OP: 「Deal with the devil」 by Tia
「蛇喰夢子という女」 (Jabami Yumeko to Iu Onna)
“A Girl Named Jabami Yumeko”
Kakegurui is everything I never knew I wanted or needed.
As a Vegas native, let me tell you that I’ve on more than one occasion been disappointed when any anime tries to utilize the whole “gambling” aspect in its plot. Be it weak execution or just a garbage storyline, anything involving “gambling” tends to revolve around an overpowered character briefly talking about some sort of strategy that lead them to make a “move” that would ensure them victory. Something that may sound and look cool, but after a few dozen times tends to lose its effectiveness.
Enter Kakegurui, a show that throws caution to the wind and does something that I haven’t seen in a while — show us some straight up gambling addicts who love the thrill of letting it ride and could care less about whether or not the odds are in their favor. But unlike most gambling addicts who end up losing it all due to one reason or another (an addition to gambling is a pretty serious issue), we get to see it from the point of view of both someone who tried their best to be a winning gambler and someone who straight up knows exactly how the system works and how to make the act of gambling a game in itself.
Which leads me into the second thing that I didn’t think would grow on me — the exaggerated style of the faces and some of the real dirty looking responses whenever things get kind of crazy. In general, I’m not a huge fan of these hyper-realistic faces that get way too detailed, but in Kakegurui’s case, I think I can make an exception. Not only does it enhance the ridiculousness of the situation, but when someone like Jabami is trying to make a point, seeing her face turn into something that looks like the devil really helps sell whatever point she (or the story) is trying to make. Toss in the beautiful voice acting that Hayami Saori provides to the character, be it in her relaxed form or during crazy faced moments and the rather unsightly faces fade away quickly as get pulled deeper and deeper into the world that the story is trying to create.
In any case, I think this first episode did a fantastic job at telling us what we’re in for. With a large cast of characters to work with (based on the opening at least), fantastic material since gambling and “games” in general can be as simple or complicated as you need them to be, and some crazy visual style choices that help set the show apart from the competition, I think anyone who finds enjoyment from this episode should have no issue moving forward.
Anyways, I’ll catch you guys later as I catch up on posts and don’t forget to check out our Anime Expo 2017 post when it goes live!
ED: 「LAYon-theLINE」 by D-selections（小林竜之、澁谷梓希、若井友希、青山吉能、吉岡茉祐）