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Kakegurui – 12 (END)

「賭ケグルイの女」 (Kakegurui no Onna)
“Gambling Woman”

Well, certainly a conventional ending for the insanity. No denying Kakegurui gave what us what we wanted in plentiful crazy faces and ridiculous mental wrangling again, but I cannot help feeling something was missing for this finale. The great final showdown, the one thing teased heavily for over six weeks, came down to a set of tarot cards and a little Suzui magic? Sure we maybe have been spoiled with the dual episode games and outrageous bets, but I was hoping for something a little more sophisticated. It makes sense in terms of encouraging viewers to read the manga and leave space for a sequel if deemed necessary, but goddammit we had two perfect people for the ultimate match of betting doom! Leaving the academy is somewhat crazy (for a girl like Yumeko), but couldn’t we have received just a little more crazy?

For all my sadness though, it wasn’t that bad an episode. Every important character had their moment in the sun, Suzui found out what happens when you let Yumeko take the wheel, and the Jojo references (intended or not) were very real. We also had a game which more or less came down to chance (Runa conveniently hid the evidence) and let both poster girls literally go wild. It may not have been the best episode to date, but there’s no denying Kakegurui still knows how to put on a show.

Final Impressions

Out of everything I covered this season, Kakegurui had to be the best entertainment-wise. This show was pure ecstasy, giving us more reaction faces than we know what to do with and showcasing some downright nasty suspense and psychology. While there were themes on the dangers of compulsive gambling and the tricks behind games of chance, this was one show where the flash was meant to replace the substance. Pure popcorn entertainment, no holds barred.

What particularly helped Kakegurui succeed was its emphasis on psychology. Everything always came down to the players’ mentalities and how they best coped with uncertainty and changing circumstance. The games might be important in determining how victory is achieved, but unlike say Kaiji they were never more than window dressing; this show was all about how the players mentally dealt with and figured each other out. Considering Kakegurui as only a gaming show would be missing its entire purpose and likely lead to disappointment. A lot of the games did not make sense or seemed poorly thought out because they never had to be perfect or realistic. So long as each game could set up a situation that let its players’ personalities shine and get us wanting more, it had accomplished its goal. Much like the school setting (which is pretty ludicrous), we were not meant to take any of Kakegurui’s background material seriously—this show was all about the suspense. As with horror series, it’s a love or hate thing.

Now while I may be singing Kakegurui’s praises, the show is certainly not without its flaws. Yumeko for example could be considered Mary Sue-esque in terms of victories. Little miss crazy largely faced off against single minded opponents who she would beat after a little foreplay. The script did change at times (i.e. Yumeko losing, draws occurring, or third party interference), but Kakegurui was more or less linear in nature. Normally such things grow boring after a while, but Kakegurui also successfully kept its material varied. Each game was radically different from the previous, so while Yumeko may have “won”, the experience always felt unique and fresh. Sure the single season run helped in condensing the material and keeping the pace up too, but a good chunk of Kakegurui’s weekly staying power was in its vivid imagination. It’s not often we get raving, masochistic immolators alongside realistic idols and nail-obsessed wannabes in the same show after all. Because the entire package provided a fun overall experience, the issues of story setup or character quirks/problems (looking at you Midari) could mostly be overlooked.

It may not have been the best show this season, but Kakegurui will definitely stick with me for a while to come. This was suspense and intrigue done right, an example of how to be fun and entertaining without worrying too much over the details. I’m not sure it could pull it off again should we get a sequel in the future (only so many game setups or character types out there after all), but I definitely wouldn’t turn my nose up at a round two. Sometimes you just want a bit of crazy, and Kakegurui gladly gives that in spades.

September 25, 2017 at 9:24 pm
27 comments »
  • September 25, 2017 at 9:36 pmDevastator001

    Yumeko’s orgasm face after Suzui’s declaration face still gives me a chuckle toll now XD. Can’t wait for her Nendo’s prototype to come out XD

  • September 25, 2017 at 9:57 pmMayhamer

    If I may be honest, this has to be the worst and most disappointing episode I’ve seen this whole season, and for this to be the ending makes the feeling even worse, and it overall makes it one of the most disappointing series I’ve seen so far this season due to ending it in this fashion. Really. Just from this very episode and ending.

