Having escaped the Espoir, Kaiji returned home with debts over than six-million yen still hanging over his head. The life-threatening experience has motivated him to change his ways. But real opportunities for advancement in the mid-nineties are hard to come by. Japan’s financial bubble has burst as the country's economy has recently collapsed.
Kaiji, now working part-time at a convenience store, resents society for his lack of prospects. So, when approached with an opportunity to make some big money quick, Kaiji decides he'd rather take his chances than toil away at dead-end job for the next fifteen years.