top of page
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

#FEATURE: Upcoming anime 'Tomodachi Game' is high stakes gambling plus the power of friendship

Written by: Nicole Castro

Published on: November 19, 2021 at 18:10 PHT (GMT+8)

With the recent rise to fame of Netflix series Squid Game, we're sure you saw some plot similarities between said series and the upcoming anime Tomodachi Game, scheduled to premiere in April 2022.

So as we wait for the anime to air, let's review what we have so far on this timely psychological thriller.

Tomodachi Game (Japanese: トモダチゲーム, Romaji: Tomodachi Gēmu, literally "Friends Game") is a Japanese manga series conceptualized by Mikoto Yamaguchi and written and illustrated by Yuki Sato. The manga began serialization in January 2014 under Kodansha's Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine and is currently at 19 volumes in Japan. A television drama adaptation and two live-action films premiered in 2017.


One day, protagonist Yuuichi Katagiri and his four classmates (Tenji Mikasa, Shiho Sawaragi, Makoto Shibe, and Yutori Kokorogi) realize their funds for the school trip have been stolen when they are kidnapped and brought to a mysterious site to play the Tomodachi Game. Their guide, Manabu-kun, explains that together, they owe a whopping debt of 20 million yen, and that the "stolen school funds" were used to pay the "participation fee" so they can try to pay the debt back. Each of the five members begins with a debt of four million yen, after which they will participate in a series of games to win two million yen each time. Members may discuss beforehand whether to participate in each round. Their friendship is put to the test as the rounds get tougher and people cave under the pressure.

Initial Impressions

Like we said, Tomodachi Game definitely reminds us of Squid Game in the sense that both involve playing a series of deadly games to overcome staggering financial debt. This reason alone is enough to get us excited for April 2022!

As a side note, game host Manabu-kun's character design would fit right at home in the Squid Game universe. Just saying.

Manabu-kun, the host of Tomodachi Game | PHOTO COURTESY: MyAnimeList

And just in case you haven't watched Squid Game but feel like you need to get in the mood for gambling anime, this is a good time to introduce you to Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler. The first season of the anime aired in 2017 and was followed by a second season in 2019. Unlike Tomodachi Game where the main characters are relatable high school students, the characters from Kakegurui are…high school students…but in their own way...Um, let's just say they're a bit crazy, though we understand "crazy" can be the new "normal" for a school that was specifically designed for gambling.

In the meantime, fans eagerly awaiting Tomodachi Game can access volume 3 of the raw Japanese manga for free on Magazine Pocket until Nov. 21, 2021.


Digest by AniradioPlus

References: Tomodachi Game official Twitter, Fandom,トモダチゲーム Wikipedia, Comic Natalie


bottom of page