Kakegurui Twin Review

Kakegurui Twin Review

Kakegurui Twin anime series cover art
Kakegurui Twin

New Student Mary Saotome

Kakegurui Twin (賭ケグルイ双) is a prequel ONA to the main Kakegurui series. In case you aren’t aware, ONA stands for Original Net Animation. It’s like an OVA, Original Video Animation, but released online (in this case, on Netflix).

As a prequel, Kakegurui Twin doesn’t follow Yumeko. She’s not at Hyakkou Private Academy yet. Instead, it follows Mary Saotome, one of the main series’ supporting characters. But, why is it called Twin? Mary has a twin-tail hairstyle. That’s why one of the strokes in the character for Twin (双) is the same color as her hair.

Now, it’s been years since I watched the main Kakegurui series. The first season came out way back in 2018 and the sequel came out in 2020. So, I don’t exactly remember how it started off. I don’t remember if Yumeko comes in partway through the first year or at the start of the second.

Tsuzura viewing Mary as her prince from the anime series Kakegurui Twin
Tsuzura viewing Mary as her prince

But, in Twin, Mary seems to come into the school partway through her first year. By the time she enters the school, the hierarchy has already been established. There are winners and there are losers (pets). And, obviously, Mary wants to be a winner.

The thing is, Mary is pretty different in this series compared to how she is in the main series. She’s not entirely a different person. But, in the main series, she’s a lot more twisted. She’s no Yumeko. But, she has her moments when she goes off the rails. We don’t see that in Twin.

Twin’s version of Mary is much nicer as a person. She has friends whom she cares about. She wants to save Tsuzura Hanatemari from her fate as a pet. And, she treats both Tsuzura and Yumiki as her equals. That’s not the Mary I know.

The Pet Girl of Hyakkaou

Let me explain the pet system of Hyakkaou for those of you who are new to Kakegurui or have simply forgotten. Hyakkaou is a private school where gambling decides the hierarchy of students. And, if you go into debt, you become a pet.

Pets are second-class citizens within the school. It’s completely okay for other students to bully and take advantage of them. And, the only way to stop being a pet is to pay off your debt to the student council. However, you can’t do that whenever you please. There are specific dates on which payment is due.

So, this brings us to Mary’s best friend, Tsuzura Hanatemari. At the start of the series, Tsuzura is a pet with a million yen in debt. However, Tsuzura comes from a wealthy family and has no issue lending Mary large amounts, like 500,000 yen. So, how is she in debt?

Mikura Sado and Sachiko Juraku from the anime series Kakegurui Twin
Mikura Sado and Sachiko Juraku

Anyway, Tsuzura is one of the two main pets of this season. Unfortunately, she’s the worse of the two. She doesn’t really have any redeeming qualities and is only there to be Mary’s right hand. Kind of like how the male lead in the main Kakegurui series was to Yumeko.

The better of the two main pets is Mikura Sado. She’s the personal pet of Sachiko Juraku, an upperclassman and student council member. Sachiko is the primary antagonist of this prequel. But, it’s Mikura who’s actively working against Mary at every turn.

You see, Mikura is a complete masochist. She wants nothing more than to be used and abused by Sachiko. And, when Sachiko starts taking an interest in Mary, Mikura feels threatened. She needs to ensure Mary fails in all her gambles to Sachiko will lose interest in her.

Gambling to the Top

In this section, I want to cover some of the bad things about Kakegurui Twin. But, I want to preface it by saying that I enjoyed this series, as you’ll see from my final rating.

My first complaint is that — most of the time — this show looks like garbage. In the picture above, you’ll notice a greenish tint. Well, that greenish tint is present for a large percentage of the anime. And, you may recognize it from some of Mappa’s other shows, like the first season of Jujutsu Kaisen.

Second, and something I mentioned a bit already, the characters aren’t very good. Mary feels like a watered-down version of herself. And, the new characters are all pretty boring. Alongside Tsuzura, Yukimi Togakushi is also one of Mary’s friends. She’s as bland as can be. The only good thing about her is the way she bounces in the ED.

Yukimi, Mary, and Tsuzura from the anime series Kakegurui Twin
Yukimi, Mary, and Tsuzura

The antagonists aren’t any better. I already mentioned that Sachiko Juraku is the main antagonist. But, there’s also a secondary antagonist, fellow student council member Aoi Mibuomi. Neither of these antagonists plays a very active role in the series. They just set up gambles and let others participate.

The third issue I have is that Twin doesn’t feel like a complete series. It’s only six episodes long and doesn’t have a real conclusion. Maybe that’s because it actually isn’t complete. I have no idea. But, it can’t go on forever since it will run into the main series at some point.

By the end of these six episodes, Mary hasn’t defeated either of the student council members in her way. There’s no satisfying ending where she beats one of them or even loses to them. It just kind of ends — and not even with Yumeko’s introduction.

Final Thoughts

Even with the problems I have with Kakegurui Twin, I still gave it a 7/10. Kakegurui is still a fun anime to watch. The gambles in this prequel weren’t as exciting as some of those from the main series. But, I think that’s mainly because Yumeko and her over-the-top reactions weren’t involved.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

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