“Life is just a gamble” Review of ‘Kakegurui’

Normally I don’t drop a review until I have watched the whole series, however seven episodes deep I can honestly say that I love this show. This week Netflix dropped their latest anime ‘Kakegurui’ onto their streaming service and it has been one that has been most anticipated by anime fans since late last year.  For me personally every episode leaves you craving more and more and it is bound to give you an adrenaline rush.

First and foremost it is a dark school anime. If you were looking for a simple slice of life anime or hell even just a simple school anime you might as well back away from this one right now. This is a show that is bound to screw with you mentally and make you feel incredibly anxious every time you watch. We as the viewers enter the world where hierarchy of socialism plays an important role in deciding your fate. The story revolves around a group of elite private high schoolers who run an underground gambling ring where wining or losing plays an important factor on what your social standing in society will be. Enters our main character Yumeko who has a gift of being able to read the most ridiculous plays by the other players and gets her thrills by ruining the other players.

There is one absolute rule in gambling — at the end of the day, there is a winner and a loser. The winner gains riches and prestige, while the loser is branded a failure and left with nothing. In the silence leading up to the moment that separates winners and losers, instincts are sharpened and desires reach the point of ecstasy. This is a harsh microcosm of life in a capitalist society. Why are people captivated by a world filled with risk? What lies beyond the madness? As the class system of modern society crumbles, an unprecedented adrenaline-pumping anime sweeps the world.
~Netflix 2017

The strong points of this anime is that it does make you feel like you are experiencing a gambling rush and that you at times feel like you are in the game itself, it is a very tense show to watch. While there are many adult themes inserted within the show it is the gambling that is the driving factor. The animation is amazing. I don’t know what it is that I’m drawn to but it feels like it is also telling part of the story with its dark undertones and sharp characteristics. If I had to compare on similarities to another anime without a doubt it would be ‘Prison School’. What was a real selling point with this anime was the English dub and adaption. Erika Harlacher, Kira Buckland and Sarah Williams (Yumeko, Mary and Midari respectively) managed to capture the characters completely and give them the life that they deserve. If I had to be honest this show was probably the strongest performances to date from each. ‘Bang Zoom’ has to also be credited for producing such a quality dub.

I really, honestly truly love watching this show. I am so glad we are getting anime that is able to not only screw with your mind but also leave you craving more. I mentioned this earlier on social media that this show was legit ‘hell’ but fun, and that is honestly the best way to describe this show. Sinful at best. I rate this show 4/5.

“Kakegurui” is available right now on Netflix.

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