Random Curiosity

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Kakegurui – 02

「つまんない女」 (Tsumannai Onna)
“Boring Girl”

I’m not going to lie — if you have or know someone who has an actual gambling addiction, don’t be like Yumeko. All jokes aside, it’s a little chilling just how much this show triggers my gambling addiction sense with the way it perfectly personifies what the word “gambling addiction” means.

The Meaning of Addiction

I’m not qualified to really speak about this, but I can give the perspective of someone who’s witnessed firsthand just how terrible a gambling addiction can be. Starting with some groundwork, I never realized that a majority of the world goes through their everyday life without even considering the thought of heading to the casino, bar, or even gas station and throwing down some money on video poker. Growing up in the city of sin, it’s still a little surprising to see that outside of Las Vegas is a distinct lack of gambling and gambling machines. Sure there may be some reservations that have something that “resembles” a casino, but they’re nothing in comparison to the lights and sounds of a bona fide casino that’s designed to make you spend money while subconsciously coercing you to keep spending more and more. The stories I could tell of watching someone spiral into debt while gambling all too often start with the innocent premise of the thrill of winning only to quickly turn into a sea of depression and self destruction as someone tries to chase that ever fleeting high. I use those two examples specifically because it’s a vicious cycle where one can feel terrible about themselves for losing money only to then do just about anything to get more money to once again gamble it in hopes of winning it all back. Except this is a game that’s designed to make you lose and not only will this person feel even worse about losing more money, but now they have to deal with the fact that they did whatever they could to get that money. And the worst part about it all? They’ll keep on doing it until either their body gives up or they’re able to find some real help.

What it Means

Now, you might be wondering why I brought all this up for a show like Kakegurui — it’s a terrifyingly accurate description of the hidden dangers of gambling that I’m surprised I didn’t catch during the first episode. Looking at Saotome and what she ended up doing by the end of this week’s episode, it’s all too clear that she’s fallen into a pit that only gets deeper and deeper the more she struggles to attain what she once had. The “dog” system that the school employs is a wonderful example of what happens to people who end up in debt because of gambling — they are viewed like scum by the people who “could” help them and are forced to wallow in their despair as they try to figure out how to escape it all. And don’t even get me started on the whole aspect of the student council being the terrible people at the top of it all who understand how to pray on these types of people and have made an incredibly lucrative industry doing so.

The show doesn’t only cover the bad though — Suzui is, I think, a great example of the ray of light that anyone in this situation can find. Someone who’s experienced what it’s like to drink from the holy grail of gambling, fall to its influences, and then get lucky enough to get pulled out from it all. As the male “lead” who gets dragged along to all of Yumeko’s outings, I’m expecting to him to be the stone we need to keep us near reality as we see things get crazier as the stakes rise even higher.

Finally, this was all in preparation to talk a little about Yumeko, the pure representation of what it feels like to be on the winning side of gambling. The literal “deal with the devil”, watching her reminded me of how it felt to be sitting at a poker machine and somehow managing to hit 4 aces while playing 3 simultaneous hands. Sure, she may be overcoming adversity by seeing through whatever trick the other party is trying to play on her, but if you really think about it those tricks are exactly what casinos try to employ — pushing the odds as far away from the player as possible. Luckily, it’s clear that Yumeko is simply a gambling monster that gets so excited about the notion of making a wager that she’ll literally scream out in ecstasy should the opportunity appear. A fact that not only allows us to view her as someone who’s been designed to take on the obstacles this show has made for our viewing pleasure, but truly helps us normalize what’s going on. If I were to make a guess, I’d say that the contrast between her and Suzui in conjunction to everything else that’s going on is really what makes this show entertaining.

Looking Ahead

Anyways, sorry if things got a little serious here. The show managed to remind me about some of the darker things I’ve seen and if anything I wish I could praise it even more for doing such a great job at doing it. On a quick random side note, it’s actually rather amazing when I think about those hyper realistic faces as a representation of our inner selves when we’re in “winner takes all” mentality (which is what every gambling situation thus far has been). In any case, I’ll probably catch you guys next week. See you later!

P.S. No I don’t have a gambling problem. I’m lucky to have seen some of the terrible consequences of that life and have a good enough grasp on my own addictive behavior to just stand up and leave when I’ve gone through whatever amount I’ve brought to have fun. :)

 

Preview

July 11, 2017 at 12:12 am
23 comments »
  • July 11, 2017 at 12:30 ammaou

    http://randomc.net/image/Kakegurui/Kakegurui%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2029.jpg

    woah….just once..i really want to cornering people until they’re like this.

    • July 11, 2017 at 12:57 amTakaii

      Same.

    • July 11, 2017 at 2:47 amzero5889

      Best kabedon ever.

