Netflix is rolling out quite a bit of anime series this year and I thought it would be pretty difficult to dish out something better than Devilman Crybaby.
I was proven wrong with its new 12 episode series called Kakegurui.
The series centers around a new student in a prestigious high school named Yumeko Jabemi. She becomes acclimated to the unique culture of this school, which revolves around high risk with a higher reward for gambling. Matches either can end with the winner becoming richer, (by the millions or billions), and the loser becoming a house pet if they are unable to repay the debt that is owed to the winner. Yumeko though, quickly displays that she is no weak minded opponent with her strengths in critical thinking and her deep desire to gamble.
Any well versed anime fan will immediately have Higurashi: When They Cry in their heads as emotions change the pupil size, voices, and facial expressions of characters similarly. Although Kakegurui lacks the blood and grizzly violence of Higurashi, it’s made up for with intense levels of suspense, tragic and/or violent backstories, and an amazing soundtrack. Even the English dub is awesome in my opinion since I’ve read 3 volumes of the manga prior to its Netflix launch and seeing and hearing the characters in anime format just adds to my love for this series.
Although the series is primarily dark, there’s a bit of dark comedy thrown about with absurd characters like Midari, a girl who loves Russian Roulette and Yumemi, an independent pop idol who has a secret of her own. This series starts off typical in the vein of “Oh look, this protagonist just so happens to have all the tools to win. Oh look at that, another damn win. Much surprise”, but Yumeko proves to be an intelligent, calculated protagonist that makes episodes keep viewers eager to see the outcome.
I’d highly recommend this show to fans of suspense and thrillers like Higurashi and the anime series Another. Fans who’ve devoured this awesome series already and may be going thru withdrawals shouldn’t fret for Kakegurui is far from over as a second season has been confirmed.
Kakegurui is now streaming on Netflix and available in multiple languages including English.
Rating: 10 out of 10