn’t it make sense that Yokoya could also have slept that night?

And it would also make sense if Yokoya, though smug about winning, could have run away the moment he saw those gaya. If you look at the manga again, you’ll see that there was an ample amount of time that passed from the moment that the gaya showed up to the moment that the gaya encircled Yokoya. All the while, Akiyama was explaining to Yokoya with lengthy words just what his plan was based on. That is, Yokoya had all the resources to run away at any point after that. It’s really, really, completely not out of character. And it was really really possible for this to happen.

And again, it’s still possible for Fatso to not take a seat.

And looking at it all, if just one of those things didn’t happen, Akiyama had a really nice chance of getting screwed up when it came down to that last step. But, while it makes sense that all of them don’t happen at all, they still did (and of course, it also makes sense why they happened that way). And that’s why, it’s still too ideal a plan for Akiyama.

28 07 2010


1) Forming the plan is not really related with one’s mindset/view of the world in any way.

So you’re saying that what people think of is unrelated to how they think and what they think?

Also: Yokoya and Harimoto wanting to get meaningful input from their minions? From a strategic point of view, should they have? Maybe. Would it make sense from everything we’ve seen of them? No.

I’m going to say, if either Yokoya or Harimoto had thought of this, or if they had suddenly started getting meaningful input on their plans from their minions, I wouldn’t buy it at all. It contradicts every part of their character that we’ve seen so far.

3) You’re right that it’s a solution, but there’s still no good reason why Yokoya would have thought he’d needed to have taken any risk or special action in regards to that matter.

4) Just because something isn’t directly under someone’s control doesn’t meant they can’t influence or predict it. This is what Akiyama did in this case.

With what we’ve seen, it’s not plausible for either Yokoya or Harimoto to have thought of Akiyama’s plan. It’s not how they think, and it’s not how they expect other formidable players to think.

As for guard duty, it wasn’t just Nao, it was Akiyama, Fukunaga, and Nao taking shifts at night, and Yokoya and Harimoto being aware that there were attempts to communicate with other groups.

Yokoya’s seen Nao in action. If he thinks she’s not dangerous even after his previous experiences with her, then he’s making a mistake. Harimoto witnessed Nao talking to Abe and undermining his teachings. Neither of these characters were put at ease just because she’s a “slow thinker”. In fact, her presence basically heightened their paranoia. So, no, it doesn’t make sense for them to have just gone to bed and not worried.

As for time to run away: First, Yokoya is in a state of complacency. He thinks he’s won and there’s no need to run away. That is, he’s unprepared. Plus, while Akiyama is talking (a.k.a. distracting Yokoya), the gaya aren’t just standing there and suddenly forming the circle after Akiyama stops explaining. They’re doing it while Akiyama is talking. So in reality, Yokoya has very little time, escape is getting harder, and he’s distracted.

It’s possible that Ikezawa might not have taken a seat, but not likely that Yokoya would have thought it necessary to take that measure.

So your points in order: Impossible, not at all likely, not at all likely, and maybe, but not likely in context.

Anyway, at this point, we disagree on fundamentals. I’m not sure there’s any merit to arguing this further, since both of our reasonings are well laid-out.

29 07 2010

I’ll reply to the last part first. I think there was simply a misunderstanding. Your reply to no. 1 was apparently based on a misunderstanding, so I’ll try to clarify that; to no. 3, I think there was a fault in your argument, which I will stress in my reply; and in no. 2 and 4, well, yes, that might be the case, but then that completely ignores the justification coming from the other side (that is, 2 and 4 were kind of one-sided).
I think there’s some merit in arguing this, though, since it’s not exactly the fundamentals we’re disagreeing on. There’s a lapse in phrasing, I guess on my part since my points didn’t quite come across.

1.) I’ll quote you too, since it’s kind of an important statement.

[i]So you’re saying that what people think of is unrelated to how they think and what they think?[/i]
– It is very much related to [i]how[/i] they think.
– It is not related to [i]what[/i] they think, as long as thinking about it does not go against principle.

Using an analogy, the final plan could be a point in space, point F. Akiyama’s mind could be some other point, point A, and Yokoya’s point could yet be another point, point Y. When they think of a plan that leads to point F, the lines that stretch from point A and point Y don’t actually have to be the same – one can be crooked, or be curved, or be completely straight – but they will inevitably lead to the same point, which is point F.
Also, Yokoya coming to the conclusion that he could trick 10+ people into trapping somebody in a circle isn’t something out of principle. Let me stress that again. Yokoya thinking that he could trick 10+ people into trapping somebody in a circle [i]isn’t out of principle[/i].

