「裏切りの女」 (Uragiri no Onna)
“The Treacherous Woman”
Oh Kakegurui, you certainly know how to please me. The show may be taking its time in getting to that sweet final resolution of Yumeko-Kirari round two (be honest, you know the Momobami matriarch won’t be making it out the semifinals alive), but damn if the heat isn’t slowly ratcheting up. From idol showdowns to life lessons in taxes with the taxman himself, we’re definitely going places, with the only question being just where the cliff face lies.
Considering this season has been a veritable mashup of student council members with delectable Yumeko (and friends) delicatessen, it was only a matter of time until we got to the most absolute of characters in Itsuki and Kaede. The latter of course is probably the most memorable, between his secretive goal of ousting Kirari through cold hard cash and that Icarus level, hair changing epic fall from grace, but Itsuki also gets a shout out for her strong love of distal phalanges and that one-sided love of the four eyed pretty boy. Itsuki’s crush in particular is going to be the name of the game for this arc, because with Kaede down in the dumps the girl is torn between wanting to rebuild herself and him, and the guy not exactly being what she originally thought when the love bug hit. Does Itsuki persevere and browbeat some sense back into Kaede, or accept the current situation and make a play for herself alone? It’s not a choice all too easy to make.
What will help grease the wheels of sempai-kouhai relationship restoration though is the game now being played. Paying taxes versus hoarding your hard-earned income? Say hello to non-cooperative game theory boys and girls. This game is arguably the representation of everything which makes Kakegurui tick: we’ve got the distracting machinations, the mental rationalizations, and the outcome depending on who can cheat the most and get away with it. Do you take a hit for the team in order to duke it out later, or selfishly play for yourself first and hope to get enough innocents removed before the consequences rear their ugly heads? And figuring out who made which choice? Oh yeah, now you’re getting into the weeds. Out of the five players it’s actually not that easy seeing who the two traitors (if there’s even two; why not three?) are. The Momobami clan duo? Sure, but that’s too easy. Yumeko? Easily within her power (especially considering her strategy using the number assignments), but who would her “partner” be? Our student council pair? Looks unlikely on the surface, but not too farfetched if acting is up Itsuki’s (and Kaede’s) alley. Personally I suspect some combination of Yumeko and Itsuki/Kaede just because the resulting crazy faces will be a riot (especially once that Yumeko backstory finally comes out), but honestly it could go either way.
Much like Lord of the Flies someone innocent is going to pay the price before the truth comes out, and when it does it’s simply a question of who will be left to pick up the pieces. For everyone involved in this gamble they can only hope right now that person winds up being them.