Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler
Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler is an action, adventure, drama, comedy, dark comedy, psychological, gambling, Japanese anime series. It was based on a manga series which was written by Homura Kawamoto, illustrated by Tōru Naomura, and published by Square Enix for the Shonen magazine Gangan Joker. It originally ran from 2014 to present and it has 9 volumes in total so far. After that came another manga series titled Kakegurui Twin which was written by Homura Kawamoto, illustrated by Kei Saiki, and published by Square Enix for the Shonen magazine Gangan Joker. It originally ran from 2015 to present and it has 6 volumes in total so far. After that came the anime series which was directed by Yuichiro Hayashi, written by Yasuko Kobayashi, musically composed by TECHNOBOYS PULCRAFT and GREEN-FUND, and produced by Studio MAPPA. It originally aired from July 1, 2017 to September 23, 2017, and it lasted for 12 episodes in total. After that came a television drama which was directed by Tsutomu Hanabusa. It originally aired from January 15, 2018 to March 19, 2018, and it lasted for 10 episodes in total.
A mysterious and charismatic woman by the name of Yumeko Jabami enrolls at Hyakkaou Private Academy. A school that, by day, appears to be little more than a standard high school, but by night, becomes a gambling house where students are ranked by their winnings in said gambling matches, and fame and fortune await those who rise to the top.
Why It Rocks
- Amazing animation, even by 2010s standards. It's fluid, well-drawn, and the characters sync perfectly well with their backgrounds.
- Incredibly intense gambling battles. The animation, art, and music all work together to make the matches themselves extremely fun, and whenever someone loses it's incredibly dire, which keeps the viewer engaged from start to finish. Not to mention that as the characters do so, their eyes begin to glow as their passions and thrills they feels for gambling sends them into a crazed state.
- The character in the series has a unique design that helps differentiate them from one another. For example, Runa wears an orange, dog-like sweater over her uniform and Kirari has a pair of braided loops in her hair.
- Phenomenal dark comedy. This series does a great job of exploiting the suffering of the characters for laughs, and because of that there's laughs in almost every episode.
- Excellent soundtrack.
- Great voice acting in both sub and dub. Especially given how the Japanese version has voice actors like Saori Hayami (as Yumeko), Minami Tanaka (as Mary), Tatsuya Tokutake (as Ryota), Miyuki Sawashiro (as Kirari/Vice-President), Ayaka Fukuhara (as Sayaka), Mayu Udono (as Runa), Mariya Ise (as Midari), Tomokazu Sugita (as Kaede), Karin Nanami (as Yuriko), Yuuki Wakai (as Itsuki), and Yuu Serizawa (as Yumemi).
- The English dub is nothing to gloss over either. As it has a cast of voice actors such as Erika Harlacher (as Yumeko), Kira Buckland (as Mary), Griffin Burns (as Ryota), Michelle Ruff (as Kirari/Vice-President), Erica Lindbeck (as Sayaka), Kayli Mills (as Runa), Sarah Williams (as Midari), Chris Niosi (as Kaede), Cristina Valenzuela (as Yuriko), Erica Mendez (as Itsuki), and Faye Mata (as Yumemi).
- Good pacing between each episode as well as the events that occur in said episodes.
- Very likable characters that are gambling crazy yet have very well thought out personalities.
- Yumeko Jabami, the main protagonist, is a student who initially appears modest, but shows a maniacal passion for high stakes gambling. She's truly unpredictable, not caring whether she wins or loses so long as she can enjoy the insanity of her and her opponent putting everything on the line on a truly uncertain outcome.
- Mary Saotome is the first person Yumeko challenged to a gambling match upon her arrival at Hyakkaou. Prideful and confident, she grew to despise the student council with a passion after being forced into housepet status, and began plotting to dismantle them along with the housepet system.
- Ryota Suzui is a very poor gambler. He has a rather nervous but still caring personality, often trying to keep Yumeko from gambling in ridiculously high stakes. He serves as the foil to many of the girls' more off-the-wall, often insane personalities.
- Kirari Momobami is the student council president. Despite being a refined and proper lady on the outside, she is in truth a calculating, manipulative, psychopathic individual with little regard for anything other than herself. A complete narcissist, she belittles everyone besides herself, believing everyone is to play by her terms alone, as seen when Mary rejected her invitation to join the student council, she simply ridiculed whatever reasons could be had as simply foolish and illogical.
- Sayaka Igarashi is the secretary of the student council. She is a very intelligent and serious person, who deeply cares about the school and Student Council. She is endlessly loyal to the Student Council President where she stated that Kirari is her one true love and she would do anything for her.
- Midari Ikishima is the president of the student council's Beautification Council. She has an incredibly masochistic and suicidal personality, and an obsessive lust for Yumeko.
- Runa Yomozuki is the leader of the Election Comittee of the student council. At first, she comes off as a enthusiastic, upbeat, cheerful, and very charismatic individual, especially during public broadcasts. But she's later revealed to be highly egotistical and sadistic.
- Vice-President/Ririka Momobami is, as the name implies, the vice president of the student council. She's a very quiet and stoic person who often acts as an observer. But in spite of her silence during the Student Council's meetings, she's mostly in step with Kirari Momobami.
- Very great concept of having an elite gambling school where most of the students are gambling frenzy and enjoy it for their pleasure.
- It shows how gambling tends to seduce many into wanting more of it and how it alters your mental state and just like drugs and sex it's a dangerous addiction to overcome.
- Great comeuppance of the villains as they tend to get defeated in a humiliating way which they lose money or treated like a laughing stock. One notable example being Kaede Manyuda, the treasurer of the student council who, after losing to Yumeko, was fired from the council and degraded to the level of a housepet.
- While entertaining and complex, this series is infamous for not being the most intense and dangerous gambling anime out there like it tries to be. That title belonging to Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor.
- The show can be a bit too insane and wild for some people.
As of February 2018, the manga had over 4 million copies in print.