Kakegurui – Episode 5 [The Woman Who Became Human]

Well this was a pretty awesome episode! The remainder of the game takes up the entire episode, and Kiwatari spends much of it being taunted and  made to suffer as payback for being such an asshole. *evil laugh* 

I also severely underestimated Tsubomi’s importance. It turns out she’s being manipulated by Kiwatari and helping him cheat. Depending on how she lays her cards on the table, she tells him which suit her card is. This helps him guess whether she’ll have a “pig” (two cards that don’t match number or suit) or a “mark” (two cards which do match), and then because he’ll know his own card Kiwatari only has to guess at Mary and Yumeko’s cards.  

Normally the game would stop immediately upon proof of cheating, but Yumeko requests that they all be allowed to continue the game because cheating makes it more exciting. The Student Council secretary who is overseeing the match, Sayaka Igarashi, grants Yumeko’s request.  

As the game continues Kiwatari starts to get more and more freaked out as he realizes that he’s actually accumulated debt, and if he loses the game that debt will become real. Kiwatari puts more and more pressure on Tsubomi to help him win, and it’s clear she would rather do anything else, but she complies anyways. 

Finally the last turn has arrived; everything comes down to this hand. Kiwatari doesn’t understand why Mary and Yumeko aren’t more nervous than they are. Yumeko places a bet despite Mary wanting them to not be active winners. Tsubomi has a good hand and Kiwatari realizes that she could actually win the game over him, so he yells for her to back down. However Yumeko approaches Tsubomi and gets right into her personal space, and has a personal chat with her about how if she doesn’t take a stand at this very moment, Tsubomi will be “livestock” for her entire life. She’ll always allow others to have power and control over her life, and she will never get anything she wants.

Tsubomi gets upset and we see from a flashback that when she was younger, she used to have long, very beautiful hair. It was her pride and joy and a lot of Tsubomi’s personal identity was tied to her appearance. However one day Kiwatari has some of his peers hold Tsubomi captive, and Kiwatari pulls out a pair of scissors and cuts her hair for her. He doesn’t understand why she’s so upset over her hair, and tries to make a comparison of cutting hair to cutting one’s nails when they get long. Since then in order to maintain her mental stability Tsubomi has suppressed all of her emotions and tried to become dead inside, but Yumeko’s words have awakened her dormant feelings and Tsubomi ends up making a bet against Kiwatari.  

The final reveal arrives, and everyone shows their cards. Yumeko has a “pig” hand, meaning Tsubomi wins the round. Sayaka announces the results, and it’s not what either Tsubomi or Kiwatari had been expected (Mary wins). Naturally Kiwatari is upset, moreso when Yumeko and Mary start laughing at him, so the girls are forced to explain their devious plan.  

Prior to the start of the match, Yumeko and Mary went to Student Council to announce the debts they’d be playing the game with. It’s assumed that everyone would list their full, accurate debt – why wouldn’t they? But therein lies the twisted nature of Mary and Yumeko’s plan. Yumeko only announced a fraction of her total debt (50 million of 310 million yen), whereas Mary announced more than what she actually owed (310 million yen instead of 50 million yen). And then the girls switched their boards with each other, throwing off anyone whom they’d be playing with. Kiwatari was unable to pick up on this switch, leading him to think that Yumeko’s chips were worth more when for this game they actually weren’t worth much. He’d been aiming to collect Yumeko’s chips, but he should’ve been aiming for Mary’s instead.  

So with Mary in first place, her debt is cleared. Tsubomi comes in second and her debt is unchanged. Yumeko comes in third, meaning her 310 million yen debt is switched with Kiwatari’s, and that insane sum is now his debt. (Yumeko owes ponly 30 million yen, according to Sayaka at the end of the episode.) 

When Kiwatari flips out, Sayaka smugly tells him that there’s no rule stating participants have to place their own debt board in front of themselves. So technically Mary and Yumeko didn’t break any rules. Mary taunts Kiwatari again and he goes to hit her, but because this is his third violent gesture towards another student, Sayaka tasers the asshole. As Kiwatari lies on the ground twitching and trembling, she tells him that he now owes 310 million yen to the Student Council, and if he cannot pay up then he will become “livestock”. Ha-ha! 

As she and Mary leave the room, Yumeko encourages Tsubomi to not forget her lively, reinvigorated spirit that she displayed earlier in the match. Even though Tsubomi came in second and didn’t switch her debt, still owing 20 million yen, but her brush with Yumeko has awakened something inside of her. Now Tsubomi knows she doesn’t just have to lie down and take everything that Kiwatari or other assholes shove her way.  

Elsewhere in the school, Mary collects her cheque from Ryouta (he’d been given her leftover funds from the gamble, or something like that) and tries to leave, but Yumeko stops her by giving her a huge hug and coping a feel. Yumeko asks to be allowed to call Mary by her first name, implying that they are close friends now, and Mary allows it.  

At the end of the episode, Sayaka enters the Student Council’s chambers and approaches the empty chair where the Student Council president would normally sit. Sayaka internally questions her decision to allow Yumeko to do her own thing, even though that ideally the Student Council wanted either Yumeko or Kiwatari to wipe the other person out, and that’s exactly what happened.  

 

My thoughts: I love seeing assholes getting exactly what they deserve. >:D  Serves Kiwatari right! I hope that we get to see Tsubomi her newly discovered sense of freedom later in the series, I feel like that would be a nice touch.  

Yumeko continues to fascinate me as a character. Money does not motivate her actions or behaviours – she behaves the way that she does simply because she’s a compulsive gambler and she loves the thrill of an exciting game. I’m looking forward to learning more about her backstory later in the season, as it’s been alluded to several times that she has some kind of mysterious origins that warrant her being monitored by the Student Council.  

On a side note, it seems that our dear miss Sayaka might have feelings for the Student Council president. I mean the last time I saw a character blush and caress a throne so tenderly, I was watching Kintaro hug toilets in Golden Boy.  Maybe they’ll get together by the end of the season?

 

Author’s Note: Due to a championship game being aired in Kakegurui’s timeslot for the next several weeks, episode 6 won’t be released until August 19th, and episode 7 will be released the next day. I don’t know yet if Berry and I will review these together or cover them as two separate reviews, but just know that when you don’t see a new Kakegurui review for a few weeks, it’s not because we’ve forgotten!  ;D 

 Also my apologies for this episode being late. I’m still trying to balance unpacking, blogging and working, and I do get forced to sleep now and then. >_<;;

 

Nikolita

Just an animanga-loving social worker. I've been watching anime for almost 20 years - ask me about my favourites! I've been to Japan twice and would live there in a heartbeat if I could.

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