Let’s Watch: Kakegurui — Episode 1

You are the gambling queen. Young and mean. Only seventeen.

No, I haven’t decided whether I’ll dedicate a Let’s Watch to this series for the entire run. I just don’t have much to write about at the moment and figured I’d get some more Let’s Watch practice in on a show that’s sort of caught my eye based on the previews I’ve seen of it. I’ve gotten more used to this style as of now, but I’m still not sure if I’m experienced enough to dedicate time to two series whilst also writing weekly reviews or mini-essays at the same time. Plus, I want to make “Let’s Watch Hentai” more of a recurring thing, so…fuck me what did I get myself into when I decided to revamp how Standing On My Neck works?

But anyways, I want to at least try to write about one new show this summer, and Kakegurui aka Compulsive Gambler seems like a pretty decent pick based on what I can see on the charts. Honestly, I would have preferred The Reflection Wave One, but that’s not airing til the end of July and I can’t wait that long. And I have no idea if this show is suitable for weekly reactions to begin with, because I don’t know a thing about it beyond some secondhand-information that tells me nothing. It’s being adapted by MAPPA, so there’s a high chance that I’m going to get something that’s visually pleasing to look at at the very least. Never read the manga for this, and the only thing I saw of the PVs was that the girls have really Prison School-esque cartoon-y faces of doom whilst getting into Kaiji-esque gambling battles. Unlike Kaiji though, this show is only twelve episodes long, so hopefully it’s not so slow that I could walk to North Dakota in the time it takes to go somewhere. I’ve seen quite a few images of the main girl and she looks delightfully crazy. I know this is about a gambling academy where you have to win to succeed.

Other than that, nothing. Don’t know what the story is. Didn’t bother to look up who MAPPA put on this. I try to aim for naturalistic reactions in these Let’s Watches and that’s what you’re going to get. I don’t even know many people who have knowledge of this show. None of my friends seemed to have it on their radar when I asked them what they were going to watch in the summer, and it’s not very high on the pre-popularity charts. It looks like one of those anime that’s destined to be a cult show, although given how early it airs in the season, that might change by the time this post goes up. Well, it’s not like it matters to me one way or the other. If it’s good, it’s good. If it’s not, there are plenty of other fish in the sea. Do hope this is good though.

Well now that that background is out of the way, let’s get started. Oh and sorry for the image quality. I’m watching this on motel wi-fi and it’s not really the best out there.

****

Not even a minute in and already we’re getting weird camera angles and yandere faces. At least you can’t accuse this show of taking it slow for its first impression.

I mean first, I took all your money. Then I got you evicted from your apartment. And just for funsies, I killed your dog and threw his remains to my collection of pigs. So I know full well how shit your day has been.

I have become the modern version of an Osamu Dazai protagonist.

So if you’ve read the premise of this show, you’d know that Kakegurui takes place in some high school where gambling is the law. And by the law, I mean the entire curriculum runs on card games and roulette, and if you can’t be a winner, then you’re not even considered human. This blonde chick named Mary Saotome that the male narrator was playing against in the opening minute is apparently one of the better players, and since the dude lost to her, he’s now being treated as badly as Saito from Zero no Tsukaima.

Female lead is here. Hopefully her personality is fun.

Looks like we’ve got some panty shots in the OP. Fun.

Yep, it’s gonna be one of those shows, isn’t it?

I’ve got to say, this song is kinda catchy in a seductive way, and the visuals are pretty damn stylish as well. It also looks like this anime is going to be very female-focused, given how there are barely any Y-chromosomes amongst the deluge of crazy characters the opening throws at you.

Yumeko Jabami. Mysterious transfer student and instant hit with the male classmates due to her looks. Also gets to hand out with the male lead (whose name is Suzui) because he happens to be the class rep and she needs someone to show her around.

How dare you walk my dog without my permission. I will kick you in the vagina.

Okay, how can she transfer here and not know that?

She’s doing the evil laugh. Yeah, she’s just as crazy as everyone else.

