Genre: Drama, Game, School, Psychological, Shounen
Original run: 1st July-23rd September 2017
Available on: Netflix
Languages Available: Japanese, English, Portuguese, French, Spanish,
Subtitles Available: Japanese, English, Polish, Arabic and French
Hyakkaou Private Academy is a school which helps to prepare its student with the tools to make it in the real world as they belong to some of the richest and more prominent families out there. The school does this through the students activities in gambling as this activity determines their worth within the school. Without enough money to gamble many students become “house pets” who are the lowest ranking students and anyone who can win will stay on top. Yumeko Jabami transfers into the school and is an innocent sounding and beautiful girl who has an insane love of gambling for the simple thrill of the game.
This anime was an incredibly entertaining watch and enforced the fact of don’t gamble kids it’s bad for you. I think as someone who does enjoy games and has played things like poker before this anime really drew me in as I understand why it can be such a thrill to win. When starting this anime I expected it to get old fast as I thought it would be repetitive but it wasn’t and I was hooked on each episode and it’s newest game.
One of the first things I noticed when watching Kakegurui is the use of colour. The colours are muted and dark and there are splashed of red everywhere from the school uniforms to Yumeko’s eye colour in certain scenes. The colour palette can really solidify the tone of a show. The use of red especially helps with the tone as red is used to signify danger as well as passion and that is what this show it full of. The danger of gambling and putting your fortune in the line and the passion the characters have for doing so.
The facial expressions were a truly fascinating part of this anime. The fact that these beautiful looking characters could go from being sweet and beautiful to horribly ugly as their faces twist and contort to match their real, true intentions.
The sweet turn twisted facial expressions went hand in hand with the two faced characteristics of these characters. One thing I loved about this series is the double crossing, manipulative personalities of these characters and how gambling is their life. Everyone is obsessed and consumed by it. This whole idea fascinated me as I loved how you get to see their true colours in the most raw and unflattering way. The facial expressions alone were entertaining and made the watching experience even better as it showed how truly ugly humans can be even in the prettiest of shells.
The music was another huge plus with this anime. The opening song Dance with the Devil by Tia had this casino vibe to it and matched really well with the theme of the show. I loved the ending song LAYon-theLine by D-Selections as it was a real head bopper after each episode. I also loved the opening songs visuals as they were muted colours and the animation style was stunning to behold and the visuals held up throughout the entire anime which is always an important part for me.
Another huge element I noticed whilst watching this show is the continuous theme of students being pressured by their families as they belong to rich households and have a reputation to uphold. This was an important message in the show as the pressure from family seemed to further corrupt certain students as they had so much pressure weighing down on them that they spiralled into this dark abyss of gambling, cheating, deceiving and despair if they didn’t come out on top. Take Manyuda, his father told him when he was younger that he always has to take the highroad and if he didn’t he would be worthless. This pressure caused him to become deceitful and use people as pawns in order to try to become student council president and ultimately the fact that he lost in a game to Yumeko made his hair turn white from the stress and anxiety of it all. I found this theme such an interesting and important idea as many young people are pressured these days and many of the rich may feel the strain even further as they have to keep their image clean.
The only problem I had with Kakegurui was the ending. It ended so abruptly and lots of information and details were crammed in at the end. The epic gamble against the student council president ended so quickly and pathetically. The quickly thrown in and brief phone call with a Miss Momobami Ririka left me nearly dropping my cereal on the floor as I was so surprised and confused as to what was happening. When reading more into it it was an original ending done for the anime (because that always works out doesn’t it) which is a real shame because it was such a weak ending for such an amazing and complex show. I hope for a season two but I doubt it with the ending.
Overall Kakegurui left quite the impression on me and I do recommend watching note that the ending did disappoint.
Art Style: 8/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
What did you think? Is it something you have tried or are thinking about watching? I’d love to know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading and I hope you’re having a great day!
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All images are sourced from Google Images