I think the crucial misunderstanding here is this: you think that I am proposing that Yokoya thought the same exact way as Akiyama did. But in truth, I’m proposing that Yokoya could have thought of this very differently than Akiyama, but nonetheless he could still have arrived at the very same conclusion – that is, the plan’s final step.

And I never actually said that Yokoya or Harimoto should ask their minions about a plan. I’m kind of lost… where’d you get the idea?
What I was saying is that Yokoya and Harimoto can actually consider [i]using[/i] 10+ people in their plan, as long as it’s for free. [i]Using[/i] them, as in tricking them, and not asking for their help. Akiyama pretty much tricked the Gaya Alliance to corner Yokoya for free (he didn’t tell them he had all of Fatso’s medals, did he?)

3.) Actually, if Yokoya had no reason to take any special action against this, then Fatso didn’t even need to take a seat at all. By your reasoning, Fatso taking a seat is in itself a special precaution just in case Nao comes and finds the chair.
Therefore, Fatso shouldn’t have taken a seat.

4.) As I said in no. 1, it is very plausible for Harimoto or Yokoya – especially Yokoya – to think of Akiyama’s plan.

I concede that it’s possible that Yokoya or Harimoto were alarmed because it was Nao. And now that I think about it, Yokoya did think that there was a traitor in his group, so he would have been the one to stay up late all night.

[i]while Akiyama is talking (a.k.a. distracting Yokoya), the gaya aren’t just standing there and suddenly forming the circle after Akiyama stops explaining.[/i]
– Yes and no; this isn’t what really happened at the time. What really happened was that Akiyama was talking to Yokoya, which in effect removed his complacency (they talked for a good 7 pages, and I think that’s more than enough time for Yokoya to lose his complacency). And then, all of a sudden, the Gaya step out and just stand there, doing nothing at all, behind Akiyama. After this, Akiyama goes on a long explanation as to the basis of his plan, which gives Yokoya a long time to puzzle things out. And then the Gaya encircle Yokoya.
You can see this here:
So, as you can see, there was plenty of time for Yokoya to have run away.
Coming from your side, I can see that Yokoya was tired, unprepared, and distracted. However, coming from my side, there was enough time for Yokoya to rule all those out and just run away.

And as I said, if Yokoya didn’t need to take the extra measure, then he wouldn’t have needed Fatso to take a seat, which is an extra precautionary measure in itself.

29 07 2010

Dammit, I have no idea how to italicize. Hahahaha.

29 07 2010

I am not sure why you keep saying about using the 10+ Gaya for FREE. They were not free, and Akiyama did not trick them for free. Have you read chapter 138? Each and every one of them have at least 1 Fatso’s medal. Among the 15 present to trap Yokoya, all but Abe had a Fatso medal, and Nao offered 2 Fatso medals to Abe in the end.

So while the thought of tricking 10+ gaya for free has certainly crossed the minds of Yokoya and Harimoto, pay each of them one medal has not. Granted, Harimoto gave up in the end, and paid his “winning medal” to 5 gayas, but he is still making a minimal sized alliance, instead of a “Grand Alliance”, an alliance as big as he can manage.

From the planning point of view, Akiyama covered all bases. If his group won fair and square, all the trash medals are still trash. If the other groups won, he can pull the same trick against either Harimoto or Yokoya. The only way his plan would fail, would be facing the Harimoto group, and the final two among Harimoto’s group were White Suite and Harimoto, and all their medals are still in Harimoto’s hands. This is possible since Harimoto has three sets of trash medals to give up, so it could be a viable way to bribe the gayas.

30 07 2010

I only meant that it was free in the sense that Akiyama did not need to directly pay the gaya any medals at all, and that he did not suffer from losses by allowing the gaya to have 1 medal each, making it, in essense, a free trick.

Also, the medal distribution was part of Akiyama’s plan of removing the losers from their debts. Therefore, by allowing each gaya to have 1 medal each, he is actually advancing his plan. It’s like your goal is to drop an egg. Once you drop it, you can’t eat it anymore, but heck, who cares? Your goal was just to drop the egg, not eat it. You therefore didn’t suffer losses at all.

Finally, Yokoya knew about the existence of the gaya alliance, and that Akiyama was sitting at its head. He had more than enough time to puzzle something out, like “why would Akiyama even create the alliance if he wasn’t trying to win the dealer elections himself? What happens to the trash medals?” I concede that, if Yokoya was left alone, he might not have thought of that plan. HOWEVER, he knew what Akiyama was working with (the gaya alliance), and so it would be completely sensible that he should have tried to predict what Akiyama was planning. It’s not a necessity that he formulates this plan all on his own – it’s completely within reason to say that he tried to think like Akiyama in order to know what Akiyama was planning, and then abruptly put an end to it. Like what he did in the Pandemic game.