  • July 11, 2017 at 1:08 amOne Pinch Man

    A highly prestigious school that focus on something specific, extremely high stakes duel, and student council with absolute authority. This is Shokugeki no Soma with gambling.

    http://randomc.net/image/Kakegurui/Kakegurui%20-%2002%20-%2020.jpg
    So our main guy here is the “Speedwagon” of this series and Yumeko is the real main character.

  • July 11, 2017 at 1:17 amyoloalchemist

    Why? Just why do I love the insanity here?! This is mesmerizing!!

  • July 11, 2017 at 2:33 amNN4

    Does the broken doll mean that doll maker’s daughter went and made one just to brake it? Harsh…

  • July 11, 2017 at 2:51 amUrahara

    Wait guys , since you all are praising this episode let me play the tenth man and criticize some of it
    First this was identical in every aspect to the previous episode , we have the cheating , over confident , never lost (heavily) before student . MC playing dumb , losing games to figure out patterns , asking for a rematch ( which surprisingly they all agree to ) just to clean sweep the day
    Second the MC feels omnipotent , I’m not gonna be thrilled if I know she is not in danger of losing , especially since the winning pattern is all the same
    Third I really don’t like the fact that they are sexualizing their gambling addiction , I mean come on they are 2 very different things
    Fourth where are the good losers ? everyone cries and goes on a downward spiral once they lose , I mean yeah some people are like that but what about their counterparts ?
    Fifth I know that cheating is the attractive choice but does this academy have some real gamblers ? some who enjoy gambling with out having to resort to cheating because not everything is about winning ?
    P.S. I liked the first episode a lot but now that we have seen the second , some worrying patterns are starting to emerge

    • July 11, 2017 at 5:05 amGoodwill

      Your criticisms are fair, but I personally don’t think it’s enough to break this series.

      I think she has a fair chance of losing because the one thing to realize and she kind of lampshades it, that she’s winning because her opponents were cheating, because her opponents, through trying to get the upper hand also left their hands visible. Now, if she were to play a “fair” game, theoretically she has the chance to lose. But regardless of whether she wins or lose, it is most likely she’ll be on top at the end of the season. Overall, I think whether a character wins or lose is very superficial especially when the outcome is so obvious. As long as the execution is right, I don’t think it matters if she wins every match effortlessly.

      I have no problem with them sexualizing gambling addiction. If they didn’t, I don’t think this series would have that “wow” factor. It’s the only reason I’m watching it for the crazy, exaggerated, and ecstatic expressions. If I wanted to watch down to earth gambling, I’d go to a casino. Anime only works when the directors and producers take advantage of the fact it is anime and not another medium.

      We are only 2 episodes in… I don’t think it’s fair to say we should know how everyone is. However, I don’t think it’s a bad thing that there aren’t any “normal” losers here. If I wanted to see a normal loser, I’d go flip a coin with my mates. Sorry, but I’m gonna beat the “this is anime, not real life card” card into the ground and the, if you don’t like it, don’t watch it.

      Well, Yumeko hasn’t cheated yet and so far, her whole character is about finding an actual gambling challenge. Although she has pretty much won the matches so far because her opponents were cheating. Again, guess we’ll wait and see if there will be any “fair” gambling matches. But if you done your research on gambling, you know it’s anything but “fair”. It’s also worth noting that this anime probably going to be about gambling, not games. So it’s good to make that distinction.

      (my god my sentence structure is awful, too lazy to fix it up though)

      • July 11, 2017 at 10:19 amUrahara

        Really ? you don’t give a damn if you know who will win and how ?
        also I don’t have anything against the slightly annoying exaggerated expressions but orgasms ? I mean come on
        and , speaking about my self here , I watch anime for the fantasy settings not unreal characters , I want the characters to be real but the worlds they are in to be the product of imagination

    • July 11, 2017 at 11:03 amHalfDemonInuyasha

      “First this was identical in every aspect to the previous episode , we have the cheating , over confident , never lost (heavily) before student . MC playing dumb , losing games to figure out patterns , asking for a rematch ( which surprisingly they all agree to ) just to clean sweep the day”

      Honestly, a lot of anime series are actually like that in one way or another; even highly praised ones. They tend to follow an easy, recognizable pattern for the first few episodes to get people in and settled before moving onto different things.

      “Second the MC feels omnipotent , I’m not gonna be thrilled if I know she is not in danger of losing , especially since the winning pattern is all the same”

      Unfortunately, that’s also a pretty common thing in anime, especially ones that have to do with competitive games. But like Gamble Fish (this is very similar to it, including the whole “MC gets more excited the riskier the gambling can be”), I wouldn’t expect the pattern to be the same for very long before Yumeko starts facing actual, serious competition that can put even her on the spot, though given this episode, I’d expect it to largely just be the Student Council members who will do it as opposed to other “peon” students.

