Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations
It seems as though the show I will be talking about today left just as quick as it came. Kakegurui was indeed an action packed gamble fest, just as advertised, and while my feelings on the show overall are somewhat mixed, there was still plenty that had me enjoying it from beginning to end, including anime’s favorite gambling girl Yumeko.
With that being said, here are my final thoughts:
Gambling has Stakes, Usually
One of the criticisms that was levied against the first season was that it quickly went from an interesting take on the gambling genre to a sort Shonen power fest in which the bets got bigger and more unnecessary for seemingly no reason other than trying to cheaply raise stakes. While I don’t fully agree with that criticism, I can certainly understand where it comes from. The show’s first season started out pretty harmlessly, with Yumeko showing that she knows a thing or two about gambling, but by the end of it, people were literally betting away their life in order to play. Now, the reason I don’t fully agree with the criticism is because of Yumeko, who seems to be representative of gambling herself. She’s unpredictable, insane, and always willing to go as far as possible to get the most thrills, and she throws herself on everybody, driving them to go as far as humanly possible. Indeed, Yumeko is the toxicity of gambling embodied in a high school girl, and in that context the insane stakes actually make a lot of sense.
Creating Investment Through Facial Expressions
One of the more consistent, and arguably more famous, elements of Kakegurui is the famous faces of the characters in the show. When any of them are feeling a strong emotion, or are getting more emotionally invested in their gamble, their faces contort in extremely animated ways. The most famous of these faces is, of course, Yumeko’s herself, but there are plenty of other notable ones.
These faces are effective in a couple of different ways. One, because of their exaggerated nature, it becomes extremely easy to tell the emotions that the characters are feeling, and two, because these faces are generally not pleasant to look at, they make it much easier to feel what the characters are feeling, because in that way they are much more human.
Where Does Ryota Stand in All This?
From the very beginning Ryota has always kind of seemed like an irrelevant character in Kakegurui’s story, which is why the fact that he still has so much screen time kind of bothers me. The only real purpose he’s had in the series in either being Yumeko’s play thing near the end of season one, or helping her by calling other people to come gamble in her place, i.e. Mary near the midpoint of season two. I do think that he is also maybe representative of something, in the same way that Yumeko is, but for as much as I have thought about it nothing really comes to mind. I also do not think he is a bad character, mostly that he’s underdeveloped, which brings me to my last section:
As the show has now caught up with the source material that spawned it, the possibility of a season three soon is unlikely. Because of this, my feelings about the ending are as follows:
I do also hope they do something with Ryota and allow him to grow as a character, cause otherwise he will also be boring and not good.
Kakegurui is a deceptively enjoyable show. Despite having a few somewhat grading downfalls, the show is still enjoyable enough to watch all the way through and feel like it was worth your time, especially if you like anime that revolve around gambling and games. Give it a watch if you have time.
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