Tag: Kakegurui

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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Kakegurui×× anime series cover art

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. 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.


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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My review of Kakegurui Twin is available now.



Kakegurui anime cover art
Kakegurui Cover Art


Kakegurui is an anime about gambling. Seems like it should be simple enough, except that the plot makes absolutely no sense. First of all, it’s about a gambling school, which I first thought meant a school where students gamble instead of attending real classes (because anime).

However, that’s not the case. This anime does, in fact, take place at a “normal” school, but between classes and after school, all the students do is gamble with each other. The reason for this is that all of the students are rich children of important people throughout Japan, but is that really a reason?

Now, that alone doesn’t really make sense if you were to stop and think about it, but that’s also not the major flaw in the plot. The school is run by the student council (because anime) and they designate the 100 lowest ranking students (in terms of gambling debt) as “class pets.”

Class pets are considered to be sub-human and it’s expected and encouraged that the rest of the student body abuses them. Again, let me remind you this is still an actual school, so why is this happening? It also seems that all of the students take their gambling and their debts extremely seriously.

Personally, if I lost a bet at a school and was then considered sub-human, I’d probably just not pay off the debt (because there was never any signed contract saying I would in the first place) and I don’t think I’d just go along with being sub-human either.

This never seems to cross the minds of the students, however, since we only see one background character mention thinking about transferring schools due to their debt. Apparently everyone just goes along with what the student council says, including when they create “life plans” for people (again, because anime).

Along with a basic premise that doesn’t really make sense, the gambling in this series doesn’t really have any stakes for the protagonist Yumeko. Because of this, there’s never any real sense of suspense. Sure, another character may be affected, but we know Yumeko will always be just fine.


Yumeko Jabami is the aforementioned protagonist of the series. She loves gambling and doesn’t care whether she wins or loses as long as she has a good time doing so. This is the first problem with her as a character in a gambling anime.

Normally, at the very lowest level, the protagonist in a competitive anime would want to win and so there would at least be a bit of suspense surrounding the possibility of losing. However, Yumeko is equally accepting of a loss and so losing means nothing to her.

Further, even when there are extremely large sums of money on the line, Yumeko doesn’t care because she apparently has a bottomless wallet. This means that even if she loses, she’ll never really be in a bad financial situation, thus making the gambles even less suspenseful.

Ryōta Suzui is one of the two major supporting characters and friend of Yumeko. He doesn’t really seem like he belongs at the school because he isn’t very good at gambling, and he’s in constant fear of losing or messing up.

The other major supporting character is Mary Saotome, the first person Yumeko gambles with when she transfers to the school. Mary is my favorite character of the series, and not just because she’s your classic tsundere with twin tails (although that is a part of it).

While Mary is initially an antagonist of the series, she becomes friends with Yumeko and together they take down the student council one by one. While Yumeko is the main person taking on the student council, Mary is like her co-conspirator and frequently plays major, but unexpected, roles in the gambles.

Next I’ll briefly go over a few of the student council members who I feel are worth mentioning.

The first is Midari Ikishima, the “beautification officer.” She’s the only student at the school who wants to gamble with more than just money, specifically, she wants to gamble with her life and body in a Russian roulette style.

However, there’s one major flaw with Midari’s character as a concept: she carries around revolvers with live ammo in a school and actively tries to get students to play with her. First, why is it okay for her to have guns in school? Second, handguns are illegal for civilians in Japan anyway.

The next student council member I found somewhat interesting was Yumemi Yumemite. She’s a school idol, not unlike those from Love Live! except she hates all of her fans and finds them disgusting. Nothing about her personality really stuck out to me, but I enjoyed her character design.

The final student council member I’ll mention is the president, Kirari Momobami. Although she doesn’t play too big of a role in this season, I did find her to be the most interesting of the antagonists. She isn’t driven by money, but then again, not many of the student council are.

Instead, she’s driven by a thirst for knowledge, although a perversion of that thirst for knowledge. She wants to see things for herself rather than simply read about them in a textbook. An example of this is that she wanted to see what the back of a human eye looked like, which is how Midari lost an eye.

Mary Saotome from the anime Kakegurui
Mary Saotome


Although the plot of this series doesn’t necessarily make sense, and the stakes of the various gambles don’t really matter, I still ended up giving this series a 7/10. Kakegurui looks nice, and is still very entertaining despite its downfalls.

While we don’t really care about the outcomes of the various games played in the series, it’s still fun to watch them just to see how the characters will end up trying to cheat or figuring out the cheat of their opponent.

Further, we tend to view the games from the perspective of the opponent, not Yumeko. This means that every game, we’re seeing a different perspective on gambling and the nature of whatever game is being played. If we saw it all from Yumeko’s perspective, it would probably get old.

Earlier when I was talking about the student council president I used the phrase, “this season.” Based on how the anime ended, it does seem like there will eventually be a second season.

We learned some interesting information about the president and vice president at the end of the anime which seems like it will have a major role in the show going forward. Further, Yumeko never actually gambled against Runa Yomozuki (the loli in the bunny hoodie).

Runa played a role in the final game against the student council president, but I was interested to see what kind of game she would choose to play against Yumeko. All the other members chose a game that fit their persona, so I wonder what hers would have been.

Finally, a word on the OP. I enjoyed both the music and visuals for the OP (especially Mary punching Ryōta in the head), but there was one part that stood out to me. Right before Mary punches Ryōta, we have a panty-shot of Mary.

Normally I wouldn’t think anything of this if it came at some point within an episode, but I found the inclusion of this in the OP to be an interesting choice, especially since we never see anything like that in the series itself. I get that the OP is over-sexualized, but this one scene still stands out from the rest.

The only reason I can think of for the inclusion of the scene there is to foreshadow the fact that Mary is a tsundere because that’s generally something we would see involving that character type. However, an emphasis on something like her twin tails might have also done the trick.

Little details like this are what keep me up at night.

My review of the second season is available here.