「誘う女」 (Sasou Onna)
“Tempting Woman”

Well it may not have been the Saw spoof of our dreams, but I think we can agree Kakegurui has reached crazy levels far beyond our clearly inadequate imaginations. Money, debts, sadistic decadency? Oh that’s just the first level to this demonic rabbit hole boys and girls. As Midari’s “unique” form of entertainment and gambling shows, Kakegurui means to take the rational limits of pulp psychological suspense and crush them. Completely.

While Midari is almost assuredly insane, it’s pretty damn funny how she’s only the first character to truly rival Yumeko’s depravity. Money means nothing to her (what’s a billion yen between friends?), status is a superfluous perk, what matters—like for Yumeko—is the thrill of the game. Sure one may get off on the gambling itself while the other pleasures herself to thoughts of self-immolation, but these girls are two peas in a pod. Seriously, just look at that happy couple. Perfection. In a way it’s a fitting “gateway” match before the obviously inevitable showdown between our equally invidious Student Council president and chaos reincarnated. If Yumeko isn’t fazed by the likes of variable bullet shootouts and some pochi Suzui abuse, then handling a little cheating and threats of life plan abuse is nothing. Consider it the calm before the storm, if we’re seeing matches like this right now, just imagine what’s coming down the pipeline.

Beyond Midari’s charm, however, what particularly caught me was the quieter machinations at work. Kirari’s attempted poaching of Mary shows the Student Council (or at least its president) is as equally pragmatic as it’s devious, willing to co-opt/absorb any resource capable of furthering its objectives. It’s anyone’s guess what those objectives are, but subduing the increasingly disruptive Yumeko is definitely one of them, particularly if the ever prissy little Runa’s warnings to Midari are anything to go by. Probably a stretch currently to think President and co. will try turning Mary against Yumeko, but I wouldn’t put it past them if Yumeko starts offing the more important members.

Furthermore are the first hints dropped regarding Yumeko’s backstory. I don’t expect us to ever learn anything beyond the bare bones details here, but it’s still interesting seeing how Yumeko is an orphan and has a sickly sister in the hospital because of the plot-based opportunities it presents. We can guess how Yumeko is earning the money for her sister (gambling) for example, but the Student Council doesn’t know it, they firmly believe she has assets stashed away for safekeeping. That sister especially makes for a great weapon should the Student Council seriously try discerning a weakness in our little gambler. After all we already have bets involving human fingernails and the risk of player death, not hard thinking the next stage is betting with the lives of others. If I were Suzui I might want to start considering a new place of education.

Before those tasty possibilities, however, comes some ESP reading and a little Russian roulette. This game, more than any, is all about psychology, and by hell we are going to get it in spades. With two equally insane opponents and a set of outrageous conditions, the winner of this match will be the one who breaks last. Thrillers don’t get much better than this.




  1. As a manga reader I was looking forward to this episode as I’m a supporter of Midari as bestgirl but I couldn’t help but just cringe during this episode, her VA and repetitiveness was just past wrong.

    Kurisu Vi Britannia
    1. Well, tbh, I find Midari as a whole often full of cringe since she’s purposely made to be such an obnoxious and insane freak, so I think the anime did great on that in here.

      1. Pretty much this. She’s literally insane, I’d have a harder time believing her character if she came across as devious, thoughtful, or “cute” per say. Having her personify a live grenade is probably the best way you could ever feature her in the show.

    1. I’m surprised Mary didn’t scold them for having the nerve to ask for forgiveness after ridiculing. They got off too easy, if you ask me. If they shared her fate and understand what she went through and how difficult it was to regain her former glory, then they could look her in the eye and say they’re sorry.

    2. I’m honestly not surprised she didn’t call out her friends, it’s better pretending to be over it and use them later than destroying them immediately, at least in this school. The surprise for me was Mary not even internally scolding them, it’s hard thinking she wouldn’t feel something after all that.

