Genre(s): Drama, School, Psychological, Shounen, Game
Age-Appropriateness: 17+ (Profanity, Violence, Sexual Themes)
TheAwersome Rating: 7.2 / 10 (You’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. Hard to be middle-ground)
Premise: Hyakkaou Private Academy is an elite school housing the children of Japan’s most wealthy and influential businessmen, and regularly produces world-class leaders. Student hierarchy is determined by one’s gambling prowess and victories, with the wealthiest and most influential landing spots on the Student Council. Those unable to pay their debts become “House Pets,” slaves to the whims of their debtors. The system works flawlessly until Yumeko Jabami, a transfer student, joins the ranks and turns the hierarchy on its head. But she isn’t in it for the money or power; she just loves the thrill of gambling.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: This one is not for the faint of heart. I would liken this anime to very -VERY- strong exotic foods. If you’re a thrill seeker, you’ll likely love it and get hooked; this will invade your comfort zone, but without relying on shock factor. There’s a constant intensity that’s perfectly accentuated by intimidating/bizarre close-ups, camera angles, and Saints alive the unsettling EYES. Yikes. With a predominantly female cast, there’s surprisingly little skin service, but a few girls’ “enthusiasm” for the gambling rush is portrayed in not-so-subtle ways. This anime felt a lot like how I imagine getting in too dep at Vegas would. There’s a lot of adrenaline, coupled with rushes of victory and terrifying danger which only grows the longer you’re there.
If you’re looking for a rush, Kakegurui won’t disappoint. If you’re wanting to stay comfortable, give it a pass. It’s certainly unique though. A second season, Kakegurui XX, has been confirmed for January 2019, and will hit Netflix in June 2019.