Kakegurui is about a school filled with high-rolling teens who get off on gambling until one newcomer disrupts their Darwinistic hierarchy. The anime features a cast of deranged characters and is accessible to audiences who know nothing about gambling. Gambling matches can range from rock-paper-scissors to Russian roulette. As a direct-to-Netflix anime, is this a show to bet on?
The show doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel and is rife with Anime tropes. Even the protagonist Yumeko Jabami is introduced as a mysterious yet beautiful transfer student. Also, the final episode is anti-climactic with the stakes dropping from life-or death situations to “But we can no longer be friends”.
Kakegurui is entertaining and very addicting. The stylized art and cinematography are enthralling and turn simple card games into “edge of your seat” death matches.
The anti-heroine, Yumeko Jabami: is she a vigilante out to bring down a corrupt system or is she just a crazed gambling addict? Yumeko is intimidating but not invulnerable, she can lose but she never gives up.
The characters are well-designed and are more complex than they first appear. There are larger forces at play and we’re given hints at a more fantastic world much like how John Wick takes place in a shadowy underworld that we only get glimpses of. Ultimately, it’s the colorful characters and chaotic world that make this anime interesting as opposed to the gambling itself.
Kakegurui is one of the most enjoyable anime I’ve watched in recent memory. It’s fun, thrilling, and stylish. The final episode was a bit of a letdown but it did set up that there will be more episodes to come. I eagerly anticipate season 2.