Kakegurui Episode 1 (First Impression)

There was no way this girl would be stupid enough to transfer to a school with a tradition in gambling without knowing it. Of course she wasn’t a normal pretty girl. Even her name is strange. Jabami?

But even though Jabami is a strange girl and she showed a terrifying side to her, I don’t think she needs to be feared. Like Suzui said, she didn’t have pity towards him or had any malicious intentions with that money. She really is just a gambling enthusiast.

Hyakkaou Private Academy is a school full of rich kids and a tradition in this school is gambling. One has to question the adults in this school and whether or not they actually allow the gambling to happen or whether the students just do this in hiding. The synopsis of the show just says that status in the school is determined by the winners and losers, and that’s what our main character Suzui says as well.

As for a main character, though I’d consider Jabami the proper main character, Suzui didn’t leave much of an impression on me. Though I felt bad for the poor sap. In the beginning we see as he loses a match against a twisted blonde girl named Mary. He’s in so much debt that he basically becomes her lap dog, a house pet. She orders him around and even uses him as a foot stool and he’s demeaned in every way. I don’t even understand why this guy is in this school because he lacks any sort of confidence. Even though we don’t know him that well, just the way he looks and speaks screams a guy without a backbone. It’s more surprising that this guy attends the school than Jabami because of the type of person he is. His life is a mess right now, but judging from his words in the beginning it sounds like things might change for him later on and it’s most likely Jabami that’s going to help him, or he’s going to look at her as motivation to get his life and status in the school back together.

The episode was surprising that we jumped into the gambling immediately. Mary, the bitch of this episode, asks Jabami to play a rock-paper-scissors game where the students in the class draw whatever symbol they want on a card and put them in a box. The two players pick three cards from the box and choose one to play, and the same rules for rock-paper-scissors apply. And since this is gambling, money is on the line of course.

It was an interesting match to watch. I have to say, it was very satisfying watching Mary get wrecked in front of everyone because she’s just awful. I didn’t know what Jabami was trying to do by betting small amounts and then huge amounts, then 10,000,000 yen. But later we learn that it was pure luck, and Jabami just gets off from the insanity of it all. We know that Jabami is a pro at this based on what she explained to Suzui. She was able to guess that the rest of the class was actually “slaves” to Mary and were aiding in her cheating. Next, she tried to figure out how she was cheating by trying to find a tell, from Mary, an audio cue, one of the students giving a signal. However there were no signs of that, until she noticed that no one was looking at her. Usually all the attention would be placed on the new transfer student taking part in this awful, but all eyes were behind her. And with a hand mirror she was able to see Suzui giving the signal. Pretty smart, but I didn’t notice her using a hand mirror? With her hands holding the cards and with so many people around, surely someone would notice the mirror? That was the only weird part for me, but the actual psychological moments in the game were great. With Jabami around, no game is going to be boring.

I really enjoyed this premiere, this messed up type of atmosphere is fun to watch for me. One thing I have to point out about this show are the facial expressions. The over the top expressions really add to how messed up these students are. They really show the ugly and crazy sides to themselves through their faces so it’s a plus, though they really need to retain their poker face.

These students, like Mary and Jabami, may look cute and normal on the outside but these expressions really show who they are. MAPPA has a very good pedigree and they always tend to deliver when it comes to animation and when this show needs to look good, it really looks good. The OP was strange, but in a good way, the jazz elements is another plus. One thing I did not like were the ass shots and the boob shots in the ED. I don’t understand why that’s necessary unless that speaks to Jabami’s character that she doesn’t give a fuck, but ehhh…that could be a stretch. I hope this type of fanservice won’t be a regular thing because that could get annoying. I think this cast is going to be mostly female so I’m going to cross my fingers that they won’t go crazy with more ass and boob shots. Other than that, this was a great start to the summer season.

Possibility of watching: Guaranteed

Possibility of blogging: High?

So Netflix got the license to Kakegurui so finding subs to this could prove to be tough. A random person decided to sub the first episode so we got lucky, but there’s no guarantee they’ll sub the rest themselves. I’ve always had trouble blogging an anime licensed by Netflix because fansubs would be a little hard to find. With Little Witch Academia I didn’t have much trouble because Asenshu handled it, but back when I was blogging Ajin it was a nightmare as subs for the episodes always came out on different days. So I hope a group like Asenshi or another will dedicate time to actually subbing this. Please. ;_;

I still don’t understand why Netflix releases the episodes to the anime after it finishes airing.

 


Nikolita’s First Impression

Wow, what a neat intro to this series. It reminds me a lot of the opening themes for both Noir and the three episode OVA Read or Die. But what a catchy track! That and the unique animation drew me into the show from within the first few minutes. (Hey, Square Enix is sponsoring this show! Cool!)

I have to agree with Berry on the characters’ facial expressions when they’re gambling, especially their mouths. The students’ expressions twist and contort in such ways that you really get a sense of how depraved these teenagers are, despite their young age.

Many of the characters strike me as having “two sides.” By this I mean that we see normal styles of animation when the students are having their everyday interactions, and then when the gambling starts we start to see the warped facial expressions and foreboding sound effects. I was particularly struck by this realization when Suzui takes Jabami on a tour of the school. Up until that point she had seemed like a very friendly and polite young woman who was maybe a touch naive. However once Suzui mentions gambling, we get the first hint that Jabami is not everything she appears to be. When it comes to gambling, Jabami might be out for blood.

Berry’s already covered the recap, so I won’t bore everyone by repeating her words. I said in this season’s preview that I wanted to watch this show mainly for the psychology, and boy I wasn’t disappointed.

Mary’s words about “reading the flow” of a gambling game and Jabami’s lustful speech about how the fun in gambling is making it crazy (referring to her outrageous bet of 10 million yen) were the highlights of the episode for me. Jabami is correct in that the draw to gambling is beating the odds, being that player in the casino who makes a random bet or a last-ditch spin of the wheel in an effort to win a fortune purely by luck and chance. I also enjoyed Jabami calling Mary out on her cheating, and pointing out all of the reasons why her plan was flawed.

The school (class?) president’s words about Jabami being a “snake in [their] paradise” were intriguing to me, and hint that Jabami is definitely not just an ordinary transfer student. Where does she come from, and why did she transfer to this school of gambling? Why does she love gambling so much?

Another thing that stood out to me in this episode as being unique (or at least uncommon) within the anime genre was Mary breaking the fourth wall to speak directly to the viewer.

I’ll be sticking around for the second episode, and I’ll watch for the availability of the third and fourth episodes. If it seems like getting reliable subs is going to be hard, then I’ll leave this show in Berry’s hands. I would love to be able to co-blog this show because it’s a unique premise and I love the psychological aspects woven into it, but I’ve covered at least one title with unreliable subs before and honestly life’s too short for that shit.

 

Possibility of Watching: Medium
Possibility of Blogging: Depends on whether there’s reliable subs

 

 

 

Berry

We're all just a bunch of weebs

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4 Responses

  1. renxkyoko says:

    Now I’ve really seen all…. I expect school for heroes, witches, etc, but I think a school for gamblers is too much to take.

    • Berry says:

      But you have to admit that this is one of the more unique school settings, a concept not done repeatedly. ;)
      Even though it’s kind of nonsensical;;;

  2. zztop says:

    I read some of the source manga. The insane faces are aplenty there.

  3. kinghumanity says:

    Will we get to hear Miyuki Sawashiro as a defeated pet being used by her victors?
    Because I will immediately buy a box set if that happens.

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