Booty butt. Booty butt. Booty butt cheeks! Oh and by the way, there are alot of close-up shots in this episode. I think it’s supposed to convey intensity, but when you do it all the time, it just looks stupid.

Did you know that mud-wrestling is also an activity we have here? I’d be happy to show it to you personally.

Gambling with rock, paper, scissors. Reminds me of that catfighting tournament in Yakuza 0 where the female you bet on won by sheer jan-ken-pon luck. And somehow, I always guessed wrong in that game, causing the sexy teacher I chose to get split HARD.

You’re my bottom-bitch now, so go get me some motherfucking money.

So the next couple of minutes are basically the two girls playing this pretty intense rock-paper-scissors game, which basically consists of drawing three cards with the moves selected at random and playing them against your opponent. Jabami wins with small bets, but when she goes larger, Saotome tends to take the win herself, and gets a bit of a Prison School/Youjo Senki-esque face in when she starts feeling overconfident. Yeah, I don’t believe for a second that that isn’t going to bite her in the ass very soon, especially when your opponent is a mysterious waifu. And those characters always win no matter what genre they’re in.

Whoa, what’s up with the fourth-wall breaking moment here? Kinda seems out of place in a serious business anime, even if it belongs to the shonen genre.

So Jabami loses all her chips to Saotome, which leads to her betting real moolah in order to continue playing the game, causing the latter to realize that her opponent is more insane than she initially thought. And by a little more insane, I mean that Jabami’s eyes scream that she’s the female version of Nagito Komaeda from Danganronpa. Guess that means she’s going to get just as much of an opposite sex fanbase as the Ultimate Bullshit as well.

“Understatement of my life,” said Nagito whilst he was watching this show.

There is no way in hell this image isn’t going to become a meme sometime down the road.

It doesn’t really take a genius to know that Saotome had rigged the game in her favor so that while she can’t control what hand she gets, she can get the people surrounding her to control which cards are the most common to draw. As such, Jabami decides to put the pressure on her opponent and…okay I have to admit, this girl is kind of funny. Not laugh out loud funny like Komaeda, but funny enough where she’s engaging me as a protagonist.

Given how she probably read the script in advance, I’m guessing so.

Don’t these glowing eyes look like these girls are going to have a laser eye battle in addition to this rock-paper-scissors game?

Of course, Jabami takes the win and humiliates Saotome by deciding not to take her money this time, leaving her a mental wreck. We also learn that Suzui was the one who was giving the signals regarding how to rig the game, which explains why he was standing behind Jabami despite being Saotome’s personal lapdog. Can’t say I didn’t see that coming, but it was still a nice twist.

I am the successor of the School of Ultimate Bullshit. A bet like that was child’s play.

Title drop.

Holy bazongas, this ED is sexual.

The end.

****

Alright, well that was the first episode of Kakegurui, although I might just call it Compulsive Gambler from now on because quite frankly I think that name is more fun to say. And honestly, that was an alright premiere. Animation was good, although the large number of sexual close-ups got ridiculous after a while. I love how the main female is basically just Komaeda except female and not nearly as funny, but still funny enough to be entertaining. I wonder if that bagel meme would fit her the way it does him? Probably not, but it’d be fun to try and acknowledge it sometime in the future.

As far as potential goes, I don’t expect Compulsive Gambler to be any more than fun camp. There’s not much of a story, and most of the entertainment comes from Jabami owning her very crazy and very female opponents with her own brand of bananas, which is fun but it’s not exactly comedic gold. Thank god this show is only twelve episodes long, because honestly I struggle to see how you can make this premise last past Episode 3. Hopefully the original manga hasn’t gotten repetitive after the first volume, but I guess we’ll deal with that when it comes. Plus, maybe the show will surprise me with a hidden side to gambling. But even if it doesn’t, fun camp isn’t too bad to watch.

Anyways, I hope you had fun with this Let’s Watch. Let me know if you want me to do more of this, like the post if you enjoy, subscribe to my blog if you want to keep up with these quickly, donate a dollar a month to my Patreon if you want to help me with hosting fees and such, and look forward to more of my content in the near future.

Speak Up

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s