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Netflix Series Review: Kakegurui

Are you ready to get your gambling freak on? This question may sound daunting, or even confusing to some. But if you’re like me, endlessly scrolling through the anime section on Netflix, then let me put a stop to your search right there. Kakegurui is a great pick to watch with your friends or by yourself and is easily accessible on your very own Netflix account or the one you’re bumming on. With an interesting take on high school life, you follow our main character, Yumeko Jabami on her adventure as the new girl at Hyakkaou Private Academy. One where risk rules all, ad flaws can be fatal to your social standings. 

I sometimes wish American high schools were half as interesting as the ones you see in anime. While mine was centered around whether or not you were pretty or wore the right things, Hyakkaou is where you go to gamble your entire family’s fortune, way more exciting right? The anime is by studio MAPPA, and they do not disappoint when it comes to designing unique characters and scenes. The school uniforms honestly make me a little jealous, they are very cute. Based on the manga released in 2014, in 2017 it was brought to the screens. You see, this particular private academy is home to the wealthiest of the wealthy, where social status is determined by how well you play the game.

As the new girl, Yumeko has a lot to prove, and she does just that when her first gambling match is against one of the higher respected queen bees, Mary. Mary doesn’t know what hits her when she attempts to cheat Yumeko out of a win, but when her plan is foiled, she realizes Yumeko isn’t the average student. 

Instead of wanting more financial gain, Yumeko gets off by risking more and gambling harder. This can get pretty weird sometimes and you think she may need to be sent to a counselor, but that adds to the unique take this show has on high school, and I appreciate it. Even when taken down a peg by a loss, she almost welcomes being referred to as a “house pet”. The loving title gifted to all losers. Crawling around on the ground saying “meow, meow”, for sure makes her peers wonder if everything's all right up in her noggin. But of course, what would the main character be without a quirk? If being a house pet doesn’t sound bad enough, if you don’t pay your debt back by graduation (usually by gambling more to pull yourself out or push you deeper), then you’re given a “life schedule”, which essentially tells you how you’ll be spending the rest of your life to pay everything back. Pretty metal if you ask me.

All in all, this two-season anime got me wrapped up by the first episode. I can see how some people may think it’s a bit repetitive with the storyline for each episode usually being rather similar. But that can be said for many shows and I think they do an excellent job of bringing in new unique characters for Yumeko to face and throwing her into insane situations to figure out. Watch either in the dub or sub, they’re honestly both pretty good. And who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to attend a casino yourself and flush some money down the toilet!

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