  2. The episode presented two forces of nature. Midari is one case where you’d have to be a fool to turn your back to her and she’d lose it in a moment’s notice. But I’m more afraid of Kirari the Student Council President and I can empathize with Mary’s state of paralysis. Her type gives off a pressure you can actually feel when watching them. It’s bad enough Kirari has status but to me, her most powerful asset is her charisma. The kind that can twist people’s psyche as if they were fresh clay before hardening. If someone can leave the usually defiant Mary completely frozen and vulnerable, it’s a sign that the one responsible is not to be trifled with. What are the odds the other Council members were once normal and Kirari dyed them all black?

    Going by what Midari explained in possible outcomes of the gambling, it seems a lot of otherwise scandalous incidents have been swept under the rug for the sake of saving face. Previous episodes have already shown they have more than enough clout to force people into a debt paying plan for the term of their life. So one has to ask just how powerful the academy really is.

    As for the gambling itself, I expected an old fashion Russian roulette game but I should’ve known better. Seriously, everyone aside from Suzui is absolutely nuttier than a fruit cake.

    1. Considering the amount of wealth and types of people (politicians, business leaders, etc.) passing through the school doors, the school’s clout isn’t hard to understand. Where there’s money and status there’s power, and the richer and more powerful you are, the more perverted and invidious the games played—basic living grows boring with every need and worry accounted for.

  3. Is it just me, or is this game just 50/50? From what I understand of what was shown, each player chooses how many bullets are put in her gun, but there’s an equal chance that the card game winner gets either her gun or her opponent’s. Yumeko stated that it’s guaranteed that someone will get shot after each round, therefore one would think that if a trigger is pulled and doesn’t fire because the chamber is empty, it’s the other player’s turn to pull the trigger of her gun. This repeats until someone actually fires a bullet. Is this correct, or does a miss only count if a bullet is fired but misses the other player?

    If Midari puts zero bullets in her gun while Yumeko puts all 6 in hers, then it doesn’t matter who wins the card game.

    Given that Midari warned Yumeko not to pull the trigger, my guess is that Midari knows whose gun is whose, and that she knows that the gun Yumeko is holding is empty; thus Midari will shoot Yumeko.

    1. From what I remember, a miss is only if you actually miss (ex. firing at somewhere else besides the body) or tamper with the chamber (i.e. prevent it from firing). If the chamber is empty, but fires successfully, it counts as being fired. I could be wrong though, the explanation got a little convoluted.

      Also just for correction, Yumeko warned Midari not to pull the trigger. Midari was the one who won the first round, so if Midari has Yumeko’s gun, she’s screwed if you’re right lol.

  4. Remembering the recommendation of Joker’s Game I finally found the time to check it out. Ended up binge watching the entire thing in a day. Wow the games they played in the spy world.

    Here trying to figure Yumeko out. In the real world people with a gambling addiction always lose their money because they take stupid risks and often bet large in a game with not much knowledge where you know people study hard how to play it. Temporary addiction does occur as many poker pro’s go broke after having some early success as they start taking more risks, the pro though learns from this and no longer take poor risks. I have noticed a lot of them like total luck side games with 50/50 odds. As the house is not involved in side games they know over time they will break even roughly doing this, I guess it also tamps down the bad bet urge. (of course, any random chance thing is not guaranteed you could roll a one on a fair dice an infinite amount of time in a row but that is improbable)
    So for Yumeko to have so much knowledge and skill and yet be a normal gambling addict does not seem right. We now know there is a good reason to grow broke so even her going broke might have been original plan. And the sick sister might not exist, or might not be who they think she is.
    Midari will eventually kill herself or someone else and then still eventually kill her self with her games unless she goes into a mental institution. Unless Midari’s insanity is thinking her death games is real while part of herself make certain the only real bullets are fired not at people.

  5. I wasn’t sure how a game between Yumeko and Midari would be seeing as they’re both on the same level of addiction to the thrill of gambling, but it’s wildly entertaining to see how the two interact with one another and get off to the idea of being as risky as possible. Midari elevated herself from being my favorite student council member to my favorite character in the cast.

    Mary is in deep trouble though. Right when she thought she’d comfortably adjust back to her regular routine, her win and debt payment only attracted more attention towards her when it took Yumeko’s skill to get her to rebound. The odd thing is that for how deeply entrenched in the school’s culture as she is, she’s way out of her league for the council, and she’s become increasingly aware of that.


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