First Impressions – Kakegurui XX

Kakegurui XX (賭ケグルイXX) – Compulsive Gambler XX
Animation Studio: MAPPA Premiere Date: January 8th, 2019
No. of Episodes: 13 Airing Time: Tuesdays at 2:30 am (JST)
Genre: Thriller, School-Life Airing Channel: MBS
Information Links: AniDB, ANN Encyclopedia, MyAnimeList, syoboi, Wikipedia

Welcome back everyone!

I hope everyone has had a happy new year. Just a general announcement, a lot of stuff happened and with the massive workload, I’ve just decided to drop the Release the Spyce and Ulysses episode reviews. However, I will still do final series reviews on them both and make sure to finish both the Kitsune no Koe and Boarding School Juliet episode reviews.

Okay, so the first anime of the Winter 2019 that we will be covering is Kakegurui XX. Kakegurui XX is the sequel series to the original 2017 anime series ‘Kakegurui’ which is based on the manga with the same name. It is set in a prestigious private academy called “Hyakkaou Private Academy,” a school where wealthy families send their kids to learn how to become successful businessmen, politicians and celebrities. During the day, it acts like a normal school, however after school, all of the students engage in high stakes gambling games where students who fall into debt either become a “Mike (Cat)” if they are female or a “Pochi (Dog)” if they are male and are made to serve the winner as their slave until they can pay off their debt. Ryota Suzui (Jap: Tatsuya Tokutake; Eng: Griffin Burns) is one such student who has been made into a Pochi by Mary Saotome (Jap: Minami Tanaka; Eng: Kira Buckland). All of a sudden, Ryota’s world is turned upside-down by the arrival of Yumeko Jabami (Jap: Saori Hayami; Eng: Erika Harlacher), a new female transfer student who normally acts cute and playful, but becomes a terrifyingly scary Kakegurui or “compulsive gambler” during her gambling matches, hence the show’s title. During her first game, Yumeko successfully defeats Mary and gives Ryota his freedom back. The story continues with Yumeko revealing her goal of taking down the student council led by Kirari Momobami (Jap: Miyuki Sawashiro; Eng: Michelle Ruff) and participating in multiple games against them.

So that’s the general recap of the first series. Kakegurui XX then picks up from where the original ending left off, (albeit skipping an arc in the manga) with Kirari Momobami summoning members from the other branch families in her family to take down Yumeko Jabami. The first one to challenge both Yumeko and Midari Ikishima (a member of the current student council) is Erimi Mushibami (Ayane Taketatsu) who challenges them to a guillotine chicken type game where all three players slip one of their fingers into one of the holes of the miniature guillotine and try to cut one of the strings on the sides of it. If they cut the wrong string, then the guillotine will fall down and slice off their fingers (Ugh). After a grueling match which tests Erimi’s mentality, the game ends with Yumeko winning, Ikishima disqualified and Erimi forfeiting.

While Kakegurui is an enjoyable anime, it is definitely not one for the faint of heart. The animation and the levels of gruesomeness in it, is not something that everyone will enjoy, but if you do like shows like Prison School then you will definitely like this anime. The psycho expressions on some of these characters are amazing in a “Wow” sense and Yumeko is such a delightfully evil and seductive character that most viewers will either fall in love with her or sympathize with Ryota’s vision of her. The new opening and endings are also visually spectacular again and the songs are a delight to the ears. So I highly recommend this to people who like these kinds of shows.

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