    So many things in this episode felt very off and like they were trying way too hard in being cool, important, serious (like that if you lose you simply leave the school), thrilling, etc in so many areas that it just came off as being very silly and full of cringe for me. Doesn’t help that this also felt rushed. I have never felt this way (besides episode 9 feeling rather rushed) until this episode came. I honestly thought this was enjoyable in one way or another up until this point.

    I don’t know what they were thinking ending the series in this way. Either they could have made a few more episodes and stayed faithful to the manga with one more game, or still stuck with a single original anime-only episode as the ending, but just not this bad and ridiculous to me. It really is a shame that I feel this way towards this.

    • September 26, 2017 at 1:10 amHalfDemonInuyasha

      Well, when you consider just the type of people Yumeko and Kirari are, being forced to leave the school and never being able to return WOULD be the absolute worst thing to happen for them, even more than death, because it’s the only place where they could really (and legally…somehow) find the thrills, excitement, highs, etc. they were looking for.

    • September 26, 2017 at 11:27 pmPancakes

      They probably chose this ending as a means of closure while keeping room open for a sequel if the circumstances dictate one. Basically the usual method for ending adaptations.

      Agreed on the feeling though, compared to the prior matches it felt off a lot of the time, and while the bet made (leave the school) made sense, it never had any of the impact from previous games. Then there was the issue of it taking only one episode, resulting in the rushing. I don’t know what I was expecting exactly, but it definitely wasn’t what we got.

    • October 2, 2017 at 9:26 amKiritsugu

      In terms of anime ending this was an all in one kid of thing. It ends things without ending anything. It gave a showdown without giving us a real showdown. It foreshadowed Susui’s future and yet it gave it as a one time thing. It ended a season and yet, it showed no resolution, leaving a possibility for a sequel. And if there is none, this is a kind of an ending that says “You should keep following this story.”
      Yes, it was rushed and gave us nothing, and that’s exactly what they’re aiming for.

  • September 25, 2017 at 10:35 pmzztop

    Final ep’s game was anime-original, and drafted by Kakegurui’s creators.
    http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2017-09-21/kakegurui-anime-has-original-ending/.121692

    However it still leaves things open for a S2 should they pursue things further.

  • September 26, 2017 at 1:13 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    So Kirari has a twin…and her name is Ririka…which happens to be an anagram of “Kirari”, lol. And looks like Runa reports to a greater power outside of the Academy. Definitely looks possible for a season two.

    • September 26, 2017 at 11:29 pmPancakes

      If we’re lucky of course :P
      IIRC I don’t think there’s enough manga material yet to flesh out another 12 episodes.

      • September 27, 2017 at 2:01 amKurisu Vi Britannia

        While there’s not enough yet it’s definitely heading in that direction, the beginning of the next arc introduces loads of new characters but it’s just another “Beat them 1 by 1″ kind of deal I think (I haven’t read past the introduction of them) so it may not get another season unfortunately.

  • September 26, 2017 at 1:24 amKurisu Vi Britannia

    Absolutely terrible ending, there’s no reason why they couldn’t have sped things up slightly to get where most of us manga readers thought they’d cut off for a possible season 2, they even included it in the OP so I’m not sure what stopped them.

    • September 26, 2017 at 11:29 pmPancakes

      Production committees have never been known as the most intelligent people on the planet lol.

  • September 26, 2017 at 8:56 amEnan84

    http://randomc.net/image/Kakegurui/Kakegurui%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2040.jpg

    It’s not all lost for Manyuda. At least he has Sumeragis affection.

  • September 26, 2017 at 9:20 amGoodwill

    Before I watched the final episode, I heard lots of flack about it being anime original and disappointing. So I went in expecting your average disappointing anime ending… But the episode pleasantly surprised me. As an anime episode, I don’t think it was at all bad. Only nitpick I have is what was gambled in the final gamble. I mean, even if Yumeko or Kirari had to leave the school… I doubt that would’ve stopped them pursuing other avenues to let themselves loose. Relatively, the school is probably not even the best place to gamble. And both have more than enough money to move elsewhere.

    • September 26, 2017 at 11:32 pmPancakes

      It wasn’t objectively bad, but I think a lot of us were expecting more than what we received. For the final match it was underwhelming and arguably rushed thanks to only being one episode. They definitely could have done it differently while still retaining the opening for more later on if desired IMO.

