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Gambling Emperor Legend Zero is by the same creator as Akagi and Kaiji, Fukumoto Nobuyuki. However, the gambles tend to be based around forcing the player to solve a puzzle set up by the house, rather than defeating other players in games. It also focuses heavily on the games themselves and very little on the psychology of the players, in contrast to Fukumoto Nobuyuki's other works.
Zero, having forged a group of noble bandits out of his internet Suicide Pact, works to steal stolen money back from the Yakuza. However, he is outsmarted and caught, but since the big boss, Zaizen, is looking for rep players to use in a massive gambling event between trillionaires, he agrees to let them go if they enter the Dream Kingdom that will be used to whittle down the prospective choices. Gambling ensues.
The manga "ended" with a Cliff Hanger and was put on hiatus for a while in favour of Kaiji's fourth series. In July 2011, news spread that Fukumoto is resuming it. And, recently, he did resume it.
This manga provides examples of:
- Action Prologue: The first chapter seems to be the culmination of a Gambit Pileup.
- Always Second Best: Zero's old classmate (see Chronic Backstabbing Disorder below) hates him because of this.
- Amusement Park of Doom: Dream Kingdom.
- Bald of Evil: Zaizen.
- Big Bad: Zaizen.
- Boring Invincible Hero: Subverted. While Zero is a genius, there's also Shirube who seems far more invincible than him and whose hero/villain status is rather vague.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Zero distrusts one of his old friends because he suspects him of having this. He's right.
- Cliff Hanger: Just before the series went on hiatus, Zaizen locked all the winners in cars and sent them off a cliff. The sequel reveals that they survived, or at least some of them.
- Combat Commentator
- Cool Shades: Zero has them in part 2.
- Cowardly Lion: Yuuki.
- Defictionalization: Zero's "underground website" can be accessed in real life.
- The Dragon: Gotou.
- Embarrassing First Name: Sakura Suezaki.
- Evil Old Folks: Zaizen and Elizabeth Junko.
- Expy: Fans of Kaiji will easily recognize the counterparts of Hyoudou and Tonegawa.
- Kyousuuke has a lot of similarities with Ichijou, and Yuuki is pretty much a younger Ishida.
- Fingore: Jack's game.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Gangster Suezaki is originally introduced as a violent and opportunistic antagonist, but becomes an important ally for Zero in the events of the amusement park and is pretty much The Lancer in series 2.
- Game Show Host: The freaky looking Kotarou, excitedly presiding over his lethal "Anchor" quiz.
- Giggling Villain: Kotarou.
- Grumpy Old Man: Zaizen.
- I Minored in Tropology: During the "Anchor quiz" arc, the comic relief idiot Yakuza answers a ridiculously difficult quiz question and reveal that, because his father was a diplomat, he knows a lot about world geography and international relations.
- Jerkass: Kyousuuke, and how.
- Kaizo Trap: Zaizen employs this twice, the first time after Zero clears the quarter jump, and the second time at the end of the Dream Kingdom arc (aka part one), when everyone who won gets locked in remote-controlled cars, which he proceeds to drive off of a cliff.
- Lost Him in a Card Game: Here, "him" generally refers to one's own life or body parts.
- Monster Clown: Kotarou.
- Nakama: Zero works hard to avert this, since working with other people means putting others in danger.
- Nerves of Steel: Zero. Even the narrator mentions how the more pressure is on him and the more dire the situation is, the sharper his mind becomes.
- Nice Guy: Zero.
- Not Quite Dead: As it turns out in part 2, Mitsuru didn't die from being hit by an iron ball, but has been in a coma ever since then.
- Spiritual Successor: Arguably to Kaiji.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money: Zaizen built a giant amusement park that is designed to kill off most of its players. He's just that rich.
- Suicide Pact: In the backstory.
- Time Skip: Series 2 is set "some years" after series 1.
- Unsound Effect: Since this is by Fukumoto Nobuyuki, we have ZAWA, the sound of dramatic tension, appearing multiple times per chapter.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Most of the time, these plans don't last more than a chapter, though. The plan between Shirube and Zero to overthrow Zaizen was left unspoken, but it isn't known whether they will succeed.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome
- X Meets Y: It's basically Kaiji targeted at a somewhat younger audience. Keep in mind that it has its dark moments; it just focuses more on the actual gambles than the people playing it.
- Yakuza: Itakura and Suezaki.