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itarusaki

  • Indonesia
  • Joined Mar 20, 2020
  • 19 / F

Kakegurui

Mar 21, 2020

Warning: spoilers ahead.

Kakegurui takes place at Hyakkou Private Academy. Despite the school setting, no actual learning takes place, and only gambling is shown all throughout each episode. The school has an immoral hierarchy system too, but as everyone gambles, no one really cares for it, and instead supports the notion except for a select few. In a world where gambling is everything, if you suck at it, you become the lowest of the low -- a house pet. You will be degraded to nothing but a dog or a kitty cat, and at this position, you would have already lost your social standing. You don’t matter anymore. To stay alive, students must keep on gambling and make sure they don’t fall in the gambling ranks. It makes zero sense to me how the students would even want to continue going to school there if they were already in debt and gambling's clearly unhealthy. Why would anyone want to enroll into this school in the first place?

Jabami Yumeko is a new transfer student who is introduced as a gambling maniac. She does not gamble to get money, but rather due to the fact she is addicted to the concept of gambling instead. She loves it when her opponent makes her have a hard time, but of course, she ends up beating every single one of them no matter what. As we near the crucial end of the game in every episode, the secrets/cheats to the gambling game are revealed, showing the viewers that the game isn’t really that hard/has a simple trick to it. While some may argue that this is done nearing the end to build up suspense and for Yumeko to share with us her definition of gambling with utmost joy, for me personally the tricks were all very easy to see through. I myself enjoy playing card games, and maybe it was the familiarity of the theme that made it easy for me to guess. She is a genius at reading everyone's tactics and cheap tricks. The Student Council members are extremely weak and worth nothing in comparison to Yumeko, yet they are considered the best gamblers in the whole school, which enables the viewers’ and the other students’ curiosities towards who Yumeko really is, and what her real purpose of enrolling into this hell-like school was.

With every gambling game Yumeko participates in, it is rather evident that it has a “lessons learned” factor. For example, when Manyuda lost all his riches because he felt like he was already going to win, but lost everything in the end. He was too snobby. However, the ‘lesson’ doesn’t feel like it is well-learnt, because despite everything that he went through, Manyuda ends up gambling again in the second season. So… what was the lesson he learned? That he shouldn’t think of himself as too perfect, or to keep on gambling as if his life depended on it? On the other hand, I do agree that the impact towards Mary was good. She showed a lot of character development from when before she lost to Yumeko and after, even becoming what you can consider as Yumeko’s righthand woman. The dynamics Yumeko and Mary had were pretty nice too, and although they (along with Ryouta) were friends, Yumeko always trialed their trusts and integrities, treating every game as ‘equal’ as she could, possibly wanting to share her definition of ‘real gambling’ to her friends, and for herself to be able to enjoy the games to the fullest and feel rushes of adrenaline pumping within her, with everyone gambling their lives away. The higher the risk of the game, the happier Yumeko was.

What I liked about Kakegurui was the animation. I think the character designs were great and the art style is very pretty. The OP, “Deal with the devil” by Tia, is a massive banger too. I have it saved in my playlist and I sometimes even have it on repeat. Although I felt a bit surprised when I first watched Kakegurui, I actually grew fonder of it in the second season (personally, I enjoyed the second season better than the first season, probably due to the games being slightly more complex and the characters’ rivalries and relationships with each other were explored better). There was, however, one particular scene in Kakegurui that really disturbed me, and that was when Ikishima Midari of the beautification club got extremely turned on by the idea of being beaten at a card game by Yumeko. Midari drooled and ejaculated on the table to thoughts of Yumeko, calling Yumeko her goddess and how she is special, nothing like her ‘other masturbations’. Some have told me that soft porn is a part of the point of this anime, but I can’t help being disturbed by it, please understand. This scene was a heavy turn off for me personally, and it reduced my satisfaction towards the series.

For me at least, it would've been better if they delved more into the psychological (and possibly political, with all the money and influential parents they continuously mention throughout the anime) theme, and if the lessons Yumeko’s opponents learned had more significant impacts (besides Mary, and possibly Itsuki Sumeragi). I think the most disappointing character of the series was actually Ryouta Suzui, who actually had a lot of potential, but instead stayed static and more to the background than Yumeko or Mary. He was just… kind of there?

To sum my overall opinion on this anime up, Kakegurui is, in simple terms, rather overhyped, but the themes were intriguing enough. Many people like Kakegurui, including a lot of my close friends, but I guess Kakegurui is just not for me.

2/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
4/10 characters
3.5/10 overall

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