Kakegurui (Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler) Review - “Let’s, Gamble!”

Let’s, Gamble!

  • Episodes : 12
  • Genre : Game, Mystery, Psychological, Drama, School, Shounen
  • Airing Date : July 2017 – September 2017
  • Studios : MAPPA

Contains Spoilers

Kakegurui Introduction and Story (Spoilers)

Kakegurui has its plot set in the prestigious Hyakkaou Private Academy, where gambling is a common practice as a form of after school activity. In this school money is power, and gambling is a way for fellow students to gain fame and respect of the entire academy.

Within the academy, there lie the members of the student council. Each member is well known for their gambling capabilities, albeit some of them do resort to cheating and unfair play, in gambling it all comes to the ability to manipulate your opponents. Those who lost and fail will be forced to have their life planned out for them, i.e. forced marriages to wealthy politicians to pay off their debt.

All is well until Jabami Yumeko came along. Although there isn’t much being revealed as to Yumeko’s past, she seems to enjoy taking big reckless risks in gambling. Unsuspectingly, one by one she starts challenging the members of the student council in hopes of getting a chance to gamble against the president of the student council.

What We Liked About Kakegurui

Kakegurui is packed with suspense and is considered to be one of the few gems of the anime world. The characters are very well put together, each with their own unique/extreme personalities that set them apart from the other anime. You can see it from the get-go how ‘expressive’ the characters can be. The soundtrack from the opening credits “Deal with the devil" by Tia gives you that funky fast-paced feel that matches the anime itself.

One of the best things about this anime is that it has the ability to pull you into the anime, this means when Yumeko takes huge, reckless risks, as a viewer you can’t help but keep wondering what was going to happen, and that keeps you at the edge of your seat. That is the main appeal of this show, being able to create a suspenseful scene and gain the viewer’s empathy towards the characters.

Discussion Time

Kakegurui is a very promising anime that delivers on bringing suspenseful scenes by channeling them through the character’s expressions. The plot of the anime is pretty straight-forward. There is an issue with this though. Will the writers be able to come up with a more interesting arc to put in the plot? If you observe carefully, Kakegurui has a story flow similar to those that you see in shounen manga/anime, where an underdog mysterious character comes in and destroys anyone that stands in his/her way. So perhaps we’ll see a tournament arc in the next season hopefully?

Why You Should Watch Kakegurui

1. Sassy Soundtrack

It’s common for anime fans to want to enjoy the soundtrack of the anime that they’re currently watching, and I’m here to tell you that I’ve got you covered with this anime’s soundtrack. For those of you that haven’t watch the anime yet, try looking up “Deal with the devil" by Tia. That’s the opening credits soundtrack for this anime.

If you like what you hear then you would agree with me on this point here. The soundtrack itself gives you that bubbly, jazz-like feel. Notice the saxophone playing in the soundtrack and tell me that that doesn’t sound sexy to you. The soundtrack is a perfect fit to the anime, with the montage and everything.

2. Cast of Characters

Kakegurui has a lot of interesting characters, i.e. ‘normal’ characters are rare in this anime. To start, we have the seemingly innocent and calm Jabami Yumeko as the protagonist. You will notice as the plot progresses that she isn’t exactly normal, often taking huge risks and betting on ridiculous stakes. Every now and then you would see her true self that is quite… extreme. Even Suzui Ryota which seemed like the typical nice guy has his ‘wild’ side as well. As for the rest of the cast, you would notice that most of them are egotistical brats, but what else can you expect from the rich? All of that comes together perfectly in the series as Jabami Yumeko slowly gambles her way up the hierarchy of the student council.

3. Story

It’s a sight for sore eyes as the theme of Kakegurui is gambling. And you don’t really see much of gambling anime that stands out to the public. Watching Kakegurui gets you thinking about anime like Kaiji and live-action Liar Game, where both shows are able to bring out the suspense to the fullest. It’s definitely refreshing to watch this uniquely written anime.

Why You Should Skip Kakegurui

1. Creepy Expressions

Since Kakegurui is based on a manga adaptation, there are some illustrations that don't really spell out normal. The animation isn’t exactly the best, but I think it’s deemed as a necessary thing to do since it highlights the meaning that the anime is trying to get across. So if you have a thing for smooth and beautiful animation, then this anime might not be for you. However, Kakegurui still has a good plot and story, so it’s definitely worth watching.

2. Feels a Bit Rushed

Kakegurui has a potential to span out into more episodes, as there are many characters that haven't had the chance to shine in the series. The ending also seemed to be quite anti-climactic. For an anime that has a short 12 episodes, you can’t expect it to be fully completed. This point is for those that don’t have a lot of patience in waiting for the next season to come out. Why? Because Kakegurui is that addicting.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Kakegurui is a fresh gambling anime that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Making you wonder as you watched the episodes along the way trying to figure out how a certain match will end and what is the outcome of it all. It’s definitely a thrilling ride for those that fancy a shot of adrenaline once in awhile. A definite must watch series!

Kakegurui-dvd-348x500 Kakegurui (Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler) Review - “Let’s, Gamble!”


Author: Winfrey Widjijanto

Hi! My name is Winfrey and I come from Indonesia. I’m currently residing in Jakarta to pursue my bachelor degree but I hope in the near future I get to travel to new places including Japan! Still in search of my passion though, but so far, music and writing seems to interest me the most. (Just starting out) Desperately trying to learn new things and striving to become a better person each passing day. Cheers from Jakarta!

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