When we hear the term ‘Anime’, we are quickly reminded of the computer and hand-drawn animation that has its origin in Japan. ‘Anime’, which is a term derived from the English word ‘animation’, describes all types of animated arts and works, regardless of its origin or style. Anime TV series had found its first popularity outside Japan in around 1980s and ever since have continued to find far greater audiences in the whole world. Now, ‘Manga’ is the term given to the Japanese comic books and graphic novel style. Ultimately manga and anime are quite similar. But what makes anime so appealing to the entire world? The primary reason of anime finding its place in people’s hearts is due to its aesthetic and physical allure. Be it the graphics or the objects, the characters or the sceneries, the plots or the dialogues, anime is appealing to nearly everyone.

Any enthusiastic anime lover knows that each and every show of anime has a specific set of genres. There are dozens of genres and sub-genres when it comes to anime: drama, action, romance, horror, comedy, sci-fi, and so on.

Kakegurui is a Japanese anime series that is adapted from the manga of the same name, written by Homura Kawamoto and illustrated by Tōru Naomura. The studio responsible for animating this series was MAPPA. Outside of Japan, Netflix served as the platform for airing the show.

Genre: Gambling

Number of seasons: 2

Directed by: Yuichiro Hayashi, Kiyoshi Matsuda

Written by: Yasuko Kobayashi

Music by: Technoboys Pulcraft Green-Fund

Running date: July 1, 2017 – March 26, 2017

Plot

The plot of Kakegurui is centered on the school called the Hyakkaou Private Academy. It is a school comprised of and established for the most privileged and wealthy students. Through a series of games where each student must gamble their wealth against one another determines the social status and hierarchy of the school. After all their fortunes are gambled, the poorest students become the slaves of the richest students. One day the whole story is turned around when a new student joins the Hyakkaou Private Academy. Not for any status or hierarchy, but she is a student who loves to gamble because of the thrill it provides. Soon when she begins to bring down the social hierarchy by ignoring and failing to abide by the school’s strict rules of the social structure, the student council desperately attempts to silence her before she creates more problems.

Season 1: Kakegurui

The first season of Kakegurui aired on Japanese channels MBS, Tokyo MX and others from July 1 to September 23, 2017. It was directed by Yuichiro Hayashi and the scripts were written by Yasuko Kobayashi. Netflix licensed the series in 2018 and there are 12 episodes of the first season.

Episode 1: A Woman Named Yumeko Jabami

Running time: 25 minutes

Shiritsu Hyakkaou Academy which is a very prestigious school can be accessed by only the rich students. Unlike other schools, Hyakkaou is run completely by the student council and is based upon a hierarchy that is determined solely by gambling. The gamblers who win and become the best enjoy money, popularity, and authority, whereas the students who lose come in debt are marked slaves and Pets and servants to the entire student council. One day, a beautiful and mysterious transfer student called Yumeko Jabami, arrives at Hyakkaou Academy. A bottom-ranked male Pet named Ryota Suzui introduces her to the entire school.

Mary Saotome, who is the best gambler in the class, challenges Yumeko to a rock paper scissors game. Although Yumeko loses the game, she asks for a final game worth 10 million yen and discloses Mary’s manipulation in determining her cards. After Yumeko wins the game, Mary goes into debt.

Episode 2: A boring Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

The next episode showcases another of Yumeko’s win by using her intellect. After Yumeko defeats Mary, her name spreads like a wildfire. Hearing her fame, the daughter of Japan’s top company man, Itsuki Sumeragi challenges Yumeko to a Double Concentration game. Itsuki who has not lost a single match because of using her father’s company’s special cards wins the match against Yumeko. Despite her winning, she places a condition and challenges Yumeko to a second match. Yumeko who had understood Itsuki’s tactics plays with her intellect and wins the match.

Episode 3: Slit-Eyed Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

Yumeko witnesses Mary’s loss at the hands of Yuriko Nishinotōin, who is a member of the student council. Yuriko challenges Yuemko and the game results in a draw. Though Yumeko claims that Yuriko had cheated, all the members of the student council conspire and Yumeko loses her second match, thereby placing her in 310 million debt and making her a Pet.

Episode 4: The Woman Who Became Livestock

Running time: 25 minutes

The student council sends Mary and Yumeko ‘Life Schedules’ by which their future life and career will be decided if they are unable to repay their debts. Yumeko and Mary are paired against two other Pets in a game of Indian poker so as to minimize their gambling debts or even have a chance at winning.

Episode 5: The Woman Who Became Human

Running time: 25 minutes

After the game of poker, it is revealed that one of the students called Jun is left with Yumeko’s 310 million debt whereas Yuemko is left with Mary’s 50 million debt. Mary heaves a sigh of relief as the debt becomes clear.

Episode 6: Tempting Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

After the student council finds that Yumeko has enough money but still has not cleared her debts, they conclude that Yumeko wants to challenge Kirari. However, Beautification Committee Chairwoman, Midari Ikishima challenges Yumeko to a dangerous card game.

Episode 7: Refusing Women

Running time: 25 minutes

While continuing with the deadly card game, Yumeko learns about Midari’s heated match against student board president, Kirari. After Midari realizes that she has been totally defeated begs Yumeko to shoot her. However, Yumeko decides to lose only to experience the thrill of it.

Episode 8: Love Dancing Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

After Kirari departs from the school, the student council becomes unsure of Yumeko’s fate. With Kirari gone, a pop idol sensation Yumemi challenges Yumeko and asks her to bet her entire life on it. However, Yumeko learns about Yumemi’s truth and if she loses the game, threatens to disclose it to the public so as to shatter her image and her hopes of becoming an actress.

