- Title: Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler
- Genres: Game, Mystery, Psychological, School, Drama, Shounen
- Studios: MAPPA
- Episodes: 12 – 24min (Completed)
- Date: 1 July 2017 — 23 September 2017
- Source: Manga
I couldn’t quite remember why I had stopped watching this in the past, but after completing this anime recently, I’m in utter awe at the thrilling spectacle the anime was from start to finish. So here goes my attempt at summarising this show for you.
Kakegurui takes place in the highly prestigious Hyakkaou Private Academy, where the richest and most established figures in the world send their representatives to prepare them for the real world. Except, instead of focusing on education, the academy has its students take part in many gruelling gambles, staking their reputation, wealth and their lives in the hopes to attain victory. Success would allow them to stand at the highest ranks of the academy, with social political benefits that very well extends outwards into the real world. Failure would thrust them into an endless pit of debt, becoming the lowest of the low and becoming playthings for the rest of the regular students.
Enter Yumeko, a beautiful transfer student whose monstrous talent and desire for gambling threatens the roots of the entire academy. Her brilliant insight and insane lust for gambling is eventually noticed by the student council, who are themselves the elite among the elite of the school. They now see Yumeko as a threat and an interesting new challenge, and seek to plunge her into the depths of despair. Little did they know that Yumeko is not one to shy away from such challenges.
Kakegurui was a fascinating new watch for me. I’ve personally only ever watched Kaiji as my first ever gambling related show, and boy was that a heck of a dramatic psychological ride. To me, Kakegurui takes the psychological gambling aspects of anime like Kaiji and put it together in a social political setting of an academy, catering to the shounen demographic. While life or death isn’t as prevalent as in Kaiji, Kakegurui most certainly still managed to take me for a ride.
The story of Kakegurui is quite simple — gamble! Except that with each gambling scene, many of the characters are thrust into the limelight to highlight and showcase their unique personalities, in the most crazed of ways. Every gamble is intense and borderline insane, with unbelievable stakes and even more unbelievable odds and circumstances. This was what makes every moment in Kakegurui a highly engaging and immersive watch that let the pages turn for itself. I binged watch the entire first season with such vigour and excitement that without realising, I had already completed the final episode. The story was well written, letting the audience in on a roller coaster ride of all sorts of unpredictable moments. It truly was entertaining to try and predict how the events would turn out in Kakegurui.
The design and the style of Kakegurui is utterly magnificent. From the clear and sharp character design, to the use of vibrant glowing colours in the anime, everything was designed spectacularly. The characters were attractive and charming in unique ways that really showcase their personalities. Those intense facial expressions and all those liquid secretions (sweat, and a little bit of drool) really highlight the crazed nature of the gambling that takes place. I was truly in love with the colourful visuals of the characters and the various settings that were able to create a very vivid and vibrant world. To top it off, the animation had been so fluid and cohesive. I can easily say that from the art alone, my entire viewing experience was nothing short of satisfying.
Commending the visuals and design was one thing, but I think Kakegurui did a splendid job of capturing its own style. It adopts a crazy outlook with students that are insane in their own ideals and terrifying in their ambitions. This insanity coupled with an exciting, vibrant and crazy style and flair gave the anime an identity of its own. The opening music and the ending theme song does the perfect job of encapsulating this style. The opening music and the ending theme songs were such theme setters that they allowed me to feel the perfect vibes that the story and the characters give off — wildly stylish with the hint of an intense craziness. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that I’ve been bewitched by the Opening song “Deal with the Devil” by Tia.
Overall, Kakegurui is amazing at what it does best, and that is to awe its audience with its very charming and alluring insanity. I for one, am absolutely smitten by the characters and the setting in this highly intense psychological world of Kakegurui.
Should I Watch Kakegurui Season 1?
Kakegurui is a rather odd show, with an emphasis on the psychology of gamblers in the setting of a school. There are almost no semblances of the ordinary student life other than momentary interactions and the blatant setting. Also, the story itself has a rather fast paced intensity to it that keeps the viewers on edge and thrilled through all its episodes. These traits demands attention and focus, and may not be what you’re looking for if you intend to watch shows that are more relaxing and light-hearted.
However, Kakegurui has many positive traits. But more importantly, the fact that Kakegurui is a gambling show of the Shounen demographic is a huge positive for me. The themes while absolutely lunatic, are thus toned down and formatted into a battle royale structure that isn’t too heavy for the common audience to follow. So if you’ve watched anime like Kaiji and thought that it was a bit too heavy for you, then Kakegurui offers a spectacular and more easy to follow story that also revolves around the psychological gambling aspects you would want to see from a gambling themed show. Definitely a must watch if you were even remotely interested in the summary.