      “Third I really don’t like the fact that they are sexualizing their gambling addiction , I mean come on they are 2 very different things”

      Eh, it’s anime. And I’m sure there are people out there who can get turned on via the endorphin rush brought on by the situation getting more extreme. Weird, but possible.

      “Fourth where are the good losers ? everyone cries and goes on a downward spiral once they lose , I mean yeah some people are like that but what about their counterparts?

      Fifth I know that cheating is the attractive choice but does this academy have some real gamblers ? some who enjoy gambling with out having to resort to cheating because not everything is about winning ?”

      You have to consider the very set up of things at the school – how well you gamble and how much money you make is what determines your overall standing in the school and quite possibly beyond (depending on how good or bad things get), so knowing that even one bad enough loss can cause you to be seen as even beneath human and make you lose “everything”, it’s no surprise that a lot of students, even if they started as “good losers”, would quickly end up losing hope while others would quickly resort to cheating to better ensure their (rising) standing rather than risk playing fair and losing badly, unless they are just THAT good, like Yumeko.

      There’s also the fact that this episode brought up how things weren’t always this bad, but only became as such after the current Student Council President took over the position from the previous one through gambling, so there probably were a lot more gracious losers who were able to keep themselves from falling down a huge spiral.

      • July 11, 2017 at 12:46 pmUrahara

        well yes , but I don’t want it to be another anime , I have very high expectations of shows with bizarre mature concepts
        sometimes being ok is not ok ( if that makes sense )

    • July 11, 2017 at 11:22 am51

      This guy says that with a Bleach icon LOL
      Kay, have fun missing out. Bye babe!

      • July 11, 2017 at 12:44 pmUrahara

        FYI I hate bleach ! I’d have to list my top 200 anime for it to be mentioned , I just love how cool this character looks
        next time don’t judge so quickly and try not to throw irrelevant facts :)

  • July 11, 2017 at 4:37 amraxar

    I’m in for the deranged character so I’m pretty okay if the pattern of: Yumeko challenged -> lose once/almost lose -> turn the table and win big is repeated throughout the series, but I guess many will not like it.

    While what Takaii said about Suzui makes sense (someone that managed to escape deep debt and a contrast to Yumeko), Suzui is just like a surrogate for the viewer, and gives impression that he’ll be dragged around by Yumeko throughout the entire series (Yumeko paid his debt after all), maybe Suzui will stand up to Yumeko at some point? That’d be nice (though I’m not sure he can win).

  • July 11, 2017 at 4:41 ambaby

  • July 11, 2017 at 9:13 amTheDude

    I watch this series for the depraved, disgusting expressions. Yuneko’s orgasms are a bonus.

    • July 11, 2017 at 12:41 pmArche

      This guy gets it. Kakegurui isn’t a series you read/watch for the mindgames, you view it in order to see girls cream themselves over the concept of gambling

  • July 11, 2017 at 10:32 amChoya

    I can see Kakegurui falling into the same trap of just being a string of one-sided gambling battles, but one thing that draws me into it is how far the series wants to go with it. Where we’d go from gambling fingernails away to almost putting a student’s family company on the line. Just how extreme they take gambling and the satsifaction Jabami gets from taking a bid to its highest extremes brings out the darker aspects of gambling that makes the show twisted, but enthralling.

    Seeing how far Mary got in debt was pretty devastating to see though because it does show how desperation can lead those with gambling addiction to push for a victory through a pile of losses and a steadily increasing amount of debt. I can relate when I get crappy pulls from the FTP currency I rack up in mobile games. Looks like I’ll grind in dungeons for another month so I don’t spend real life money on these shitty games T_T. But then, after RNG takeths, RNG giveths with some sweet characters and weapons. I’m not prone to gambling addiction, but some folks throw down thousands on these games, and it’s easy to see why. It’s just that chasing the dragon is never worth it in the long run.

    On a different note, I love the music in this series. Like all the background music that plays during conversations and battles. Whoever did it did a great job at making some memorable tracks.

    • July 11, 2017 at 10:41 amUrahara

      This man here knows what he’s saying
      ILY Choya !

  • July 11, 2017 at 4:43 pmChris hall

    reat anime so far

  • July 11, 2017 at 9:55 pmZen

    Oh, the vicious Pavlovian cycle of gambling addiction. That the losers are labelled “dogs” is quite apt…

  • July 12, 2017 at 11:56 pmMadarame

    Wow… a bit of that Higurashi no naku koro ni vibe snuck in this episode! Like how the characters are all somewhat twisted to begin with — not supposed innocents entrapped in another’s game.

  • July 14, 2017 at 7:32 pmlunascha

    Oh man, this makes gambling into a whole new level. I never gambled and I don’t want to but watching it is so much fun lol But seriously though, everyone here are crazy xD

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