Episode 9: The Dreaming Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

Yumeko again wins another match by using her intellect. When Yumeko wins the game, a voice recording is played but even after that Yumemi’s fans stay loyal to her. Yumeko then reveals that someone had tried to sabotage the game and Yumemi accuses Kaede of trying to cheat.

Episode 10: Selective Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

As the accusation continues, Yumeko suggests gambling to decide who is lying. Yumeko uses her money of 310 million to buy 31 poker chips whereas Kaede buys 100 chips for 1 billion. After Yumeko wins the first round, Kaede uses his intellect to win the following rounds. After losing for several rounds, Yumeko is offered to continue playing and she asks Itsuki to buy her chips.

Episode 11: The Woman Who Bets Her Life

Running time: 25 minutes

Yumeko and Kaede go on betting until Yumeko runs out of her chips. When they both continue to buy chips, Kaede purchases 100 chips to refrain Yumeko from buying more. After Yumeko asks Itsuki to bet her life or receive the Life Schedule. Itsuki who no longer wants to be under Manyuda’s control offers Yuemko 100 chips. After Ririka declares it to be worth 10 billion, in order to prompt Kaede to oppose the decision. After Ririka removes her mask it is revealed that she is Kirari in disguise. With Yumeko’s bet amounting to 12 billion, Kaede bets his Life Schedule for 10 billion. However, it is revealed that Yumeko had tricked Kaede into choosing strong and he later loses. After the game, Kaede loses his seat in the Council and suffers billions of debt. Yumeko and Kirari sit down for a gambling match.

Episode 12: Gambling Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

The final episode of season 1 continues with the match between Yumeko and Kirari with council Member Runa Yomozuki acting as a judge. The conditions of the match being : the loser of the game will be expelled from Hyakkaou Private Academy. The game becomes intense as Yumeko needs 20 points to save herself from expulsion. Ryota becomes the ultimate person in deciding Yumeko’s fate. However, she succeeds in choosing a 20 points card, thus saving Yumeko from expulsion. Runa declares the game to be draw and Kirari decides to dissolve the student council.

Season 2: Kakegurui xx

In January 2019, Kakegurui season 2 was launched in Japan. The old cast reprised their roles and Netflix announced 12 seasons of Kakegurui xx.

Episode 1: Gambling Women Again

Running time: 25 minutes

Erimi Mushibami offers Midari and Yumeko Jabami to gamble in the Finger Cutting Guillotine game. As both of them are overjoyed, Ryota thinks that the game is crazy. Midari decides to go first and cuts a string. After the first rounds, Yumeko asks Yamato about the game, meanwhile, Erimi fears her own finger. The game continues. In the meantime, Kirari introduces new student council members from the Momobami clan.

Episode 2: The Women of Momobami Clan

Running time: 25 minutes

The Momobami clan announce that they want to win the election and take over the school. The gambling game is to be held over 30 days with each student starting with 1 chip. Although Mary is the Momobami clan’s distant relative she warns Yumeko to be cautious. Yumeko is invited to the finger cutting game by Erimi. As the game progresses, in the end, Yumeko emerges as the winner.

Episode 3: Do Not Touch This Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

The former Vice President of the student council, Ririka turns the members of the Momobami clan, Miri and Miyo against Yumeko. They start playing the Nym Type Zero game.

Episode 4: Communicating Women

Running time: 25 minutes

In the second round of Nym Type Zero, Mary offers to play in the place of Yumeko, who is poisoned. Mary orders Ryota to show his cards, whereas Miyo advises him and convinces him not to show them.

Episode 5: The Connected Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

After a week since the start of the student council presidential election, it is found that Kirari is in the first place whereas Yumeko is in tenth place. Meanwhile, Yumemi asks Yumeko to perform as the Dreaming Creaming Sisterz.

Episode 6: The Hollywood Star

Running time: 25 minutes

After Yumemi is defeated by the movie star, Kawaru Natari, she goes all in, Yumemi goes all in for the second round. As they continue playing, Yumemi and Yumeko do not cooperate with each other, and Yumemi passes while admitting that Natari is more talented than her. after a while, Yumeko also passes which leaves Natari as the remaining player. However, with a greater total, Yumemi and Yumeko emerge as the winners.

Episode 7: The Treacherous Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

While Kirari goes on rapidly winning votes, Yumeko and other players are left to gamble among themselves in order to boost their chip count or lose everything.

Episode 8: The Winning Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

When Yumeko is accused of betrayal she becomes infuriated and threatens to turn the whole game.

Episode 9: The Woman By Her Side

Running time: 25 minutes

Runa gives an update about the ongoing election whereas Kirari is suddenly challenged by Yumeko into a gamble. Kirari suggests playing the Tower of Doors.

Episode 10: The Logical Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

While playing the game Tower of Doors, Sayaka uses her logic to advance in the game, while Yumeko’s love of gambling and her curious nature inspires her to select a totally different route.

Episode 11: The Woman Who Bears the X

Running time: 25 minutes

In ‘100 Chip Auction’, a selected group of people are asked to bid and the whole game is turned around when Yumeko offers 3 billion yen.

Episode 12: The Null Woman

Running time: 25 minutes

After Yumeko’s challenge, Rei becomes vengeful and declares that she will win the presidential election and will take over the clan as well as the school. However, in Rei’s way, Yumeko stands as a barrier.

Like the movies Uncut Gems (2019), The Gambler (1974), and so on, Kakegurui although is an anime, showcases the elements of gambling beautifully. The experience of this genre gambling genre becomes more thrilling and interesting to watch when it is viewed through the eyes of the vivid anime characters.