2 08 2010

Someone may have said something about this before, I’m not sure. The entire 4th round, in my opinion, was great except for yokoya’s lackluster response to akiyama’s plan. Why wasn’t he charged for violence, since he repeatedly slammed into so many people? And why doesn’t he bribe two people side by side with his own medals, so he can successfully escape? His reaction is a bit too panicked, it seems, for your typical yokoya.

2 08 2010

There was another trick Yokoya (well, Kaitani, i guess) overlooked.

When he bribed White Suit, he took all 7 remaining medals in exchange for two of his own. Now, this seemed good in theory, but let’s break down where Yokoya’s medals are at at that time:

Of the 23 medals:
Fatso has 3,
Forlock has 3,
Baldy has 5,
Young Jump has 4,
White Suit has 2.
So seventeen medals have been given out by Yokoya. He only has 6 of his own medals remaining at this point.

In truth, wouldn’t it have been sneakier and better for Yokoya to dupe White Suit into obeying his moves, then betraying him and making White Suit the final winner? WS would have got 0yen, Yokoya would have had 700 million, and some shrapnel would have fallen among the gaya. Yokoya would have walked away with 700 million here, rather than the 600 million if he won himself. Plus winning means paying a dropout fee of 50%.

I didnt want to say anything earlier, but I spotted it and thought it might be a cool twist. Alas, wasn’t to be

3 08 2010

To pull that off, would require White Suite to switch chairs with fatso after the round when Nao’s chair was taken out, and Akiyama had no chair left to sit.

And switching chairs at that point would look very suspecious to White Suite. There is absolutively nothing to gain for White Suite to sit down. If Yokoya wants security, getting White Suite’s chair is better than switching chairs with White Suite.

If pressed, white suite may give him chair away, maybe asking for more Yokoya medals, maybe not. But he would not sit on a chair given to him, as sitting and remaining in play gives him absolutively nothing, with the risk you just mentioned.

7 08 2010

Eh, Yokoya’s articulate. He could probably have come up with some reasonable-sounding excuse (eg, to ensure Kanzaki doesnt take the chair by chance or something, especially if Harimoto and the Cultettes are trying to negate a Yokoya-group monopoly).

Also (as I’ve now read the final chapter), the gaya alliance would have two potential victors on their hands, so they wouldnt have cared who won, so long as it’s not yokoya or nao (they wouldnt have gotten a penny that way).

There were possibilities, i guess. ^,^

5 09 2010

Okay, I confess: I couldn’t find the strengh to read everything that has been commented. So I hope I don’t make myself so repetitive ^^

I liked the solution of the Musical Chairs Game. I actually bounced in my desk chair, mouth wide-open in a surprise gasp, which is something that I do with very few mangas and/or shows. I couldn’t care less about the fact that maybe the outcome didn’t have the “finesse” that has been shown, for instance, in the Minority Game. They are very different gamesets. I mean, the Musical Chair games could be considered almost a “field” kind of game, and I think the conclusion was fitting to that theme.

There are some points that bothered me a little bit after going though it many times, though. Two of them have been already endlessly discussed: the fact that fatso sat on the chair even though it wasn’t reaaaaaally neccessary, and the fact that Yokoya crashing onto other people in order to try to break the barrier wasn’t considered as “violence”. Or was it and we just missed the part when he was fined for that…?

Anyway, the point that bothered me the most about this round was that I couldn’t find real, good “closure” to it. I don’t know… Like in the previous games, I was always waiting anxiously for their conclusions, because there was always some cool ending scene afterwards. Akiyama giving Nao his half of the reward for the first game. Nao and Akiyama talking in the car after coming out of the Minority Game about his intentions to go on. Nao saving the “losers” of the first revival round. Akiyama telling Nao that she has become stronger. Nao telling him that Fukunaga has a crush on him. I don’t know.

I guess this time, Nao’s conversation with the Ponytail woman was supposed to be the closure I’m referring to. But, at least to me, it didn’t feel much like it…

22 12 2010

Personally, I like simply solutions that works. I really don’t mind Akiyama’s power-play because it is the win of least resistance. 😛

With more and more strong players, some of which very stubborn, I do not think we will be seeing perfect solution every time. Giving a few people some extra cash just helps prepare them for losing a few times in the near future without debt… personally I think it’s a good idea. I think everything will balance out at the end.

19 02 2011
Cheng Wei

I have a feeling that they will be going to another revival round, hope not, I prefer seeing round 5

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