  • September 26, 2017 at 10:27 amArche

    The game itself was in line with something you’d see out of Kakegurui, and I like how they gave Suzui a quick moment to shine. My issue, as others have said, was that if the pacing was slightly faster or if there was one more episode they could have adapted the next game out of the manga which was a perfect stopping point as it also concluded “Act 1″ of the series.

  • September 26, 2017 at 10:37 amIngraman

  • September 26, 2017 at 2:43 pmwissenschaft

    I thought the final episode was fine. Not sure what people were execting but I suspect people were too use to having 2 episodes to fully set up a gamble. That said, I still enjoyed the episode. I would love a season 2 but I doubt it will happen. Ah well, at least I have a new manga to read.

    • September 26, 2017 at 11:14 pmSDFGS

      Honestly, from what you’re saying its almost like you didn’t read the manga before and were an anime-only viewer.
      “Not sure what people were expecting” – Well weren’t expecting them to completely cut out the Moon-Tower Match which is actually an appropriate ending for season 1 in the manga.
      “I suspect people were too use(d) to having 2 episodes to fully set up a gamble” – For being the final battle….yeah, having it all in one episode (and the match itself was boring. Just pick 3 random cards…..come on!), it was pretty rushed and anti-climatic. If actually adapted the true final gamble would have been for 2 episodes. Which would make this a 13 ep series. I’m guessing budget is of concern for them to be going past 12 eps if they went this far to change the ending.

      • September 26, 2017 at 11:15 pmSDFGS

        Just realized there was no reason to correct the use part lol….god I’m tired.

  • September 26, 2017 at 4:21 pmblash

    Did not think the final episode did the rest of the series justice, The final should have been two episodes with some build up and a better thought out game. Any other gamble match in the series was better than this, I expected more from the final battle. I mean I get that this game had the ultimate risk since there was no schemes or strategy, just luck – but the lack of these things made the ending feel cheap.

    Having said that, It was good that at the very least they attempted some closure to the series by having an anime original ending (Also whilst leaving the possibility of a season 2).

    Mixed feelings with this series, since I looked forward to each episode, but the series really didn’t end up going anywhere.

    • September 26, 2017 at 11:35 pmPancakes

      Treading water probably will be the main complaint for this series. It did everything right regarding its premise and theme, but with that ending we never really got anywhere. The show really lost a good opportunity to end with a bang I think.

      • September 27, 2017 at 2:41 amzero5889

        A bit disappointed, too, but knowing that the anime-original ending seems to have directly come from series author Kawamoto Homura, apparently MAPPA wanted to give the series a closure without being forced to commit themselves to a second season, probably because (manga spoilers ahead!)
        Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 29, 2017 at 4:26 amMonimonika

    I liked Sumeragi’s and Saotome’s (and even Runa’s) reactions to Suzui’s “love confession”. Sumeragi shows that she has a first-year high school girly side to her that gets absolutely giddy about romance. Saotome gives further evidence to her unacknowledged crush on Suzui (she’s the type to bully those she likes just to enjoy their reactions).

  • September 30, 2017 at 2:01 pmair

    i liked this prequel to Bible Black.

  • October 1, 2017 at 12:27 pmtsirrus

    Hah! I knew the Pres and VP were twins (too many clues in the previous ep).

    That being said, I didn’t like this ep so much, but it was somewhat expected; the previous one was way too good to be topped.

    Loved how Mary totally lost it when Suzui confessed :)

    Good series overall

  • October 1, 2017 at 7:11 pmlunascha

    This show started out so exciting and then this last episode felt somewhat rushed to finish the series.. The drawing felt a bit different than the beginning of the series and didn’t have the big climax with a final ending like it usually does. I still don’t get the ending part with the girl that looks like the class president. Are they twins?
    Overall though, this was one of the few show I looked forward to watching every week and enjoyed it. The plot was definitely unique with the whole gambling aspect and had some interesting “orgasm”-like scenes. This show will definitely stay in my memory for a while.

  • October 3, 2017 at 9:12 pmpearthefruit

    Everything up until the last episode was accurate to the manga. I found it quite enjoyable.

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