「賭博萌キュン録 ゆめち」 (Tobaku Moe Kyun-roku Yumechi)
“Gambling Adoracalypse: Yumechi”
Akiba Maid Sensou’s second episode has the Ton Tokoton staff having to gamble their way out of debt. But while other shows have had more frightening, high-stakes action to their gambling, the girls of Ton Tokoton have their own secret weapon for wiping away the collateral on them and their establishment.
WHAT’S YOUR VICE?
The Manager’s screw-up tendencies have been backfiring intensely with their previous debt collector demanding real payment. Now that Ranko torpedoed the original plan to trigger a turf war with Nagomi & Ranko’s deaths at the bunny girls’ hands, the real tension from the show comes from exactly what crap the Manager forces the maids to do in order to wipe away the cafe’s debt.
I did expect something a bit scarier from the show, but after the first episode’s pigtail removal scene, it appears that it’s entirely in character for the show to have odd stakes. The casino’s main operation revolves around rigging games so that the maids who fall into debt and gamble their loan money are forced into having to work either in whatever horrors are in the Octopus Room or on the kind of crab boats you’d see on Deadliest Catch.
It seems like it lacks a lot of organization because Ranko was easily able to bring a gun onto the premises to shoot the loan shark dead and blow the building sky-high with the help of their panda. In fact, it aims to have you suspend your disbelief in anyone being tracked down or investigated because no one comes after Ranko or Nagomi on the basis that they effectively destroyed the bunny cafe by littering the streets of Akihabara with bodies.
The show tries to keep all conflicts as an insular turf war outside of how the real world operates, so it really relies on turning that part of your mind off to enjoy a wacky crime drama. I can see it being more of an acquired taste as a result, but I’m still getting a kick out of it because even the film Dead or Alive added wacky anime hijinks to clash with its bleak exploration of a grotesque criminal underworld. With Akiba Maid Wars, it pushes its distinction as a crime drama parody to its furthest extent.
PLAYING WITH FIRE
Instead, any serious tone the show would be going for rests on Nagomi’s well-being. The gravity of the situation hits Nagomi in a pretty intense way with bouts of PTSD from all of the death she had seen the previous day. Even as it leans into action comedy, Nagomi is taken far more seriously as she is revolted by the color red after all of the ultra-violence she’s encountered.
She’s constantly one foot out of the door, and it becomes all the more tragic that her realization that she could potentially run for her life is curtailed by the same turf wars crap that got all those girls murdered. The one semblance of normalcy she’s had so far comes from Nerura of the Invasion Cafe. She befriends Nagomi as they hand out flyers after mutually bonding over having protection as their only perk in the kill-or-be-killed profession they find themselves stuck in.
I’m wondering if in the next batch of episodes we’ll find out something about Nerura that reveals that her friendship is merely an act or if that is the one genuine relationship Nagomi has in her job before the next shoe drops and Nerura is caught up in tragic circumstances.