Photo from Netflix
By Diamond Bridges
Netflix has been stepping up their anime game with a few new title releases. The online streaming site expanded their anime list, with fan favorites such as “Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood,” but they also licensed a a fairly recent anime that I think deserves a little more spotlight.
“Kakegurui,” also known as “Compulsive Gambler,” is based off the manga written by Homura Kawamoto. The anime series is a mystery drama with some dark undertones, but not as dark as “Devilman Crybaby.”
The show starts out with one of the main characters, Ryouta Suzui, being in debt to Mary Saotome, one of the top gamblers in the school, after challenging and losing to her in a game. Ryouta then goes on to explain the transformation that the school undergoes once school ends and how there are no teachers around to stop them from turning their classroom into a mini Las Vegas casino.
Naturally, the rich kids such as Mary, are naturally higher in the hierarchy, and we soon learn that many of the students aside from Ryouta are in debt with her. But that is when our protagonist enters and completely wipes out Mary’s “winning streak” reputation.
Now, I have watched a lot of anime, and after a certain point, it is kind of easy to tell where an anime will lead up, and it becomes predictable. So it is the same thing when new girl Yumeko Jabami enters the school as that naive, polite girl. From the moment when she becomes very interested in the students’ gambling lifestyle, despite Ryouta’s warning, I was already saying “Oh god, this chick gambles too.” And I was right.
Yumeko challenges Mary to a game of rock-paper-scissors. However, they are given random cards made by the other students with a different hand signal on it. On the surface, this looks like a game of chance, but Yumeko demonstrates that it is deeper than that. She plays innocent and purposely loses a few hands to Mary, whose ego is through the roof. But when Yumeko wins a hand, she bets a lot of money, which frightens Mary, but she keeps playing.
After this, a trigger goes off in Yumeko and that is when we now know… that this school is screwed. Yumeko becomes a completely new person, and the art style even changes slightly. Yumeko makes disturbing facials to show her level of insanity, but it also reminds of me the art style from a different anime called “Prison School.” Also, how her eyes glow a bright red really intrigued me because it draws out the intensity of the situation.
The episode ends after Yumeko beats Mary and completely reverses the hierarchy where the “Queen” becomes the dog. Despite the plot being predictable so far, I will continue watching this anime because I like Yumeko’s character so far, so I would like to see how crazy this girl will get. Will she eventually run the school? Is there someone who can stop her compulsive habit? I also feel like there is a twist to come so I guess I will find out in the next 11 episodes.