Name of Anime: Kakegurui
Genre: Thriller, Psychological
No. of episodes: 12
Review: Among all the big names in the Summer 2017 anime list, ‘Kakegurui’ was one of those series which secured a seat in the top 10 series of the season, thanks to its overwhelming support from the viewers. While I was expecting this series to be a little bit different than my usual taste, but damn……. This was way more different than I had prepared my mind for. However, I will admit that every character of the series were unique and interesting (Except a certain someone, about whom I will talk in the weakness section). The story is about Jabami Yumeko, who transferred into the prestigious school, Hyakkou Gakuen, which is esteemed for its ancient yet rich tradition. The school however, makes the students actively participate in gambling and follows the theme, Money is everything. Yumeko, who at first was mistaken for a normal girl, is actually a maniacal gambler who completely loses herself the moment she faces a tense gambling match (Sexually). The plot continues as Yumeko slowly ascends the ladder by challenging, and in most cases, winning against her opponent in the most remarkable way possible (Sports cliché, doesn’t needs to be said twice). I’m not really a big fan of the psychological genre, mostly because it has gore and action in it almost 90% of times, however, I used to believe that I would love thrillers if it had no unrequired blood scenes in it……….. Looks like I was wrong. Even though Kakegurui had around 5% bloody scenes, it still was unable to bring to the edge of my seat or urge me to complete it in one day (Like Classroom of the elites). But on the bright side, I wouldn’t say I didn’t enjoy it, the story wasn’t too interesting, but it wasn’t bland either; it’s more like an average for me.
Weakness: Seems like it’s gonna be quite a long list:
- First things first, the narrator Suzui Ryouta, who was there in almost every single episode as Yumeko’s first friend, was maybe the least impactful main character I have ever seen in an anime. Seriously, this guy sucked at gambling, sucked at persuading Yumeko to do anything, he sucked at developing his own character……. Simply, he sucked at everything! (I can basically rant about him for hours)
- It’s almost a trend in Psychological anime where they dedicate at least one character or one scene into ‘Mind Break’; a state where a character goes berserk and exposes his/her crazy side (It’s used to contribute to their maniacal side, giving their character a little psychopathic element). However, that method was used on almost everyone and just as expected, it lost its charm.
- It failed to draw any kind of curiosity during the climax scene of an episode. Sure, they tried their hardest, but somehow, I wasn’t motivated enough to complete the series in one go (Which I do almost everytime). In the end, it all comes down to how well the characters develop, which according to me was extremely low in this series.
- It’s a duty as the creator to give brief description of each and every move used in the game of a series, for the viewers to catch up. Dunno about you guys, but I (Someone who has no idea how to play Poker and other gambling games) was completely lost as to where the game was proceeding, my only hint was how the other characters were reacting. If only the creator could squeeze in some time to explain what the moves were (Like they do in other sports anime), I might have enjoyed the series a bit more.
- This may sound vague but the episode with Midari was absolutely crap! Seriously, the way she straight out screamed “Let me cum” in front of Yumeko, in the middle of the game, was just disgusting.
Favourite Character: Agreed that the characters in this series were really unique and interesting, however, no one else actually stood a chance against Yumeko (Thanks to the lack of screen time for their character development). Jabami Yumeko, her timid external appearance and her maniacal nature that goes berserk when she is immersed in a stressed gambling match was a treat to watch! Not to mention that her character designs was cute too (As long as she was not playing).
Art Style: Kakegurui used a beautiful art style that is a treat to the eyes at first, but as the story progresses and the gambling matches are shown, the ugly and dreadful faces of the characters when they face defeat were revealed, giving the series a realistic twist! According to me, the art style was one of the few vital plus points of the series.
OP/EDs: I didn’t like the OP that much to be honest, even though it synched pretty nicely with the off-beat story of the series. However, the ED was up to my liking. I think that the bright and pumping song was a better match for the series than the OP.
Rating: In the end, I would say that Kakegurui surely has quite a few negative points. Even though it was able to impress a lot of viewers this season, I was certainly not happy with the series at all and that’s exactly why I rate it 5 out of 10.
Have you watched this series yet? What was your reaction? Do you agree with my ratings or do you want to add some points to it that I failed to cover? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!