OH hey look. Here is yet another late release from Netflix. Kakegurui originally aired last year during the summer and I really don’t get why Netflix would have to wait some long to release it. It’s only a twelve-episode series after all. Did it take that long to dub it? I do admit that Netflix has a lot of anime to dub on their plate now and are adding more as time goes on. Maybe that’s it. Anyway, it was interesting to finally watch this show. Especially since the seasonal hype around it is long gone now. So what was left was watching this without everyone in the world saying “this is the best show ever” stuff. My opinion is now left out in the open and can be hype less. I don’t usually get this chance for newer shows So anyway, let’s get this review thing going.
What is Kakegurui about you may ask? Well, the premise of this show is simple. Kakegurui takes place at Hyakkaou Private Academy where some of the richest people in the world go to school. Unfortunately, gambling addiction has taken over its student body. Ever since the current council president took over, the world of Hyakkaou Academy is now a dog eat dog, survival of the fittest kind of world. People who go into debt are considered less then human. Enter our protagonist, Yumeko Jabami, who just transferred to this school in the first episode. She starts gambling her way across school to eventually face the student council president. Yeah, that’s about it. The gambling games are fun and unique though.
So I know that this is the part where I describe characters and stuff, but I don’t think I can do that. Yumeko Jabami, to me at least, is more of a plot device then a character. The case I make for this is the only way to describe her is that she is crazy and somewhat intelligent. All of the actual characters are those people that Yumeko gathers through her craziness. Still, I can’t call them anything but cookie cutter because their motivations and their developments are incredibly basic. The student council people that Yumeko faces along her way are nothing by stereotypes too with the Student Council President being nothing but a plot device herself. Kakegurui is not a deep show with deep characters and I guess that’s ok. Something tells me that character development isn’t the focus of the show.
Besides, the opening sequence, there aren’t any major stand out animation and artistic moments in Kakegurui. There are a lot of repeated cuts, characters standing around, some easy to spot cg shotsand a lot of easy decisions animation wise and I think all of that is completely ok. Kakegurui is not an action show, it’s a show about gambling. What do people usually do when they gamble? Sit around a table and play some sort of game. That’s what Kakegurui is about, besides seeing characters orgasming about getting their gambling freak on. Yeah, that doesn’t require the largest amount of production values either. I do think that each character’s crazy face is fun though. Then again, 2017 was a big year for Mappa from the anime production side. They produced too many shows for their own good and while the animation hit is acceptable for this one, it didn’t help with production values for their other shows. Oh well.
So some complaints that I have about Kakegurui is that it doesn’t seem to have any point to it. So what if Yumeko wins against the student council president in some sort of gambling event. She isn’t going to change the school back to the way it was before. At least, that’s the feeling I get when I see her praise the school’s environment to the student council president. Yumeko enjoys Hyakkou’s setting and how people fight for survival. In the end, what is really going to change? All Yumeko wants to do is maintain the gambling chaos throughout the land.
The second complaint I have is that the gambling isn’t the best written things I’ve ever seen. In fact, it might be worse those Yugioh card game things where people pull out the right card to solve problems at the right time. The games are interesting and unique, but their execution seems to be about the same every episode or so. You would think that being able to see the thinking process of Yumeko behind each game, so we can see more of her character, but there isn’t that much in that way of what is going on either. No internal monologue or anything that would give us some kind of hint of who she truly is or how she thinks is ever given to us. Instead, we also get character development in one form or another from our resident speed wagon (the exposition character from JoJo part 1 and 2) stand in. He either tries to explain what is going on or how he wants Yumeko to stop going insane. Look, we all know that insane part isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
I guess their insane faces are fun to look at, but that’s about all I got from Kakegurui. That’s all just really disappointing to me. Why was this show hyped up again? Gambling waifus that may orgasm during gambling stuff? Yeah, ok. Not my thing. This show wasn’t meant for me. I still needed to see why it was hyped up a while ago though. I did get some entertainment out of Kakegurui, but I don’t think I need anymore of it. If there is a second season, which was recently announced, I don’t think I am going to watch it. That’s about it. If you’ve enjoyed this show because it’s your thing, that’s fine. Just know that not every single anime is going to click for everybody. That’s about it.