I almost didn’t bother with this series because Netflix got their hands on it. But I’m really glad I did.

This episode has a lot worse faces than this.

Summary:

Hyakkaou Private Academy. A fairly normal, private high school for rich kids by day; and an established gambling den after hours. The students at Hyakkaou Private Academy build their ranks around who has the most money and who is the best gambler.

The most exciting game of rock paper scissors you will ever see. Seriously.

Ryouta tries his hand at gambling, but loses to a renowned gambler named Mary and is forced to become her “dog.” However, his life soon changes after Yumeko, the new transfer student, arrives at the school.

The episode is told mostly from Ryouta’s POV, but Yumeko is very obviously the main protagonist.

Angry at how quickly Yumeko becomes popular, Mary challenges Yumeko to a high stakes game of Jan Ken Pon (Rock Paper Scissors) involving real cash. Mary attempts to shame Yumeko by playing the game, but Yumeko instead turns it around and knocks Mary down a few pegs. It turns out that Yumeko isn’t as sweet and innocent as she initially appears…

Don’t gamble unless you aren’t afraid of getting burned.

My Opinion:

I won’t rage about Netflix (as Moeronpan already summarized my own thoughts on that pretty well in another review); but damn. I’m actually super sad about this. Kakegurui turned out to be far better than I expected. But as much as I like this show so far, I refuse to blog a series using illegal streams. So I won’t be blogging this series, sadly.

Anyway, Kakegurui’s premise is pretty ridiculous. It’s a high school… BUT WITH GAMBLING! When I first heard of the series, I dismissed it as being dumb and anime having run out of ideas to the point that they’re recycling school tropes but with some added gimmick. After having watched the first episode… the premise is still pretty ridiculous but the series manages to sell its story well enough that I’m actually invested.

I’m not a person who gambles (unless you count playing gachas in dress-up app games gambling) so I’ve never really found the appeal in anime with gambling elements. I just honestly don’t get it. But damn, this series made gambling seem… awesome? (Don’t gamble kids) I like that they decided to go with a concept that is pretty easy to understand–rock paper scissors–in the first episode rather than a more traditional gambling game like poker or something. I don’t want to spoil too much of the episode if you haven’t seen it yet, but Yumeko’s skill at gambling is amazing and is really what makes this series so entertaining.

This series has some pretty great animation. The OP is a tad fanservicey, but it’s gorgeous and very unique. I wish more anime had OPs that were that creative. The ED is a little less creative (and way more fanservicey) but seeing Yumeko doing a power walk is awesome. The animation in the episode itself was also pretty high-end. I also like that this series isn’t afraid to make their female characters look grotesque. It goes a little too over-the-top at times, but it conveys the mood/atmosphere of the series well. Have I mentioned how great Yumeko is? She’s got a really pretty design and she’s a fascinating character. The other “main” characters, Ryouta and Mary, are not as interesting but they’re not really the main focus of the series anyway.

Some minor criticisms: why all the fanservice? Isn’t gambling on its own exciting enough without having to resort to sleazy fanservice? There’s not too much of it, thankfully; but it really makes the anime seem super un-classy. Also, is the school totally okay with students gambling on school grounds? Do the school staff honestly not know about all the gambling going on, or do they know and just turn a blind eye to it ’cause all the kids are filthy rich? Or… are they actually encouraging gambling? Who knows.

Overall, this was a surprisingly good first episode. Even if you aren’t super invested in gambling anime, I’d suggest checking this one out. Things get a whole lot better once Yumeko shows up.

Out of five:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2

The OP for this show is so damn good.

Advertisements