Kakegurui××

Kakegurui××

Kakegurui×× anime series cover art
Kakegurui××

Season Overview

Kakegurui×× (賭ケグルイ××) is the second season of the Kakegurui anime. And I’m going to start this review off by saying that I think it was worse than the first season overall. It had the same problems as the first season, and everything it added seemed to harm the series rather than help it.

Just like the first season, the second season takes place at Hyakkao Private Academy, a school that apparently has no classes and in which the students gamble all day instead. There are also no teachers, obviously, and the gambles the students partake in only have the highest of stakes, such as their lives.

So with all of that said, if you liked the first season, you’ll probably still like this one. And if you didn’t like the first season, you probably won’t like this one either. It’s equally as absurd, and once again, the stakes of the gambles don’t actually matter in any way.

But what sets this season apart from the first is the introduction of the “Momobami clan.” Kirari and Ririka Momobami, the president and vice president of the student council respectively, are members of the main branch of this clan as you can probably tell by their family name.

The plot of this season is that Kirari has decided to give up both her position as the school president and as the next head of the clan. And so, a bunch of Momobami clan members from the branch families transfer to the school to defeat her in gambling and take her place. Also, they all have different family names ending with “bami.”

Thus begins the election arc, which is the focus of Kakegurui××.

What was Good About Kakegurui××?

There’s not really that much I would say was good, or better, about season two compared to season one. It had some interesting gambles that I enjoyed because they were unique and surprisingly complex. But again, since the stakes don’t actually matter in this series, that does take away from the excitement of the gambles a bit.

For example, there’s one gamble involving a five-story tower that I thought was pretty interesting. And the mere fact that the president would construct this massive building for the sake of a simple gamble just goes to show how extra this series is. But, the end of that gamble was so unsatisfying that it cast a shadow on the whole thing.

So as for the things that were actually good about this season, the main one that comes to mind is Mary Saotome’s role. I’ve liked Mary ever since the first season, but she’s always kind of been a secondary character. In this season, however, Mary decides that she’s going to go all out and attempt to win the election for student council president.

Mary Saotome and the vice president from the anime series Kakegurui××
Mary Saotome and the vice president

Aside from the fact that I just like Mary as a character, it was refreshing to see her break free from just being one of Yumeko’s underlings. She still works alongside Yumeko as she did in the first season, but she’s also making moves of her own, which was a refreshing change in a series all about once-powerful characters being beaten into submission by Yumeko’s gambling.

The other thing I think may be better in this season is the OP. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the OP of the first season, and it is better animated. But after a lot of consideration, I think I like the visual style and song of the second season more. Also, it just seems to fit the series better than the first OP did.

What was Bad About Kakegurui××?

The introduction of the Momobami clan was probably the worst part of this season because it led to many other issues. But even if we ignore those other issues for now, I just don’t think any of the new clan members were very interesting characters. And a large part of that comes from them generally being portrayed as a cohesive group rather than as individuals.

Rei Batsubami was the one member of the clan who was given a decent amount of characterization, and she actually turned out to be the worst one of all. Apparently Rei was an anime original character, and I have to say her inclusion was a bad decision for a number of reasons.

First, it was really strange how they tried to make her gender being revealed a big deal when it literally made no difference. Second, her whole motivation is just standard revenge — so that’s not interesting. And third, when she was defeated at the end of the season, I just didn’t care. There was no reason for me to care about her defeat.

Members of the Momobami clan from the anime series Kakegurui××
Members of the Momobami clan

The last thing I want to mention that was bad about this season is something the first season did as well: not finishing the arc.

Maybe the source material leaves the end of each arc unfinished too, I don’t know. But what I do know is that it makes for some extremely unsatisfying season endings. The first season ended with Yumeko only defeating about half of the student council. And for some reason, this season didn’t continue that student council arc — it started the election arc instead.

Then, at the end of this season, Rei is defeated, but the election arc is far from over. And what makes this development even worse is that I’m pretty confident that if there is a third season, it won’t finish this arc just as this season didn’t finish the arc from season one.

Also, I’m not saying that the arcs conclude off-screen. I’m saying that they just abruptly cut off and aren’t finished at all. Yumeko didn’t gamble against the other student council members between seasons one and two. That whole plotline was just dropped.

Conclusion

In the end, I considered giving Kakegurui×× a 5, but I did enjoy my time watching it, so I’ll bump it up to a 6/10. That puts it one point below the first season, which I think is pretty fair considering it was effectively a worse version of the exact same thing.

Also, while I mentioned that I like the OP for this season more than that of the first season, the same isn’t true for the ED. The ED of season one is far superior when compared to the ED of season two. I’m generally not someone who skips OPs/EDs, and even after watching the ED after all 12 episodes, it still didn’t grow on me.

The only good part of the ED was the implied kiss between Yumeko and Mary.

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