「負けない女」 (Makenai Onna)
“The Winning Woman”
Do you like surprises? Because I, well, sure as hell don’t, but this week’s Kakegurui? Yeah, that’s a surprise I can get behind. Scheming, manipulation, and some trans-intelligent 4D chess machinations: darling we got it all, including the time to fit in some heartwarming intimacy (or as close as this show gets) as well. Truly a smorgasbord of gambling delights this episode, and the best part is the real treat is yet to come.
Considering the shocker revealed by Kaede previously that two traitors were at work in the latest gamble, it was pretty easy to guess they would not be who was expected—i.e. Yumeko—but the final result of Itsuki and Miroslava? Yeah I certainly didn’t see that coming. While obvious things are never what the really seem in Kakegurui, it speaks to how predicting outcomes relies on analyzing all the potential angles. Potential loopholes both physical and mental capable of giving someone an edge? Better pay attention because you can be sure at least one character is taking advantage of them. Of course it’s never that easy to identify some of the mechanics at work in these gambles (I never considered the “transaction” room to be a possible loophole for example), but honestly that’s where a good chunk of the fun comes in. You know one of these
batshit insane cutie pipes is going to do something crazy, the only question is whether you’ll figure it out before they make the grand reveal.
As for this gamble’s grand reveal, well there were no disappointments here. Itsuki’s crush on Kaede—as expected—was the centrepiece behind the various game shenanigans, but much like with Yumemi’s idol actions before, in a way that was quite heartfelt and honest. The girl simply wanted to restore the confidence (and personality) of the guy she fell for; she wanted to reignite the spark and give reason to continue chasing after him. If Kaede refused to reciprocate? No love lost, Itsuki has a cushion to pursue more favourable options. It really shows at its core that Kakegurui isn’t so much about the usual ideas of gambling—i.e. power, thrill, and tangible monetary gain—as much as gambling serving as a means to an end. Yumeko and Kirari may see it purely in terms of entertainment, but for the likes of Itsuki, Yumemi, hell even Terano, it’s just a process used because it’s the law of the land. They may get a thrill out of, they make even enjoy it from time to time, but if given the choice I wager gambling wouldn’t be their first choice for achieving their goals. There’s just too much uncertainty, too much risk, too much on the line to make it the go-to strategy, especially when some things are too valuable to bet on.
Well, at least for anyone who’s not Yumeko and Kirari. It may have been touchy feely and win-win for all this episode, but with this election’s endgame quickly approaching, the time for fun is likely at an end. Best pepper that angus boys and girls, because from this point on, things are going to get serious. Super serious.